Ancestry.com

Ancestry.com Focuses on Core Offerings

Posted by Eric Shoup on June 4, 2014 in Ancestry.com Site

We’re proud of the variety of products we’ve created over the years that enable people to discover, preserve and share their family history. We recognize that there are a lot of ways that we, as a company, can make family history easier, more accessible and more fun for people all over the world. And we’re continually innovating to make it a reality.

We’re always looking to focus our efforts in a way that provide the most impact, while also delivering the best service and best product experience to users. To that end, we’ve decided to retire some of our services: MyFamily, MyCanvas, Genealogy.com, Mundia and the Y-DNA and mtDNA tests.

We will note that the AncestryDNA (autosomal) test is not affected by this change and will continue to be available as we continue to invest in this new technology. Only the y-DNA and mtDNA tests will be retired.

Starting September 5, 2014*, these services will no longer be available to access. Genealogy.com is the exception to the rule, and will continue in a slightly different form. If you are an active member or subscriber to one of these services, you will be contacted directly with details of how to transition the information you’ve created using these services.

We know these services have provided value to you. We think they’re pretty cool too, which is why this wasn’t an easy decision for us to make. In the end, it came down to priorities and we think our core offerings are a great place to spend our time and resources.

So here’s to revolutionizing family history, focusing on providing the best product experience we can offer and to the limitless possibilities that lie before us.

If you have any other inquiries, here are some frequently asked questions that might help:

Genealogy.com

MyFamily

MyCanvas

LegacyDNA

Mundia – English

 

* UPDATE JULY 1, 2014: Due to recent site issues, we will be extending the period that MyFamily, MyCanvas, Genealogy.com, Mundia, and the Y-DNA and mtDNA websites will be available. These sites will now retire on September 30, 2014. An email will be sent to all customers accordingly.

138 comments

Comments
1 Connie Harter BurtonJune 5, 2014 at 10:17 am

What are you classifying as your “core” offerings?

So can we be able to still do the DNA testing????

I LOVE ancestry.com

2 Shari GeeJune 5, 2014 at 10:26 am

Will you continue any type of DNA testing? What are your core offerings?

3 Anne Gillespie MitchellJune 5, 2014 at 10:27 am

Connie, we are glad you love ancestry.com! And yes,you can still do autosomal DNA testing, which is our current offering and gives you matches and your ethnicity breakdown. It is only the y-DNA and the mtDNA tests that are being retired.

4 Randy QuickJune 5, 2014 at 10:34 am

What does this mean? The DNA testing and linking part is going away???? If that is the case, there is a lot of money and time been put into these, how will that be reimbursed?

5 PatrickJune 5, 2014 at 11:08 am

How can I tell which DNA Test I took?

6 Marilyn TurnerJune 5, 2014 at 11:27 am

Shame on you! Ancestry has caused much distrust because of this type of action. Buying up free sites then “killing” them. Now loyal subscribers having features “killed”. Have you thought about selling off these less desirable features? Shame on you Ancestry!

7 EliJune 5, 2014 at 11:29 am

I’m so sad to hear this, as I have used MyCanvas for the last couple of years to conveniently create beautiful, detailed family history books with the most ease and best results ANYWHERE. I don’t even know how I will find a replacement for MyCanvas, as I am chiefly interested in the books, not posters. I did a lot of research in other scrapbook publishers before I decided MyCanvas was leagues ahead. I don’t know what else to say other than I’m so sorry to learn this news.

8 Judy HillJune 5, 2014 at 11:42 am

What will happen to the Y-DNA & mtDNA results and matching? Will they continue to appear on Ancestry.com or are we expected to download all of that (including matches) before September?

9 Amy Johnson CrowJune 5, 2014 at 11:59 am

Randy — We continue to offer the autosomal DNA test, with matching and ethnicity estimates. It is only the y-DNA and mtDNA tests that are being discontinued.

10 Mike KennedyJune 5, 2014 at 12:13 pm

Comment 6 by Marilyn Turner about distrust in Ancestry brings me to the question “When will the information from Ancestry24 (a South African site) be available to view?”. It has been at least a year since you bought it out and many researchers, some of who provided a lot of the information on the site, are unable to trace their family history because it is still unavailable.

11 Angelina CavalettoJune 5, 2014 at 12:28 pm

I really love mycanvas. I’ve used it several times and had plans for more works in the future. Where are we suppose to go now?

12 Mary Van DykeJune 5, 2014 at 12:46 pm

Dear Sirs,

Re: Closing the MyCanvas printing site in September

This is the absolutely WORSE idea you’ve had in the last few years!

I’ve been a member (world subscription) since the spring of 2003, and have watched you make many changes. HOWEVER, this “brain storm idea, by guys with ties” is the pits!

Do you have a group of people, fresh out of college, just sitting around trying to come up with ways on how to make it “better/faster/stronger”? If you do, they are NOT doing their jobs — they are only appearing to do their jobs!

How can you just cut off the printing service, without even allowing us to download what we’ve created, and therefore, be able to continue ordering copies of our projects using another software and/or printing firm?

This just plain sucks!

I don’t even want to have a “thank you” at the end of my letter here!

13 Robert DillonJune 5, 2014 at 1:00 pm

Is there a way we can take over our individual myfamily.com site?

