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  #1  
Old 08-02-2012, 04:36 PM
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How accurate is Ancestry.com?

I've been tracing my family tree, and am wondering how accurate ancestry.com can be.

Does anyone have experience with their services and were pleased?

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  #2  
Old 08-02-2012, 04:47 PM
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They are only as accurate as the information they have submitted by subscribers as far as I know. I tried their free 2 week trial, looking for one obscure and lost branch of my tangled family. I hit a lot of dead ends and decided it wasn't worth the 12 bucks a month.
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  #3  
Old 08-02-2012, 04:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elchivito View Post
They are only as accurate as the information they have submitted by subscribers as far as I know...
Sounds like a "Wiki-geneology" type of service...self-managed information gathering.
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  #4  
Old 08-02-2012, 07:43 PM
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The records they have are accurate inasmuch as the record itself is accurate.

For example, my grandfather's death certificate is available for download, but it has his place of birth wrong. It is not ancestry.com's fault.

Also, many people post family trees on the site, and they make mistakes.

I am a Mayflower descendant, and genealogists are interested in tracking the descendants of the people who arrived on the Mayflower (they weren't all Pilgrims). Therefore, Family Trees of my ancestors are all over ancestry.com (as well as other sites on the internet).

For whatever reason, from the middle 1600s to the middle 1700s, they were all naming their sons James and their daughters Hannah, and many published Family Trees frequently assign the various James' and Hannah's to the wrong parents.

I've even been to Historical Societies in many New England towns with huge Family Trees created on large murals on display that have mistakes.
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  #5  
Old 08-02-2012, 07:59 PM
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Sounds like the wikipedia of genealogy. Might be very useful, might be full of BS.
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Old 08-02-2012, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Ara T. View Post
Sounds like the wikipedia of genealogy. Might be very useful, might be full of BS.
Exactly.
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  #7  
Old 08-02-2012, 08:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jplinville View Post
I've been tracing my family tree, and am wondering how accurate ancestry.com can be.

Does anyone have experience with their services and were pleased?
My Mom has found several instance of people posting lineages in which ancestors die before they are born. She said it is useful for the links to actual documents but it is lazy and fruitless to take what people post without supporting documentation. Not just quoting other genealogists but actual archival records.
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Old 08-03-2012, 12:38 AM
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I've used it quite a bit and I've also corrected some things where I could. It doesn't take long to realise the dead ends and mistakes.
It also opens doors but you have to actually open every door to see what's behind each one. Even doors you wouldn't consider and places you wouldn't think to look.

I've been lucky in that I've found others doing the same research within a family or individual that I was also looking at. Those were the best finds of all, for the ones on my own took forever.
I find history is sometimes more interesting than the present and more understandable than the future.
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  #9  
Old 08-03-2012, 09:23 AM
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The documents (birth and death certificates, marriage licenses, US Census) they point you towards are as accurate as written. Ancestry does not make up the document, they just help you find them.

Family trees made as posted can be full of short-cuts and outright errors, though. Just because someone has listed a relationship does not make it accurate, so do your own research before you accept that you have a long-lost Uncle Albert. One of my family trees listed my grandfather and 5 brothers, all with the same given name! The person who made this tree likely only knew about grandpa, and heard he had 5 brothers, so used grandpa's name in the program as a 'place holder' and then published this tree online.

Important Genealogy Rule - Verify all relationships with documents.

Important Genealogy Rule - Be sure to note and then cite your source(s) for relationships and other family data!
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  #10  
Old 08-03-2012, 10:26 AM
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Read the thread title and imagined you thought you found 'the smoking gun' about Obama's past there....
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  #11  
Old 08-06-2012, 11:22 AM
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I used it to trace a family tree and found that ancestors were in USA before 1750 or something (not to mention relatives currently in the US that I didn't know existed (some have several aliases looking about so, it could be worth ignoring those. Lol.), but I can only trace records in GB back to 1801 online. To research before that, I have to go out into the darkest backwoods and look in the original registers myself.
Generally, the records on Ancestry.com seemed accurate.
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  #12  
Old 08-06-2012, 11:29 AM
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I could find nothing on that site when I tried. I have a pretty good idea of where we come from though, my grandmother hired a specialist a few years back who was able to trace us back to the early 1700s or something like that. The website had almost nothing on either side of my family.
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  #13  
Old 08-06-2012, 02:11 PM
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genealogy.com there is no "free trial"
its just free.
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  #14  
Old 08-06-2012, 04:16 PM
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I went down to Viginia to look up my family tree.


And they hadn't come down yet...........
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  #15  
Old 08-06-2012, 06:48 PM
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A website like this may be fine for tracing recent history but once you get past a few hundred years or so I wouldn't think they would have accurate or complete records. Your best bet may still be doing it the old way of traveling around to different places to look at their records. You may have to go to Boston or something to look at your relative that fought in the Revolutionary war or something. My dad did a ton of research and he had to travel to France to look up some of our ancestors (granted, these ancestors were from around the 1000's). That way he was able to learn more about our oldest ancestor with the same surname (Mauger) and then back to Robert I, the first Duke of Normandy (otherwise known as Rollo). Now that method may not always be the best because it is time consuming and not cheap. Fortunately for us, since Robert I was a historical figure, we were able to use historical archives on the internet to find out that Robert was a member of the Norwegian royal family and with that knowledge, we were able to trace the family back to 1200BC. Using Norwegian and Ancient Greek records and myth (well it is called myth by historians because they don't know if it is accurate or not because of the age but there is more evidence to support this family tree than there is to disprove it), the family traces back to Memnon, the king of Ethiopia during the Trojan War. Memnon then marries the daughter of the king of Troy and they have a son named Tror, which is commonly translated into Thor and this individual is who the Norse god is based off of. I highly encourage everyone to learn about their family history because you can really find out some interesting information about your ancestors, and also learn about the migrations of people.

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