Site Renovations

By Diane Haddad Premium

Online genealogy database company has delivered on last summer’s promise to redesign its subscription site <>. Besides the site’s clean, crisp new look, announced several functional updates:

? A worldwide Ancestry Connection service works in conjunction with member profiles to let you “meet” people researching your family lines. (Perhaps this idea came from new CEO Tim Sullivan, who used to run the online dating service

? Use the Recent Activity section on the home page to return to an interrupted research session.

? Enhanced integration between searching records and saving results helps you more quickly document ancestral finds.

? Better contextual tips pop up while you’re searching a database, netting you more-targeted matches.

? Improved tutorials reduce the learning curve for new users.

? The expanded Learning Center has sections roughly corresponding to’s subscriptions. But the information can be confusing: Select the Newspapers & Periodicals Learning Center; and you get to a page describing’s “Newspapers & Periodicals” collection-even though there’s no subscription called that. The descriptions refer to the Historical Newspapers Collection.

Since there’s no one page listing all’s offerings, you have to be vigilant about what subscription you’re purchasing. The Subscribe link on the home page offers only an annual One World Tree subscription; a combo of the US Census Collection, US Records Collection and One World Tree; and the Ancestry Value Collection-which includes One World Tree plus the US Census, US Records, UK & Ireland and Historical Newspapers databases. (The US Census Collection now includes an every-name index to the 1920 census-earlier indexes for that enumeration list just heads of household.)

If you want to subscribe to a single database, you have to circumvent the system. Say you’re thinking about buying into the US Records Collection. Click the Learning Center link for military; vital; or court, land and probate records. Search for a relative (using the link on the right), click any match and scroll down for your opportunity to purchase the US Records Collection. You’ll also be offered the Value Collection.
From the February 2006 issue of Family Tree Magazine.