Posted by on December 12, 2008 in Site, Family Trees, Searching for Records

Something new for those of you who store your trees on the site while you are searching: person card and saved indicator.

If you look at this snippet from a search for my great uncle Ashby:

Saved indicator and trees person card

You’ll notice the green check next to records you’ve already saved to that person, which I truly love. If you have more than one tree, make sure the person you are searching for is in the your active tree, otherwise you won’t see the green check.

The person card is set up to follow you down the search results so that you can compare what you have in your tree to the search results. A few people love it, and a few seem to hate it’s floating capability. Weigh in with your thoughts so we can pick a good solution.

About Anne Gillespie Mitchell

Anne Gillespie Mitchell is a Senior Product Manager at She is an active blogger on and writes the Ancestry Anne column. She has been chasing her ancestors through Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina for many years. Anne holds a certificate from Boston University's Online Genealogical Research Program. You can also find her on Twitter, Facebook and Finding Forgotten Stories.



The green check-mark is a great feature but I am unclear on the concept of a “person card” and its “floating capability”.

Couldn’t identify exactly what you meant was “floating” and a quick check of the AMT help system didn’t seem to provide any further enlightment on a “person card”.

Does this “person card” and “floating capability” apply to both AMT and FTM users? (I use the former but not the latter.)

December 13, 2008 at 1:17 am
Jim Livermore 

Cute. I’d now like to see your results screen with “Exact” checked.

December 13, 2008 at 7:09 am

I love the check mark! Saves a lot of back and forth to see if I already have that record. Up till now, I had to make lists for each person, to remember which census I was looking for, etc.
If I understand your terminology, while I am searching down a long list of files, I really appreciate the info for the person I am looking for, in a floating box, going down the line with me. It would seem a person would not forget who they are looking for, or what year they were born = but I do it quite regularly!!! I LIKE BOTH of these new features!! THANK YOU!!!!

December 13, 2008 at 9:21 am

Excellent idea to help keep track of the records you have attached on the fly. This help speed up research and avoid confusion.

December 13, 2008 at 9:39 am

Love it! This saves time and duplicate searching.

December 13, 2008 at 11:08 am

I really like the floating box, with a lot of information to compare, it is easier with my info compared with others. I also like the ability to add family members automaticaly, I like to add the members & info at each census or other event right on my page, instead of having to go back to look up each time I want to compare. See Whitley family

December 13, 2008 at 1:40 pm
Sue Wyatt 

The check mark is fantastic!! It is great to be able to know at a glance which records have already been saved to an individual. It is a huge time saver! As for the floating “person card,” on the one hand, I like having the individual’s information handy for comparison, but sometimes it gets in the way. On the whole, I think it is a good idea, with the exception that it seems to slow down the loading of the page. Thanks for all the wonderful changes you have been making in the last few months!

December 13, 2008 at 9:02 pm
Raymond Bellah 

For the few who seem to hate it you might add the ability to turn it off.

That way everyone will be satisfied.

December 14, 2008 at 3:59 am
Mary-Lee Gilliland 

I’m with Tyler; I know that this is something I’ve wanted but not quite sure how to use/bring it up, etc.Please respond.

December 14, 2008 at 1:31 pm
S Pounds 

I LOVE the green check-mark!

I like the idea of the person card, but the results pages seem to take a LOT longer to appear now. Instead of something floating from the top, how about making the personal information in the “refine search” part of the left column static so that it stays put as the results scroll on the right?

December 14, 2008 at 2:43 pm

The green check mark has been a great improvement. No more time spent going into the record just to find out it’s already attached to the person. Thank you.

December 14, 2008 at 6:10 pm

sorry, i’m from italy,
this application is real?

this consumer writes of an application in accord between facebook and ancestry for a “archive” cross and automatic.

December 15, 2008 at 6:34 am
Jeff Ford 

The floating block is a waste of time. I am the one that started the thread on the boards.

Why do you guys waste your time and our subscription money on eye candy? It is extremely annoying. The name of person appears at the top of the browser whether I am using Firefox or Safari. I don’t know about IE.


December 16, 2008 at 10:10 pm

Guess what? It’s not working!!

December 17, 2008 at 2:10 pm
Barbara Graser 

I am not seeing the green check mark you are talking about. The only time I see a check mark is when I have already saved something to the shoebox. Is there another check mark for something else? Also what is a floating capability? I’m obviously missing something (but don’t know what).

