Week 2 – Paid Genealogy Tools: Which paid genealogy tool do you appreciate the most? What special features put it at the top of your list? How can it help others with their genealogy research?
I'm going to go with one of the obvious choices here and say Ancestry.com is the paid genealogy tool I appreciate the most. I don't even remember how many years I've used it, but I have used it a lot and I like knowing it's there at my fingertips when I want it.
One of the special features on Ancestry is being able to post your family tree so that others can see it and being able to see information on other people's trees. I have made many connections and filled in many blanks this way. It's especially rewarding when someone posts a picture that I don't have of an ancestor or a document I haven't located. My philosophy is, the more people who are interested in what I have gathered that can access it, the better. Not everyone feels that way, and I respect that. Ancestry provides a way for them to keep their information private and only supply it to those who request it if they want.
Along with the benefits of a paid service such as Ancestry, comes the downside of much undocumented and erroneous information and the repetitive duplication of it. However, it is usually very easy to contact the original contributor and ask where the information was obtained.
Ancestry also emails subscribers suggestions for possible documents that match what they have entered about your family members. The suggestions aren't always applicable, but it's definitely worth checking to see if they apply or eliminate them. After all, genealogy requires going through a lot of information to find the items that further our research and eliminating the rest.