Ancestry.com to Drop MyFamily, MyCanvas, Genealogy.com, Mundia and the Y-DNA and mtDNA Tests

Major industry news: MyFamily, MyCanvas, Mundia and the Y-DNA and mtDNA tests will be shut down. In addition, the Genealogy.com web site will undergo major changes but will remain as an available product.

Below is the announcement from Ancestry.com V.P. Eric Shoup as posted on the Ancestry.com Blog. For details concerning the changes to each service, click on the links at the end of Eric’s announcement:

We’re proud of the variety of products we’ve created over the years that enable people to discover, preserve and share their family history. We recognize that there are a lot of ways that we, as a company, can make family history easier, more accessible and more fun for people all over the world. And we’re continually innovating to make it a reality.
We’re always looking to focus our efforts in a way that provide the most impact, while also delivering the best service and best product experience to users. To that end, we’ve decided to retire some of our services: MyFamily, MyCanvas, Genealogy.com, Mundia and the Y-DNA and mtDNA tests.

We will note that the AncestryDNA (autosomal) test will continue to be available for purchase. Only the y-DNA and mtDNA tests will be retired.

Starting September 5, 2014, these services will no longer be available to access. Genealogy.com is the exception to the rule, and will continue in a slightly different form. If you are an active member or subscriber to one of these services, you will be contacted directly with details of how to transition the information you’ve created using these services.

We know these services have provided value to you. We think they’re pretty cool too, which is why this wasn’t an easy decision for us to make. In the end, it came down to priorities and we think our core offerings are a great place to spend our time and resources.

So here’s to revolutionizing family history, focusing on providing the best product experience we can offer and to the limitless possibilities that lie before us.

If you have any other inquiries, here are some frequently asked questions that might help:

Genealogy.com

MyFamily

MyCanvas

LegacyDNA

Mundia – English

66 Comments

Just knew this would happen. Was only a matter of time. If Ancestry.com wasn’t so gosh darn good with their original records (census, draft cards, ships, etc.) I’d drop it in a minute. FamilySearch has announced it will be easier to connect documents to family trees so I’m just gonna wait and see. Ancestry’s synch feature might keep me there. Just have to wait and see.

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    There is little doubt that Ancestry, like all monopolies, will not remain in a field or endeavor that it cannot control or produce enormous profits. The removal of the MyFamily sites IS an attempt to force users to post their family data on Ancestry.com. You can “gedcom” your tree into RootsMagic, from FamilyTreeMaker, and produce your own web site.

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    Mary Dresser Taffet June 9, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    Bob,
    The MyFamily.com sites do have a place for trees, but that is not their strength; in fact, I’ve never thought that they were useful for trees in and of themselves.

    Primarily they are a place for sharing files (like word processor documents, photos, PDFs, etc.), posting family news, etc., with others who share the same family. Unlike something like a Facebook Group, they can be completely private, in that a username and password are required to access them. In my case, only those known to be descended from either a particular couple, or from the same surname in the same place, are members. Though a couple of years, I asked for contributions from other members, for most of the time I have had my site, I have paid the fee every year and the rest of the members had free access.

    Neither Rootsmagic nor FamilyTreeMaker (both of which I own) can be replacements for a MyFamily.com site.

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Smart for them, extremely difficult for us, but now that Ancestry is owned or partially owned by a non Genealogy oriented company their priorities are nothing but their bottom line.
We have a large DNA project and five MyFamily websites with ancestral photos and documents that are irreplaceable as some of our earlier members are no longer living.
If we wanted to just do puppies, kitty’s, babies and recipes, we would not be on Ancestry’s MyFamily.com’s original site.
Welcome to the corporate world of “name collecting” and unsourced “Family Trees”.

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    Excellent comment. My projects have always made extensive use of supporting materials. What alternatives are there for that type of project except to turn everything into a “picture” for a glossy book?

