Ancestry.com

Coming Soon: A new way to connect with others researching your ancestors

Posted by jhodnett on June 19, 2009 in Ancestry.com Site, Site Features

Collaborating with others who are also researching your ancestors can provide truly amazing experiences.  Here are just a couple experiences I heard about from two Ancestry.com members in the last couple weeks.

  • One member whose grandmother was adopted and had never known her mother was contacted by a descendant of his grandmother’s brother and his family received the first photo of his great-grandmother they’d ever seen.
  • Another member was sent a box of civil war records about his wife’s great-great-great-grandfather from a member who picked them up at a yard sale and recognized that they related to his family.

I think we can all learn more about our own family history by connecting and collaborating with others who are also researching our ancestors. 

There are millions of people researching their family histories on Ancestry.com and some of them are likely researching the same people you are.  We are working on a new feature called Member Connect that we will be releasing later this summer to help make it easier to find, connect with, and collaborate with these other members.

Member Connect allows you to: 

  1. Connect with other members through historical records about your ancestors.  When you find an historical record for one of your ancestors, you’ll also be able to see who else has saved the record or made comments or corrections.
  2. Build a network in your Ancestry Member Tree of other members researching your ancestors.  We’ll suggest connections based on matches for your ancestor in other public member trees, but you decide which members you want to connect with.  If you connect you can compare their tree with yours, share research, and stay up to date on the new research they do in the future.
  3. Get notified about any new research activity about your ancestors on the site.  You’ll get a list of the specific research activity on the site that applies to your ancestors.  This could be a notification that someone has added a comment or correction to a record about your great-grandfather that you’ve saved.  Or it could be a new photo that a member you’ve connected with added to your common ancestor in their public member tree.

We are excited about Member Connect and hope that it will help you make new valuable connections and discoveries in your family history research.  If you’d like to learn more, click here.

Here’s a snapshot of what your new homepage will look like when Member Connect launches:

homepage

38 comments

Comments
1 David A. Wallace IIJune 19, 2009 at 10:48 pm

I have the same Ancestry as Jesus Christ,as man and God. My mother had two sisters. In decending order one was named MARY and the youngest was named ELIZABETH. Elizabeth’s oldest son is named JOHN (R. Axe). I have one brother,named Gregg Lynott (JAMES)Wallace. (He does not use his Christian name.)I don’t have a Web site but I want all this info to show on my Ancestry.com site, for all the World to see. However, I am having trouble expanding my family tree.

2 DAFox321June 20, 2009 at 5:17 am

It seems to me that this is more “fluff” to clutter up Ancestry.com. If I feel like doing a little detective work, I can already do the things you have mentioned without having it in my face on the “homepage”.
It frustrates me that everytime I am doing the original research, adding it to my family tree, someone comes along and copies it (lock, stock and barrel) to their family tree, I end up with a flurry of “little green leaf” hints. I’d love to be able to separate out family tree hints (and turn them off) from record hints so I might actually be able to quickly add some records. As it is now, I go to the people with hints list, and pick out those with 2 or more hints to find possible records, which means there is a possibility that I am missing a few records when there is only one hint. I once spent many hours of my time (at the stoneage speed of 26k) to individually “ignore” all the family tree style hints, only to have them return within a day or two because someone copied my tree to theirs.
Do not get me wrong. I don’t mind having my work copied though I would encourage anyone to verify what they copy. I do mind getting “family tree” hints that I can’t turn off when I want.

I hope you will include the ability to turn off receiving this “Member Connect” fluff.
Thank you,
DAFox

3 Rod BlakerJune 20, 2009 at 6:43 am

Excellent; you are now hugely assisting people doing One Name Studies. Thanks.

4 JadeJune 20, 2009 at 9:09 am

David,

Everything you mention in the “new feature” can already be found in other ways, principally through the “hints” and through the logos in database search results that show where user corrections have been made.

You say, “If you connect you can compare their tree with yours, share research, and stay up to date on the new research they do in the future.”

Does your system plan to do or list notification of every change made to Timeline for individuals in trees?

You are eliminating the ease-of-use of the “Comments” element, by hiding it behind a tab.

