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dseifert
18 August 2006, 05:59 PM
Being relatively new to genealogy, my entire research to date has been done on the internet or by talking with relatives. I keep coming to the point where I'm asked to subscribe to Ancestry.com and was wondering if it's worth the yearly subscription or not.

Thanks in advance for any advice,

newtonuk
18 August 2006, 06:13 PM
I've used Ancestry.co.uk and to be honest it's moved me forward leaps and bounds in my research, covering the Census returns and the Birth Marriage and Death register.

I've not found the searches problematic and have used their Personal Family Tree to build my most comprehensive tree yet.

However, I am frustrated that I can't export my data at all and I've found that I can't rely on their data solely. Some of the trancriptions of the Census returns leave a lot to be desired IMO.

Some of the more difficult to find records have only been unearthed on other BMD sites!

However, I have still got more information from Ancestry than anywhere else.

Bob Goode
18 August 2006, 07:50 PM
I keep coming to the point where I'm asked to subscribe to Ancestry.com and was wondering if it's worth the yearly subscription or not.

Thanks in advance for any advice,

I use Ancestry and have found it worth the investment. I agree with the comments in the previous posts. Be very careful on any internet searches, whether Ancestry or other sites, about the accuracy of the data. Gedcoms abound with misinformation and inaccuracy. My 5g Revolutionary War grandfather has several sets of parents if one would believe all the gedcoms circulating around on the web. This includes the family trees at Ancestry.com.

Ancestry is convienent and cost effective if you consider the cost of traveling to various counties.

However, I have found that "field" research is very rewarding, both in the documents obtained but the places visited. If the opportunity avails, then travel.

I am sure that some people will post different opinions because over the years this topic resurfaces in ReunionTalk. The U.S. census section of Ancestry.com is well worth my money. In fact, go the tool bar at the top of the page, click on "search" and in the keyword section, type in Ancestry.com. You will obtain many topics relating to your needs.

Bob

Derrick
18 August 2006, 11:21 PM
Being relatively new to genealogy, my entire research to date has been done on the internet or by talking with relatives. I keep coming to the point where I'm asked to subscribe to Ancestry.com and was wondering if it's worth the yearly subscription or not.


It depends on your family, of course--if they immigrated in 1940 this won't help much--but I find the census invaluable. I know that you can find it elsewhere, but the search features here and the downloadable images are a huge help. You can't escape the benefits, more than any other family record, of the kind of family history coverage the census gives.

I'd say that more than the census is an indulgence or a plus. Subscriptions are so expensive that they are going to have to put a lot more up for me to subscribe to more databases--and NOT raise the price. I know that there is a lot up. I can see that there are records in court, land, and probate that would be a help, but entire states are missing there (Tennessee, Delaware, a whole lot of Virginia, Maryland land records . . . ), and I'm not going to subscribe to something for a year that has such gaps in what I am interested in. I'll go to the library every once in a while to take advantage of my cheap library card instead; I can also get access to Ancestry.com there. I don't need to spend the money on something which is, after all, NOT my primary, secondary, or even tertiary responsibility in life.

If you want more than the census, the choice will depend on what they have where your family is. Get a two week free tryout--I assume they have these--and see what the collections cover for your family, and try a bunch of family searches in various sections and see what you can find; that'll be the best way to decide what kind of $$$ to spend.

Kim
19 August 2006, 02:17 AM
I have found a lot of useful information from Ancestry. However, I have never subscribed. My local library has a subscription, and it is easy enough for me to access through them. I also can access Heritage Quest, and prefer HQ for census info. The indexing is not as good as ancestry, but it is easier to view, at least for me.
I'd suggest giving your library a call to see if they offer access to Ancestry, and if so, go in and try it out. If not you may be able to find another library system with access. After trying, you can decide if it is worth your money to have home access.

dseifert
19 August 2006, 11:21 PM
Thank You,

Newton,Bob,Derrick and Kim... you have all been very helpful. I think I'll try it out at the library first and go from there.

Thanks again,

Charles Cox
21 August 2006, 07:34 PM
I have been most pleased with Ancestry.com. It has made tremendous progress to accomodate Mac users.

