Posted by on September 1, 2009 in Content

The Drouin Collection is temporarily unavailable. No other collections are affected, however please do not hesitate to contact Member Services if you have any questions. Further updates will be provided in due course.

188 Comments

Andy Hatchett 

I think a lot of members are wondering just what other legal actions are pending that could result in the loss of other databases.

I myself consider the Drouin Collection as lost to Ancestry.

Imho, there is no way they are going to reindex 55 million records to the extent called for in the court ruling.

September 1, 2009 at 3:24 pm
Andrea 

I feel that Ancestry should offer a credit or subscription extension as the Drouin collection was a big part of the reason that I paid for a subscription.

September 1, 2009 at 3:41 pm
BobNY 

As the S-1 legalese clearly says:

“For example, we are currently in arbitration with a content provider with respect to the timeliness and accuracy of a content index we created and this claim could require us to pay monetary damages or could result in litigation if the arbitration is not successful. We currently believe that we do not have any material exposure with respect to this claim; however, litigation is subject to inherent uncertainties, and there can be no assurance that an unfavorable ruling would not have a material adverse impact on our results of operations, cash flows and financial position.”

September 1, 2009 at 4:30 pm
Rick P 

I agree with Andrea, the Drouin Records provide 90% of my research. I feel we deserve a credit or an extension. My research has come to a halt. I feel very cheated.

September 1, 2009 at 4:34 pm
Paul Robida 

The Drouins allowed me to get original records for many of my ancestors and was a primary source for my research. The loss of the Drouin collection severely affects that research. This is very disappointing. Paul

September 1, 2009 at 5:31 pm
Kathie 

I have been searching for the Drouin Collection this week and getting very frustrated. I did not know that it was “temporarily unavailable”. I purchased the World membership specifically to use this primary resource. I’m not sure I understand what the indexing problem is, but if this site is not available then I think my “World” subscription money should be returned.

September 1, 2009 at 6:02 pm
Colleen 

I too am very distressed that the Drouin collection is unavailable. It is THE primary resource for my ancestors. Previously, I had to use the records in the Family History Library in Salt Lake City —that wasn’t a problem years ago when I lived there, but now 2,300 miles from there I have no other option! I had even saved many records to my “shoebox” with the intent of inserting them into my database.

I agree with another subscriber who said a rebate should be offered if Ancestry.com cannot work out the problem to get this database back online!

September 1, 2009 at 6:41 pm
Carol 

The Drouin Collection is essential to my family history. I have used it as references in a great many of cases and now the reference with church name, family names, city involved, etc. are gone from the tree. I don’t understand what the problem is regarding the index. I have had a hard time finding things without the detailed index, but I have found names by searching page by page by page. That’s better than having to travel to get the images. Who is protesting against whom? What is the complaint? I won’t renew without the Drouin, and I will be very angry if my references do not appear in my tree after all the effort I made to find them. I don’t even speak French!!

September 1, 2009 at 7:47 pm
Vickie 

First of all I would like to say I am a huge fan of Ancestry. I was shocked to find out that the Drouin searches I attached to my tree since March 2009 have been stripped. I don’t want to lose Ancestry because of poor consumer faith nor should we lose what we had already collected before the court decison. The court has ignored Ancestry customers in their decision.
BTW How do I access the entire court decision? Where is it posted?

September 1, 2009 at 9:16 pm
Rachel 

My ancestors come from Canada. I have used the Drouin Collection as my best research aid to find out the most accurate information and best documents on their lives. It would be a sheer pity if we could no longer have that resource available. Is there nothing that can be done?

September 1, 2009 at 10:26 pm
Christopher 

Like many, my family history has a very strong french-canadian component. This database is essential to my research.

Yes, it will probably cost Ancestry some money to get this sorted out. It shouldn’t be a problem. I’ve chipped in my $30 a month for quite some time now. With the number of subscribers, considering the potential for lost income, it is the only sensible option.

Once that is all sorted out, let us help you. I’ve got many corrections for my own family members in Drouin, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. If it means the difference between having access to Drouin records or not, people *will* contribute.

September 1, 2009 at 10:50 pm
George 

Given that this database is such a huge part of why I (and others) belong to Ancetry.com, it would have shown more respect to the subscribers if Ancestry had made some sort of general announcement, instead of veiled references. I’ve been getting frustrated for 4-5 days before I found out the truth. Also, I don’t knonw who indexed the database, but I’m submitting corrections all the time. Also many of the records were photographed so poorly, much of the page is completely black. Ancestry.com needs to resolve this in a timely manner out of respect to all those who have spent their hard-earned dollars these past years.

September 1, 2009 at 11:42 pm
Becky 

What is the problem? Why didn’t we get any notice of this? I am very, very upset that I can not get the Drouin Collection. That is also a large part of my proof/and research. I just recently found so much good information on my family from the Drouin Collection.

September 2, 2009 at 12:03 am
Becky 

If I would have known about this ahead of time, I would have printed out copies of the original records, before they were gone. Why didn’t they tell us in advance? I found such good information via Drouin Church Collections. Re: the marriage of my great, great, grandparents. Their burials, etc.

September 2, 2009 at 12:20 am
William 

The loss of the Drouin Collection has basically brought my years of research to a screaming halt. Now my monthly fee for the World Subscription is Worthless. Just Wonderful…What are we supposed to do now? Keep paying for…what? Nothing we can use?? What is being Done about this?? Anything?? Why didn’t they Tell us this was coming??

September 2, 2009 at 1:03 am
Robin 

If have no idea what this Drouin Collection is, so why is it keeping me from accessing my Ancestry account. \o/

September 2, 2009 at 2:16 am
a Côté 

The first indication of a problem with the Drouin collection was a lack of relative records appearing in search results.
Surely, there could have been some information on Ancestry – I found his blog on Google!
My worldwide subscription was purchased primarily to access Canadian genealogical data, as half my family was Canadian. Without Drouin I could have stayed on a UK subscription!

September 2, 2009 at 3:07 am
Liz 

I agree with others here — it’s very upsetting to lose the Drouin records we’ve already saved to our online trees. Should I also save every census image, draft registration, and other records saved to my online tree to my hard drive as well, in case other content agreements go awry?

I feel like you’re taking away images I already paid for & spent many hours researching. We should be able to keep images we had already saved to our tree or shoebox. If not, we should get partial refunds of subscription fees since Drouin was launched, IMHO, or similar extensions of subscriptions.

I’ll be calling to downgrade my subscription. I don’t need World unless Drouin is coming back ASAP.

September 2, 2009 at 5:17 am
Phyllis 

I agree with Liz, I also feel as though images we had paid for through a world membership and referenced in our trees that have been stripped should be given back to us. I am very angry to find out that all the research I have done is now gone. As a subscriber, I expect compensation for this loss of data, not to mention the inabilty to access it going forward. I too will be reducing my subscription, maybe even canceling it.

September 2, 2009 at 6:05 am
Lynn 

I agree with many of the comments regarding notification, need for rebate etc.
The only reason that I subscribed to ancestry.ca was for the access to the Drouin collection. Now not only have I lost that avenue of research but the many,many records that I had saved to my shoebox after hours of research. No notice given to subscribers other than maintainence to the site on Sept. 1. I also agree that we should be entitled to some sort of rebate- I would not have renewed my subscription in July if I had known it would be basically worthless now.

September 2, 2009 at 6:06 am
Deb H 

You can read about the “real” problem in Eastman’s On-line Genealogy Newsletter blog. That’s where I first saw the issue mentioned.

http://blog.eogn.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/2009/08/ancestrycom-in-arbitration-over-the-drouin-collection.html

September 2, 2009 at 7:25 am
Mary Beth Marchant 

One suggestion I would make to the ones who now have lost the data that was saved to their member trees is this. Download and save those images to your own computer. Do not ever rely on Ancestry to keep your records. Any of them can be taken away at any time. Don’t build your family tree on Ancestry Member trees without using your own personal genealogy program to add the data first. Add those images to your own genealogy program and they cannot be lost. The member tree option can be done way with too. Remember that Ancestry is a for profit business and must do what is necessary to make a profit. This is not a bad or a good thing, it is just a fact.

September 2, 2009 at 7:56 am
Filgate 

While I made substantial use of Drouin on Ancestry, the indexing proved the most valuable. Yes, there were index errors and omissions, and on occasion the feedback mechanism to report these was less than optimal. So, how to fix in everyone’s best interest (Drouin Institute, Ancestry, Ancestry subscribers)?

Negotiate with Drouin owners as Ancestry has more to offer in the indexing category than any other comer:
1) improve the error reporting
2) allow reporting of index omissions
3) sign up users to report/correct index errors
4) perhaps provide some credit/compensation to users that report/correct index errors (perhaps higher initially to get the Drouin owners satisfied with the index correction rate).

While the Ancestry index of Drouin was not yet perfect, there is nothing near as good available!

September 2, 2009 at 8:01 am
T B 

I realize now that it is pointless to link records found on the ancestry web site to the public member trees. That was a lot of work on our part that may be gone forever.

I am very disappointed that ancestry.com did not hint at this possible development. It has even even taken you the better part of a week to even admit that there is an issue. If you intend to sell stock to the public than you must be way more open and honest in your busness practices.

Family Search currently has the images from the Drouin collection on-line and is working on a complete index. I suspect it will be a long, long time before the index is complete. Those with a working knowledge of French may wish to volunteer to index those records. At least there is no subscription issues on the LDS site.

September 2, 2009 at 8:21 am
George 

When I asked the Help Desk what was going on, all I got was a generic answer that could have been applied to any of a dozen questions. I find it ironic that Ancestry.Com is currently spending millions of dollars on “feel good” television advertisements to get more business instead of re-investing that same money in those of us who have supported it with our subscriptions. The loss of what’s in the Shoebox alone is a disaster, never mind all the source linkages.

September 2, 2009 at 9:16 am
Eric Adamietz 

Now I know why I have not been able to find the records I need.
And to think I PAID for this website!

September 2, 2009 at 9:37 am
Andy Hatchett 

Vickie- Re:# 9

Ancestry customers have no standing in the Ancestry vs. Drouin case… nor should they.

Ancestry had certain contractual obligations to Drouin that it failed to meet. Drouin has no contractual obligations to Ancestry members.

September 2, 2009 at 9:46 am
Andy Hatchett 

A lesson is to be learned from all this with the Drouin Collection…

1).Namely, if you find something then immediately save it to your computer -*NOT* your shoebox (which doesn’r really save the image anyway but just saves a link to it).

2) Never depend on something that is on the net today will be there tomorrow.

These two simple rules will prevent loss of on-line info as you will always have a copy on your computer- even if Ancestry drops on-line trees entirely.

September 2, 2009 at 9:53 am
Phyllis 

If Ancestry had communicated the full possible impact of the case that was pending insteasd of announcing site maintenance, maybe we all wouldn’t be so upset about the lost data.

September 2, 2009 at 10:20 am
Andy Hatchett 

Liz- Re:#18

In a word- YES! Saving stuff to your computer is the only way you KNOW something will be there when you want it.

Ancestry could at any time discontinue their online tree feature so unless you have *everything* saved to your com puter you run the risk the loss of everything you have online.

I’ve tried on message boards and blogs that online trees should *never* -under *any* circumstances-be the main genealogy application for doing genealogical research, nor should it be the main repository of such research findings.

Maybe this will cause a few more people to take heed and quit trying to do things the easy way- at least I hope so.

September 2, 2009 at 10:31 am
Andy Hatchett 

Lynn – Re:#20

Records are *not* saved to either your shoebox or your online tree. WHat is saved is a link to those images-not the images themselves.

