APG-L ArchivesArchiver > APG > 2006-03 > 1141367104
From: Craig Kilby <>
Subject: Internet and Genealogy
Date: Fri, 03 Mar 2006 01:25:04 -0500
This will only come as another groan to many, but I feel compelled to state
that after many on this list advised me "there was no way to be a true
professional genealogist" without belonging to ancestry.com, I'll have to
say my experience thus far with that organization is far from satifactory.
As Robert Young Clay, retired director of the Library of Virginia, once told
a family gathering in 2004 in Richmond, "The worst thing that has ever
happened to genealogy is the internet." I must agree with him.
The one thing that ancestry.com offers is census data. Whoopie doo. Its
index is so awful you have to find out the roll and page number by other
means to even find half of the people you know are there. So much for
outsourcing. Perhaps a group of yanks could volunteer to transcribe the
records written in India. That would be "fair trade", right?
I don't know what has become of LDS. Every time I go there (knowing in
advance that whatever may be found is certainly circumspect at best), the
site seems to be increasingly "dumbed down", to almost useless. It used to
be you could at least search by a parish or county in England, but now you
have to only have a name. A deal they made with the devil I suppose when
they teamed up with you know who. Wouldn't be the first time the Mormons
have done that.
Well, that leaves us back with Mr. Clay's conclusion. Stick to the basics,
there are no easy answers and if their where, they wouldn't be worth much.
I intend to cancel my ancestry.com subscription. The census data--if you
can get it--is good to have. That can be accessed by many other means. The
family files, such as they are, are next to useless as they are just so much
recycled CD Roms with no documentation other than "Latter Day Saints CD
#123, or what have you. Even for subscribed members, their menu options are
few and far between. They have nothing remotely original other than census
data. All well and fine, but as for "4 billion names"--I could buy phone
books from 20 countries and get that.
My own two cents.
Not a happy customer.
|Internet and Genealogy by Craig Kilby <>|