The data is not more to be doubted than that found in a reputable family history library. I sometimes think that researchers are overly concerned about "proving." I have run into too many cases where the official records are just wrong. My own middle name is incorrectly reported in official birth records.

There is no way, that I can see, to avoid making considered decisions about names and dates, etc.

Ancestry.com has taken its place up there with the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.

Charles

Kathy A.
28 August 2006, 03:11 PM
Being relatively new to genealogy, my entire research to date has been done on the internet or by talking with relatives. I keep coming to the point where I'm asked to subscribe to Ancestry.com and was wondering if it's worth the yearly subscription or not.

Thanks in advance for any advice,

I found it worthwhile (under the old fee structure, not the new one), but watch out for renewals. Twice they "renewed" my subscription without my permission and refused to let me cancel. They claimed they had sent me an e-mail and called before renewing -- I know they didn't call because my cell phone logs missed calls (and has voice mail, too.) Nor would they let me cancel future renewals, or cancel my subscription early. I had to eventually mark my calendar well in advance and cancel during the short window they allow.

If I were to subscribe again, I'd only do it with a credit card that will expire before the renewal. (One of my credit cards lets me set up single use "virtual" cards for online use.) Other than the automatic renewal problems, the service was good.

Kathy A.

S. Kennedy
29 August 2006, 10:56 AM
If I were to subscribe again, I'd only do it with a credit card that will expire before the renewal. (One of my credit cards lets me set up single use "virtual" cards for online use.) Other than the automatic renewal problems, the service was good.

Kathy A.

Be careful about using credit cards for subscriptions. Several years ago I had a magazine subscription renewed without my permission via a Visa card that had been closed for almost a year. The account was reopened and I was charged a fee for reopening as well as the cost of the subscription. It turns out that these subscription companies had a special contract with Visa that allowed this and Visa could not alter the transaction because of this contract. After a great deal of effort, I found someone at the subscription company, (not the magazine) that agreed to get Visa to cancel the charges and close the account. I suspect that this is the same kind of agreement that Ancestry has with the credit companies. I also believe that I could have been legally stuck with the charges had someone not agreed to help me with my problem. Virtual cards may be a viable solution to this problem but I wouldn't know for sure.

jbkeene
30 August 2006, 02:07 AM
Be careful about using credit cards for subscriptions. Several years ago I had a magazine subscription renewed without my permission via a Visa card that had been closed for almost a year. The account was reopened and I was charged a fee for reopening as well as the cost of the subscription. It turns out that these subscription companies had a special contract with Visa that allowed this and Visa could not alter the transaction because of this contract. After a great deal of effort, I found someone at the subscription company, (not the magazine) that agreed to get Visa to cancel the charges and close the account. I suspect that this is the same kind of agreement that Ancestry has with the credit companies. I also believe that I could have been legally stuck with the charges had someone not agreed to help me with my problem. Virtual cards may be a viable solution to this problem but I wouldn't know for sure.

I may be the exception but my experience with Ancestry.com has been good. I have subscribed for three years and for each of the two renewals they have emailed me and telephoned me and discussed in detail which of their many subscription options I would like to have and we even bargained - that is, I got them to extend some of my subscriptions for a couple of months for free so that their expiration date would match up with the rest of my subscriptions and I could renew them all together. (I think their subscription structures have changed since that time and maybe now you don't buy subscriptions in little chunks the way you used to.) I was quite impressed. But with any service such as this, you should remind yourself to call and cancel the subscription if that is what you want to do at the end of it. If you can't remember to do it, set the alarm on your computer calendar!
Best wishes,
Jocelyn Keene

Nick
15 September 2006, 06:52 PM
Ancestry.com - and similar sites - will basically put you in touch with a load of people researching the same data as you. You can take their data and add it to yours. BUT... you take their word for it.

To my mind there is nothing 'proved' if you do this. In an ideal world you must be able to 'prove' your data by having (I mean 'possessing') the documentation from which you obtained it - BMD certificates, census returns, Wills etc.

Without this supporting documentation, any data is emasculated and doubtful. It's as simple as that!

rod
05 December 2006, 11:59 AM
I have been most pleased with Ancestry.com. It has made tremendous progress to accomodate Mac users.

