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  • ancestry.com leafs ?

    Ok, so i started putting my family tree on Ancestry.com. Seems simple enough, you just fill in the names and info. Now I have discovered that these great and magical little "leafs" they advertise on TV are NOT free. You have to PAY MONEY to look at your leafs. I have two questions, How does ancestry.com know for sure they have records of my ancestors ? This is a really big world and the same name shows up likely hundreds of times for nearly every name known to man. The 2nd question is, would it even be worth it to pay the money to look a these wonderful leafs ? And last but not least, what exactly IS the plural form of a LEAF ? I suspect I do not have it correct. I have leafs ? I have leaves ?

  • #2
    Ancestry allows users to purchase access to their premium databases to search through documents such as census records, draft records, social security records, public records, etc... As you said though, access to their databases is a Premium service. Creating your own family tree and uploading records to it is the Free service.

    Leaves are not guaranteed to be a match, but in my experience you do find a lot of matches as well as other users' family trees that may overlap with your own. I have found the money to be worth it for the information contained on the documents and the additional relatives I've found via these documents and other people's overlapping family trees.



    (and leaves and leafs are both valid...though leaves is the standard I believe.)
    Last edited by kokeb; 12 May 2011, 12:18 AM.

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    • #3
      ancestry.com

      I have found a lot of information on ancestry.com. I think I kind of used it for what it's worth and have found all I can at this point so I cancelled my membership. For me the membership is worth it. The only thing to be aware of is information that people provide on their trees. This information cannot be accepted as proof or facts. I only use census records and other formal documents as proof in my research. So beware of family trees that the little leaves match you too.

      Connie

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      • #4
        Ancestry

        Count me as another fan of Ancestry.com, including the shaking leaves!

        It actually solved a family mystery when, against my better judgement, I added to my tree a very obscure detail I'd discovered in my research: the maiden name of the mother-in-law of my mother's uncle, who dropped from sight after he married in the early 1930s. A shaking leaf led me to a tree that belonged to someone with the same name. We were connected by this long-ago marriage and he'd known the bride well in her later years.

        From him, I learned about the lost branch of my mother's family. Not a pretty story (my mother's one and only first cousin died young, a suicide.) But it was very meaningful.

        I didn't realize you could put up a family tree without paying to join. Or are you referring to upgrading to the premium world membership? I actually did that, in order to access the records for my father's side of the family, who emigrated from Scotland and then Canada.

        The other good thing about Ancestry: I posted my mtDNA results on their DNA section and got as many matches (2) as I did from the FTDNA database.

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        • #5
          I discovered ancestry.com almost by accident a couple of months ago. Since I knew next to nothing about my family history, I was curious enough to subscribe for a year. For me, it was clearly worth the cost, as within a week I'd found a wealth of information.

          I'd emphasize some of the comments regarding source reliability already mentioned here. Don't treat everything you initially find as 'facts', especially if the source is another user's family tree, and there are no supporting documents. In my initial burst of enthusiam I made this typical mistake, and I ended up simply recreating obvious errors. Looking back, it's easy to see how one person's error was subsequently passed on from tree to tree. The end result is what looks like a mass of supporting evidence, but it's all from the same faulty source.

          Even supposedly reliable documents such as census records can simply be wrong. In my own case, for example, I've found several occasions where family given and/or surnames were listed incorrectly due to the transcriber's misreading of admitedly obscure handwriting. (Ancestry does allow you to input a correction to the database).

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          • #6
            I enjoy the site also. It's a fairly good source
            and compliments DNA testing.
            One issue to be aware of though involves searching records in other languages.
            The search engine and results are given in English . Unfortunately these English reports do not always match the actual record. Fortunatey the original record is available as well .
            An example is the 1901 Canadian census which listed my GGF and Grandfather as Filipino.
            The translators mistook an F for french for Filipino .
            I am told that site farms out their translation to the Chinese. So if searching for a non English speaking ancestor always look at the original and learn the language enough to understand what your reading

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            • #7
              It's a huge resource for me, in particular for US records. Well worth the money IMO.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by DaveP View Post
                I'd emphasize some of the comments regarding source reliability already mentioned here. Don't treat everything you initially find as 'facts', especially if the source is another user's family tree, and there are no supporting documents. In my initial burst of enthusiam I made this typical mistake, and I ended up simply recreating obvious errors. Looking back, it's easy to see how one person's error was subsequently passed on from tree to tree. The end result is what looks like a mass of supporting evidence, but it's all from the same faulty source.
                Also look carefully at the dates when comparing with other family trees. I have noticed that some family tree compilers had obviously looked only at the names and did not question the dates of birth/death.

