Posted by on April 25, 2012 in Company News

If you haven’t already heard or seen the news, we wanted to let you know that we have entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Archives.com.

You may already know of Archives.com – a fast-growing family history site that has clearly attracted new users to family history with a product that is easy to use and one that has proven to be a great way for people to get started with family history.

Over the past two years, Archives.com has done a great job building strong relationships with a number of key family history organizations, including a partnership with the U.S. National Archives to provide free digital access to the recently released 1940 Census. These types of relationships, along with some creative content acquisition strategies, have helped build out Archives.com robust collection of 2.1 billion family history records and expand the interest in family history.

So what does this all mean? It means that the acquisition will enable Ancestry.com to add a differentiated service targeted to a complementary segment of the growing family history category. In addition, Ancestry.com will welcome a team of talented engineers, digital marketers, and family history innovators into the Ancestry.com fold and also gain access to a proprietary technology platform that has supported Archives.com’s rapid growth.

We view this acquisition as a coming-of-age moment for the online family history category.  The success of companies like Archives.com, and the innovation we see across our industry, in many ways validates the work done over many years to build category awareness. Additionally, it’s a way for us to accelerate our strategy of serving multiple customer segments with well differentiated offerings. Upon completion of the transaction, our plan is to keep Archives.com as a distinct brand and site, to continue to nurture its existing partnerships, and to continue to invest in new content, product and technology.

There have never been more products and services available to genealogists than there are today, and we are excited to help the talented Archives.com team continue to grow alongside Ancestry.com and look forward to helping them achieve their vision for a great online family history service.

About Heather Erickson

Heather Erickson is Head of Global Communications for Ancestry.com and has been with the company since 2009.

33 Comments

Frances Galer 

Will we have to pay extra for this new service if we are already paying about 300. annually.

April 25, 2012 at 6:20 pm
Bob Weston 

Will Archives.com be included in our monthly fee ?

April 25, 2012 at 6:51 pm
Andy Hatchett 

Frances-yes, you will
Bob- no, it won’t

Since the Press release stated Archives.com would be maintained as a brand and a separate company, there will be separate access fees.

Andy Hatchett
http://www.fhiso.org

April 25, 2012 at 8:51 pm
rosejp2 

Andy, that’s a shame, because I’m assuming that a lot of those records that Archives.com has are duplicates of ones on Ancestry.com. I’m not going to be paying another $40/yr. on top of the $300/yr. that I pay for Ancestry.

April 26, 2012 at 4:28 am
Britt 

We want all your money$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha they’re a monster and they don’t care.

April 26, 2012 at 7:27 am
Becky 

I agree. I think the $300 we already are paying should give us access to your new materials on Archives.com. It feels you are trying to take advantage of your loyal customers. Why not reward us for being good customers by giving us a bonus once in a while? It doesn’t seem worth the extra money for the chance that there might be a few records that Ancestry.com doesn’t already have. How will you decide going forward which new records will go on which site?

April 26, 2012 at 8:48 am
Al 

Redundancy at it’s best. Why even bother telling us?

April 26, 2012 at 8:55 am
Al 

It should be available free of charge as an incentive bonus to become an annual subscribers. Tell me how you free about that?

April 26, 2012 at 9:01 am
Linda Brock 

If I join Archives.com what new information would I be able to find that is not on Ancestry.com? Can it be imported into my online tree that I also sync to Family Tree Maker 2012?

April 26, 2012 at 9:36 am
Audrey Babbitt 

Your charges ane more than any other web site for genealogists! Membership should include all sites available for research, period end of discussion!!

April 26, 2012 at 9:59 am
Debbie 

I agree with the majority. I also pay the yearly fee and feel we should be given archives.com as part of our yearly subscription.

April 26, 2012 at 10:04 am
Joseph McCann 

Are you noticing a trend here from your customers?

Does this make a difference to Ancestry?

April 26, 2012 at 10:23 am
Judy Lock 

We all love ancestry.com for the documents/records and I have paid the $300.00 for several years, but I totally agree that archives.com should be included in my subscription. We pay a huge premium for access to ancestry.com.
I’m sure when this acquisition gets around to more Ancestry customers, you will have a lot more negative comments.
I agree with Al: It should be available free of charge as an incentive bonus to become an annual subscribers.

