Which of the following services would you be most delighted to see available for free?
37 Comments

  • warren malone - 10 years ago

    I too join the crowd that public records should be free to all searching genealogy and i find that most adv. wants to sell you totally usless info(i.e. books) which you have no idea whether they contain info for your family tree untill you have bought the book then find no helpful info at all.

  • kathy - 10 years ago

    i think that we should get it all free cause it is our family that we are looking for if it wasn't for use and the people before use they wouldn't have such a thing and on top of that if we put the information on here they take it off an block it so other cant see it if i put my stuff on it is for all 2 see why hide it if you put it on here it a waste of time if it cant be seen, a lot of people cant afford 2 pay 2 see were they came form an really like 2 no...

  • tphighlands - 10 years ago

    Scanned images would be wonderful. If we have images, we can do our own research. I prefer to do my own research rather than take the word of any one else. If you provide the scanned images of wills, church records, land records, tax records, etc. you would far surpass all of the other web sites. Family history research pilot research program is providing copies of death certificates and other vital records which is wonderful. We need more of this. Many old history books are inaccurate and people are led astray each day by the erroneous info which many people believe to be accurate, and many of them contain numerous errors. Please scan more records. I would love to have records of the Southeastern U. S. There is more availability for other locations, but there is such a weakness for this area for researchers.
    Today, it is very costly to travel to archives to try and obtain records. This would place you in the " leader board" so to speak of genealogy.

  • MaryH - 10 years ago

    Digital images of historical records are the most important feature. Please add more -- and would it be possible to ID which databases are World and which are US? I cannot afford the world collection, and it is tiring wasting so much time with your advertisements to upgrade. Or better yet, please add a "don't show what you are not eligible for feature."

    Thanks.

  • Wanda - 10 years ago

    I think all should be free, except the professionals. I also understand the foriegn countries problems. I searched for my family, and found another also looking, she was not related, but was searching my family for her step-children, which ARE related. Their father was my 1st cousin, who is deceased. I contacted her and with my knowledge and her help with Ancestery we found it. BUT, now, since I do NOT belong, I can not look at any of the information!!! I have been working on my family for 19 yrs., and still can't find some info. even in the "Free" sites. They say free, but when you click, they want you to join. Why advertise FREE if you have to join?? My sister joined Anscestry.com and she found absolutely nothing. Another thing is all the cemeteries that lists members, 9 times out of 10, they only list the ones with headstones, WHICH IS GREAT, but, what about the ones with no headstones?? We all need help, and having to pay out-rageous prices are no help at all.

  • Duncan - 10 years ago

    Scanned Records! I'm willing to pay on a per use basis or a low fee because it would be less costly than traveling. The overwhelming amount of genealogical data is not yet online but the internet is a great place to start.

  • Bob Snyder - 11 years ago

    Things I really like: WVR's posting of family histories that can be either up-loaded or copy/pasted into a file; the Family Search Pilot.. I too which it was growing faster;

    Things I don't like: people who take the information I've worked 30 years to build and post it under their name. It's call plagarism, and it's unethical. I don't mind having people post my work... just don't let others think you've done the research when you haven't. The only lines I post with the MyFamily group are those with which I really need help.. it's still the only way to get in touch with others interested in the same lines. I, too, want to post some lines with WVR, but I can't get them to respond to my inquiries about how to do it.

  • Dot Hickson - 11 years ago

    As I live in Australia it is very expensive to join these groups where information is avilable, as Australia does not keep our census as they do in other countries it is a very involved research. We are all from Immigrant stock & need all the FREE help we can get.
    your information is needed& Appreciated. Dot

  • bgt - 11 years ago

    i think all people should be able to find their ancestors for free its so important especially in ireland when people were evicted from their homes and had to sail to foreign lands they never saw their families again and of course the famine which did not help now we in ireland have no way to trace our ancestors unless we can afford it and even if we could its so difficult as most of our records were burnt in a fire in the four courts and the state itself destroyed others as a result many people have no idea as to their identity everyone should be helped and encouraged to trace their familytree for many reasons and it should be free

  • Joy Sly - 11 years ago

    Well you guys think you are badly done by, try living in South Africa, we have no databases we can search for our ancestors and obtaining copies is almost impossible, another thing is if we have to pay in $ or pounds for info from the international sites we would be broke for the rest of the year. I am actually getting quite frustrated with my research. I have what I think is a reasonable size tree but cannot confirm one side of the family because it is all PAY, PAY, PAY - FREE, FREE PLEASE!!!!!

