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Is Ancestry any good.

(16 Posts)
Juicylucy Tue 19-May-20 12:31:06

My birthday on 29th and due to difficult times with no shops open my 2 DDs have asked for ideas for my present.
I’d love to start to delve into my family history and was thinking of asking for a subscription to Ancestry to get me started. I’ve done the 14 day free trial a few years ago but never followed it up.
I have no family members left on the side I want to trace, so I’m wondering is it difficult to unfold information, is it worth the money. Do they trap you into going so far then want more money to unfold any further information. Any advise, tips or whether you think it’s worth it, or is there another site to use that’s better.All comments greatly appreciated.

Septimia Tue 19-May-20 12:40:28

Both DH and I have been using Ancestry for some time. We've both found it very good and haven't had to cough up extra money except to renew our membership. Even then, if I remember rightly, you can still see what you've already done but you can't add to it if you don't renew.

We both use it in conjunction with other genealogy sites, especially the free ones, or the free parts of other sites.

I haven't made my family tree public - you have the choice - because I don't want to share information at the moment. You do get hints from other people's trees and you need to double check the data from them as some people just copy stuff and it may be absolute rubbish!!

No doubt some of the other other sites have aspects that are better, or worse.

BlueBelle Tue 19-May-20 12:45:30

I did my family tree before the explosions of internet stuff trawling libraries, church records finding cousins second third fourth up to eighth It was great fun and kept me busy for 20 years qq

Annie26 Tue 19-May-20 12:56:19

Have used Ancestry for years and find it very good. They don't expect you to pay out any extra unless you want to do a DNA test or upgrade to worldwide membership. New records are being added all the time. I thought I would spend a lot of time researching during lockdown but have actually done very little but will no doubt get back into it soon

vampirequeen Tue 19-May-20 13:03:51

I use Ancestry. They're very good and easy to use. I like the way they let me dip in and out so I might join for six months and be almost obsessive then get bored so leave. A few months later I rejoin and carry on where I left off.

tinaf1 Tue 19-May-20 13:06:12

I’ve used and found it very good, and Septimia right you do see records you’ve saved but can’t update if you’re no longer a member.
Have had a few messages from different people who are also on it and had interesting exchanges about different ancestors.
Have also looked on other people’s family trees that you can and got up many family photos
Hope you enjoy your search.

jusnoneed Tue 19-May-20 13:16:21

I used it a fair bit when I started the family tree a few years back and I have the occasional month or use the free weekends (usually bank holiday ones) to see if anything new.
If you do want to keep copies of your finds make sure you choose to save them to your computer (I then print) and not just to Ancestry as you will not be able to access them once your membership lapses.

There are a few good free sites to get basic birth/marriage/burial info.

tinaf1 Tue 19-May-20 13:18:46

That’s strange jusnoneed I have never had trouble accessing my finds and information on their site

MaizieD Tue 19-May-20 13:25:09

I've been on Ancestry for years. It's good but you have to be very careful about checking information, particularly from other people's family trees.
You also have to be quite strong minded and ignore lots of 'hints' if you want to keep your tree to a manageable size.

Ancestry presents you with so much information that it's very easy to set off at tangent and end up with the family details of your great grandfather's three times removed cousin's wife's uncle's family. Annoyingly, these incredibly remote connections are usually the ones you get earnest requests for more detail about from other users grin

Juicylucy Tue 19-May-20 15:27:45

Thank you it seems like a thumbs up from most of you. But as I’ve no idea what I’m going to be dealing with once I start this journey, a few of you have mentioned delving into other people’s family trees, this has confused me abit would you mind explaining why I would need to do this?
Apologises for my ignorance at this stage.

Oopsadaisy3 Tue 19-May-20 15:32:55

Juicylucy when you start your tree you will often be given ‘hints’ these are details taken from other Ancestry users trees, these people may have the same ancestors as you , some might have photos, or other paperwork that they have on their tree and are willing to share with you. But you will need to make sure that they are ‘your’ people.
It’s a brilliant way to get records of your family, I’m back to the 1700 s with some of my ancestors but still can’t find my Grt Grandfather..........

wildswan16 Tue 19-May-20 15:48:12

With Ancestry what you pay up front is all you have to pay. So you can pay monthly or six-monthly. At first just pay for access to the UK data, and if you need to you can update later for "world" membership which allows you to follow up overseas ancestors.

As others have said - if you access other peoples public trees be very careful of the information - some of it is impossibly wrong. (i.e. babies born to mothers aged 80).

If you are in Scotland - then Scotlands People is a more useful site and also has excellent access to records.

So long as you have a grandparent's name and birth year you should be able to get started.

jusnoneed Tue 19-May-20 19:00:24

tinaf1 when I go on without paying membership it gives me access to my tree but not the records attached to it, when I click to view census for example the payment page comes up. That's how I learnt the lesson of saving to computer and printing stuff off.

ayse Tue 19-May-20 19:31:28

I’d agree with the others. I found it relatively easy to use but make sure you keep any details of stuff you have found. I used to copy and paste or print stuff off. Free BMD and FREECEN are free and unless you have a very common name easy to find details of births, marriages and deaths. The info can be used to get certificates from the General Records Office if you need to. It’s like most other things. The more you do the easier it is to access and find relevant information. Familysearch is free and has lots of record of parish registers. Treat with a little care as not all the info is 100% accurate.

I never put my tree on Ancestry but bought a separate family tree programme. It keeps your info private and you can choose who you share with. Lots of people have gathered info fro the trees of others so if possible do your own research.

If you get stuck Family Tree Forum is a great place for chatting to others who can offer help to research your dead ends.

Go for it. It’s a never ending detective story.

Good luck

Furret Tue 19-May-20 20:22:54

It’s excellent

Juicylucy Wed 20-May-20 10:26:59

Thank you ladies for all your advise and tips. Having never dipped my toe in this pond before I was abit apprehensive. However I will now give it a go I have a very inquisitive nature so that should bode me well.