Posted by on October 7, 2010 in Site

Have you ever found a person in your tree and asked yourself “how are we related”?  I know I have.  In fact, many of you have asked for something that would help you easily find an answer to that question and we’ve listened.

We’ve just added a new feature in your Member Tree that will allow you to view the relationship between you and a relative in your tree.  You can access this new feature by going to any person’s profile page in your family tree and clicking “View relationship to me”.  I decided to give it a try for my relative Braxton Cranford to see how he is related to me.

Once I clicked the link, a window appeared that returned how Braxton is related to me well as well as the trail of people who helped create the connection between us.  It turns out that four people separate me and my great grand uncle Braxton.  (I’ve blurred the names of my living relatives)

Now that I’ve selected to see how Braxton is related to me, I’ll be able to see that relationship displayed below his name on his profile page.  I can also pull up the line of people that created the connection by clicking the “View relationship to me” link again.  

Another noteworthy feature is that family members you’ve invited to your tree will see how they’re related to people in the shared tree. We calculate the relationship based on who “you” are in the tree which is sometimes different from the “home” person. If your relative looks at the tree and calculates a relationship, it will be based on who his relative is in the tree. 

As I’ve used this new feature it’s been great to relate more directly to the people in my tree.  Braxton isn’t just a name anymore; he’s my great grand uncle.



What a terrific feature – I love it! Thank you for adding this.

October 7, 2010 at 9:08 am
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October 7, 2010 at 9:40 am

I really like this feature and I hope that you will consider some improvements. 1) Make this an automatic feature. I don’t understand why this needs to be turned on for each and every profile page, but at the same time can’t be turned off. 2) Add on to this so that two individuals of my choosing, not including myself, can be compared.

October 7, 2010 at 9:47 am

Correction: this feature can be turned off, but also, only one page at a time. It would make more sense to me if this feature could be turned on or off on the Tree Settings page.

October 7, 2010 at 9:53 am


October 7, 2010 at 9:57 am

I agree with Valerie. The feature is a good one, but being able to compute the relationship between any two individuals would be desirable.

October 7, 2010 at 9:57 am
Rich Pea 

for some odd reason it won’t work for me. Using the latest Firefox browser.

October 7, 2010 at 10:11 am

Valerie #3 and Bob #6, the window for calculation clearly gives you the option to choose anyone in the same tree to calculate relationship for (with the person whose page you are looking at).

You need only go to the person overview page for anyone you want to calculate a relationship for, and then click on the link to make a calculation, then either type in name of the other individual or click on the link to go to your tree list.

Be sure to click on the link below the miniwindow that says “not you?” when done, before closing the calculator window.

October 7, 2010 at 10:17 am

Yes, please make this a setting that can be turned on or off for the whole tree… not one profile at a time.

October 7, 2010 at 10:28 am
Rich Pea 

well well… now it works! =)
hmmm… this may come in handy. Thanx Ancestry!

October 7, 2010 at 10:29 am

Great feature, but now you can not add a record to a person with out starting a new tree,just like Ancestry get something new and lose something.get the bugs out before putting it on line

October 7, 2010 at 10:35 am
Rich Pea 

MEH! This actually is only sometimes working. Some individuals the calculating popup doesn’t appear, other individuals it does. weird. stupid java. i swear it would be alot nicer if the java language didn’t include so much imagery in its functionality.

October 7, 2010 at 10:38 am
Andy Hatchett 

Nice addition. Glad to see it rolled out so quickly.

October 7, 2010 at 10:47 am
Andy Hatchett 

hlebowicz re: #11

Can you give a bit more detail? I just added the 1880 census record to my great grandfather and had no trouble with it.

October 7, 2010 at 10:58 am

This is an awesome feature! For some reason it doesn’t work with a few people, but it does for most! Thanks!!

October 7, 2010 at 11:30 am

I am completely excited about this addition! Thank you!

October 7, 2010 at 11:37 am

Jen, this seems to be working well.

So glad you and the team listened to the users’ expressed desire for ability to calculate relationships ~between~ tree members, not just relationship to the “home” individual.

The simple display of nearest common ancestor, also requested by users, is also well done 😀

This looks really flexible, and will be useful and/or interesting for many.

