Sunday, July 3, 2011

Information and Freedom

For those whose mantra is “Information Should Be Free,” this minor offer from is probably not what you had in mind. However, if you are starting your genealogical journey and would like to test the waters at Ancestry, their weekend offer of free access might be just the kind of celebration you could get into.

On Ancestry’s home page, the company often offers a free two-week trial subscription. This is, indeed, the offer featured again this weekend. However, if you take the time to allow the offers on the near-top right corner to scroll through, you will see a clickable window that states, “Free Access Weekend: Discover Your Patriotic Roots in These New Records.” The offer to explore this new collection featured on Ancestry is good through Monday, July 4.

There are, of course, multitudes of genuinely free records online; you just have to know where to find them. If the hunt is what gets you going, then by all means, follow that scent. However, if you’ve always been curious about exactly What You Might Find On Ancestry But Were Too Cheap To Ask, then this might just be your offer. has found a way to assemble an impressive collection of data so that it may be handily sorted by computer search at home. Though I have no financial interest in the company (if you happen to be wondering), as a former accidental (and incidental) dust bunny collector in many an analog archive, I find the offer of a place like Ancestry tempting. I research on my time, at my leisure, in the comfort of my home. While I supplement what I’ve found on Ancestry with scores of other (free) online resources, the hints I’ve found at Ancestry were often the clues that tipped me off to head to those other resources. If I hadn’t known from what I found at Ancestry, I wouldn’t have known where to make that next stop.

So, if you can celebrate at the drop of a (three-cornered) hat this weekend and would like to see what has to offer, this might just be that star-spangled opportunity you were hoping for.

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