This can be used by co-researchers who are working on the same tree, to discuss factual elements on parents, spouses, children, the summary of a Story and Timeline events.

At present the Comments can be viewed at the same time as all of those items, all on the same page, so it is easy to refer to what the Comment refers to.

Your proposed change will not allow users to view these elements at the same time – on same page – as viewing the comments. So the Comments, which are the only integral way to communicate about same individual/family in the specific context of that person/group, will be a lot less functional.

This, along with hiding “Stories” on yet another page, removes actual-research one more step from Tree visibility.

Does your notification really concentrate on *common ancestor* “research” notification, or merely expand the “hints” feature?

For example, since my known common ancestors with other persons’ trees are in the 17th and 18th centuries, I will have no interest in whether someone adds an unknown person’s error-prone extract from a 1930 US Census enumeration (the so-called “record” in Ancestry.com’s inaccurate terminology) to a 5th cousin 3 times removed in their tree. Ancestry.com has practically no databases pertinent to these common ancestors, and research on them is being done in actual primary records (if at all) in courthouses, State Libraries and archives.

5 JoJune 20, 2009 at 1:16 pm

I absolutely do not want this clutter on my home page or my tree, and I certainly don’t want it taking up valuable screen space when I’m viewing original census and other source images, as it looks like it will in one of your screen shots.

I don’t want ‘connections’ forced on me. If I want them I’ll find & make them myself. I really hope there will be an option to turn this whole “Member Connect” feature off.

If you really want to know what your customers want, you should create a new topic on the message boards called Ancestry Wish List so we could post features *we* want in one central place. I have two suggestions right now — the type of hint should be differentiated (historical vs tree) on the list of people with hints, as you do on the individual people pages, and we should be able to see the last time an invited guest of one of our trees has actually visited that tree because for all I know, people who accepted my invitation may have visited the tree once and then gone back to their busy lives.

Renewing my yearly subscription is a real hardship for me and the more you turn Ancestry.com into a social networking site, the less incentive I have for doing so. Also, the less I enjoy my hobby. I have been waiting for more state census records (NJ, in particular) and more cemetery transcriptions, many of which have been printed by local historical societies which could use a source of income, I’m sure, by a licensing deal with Ancestry.com.

In the meantime, PLEASE make sure there is an option to turn the “Member Connect” feature off.
Thank you.
Jo

6 CarolJune 20, 2009 at 6:56 pm

If you really want to help people connect with distant cousins, go back to allowing non subscribers search the public trees.

Also, I agree with DAFox321 comments on “little green leaf”

I have to waste many hours deleting hints to trees that people copied from me.

7 Sandra CoulterJune 20, 2009 at 7:36 pm

I sure hope this does not copy “Genes Reunited” I keep having to delete “possibilities” that have no connection whatsoever to my area of research.

8 Andy HatchettJune 20, 2009 at 8:03 pm

Sounds to me like this new thing is the illegitimate child of Genes Reunited and OneWorld Tree on steroids!

9 bjJune 21, 2009 at 7:05 am

Makes me glad I’ve never loaded my tree in ancestry.com.

10 tafwysJune 21, 2009 at 12:41 pm

I have the same reservations of others here! Those of us who are signed up to Genes Reunited in the UK dread the monthly list of hundreds of “possible matches”, which usually turn out to be no more than hundreds of duds!
How will Ancestry determine their matches? If, like Genes Reunited, it is simply based on four factors ‘Surname’, ‘Forename’, ‘Year of Birth’ and ‘Country of Birth’ then please don’t waste my time! Do Ancestry realise how many Mary Jones’ were born in Wales in a particular year? Unless you provide matches based on at least ‘County’ or, preferably, ‘Parish’ I’m not interested!

11 HattieJune 21, 2009 at 3:28 pm

I do not post much of my info but am willing to share just not by a posting so your organization receives money and credit.
I am tired of all these features that pop on when all I want to look at are original documents. Makes me think about Footnote and other newspaper search pages as your searches for these is abysmal.

12 MarshallJune 21, 2009 at 4:19 pm

Can you not just concentrate on adding records that can help us with our research then all the bells and whistles with how ancestry looks? Does no one at ancestry really understand or care what is important to their subscribers??