14 CathyJune 5, 2014 at 1:06 pm

To Ancestry.com management, regarding discontinuing MyCanvas.

I am beyond horrified by this announcement. While I recognize you have the right to discontinue a service, to have such complete disregard for the amount of time people put into creating a work without providing a way for it to be saved, transferred, or archived borders on theft of my time.

In this age of technology it is standard practice to back up work on computers. We take great care to install multiple safety devices, passwords, anti-virus programs etc.,all with the aim to preserve and protect work created online. So, how do you justify simply deleting thousands (presumably) of people’s work, with one stroke?

I spoke to a customer service representative to find out what options exist. Short answer – none. You offer no ability to transfer it to another program, no suggestions on how to preserve the work beyond printing it. Are you kidding me? How is that good business? I assume you understand the countless hours that go into creating a project in MyCanvas?

Yes, I can print a copy. But I cannot update, add, edit. I cannot print copies in the future. So, I guess I will just have to recreate what took me months to create. Would you not be angry if someone arbitrarily wiped out months of your work?

Again, I recognize your right to discontinue a service, but to do so without having support in place to protect your customers’ work and with no value placed on their time is beyond arrogant. I am extremely upset about this decision.

15 Jeannie SloanJune 5, 2014 at 1:15 pm

You didn’t really answer the question posted above
“What will happen to the Y-DNA & mtDNA results and matching? Will they continue to appear on Ancestry.com or are we expected to download all of that (including matches) before September?”
Will the people who have already invested their money in the tests being discontinued still be able to see their matches after September 5th?

16 nancyJune 5, 2014 at 1:21 pm

Add me to the list of people who are VERY disappointed MyCanvas is just going to disappear.

I have done several family tree books and been very pleased with the results. And have gone back and updated info and re-printed the books.

I know of no other service that can replace the books. And to do all the work I have done and then just have it disappear is just plain cruel.

Please reconsider this decision. It was just flat-out bad.

17 joanie hanlonJune 5, 2014 at 1:39 pm

No, not my canvas! I love that product! Is there another company that will pick it up?

18 AdrianaJune 5, 2014 at 1:43 pm

I took the mtDNA back in 2008, but I haven’t used it much since, well, 2008. All the same, I’m going to download the spreadsheet of my HVR1 + HVR2 markers and the pdf analysis just because I figure I might as well.

19 MartyJune 5, 2014 at 1:57 pm

MyCanvas is a terrific product! I’ve used it several times for calendars and have a book in progress. There is no match in the market. I’m very sad to see this one go. Please reconsider!

20 JonathanJune 5, 2014 at 1:58 pm

I’m also quite disappointed in this news. From the sounds of things, there are quite a few people whose existing work is going to be severely adversely affected by your decision. In addition, I had been saving up for the Y-DNA and mtDNA tests – tests that, for various familial reasons, I would find more useful than the autosomal DNA test you offer, but only through the networking feature with other Ancestry.com users. While you’ve reassured people that the autosomal DNA test will still be offered, you haven’t addressed those with very valid concerns about the state of information and connections gleaned through your soon-to-be-discontinued tests.

I lament this decision to pare down your offerings. The trends of continual expansion in offerings and databases, without any corresponding loss, has long been *the* defining factor that set Ancestry.com apart from many of the alternatives, and I sadly fear that this decision will one day in retrospect be acknowledged as the turning point marking Ancestry.com’s descent into decline as a provider of services.

21 SAMcClellanJune 5, 2014 at 2:02 pm

I thought there was still a law against monopolies, but I suppose it doesn’t effect something with tentacles as huge as Ancestry.com. This site was made up of what was put in it by those who furnished the info to them and as it became bigger, the info became less available, even to those who donated their trees, with the huge buy outs of all the other genealogy sites, this is becoming the only site for genealogy research available and it’s not near the resource that Genealogy.com’s Genforum was. Buy them up, shut them down and re-sell the info…info that was the ppty of the individuals that made this site what it is today…who may not even be given the opportunity to use the info they’ve provided, much less what’s been added to it. I can’t imagine the horror of those who’s kin have passed away, who felt they were safely adding to a reputable site, in these that are being shut down…much as the trees were taken down and “lost” when they dismantled them from MyFamily.com’s sites. And I suppose they are protected from the monopoly laws now, since they have the option of just shutting the doors if they’re contested, legally. Such a bunch of opportunistic flakes, preying on the trusts of all those who made it what it is today.

[...] has not been actively selling Y and mtDNA tests for some time now.  However, today Ancestry announced the official discontinuance of those tests and that as of September 5th, their Y and mtDNA data [...]

23 Regina MarkowiczJune 5, 2014 at 2:46 pm

I am not at all surprised. Ancestry.com has been taking and taking for many years, re-selling info they received for free and then not allowing others to view their own research without paying. They “stole” my 30 years of work that I posted on FamilySearch.com many years ago, made it available to the world after it was to have been only changeable by the original owner. Ancestry is about profit. I assume that takeing without permission, selling services they have no intention of providing over the long haul, and not offering the owners and orginal submitters to access for a lesser fee is just a few of the deplorable tatics I have seen over the years. This is no surprise. Ancestry.com you have taken from the folks who trusted you and violated that trust. Shame on you and I hope you suffer for this in the days and months to come and find out that you cannot just walk over your best customers. Terrible decision. And yes it must have been made by your ‘bean counters” who are only directed to pay attention to profit and not people and service. You are just another company now that has sunken to the pits of selfishness.

