Monday, May 11, 2009

The Ancestry Family History Center Edition

Logo at the top of the Ancestry Family History Center Edition Some Family History Centers (FHCs) don’t know that all FHCs can have free access to the Ancestry Family History Center Edition of Ancestry.com. Some FamilySearch employees don’t know that their computers at work have free access to the Ancestry Family History Library Edition. In both cases, the URL is www.ancestryinstitution.com.

AncestryFHLEdition The Salt Lake Family History Library (FHL) and a select number of large FHCs have access to all Ancestry databases via the Ancestry Family History Library Edition. You can see the list of the select FHCs by reading document 102722 from the FamilySearch.org Product Support section.

I’m not certain if other FHCs need to do anything special to get access to the Ancestry Family History Center Edition. I searched Product Support and found contradictory information. Some articles said the FHC Services Portal was involved and some said it wasn’t. I’m guessing, but here is what I think might be the case.

I guessing that on computers where LANDesk is running correctly and the FHC Services Portal is functioning, that the Ancestry Family History Center Edition can be used by going directly to www.ancestryinstitution.com. I guessing that the old method, an Ancestry Family History Center Edition login account, is only necessary if this method fails.

The process formerly used by FHCs to request an account is now documented as the process to use when having problems accessing the Ancestry Family History Center Edition:

Family history centers that have problems with their Ancestry access, will need to communicate with Ancestry.com via an e-mail composed in their center's LDSMail account and send it to fhcsupport@ancestry.com or call them at 800-262-3787. Ancestry will need the center's name and unit number and a concise message explaining the problem and what is being requested.

(Source: Document 105333. Also, see Document 101501.)

The databases currently available through the Ancestry Family History Center Edition are:

Database Name Index and Images? May 2007 May 2009
1841 Channel Islands Census Index Only Yes Yes*
1841 England Census Index Only Yes Yes*
1841 Isle of Man Census Index Only Yes Yes*
1841 Wales Census Index Only Yes Yes*
1851 Channel Islands Census Index Only Yes Yes
1851 England Census Index Only Yes Yes*
1851 Isle of Man Census Index Only Yes Yes
1851 Wales Census Index Only Yes Yes*
1861 Channel Islands Census Index Only Yes Yes
1861 England Census Index Only Yes Yes
1861 Isle of Man Census Index Only Yes Yes
1861 Wales Census Index Only Yes Yes
1871 Channel Islands Census Index Only Yes Yes
1871 England Census Index Only Yes Yes
1871 Isle of Man Census Index Only Yes Yes
1871 Wales Census Index Only Yes Yes
1880 United States Federal Census Index and Images Yes Yes*
1881 Channel Islands Census Index Only Yes Yes
1881 England Census Index Only Yes Yes
1881 Isle of Man Census Index Only Yes Yes
1881 Wales Census Index Only Yes Yes
1891 Channel Islands Census Index Only Yes Yes
1891 England Census Index Only Yes Yes
1891 Isle of Man Census Index Only Yes Yes
1891 Wales Census Index Only Yes Yes
1900 United States Federal Census Index and Images Yes Yes*
1916 Canada Census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta Index and Images No Yes*
1920 United States Federal Census Index and Images Yes Yes
Atlantic Ports Passenger Lists, 1820-1873 and 1893-1959 Index Only Yes Yes*
Baltimore Passenger Lists, 1820-1948 Index Only Yes Yes
Boston Passenger Lists, 1820-1943 Index Only Yes Yes
California Passenger and Crew Lists, 1893-1957 Index Only Yes Yes
Detroit Border Crossings and Passenger and Crew Lists, 1905-1957 Index Only Yes Yes
England & Wales, Birth Index: 1837-1983 Limited Search Yes No
England & Wales, Death Index: 1837-1983 Limited Search Yes No
England & Wales, Marriage Index: 1837-1983 Limited Search Yes No
Florida Passenger Lists, 1898-1951 Index Only Yes Yes
Galveston Passenger Lists, 1896-1948 Index Only Yes Yes
New Orleans Passenger Lists, 1820-1945 Index Only Yes Yes
New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 Index Only Yes Yes*
Philadelphia Passenger Lists, 1800-1945 Index Only Yes Yes
Seattle Passenger and Crew Lists, 1882-1957 Index Only Yes Yes
U.S. World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 Index and Images Yes Yes*
World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 Index and Images Yes Yes*

* Available, but not listed on the Titles Available page.

