Friday, January 23, 2009

Recent Content at Ancestry.com

I try to check the recently added and updated content to Ancestry.com several times a week. The Recent Genealogy Databases page is at http://www.ancestry.com/search/rectype/recent.aspx.

I'm always on the lookout for new databases that will help me, and my colleagues and clients, in my research.

In recent months, most of the new content has been for Canada, with some UK, German, Swedish and other countries. I have a US Deluxe subscription, so this has frustrated me no end, because I seem to thrive on new content.

There are several recently added databases that show promise:

* U.S. Naturalization Record Indexes, 1791-1992 (World Archives Project) - this database currently has only images for 20 states, with no name or keyword search. Added on 1/9/09.

* U.S. Federal Census Non-Population Schedules, 1850-1880 - this database currently has images for only one state (South Carolina). There is no name search, no county search, no keyword search, etc. at this time. Added on 1/9/09.

The user can find his way around the Naturalization Indexes by putting random page numbers in the Page box and narrow the search to a name using many clicks.

I had hoped, of course, that these databases would be complete and name searchable. We will have to wait until the indexers finish their work, I guess.

Is this "partial release" a new policy of Ancestry's? Footnote does it all of the time, but releases indexes as the images are released. FamilySearch Record Search releases images in groups, and then adds indexes in groups.

The problem with this "partial release" action is that unsuspecting researchers will assume that there are no matches in the databases if they don't read the details on the database description pages.

The lesson here for all of us is "vigilance" - we need to keep track of the databases involved and the searches we make in those databases.

2 comments:

Male said...

Hi Randy, We read your blog and have added the word "Selected" to those titles. We're considering other databases where this might be beneficial also. Thank you, Chris Lydiksen, U.S. Content, Ancestry.com

GeneaDiva said...

It would be nice if ancestry released new content by subscription. I have U.S. Deluxe and do not like wading through all the other stuff (especially non-English). It would also be beneficial to list beside each title in ( ) what collection it belongs because sometimes a Canadian or English Title may look interesting only to find out it isn't a U.S. product which wastes my time.

Again thanks for an avenue to vent. I do write this stuff in every ancestry survey, but I don't think they pay any attention.