02 March 2015

Wilder Than Your Tree

Posting *head/desk* without *head/desk* comment. *head/desk*head/desk*head/desk*

 Laura E. Ingalls  male
  Birth 7 February 1867 in Pepin County, WI,
  Death 10 February 1957 in Mansfield, Wright County, MO,

 Doung Blunt (1891 - ) male
 ✿ 3 Living Male Children
 ✿ 3 Living Female Children

 Mary (1889- ) female
 ✿ Gearld W Ackerman, b. 1895
 ✿ Amanda Aseneth Ackerson, b. 1907
 ✿ Amonda Ackerson, b. 1908
 ✿ Maud Ackerson, b. 1908
 ✿ Clonnie J Ackerson, b. 1910
 ✿ Clarence Ackerson, b. 1911
 ✿ Iola Rose Ackerson, b. 1913

 Claire Gillette Lane (1887-1968) male
 ✿ Wilder CaClaire Lane, b. 1910

 Almanzo James Wilder (1857-1949) male
 ✿ Rose Wilder Lane, b. 1886
 ✿ Wilder, b. 1889

 Almanzo James Wilder (1857-1949) male
 ✿ Rose Wilder Lane, b. 1886
 ✿ Wilder, b. 1889

 Bertha aka Birdie Byrd Ingalls (1878-1953) female
 ✿ 1 Living Female
 ✿ George W Ackerson, b. 1895
 ✿ Lela Pearl Ackerson, b. 1897
 ✿ Eva Maude Ackerson, b. 1899
 ✿ Clonnie J Ackerman, b. 1910

 Bird V (1878-1953) female
 ✿ George W Ackerson, b. 1895
 ✿ Lela Pearl Ackerson, b. 1897
 ✿ Eva Maude Ackerson, b. 1899

 Mary Caroline Buchholz (1889-1958) female
 ✿ 1 Living Female
 ✿ Gearld W Ackerman, b. 1895
 ✿ Amanda Aseneth Ackerson, b. 1907
 ✿ Maud Ackerson, b. 1908
 ✿ Clonnie J Ackersman, b. 1910
 ✿ Clarence Ackerson, b. 1911
 ✿ Iola Rose Ackerson, b. 1913


 ✿ 1880 U.S. Federal Census
     Ira Ackerson, male, b. abt 1873 in Iowa; living in Fairfield, Grundy, Iowa
 ✿ 1880 U.S. Federal Census
     Laura E. Ingalls, female, b. abt 1867 in Wisconsin; living in De Smet, Kingsbury, Dakota Territory
 ✿ 1892 New York State Census
     Ira Ackerson, male, b. abt 1872 in USA
 ✿ 1900 U.S. Federal Census
     Ira R Ackerson, male, b. Jun 1872 in Iowa; living in Beaver, Butler, Iowa
 ✿ 1910 U.S. Federal Census
     Ira Ackerson, male, b. abt 1874 in Iowa; living Iowa, Marshall, Iowa
 ✿ 1915 Iowa State Census
     Iva Ackerson, male, b. abt 1874 in Iowa
 ✿ 1920 U.S. Federal Census
     Ira Ackerson, male, b. abt 1873 in Iowa; living Albion, Butler, Iowa
 ✿ 1925 Iowa State Census
     Lela Blunt, female, b. abt 1898 in Iowa; father Ira Ackerson
 ✿ 1925 Iowa State Census
     Ira Ackerson, male, b. abt 1874 in Iowa
 ✿ 1930 U.S. Federal Census
     Ira Ackerson, male, b. abt 1874 in Iowa; living in Beaver, Butler, Iowa
 ✿ Family Data Collection
     Laura Elizabeth Ingalls, b. 7 Feb 1867, d. 10 Feb 1957
 ✿ U.S. WWI Draft Registration
     Ira Ackerson, b. 7 Jun 1873 in USA
 ✿ 10 Ancestry Member Trees
     8 for Ira Ackerson, 1 for Laura Elizabeth Ingalls, 1 for Rose Wilder

Thanks to Kristin for the link to this profile. ;-)
If you have a tree or profile to suggest please send the link to buwtree(at)gmail(dot)com. Thanks! 

PREVIOUS POST: Ancestry Tech
NEXT POST: Coming Soon

26 February 2015

Ancestry Tech

There has been so much I've wanted to write about that my brain just froze up and I haven't written in weeks. Sorry about that. So here I go trying to kick things into gear again.
Earlier this month The Ancestry Insider wrote an interesting summary of a presentation given by Ancestry.com at the RootsTech Innovator's Summit. You can read that post here. Three things stood out to me.

1) They "noticed that new users came to Ancestry.com and typed in their own names, then left when they found nothing." Tech Department meet Marketing Department.

You two might want to chat occasionally.

2) It's pretty standard to use stats to tout the site...

...but the numbers are not all that impressive once you take a look behind the curtain. The 60 million trees include junk trees and trees created users who click, click, click and are never heard from again once their free trial is over. A single tree back to Adam & Eve requires hundreds of unsourced, completely made up profiles. Hints accepted include clip art (ships, flags, coats of arms, etc.), images of fruit, urinals, and who knows what else. Urinals? Seriously? Even the number of records attached is worthless because it includes these collections, redundant Find A Grave collections, and tree owners who will attach absolutely anything and everything.