Since the last time I wrote about the topic, the England & Wales 1837-1983 birth, marriage, and death indexes have been dropped and “1916 Canada Census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta” has been added. Does these changes portend changes in the Ancestry.com—FamilySearch relationship? Will we see any changes announced at the National Genealogical Conference this week? (I don’t know, so I can speculate along with the rest of you. If I knew one way or the other, I’d have to keep silent. What about those databases from the FamilySearch vital records CDs that I’ve seen show up on Ancestry.com lately? But I digress…)

List of titles includes but 30 of the 43 Interestingly, the list on the “Titles Available at the Family History Center” page only shows 30 of the 41 included databases. To see this page, go to the Ancestry Family History Center Edition home page and click the link in the box titled “What Can I Search?”. The same list is visible outside a center by clicking here. This isn’t the first time the list has had problems. See “Ancestry Titles Available in FHCs” for an article and screen shot I posted in September 2007 when most of the titles were left out.

If you are one of those centers or FamilySearch employees unaware of this resource, check it out at www.ancestryinstitution.com .

4 comments:

  1. I wish this were better understood. I work at a FHC and had no idea we could get even this limited version.

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  2. I need clarification on this "free" edition so I called Ancestry.com. I was directed to call 1-800-521-0600 and that turned out to be ProQuest. They said I had to call Ransom Love at 1-801-240-4312, who is apparently with the Information Technology Dept of the LDS Church. I have not left a message yet because I feel this is a never-ending loop. Any comments from anyone else?

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  3. Gary,

    Here's my guess as to what has happened to you.

    When you called Ancestry.com's support line, the support person searched their support database and got a match on an article about the Ancestry Library Edition (ALE) which is distributed exclusively by ProQuest. Since ProQuest handles access problems with ALE, the article told the support person to direct you to ProQuest.

    When you called ProQuest, their support person searched their database and found an article on Family History Centers (FHCs). I assume the Church's contract with ProQuest requires that the Church handle all support calls for ProQuest products used in FHCs. Hence, ProQuest support directed you back to the Church. You'll recognize the ProQuest product by the name "HeritageQuest Online."

    If you'd like to complete the trilogy, call up FamilySearch support. They have access to more support articles than I did via the public website. They'll do the search that I performed, see the same contradictory articles that I saw, and eventually send you on to Ancestry.com for access problems.

    In all three cases, the three support calls will be logged as successfully handled. The inadequacy of the databases and the staff training on this issue will go undetected and uncorrected.

    You didn't state the nature of your question, so I don't know if I can answer it. I don't know what the contract states between Ancestry.com and FamilySearch regarding who supports usage questions about the Ancestry FHC Edition, so I'm not completely certain where to direct you. But it definately won't be ProQuest.

    If the clarification regards the mechanics of access, do what the FamilySearch article directs: write to fhcsupport@ancestry.com. This will bypass the first level of support and should get you to a person trained in FHC issues. At the Salt Lake Institute dinner I met Kim Harrison, the Institutional Product Manager. If she's not the person this e-mail is directed to, she's probably their boss. Because of NGC this week, your e-mail may wait 2 or 3 additional days for a response.

    For other questions, I'm guessing that FamilySearch bears the support burden for Ancestry FHC Edition users. Submit your question to FamilySearch support via e-mail. Given your knowledge and experience, you already know more than the first-level support personnel do, so you'll have to work the "incident" up the support chain. Using e-mail guarantees your question won't get lost in translation as it moves up the support ladder.

    Ransom Love is near the top of the FamilySearch organization so he won't have the answer to your question. He's the Strategic Relationships Manager for FamilySearch, which is why he's the designated contact for ProQuest. Everyday problems with HeritageQuest and Ancestry FHC Edition are more effectively handled by someone lower in his organization. Only by routing your question through support and going through the machinations up the chain will you get the correct answer AND get the support database updated with the correct information.

    Let me know what you learn,

    -- The A.I.

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  4. It used to be available only through portal and if you look at teh coding behind portal you can see where it was disabled in Portal. My assumption was that it was initially available through portal on a single id. However there are some unofficial centers that have portal access so they disabled it in portal in order to have it available only in official family history centers. Most of this I figured out after my husband was called to take care of the computers in the family history centers in our stake.

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