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Archiver > APG > 2005-05 > 1115273208

From: "Barbara Wylie" <>
Subject: RE: [APG] RE: Ancestry Marketing
Date: Thu, 5 May 2005 01:06:48 -0500
In-Reply-To: <003801c55127$86978ae0$0900a8c0@LISSALAP>

Thank you, Elissa, for your reasoned response. Although the "instant
ancestors" hype causes us all to grit our teeth, how many of us would have
begun genealogical research if we'd been told that it was so difficult only
a professional could do it? We jumped right in, experienced the thrill of
our first finds, and THEN discovered that we couldn't go further without
developing our skills through education or hiring a professional. Many of
the people who buy the "instant ancestors" approach today will become our
clients or students in our classes and workshops in the fullness of time.

By and large, Ancestry has been a friend of the genealogical community and
they've been willing to listen, so let's register our concerns politely and
not have a Bash Ancestry party.

Barbara Brixey Wylie
Grand Prairie, TX

-----Original Message-----
From: Elissa Scalise Powell, CGRS [mailto:]
Sent: Wednesday, May 04, 2005 11:04 PM
Subject: RE: [APG] RE: Ancestry Marketing

> -----Original Message-----
> From: MJ Mann [mailto:]
> Sent: Wednesday, May 04, 2005 11:08 PM
> the conference to confront these executives. If they see a group, they'll
take things more seriously than a
> number of individuals approaching them separately. I think it would
> definitely make an impression on them.
> Just a thought,
> Maureen J Mann
> Middletown, NJ

Confrontation is not what Sandy had in mind. She knows that personal
invitations have been issued to many leaders in our industry to meet with
Ancestry executives to hear concerns, issues, ideas, trends, and needs from
the genealogical community. Many of those invited are on this APG list and
have read all the posts. Think of those who are invited as your
representatives from the professional side of genealogy to one of the
largest commercial genealogical concerns in America. Discussions are usually
full of ideas with genealogical community needs and trends being noted and
prioritized in friendly group conversations. Believe me, we consumers
already make an impression on Ancestry which they acknowledge by initiating
this contact periodically. They are interested in what we "in the trenches"
have to say and are willing to listen to the leaders among us, much to their

With that said, I will be interested to hear what their marketing strategy
is with these ads and hope they will see the point that we all seem to know:
it isn't as easy as one would be led to believe. But then I think of a
librarian I know who tells the story of the lady who came into the library
and asked for the book on her family. The librarian asked if someone wrote a
family history and that she just wanted to see if the library had it? No,
says the woman, I "know" the library keeps track of my family history and I
want to see it!

Classic case of wishful thinking such as this makes our job of educating the
public so important. In this world of instant potatoes, instant coffee and
instant messaging, how can we tell them that it can take months or years to
find grandma's town of origin in the old country? It is an uphill battle but
one we have to wage.

Sorry for the soapbox. But it is an important one that we all have a hand in
since education is never ending and will take all of us to be effective.

-- Elissa in Pittsburgh

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