Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Correction: LDS Member Accounts Don’t Include all Collections

imageSometime ago someone asked me about the special subscriptions to Ancestry.com, FindMyPast.com, and MyHeritage.com that are offered to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as part of the partnerships with FamilySearch. I was asked if they included all the websites’ contents and I said I had heard they did. Now I learn they do not.

FindMyPast.com does not refund existing subscriptions and they don’t include all their content. I contacted Find My Past’s support organization, asking what the policy was concerning refunds. This is what Michael Ancell of their support team told me:

Having checked your account, you have the 12 months World subscription, which is paid up to the 13th of September 2014.…You have also recently activated a FamilySearch subscription on the 9th of July 2014.

If you buy a subscription or PayAsYouGo credits, you can contact us and cancel within seven days of receipt of our confirmation email and we will happily give you a full refund as long as you have not viewed any records.

Therefore, as my colleague has advised, I'm afraid we are unable to offer a refund of the 12 months World subscription, your current membership will run until 13 September 2014 then your FamilySearch subscription will run until the 9th of July 2015.

Also, there are records, such as the Newspaper and Periodical records, which are not covered by the FamilySearch subscription, which you will be able continue accessing using the World subscription prior to this expiring in September.

This surprised me in two ways. I believe Ancestry.com automatically gave refunds (my subscription was gratis, so I don’t know for certain), so I was surprised and disappointed that Find My Past did not. (I know I’m not getting any sympathy from those of you who have to pay for a subscription. But you all already know I’m a whiner. :-) I was also surprised to learn my subscription did not include all their content.

I contacted FamilySearch support and asked for a list of what FindMyPast content was included and what was not. I was told that there is no list. The official statement is

Due to specific agreements with records custodians, some records collections may not be available to access using your account regardless of whether you have a free or paid account. Other than that, all features of the site will be unrestricted.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, as some of FamilySearch’s content is not available to everyone and some of Ancestry.com’s content is not available via their library edition. My apologies to the person I misinformed. Now I’m wondering about Ancestry.com and MyHeritage.com LDS subscriptions.

7 comments:

  1. Ancestry does not give refunds either. I lost five months by signing up with Ancestry and making the annual payment rather than paying monthly. If the accounts were identical it would not be so bad but as you pointed out they are not.

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  2. On what FindMyPast does or does not cover, I emailed them and got an answer with a listing that I posted on the FamilySearch Blog at

    https://familysearch.org/blog/en/update-member-access-partner-sitesmay-2014/#comment-248014

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  3. I got my LDS account very early on in the process, no, no refunds, but I knew the LDS account was coming and to me it didn't matter as I had only US and that month to month. The ONLY thing I have not been able to access on Ancestry via my LDS account has been immigration records which seems very odd and one of the things that would be most useful to the most people (although not particularly to me). I'd never used either FindMyPast or My Heritage and don't use them much now, but at least MyHeritage does include the data subscription which is separate for paying customers.
    My opinion on the whole thing is that we need to focus on what we did get and be thankful for it. For many people of lower income or tight budgets Ancestry was not an option at all until now. I'm sure those people won't be commenting (or complaining) about what they didn't get although it might be nice if we were told up front which collections were included or not included.
    My biggest personal fear was that the Ancestry account would be like the library edition and we could not have personal trees on Ancestry. If this had been the case I'd still be paying for my Ancestry account. I did have one person. who did not have a pre existing paid Ancestry account tell me that when she signed up via the email link for the LDS free account "her tree" on Family Search/Family Tree got "sucked over" into Ancestry. Since nobody has "their tree" on Family Tree/Family Search I'm not sure what happened, maybe her input was "sucked over", but she wants a private tree on Ancestry and this IS possible with the free LDS access.I don't care for the Family Tree at Family Search and use it only for the temple options, but I do have my family on FT/FS and this did not happen to me, I still have all my own existing trees at Ancestry and nothing got "sucked over" from FT/FS. I'm not touching that little tree on the profile page either...... My biggest fear when we first heard about this was that it WOULD be like the library edition and you wouldn't have the option of keeping individual trees on Ancestry. Had that been the case my answer to the offer would have been "no thanks".
    This no cost offer is a great gift and should be seen as such/ Hopefully it will get more members into doing family history and doing it better, including citations and confirming with real sources what granny put into those binders decades ago.

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  4. I can't vouch for its accuracy, but a list of what is not included on the free LDS member FindMyPast account was posted on FHCNET: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/FHCNET/conversations/topics/35512

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  5. Here's an email we got from the "FindMyPast Support Team:"

    Thank you for your email.

    The Family Search subscription does not cover all of our available records I am afraid.

    I have copied a list of record sets which are currently not included in the Family Search subscription below:

    Newspaper collections
    India Office Records
    Electoral Rolls
    Royal Marine Medal Roll 1914-1920
    Royal Naval Division 1914-1919
    Royal Naval Officers Medal Roll 1914-1920
    UK Parish Registers 1538-1911
    Army Roll of Honour 1939-1945
    British PoW Officers Aug 1914 - Nov 1918
    De Ruvigny Scrolls
    De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour 1914-1918
    Distinguished Conduct Medal citations 1914-1920
    Ireland's Memorial Records of the Great War
    List and Careers of Officers of the Indian Army 1760 to 1837 Bengal, Madras and Bombay Presidencies.
    National Roll of The Great War
    National Roll Scrolls
    Naval Casualties 1914-1919
    WW2 PoWs - officers of Empire
    WW2 PoWs - British Navy & Air Force officers
    Soldiers Died in The Great War
    The Great War London Gazettes
    Waterloo Medal Roll 1815
    Waterloo Scrolls
    WW1 Scrolls
    WW2 PoWs - British Army held in Gmn territories
    WW2 Scrolls
    Silver War Badge rolls
    Victoria Cross Recipients 1857-2007
    Dorset Marriage Register
    Surrey Marriage Register
    Griffith's Valuation 1847-1864


    I hope this helps,

    findmypast.co.uk Support Team

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  6. Thanks to you and your readers who leave comments for the details about which collections are included in the findmypast LDS subscription. I was really excited about the results of a findmypast search until I discovered that I wasn't able to see many of the results. It was a disappointment but I have access to much more than I did before FamilySearch gave us access to Ancestry, MyHeritage, and findmypast and I'm so grateful.

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  7. So, is there ANY on the Find my past that IS included? Also, several weeks ago I questioned whether the information that many of us sent to/updated on Family Search would have to be paid for in order to look at them. As of this day, noone from any of the sites have answered my question. SO, another question, what WILL be available on the free search since Ancestry has once AGAIN taken over a freebie site??????????

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