Thursday, January 29, 2009

Is US Content being held hostage on Ancestry.com?

What was the last database added to www.Ancestry.com accessible to US Deluxe subscribers?

As of today - it was three databases with Chinese Immigration Files, New York Chinese Exclusions, and Philadelphia Chinese arrivals. They were posted on 23 January.

The next latest US content was a book about Captain John Mason on 22 January. Before that, it was the Social Security Death Index update on 20 January.

There hasn't been a really meaningful (to me, at least!) US content addition since the Selected US Naturalization Indexes on 9 January.

So we're on Day 6 of the "US Content Held Hostage" watch. And Day 20 of the "Meaningful US Content Held Hostage" watch. How long will it last?

Mr. Impatient can hardly wait for the databases on the Coming Soon list!

Is it a new moon lately? I'm really impatient these days! Have you noticed?

8 comments:

GeneaDiva said...

Honestly, None of the upcoming data collections is particulary exciting either. I am looking forward to the Civil War Confederate Pensions and the WWII Draft Cards.

I constantly put in the ancestry.com survey that I would like to see more Southern United States Original Documents such as the death certificates and marriage records. I have really enjoyed the South Carolina Death Certificates posted just a couple weeks ago.

I check the what's new almost daily and usually I'm disappointed to see so many non US records.

Just- my two cents. I'd thought I'd post a comment on your blog since ancestry seems to read your blog.

Delia Furrer said...

Hi Randy,
Everyday I eagerly go to their website and hold my breath hoping that there is something new that I can use. For weeks now, they have posted vast amounts of data for Canada, then some Spanish, to Germany then China...UGH! Even World Vital Records is doing the same thing. Maybe their latest surveys showed that is what people want. I am glad that I am not alone with the frustration.

Genealem said...

Let's get serious folks. When has Ancestry EVER listened to its customers! How many corrections have they made even though they are told. First of all, it's VERY difficult to even contact them. AND...their prices...SO VERY UNFAIR. You can find them for WORLD Info from $95.00 up into a could hundred dollars. WHY...how fair is that!

Genealem said...

Let's get serious folks. When has Ancestry EVER listened to its customers! How many corrections have they made even though they are told. First of all, it's VERY difficult to even contact them. AND...their prices...SO VERY UNFAIR. You can find them for WORLD Info from $95.00 up into a could hundred dollars. WHY...how fair is that!

Genealem said...

Let's get serious folks. When has Ancestry EVER listened to its customers! How many corrections have they made even though they are told. First of all, it's VERY difficult to even contact them. AND...their prices...SO VERY UNFAIR. You can find them for WORLD Info from $95.00 up into a could hundred dollars. WHY...how fair is that!

Kaisa Kyläkoski said...

"Improved U. S. Federal Censuses, 1790-1890"? Shouldn't it read 1790-1880?

Anyway, my resaech is missing the state censuses from New York city and I think some other researchers could make use of them.

Miriam said...

Back in mid-October, Ancestry announced for a couple of weeks that the Washington State Death Certificates and Michigan State Death Certificates were coming soon. So far, nothing. With ancestors in both states, I am dying with anticipation!

Chris said...

Hi Randy and his readers. This is Chris Lydiksen here at Ancestry, Product Manager, U.S. Content. Randy, it was nice meeting you when you came out recently. You might not remember, but we spoke about this issue.

It is actually a misperception that less U.S. content is being released because of the multiple Canadian books being released daily.

In Q4 of 2008, Ancestry released more U.S. names than for all other countries combined.

That said, the recent releases list can be a bit confusing in that it displays all new releases, including individual digitized books along with full-blown databases with very large record counts (vital records, military, immigration, census, etc.). As mentioned, we have been releasing several Canadian books each day, which, on the recent releases list, stack up and visually overwhelm the larger databases.

For those that find a book about their ancestors or about contextual or historical information relevant to them, these books are solid gold. Ancestry currently has thousands of Family and Local Histories book online, and the collection is being added to aggressively.

So far this year (this month), we've released several U.S. databases, including (some you've already mentioned):
- South Carolina Non-Population Schedules
- South Carolina Marriage Records
- Selected U.S. Naturalizations Indexes
- Chinese Arrivals at Philadelphia
- Chinese Immigration Case Files
- Chinese Surname Index for Jiapu Collection
- New York Chinese Exclusion Index (updated)

U.S. content coming soon (really, it is):
- NY, CA, PA Naturalization Originals
- Several State Censuses
- Enhanced and Improved Civil War Service Records
- More new Civil War collections
- Slave Records
- More Land Ownership Maps
- Thousands more City Directories
- Vital Records from more states
- and lots more, stay tuned

Overall, I know some of you are anxious for more and more U.S. content to be released. I am too. Let me assure you that this is going to be a very good year for U.S. Content.

Thanks, Chris