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Is there a URL or method of searching the materials at that allows one to find (and see) the publicly available data? Somehow, I always end up in advertising.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

"Publicly available data" is an ambiguous phrase. Do you want

  • freely accessible databases? See the "Card Catalog" under the "Search" tab (currently 785 items using keyword "free")
  • user trees? only WorldConnect is open to all visitors; access to Public Member Trees and OneWorld Tree needs an active subscription or an invitation from the tree owner; is a separate registration
  • public records indexes? these databases need an active subscription. Alternatively, there are other internet sites with similar information
  • user profiles? open to all, see "Member Directory" under the "Collaborate" tab
  • message boards? open to all, see "Message Boards" under the "Collaborate" tab
  • tutorials and webinars? open to all, see the "Learning Center" tab

Generally you can search all the databases without an active subscription, but un-free matches are shown with some fields generic and of course no access to detail pages or images. Some free content is also accessible from a Google search.

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Thank you, that is useful. – Doug Blank Jan 30 '13 at 21:14

Here is a list of the free Ancestry databases that was provided in a blog article by the Ancestry Insider.

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Thanks, Andy, that is a useful list. What about finding and seeing users' Public data? Is that possible? – Doug Blank Jan 30 '13 at 12:48
Only if you have a paid subscription. Paying subscribers can see all public trees. Non-paying 'members' can see only their own trees and those trees they are invited to see. – Andy Hatchett Jan 31 '13 at 1:39

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