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We started our MyFamily site as a repository of documents, photos and member biographies for generations to come. All that seems to be coming to an end and the suggested substitute sites are not anything that we can use. Ancestry.com has been dedicated to family history and I am deeply saddened that it is putting an end to our family history connections.

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    This is perfect example of why you should NOT trust your data to “the cloud”: the owner of “the cloud” can change their mind at any time. I hope that you are able to download all that data to your computer…

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Ancestry.com has devolved into a tragic mistake. The new search is an epic fail. Their marketing people can argue about it they want, you can’t polish a turd. SO now they decide to drop services? UNACCEPTABLE. Hopefully Americans will STOP feeding this monster and bring it to its knees before it becomes a true monopoly and prices most out of genealogy forever. NOTHING was wrong with the old system, they were making great money, but as we all know greed is INSATIABLE.

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    As an American with strong UK roots, I resent your insinuation that it’s the “Americans” who are responsible for supporting the monster you decry. It’s clear to me that there is a global community involved. I go on record, however, in joining your protest against the discontinuation of these services; they have kept our family informed across many continents and inspired generations to connect.

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I have copies of my trees on Ancestry, but all documentation that I have found, I have saved to my dropbox. If they drop things, since I have it all saved, I will not lose anything. I was just considering joining the genealogy.com, but guess I won’t.

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    And what if dropbox goes out of business or “changes direction” or gets raided by Homeland Security and shuts down?

    Do you have copies of your files on your own home computer?

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    With Dropbox, you ALWAYS have copies of every file stored in your computer’s hard drive. Dropbox copies files from your computer to Dropbox’s servers and to other computers you specify. However, the original ALWAYS remains on your hard drive and, if you have told Dropbox to copy to other computers you own, copies are placed there as well. If Dropbox is down or ever goes out of business, your files always remain on your hard drive(s). Since I use both desktop and laptop computers, every file in my Dropbox folder has copies on the desktop(s), on the laptop(s), and on Dropbox’s servers. If Dropbox goes out of business, I still have my copies on my computers’ hard drives. The same is true with most other online backup services.

    That’s one of the reasons I like Dropbox and trust it more than most other online providers. Of course, I still keep additional copies on local hard drives and in another online backup service. Having at least two backups, stored in different locations, is always recommended. Three backups is still better. Having four backups is even better than three and so on…

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    I sure do!

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    With Dropbox, you ALWAYS have copies of every file stored in your computer’s hard drive.

    This is good to know. Thank you.
    What if, however, you delete the files from your HDD at some point after uploading them to DB?

    Ron

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    —> What if, however, you delete the files from your HDD at some point after uploading them to DB?

    Dropbox keeps a copy of all deleted files for 30 days. If you accidentally delete files in your hard drive, as I have done a couple of times, you have 30 days to retrieve them from Dropbox. In addition, Dropbox has an extra-cost option where the company keeps your deleted files forever. If you pay for that option, you can retrieve deleted files several years after they were deleted from your hard drive.

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Keith Anderson (Switzerland) June 6, 2014 at 5:02 am

Cannot believe that they will just delete the thousands (millions??) of hours of work with no possibility for downloading, back up or replacement service.

I have projects that have been created using only MyCanvas that will take hundreds of hours to recreate in an alternative format. I look forward to hearing that someone else is prepared to take over the MyCanvas part of the business or at least allow transfer of existing projects. The real value of the site for me was publishing, there are many alternate sites for searching records.

Hopefully sufficient numbers of people like me will now leave Ancestry for an alternative and make the remaining site of significantly lower value for the owners.

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    Donna Martin-Netherton- Iowa June 7, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    I, too, an outraged that My canvas is being dropped..I have over a dozen projects that I completed over hundreds of hours as well as over 700 photos that I borrowed from relatives and no longer have the originals…I asked for the file at least that contains my photos and was told NO…this is proprietary material of ancestry and will be deleted…Excuse me…these are MY photos and I want them returned!!! And… these photos cannot be downloaded. Lousy customer service..we were told our projects would always be kept safe at ancestry and NOW they are being deleted!

