A follow up to the earlier discussions on Rootsweb. Ifound the following in
Genealogy in Time Magazine
"Many people will be familiar with RootsWeb, one of the true granddaddies of
genealogy websites. For many genealogists, RootsWeb was their first online
introduction to ancestral research. In addition to being free, RootsWeb is
packed full of records, online forums and resources to help people find
RootsWeb was purchased by Ancestry in June 2000. For the last several years,
the website has been in slow decline. Much of the information on RootsWeb
has not been touched or updated for years.
Two recent official messages posted by RootsWeb may be disturbing to some
users of the website.
The first message from RootsWeb was forwarded to us by one of our readers.
It stated the following:
As you know, RootsWeb is a collection of products that has grown organically
over the last two decades. Many of these have not been updated or maintained
in years. Ancestry is currently working on updating and revising World
Connect, Mailing Lists, and hosted sites such as Free Pages over the next
twelve months; however, all other products and functionality are under
review. We will continue to notify you of updates here as decisions are
The second (more recent) official message from RootsWeb was the following:
In an ongoing effort to focus RootsWeb resources on World Connect, Mailing
Lists and hosted sites such as Free Pages, we are retiring features that are
not heavily used and have not been maintained over the years.
On Nov 6th, we will be retiring Surname Helper
Thanks you for your support and patience as we work at improving RootsWeb.
It is hard to know what Ancestry plans to do with RootsWeb. One possibility
is that Ancestry may have begun the process of "sunsetting" the website. For
those who are not familiar with the term sunsetting, on the internet it
refers to the practise of slowly allowing features on a website to decline
to the point where the website itself eventually disappears.
Over the years, Ancestry has sunsetted or killed off several of their
unprofitable websites (anyone remember genealogy.com
, or for that matter
Family Tree Maker?)
Our suggestion for anyone using the records on RootsWeb: back up the data
before it disappears.
Also, it is probably not a bad idea to start looking for alternative web
sources for whatever other features or tools you may have used on RootsWeb.
You have been warned. [RootsWeb <http://home.rootsweb.ancestry.com/>