13 Tony CousinsJune 21, 2009 at 4:37 pm

David – is there really anyone in Ancestry / TGN listening – is there?

I think that the majority of our current subscriptions are funding the major advertising campaign that has been ongoing for months.

And apparently funding the huge TGN software development department entitled “Let’s generate unimportant, superfluous, unneeded, unwanted, unnecessary, unessential features that will slow down the site and add absolutely no value to genealogy researchers”.

Did you notice – most of the words in the above fictitious departmental description are UNNECCESSARY!!!!!!! Just like the majority of the changes this year that TGN have dreamt up this year.

TonyC

14 Carol A. H.June 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm

Well, good Lord! Here we go again! More bells and whistles that may or may not be helpful.

I know how to contact other tree submitters. What I don’t know is:

1. Are they STILL a member?

2. Are they ACTIVE?

3. Is the contact information still viable?

4. Did they get my message or did it go to the big computer in the sky?

5. WILL THEY ANSWER???

I know we can view a member’s/submitter’s profile by clicking on their user name. The resulting information is somewhat vague. If someone has not signed on in the last 6 months or longer, can we assume they are not likely to respond or not doing research at this time? Maybe they died. Maybe too much is happening in their lives. You know, stuff happens.

It would be helpful to know answers to the above questions before being bombarded by information on others who have put on trees on Ancestry and just left them. Kerput! End of story!

How are you going to collect all these people who supposedly are researching the same folks as me? Are you going to survey everyone or just collect names from people who happened to submit a tree with a name I’m looking for? Are you going to ask folks to sign up for this on an individual basis?

I agree we should have the ability to shut off this option if we don’t want it. After all we have “Do not call” for telemarketers we don’t want bothering us. (Now if we could just stop the junk mail…..!)

In fairness to submitted trees, I did find one with my ancestor with a different named husband. I tried to contact the submitter and got ZIP. I went to work and researched the new name and it turned out to be true. Mine was wrong.

I have tried to contact about 15 folks and gotten about 3 replies. I have gotten some help from folks who see my tree and say they have more information, but although they share, I ususally don’t get any sources.

So, I have mixed feelings about this new option. Think it through and READ OUR COMMENTS before you waste our dollars.

I also notice some folks copy my work. Well, I put it there for others, but it would be nice if folks would make contact with me. Sometimes I find I have made a mistake and when I correct it, it doesn’t always get corrected by the copier. I guess some people don’t have much in the way of manners.

What I want is better indexing on current databases like newspapers, city directories and obituaries. Also fill the the gaps in non-contiguous records. Please!!! When you do it, I will say, “Thank you!”

15 Carol A. H.June 21, 2009 at 7:31 pm

Jo #5 posted an execellent idea I would like to second. I have wondered if people are looking at my trees or getting any help from them. She Posted:

“We should be able to see the last time an invited guest of one of our trees has actually visited that tree because for all I know, people who accepted my invitation may have visited the tree once and then gone back to their busy lives.”

16 Linda StanchJune 21, 2009 at 8:47 pm

I’ve been contacted by more very nice people in the past couple of months since the link to the U.K. I agree there are many fake tree connections based solely on others Ancestry Trees with no documentation. What I’ve been doing is looking at all the trees before automatically clicking OK. I only accept those that at least have added my documents. I noticed recently, for example, that someone added a birthplace of Kenya to a relative of the presidents from the 1800′s. Who does that kind of dumb thing? Also many of these other people with what they think are perfect Trees insert fake dates from the 1900′s and fake places, I suppose to mark what they think are those “stolen” from them. It helps to have the Ancestry employees constantly attempting to assist us in this work. Can’t you all see that?

17 Mary AnnJune 21, 2009 at 11:19 pm

There are so many complaints about this idea. But I would like to try it out before I say yea or nay. I have some rare names in my family tree, and I am looking forward to connecting up with others having an interest in those rare names.

18 David GrahamJune 22, 2009 at 7:08 am

Thanks for everyone’s comments. Though Member Connect may not be valuable to everyone, I hope that you give it a try when it is added to the site to see if it can benefit you and your research at all. Based on our member research, overall there is a very high level of interest in finding, contacting, and collaborating with others who are researching the same ancestors. We really hope that this feature makes that an easier, more rewarding experience.