The data is not more to be doubted than that found in a reputable family history library. I sometimes think that researchers are overly concerned about "proving." I have run into too many cases where the official records are just wrong. My own middle name is incorrectly reported in official birth records.

There is no way, that I can see, to avoid making considered decisions about names and dates, etc.

Ancestry.com has taken its place up there with the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.

Charles

I've found the opposite on recent Mac support - they seem to go out of their way to make things difficult for Mac users. When they added Canadian census information, it didn't work with if you had Acrobat installed (a couple of us Mac users found and posted a workaround with no help from Ancestry). In fact On Oct 24, 2006 I was told by "Gabriel" at ancestry.com "tech" support that Ancestry does not support any customers who do not use "Internet Explorer on Windows". Think about that before you subscribe. Or if you do subscribe, tell that you use a Mac and expect it to be supported.

kyuck
05 December 2006, 03:01 PM
Snip...a couple of us Mac users found and posted a workaround with no help from Ancestry Snip...
Is the workaround still required? If so, could you post it? If you can't post it, could you email it to me?
Thanks,
Kevan

dseifert
05 December 2006, 06:50 PM
Ancestry.com - and similar sites - will basically put you in touch with a load of people researching the same data as you. You can take their data and add it to yours. BUT... you take their word for it.

To my mind there is nothing 'proved' if you do this. In an ideal world you must be able to 'prove' your data by having (I mean 'possessing') the documentation from which you obtained it - BMD certificates, census returns, Wills etc.

Without this supporting documentation, any data is emasculated and doubtful. It's as simple as that!

Thanks to everyone for their opinion. Since my initial inquiry I have spent many days at the public library logged into Ancestry.com. I find it extremely useful. I have downloaded many, many census records, passenger list manifests, world war one draft cards and other valuable bits of proof of my ancestors life.

I havent really found the section where other researchers hang out.

I think that when I get tired of driving back and forth to the library, I'll subscribe at home.

Thanks again for your opinions

Rob_McAlear
05 December 2006, 06:51 PM
Is the workaround still required? If so, could you post it? If you can't post it, could you email it to me?
Thanks,
Kevan
Maybe I'm missing something here. Ancestry had a special rate of $10 per month, so I signed up. (I think there was another special rate of $3 per month). I have been using the census records and find them easy to use and very time-saving. A few errors in the index. I have also used some of the other records available. I have had no problems, but then, again, I may not be understanding what problems others are having.

Rob, in northern California

marnen
06 December 2006, 05:10 AM
Ancestry.com - and similar sites - will basically put you in touch with a load of people researching the same data as you. You can take their data and add it to yours. BUT... you take their word for it.
Not quite true. Ancestry.com has an impressive collection of source document images -- censuses, vital records, things like that.

dseifert
06 December 2006, 07:29 AM
Not quite true. Ancestry.com has an impressive collection of source document images -- censuses, vital records, things like that.

Yes.... This is pretty much what I've found

Pat Bell
29 December 2006, 05:53 PM
Thanks to everyone for their opinion. Since my initial inquiry I have spent many days at the public library logged into Ancestry.com. I find it extremely useful. I have downloaded many, many census records, passenger list manifests, world war one draft cards and other valuable bits of proof of my ancestors life.

I havent really found the section where other researchers hang out.

I think that when I get tired of driving back and forth to the library, I'll subscribe at home.

Thanks again for your opinions

The message boards are reached through <rootsweb.com> There is an incredible range of groups -- surnames, areas, cemeteries (!), wars, etc.-- and you can mark the ones you like as favorites.

I started with using genealogy.com (which has more recently been acquired by ancestry.com; at that time, it had better access to the Census records than the budget end of ancestry. I frequently use them both, more or less in tandem. Ancestry has a better search on the Census records, and while I've not checked back on the precise address, there is a place where you can write and correct the transcriptions. I've seen several flat out wrong, but then I've also seen how difficult it can be to read the records.

jimpres
10 March 2007, 02:49 PM
Ancestry has some great data in its files. I only use it when they have a free two weeks offered. It is expensive.
Many years ago I uploaded my genealogy file to them and now can't access it unless I pay. So the version they have is many years outdated.
Many users on roots web can help find files and data for searchers.
Just an opinion

Carolann
11 March 2007, 12:57 PM
I have been most pleased with Ancestry.com. It has made tremendous progress to accomodate Mac users.

