I have been actively researching our families’ history for nearly 20 years. However, even though I have a tree housed on Ancestry.com, I don’t subscribe this site. Consequently, I do not have access to all of the “cool” features Ancestry.com offers. I cannot initiate contact with other people researching common family; instead, I must wait for subscribers to make contact with me, if they so choose. Also, since I use the “free” version of Ancestry.com, I do not have access to any other family trees, including public ones.
Oh well, I guess that is the price I pay for not paying their price. I have accepted these limitations and have adapted to make the most of what I am granted. During the decade-plus that I have been a part of the Ancestry.com community, I have exchanged numerous communications with other amateur genealogists about common ancestors and extended lines. I have provided dozens and dozens of documents, photographs, and new information to these people, and some of them have returned the favor. For me, genealogy has been a collaborative effort.