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Anyone else not impressed by Ancestry.co.uk?

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ClareA | 01:55 Sun 08th Apr 2012 | Family & Relationships
12 Answers
I logged on for their free 14-day trial, and entered my late father's details (which I know minutely) as a starting point. Their system directed me to a man of the same surname but different first name, born in the year before!
This doesn't inspire confidence, and I told them so and asked to unsubscribe from the 14-day trial. They make that hard enough!

All it seemed to me that they did was to take the information I'd provided them with, and present it in a 'prettified' form, as though they had done some of the work, whereas they had done none.

I know one can't expect much from a free 14-day trial, but I really expected something a bit more tantalising to encourage a potential customer, other than a blatant rehash of information already provided.

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Be careful they do not take any more money off you. I found once they had taken around seventy quid once and lucky that I noticed it. They did refund it when I contacted them.
In my experience, they are pretty poor. As Clare said, they give you the last name, but any first name. And if you attempt to add a spouse, forget it! I found findmypast.co.uk to be better, but again, gives first name variations which is pretty useles. I have subscribed for a year. It has been worth it to find anyone with an unusual name, but try tracing a Thomas Jones! Getting prints etc works out expensive at £9.95 per certificate and takes up to 30 days. I suspect these people will rake in a lot of money in the early days, and then the novelty will wear off as people find that these sites are not really helpful unless you have lashings of free time. In other words, the information is there, but finding it can be very time-consuming and frustrating. Have plenty of wine close at hand to calm down!
Craft and Dotty are both very helpful AB'ers in Genealogy.
Perhaps your late fathers information is not on Ancestry? If it can't find an exact match, it will show similar matches.

I for one find Ancestry extremely valuable and wouldn't have got any where near as far with my family tree without it. For me it is worth every penny.
Question Author
Thanks, all, for your help. Would I find Genealogy under History on these boards?
I know Dotty & Craft slightly from Quizzes & Puzzles.
Ancestry is okay as long as you understand it's limitations, as is Find my Past. For free listngs try the latter day saints Family Search- they often turn up very unexpected things, but remember that any record is only as good as the transcriber ( especially with census').

https://www.familysearch.org/
I understand your frustration with Ancestry. The reason the searches throw up name and date variants is that their data of older hand-written BMD records is based on transcriptions by volunteers who are told to write down what they see, and not what they think should be there. This is why my great-grandfather, who had the French Christian name Georges, is in the Ancestry records as a boy called Georgia!

Also, although this is not the case with your particular research, people do not always know an exact name or date, so the search will include near matches as well as exact matches.

Having said that, I have also found that some family records are missing for no real reason, so I can understand that you are a bit fed up.

You might also find it handy to look at the online parish clerks project http://www.onlineparishclerks.org.uk/ which contains links to parish records for quite a few English counties. This is an ongoing project, so if you don't find what you need now, it's worth checking back in about a year's time.
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Well, thank you, NOX & Kiki-frog. My paternal grandparents were Scottish. I think that both of my Dad's elder siblings were born in Scotland, though he (Dad) definitely was born in Southampton. That means I'd have to pinpoint the date of the grandparents' move to south of the border, I suppose. Then look at Scottish records before that time.

A side issue, though of no less interest to me, is that a brother of my (Northern Irish) Mum was lost from the Glowworm, sunk off Norway in 1942 by the German heavy cruiser The Admiral Hipper.
Brave little Glowworm managed to hole Admiral Hipper - and, I think, ram her - before she (Glowworm) sank, and forced the big cruiser to retire hurt.

Many thanks to all, as always.
I also logged into Ancestry.co.uk and they suggested I typed in somebody I knew well. There was nobody I knew better then myself so that was typed in, the only problem was after typing in my name I discovered I didn't exist.
Ohhh dear Vulcan...the invisible man ;-)
A bit like MrsMM with her pension company.
ancestry takes a little getting used to, but I have been using it for 7 years and have a tree going back to 1710 containing over 4000 people - and I now do research for friends etc .... why not post your starting point in Genealogy under History as lots of helpful folk there .................. don't give up. There is a free site, www.freebmd.org.uk which lets you search birth, death and marriage records without payment too.

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