Following on from my genealogy post a few weeks ago I am now in a very annoying position. Bless those dear souls at Ancestry! I have used the Family Tree Maker software now for around 3 years. For the first time I have stumbled across an automatic renewal for 12 months which I think is wrong. The deal with the software is that in the small print when you sign up is a note telling you that this will happen but that you will receive a notification before renewal (which is fair enough). What they don’t tell you is that around the same time they will start bombarding you with other emails so that the one with the critical information gets lost amongst all the others. I wouldn’t mind but I can’t get the newer versions of the FTM package to work successfully without hanging my decently-specced PC. I’ve had to continue working off FTM 2010.
Having said that the 2010 package is good and the addition of the 1911 Census is fantastic. For the first time you can see the handwriting of your ancestors because the 1911 census was filled in and returned by the householder themselves.
I’ve decided to take the opportunity to redo the whole thing. The first time around I started with some research my brother had done and then accepted more or less any facts established by others. Family trees join up regularly and you can choose to accept what others have recorded. The problem is that if one person gets it wrong everyone else accepts the same mistake and you end up researching someone else’s family.
I’ve also decided to painstakingly record every single bit of information against every member, not just the direct descendants. This has been quite good at turning up odd family members who disappeared and couldn’t be traced – they are regularly house guests in distant relative’s houses.
One thing that is frustrating is that I don’t seem to be having much joy with anything other than Censuses, the free Marriage, Birth and Death records and some WW1 military records. There’s a lot of data in Ancestry but sadly none of it appears to be for my family. I suppose that, given over hundreds of years we progressed from Labourer to Agricultural Labourer and peaking at General Labourer, my relatives are unlikely to appear anytime soon in The Times.
If anyone has any tips on getting more from it before the 12 months subscription expires please let me know.