Research the site – Do this for yourself PLEASE! To be fair to GenealogyBank and yourself. • Go to the website “Genealogybank.com” • Scroll down to find the heading “Genealogy records you can find in newspapers” • Find the sub-heading “Search US Newspapers” • Click on a State, then scroll up and monitor the heading. (It will tell you what years are covered) • Choose a city and monitor the heading. • Choose a newspaper in that city and monitor the heading.
Not many newspapers have broad coverage. It looks like they have spanned the century gaps to make it appear that there is a long length of coverage. 1883-1920 for example is only 37 years but because it crosses the century change, and creates an illusion of a longer time period.
In short the site is not useful for genealogy research.
Many MAJOR newspapers are not listed.
This site is suited for searching out national historical events (Landing on the moon, the wars, McCarthy hearings, Assassination of Presidents, Various amendments etc.)
YOUR CHANCES OF FINDING AN ANCESTOR IS SLIM.
Armed with documented dates, I searched for my area only to discover that there was a coverage gap of 80 years from 1922-2002. I was researching 1919-1978. Found absolutely nothing.
Their Free 30 Trail cost $9.95 as soon as you sign up. Also note when calling their Contact Us Number the 2nd Prompt is "Cancel Subscription. That alone should say a lot about what kind of company they are.
Spent several days and found no information. Only time a search reveled records was when only surname with or without entered. The results were way to many. Trying more specific search details usually resulted in "No Records Found." You would be better off in investing the $9.95 in lotto tickets.
I found nothing of value, very limited coverage of papers. Highly misleading in what is available. Then, you are required to call to cancel to automatic annual renewal.
California’s consumer subscription auto-renewal statute which has now been in effect for over a year. Auto-renewal subscription arrangements, which renew or continue until cancelled by the consumer, are permissible if they satisfy specific communications requirements under California’s SB 340 (Business and Professions Code Section 17600), which is consistent with but more concrete and specific than Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requirements. The consumer’s initial order or commitment to an auto-renewal purchase of goods or services must be preceded by required disclosures: that the subscription will continue until the consumer cancels; a description of the cancellation policy; the initial amount of the recurring subscription charge, and that it is subject to future change; the length of the auto-renewal term (e.g. one year); and any minimum purchase obligation (e.g. a one-year subscription). Such information must be “clearly and conspicuously” presented, and in “visual proximity” (close by) any onscreen subscription offer or order button. The consumer must receive a written order acknowledgment “that is capable of being retained”, such as a printable email, including an email address or toll-free telephone number for the seller offering an “easy-to-use mechanism for cancellation”. The consumer must also be given a chance to cancel a free-trial service before being charged.
(a) Subscription Memberships: GenealogyBank allows you to cancel your membership any time within the first thirty days (30 days) after your initial membership begins and receive a full refund if purchased with a credit card. Refunds will not be issued for any membership paid for by check or money order. In order to cancel your account, you must contact customer service at 1-866-641-3297 (Mon-Fri 10am-7pm EST). If you reside outside of the United States you may request to cancel your membership by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your cancellation must be received by end of business (7:00 p.m. Eastern Time) on the 30th subscription day. If the 30th subscription day falls on a weekend or holiday, then the refund period is extended to include the next day that is not a weekend or holiday.
After the deadlines noted above, you may still cancel your membership but no refund will be issued for unused subscription periods.
(b) Shipped products: No returns are accepted on books and CDs unless there has been a mis-shipment or the product is damaged or defective. Books or CDs that are found to be defective or damaged will be replaced. Please contact customer service immediately at 1-866-641-3297 (Mon-Fri 10am-7pm EST) to report any problems with your order.
Have used this site previously. The site was super slow and when I questioned that I received no reply. Trying to narrow down a search was futile in many cases. The only section I would recommend this site for is the older obituaries, but only if your ancestors lived in an area covered by one of the newspapers they offer and in the date range they offer. The newer newspaper obits they brag about are basically useless since most people already have access to those obits online for free and the older ones are many times only a few issues.
I would gladly take a chance and resubscribe only if they ever came up with newspapers in the area most of my ancestors reside or they came up with a search engine that truly worked. I check monthly and so far nothing entices me.
Since so many sites like this have automatic renewal whether you want it or not I find it better to cancel very early into the subscription period whether you like the site or not. It is easier to resign up than suffer through another year of something you hate.
I had signed up for the monthly program which they billed me for and then they, without my consent, initiated an annual program and charged me $69.95. When reviewing my bank statements I noticed the charge and called to cancel. They told me they couldn't refund because it was later than 30 days. When I told them that I hadn't authorized the charge, they said "Well you still have access to it for a year". Gee, thanks. I couldn't even find the information I was looking for when I signed up onn the site. When the rep told me "Well what can I do to make it better?" I said "give me my money back. You can see I haven't logged in." I did tell the rep it's not her fault, just frustrating. There. I vented. Be forewarned. The best part...YOU HAVE TO CALL THEM TO CANCEL. It is the only internet site I have ever seen that requires that.
I have researched my family history for nearly 50 years - and first approached newspapers assuming "my family" would not have made the paper. I was shocked to find hundreds of articles about family members from the 1700s to today. Wow - my obscure ancestors actually made the papers - obituaries, marriage notices, births. Invaluable content. I was hooked .... so much so I now work for the company to help genealogists find their ancestors. The key is to keep your searches simple - start by searching on just a surname - limited by a wide date range - then narrow down the search. Remember GenBank gives you access to over 5,800 newspapers - from 1690 to today. More than any other site. A real bargain.
I have been a member at GenealogyBank for about 6 months now and I love it. They have more newspaper articles and obits for my family than ancestry, newspaper archives or archives. The search is easy once you understand that you are searching newspapers, not census/certificates. I have seen papers for my ancestors and my wifes into the 1700's! I found one recently informing me that my great,great ect grandfather was a spy for the state of utah during the 1850's! I had no idea, very good stuff here. I love it and will renew!
I subscribed for a year and have done hundreds of searches on this site. I have found the site misrepresents the coverage years for the papers it has. There are tremendous gaps, decades, in coverage. This is understandable as many old newspapers haven't survived; but the exact years should be identified so the researched isn't wasting a lot of time searching in non-existant papers. Also, the search engines need to be fine-tuned to make searching capability more specific. I have found some very good articles/obits that made the subscription worthwhile but it can be very tedious & frustrating process.
I believed that this site would provide me with a significant amount of additional information to help me with my genealogical research. Wrong. I searched on over 100 different names over a 200 year time spread. My only result? My father's SSDI record. I have a friend whose uncle received a Medal of Honor during WWII. I assumed that there would be several records concerning him. Even he only had one result. I will *NOT* be renewing my membership, nor will I recommend this site to anyone.
I subscribed following a webinar held in connection with Legacy.com. The presenter overstated what was available and how the searches are conducted. I am very disappointed with the lack of results. The only sources that I have found are from the Social Security Death index on their site which I can find free elsewhere. The presenter overrated the information found for areas surrounding the newspapers that are available. If the newspapers for your specific towns of interest are not available, I would not subscribe.
I signed up and paid the annual fee by credit card on 9/30/2009. I had a list of names ready to check and found nothing for the people I was researching and cancelled the subscription within 30 minutes. I was cut off from access immediately and notified I would be reimbursed about 30 days later. It is now 10/21/2010 and I am still waiting for my refund..............