December 17, 2008 at 5:01 pm
Sandy Carr 

can someone explain why when i search specifically for canadian male records that i get results mixed with us, english wales australia etc results? if i wanted to search other countries i would. i scan thru records for Jack and get everyone else for anywhere from 100 plus records then get a disclaimer the next record were not a good match etc. and the first records up are Jack. your searches are very frustrating i get to the 2000 record mark and can go no further yet if you did not include all the other records that were not canadian or were for totally different names than i asked for i might be able to restrict my search to your 2000 limit your exact match is not optional per field then you throw directory items into a result i’m searching 1848 why would i want to see a 1995 phone directory?
email me with searches for the senerios listed above that will eliminate any but the type of records i am looking for all birth, or all marriage or all death all ontario not saskatchewan or the dourin collection if i don’t ask for it don’t show it

December 20, 2008 at 9:44 am
Diana Johnson 

I love the green check too, but have a couple of questions.
1. Why can’t I download my research from Ancestrydotcom to my PC and family treemaker? If it is not possible, then I think I won’t be contributing for quite awhile, because I’ll have to do all 1000 + people by hand on my PC (and I am a very good contributor).

2. Why can’t I upload an audio interview from 1974 with my 90-year old cousin? Your system only allows live (and not even that easily). Why can’t I upload the MP3 file?

December 20, 2008 at 1:31 pm
Diana Johnson 

More from me ~ If geneologydotcom and ancestrydotcom have common log-ins, why can geneologydotcom download my family trees from ancestrydotcom?

December 20, 2008 at 1:34 pm
Tim Maddock 

Thank you, these are both excellent enhancements.

The saved indicator has been my #1 wish list item. I love it. Next on my list is a similar indicator that shows which records have been “viewed” before (maybe an eye-ball, or pair of glasses?). This will help less-organized folks like me from reviewing the ssme record multiple times. I suspect this cannot be done retroactively (unless you’ve been keeping track of every record I have “touched”).

I have already found the person card useful. I’m not sure what you mean by floating capability? I thought it might refer to the behavior of some widgets that cause the rest of the data on the screen to push down. but the person card seems to pre-allocate real-estate on the panel to avoid this. THANK YOU !

If you can implement the same behavior for the ancestry hints and “Show siblings” you would have a fan for life.

December 21, 2008 at 2:59 am

I noticed that my last comment on this thread was removed. I was not abusive, did not use unappropriate language, etc. Do you guys want an honest opinion? Thanks for your timely response in advance.

December 21, 2008 at 11:03 pm

IMHO, I don’t like the floating box. I zip down the list of 50 records per page with my eyes. Many times I review what I am scanning twice. The “floating box” gets in the way.
I would love a search for only the first letter of a persons last name, state and county. Many, many times the second letter of the first or last name is wrong and your search excludes it. Just give me a search for exa: 1850, Arkansas, Searcy, Last or first name starts with a F.

December 21, 2008 at 11:06 pm

I find the checkmark quite helpful but the floating box is constantly in the way. I would much refer back to the top of the page and be sure I’m not missing a clue because I scooted down the page to far.

December 22, 2008 at 11:55 am
Anne Mitchell 

Just so you know, on January 7th, we are going to roll a version of the person card where you can “pin” it to the top and stop the floating.

And Karen, I didn’t delete your comment. Somebody might have done it by accident. Unfortunately that happens sometimes.

And I can handle an honest opinion, even it is negative. 🙂

December 23, 2008 at 12:16 pm

Like both features a lot, prefer person card to stay at the top of the results.

Still using “old search” mostly, as it seems faster & I’m getting more specific results most of the time.

December 26, 2008 at 7:35 pm

p.s. Neither feature seems to be working today, so it’s back to old search again!

December 26, 2008 at 7:43 pm
Jeff Ford 

Why not a version of the block that only included the person’s date of birth, place of birth and if needed, date and place of death? It would be most helpful if all that info were in one “line” at the top of the page and that it stayed there.

December 28, 2008 at 5:44 pm

Late to this discussion, but just wanted you to know how much I LOVE the green check mark! Apparently I discovered it soon after it came into being and it couldn’t have been at a better time for me! I was working on a project for my MIL’s birthday and that one feature saved me a ton of time!
The floating “card” on the other hand…well, I was wondering if that was what was making the site so unusually slow, especially when I tried to quickly scroll down the list of results. I can see where it would be useful, but not at the expense of slowing things down that much.
But thanks for the checkmarks!

