Monday, December 16, 2013

What happens to my AMT when I allow my Subscription to Ancestry.com expire ?

Today, in a Google Hangout On Air, on Monday's with Myrt, we talked a little about what happens when you allow your subscription to Ancestry.com expire. Randy Seaver explained on his GeneaMusings blog:

"What good is it to access a newspaper image on Ancestry.com, and not be able to see it after my subscription runs out?"

I thought that I would look at this issue of allowing a subscription to expire a different way. What happens by my Ancestry Member Tree (AMT) when I allow my subscription to expire?

Below are strictly my observations:

AMTs are free after you create a "free" or "Registered Guest" account on Ancestry.com. You can search, see free results, free record groups and you can create an Ancestry Member Tree. If you already of a Genealogy Database Management program, you can generate a GEDCOM file and upload that GEDCOM to that AMT.

So far, all is well, all is free and you are on your way. Now, you want to look at some of those records where you need a subscription to view them and you purchase a subscription. You do lots of research and those records are in your AMT. You even find other Public AMTs and gather information from them and put the information into your AMT.

During this process, is where Randy's blog post comes in handy. Please read it.

For what ever reason, you discontinue your research for a while and you allow your subscription to expire. What you loose in your AMT, is access to the images to those records in your Ancestry Member Tree. (I have not tested and verified that, as I am not about to let my subscription expire). Your AMT is still online and available, just no access to the records.

I logged off of Ancestry.com to see what would happen if I tried to access another Public Ancestry Member Tree.

I see this:



I have lost access to the other AMTs as well. I still have my AMT, but can't see others.

I thought, "that's not right", so I looked at the Knowledge Base website:

I looked up "What is a "Registered Guest" account?" to see what it said.

Use the Ancestry Member Trees feature in any of the following ways.
  • Build a personal member tree, whether from scratch or by uploading a GEDCOM file
  • Share your Family Tree with family or friends
  • View another user's Family Tree if you received an invitation from that tree's owner
  • Respond to someone who contacted you, requesting permission to view your Family Tree
  • View any record linked to a Family Tree to which you have been invited, provided the person owning that tree has some kind of paid account on Ancestry
  • View any photos attached to a Family Tree that you have been invited to view
You will notice that there is no reference to other Public Member Trees.

I thought about that for a bit, after my initial "that's not right" reaction. Having visited the Ancestry "server farm", it dawned on me that Ancestry spends a lot of resources to allow us to have FREE AMTs. We can have and manage our family tree in that online format. So the limitation makes some sense to me about what we could and could not access from that AMT. The subscription based records and images, no problem, but the Publish AMTs .... not so sure.

That has been a long standing complaint about the quality of AMTs, then it dawned on me that maybe this limitation made some sense. If I had access to every public AMT I could create a large, undocumented tree. Maybe Ancestry is trying to encourage us to maintain our subscription or use a lesser subscription for various duration and times to build up our documentation for our online tree.

We still can maintain our AMT, invite people to our tree, take advantage of Ancestry DNA for our own tree.

The same would happen if you use FTM2012 or FTM2014. You can still sync to your AMT, just not have access to the Records and not have access to other AMTs. 

It is my understanding that the Library Edition of Ancestry has the same restrictions. That is, access to a subscription from your local library. You can see the Records from there, just not Ancestry Member Trees.

While you have your active subscription on Ancestry.com AND FTM2012 or FTM2014 you will have those images that you want in FTM2012 of FTM2014. You will notice that those images from Ancestry.com in FTM2012 of FTM2014 will NOT be uploaded to your AMT. 

When you let your subscription lapse on Ancestry, you will loose access to those records in your AMT BUT they will still be on your PC or Mac in FTM2012, FTM2013, FTMM-2 or FTMM-3 (the new Mac Versions) Media folder for that file.

These are my observations on this topic.


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Copyright © 2013 by H R Worthington

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