AncestorCloud is a community that connects family researchers with professional and advanced amateur researchers who can supply documents or other evidence of family history relationships. It is a good method of connecting information “seekers” with “helpers” who agree to perform the requested task: pick up records, take local photographs, translate documents, help with research questions, or conduct custom research. Information providers currently registered as helpers are available all across the United States as well as in many other countries.
AncestorCloud recently gained a lot of publicity when it was a finalist in the 2016 Innovator Showdown held two weeks ago at RootsTech2016 in Salt Lake City.
AncestorCloud allows anyone to connect with helpers who are willing to do the leg work. It bears a lot of similarity to Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness at http://www.raogk.org with one major exception: Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness is handled entirely by volunteers at no charge (other than reimbursement of expenses) while AncestorCloud is fee-based.
While everyone loves free, the fact remains that paying for results has a higher probability of success than does relying on volunteers. First of all, professional genealogists and researchers usually know a lot more about the availability of local records than do many amateurs. Next, professionals typically are “in the business” of supplying such information and can usually respond quickly and with accuracy. Finally, payments often assure faster results.
AncestorCloud is free to view and to post requests. Everyone is also encouraged to participate in the message board community at no charge. The seeker can post requests at no charge. The potential helper also can use the site at no charge to look for requests. If someone agrees to provide copies of requested documents or other information, the fee is negotiated one-on-one between the seeker and the helper.
Quoting from the Ancestor Cloud FAQs (Frequently-Asked Questions) at https://ancestorcloud.com/#/faq?_k=cgk86j:
How much does AncestorCloud cost?
Using AncestorCloud to view and post requests and participate in the community is free.
When a seeker accepts a helper’s proposal, the seeker will be charged 5%-15% of the total reward, depending on the amount of the reward. If the amount of the reward changes, the marketplace/convenience fee will be changed to reflect 5%-15% of the total reward amount. AncestorCloud keeps this fee regardless of the results of the request.
Helpers will take home 85%-90% of their total earnings for each request they complete, depending on the amount of the reward.
AncestorCloud is excited about making family history and genealogy accessible to as many people as possible. The marketplace fee allows us to provide support and the best possible platform for you to continue to connect with other researchers.
Payment is made to AncestorCloud immediately when the two parties agree on the price. However, the payment is held in escrow by AncestorCloud until the two parties agree that the requested information has been provided. Funds are then released to the helper. If the information cannot be provided, the funds are returned to the seeker.
Once the information has been provided, payment is processed by PayPal’s highly-secure payment system to send funds online. Payment may be made with VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover Card, PayPal funds, or a direct electronic transfer from a checking account. If no one is able to supply the request information, there is no charge.
You can learn more about Ancestor Cloud at http://app.ancestorcloud.com.