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At the beginning of this month, genealogy monopolist Ancestry.com announced that it was discontinuing subsidiary services MyFamily, Mundia, and MyCanvas, and would be maintaining Genealogy.com ONLY in a read-only format(thus destroying the value of the Genforum message boards). They also announced that they would be discontinuing Y-DNA and mtDNA test services, and destroying all sample materials and test information they hold for these services. http://upfront.ngsgenealogy.org/... http://www.legalgenealogist.com/...

The Internet promptly exploded in outrage and fury - and some person or persons unknown apparently went a lot further than just venting. Since Monday Ancestry.com has been under DDoS (Distributed Denial of Services) attack, and is intermittently down - along with all its numerous subsidiaries (that it greedily bought up and swallowed), such as Findagrave.com, Fold3.com, etc. Some have been back up temporarily, but the "to be discontinued" services are and remain down.

The timing suggests that this is not a coincidence.

Welcome to the age of CyberWarfare, genealogists....

Originally posted to TheOtherMaven on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 01:32 PM PDT.

Also republished by Genealogy and Family History Community.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Oh for crying out loud. (2+ / 0-)

    "I'm not left wing because i'm ideological, or passionate, or angry. I'm left wing because I'm informed." - Mikesco

    by newfie on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 01:56:17 PM PDT

  •  I feel sorry for people (13+ / 0-)

    who may lose irreplaceable DNA for deceased relatives.

    When my mother died I wanted to do DNA testing and had the funeral home collect the necessary samples which I sent off to Family Tree DNA for extensive analysis. The DNA was collected within about 48 hours of her death and while FT DNA wouldn't guarantee the results the samples were viable and a few weeks later I got the reports.

    FT DNA still has the DNA sample and as new tests become available I can take advantage of them and I'd be really pissed if they suddenly decided to destroy my mother's DNA. So I know exactly how people who used Ancestry.com might feel about this announcement.

    I have an Ancestry.com account that I use to maintain my family's information and I'm really glad I didn't use their DNA testing services.

    Anyway, thank you for bring this to my attention.

    BTW, post mortem DNA collection proceeds just like it normally would and you don't even need to have purchased a kit at the time of death.

    All you need is sterile cotton swabs and a new envelope to put them into after the cheek cells are collected. I was a little nervous asking the funeral home for help, but it wasn't the first time and they were more than happy to help at no charge.

    After collecting the sample I purchased a kit number from FT DNA and sent the swabs overnight to their lab in Texas for analysis.

    My invisible imaginary friend is the "true" creator

    by Mr Robert on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 01:57:49 PM PDT

  •  DNA tests (4+ / 0-)

    I didn't know that Ancestry offered Y-DNA and mtDNA tests. I thought FamilyTreeDNA was the only company that offered them.

    and who knew mild-mannered genealogists could be so persnickety...

    •  They were only in the business (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jim H, mint julep, slksfca

      for a short time and clearly weren't committed to it.

      I'm just happy I used FamilyTreeDNA when my mother died.

      My invisible imaginary friend is the "true" creator

      by Mr Robert on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 02:02:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I had my Dad tested (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mr Robert, slksfca, Catte Nappe, fenway49

        with the big 3: 23andMe, FamilyTreeDNA, and Ancestry before he passed away. I'm glad I did. Haven't gotten much use out of the FamilyTreeDNA results yet, but I've found several 2nd - 3rd cousins through both 23andMe and Ancestry.

        So, I've spread it around a bit (and uploaded the 23andMe results to GEDmatch).

        I'm so thankful I got into genealogy before Dad passed away! Though it was his advancing age that spurred me to start when I did instead of waiting for when I was retired and had more time.

        •  When my mother died (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jim H, Otteray Scribe

          it occurred to me that we never got around to doing her DNA and I contacted FamilyTreeDNA to see if it was too late.

          Fortunately, they told me it wasn't too late and they told me exactly what to do. They explained that post mortem DNA testing was generally successful and I didn't even need the usual DNA collection kit that they mail customers which was good because the sooner the DNA is collected the more likely the test is to succeed and you've obviously only got one shot at it.

          Anyway, I'm very happy I called them because they were very helpful.