October 7, 2010 at 11:38 am

This new feature is the greatest thing you’ve done in the last year. I’ve been playing with it all morning.

If you would change anything, I personally would like to see the addition of Fraternal and Maternal added to the grandparents, great grandparents, great great granparents. At present it only shows 1st grandfather, 2nd grandfather, 3rd grandfather on either side. Otherwise if that couldn’t be done, don’t change a thing.

So many times I’ve received a message from a public member wanting to know how I’m related to someone in my tree. I check into their question, and since I don’t use FTM I don’t have a relaltionship feature in my software. Sometimes it is real obvious to me how I’m related, other times is it obscure. I feel so stupid having to respond to thier question “My relationship must be a far distance, because I’m unable to see how”. Plus they don’t like that kind of a response. I’ve seen members complain in the Blog regarding that type of remark.

Now when someone sends me a message about how I’m related to the person in my tree I can give them a authentic answer.

Hooray ancestry, thank you.

October 7, 2010 at 11:40 am

I have FTM with this feature already on it, but now I don’t have to leave the profile page to find the relationship. Thank you! So far, the only problem I’ve encountered is when you are related to a person more than once, it will only show you how you are related through one line and that may not be the line you would choose to display.

October 7, 2010 at 12:39 pm

Janet #19, the calculator is biased to show the closest relationship.

It also appears to be male-chauvinist. I am a descendant of distant cousins who married – each being a few generations in descent from a brother and a sister. Their child, my great-grandmother, is only shown by the calculator as descendant of the brother, even though her maiden name was the married name of the sister. 🙁

October 7, 2010 at 12:56 pm

PS to #20 — this is especially amusing since the one parent one can usually be certain about is the one who gave birth to the child (present IVF and other technologies excepted).

October 7, 2010 at 1:05 pm

This new feature is totally awesome! Now I don’t feel so silly working on these family connections for hours, days, even weeks and not being able to answer the simple question…”How is this person related to me?” It is an instant illustration of why we do all this hard work to preserve our histories…because we are family.

October 7, 2010 at 1:46 pm
Rick Blake 

This is a GREAT feature…..Now can you make this a preference that will allow you to show this on ALL relatives with one click or do you have to do it “one at a time.”

AND how bout making this available on the sidebar of the family members…so it will show who you are related to….

October 7, 2010 at 1:56 pm
Karen Savino 

Wow, I love this addition!

October 7, 2010 at 2:53 pm

Want to be able to show (using my computer/email address) relationships for family that visits and uses my computer…but each time (when turned off then on) the relationship only for me. If it cleared each time it was turned off, then allowed selection of “Home Person” or place to write name…kind of like using direction on a map on the internet…Love this new capability!

October 7, 2010 at 2:55 pm

Thank you for developing his feature. It is very helpful and will save me time.

October 7, 2010 at 2:59 pm
Rich Dohm 

Thanks so much for this! Just like FTM. And it’s about time, I have to say. Your web designer ROCKS.

October 7, 2010 at 2:59 pm

I am one of those people who ask you several times to please add this feature to I also was always going to my FTM program to see just how I was related to somebody. What you have done is better than I ever expected. A big THANK YOU to all of you.

October 7, 2010 at 3:05 pm

I love this new feature!!! I would always have to go to Family Tree Maker to figure out how I related to others. Now I can find out with just a “click”. Thank you.

October 7, 2010 at 4:05 pm
Deb Johnson 

Love the feature. My only complaint is that I am in a legal same-sex marriage. When calculating how my partner’s family relates to me, it automatically says something like “grandmother of husband.” Consider making it generic by saying “grandmother of spouse.” Thank you.

October 7, 2010 at 5:33 pm

Great to see this added. I’m one of the people who made a request for this feature not long ago in the forum and got a lot of heat from some members. (Stock holders who don’t want to see to many features added to ancestry online because they think it will hurt the sales of the family tree maker program)

Only problem is it’s not working for me. I see the link is there but when I click it nothing happens, no new window popup. I have popup blocker and adblock disabled in Firefox. Also tried it in IE and same thing. Nothing.

