Ancestry.com, is it worth the money ?

+14 votes
327 views
Ancestory or here ion Wiki?

Thoughts?
in The Tree House by Terry Hayden G2G1 (1.6k points)
edited by Jillaine Smith
Most information that I find on Ancestry is available on familysearch.org also and familysearch is free.

I paid for a six month membership, but I don't plan to renew when it ends.

11 Answers

+31 votes
 
Best answer
I may be weird but I use WikiTree, Ancestry.com, and FamilySearch.  Here's why.

- Ancestry has volume - lots of casual users.  I know looking at other people's trees is not a definitive source but it may give you ideas about where to go. Also I like the Ancestry interface, I like the stupid little leaves, and I like the resources.  My tree on Ancestry (which I would consider a bit problematic in some points) is over 800 people.  Now is that "sloppy"?  yes, but I think of Ancestry as my sandbox.

 - Wikitree is where I keep my real tree and do my real work.  I have always found people here (mostly) easy to work with and respectful of my profiles.  And I don't really consider them "my" profiles.  I consider my ancestors to belong to the entire family and getting all of this work up here systematically is the best way to save this stuff for future genealogists in my family.  I have inherited so many "boxes o' crap" from previous genealogists, it is ridiculous.  Better to slow down, be systematic, and organized.  For me that's Wikitree.

- I like to cite my sources from FamilySearch because it is free to the public and the source citations give you clickable links.  Often I look at something on Ancestry and then I go look up AGAIN on Family Search.

That is just the way I work.  It works for me.  YMMV.
by Crispin Reedy G2G6 Mach 4 (42.2k points)
selected by Joelle Colville-Hanson
+12 votes
You can do both. I have an account here and on Ancestry. The only thing I ever paid for was three DNA tests. That was it. You can still freely add people on Ancestry.

In the end, it's up to you.
by Chris Ferraiolo G2G6 Pilot (450k points)
+23 votes
I wouldn't use Ancestry just as a repository for my personal family tree. I have one there but I don't necessarily keep it current since I have it in two other places.
 I use this site as a 'permanent repository' for work which is located on my own computer.  (belt and braces)
Nevertheless, I find my subscription invaluable because Ancestry has many records that I use frequently which are not easily accessible elsewhere.
Before you decide, I would suggest that you look at what they have for the areas you are interested in. Are they available freely elsewhere?
by Helen Ford G2G6 Pilot (339k points)
+11 votes
I subscribe to Ancestry.co.uk and have found they have a phenomenal number of parish record images that I haven't been able to see anywhere else, so I think it's worth the ~ £12 a month it's costing me.

I also subscribe to Findmypast, because they have an awesome number of parish record images too and once you have clicked on it, you've "bought" it, so if your sub runs out, you'll still be able to see the ones you have already looked at before.

What one doesn't have, the other seems to, so between the two companies, I have large areas of my family tree sourced from original images.

Familysearch is free and  has a very good search engine, which I prefer to any other so I use that, then click to go to partner site (Findmypast) to view their images, which I am able to see because of my subscription. I also use Familysearch for sourcing people who emigrated to the US, because my 2 subs are UK only and Familysearch also have some very good US census and immigration sources. Also, they just got images from my local UK records office online this month, so it's all very good from my point of view.

The bad side of Ancestry is that many user trees are full of errors which get passed on like an infection, due to the ready acceptance by others of hints, without using any judgement. Take the family trees with a pinch of salt and verify or refute the info in them before accepting the hints.

The good side of Ancestry family trees is, a lot of people take photos of actual BMD certificates they have bought and they put them on the profiles. You can also find family photos. I found a photo of my uncle at work in the bell foundry, a photo of my great grandmother and a photo of my GG grandfather in the first hour after I subscribed to Ancestry.
by Gillian Causier G2G6 Pilot (243k points)
+12 votes
I use many resources, including Ancestry. I find Ancestry's search engine & hint logic to be superior to Family Search.
by Doug Lockwood G2G Astronaut (2.4m points)
+11 votes
I find Ancestry worth the money.  They have a lot of German and other European records that while you can find them elsewhere, it is just easier to search them on Ancestry.   My main tree at Ancestry is sloppy, I use it for speculation and research.  But what I really like is when I am researching a DNA connection to find a Common Ancestor, those little hints help build a tree out fast.  I have DNA tested at Ancestry, and I can sometimes narrow down a line just by finding shared matches when I am building out another person's tree.  

I only put confirmed and validated people with good sources here.  I check Family Search and make sure my tree there matches my validated Ancestry tree, and I keep up with my watch list on Family Search.  I have a tree on My Heritage also, although I find them disappointing since most of their hints are back to my tree on Family Search!
by Wendy Fromme G2G6 Mach 2 (24.3k points)
+8 votes
The combo of Ancestry DNA and treebuilding is invaluable for proofing your connection to your family tree.  Shared ancestor hints, DNA circles, shared matches and surname searches all help you triangulate on your whether you and your DNA matches seem to be related to the same people.  Very useful tools.
by Barb Keller G2G1 (1.2k points)
+7 votes

A little off topic but have you noticed recently that Ancestry has a  new feature, Potential Father - Potential Mother?  I can see both a positive and negative.  The biggest problem is that it will make it much easier for people to add wrong parents if they don't spend the time to research it.

 

 

by James Stratman G2G6 Mach 8 (84.3k points)
edited by James Stratman
+6 votes
I like WikiTree as the place to put things but Ancestry is invaluable for research. I try to find records on FamilySearch to do my sources from but I do find a lot that is only available on Ancestry. I probably find an equal amount that is only available on FamilySearch. So much depends on where you are researching. Then there are the things that neither one has .
by Doug McCallum G2G6 Pilot (424k points)
+4 votes
One thing I like about ancestry is it can figure out weird spellings for Census records  so I can use that spelling and look it up on Family search. I also am one that uses both ancestry and family search. I find it worth the money.
by Joelle Colville-Hanson G2G6 Pilot (118k points)
+3 votes
I think it’s worth it. I use it as well as familysearch and will site  family search if it’s available. But Ancestry has a lot not on Family search. Also they will find census records with wrong spelling, birthdates and birth locations family search doesn’t. Then I know what to look for on family search.  Same with Scottish baptism records since the Scots never spell their name the same way twice. They also have more detailed Scotland censuses  

They also have indexes to lots of family genealogies and soldier rosters that you can find online but they make it easy to know where to look. They also have school yearbooks and city directories  

And while you cant just take the hints at face value and check out other sources I have found them them to be more than helpful
by Joelle Colville-Hanson G2G6 Pilot (118k points)
Oh. This is an old question I’ve already answered

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