Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ancestry.com Closing Expert Connect

Word has quickly been circulating that Ancestry.com is shutting down its Expert Connect research service.  This service, started in 2009, allowed people who wanted research done to post their questions and solicit bids from professional genealogists.  Ancestry.com took a percentage of the total paid for a job.  I had signed up for the service as a researcher but had not been very active.  Yesterday I received an announcement from Ancestry.com saying that it will no longer offer Expert Connect as of March 18, 2011.

Coincidentally, Ancestry.com acquired ProGenealogists, a professional genealogical research company, in late 2010.  Many people are hypothesizing that Ancestry.com decided that since it now had its own in-house researchers, there was no need to make space at the table for outside researchers.  Two particularly good posts on the subject have been made by Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings
(http://www.geneamusings.com/2011/01/progenealogists-has-makeover.html) and Thomas MacEntee of High-Definition Genealogy (http://hidefgen.com/expert-disconnect-ancestrycoms-move/).

If you were a customer of Expert Connect, what should you do now?  If you have already made contact with a professional researcher and you're happy with that person, stay with him.  If you have not hooked up with a researcher yet, visit the Association of Professional Genealogists Web site (http://www.apgen.org/).  You can search there for a researcher based on location or research specialty.

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