  • Chuck Young - 11 years ago

    I do not like my information being locked down and put up for sale. Period!
    It is disgusting to send friends and family to Ancestry to see what I have discovered over 42 years and find they are hit up to join in order to obtain information. I end up printing off copies of the family tree or burning Gedcom files to send to relatives. If we want others to access our information we should be able to give the family access. chuck young

  • KLD - 11 years ago

    I've been an Ancestry subscriber for over 5 years and I would never have made the progress I've made without it. Yes, others do copy your information if you make it available, but I don't mind that. I figure I'm helping someone else (as others have helped me) and that I'm adding to the greater good of the database. I don't understand how people think their work is being "stolen." I look at it as sharing the information that has taken me 15+ years to put together. If I hadn't posted my family tree, I would never have met the many cousins I've been lucky enough to connect with. As for agencies charging even when the information is not found, you must remember that someone is doing the work of trying to find the records. Why should they not be paid for their efforts? I know it's disappointing, but I certainly don't expect it to be free.

  • Hanno - 11 years ago

    I will repeat Frank´s last words:
    "there are so many misspelled words"

    To say it at the beginning: as a German family researcher mostly having access to the original records from the parishes more easier than foreign researchers I am again and again really horrified about many of the subscribers´ "carefulness" spelling names and dates. And the next reader again doesn´t take care so that at the end you´re getting absolutely useless results! And then you get the data twice, three times and more - all of them with different dates and names.
    And people not being experienced in research will take that "junk" and use it!

    I do understand very well most of the foreign researchers (and many of the German ones, of course too!) did not learn to read or write the old German scripture but it really should be possible for grown up people to read AND write the printed data in a correct manor.

    My(!!) impression is that many of the subscribers putting dates and names into the internet - independant to the platform - are not really that interested in genealogy. They only want to get "their" lines together not thinking about what they cause to the other users using the mistakes they have to do with.

    I do know well what I´m saying here - just have a look into the data bases of the LDS, ancestry.com, rootsweb.com and nearly all the other mostly American sites. You will find people with sometimes more than 12 different variations of a name, absolutely different dates, sometimes wrong connections - - - useless stuff!

    Note: I am NOT a professional researcher.
    I´m just doing genealogy as a task to bring families together and take a certain feeling of what a family is back - I try, at least.

    Maybe this was not quite the subject you are discussing about here.
    But imagine how much money people have to pay for nearly useless stuff!
    If you subscribers would take care much more of correct spelling these mentioned sites would be the price worth!

    And this closes the circle:
    People are willing to pay for their research - but they want to get good results for it.

    BTW:
    I am just "collecting" the families for my Eissler book to be published in 2015 when I will have been researching the Eissler for 30 years.
    ONLY the complete book will cost - not any information about single families!

    Hanno

  • Frank - 11 years ago

    When I read the title of your web site "World Vital Records.com I thought that I was actually going to find World Records such as Batch and Film Numbers for sure. I was very excited when I purchased your services, ($60.00) at first I thought that this was a good price for World Records then I started researching. I found, thousands of news paper reports that have nothing to do with ancestor’s genealogy. Please do us a favor, check out Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.com and see how a person writes a person's first &last name which country and year and then you can see the data one finds there. This would be great, one more thing there are so many misspelled words. Thanks frank

  • Cris Carver - 11 years ago

    Scanned info would be nice, but geneological databases would be great. I don't mind doing the work, if I get a fair return for a result.

    It is true that someone had to put together all those sites and research all our ancestry, but most of that has already been done. And sites should offer info for a reasonable charge and no charge if you find no info. That would give them incentive to put actual facts up instead of just downloading whatever they can glean from someone else's actual work.

    The sites that steal and sell that hard earned info should be fined.

  • Kay - 11 years ago

    Free is wonderful, but the reality is that it costs someone money to put all this information online. If you have to pay someone to do the scanning and the indexing, in addition to the hardware and tech support necessary to mount a decent website, it is going to cost money. Granted, some sites make more than a reasonable profit, and "stealing" information submitted by customers is wrong, but we can't expect them to hand over everything we want for free. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does it for "free" because it is such an important doctrine to them, but even at that it is essentially member supported with donations to the Church. Someone is still paying for it somewhere. If you want to help make things free, and get information online more quickly, volunteer to help do indexing at the familysearch.org website. Part of the reason it takes so long to get information up is due the exhaustive process of going through and indexing them so that we can do searches. It costs you nothing but a little time to help with this project.

  • Phil O'Hara - 11 years ago

    What I dislike is paying a large fee up front for a years subscription without knowing if if you will even find anything. I desire for the searching to be completely free, and once you find a document, then you can then buy a copy.

