Archives.com announ-ced last week that they are now offering the full set of United States Census records on their site, with the exception of 1930. This announcement propels what has been a niche player in the online family history market, into a strong position, with a compelling offer, at an affordable price.
Archives acquired the census through a relationship with FamilySearch. They contributed $5,000,000 to FamilySearch, to be used for new records projects. The new records produced from the $5,000,000 will be provided for free on FamilySearch and will be available on Archives.com as well.
Ancestry.com has dominated the commercial space for many years. Each time a company was large enough to offer a compelling service Ancestry purchased the company and folded the services into their offering. Archives is the first of what seems to be a new breed of companies entering the space with a new approach. Archives started their business in the finding living people space. They offered services to help find old acquaintances or lost family members who are living. Their collection of records was large enough that they began to see family history researchers as a significant portion of their customers and launched into the family history space.
Since that time they have been adding vital records, obituaries, and other record sets. The United States census will be a significant addition to their collection. The census records do not include images at present, but shortly will do so.
The cost of Archives.com is substantially less than Ancestry, just $40.00 per year, and they offer a seven day free trial. They report that they have more than 1.6 billion records on their site, making them one of the larger players in the online space.
Archives.com is definitely a company to watch and also a site to search when you are looking for ancestors. As they add to their collection and supply the images for the US census their site will become even more valuable. At only $40.00 per year they may be a good candidate for a subscription.