Posted by on August 3, 2009 in Searching for Records

New vs Old Search

I know this isn’t really about the enhanced image page, but some of you have ended up in in the New Search interface and would like to go back to old. If at the top of the Ancestry.com search homepage you see this:

click on “Old Search” and you’ll see the previous search experience. Clicking on “New Search” gets you to the current one. The enhanced image page is available on the 11 data collections we told you about on launch in both searches.

The most full screen you can get

If you really want to maximize your image, and you are on IE6, IE7 or I think most versions of Firefox. First click Maximize Image. Then press your F11 key. This will be the same as Toggle Full Screen on the original image page.

It makes a big difference if you are on 800×600. And it works on any page, not just image pages. (I’ll figure out where to put the link on the new page. But it might help some of you get where you want to be quicker.)

And print current view was tested with the F11 toggle and it works in IE and Firefox.

Printing

We should have the issues worked out with the print current view, and some of the other IE and Vista problems on the enhanced image page. (This is of 11am PT, 2pm ET, and 7pm GMT). If you were previously having trouble printing, please try it again. If you are still having trouble with printing, either post a comment or send me an email, my email address is in my bio below, with this information: Your OS (such as Vista, XP, MacOs), your browser verision (such as IE8, Firefox 3.0.5) and the url of the page you are trying to print.

This should also solve the saving issues some of you were having as well. Again, if you are still having issues, please include the above information as well what you are trying to save it to: shoebox, tree or hard disk.

On the record page, you should be able to see what alternates have been posted by others now:

Viewing Alternate Information on the record page

Some of you have asked about the comments that were entered when corrections were made in the previous system. We reviewed quite few of them, and I’d say about 70 to 80% are not that useful, things like “Last name was wrong”. However, I know some of you feel quite strongly that they should be restored because there some with some really useful information in some of them. So restore them we will. I’ll let you know when I have an exact date for that but, I’m guessing a week or so.

And one more note: occasionally javascript doesn’t refresh itself like it should. Try pressing “ctrl” + “alt” and then the refresh button on your browser if you are seeing some issues. If that doesn’t help, let me know.

Happy Searching!

About Anne Gillespie Mitchell

Anne Gillespie Mitchell is a Senior Product Manager at Ancestry.com. She is an active blogger on Ancestry.com 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, and is currently on the clock working towards certification from the Board for Certification of Genealogists. You can also find her on Twitter, Facebook and Finding Forgotten Stories.

184 Comments

Reed 

Anne,

This comment was prepared for your previous blog entry, but “comments are closed” there already, so I submit it here.

* * * * *

Once again, a new “feature” with MORE visual clutter, MORE clicking to perform the same tasks and LESS viewable space.

Another new “feature” that does NOT address faulty databases, missing images, poor indexing, and the unknowable, ever-changing mysteries of New Search’s “kind-of-but-not-really-exact” search algorithms.

Another “feature” that does NOT include improved wildcard or boolean searches or the ability to sort results according to user preferences.

You wrote: “If you want to view just the image, click on the [Maximize Image] link.”

Well, kind of true, except for the Enhanced Viewer “frame” that now surrounds all Enhanced Viewer images, ALL the time. In the old “full screen” display of census pages, the information/tool bar was at the top of the screen and rolled out of sight when one scrolled down on the image; you could fill your screen with a big chunk of the census image.

Now, we MUST sacrifice screen/image space to the purely decorative framing on the left, right and bottom sides of the image and the never-goes-away tool/info bar at the top of the screen.

No big deal? Here’s the math. On the computer/monitor I use most often, my browser window occupies a viewable space about 7 inches high by 12 inches wide. This is the space available for all browser images and does not include my browser’s immobile tool bar at the top or my computer’s fixed row of icons at the bottom of the screen.

So, I had about 7 x 12 = 84 square inches of viewable census image using the old pre-”Enhanced” ancestry viewer.

Now, with the new “Enhanced” viewer, even with the Maximize Image option selected, the largest census image I can view is about 5 X 11.75 = 58.75 square inches.

In short, the new Maximized Image is roughly 30 (THIRTY!) percent SMALLER than the previous full-screen image (with the old tool/info bar scrolled out of the way).

This is NOT progress. This is reduced visibility, which equals reduced functionality for most of us. Please restore the true Full Screen view for census images as soon as possible.

-Reed

August 3, 2009 at 1:46 pm
Nancy 

Anne, I am still not able to see some of the 1860 and 1870 Census images using Vista Home Premium and Firefox 3.5.1

Is that fix going to be ready today?

August 3, 2009 at 2:29 pm
Anne Mitchell 

Reed, I added a section up above about pressing “F11″ to toggle full screen.

Nancy, I’ve sent your issue back for testing.

August 3, 2009 at 2:43 pm
BobNY 

This is now the second time you have closed a blog on this subject within 2 business days for no apparent reason.

Do you not want people to see the hundreds (and yes there are over 200) negative comments about this enhancement?

=====================
I still have 2 issues which have not received at answer:

Posted on July 30, 2009 at 10:34 am

I know this is off topic, but you and others have ignored this question on at least 3 other occasions. As the product manager for search, I believe this one is yours.

When ancestry “improved” the 1900 US census, you removed all of the ED descriptions for major cities., e.g., New York and Chicago. This has basically made the census useless for those who want to browse or to find individuals by address.

Since you have the information, and it was there for many years, can you put it back?

If you feel this is not yours, can we get a response from someone who is responsible for “user experience” or content, or whoever is responsible for degradation of service at ancestry?

ANNE responded, “BobNY, that is a question for the content PM. I’ve forwarded your question on to him, and when I get an answer I will post it.”

Since I had been ignored by the VP content for over a month on the same issue, I wasn’t exactly expecting a speedy response. As I wrote:

Hopefully I will not be ignored by Gary a second time. Here is my post to his blog on July 2nd with 2 “Content” issues:
Yes, it does say that “1810 United States Federal Census” is among new records at ancestry.com; however, this data set has been there for a long time. Was it not complete and new records were added? Were the transcriptions changed? Did the search algorithm change? We don’t know, and as Diane said, without that information, do we have to re-search databases we have been through before.

The one that really gets me was the “update” of the 1900 census. In doing this update, ancestry has managed to lose all of the ED descriptions for major cities. Updated for searchers — now totally useless for browsers. Just one example of how ancestry “improves” the utility of their site.

Not only have I not received a response, you perpetrated the same sham with the 1820 United States Federal Census. You show it as updated on 7/23/2009. What has been added? Has it not been complete in the past? Do we have to go back and re-search each name in case someone has suddenly surfaced? This is not a trivial issue.
=========================
Second issue.

ANNE wrote in the earlier blog:
“Our marketing department does not decided (sic) when a product is ready for launch. Our Eng, Product and QA people do. Always.”

I asked: “Who decided that this POS should even have been developed in the first place?”
Seems like a relevant and logical question. You obviously see fit not to respond.

August 3, 2009 at 3:07 pm
alexander greer 

How do we respond to “keyword”?

August 3, 2009 at 3:26 pm
Connie S 

Anne,

Although like Reed #1, I always wonder why Ancestry likes to increase visual clutter, I actually like this feature, once you get the Firefox issue fixed. And return the Comments users have made on a record. (Thanks for agreeing to do that: even if only 10% of them contain relevant comments, that’s 10% of info we’re missing).

I would prefer, however, the option of turning enhanced image off and on (like we have with Old Search, and hopefully will continue to have).

Maximize and the F11 toggle helps, but I can’t imagine it will help much when I try to view a page on my netbook, which I will periodically want to do.

August 3, 2009 at 3:31 pm
Clela Parsons 

I have Windows XP os. I neither know nor care about what browser I have. The new tool bar is a piece of junk. I’m so angry I’m ready to cancel after all my years of membership. The ONLY thing I can do is change image size and turn pages. The new tool bar does NOT recognize any other commands, it does not matter which url I am on.

August 3, 2009 at 3:42 pm
Jo Marshall 

The “view Map” idea added to 1930 Fed Census is a great idea, but it can not be counted on to be accurate. The first two names I searched had a correct map site shown; all the remainder were incorrect. For someone looking for a map showing where their ancestors lived, but not knowing the area, these maps could give them a totally inaccurate site. I think it is reading only the first name of a site plus the state name, but not the county name. I think this needs to be coreected.

August 3, 2009 at 4:03 pm
Walter 

So you said you fixed the problems and I tried it. Not one thing is fixed! It is worse. Before if you wanted to print image it was just too small. Now nothing at all prints. It does me no good to list the URL because I tried it 5 times with 5 different Census yeanr and none of them would oprint anything with Vista and IE-v8 nor Firefox/3.5.1.
Until you return to letting us print “Current View” filling the complete blank side of a piece of paper you have not fixed anything!

A least 95% of every comment I read earlier was a complaint about the “improvement” being worse. I would think you might learn something about that. You need to get experienced Genealogists to test your so called improvements before rolling them out. Even if you need to pay the testers. Ancestry is time after time getting worse and worse, not better and better.
I gave up on FTM 2008 and 2009 because they were pieces of JUNK that do not allow experienced Genealogists do real Genealogy. It is a real shame what is happening!

August 3, 2009 at 4:41 pm
Susan 

Maybe I don’t get it…but I am furious over these changes. I want to print ONLY the part of the census that involves the name I am researching. I used to be able to just click on PRINT and then my “Print Window” would come up and I would “Print Selection”…I can no longer do any of that!! I can no longer print JUST the selection that I want…and that makes it more difficult for me to see the census records. I have poor eyesight because of medications I take…and I print out the census records so I can easily transcribe them to my personal records…AND you have taken all of this away from me!! This is completely unfair!! It is increasingly unfair for ancestry.com to ADD junk to the website and make it more and more “user UN-friendly”. It is unfortunate that they are the only game in town!!

August 3, 2009 at 4:46 pm
Robin_Smiley 

Thank you for the update and the changes to the enhanced image pages. It works! I love the look just couldn’t make it work. Thank you Robin

August 3, 2009 at 5:34 pm
Deborah Lienhard 

I’ve been building my family tree since 1985 and in the past 7 days I’ve come a long way. This site is awesome. Thanks

August 3, 2009 at 5:58 pm
Reed 

Dear Anne,

Thank you for the speedy reply (#3). I had missed your new info about the F11 key function. However…

Once again, Ancestry has taken a fully operational, cross-platform, more-or-less intuitive function (i.e. view document on full-screen) and made it worse.

• In general: this simple task takes more clicks and keystrokes, and is less obvious to implement.

• In particular: once AGAIN, you have ignored all of us Ancestry subscribers who use Macs. I have tested the F11-key on both Safari and Firefox browsers and I can report that F11 functions as it does on all Macs: it “rolls up” the browser window and hides it in the title bar. (Press F11 again to “unroll” the window.)

So, once again Ancestry’s tech team demonstrates its long-standing ignorance of the Mac platform and its disdain for Mac users. (See also the no-Mac-users-needed tech policy for the Ancestry indexing projects.)

Geez.

It wouldn’t have been hard for JUST ONE of your engineers to try this on a Mac, eh? C’mon, give us a break.

-Reed

August 3, 2009 at 6:18 pm
Sharon Mansfield 

Thank you for fixing the Save, Option, Print, etc. buttons on the enhanced image page (I’m not getting that extra blinking scroll bar anymore)! I love Ancestry.com and can’t imagine how I would be able gather all the documents and history of my family without it!

August 3, 2009 at 7:14 pm
Ron 

Why can I not print all of a sudden? Many problems since you changed over to “enhanced” view. What is better?

