Monday, March 19, 2007

Discontinued Ancestry.com Access to the Family History Centers

To: Family History Center Directors in English Language Areas
From: Worldwide Support
Date: March 16, 2007
Re: Discontinued Access to Ancestry.com Databases

For many years, Ancestry.com has provided free access to patrons of family history centers around the world. Ancestry has informed the Church that as of April 1, 2007, it will discontinue this free access to the full Ancestry.com service.

Free access through Ancestry.com to the following databases will continue:

1. Index and images for the 1880, 1900 and 1920 U.S. censuses
2. Full name indices for the British 1841-1891 censuses (England and Wales)
3. World War I draft cards indices as created and miscellaneous other databases

Free access is likely to be discontinued for the remainder of the Ancestry.com databases including:

1. Index and images for the 1930 U.S. census
2. Index and images for the 1901 British census (England, Scotland, and Wales)

At this point, Ancestry.com is not offering an option for family history centers to independently purchase commercial or library site licenses. Patrons, of course, may choose to subscribe directly to Ancestry.com.

Free access to online databases is important and we therefore intend to add many new databases to FamilySearch.org. Much of the data preparation will be accomplished through the online indexing program available at FamilySearchIndexing.org. We encourage you to visit the website to learn more.

Volunteers have already begun indexing the 1900 U.S. census and other projects. Other censuses and vital record collections will be indexed as soon as the 1900 U.S. census project is completed. The more volunteers that participate, the sooner access can be provided. Since access to databases on FamilySearch.org is free to all, we anticipate that this will be of great interest to individuals around the world. We are also exploring opportunities to provide broader access to additional databases from other online service providers.

Please inform patrons regarding our plans to provide access to records and invite them to help by participating in the FamilySearch Indexing projects. We will communicate as more information becomes available. Thank you for all that you do on behalf of our patrons.

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