Sunday, November 18, 2012

Are you serious? I'm guilty... The great con job

I just read a very good article on bad data in genealogy web sites at:  I too fell victim to bad data years ago. I was the one who posted it.  I purchased FTM (Family Tree Maker) way back when and along with my fellow researcher, my mother-in-law, we set about building our family trees from the data we had. The internet was still new, and FTM was just beginning to push their World Family Tree.  The advertisements all stated how using their service to publish our trees to the internet would help other people find us and help "grow our family trees". So both of us did this.

About a year later, the next generation of the software came out, and my Mother-in-law bought it, it had the first World Family Tree included in it. We were very excited!  We got on and started searching, finding our own data and of course, as it was now, no other information.

Years pass, I went to get onto my FTM site where now and again, I had added new updates and pictures, made a few corrections, and one day, discovered I could no longer access my "free" web tree.  I had to purchase access.  Unfortunately, I did not have the $$ to do this, so said to heck with it.

Last year, a distant relative contacted me about bad data in my tree at So I'm one of the ones to blame for bad data bases.  I'm not about to pay for something that was touted to be free when I first did the work, and now is selling my "free" tree.   I honestly didn't mind when they were cutting it to CD and bundling it with the software, until that became too expensive and I went to one for free on the internet (which I like even better). But the great con job became "do this for free" and then the lock me out of it, wanting money to get back in, AND selling what I thought was going to be free access to all, not just paid members.

In one way, I should apologize for the bad data, and in another way, too damn bad you got it, I have no way to fix it without spending my gas money every month to pay for an account. I need the gas a whole lot more than I need the access.

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