August 3, 2009 at 7:50 pm
Katy 

Using IE8 and evidently it’s not fixed. What’s strange is that when the new Enhanced Viewer first appeared I could do these things. Now I can’t. The Maximize Image button doesn’t work – if I try F11, then I just get a bigger picture with that transcription thing still cutting off the census page. Print does not work. Save does not work – although yesterday it worked when Maximize and Print did not. All give me the notice at the bottom “Error on Page”. So yesterday I could save to my hard drive and read & print from there – now I can do nothing. I use the census more than anything else on Ancestry by far and I want it BACK!

August 3, 2009 at 7:52 pm
r mcdaniel 

ancestry.com is not complete. You keep looking for your mothers birth records and it does’nt show up. Even when you take the vitals from the bureau of vital statistics. Why does it not show up? As it would lead to your grandparents records so on and so on.

August 3, 2009 at 10:45 pm
Sandi 

Geek-speak!! I have No earthly clue what this is all about. This is for ancestry, not computeriese. PLEASE understand or at least try to understand, we enjoy what we are doing and really don’t appreciate you changing it up every few months. Pick any person off the street and ask them what has been said here. I give up! You still haven’t made it possible for me to use your silly printing you had taken away and put these little girls in charge of a new system that doesn’t even reconize my existence!!
We are paying for things we can’t even get use from. Your web cast doesn’t even come through. Pure frustration !!

August 3, 2009 at 11:11 pm
Gen Bullock 

Reed’s comments – “Once again, a new “feature” with MORE visual clutter, MORE clicking to perform the same tasks and LESS viewable space” AND “Another new “feature” that does NOT address faulty databases, missing images, poor indexing, and the unknowable, ever-changing mysteries of New Search’s “kind-of-but-not-really-exact” search algorithms” are RIGHT ON!

Clela’s comments “The new tool bar is a piece of junk. I’m so angry I’m ready to cancel after all my years of membership” is ALSO RIGHT ON!

Walter’s comments – “A least 95% of every comment I read earlier was a complaint about the “improvement” being worse. I would think you might learn something about that. You need to get experienced Genealogists to test your so called improvements before rolling them out. Even if you need to pay the testers. Ancestry is time after time getting worse and worse, not better and better” – ARE ALSO RIGHT ON!

BOTTOM LINE – STOP WITH THE SO CALLED “IMPROVEMENTS”. What you are doing is fiddling with the “face” of the website – what you NEED to do is
improve the databases, work on the indexing and stop cluttering up the place!!!!

August 4, 2009 at 1:21 am
bernard edge 

I like most of your new design but not your new image page. I find this harder to use then the old one.
Thankyou Bernard

August 4, 2009 at 1:47 am
FRANCIS VOISEY 

I am still (1130 GMT Tues 4th) unable to print current page on IE8 using Windows Vista. It is true that you can print current page on Firefox but it only allows you 25% 50% 75% etc magnifications as opposed to the 25% 26% 27% etc magnifications that were available on IE8 until last week and therefore gives a clumsy result. Please let us use Ancestry on IE8 as we could before.

August 4, 2009 at 4:41 am
J. Fulmer 

Anne, thanks for your updates. These are quite helpful although I don’t understand why Ancestry.com felt the need to “improve” and cause all these headaches for their long-time subscribers. Your old site design was just fine.

I’ve found that if one uses the “Old search” interface option and the “maximize image” option on the viewer then things can be pretty well returned to normal.
Thanks.
John

August 4, 2009 at 5:00 am
Eileen 

How in the world can I get rid of all the added “stuff” when I’m trying to view a census form? I don’t need all these “features” how about some Close buttons?
I’m just trying Ancestry out for 14 days before I renew. At this rate, I’m wasting so much time in my reseach when I can’t find a clear view of the item.
Thanks

August 4, 2009 at 7:55 am
mcwasthere 

I like the new change! The transcriptions underneath the records enable me to quickly look at names of neighbors who might be related to the name I’ve searched. I realize that not all the transcriptions are accurate; however, they sometimes have just enough that is correct that it catches my attention. Then, I can look at the actual census records.

I also like that the transcribed names that have already been corrected or commented on are shown in bold italics. It’s easy to click on these to see the corrections or add your own.

August 4, 2009 at 8:52 am
R. Leitch 

Thank You
I was glad this morning to read that you were offering the “old search” option for those of us who did not want all the clutter on the screen.

When I selected the “old search” option and tried a search in the 1870 census, I ended up back in the “new search” screen with all the clutter. Did I do something wrong?

August 4, 2009 at 8:53 am
m taylor 

I couldn’t agree more with all the comments asking for the old site to be brought back. I’m fed up with having to trawl through USA records when all I want is UK ones – where has the box gone that you could tick for that preference? Also where have UK BMD indexes gone? At this rate I will NOT be renewing my subscription.

August 4, 2009 at 9:06 am
Jo Storie 

I agree, more visual clutter. Also, on the old screen if you were in say the 1860 census and you wanted to search the 1850 census, while looking at a census page, you could go to the top locality section, click on United States and you’d be taken to the full censuses list of dates to change your search.(I hope I’m remembering this correctly) This new screen is much more non-friendly.

August 4, 2009 at 9:32 am
Debby 

I’m still having problems printing the family tree from IE 7. The box lines come out all jumbled. It only seems to print correctly when using Firefox browser.

August 4, 2009 at 9:33 am
Pansy Beroth 

Please – there are too many reasons for me to list here begging you to go back to the old format. I simply cannot find anything – nor can I bring up census sheets from the “list” on the screen to view it in any way – cannot even reach the card catalog – help please !

August 4, 2009 at 9:43 am
JC 

I have several comments. I belive Ancestry.com should hire older retired people who know cursive writing then perhaps the census records would be more accurate. I believe some of the younger generation is ill-equipped to read cursive writing on the census reoords which may be the reason for all the errors in the transcriptions.

I, too, am normally most interested in the census records and do not like the new location as I would like to be able to click on each immediately. I find that I must use Heritage Quest(free service) for the ease in finding census records although they do not list everyone in the household, but they have it set up so that you can search all the records in a certain county. Works beautifully.

August 4, 2009 at 9:53 am
Jo Storie 

I’m missing something. How do you get the “Soundex” option back on the search screen?

August 4, 2009 at 9:57 am
Gary 

Ditto #10 Susan’s comment about the loss of the “print selection” from the print options. Most of the time I do not want to print the entire page.

August 4, 2009 at 10:06 am
Susan 

I wrote last night and have found more issues WRONG with the so-called “updates”….I don’t know who is making these changes but they obviously do not do genealogy!! AND NOW, you have shut off your phones!! How do you expect those of us who PAY for this service to get help (or better yet yell at someone)? Your “recording” says you “are experiencing technical difficulties”…SURE you are!! Come on, fix these problems and fix your phones!! We are paying good money for this service ( I just renewed) but I am considering cancelling…even though I have been a member since the 1980′s (on and off) and have found over 10,000 family members, including my father’s children from a prior marriage that I never knew existed. Until yesterday, I LOVED ancestry.com…but I cannot continue to deal with these frustrations, while ancestry.com continues to increase it’s rates!! I may have to go another route to figure out my research IF ancestry.com does not “work for the people”!!

August 4, 2009 at 10:29 am
JMiller 

WHY do you think you need to “upgrade” the search? It doesn’t NEED upgrading!!! You have made it HARDER for me to use your tools.

AND I cannot find the “old search” feature to cut this blamed stuff off.

NOT a happy camper with you right now.

August 4, 2009 at 10:43 am
Virginia Huebner 

I sit and wait forever for the materials to download and then it is wrong. I cannot download your new enhancer.I used to be able to pull up early – prior to 1900 – censuses without any problem and now i can’t. The 1900 census is a farce. i cannot pull up the 1910 census either without waiting forever. I have Windows Vista – tell me that is my problem

August 4, 2009 at 11:01 am
Connie 

Eileen #23: To get rid of the “added stuff” on the census, click on the Maximize button (upper left of screen).

August 4, 2009 at 11:03 am
Gina Davis 

What are you doing? I have been a member for years. At this point I am about to close my account, because I cannot access half of the data I have PAID for! I keep getting sites stating I can have a FREE 14 day trial period! I pay this automaticly each year. Someone please tell me what to do. I look at my account and it appears I have none! If that’s the case I want my money back!
gina

August 4, 2009 at 11:06 am
Katherine Warton 

I still can not print any of the original material from the Search screen. The latest material I just tried to print was today, Aug 4th, 10:20 am pst. I have Vista with IE8 and the URL is http://search.ancestry.com/browse/default.aspx?dbid=16215&iid=dvm_LocHist004172-00604-1.

August 4, 2009 at 11:28 am
Peggy 

These changes are frustrating and time-consuming. Not ONE change has benefited me in my search. Actually, the changes have hindered my research in many ways. I am very disappointed in Ancestry.

August 4, 2009 at 11:56 am
Peggy 

These changes are frustrating and time-consuming. Not ONE change has benefited me in my search. Actually, the changes have hindered my research in many ways. Each page that I load takes much longer than it did previously. I am very disappointed in Ancestry.

August 4, 2009 at 11:57 am
Margaret Alley 

I don’t like this new format!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It has to much useless data when all you want to do is look at a specific item such as census. Who cares about all that other garbage when you are looking for a specific item. Your new stuff is just for beginners and for those of us who know how to research it is a waste of resources. You should have and option for advanced researchers to ignor this stuff.

August 4, 2009 at 1:51 pm
Walter 

I am going to repeat myself. Maybe some day it will get through. Until you give us back the ability to “Print Current View” (meaning I have magnified the record until I can actually read it and I want that window exactly to print full size on a full 8.5 x 11 sheet and not the entire page) you have a Broken Enhanced View. FIX that immediately or give us a button to go back to exactly how it worked a week ago. Others have said the same thing. Your project is an Abject Failure otherwise! You simply cannot read something like a entire Census Page printed full size (and almost half of that is clutter).

August 4, 2009 at 2:02 pm
Suzanne 

Anne,

I was just on the website. (4:30 PM EST) Thank you for giving us back the ability to print “current view”! I was able to access it and print a 1880 census record, and also on a 1870 census record… both in “current view”. I have XP & IE7.

HOWEVER, I also have a laptop computer, which I prefer to use, and it has Vista and IE7. I am NOT able to print the “current view” on that computer for either 1870 or 1880. Please, please, please, have the programmers give us back the ability to print “current view” on Vista.

August 4, 2009 at 2:44 pm
June A. Rettig 

I am completely at sea.

August 4, 2009 at 2:54 pm
Lena Hust 

2nd request for informantion on copy a family and not having to copy the whole page. At 80 years (5 Nov this year) give me back the Old Ancestory. Please. Lena

August 4, 2009 at 3:02 pm
Lena Hust 

2nd request for informantion on copy a family and not having to copy the whole page. At 80 years (5 Nov this year) give me back the Old Ancestory. Please. Lena Please let me know by e-mail when this porblem is FIX. THANKS.

August 4, 2009 at 3:04 pm
Sue 

Anne,
I was unable to print the 1870 census page I found. An error sign was showing at the bottom of my screen. No printing options came up like the help page had mentioned. Can you tell me what I am doing wrong! Maybe my computer was having a bad day, so I will try again another day! Thank you for any help you can give.
Sue

August 4, 2009 at 3:34 pm
CharlesSartwell 

Like the experience of R. Leitch, Message 25, I selected “Old Search” before searching the 1870 census and ended up with the “New Search” screen when I sought to view the census page. From the particular census page, selecting “New Search” and then “Old Search” takes me back to the intial search screen–mighty unwelcome looping. I’m on a Mac using Safari 4.0.3.

Built into Safari of lots of options for magnifying and reducing image sizes for printing, also for printing in portrait or landscape formats. In short, the recent improvements here for managing images are no gains for Safari users; indeed, the so-called improvements make difficult and slow what was previously simple and fast.