I’m sure it’s just a temp bug. Very happy to see this feature.

October 7, 2010 at 5:57 pm

This is GREAT!! Love it! Makes it so much easier and quicker to find out relationships!! This is helping me so many ways in my tree!!

October 7, 2010 at 6:31 pm
Carol A. H. 

I haven’t tried the new feature on relationships, but something is really kinky. Can’t save records to people in my tree—sometimes.

October 7, 2010 at 10:08 pm

Love the View relationship to me.

October 7, 2010 at 11:09 pm
Jeff Ford 

Kewl! I think that this could really help those family members that aren’t into genealogy like most of us are. This a really great addition. I am somewhat surprised by some comments on here. Especially by those that were worried about turning into an full-blown genealogy application. Btw, it has been a de-facto program for a long time.

October 8, 2010 at 12:59 am

Ahh. it’s working now. Very Awesome!! Keep up the good work and listening to the users opinions Thanks!!

October 8, 2010 at 1:06 am
Sandra Weishaupl 

Thank You Thank You Thank You for the relationship calculator. Genealogy has always been fun, but this makes it even better.

October 8, 2010 at 8:33 am
Heather J. 

Now THAT … is cool. Thanks so much for a great update!

October 8, 2010 at 8:36 am
Sheri D 

I love, love, love this feature. I made an error linking the wrong family to my tree and this feature has helped me correct that. Thank you for making a seemingly impossible task easier!

October 8, 2010 at 9:41 am

I love it! There are, of course, a couple of problems. 🙂 1. It isn’t always showing me the closest relationship. (Example: Catherine, sister of an ancestress, was my 8x great-grandaunt. She was also married to my 7x great-granduncle. The in-law relationship, being shown here, is not as close as the blood relationship, in my opinion.) Recalculate doesn’t help. 2. The calculator doesn’t make any distinction between relationship to siblings and to half-siblings. 3. The box won’t come up for some people. In one case, both of the parents show as my cousins. 4. The relationship displayed on the profile sometimes has disappeared when I re-visit a page. I’d also like to be able to turn them all on in tree settings.

October 8, 2010 at 11:25 am
Andy Hatchett 

Peggy Re: #40

The in-law relationship is actually the closer due to the fact that you 7x great-granduncle is a closer blood relative to you that your 8x great-grandaunt.

October 8, 2010 at 11:36 am
William Judd 

Fantastic!! I am so grateful for this feature, which I know I will use frequently. Thank you :).

October 8, 2010 at 11:41 am

Andy, re: #41

You mean a blood relationship doesn’t trump an in-law connection? Seems strange.

October 8, 2010 at 12:05 pm
Andy Hatchett 

Peggy Re: #43

In most cases it does-except when the in-law is married to a closer blood relative. Had she not married your 7x great-granduncle but instead been the second wife of your 9x great-granduncle then her relationship as your 8x great-grandaunt would be the closer relationship.

October 8, 2010 at 2:28 pm
Donald Smith 

This feature does not always work. I have had it fail using Safari and IE-8.

October 8, 2010 at 2:41 pm

Thanks for the clarification as to how to compare any 2 individuals. It’s a great feature.

I would like to suggest another feature. There ought to be some way to accomodate adoptive parents or foster parents, so that both the birth parent and the guardian parent can be included in the family description. Currently, the only way to include them is to make a faux marriage of the child’s birth parent with the child’s foster parent.

The occurrence is frequent in my tree.


October 8, 2010 at 4:43 pm
Robert Strain 

Ever since this new feature the “search record” pointer indicates a different person in my tree. Quite confusing … more testing required prior to taking changes into production.

October 8, 2010 at 6:31 pm
Scott Jensen 

Wow! What a timesaver! I love it…whoever came up with that idea and set it into motion should get a pay raise…well, that would probably raise the rates of ancestry membership…whatever! 🙂

October 8, 2010 at 6:52 pm

Unfortunately, I seems your latest rounds of updates have come at a price – I cannot attach any records to people without it trying to make me start a new tree with that person. I cannot save records to people (aside of through the “hints” if I am lucky enough to have them show up there, that is the ONLY way to have them save to the person) since your update.

This is a poor price to pay to find out the relationship to someone you are researching.

