Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Concerns about Ancestry.com and Genline images

DearREADERS,
Ol' Myrt here was quickly reading her Google Reader between SLIG classes this morning, when I noticed the Genealogy Insider Diane Haddad of Family Tree Magazine had posted a blog entry titled  Ancestry.com Adds Swedish Church Records From Genline.

First, this concerns me, because I've always liked the viewer at Genline.

Secondly, I've learned most about Mr. Myrt's Swedish ancestry by talking with Genline's North American contact Kathy Meade at national and regional genealogy conferences at the Genline booth. I am worried that with the Ancestry.com acquisition of Genline, Kathy and her expertise may get lost in the shuffle.

Now, I have a new concern brought to my attention by well-regarded Swedish research specialist Elisabeth Thorsell via Facebook email. I am quoting only in part until I have Elisabeth's permission to publish her full email. Elisabeth states:

Ancestry.com describes this collection saying: "About Sweden, Church Records, 1500-1937 - The Sweden Church Records collection contains nearly 18 million images scanned from microfilm/microfiche of the original church records. The microfilms are direct copies of the masters housed at the Swedish National Archives in Stockholm."

Elisabeth explains "The Genline records are not housed in the Swedish National Archives in Stockholm. The originals are instead kept in the 10 Regional Archives throughout Sweden.


The Genline pictures are not scanned from the original books, they are scanned from 3rd or 4th generations of the microfilms, that were filmed by the LDS Church during the 1950s and 1960s. That the pictures are copies of copies of copies is why they often are of poor quality."

WHO IS ELIZABETH & WHY DO I CARE WHAT SHE SAYS?
Elizabeth Thorsell has served many years as the secretary of the Swedish Federation of Genealogical Societies (also one of the founders) and served nine years editor of their journal Släkthistoriskt Forum.

SUMMARY
Ol' Myrt here doesn't care if the records are scanned from the original, or from a copy as long as the descriptive text explains the true origin.

I hope Ancestry.com will take head from established Swedish research professionals.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.


4 comments:

  1. Thanks for bringing this to our attention, Myrt. Please know that we didn’t intend to mislead anyone within the description of the Genline collection. We are currently looking into the details around the description and expect to make any updates that are needed in the near future.

    Heather Erickson
    Ancestry.com

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  2. The low quality of images on Genline always bothered me, wish Ancestry.com would work harder to capture their own, original images of the records. Of course that would only increase their prices.

    For those of you looking for good quality images of Swedish records check out ArkivDigital, they have high quality color images of the same records. Only problem is the monthly fee is more than Ancestry's, and you only get access to Swedish records vs. all that are available with a monthly subscription to Ancestry.

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  3. Yes, I agree about your concerns, as it is also a concern of mine. I was able to trace my Swedish heritage back to the 1600's using Genline. It was great and I had so much fun doing it. Kathy Meade is a dream and Genline is/was wonderful!

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  4. I too loved Genline and really could afford to do research there. I could get a short or long term subscription and it was NOT automatically renewed! I want to be able to renew my subscriptions on my own terms - not automatically!!

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