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    Donna,
    That’s terrible. Time for an attorney? I suspect that there might be many lawsuits if they won’t let people claim their own property.

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    and was told NO…this is proprietary material of ancestry and will be deleted

    Did you read the Ancestry.com Terms Of Service?

    And… these photos cannot be downloaded.

    Trusting your irreplaceable documents to strangers?

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    I too use My Canvas to publish my family tree projects. Now they are going to ‘retire’ the site. The problem is that because of the current down time I don’t know if I can get my projects finished. When I contacted Ancestry about the time lost they said they would not extend the deadline and did not know when they would have it up and running. again. I think we have been treat very badly by this company who take our money and then arbitrarily change the very thing we paid the money in the first place. This is a company who do not care one bit about their customers. If it comes up in time for me to finish my projects I ill consider leaving them for good after I get it done. What is the point of paying when they will not live up to their obligations. Some one should sue them.

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I am outraged that Ancestry is going to stop the usage of GenForum which is a part of Genealogy.com. I have been a user of that forum since the late 1990s. It is a treasure trove of shared information. That source alone has given me more valuable leads than any other site including Ancestry.com. The huge amount of information on Genforum just cannot ever be lost!

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    I don’t understand why ancestry.com isn’t merging GenForum into the ancestry boards like they did with the rootsweb boards. Then you could at least reply to the messages

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    I agree. I have made more contacts with distant relatives on Genforum than anyplace else. @Sue– Merging it into the Rootsweb/Ancestry boards is a bad idea. Those boards are so user unfriendly. The great thing about Genforum is that you can go on everyday, do a search on posts only from yesterday, and run 50 surname searches in a few minutes, and see if anything new of interest was posted on any forum.

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    The genealogy.com FAQs state that GenForum will remain, but in a read only state. So current data will not be lost; just no new data entered.

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    Yes, but sadly, there will be no way to share newly discovered information with people asking for help. Beside individual surnames they also have forums for countries. I was able to talk to helpful people in Finland for help in that language. This is a huge loss!

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A question not a relpy.
Since Ancestry.com is doing away with DNA, Who is picking up that service. Is there another company as good in DNA?

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    Your best bet is http://www.familytreedna.com — an excellent company. Genealogical DNA is their sole focus and you can transfer your y-DNA from ancestry.com for around $19. You can also transfer your autosomal DNA for $69. Not sure about mtDNA transfers. Family Tree DNA has a larger y-DNA data base than other companies, and many useful tools for its products. You will probably be pleasantly surprised.

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    Ancestry is not doing away with all DNA. They are now going to only use autosomal DNA testing which means it can be used by either a male or female. I have taken the autosomal DNA test at Ancestry and it is superior in every way.

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    Ancestry is still keeping the autosomal DNA. For the yDNA and mtDNA FamilyTreeDNA.com is the best place to go.

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    For y-DNA, Family Tree DNA (FTNDA) was always FAR superior to Ancestry. Other than a few surname projects that chose to go with Ancestry, there are more testers for most surnames on FTDNA. They offer better support (something which Ancestry never did with y-DNA). They have a better display of results, so that people can view the results for any surname (not just your own surname that you tested). Try seeing results for other surnames than your own on Ancestry and it was virtually impossible. FTDNA also tests up to 111 markers, which for some haplotypes is necessary to be able to break down the different branches of families. I’m not sorry to see Ancestry discontinue y-DNA testing. Virtually everyone I knew that did y-DNA testing there eventually ended up testing also with FTDNA, and all wished they hadn’t chosen Ancestry originally.

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I am in the process of making family tree books for my nephews who are getting married this year. Now I have to hurry to finish before MyCanvas disappears everything. While there are many ways to generate and print family tree posters, I don’t know of another resource for assembling linked documents (like censuses, draft cards, etc) into a book. VERY disappointed with decision.

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Why would anyone want to spend the money to have their DNA tested with Ancestry? Having done that in the past I have found their matching system less then useful. I much prefer the manor in which FTDNA shows my returns. Though, I would really like them to produce a map similar to that of 23andMe.

