I’ve been a paid member of Ancestry.com$ since 2004. I use the website daily in my research. I also use many other websites such as Family Search, FindAGrave, Seeking Michigan, West Virginia Culture, Archive.org, Google Books, Interment.net, Newspapers.com$, Genealogy Bank$, Fold3$ and Steve Morse’s website. There are many more not mentioned here.
Several of those are subscription based and I’ve indicated them with a dollar sign. I don’t mind that because they have provided much information to me over the years.
So, why would I need to pay for another subscription service? What could they possibly offer that I don’t already have access to?
That really was the question I’ve asked myself for some time now. I have made use of the free version of MyHeritage by uploading DNA from family members and adding the limited number of people to a tree, available in the free version. That always seemed like enough.
But then……………Lisa Louise Cooke of Genealogy Gems Podcast, advertised a 50% off subscription. Just $125 for a year for All Access. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen offers like this before, or very similar. I never acted on them. Why now?
I don’t have a good answer to that question. I will tell you that I purchased the subscription and immediately created a current Gedcom from my Legacy database and uploaded it. If I’m going to use a website I may as well have my whole tree on there for finding matches.
Within 24-36 hours I checked back in and there were all of these matches listed, OVER 999!
My immediate thought (being the slight sceptic that I am), I thought, well, they will probably be census records and those things I’ve already located before.
I WAS WRONG! Oh so very wrong.
Under “Record Matches” there were 111 sources with 6,889 matches – so what were these matches, which websites, would they be useful to me?
I began scrolling through this list of 111 sources. What would I find? Here’s a list of the first few of them:
- FamilySearch Family Tree
- Geni World Family Tree
- Many U.S. Federal Census Records
- Wiki Tree
Note: I took this screen shot after confirming two of the matches, so the number is down to 112.
The answer to my question about valid matches is Yes most of them are valid matches. And, many of them are obituaries or articles I did not have.
I’m so happy that the $125 I spent on that subscription. If I found nothing else, but these matches, the price was well worth it. BUT…..wait, there’s so much more.
- I’ve got 48 matches in U.S. Yearbooks 1890-1979. I’ve looked at yearbooks on Ancestry, but many of the ones I see here are matches I hadn’t located.
- There’s the Idaho death certificate I hadn’t yet found.
- Pennsylvania Newspapers with 21 matches
- England & Wales Death Index 1837-2005 with 25 matches
- Various other newspapers by state
The bottom line to this is. We all need to make sure we are examining every resource available to us. Maybe, just maybe, that one item you find will break down that long standing brick wall. I sure hope it does for me, as I have several long standing ones.
One more thought. Perhaps it’s the idea of a new resource that we aren’t totally familiar with? It refreshes our thought pattern and re energizes us. What do you think?
I’ve got lots of records to look at now, so off I go. I’ll let you know what I find.
Speaking of that, please let me know what your experience has been when you’ve looked at a new group of records or subscribed to a site for the first time.
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