24 PatrickJune 5, 2014 at 3:05 pm

The lack of significant response by the Ancestry staff to all these many valid and significant questions speaks volumes as to what they think of their customer base. C’mon Ancestry… We deserve better than that!

25 Cynthia TJune 5, 2014 at 3:08 pm

Darn! I’ve been looking forward to creating and printing my family history using MyCanvas for years…and now it’s too late. As long as I am able to research my tree, I will always continue my membership. Still, I am saddened by this turn of events :(

[...] announced today in a blog post they are ending five services – Mundia.com, Genealogy.com, MyFamily.com, MyCanvas.com,  and [...]

27 Melinda TillmanJune 5, 2014 at 3:11 pm

I think removing the database from existence is a mean thing to do to your customers who have money and time invested. I can understand not selling the test any more but you should leave the data accessible. If you don’t want to maintain it, offer it free of charge to FTDNA, a competitor. I am losing trust in ancestry.com. I did not purchase x or y DNA kits, but I did purchase several autosomal kits. What will happen in the future when you decide atDNA is no longer a core product….

[...] morning, Ancestry.com, the world’s largest online family history resource, announced that it will be “retiring” five of its properties/services as of 5 September [...]

29 Elaine TurleyJune 5, 2014 at 3:26 pm

Removing the mycanvas is a terrible idea. I have used it to print family books for Christmas and Birthdays and was in the process of getting ready to order some for a family reunion. Where can I get these done now?

30 Kristie WellsJune 5, 2014 at 3:37 pm

Elaine, you are still able to order books through September 4th, just need to make sure the order is in by then. At the moment we do not have a suggested replacement partner, but will be happy to share if we do secure one.

31 EliJune 5, 2014 at 3:37 pm

I have worked over a year on a family history book on MyCanvas and am just in the completion stages. While I may be able to complete and print it before MyCanvas goes down for the last time, all my hard work will be deleted permanently with no further regard or way to export or save my project. That’s not very standard for public project databases, I’m just saying.

I actually created my current MyCanvas family history book for extended family to order when they were able, as many of them don’t have the means currently. Now they don’t even have that option, and the year and a half of my hard work is uneventfully going down the toilet; meanwhile, none of us have any say.

While I understand that Ancestry may no longer want the extra bother of maintaining extra services like MyCanvas, I can’t see why they don’t allow us to export and save our projects after extended efforts to create them. The “accidental” loss of so much time and creative effort would be a colossal disaster. But to lose it intentionally and give no recourse to recoup feels wrong on so many levels! It almost comes across as mean-spirited.

32 Kristie WellsJune 5, 2014 at 3:39 pm

Hi Joanie, at the moment we do not have a recommended replacement. If there is someone we find, we will absolutely post their information.

33 Kristie WellsJune 5, 2014 at 3:43 pm

Angelina, at the moment we do not have a replacement to offer. There are companies like Blurb or Shutterfly, but they are not family history specific.

34 Kristie WellsJune 5, 2014 at 3:56 pm

Adriana: downloading your markers is highly recommended so you do have it.

35 Kristie WellsJune 5, 2014 at 4:20 pm

Jeannie: The website will not be available post-September 5th, so please download your information so you have it. There is more information available here in the FAQ- http://www.ancestry.com/cs/faq/legacy-dna-faq

36 A. SkinnerJune 5, 2014 at 6:44 pm

I’m very disappointed, angry and frustrated by the cancellation of the MyCanvas service.

Like many others, I spent many months (almost two years) researching and adding information to ANCESTRY’s database, then building a keepsake book for my mother’s 75th birthday. I could only afford to print one copy, but it was great knowing I could update it later and print copies for other family members. Now it’s vanishing, no doubt because it’s not profitable.

I trusted ANCESTRY with my data and my work, a Service I Paid for.

I have no doubt that what ANCESTRY is doing is legal, but that doesn’t mean it’s right. It’s wrong, and it’s insulting. We are Real People out here working passionately on something we care about.

I URGE ANCESTRY (Corporations are people, too now, right?) to keep MyCanvas archived and available, even it means not allowing new projects after September 5, until a new program has been identified and developed. Or at least keep it available for a year or so – not just 3 months over the summer.

Don’t just trash our work now that you’ve wrung enough money from it.

37 Mark FletcherJune 5, 2014 at 7:15 pm

Not MyCanvas!!!!!!!!!!!! As a 10 year Ancestry veteran, I just wanted to add to the cries of disappointment and disillusionment regarding the loss of my canvas!!!

As someone who started their career with Kodak, I do understand the commercial reality of “if it don’t pay, it don’t’ stay”. However what is now referred to as the on-line “the photo book” market is just exploding right now. (see the latest infotrends discussion link below).

http://blog.infotrends.com/?tag=photo-book

In this rapidly expanding market content is king! So I can’t believe you couldn’t find a partner among the current and emerging players that would not crawl across broken glass to provide an alternative publishing solution to what must be one of the biggest personalized content libraries on the planet.

Please re-think this for Ancestry’s sake as well as for us subscribers!

