Ancestry acquires Footnote

Just opened an email this morning from Footnote with a message about how they have agreed to be acquired by Ancestry.com.

I got this message because I have  a subscription to Footnote – as well as a subscription to Ancestry.com.

For those of you that don’t know what Footnote is, it is a membership site that has digital copies of documents available: U.S. Census, some old newspapers, some documents from the National Archives…quite a large number of items – too many to mention here.

I have been a subscriber to Ancestry.com since it’s inception. And I have watched my subscription price climb from a bargain $65 annual fee to a whopping $300 per year for full access. Granted, it is still a treasure trove of information. And the tools are handy and work well.

But the price makes it really difficult for a lot of researchers, especially those on a limited or a fixed income, to afford.

Footnote was much more reasonably priced (in the $50 annual fee range) and made access to documents more affordable.

So far I have resisted sharing my own genealogy information at Ancestry.com. I have very mixed feelings about that feature – I think it’s great if it can help others with their research and bring related individuals together. But someone else profiting from MY research bothers me.

At any rate, Ancestry.com is rapidly becoming the giant in this field and is swallowing up other sites through acquisitions. Naturally, this has caused some controversy and some hard feelings within the genealogical community.

Below is the text of the message I received about this latest acquisition. So all you Footnote subscribers out there – stay tuned for more news about how this acquisition will affect your membership.

Several weeks ago Footnote.com (as part of iArchives) agreed to be acquired by Ancestry.com and that transaction has officially closed today. As we join forces with Ancestry.com there is a huge opportunity to leverage each other’s strengths and move even faster toward our goals. You may be curious about how this deal effects members of Footnote.com? The plan is to continue to run Footnote.com the way we have always run Footnote.com — continuing to do what we believe is best for our customers, our business and our brand.

Now that the deal is officially closed we are excited to leverage some of Ancestry.com’s resources and expertise to take Footnote.com to the next level. It has been exciting to see Footnote.com grow over the past 4 years. Footnote.com started with only 5 million historical documents and today we have nearly 70 million searchable documents, over 1 million members, nearly 100,000 Footnote Pages, and over half million annotations added. We couldn’t have done it without our members and the great team at Footnote.com and we are excited for Ancestry.com’s support in the next chapter.

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