August 4, 2009 at 3:49 pm
Andy Hatchett 

ANNENTION ANNE and DAVID
CORRECTION ADDED BACK-NOT !!!

I’ve included a lot of stuff in explaining my “corrections”. Now all that is showing is:

QUOTE
[Corrected Name] rather than [Original Name]
The original data on the record is incorrect”
Submitted by xxxxx on 7/6/2006
END QUOTE

That is *NOT* what my original correction said!

I am strongly suggesting (in fact, almost demanding)that Ancestry restore all the Original corrections *IN THEIR ORIGIANL FORMAT WITHOUT CHANGING A SINGLE WORD!*

Now the question…

Can that be done or has, as I strongly suspect is the case, your incompetent programming department already trashed the originals.

Do you people take courses in how to not think things out before taking action?

August 4, 2009 at 3:49 pm
MikeF 

Anne,

Did you already answer my previous question as to whether the basic viewer will still be available. Are there any good reasons it can’t be? Sorry if I missed you or someone else answering this.

Also re my question on jpeg vs tiff, thanks for the response. The reason I asked is that initially I was unable to right click copy on an image in the enhanced viewer so as to copy it to MS Doc Imaging. But later I found I was able to do so.

MikeF

August 4, 2009 at 4:25 pm
BobNY 

Yo Andy!

Me thinks that Anne and company have circled the wagons after this s***storm hit and you won’t be hearing much more from them on this subject.

I just did a quick and dirty analysis of the response patterns here. They fall into 4 categories:

1) That’s really bad — I’ll pass it along to those programmers to fix.

2) That’s really not my baliwick, but I will pass it on to the content product manager and get back to you.

3) That’s a known issue; too bad it has an unknown solution.

4) We will have that fixed by Monday August 3rd.

BTW, wanna know a dirty little secret? If you use IE 6, you do not get all this visual clutter and crapola; you get a full screen of census image. No bad transcription of the “record”; no limited zoom parameters; no extraneous social networking junk.

August 4, 2009 at 4:34 pm
Andy Hatchett 

Bob- Re: #51

Can IE6 run on a machine with IE7 and Firefox already on it-?

If so, where can I get IE6?

August 4, 2009 at 4:41 pm
BobNY 

Andy,

I don’t know. I have one machine which I never upgraded. It runs IE6 with XP.

The good news is it has the clutter-free census. It also prints flawlessly.

The bad news is that all the “enhanced” stuff they are putting out like the correction detail popups that they are supposedly adding back are formatted weirdly. Currently, they appear behind the newly added drop-down menu and the left column propaganda making them virtually unreadable.

August 4, 2009 at 5:00 pm
Sherry 

The problem is that ancestry does everything backasswards. Ancestry would be so much better off with its subscribers if you announced a change, added a “button” for the option, rather than forcing the option upon your subscribers and adding extra steps in order for them to get out of it. It really is not rocket science. Add these options at the homepage or add a “preference toolbar”. I do not know how hard that would be but it makes perfect sense to me as I have read (but rarely) positive feedback on the changes.

Personally, I verify every record in my tree by looking at the original image. I already received ancestry’s interpretation when I did the search, I do not need it at the bottom of the page. It is completely useless to me.

I wish that ancestry would focus more on the search engine and less on the package because that is key. Your new search is horrid. You should have kept to the old search and improved upon inclusion of the databases that it misses.

August 4, 2009 at 5:22 pm
Connie 

Andy #49:

Amen! I can’t believe they’ve supposedly added back the corrections, and there is nothing there that I wrote. NOTHING. I’ve spent so much time the last few years correcting Ancestry’s indexes, with usually detailed comments, that I’m sure they owe me several weeks of full-time salary. Like you, I have suspected from the beginning they trashed the original comments. But they thought things out first: they decided that because with a totally unscientific “look see” about 70% of the comments had no value, so they would trash the whole thing.

Now, I’m going to give Ancestry some free consultation on which they can make millions if they would bother to implement it:

(1) Give the serious researchers bare bones, clutter free access to a real card catalog and records, with a search engine that, when the input is Moses J. Shirley b. 1850 living in Kansas will find M. J. Sherley b. 1850 living in Kansas without having to page through who knows how many pages of people like Andrew J. Shirley b. 1855 living in Canada.

It has been almost exactly 1 year since I posted on this kind of problem, and there has been no change. None. Zero. Nada. In a year, with what is a very basic search parameter: finding both Fannie and Fanny, or Sherley and Shirley.

(2) For those looking for a social networking site, give them the pretty mess they are creating.

Personally, I don’t mind the “enhanced image” changes, if they worked properly, as I can just maximize the image to get rid of the other stuff, but they don’t work properly…I still can’t access any images with Vista 32 and Firefox 3.5.1. It works fine the same version of Firefox on my XP based netbook: but who wants to look at census images for long on a netbook?

August 4, 2009 at 6:24 pm
J Rosenburg 

I’m afraid Ancestry.com is rapidly becoming a piece of junk software. Everything from print problems to searching area/states has become impossible. Search perameters mean nothing,you may get individuals from every state in the union before the requested area/individual is listed.

August 4, 2009 at 6:35 pm
margo 

Why in the heck can’t I see the 1820 Orange Co. Va. Census anymore? I keep reporting it and nothing happens except these “form letter” emails coming back to me.

August 4, 2009 at 7:08 pm
George Myers 

Ok I’m Back questioning why when you go to print it redownloads the image at a higher resolution, well at least bigger file size. Sure eats up my time. Using the old image view and save the image to my computer saves a 871K file. If you blow it up it will pixel out, but far past the usable image size needed.

Then use the print and it redownloads a bigger file, this time I right click the image and save it. Not sure why this save feature is in the print sequence? It was 1.72M or double the size. But when you use the same progran and enlarge, it also pixels out into squares, again way past the normal enlarging point. The first image download always worked before, so why the added download and bandwidth usage. I’m confused. So I looked at old downloaded images, some of my original downloads are bigger and top out about 1.2M on some images I checked.

Is the reason for this to initially save bandwidth on a half size download or is this second download a benifit. Frankly if i’m printing no matter what size the file is, it prints in one size for a full page view. If I was going to do a second download for any reason, it would be for the save file to your computer, not for printing. On a screen view of a saved file the bigger the better, but for printing its wasting pixels lost in the printer.

Confused. If this new interface can be set to original, then why a new view. That is confusion. I looked for search by State, which disappeared once before, and its not their, but I hope its somewhere.

I see no improvements and no benifit for these major interface changes.

August 4, 2009 at 7:25 pm
J. Fulmer 

In case you’re having trouble locating it …the “old search” button is located at the top right hand side of the Search Screen in the pink/beige colored strip. It is hard to see because the print is tiny.

Let’s hope they don’t take away this option!

August 4, 2009 at 8:05 pm
Brenda F. Joiner 

Where Are My Family Trees? I have been working on two Family Trees – ome for my Mother’s family and one for my Dad’s. Together, I had over 7,000 people in both trees. Yes, I know that number is not nearly as high as others who have their Family Trees on this website, but still, there are many hours of hard work involved.

However, now, I can’t find them Anywhere!

In addition, I am also being told to
upgrade my subscription! People, I’m already subscribed to Everything you have to offer!

I want my Family Trees back where I can simply pull them up Any Time I Get Ready! And I would ask that this be ASAP!!!

August 4, 2009 at 8:14 pm
Jamie Lynn 

Geeze!! I’d be happy just to see an image of a census page. Tried this afternoon and after 26 minutes I still couldn’t see it. I waited a while as I thought there might be some kind of bug you needed to WORK OUT but tonight I still can’t view anything. Tried everything, even tried to view it without the enhanced viewer and that still took a total of 4 minutes.

Please don’t tell me this is another one of your permanent fix’s, PLEASE!!

August 4, 2009 at 8:16 pm
Glenda S Strayer 

I agree heartily with all of the negative comments about this last round of “enhancements” With every tweak made by the programers the actual usability of the search interface and image viewer is lessened and the busy-ness and irrelevancies expand and escalate. PLEASE keep access and usefulness clean and uncluttered- PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE- I am looking at leaving permanently after almost 20 years online with this data supplier. Your irritating and to me un-useful star system is another point of aggravation. I am losing my access to the site because even with hi-speed access the images crash instead of loading.

August 4, 2009 at 8:30 pm
Karen 

Having the same issue as Nancy 2. I’m trying to view 1860 census records, and Enhanced Viewer does not work with Vista Home Premium and Firefox. I also tried Vista/Explorer. The image pulled up (sort of), but the other JUNK on the page keeps getting stuck and won’t fully load. Thought I’d try to save the image and view in my own program, but the SAVE button doesn’t even work. PLEASE GIVE US THE OLD VIEWER BACK!!! Thx

August 4, 2009 at 8:41 pm
Karen 

Sorry – one more thing. I spend too much money to have these kinds of issues with Ancestry. I understand the need for improvement, but how about asking us, THE USERS, about it before shoving it down our throats. I am extremely frustrated at new “enhancements” that don’t enhance anything except a bad user experience and poor system performance.

PLEASE stop trying to “dumb down” Ancestry. I chose your site over others because I felt it was better geared toward serious researchers. I am now rethinking that decision.

August 4, 2009 at 8:50 pm
patricia 

I’am very happy with ancestry, the only thing I can’t find my name with my mother’s name. And some of my brother’s and sister’s name. the names is on my family tree.

August 4, 2009 at 9:51 pm
Arthur Geldon 

Since installation of the new search format and the enhanced image viewer, I’m finding it impossible to view certain types of data, such as draft cards and historical newspaper announcements (e.g. obituaries), using either the new or old search format. Images simply will not open. I have IE7 and Windows XP. There must be bugs in your interface programming between the data, the viewer, the search engine, and the operating system that is causing this problem. I have never had this problem before Ancestry changed the search engine and viewer. I did not see the need for the change, and in light of the problems accessing data, perhaps, you should restore the old system until you fix the new system. The new system is a waste of my time and money.

August 4, 2009 at 9:59 pm
Nancy 

Karen #63, I was able to see the images for about 24 hours but now they are gone again. Nothing on those pages works. When the pages seemed fixed, Anne Mitchell said that someone had updated the javascript. I guess it has been changed back!

Is anyone out there having this problem other than Vista Home Premium/Firefox?

August 4, 2009 at 10:39 pm
Ene 

BIG NEWS FOLKS – ANCESTRY IS SHELLING OUT BIG BUCKS TO GO PUBLIC. Eastman’s Newsletter today lists the “owners” of the site and discusses their BIG plans. I am not yelling, just speaking loud enough to catch your attention amidst the justifiable venting that is occurring over the messes Ancestry.com continues to make of the site. Before y’all get too excited about a chance to own a piece of Ancestry.com, please be aware that they are only offering a small percentage of the company stock. Now you know why they have been too busy to answer the phones and respond to site problems.

August 5, 2009 at 12:44 am
Katy 

It’s now August 5th and still I can’t do anything with the new enhanced image pages. I have XP Pro and IE8 and nothing works – can’t print, can’t save, can’t Maximize. When the Enhanced Images first came out, I could. I didn’t like the Enhanced Image – way too much stuff – but at least it worked. Apparently the more you fiddle with it, the worse it gets. I’ve helped Beta test programs in the past and I fail to understand why you would attempt to adopt a change like this without more preparation.

August 5, 2009 at 4:38 am
JC 

I have an issue with the Marriage Records Search.
Search Birth, Marriage & Death Records

There are blanks for one person’s name only. There should also be blanks for the spouse’s name which would prevent literally HUNDREDS of potential spouses names to review!

