‘The Checkout’ takes on Ancestry and WDYTYA

Last week an Australian TV series called ‘The Checkout‘ released an episode which parodies Who Do You Think You Are. The video, entitled ‘Who Do They Think They Are?‘, takes many jabs at the TV show for making genealogy look easy, but takes many big swipes at Ancestry.com for their subscription tactics. Go ahead, watch the video now.


Pretty funny stuff, though nothing that we haven’t seen people complain about before. Ancestry.com provided a response to the piece which was posted to The Checkout’s Facebook page.

While many of us in the genealogy community have complaints about Ancestry.com, myself included, we also have much to thank them for. Multiple indexes to the same (otherwise free) data is a good thing. They have numerous datasets nobody else has, free or subscription based. When used appropriately, their large user base facilitates collaboration and provides research leads. But perhaps overlooked is their sponsorship of WDYTYA has helped genealogy in general reach millions of viewers. More people taking an interest in genealogy and more people willing to pay for subscriptions means better access to more records for all of us.