Ancestry.com, Ancestry.ca and Ancestry.co.uk – does it make a difference which one I use?

This title would have been a lot longer if I had listed other Ancestry country sites!   This would have included Ancestry.com.au (Australia), Ancestry.de (Germany), Ancestry.it (Italy), Ancestry.fr (France) and Ancestry.se (Sweden)

Before we begin let me just say that it is getting increasingly difficult to work on Ancestry.com if you live in Canada.  We used to be asked if we wanted to go to .com or .ca but increasingly it just automatically assumes that as you are in Canada – yes “they” know where you are – that you don’t want to go to .com.  I have not had problems being automatically re-directed when I try to access ancestry.co.uk.  I don’t mind them asking.

Does it matter which ancestry site I go to?   The official answer is “no.”  You can access the same record collections from any of the Ancestry sites.

But there are some differences.  Let me share a couple of them:

1. Go to the Search and then select All Collections (or All Records as it is called on the .co.uk site) – put in just the surname Letall – make the Collection Focus All Collections and Search. Do this for each of .com, .ca, and .co.uk.

Here are the results from the .com site:

Screen Shot 2016-06-04 at 3.21.23 PM

Here are the results from the .co.uk site:

Screen Shot 2016-06-04 at 3.21.59 PM

What do you get from .ca?  Today as I write this I get the same as .co.uk.  Two weeks ago I got the same as .com.

What I have learned:  if I am searching for someone I know to be in the UK I should use Ancestry.co.uk.

If I had set the collection focus to England then the search results appeared to be the similar.

2.  Go to Search and then select Card Catalogue (or Card Catalog on .com).  This time the difference is helpful.

What do you get from .co.uk?

Screen Shot 2016-06-04 at 3.35.38 PM

What do you get from .ca?

Screen Shot 2016-06-04 at 3.35.48 PM

What do you get from .com?

Screen Shot 2016-06-04 at 3.35.15 PM

Note the option for “Only Records from the UK and Ireland” and “Display Canadian Records Only.” This feature can be replicated by using the Filters but it seems to be a nice option to just check off.

What I have learned:  It is easier to search in the Card Catalogue if you go to the site for the country where you are doing research.

Note also on all three images that there is an important option in the top right hand corner to Sort By – the default is Popularity but there are times when you will want sort by Database Title, Date Added or Date Updated.

I am sure there are other small differences.

Ancestry is to be commended and encouraged to customize its country websites to make researching in that country easier. 

I will try to remember where possible to go to the country site where I am doing research.

 

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