Ancestry.com

Ancestry.com 15th Anniversary: 15 Days of FREE Access [Video Update]

Posted by Nick Cifuentes on October 11, 2011 in Social Media

If you haven’t already seen, we are celebrating 15 years of Ancestry.com with 15 days of free access and daily prizes. With the special access to some great collections, we wanted to pass along a video update with what you might have missed over the past 10 days. Make sure you check out the celebration and head to our Facebook Page, where we are offering daily videos about each collection. You can also leave comments and questions beneath each one, as some of them might get responded to personally by video.

Day 1: Social Security Death Index
Discover vital information like birth records and death dates, a home address and additional personal facts that can help you discover more about your family in other collections:

Discover more information on the SSDI and leave your questions and comments as well.

Day 2: Ireland, Griffith’s Valuation 1848 – 1864
Find out if your ancestors were among the million-plus individuals who occupied property in Ireland between 1848 and 1864, a time from which no Irish census survived:

Discover more information on the Griffith’s Valuation and leave your questions and comments as well

Day 3: California Marriage Index, 1960 – 1985
Search details from more than 4.8 million marriages performed in California from 1960–1985 to find bride and groom names, the county where they were married and more:

Discover more information on the California Marriage Index and leave your questions and comments as well by clicking here: http://ancstry.me/pLLZ2G

Day 4: Bavaria, Germany, WWI Personnel Rosters, 1914 – 1918 (in German)
Explore personnel rosters of soldiers who served in Bavarian Army units during World War I (1914–1918) to discover a soldier’s name, rank, details of service and much more:

Discover more information on the WWI Personnel Rosters and leave your questions and comments as well by clicking here: http://ancstry.me/pLLZ2G

Day 5: 1920 U.S. Federal Census
Find out what the census taker wrote down after knocking on your family’s door in 1920. Discover names and addresses, details of family relationships, languages spoken and more:

Discover more information on the 1920 U.S. Federal Census and leave your questions and comments as well by clicking here: http://ancstry.me/pLLZ2G

Day 6: Australian Electoral Rolls, 1903 – 1980
Search select Australian electoral rolls compiled during election years 1903–1980 and you could find a voting family member’s name, gender, address, occupation and more:

Discover more information on the Australian Electoral Rolls and leave your questions and comments as well by clicking here: http://ancstry.me/pLLZ2G

Day 7: Texas Birth Index, 1903 – 1997
Find a full name, gender, birth date and more details for a family member whose birth was among the 15 million recorded in Texas between 1903 and 1997:

Discover more information on the Texas Birth Index and leave your questions and comments as well by clicking here: http://ancstry.me/pLLZ2G

Day 8: Sweden, Births from the Swedish Death Index, 1947 – 2006 (in Swedish)
Search this collection of birth details for more than 5.1 million individuals who died in Sweden between 1947–2006 to find a family member’s full name, birthdate and birthplace:

Discover more information on the Swedish Death Index and leave your questions and comments as well by clicking here: http://ancstry.me/pLLZ2G

Day 9: World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917 – 1918
Learn if your relatives were among the 24 million U.S. men that completed World War I draft registration cards in 1917–1918 and discover their birthplace, nearest relative and more if they were:

Discover more information on the World War I Draft Registration Cards and leave your questions and comments as well by clicking here: http://ancstry.me/pLLZ2G

Day 10: England & Wales, Birth Index, 1916 – 2005
See what you can discover about family members who were born in England and Wales with helpful details like their full name, mother’s maiden name, districts/counties of birth and more:

Discover more information on the World War I Draft Registration Cards and leave your questions and comments as well by clicking here: http://ancstry.me/pLLZ2G

15 comments

Comments
1 AnonymousOctober 11, 2011 at 5:39 pm

Bummer….nothing norwegian yet.

2 BEEOctober 13, 2011 at 10:02 am

Well, I could add nothing Polish either, but I’m sure you’ll see something “norwegian” sooner than I’ll see anything from Poland, which isn’t necessarily ancestry’s fault.
I’m still waiting to see corrections made to all those “report problem” that I sent over the years, and of course, still waiting for ancestry to get the plug-in for firefox “fixed”.
What I’ve been dealing with recently, is the hundreds of “hints” on my trees, including documents I’ve already added, because ancestry recently updated their 1901 England Census database “and this is causing many users to receive notification of new hints, even if it is something that has already been looked at”.
The response from “support” was to ignore them for now, until they “fix” the problem.
In the meantime, the emails come in: “Great news. We’ve found historical records that could help you discover more about your ancestors and grow your family tree”.
My reply: “Not so great! When I click on that hint, it brings me to the tree, but I have to go hunting for the person, because clicking on “return to tree”, brings me back to a different person, not the person the hint is for – all this is a gigantic pain!” – so ignoring the advice I was first given, the answer to this was: “You can always look to see a list of people with hints in your tree. After going to this, you can just delete the emails you receive.”
Why do I feel like I’m going around in circles??

3 Andy HatchettOctober 13, 2011 at 11:57 am

Bee Re: #2

You are going around in circles because Ancestry is going around in circles and doesn’t know which end is up.

