Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday Mailbox: Is FamilySearch a Branch of Ancestry?

Several people pointed out an important place to access the 1870 census that I left out of “Monday Mailbox: Searching the 1870 Census.” Unfortunately, none left a public comment, robbing the rest of you of their insight.

Where else can you access the 1870 census for free? Read on…


Dear Ancestry Insider,

Why did you not recommend searching on HeritageQuest?  It’s free and available from home (through most local library sites).  There are 847 Fanning’s listed in the US in 1870.

Signed,
Jerry

Dear Jerry,

A simple oversight, I assure you. Love the bold blue, btw.

Signed,
--The Insider


Dear Ancestry Insider,

You might also mention that many public library systems also have HeritageQuest which the library system allows one to access from home. It has the 1790-1830 and 1860-1930 (only a few states for 1930 though) censuses. Usually if the library system offers Ancestry, one must go to the public library itself to use it. It's great to be able to use HeritageQuest from the comfort of home. Wonder if you mind suggesting a non-Ancestry product??

Signed,
Same

Dear Sam,

The complete question is, “Wonder if you mind suggesting a non-Ancestry.com and non-FamilySearch product?” I’ve been known to make an except or two, particular for free products. This one seems warranted.

Signed,
--The Insider


Dear Ancestry Insider,

I wish HeritageQuest had not become defunct because they kept Ancestry.com’s transcribers on their toes. Anytime I find a new person I check out on HeritageQuest first. Then I look at Ancestry. HeritageQuest did a much better job on indexing. I don't bother with FamilySearch at all; it appears to be just another branch of Ancestry.com.

Signed,
Lee Elliott

Dear Lee,

I can assure you that FamilySearch is not a branch of Ancestry.com. In fact, I think it fair to say that a certain amount of animosity exists between the two organizations.

But in the context of your statement, your point is a good one. Enough good will exists between the two that they exchanged some census indexes. In general, however, indexes for a record collection on one may not match the other.

Signed,
--The Insider

P.S. Since I’m not mentioning non-Ancestry.com/non-FamilySearch products, I won’t point you to yet another copy of FamilySearch’s U.S. census indexes. But if you happen to click here, I won’t stop you. Interestingly, Archives.com has published copies of FamilySearch census indexes for years that FamilySearch themselves hasn’t.

2 comments:

  1. I used to ignore FamilySearch and focused on Ancestry, figuring a free site wouldn't have as many records. What I have discovered, though, is that FamilySearch has some of its own strengths. It has some US vital records that Ancestry does not have, and it is much better at coverage for countries that are not commercially viable for Ancestry. For example, I was able to find a friend's grandfather's death record from the Philippines on FamilySearch, along with some records from Mexico for another friend.

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  2. An early observation by me is that FamilySearch has thus far avoided posting some US records and documents that Ancestry and Fold3 charge for. Perhaps this will change as FamilySearch evolves.

    I do very much like the ability to search foreign records at FamilySearch without the additional cost burden of upgrading my current Ancestry account.

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