    Or, have a pay per use fee like $1 per hour. This way if I am finding useful information then I keep using the site. If I spend 6 hours a month searching, that's $72 for you, a fair amount.

  • George Alfred Kouchakji - 11 years ago

    My big family is worldwide, including Armenia. The name is written in at least 10 different ways but the origin is one from Aleppo(Syria and or Armenia). I am interested in constructing a Family Tree which includes all the name spelling varieties. Kouchakji, Kouchakgi, Kouchacji, Kushakji, Koshakji, Kochakji, Kachakji, Achakji, Kouchakdjian, Kouchakjian.

    I have contact with individuals from most of the above given names (inclusive Facebook) but genealogical information seems to be very difficult to obtain because apparently due to lack of interest or ignorance about the family history.

    I already have constructed a fragmented Family Tree and cannot procede any further. So is there a way that you can help me ? A cost free service will be much appreciated of course !

  • Charles - 11 years ago

    Most of the genealogical sites that charge large sums of money just to get to the public information have free options when you first contact them, they encourage you to build your family tree. But when you have posted all your present data, you hit a brick wall and leave the site looking for a free site. And it goes on and on. They simply take your postings and place them behind their true site walls and charge others to see them.To find ones genealogy is near impossible, unless you have some major bucks. I have all but given up trying to work on our tree. I do not mind paying one time fees for photos of grave sites or for other projects that people have put effort into compiling. These scam artists are deceptive and dishonest. I found one site that had ten other sites that linked to theirs. Is that not deceptive? We who are searching end up doing detective work to find out where to go for information and cease looking for genealogy information.

  • Carol Cohen, Mississippi. - 11 years ago

    I agree with alot of you, I have run into the same things. I hate it when they say "FREE." I click on to the site and find what I want, then it comes, It will cost $xxxx to get this info. Does that ever P _ _ s me off. Why advertise FREE then they say for a charge.
    I have been searching for my real Father for over a year, I don't have much to go on, most are dead, except the children, I hope.
    I am also on a fixed income, I am retired, I cannot afford alot.

  • Carol Cohen, Mississippi. - 11 years ago

    I agree with alot of you, I have run into the same things. I hate it when they say" FREE." I click on to the site and find what I want, then it comes, It will cost $xxxx to get this info. Does that ever P _ _ s me off. Why advertise FREE then they say for a charge.
    I have been searching for my real Father for over a year, I don't have much to go on, most are dead, except the children, I hope.
    I am also on a fixed income, I am retired, I cannot afford alot.

  • Carol Cohen, Mississippi. - 11 years ago

    I agree with alot of you, I have run into the same things. I hate it when they says FREE. I click on to the site and find what I want, then it comes, It will cost $xxxx to get this info. Does that ever P _ _ s me off. Why advertise FREE then they say for a charge.
    I have been searching for my real Father for over a year, I don't have much to go on, most are dead, except the children, I hope.
    I am also on a fixed income, I am retired, I cannot afford alot.

  • Susi Jones Pentico - 11 years ago

    I believe it would be awesome if the states would authorize the use of their files like Berks Co. PA has done. If people would be allowed to help orgainize and put it up maybe places like NY state would be friendlier and kinder to genealogists. It amazes me after doing this for 40+ years that we still are finding boxes of stuff in basements that have been mildewing and wasting away that are vital for researchers, medically and historically. Worse is some one decides to take it to the dump and not even offer to a society or agency to preserve it. I would love to see more documents and data on line from each county of each state that has not done so.

  • Cary - 11 years ago

    Ancestry makes you accept their terms and conditions in order to upload your gedcom on their sites.

    IF you don't want others to have to pay to see your research.. read the Terms and Conditions before uploading anything to any website other than your own.

    In all cases that you do.. you are giving your database/research to sites like Ancestry, Genealogy.com etc.

  • katywon - 11 years ago

    I agree with all of the above. The geneological information that was posted freely by individuals and organizations at first were just that, FREE. I realize that over 20 years expenses have gone up and someone has to pay. so make it reasonable if not free. Otherwise close the sites and make the old information available to everyone.
    15 years ago I did pay for several site which were reasonable. I bought a disk to geneolory or family search for $30.00. But there was a very reasonable monthly charge if any. Many of these searchers like myself live on retirement or limited incomes. $14.95 a month is a lot of money to some of us.
    I am not bitter. I accept reality. today it is all money and profit not humanity or helping others. But being a long time geneology searcher I am disappointed that there are no longer many free sites.

  • Duane - 11 years ago

    I agree with June
    cost to high
    Info they get from orig doc has errors
    Employes get paid and we have to correct them for free?