What I want to know is this…
If Ancestry is smart enough to know someone is in my tree then why can’t they be smart enough to not send me those darn ‘Possible Match’ notification if that particular document or whatever is already attached to that person in my tree?

I’ve asked this of several Ancestry staff members and have never gotten a satisfactory answer to the question- and, unfortunately, probably never will. *sigh*

4 MeOctober 15, 2011 at 4:19 pm

I notice when they offer ‘free’ access the site is painfully slow and it is very annoying as a paid member. It can take up to 10 minutes to go from just 1 person to another in my family tree.

When you are going to do this give more juice to your servers to handle the increase in volume.

Not impressed.

5 Andy HatchettOctober 15, 2011 at 11:31 pm

Me Re #4

That is the price we subscribers pay in Ancestry’s attempt to get subscribers to replace those who leave (churn rate is 3-4% per month).

Ancestry should turn a new leaf!

World Explorer Membership
1 year= $299.40 ($24.95/mo) *automatic renewal
6 month= $164.68 ($27.44/mo) *automatic renewal
3 month= $ 90.60 ($30.20/mo) *automatic renewal
1 month= $ 34.95* *Does NOT renew automatically

US Discovery Membership
1 year= $155.40 ($12.87/mo) *automatic renewal
6 month=$ 85.40 ($14.23/mo) *automatic renewal
3 month=$ 46.97 ($18.31/mo) *automatic renewal
1 month=$ $22.95 *Does NOT renew automatically

Along with this new rate structure there are certain other changes that should be made:

1). Make Ancesstry a subscription only site.
2). Remove the Message Boards from the RootsWeb side. RootsWeb would continue to provide all of its present offerings other than the Message Boards
3). Close all gateways between the Ancestry Messsage Boards and the RootsWeb Mailing lists.

These change would, imho, have many benefits for both Ancestry and the subscribers.

The new rates would help reduce the churn rate, which would, among other things, make the company’s stock more attractive to investors.

Making Ancestry a subscription only site would, at the least, lessen server load and reduce the number of Treebies and NameGatherers.

Removing the Message Boards from the RootsWeb side and closing the gateways would reduce the number of spam messages on the various message boards and mailing lists and thus improve the Admin ‘experience’ and perhaps increase the number volunteering for such duties.

It is my belief that all the above would enhance membership value and increase subscriber satisfaction while at the same time leaving a free service(RootsWeb) for those looking for one.

Will Ancestry do it- Probably not.
Should Ancestry do it- imho, Yes!

6 SFOctober 16, 2011 at 3:02 pm

@Andy

I concur with your comment. Good ideas and even they are not taken up then I am sure there is food for thought.

S

7 BEEOctober 17, 2011 at 6:46 am

This is really getting annoying. I just checked a name on one of my trees, and a SS death index popped up for this person – I checked the overview, and it’s already there!
Do I hit “ignore”, or just let all these “hints” pile up, and eventually, I’ll have to “ignore” them anyway, because I don’t think that they will magically go away!
This has got to stop!

8 MonikaOctober 17, 2011 at 12:46 pm

#7 – I keep pressing “ignore” just to get rid of them. Yes, this is very annoying. Other things that need to be fixed: some public trees that exist do not show up in the “search” mode (1 1/2 hours on the phone working my way up to Level II Tech, for them to admit that the problem exists…not that it has been fixed yet, you understand!!) and no “save” buttons on many private trees (which, again, ancestry admitted is a problem that they are aware of). Time to fix some of your glitches ancestry.com!

9 Traci FOctober 17, 2011 at 5:14 pm

Removing Message Boards and or Trees from Roots Web would be a travesty. I really do not know if Roots and Ancestry were seperate and Ancestry bought them out, but I have many gen friends who were NOT aware of the fact that information they have FREELY placed on Ancestry and/or Roots Web then BELONGS to Ancestry and then Ancestry can and do sell it.

And why should they disallow access to trees that have been donated to them?

A friend of mine was a loooooong time member of Ancestry. Why did she leave? First of all, after about 10 years and many price increases, she felt it wasn’t worth the money. For those who have been long-term members, there should be some kind of loyalty discount. I agreed that, after 10 years (she’s not LDS) there wasn’t a lot more she could find.

Then, her cousin joined Ancestry and was given a rate about $50 less expensive than what she was paying. She was told that, had she called Ancestry when her renewal came up, she could have received the lower rate. (Andy, give ‘em a call and get your rate lowered…)

* sigh *

10 Andy HatchettOctober 17, 2011 at 10:36 pm

Traci F Re:#9

Let’s take this one point at a time…

1)”I really do not know if Roots and Ancestry were seperate and Ancestry bought them out, but I have many gen friends who were NOT aware of the fact that information they have FREELY placed on Ancestry and/or Roots Web then BELONGS to Ancestry and then Ancestry can and do sell it.”