The data is not more to be doubted than that found in a reputable family history library. I sometimes think that researchers are overly concerned about "proving." I have run into too many cases where the official records are just wrong. My own middle name is incorrectly reported in official birth records.

There is no way, that I can see, to avoid making considered decisions about names and dates, etc.

Ancestry.com has taken its place up there with the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.

Charles
I agree that even official records are often inaccurate and just wrong... I had requested an official copy of my Dad's birth certificate from the State of PA in Carlisle. When I received that copy I was really confused... the only part of his name on the record that was correct was his last name. Parents names were correct, date of birth was correct and location and doctor's name was correct. I queried his brother and 3 sisters about this and they didn't have an answer either, other than it was wrong and they had never heard that name before. My Dad was one of ten, one of whom had died at birth, a little boy. I asked if possibly that could have been the name of the baby who died and family said no, they had never heard that name before. My uncle then sent my Dad's original birth certificate that shows his correct name, etc. So there you have it. Now I would like to set that record straight and will probably have to go to the State Office in Carlisle Pa with my oiriginal copy.

So yes, you can't always rely on official records either, any more than you can word of mouth at times.


IMAC 10.4.8

S. Kennedy
11 March 2007, 01:50 PM
I agree that even official records are often inaccurate and just wrong... I had requested an official copy of my Dad's birth certificate from the State of PA in Carlisle. When I received that copy I was really confused... the only part of his name on the record that was correct was his last name. Parents names were correct, date of birth was correct and location and doctor's name was correct. I queried his brother and 3 sisters about this and they didn't have an answer either, other than it was wrong and they had never heard that name before. My Dad was one of ten, one of whom had died at birth, a little boy. I asked if possibly that could have been the name of the baby who died and family said no, they had never heard that name before. My uncle then sent my Dad's original birth certificate that shows his correct name, etc. So there you have it. Now I would like to set that record straight and will probably have to go to the State Office in Carlisle Pa with my oiriginal copy.

So yes, you can't always rely on official records either, any more than you can word of mouth at times.


IMAC 10.4.8

This is most likely a transcription error and I fear we will see this often as governments switch from paper to electronic records. I recently needed an official copy of my own birth certificate and the new copy had my Mother's maiden name wrong. I know that the photostat copy I had earlier was correct.

It is not a new problem as recently I went to a courthouse to inspect some deeds from the 18th century and found that there were two deeds to the same transaction written about 2 weeks apart. The earlier one had been used several times in genealogy documents but the most important detail was quite different in the second posted deed. Since they were in the same handwriting, I suspect that the second deed was a correction that put an entirely different meaning on the conclusions of several genealogists. The bottom line is that it may often be a mistake to unconditionally accept even official records as suggested above but all records are worth something even if it is only a suggestion of where to research.

Clayton Heathcock
11 March 2007, 06:51 PM
Being relatively new to genealogy, my entire research to date has been done on the internet or by talking with relatives. I keep coming to the point where I'm asked to subscribe to Ancestry.com and was wondering if it's worth the yearly subscription or not.

Thanks in advance for any advice,

Most definitely worth the annual cost. For me the most valuable thing has been access to all of the raw census pages. You can also get in touch with people who have done serious work on various families using the family tree part. But be careful -- someone makes a bad guess and publishes an incorrect family tree, then people begin to copy the mistake and publish their own trees, pretty soon you get 15 or 20 different family trees that all agree because they all go back to the same first mistake. Never use anything in the online trees for anything other than guides for your own followup research.

dseifert
11 March 2007, 10:27 PM
Most definitely worth the annual cost. For me the most valuable thing has been access to all of the raw census pages. You can also get in touch with people who have done serious work on various families using the family tree part. But be careful -- someone makes a bad guess and publishes an incorrect family tree, then people begin to copy the mistake and publish their own trees, pretty soon you get 15 or 20 different family trees that all agree because they all go back to the same first mistake. Never use anything in the online trees for anything other than guides for your own followup research.

Mr. Heathcock,

Thanks for the advise. Your website is incredible! Very well done. Best I've seen.