April 26, 2012 at 10:34 am
Al 

While were all here what’s the story with “Fold3″ I’ve by pointed to them by Ancestry cause they have a record you don’t. How is it you don’t have the same records. You are encouraging your customers to purchase a subscription with your competition at fifty percent off. So, first your promoting “Fold3″ now your promoting “Archives” Your yearly subscription is not a nominal amount you therefore shouldn’t point your good customers to places where they have to keep putting their hands in their pockets.

April 26, 2012 at 10:53 am
BobNY 

Now we have the following to look forward to more often:

The 1940 U.S. Census has arrived.

So have thousands of new visitors to Ancestry.com -
so please excuse our temporary delay.

Check our Facebook page for updates about when the site will be back online:

=====================
There is NOTHING on the facebook link about any delays. The ops people have not learned to talk to the social media people yet and vice-versa!!!!!

April 26, 2012 at 11:12 am
nat 

So, when will familysearch.com become a paid thing? That’ll be next, right?

April 26, 2012 at 11:24 am
clhmom611 

I’ve been a loyal customer of Ancestry.com for many years. I really have to agree with everyone else commenting. This is just a corporate move to gain more funds from customers. What better way than to acquire a huge records website like Archives.com and not integrate it into Ancestry? A majority of new database acquisitions will now be “filtered” to Archives.com, where we will have to pay AGAIN to have access to those databases. It has always been corporate ideology to have a certain percentage of profit margin increase from the previous year. Over the years, that percentage grows larger and larger. But tread carefully. Genealogy is just a hobby for most researchers. If push comes to shove, they will drop the hobby to keep their livelihoods. I know I would.

April 26, 2012 at 11:26 am
Leslie Rankin 

I totally agree with you all on this. I already pay Ancestry.com for the “world” membership and can not afford to pay for Fold3 and Archives.com separately. I’ve been a member of Ancestry.com since 1996. You’ve you’ve gotten plenty of my money and I should not have to pay for extras like this.

Show a little respect to your customers please. Don’t nickel and dime us to death.

April 26, 2012 at 11:27 am
Michele 

I joined Archives.com for a 7 day free trial and chose not to continue the membership. They don’t really have anything that can’t be found elsewhere or here on Ancestry. I do think it is a shame that Ancestry keeps buying up these other sites and then charging us extra to have access to their information. They did the same thing with what is now Fold3. I have paid extra for that site since I have found quite a bit of information there in military records. I would also pay extra for an extensive digital newspaper site. Free would be awesome but we know that won’t happen.

April 26, 2012 at 11:36 am
Kay King 

Archives.com, I tried a trial membership and they don’t have much of anything. I was searching for some one on find a grave and Archives.com ad came up and said they had a death cert. for this person. So I thought, if so it would be worth it. After about 15 min. signing up, I got to view the CERTIFICATE-IT WAS A SS DEATH RECORD-I already had that from Ancestry. I tried the living people search and thought I found someone,NOT. So I put myself in there and it gave the right address, but wrong phone number. Their newspaper search, I was doing pretty good with that, then it came up, only 10 page views per day, they have a deal with newspaper archives. Now I LOVE my Ancestry.com, I have very good luck with it. If they charge extra for Archives.com-NOT WORTH IT! You can check it out for yourselves, with their trial memership. I also have the Fold3 membership and I’m not renewing it again.

April 26, 2012 at 11:48 am
Bonnie 

I struggle just to pay for the U.S. Collection each year. I certainly can’t pay for any more sites. Now, like many of the others, I fear that new information will go to Archives.com instead of to Ancestry. Please don’t let this happen! I also love Ancestry and look forward to new records all the time. Please don’t cheat us on this.

April 26, 2012 at 12:42 pm
BobNY 

HOLD UP JUST A MINUTE, FOLKS

Every body is bitchin’ and moanin’ about something ACOM has made no comment on whatsoever. All you have is AGH’s inferencs based on his reading of the press release.

Save it for when ACOM actually closes the deal, owns the assets and makes some concrete announcement. Since their Hart-Scott-Rodino pre-notice filing is confidentisl, we have no way of knowing exactly how ACOM is presenting its acquisition to the FTC and the DoJ so that it’s effect will not substantially lessen competition or tend to create a monopoly.

April 26, 2012 at 1:16 pm
Custode Di Memoria 

How about a combined offer for all three sites (ancestry, archives and fold 3) at 50% off.

It’s insulting how ancestry obtains these web sites and throws it in our faces rather than add them to the ancestry archives.

They know the majority of people that would even want access to fold3 or archives are already paying customers of ancestry.