So, when I decided to have my autosomal DNA test, and that of my brother, I chose FTDNA. Why take the test at Ancestry then move it to FTDNA after. Just take it at FTDNA at the outset.

FTDNA was smart setting up an alternative place where one can lodge their results from other testing companies. Now, if only I can urge all those who have put their results there to complete the process by adding their surnames and including a link to their Ancestry tree.

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Keith, there is no alternative to Ancestry.com. They have purchased most of the other Genealogy sites, Fold3.com, Find a Grave.com, Rootsweb, and they are affiliated with Familysearch.org, and Billion Graves. Remember how we used to find records on FamilySearch.org, now most of it links you to Ancestry.
THIS IS PROGRESS for the Genealogy Community??????????.
NO only for Ancestry’s bottom line, don’t they already make tons of money from us?

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    You can still find records (data transcribed from images) on FamilySearch.org. FamilySearch may not have rights to display some images on their site, so that is why there are links to Ancestry and other affiliated websites.

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1st, while I have recently started putting copies of my documentation and photos on Ancestry, ALL of what I have is resident in my own database and is set up with Reunion (I’m a Mac user). I enter my data first to Reunion and then sketch it out on Ancestry.
2nd, for me, Ancestry is primarily a research tool and the family tree is a way to potentialy connect with other researchers in my (and my wife’s) lines. That has been a major success and I have connected with a lot of people who have provided significant sources and documentation.
3rd, my wife and I have done the AncestryDNA (autosomal) test. At this point I have only her’s back and am disappointed. I apparently didn’t dig far enough into the description. Their data base of of participants is actually quite microscopic- 3,000 to 4,600 people depending on where you are reading in the post test material. I’m not sure exactly how they are generating the potential matches other than that they all seem to have existing matches -from their trees- about 6 generations back. Ok, but do they really have AncestryDNA matches to her? Thats at least 5 sequential sets of people adding the actual DNA down each line.

So are there actual identifiable DNA markers as relatives OR is this “you and he/she have really close matches of the same percentages of our Ethnic/reagional grouping AND have a same set of married people in your trees?
I can’t tell.

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    Gene brings up an excellent point about having backup of your records. Don’t put your eggs (data) all in one basket. I would also suggest making backups to an external hard-drive(s) and or set up an account with one of the Cloud servers. One of the nice things about using the Cloud is that you have access to your data from any device at any location as long as you have Internet access (using only a secure connection).

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Hopefully ancestry.com will offer the ability to download your current data files so you can preserve your work. Have you heard of Our Family Storybook? The website is still in development and will offer the ability for family historians to develop website(s) (not just family charts) and create books based on their family data. Currently http://www.ourfamilystorybook.com is offering free introductory membership access to use their current features until the Web and Book applications are available. Check it out if interested. You can follow the sites progress by liking their facebook page.

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Keith Anderson (Switzerland) June 6, 2014 at 10:55 am

I use Family Tree Maker on my PC which uses the search & hint functions within Ancestry, and have created a fairly large database. From time to time I upload this to Ancestry and use the “Publish” function to produce family history books and family trees (usually Descendant format). I find the books and the family trees produced by Ancestry very good and now need to find an alternative way of uploading the GEDCOM file from Family Tree Maker to someone who can produce something similar. The publishing functions in FTM do not seem very good.

Any ideas ??

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My family used myfamily.com for 7 years before switching to spokt.com. Spokt is a nice alternative to myfamily.com. We share news and photos privately with each other.

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I’m not surprised Mundia is being dropped. The boards there are full of complaints about unresolved bugs. I really liked it for the ability to browse public ancestry.com trees and contact the owners, without being a paid ancestry.com subscriber. I never understood how it would bring income to ancestry.
I also belonged to 1000memories that ancestry bought then dropped. They sound like a big bad monopoly, buying then squishing competition.

