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View Full Version : Differences b/w Genealogy.com & Ancestry.com?


smhayhurst
05 October 2007, 06:25 PM
I've been unable to find a succinct summary of the current differences between Genealogy.com and Ancestry.com, and I was hoping someone could shed some light on it.

I currently use Ancestry.com, and I wasn't certain if there was enough unique content to merit the extra subscription fee now that they're both owned by the same company, The Generations Network.

It appears that the World Family Tree (WFT) content on genealogy.com is unique to that site and would be found elsewhere only if users uploaded the same content to a free site like RootsWeb.com, right? Or is that WFT information available elsewhere?

Thanks for your time!

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Researching:
Hayhurst, Lindenschmidt, Bischoff, Harding, Hartzel, Wunch (Wuensch)

mwphelps
06 October 2007, 06:43 PM
I've been unable to find a succinct summary of the current differences between Genealogy.com and Ancestry.com, and I was hoping someone could shed some light on it.

I currently use Ancestry.com, and I wasn't certain if there was enough unique content to merit the extra subscription fee now that they're both owned by the same company, The Generations Network.

It appears that the World Family Tree (WFT) content on genealogy.com is unique to that site and would be found elsewhere only if users uploaded the same content to a free site like RootsWeb.com, right? Or is that WFT information available elsewhere?

I subscribe to all of Ancestry and the census images on Genealogy.com. I used to subscribe to a records library on Gen.com, but gave it up because I never found anything useful in it. I maintain the census subscription there as a back up for when the census images on Ancestry are blurred on a specific page. If so, I search through the Gen.com set to find the same page and usually it is clearer. FYI, the census images on Ancestry are gray scale images, and are zoomable. The census pages on Gen.com are only B/W, and are not zoomable. The former tend to give a better view most times, but, as I said, in rare cases the B/W images are clearer.

Other than that I see two advantages to Ancestry. One is the sheer breadth of the data bases on Ancestry. There are a lot of commonly used data bases there, which will usually show up in most general searches. But there is also a LARGE collection of other, specialized data bases that can be searched individually.

The other advantage I find is that the search engine on Gen.com, regardless of the data set you are searching, is, in a word, AWFUL. It allows very little in the way of Boolean search logic, has no options for wild card characters, and only allows searches on a few fields. And their search fields for First, Middle, and Last names is a joke, as their data base appears not to link matches in those fields properly.

Ancestry, on the other hand, has a much more robust search engine (I wouldn't say it's perfect, but it is better), that allows combined search criteria across multiple fields, and allows the use of some wild card characters (i.e., minimum of first 3 characters of any field and the * to allow for any further characters, or ? to replace any single character). I can't tell you how often I use that ability to limit search results.

I know the two sites are owned by the same corporate entity, but I am sure they are run by two different organizations with different philosophies. Plus, most of the data on Gen.com is based on the old Broderbund CD's they used to sell (and which now cannot be read by the new Family Tree Maker, or so I hear). Not the most productive data, IMHO. The same can be said about the World Family Tree data -- useful as long as you understand you may be collecting other people's mistakes.

I know people rag on Ancestry all the time about their subscription fees, but, again IMHO, they are a great resource.

-- stepping off of soap box now --