RootsTech 2014

Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Ancestry.com 1, Genealogists 0

I am beginning to feel like if I hear about something ten minutes after it happens, I am already listening to old news. A number of blogs posted about Ancestry.com's announcement of a name change for Footnote.com to Fold3.com.  I appreciated the references to to the name of the site and its significance but I, among others, see a huge problem here. I have always liked the collections on Footnote.com and I especially like their interface. I was very sorry to hear that it had been gobbled up by Ancestry.com. I was hoping that Ancestry.com would take hint from Footnote and move towards a more useful interface. But alas and alack, there is no justice.

Here are a number of questions raised by the change:

What happens to Footnote.com's agreement with the National Archives to digitize ALL of the records? Does this mean that Ancestry.com will put the non-military records into their already huge database or simply ignore the non-military records?

Many bloggers asked the question about what happens to the existing non-military records, are they, like an old soldier, just going to fade away?

I too spent years in the military. I also studied military history in my first round of university studies. I have more hours in military history than any other subject. But I am foremost a genealogist and very, very few of my ancestors served in the military. So why should I be happy about the change? Simply because I am patriotic? What if I live in Iceland or England or Scotland?

There are obviously a lot more questions than answers. I have a lot to do today and will get back to this subject tomorrow.


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