If you really want to save an image the only way to do it is to save it to your computer or print it off.

September 2, 2009 at 10:33 am
Mike F 

The sentiment that states I’d rather have a flawed collection than no collection boggles my mind. Most of us would like to see the collection back; however it amazes me that so many will forgive the lapses in ethics of the Ancestry corporation rather than understand the desire of the Drouin institute to present the collection in a manner that they entrusted them to; that they contracted to. The Institute spent years preserving these documents; yet it appears that for Ancestry the monetary gain overrides principal and convenience rules over historic preservation. Drouin has no such contract directly with Ancestry subscribers, yet it’s obvious that they’re the only ones that care about the accuracy that Ancestry subscribers receive.
I’d like to see this thing settled as well, but I’d rather the inconvenience of it being offline for a while rather than allow another cavalier treatment of documentation to become the norm. Ancestry has more than enough capital to hire capable indexers. To expect their subscribers to do it for them is definitely a great little way to keep that capital in their own pockets, but again for some, a flawed collection is better than no collection and so some will continue to do the work for Ancestry for free and they’ll be given the great pleasure of having to pay them for it and for receiving less than was promised. The reason this disturbing situation has been kept hidden from us by Ancestry is for fear of the many comments on this blog and loss of revenue that they don’t deserve. Absolutely boggles my mind!

September 2, 2009 at 10:46 am
Pat Phillips 

I echo those comments of other Ancestry subscribers. I’ve relied almost entirely on the Drouin collection to piece together the Phillips side of my family in Canada, which is the reason I upgraded my membership. If it hadn’t been for this collection, I’d still be looking for my ancestors up there. And, I had just been commenting to one of my other relatives, wishing that the collection had extended into the parishes in Ontario. I just hope this collection loss is only temporary, because I have quite a few more relatives that can only be found in those records…at least from that time period.

September 2, 2009 at 11:32 am
Andy Hatchett 

Mike F – Re:#32

All too true!

Maybe NARA should take a lesson from Drouin and demand all future censuses be FULLY indexed by what is in each column on every page (ie age and not estimated year of birth) and must include ALL pages-even blank ones.

Just imagine a FULLY searchable census where you could find all 45 year old female heads of Households who were divorced and owned radios!

;)

Anyway- you get the point.

September 2, 2009 at 11:32 am
Jeanne Burnell 

I think this is extremely poor. why weren’t we given more information as to what the problem is I got more from the responses than the company directly. we should have subscription discounted and the problem whatever it is should be resolved as quickly as possible.

September 2, 2009 at 6:11 pm
Brian Massey 

See Is there Genealogical Life without Drouin?for a list of OTHER French Canadian resources
http://olivetreegenealogy.blogspot.com/2009/09/is-there-genealogical-life-without.html

and http://olivetreegenealogy.blogspot.com/2009/08/ancestry-in-arbitration-over-drouin.html for the lowdown on what has happened

September 2, 2009 at 6:29 pm
Liz 

Andy – Re #30:

I do have software on my own computer, which I update from Ancestry findings and vice versa, but sadly had not saved all the Drouin images, though I did save some for editing w/photo software to better transcribe/translate.

I got too excited at finding new Drouin images to take the time to save them all and/or keep my other software updated. Won’t do that again.

Now I am even more disappointed w/Ancestry (also not happy about a few other issues), and I plan to save other items to my computer pronto. I had done this already with many obituaries, but will do it w/other records as well now.

Theoretically, we should not have to do this, I believe–but practically, I will now, though somewhat grudgingly about the extra time involved.

Keeping records (or links to them) online shouldn’t be considered an “easy way” but a vital feature of our subscriptions that shouldn’t be revoked w/o notice.

I still strongly believe we deserve a credit of some kind if things can’t be worked out w/Drouin Institute ASAP.

September 3, 2009 at 12:45 am
Lucie LeBlanc Consentino 

I subscribed to the Canadian side of Ancestry so I would have access to the Drouin database. From the beginning people began notifying Ancestry that in many instances the names transcribed into the index were incorrect. It should have reached this point with the Drouin Institure/Jean-Pierre Pepin.

Now that it has, I hope that Ancestry will do the right thing in either reimbursing some of the subscription paid to access the Drouin OR if the Drouin returns online in a short period of time, extend the subscriptions to cover the period of time during which the Drouin was not accessible to its subscribers.

It should also be made known to people that if they do not live in Canada they can nonetheless subscribe to the Canadian side of Ancestry without paying the exorbitant World Deluxe fee.

Ancestry has not difficulty notifying subscribers when it wants to advertise a new database or a special for subscriptions – so it is unconscionable that subscribers were not notified that the Drouin was going off-line.

September 3, 2009 at 1:16 am
Anne Cardello 

I too had subscribed mainly for the Canadian records… it’s pretty lousy that I paid all that money and now I have no access to the records I need for my research… Yes, you absolutely should reimburse us or make good in some way what has been taken. To echo comments of others: what else aren’t you telling us about your collections? Will other records suddenly be gone too?

September 3, 2009 at 5:17 am
RGarvey 

The Drouin Collection was the ONLY reason I had a subscription to Ancestry. I haven’t gone into it since the Drouin was pulled. I sincerely hope that Ancestry will do everything in it’s power to make things right again, so that this database can be returned to us. I am very dissappointed in their lack of good faith with the Drouin Institute, and feel that they owe us, the subscribers, a subscription extension. The fact that they did not even inform us of the court’s decision, before pulling the database, is another example of their lack of respect for their commitments.

September 3, 2009 at 5:18 am
Sandra Estes 

I am shocked to hear about the lawsuit over the Drouin database. One whole side of my family left Ireland in 1820′s to start again in the Quebec area of Canada, so this is where I have been able to trace them. My greatest interest beyond my family is in my passion for genealogy. I hope that this will be settled in our favor.

September 3, 2009 at 6:46 am
Aline Cormier 

I am dissappointed that the Drouin Records are unavailable. Many of my members depend on them for their research. I do hope this matter will soon be resolved. There are so many people relying on this valuable collection.

September 3, 2009 at 7:01 am
Andy Hatchett 

Sandra -Re:#41

I seriously doubt that Ancestry, which has had the collection since 2007 and couldn’t get it properly indexed in two and one half years, can get it properly indexed in 60 days as called for in the judge’s order. We are talking about 55 million records- that mean indexing a average of 916,000 records a day.

It could be done if every subscriber indexed two records a day for sixty days but short of that I fail to see how they can do it.

Looks like the best hope is that Footnote or some other site gets the collection after the dust settles.

September 3, 2009 at 7:01 am
Marc 

This is a very sad situation for us genealogists. We are squeezed in the middle of this litigious issue. I can understand that both party are looking into their business interests but what about us here! Yoohoo! This issue will take a while to be resolved because Mr. Pepin (Drouin) wants TGN (Ancestry) to fully index the whole catalog with PRDH (University of Montreal). This total indexing will take, in my opinion, a huge amount of effort and time. It is possible that we will not be able to have this back on Ancestry (Or any of their competitors) before 2010, 2011 or later? All I am saying here is the “inaccurate” index that was built by Ancestry was maybe not perfect but it was OK. I found documents that without having that “inaccurate” index would have taken me FOREVER to find! Now it is gone. Mr. Drouin should settle a temporary compromise so each party (Including us the users) gets satisfaction so we can get back this tool ASAP. (PS: The grade I give to Ancestry for handling this with us their customers: They have flunked (E-)!

September 3, 2009 at 8:15 am
Jenny 

1. What everyone else has said.

2. I just want it back!

September 3, 2009 at 9:51 am
Iris 

It’s not like Ancestr wasn’t aware of the situation – they could have advised members in advance that there were issues with the Drouin Collection – would have allowed members time to download hard sought out images…

Quite the disappointment

September 3, 2009 at 9:53 am
Andy Hatchett 

The Ancestry index was *not* ok as it did not meet the specifics stated in the original agreement.

The members of Ancestry are caught in the middle but I find no fault with the Drouin organization for demanding Ancestry live up to the original contract in all respects.

If Ancestry didn’t want to do it the way the contract specified then they should never have taken the job to begin with.

September 3, 2009 at 10:31 am
Iris 

Has anyone thought to set up a blog or web site that would allow users to list what Drouin records they have saved to their computer and those which they require

an exchange server – perhaps a method of exchange can be set up – at least to allow some of us to recapture some images?

It would require that captured records (images) are identified by date/parish

Might be too great an undertaking but I’d bet that many could recapture lost records….

September 3, 2009 at 10:38 am
Andy Hatchett 

Iris -Re: #48

There would be several issues with such a set-up, copyright violations being among the primary ones.

September 3, 2009 at 10:58 am
Dupuis 

Sans les registres du Québec, je n’ai aucune raison de m’abonner à ancestry.ca. Pourquoi sont-ils indisponibles? jusquà quand ?
En attendant, je paie pour rien

Manon V Dupuis

September 3, 2009 at 12:14 pm
Tony Cousins 

Manon #50

La collection a été prise hors ligne en raison de l’action judiciaire.

September 3, 2009 at 12:55 pm
Eileen Arnold 

I have just learned that the Drouin collection has been made unavailable. Is thie permanent? The main reason why I renewed my subscription was because of this site.

September 3, 2009 at 2:17 pm
BobNY 

DOES THIS SCARE ANYONE?

(Excerpted from the Digitization Agreement between The Generations Network, Inc. and the National Archives and Records Administration.)

From Section 1.4
For a period of five years, which begins on the first of January for any donation (of the Digitized Materials to NARA) made in the prior calendar year, NARA will not sell, make available for downloading, or otherwise provide in electronic form, the entire contents of the Digitized Materials or a major file segment thereof.

From Section 1.5
The Digitized Materials will be hosted by TGN . . . TGN will provide corrections to the Digitized Images or Materials if and when such corrections are made and published by TGN and if such updated materials are requested by NARA.

From Section 1.7
TGN will develop and maintain a searchable database of the Digitized Materials that will be accessible on the Internet . . . TGN will provide free online access to the Digitized Materials in all NARA locations.

From Section 2.2 e-f
TGN will be responsible for the costs relared to:
e. Quality control of the Digitized Materials
f. Hosting the content and making it available to the public as part of TGN’s standard offerings

From Section 3.3
Subject to NARA’s underlying ownership rights in the Archival Materials, TGN WILL OWN ALL RIGHTS TO AND WILL HAVE THE EXCLUSIVE AND UNLIMITED RIGHT TO USE THE DIGITIZED MATERIALS, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION ALL METADATA CREATED FOR THE ELECTRONIC DATABASES SUBJECT ONLY TO THE LIMITED RIGHTS OF NARA UNDER SECTION 1.4 ABOVE. (Capitals added)
—————
Let’s see if I understand this.

1. NARA will give archived materials generated at taxpayer expense to Ancestry.com

2. Ancestry will digitize the materials on NARA premises (but, now they want an exception), “donate” a copy to NARA and have exclusive rights (except at NARA facilities) to the digitization for 5 years.

3. Visitors to NARA facilities will be able to view, but not be able to download the documents for 5 years.

4. Ancestry will create (to some minimum standards) a searchable database (index) at some indeterminate time after the digitization.

5. Ancestry will bear all costs for quality control, with no public documents that I can find setting standards nor any QA protocols published.

