What is Ancestry?
• It is a commercial (for profit) privately
owned company which offers many
genealogically and historically significant
What kinds of records?
• A lot, over 30,00 databases varying from
military, census, immigration and vital
statistics, to newspaper articles, maps and
photographs, border crossings,
naturalization records. It even has a card
catalog which lists individual databases.
• You can perform basic or advanced
searches and historical journals).
Don't’ forget these -
• The Social Security Death Index, state
birth, marriage, divorce and death records,
links to headstones and Find A Grave,
searchable probate records, some obituaries,
war records from the Revolution, War of
1812, the Civil War, WW I and II related
• (You can pause and catch your breath here)
What else does it have?
• Has charts and forms
• A learning wiki
• A quick way to browse what kinds of
records are available for a certain place
And there’s a free way as well:
How big is it?
• At the end of 2013, figures were available
which mention that it offered over 12
billion records and had over 2 million
• Ancestry.com, ProGenealogists, Fold3.com,
MyFamily.com, and Rootsweb.com. They
also sell Family Tree Maker software.
• It also has version in other countries,
especially in Europe.
Then again…as of 6/4/14:
• Online genealogy company Ancestry.com
will "retire" five of its products and services
as of Sept. 5, 2014: MyFamily.com,
Genealogy.com (subscriptions and member
accounts will be discontinued, but the site
will stay online), MyCanvas, Mundia, and
Y-DNA and mitochondrial DNA testing.
• From 2007 to 2010, Ancestry was not
available for free at the Family History
Centers. It is available there now for free.
Members of the Church of LDS will be
getting free access as individuals, while non
members can use it for free at FHC’s and in
libraries which subscribe.
• Are you using Ancestry Library Edition, or
a personal subscription?
What is the difference between Ancestry.com and
the Ancestry Library Edition?
• Ancestry.com is designed for the individual so
there is a lot of personalized functionality and
there are personalized options available to
individual subscribers that are not available on our
institutional sites. These include: Family Trees
Tab; Collaborate Tab; and the Member Directory.
•Additionally, there are certain databases that are
available on Ancestry.com, that are NOT available on
Ancestry Library Edition (ALE):
• Historical Newspaper Collection
• Family and Local History Collection
• Obituary Collection
• Filby's Passenger and Immigration Lists Index
• Biography & Genealogy Master Index (BGMI)
• Freedman's Bank Records
Here’s a deal -
Until about March 2015, AARP
members can get 30 per cent off an
Ancestry.com personal subscription
So, what can you do?
• Search censuses, using truncations and wild
• Search military records
• Search immigration records
• Search vital records
• Search contributed family trees (use
There are advantages to both
Ancestry subscriptions and to
using the free version at libraries
How do you search censuses?
• Hint: Creatively!
• Just because you spell the name one way
doesn’t mean that it has always been spelled
tat way. And consider also census takers
who talked to neighbors, workers who
weren't very literate themselves, or did not
speak the language of the people they were
Remember also that names can
be flipped first to last, people
wrote what they heard, and might
not have even gotten
everyone in the area.
And what about censuses being
mis-copied? Or lost before
• Use tricks that you can find in the help
section. Do not just search always for the
exact name(s) which you seek. Consider
neighbors and married daughters.
• Fine tune your search.
• Use names, places, time periods, other
relatives or neighbors, even places of
• Use advanced search boxes.
• Put a little information in and gradually
expand it - do NOT put full names and
exact dates in to start.
• Difference between * and ?
Look at what the sources says
about what is in the collection.