38 Michel RheaultJune 5, 2014 at 7:44 pm

When I read the news about MyCanvas it was like learning the news of a death in the family. I used the service many times and was planning to do so again. Ancestry and MyCanvas go hand in hand. When ever I renewed my Ancestry membership , the ability to use MyCanvas was making the expense worth it. Remove MyCanvas ? well then we might as well go with any other website. Yes, we can manage without it. The book wont be the same quality but there will be books. But past September, when it is time to renew my membership, I will think twice.

39 Bruce BrungerJune 5, 2014 at 7:47 pm

Will my Y-DNA markers which I submitted on Ancestry be deleted?

What about the extensive list of other Ancestry members who share my DNA markers?

Will these pages be removed? I hope not!

40 Catherine McNulty BellJune 5, 2014 at 8:00 pm

Re: cancellation of MyCanvas program
I am very disappointed to hear this news! I have used this product for several years now. I am working on several books that probably will not be able to be completed by September. My question for you is why should we continue to pay for your services when we can get so many records for free from familysearch.org? I have been an ancestry subscriber for many years now and am outraged by this thoughtless decision.

[...] can read the full annoucement on Ancestry.com’s blog, but here’s a portion of it [...]

42 Rachel JohnsonJune 5, 2014 at 8:26 pm

It is a concern that you are buying up the competition and then killing it. When will you close fold3 or your other “acquisitions?” Are you determined to be the only game in town. What about family search? When will you raise your prices so high no one can afford them? I am fascinated by the callous disregard you show to the companies in your clutches. It is too bad that we your customers have allowed you to become so big. Maybe it is time for us to drop our subscriptions so you can get smaller and more humble again. Without your customers you are just a big vault with a lot of dusty information.

43 Julie GrextonJune 5, 2014 at 8:39 pm

RE: MyCanvas cancellation

I am very disappointed in Ancestry.com decision to retire MyCanvas.

I’ve been an Ancestry member since 2001 and had used the mycanvas service to print books several times until the delivery to Canada was cancelled. Since then I’ve printed out several copies of the family books I had created myself and am very upset that even that option is being taken away.

Surely there must be some way of keeping mycanvas, or at the very least allowing us to export the files to our home computers so that we can reprint our own personal books .

From the comments of other members, it appears that mycanvas is very popular and it would be a shame to see it disappear, as most of us have spent many hours of research creating our family books.

I hope Ancestry.com will reconsider this decision.

44 Lisa EschenburgJune 5, 2014 at 9:06 pm

What about those of us who have purchased yDNA/mtDNA and mtDNA tests but have not submitted them yet? Are you going to refund our money? The tests I ordered were ordered more than a year ago but I could not submit test until I could test the persons which was about to finally happen.

Not a happy customer.

45 miikeJune 5, 2014 at 10:29 pm

ancestry HeritageQuest (ProQuest)? that’s the library edition for ancestry right? just currious.. if so your really gonna piss off a lot of people by taking away the free access at libraries but then again you’ve never given a shit to begin with so i’m not supprised.

46 TaraJune 5, 2014 at 10:49 pm

Very disappointed! You have had customers that spent over $300. On the Y-DNA & mtDNA and this when. I have called I was told there was a technical problem. Linking the results. However, now you say matches will no longer be available for view after Sept 5. Come on who are you kidding? Nobody’s been working that program for awhile.
What will happen to the Y-DNA & mtDNA results and matching? Will they continue to appear on Ancestry.com or are we expected to download all of that (including matches) before September?” I feel like these people you are letting down should get a 50% of the $99 DNA test you are currently providing.

47 Marsha RiceJune 6, 2014 at 3:25 am

I have to say that I am truly disappointed and somewhat baffled by the sweeping changes. The external sites I can understand to a point, but to not only cancel the mtdna and ydna service, but make the data inaccessible to all the thousands of people who supported ancestry by using their service instead of another DNA service, that is really poor management and shows a total lack of compassion and respect for the millions of dollars invested in ancestry products by loyal customers. In addition, there does not appear to be any bona fide logic in the discontinuation of MyCanvas. There is no reason why at least the software/editing capability of this program should not be left available. The mtdna and ydna service, availability of said data, and the ability of comparing that information with trees that have had thousands of hours of work in them, plus the ability to use the MyCanvas software are how many ancestry.com subscribers justify the cost of membership. I really don’t see how this truly illogical move on ancestry’s part can keep from severely harming the company’s credibility. Nor do I see how ancestry can prevent thousands of unhappy customers suspending their subscriptions. I honestly do not see how ancestry is going to repair the damage this will do to customer relations.

48 DanJune 6, 2014 at 5:33 am

From reading all these comments and comments other places, it seems to me that Ancestry could mollify many of the complaints I’ve seen with modification of two things related to these closures:

1 – Provide a way to export data from My Canvas. The bulk of complaints seen regarding the loss of this service boil down to the fact that the DATA painstakingly entered will be lost, with no recourse, and no chance for retrieval, other than a hard copy, which means data will have to be inputted AGAIN somewhere else. This actually equates to stealing people’s time and effort.