6. Any corrections to the digitizations must be requested by NARA.

7. This content will become part of Ancestry’s standard offering, i.e., available as a subscription for a fee.

8. Section 3.3 seems to be self-explanatory
==================
Seems like a good deal for NARA, and a great deal for Ancestry. Based on Ancestry’s proven inability to:
a) live up to their agreements (see Drouin above);
b) create indices and properly link them to documents;
c) maintain even a minimal semblance of quality control on many of the data sets they have already published

this appears to be a lose/lose for the taxpaying public and the Ancestry subscriber.

September 3, 2009 at 2:34 pm
Joan H 

The Drouin Collection hasprovided me with copies of the original documents and a chance to find “lost” family members. I have spent more time browsing than following the index. I was able to prove a family story about my father-in-law going to the Yukon and found brothers and sisters no one in the family could recall hearing about. I hope we get it back. I am lost without it

September 3, 2009 at 3:42 pm
Karen 

Family search pilot site I think has this collection . The marriage that I found in the Drouin Collection is on this site for free.

September 3, 2009 at 4:46 pm
Karen 

Look at Family search piolt site. I found the same marriage that was in the Drouin Collection on the site. They were not the same documents [images are on the site under the name of the church] but the same information was listed. Possibly one was a transcript the other the original record book.

September 3, 2009 at 4:53 pm
Peg 

I am lost without the Drouin records. While the indexing was not the best, I often found clues to the correct parish etc. that I could follow by searching page by page. At this point, I can only give thanks that I printed each document I found so I would have a hard copy. Wow!

Don’t understand the post about “Family Search pilot” site. Is this the same as familysearch.org? I can’t seem to find any online sources there.

My subscription is due for renewal next month and I’m not sure if I should continue with the World Deluxe subscription if this is not available.

September 3, 2009 at 5:26 pm
Deborah 

I am devastated! Renewal in January 2010 will not occur unless Ancestry considers extensions or discounts for this inconvenience.

September 3, 2009 at 8:02 pm
Evelyn 

The Drouin collection was a gold mine of information for my maternal ancestors. Not being able to have this source available is a major loss. I also would expect (silly me!)some reimbursement/credit to my account. As Andrea noted,a subscription extension would be nice.

September 3, 2009 at 8:09 pm
Pam 

It is a shame that the Drouin Collection is no longer on Ancestry. I’ve used it many, many times and would sometimes find my ancestors but most of the time I didn’t because of the translations (the old handwriting is hard to read), the spelling, misspelling or of names and bad downloads of the originals…that being the case, I started with page one of the St. Dunstan’s, Fredericton Drouin (1871-1896)and just kept going until I was cross eyed. I will say that even though they’ve taken the records I saved on my tree, I have paper copies of all of my ancestors that I found and I’m really glad that I did. The truth of it is that I’ve copied every record that I’ve found that belonged to my ancestors and keep them in folders in a filing cabinet.

As I understand it though, the owner of the Drouin records was not very happy with the indexing that was done by the transcribers of this site and that’s why they have pursued a legal case against them. I do hope they put those records back on Ancestry because I still had a ton to go through. Hopefully, Ancestry will give it’s subscribers something in return for the inconvenience of the temporary/total loss of the Drouins…what I’d like to know is if they get them back, are they going to put them back on all the members trees or are we going to have to go find them again and start that process all over again.

September 3, 2009 at 8:19 pm
EQuanstrom 

The Drouin Collection was most important to my research and sharing with family. The loss of its access cannot be measured. As with others, my research takes a turn for the worse.

Given the problems with indexing this resource could the Drouin heirs not be convinced to let us continue to submit the alternate and additional information that the members give to support a better research experience and eventually a better reference that includes search results with the myriad variations of the Canadian patrynom? What do you say long lost cousins Drouin?

One has to understand that there are the many and varied spellings due to the aural recordings of the priest, the variations of law and time (dit names), regions eau, ault, eaux!! and mis-spellings!!

While the colonization was of less than 1000 families, these variations number and permute to something irreconcilable if the Drouin heirs want each name recorded as is. The average researcher who uses Ancestry (.com or .ca) could not possibly imagine all the permutations of a name.

We should be allowed to continue our member efforts!! The Drouin Institute records are like a pearl that needs to be polished and it only gets more luminescent with wear!!

Libby Quanstrom
elizam55@comcast.net

September 3, 2009 at 8:46 pm
Andy Hatchett 

The Drouin heirs expect the index to reflect *exactly* what is on the written pages as was specified in the original contract.

Once that index is properly done and online I’m sure there will be no problem with allowing submissions for alternate/additional information.

I really think Ancestry never believed they would loose the arbitration case and were totally unprepared when they did.

September 3, 2009 at 8:57 pm
Kathleen 

Wow, I really hope this gets sorted out. I’m glad I saved at least some of the images to my hard drive. Thanks to the Drouin collection, I was able to find out exactly where my mother’s ancestors lived in New Brunswick.

September 3, 2009 at 10:14 pm
Jean-Claude Beauvais 

Boy! what a surprise. I called Ancestry today but they were very vague about the problem. I agree that Ancestry should index properly, however, I also believe that they should have allowed the database with its current flaws to remain on the web. Most of us that research the database do not blindly accept the indexing but look at the underlying records and/or other sources for proof. Now, I have nothing to search on at all. This is stupid. By the way I personally did save all the records on my computer as future proof to support my family tree which I created and kept also on my computer. I have a separate website that I created that contains all this information plus other information such as flash movies with music that displays pictures of each family from my grandfather down.

September 3, 2009 at 11:51 pm
Jackie 

Hmmmm…I am also mourning the loss of the Drouin Collection although I didn’t have an opportunityy to see it. If they ever get it back, hope they’ll be able to handle the load because I’ll be there too.

Ok…another point to make for those asking for credit or extension. You’ve got to know the uproar that will cause if a credit isn’t given too all members. Not to mention the cost which would probably get added back to the members somehow.

Happens every time…you think you won, but when the bill goes up at the door, was it worth it?

Just something to think about…

September 4, 2009 at 12:24 am
Andy Hatchett 

Jean-Claude – Re:#64

It is my understanding that Ancestry had no choice in the matter and had to take it down as per the judge’s rulling on a request by the Drouin organization.

September 4, 2009 at 12:31 am
Carole Pepin 

I emailed to ask what happened to the collection. The response I got was:

“Dear Carole,

Thank you for your email.

Currently we are assessing our rights to this content. We appreciate your patience with us on this matter.

Best regards,

Jessica
Member Solutions
Ancestry.ca”

In a second email asking for an explaination I got:

“Dear Carole,

We appreciate your message.

We currently have no further information regarding the Drouin collection other than that our legal team is looking into it. We apologise for any inconvenience.

If there is anything else with which we might assist you, please let us know.

Jessica
Member Solutions
Ancestry.ca”

What upsets me is that I have spent hundreds of hours and hundreds of dollars, collected data on my family history, and now I have nothing to show for my work.

As World subscribers, we should have been notified this was happening. Instead Ancestry.com continued to take our money.

September 4, 2009 at 4:07 am
dklart 

I suspect this is all about money, but what isn’t?

Have a look at the Drouin Institute website, http://www.drouininstitute.com. You can buy a subscription!

Pepin found a loophole to break his deal with Ancestry and direct the business to his own site.

The Ancestry indexing was sloppy, it’s true, some people were reporting that the indexing had been outsourced to a company in China.

I doubt whether the Drouin collection is going to come back to Ancestry.com.

You can still access the Quebec church records for free, but they are not indexed and page loading is slowwwww.
Go to familysearch.org, >”pilot program”, > “browse collections”, > “Quebec Church Records”. You need to know the parishes to use this, a parish guide is available on Ancestry.com, in the Quebec index, available to CA and world subscribers.

Or you can use the map with parish names at http://www.genealogie.umontreal.ca/en/

September 4, 2009 at 10:12 am
D.Chartrand 

I agree with most comments, if Drouin collection is not available, I have very little use for Ancestry and should get a refund.

I will cancell my present account and wait to see if Drouin comes back on line.

Soooooo sad we lost this gold mine of information.

September 4, 2009 at 11:11 am
Maureen 

At the very least, Ancestry should put the information that Drouin is gone on the Home page of Ancestry.ca. I wasn’t aware that Drouin was gone and searched for 20 minutes last night before finally send an email to Ancestry.

September 4, 2009 at 11:53 am
Mary Pierotti 

This is one of the most important collections on Ancestry.com and Ancestry.ca! It is one of the big reasons that I joined!

Please put the collection back online!

September 4, 2009 at 2:12 pm
Jacqueline Sleeper Russell 

I believe Ancestry can resolve this problem with stopping the records listed that go over the privacy rules dates. I believe that is 100 years. So that would put the record cut-off at 1909 and then updated each year. It would be a big loss but not an entire loss. I would also like to see then review the indexing by name as it is riddled with error. I have to agree – if this collection can no longer be part of the World Deluxe OR Ancestry.ca subscription a reduction in subscription fee should be given.
It was a big part of my Canadian research. I can only be grateful that I have found most of the family records I was seaching for – but there remain some early records I am still seeking between 1829-1840.
Jacqueline Sleeper Russell

September 4, 2009 at 2:58 pm
Maureen 

The Ancestry indexing of Drouin was horrible so I can understand why the Institute was upset. If we all sign up for the indexing project at Family Search, http://www.familysearch.org/eng/indexing/frameset_indexing.asp
If help get this done,we will eventually have the records back on free site with an index that makes sense. Volunteer do a much better job indexing since they typically sign up to do records and places that they are familiar with.

September 4, 2009 at 3:12 pm
Andy Hatchett 

TO ALL THOSE MENTIONING A REFUND.

The Drouin Collection, although one of Ancestry’s more important databases, was not the majority of what Ancestry has. A pro-rated refund as a percentage of total records is the only fair way to figure a refund- no matter how importanr that database was to you personally.

If a refund is figured as a percentage of Ancestry’s overall total records we are talking pennies- not dollars.

Ancestry has what- over 100 Billion records? The Drouin Collection was 55 Million records or 5.5% of the total.

So if you had a monthly subscription at 29.95/mo your discount would be $1.64725 for ONE month – after that you KNOW it is missing and can either cancel or contimue at $29.95/mo

Now- may we go om.

The milk is spilt and the horse has left the barn and the train has left the station- nothing is left to be said.

September 4, 2009 at 3:29 pm
Eileen Arnold 

I was surprised to learn that this collection was gone. Was there a notification that I missed? Is it a technical issue with the site or an issue with some parties not wanting this on line? I sure hope it is only temporary. This site has been the prime site I’ve been using for awhile.

Eileen

September 4, 2009 at 4:26 pm
Christopher 

#74,

Seriously? I know for a fact that the majority of these collections hold no data on my family members. I’ve not looked in them, nor will I ever.

I know the record sets where my family’s information can be found. And Drouin was a big part of that.

In fact, without access to the Droin records, I will not be able to find many of the connections that would lead me to documents in other collections.

How very lucky you are to find family members spread out all over those 100 billion records. For some of us, the gold is concentrated in a few areas.

If this isn’t resolved by the end of the month, I’ll be downgrading my word membership to a standard one until this comes back online.

September 4, 2009 at 5:36 pm
Denise Wells 

Ancestry should have given us a notification so we could have moved our records to our computers for safekeeping. Now that this has happened, I am sure many subscribers will cancel their memberships and possibly not renew unless Drouin collection comes back online. This has impacted many many researchers who trusted ancestry.com with the many hours of research that they had done. Luckily I had moved most, if not all, of my data collected to my own computer so I could save it to disc. Ancestry should have given all members this opportunity by a notification of the loss of the Drouin collection. What all of us need to do now is contact any researchers who have trees on ancestry that connect to our own Canadian research and ask them if they have saved records and if they are willing to send them in emails so we can save them to our own computers. This is a most regretable thing to have happened to us all as researchers. Hopefully it will be resolved soon and our “saved to tree” records will reappear once more.

