Posted by: Beth | May 31, 2018

I am shifting everything from Ancestry.com to an offline tree and this blog. Come talk to me! I’m happy to work with you!

Adios Ancestry

I recently canceled my subscription to Ancestry.com when it was time to renew simply because I had been researching in other places and hadn’t been using it much. I canceled with the thought that I would absolutely renew my subscription at a later date when I would get the most use out of it. I have been a paid subscriber to Ancestry for many, many years (on and off since it’s beginning). This time off of that site as a paid subscriber has been a real eye opener for me. You see, Ancestry has done some changes since the last time I really paid attention to their subscription based access and now I think I’m done.

There were issues in the past about them charging to see our trees, OUR hard work, OUR research that WE (the users) had decided to share on their website, which helped them build up their business. I understood that in order to see the actual sources and documents that we paid for on their sites, it would require a paid subscription, but the trees themselves were supposed to be available with and to the free accounts. When there was an uprising with the users who were threatening to take their accounts elsewhere, we were assured that Ancestry would allow free access to public trees. Granted, this was many years ago and I don’t know exactly when it happened, but now I’m seeing that Ancestry is requiring my family and DNA matches to have a paid account to see my public tree, They are charging people to see MY research. I cannot even access the sources and documents on my tree that I paid for with this subscription. I can understand having to have a paid subscription for new documents, but not the ones that I have already obtained. I can’t access the trees of any of the DNA matches to any of my kits.

Aside from all of the glitches on the site lately, I’ve also seen some security breaches. They have been showing information on living people from private trees. I know it’s a glitch causing it, but it’s made me believe that information on living people is no longer protected as it should be. With all of these data breaches lately, I had already pulled all of my trees off of the other sites I had them uploaded to, I’ve decided that I will no longer put living people in any online tree.

All of this has made me realize that I think I’m kind of done using Ancestry as my main database. I did something today that I didn’t think I’d ever do and I still have a knot in my stomach from doing so. I deleted my big research tree from Ancestry. I’ve deleted all identifying information from the DNA kits that I manage, and now am treating Ancestry like I do any of the other sites I have my DNA kits uploaded to…I share my email address, refer you to my blog, and just let you know the best that I can that I am an active researcher and collaborator. I’m going old school and now you’re going to have to actually talk to me to find out how we connect. People who are serious about their research and are really trying to make a connection should have no problem reaching out to someone who says “Come talk to me! I’m happy to work with you!” If it’s simply too hard to say Hi, then I guess you’re S.O.L.

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