Saturday, December 27, 2014 Myths: No Free Account Without Trial

I see a lot of people criticizing for a lot of things. I will readily admit when they are doing something wrong or when there is a problem they have not fixed (see my posts about things actually wrong with ACOM). But there are equally times when people seem to have inaccurate ideas of so I thought it might be beneficial to dis-spell some of these myths.

Today's myth I came across was someone claiming that you can't sign up for a free account at without doing the 14 day free trial, which makes you jump through hoops to unsubscribe and not get charged at the end of the trial. I won't deny ACOM gets a lot of complaints from people who signed up for the free trial and cancelled on the day the trial ended but wound up getting charged anyway. This does happen and it's recommended you cancel a few days before the trial ends to avoid this.

However, it's NOT true that you can't sign up for a free account at without doing the free trial. Here's how.

Step 1: On the home page, click on "Search", NOT the "Start Free Trial" button (shown above).

Step 2: Type a name into the search fields, John Smith will do fine. No need to put dates or places into the fields (shown above).

Step 3: The search results will be listed and if you click on any of the 1940 Census results (or hover over any of them and click on "Register for a Free Account" in the pop up window - shown above), it will prompt you to create a new account (shown below).

Step 4: Fill out your name, email, and a password to get instant access to free collections at, no free trial, no credit card necessary, no strings attached. Below is a screen shot of the example record I can now view with my new free account, created without any credit card.

Granted, keep in mind that the free collections are few compared to their total database, but frequently provide all or certain collections available for free for a limited time. At the moment, they are making their entire database available for free from December 26-29, which is what prompted the complaint that you can't make use of it without going through the free trial, but now you know that isn't true, you can take advantage of all their free offers from time to time.


  1. This was very helpful. I also use the New York State Library access to New York Records only for free.

  2. There is a problem with this, The whole webpage is different and you can't do that now, I tried and it did not show me any information whatsoever.

    1. The new site design probably is different but you can still sign up with a free account at: (if you are already a member and signed in, this will just redirect to the home page)