Surely there is a better way to test updates than with the system that the consumers use. I feel like a guinea pig.

October 8, 2010 at 7:42 pm

I have greement with Scott#49 and Elissa#49.

The green *return to* arrow after looking at something is showing a different person than who is on the profile. This doesn’t seem to have a negative outcome, but is confusing.

Also, use caution when locating a record, attaching to a husband, with the option of also including the attachment to the wife. Everytrhing looks fine prior to clicking for the record to attach. Unfortunately the after effect is a ‘new person profile’ is made under the *married name* of the wife with the record attached there. Thus, a new duplicate person is made. I only caught the glitch because I always look to see if the record attached properly…

Not good….

October 8, 2010 at 7:59 pm

Worshacf, #50 – your second point may not be entirely a glitch.

If there is something about a spouse that you’ve already entered, that seems significantly different to the computer (name spelling, age more than 2 years different, birthplace — are possibilities), the computer coding “acts” like the spouse shown in a Census enumeration is a new person.

If you know that the primary person to whom you are saving the record already has a spouse entered, and you think the spouse shown in the record is the same person — but when you go to “save” there is no light-colored box on the right indicating that the computer is about to allow you to save to an ~existing~ person/spouse, you will have the computer create a new person/spouse if you click on the info box for this person on the left.

If you do not see the shadowy box on the right, by all means click to save the other logical persons in the household, but not on the box for the spouse. Instead, when you’re done with the first stage, either backspace twice to get to the purported “record” page for the enumeration, then click on the spouse’s name; then use the upper-left link to “save to someone in my tree.” You might then get a small window to type in the spouse’s name and get a drop-down of similar names to select from, but you might be taken to your List of People.

From your List of People, use the search boxes at upper right *within the list* in the green area to find the person you have entered as spouse (you can search by just first name or just surname if you wish). Then when you get the list, click to “select” the right spouse; you will then be taken to the encoded page to save the purported record to the person you selected, and can edit info on that person if you wish.

October 8, 2010 at 8:54 pm

Jade, I am not a novice at this, of course I know how to have a secondary person attach properly. I am aware that if a small detail doesn’t match it will make a ‘new person profile’ but this was not the case.

Regarding my last comment with the problem I referred to in comment #50: Everything was perfectly aligned to have the record attach to the wife. The husband did not have another spouse, the light colored box showed the wife with her given name (a match), her maiden surname, and the year and location of birth (also a match) with the record’s green box. The end result was a ‘new person profile’.

October 8, 2010 at 10:18 pm
Andy Hatchett 

Gremlins running rampant!

I’ve seen weird but this beats all I’ve ever seen.

I posted screen shots just to prove I wasn’t going crazy.

October 8, 2010 at 11:07 pm


The return person being different from the profile person in the green return rectangle is what Robert Strain #48 and I (on comment#50) were referring to earlier, but we only had one computer being viewed.

You have two computers going with the same person’s profile up, and yet two different names showing in the green arrow return rectangle. How can that happen???

In addition, don’t you think it is odd that strange stuff like this always seems to happen after the tech support staff go home and won’t be back until Monday morning?

October 9, 2010 at 12:02 am
Andy Hatchett 

I don’t find the weekly Gremlin Romp Festival strange at all. They usually roll out code late on Thursday night/early friday morning. It takes a while to realize there is a problem then takes a while for that info to filter up, down, or sideways to the people who can actually fix the problem- by that time the coders- those who can actually fix the problem- are gone.

What they should do is change their roll out days to Tuesday nights so they have the rest of the week to fix the problems- and there are ALWAYS problems.

One thing I would suggest: If you notice a problem do not post about it on one of the message boards until you have sent an e-mail to the appropriate department head, be it Kenny Freestone, David Graham, Duff Wilson, Tony Macklin, or whoever. Then post the problem you are seeing to the appropriate board AND post the name of the person you notified at Ancestry.

That lets everyone know Ancestry has been notified of the problem.

October 9, 2010 at 1:15 am
Carol A. H. 

#54 worshacf:

Maybe they plan it that way because they know they are going to have problems, and they want a weekend off before they have to face them.

