Dear Ancestry Insider,
What a disappointment. Ancestry.com again is taking over a well built website, HeritageQuest. HeritageQuest was the best website to verify census records in a straight forward format.
I’ve been doing research since 1978. It was difficult because it was a lot of letter writing and then waiting for an answer. Then we could order them from Everton Publishing. Then we had RootsWeb and Fold3, which Ancestry took over and swore nothing was going to change. Hum. They have not been true to their word.
The different websites they have purchased and destroyed is many. They want us to only use their website to do research and it’s way too expensive and hard to navigate. They have too many incorrect family trees.
They don't care how many sites they destroy as long as they get our money and continuously have to stumble through their bad website.
Wow, Leanne. You’ve brought back a lot of memories.
I’ve often thought that someone needs to write the genealogy of genealogy products and companies. Remember GenForums? Remember Genealogy.com? That’s another website that Ancestry.com bought. I disagree with your assessment about Ancestry.com not keeping their word. I think their intentions were good when they acquired RootsWeb and Genealogy.com, but they soon came to regard these websites as distractions. In the end, they kept their word too literally, leaving these websites unchanged.
You also made me remember film rental. I was never one to have a microfilm reader and rent microfilms. I remember websites that rented the U.S. census on microfilm back when I was just getting serious about using original records. Purchasing the census on CD-ROMs was displacing film rental and I had moved close enough to the Family History Library that the idea of buying a microfilm reader seemed a bit, well, overkill.
I have wispy memories of HeritageQuest and microfilm rentals, but I can’t pull them into focus. The Encyclopedia of Genealogy website says that HeritageQuest acquired the American Genealogical Lending Library back in 1998. I can’t remember how HeritageQuest made its way into ProQuest.
Your email was the first I had heard of Ancestry.com taking over HeritageQuest. If Ancestry.com had purchased HeritageQuest, surely I would have heard. I posed a set of questions about it to Ancestry.com. I’ll share their answers tomorrow.
The Ancestry Insider