September 4, 2009 at 6:25 pm
Michelle Hohensee 

#68

WHAT!!!!!!!! The transcribing was outsourced to a company in CHINA…..WTH ! If true, that in and of itself is reason enough to cancel my subscription. How do we find out ?
I e-mailed ancestry 2x. The 2nd ancestry response directed me to this blog to learn more. Is anyone blogging an official Ancestry representative ???????

September 4, 2009 at 8:58 pm
Kathleen 

#75 – Eileen, there was no notification. The owners of the Drouin Collection are taking legal action against Ancestry for poor indexing of their records, and Ancestry was ordered by the court to remove the collection from the site.

September 4, 2009 at 9:00 pm
Michelle Hohensee 

Chad Milliner….please respond to all of this speculation. You began this blog on September 1st as the only recognized ancestry representative. You have not responded or commented to any of these concerns.

September 4, 2009 at 10:09 pm
William A. Griffith 

Chad doesn’t have to respond-there already Is an Drouin Institute cheerleader here,in case you haven’t noticed it. Pro-rated refund? Rediculous. I paid my monthly world fees for Years now for Only the Drouin collection. The rest of the “100 billion” records doesn’t concern me in the least. And,no,I’m sorry,but I’m just not getting the reason that the Drouin Institute has even complained about this indexing problem. Yes,it did,at times,take some fishing about to find the proper name wanted. And,yes-it would have been very nice and convenient to have had all the information such as parent’s names,calendar dates,etc. listed in the index,but they weren’t and too bad. Perhaps this could have been gradually corrected over time and the errors removed,but this,apparently,was never an option. It was either instant perfection,or I’ll take my stuff and go home. (Home,btw,being where the Drouin Institute offers the collection for rent themselves-thus,cutting out the middle man-Ancestry.com-and making all the money themselves.)
All I know,is now that the Drouin collection is no longer available-and apparently will never be again-I’ll not be renewing my Ancestry.com membership when it expires in a couple of weeks. I’m a Professional researcher and I get Paid to do research for families. And,now-because of the whiney greedy people at the Drouin Institute,I’m effectively out of a job and thanks alot. In the meantime,despite the repeated howls of protests here and in countless emails,have you noticed that Ancestry.com hasn’t responded even in the negative about a refund? You can take a good clue from that as to what they think about loyal customer business and satisfaction. But they’ll still continue to run the now annoying TV ads promoting their website. Sure thing-I’ll join right up….

September 4, 2009 at 10:40 pm
Andy Hatchett 

William – Re:$81

The only thing the Drouin organization is “whining” about is Ancestry’s failure to live up to the original contract concerning teh indexing and displaying of their collection.

This did *not* happpen overnight-No legal case does.

Ancestry has known for months that there was the possibility of an adverse decision by the court but apparently took no precautions as to planning what would happen if such were the case.

As far as subscriptions go- no where in the membership agreement will you find a guarentee that what Ancestry makes available one day will also be available the next day. The subscriptions are for access to what Ancestry makes available at any given level at any given time.

Perhaps Ancestry should go to a la carte pricing (i.e. a subscription charge for each individual database). Then a person might have a logical claim to a refund if a certain database were pulled.

Odds are the Drouin collection is gone for good.

September 4, 2009 at 11:00 pm
Vickie 

Andy

Further to William’s comment–I have to ask the question to get rid of the elephant in the room–are you working for Ancestry or just moderating the blog. Either way you keep me reading it just to see what you are going to say.

I had wondered awhile ago if the urls were permanent or would they someday change/disappear and take all my research with them. I thought not but now it has happened.

All kidding aside you have to admit – this is very unethical practice…

Vickie

September 5, 2009 at 3:00 am
Andy Hatchett 

Vickie- Re: #43

LOL!! Moi? Work for Ancestry??
You have *GOT* to be kidding!

You obviously haven’t seen my posts on the Ancestry Member Trees board of the Ancestry site Comments board or a few of the others!

I am perhaps one of the strongest critics of Ancestry around.

That said however- I really can’t fault Ancestry too much in this case except for a lack of planning for the worst.

As to notifying anyone about the possible deletion of a database- Did Ford notify all those Explorer owners when the lawsuits started? There is nothing in the agreement when you subscribe that prevents Ancestry from doing this.

As to those who didn’t save images etc. to their own computer but to their tree and/or shoebox instead all I can say is you forgot the first rule of using a computer, i.e. backup, Backup, BACKUP.

To paraphrase someone or other…
“There is no such thing as a free lunch, and some days there is no lunch at all – free or otherwise”

I see no unethical practice by Ancestry – just *another* massive failure in judgment.

September 5, 2009 at 4:47 am
Karen 

#57 Peg go to family search and on the home page click on see protoype for searching millions of records. This will bring up a page where you can search by name or by location by clicking browse our record collection. I knew my family had a marriage at St Patrick’s Quebec in The Drouin Collection. To find the marriage on the site I needed to search by location as they are not indexed yet by name.
In the drop down click on Canada, USA, Mexico there are currently 96 collections; click browse. Canada has Catholic Parish registers 1621-1900. I clicked on this which brings up the Towns, I clicked Quebec which then lists the churches and then clicked St Patricks. This particular church book has an index at the end letting me find the marriage straight away.

September 5, 2009 at 5:20 am
Joseph Dial 

Your gadgetry that has been implemented on the CENSUS searching is most disappointing found to be unusable on my part. You have taken the JOY from researching and finding family and cousins all on the same page and sometimes which take up the whole page and then find that it is un-printable. When you get a good thing you continue to mess it up. There is no fixing STUPID.

September 5, 2009 at 6:22 am
Judith Westgate 

Re message which reported that Drouin Institute will take subscriptions. These are a minimum of $100 per year for 5 years minimum and are obviously aimed at genealogical societies or libraries. Does anyone know of such a society or library who already subscribe?
Also my family were Irish protestants emigrating to Montreal. So far as I can see, familysearch doesn’t have any of the parishes I am interested in, while Drouin does.

September 5, 2009 at 8:56 am
Mary Beth Marchant 

#72-Jacqueline-whose privacy rules?? Obviously not the US census bureau since census records are released after 72 years. Obviously not Texas records since I can find my birthdate along with my parents names including my mothers maiden name and I am 70. Obviously not Florida State census records since 1945 Florida state records are already on line. I see that English census records were released for 1911 too-not through Ancestry but through another genealogy web site. So, whose privacy rules??

September 5, 2009 at 9:27 am
Filgate 

Regarding “Drouin” on Family Search

In corresponding with Family Search, they stated “images of Quebec Catholic Parish Registers from 1621 to 1900 are available through Record Search. Only the images are available, there is no index.”

Therefore no non-Catholic records and nothing after 1900.

To check this out, their instructions are “To access Record Search, go to http://www.labs.familySearch.org, then scroll down and click on “Record Search.” After the application loads, click on “Browse our record collections” which is located just above the News & Updates section. Then click on the map of North America. Scroll down to the section on Canada and click on “Quebec Catholic Parish Registers, 1621-1900.” Select the town, parish, year, and finally click on “View xxx Images.”

Has anyone tried the Drouin Institute usability?

September 5, 2009 at 10:29 am
George 

I signed up for Drouin’s website last night – nice people – but it’s going to be a lot harder to find anything because their databases are much less “friendly,” technology-wise. However, I need to at least make the attempt to “source” the records I already have. Finding new stuff will be a challenge in the absence of indexing. Ancestry’s systems, while imperfect, are light-years ahead when it comes to finding something. The only suggestion I would have (aside from the mistakes) would be to indicate what years each parish has records for. I searched for people for years, only to now find out that the parish doesn’t have records for that time period. Maybe that’s a basic thing to check, but when you’re hot on the trail of someone, it’s easy to forget.
While I don’t pretend to know who’s right and who’s wrong in the p*_*ing match between Drouin and Ancestry, I do know that Ancestry completely let down their subscribers in regard to the basic issue of CUSTOMER SERVICE, regardless of what the legal mumbo-jumbo in the fine print allows them to get away with. Their lack of communication (which continues to this moment) precluded people from taking the necessary steps to protect their hundreds (or thousands) of hours of hard work. Mr. Hatchett’s unsympathetic truths and cold doses of reality belie the fact that, while the arbitration and unavailability of Drouin’s databases might have been foregone conclusions, if Ancestry had cared about their subscribers, they would have let them (us) know something was up so that even the least careful researcher could have prevented the loss of their work. Not all lessons have to be so draconian or painful.
We all now know we have NO rights, but as paying customers, we do have the right to expect a modicum of respect. While Ancestry spends millions of dollars attracting new customers through feel-good TV ads, they need to consider the many long-term subscribers whose research spans a lifetime. The relationship is reciprocal because many subscribers join to access the work of others – Ancestry benefits and we benefit. The relationship could be synergistic and doesn’t have to be parasitic. A constant flow of new unsuspecting customers to replace the disgruntled, disrespected ones is no way to run a business. The subscribers of Ancestry.com deserve better than canned email responses to their questions and deafening silence.

September 5, 2009 at 1:18 pm
Jeff Legault 

I’m not at all surprised something like this happened here. When the colection first became avaialable with searchable indexing I was able to find all kinds of Quebec and Ontario relatives going back many generations but something significant changed in how the indexing or search engine works earlier this year making it difficult to find anything.

That being said even if the collection was put back online as it was it’s become less valuable due to the broken indexing. The right thing to do would be to fix the indexing or restore it back to how it was originally that likely satisfied the terms of the licencing. It wasn’t really broke so why did you have to mess with it? Ancestry is a great resource but they also seem to be your typical American business bullies at times in this arena. This is not the first time they have screwed their users and damaged their good will.

September 5, 2009 at 2:40 pm
Becky 

Familysearch the mormon site DOES NOT have all of the Drouin Collection. Maybe they only have the later records. I tried to find my ancestor’s on familysearch which I found easily on Ancestry. They do not show up on familysearch I don’t think familysearch has the Drouin collection part which starts in the 1600′s. Because I could not find any of my ancestors on familysearch. However, they were available on ancestry when they had the collection on their site.

September 5, 2009 at 3:29 pm
Becky 

It seems that Institute Genealogy Drouin is only in french after you go in a little further. Also, they only talk about the Catholic part of the Collection. My ancestor’s were English and Scott/Irish who were in Quebec probably before the french were settled in that area. So for me, and others like me who have English and Scotch/Ireland ancestors. Familysearch nor Institute Genealogy Drouin doesn’t seem to have the records that I could get on Ancestry before they had to take the collection off. If anyone can find the Gamsby, Hodge or McCurdy, Sunbury on any of these sites familysearch or Institute Droulin let me know, because I have had no luck. Am I incorrect in stating that the Institute Geneaology Drouin is written in french only after going into it?

September 5, 2009 at 4:12 pm
R. Stankiewicz 

Having sent two years reading and rereading the Latin records for the parish of Parzynow in Posen Poland, I can attest that any index is better than none. In my case, every single surname changed over time. The records are full of aliases, sues, vulgos, altero cognomines etc. I had no trouble using Ancestry’s index for Drouin as a result. I am wonderng, however, as old as the Drouin Records are, why it was that Drouin did not index them? During the time that Ancestry was shutting off this databas, I noticed one sentence: “Search by surname or year does not exist.” It did. Does that sentence mean that Ancestry has destroyed the index entirely?