All kiding aside, it is still a bit kinky but I’m dealing with it. Still have not checked relationships. That utility has been on my home program at least 8 years. Andy always has good suggestions. I have learned a lot from him.

October 9, 2010 at 1:25 am

The “return to” issue seems to be solved – at least I hope so, although it was just a minor annoyance, seeing a different name then the one I was working on.
I just wish that anything “new” such as the “view relationships” button was placed to the right of the “search historical records” button – something I use constantly, but must now take that extra second to switch my focus to a different location, compared to something I would use far less often.
Just a thought…….

October 9, 2010 at 5:23 am

Spoke too soon! The “return to” issue has not been solved! All Hallows Eve is coming!!

October 9, 2010 at 5:32 am

worshacf, your #52 — I know it can be tedious to describe exactly what led to a strange result.

My reply #51 was based on guessing what you did not say – as a possibility.

What you state happened in #52 does look like a glitch.

The “return to” disparity issue has been noted by users for a couple of months now. No staff or manager has acknowledged it as a problem or said they are looking into it.

Since it appears to be intermittent from tree searches, it would be hard to diagnose. Could be a hard drive deteriorating, a corrupted *.exe file or something else.

October 9, 2010 at 8:12 am

Jade, Thanks for offering up suggestions. Most of your original reply didn’t apply to my situation because the record I was working with was a Scotland census, therefore had no sidebar as you so nicely described.

Return to green arrow rectangle still showing wrong name, but it doesn’t seen to have a negative affect, I suppose ancestry will figure that out at some point.

October 9, 2010 at 9:30 am

I am so thankful for this update. However, I did have the same problems listed above. I haven’t checked today yet to see if it is doing the same thing.

October 9, 2010 at 10:02 am
Cherie Wright 

Great new feature, many thanks! However, I’m also experiencing the same glitches mentioned above.

October 9, 2010 at 11:56 am
Gary Berlucchi 

Any name in quotes ie ” nickname” doesn’t work!

October 9, 2010 at 2:39 pm

Gary Berlucchi #63

Names with nicknames included in quotes workes without problem in my tree.

Try setting up the profile of the person in this order:

(given name) John
(middle name) Wilbur
(nickname) “Jack”
(last name) McDougall.

Now request the relationship to calculated. It should work.

October 9, 2010 at 3:16 pm
Gary Berlucchi 

Thanks worshacf. I tried that and it still doesn’t work. I am on a Mac using Safari. The browser might have something to do with the problem!

October 9, 2010 at 3:30 pm

64 worshacf –
No one in my tree who had quotation marks anywhere in their name worked. I had to remove the marks, caluclate, and put the marks back afterwards. I use FF 3.5.10 but chekced on IE8 and it didn’t work there, either.

October 9, 2010 at 3:58 pm

Gary Berlucchi #63 & 65

I have a iMac (OS 10.6.4) computer and Safari (5.0.2) as my browser.

I don’t have any problem using the relationship feature. Since last comment in this blog I went in to verify for sure, and requested relationship calculation with several more people in my tree with the nickname in quotes; worked just fine.

Yes, clever of you to accomplish the task. There’s always a way to get the job done…

October 9, 2010 at 5:16 pm

#66 Jo
Relationship calculation was fine on my IE8 box until I installed a few third party programs & manually modified IE8’s settings (don’t remember which ones). Calculation doesn’t work now – I’m trying to figure out the reasoning with no success yet… Any help (what must be set) is gladly appreciated.

October 9, 2010 at 5:37 pm

The “return to” button problem has not been resolved. And the view relationship button should be to the right of the search for historical records button, as someone else mentioned, because I am having the same problem … used to using that search link so much that I keep hitting the relationship button. Please fix it.

October 10, 2010 at 12:07 am

Well, I do see that it is not yet perfect. I’d like greater ease in comparing two people’s relationship to each other. For example, who is my 2nd cousin 2X removed to my great grandchild? That being said, the exciting feature saves me so much time! I have been writing long paragraphs in the comment sections of people to explain who they are to me. Now I point and click. Yet another reason to love Thank you so much!

October 10, 2010 at 4:59 am
Christy Spielman Brown 

This new feature is awesome! I love it!

