ROOTS-L ArchivesArchiver > ROOTS > 2005-07 > 1121386246
From: "Kith-n-Kin" <>
Subject: RE: [ROOTS-L] Ancestry.com
Date: Thu, 14 Jul 2005 17:10:46 -0700
To all -- I was having a conversation with Ken, but because several people expressed similar sentiments, I
thought I'd put this response out for all to read.
"> All I know is that I used to be able to access, online, most of the sites that Ancestry has now locked
onto their site."
"> I have heard this before, but no one has yet given me a specific citation as to a particular site that
"used to be free" and "now you have to pay for." If you can do this, it would be very helpful."
Ken then said:
"> A few come to mind. One, of course, is Rootsweb.com -- it used to be free. And, at the LDS Family
History site, I was kicked into Ancestry.com when I tried to seek more info on an individual. I have had
similar experiences on some state sites such as Colorado that linked me to Ancestry.com. Olive Tree used
to be free, but it also links into Ancestry.com as does USGenweb project. Some of them have apparently
bee taken over by larger groups such as Rootsweb."
OK, Ken, and others:
Rootsweb.com *used* to be a "free site" only in that the users were not required to pay for whatever was
placed on it. They still are not, by the way.
However, because those of us donating to keep the servers up and running, etc. were apparently few and far
between, the system threatened to fail, and we would have it no more. In stepped Ancestry and company,
and agreed to sponsor Rootsweb. They still do. Now, if you think you are paying for something on
Rootsweb, perhaps you could elaborate?
Its logo reads "The oldest and largest FREE genealogy site, supported by Ancestry.com". Right below that,
in pretty decent print, there are two boxes. One says "Search RootsWeb.com". The other says "Search
'Way down on the page is a link for "Affiliates" -- there you will find an opportunity to gain support
from Ancestry for your website.
Now, there are links and search engines on some websites -- you mentioned a couple, such as Olive Tree --
that will take you to Ancestry.com. Olive Tree itself *is* free. However, Olive Tree, as well as many
other sites, is partially sponsored by Ancestry.com and in return, the sites put the, by now probably very
obvious, search box on the page. Olive Tree may also link you to other paid sites, I don't know. Now,
perhaps you think that the webmaster of Olive Tree should put all of this up, and pay for a server, for
you to look at, out of the goodness of her heart. Dang -- doesn't the fact that she does all that research
and makes 99% of it available to you free mean anything?
At the LDS Family History site, as near as I can recall, the place you get kicked to Ancestry is if you
want to look at the 1880 census document. That's because Ancestry owns the scans and the server that hold
That said, I still don't know precisely what piece of data, or database, that you "used to get free" that
you now have to pay for.
I can mention one myself, and the way it happened is instructive. The State of California once had both
birth and death records on a website. A few years ago, they took off the birth records. I found them by
accident on Ancestry.com the other day. Since the interface is quite different, I take it that Ancestry
bought the database and tweaked it to suit themselves. So, yes, you could have gotten the information
free at one time, but you couldn't have gotten it all for the past few years, until Ancestry took it on.
So, that is a bad thing?
I think it is very frustrating to go to any website and not get what you expect. I have almost a full
subscription to Ancestry, but still there is always some reference that goes to one of the databases I
chose not to order. So, I'll have to do what I advised you to do. Find the resource in some other place
-- interlibrary loan, for example, or my local Family History Center. Or, as my mother used to say when I
turned up my nose at supper, "eat it or go without!"
Pat (in Tucson)
|RE: [ROOTS-L] Ancestry.com by "Kith-n-Kin" <>|