Kate McCain
02 June 2007, 06:37 AM
I agree that even official records are often inaccurate and just wrong... I had requested an official copy of my Dad's birth certificate from the State of PA in Carlisle. When I received that copy I was really confused... the only part of his name on the record that was correct was his last name. Parents names were correct, date of birth was correct and location and doctor's name was correct. I queried his brother and 3 sisters about this and they didn't have an answer either, other than it was wrong and they had never heard that name before. My Dad was one of ten, one of whom had died at birth, a little boy. I asked if possibly that could have been the name of the baby who died and family said no, they had never heard that name before. My uncle then sent my Dad's original birth certificate that shows his correct name, etc. So there you have it. Now I would like to set that record straight and will probably have to go to the State Office in Carlisle Pa with my oiriginal copy.

So yes, you can't always rely on official records either, any more than you can word of mouth at times.


IMAC 10.4.8

Families can also make things difficult. When my dad -- William Barker Wootton -- was born, his aunt scurried down to the local paper and posted the birth information. But she posted it as "William Henry Wootton" to her sister-in-law's great indignation. (The error probably stemmed from the fact that William Henry Barker was her uncle.)

marlene rochon
21 June 2007, 09:08 PM
Being relatively new to genealogy, my entire research to date has been done on the internet or by talking with relatives. I keep coming to the point where I'm asked to subscribe to Ancestry.com and was wondering if it's worth the yearly subscription or not.

Thanks in advance for any advice,
I am relatively new to Ancestry, but so far have found it very easy to use. As my main genealogical research has been in Canada, mainly Quebec Prov., World deluxe version has been FANTASTIC! The Drouin Collections have helped me sooo much!!! I have had no problem with accessing data of any kind.
Mar

Charles Cox
22 June 2007, 09:02 PM
I am relatively new to Ancestry, but so far have found it very easy to use. As my main genealogical research has been in Canada, mainly Quebec Prov., World deluxe version has been FANTASTIC! The Drouin Collections have helped me sooo much!!! I have had no problem with accessing data of any kind.
Mar

I have had a good relationship with ancestry.com until recently. Their new program, "My Ancestry," which allows you to post your family tree there originally allowed access via Safari but that has not ceased. They force you to use some other browser, such as Firefox. The fact that Safari originally worked does not seem to bother them and they show no intent to alter their program which allows one to us Safari. They are good but continue their long standing program of making it hard for Mac users.

Bob Goode
22 June 2007, 09:58 PM
I have had a good relationship with ancestry.com until recently. Their new program, "My Ancestry," which allows you to post your family tree there originally allowed access via Safari but that has not ceased. They force you to use some other browser, such as Firefox. The fact that Safari originally worked does not seem to bother them and they show no intent to alter their program which allows one to us Safari. They are good but continue their long standing program of making it hard for Mac users.

Charles,
I have no problem accessing any and all parts of Ancestry with Safari, including "My Ancestry". Try clearing your cache. I don't know if clearing the cache will solve your problem, but Safari works fine with me. I have been using Ancestry on a regular basis for many years with no problems.

Bob

linders
23 June 2007, 12:21 PM
I have had a good relationship with ancestry.com until recently. Their new program, "My Ancestry," which allows you to post your family tree there originally allowed access via Safari but that has not ceased. They force you to use some other browser, such as Firefox. The fact that Safari originally worked does not seem to bother them and they show no intent to alter their program which allows one to us Safari. They are good but continue their long standing program of making it hard for Mac users.
Try to "reset Safari" it's just above "clear cache". That seemed to work for me.

Charles Cox
26 June 2007, 06:32 PM
Try to "reset Safari" it's just above "clear cache". That seemed to work for me.

Thank you one and all.

I did reset Safari as you suggested but without improvement on the Ancestry end of the line.

Let me be more specific. Via Safari you proceed to My Ancestry. There if you choose the "Family Three" option your tree will include the home person plus the 2 subsequent generations. The remainder of the screen - the right half of it -- will be blocked out.

If you are using FoxFire and follow the same routine, you are able to view 3 subsequent generations and the right half of the screen is free of the block.

I know this may be picky but it impedes one's work.

I have talked with the techs at Ancestry via telephone and all they say is change to FoxFire. They will not accomodate Mac users.

Charles