2 – Provide a means to preserve the DNA samples of deceased persons that have been provided. Whether that means simply returning the sample, especially to the owner (submitter) of the sample (if not the deceased), or converting that sample to Autosomnal testing. While I can see that there might be legal hurdles to returning those samples to surviving relatives (even though Ancestry subscribers probably wouldn’t have a problem in providing a death certificate), more thought should have been given to preserving what is now physically impossible to replace, especially if legalities permit.

Obviously, this is a ‘bean counter’ move, but I would have thought Ancestry had more heart than this – killing the financial drains is also killing the entered data, as currently proposed.

Disappointing. Hopefully, Ancestry will read comments like this, and have a change of heart.

49 LaurieJune 6, 2014 at 5:39 am

Ancestry.com has been marketing preserving family history and now just like that they are going to get rid of MyFamily.com are you kidding me………. You are about to wipe out years and years of family history at the flip of a switch, you have lost my respect and my subscription. You should be ashamed of yourself…. I’m sick over this.

[...] For more information, click here. [...]

51 JimWescottJune 6, 2014 at 7:49 am

Ancestry was largely built and thrived on loyalty, input from their customers, respect for what was being done & TRUST.NOW alot of that has “GONE WITH THE WIND”. Frankly my dear I won’t give a hoot when I don’t renew my susbscrition

52 Cynthia EdwardsJune 6, 2014 at 7:57 am

Getting rid of My Canvas is a bad idea. I have Family Tree Maker as well and in order to get what I want I have to use both software programs! They each offer different formats and options. Don’t get rid of My Canvas!!

53 RebekahJune 6, 2014 at 8:18 am

I am extremely disappointed to hear that MyCanvas will be discontinued. I have produced several books, posters and calendars in the last few years and have several more in process. I seriously doubt more than one could be completed by your deadline. I have recommended the service and products to many other people and now I feel betrayed by a company I used to think was more concerned about preserving family histories, rather than the company’s bottom line. Shame on me for thinking that. I doubt the decision makers have been personally involved with producing a family history book so can’t comprehend the depth of the problem in our hearts. Surely by the deadline someone smart in your company could find a way to allow files to be downloaded or copied or saved in some fashion. If not, then surely the deadline could be moved forward to allow more time for your to figure out how. Perhaps you could locate a new “partner” to take over the service. Having worked in the book manufacturing industry I know just how expensive and difficult it can be for a person to publish a family history book in small quantities and in full color. Shame on you.

[...] title to this notice on their blog is “Ancestry.com Focuses on Core Offerings.”  What exactly do they consider the core offerings they are referring to?  Several people [...]

55 KarenJune 6, 2014 at 9:23 am

Just when we thought it couldn’t get any worse, the bully on the playground does this. Your “core” are your paying customers. Why piss off so many of them the same day?

I agree with Mary VanDyke. It looks like Ancestry is now being run by a bunch of immature newbies fresh out of college who know nothing about genealogy but intend to exert their new-found power.

56 H Martin PJune 6, 2014 at 10:46 am

And you are shutting down the DB(S)? What happened to the 25 yr commitment?

I am with the others…why not spin off the other genealogy parts you gobbled up and let the market drive what makes it and not?

57 CaroleJune 6, 2014 at 11:59 am

Closing My Canvas is a huge disappointment and disaster for me. I’ve enjoyed using it for many years and the ease of adding photos, family group records, pedigree charts, etc. is incomparable. Please find some way of preserving it. I don’t think I’ll be able to complete the projects I have started by September 4. It’s like being caught in an avalanche – a hopeless and dreadful feeling. I’ve been so loyal to ancestry, never complaining or putting it down, now I don’t think I’ll ever feel the same about it again.

58 Dale GrayJune 6, 2014 at 12:08 pm

Please cancel my subscription, unless of course it has gone away like many other services!

59 mikeJune 6, 2014 at 1:11 pm

I was just about to pay for several family member tests. I’m looking at going elsewhere now.

60 Pamela BradyJune 6, 2014 at 1:45 pm

I cannot express how disappointed I am over losing all of my work on My Canvas! To top it off the email I received offered no explanation and no alternative publishing option!
I use Ancestry and My Canvas daily for client work. I feel so sorry for everyone who is in the midst of a large project.

Please explain!

[...] they have worked hard promoting their many products, they have announced the decision to prune some of those branches to encourage health and growth in the rooted core of the [...]

62 Carol CoxJune 6, 2014 at 2:34 pm

I cannot believe that no one is mourning the unbelieveable loss of Genforum. In my opinion this is one of the most important genealogical tools that I use often to communicate with other genealogists. It has allowed me over the years to make several breakthroughs and I have met many researching “cousins” through my postings. This is by far the greatest loss from all of these cuts from a research standpoint and shows that ancestry.com management definitely does not understand genealogy and the research process.
Shame on you.

I feel the loss for the dedicated people who have invested so much of their time and knowledge building wonderful sites on My Family.com and, although I have not used it, clearly MyCanvas is important to many people. The Y-DNA and Mitochondrial DNA are no big loss. Ancestry was never very good at these anyway. Transfer your results to Family Tree DNA and use them for your future testing to see what a professional company that understands and cares about genetic genealogy can do for you. Ancestry.com should either lead or get out of the way on DNA testing and they have decided to get out of the way.

