Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Yoo-hoo, Ancestry — I'm back!

Well, I did it. After almost a full year of withdrawal from my Ancestry addiction, I am now plugged back into the mega giant of subscription services — just the US deluxe version. No, I didn't pony up the 155.40 that a yearly subscription runs. I did it with a free trial subscription that came with the FTM version 16 collector's edition. This is an old version of FTM. As I understand it, the newer 2008 version has scrapped the old features for new improved ones — although if the complaints I'm reading are any indication, improved may not be the correct word.

I first heard about the free trial subscription from a genealogy blog I read. At the time, there was a link to this version of FTM for only $15.95. Being a suspicious soul, I put it at the back of my mind. For one thing, I purchased The Master Genealogist a year ago because my old Family Tree Maker program was, well old. I needed 16 floppy disks to back it up, and there was no CD back up option offered.

Unfortunately, though The Master Genealogist offers the bells and whistles that I thought I wanted, I just didn't have the large chunks of time that I needed to master the program.

Then two posters on the forum that is affiliated with this blog both mentioned the same deal. (Thanks Dawn and Cassandra11!) Reading what they had to say, I sat up and took notice. I did some research and found another blogger who had taken advantage of the free trial offer and gave it a thumbs up.

After much thought and consideration, I am, after all, a planner by nature, I decided that I would go ahead and purchase the version 16 collector's edition which was the one offering a free year's subscription. I went back to the company that was offering the $15.95 deal and found that the price had jumped and they were now selling the same product for $59.95.! Ouch! If you considered the fact that you were getting Ancestry thrown in, it was still a good deal.

But what if I got the product and they had rescinded the offer? Did I really want a second FTM program, one that was more than two years old for that price? The answer was no. (Did I mention I am not only a planner, but I am also a CAUTIOUS planner?)

So, I gave it some more thought, and I decided what I would be willing to pay for FTM, and I kept checking to see if I could find it for that price or less. I finally found someone selling the version I wanted for a price I was willing to pay, and I went ahead and ordered it. Of course, a week later I found it for five bucks cheaper — that will teach me to keep checking prices after I have bought an item!

So say hallelujah, I am now linked to the one subscription service that I love to hate and I hate to love. Yes, they sometimes try my patience, and yes, I have yet to get one reminder e-mail from them telling me that my subscription time is up and they are going to be charging me X amount of dollars for another year's subscription, but oh the wonderful abundance of records, the constant addition of new content, and the power of indexing is just too much for me to wave them a permanent good-bye. What can I say? I'm weak.

Right now, I am too busy to sit down and spend much time with Ancestry, but in the short bursts of time I have been online, I have found four new things that will take my research in new directions, and I did it from the comfort of my own home. Does it get any better?

Until Next time — Happy Ancestral Digging!

Note this post first published online, December 12, 2007 at Desktop Genealogist Blog at The News-Messenger Online

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