September 5, 2009 at 5:16 pm
Lorine McGinnis Schulze 

To Becky (#92)

The Quebec parish records on http://pilot.familysearch.org are NOT SEARCHABLE.

They have not been indexed but you can BROWSE the collection page by page. Use the world map to choose CANADA then choose the collection you want then start browsing.

September 6, 2009 at 5:44 am
dklart 

# 87 Judith Westgate

Read the info on this page CAREFULLY: http://www.drouininstitute.com/imagesdrouin.htm

The header of the price chart is: “Price Chart for a 1-year subscription.

This page is in ENGLISH, and also states: “Images Drouin Pepin is intend to people, public libraries and researchers who want to consult online documents of the Drouin Institute without leaving home.”

Granted, they could have used the word “individual” instead of of “people”, but I understood it.

Please be aware that the Drouin Institute Collection is NOT indexed….yet.

and #92, 93, Becky

The Familysearch records are a challenge, but I remember when the Drouin Collection first went on-line on Ancestry and it wasn’t indexed.

I have checked a number of the earliest known PQ parishes on familysearch, and they are all there, so I don’t know what you are looking at. This collection is NOT indexed, you must know where to look.

I don’t understand what you mean by the Insitute Drouin being written in French? The records are mostly in French. The subscriber page is in English, if you read it CAREFULLY, it tells you how much and what you are paying for.

September 6, 2009 at 8:08 am
Verlina East 

I could not access any records from the Drouin Collection on their site. My ancestors were from Scotland and mainly settled in Montreal(English). Fortunately I copied everything I found, but, I wasn’t finished and am mourning the loss of the resource. Unless, the English records become available somewhere else or here again, they are completely lost to me.

September 6, 2009 at 8:56 am
Roger Verboncoeur 

FamilySearch did their own microfilming of the Canadian Vital Records at each parish. Those microfilms are rentable at all the local Family History Centers. It appears that they are now digitizing those microfilms and making them available on-line. These records are ordered by parish and year and usually have an index at the end of each year which is better than looking at each page.
For those that lost info saved to Ancestry Family Trees: Go to CutePDF.com and download their free PDF maker software and install it. It sets itself up as a printer on your PC. When you find a record you want to keep, print it to CutePDF which will save it as a PDF file in a directory of your choosing.
Backup your computer periodically and you will always have your data. :)

September 6, 2009 at 12:48 pm
Mary Stahl 

I echo the concerns of many posters here. The primary reason I subscribed to the World Deluxe membership was for access to the Canadian databases, notably the Drouin Collection. I had no indication anything was wrong until I started seeing those “please search again” error pages, and then didn’t have a clue until I came across this discussion board! I am happy that I saved many of the images I found to my hard drive, however, my research is not complete and I am very annoyed that I can no longer view this collection. One would hope that ancestry.com will do the right thing and give subscription refunds or extensions.

September 6, 2009 at 1:46 pm
Terrence Flanagan 

I don’t give a rats **s about indexing/ not indexing. Get the raw
Drouin data back online Ancestry, pay
the Drouin guys to go away. This is
dreadful because anyone with Quebec ancestry looks to Drouin for help. All my Protestant, English family of Montreal can be found in the various Church’s recorded in Drouin. All my Catholic English and French are also there. Pay somebody Ancestry, everyone has their price, even the twits who are on the Drouin side of the equation.
If this can’t be resolved Ancestry, please give us our money back.

September 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm
Nancy 

I am more than distressed that The Drouin Collection is not available. My maternal side is 100% French-Canadian descent and the reason that I subscribed to Ancestry was for the Drouin Collection. I could care less about indexing. I just want the film back.It’s not possible to index this huge collection in the short time given by the court. However, we who rely on this database are being dealt a great diservice. I hope that both sides will come to some kind of a compromise and not deprive those of us who are striving to piece together our history access to a tremendously valuable source of information. To Ancestry – I paid for a World subscription because of the Drouin Collection. If you can not recover this database, I will probably cancel my World membership.

September 6, 2009 at 5:28 pm
Mary D. Taffet 

Like others, I was very disappointed to learn about the loss of the Drouin collection from Ancestry.com. My grandfather was born in Montreal, so this collection has been crucial to finding records connected to that part of my family.

Yes, the indexing was lacking quite a bit, but the unindexed records were quite valuable to me as I was at least able to access them. And even the imperfect indexing was useful to me. With the images available and imperfect indexing, I was able to finally locate the baptismal record for my great-grandmother, after at least 10 years of searching for it. I was also able to finally locate baptismal records for 2 more of her siblings, as well as marriage records for her siblings that answered some questions which had puzzled me for years.

And I was even able to locate 3 burial records for one of her brothers, finally shedding light on why he had disappeared from the records so early on.

I do hope that the legal issues can be worked out so that the Drouin collection can return to Ancestry.com. I’m also glad that I saved images from most of the records that interested me to my hard drive before the collection was lost. But there is much left to learn; without access to the records via Ancestry.com, I may never be able to consult these records again.

September 6, 2009 at 10:02 pm
Linda Waggoner 

I would have copied the information to my note page, if I would have had a warning. I’m really upset I had over a at least 40 drouin records, if not more attached to my tree!

I really think there needs to be a way to download these trees onto our computers. This makes me nervous that all my research could be lost in a flash.

September 6, 2009 at 11:01 pm
Becky 

I took the advice and went into the familysearch place on the World Map. However, just as I feared, the records that they have are only Quebec Catholic Parish Registers 1621-1900. They do not have the non-Catholic church records such as The Church of England Drouin Collection records and they do not have the Methodist Church Drouin Collection records, from Sherbrooke, and Lennoxville, Quebec. I did e-mail familysearch to double check, but I am quite sure they do not have the non-catholic Droulin Collection images. I don’t think that the Institute Genealogy Droulin has the non-Catholic collection on their site either. And their site costs $500 altogether. My Canadian relatives were English ancestors who went to live in Canada and Scotch/Irish who came over from Ireland to Canada. I found the records of many of them on Ancestry. But because my ink was low I didn’t print them out and when I went to print them out they were all gone.

September 7, 2009 at 12:07 am
Andy Hatchett 

Linda- Re:#103

You, and others, have been warned repeatedly in various blogs, mailing lists, message boards, magazine articles, etc. about the importance of backing up your computer work.

In a nutshell- never, and I mean *NEVER – EVER*, save something online, be it an image, an e-mail, a document, etc., unles you have FIRST saved it to your computer-period. Then backup that computer often (I backup every night).

I urge each of your that lost stuff due to the Drouin incident to post you experience to any blog, mailing list, or message board you belong to and spread the word-ONLINE STORAGE IS NOT SAFE-PERIOD.

Several of us old-timers have tried and been called old foggies, well, we may be but *we* didn’t loose anything.

Look at this as a learning experience and help newbies avoid a similar incident in the future.

September 7, 2009 at 1:05 am
Andy Hatchett 

Becky Re:#104

Before printing something out- save it to your computer and then print it out from there. Much safer in the long run.

September 7, 2009 at 1:08 am
jean 

I have been unable to find the Parish or town (La Baie du Febvre) on the Familysearch web site even though I go through all the steps -I think- listed by others. Any hints on how I could have more success?

September 7, 2009 at 7:57 am
William A. Griffith 

A great “learning experience”-having your entire research project shut down Permanently and without warning. And the only sympathetic response is a great big “I Told you so!”-Thanks…much appreciated.
I always manually transfered/typed the information found in the records directly into my family tree maker rather than storing it in “my shoebox”,etc. I had my own print out program to present the finished data to clientele familys,so I never,thankfully,had to rely on “the trustable ancestry system” to do so For me. But for all the legions of others who lost everything they had found,a sneer and a “you should have known” is not much condolence. As it is,I’ve pretty much lost my business-a business that I’ve worked with for more years than I care to think about. Oh Sure….”life after Drouin” goes on…maybe I can drive up to Canada to the Ontario Archives and sit in their reading room-or have the Mormons send for individual microfilm rolls and I can rent them and hope that they’re the correct ones I need,so I can go sit in their family research room for 2 or 3 hours once or twice a week(if there’s a reader available and a volunteer to be there with them that particular day,that is). Or,wait-I know…we could all go back to the good old “sending for documents by Mail from Canada method” after we’ve somehow determined which ones we’d like to gamble are the right ones and then sit and wait for months while they get around to shipping them out to us for a couple of days,so we can sit in the library(where they can’t be taken out of,of course) and do a quick look at them for a few days and find out that we have the wrong reels.
So,for several years,after paying my monthly fees,I was able to bring virtually priceless information to many many familys that could never have been imagined and presented it to them in a professional and organized form that they could cherish for the rest of their days. How many familys are now left waiting for Their information that they’d pinned their hopes on? Information that’s now,virtually,locked away by the whiney greedy folks at the Drouin forever now. More familys than you want to Know..
And Drouin Institute cheerleaders?Take a hint-for those of us that have lost almost all of our major resources that we Needed,we Don’t Care about “Ancestry’s failure to live up to the original contract concerning the indexing and displaying of their collection”. In even it’s “flawed” incarnation,it STILL WORKED for us! For those of us that relied almost exclusively on the Drouin for our information and researching,it’s loss has basically put us back into “the stone age”. Wonderful…just Wonderful..

September 7, 2009 at 9:42 am
Agnes Beauchamp 

Hear! Hear! Somebody tried to cut a corner here. The PRDH (University of Montreal) website (subscription) is searchable up to 1800 for French Catholic records. But it took those folks 30 years to organize and transcribe! So I can understand the difficulty in indexing the Drouin Collection. Perhaps Ancestry should not have made a promise it probably knew was impossible to keep. I certainly am happy that I printed the records that I did (my maternal Protestant family). Although my French CDN research is almost complete, I still found myself searching Drouin to fill in some of the blanks.
VERR DISSAPOINTING! And I just renewed!
Agnes B.

September 7, 2009 at 10:01 am
lori 

What irritates me the most is that we had no warning of the impending doom. If someone had said that there was a possible legal issue approaching we could have gotten all of the years of work we did on paper or at least saved into the computer.

So now what, why are they not giving us updates as to what the future holds. Is there no one at Ancestry.com that can tell us on a daily basis if anything is being worked out?

We have spent a lot of time and money on this site, the least they could do is offer some resolution to this issue.

September 7, 2009 at 10:29 am
Andy Hatchett 

William – Re:#108

I am not unsympathetic to lose who lost their work.

In 1989 I visited my mom in Tennessee and we started to watch the World Series, next thing I know I’m sitting there watching my house 1,500 miles away in the Marina District of San Francisco burning to the ground- along with 40 years of genealogy work put together by my grandmother and great aunt.

I’ve since managed to re-create some of it, but all the family photos, as well as everything I owned, were lost.

It was a hard lesson.

My post wasn’t meant to be an “I told you so” so much as a plea that everyone help re-enforce, particularly to newbies, the absolute necessity of frequent backups and developing a SAFE storage plan for your computer work.

I’m no Drouin cheerleader- they should have been yelling bloody murder the minute that Ancestry placed the first sloppy index online.

September 7, 2009 at 11:13 am
WILLBENOW 

I also am upset about the Drouin Collection being removed without notice. From this time forward I will not save anything to my family tree or shoebox at ancestry.com. All research will be lost.

The answer I received about compensation was a joke. “read the terms!!!it states they just about can take anything away at any time”

I just want compensation. I have no other reason to use the world membership.