I am soooo tired of hearing this.
Please quote the paragraph and clause in any Terms of Service or Subscription Contract where Ancestry claims that user submitted content belongs to them [Hint: you can't because they don't]

Please provide specific examples of specific user submitted content that was sold by either Ancestry or Rootsweb. {Hint: You can’t because they haven’t].

2)”And why should they disallow access to trees that have been donated to them?”

Because 99.99% of the trees are worthless junkology to most serious genealogical researchers.

3)”A friend of mine was a loooooong time member of Ancestry. Why did she leave? First of all, after about 10 years and many price increases, she felt it wasn’t worth the money. For those who have been long-term members, there should be some kind of loyalty discount. I agreed that, after 10 years (she’s not LDS) there wasn’t a lot more she could find. Then, her cousin joined Ancestry and was given a rate about $50 less expensive than what she was paying. She was told that, had she called Ancestry when her renewal came up, she could have received the lower rate. (Andy, give ‘em a call and get your rate lowered…)”

And did you ask your friend how many rate increases she had in her phone rates, tax rates, utility rates, gasoline rates, food prices, etc. she had over the same period of time? People who don’t expect rates to go up are living in a dream world!

Did you also ask her how many of those services gave ‘loyalty’ discounts? You’ll find that the vast majority of businesses do not offer such – so why expect it from Ancestry?

Btw- I got my most recent subscription at the new member’s price as I subscribed the day after my old one expired. *grin*

11 Traci FOctober 18, 2011 at 11:54 am

Hey, Andy!

Glad you got a good price on your renewal!

1) Here is the information in their terms of service that says user content belongs to them:

Ancestry.com License and Terms and Conditions of Use

“Whether in the free section or in the subscription section of the Service, all Content is owned and/or copyrighted by Ancestry, or third party providers and may be used only in accordance with this limited use license.”

The above is where they claim ownership of ALL information on Ancestry.

Under User Provided Content

“By submitting content to Ancestry, you grant Ancestry, the corporate host of the Service, a license to the content to use, host, distribute that Content and allow hosting and distribution of that Content, to the extent and in that form or context we deem appropriate.”

This means they can do whatever they want with the information including sell it in any form. Also, it is “sold” in the respect that they charge people to view information freely submitted by others. This is where I believe they should not be charging people to view trees or boards. Any other databases, yes, but trees and boards, NO! All members – paid and free – have the option to make their trees private, so if someone does not want the public to access the trees, they can opt for it.

2)Amen on most of the information on trees being not worth while. However, it is a good starting off point for people to make contact with others who have trees posted with known family members.

3)Rates can, and do, go up on a number of things, especially perishable goods. Ancestry is a database and, yes, I still feel that after a certain number of years of membership, rates should be frozen. (Tell me you wouldn’t appreciate that :-) There are business which give loyalty discounts. I can think of at least two auto insurers which have loyalty discounts. Many businesses have discount cards for members plus there are frequent flyer/rental credits.

Hope this clarifies my stand on the issues. I’ve an open mind and look forward to your comments.

12 Traci FOctober 18, 2011 at 11:58 am

BTW!

Ancestry…Thank you very much for making those databases available for your anniversary. It was a nice touch. Also nice to see the employee “profiles” and learn about some of the real people behind the data!

Happy anniversary!

13 BEEOctober 18, 2011 at 12:25 pm

I just wish I had recorded the year{s} that I reported this problem!

Thank you, your feedback has been submitted.
Database: World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918
Problem type: Missing Image

14 Andy HatchettOctober 18, 2011 at 12:40 pm

Traci Re: #11

1) Ancestry.com License and Terms and Conditions of Use

“Whether in the free section or in the subscription section of the Service, all Content is owned and/or copyrighted by Ancestry,[Bolding added for emphasis] or third party providers and may be used only in accordance with this limited use license.”

The above is where they claim ownership of ALL information on Ancestry.”

The third party providers mentioned include the member submitted content, thus Ancestry is *not* claiming ownership of it.

2) “By submitting content to Ancestry, you grant Ancestry, the corporate host of the Service, a license to the content to use, host, distribute that Content and allow hosting and distribution of that Content, to the extent and in that form or context we deem appropriate.

This means they can do whatever they want with the information including sell it in any form. Also, it is “sold” in the respect that they charge people to view information freely submitted by others. This is where I believe they should not be charging people to view trees or boards.”

This applies only as long as a person leaves their content on Ancestry. Otherwise all the information on all those USGENWEB sites that pulled their a couple of years ago would still be on Ancestry.

Use of the Trees and/or Message Boards is totally free and no one is charged to see the trees- all anyone needs is an invitation to see the Trees if they aren’t a subscriber and ALL message boards are totally free.

Here is my basic point… even if everything in that contract meant what you think is means people still wouldn’t have a right to complain about it as they agree to those terms when joining Ancestry.

If someone is too lazy, stupid, or irresponsible to read- and more importantly, to understand – the terms of a contract they are getting ready to enter into then they have only themselves to blame if they don’t like the results. It is called due diligence and personal responsibility. For those types of people I have no sympathy whatsoever.

15 swayaminfotechOctober 21, 2011 at 7:31 am

nice information…

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