Tuesday, April 10, 2007

DearMYRTLE is alive and well and blogging

DearMYRTLE, your friend in genealogy:
"From: APG Mailing List on behalf of Cat Nielsen


I recently returned from a trip to the FHL. Several of my Adult Ed Students accompanied me, and we had planned for the trip over a 6 month period of time. I was there to guide them in their research and do some professional work as well. Prior to the trip they had used the local FHC, Godfrey.org, Ancestry.com, Heritage Quest, our State Library, a National Archives Branch, and genealogy collections at local public libraries. We were disappointed to learn that Ancestry.com planned to 'pull the plug' on the FHL the week we would be there, but were too far in the planning to not go.

In past years, I could log into my personal Ancestry account because the Plaza Hotel threw out a strong enough signal that I wirelessly accessed the internet from my film reader location. It was slower than the libraries internal network, but it worked. That signal has been tightened, and was not an option this trip.

I found the new wireless access at the library to be great. We could check the Library
catalog from our own PC's, and not have to wait for one of the library machines. At one point it was suggested I email a parish in Europe for the information I needed. I could compose the message on my laptop, accessing the foreign language dictionaries I have on it. "


"It was a great opportunity to wean my students off the internet as the preferred tool for genealogy research. They got into the books, they read the film, and in one case when the local film was impossible to read, we worked together to find an alternate source which turned out to be a state index. They found where to write for the information they need, and they also found alternate web sites to use to find the information they needed.

Now, as an individual subscriber, am I appalled by how Ancestry has treated me. Most definitely. There is nothing in MY contract with Ancestry that says I can access my account anywhere in the world via the internet, except at the FHL or FHC. Would any of us subscribe if that was a provision? Did Ancestry notify us in advance of a change in services
agreement? What, they forgot to slip that tidbit into one of their many mailings!"


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