October 10, 2010 at 10:42 am
Donald Smith 

Names that have nicknames is quotes don’t work on Safari. I edited the name and removed the quotes ” “. It was then able to calculate. I then re-edited and reentered the quotes.

Should not have to do this, but it’s at least a work-around.

October 10, 2010 at 2:24 pm

I, too, have a problem with people using ” in their names. The brother’s relationship works just fine. Must be a Java problem. I use Chrome mainly.

October 10, 2010 at 6:53 pm

Thank you this is great, just what i’ve been wanting to see~

It’s okay for now, but…
Thinking i’d rather have an On/Off flag setting for the whole tree at the Tree Settings / Who you are in this tree.

October 10, 2010 at 7:10 pm
Eric Alan Marx 

I really like the new “view relationship to me” that was added. Now I don’t have to write down all my ancestors and their ancestors to find out how I am related to one of my relations and then look in one of my paper relationship charts to figure the relationship.

Thank you for a great added help to

October 10, 2010 at 7:26 pm
Carol A. H. 

Still having problems attaching a census to one of my people. Seems to be the 1860 one. Oh well, maybe tomorrow…?

I also get the odd name in the green box, “Return to —–” but even with wrong name, it does go back. Got a few other kinky problems but I have been working around them.

These problems just occured after the new feature roll out. They are so random and odd that I can’t find patterns in them, other than the ones described above, and even they are not consistant.

October 10, 2010 at 11:59 pm
Carol A. H. 

Oops! I spoke too soon. I can’t save anything to anyone!!!

October 11, 2010 at 12:28 am
Adele Anderson 

#22 Lauralynn I wholeheartedly agree with your (as well as most others) comment!

The other thing I love about the relationship calculator connecting ‘me’ to ‘them’ is that I DO feel more ATTACHED now. Earlier it was ‘ho-hum’ just another name with a few dates and facts, but nothing that bonded me to that ‘person’.

Many thanks for this feature.

October 11, 2010 at 10:35 am

The relationship calculator is not working and the return-to button is still messed up. Why haven’t these things been fixed yet?! Also, the site is running as slow as molasses. You need to get on the ball and get things running right before you brag about all the new “improvements”.

October 11, 2010 at 3:19 pm
Susan Twomey 

Thank you so much!!! As I keep adding new information to my tree, my sister keeps asking me, “…but how are we related?” So this is great!

October 11, 2010 at 4:19 pm
Jen Hodnett 

Thanks so much for all the positive comments! A few of you have noticed some issues that I want you to know we’re addressing.

If your relative’s name has quotation marks in the name such as “rita”, the calculation won’t work unless you remove the quotation marks. We’re currently working on a fix for the issue and will get it out as soon as possible.

The second issue mentioned is not related to the “view relationship to me” feature. Sometimes, when searching from your tree, the “return to” button displays the wrong name. If you experience this, the button, when clicked, will still take you back to the right person and we are in the process of fixing this issue as well.

Thanks again for bringing these issues to our attention and I hope you continue to enjoy the new feature. – Jen Hodnett

October 11, 2010 at 5:25 pm
Mary Beth Marchant 

I am seeing extreme slowness today as well. With all the advertising that Ancestry does, it seems to me their servers should be updated with ones that can handle the traffic. What good do new subscribers do if they as well as we old ones, cannot get the information we are paying for. The slowness issue is erratic, sometimes very slow, somethings like molasses. I am having to hit the back button and start the same action on(such as saving a census record) before I can get it to move on.

October 12, 2010 at 1:53 pm

This is getting so tiresome!
“Sometimes, when searching from your tree, the “return to” button displays the wrong name. If you experience this, the button, when clicked, will still take you back to the right person and we are in the process of fixing this issue as well.”
It’s Tuesday night, and the problem persists.
No fun trying to search for information when the person’s name, date of birth and death are showing someone else! I hope this is corrected “soon”?

October 12, 2010 at 7:23 pm
Andy Hatchett 


Didn’t you see Anne Mitchell’s post that it would be fixed by the end of the week?

ancestryanne (View posts) Posted: 11 Oct 2010 10:23PM GMT
Classification: Query

We have identified the issue with the wrong name appearing in the Return to Button, when you do a search from your tree.

