Ancestry.com is one of the most popular and most easily recognized genealogy websites. It has tons of information that you can search through that will help you find your ancestors. Normally, this website requires that you pay in order to get the information you are searching for. This Labor Day Weekend, however, you can enjoy free access to their collection of U.S. Immigration records.
I have tried using the website Ancestry.com myself. I learned that it is possible to use their search engines, and see a long list of potential results, for free. The problem, I quickly learned, started when I tried to read more about a particular result that was on that list. Instead of showing me the information I was trying to access, Ancestry.com brings me over to a page where I can log into, and sign up for, their service. They do offer a fourteen day free trial. But, after that trial is over, you get charged to use their website. You cannot sign up for a fourteen day free trial without giving Ancestry.com your credit card information. Personally, I found this to be very frustrating.
I am rather new to genealogy. The farthest I’ve ever gotten with it was one attempt to sketch out a family tree. I do not yet know if genealogy is going to be something that I have a lifelong interest in. To me, it is not worth connecting my credit card to a website that I may not decide to use. I believe it would be smarter for me to try out some of the free genealogy websites websites for a while, instead. I cannot fault Ancestry.com for trying to make a profit on the service they provide. They are entitled to get paid for their efforts, just like any other company. My problem is that I am still so new to genealogy that I hesitate to spend money on it just yet.
This Labor Day weekend, Ancestry.com is doing something special. They are allowing everyone access to all the records in their U.S. Immigration collection, completely free of charge. This offer is good through September 6, 2010. You can use a very generalized search engine to get started. Or, if you already know a little bit about the ancestor you are searching for, you might want to use one of their more specific search engines. Choose from Passenger Lists, Citizenship & Naturalization, Border Crossings & Passports, and Other Immigration Records. It seems to be helpful if you happen to know your ancestor’s country of origin, but this is not required. Don’t wait too long to begin your search, because this offer is only good through September 6, 2010.
Image by Diana on Flickr