I just wanted to address some of the specific items raised in different comments:

- Please rest assured that we are also constantly working on adding new databases to the site and improving our search capabilities. This feature is not preventing that from continuing.

- After we add Member Connect to the site it is completely up to you whether you want to use it or not. We have tried to design things so that those who find value in it can get easy access to it, but so that it doesn’t have to get in the way of those who don’t want to use it.

- We are working hard to be very smart about the connections or site activity we suggest through Member Connect. Within your Ancestry Member Tree we will only suggest high-quality matches (though we can’t guarantee they are always perfect matches). And most importantly, you have complete control about choosing who you connect with. When we let you know about site activity we think you’ll be interested in, it is primarily around historical records you’ve worked with or connections you’ve personally made in your tree.

- We want Member Connect to help get the best information about an individual shared with others. We try to highlight sources when showing information from member trees, and are working to find other ways to do this over time. Also, one benefit of making these connections is that if you make a correction on your information about an ancestor other people can be notified so that they can make the same correction (if they agree with it).

- I also wanted to acknowledge some of the great feedback and suggestions included in your comments. We will look into the feedback regarding hints coming back in trees after being ignored, possible ways to differentiate between hints to historical records and hints to member trees, the placement of the comments feature in the new tree design, and ways to show if those you have invited to your tree have logged in to access it.

Again, I hope everyone gives the Member Connect feature a chance when it launches to see if it can benefit you at all. We have done a lot of member research as we have been designing and building it, and hope that it is helpful to most of you. When it does launch we will include a feedback link on the Member Connect overview page so that you can let us know what you think after using it and so that we can make improvements.

Thanks,
David Graham
Ancestry.com Product Management

19 Deb HJune 22, 2009 at 7:55 am

Why is it that nearly ALL the recent so-called “improvements” are related only to family trees? Ancestry used to be good for so much more. I have not – and will never – upload my tree to Ancestry (after reading this blog for the last year it’s obvious that they’re a complete train wreck). How about devoting some effort to the newspaper database? I would love to be able to search newspapers and get accurate results, but the horrendous OCR quality renders any effort to do so now a big waste of time. Just my 2 cents…

20 Andy HatchettJune 22, 2009 at 8:15 am

David,

Please define “”high-quality matches”.

I think most would agree that if at least the first given name, surname, year of birth, and state of birth (for USA) don’t match then it will *not* be a “high-quality match”.

Are these “high-quality matches” to be done using that less than stellar “new” search? If so- drop it now as yu are wasting both your resources and our time.

If the matches will be of the quality of the “matches” in OneWrold Tree.. well, drop the whole thing now!

21 JoJune 22, 2009 at 8:19 am

David, thanks for the feedback but you aren’t clear about how it will not get in the way for those of us who may decide we don’t want to use it. From the screen shots you posted, it looks like Member Connect will be invasive, showing up everwhere…on our home page, on our family tree, and on every historical record we view. Is this true? Will we who choose not to use it have to learn to ignore and work around it? Or will we have some way of not seeing the Member Connect information if we don’t want to? Perhaps by making a choice in preferences to not use Member Connect. Please reply specifically to this concern. Thank you. Joanne

22 Pat SecordJune 22, 2009 at 8:56 am

While I don’t see a major problem with this new feature, I see no need for it – I’ve had very good luck contacting other members thru Ancestry.com’s member profile info, and have had others contact me as well. However, I feel, as many others do, that this is just one more feature to mess up the home page. Can’t you make this one of the drop-down tabs? And if I understand this correctly, it looks like another block of information is going to take up valuable space when I open up a census report? They’re hard enough to read as is – please don’t clutter these up any more. Everytime you have something new to offer, you say you’ve done all this “research” and EVERYONE wants to see this stuff, yet, when reading these blogs, it appears that you haven’t listened to any of the writers concerns. I’m rather new to genealogy, and I think Ancestry.com is a wonderful tool. But all this rearranging of info on the pages, new stuff no one seems to want, and the fact that searching is getting harder (many hits make NO sense whatsoever)is really making me think twice about renewing my subscription when it’s up.