If you click on the button, it will take you back to the correct, person, the name just sometimes appears incorrectly.

This should be fixed completely by the end of the week.

Sorry for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience.

Anne Mitchell

October 12, 2010 at 8:29 pm
Tony Lee Keefer 

Hello Mrs Jen Hodnett,
I do not use site YET for my tree BUILDING. I am sure it has many Advantages, but also has some confusing/frustrating things mentioned in this article. I have enough confusion with MY OWN Mistakes. I have done something–maybe in comparing/merging duplicate people—I don’t know. BUT Now I have ALOT of people showing up in my FTM saying “no direct relationship found.” At the bottom of this article you ask about CURRY’s in Missouri. I have a Elizabeth Ann Curry b. 1818 KY, married Joseph H Mccaslin (or Mccasland ?) BUT BOTH ARE NOW showing up as the No direct relationship found. I have 1 Curry and many Mccaslands. I have so many possible questions—I do not know what to ask. Truely, tony

October 12, 2010 at 8:29 pm

Thank you Andy, I was away yesterday and hoped everything would be “normal” when I returned.
Sorry to be so “computer illiterate”, but the only way I could find the “query” was to google your response.
I have enough to do keeping up with “trees” and “blogs” to figure out “boards”.
But back to this problem, EVERYTHING is “wacky”! Information that comes up doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the person I’m researching! Of course, I’m using “old search”, which seems to be looked down upon as a “step-child” – those “old fogies” still using THAT? “Maybe if things get bad enough and we ignore it enough, they’ll go to the “bells and whistles” {that never seems to do much for me} “new search”………

October 13, 2010 at 5:45 am

I have 4 trees, each starting with my and my husband’s parents, so I put their names as “me” for this feature. I forgot what tree I was on and accidentally put my father-in-law as “me” in my mother-in-law’s tree. How do I correct the name?

October 13, 2010 at 11:19 am
Jen Hodnett 

Donna, you can fix it by clicking on the “view relationship to me link” and at the bottom of the relationship chain, there should be a link that says “not you?”. Click this link and it will allow you to change who the “me” person is in the tree.

October 13, 2010 at 1:03 pm

Bee, your #86. Are you seeing loads of results for names that have some of the same letters that you are searching for, but which are not spelling variants of your target name?

This is because around 9 months ago some quite misguided person(s) decided to make Soundex searching part of the ‘default’ mode for both OldSearch and NewSearch. If you are not familiar with the Soundex system, do an internet search for an explanation.

At least a few persons in the organization believed that you could stop the Soundex results by “unchecking” something, but this is not true. In NewSearch you can ~select~ Soundex searching, but it does not go away just because you do not choose it. In OldSearch you can ~select~ Soundex searching in “exact” mode, but there is no way to prevent it unless you go with “exact” — which defeats the whole sense of the non-exact search mode (and availability of wild-card characters does not make up for this).

I am sick of getting “Smith” results when searching for a “Sandy” surname. And now getting extreme numbers of “Mason” results for “McShane” when searching from a Tree. When searching from Tree, one can make no search-parameter choices, no matter if in NewSearch or OldSearch basic mode.

This is particularly exasperating because the search engine ranks the Soundex “equivalent” names equally with the name you started with. It does not sort results so your actual target name is listed first in the list.

Something has happened recently with OldSearch to make it even less useful. It now disregards the dates for your basic searched-for person. No matter if the person in your tree died in 1801, you will get US Civil War enlistments, 1895 New Jersey State Census items, and all manner of other impossibilities.

Since NewSearch handles date-bracketing no better, the net result is a frustrating mess of non-correlated stuff.

At least Old Search handles results-sorting by category better than does NewSearch. It was not originally designed by someone who thought 3,545,273 results were certainly better than 12.

October 13, 2010 at 8:11 pm
Peggy W 

I love this new feature too. However as some have mentioned I have a few people in my tree that are related by marriage and by blood. I would love to be able to see both relationships or even to be able to chose which relationship to show at a given time. I’m not programming savy so I don’t know how hard that would be, but it sure would be nice. Thanks again for a great feature.