Ancestry.com has always fallen into the necessary evil category. Can’t live without them, but can’t always trust them to do what is right for genealogy and their customers. Just when I was getting over their previous financially driven faux pas here they go again. Oh well, the popularity of our beloved genealogy has made us a business and businesses exist to make money. We will survive, but maybe I will see if I can survive for a while without ancestry.com to send a message. There is so much wonderful information out there now on other websites. FamilySearch, here I come. You were my first love anyhow and you just keep getting better and better. Please, don’t let the evil empire take you over or steal the information you worked so hard to collect and index and make available free to your loyal users. Users, not customers.

63 CarrieJune 6, 2014 at 3:22 pm

# 62 Carol Cox:

I sympathize with you totally. GenForum is one of the better message type sites. I have used it frequently and gotten some incredible help…FREE!

No good researcher uses only one site to do their work. Those that use only the Ancestry.com family trees are just name collectors.

At first when I read the blog, I thought well, this won’t affect me. Was I wrong!

For years, Ancestry.com has been making changes and none of them for the betterment of the customers. Ancestry warned us they were going to make many changes when they dumped the old search. The only reason I can think of for this stupid change is money.

I called support today and the person who answered didn’t even know what GenForum was! I love to do research but this site is giving me a headache!

64 Tracy FrederickJune 6, 2014 at 3:36 pm

My thoughts on losing myCanvas have been so well expressed by others (post #s 7,14,16,31,36,37,38,43,52,53,57,60) already that I won’t repeat them, but ask that you please consider some of the suggestions offered. I have wasted all my free time today reading blogs and comments – my head is spinning. This news came to me completely out of the blue and I have had a shock knowing years of work that I’ve saved on myCanvas and truly looked forward to completing and sharing with my family is now gone. All that time wasted. I don’t know if I’ll now spend enough time on Ancestry now to justify the expense.

65 Cathy WhittingtonJune 6, 2014 at 10:12 pm

Tracy Frederick … my feelings precisely. I am so sad, and angry, and disillusioned. Having read all the comments today I feel sorrier for all the people who have literally years of work and multiple projects in MyCanvas than I do for myself. It is truly sickening.

I see Ancestry customer service is no longer replying to any of these comments. Presumably they have no good answers. I have received the standard non-answer to my emails.

Please Ancestry management – take a good look at what’s happening to your reputation, reevaluate the decision and figure out a solution. I know that’s possible.

66 Stephen SchneiderJune 6, 2014 at 11:30 pm

I am very disappointed in your decision to close myfamily.com. I have 15 year old site there with tens of thousands of posts and family history. The offered download of our information we were given only saves the photos, and videos but not the text, and descriptions where a lot of history is posted. Members are now scrambling to back up 15 years of work in just a couple of months. I remember in the beginning when we were lead to believe this information would be there for future generations. A sad day for many of us.

67 Linda HouckJune 7, 2014 at 6:42 am

I have re checked my DNA test results on Ancestry and I cannot find which test I took. How can I find out which one it was.

68 Catherine DillJune 7, 2014 at 10:12 am

When I first heard the news that MyCanvas was retiring, I guess I figured I was the only one who used it and that’s why they were shutting it down. But now I see so many others use it just as much as I do. I have been creating many wonderful books for years. And last Christmas I told my family that this new book was to be the first of 8 that I planned to do. And now I don’t know where to turn. I am capable of creating these books on my own, but the time it would take (not to mention the increased chance for error) would be hundreds of times longer than with mycanvas.

I am truly heartbroken. I never saw this coming. My family has access to my tree, and I have Family Tree Maker as well. But they just can’t get a good picture of all of the work I have done without these books.

69 mikeJune 7, 2014 at 12:28 pm

This week’s announcements were the equivalent of a nuclear bomb to those who depend on online research. So tired of Ancestry’s “bully on the playground” attitude. When they entered the DNA game I think they believed they could replace Family Tree DNA. What they didn’t realize was that in order to do that, you have to care about customer service, not a strong point with Ancestry.

70 Kristie WellsJune 7, 2014 at 1:05 pm

Cathy, we understand how frustrating this must be to you and other MyCanvas fans. The team is still watching the thread and all of this feedback is being shared with the executive team.

71 Kristie WellsJune 7, 2014 at 1:07 pm

Tracy, you are able to work on your books for the next three months. The option to submit your project for printing will be available through September 4, 2014 so hoping you can use this time to finish the book you started.

72 Kristie WellsJune 7, 2014 at 1:08 pm

Mike, the AncestryDNA autosomal test is still available and where we are focusing our efforts. We would encourage you to consider this test – you can learn more here: http://dna.ancestry.com/

73 Kathy ValentineJune 7, 2014 at 1:16 pm

I got the email to download my MyFamily.com site, as per instructions. What I got from the download are 99 z files (file extension z01, z02, etc) I have no experience with extracting this kind of file, and no explanations from MyFamily.com are included. How can I extract and access my large MyFamily site. Why didn’t staff use zip or some kind of more familiar fiile. Please help!!!!!

74 Mary Van DykeJune 7, 2014 at 1:33 pm

I posted #12, and have much more to say, so I’m doing another post!

I am still stunned that you are only giving us 3 months to find another way to try to recover (and RECREATE) all of our projects! Just one book alone that we made took almost a year, and we’ve created 4 books (with another 2 on order from a customer) which has resulted in almost 50 copies being ordered by family members over the last 3 years.