23 JoJune 22, 2009 at 11:03 am

David, I just went back over all of your example images. I haven’t been using the preview of the new family tree layout so didn’t recognize some of what was in the example images at first.

I see that MemberConnect will be accessed through a tab on the Person Page. That’s good.

On the Overview page, I want the ability to customize what’s at the top of the page and what I have to scroll down to see, but I don’t see that on the example or the preview. I don’t want the Media Gallery at the top, I want the Timeline there. I do like the Timeline being back on the left. Thank you for that. Can we have the ability to customize at least the locations of the content on this page, if not the content itself?

On the historical documents example, I see a new index on the bottom and a MemberConnect panel on the right. The census image appears to be closer to the top with less wasted space, which is good, and the new index looks interesting, but I would like to be able to close that MemberConnect panel to minimize the need for horizontal scrolling while viewing the census image and I don’t see any way to close it. Actually, I don’t even see any scroll bars on the example image. Will we only be able to manipulate it via the cursor hand?

Lastly, I don’t know where the image comes from that’s shown with #1 Get Connected. It has a circle with an X in it to remove it, but remove it from what? Where will it be attached?

MemberConnect doesn’t look as bad as it first sounded but clearer communication would help eliminate some misunderstandings & questions. To recap, I would appreciate clear answers to these questions –

1) Can we have the ability to customize the locations of the content boxes on the Overview page, if not the content itself?
2) Can we have the ability to close the MemberConnect panel when viewing historical images?
3) How will we manipulate the historical images, with scroll bars, the cursor hand, or some other way?
4) Please explain the sample image shown with #1 Get Connected.

Thank you.
Joanne

24 Andy HatchettJune 22, 2009 at 11:11 am

I hope all this “research” they do only includes people who have been doing genealogy for at least three years!

To be somewhat blunt about it, most of those with less than three years experience don’t know enough background to make really valuable suggestions. Most of the newbies ( in particular teh namegatherers) want “instant genealogy”.

Ancestry should listen to their more experienced user-members. The newbies will take whatever is here at the time they join.

The more experienced crowd will go looking for greener pastures if ignored long enough.. and is has been Waaaaaay long enough!

25 JadeJune 22, 2009 at 11:21 am

David,

It is great that you have absorbed responses to your post.

I find some of your 2nd post contains some Ancestry-speak that is part of the problem when it comes to what can actually be useful if a Tree owner is interested in fact-based genealogy.

You say, “We want Member Connect to help get the best information about an individual shared with others. We try to highlight sources when showing information from member trees, and are working to find other ways to do this over time.”

Unfortunately most items given as “sources” are other trees or gedcom files. Useless. Please find another category to put these in.

Similarly, ancestry.com lumps Trees in with “Historical Records”. Please taken them out of this category, particularly the nightmare OneWorldTree.

Similarly, ancestry.com lumps published County Histories along with “Stories” including “Stories” from Trees. While possibly 0.01% of such items added as “Stories” to Trees might be transcripts of actual documents, including obituaries, most do not have any factual foundation. Please take published histories out of the category of “Stories”.

You also say, “When we let you know about site activity we think you’ll be interested in, it is primarily around historical records you’ve worked with or connections you’ve personally made in your tree.”

The problem with ancestry.com’s notion of ‘historical records’ is addressed above.

What someone has worked with – are you planning to retrieve this data with cookies? Many of us delete cookies on at least a daily basis.

I am not the only one who is involved in researching at least a couple of interests that are unrelated to a tree I am involved in. I will not want feedback relating to the other research being incorporated in something regarding a Tree page. Since this research usually involves specific individuals’ life-paths in the 18th and early 19th centuries, it is highly unlikely that a person’s attaching an Ancestry extract of a subsequent US Census record or World War II service record or 1897 Passenger List item (to name likely possibilities) to a person in their tree – with same name as one of my research targets – (or merely same surname) – will be of any interest at all. It will be an annoyance. If it keeps up, it will become a **plaguey annoyance** and a **dratted disruption**.

