Getting the ROI on your genealogy subscriptions??

John M. Bursley with his regiment in History of the Fourth Regiment of Minnesota Infantry Volunteers During the Great Rebellion, 1861-1865

John M. Bursley with his regiment in History of the Fourth Regiment of Minnesota Infantry Volunteers During the Great Rebellion, 1861-1865, located with Mocavo.com.

If you’re like me, your email in-box is often crammed with offerings for the latest and greatest – books, websites, webinars, etc.  It usually takes a few endorsements before I jump on the bandwagon and subscribe to a new website, but I’ve recently added three subscription-based sites to my list – HistoryGeo.com, Mocavo.com and MyHeritage.com.  Am I getting my money’s worth from these new subscriptions?  What’s the return on investment?

MyHeritage
Well, I have to say, the jury is still out on MyHeritage.  I’ve simply not had the overwhelming success that others have reported, and am quite disappointed.  After uploading my gedcom a couple of weeks ago I’ve had tons of “Smart Matches,” in which individuals in my tree are matched with those in the trees of other users.  However, I’ve had no Record Matches at all, and that was what I was most anxious to obtain.  At this point I’m suspecting MyHeritage may end up on my list of cancelled subscriptions.  While I’ve not had much success, Dick Eastman certainly has, and you can read his review of it here.

Mocavo.com
I love this site!  There are likely many features I’ve yet to tap into with the paid version of Mocavo.com, but it’s been enormously helpful in finding online items that a simple Google search fails to obtain.  For example, the site located the above picture of John M. Bursley, my great grandmother’s brother, in the online book, History of the Fourth Regiment of Minnesota Infantry Volunteers During the Great Rebellion, 1861-1865.

HistoryGeo.com
I previously posted about my experience with this site, and continue to use it regularly.  It is absolutely phenomenal, and a tremendous help for identifying the current-day location of land patents on Google Maps, and learning who was living near an individual patentee.  You can read my review of HistoryGeo.com here.

My list of subscription (and free) web sites are listed below, with my frequency of use.  (Yup, you’ll see a couple of cancellations, too.)  As you’ll see, the best ROI is often on the free sites – great databases, used regularly, and the best part of all – is there is no fee!

Name Subscribed? Frequency Used
Ancestry.com Yes Daily
FamilySearch.org Free Daily
Chronicling America Free Weekly
MN Digital Newspaper Hub Free Weekly
HistoryGeo.com Yes Weekly
Mocavo.com Yes Weekly
GenealogyBank.com Yes Monthly
MyHeritage.com Yes Monthly
Newspaperarchive.com Yes Occasionally
Fold3.com Yes Occasionally
Archives.com Cancelled Never
World Vital Records Cancelled Never

So what are your favorite genealogy sites? Are you getting your ROI?


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