So, that being said, I hope some of these ideas I’ve jotted down will help other people “find another way”:

Emergency ideas on how to save your book projects from MyCanvas.

These are just some quick ideas on what we will be doing in the next 3 months, so we don’t loose all the work we’ve done! The ultimate solution would be for Ancestry NOT to discontinue our access to our own projects; or for them to offer the printing service to competitors and let them continue using Ancestry’s software and access to our projects; or even for them to sell the MyCanvas software to us like they do with Family Tree Maker, which would allow us to save our projects on our own computers!

Other printing companies can print your projects (but you’ll have to start from scratch), and we are currently investigating some of them. One of them, Mixbook, was rated the highest at the following site, but a standard 250 page 11×8.5 book would cost about $270.00, roughly $100 more than the books created by MyCanvas. See these reviews: http://photo-book-review.toptenreviews.com/

You should begin by printing the pages of your MyCanvas book(s) to your computer to use as a reference, and to prevent loss of your original layout ideas. You can print 5 pages at a time. You need to be able to print to a PDF creator software (like the free download of “doPDF7″) and set it up as your default printer. Go into that printers preferences and set it up to be the default, print letter size, landscape oriented, or however you’ve set up your project in MyCanvas, and select the dpi high.

If you print at “Normal Quality”, regardless of the dpi setting you choose for your printer preferences, the images will come out blurry. The biggest issue with NOT stopping right here (and using those PDFs to print your book) is that the PDFs are VERY poor quality compared to the pages printed by MyCanvas in their final book format. See the blog about printing quality here: http://help.mycanvas.com/?p=81

If you print at “Higher Quality”, you will end up will all the text box margins displayed, but no embellishments. However, the biggest asset to doing this will allow you to save the whole page as a clearer PDF which can be converted to a JPG, that can then be uploaded to new software.

Now start saving your project page by page by creating folders on your computer. Each project should have its own folder (ie: Smith Family History Book; Handerly Famly Poster); each page (or each chapter) could have its own sub-folder, for example if you title a folder “Page 1″, you can place all the photos and text for all the items you’ve uploaded (for that page in your current MyCanvas project) into that folder.

All text can be copy/pasted by using the following steps: click on element; highlight all; right click; select “copy”; open Word (or other editor); right click; select “paste”

All photos (including Ancestry.com images of original documents) you’ve uploaded to your project should already be on your computer, or uploaded to Ancestry, or downloaded to Family Tree Maker. You can not copy and save the photos from the MyCanvas ‘editor mode’, so you will need to find where you originally got them, and reorganize them into folders as described above.

Basic charts and reports can be created in Family Tree Maker. Those charts can be saved as JPGs, which can be uploaded to the new printer software, and photos/embellishments can then be added.

Again, this is NOT the ideal way to handle this issue, but if the big-wigs at Ancestry continue this path of not keeping the customer in mind, as well as, focusing on the bottom line and higher profitability (I believe they called it focusing on “core offerings”), then this might be our only chance at saving all the MONTHS AND MONTHS of hard work!

75 Catherine McNulty BellJune 7, 2014 at 2:28 pm

Why doesn’t ancestry offer the MyCanvas program to familysearch.org? Familysearch now has the capability to add pictures and stories. They have many knowledgeable computer programmers working on their site and anyone can have access to their site for free.

76 Mary Van DykeJune 7, 2014 at 2:42 pm

My third comment:

You say in the above blog: “If you are an active member or subscriber to one of these services, you will be contacted directly with details of how to transition the information you’ve created using these services.”

However, I never received an email notification! If it wasn’t for someone else forwarding a blog about this that they received, I never would have known.

When do you plan to notify all of us users of these websites? If you’ve already done that, then you have NOT contacted us all! I wonder how many you actually contacted, and how many of us won’t even know about it?

77 FHC Consultant/LibrarianJune 7, 2014 at 4:57 pm

As a serious researcher and a Family History Center Consultant/Librarian, I feel these new changes to be not in the best interest of the genealogy community. In doing real research, one must consult all sources available. You never know when a duplicate record will have just one more piece of important information. If you don’t, you may well miss something of importance.

Take for example, obituaries. An obituary for a person published in more than one newspaper will be almost the same but if you look at all of them, you frequently will find just a tidbit of information that wasn’t in the others. Of course I’m referring to more recent ones. But the idea holds true for verifying accuracy of your information on your ancestors.

Ancestry is continuing to funnel people into one category and routine. That is of course the big money maker, Ancestry.com. This is another step backwards to when records were scarce. We had to write letters, order films, get books on interlibrary loan, make trips to cemeteries and court houses, and keep hoping for some luck.

With the advent of wonderful information on computers and the ability to communicate with more people, some of whom we may be related to or not, we have more access to information and are even able to help others with little or no effort. Some of my best information comes from people I don’t know on such sites as GenForum by Genealogy.com. Yes, for now, we will be able to look at what is on GenForum but we will not be able to make use of its original purpose.

Different people use different programs and sites for obtaining information. Cutting back on these options is really bad PR. I’m not sure about Ancestry’s bottom line but I do know these latest changes are hurtful for true genealogists.

