One World Tree
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One World Tree
There is a lot of buzz on the RootsWeb mailing lists and message boards about the new search service from Ancestry.com called OneWorldTree.
The general misconception is that Ancestry will begin selling the gedcoms and family trees that have been submitted to Ancestry World Tree and RootsWeb WorldConnect. Recommendations are being passed around that if you don't want your family tree to be sold to remove your gedcom from AWT (Ancestry World Tree) and WC (RootsWeb World Connect)
I am seeing e-mails being forwarded from one mailing list to the next, all bearing the same message that
"If you submitted a family tree to Ancestry.com for free viewing by researchers, that's all about to change. Later this month, Ancestry plans to BEGIN CHARGING RESEARCHERS TO VIEW YOUR TREES. If you don't want that, you'll have to remove your tree."
A little investigation shows that THIS IS NOT TRUE.
Everything that was free at Ancesty will remain free including the family trees.
The confusion seems to be that Ancestry introduced a new product with a very similar sounding name to the Ancestry World Tree.
The FAQ at the RootsWeb help desk answers the questions about OneWorldTree - including that OneWorldTree is not required to view these trees and that you still own the data that has been submitted. It also states:
"Submitting a tree and accessing a tree online is still FREE — as always."
Read the rest of the FAQ
RootsWeb also stated,
"Ancestry is *not* charging for access to trees or selling trees: access will remain free from both the RootsWeb and Ancestry side as it has always been."Ancestry says,
"We regret any confusion this matter may have caused. User-submitted family trees are free and will remain free through the Ancestry World Tree and the RootsWeb WorldConnect databases.
OK, but What is OneWorldTree?
Ancestry's new product, One World Tree is essentially an intelligent SEARCH ENGINE that links family history records through a process Ancestry calls "stitching" - pooling resources from Ancestry databases and grouping them by person. These "Person Pages" created by OneWorldTree are what is being sold as a subscription.
Eventually the user-submitted trees will become less and less important as Ancestry stitches its datasets together for a "Person Page" which will provide references to the original sources. Within the next couple of months, Ancestry will stitch the 1930 census information building trees from the relationship information in the census and then will start stitching all of its datasets, including all the census and vital records, grouping sources by person.
Instead of getting search results for every "Mary Jones" (yes, unfortunately, this is really my great-grandmother's name), and having to go into every database to see if it is "my" Mary Jones, Ancestry's OneWorldTree will give only Mary Jones results that match my Mary Jones by birthdate, deathdate, location and more, and present a sourced family tree for my Mary Jones with links to the sources and references located in the Ancestry databases - all on one Mary Jones "Person Page"
If you have ever searched a common name especially in a big city, you'll appreciate how wonderful this will be.
OneWorldTree will be able to validate family trees by verifying them against Ancestry databases of original documents, such as census records. Those trees we have all complained about with long lists of names without any dates or locations will NOT be able to be validated by OneWorldTree. Hurray!
"OneWorldTree gathers family trees and family history records for millions of people, analyzes the birth, death and marriage data and then displays the most probable matches for your ancestors."
Want to see what all the fuss is about? Read Ancestry's Description of OneWorldTree. Note that it says the product is still in development which means that Ancestry databases are just starting to be being added to OWT for "stitching".
Try It for Yourself with the FREE preview at OneWorldTree.
I plan on leaving my family tree on Ancestry World Tree. Cousins have found me in the past using Ancestry World Tree, and I expect with the new improved search, even more cousins will find me. What a great way to share family genealogy.
Ancestry's One World Tree
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