  • Ruth Hasten Walsh - 11 years ago

    Scanned records online for free would be most beneficial in helping identify and prove lineage.

  • Bette - 11 years ago

    I love the new familysearch.com pilot. I have broken down over a hundred walls with it and I love that it is free. I also love a few other wonderful, free sites, such as West Virginia Vital Research Records, Rootsweb, Find-A-Grave, etc. I do have a tree on ancestry.com and I pay for that. I had to make it private because of two thieves. Both of them took both sides of my family, my whole GEDCOM on rootsweb and added it to theirs and we are not related. He said that we should share, which is fine with me, but not take everything when we are not related. There are people that just want large numbers on their site and that is all they care about. They are not real genealogist! I removed my GEDCOM from rootsweb and they said they couldn't help. It seems like there are more and more websites asking for money to join. I did spend $20 this month for peoplefinders.com just to get births, marriage and death dates. It was the worth the money. This database is made from credit reports. I know because I had a misspell on my first name when I applied for credit years ago and it is on there! Also, I bought the disk for Family Tree Maker and being able to search through ancestry.com with it is very helpful. The hardest thing for me to get are marriage records here in CA. And if you order a DC from the state, it takes about six months to get it. If they can't find it, they keep the money anyway. There is always some creep trying to make a buck off of us working people!!!

  • Sylvia - 11 years ago

    It is OK to pay a reasonable fee to access records. Online research, even for a fee is much, much cheaper than going to courthouses, libraries, archives, paying for copies, etc. as I have been doing for the last 40 years.

  • Shelby Jean Raju - 11 years ago

    Free large databases would be nice. Online documents would be icing on the cake. Family Search.com is doing a great job getting info online. I just wish they could work faster! Oh, well, at least when they finish everything will be free or inexpensive to access. At some research centers they charge as little as ten cents per copy.

  • Diane Riesenberg - 11 years ago

    I'd like as much free as possible. I'd like to put an extensive family tree on-line with you, with as little effort as possible. I'm thinking 7 or more generations. Help me, please!

  • Jody L - 11 years ago

    I find that much of the time the info on Intellius and others sites have redundant and outdated info, to "tease" you and want you to pay for more.
    People shouldn't have to pay to find info on their ancestors.

  • Susan Lythgoe - 11 years ago

    I found it very hard to vote for just one, as I think all these commodities should be free, well, except maybe professional researchers, although they are a little overpriced, in my view. How about some 'amateur' researchers advertising their willingness to assist those still learning, or who live in the locality being researched. maybe a database of such would be a good idea...
    Fot the rest, I agree with all the above comments, and yes, Familysearch.org is brilliant, and growing all the time. When it is finished, watch out all those others who charge for the services the LDS church will provide for free...
    It was the LDS church who made it possible for folk to do their family history in the first place, by providing - FREE OF CHARGE - to ALL libraries a library of microfiche and other resources and the readers to view them, long before the internet was even dreamed of...it will be free to all again...thank you to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and all those wonderful people around the world who are tirelessly working for free to make it happen...

  • Eah - 11 years ago

    I believe that when we have done the genealogy work and upload it then it should be free for other family tree researchers to view... in fact if a genealogy website wants to charge for OUR data and hard work, then THEY OWE US something as well... something to think about... In fact wouldn't it be great if all of the researchers stopped uploading and stated their own free website for genealogy. That's why I really like what FamilySearch.org is doing with their new search pilot.

  • Lorraine Hannan - 11 years ago

    I agree with more free Genealogy information as I live in Australia have to join full membership to gain information for Ireland and with exchange rate comes very costly. More genealogy companies seem to just want your money & expensive to hire a private genealogist up to $500.00 I have been quoted.
    So more free info PLEASE

  • june - 11 years ago

    I would love to see scanned records online for free. That would help so much with the MONUMENTAL task of trying to search out the records, then try to obtain copies from the powers that be - much less the cost of paying for each record along with shipping charges, etc. And the time wasted waiting for the records to arrive. Scanned records would make the genealogy search so much easier and fun - especially when you have over a thousand people in your tree and 700 years of results.

  • Lucena - 11 years ago

    I would like to know how Ancestry and others can take "Yes TAKE" information that others have put on the Internet for people to use for Free and then charge others to get that Information. It was put on here so the general public could use and trace their ancestry and help others find family.

    I think it is a crime for them to block our personal research for their own selfish gain. Someone mentioned that maybe we should go together and do a class action law suit to make these companies release the information that was TAKEN without permission and I tend to agree with that person. Why should they gain from someone elses hard work and research? So I say Huge genealogy databases for free would be really great.

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