Comments on: Births, Marriages and Deaths. Oh My! The official blog of Ancestry Fri, 28 Nov 2014 09:56:52 +0000 hourly 1 By: Steve Mondros Steve Mondros Wed, 02 Nov 2011 13:00:10 +0000 Unfortunately, many of the new sites are not complete (Not Ancestry’s fault-and they mention that). The NJ Death Index has less than 1500 records for 1971. Unfortunately, PA doesn’t want to release a death index for privacy reasons. A lot of families are searching for lost loved ones and they don’t know that the loved ones have died, maybe in a different state. So, the more recent death records available, the better.

By: rosejp2 rosejp2 Thu, 27 Oct 2011 07:19:20 +0000 Thank you so much for the Summit County, Ohio, Marriage Records, 1840-1980 collection. It’s already helped a great deal in clearing up missing maiden names, which is always a reason to celebrate!

By: Andy Hatchett Andy Hatchett Thu, 27 Oct 2011 05:14:09 +0000 Gene Re: #19

With the possible exceptions of Ancestry’s OneWorldTree and FamilySearch’s IGI, the “Search for Famous Relatives, was the biggest piece of junkology ever inflicted on the net and the fact that it is gone is cause for great rejoicing among serious genealogical researchers – would that Ancestry would also do the same with OneWorldTree.

By: Gene Davis Gene Davis Thu, 27 Oct 2011 04:34:23 +0000 It’s a disappointment that Ancestry elected to discontinue the “Search for Famous Relatives” feature of the website. Granted it was often a real stretch from a known ancestor back to Henry VIII or Shakespeare, but it was fun playing with. How about it, Ancestry? Will we see the famous relatives search again?

By: Heather Tilton Benoit Heather Tilton Benoit Thu, 27 Oct 2011 03:46:10 +0000 Being that NH has very little to no information on websites and that the majority of my family is from NH and I live in NJ and when I visit my NH family they aren’t always so happy that I spend time in the libraries, cemetaries, etc. …. I can’t tell you how much these BMD files have helped me. In the last 24 hours I have broken down atleast 2 small brick walls and have added so many names to my family tree, well, I can’t explain how incredible this is for me!!! I didn’t get to read the blog first I just was cleaning up the tree and working on some female family members and I knew something was up because these BMD files have never popped up before!!! The laundry, dishes and housekeeping in general is going to have to wait for awhile……

By: Ann Ann Mon, 24 Oct 2011 20:15:27 +0000 The Oconee County Georgia probate databases for birth, marriage and death records – images, not transcriptions – are not available elsewhere.

It has been a joy to find those and unearth substantial family information.

By: Teri Pettit Teri Pettit Mon, 24 Oct 2011 19:16:30 +0000 While it’s convenient to have these databases all linked to Ancestry, most of them do seem to be just external links to databases that are already online.

For example, my maternal line is mostly from Wabash and Kosciusko counties of Indiana. So I was initially excited to see the database listed above as “Wabash Valley, Indiana, Obituaries 1910-2000″. Unfortunately, when you actually do a search in that database, you find that every match just links to a search page at the Vigo Co Indiana Library site, where you have to reenter your search expression, because it doesn’t even populate the library’s form with your names.

And the results are just an index with the name and age of the deceased and the date and newspaper that the obit was printed in. The actual obituaries are not online, and to order one you need to send $5 to the library. Since I have literally thousands of maternal relatives in the Wabash Valley, I’m not going to be sending in thousands of $5 fees to request all those obits. The near relatives I already have obits for, and there’s no good basis for prioritizing which of the distant relatives is more important to order an obit for than another.

So while it’s certainly better than not adding any new databases, it’s not nearly as impressive as the list first appears.

BY FAR the biggest gap in online genealogy are deeds, wills and estate records, which are often the best resources for tracing families before 1850. One still needs to resort to microfilms for most of that entire category. I’d really like to see more effort put into expanding the offerings in that area, with an every name index (not just the name of the deceased or the grantor/grantee.)

By: Andy Hatchett Andy Hatchett Sun, 23 Oct 2011 18:13:55 +0000 Jo Re:# 14

I didn’t like it but hadn’t realized what a bad move that actually was as far as PR.
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Considering that Ancestry has almost doubled the subscriber base (914,000 at end of 2008 to approx 1,700,000+ projected at end of 2011) I really can’t see where it was a bad PR move at all.

By: Jo Jo Sun, 23 Oct 2011 13:11:04 +0000 I agree with most sentiments expressed here.

Annalea, I agree. I’ve been a paying subscriber for 6 years but have not renewed my yearly subscription this year. The collection of FamilySearch websites (which still have some things more easily found on for which I prefer the organization of) is getting better all the time. I am an indexer there but I would never index for

Andy, I hope no one at is paying attention to your stupid idea of making it a subscription only site. It’s bad enough their “public” trees aren’t “public” anymore and, being a paying member all these years, I didn’t like it but hadn’t realized what a bad move that actually was as far as PR. It reminds me of changes to the message system making it for paying customers only.

I will be moving my trees to Rootsweb and leaving only a skeletal tree on Ancestry for people to find and contact me. If it ever becomes a subscription-only site I will remove everything.

If I need to see some records only has, I will only subscribe for the shortest amount of time necessary to retrieve those records. My new attitude is a direct result of their changes over the last 6 years and I really, really doubt they will inspire the kind of loyalty they used to have from their many long time members.

By: Andy Hatchett Andy Hatchett Sun, 23 Oct 2011 03:55:50 +0000 Annalea Re: #10

A drastic increase in subscribers by decreasing subscription rates is self-defeating as it would incur additional expense to buy the servers and improve the infrastructure to service all those new subscribers. The present subscribers know that the system is already straining to keep up.

You idea *might* work if Ancestry became a subscription only site, getting rid of the non-paying members would certainly lessen the load on the servers – as well as rid us of the namegathering treebies Ancestry is afflicted with.