August 5, 2009 at 8:45 am
Marylyn731 

Are these product enhancements/changes put through user testing before being published? Users (not programmers or Ancestry staff) would quickly find the weak spots as witness the reader comments. We can start with people who know database design and search functions like Reed.

August 5, 2009 at 8:46 am
Pete Smee 

A Couple of years ago I had a telephone call from Ancestry (UK) and the lady asked if I would like to attend a “Customer Review board” that would take input from longstanding Customers on suggested improvements.
I said I was keen and eager to attend but I then had to answer some “security” questions

Name
Address
Age
Number of years I had been looking at my Genealogy
Occupation

“oh sorry, Web Site designer is on our list of occupations that cannot attend”

I am beginning to understand why.

Anne – get rid of your geeks and hire some people who understand the term usability.

Understand that you have different audiences with different needs, and provide 2 interfaces -
One for the people who use your site just to see the source data and know how to use a search engine without all the bells and whistles and don’t want to have to keep clicking all over the screen to get rid of the clutter.

And a different Interface for the “Social Networking” users who are less technically savvy.

In my opinion at the moment you are in danger of alienating both groups.

I and thousands of other users click on a census thumbnail image in order to see a Census Image, not to know who else is looking at it – I DON’T CARE, I don’t want to know and I couldn’t give a flying fig who the neighbours were.

You are selling to a global Audience, stop thinking “small town America”

August 5, 2009 at 8:50 am
Dan Weibling 

The “save a copy” DOES NOT WORK at all. The veiw feature is too small. There are too many clicks to try and get anything done.

August 5, 2009 at 9:32 am
Carl Waltenbaugh 

Like others, I find the recent “enhancements” disturbing. I’ve been a subscriber to Ancestry.com since at least 2003 and I find the latest version ‘the enhanced image page’ to be a giant step backwards.

In many regards, I’m the ‘odd man out.’ I’m a Mac user and routinely use Safari, FireFox, and Opera as web browsers. I also adhere to the adage that “genealogy without documentation is myth.” I’ve used four different genealogy programs, both on the PC and Mac and, and settled on Reunion because I can document (i.e. footnote) every item entered about every person entered in my database. Each fact pertaining to each individual within my database of over 30,000 people has 1-16 references (average is 5-6 references). Almost all my records are stored electronically. I really don’t care about printing census files, in fact I would rather leave a paperless genealogy legacy to my grandchildren than a decaying stack of computer printouts. We might also spare a few trees as well.

I’ve also seen the visual quality of the census records improve, that is until this latest version. In 2003 census files were in a .jpg format and were about 4 mb, in 2004 the .gif format was introduced and files were 1.2-1.5 mb. In 2006-2007 .jpg files (1.5 – 2.3 mb) were used. Then in 2007 .jpeg files of about 1.2 mb were available. At the moment, the enhanced images appear to be under 180 kb — that’s 85% less than just a month ago. Saves lots of space, doesn’t it? Yes, but at a price — jpeg files of just two weeks ago had 8 times the resolution than the current images. But, I’m saving hard drive space — hard drive storage space is a real bargain, even more so when compared to the cost of ink cartridges, paper and storage files.

I have no problem with the glitz (tree motif, kitsch 1950′s style graphics, etc) peppered throughout the website. What I do want is access to real information, high-resolution graphics for records, records that I can look at closely to determine how a name is spelled. Please, allow us access to these high quality images – they were there just two weeks ago.

August 5, 2009 at 10:08 am
Jeff Ford 

BUSY!

That is the one word that comes to mind when I used the “enhanced image page” or whatever it is called. In fact, I would add another word, TOO!

TOO BUSY!

It does look real cute though. I don’t know if it makes searches any better.

August 5, 2009 at 10:25 am
Mary 

I was excited to read the ‘save’ issue was solved. But alas, it is not. I work around it by disabling the add-on when I want to save. It’s a pain but lets me live in both worlds.

On the issue of the enhancements to the layouts. I am one of those computer geeks. I was a UI (User Interfacce) specialist and lived with the constant balancing act of improvement vs people hating change.

I thing one thing ANCESTRY.COM could do better is test in a real environment. Realize that many of the users are older and need large fonts. Utilize the screen real estate better. I don’t like have to scroll up and down. Do you need white space on top of and on the bottom of each record? Is the vertical space really the best place for the read about? couldn’t the Viewing 1-10 be combined with a different line.

For me the wasted real estate slows me down and frustrate me. For my mother it is a vision thing.

We made our developers test on lower end monitors so they had to deal with things the way a client does.

August 5, 2009 at 10:57 am
Nancy 

Comment Number: 145
Written by: Connie S
Posted on:
August 3, 2009 at 12:53 pm

What happened to the Comments that we used to be able to see when someone corrected a census record?
Now it only tells us the category of the change, not why the person was making the change or how they knew they were right and Ancestry’s indexers were wrong. Hopefully, that potentially valuable information hasn’t been completely deleted…if it hasn’t been lost to the ages, puh-lease bring it back
=============

Good question, Connie. I was one of those people who added further info–with sources–to the transcriptions (such as my GGgrandfather’s name being CLEMENT not CEMENT). I submitted numerous changes–and I have ancestry’s ‘thank you for your correction’ e-mails to prove it.

So, where did all those changes go? Dollars to donuts they were simply deleted by the new system and my efforts and everyone else’s who took the time to make corrections–for the benefit of other researchers–were wasted. Thanks Ancestry.

August 5, 2009 at 11:31 am
Andy Hatchett 

Anne posted a message on one of the message boards- all corrections should be restored in approx. a week or so.

August 5, 2009 at 12:22 pm
Charles Willford 

An hour ago, the save issues and print issues were gone from my Vista Home Premium and IE 8 confirguration. Hurray! I could save and print whereas I couldn’t the day before. I see progress. Thanks.

I still continue to lockup when merging Census files to FTM 2009 if I leave the include media box “checked”! If I uncheck that box, things continue as before.

Very maddening.
Chuck

August 5, 2009 at 12:26 pm
S.J. 

I HATE this “new and improved” feature! Quit cluttering up the pages with this junk. Give us uncluttered pages that load quickly -period.

Go back to the “old” and much better view.

August 5, 2009 at 1:00 pm
Rodney Haworth 

Census records of 1930 are of no help. I need 1940 or 1950 in that my search is for a birth in about 1932

August 5, 2009 at 2:38 pm
Jade 

Rodney, your #71,

The 1940 US Federal Census will not be released for public use until 1912. Present law is to keep it sesquestered until 72 years afeter the effective date of the enumeration (although specific enumerations can be accessed through the Census Bureau for particular legal purposes, such as pension eligibility).

August 5, 2009 at 2:49 pm
Jade 

Rodney, re your #81 — I am having trouble with numbers! The release will be in or after 2012.

August 5, 2009 at 2:51 pm
FRANCIS VOISEY 

As well as writing comments here I have exchanged emails with Kevin at Ancestry support. In answer to my complaint that ‘My Canvas’ was too time-consuming and cumbersome to print parts of newspaper pages he could only suggest saving the text and using an image editing programme such as Microsoft paint. I know that you can do this and appreciate that he was trying to be helpful but that is just as cumbersome as using’My Canvas’ What is needed is to be able to use Print Current View as before, as, thank goodness, we can still do ‘Old Search’ I am just glad that my work using Ancestry is fairly well advanced. I shall not be sending any more emails or writing any more comments here as clearly nothing is going to be done anyway. It is like knocking one’s head against a brick wall and about as useful.

August 5, 2009 at 2:54 pm
R. Leitch 

Help
I tried the “old search” button when searching the 1870 census but the new screen image for the 1870 census with all the clutter still pops up.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

August 5, 2009 at 3:32 pm
Joan Dengel 

I like the new images. However, I liked being able to go to a different census easier. Also, how do I get a correction in a name in the 1880 census? Thanks, Joan Dengel

August 5, 2009 at 3:45 pm
Shusui 

Many, many people are complaining that it now takes too many clicks of a mouse to get anywhere and that they can’t find a simple, logical, sensible way of navigating around Ancestry’s convoluted webpages.

The word is, ‘intuitive’.

A message to the Ancestry programmers:
go and talk to the guys at Cupertino.

They know what the word means and you may pick up a hint or two (hopefully not a dratted green leaf which is endemic in your part of the world and requires a decent herbicide).

August 5, 2009 at 5:07 pm
pat harris 

Type your comment here.

August 5, 2009 at 5:58 pm
Otis Anderson 

I am using IE 7 on XP and dial up. Until a couple of days ago I could print a document in 30 seconds or less using the normal print function. Now I can’t print using this function! I loaded a document using the advanced option. It took over 8 minutes to print this document. This is not acceptable! Is the old print function going to be fixed or are we going to be forced to use the advanced function?

August 5, 2009 at 7:40 pm
Anita_Nita 

I want to uninstall the new enhanced viewer. I cannot even get it to open a page. How do I do that?

August 5, 2009 at 10:10 pm
Anita_Nita 

I want to un install the New enhanced viewer. It just sits there when I click on see the document. How to I get rid of this thing!!!!

August 5, 2009 at 10:19 pm
J. Fulmer 

Anne,
Please increase the font size and bold print the “old search” button so people can spot it easier. This should be easy for you to do and might help a lot of folks out there.
Thanks.
John

August 6, 2009 at 6:58 am
Joan Lutz 

I just found this page today and foolishly I hit Advanced Search a few days ago so I don’t have the Old Search thing for me to hit to go back to the old way. How can I get back to the old way and out of Advanced Search? Thank you. Joan Lutz

August 6, 2009 at 7:59 am
Carol Furtado 

Instead of making all these “upgrades” why doesn’t ancestry spend its money on getting more record collections?

August 6, 2009 at 9:20 am
cindiscott 

I have written email to ancestry everyday since 7/31, 2009 and no answers came back i have tried to call twice holding for 30minutes ata time no one answered….i have uninstalled the enhanced viewer becausing it will not open WWI draft cards and will not open the stories, history, and memories links. That enhanced viewer has problems

August 6, 2009 at 9:22 am
Jan 

This is not an improvement, just clutter and “Wow” factor that adds nothing to the research experience. I find myself using Heritage Quest most of the time for census; had already found that some illegible pages on ancestry.com are clear on HQ (to be fair, the reverse is sometimes true). Please put the management of images in the hands of people who do genealogical research seriously and not in the hands of those who handle itnow, which I jusge to be a group of enthusastic youngfolks who like to mess about with computers.

August 6, 2009 at 10:15 am
Anne Mitchell 

Here are some updates:

Comments

We have migrated the majority of comments from the old system over to the new system. The problem today is that you can’t see them unless you are on the enhanced image page. On August 12th, we will launch a “view comment” link on the record page, so all of those will be available for viewing on the 12th. There are a very small percentage that we have not migrated over because the link to the appropriate image is broken; we are working on resolving this.

There are also comments on updates that are being migrated over. Also, on August 12th, as well, we will be updating the View Update box so that when we show an update that you have made and you commented on it, that comment shows instead of our generic statement. If there was no comment, we show our generic statement.

Also, on that day, we have the ability for you to add a source or explanation to any update you make.

Printing and Saving problems

Many of the printing and saving problems were resolved with the updated code launched this previous Monday; however, some of you are still experiencing problems. We have found more fixes for this (again, next code update is on the 12th), and we will continue to work on problems as we find them.

And while this will not solve everyone’s problem, I do recommend clearing your browser cache/temporary files and cookies and then try viewing the image again. In the remaining cases where members are experiencing problems, this has help in many cases.

More Data Collections

We will be launching more data collections on the 12th and more over the next few days after that. I’ll publish a list later.

August 6, 2009 at 10:43 am
Mike 

Andy #52 and BobNY #53: You can run IE6 in parallel with other IE versions. Download MultipleIE for free here: http://tredosoft.com/Multiple_IE

Note: I am in no way affiliated with MultipleIE, I have just found it increadibly useful in the past.

