What do I think about Ancestry?

"Ancestry is only out to make money"

"My year subscription is up and they billed my credit card another year!"

"I've called and cancelled my subscription and they still billed me!"

"I can't find anything that pertains to my family on Ancestry!"

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In the midst of the merging of two very powerful genealogy giants on the web, Ancestry and Rootsweb, there are varying opinions as to who's the culprit.    I say neither.     I've read countless emails and postings to forums of people denouncing Ancestry as the "big bad wolf" which is "only out to make money".

Well, of course they are out to make money!    They are a BUSINESS!    And business is NOT a bad word!    MyFamily.com employs a large number of people who build databases, maintain servers, build web pages, etc.    I'm sure they have a personnel department, a human resources department, a payroll department, etc.    They are not built the same way Rootsweb was built.     They are a "for-profit" company.     And I see nothing wrong with that.

I am a subscriber to Ancestry, yes!     I don't work for Ancestry.     I believe MyFamily/Ancestry to have some of the most quality data on the web and the largest amount of records to be found.     To be a serious family researcher means to be a subscriber to Ancestry.      For those who are on a fixed income and just can't afford the very reasonable subscription, I do free lookups.

There have been complaints from those whose yearly membership was over but Ancestry kept billing their credit card for another year.     Read the policy that always been there.    MyFamily.com's policy states that theirs is a continuing subscription.    In order to unsubscribe, you must contact them and give them the order to cancel your subscription.   Terms and Conditions

There have been those who have complained that after contacting Ancestry to cancel their membership, they were billed again anyway.     On forums they've berated Ancestry, calling them "crooked" and "sharks".      Think about it, folks!     Ancestry has grown from a nice, big genealogy page to a huge mega-source overnight practically.     Can you imagine the demands on their accounting?     Of course there are going to be a few mistakes in the millions of accounts that they have to manage!     This does not make them "crooked".      Give them the benefit of the doubt.     I'm almost willing to bet that if you called their 1-800-595-1211  number and explain to them that the account has not been correctly cancelled, they will be more than glad to fix the problem and reimburse your funds.    I've talked to MyFamily personnel on the phone.    They are NICE PEOPLE!

There are still others who have said they they tried Ancestry and couldn't find ANYTHING on their family.    While I find that hard to believe, it is not impossible.   Even so, Ancestry is adding scores of new databases every week as well as new contributions of family data from people across the world (this data is free!)   They have the financial backing to build the greatest collection of data on the earth.   You BET I want to subscribe to THAT!   It beats driving  175 miles round trip to Houston to the library for me!   It beats having to dizzily browse microfilm for one tiny piece of data when all I have to do is use a search engine or CTRL-F to search a page!   I don't need to spend quarters on copying machines, microfilm printers, or microfiche printers!    The Ancestry subscription is worth it by far!  (By the way, that doesn't mean I don't like the library.   I still like to go and browse!)

There will always be people on this earth who can never be pleased with anyone or anything.    There will always be people who misunderstand, who jump to conclusions, who pass on "bad press" before finding out if it's true or not, etc.    There will always be researchers who think that everything should come free and if it costs them money, they'll make accusations of "crookedness" and "scams".     Since genealogy and family researching is a NOBLE venture and an honorable hobby, let's keep our conversations noble and honorable!     Berating and demeaning without true cause is a bruise on the shin of genealogy.

Written by William "Bill" Hoyt Cribbs II
Port Neches, TX





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