web analytics

Terms and conditions may apply



Okay, I don’t know if this applies. I got this (^^^) in the mail this afternoon, but I can’t find a similar offer on their website. So maybe they’re just mining people who have been members and quit. I’m not sure how you take advantage if you’re not one of those people, though there doesn’t appear to be a special code or anything.

Have you done the ancestry.com lark? It’s the best of the for-pay genealogy sites. But it’s incredibly expensive, per month or per year — especially if you’re an American or some other flavor of colonial and you need access to international records. On the order of $30 a month or more.

This is cheeky of them, because your human brain sifting through their records transforms their raw data into something big and important and far more valuable. You are building their commodity for them.

But here’s the thing: they know that. So when you drop your membership, they don’t delete your data. All your family trees are still there and you can look at them all you like, you just can’t add to them while your membership is lapsed.

So you can join for a month, beaver away at it like a bastard, and then drop it before you get charged for another month.

Even better, you get two weeks free to start. I signed up over my birthday, when I knew I would have free time, and pecked away at it for fourteen days and then canceled. I got a lot done and it ain’t cost me squat. I shall probably take advantage of this free weekend, too. And why not?


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 26, 2015, 9:24 pm

Things I learned: my grandmother was a lying hound (but I knew that). My great grandfather was not from France. In fact, I haven’t found any French ancestors at all.

My great-great-great-great-great grandmother was born about ten miles from where I’m sitting. (Maybe. I’d like to see some corroboration).

I found a lot of Irish I didn’t know I had, but WAY early. Like, mid-17th C.

In fact, all my family trees went back way, way farther than I expected before I hit any Europeans. Like, nothing later than late 18th C.

Comment from LesterIII
Time: August 26, 2015, 10:12 pm

I am apprehensive as to what I may find should I look into mine. My foliage is going to be heavy in the Danish soil on one side, that set of grandparents having been part of families that braved a boat at beginning of WWII. On the other is a mish-mosh of Euro-American Deep South Skullduggery, allegedly coming over circa early 1800s if my lying were-bitch of an aunt is to be trusted to have ever spoken anything resembling truth.

I am uncertain whether some confirmations would bring me any entertainment or joy. I have always been a big fan of plausible deniability.

Comment from QuasiModo
Time: August 26, 2015, 10:18 pm

My Ma got hooked on it for a while…we were thinking of getting her a membership but choked on the price of the things.

Comment from mojo
Time: August 27, 2015, 12:11 am


I have an account. Went to the front door (www.ancestry.com) and got a blank page, except for a footer. Oh, ok.

Turn off blocking and reload. BAM, big flash graphic and an explosion of trackers, beacons and what have you. Yeesh!

Blocking back on. Go to home.ancestry.com instead. Not nearly as big brotherish.

Comment from Subotai Bahadur
Time: August 27, 2015, 12:17 am

I would just note that while you are beavering away, you are adding to the value of their product. Those leaf connections you make are available to any other customer in the future . . . and anyone else that they give/sell their and your data to. YMMV, but I’d rather not since I don’t know where the data ends up. As for their DNA testing, same problem but even worse from my admittedly paranoid and not a nice person point of view. Once again, YMMV.

Comment from Pupster
Time: August 27, 2015, 1:58 am

The LDS church will let you do all of the research in their libraries and databases for free, but you have to do the legwork, and they don’t have the slick GUI.

Comment from Mitchell
Time: August 27, 2015, 3:12 am

My Mom tried to do family genealogy research many, many years ago. Both of my Parental Units are from the same general area in Arkansas and their extended families too. All the old public records of births, deaths, marriages, etc. were all in the county courthouse. Which of course burned down some time in the smokey past. Before the late 1890’s there’s not much to find. Although, who knows what might be found in other record sources that are now much more easily searchable.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: August 27, 2015, 3:33 am

I’m happy, grateful, and oh so relieved that someone else has thoroughly researched and documented my direct line—all the way to 1465.

But my mother diligently researched all the other branches on the family tree. When she died, I packed up 26 file cartons of genealogy records, and so many books that I lost count. I am the only child remotely interesting the continuing her work, and I am overwhelmed by the task.

Early on in her genealogy research, she determined that we were eligible for the Daughters of the American Revolution, but she didn’t document her work properly (the DAR are exquisitely fussy), so that is my first task—to follow her tracks and do it over. I wasn’t especially interested in it 20 years ago, and now I think about it all the time (prompted by the arrival of two granddaughters I suppose 🙂

Considering how hard she worked and fortune she spent—this was pre-Ancestry.Com—I would consider the paid website a huge bargain and worth the expense.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: August 27, 2015, 8:22 am

What Pupster said. I pounded away on my genealogy in Phoenix (Mesa, actually) at the LDS facility for months getting my family’s history. I stuck a couple bucks in their contribution box each time to keep them smiling.

I also visited local libraries in “birth” towns or counties where ancestors were born.

BTW: the goal I set myself was to have two pieces of documentation on each lineage person (father/mother, grandfather/mother, g-grand, etc) , e.g. birth certificate, census record(s), marriage cert. death cert. or other evidence of existence and relationship.

I use Family TreeMaker V9.0 to keep track of all the stuff. I think they were bought out by Ancestry_dot_com.

Amazingly, FTW still works on Win8.1.

Comment from Carl
Time: August 27, 2015, 10:54 am

I don’t know if you shop in Tesco (yes, I know it’s a bit downmarket for you) but for £30 worth of their loyalty vouchers you can get the Family Tree Maker software which comes with a 6-month membership of Ancestry.com Worldwide. Not bad considering the monthly subscription is £20 (£180 for a year).

Also, I think you will find that you can access Ancestry.com for free at the library in Rye.

Comment from Mr. Dave
Time: August 27, 2015, 9:54 pm

Grampa paid a guy $50 to look up our genealogy but it cost $250 to keep him quiet about it.

Comment from PeaceLoveWoodstock
Time: August 28, 2015, 5:59 pm

Yay a bank holiday, that means extra challenging cryptic crosswords from Guardian and FT …

Write a comment

(as if I cared)

(yeah. I'm going to write)

(oooo! you have a website?)

Beware: more than one link in a comment is apt to earn you a trip to the spam filter, where you will remain -- cold, frightened and alone -- until I remember to clean the trap. But, hey, without Akismet, we'd be up to our asses in...well, ass porn, mostly.

<< carry me back to ol' virginny