August 6, 2009 at 10:51 am
Mike 

I just wanted to add that I am one of the few people who really see value in these additions and “improvements”. Despite all the technical setbacks, and pitfalls that have been provided along with them, I strongly believe that these will be addressed in short order for the most part.

Now, that being said, I can see why some paying customers are upset: it’s not the tool they are looking for at this point in their research, and the implementation certainly isn’t to their standards.

I would strongly suggest that Ancestry.com runs an open beta on all future improvements for a group of volunteers – people that want to volunteer and beta-test functionality. This will have two implications: any Ancestry.com customer can sign up and test the new functionality BEFORE it goes live, giving everyone a chance to provide valuable feedback. Also, this gives Ancestry.com the opportunity to run the new functionality through its paces, and eradicate any errant bugs before it is let loose in the wild.

PLEASE, ANCESTRY.COM, PLEASE START BETA-TESTING YOUR PRODUCTS!

August 6, 2009 at 11:19 am
MikeF 

Anne,

I know you have a lot of comments to read but I really would like my question answered as to whether there are any reasons why the basic viewer cannot remain available to us to use instead of the enhanced one.

MikeF (not the other Mike)

August 6, 2009 at 11:49 am
BobNY 

You people really have the nerve to tell us that you will “fix” what should not have been broken in another week. Are we supposed to applaud that?

What you are basically saying is that on August 12th we will revert to a functionality we had before (comments) and may have a restored functionality (printing). Are you also saying that if we are using IE6
and, therefore, choose not to see this crapola enhanced page, we will not see the comments?

All in the name of “enhancing” the image page that over 250 have seen fit to complain about here on the blog alone.
======================
ASSO

ANNE wrote in the earlier blog:
“Our marketing department does not decided (sic) when a product is ready for launch. Our Eng, Product and QA people do. Always.”

I asked: “Who decided that this POS should even have been developed in the first place?”
Seems like a relevant and logical que
stion, but you continue to ignore it.

August 6, 2009 at 12:00 pm
Theresa 

Is anyone else getting ready to cancel their subscriptions due to poor customer service? I submitted a technical support issue with not being able to get ancestry.com to come up unless I link to it from rootsweb.com and that my gedcom wn’t load most of the family links several days ago, and I’m still waiting for simple acknowledgment there’s a problem let alone the solution

August 6, 2009 at 12:12 pm
John Miller 

The new search lacks the ability to look at everyone with the same last name in a given county.I work with Washington County, VA,and if I look for Felty in Washington County Virginia, I get the universe.
Another problem. Look at 1930, Goodson, Washington County,VA, District 8, HH 47 and 50. I lucked into these. #47 is Robert E. Felty and #50 is Mahlon Felty. When I tried to go back and print the preview sheet, I couldn’t find any index combination that would locate them.

August 6, 2009 at 12:57 pm
Connie 

Joan #93:

I’m not quite sure what you mean by Advanced Search, but from any page (except the home page), look in the upper right hand corner of the page…about 3 lines down. You should see a tiny link, colored in yellow, that says Old Search. Click on that and you should be back to Old Search.

August 6, 2009 at 1:46 pm
Connie 

John #103:

Looks like Mahlon was indexed as Feltis and Robert as Fellin or Feltin; can’t remember which. I found them by using Old Search, Exact, and entering Fel* in surname, location Goodson, Washington, VA. I probably would have found them also by using Mahlon as given name, no last name and specifying the location.

I don’t know how to find them on New Search; I refuse to even try it any more.

August 6, 2009 at 1:55 pm
Walter 

Thank you for giving us old search. But you STILL have said not ONE WORD about giving us back the PRINT CURRENT VIEW. That is the single most important print Issue in all of Ancestry printing! Please listen!
Walter, Ancestry User WClayton43

August 6, 2009 at 2:12 pm
Leone Rodriguez 

I am horrified to see what you have done to the census. Even when I click “maximize image” I do not get the full screen image I used to get. It is much smaller. When a researcher looks up census reports, he is not there to make friends and be sociable. I don’t care who also looked at that page, and I don’t need your transcription at the bottom. I am interested in more records and data bases, not more “graphically pleasing” pages. Please stop this window dressing, with frames and such, which actually makes your site less useful. I feel that you have reduced the value of my subscription, not enhanced it. Give me back a full screen. Let me close all the added fru-fru and see the full page, as big as it used to be. And please focus on adding more birth and death records and such. I pay for data, not “beauty.” And I already have plenty of friends.

August 6, 2009 at 3:19 pm
J. Fulmer 

FYI, in #97 above I see that Anne Mitchell of Ancestry suggests clearing out your browser cache and cookies. Might be OK, but be aware that if you clear out the Ancestry.com cookies the next time you sign on you will likely again be in the undesirable “new search” view mode. If this happens you’ll just have to press the “old search” button again to get back to normal.

August 6, 2009 at 3:54 pm
Myra 

The more critical problems related to searches, merging records, and being able to sort results by basic parameters should take precedence. These problems are merely magnified with each “enhancement” added before they are addressed.

When seaching a female, results returned are based on her married name, not her maiden name which is the relevant fact.

When merging records, frequently the wife is not recognized as the same person of record by the maiden name. In fact, even when the names are IDENTICAL on both records the merge feature does not match them up as the same person.

I’m glad you’re working to make improvements, but please address the critical problems affecting accuracy as a matter of priority. If the enhancement or new feature is not useful toward improving accuracy, then it’s virtually useless adding further complications.

Being able to narrow results by selecting or sorting order by basic fields would actually make the search feature the valuable tool it was meant to be. Most of the time, too many results are returned to be able to look through. Especially, again, when results are returned by the woman’s married name as though it were a maiden name . . . 100% of the time! When we are more certain of, say, a place or a date or a particular name than other facts entered into the search fields, it would be helpful to be able to sort the results by to order them top to bottom by date or place or name. Not impossible. Look at iTunes.

Thanks for giving us the opportunity to comment on the features most needed by us average researchers in the trenches.

August 6, 2009 at 3:59 pm
Diane 

Please tell me how I can go back to the old image page. There’s so much stuff on the “enhanced” image page I can barely see the image. I don’t want all this junk cluttering up the screen! All I want to see is the image and the tool bar. Give me back the old image page.

Please stop with the unhelpful changes.

August 6, 2009 at 4:10 pm
joan bradley 

I paid good money to search your site and now I can nothing. either you go back to the old way or refund
my money

August 6, 2009 at 4:13 pm
J. Fulmer 

OLD SEARCH. By the way, for reasons known only to Ancestry.com, the “old search” option is not provided or shown on their Home Page. You have to pull up the Search Page to access it. At top right-hand corner in tiny print inside the beige-orange colored strip.

August 6, 2009 at 4:17 pm
Diane 

Another problem with the “enhanced” image page/viewer.

I tried printing a census page and now it prints even smaller than it did before with lots of white space around the page boarder. Not helpful!

Also, I can’t change the orientation from portrait to landscape for the later census pages.

I really would like the old image page with the old features back again. This is going to be more work and more difficult to use.

Please help.

August 6, 2009 at 4:21 pm
Donna Stock 

Still having problems with saving and printing. After I click the orange Save box in the upper right, I get my options but I can’t click on them. The options then go away and my screen starts flashing or flickering in some fashion. I have Windows XP, IE 8, and was looking at a 1870 US Federal census (OH, Portage County) for Uriah Feller.

http://search.ancestry.com/iexec/?htx=View&r=an&dbid=7163&iid=OHM593_1258-0603&fn=Uriah&ln=Feller&st=r&ssrc=gr_t8871990_p-882304833_g32818&pid=38497808

Donna

August 6, 2009 at 4:33 pm
Allie 

I do 90% of my research through the FTM 2009 program login where I am able to merge census records, military, etc., directly into my tree for the appropriate ancestor. I am apalled and disgusted with the “new & improved” census view. My first census view through FTM was of NOTHING but your pretty, new green Ancestry Index. Yes, I CAN close down the window of the ancestor I’m searching for, and yes, I CAN close down the index screen. Yes, I CAN use the scroll bars (all 5 of them!) to view the census! Most productive indeed. The ONLY good feature this new & improved view offers is the ability to save a record into my shoebox from the FTM program. The radial zoom in & out buttons don’t work resulting in a blank screen, though I’m sure these programing bugs will be fixed in time. Apparently the voice of the users are not being heard…if Ancestry wishes to make their site new & improved then they should by all means go for it. Spend the money to enhance the quality of the jpeg NOT the area around the record, which I’m sure most of the users could give a rat’s behind about. I am a genealogist by hobby NOT one who wishes to jump through the pretty little hoops just to view a record I and SO MANY OTHERS PAY DEARLY FOR.

August 6, 2009 at 4:50 pm
Connie 

Anne,

Thanks for the updates, _but_ what is the status of the problems with Firefox 3.5.1 and Vista? The enhanced viewer works fine with Firefox 3.5.1 on my XP netbook, and works fine with IE7 and Vista on my desktop. But all I get is flashing blank pages when I try to use Firefox on my desktop. I’ve tried the corrections listed in Answer ID 3809, and it is of no help. I can’t even figure out how to uninstall the thing. Help please!

August 6, 2009 at 5:04 pm
Evelyn Charles 

When I type in a yr, aprox. date and place for a person I do not need info for a person in NY 1900, whe I requested info for a person b. 1742 in VA. Nor do I wish to work on a surname belonging to some one else to be recorded for yor information. I am Paying # to increase my known information for MY family tree which is validated as I go along. When I am ready to share, I will.

August 6, 2009 at 5:06 pm
Joyce Wallace 

HOW do I keep this ENHANCED IMAGE pop-up page from obliterating my view of what I’m trying to do? It’s driving me mad! I start searching for someone/something, and up it pops! By the time I get rid of it, I’ve lost my train of thought. This is not what I paid for!

August 6, 2009 at 8:17 pm
P J Evans 

I really prefer the old image viewer. It was more predictable and easier to read. The new one has *way too much* visual clutter.

August 6, 2009 at 9:23 pm
Carla 

Sorry but this and Family tree are getting so frustrating to use, it’s not fun anymore. This has become a puzzle to work out and we don’t get the picture to follow.Images on this page are so small you can’t even make out what you are TRYING to tell us. What is happening to our favorite thing to do????
Carla

August 6, 2009 at 9:43 pm
johnny 

Hello. Thank you for this great info! Keep up the good job!

August 7, 2009 at 1:41 am
David Payne 

Why when trying to print search results are we sent to the internet?

August 7, 2009 at 3:39 am
Bjeff Genius 

Wow! I seem to be “outta-sync” with the rest of the genealogistic comments made here.
I’ve been adjusting to the Ancestry website upgrade “IE” new graphical user interface “IE” GUI or Guey “IE” Enhanced Viewer “IE” Browser “IE” PC/MAC “IE” Op Sys “IE” changes, for well over a month or two at least.

Are all of these comments recent? Most of these “complaints” or “problems” have been “ironed-out” here on my end of the internet. At least as far as Viewing/Printing/Mouse clicking around the website….hmmm wow
Aren’t all the website enhancements optional? I can go back to the “old” interface right? I must be missing something here then….right?
Doesn’t everybody’s mouse have two “click” buttons? L&R? The left one for exe and right one for almost any option you need to use for Viewing/Printing/Copy/Save/Cut/Paste.
and you can open an image by itself in a new window without all the fancy,smancey graphics that Ancestry has added.
I’ve found the overall new layout quite a bit easier to attach source records wether it’s a census or photo or birth or death directly to any person in my tree. So all the source records are one click away to double check them all. It’s much easier to keep everything organized. So much so, that I’m going back over every person in my tree. ALL 4,431 of them.
My searches have drummed up new sources & records for almost every family/person that I’ve gone over so far!
So I guess I’m goin’ against the flow of the rest of the comments & posting a positive one.
Even though it’s against my Ancestrial Instincts! ;)

August 7, 2009 at 5:22 am
Ken Hinds 

XP; Firefox 3.0.10

I have not had occasion to look at the 1860 or 1870
census recently, but today I needed to look up something
on the 1860, and experienced the “enhanced” viewer.

