I made a short comment in a recent post about a class where only three or so participants in a class of thirty, I taught on MyHeritage.com had even heard of the program. OK, so there is a serious disconnect here. What was even more appalling was a comment in another class that they did not think the program was useful because it came from Israel. Not to be outdone, I heard another comment that the person was not interested in FamilySearch because it was a "Mormon" program for Mormons and that they would probably be charged if they tried to use the program. To top this off, the very first question I fielded on the first day of the Expo, was whether FamilySearch owned Ancestry.com. I was also asked how RootsMagic compared to MyHeritage.com.
In fact, at the end of the Expo, I got a written comment that is essence said that since I obviously worked for MyHeritage and since they were sponsoring the event, she was not interested in using the program at all.
Do I have to list the responses to these questions and issues?
I guess, here it goes:
1. I do not work for MyHeritage.com although I have had some promotions on my blog on their behalf.
2. MyHeritage.com did not sponsor the program although all the attendees did receive a disk containing a free copy of the Family Tree Builder program.
3. FamilySearch.org is absolutely and completely free. You do have to register to see some of the features of the program and to view some collections of Historical Records. But there is no charge for using or searching on the website.
4. Although MyHeritage.com is based in Israel, their database has collections from all over the world and is very useful in the United States, Scandinavian countries and United Kingdom and other areas of the world.
5. FamilySearch does not own Ancestry.com.
6. Ancestry.com does not own nor is it buying FamilySearch.
I cannot understand where some of this stuff comes from. What I think is a tragedy is that there seems to be a huge number of otherwise experience genealogists who are unaware of FamilySearch.org and/or MyHeritage.com. I did not teach a whole class on findmypast.com but as I mentioned the program several times there was almost no recognition of the program among the attendees.
I am becoming acutely aware of the great divide in genealogy between the online community and those who are not yet integrated into the online community. I realize that this is a major challenge and the keeping the websites and programs straight can be very daunting. But when someone rejects a huge online database out of hand merely because they believe that they sponsored the Expo, there is more here than a simple case of technophobia. Most of the comments indicate that those making the comments have not used any of the programs in question enough to recognize the difference between the various entities.
It is fortunate for my sanity that these types of comments are relatively rare.