3) Of course I saved the best for last. This is the next to last paragraph:
"In the question and answer segment, someone asked that if Ancestry.com was so interested in learning from their customers, why wasn’t there a feedback link somewhere on their site. They explained that Ancestry.com has millions of customer interactions and that if they had a feedback link, they would not be able to review all the submissions. It’s a bad idea to ask for input and that you don’t actually read."
If they don't want feedback it's a good thing there's no feedback link on their site. Oh wait...

The screen cap is from this page which can be found by 
going to Ancestry.com and clicking the "Collaborate" tab.

Ancestry's answer confirms two things about their tech team that we knew all along. First, they don't read the feedback and second, they don't use the site.

PREVIOUS POST: Do Not Ancestry
NEXT POST: Wilder Than Your Tree

03 February 2015

Do Not Ancestry

UPDATE: Apparently there's a new subscription level for DNA users but the only reference I've found for it is this thread in the "community." Note that comments are closed on that thread.

AncestryDNA is now available in the United Kingdom and Ireland but it looks like Ancestry doesn't really want to sell any tests. The price of the test is £99. That's about $150 US. In the US the test sells for $99. Shipping to the UK and Ireland is three times what it is here, £20 ($30). US shipping is $9.95. And that's just the beginning.
For everyone purchasing a test after September or October 2014 (Ancestry has  not given an exact cutoff date) the following items are no longer included in the price of the test:
- List of surnames in common with matches.
- Ability to message your matches.
- Viewing the pedigree of your match's tree.
- Shared Ancestor Hints
- DNA Circles
Any tests purchased before the arbitrary date will still have those features with or without a subscription. AncestryDNA already lags behind when it comes to comparison tools and now they're moving what little they do have behind a pay wall.
The closest competitor for AncestryDNA is FamilyTreeDNA's autosomal test, Family Finder. Their test is $99. Period. Their prices do not vary by country. Standard shipping to most countries is $9.95 and they will ship everywhere except Iran and Sudan. And, most notably, using their comparison tools does not require a separate subscription.
When Ancestry jumped into the autosomal market they drove down prices. Once it became clear that autosomal tests would be the "next big thing" they dumped their Y and mt tests. Do they think they've cornered the market? Are they that confident in their minimal DNA tools? Do they think customers will be loyal no matter what?
Anyone have any insights on this?

[Full disclosure: I have no association with any DNA company except as a customer. I purchased a Y-DNA test from FamilyTreeDNA but have not purchased their Family Finder test. I received my first AncestryDNA test for free and have since purchased six more.]

PREVIOUS POST: Waste of Space
NEXT POST: Ancestry Tech

26 January 2015

Waste of Space

Today we have photos uploaded to a single profile. Along with the images below there are scans of a baptismal record and a marriage record. Each of those is uploaded twice.

Title: seal of NJ
Uploaded: 8 times

Title: seal of NY
Uploaded: 8 times

Title: New_Amsterdam_1684_Visscher
Uploaded: 9 times

That's 29 uploads for 5 photos to one profile. The last image has been attached 21 times to 7 other trees. That's right, it has been attached multiple times to other trees. Not that you can tell from the image but it's a drawing of New Amsterdam from 1648.

Thanks to Kristin for the link to this profile ;-)

PREVIOUS POST: Cousins Are Not Ancestors
NEXT POST: Do Not Ancestry

22 January 2015

Cousins Are Not Ancestors

UPDATED after another error was found.

There was a statement made on this week's episode of Genealogy Roadshow that made me do a double take. But first, a statement that probably had historians yelling at their television sets.
The opening of each episode contains some history of the city they are filming in. The Saint Louis episode included this "fact":
 Narrator: "Named for the French Monarch, Louis the Fourteenth..."
According to the city's official site, Saint Louis was named for Louis IX.
The quote that made me do a double take was in the Laura Ingalls Wilder segment [starts at 44:25]. The entire segment, most of this episode in fact, was filled with "may be" and "might be." There was no definitive answer on whether the family was related to Laura Ingalls Wilder, just a huge leap of faith based on proximity. That was bad enough but then there was this:
 Kenyatta Barry: "You've been reading the books written by your pioneering ancestor."
Aunts, uncles, and cousins, no matter how distant, are not ancestors. If these families are connected, and that's still a pretty big if, Laura Ingalls Wilder would be a distant cousin. They are definitely not the author's descendants which means she is definitely not their ancestor.

Starting at 38:35 in the episode linked above you see James Whaley (b. 1921-). He is the grandfather of the young man Josh Taylor has at his table. Dass Whaley is the young man's great-grandfather.

Josh Taylor: "He married a woman named Chanch Leopold and we were able to trace the Leopold family back..."

While it is never stated that Chanch Leopold is the mother of James Whaley the on-screen chart shows they are linked and reads, "Great Grandmother: 1931 - ??."
Dass made quite the catch finding a woman willing to marry a man almost 50 years her senior. And giving birth to James 10 years before she herself was born? That miracle should've been the highlight of the show.

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