What a pain.

First — WAY too much screen real estate is taken up
by the sidebar and transcription. Remember, not all of
us have 23-inch monitors. With the extraeous panels
showing, I can see only 8 lines of the census at once,
and it is impossible to see all the columns at once. This
might not be so horrible if there were an easy way to move
around. But the image doesn’t respond to the arrow-buttons
at all. Apparently the only way to move the image is by
using the mouse and scroll-bars. VERY poor ergonomic
design. Hitting the Maximize does return the functionality
of the left- and right-arrow keys, but not up and down. The
up- and down- arrows, and page-up and page-down keys,
change the name at the top of the screen. (“1860 US Fed
Census Record for “) That makes zero sense to me.
Did any of your people actually try to use this viewer to
find something?

Second — the image came up at 50% by default. My old eyes
can’t read the text at that size, so I selected 100%. That
made the image completely disappear. Going back to 50% did
not restore the image. 150%, 200%, 50% again — nothing.
So I went back to the search results and came forward.
Back at 50%. Selecting 100% again removed the image. I left
it at 100%, went back to the results, and clicked again on
the result I wanted. This time the image came up at 100%.
WAY too much effort.

Since this was obviously not a viewer I wanted to use, I
tried to go back to the basic one. I clicked on Options,
and see just two — Use Advanced Viewer and Use Compressed
Images. I know I don’t like the Advanced Viewer, but
Compressed Images doesn’t sound right either. It didn’t
matter, though, because I couldn’t choose either option. As
soon as I moved the mouse, the options screen vanished.
After much effort, I discovered that if you keep the cursor
to the right of the word “image” on the option box it will
remain, but moving slightly to the left will make it
vanish. Again, does anybody test these things?

Neither option brings me back to the viewer that actually
works. Please give us an option to use the basic viewer,
and please don’t force this one on us for any other census
years.

Third, let me reiterate what a lot of other people are
saying. I like Ancestry.com for its content, not its form.
I don’t need or want fancy bells and whistles. I want to
easily view lots of old records. Please focus the majority
of your efforts on making the site useful, not fluffy.

Finally, please put more effort into testing. I’m an
application developer, so I know how difficult and boring
it is to test an application, particularly a big and
complex one. But it appears to me your developers and/or
testers are not genealogists, and don’t fully understand
what the end users are trying to accomplish when using your
site. You really should have genealogists do your final
testing, not programmers.

Ken

August 7, 2009 at 7:03 am
Andy Hatchett 

Ken Re: #123

Anne informed us in a port yesterday on a message board that the programmers were genealogists too.

Unfortunately, it seems that that post as well as at least two replies to it have been deleted by that board’s Admin for some unknown reason.

Seems they are circling the wagons on this one.

I’m also willing to bet that this blog soon closes as way too many negative things are being said and no one seems to be accepting the company spin.

August 7, 2009 at 7:35 am
Tony Cousins 

Ken #123

You made a very valid comment, and someone else here made a similar remark.

We don’t all have large monitors and the other blogger made the comment that the programmers most probably have multiple screens at least that size.

I still have to say I like the changes – except the resolution of the image, seemingly less detail so harder to determine characters at the larger magnification.

Personally I have a dual 19 inch setup, so I can live with it.

Let me repeat what someone else said. Once the programmers think they’ve finished give them an old 17 CRT to work with, that may make them ‘see’ what they are doing.

TonyC

August 7, 2009 at 8:00 am
Anne Mitchell 

Andy, the blog is not closing. I think over the last year that I have been here and writing on the blog, I have proven that I listen to all comments good and bad and I have only ever deleted two types of comments: ones that contained foul language, and ones that just say “Leave your comment here”. I want ancestry.com members to freely express their feelings about what we are doing, whether it be good or bad.

And the post you refer to is still there…I just checked. And be careful how you paraphrase what I say. The phrase “programmers were genealogists” might be taken by some to mean that they are professional genealogist. While ancestry.com employees professional genealogists, who I consult with often, none of our search programmers or product managers are professional genealogist. We are all amateurs genealogist of some degree or another, many who are still doing active research.

August 7, 2009 at 8:09 am
Larry Van Wormer 

Well, I’ve gone over to the latest version of Firefox, with XP, and the combination seems to be working fine. I’ve still got to live with the reduced usability of the “Enhanced Viewer”, but it’s sort of livable… (My vote would definitely be to forget all about it, go back to the previous version and focus efforts on improving the search engine.)

One problem I am encountering. Most often when I first click on the search results to bring up a census page, the viewer “stalls”, and no image appears. When I hit the “reload” icon, it will then come up. Doesn’t always happen that way, but I’d say it does 90% of the time.

August 7, 2009 at 9:11 am
ronald puttock 

It confuses more and more

August 7, 2009 at 12:14 pm
Andy Hatchett 

Anne,

Two things…

You have been more than upfront on several occasions and for that I thank you. I apologize about saying the posts were deleted- I was looking in the wrong thread.

About the “programers were genealogists”…

I can’t be responsible for what interpretation others put on any particular phrase.

The point was that it seems that neither your paid professional genealogists nor your amateur programmer genealogists raised enough hell to prevent their deletions, or they willfully played an active part in the deletions of the corrections and comments.

In either case they should be long gone from the organization.

August 7, 2009 at 12:28 pm
MikeF 

Everyone,

I have asked Anne a couple times whether there are any reasons that Ancestry cannot allow us to continue to use the Basic Viewer in the future if we desire, alongside the “enhanced” one. So far I don’t see an answer by her. Can anyone tell me if I have missed such an answer either by her or someone else? Thanks.

MikeF

P.S. Are there any other questions about *this viewer topic* that have not been answered?

August 7, 2009 at 1:04 pm
Anne Mitchell 

The question is/was, why can’t you have the old version of the enhanced image page and the new version.

Supporting two different ways to do the same thing is expensive and slows down other features. We’ve been supporting two versions of search, as many of you are well aware, and it strains resources at times. We really want one answer.

There are some real advantages to the new one.

If you are browsing, and you find a person you are looking for, you can save that person to a tree without having to do a search for that person, find the image again and then attach them. (And yes, if you don’t use trees, you aren’t going to care.)

You can leave comments…and others will actually see them. Many of you have left comments on the old system…how many people do you think actually got any benefit from your work? I know the stats. Not many.

On those images that are hard to read, it really helps to find a person with the index. Go bring up a 1820 census or a 1790 census. It’s hard to read and find who are looking for. Even if the transcriptions aren’t correct, they give you an idea.

Have you ever read an entire enumeration district looking for someone? Try it in the 1860′s or the 1870′s or 1861 and 1871 (for the UK members). Browsing enumeration districts is easier. And when you find the person, you can print that person AND the information right away.

Also, try adding alternates from within the index panel. (You can close the member connect panel, it can make it easier.) You can make all sorts of changes quickly and view the results. Editing transcriptions and increasing relevance have been the top two requests from members. This improves editing dramatically, which has the lovely side effect of also helping relevance as these alternates get folded into the our search indexes.

And we are working on relevance. I believe someone mentioned wildcard improvements here or on the message boards (it’s Friday and my mind is blurry). We’ve been working on that…improvements are coming. And a few other things.

Now I know I am never going to make everyone happy. I’ve been here a year — and I’ve learned at least that much. :-)

We (well, actually the engineers, I just show them problems), have found and been able to duplicate the issue with the image showing white for some of you and some of the issues with buttons not working. Those solutions are in QA and assuming that they get through QA, will be out on August 12th.

And Andy, we never deleted the comments. We weren’t surfacing them, because it took us longer to migrate than we had hoped, but we didn’t delete them. And like I said…more people might actually see them now.

August 7, 2009 at 2:49 pm
Carla 

I have enjoyed using Ancestry for many years and have found it helpful. However in recent months I’ve found that almost all of these ‘recent changes’ are about as helpful as a screen door in a submarine. I log in with IE 8, I can see images, I can save images to my shoebox, etc., but try to save an image. It appears the image is being saved in a*.jpeg format but poof its gone. So Ancestry techs say to use Firefox and they’ll have a solution to use it with IE 8 in August. So today I try to save an image with Firefox. I can do that after I install the new Viewer. However, Firefox insists I install the new version of Firefox. I try to save the image again. Funny! The new Firefox can’t use the new viewer and can’t save the image. But, I can download to more updates to the New Ancestry viewer and maybe then I can save the file??? Instead I found I could use the basic viewer and Actually download and save the image. Well that was nice. However, at 100% the image is so small you need a microscope to view the writing. If I open the image in another image program and magnify it enough to try to read the census image its so blurry the only thing you can really see is the lines on the image. So perhaps someone could tell me whether its worth bothering to try the two download updates to this new viewer to actually Save and View images I’m interested in like census and etc. from Ancestry. Has anyone had any success with this?

Is anyone happy with this new viewer? It sure doesn’t sound like it here. What’s going on with Ancestry? Are they distracted by all these new things their trying to do? Or is there a saboteur in their midst?

August 7, 2009 at 3:06 pm
J. Fulmer 

Anne,
In your #131 note you say the following:

“We’ve been supporting two versions of search, as many of you are well aware, and it strains resources at times. We really want one answer.”

OK, here is your one answer …get rid of your “new search” option.

I think most everyone prefers the “old search” version…which we’re all used to using …and which first pins down a general location for the subject.

Please don’t get rid of “old search”.

John

August 7, 2009 at 4:19 pm
BobNY 

Anne wrote:
“Supporting two different ways to do the same thing is expensive and slows down other features.”

So the answer is money. Ancestry apparently spent a ton of money developing the “enhanced” image viewer and in the process has enraged a vocal minority of its members. The loss of their subscription fees pales in comparison to those of the silent majority who accepy whatever Mother Ancestry puts out there and tells them is good for them.

You are also going to sunset the existing, proven image page because it costs too much and slows down other features.

This is from a company that in the first 6 months of 2009 spent almost $30 million on marketing and advertising and just $17.5 million on technology and development. Give me a break.

August 7, 2009 at 4:23 pm
Venita 

Anne,

Please, please, if Ancestry has ever valued us longstanding subscribers as you say that it does, do NOT add the new “enhancements” to any more census records until you have ALL of the bugs and issues totally worked out – if you have to add it to any more records at all. Can you at least assure us of this?

I think you have heard that a large section of the people are either visually challenged or have smaller screens (I have a notebook computer) and we need our field of vision space. It is not necessarily a reluctance to embrace change.

We understand the thought behind the gesture, but it is like a getting underwear from Grandma for a Christmas present – not what we want.

August 7, 2009 at 4:25 pm
MikeF 

Anne,

Thanks for the answer on the viewers. However there are actually more than just two viewers aren’t there?

There are:

1) basic viewer
2) enhanced viewer (now the “old” one)
3) “new” enhanced viewer.

I have never used the old enhanced viewer much. Right now under the options button I get the following options:

Image compression:
–high quality images
–standard quality images (faster)

Image Viewer:
–Enhanced image viewer
–Basic image viewer.

My default settings are high quality images and basic viewer. One reason is that although the options talk about standard images being faster, they don’t make that distinction between the two viewers. But for me, the standard viewer even with high-quality images is *much* faster than the “old” enhanced viewer.