September 7, 2009 at 1:31 pm
WILLBENOW 

FYI TO EVERYONE

CHECK OUT THE familysearch.com web site. They are indexing town records, birth, death and marriage etc. and adding them to their site for

FREE

I have typed in records for them for town records in New Hampshire. They will let anyone who has time help with the record entry. They do not as for your name address religion or anything. Do it at your own time and ability. I also have worked on census records for all years!!! Help them out and maybe we can get all we need for free!!!!!!!

September 7, 2009 at 1:36 pm
Roger Verboncoeur 

107:Jean

LDS is in the process of digitizing their records of Quebec Parishes. The ones that they have completed are on-line, more will come in due time.

September 7, 2009 at 2:31 pm
anne marie mchugh 

My only reason for subscribing to ancestry is for the use of the Drouin collection. Unfortunately for me I saved numerous records to my shoebox with the intention of referring to them at a later time – this is now unavailable to me. Where do I go now? I have a lot of time invested in this project and I am now at a dead end. If this problem cannot be resolved then I expect a 100% refund, I renewed my world subscription only a couple of weeks ago. thank you

September 7, 2009 at 3:38 pm
Vickie 

I have a question–if I save the “image/document” (I would normally attach to my tree) to my computer am I not still just saving the image to my computer-is it still linked to the web? If the url changes then I have lost the link to my image (document)have I not? Can someone verify for me:)

# 98 Roger-thanks for the tip-just need a little more guidance-I tried the free Cutepdf program (pdf writer) but was not getting a good document-did I download the right pdf program-there were several choices.

Thanks to all for some great help.

vickie

September 7, 2009 at 3:47 pm
Andy Hatchett 

Vickie – Re: #116

If you save the actual image, document, whatever to you computer (not just save the URL to your favorites list) then an actual file is on your hard disk that is not connected in any way to the net or Ancestry. You have a filename on your hard drive- not a URL link.

If the URL changes it doesn’t mess with the file on your computer at all.

September 7, 2009 at 4:29 pm
Diane 

I know about this dispute from the very first day (we had articles in Quebec newspapers talking about it and about the fact that the indexing was outsourced to China). When I saw the result, I had no doubt about it :-( As a French-speaking person, I can easily imagine why Pepin was upset with the result to say the least.

I read all comments and I would like to add 4 things.

1) Subscriptions via Drouin Institute were offered well before it was offered on Ancestry. As you all know, it was not indexed and it was such a long time to get to a page. Once I had the index on Ancestry, even though it was very bad (and that you could not make a correction at first), it certainly was helpful although you needed lots of imagination to find someone. It will be missed…

2) You can search English Parishes on Drouin. If you look in Mtl (for Montreal) for instance, you have a file called Non-Cath. Also, the search is made by town (and not parishes). If you look for Grandby, you have all parishes, including non-catholic).

3) In Quebec, vital records are not available if not older than 100 years for confidentiality reasons. I suspect that the FHL Pilot site has copies of the Civil Archives. The Drouin Collection was the property of the Genealogical Institute and that is why it goes until 1940.

4) Institut Drouin has another outstanding legal issue with the Archives nationales du Québec. He has asked the court that the Archives stop permitting uncontrolled photocopies of the microfilms. If he does not, he asked that the sale of the collection be cancelled.

September 7, 2009 at 6:15 pm
Tom Boyce 

One can always order the tapes and visit one’s local, LDS (Latter Day Saints) center. Apparently, they are very accommodating with such requests, and frankly, encourage continued, real-time research. While I have not taken advantage of this option, yet, I am thinking that the latest court action may result in higher fees for World Membership, and not a rebate.

Tom Boyce
Barre, VT

September 8, 2009 at 8:48 am
Tom Boyce 

Roger Verboncoeur writes:>>”For those that lost info saved to Ancestry Family Trees: Go to CutePDF.com and download their free PDF maker software and install it. It sets itself up as a printer on your PC. When you find a record you want to keep, print it to CutePDF which will save it as a PDF file in a directory of your choosing. Backup your computer periodically …”<<

Excellent information, Roger. Thank you for this piece of information. (salute) As for me, I always back up all my files using Carbonite.com (for less than $50 dollars, per year, it backs up all your work, several times a day. Again, thank you for the information.

September 8, 2009 at 9:07 am
Tom Boyce 

Michelle,

I have been told that Ancestry.com is owned for a foreign national entity, thus, that is the reason the indexing was outsourced to China.

Tom

September 8, 2009 at 9:35 am
BobNY 

Tom #121

Huh? Who told you that?

I am sure that it is news to Victor Parker, and the entities affiliated with Spectrum Equity Investors, Crosslink Ventures, W Capital Partners, and Sorenson Media.

September 8, 2009 at 10:36 am
Mary Beth Marchant 

To #116-Vickie

Anything saved to your member tree or to your shoebox is nothing but a link to the image on Ancestry. However, if you download the image to your own computer, it is yours and has nothing to do with what Ancestry may or may not do with that image. For anyone who thinks saving a link to an image on their member tree or to their shoebox: take the time first to save that image to your own computer. I understand the anger of people who thought they were safe by using the links. This is never safe since Ancestry can at any time pull those images off for whatever reason, be it legal or otherwise. The only way to be sure that your info is saved is to have it on your own computer. Better yet, enter it in your own genealogy software program, whatever that may be and save the data and images there. Then back up the data frequently. Log the source of the image as well-not to Ancestry but to the source such as Drouin or WWI Draft Registration, census record, etc.

September 8, 2009 at 11:17 am
dklart 

Tom,

Who cares if Ancestry.com is owned by a foreign national entity. If you live in Canada, then the US is a foreign national entity to you.

Who cares if the indexing was outsourced to China? I guarantee you there are more Chinese that can read French/Latin than US Americans.

This is about greed and money, big surprise. Pepin isn’t losing sleep over the indexing, he’s losing sleep over the original deal he made. The gene landscape has exploded in the past few years, and what seemed like a great deal in 2006, probably looks like “too cheap” now. He found a loophole to renegotiate his deal with Ancestry, and they’re playing hardball it appears.

People can complain about the indexing, but I found many great leads from it.

The familysearch records are good, but the page loading reminds of 1995 and dial-up.

September 8, 2009 at 11:17 am
Roger Verboncoeur 

Vickie Re: 116
If you installed CutePDF correctly it should be set up as a printer on your computer. Go to Ancestry (or anywhere else) and select an image that you want to save and position what you want in your browser. Click print in the line just above the image, followed by clicking on image only print. When the Print Menu appears select the CutePDF printer and click on Properties to change from portrait to landscape if necessary. Click OK and CutePDF will display a dialog box asking for a file name and path to save the image.

The best way to view the image is using Acrobat Viewer. Version 9 is now on the street (free). Acrobat can then be used to manipulate the image and print it to a hard copy.

Brother’s Keeper software has the ability to enter a link (there’s that word again) to the PDF file. If you delete the file, you break the link, so delete the link as well.

Email me the file you saved & I’ll take a look at it.

R.Verboncoeur at Comcast . net

September 8, 2009 at 3:11 pm
Karen Rackow 

I am devastated about the loss of the Drouin Collection. My entire family originates from Quebec Province and are Catholic so this was an absolute disappointment. It is the reason I subscribed to the World Deluxe membership.

September 8, 2009 at 3:36 pm
Trish 

Ok, now that I am done crying and throwing things knowing that I have lost my research by only keeping the links on Ancestry to the Drouin Collection, what are the options for moving my tree from Ancestry to my own program? What is the best program out there to get this accomplished? I know they are going back to Court on the 9th, but my subscription is up on the 15th and I want my tree (with all 4000 people) OFF Ancestry ASAP. Thanks!!

September 8, 2009 at 9:58 pm
Andy Hatchett 

Trish- Re:#127

There is no “best” genealogical program-period.

It all depends on what you want a program to do. There are free programs (like PAF and Legacy) and programs that cost (Like The Master Genealogist or the DeLuxe version of Legacy).

You can download a GEDCOM of your online tree and import that GEDCOM into the software program of your choice.

September 8, 2009 at 10:21 pm
anita brown 

i really hope the drouin collection is available soon as that is my main area of research for my french canadian family. it is also the whole reason for purchasing the world mambership

September 9, 2009 at 1:15 am
Nancy Jones 

I am devastated. I too rely heavily on the Drouin Collection. This is the reason I subscribe to ancestry. Yes I had to search sometimes to find things but you know God helps those who help themselves. I searched I found. It took a little bit of work but the inforamtion is there. How could anyone take this away from us. This is a wonderful collection and searching on line is no worse than searching through records. This is a huge setback in the search for my family history. How sad it is that this can be taken away when so many of us have been able to restore lost family inforamtion using this tool. We desparately need this back.

September 9, 2009 at 2:39 am
Tony Cousins 

Trish #127

Andy didn’t mention in his response that a GEDCOM file only exports/imports data – no images.

So if you do have any images – photographs or otherwise (even linked census images) they will not be in the GEDCOM. You need to manually bring those to your home PC.

TonyC

September 9, 2009 at 8:35 am
Réal Charlebois 

Any news on what happened in front of the judge today?

September 9, 2009 at 8:42 am
Roger Verboncoeur 

Trish Re:#127

I have used Brother’s Keeper software for 20 years and it does everything I want/need.

You can read about it and download a free trial version from BKWIN.com.

September 9, 2009 at 9:02 am
Tony Cousins 

In 5 days this blog will no longer allow people to post comments – the Ancestry imposed 14 day rule will kick in. By Thursday there will only be 3 open blogs and 2 of those are information only.

It looks like Ancestry wants this forum to go away – it’s embarrassing for them.

I was recently contacted by another subscriber with a view to setting up a non-Ancestry blog, one that they can not control and impose rules on.

Is that worth doing? I believe so.

TonyC

September 9, 2009 at 9:33 am
Gre 

This collection is the reason why I subscribed to Ancestry as my relatives have a history back to 1642 in Quebec and this collection was the only resource. If it is not available then I feel a reimbusement is required. If the collection is not retained I will be terminating my subscription.

September 9, 2009 at 1:51 pm
SSHAINES 

Ancestry needs to compensate its customers for this loss of resouces.

Besides the lost of a searchable database Ancestry also took information out of my individual tree. I believe this is wrong.That was information I paid for.
By changing my historical records from a Drouin record primary sources to source “unknown” actually removes the proof of the validity of my research.

For example, I found my gggrandfather ‘s marriage – initially in my grandmothers
papers and entered it in my tree, that is still there. I have another source from the Church of LDS that is still there. I searched the original searchable Ancestry database for Quebec Drouin records
found the parish records for that year and looked for the date found the marriage record and recorded the date and sourced it as a drouin record. Later when the
hints or the shaking leaf appeared I attached those records these are gone.
I heard that a major online bookseller did something similar with an Orwell book -People had bought and downloaded it to
their “Kindles” and the seller removed it from their individual Kindles. People were very upset. The seller had to compensate the buyers.

September 9, 2009 at 3:52 pm
Mary Beth Marchant 

To #136-SSHaines

The problem is that you did not actually save the image to your tree-you only saved the link to the image-which is now gone. I’m not condoning what has happened but just stating the situation. If you had downloaded and saved the images to your hard drive, you would still have them and Ancestry could not remove them.

This business just makes the point that any record or image that one finds on Ancestry or any other genealogy web site should be saved to your computer and added to your on genealogy software. No one can depend on a genealogy site to preserve these important records. I hope everyone who has seen the images they thought they had preserved now gone will learn an important lesson from this. Never depend on an online site to build your family tree without first building your own family files on your own computer. Never depend on an online site to preserve records without first saving them to your computer or at least printing them out.