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Christine Czasrnecki June 6, 2014 at 12:25 pm

I would certainly be interested in a website to host the transfer of three major MyFamily websites I participate in. These are not little family sites with immediate cousins, but huge repositories of photos and documents for descendants of three gateway ancestors, each of whom immigrated to Virginia in the 1600’s. You can imagine how many descendants there are and how many of us are on these sites, helping out many new members who are trying to figure out from which line they descend.

One of the best features of the MyFamily sites is that they are private, so we did not feel uncomfortable about posting more current family information and photos, e.g., mother’s maiden name and such.

Help! We need to find some sort of website to make a new – and it is hoped, a permanent home – for us.

Lastly, many of us on these MyFamily sites have become genuine in-the-flesh friends through this mutual genealogy. One of my favorites is a very distant cousin (last common ancestor was 300 years ago!), whom we have visited in Virginia and who has stayed with us twice in California.

We will keenly feel this loss.

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Whenever you let someone else keep your data, you may run into the issue of them not thinking it’s worth it anymore and just throwing it all away.

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I thought Ancestry owned Family Tree Maker. If they do own it, does that mean the Y-DNA test from Family Tree Maker will disappear too? That is where I have focused our family’s DNA research.

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    Ancestry does own Family Tree Maker, but Family Tree DNA is NOT family tree maker, it is a separate company that is NOT owned by ancestry.

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The reason I purchased Family Tree Maker was that any media that I had uploaded to Ancestry.com would automatically be downloaded to Family Tree Maker the next time I booted the program. I also make FTM backups and Gedcom backups of my files on a regular basis, “just in case.”

Never let yourself be tied down to a single data repository, either on your hard drive or in the cloud. Duplication is your friend.

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W David Samuelsen June 6, 2014 at 5:52 pm

Affiliated? That is not quite accurate. It imply more like ownership. As one of of ‘em who have free access to Ancestry.com, MyHeritage.com and findmypast.com – I can NOT access Ancestry.com’s other services that is fold3.com and archives.com, I have to pay membership fee.

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I note from their Blog that you can download the content from My family, they talk about an Orange button at the top of the page. There appears to be an image that does not load on the page, so I am presuming that this facility is not yet available, we have had a family site for what seems like forever, and I am keen to get what ever is on the site downloaded to my PC. There are hundreds of Photo’s and documents on site which have been uploaded over the years. I also use it to store copies of our Family Newsletter ( which I also have backed up elsewhere, but it was a useful place to store and give access to the collection there are 15 years worth of quarterly publications. I presume we will get notification from them when we can organise a download.
Paul
The Featherstone Society

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Mary Dresser Taffet June 7, 2014 at 5:40 pm

Unfortunately, the export tool for MyFamily sites only works for the more recent sites; I see no way to export the content at my original MyFamily 1.0 site. I tried the 2.0 site for a bit, but didn’t like it. I’ve sent them a question about how to export content from the 1.0 sites, but no response so far.

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    Hey Mary, I’m working on a way to export 1.0 sites into spokt.com – stay tuned on at blog.spokt.com. Spokt.com was actually inspired by MF 1.0 – only simpler. Many are finding it this week and liking what they have found.

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    I did an Export for the one MyFamily group that I occasionally visit and got an email that it was ready do download. I did so and all the zip file contained was a 1kb iCalendar file. I emailed their support but not sure what they are doing. There was a file ready for download and one marked as ‘pending’.

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1st, what I put up as far as images and data on Acestry are copies only. I have an ongoing project to scan everything and some things, mostly some photos and some certificates, have the originals stored at home and copies on the hard drive of the my computer.

We travel a lot, multiple months a year. Each time we get ready to go I make a compleat new set of backup for the genealogy files and various other things which go on a separate hard drive (a 1 terabyte drive) which goes in the safety deposit box at the bank. I do back up the hard drive on the computer monthly to a portable hard drive as well.

My primary sets of ALL the genealogy data is 1) entered into Reunion on my Mac including notes and 2) All the original scans are in a separate file on the laptop hard drive.
Everything I have on Ancestry is a secondary set of entries (after having initially loade the GEDCOM to put the initial tree on Ancestry.