          My invisible imaginary friend is the "true" creator

          by Mr Robert on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 02:34:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I strongly agree (10+ / 0-)

    with this analysis from legalgenealogist and hope that legal action can stop this from happening.

    How difficult would it have been for Ancestry to preserve access to this DNA which in many cases is irreplaceable?

    Why, Ancestry? Why?

    There is something so very different about the DNA business that — to be blunt about it — the way Ancestry is handling this just plain sets The Legal Genealogist‘s teeth on edge.

    Because, you see, DNA is a finite item. Once the person who gave a DNA sample is no longer with us, there may very well be no one else on the planet who has the DNA needed to make that critical breakthrough we all hope for when we do DNA testing and when we convince that older relative to give us that sample.

    And Ancestry has flatly stated that it will make no effort whatsoever to preserve any of the samples that it may still have in its possession. It will not return them to the person who gave the sample or to that person’s family if the person is deceased. It has no announced plans to let its YDNA or mtDNA customers use any remaining sample for its AncestryDNA autosomal testing.

    My invisible imaginary friend is the "true" creator

    by Mr Robert on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 02:11:46 PM PDT

  •  I doubt it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Otteray Scribe

    There aren't that many people who have gone in for DNA testing - ti's too expensive for most of us - and Ancestry isn't well known to people who aren't doing genealogy.
    (It also isn't the only site where you can find data. What it has as a very broad collection of stuff that's otherwise hard to get to.)

    (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

    by PJEvans on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 04:08:55 PM PDT

  •  We used Family Tree Maker. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mayim, GrumpyOldGeek

    My wife loved it and all her files are saved in FTM format. She spent hundreds of hours working on the family tree.

    After her death, the computer hard drive failed and I decided to order the latest version for the reinstall. I was horrified to find that it wanted to take over my computer and post all her files online. Dammit, those were HER files, not theirs. On top of everything else, it is not a user friendly program. When Broderbund sold it to the Salt Lake City crowd, it appears to have gone to hell in a handbasket.  I stopped the download and deleted the damn thing. Also unsubscribed to all their services and wrote a one-star review on Amazon.

    Fortunately, we never discarded any of the FTM CDs, and I reinstalled FTM Version 11. It works fine on Windows 7.

    Rudeness is a weak imitation of strength. - Eric Hoffer

    by Otteray Scribe on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 04:33:58 PM PDT

    •  All your family are belong to us (0+ / 0-)

      I've never messed with Ancestry much and wouldn't use their software if my life depended on it.

      I had been keeping a running handwritten list of documents I wanted and couldn't find elsewhere. Finally I took advantage of one of their free two week trials for the sole purpose of getting them. I cancelled it after three days when I saw how the "free trials" tended to morph into pay accounts that people then spent a lot of time, effort, and cc charges trying to delete.

      Other than document images though I never put too much faith in Ancestry's user generated trees or the hints they offer. I've even found glaring errors in several of the GedCom files I've come across

      Early on I saw "hints" on some of my mother's family that had men married to the wrong women - or married to their own daughters-in-law. But when I saw my Irish born paternal grandparents listed as living in five different states and having all kinds of children they never had...  well, I lost any faith I might have had in Ancestry.

      The thing that bugged me was the way they charge you to put all your info on their site, and then in turn charge others to look at it. I'd also seen many, many complaints from people who had compiled information - some of it quite detailed - for free communities, only to have Ancestry come along and buy the entire database. You know, kind of like they did with FaG.

      But, since the acquisition of Ancestry by European investment corporation Permira, expect to see many more unsavory changes in the coming months. Of course that will go for any other Ancestry owned sites as well. After all, as Tim Sullivan said "family history remains a large and still untapped market."

      They took our retirement savings, they took our houses, now they want our family histories.

      Well, not mine, buck-o. You don't absolutely need any fancy software to put together an extensive family tree. I did it with little more MS Word, and "save image as."

      Just back up your files on a rewritable CD. For good measure I email finished charts and document images to a Gmail account specifically set up for the purpose.

      Screw these corporations who want to own everything on earth.

      Oh, and watch this DNA stuff. I have a very queasy feeling about that for some reason. Call me old fashioned, but when I think of this kind of info in the wrong hands.........

      Meddle not in the affairs of dragons... for thou art crunchy and good with ketchup.

      by Pariah Dog on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 07:53:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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