So those who call for being able to turning the notification feature off completely (for their own use), and for eliminating it from their Home Page, make a great deal of sense. This is not something that should have to be done every time one visits Ancestry.com, as does the tedious having to go to Old Search Experience every day (because this preference is stored only as a cookie on my computer). It should be stored as a user preference somewhere on *Ancestry’s* servers, and should be readily reversible.

The suggestion of putting the entire rigamarole, including activating it or not, in a Tab, sounds useful to me.

26 David GrahamJune 22, 2009 at 11:38 am

I hope this comment covers some of the most recent feedback…

Andy – As far as the match quality within the Ancestry Member Trees, the suggested connections will be leveraging the same kind of logic as our Ancestry Hints functionality. This will look at as much information as we can from the individual in your tree as well as the individual in the other member’s tree. And again, it is completely up to you whether you want to connect to a match that we suggest.

Jo / Pat – As far as getting Member Connect out of your way, there are a few options.

On the homepage we won’t add this section at all until there is relevant site activity to show you. You can then always customize your homepage to move the box down or turn it off if you’d like.

When looking at an historical record you can choose whether to see the Member Connect section, the Source Details section, or close that section completely to have more space to see the image. The page will remember which option you selected last and keep you with that setting until you make another change.

On the profile page within your Ancestry Member Tree most of the Member Connect functionality will be included in a separate tab.

Jo – Here are answers to your other questions…

We don’t yet have the option to customize the location of the boxes on the profile pages within your tree. It is definitely a suggestion that we’re looking into further.

We will be sharing more news about the changes to the image page very soon. The tools for manipulating the images will not change with this project.

The sample image with “#1 – Get Connected” is a representation of what you’ll be able to see about a matching ancestor from a matching public tree while you are in your own Ancestry Member Tree. It will show the information and sources in the other tree and highlight differences from what you have in your tree.

Andy – We try to do member research with both new and advanced users. With this project we’ve actually done more research with advanced users.

Jade – When I was referring to historical records, I was not including information from family trees in that category, but traditional records such as Census, etc. When I mentioned records that you have worked with, this includes records you have saved online, added comments to, or made corrections to. When you look at the record you’ll be able to see who else has commented on it, corrected it, or saved it (depending upon their privacy settings). Also, in the Member Connect section on the homepage we’ll let you know if someone else saves, comments on, or corrects a record that you have saved, commented on, or corrected.

Thanks,
David Graham
Ancestry.com Product Management

27 JadeJune 22, 2009 at 1:31 pm

David,

Thank you very much for clarifying what *you* mean by “Historical records”.

You also say, “When I mentioned records that you have worked with, this includes records you have saved online, added comments to, or made corrections to. When you look at the record you’ll be able to see who else has commented on it, corrected it, or saved it (depending upon their privacy settings). Also, in the Member Connect section on the homepage we’ll let you know if someone else saves, comments on, or corrects a record that you have saved, commented on, or corrected.”

Hmmmm.

1) On one hand, if ancestry.com’s access to info about what I have saved, commented on or corrected is via a cookie, this will not work for those of us who automatically delete cookies with a browser close.

2) On another hand, I make corrections to items often just because they are **wrong**, not because I have any personal interest in them. There are some databases that are so error-riddled in indexing that I have made at least scores of corrections, if not hundreds. Um, I come across so many that are not of personal interest because the search engine comes up with myriad results that are unrelated to my query.

I will not want to be bothered when someone else uses or comments on one of those records in which I have no particular interest. I will not want to have to take some daily action to prevent notification. And I should not have to turn it off on every page I visit. This will make my User Experience highly aggravating and make me quite peeved. My household members might consider suing ancestry.com because you instigated a high degree of crotchetiness or even noise pollution due to my exclamatory remarks!

Your default should be to allow someone to activate this, rather than require me to turn it off.

I will view this intrusive stuff in the same way as the ridiculous and non-helpful pop-ups in the Message Boards, that were obviously designed by someone who has no genealogical experience (such as list of other Counties by same name in different State). At least it is possible to look at Message Boards without triggering these, by keeping the mouse cursor out of the message box.

