RootsTech 2014

Mocavo

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

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Dancing Around the Rumor

For the last few months, there has been a steady undercurrent of discussion among the genealogists both online and offline about the agreements made between FamilySearch.org and the other three large genealogy companies; Ancestry.com, MyHeritage.com and findmypast.com (D.C. Thomson Family History). Last week's huge access by Ancestry.com to hundreds of FamilySearch.org's collections fueled even more discussion.

Here are some of the pertinent online documents:


I am assuming, perhaps speculating, that we might hear more at RootsTech 2014. But the timing of the Ancestry.com announcement of 21 January 2014 does not seem to indicate that the four entities are particularly focused on RootsTech as the forum for further announcements. During the events of the 21st of January, I wrote down some of my own conclusions and immediately had most of my ideas contradicted by the huge number of collections added to Ancestry.com.

One of the recurrent themes of the rumors surrounding these agreements is the question of the extent that FamilySearch users will either gain or lose access to any of the other programs and even of the databases on FamilySearch.org. It has been a long-standing practice by FamilySearch.org to share its collections of records with other entities. For a considerable time, there have been links from FamilySearch.org to images of records on Ancestry.com, so that users of FamilySearch.org have not had free access to the images without going to a Family History Center (now FamilySearch Center) to view the Library edition of Ancestry.com.

I have had people ask me if Ancestry.com has purchased FamilySearch and if all the records are going to be subscription only and also if FamilySearch has purchased Ancestry.com and so forth. Most of these arise because some genealogists seem to have only the most tenuous understanding of who all the entities are and how they relate to each other. Because of public statements made in the past, which I have reported in previous posts, many members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are questioning the type of access they may have in the very near future to records on any of the three non-FamilySearch entities. To date, I have seen nothing online clarifying that issue and there may or may not be any further information made available at RootsTech on that issue.

One thing you can be sure of. I will likely write about any announcements made at RootsTech just as soon as I can get to my keyboard.

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