September 9, 2009 at 6:20 pm
Janice Bateman 

I too am devastated by the loss of the Drouin Collection. Now my research has come to a standstill. I am more upset about the records I haven’t looked for than the fact that I have lost my shoebox links. The Collection is the reason I renewed my subscription in July.

September 9, 2009 at 6:42 pm
Andy Hatchett 

Mary Beth – Re:#137

Excellent advice!

While it can’t cure what has happened it *can* prevent future woes.

September 9, 2009 at 9:13 pm
Noelle 

Re: #107 -Jean-

You have to search St-Antoine-de-la-Baie-du-Febvre. It is there.

http://pilot.familysearch.org/recordsearch/start.html#p=waypoint;s=waypointsOnly;c=1321742;w=0

Good luck!

September 10, 2009 at 5:03 am
Laura 

I’m disgusted with the sneaky way Ancestry.com of removing a priceless database without informing their subscribers of this dilemma. No doubt they thought there would be a mass exodus of subscribers if they found out ahead of time. I had to crawl all around this site to find any information about the problem. IMHO, a company loses it’s credibility when something like this occurs

As others have said before me, the Drouin collection was *the* only reason I paid for a subscription with Ancestry.com

Unfortunately, my monthly subscription cost went through my bank right before I found out.

September 10, 2009 at 7:49 am
Debbie Pelletier 

I only found this blog today, after searching for information since The Drouin collection vanished.

I am very disturbed with the sudden disappearance of these records. Living in the States they are the mainstay of my research, as all of my husband’s family and ½ of mine have Canadian roots.

I also e-mailed ancestry.com last week and received the same response; “Currently we are assessing our rights to this content. We appreciate your patience with us on this matter.” This lack of information that was disrespectful to those of us who pay for this service.

I am contemplating dropping my subscription.

September 10, 2009 at 9:36 am
Anna Baillargeon 

I reopened my subscription to Ancestry to access the Drouin collection. On the second day, I find it gone. Will you be giving us time to access it when it does come back online as an extension of our month’s subscription?? I need to get the records for Acadia (Nova Scotia) and New Brunswick. This collection is the only one you have that will give us brith, marriage and death records for this area. I have been given 3 different lines for the same person Theriault. This collection will allow me to correctly follow the line back in time. Please help me.

September 10, 2009 at 9:50 am
Anna Baillargeon 

I reopened my subscription to Ancestry to access the Drouin collection. On the second day, I find it gone. Will you be giving us time to access it when it does come back online as an extension of our month’s subscription??
I think 14 day free access to the collection for only customers that had current subscriptions at the time the collection was removed, would be a nice thing to do to help ease fustrations and inconviences on all fronts.
I need to get the records for Acadia (Nova Scotia) and New Brunswick. This collection is the only one you have that will give us birth, marriage and death records for this area. I have been given 3 different lines for the same person Theriault. This collection will allow me to correctly follow the line back in time. Please help me.

September 10, 2009 at 9:55 am
Petitschanteurs 

I agree with all. The Drouin collection is the most important for my research and I pay for that. If the Drouin collection is unavailable I will stop it.

September 10, 2009 at 1:09 pm
Linda Martin 

I am so upset with how this was all handled. As if Ancestry.com did not know this was all going to happen. How cruel to not allow your subscribers the opportunity to retrieve any of their saved material. Whether it be an attachment to a person in their tree or something saved to their shoebox. This was just so unfair. This application is useless to me without the Drouin Records, most of my research was backed up by those documents I had saved to individuals in my tree.

Shame on you Ancestry.com!!!!!

September 10, 2009 at 1:38 pm
Richard Simoneau 

Both sides of my family are French-Canadian going back to about 1640. The Drouin Collection is my primary source for information from 1600-1850. Luckily I am on a month to month contract with Ancestry and have not upgraded to the latest FTM. As soon as I can verify costs to access the new source and services provided for the Drouin I can change genealogy programs

September 10, 2009 at 2:17 pm
Kathleen 

Here’s what Drouin had to say on their Facebook page Sept. 5. I don’t speak French, so I will provide the French and the Google-translated version.

“Rappel à tous
Un petit rappel à tous : Ancestry n’avait pas le droit de diffuser les images que leurs abonnés utilisent depuis plus de 2 ans. C’est sur qu’il est heureux pour certains généalogistes d’avoir eu accès à ce Fonds. Quand nous avons… cédé “à rabais” une licence d’utilisation à Ancestry…”

“Reminder to all
A little reminder to all: Ancestry had no right to broadcast the images that their subscribers use more than 2 years. On it is lucky for some genealogists have had access to the Fund. When we … given “discount” a license to Ancestry …”

September 10, 2009 at 6:21 pm
Kathleen 

The full post from the Pepins:

Un petit rappel à tous :

Ancestry n’avait pas le droit de diffuser les images que leurs abonnés utilisent depuis plus de 2 ans. C’est sur qu’il est heureux pour certains généalogistes d’avoir eu accès à ce Fonds. Quand nous avons cédé “à rabais” une licence d’utilisation à Ancestry. IL AVAIT L’OBLIGATION D’EFFECTUER UN TRAVAIL COMPLET D’INDEXAGE AVEC LE PRDH AVANT DE METTRE LE TOUT EN LIGNE PAR BLOC DE 25 ANS. Ce n’est ni nous ni le PRDH qui avons contrevenu à l’entente, c’est Ancestry : le travail devait se faire sur une période de 3 à 5 ans; nous aurions eu un nouvel outil de recherche extraordinaire qui aurait servi tant au milieu de la recherche universitaire et démographie et autres volets, que pour le milieu généalogique en général. Mais non, Ancestry a été cupide, et maintenant on nous blâme pour les erreurs des autres.

Enfin, depuis 1997 que nous crions sur le place publique que le Fonds Drouin devrait être financé par le Ministère de la Culture en partenariat avec la Fédération québécoise des sociétés de généalogie. Il n’est pas normal que nous soyons une des seules entreprises privées au monde à posséder les registres de toute une nation. Nous souhaitons la gratuité à tous les membres en règle d’une société de généalogie du Québec, mais bon notre gouvernement et ses fonctionnaires restent immobiles.

Merci de votre compréhension,

Sébastien Robert et Jean-Pierre Pepin
Institut généalogique Drouin

A little reminder to all:

Ancestry had no right to broadcast the images that their subscribers have used for more than 2 years. On it is lucky for some genealogists have had access to the Collection. When we sold “discount” a license to Ancestry. IT WAS BOUND TO MAKE A COMPLETE WORK WITH THE PRDH INDEXING PRIOR TO THE ALL ONLINE BY BLOCK OF 25 YEARS. It is neither us nor the PRDH who have violated the agreement it was Ancestry: work must be done over a period of 3 to 5 years and we would have had another extraordinary research tool that would serve both research community and university demographics and other components, for the genealogical community in general. But no, Ancestry has been greedy and now we are blamed for the mistakes of others.

Finally, since 1997 we have said publically that the Drouin Collection should be funded by the Ministry of Culture in partnership with the Quebec Federation of Genealogical Societies. It is unusual that we are one of the few private companies in the world with records of an entire nation. We want to free all members in good standing of a genealogical society in Quebec, but our good government and its officials remain motionless.

Thank you for your understanding,

Sébastien Robert and Jean-Pierre Pepin
Drouin Genealogical Institute

September 10, 2009 at 6:28 pm
Andy Hatchett 

I’d love to know that the results of the September 9th meeting were.

All in all is sounds like Ancestry made a right mess of things right from the start.

September 10, 2009 at 8:28 pm
jean 

Noelle #140 Thank you thank you. I was going at it backwards, looking for the town and then the parish. My spirits have been lifted dramatically. Ancestry will lose another client in Dec. when my subscription expires.

September 10, 2009 at 8:35 pm
David 

It is good to what the Institut généalogique Drouin, the owners of this collection, have to say (post 149), it gives some hope that Ancestry can live up their part of the bargain for the privilege of displaying this collection (It appears that Ancestry promised an index in lieu of cash for this right). It is only fair to them that Ancestry does not make use of what they have not paid for, but it is also unfair of Ancestry to its subscribers to prematurely release this collection.

The Drouin Collection is special as it contains both copies (parish and archives) of the vital records as they existed in 1940 or thereabouts. Some of the originals no longer exist. While both copies are supposed to be the same, researchers occasionally find a record in one copy that is missing in the other.

The LDS starting microfilming these records in the late 1970′s. Sometimes the LDS microfilms are more legible and sometimes the Drouin microfilms are more legible (sometimes neither is good).

I don’t believe Ancestry is under an obligation to provide the index specified in its agreement to its subscribers, although that would be nice. I look foreward to a satisfactory conclusion to this issue.

September 10, 2009 at 10:50 pm
EQuanstrom 

Just reading about all the records from the Drouin that we have lost during this debacle.

While apparently Ancestry dba Generations Network was in violation of some type of agreement, I am thinking that perhaps the images that we saved should be available under the fair use copy rights. As WE PAID A SUBSCRIPTION FEE, Ancestry should pay a fee to Drouin and we should get to keep our copy!

Just a thought and it may be in error but it would be a fair exchange for the membership n’est pas??

Also, M Sebastien Robert indicated to me that the type of index that they required was of the type of the PRDH and he indicated that perhaps this will take 25 YEARS! Zut alors!

September 11, 2009 at 8:44 am
Mary Beth Marchant 

Re;#137-Andy-thanks. I think it would be good for Ancestry to put a warning on the member trees option, something like this. Warning: “linking to a record through this tree does not mean you own this record nor have you saved it for yourself. You only have saved the link to this record” Of course we know that will not happen. The advice is good only if people pay attention to it. I still see posts moaning the loss of their image. You only lost the link to that record. Ancestry lost what they thought they had, apparently through indexing which we hear was farmed out to a foreign country. I guess that is why we see strange countries listed as birth places on census indexes too. Then we are stuck with this index and even though we enter a correction, the actual index never changes.

September 11, 2009 at 8:57 am
Phyl 

The following statement is listed in the terms.
“3. COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN ANCESTRY AND YOU.

Ancestry will send electronic mail to you, for the purpose of informing you of changes or additions to Ancestry, or of any Ancestry related products and services. You may opt out of this notification service by replying to the electronic mail that was sent with the word “unsubscribe” (without the quotes) in the subject line. For further information on our use of member information, see the Privacy Statement on the Service”

Seems to me this didn’t happen!!!
I don’t consider scheduled maintenance notification of change in product or service.

September 11, 2009 at 11:24 am
Carolyn Veio 

Drouin is vital to my research. My ancestry goes back to the 1600′s in various parts of Canada. I need Drouin. Please restore our use of the Drouin through subscription to Ancestry. Our ancestors will be greatful, as will all of the living. Thank you for listening.

September 11, 2009 at 11:42 am
Andy Hatchett 

Carolyn -Re:#156

It seems you fail to understand that it is *not* Ancestry’s choice concerning the fate of the Drouin Collection.

The matter has been settled in court and unless they can do an index within 60 days that meets the requirements called for in the original contract they loose all rights to displaying the collection.

The odds of Ancestry creating an index of 55+ MILLION records in 60 days are somewhat less than infinitesimal.

September 11, 2009 at 3:29 pm
Peggy 

I agree with everyone here.No More Drouin Collection I have done most of my research from that collection allot of work and now it is all gone.This is just not fair. I wish now I had printed all my work out at the time I found things.I feel very cheated 30.00 a month and all that searching I am very upset over this.

