Ancestry has recently launched their Ancestry.mx website. I think that it is great that they have done so. Let me explain why, this means that they have already allocated resources and are in the initial phases of talking to people doing Mexican genealogy research to see what their needs are when it comes to Mexican genealogical resources. As I have mentioned in random comments and blog posts at our sister site We Are Cousins I had the pleasure of talking to Danyel Rios, she has Cavazos ancestors in the Monterrey area, whom is currently part of the user research team and the strategic lead for ancestry project Ancestry.mx.
I was invited by Daniel to have a three way call with her and Lisa R Handalin whom is a senior User Researcher with Ancestry. This call occurred back in December 19, 2014. Once I was in the call I asked them if I could talk freely and with all honesty and they said that they did not expect anything less. I told them how basically the current website is practically useless for Mexican Research and that the material they had for Mexico is not worth the thirty something monthly price tag. I told them that I have no problem recommending their software Family Tree Maker but that I only recommended Ancestry.com U.S. Edition for Mexican Americans and Americans, whom Mexican Ancestors came to the U.S many generations back, to find out where their ancestors where from in Mexico. I advised that once they found from where in Mexico they were using Ancestry I always referred them to FamilySearch, Mexican Archives, Websites, and even books.
They agreed that they currently don’t have many records for Mexico besides the SAGA books and the 1930 Census but stated that they are working on plans to have the Civil Registration Records for Mexico Indexed and have already completed several states but they are still not available for search. I advised that that is a great start. They asked me what others records would be of interest to us researching Mexico and I advised about the Monterrey archives and the huge jurisdiction for which they have records for. I also advised of the Saltillo records and of the Tamaulipas archives attempts to go Digital. I also advised that many Mexican States have similar archives and or books that have indexed such archives. I highly recommended that they speak to Israel Cavazos Garza and other authors of interest.
We spoke about AncestryDNA and my experience with it. I told them that I love it but that they should do something similar like FamilyTreeDNA as to have groups and tools how to play with our DNA data. I told them that I had to install a browser plug in to get more out of their website and that I had to take my data to GEDMATCH to get more out of my DNA.
They asked me about my experience with their Software and I told them that I love it and that it is the only one I recommend. I did mention to them that my greatest limitation with it is that you can only install it on one computer and only link to one family tree on Ancestry. I advised that it should be like their free app for android where every device connects to the same tree and can be updated form any device. I advised that I have two other laptops where I would like to have the ability to update my family tree.
They asked if they could join our Facebook group to talk to people and I advised them that it was OK for them to do so. They also asked that if our community might be interested in participating on usability tests for their website and I advised them that I could send an email to our mailing list asking for volunteers. They did advise me that they will pay for people to test their website.
In full disclosure let me just tell you that they provided me with a one year subscription to both ancestry.com and Ancestry.mx. I have been testing Ancestry.mx and so far so good I really like it. Somehow it feels less crowded than Ancestry.com. Also to get the results in Spanish is something else. They did caution me that the Ancestry.mx website for right now is just a translation of the American version. They did emphasize that they are going to try and acquire more genealogy collections for Mexico which is awesome. At least in my case since I have fully embraced Ancestry.com. The only difference was that before I would only get their service from time to time wich was something that explained to them. I almost forgot they also sent me two copies of Family Tree Maker 2014.
On a final note I was advised that what ever they acquire for the Mexican Ancestry website will be mirror on the American one. That way Mexican Americans have access to the same records that people in Mexico will have through he Ancestry.mx website.
That was basically what we discussed in the one our interview that I had with them and let me tell you that I am glad that they are focusing in our specific area of research. I know that it may take years for them to acquire collections but at least they have already started in that road. I know they will also read this post and if you have any suggestions for them feel free to write them on the comments section so that they may read them.
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