I want that the continued ability to use that old basic viewer and I really don’t care about your server performance or such issues. As for costs of maintaining two options, then I understand if the basic viewer is frozen with no new tweaks. Just don’t take away some of its functionality while letting us continue to use it, as you did with old search where we can no longer use old advanced search on trees, but historical data only.

MikeF

August 7, 2009 at 4:49 pm
Andy Hatchett 

Anne Re# 131

Then why the hurry to roll out the new code that most didn’t even know was coming anyway?

Simply waiting until all comments were migrated and then rolling out the code would have prevented this particular firestorm.

It is exactly this kind of thing that really leads to the impression that Ancestry isn’t thinking things thru with all these changes.

August 7, 2009 at 6:46 pm
Sherry 

Anne Mitchell:
I very much appreciate the fact that you take the time to respond to this blog. Lately, I am sure it is a thankless task.

Someone on this blog mentioned beta testing and I certainly hope the powers that be at ancestry will listen to this piece of advice.

You mention that running the dual search is cumbersome and as someone on this blog has already stated, get rid of the new search………..problem solved. The new search is cumbersome to its subscribers. It is not working; how many complaints does it take for ancestry to “get it”?

I will be the first person to admit that I do not like change, but I honestly gave the “new” search a whirl and saw no value in it.

As I mentioned before, if I find a tree that has one of my ancestors listed, I get accurate results with the hints and I do not have to wade through a bunch of folks who do not pertain to my family (even though databases are missed using the hints).

So what is the message that ancestry is sending to its subscribers? Trees take priority over records when searching? If that is the case, I am wasting my time and monies.

I subscribed to ancestry for the records and not the trees.

August 7, 2009 at 7:40 pm
MikeF 

Sherry,

On your #138, where you say:

“So what is the message that ancestry is sending to its subscribers? Trees take priority over records when searching?”

You have hit the nail on the head. Ancestry has already told us with pride that tree views exceeded census views in the past year. The bottom line is that they cater to the unlearned newbie researcher.

And they seem to have an interest in keeping him/her in that ignorant state since no experienced knowledgeable researcher would expect to keep all his/her research on an online tree that required continued subscription to use and which does not offer tools like important and necessary research calendar/logs to record negative searches as well.

So the opinion of inexperienced ignorant subscribers means more than ours because they outnumber us 100-1. But don’t cut off your nose to spite your face when Ancestry is still a good value for serious researchers. Just don’t contribute free time to their indexing project when you can index with Family Search, and don’t put trees online here to feed the ignorant who unintentionally or purposefully know little to nothing of source and evidence based genealogy.

MikeF

August 7, 2009 at 7:56 pm
Andy Hatchett 

Mike Re: #139

I believe you are entirely correct in your assement.

I’ll be making a few changes in how I do genealogy in the future.

1). For research I want online for public viewing I’ll use Rootsweb WorldConnect (and have it set to not allow gedcom downloads).

2). For sharing photos and documents with family I’ll use a private Online Member Tree set to not show up in search.

3). I’ll use Ancestry databases for research and forgo anything else they have to offer.

August 7, 2009 at 8:35 pm
Billy Richardson 

I agree with you Anne. Supporting two different ways to do the same thing is expensive and slows down other features. I can’t blame you people for wanting one answer. However, I do not agree with the complicated way Ancestry.com is trying to solve the issue. The obvious answer to the problem is simple. Quit coming up with new ways to do the same thing. Also quit coming up with new “features” that slow down older features. We don’t need new interfaces and we do not need new features. We need more nuts and bolts to work with and we need easier and faster ways to get to them.

You people spoiled us in years past and made genealogy work fun and easy. Each new “enhancement” since that time has made fast and easy edits more difficult, to the point where it is no longer fun. Don’t blame us for being spoiled. Ancestry. com is the one who made us this way.

At this time I do not have a problem viewing the older search version and census pages. I do not know what I will do if that option is eliminated. I knew what to do when I bought Family Tree Maker 2008. I sent that hideous monstrosity back and got a refund. This left me with an older version that could still be used. I can’t do that with my subscription. If I get a refund for it, there will not be an older version that I can fall back on.

I was planning to wait until after August 12th to post a comment here. This was because I wanted to see the outcome about the information that I have been adding to the alternate names, etc. From what I have read from your previous posts, it appears that the information that I have provided will not be lost. The reason I am writing now is because I see an old option that is not available now. That option is for maiden names. I believe they should remain available and included in the search engine.

Since the new way of providing alternate information is now in use, I have not made any corrections. That is because I do not supply anything without something to back it up. I will wait and see how that will be handled.

While on this subject, there is one good thing I see with the new version. We can now correct or delete our errors. We have really been needing this ability and it is greatly appreciated. Thanks Ancestry.com. I knew you could do something right.

August 7, 2009 at 9:01 pm
Jan 

I have continued with Ancestry for two reasons: data and the ability to print it. The more hoops I have to jump through to get to what I want and the more time it takes, the less I use this site. I’ve been using it a lot the last two weeks to try and figure out what is going on. I’ve already stopped using Family Tree since I found a program I prefer that does what I want, not what someone thinks I want. The precise Census search and ability to print only what I want printed is being taken away and replaced with a mish mash of stuff that may look cute on the screen but does nothing for the user. I do genealogy scrap books for 6 family members also and the Print Current View feature was special. Ancestry is losing it’s uniqueness.

August 8, 2009 at 1:28 pm
J. Fulmer 

Anne,
The past several days I’ve been trying to use the “new search” interface but I don’t know birth date or death date on lots of my people, so I am stuck before I start. And estimating their birth dates brings up lots of irrelevant people in the search findings.

But with the “old search” interface I can get going right away on census searches because I usually have enough clues to know their state and county location to begin.

I can’t see any reason anyone would prefer the “new search” interface over the “old search” interface.

“Old search” is definitely better.

Please place an “OLD SEARCH” button on the Home Screen too, in order to better help people access this option.

Thanks!
John

August 8, 2009 at 1:38 pm
margo 

Ann,
Is there any way when searching for one person during a particular census (say 1850, Greene County, Va.)that you can just see THAT person and not 499 others? Also, why is the 1820 Orange County Census fuzzy now? It is given 3.5 stars and it is literrally unreadable since it was enhanced in July, 2009.

August 8, 2009 at 2:19 pm
margo 

Ann,
Is there any way when searching for one person during a particular census (say 1850, Greene County, Va.)that you can just see THAT person and not 499 others? Also, why is the 1820 Orange County Census fuzzy now? It is given 3.5 stars and it is literally unreadable since it was enhanced in July, 2009.

August 8, 2009 at 2:22 pm
Nancy Diehl Smith 

First, I do not have a website, but no matter what I put in the Search it will never give me anything. Another thing is if I knew the dates I would not be searching.
Keywords throw me. My g mother belong to the DAR & I have all there is to know, but can not bring her up even with the keyword DAR. Where do I go wrong?

August 9, 2009 at 9:22 am
Connie 

Nancy #146

“If I knew the dates, I would not be searching.”

Think in terms of approximate dates. If you know you were born in 1950, and your Dad was 40 when you were born, odds are you will find him on the 1920 and 1930, if not 1910, US census. Start with 1930 and work backwards. You can always approximate a date range, e.g. in the above example, I can approximate that the grandparents of a person born in 1950 of a father who was 40 were probably born before 1890-1895.

In what record do you want to find your grandmother? In the census? Where did she live? When was she born (at least approxiamtely)? Use Old Search and play around with all the options, e.g. if she lived in Cass Co., IL and her name was Grace Smith, do an Exact Search for everyone named Grace Smith in 1930 in the Cass Co. IL census, and if that doesn’t work do an exact search for everyone named Grace in 1930 in Cass Co. IL leaving the surname blank. (Or for everyone named Smith leaving the given name blank).

There are lots of search options; too many to explain here. Play around with them.

And if you can’t find your grandmother, did she have a brother and can you find him?

You will probably want to ignore key words for now until you are more comfortable with how Search works. I rarely find it helpful.

August 9, 2009 at 11:16 am
Sherry 

Perhaps a boycott is in order. Those that post their trees to ancestry, make their trees private. With less of your hard work online, they may concentrate on the records and more importantly, the search engine which well all need in our research.

Those who do not want to pay the sub, post their trees to tribalpages. It is free but you are limted to what you can post. For a small annual fee, equivalent to a two month sub on Ancestry, you have many more options. That being said, Tribalpages certainly does not have all of the bells and whistles that ancestry has.

The web addy is http://www.tribalpages.com if you are interested.

Personally, the reason why I will never post my tree on ancestry is because it is a “paid site”. Hence, they are making monies off your hard work.

August 9, 2009 at 2:41 pm
Amos 

Why can’t I add a correction??? There are some serious errors that need to be corrected!

August 9, 2009 at 4:29 pm
Charles Willford 

I cannot view any data from the Droiun Canadian Collection as I could before? When I click on the view image I get “Error Processing Image Request”. I was logged on as adminstrator at the time.

Chuck

August 10, 2009 at 10:57 am
Robert 

After reading the dozens of complaints I’m happy to see that I am not alone in being upset over all the recent “improvements.”

The “old” search is vastly superior to the “new” one.

August 11, 2009 at 2:49 am
Velma 

I am a newbie and have thought about joining Ancestry.com. It is so bleeping expensive, I always decide not to join. I own a Mac and that seems to be another problem here.

Now, with most veteran users hating the new format, I may give up again.

August 11, 2009 at 10:23 am
Andy Hatchett 

I have the World Deluxe subscription and I really don’t consider 73 cents a day expensive in the least, especially when I have 24/7 availability.

August 11, 2009 at 4:32 pm
Sherry 

Andy, .73 a day is not expensive when you consider the information that you are gaining…..however…

I have been a subcriber with ancestry for five years, give or take, and I only subscribed for the records.

Even though the “old search” is up, I am finding it difficult (I swear that they changed it) as I am getting far more irrelevant results than I use to.

I pay those cents a day for convenience. Case in point, most all records in Ontario are available for free, not all are not indexed, but they are there.

Manitoba has a database that ancestry has not touched; as well as BC. No images available but enough info to get a general idea.

The LDS has available records you cannot find on ancestry, some databases with images.

Another resource emerging for Michigan is the Library of Michigan.

All is free. I could go into Georgia, Ohio and Missouri as well or other free resources out there.

As far as Scotland, where my ancestors originated, ancestry will never cover this as the GROS has the monopoly on these records (BMD’s)

My point is this, I pay those cents a day for convenience and I find that it is becomming an inconvenience. I have arrived at a point where I am finding relative results on the free sites in a less timely manner than I am finding at ancestry.

I will say this again, I find it sad that I can plug into an ancestry search exact information and come up with a bazillion results; if my family is listed on a tree somewhere, I get exact results. Databases are missed but they are also missed on the conventional search.

I do not like or approve of where ancestry is heading. I source my tree and relevent records are key in my research. I have a full time job but some day would like to finish my tree if that ever really happens. I find “ancestry’s progress”, slowing my research to a point where they will no longer be useful.

I certainly hope someone at ancestry is listening…….NOT

My two cents.

Sherry

August 11, 2009 at 7:26 pm
Venita 

Re: Sherry post 154

You are right.

I believe that no one who can make a difference is reading here anymore.

Even Anne, after saying she can’t please everyone, hasn’t acknowledged anything since last Friday – not even after the fixes that were supposed to go through today.

With the new 2010 software coming out, I was trying to keep the faith, but this messed up “enhancement” and not giving us what we need/want versus what they think looks good has left me feeling like a member of the family has betrayed me.

… and it is truely regrettable.

August 11, 2009 at 9:46 pm
Carol A. H. 

I was injured and spent more than a month hospitalized. No internet access.

