Thursday, September 3, 2015
Snatched Yet Again From
the Dinosaur Clutches of the Status Quo
Oh, woe is me. I've been rescued—kicking and screaming—from the fate of the dinosaurs yet once again.
Perhaps you remember my stalwart refusal to keep up with the modern computer age, when it came face to face with the Microsoft decision to no longer support Windows XP. That earth-shattering event had personal repercussions because I was still running my family tree database on the Family Tree Maker version—true confessions, here—4.40. Yes. I am a Luddite. A true techno-dinosaur.
You may now laugh.
As if that weren't enough, once I managed to transfer my files over to Ancestry.com's system, I endured that company's permutations with reluctant patience.
All until this last change.
What change, you ask? If you are an Ancestry.com user, you likely have made that shift long ago and have since put it out of mind. I, wary soul that I am, did not. I watched the disparaging comments fly, once Ancestry reinvented itself and rolled out its LifeStory. Time and again, as I logged into my account, the company would float their banner front and center, attempting to lure me from my dogged insistence on the same, the predictable and the quickly manipulable. I always resisted the temptation.
You have to understand: in my quest to quickly add as many ancestors—and all their siblings and their descendants—to my tree, I don't have time to get lost in someone's artful rearrangement of graphics. I click through a lot of documents in rapid-fire succession. And I do it regularly. I have several tabs on my iPad loaded with works in progress, and that iPad goes everywhere with me. When I confront even a moment of down time, I've got that tablet open to my Ancestry.com account, and am tapping and tagging names with verification. I run through the generations in rapid succession that way, always chasing my goals of building out those trees.
This morning, however, I awoke to my daily blog reading to run across Gail Dever's post at Genealogy à la carte. She briefly mentioned a newsworthy item: through next Monday, Ancestry.com is offering free access to its new U.S. Wills and Probates collection.
Since I've been wandering around my family's various ancestral lines here in the United States before the great 1850 census divide, I've had a need to access more records on family members' wills. So naturally, I wanted to take a closer look at Ancestry.com's offerings.
Gail's article on Ancestry's free offering of this new collection referenced a more detailed post by Lorine Schulze at her blog, The Olive Tree Genealogy. I clicked through to take a look.
This is how the unsuspecting Luddite gets lured into the trap.
Lorine's article provided not one but several—seemingly countless—links to the Ancestry.com collection. Hey, why not? I clicked through to the Tennessee collection. After all, I could use some more information on my Thomas Taliaferro Broyles' tree. I entered my requested terms and clicked "Search."
Instantly, I was facing a page from his will. However, it was overlaid with a page stating that, in order to view the document, I would have to see it in the new Ancestry.com version.
Forget that, I thought, and X'd out of it. I didn't want to see those wills that badly!
Too late. The deed was done. No matter where I turned, back in my own tree, I was now in the new version. Locked out of the dinosaur era. Trapped.
Taking a deep breath, I steadied myself long enough to read the FAQs. "Everything will be okay," I kept telling myself. "Pay no attention to all those dire reports of problems with the change." It couldn't be any worse than those Facebook changes, over the years, could it? Everyone complains about those.
It wasn't long until I discovered there was a recourse. I could ask to go back home. But I had to tell the good fairy godmother people why there was "no place like home." And the three choices they offered on their handy questionnaire didn't include "I don't have time for change."
But...there's no time like the present, isn't there? When else would I be making this switch? After all, at some point, the old system will be entirely wiped clean and the "new" will become the status quo. If I don't hurry, I'll miss the chance to complain about the new system—it will have been replaced by the next generation of upgrades. I better hurry if I don't want to miss my chance.