Starting Sept. 30, 2014, Genealogy.com will be making a big change. GenForum
message boards, Family Tree Maker homepages, and the most popular articles
will be preserved in a read-only format, while several other features will
no longer be available, including member subscriptions and the Shop.
Compiled genealogy CDs are often a hot topic amongst
genealogists. In recent years, there's been a good deal of debate over
the value of CDs such as you'll find in Family Tree Maker's World Family
Tree series; some genealogists express concern over the way new genealogists
incorporate the data found on these CDs without further research. Others
are delighted to find data and connections to family for which they
have long been searching.
So, what's the consensus -- are compiled genealogy
CDs good or bad? The answer depends on how you approach the CDs -- if
you look to them as the Holy Grail of genealogical information, you're
in trouble. If you view them as any other data resource -- a starting
point from which you can track down and verify information -- they can
be very useful.
Let's take a look at just what comprises a compiled
genealogies CD. The most prevalent are the World Family Tree CDs, which
contain information that users have contributed to Genealogy.com for inclusion
on the CDs. Genealogy.com does not verify the validity of the information
before it includes them, but relies on the individual contributors,
both beginners and more seasoned researchers, to maintain careful research
techniques. Genealogy.com also sells a series of CDs based on data from
Everton Publishers, which originally gathered the data from submitters
in the form of family group sheets and other other formats. Again, the
data was not verified before being placed on CD. A third type of compiled
genealogies are the family history CDs, which for the most part consist
of images of the pages from published genealogies (although some family
history CDs may contain transcribed text instead of images of the books).
Family history CDs may or may not contain data that has been thoroughly
verified and sourced, but for the most part you should assume the information