Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Ancestry.com Declines Revealing Databases Not in LDS Subscription

After last week’s article about FindMyPast, I thought I’d get a list of databases from Ancestry.com that are not supported in the LDS subscription. It turns out that is not so easy. I asked Ancestry.com for a list and was told “all of the messaging actually comes from FamilySearch.” The spokesperson referred me to a marketing manager at FamilySearch who told me that Ancestry.con has not provided a list.

Both individuals quoted to me the official corporate-speak:

FamilySearch’s agreement with Ancestry.com gives LDS church members access to all of Ancestry.com’s content collections around the world, with a few limited exceptions where contractual limitations prevent free access. For these few collections, an option to view these records on a pay-per-view basis is available. Ancestry.com has over 32,000 collections available to search and explore. Currently over 99% of these collections are available for free via an LDS member subscription. The Ancestry.com LDS member subscription excludes Fold3 and newspapers.com which may be added in the future. 

If LDS members have any issues with their subscriptions or access to content collections, please contact Ancestry.com directly at 1-800-ANCESTRY (1-800-262-3787).

From the BYU conference I learned that supposedly there are 21 databases that are not included. Someone working in the computer lab told me that the United States Obituary Collection was among them. Saturday night, 2 August, I verified the limitation and captured this image from my browser:

Message: This collection is not available with your free LDS-Ancestry membership.

I also heard that there are Manchester databases, so I poked around and found these databases are not included:

I randomly came across another database that was—bizarrely—not included:

As I wrote this article last Saturday, I tried this book again and it was then included! I tried the U.S. obituary collection again and it too is now included. (More on U.S. Obits tomorrow…) Maybe that is why there is no list. Maybe Ancestry.com is still reviewing contracts to determine which databases can be offered up in this fashion.

What about you? Have you come across databases not included in the LDS Subscription? Let me know.

6 comments:

  1. Never make a deal with the devil !

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  2. I've come across Canadian and Jewish database that are not available. I wish I would have taken a screen shot. I decided to just go back to my paying subscription rather than deal with figuring out what isn't available. The Manchester record sets don't surprise me as this description is found on their collections:

    Original data: Anglican Parish Registers. Manchester, England: Manchester Libraries, Information and Archives. Images produced by permission of Manchester City Council. Images may be used only for the purposes of the family history research in accordance with Ancestry’s website terms of use. At the request of the Manchester Diocese it is highlighted that the use of images for retrospective or proxy baptism is not permitted.

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  3. As with the FindMyPast list of non-inclusives, I realize that everyone says "we are lucky to get what we get for free" but it can cause some who are elderly (as with Ancestry and the message to pay $9.95) or unaware, to pay a large amount of $ for databases that are actually free on other sites. For example the site that I was asked to pay for at Ancestry with my free LDS subscription was Web: Obituary Daily Times Index, 1995-Current. This is actually free at obits.rootsweb.com. I notified both FamilySearch (Partner Marketing Manager) and FamilySearch Blog under Free Partner sites, as well as Ancestry.com. That was back in June, but nothing more has come of it.

    I think the only solution is what Ancestry Insider is doing--try to gather a database of sites that are being charged for and THEN try to find other sites on the web that offer the same data for free or lower cost.

    It would take some work, but somehow FS needs to have Ancestry change its message so that elderly or less computer-savvy LDS subscribers won't just automatically pay $9.95 for these sites. They need to know they can get the Ancestry site free at any FHC or Public Library.

    This needs to be done for both FindMyPast and Ancestry.

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  4. I was able to access the Untiled States Obituary collection yesterday and can still access it today; I have only the Ancestry LDS free account. I've had my account since the beginning of April and I have not been able to access ONE record, an immigration record. I thought this was odd since for many LDS users those collections would be important although they are not for me since both sides of my family were here in the early 1600's and I have only the rare connection by marriage with a later immigration. I'm very happy with this access, I can understand why collections such as the Manchester Church records are excluded, and I'd be thrilled to see newspapers.com and Fold3 added since I now pay for them. OTOH, MyHeritage, even at the premium plus level is essentially useless and, IMO newspapers.com and fold3 would be better choices. I have passed this opinion on to FS as feedback.

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  5. People who are getting FREE access to 31,680 out of 32,000 collections for which I and thousands if not millions of other people pay $300 a year should not be complaining about the 320 collections they don't get FREE. This is typical of the direction in which the US is heading: let someone else subsidize it as long as it is free to them; but what they give you at no cost is never enough. You should be thanking the ancestry paying subscribers because without us there would be no ancestry & no access to those 31,680 collections -- which are enough to keep anyone busy for a long time

    Ancestry made a contract with familysearch (the LDS church, right?); there is no contract with any individual who is searching their records. Thus no obligation to those individuals using their records FREE. Stop worrying about what you can't see & use your FREE subscription to see what you are allowed by your church's contract to see

    To PAW of SD: your comment "you cause some who are ELDERLY to pay a large amount of $...", is very offensive. You must be very young to think that because a person turns 65 (or whatever age you consider to be ELDERLY) they automatically become stupid. Ancestry is not forcing anyone to pay for the 320 collections not included in your FREE subscription. I don't get fold 3 or newspapers.com in my paid subscription. Why should you get it in your FREE subscription?

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    Replies
    1. Whoa, I am not an LDS Church member, but based on the volume of work that the church has done on preserving records nationally with their microfilm programs, which have been going on for DECADES, and the volume of materials that they keep safe in the mountain vaults, I as an annual full price paying Ancestry subscriber, have no problem in supporting LDS Church members in this. This attitude of no one getting more than I have to pay for tiresome, and selfish.

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