December 28, 2008 at 5:51 pm

Thanks so much for your response! I want you to know that I am not trying to be negative. I’m an educator and also have lots of college hours in programming, so maybe I view it more as a constructive criticism. The largest problem I have with searches is the misspelling of the subject’s name. I know the county and state they are in, but the name is misspelled and/or birth state listed wrong and doesn’t come up on a search. It would be EXTREMELY helpful and save hours and hours of my time if I could just zoom to the first letter of the first/last name in the census year/county/state. If the census record I am looking for has 5,000 people in the county, I have to page forward a lot and wait for the page to load.

December 29, 2008 at 8:49 am


December 29, 2008 at 12:01 pm

As I have said, I love the person card floating and the green checks – HOWEVER – it takes SO MUCH LONGER TO LOAD THE PAGE – that I am really getting frustrated with it.
Each page, I wait and wait and wait and wait.
That REALLY gets old!!!!
Can’t you speed it up a little?
It just takes forever to do anything!

December 30, 2008 at 9:14 pm

LOVE the green checks and am really looking forward to 7 January when we can “pin” the person to the top of the page. Thanks for letting us know! The floating card makes the page so slow.

In fact, I strongly second Donna’s opinion about taking forever to do anything … every page on loads so slowly. Can anything be done about that? I’m on high-speed DSL and it’s very frustrating to wait between 10 and 45 seconds for a single page to load.

Thank you for asking how we feel about new features, and for sharing the January sneak-peak!

December 31, 2008 at 10:55 pm
Andy Hatchett 


Using FireFox instead of speeds this up considerably.

January 2, 2009 at 1:23 am
judith mosser/lisa geoghegan 

how do I save a 1930 census record to a particular person when it only gives me the option of saving to the shoebox? While perusing 1930 Hulen OK census I found some relatives that I want to save the record to and ancestry does not give me the option to.

January 3, 2009 at 1:21 pm
enos ray 

i love it i spend entirely too much time on it.

January 3, 2009 at 1:49 pm

I like the check marks and the floating person card.

January 4, 2009 at 4:58 pm
john cook 

where did i start and where am i

January 7, 2009 at 5:43 pm
claire lewis 

Once again, someone else is “using” my account. How can that be?
I’m often not able to log in. Why is that?

Also this duplication problem, which so many of us are having has not been addresssed.

This clearly needed to have a “fix” and one that all of us could be aware of…

either FIX it, OR give us money back.

claire lewis

January 9, 2009 at 6:48 pm
claire lewis 

ah…..a lot of us have duplication problems, which apparently you have been notified of. Yet, no “fix.”
You need to fix that. AND let the rest of us know how to remedy our “trees.”
I love it when I try to log in and “my account is already in use by another person.” How can that be???

Has it ever occured to you to refund us when your “service” is not working or is “unavailable” or whatever excuse you have for it not to be working. I check and it’s NOT my local server, it’s ancestry.

claire lewis

January 9, 2009 at 7:06 pm


Using FireFox instead of speeds this up considerably. Andy”

Andy, I would sooo very much like to thank you!!!! I had been having terrible problems with getting progressively slower each session I was using it. To speed it back up, I had to log off, close IE and reopen and log on again, only to repeat the process again about 30 minutes later! This was so frustrating and time consuming!! After I read what you typed, I switched over to FireFox (Mozilla) browser, rather than IE. SOLVED THE “SLOW” PROBLEM AND SAVED ME HOURS OF TIME!!! Thanks!!!!

January 12, 2009 at 3:02 pm
Janice Steed 

I was surprised that I could find no cemeteries marked in the Ft. Towson, OK map, when I clicked that feature.

January 15, 2009 at 7:12 pm
Katherine Casey 

I uploaded my Family Tree onto this site and recently I lost my hard drive and my family tree. How can I retrieve it from and put it back on my computer?

January 17, 2009 at 12:31 pm
Debra Boudreau 

Fred Jenney, born on 4 July is the son of Fred W, born 1884; I think he was the 3rd. My great uncle.
How can I get my tree straightened out?

January 18, 2009 at 5:19 am
Debra Boudreau 

How do I install Firefox without making myself vulnerable to viruses? I thought I already had but then everything became slow again…???

January 18, 2009 at 5:23 am

A cousin sent me his branch of the family going back several generations. While I really appreciate this additional information, I noticed when I loaded it to my family tree that as each person last name he entered father last name space mother last name.

Is there a tool I can use to end up with only the father’s name as the last name for each child or do I have to change each entry manually, ?


Luis Paulete

January 18, 2009 at 5:13 pm
Maureen Sabo 

How do I remove a family tree from my site.
I think the family that is on there is not related.

Thanks, Maureen

January 20, 2009 at 3:39 pm