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What do you all recommend as an alternative to MyCanvas? I use this fairly heavily and while it’s not perfect, it was easy to migrate records from a tree to publishing tool.

I have multi-year projects as well and this really shows short sightedness of the corp. They think they are a technology company now. wrong. They are in genealogy service business. This isn’t the first or the last time this will happen to us.

Thanks for this forum!
Roseann

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    Keith Anderson (Switzerland) June 8, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    Roseann, I hope someone has a good replacement. I have several family tree charts which are very much “work in progress” with improvements / additions being made gradually, photos being added to the charts as they are gradually obtained,
    I’m not sure how to proceed of there is no replacement software. Let me know if you hear of anything.

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Considering alternatives to myfamily.com that were not mentioned on the ancestry.com post – check out eFamily.com, FamilyCrossings.com, Geni.com.

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    Please also try Spokt.com as an alternative to MyFamily.com. Many who have been ruthlessly booted from MyFamily.com who have found Spokt are wishing they could have been with us the whole time.

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Checkout mygreatbigfamily.com as an alternative

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Years ago Ancestry purchased the Sorensen DNA project. Will these be discontinued also?

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I’m with stever518. I downloaded zip files for my 3 familys and the zip files are 1 K.
Should be many MB.

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I didn’t see anyone comment about the Mundia service. I’ve found lots of hints and such by looking at other people’s trees, and found many people also interested in different parts of my family with this site, and have been able to contact them. They say that your trees will be moved to Ancestry’s public trees and you won’t lose your data. True enough, but what they don’t tell you is that you can no longer look at other people’s trees unless you are a member. So you lose this resource that was free on Mundia. I’m not a member of Ancestry because of their cost, I’m a senior on Social Security so I have better things to do with my limited income than to give it to a greedy bunch of a***s. I’ll be damned if I’ll give them my tree for free, to use for their members, but cut me off from using the same sort of information unless I pay. I’ve deleted the entire thing from the Mundia site, and canceled my membership. If it shows up again, I do what I can to get it removed.

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HEAR, HEAR, Jeff. Ancestry operates from Canada to avoid the U.S. “monopoly” laws. I use Family Search a lot, and my entire family, over the years, helped transcribe, the U.S. census and other records. Except for 1880 & 1900, LDS links you to Ancestry to acquire a copy of the census sheet. I’m extremely unhappy because they asked for our help, and then crawled into bed with the devil!

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I sympathize with everyone’s outrage over Ancestry.com’s moves. I learned the hard way years ago to stop trusting them with my data. I cancelled my subscription and they wouldn’t remove my family tree data. It took me more than two years of repeated phone calls and emails to get it removed. I’ve never uploaded a file or shared data on there since.

You ought to consider the LDS church’s FREE site http://www.familysearch.org instead. They are adding capabilities to it all the time, including pictures, stories, and documents associated with your family tree. And you can bet the church isn’t going to cancel the service or start charging fees.

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With the closing of myfamily.com you might want to take a look at mygreatbigfamily.com. They have been around since 2004 and offer private family websites. Have many features such as family tree with gedcom importer, photo sharing, family archives, message boards, chat, recipes, members can have personal homepages within the site, news, newsletter, slideshow, calendar reunion tools. It’s a pretty comprehensive system. you can see a demo of it at http://family-website-demo.mygreatbigfamily.com/site_lock.php or visit their website at http://www.mygreatbigfamily.com. Worth a look!

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I’m saddened by the “take over”. It’s taking the open market and closing it, UNLESS you pay.! Wow. Theft of people’s work…isn’t that unlawful.

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    Theft of people’s work…isn’t that unlawful.

    Remember all that fine print in the scroll box and the Agree and Do Not Agree buttons when you sign in and before they let you upload stuff? It’s called Terms And Conditions. Guess what’s in the TOC that people blindly and blithely agree to?

    Like

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