September 12, 2009 at 1:00 am
Jo-Ann Bader 

I have paid for a month of Ancestry for nothing. 95% of my look- ups depend on the Drouin Collection. If the reports are not up soon or I am offered a month extension I plan on canceling my subscription. Thank goodness I did not opt for the whole year!

September 12, 2009 at 9:14 am
Pat 

For all of us of French Canadian ancestry, the Drouin Collection was pivotal to our search. I have more than a thousand ancestors in my tree. I had saved many, many images documenting their births, weddings and deaths to my shoebox. And poof! Gone without warning. I would have saved the images to my computer if I’d known. But again, no warning. I too, am seriously considering dropping Ancestry.

September 12, 2009 at 9:39 am
Filgates 

This should not be difficult to sort out.

Put the Drouin index back online, without Pepin owned images.

Ancestry could pay Pepin for access to Drouin, it would have to be substantially cheaper to Ancestry than the most assured class action that will eventually take place.

September 12, 2009 at 12:34 pm
Andy Hatchett 

LOL!

There will be no class action lawsuit-believe me.

Read the agreements you made when you subscribed to Ancestry. You subscribed for the use of their service. Ancestry never promises exactly what databases will, or will not be available at any particular time and reserves for themselves the right to make changes in their offerings at any time.

All this “I joined only because [insert reason here}” just doesn’t matter- neither Ancestry nor the courts will care why you joined. They will only note that you *did* join and agreed to their rules.

Face it kiddies- the Drouin is gone. Either remain or go but these “demands” that Ancestry restore the collection are just so much venting that will accomplish nothing of substance.

September 12, 2009 at 1:18 pm
Réal Charlebois 

I don’t understand why everyone assumes the Drouin collection is gone forever from Ancestry. The ruling, as I read it, doesn’t say that ancestry cannot display the collection. It says that Pepin gets the right to sell the collection for distribution again and that Ancestry gets to pay a fine. Drouin requested that Ancestry remove the collection from its online service and it looks like Ancestry complied in order to not make matters worse until the issue was resolved. I haven’t yet given up hope. What we need to know is the result of the Sep 8 or 9 meeting with the judge and how things ended up being settled.

September 12, 2009 at 1:42 pm
Andy Hatchett 

The ruling was that unless Ancestry complies with the original agreement concerning the indexing the license Drouin granted Ancestry will lapse.

The right to display the collection online is part of that license, thus when the license lapses so too does Ancestry’s right to online display.

I do agree that we really need to know the results of that Sept. metting.

September 12, 2009 at 1:53 pm
Réal Charlebois 

With all due respect, I beg to differ (but I’m no lawyer)

The ruling says:

[99] DÉCLARE qu’à moins que TGN ne remédie dans les soixante jours de
la présente décision aux violations du contrat ci-devant décrites et ne
mette en ligne une indexation conforme et contenant les éléments
suivants :
“ the date, type and parish of the record, and
the name of the subject, of the parents and of the spouse of the
subject
the age, occupation, ethnic group and place of origin of the subject”
tout en respectant les autres dispositions contractuelles, Pepin sera
libéré de son obligation de « ne pas concéder à un tiers une licence
permettant à ce dernier d’utiliser la collection d’images pour indexation
ou affichage en ligne et en aura spécifiquement le droit »;

What this says to me is that unless Ancestry can produce the index as per the criteria indicated within 60 days, Pepin will now have the right again (which it had conceded through the contract) to sell the right of indexing and distribution to a third party.

September 12, 2009 at 2:02 pm
Andy Hatchett 

Unfortunately, I am a monolinguist. My conclusions were based on English reports and translations.

In one of the stories it mentioned that Ancestry didn’t have any cash in the deal and the exclusive license to display the Colloection online was granted to Ancestry in exchange for Ancestry producing and providing an online index.

If that is, in fact, what happpened then Ancestry will have no license to display the collection if the license lapses.

Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

September 12, 2009 at 2:56 pm
Chris Segatti 

I just re-subscribed last week, having NO idea about the Drouin Collection being offline. What a total drag!!! I, too, utilized it for my research, enjoying using a magnifying glass to read the ancient writing and figuring out the translation. Just might cancel over this…

September 12, 2009 at 9:37 pm
Filgates 

Lets try a little constructive damage control to our research. On a regular basis, I downloaded my ged file to RootsMagic (as a backup and to use a duplicates search tool RootsMagic provided).

So I know the original pointer to the Drouin page on Ancestry.com (now useless), but also the baptism place and church and year (and the month and day when I valued them enough to type them into the database).

By way of example, is there a way to find elsewhere the image associated with Hugh Filgate for Baptism date: “1855Baptism place: New Ireland (Methodist Church, Wesleyan), Québec”.

Can anyone verify that the Drouin Institute could find this, or perhaps another site? I suspect that a great deal of what we think is “lost” is just going require redoing a portion of the research effort, but not near all.

An optimist!

September 13, 2009 at 5:10 am
Roger Verboncoeur 

Filegates RE: 168

See my post #98. Better to save everything on your own computer and upload a GEDCOM occasionally to Ancestry. I have over 2000 PDFs of census, city directories, etc. and wish I would have found CutePDF years ago.

September 13, 2009 at 11:12 am
Robert Laverdure 

I just signed up to begin searching anew BECAUSE of the Drouin collection – I want a refund ASAP !

Rob

September 13, 2009 at 3:42 pm
Chagoi 

Well, tomorrow (the 15th) is the last day that comments will allowed on this topic. Although I am not affected by the Drouin debacle, I am frankly appalled at the way Ancestry has handled the whole affair.

The initial announcement by Chad Milliner on 1 September showed not even a hint of regret that subscribers had just lost hours and hours of research because they were not aware that their shoebox didn’t contain the actual image, only a link to the image. Is this clearly and explicitly explained on all those images which give you the choice to ‘save to my shoebox’?

I do understand that Ancestry probably can’t comment on the actual court proceedings, and maybe they are confident that the images will be restored. In the meantime subscribers have been left in the dark, distraught that they have lost SO much.

Come on, Ancestry. Re-train those managers in charge of what you ridiculously call ‘the user experience’. How about some good, old fashioned CUSTOMER SERVICE!

September 13, 2009 at 4:29 pm
S Goodrum 

I for one would like to know what type of credit or compensation Ancestry.com is going to be offering. I have been a member for many, many years and relied on keeping my information in my shoebox which has become totally useless. My ancestors are from Quebec which is why I subscribed to this site as was thrilled when I first found that these records were online and I did not need to travel to my local genealogical library to access as well as pay for viewing.

September 13, 2009 at 4:43 pm
Joan H 

Drouin images are the only reason I have an Ancestry subscription. . I have not relied heavily on the index because I was doing a lot of browsing – by which I found 3 kids of one family that no one had ever heard of and proved a family tale. I don’t know what will happen – but I can’t see renewing if Drouin images are lost to us.

September 13, 2009 at 7:12 pm
Arlene Taylor 

I am very disappointed that you no longer have access to the Drouin Collection on your site. I used that particular site more than the others offered on your site. The Drouin collection was a big part of the reason that I paid for a subscription.

Hopefully you get this issue resolved soon.

September 14, 2009 at 7:46 am
Renée 

For me, should it occur on this site permanently, loss of the Drouin Records will be a catastrophe. Like many my subscription to Ancestry is for the most part because of the access to those records, and I renewed just before the collection was pulled.
Although it was obvious while searching these records that the indexing could have been more complete, it did not stop me from finding a wealth of information more easily than before the collection was available through Ancestry.
I am frustrated that not one thing any member can say or do will change the outcome of all this or compensate me for money I spent in good faith should this collection be lost.
I am dissapointed and irritated and faced with the possibility of spending good money on top of bad to regain access to these records, which means more macaroni and cheese for dinner and probably macaroni without the cheese…

September 14, 2009 at 9:01 am
Blair Berrouard 

I like the majority of folks rely heavily on the Drouin collection. Without it, there is no point to continue my subscription. Luckily, i am up for renewal shortly, and if the situation is not resolved, i will be canceling. Just wish i had saved the images that I found – will know better next time.

September 14, 2009 at 9:10 am
Cecile Vanasse 

Is someone can tell when the collection wil be available. Like everybody here I paid specially for that.

September 14, 2009 at 11:04 am
Andy Hatchett 

Cecile – Re:#177

To the best of my knowledge there is no one – and I mean not even Ancestry – that can say *if* the collection will be back at all… much less when it will be back.

September 14, 2009 at 2:09 pm
C J Connor 

The handling of this matter by Ancestry has been abysmal. I for one will not renew my worldwide subscribtion without the Drouin collection.

September 14, 2009 at 3:23 pm
Jo Dye 

I, too, purchased the Worldwide collection with the full expectation of having the Drouin records available. And, as many of you, at least 80% of my research was done in that database, and connected to images from that database. This is a disaster! Months of research gone! Ancestry should’ve given us a heads up on this one. We’re due at least an apology and refunds. I clicked on a source citation and got “Unknown”. I’m furious!!

September 14, 2009 at 5:17 pm
Boopaharley 

Why are we still being charged the full amount to lesser access of files, records, etc??

September 14, 2009 at 5:20 pm
Andy Hatchett 

Re #180 & #181

Read the fine print in the subscription agreement carefully. Ancestry has the right at any time to alter what content is available in any particular subscription package.

I’m wondering if all those calling for a refund would mind being billed more every time Ancestry added a database to the World Deluxe package?

This is the reverse side of that coin.

September 14, 2009 at 8:52 pm
Florent Heroux 

Since the Drouin Collection, which is the database for Quebec searches,is no longer available, we should get a refund on our subscriptions. Ancestry.com is of no value to me. We should have been made aware that Drouin was no longer available. Thank you.

September 14, 2009 at 9:43 pm
Carol Gardner 

When will the Drouin collection be back? Carol Gardner

September 15, 2009 at 2:11 pm
William A. Griffith 

Hello Carol,Apparently,from what the rumours say,the Drouin collection will Never be back. It looks like Ancestry just couldn’t or for some rediculous reason Wouldn’t follow the Drouin Institutes demands,and so,the collection has been taken away from them for all sakes and purposes for good.
For whatever odd reasons that might be,if you read the previous comments,it seems some people get great satisfaction out of Telling people this and that there won’t be and Shouldn’t be any refunds etc. Just why our research being disrupted/eliminated and in some cases our sources of work being permanantly gone gives them some sort of perverse pleasure is one of those mysteries we’ll probably never know.
Oh well…at least,in the few short years that we Did have access to the Drouin records,we were(hopefully)able to get so very much info that we would probably never have been able to find otherwise and so there our work will have to pretty much hold,until someone someday finds a way to placate the Drouin demands. It’s been fun…

September 15, 2009 at 5:52 pm
Andy Hatchett 

William – Re;#185

I take no perverse pleasure in telling people hurtful truths but I do believe they should face the cold hard reality of the situation.

“Warm and Fuzzy” isn’t going to change the situation and the sooner people realize that and get over it and move on then the better off they will be in the long run.

September 15, 2009 at 6:59 pm
William A. Griffith 

You’re right,of course,Andy-what was I thinking? We’ve all just got to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and soldier on! Stiff upper lip and all that,hey?
How very touching…I,and I’m sure everyone else dealing with this mess,feel Much better now…

September 15, 2009 at 8:16 pm
Rick P 

Andy………..how are we suppose to move on when the Drouin Rcords were the only records that were of any use to us?
You’re a real ball of sunshine aren’t you?

September 15, 2009 at 8:28 pm