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Day One - On my way to Dublin

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   A long day!  Left home at 6 a.m. for my flight from Tampa to Boston.  (Got TSA Pre-chek which is always a blessing!)  I arrived in Boston at 11:15 and headed out to have lunch with my daughter Sarah at WGBH.  She had told me I couldn’t have picked a worse day as they were launching an app today (she is Assistant Managing Editor for Digital for Frontline), but managed to get the app online about 12:30 and squeeze in lunch.  The weather here in Boston is getting me prepared for Ireland…in the 50s and raining!

   I was back at the airport at 3 and got myself settled in the Aer Lingus Lounge and was able to get in a few hours of research.  I tweeted the end of last week about the changes at the Irish Family History Foundation.  This website, which hosts the baptismal records from most of the Heritage or Genealogy Centres around the country, provides transcriptions of the records and has been a pay-per-view site.  I’ve said in the past, I’m not a fan of pay-per-view, but have gotten used to having a account where I can purchase a particular record for about $7.  As of last Thursday, without any warning, they became a subscription service with rates ranging from $32 for one month; $161 for six months or $289 for a year.  That’s pretty steep.  The restriction is that you can only use this personal account for your own research and cannot use it for client research.  If you wish to do client research, you have to purchase a business subscription (price not given on the website).  If you have credits left from the old system, you can use them to convert to the subscription or you can hold on to them and use them until they run out.  

   I’ve got very mixed feelings about this.  Because of the research I’m currently doing on my Moag family, I converted my credits to a one month subscription and spent the afternoon pulling down all of the birth and marriage records for my family.  I’ll also look at my other families and get as many as I can before my one month expires.  Where I have a common name, I can look at all of the certificates and if they have enough information make the determination as to whether they are mine.   So if you have a month to do this, the one month subscription works well.  But what happens after a month?   If I only need a couple of certificates in a month, it doesn’t make sense to purchase a month, or longer subscription.   Why didn’t they leave the subscription program for low volumes?

   They’ve also made another terrible change.  You now must use either the first name of the target individual or the name of one of the parents.  If you just type in “Moag” as I did two weeks ago, it asks you for additional information.  Well, what if I don’t know the information?  Sorry, you can’t search.  Not happy about this.  There are a lot of ways of teasing out the people we’re looking for, and they don’t always include a surname or a given name.  What if the father’s name was not recorded?  What if I only know the mother’s name which frequently is not recorded.  You’re out of luck.  

   A few years ago when they started charging for searches, there was a groundswell of discontent and they modified the program to provide free searches based on the number of credits you purchased.   Maybe the same thing will happen again and there will be some way to obtain one transcription without signing up for a month.  It will be interesting to see what the reaction of the genealogy community is to this.  Stay tuned!

   I should be boarding in about a half hour and hopefully will get right to sleep so I’ll be ready to hit the ground running tomorrow.

© Donna M. Moughty 2007- 2018