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# Thursday, March 20, 2008
Many USGenWeb Sites Leave RootsWeb
Posted by Diane

About.com: Genealogy blogger Kimberley Powell reports many USGenWeb project administrators are moving their sites off RootsWeb—a change she says has long been coming, but was hastened by The Generations Network’s (TGN) decision to transfer RootsWeb to Ancestry.com’s domain (read more about that move in last week's blog post).

See which USGenWeb state and project sites are moving on Powell's blog. It looks like the relocated sites are adding redirects, and national and state administrators are keeping up with link updates.

A little background: USGenWeb is a network of free genealogy Web sites, one for each state and county. Each state and county site has a volunteer administrator who maintains it and adds information and links, which is why the sites look different. USGenWeb also hosts special projects on the national and state levels, such as the Family Group Sheet Project to post and link to online pedigree charts. National USGenWeb administrators link to the everything from the USGenWeb home page.

The national USGenWeb site and many of the local sites have long been hosted on RootsWeb, which TGN purchased in 2000 and has financially supported—and kept free—since then.

Powell says some USGenWeb administrators have been unhappy with slow RootsWeb servers and the lack of ability to add some of the bells and whistles today’s Web surfers are used to seeing.

Others are uncomfortable with the RootsWeb acceptable use policy—the legalese of which gives TGN license to use the data posted on RootsWeb servers (submitters retain copyright)—or feel the free, volunteer nature of USGenWeb is incompatible with a for-profit host. Of course, the connection was always there, but it's more obvious with ancestry in RootsWeb's URL.

The Family Group Sheet Project’s site, for example, has moved, and its redirect page bears a prominent message that "THIS SITE IS NOT ASSOCIATED WITH ANCESTRY."

Read more about what USGenWeb administrators have to say on Powell’s blog, and let us know what you think by clicking Comments below.


Genealogy Industry | Genealogy Web Sites
Thursday, March 20, 2008 7:07:41 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [5]
Thursday, March 20, 2008 5:27:09 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Thank goodness and it's about time. I thought Rootsweb would bring the end of the USGenWeb and volunteerism.
Martha Federle
Thursday, March 20, 2008 9:50:09 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Several years ago some webmasters picked up cues that GenWeb was being bought as indeed happened. Many many quietly removed county pages and moved them to LHN / ALHN - American Local History Network. This created a temporary war between the sites. Many of these dedicated webmasters did not believe 'free' genealogy could disappear. I always recommend researchers check both sites. Most of GenWeb is archived and that on LHN has a great deal available on its pages. I personally find it more difficult and time comsuming to have to try to find information in archived records.

This brings up another topic. Who "owns" the information submitted by researchers? I believe that webmasters are the care takers of the information donated by people. The way the pages look is 'copyrighted' but the information is not. All donated information should remain online. But change of webmasters often creates very hard feelings and much of this donated data is lost, as in the battles between ALHN and GenWeb. Both sides have dedicated talented webmasters. However, web site information can disappear with the stroke of a key when anger sets in.
Gloria Hall
Friday, March 21, 2008 9:13:25 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Read more about what USGenWeb administrators have to say on Powell’s blog.
thatr place is so confusing to me I wont ever use it!
I want all my info to stay FREE and searchable with my email!!!
Janet Rowan
Sunday, March 23, 2008 2:49:36 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
I'm really glad that we have an option such as Ancestry.com. I'm fairly certain that if we didn't have a fee-based site to choose from, we wouldn't have one that has such resources dedicated to it. I guess I believe that I get what I pay for. I have had the annual US Collection on Ancestry for several years and use it almost every day. I also use ROOTSWEB and USGENWEB frequently, as well as Heritage Quest and FamilySearch.
John Davis
Wednesday, March 26, 2008 9:20:34 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
I am thoroughly disgusted not to be able to navigate familiar sites, and with NO WARNING! I don't see how the info can stay intact. Thank you to all the volunteers who kept it together across state and county lines for so long without commercial interruption. The GenWeb Project as I knew and loved it has been a great asset to me.
Lena Charles
Comments are closed.