Monday, July 21, 2008

Genealogy and History Thoughts Column 16 - My Thoughts on the Ancestry-FamilySearch Partnership

Earlier today, I mentioned my shock at the Ancestry-FamilySearch partnership announcement, and as I promised, I'm posting my thoughts on this announcement.

Not only do I feel shocked, I'm also angry. As a person who has volunteered to index records through FamilySearch, I feel as though I have been cheated and misled. When I decided to help out, the information on the FamilySearch indexing website led me to believe to that the images indexed would be offered online for free. Now, FamilySearch is apparently willing to give transcribed indexes that volunteers like me, had worked on for free to, a subscription based site. I had not expected this to occur, and I'm upset since I put a lot of time into indexing images since I became a volunteer. Since I began volunteering in April of 2007, I have over 24,000 names/record columns. I realize that may not be a lot to other people, but one has to keep in mind that I am also a full-time college student.

Of course, I mostly feel betrayed because I had hoped that FamilySearch's posting of images online would be a competitor to I realize there are other subscription-based genealogy websites out on the internet, but Ancestry appears to pretty much have an almost monopoly of the genealogy market. I was just hoping that competition would lower some of the pricing of subscription prices for fee-based genealogy sites since there are some people who cannot afford to pay for a subscription to Ancestry. I'm a college student, so I truly cannot afford a subscription, and I'm trying to keep the price of my genealogy research fairly low, as much as I can at the moment. Now, I guess gotten my hopes up too much.

As to whether I will continue indexing images, I'm not sure. I like indexing records, and I'm not sure if I just want to quit completely. I think I need to think this over before I make a hasty decision, or for the moment, I could just index other records instead of the 1920 census. I might just do that. So, what do you think? As always, you can leave a comment with your thoughts. All comments are welcome.

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