                What resulted were instances where an indicated child was born 50+/- years prior to the birth of the child's father or mother. However, it does make for interesting and comical reading.

                All of that aside, I have found some extremely helpful information in Ancestry.com. I just wish that the census information was a little more current (not Ancestry's fault) and that birth/death/marriage and divorce information was available from all of the states.

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                • #9
                  Echoing what John said, look carefully at any and all dates before importing data/people from other family trees. Some people obviously aren't thinking clearly when they establish some relationships in their trees, and it can mess up your own tree if you're not scrupulously careful.

                  That being said, as others have written above, ancestry.com is an incredible resource.

                  Familysearch.org (which is free) is also excellent. I find the two compliment each other well. Neither has a monopoly on good, useful data resources.

                  The 1940 Census will go public next April, 2012. I'm not sure how quickly it will become available on ancestry.com or elsewhere.

                  Originally posted by JPHutchins View Post
                  Also look carefully at the dates when comparing with other family trees. I have noticed that some family tree compilers had obviously looked only at the names and did not question the dates of birth/death.

                  What resulted were instances where an indicated child was born 50+/- years prior to the birth of the child's father or mother. However, it does make for interesting and comical reading.

                  All of that aside, I have found some extremely helpful information in Ancestry.com. I just wish that the census information was a little more current (not Ancestry's fault) and that birth/death/marriage and divorce information was available from all of the states.

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                  • #10
                    You have to PAY MONEY to look at your leafs.
                    Yes, one pay to view the records that Ancestry.com has filmed/transcribed/translated/digitized/stored, etc.

                    How does ancestry.com know for sure they have records of my ancestors ?
                    They don't; it's just a hint. The researcher has to do a lot of work to verify it is their ancestor. But, they are using the info you put in to find those matches (although I've found a lot of junk as well)

                    would it even be worth it to pay the money to look a these wonderful leafs ?
                    Yes - they are the biggest player on the block, millions of records. But know 2 things:
                    1) Ancestry.com is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Many Mormon genealogists do this work because they conduct temple baptisms to reunite their families in the afterlife. One should know, then, that Ancestry.com is supporting the LDS church and it's mission - in all it's flavors.

                    2) Ancestry.com is not the only game in town. Once you know where your ancestors lived, find the county genealogical society; the state historical society; any local genealogical society; the local library. It's as simple as searching "crawford county PA genealogy" or "west virginia genealogy". You'll find many records that are not scanned by Ancestry.com

                    Best of luck in your research

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                    • #11
                      Options

                      Oops - this posted in the wrong place.
                      Last edited by Shelby; 12 May 2011, 10:50 AM. Reason: item posted in wrong place

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                      • #12
                        Ancestry

                        I like Ancestry a lot but be wary of mega-trees some times the owners want volume and are little lax on quality. I also like contacting people that are looking for the same people I am, actually found more varified cousins that way than with DNA. But its great when they can support each other(the DNA and the Paper).

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                        • #13
                          It matters how much you are interested in researching but it is worth it. I have a couple of cousins I found through research who were old school researchers and wanted noting to do with the computer type of research. But once I told them how great it was they tried it out and both have said they wish they tried it years ago. Other have probably told you this already but leafs are hints and hints are clues and there are two kinds of clues good and bad an a little common since along with your research should help in telling if its good or bad clue. You'll get both but most will be good and worth the money if you do a good amount of research.
                          Last edited by EdwardRHill; 12 May 2011, 03:01 PM.

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                          • #14
                            I have had an Ancestry.com account for 4 years and I recently (3 Months ago) found my Grand mothers long lost Brother who had left home in the early 40's after joining the Army Air Guard (before the Air Force) and they never saw him again, I set out to find what happened to him and found him in Roswell, NM where he had finally settled after years of Military service.
                            I was a little late, he had past away in Feb 2010 and I found him in Feb 2011, He did leave behind two sons one of them that has been very understanding of his Father and has accepted us with open arms, so yes Ancestry.com is a very good thing if you use it correctly and don't go off of every Tree you come across because most of them are wrong as they just want something down on paper and don't care if it is right or wrong.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by manoss View Post
                              Yes - they are the biggest player on the block, millions of records. But know 2 things:
                              1) Ancestry.com is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Many Mormon genealogists do this work because they conduct temple baptisms to reunite their families in the afterlife. One should know, then, that Ancestry.com is supporting the LDS church and it's mission - in all it's flavors.
                              No, Ancestry.com has no affiliation with LDS. You're probably thinking of FamilySearch, which is the family history branch of the LDS church. Ancestry.com is a publicly traded, for-profit, corporation.

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