October 14, 2010 at 8:30 am

Thanks Jade, that seems to be what is happening, and it’s a shame.

October 14, 2010 at 9:12 am
Adele Anderson 

Reading comments by Bee and Jade, I too agree. My problem is that I feel I’m unable to logically and concisely explain what I’m seeing while doing a search, or whatever really. I guess I could comment with the people who have similar complaints, but it just seems redundant.

Thinking that perhaps a way to respond to comments, such as Yahoo (and others too) uses–thumbs up and down with a click. Obviously, it won’t give specifics of each individual, but it will denote that others also are having troubles in that area.

For us who sit and wait–it would be so nice to have a progress update, even if it is minute, now and then. Because I normally spend a lot of hours each day at Ancestry, it a bit like being ‘untethered’. I’d like to be ‘touched’ so that I’m aware that the caring (and hard work) is still going on!

October 14, 2010 at 9:42 am
Lydia Griffin 

I just realized this new feature and thought it was one of the coolest things. It makes explaining realtionships a lot easier……..thanks.

October 14, 2010 at 1:39 pm

#92 Adele,
You can post a message on the message boards and add a screen shot to help show what’s happening. Lots of us do this when something is too complicated to explain clearly with words alone.

October 14, 2010 at 3:22 pm
Allen Sutton 

This sounds great, but what about your Australian customers, as it appears we do not have this feature.

October 14, 2010 at 4:17 pm
Allen Sutton 

OOOOOPS!!!!! Well I just needed to do it right. We do have this feature and it is great. THANKS

October 14, 2010 at 4:41 pm
Carol Handley 

I love the new added feature “how are you related”. How can I can I make a copy of it without showing the background page? Carol Handley

October 15, 2010 at 8:54 am
Andy Hatchett 

Carol Re: #97

I’m not sure you can. I just did a screen shot and then open it in paint and trim off what I don’t want.

October 15, 2010 at 11:32 am
Eric Stoltz 

This is the best feature I’ve seen added in a long time! When I needed to figure out a relationship I always had to stop and open Reunion to figure the relationship. Having it right in front of me on Ancestry is a huge help.

And thanks to those who were quick enough to realize that quotes in the name are what was causing the bug for the relationship feature not to work. I was stumped as to why I could not get the relationship for my great grandaunt Rosario “Rose” Garcia to show! It’s a bit of a pain to revise the name, but working at an Internet company I know these things come up and need fixing once found.

I’ll throw my vote in for the relationship display to be a global option.

Great work, Ancestry!

October 15, 2010 at 12:23 pm

A great tool with some quirks! As others have remarked, sometimes one has more than one relationship to an individual, but the calculator only recognizes one. As an example, I have a female person whose husband is a third cousin 2x removed from me; however, her father is a third cousin 3x removed from me from a different line, but the calculator only recognizes her as the wife of my 3rd cousin 2x removed, and not as an actual “blood” relative. Doing a recalculation did not correct the situation.

October 16, 2010 at 9:03 am
Andy Hatchett 

There is no situation to correct.

The relationship calculator calculates the closest relationship-period.

A relationship (either by blood or marriage) to a third cousin twice removed is a closer relationship than to a third cousin three times removed.

October 16, 2010 at 9:48 am
Kathy Wurth 

Love, Love, Love this feature. Has helped me immensely in cleaning up my tree of who and who is really not related. What a great feature. Thank you!

October 16, 2010 at 11:11 pm
Adele Anderson 

Thanks to you all! Just found Ancestry has returned, haven’t even tried it, but wanted to offer my thanks anyway!

October 19, 2010 at 10:19 am
Gary Berlucchi 

Maybe you might consider putting who the “Common Ancestor” is in bold type. This would be useful.

October 20, 2010 at 10:41 am
Debbie Kable 

I don’t normally comment like this, but I just have to tell you how much I absolutely LOVE this new “how am I related feature” that’s been added. It’s just exactly the kind of feature that I would’ve asked for if I’d known it could be done.
Now, if you can just make it possible to search my tree for people by their locations, I’d be a happy camper!
Keep up the good work.
Debbie Kable

October 21, 2010 at 5:18 am