If ancestry has any extra time or money, they should focus on getting this web site (ancestry) up and running properly.

I’m paying for a service(s) that ancestry has yet to provide consistantly.

April 26, 2012 at 1:24 pm
Bob Brown 

There is an enormous amount of GREAT information on A.COM, roots web, and many other genealogical sites. This said, there is also an enormous amount of INCORRECT formation on these same sites. I have paid the annual fee at A.COM for well over a decade ( a Christmas present to myself) which I still feel is worth it. However, each year at renewal time it is getting far more difficult to justify the expense. My problem is trying to get information that I have supplied { and another member has (edited) adjusted to fit their own needs }, CORRECTED. Each of us must decide for ourselves if a renewal, or additional payment for service, is WORTH it. CONSIDER THE OPTIONS, IT IS YOUR MONEY, SPEND IT WITH FORETHOUGHT. THE GREED MONSTER IS WATCHING THESE POSTS SO SPEAK YOUR MIND. I DO. As a peripheral genealogist I love meeting new cousins. This may be the only source of contact. WOW, that could get costly!

April 26, 2012 at 9:42 pm
Andy Hatchett 

BobNY Re:#22

Believe me or not but…
The Archives.com deal will basically be presented just as the Footnote/Fold3 deal was presented.

Neither the DoJ nor the FTC will be able to prove that the Archives.com acquisition will substantially lessen competition or tend to create a monopoly, particularly since brightsolid and My Heritage have now entered the US Market(which wasn’t the case when the Footnote deal went down).

Btw- I don’t remember the DoJ or the FTC raising any objections to the Footnote deal- do you?

Andy Hatchett
http://www.fhico.org

April 27, 2012 at 2:02 am
Jeff Jahn 

Our subscription money should be going to improving and adding to the ancestry database. Instead of really adding anything to ancestry it seems their using our subscription money to purchase other company’s of which they can then ask us to pay more. Also you mentioned archive had worked out some partnerships with like familysearch and others, why hasn’t ancestry done this. Seems instead their losing partnerships to me. What ever happened to the newspaper part of ancestry, did they lose their partnership or access to the newspaper archives? Seems the search engine cant find much in the newspapers anymore.

April 28, 2012 at 7:52 am
Jeff Jahn 

Also fold3 and archive have been mentioned but their is another that ancestry did the same with. It was Genealogy.com. I miss the Germans to America database but cant afford to pay just for that either.

April 28, 2012 at 8:03 am
Alma Francione 

I also tried 7 day trial. Archives.com said they had info on relative I have not had any luck in finding on A.com so I joined. They lied. They didn’t have anything. I went thru everything they had to offer and I couldn’t find anything on the site. I cancelled the next day. Archives can not do what it says it can do.

April 28, 2012 at 4:15 pm
Brad P. 

Jeff,

Don’t forget Marketing, which is where most of Ancestry’s budget goes. Ancestry has an appetite for acquisition, but the the wrong kind: new subscribers: yes, new properties: yes, new revenue: YES!, but new content: eh, not really. The product itself seems very low on its priority list, right alongside existing subscribers. This corporate ethic is heartless and soulless, but sadly it’s standard.

I’d like to see some real competition rise up somewhere, so as to cut into Ancestry’s revenue streams as is so richly deserved, but they’d likely be just as sleazy, because the public data industry is among the slimiest.

April 30, 2012 at 5:57 am
Nancy Morris 

I’ve just discovered that Archive.com limits you to 10 newspages a day unless you register and pay NewspaperArchives.com, their partner, a fee for unlimited access. Don’t these people realize that they will ultimately kill the goose this way?

May 1, 2012 at 3:21 pm
Brad P. 

I think what I or anyone else ultimately hopes for, at the deepest level, when posting such grievances as my previous one is that the suits at Ancestry (or whatever other company is being discussed) will suddenly become human, issue an impassioned mea culpa, and do things the way the consumer (rather than the shareholder) would like them to be done. But this is a fantasy. These people are morally ambivalent (and ambiguous) automatons who function for a single purpose.

May 1, 2012 at 10:20 pm
k micklin 

On the other hand, when A.com acquired Gedline, the Swedish archives – to which I was a subscriber, they made it available to us for free. The downside is they manage those records so poorly, compared to Gedline, that I would gladly pay a subscription fee to get Gedline back but it’s no longer an option.

May 3, 2012 at 9:47 am
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