28 Andy HatchettJune 22, 2009 at 3:08 pm

Re #27

Jade- exactly!

To put not so fine a point on it…
*ANY* “feature” default should be off and then let the user enable it if they want to even see it- much less use it.

If Ancestry can’t do that then they shouldn’t bother developing a feature at all-period.

That those annoying pop-ups have to be turned off every session is absurd in the exterme but clearly illustrate the total lack of forethought in feature planning by Ancestry.

29 hedyJune 22, 2009 at 8:28 pm

I hate you new system you have enough. Been researhing now for eight years. Found Ancestry.com very easy to use. Your change is making it very hard to use the census. When I mark exact area other states come up. Then I try not to mark exact and still coming up with to many names. Don’t understand your new system. I I try to do a certain dist in a place like Paterson New Jersey it takes much tooo long. Now the system is not working right please put old system back or give the option to use old system. Not Happy

30 JoJune 22, 2009 at 8:45 pm

Thank you, David. I appreciate the clear & detailed answers and I’m satisfied I’ll be able to live with the changes.

Regarding those message board pop-ups Jade brought up, they also interfere with trying to copy & paste anything from the boards. You get all kinds of extra stuff when you paste that you didn’t want. It really would be better to store our “off” setting for them in our preferences rather than a cookie. I delete cookies at least once a day, as do, I suspect, many experienced users.

Jo

31 JadeJune 23, 2009 at 11:48 am

This is off-topic but . . .

No one can log in to use databases, trees or message boards due to major system failure.

Maybe an insider could post this info on message boards and in new blog, if this section is working at all?

32 Sandi ZieglerJune 23, 2009 at 8:25 pm

I’m looking for anyone that is researching the Patchett family of NY, decendeds of William Patchett and Mary Jackson.

33 SherryJune 24, 2009 at 12:54 pm

I think it is a great idea but PLEASE make the connections relevent. I have a tree posted on genesreunited and even though my folks are listed as being born in Scotland and the US, I get a bazillion matches for folks born in England.

Not directed at Ancestry but would like you to consider…if I do not have a birth place listed, I can see getting these results but don’t waste my time if a birth place is listed.

I spend much time on genesreunited deleting irrelevant “matches”.

34 Faith MorleyJune 25, 2009 at 9:02 am

In regard to your “improvements” to the Ancestry web site, I have to tell you that “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. It is obvious from the many comments on this site that many people don’t want changes. Please, pay attention to your customers!

35 ConnieJune 25, 2009 at 10:01 pm

I will echo the sentiments of many you have heard from so far: please stop changing things and fix what isn’t working correctly. We can already easily connect with researchers who have interests in our tree members. That didn’t need improving. Your “new” tree looks cluttered. Your efforts to streamline its use have failed. You have hidden important info behind tabs. Why create a community tab when we can go to “collaborate” and find member connections there? Leave it there, PLEASE. Fix the broken databases.

36 SuzanneJune 30, 2009 at 1:50 pm

I have ordered or gone on line for birth/death certificates. Generally, there are other names with alot of information on them. Isn’t there somewhere this could be posted onto the site? It seems such a waste to not be able to share.

37 rbrewer25July 3, 2009 at 9:48 am

I joined Ancestry in 2003 and have adjusted to former changes in the program. This new format is not user friendly. I have spent thirty minutes reading, selecting and adding. It is too busy and one has to continue to seek what one is searching. I am teachable but do not have the time to click, click, click, when the older program was so efficient. Of course, it’s my choice not to use this new format….therefore, I will not be adding to any more family trees. Apparently, the programmers are not genealogists and have all the time in the world to sit and seek. I, for one, do not have this luxury.

38 Marshall SinbackJuly 3, 2009 at 6:00 pm

Before we “Member Connect” how about looking at this “Family Connect” issue:

I have a number of my family members who I invited to view my tree and to contribute. I have been getting complaints from some who say that after a while they can no longer log on and are asked to join.

Has anyone else had this problem? I have instructed all my invitees that they do not have to have a paid subscription to view the family tree but I now find that I am having to re-invite them.

This is very disconcerting to me. If there is no way to prevent this then I am going to look for other solutions for family collaborations. Help!

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