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Margit
17 January 2006, 06:37 PM
All the recent discussion of ways to view the information on Ancestry.com reminds me of my plan to get a trial membership to try it out, but it also reminds me that the information seems very American-centric. Since the Reunion List includes submitters from around the world, I wonder if various users might chime in with their impressions of the value of Ancestry.com for non-American searches?

johnpritt
18 January 2006, 02:03 AM
I think it depends on where you are researching. Half of my family is from Belgium, the other half from England. Ancestry is pretty useless as far as the Belgian side goes, but is fine for the English side -- census records, birth, marriage and death records, as well as some pre-1837 parish records. The indexing is sometimes pretty poor -- but then so was some of the handwriting they were trying to transcribe, and you begin to get used to it and make allowances after a while.
A trial period might be the way to go.

Sarah Dart
18 January 2006, 08:56 PM
All the recent discussion of ways to view the information on Ancestry.com reminds me of my plan to get a trial membership to try it out, but it also reminds me that the information seems very American-centric. Since the Reunion List includes submitters from around the world, I wonder if various users might chime in with their impressions of the value of Ancestry.com for non-American searches?

I would agree with John. If you have no American lines in your genealogy, ancestry.com is of limited value. The English censuses are helpful (but they only include England and Wales and not Scotland or Ireland) and they have just released some Canadian records as well. But the rest of the world is woefully underrepresented in their databases. I would suspect the main problem is linguistic-- they would have to get someone to translate the records from other languages into English for the site, if only just to index them correctly. Perhaps one day they will have ancestry.fr for France, ancestry.be for Belgium, etc., just as they now have ancestry.co.uk covering parts of the United Kingdom. That might be a way to get around mixing too many languages on one site.
Sarah

Ronald N. Gowe
19 January 2006, 12:35 AM
After first trying Ancestry.com on a trial basis five years ago and finding it not at all helpful in tracing Canadian family lines, I did not endorse full membership. Many times over the years I called it up only to find that not much was available that was useful. A daughter presented me with a year's Premium subscription as a Christmas present in December. Since that time I have devoted many hours exploring what could be found, which was not much on my Canadian lineage in Nova Scotia, which goes back to early 1700's. However, painstakingly working though their complicated way of doing things I was able to extract much on those branches of the family that either originated in MA in 1620 or migrated from Canada to the States in the 1700's and 1800's. I do NOT reccommend a subscription for one who wishes extensive research in Canada or Scotland. A great deal of what is posted is from personal files, often from several family postings and has frequently conflicting facts; everything MUST be verified.

jane in l.a.
19 January 2006, 07:27 PM
I would agree with John. If you have no American lines in your genealogy, ancestry.com is of limited value...Hi Sarah,

Could you get in touch with me off the board? DART is my surname and my main genealogy research focus.

Jane
<cheezz@myfamily.org>

idfitter
21 January 2006, 01:32 PM
If you have no American lines in your genealogy, ancestry.com is of limited value.
I disagree. I am English and (so far) have no American lines but I find the UK & Ireland package very useful.
While other sites have one or two of the England & Wales Censuses, no other site has the 1851, 61, 71, 81, 91 and 1901 censuses along with the BMD index from freeBMD. Also other sites have a pay-per-view policy for these records; very annoying to pay when the record turns out to be irrelevent.

As Johnpritt says, it depends on where you're researching.

Margit
23 January 2006, 01:31 PM
I disagree. I am English and (so far) have no American lines but I find the UK & Ireland package very useful.
While other sites have one or two of the England & Wales Censuses, no other site has the 1851, 61, 71, 81, 91 and 1901 censuses along with the BMD index from freeBMD. Also other sites have a pay-per-view policy for these records; very annoying to pay when the record turns out to be irrelevent.

As Johnpritt says, it depends on where you're researching.

Could you be more specific about the "Ireland package?" Sarah Dart specifically stated earlier that there was no census information on Ancestry for Scotland and Ireland, and a careful reading of your posting does not necessarily contradict Sarah. So, is there Irish census information available, or just other "useful" stuff?

idfitter
23 January 2006, 08:05 PM
Could you be more specific about the "Ireland package?" Sarah Dart specifically stated earlier that there was no census information on Ancestry for Scotland and Ireland, and a careful reading of your posting does not necessarily contradict Sarah. So, is there Irish census information available, or just other "useful" stuff?
The Scottish and Irish information is mainly parish and probate records. AFAIK the only place to get Scottish Census records is www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk. I don't know what Irish Census info (if any) is available online. I recall seeing an article in a family history magazine pointing out how far behind the Irish Records Office was in making this sort of information available.

cyber_brent
27 January 2006, 03:43 AM
All the recent discussion of ways to view the information on Ancestry.com reminds me of my plan to get a trial membership to try it out, but it also reminds me that the information seems very American-centric. Since the Reunion List includes submitters from around the world, I wonder if various users might chime in with their impressions of the value of Ancestry.com for non-American searches?
for other alternatives try checking http://www.unlimited-backgroundcheck.com the have advance searches same as used by U.S. govt. agencies

David Kerr
02 April 2006, 03:52 PM
for those with a Scottish background, the General Records office for Scotland (GROS) has a really good site for births, deaths, marriages wills and census records.

http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/?gclid=CNWyoPORhIQCFUNFEgodsGE0ig

Hope this helps

Jon Colchagoff
21 April 2006, 01:31 PM
I found Ancestry.com helpful for relatives in the US but most of mine come from Bulgaria and the only help I get is through relatives. Even most books do not help unless you can read Bulgarian.