I can’t believe how screwed up this site has become! I dread the long process of trying to figure out the changes. I don’t see any improvements..just a lot of confusion.

I can’t begin to address my dismay, frustration and anger at ancestry for doing this and just may remove my trees, since they do not seem to be easy to work on anymore.

A real “Rube Goldberg” mess!

August 11, 2009 at 9:58 pm
BEE 

APPARENTLY, THERE HAVE BEEN SOME CHANGES MADE ON “TREE”. WHY CAN’T I ADD CENSUS DOCUMENTS FROM “PEOPLE WITH HINTS”? WHEN I GO TO THAT PERSON’S OVERVIEW, THE WAGGING LEAF ISN’T EVEN THERE, EVEN THOUGH THERE ARE HINTS. BTW, I CLEARED “PRIVATE DATA”

August 12, 2009 at 9:51 am
BEE 

Now I’m getting “hints” that I’ve already added!

August 12, 2009 at 10:33 am
Tony Cousins 

Carol #156

I wondered where you were, hope you’re OK now and welcome back to the crazy world of Ancestry. :)

TonyC

August 12, 2009 at 1:02 pm
bill dickens 

Dear Anne,

I’ve been a ancestry member for a few years now and I enjoy using your website, i’m doing quite well building my family tree which has brought me hours of pleasure

Regarding your comment number 97 dated 06 August 2009.

I’ve noticed the “error correction comments” have been reinstalled into the new ancestry.co.uk tree system.

I thank you for keeping your promise to restore this information, over the last 18 months i’ve added around 60 odd error corrections most with added detailed comments, these snippets of info can be like a gold mine for researchers so once again i’m please to see them reinstalled.

Best Wishes

Bill

August 12, 2009 at 2:21 pm
BobNY 

Bill #160

I assume the uk comments look like the us comments: light grey text on light green/grey background. I am glad someone can read them.

August 12, 2009 at 2:38 pm
MikeF 

Is anyone else having problems with slanted images? If Ancestry has such sloppy quality control, then we at least need the ability to rotate an image.

Also notice the very constrained options for reporting problems with images – missing, wrong or unreadable only, and no others.

MikeF

August 12, 2009 at 3:06 pm
Vdeen 

I started a new tree called Crawford today and I can’t search and save “new names” to my Crawford Site. It doesn’t show up on my choices and the default is another Tree James Lewis Dean. I can only save to a name already on my list. Why?

Vicki

August 12, 2009 at 8:31 pm
Carol 

First weekend in Aug. I got the ability to “print current view” back. Now it’s gone again. Using Vista and IE 7. Help!!!

August 12, 2009 at 9:46 pm
Stan 

I find it totally unacceptable as to why you make a change that will not work with Vista. I can print current views in XP but not Vista.I am using IE8 on XP on my laptop and everything is fine. Using IE8 and/or AOL on Vista on my desktop and it is not. MAKE IT WORK!!! Why should I have to go through special efforts?

August 13, 2009 at 9:35 am
Billy Richardson 

I can’t believe what I see. I ran a census search for an exact surname in an exact location using the Old Search. The return was 36 individuals. Then I ran it again using the New Search. The return was 98 individuals. Suspecting foul play, I soon learned why the searches yielded different results. It was because the New Search works the way it’s supposed to and the Old Search is now crippled.

The crippled Old Search still shows the Head of the house, but you don’t know what it will do with the rest of the family. For that matter, the same search may return a different number (35-54 for the above search) It may index a wife, son and daughter here and there, but that is the exception rather than the rule. In-Laws, Roomers, Lodgers, etc. still index as they should.

I noticed this yesterday, just after the mew “Fix” came on line. Experiments today with two different computers still do about the same thing. I only experimented with the 1920 and 1930 census, so can’t say what other census years will do. Upon completion, I can’t help from saying that experiments with the Old Search were MUCH easier and quicker than the New Search.

I know you folks are trying to discourage us from using the Old Search, but do you believe you are fooling all of us into believing that the new one is better? Is playing dirty pool the best way to convince us? If you force us to use the New Search, then be up front and honest about it. Just eliminate the Old Search and go about your business as usual.

August 13, 2009 at 9:47 am
alida clark 

What have you done to the concise searches for members of the family tree. I have ancestry before and have been so pleased. The current format is a mystery. I am extremely disappointed in the new format. Will cancel shortly as it is of no use to me!

August 13, 2009 at 10:20 am
George Myers 

Using the original view. Current view printing not working and will it be working in the original view. The redownload and all this takes more time. You really have messed up my life as I sit her trying to do what worked before.

August 13, 2009 at 2:01 pm
Cathy 

I despise the new enhanced census. I can’t see enough of the actual census form. Why was it changed? Were people complaining and asking for screens cluttered with information they didn’t ask for?? If you want to fix something rescan the WWI and WWII draft registrations so the pictures aren’t half missing or stretched and the description matches the person. Fix the horrible search feature in FTM that returns thousands of useless entries. You guys made my researching harder not easier. Is this what I am paying for?

August 13, 2009 at 2:33 pm
oldbuckhouse 

I am NOT a product tester. I am a buyer of a product. Don’t test someone’s idea out on the paying customer. Someone MAY have a bright idea, but why must we, the consumer, be subjected to this nonsense. This is NOT slot mach management. I have been with Ancestry for years. I cannot believe the mess you’re in!

Is this someone’s idea of a joke? Because I can assure you, I will not be sitting at the butt end of the humor.

You obviously have no clue, nor do you truly care how much time you eat-up on a yearly subscription. I had 2 months of downtime last year.

I let my subscription run out. I just signed up again, and I have 30 days to cancel.

If you do not vastly improve, I will file a complaint with a consumer protection agency.

August 13, 2009 at 4:24 pm
Carol 

Ok, I thought perhaps I was too hasty in my posting (164). After ready Stan’s comments (165) I realized he was absolutely right. I have Vista and IE7 on my desktop and XP and IE7 on my laptop. Tried printing current view on each today. Works on XP, but not on Vista. Since I’m writing this after the fixes are supposed to be in, looks like this hasn’t been fixed for Vista. Is anyone listening to us?? Whatever happened to “the customer is always right”?? Since I do most of my research on my desktop, I’m desperate for a Vista fix.

August 13, 2009 at 8:14 pm
Carol 

Ok, I thought perhaps I was too hasty in my posting (164), ref printing current view. After ready Stan’s comments (165) I realized he was absolutely right. I have Vista and IE7 on my desktop and XP and IE7 on my laptop. Tried printing current view on each today. Works on XP, but not on Vista. I cleared cookies, so that’s not the problem. Since I’m writing this after the fixes are supposed to be in, looks like this hasn’t been fixed for Vista. Is anyone listening to us?? Since I do most of my research on my desktop, I’m desperate for a Vista fix for printing current view.

August 13, 2009 at 8:17 pm
Doug 

Enhanced Image?? I can no longer print “current view” in “normal print” using Vista with IE or AOL. I don’t need the entire page most of the time and the print is too small to read anyway. What happened?

August 14, 2009 at 10:46 am
Carole 

I cannot print any of the census pages. It comes up as this page is too large to print, please save to your computer.

I use Vista Home Premium and my browswer is IE7. I have not upgrated to IE8 browser.

I was under the impression this problem had been corrected.

It is very important for my noteboooks that I print out the entire page of the census and then zoom in and print out a close up of the names of my family members on the same page.

This can no longer be peformed.

August 14, 2009 at 12:01 pm
Nancy 

Have there been any Ancestry posts since the roll-out “fix” on Wednesday? There are people here who have posted problems with printing. Is anyone still having problems viewing some of the images and having the other controls not work on those pages? I am using Firefox and Vista Home Premium.

August 14, 2009 at 1:29 pm
Helen Clayton 

Why has the description pages of each District now become unavailable on the UK Census Collections.
This is a vital piece of information when moving from one geographical area to another within the same town, village etc for finding the other part of a road etc that was not included fully in one eneumerators book.
I find the whole Enhanced Viewer images much more cluttered and includes too many added bits and pieces thus making movement on one page a maze of extra headings, buttons and small screen shots.
Please put back the desciptions pages of the Districts.
I notice that BobNY [Aug 3] had the same problem with the US Collections.

August 15, 2009 at 12:00 am
Jade 

Anne,

What happened to the state-by-state browse links for the 1860 US Census?

I know what page an enumeration is on and want to look at the image again. The surname is strangely written by the enumerator, but I can’t figure out how the family is indexed by Ancestry.com (not even close to the way it was written).

Help!

August 15, 2009 at 6:03 am
BobNY 

Helen, (#176)

And here is the unhelpful response I got from the US content product manager:

Bob, One of our genealogists is assessing the severity of the issue you’ve noted. More to come on this.

August 15, 2009 at 10:54 am
Barbara Kollhoff 

I hate the new way or whatever you call it. I find it very difficult to find the things I use most. Why “improve” something when it wasn’t broke in the first place. I’m thinking of cancelling my subscription – there are surely better places to search w/o all the pain.

August 15, 2009 at 4:03 pm
Lee 

The “upgrade” you released on July 29th put us back into the dark ages. Gone is the ability to pan across the screen, to print current view and to view a screen full of real data rather than junk and green leaves. The ability to use the “old viewer” helps although it isn’t really the old viewer. What I need most from you is the ability to print “current view”. I run XP PRO and it does not matter WHAT BROWSER I use IE7 or Firefox I DO NOT get the option to print current view. I have been a subscriber since 2001 and I can truly say this is the worst mess I’ve seen from you so far. Why you are so intent on cramming this down our throats, I don’t know, but you are certainly wasting my time, money, paper and toner.

I began doing genealogy when the only way to view the census was on microfilm, and while I like the convenience of doing research in my own office, I do NOT like paying good money for something when I am receiving NO value for it.

And NO value is what I receive when I cannot print the information I need in the format which best suits my needs.

I believe your corporate philosophy needs an UPDATE. Do something nice for all of your long-time users–GET RID OF THIS UNFORUNATE UPADTE AND GIVE US BACK THE PREVIOUS SEARCH ENGINE AND PRINTING OPTIONS.

If you really want to update something and want to please you subcribers, concentrate on making the screen less cluttered, the images sharper, and acquiring more data collections. Also, make navigation easier and allow more options for resizing the screen images. And please provide good printing options so the data is readable once it is printed.

The last two weeks have been hell trying to make a very poor program work. Please make the nightmare go away.

August 15, 2009 at 4:09 pm
Ken 

Is there any possibilty that common sense will ever return to Ancestry,com? If something is not broken, don’t “fix” it. I returned to this site in hopes sanity had also returned. I was wrong. The very first Census record I attempted to save with this fiasco of an image program could not be saved because every time you tried to select save, the the page started flickering and jumping around. OK, so I tried to report the problem and guess what? You guessed right, that didn’t work either. Why am I not surprised. Nothing has changed. I see that the powers that be still insist on throwing together a slipshod program, and have the subscribers do the beta testing. It would be nice if someone would put this company out of it’s misery or would get someone in charge who has a clue as to what to do to fix this mess. By the number of unanswered comments on this page, the silence is deafening. If you stick your head in the sand far enough, you can’t hear the comments. If you can’t hear the comments, then everything is OK and we look for something else to “FIX”.

August 16, 2009 at 7:30 am
Jade 

State-by-State browse list for 1860 US Federal Census restored! Thank you!

August 17, 2009 at 9:28 am
Sharon Medley 

I don’t like the new format one bit. It is not easy to navigate and when I press advanced search you do not have the blanks to fill in additional information such as parents, spouce, etc. Before you could get several options of people and records when you typed in a name ( an easy way to find possable relations. Please go back to the old format.
Sincerely,
Sharon

August 17, 2009 at 4:33 pm