Do you see a parallel here with the government? One crisis after another. And we are the losers. From years of experience I have learned Ancestry almost never changes their minds about anything. This time the changes were totally unexpected, but they will hurt me personally as well as the patrons who come into the FHC.

78 mikeJune 7, 2014 at 5:32 pm

#77 FHC Consultant/Librarian i was wondering about that my self.. hertiage proquest that’s the stuff you and the mormons use at the family history centers right? are they doing away with that entirely? I also agree that genforum was usefull as well

79 mikeJune 7, 2014 at 5:35 pm

well i’ve i’ve all ready done the autosomal one and need the other ones because it wasn’t as concluse about my irish english ancestry but have to go else where.

80 FHC Consultant/LibrarianJune 8, 2014 at 12:08 am

Mike #78:

As far as I know nothing will change at the Family History Centers. I saw our Director today and mentioned what was happening, but she seemed to not have heard about what Ancestry is doing. I know the center has some sites which can be accessed through the portal, and Heritage Quest is one of them. I will have to talk to her more. I was in a hurry to leave today.

We only have the library version of Ancestry which is limited, but what is available is free at the center. I strongly feel reducing any site availablity is not productive for the serious genealogist, as I have posted. I have personally been a paying subscriber to Ancestry.com for 13 years. I have worked on genealogy and at the FHC for 30 years so I have seen lots of changes.

Go to this site to see what is available at the Family History Centers:

https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Introduction_to_LDS_Family_History_Centers

Not everything is scanned but they are working on that. Ancestry has far more scanned records. It is always better to see the original source because transcribing is so subjective. I have never found any set of documents that are error free. Even grave stones have errors. Truth is not always “set in stone.”

81 Eileen Sullivan TormeyJune 8, 2014 at 5:07 am

Ancestry is changing and not for the better. I renewed for 6 months in May with reservation. Reported a problem which they sent to development – it’s still an issue a month later. So disappointed in mycanvas closing…..

82 Mike BochartJune 8, 2014 at 6:30 am

Like many of the other comments, I am EXTREMELY frustrated to hear that myCanvas is being retired with NO OPTION to export data or any recourse. I am spent YEARS working on my project as a historical piece for my family. At the outset, I researched several sites, including Shutterfly & others to determine which sites would be the best to preserve my work. MyCanvas offered what I needed & I trusted its longevity based on its foundation with Ancestry.com. WHY WOULD YOU NOT EVEN CONSIDER ANY ABILITY TO ELECTRONICALLY EXPORT DATA? I can safety estimate that I have spent HUNDREDS of hours working in myCanvas on my project.

I do not dispute Ancestry.com’s right to make changes, but to do this in complete disregard to their customers is beyond belief.

I also see this as a short term revenue generator as “customers” would still need to pay full price for copies as a “final printing”. At $144 per copy – that is not a very convenient option, either! Why not offer copies to be printed “at cost”????

ANCESTRY.COM – PLEASE RECONSIDER YOUR DECISION AND PROVIDE SOME MEANS TO ELECTRONIC EXPORT OUR PROJECTS BEFORE CLOSING MYCANVAS!

83 Diana RitchieJune 8, 2014 at 11:01 am

Re: Shutting down My Canvas.

I can’t believe that Ancestry is taking such a cavalier attitude toward all the years of work that people have invested in My Canvas projects. I’ve read the FAQs and basically they boil down to – No way to export data, no option for transition…print in out to your home printer, that’s all you can do.

When the old Kodak Gallery shut down they provided not only an alternative solution, they also transferred all the projects there for you.

I’d be more than happy to transition my projects myself, but Ancestry is offer no options and no (real) solutions. I feel as if they are basically thumbing their noses at us. “Too bad for you but in 3 short months it’s ALL GONE.”

There were many reasons I put projects on My Canvas and one of them was the feeling that Ancestry would “always” be there and so my projects were the most stable there.

I can’t even express how disappointed I am – more in the lack ANY option for transition than in the shut down itself.

84 LeeJune 8, 2014 at 12:13 pm

When Microsoft began seriously bullying its Office customers I was the helpdesk manager at a large city govt IT department. Microsoft knew it had us over a barrel and changed pricing and licensing to squeeze the most money out of us. We looked at the alternatives and decided to bite the bullet because nothing else worked so well. With those comments about not renewing subscriptions to Ancestry I feel the same way as I did about Microsoft. Nothing works as well for me as Ancestry. I’ll stick with it.

Granted I don’t have a MyCanvas project. But did you know that Family Tree Maker now has a book publishing plugin? As far as MyFamily, again I don’t have a site there. I use WordPress for the 4 blogs I maintain.

Maybe Ancestry will reconsider it’s stance and reach a compromise with those needing more time and better retrieval alternatives.

85 MillieJune 8, 2014 at 12:56 pm

Have you thought of only stopping the professional book printing portion of My Canvas, and leaving the option [as it is now] for us to continue do the book lay out, and print the pages our self. I’m sure that My Canvas is the most used of the 5 sites that you plan to retire. This option would help to keep a lot of your members.

86 NormaJune 8, 2014 at 8:22 pm

I also find the news about the discontinuation of MyCanvas upsetting. To be offered no options other than printing it out at home or ordering more books is ridiculous. It is interesting that I can still go to MyCanvas and start a new project and there is no mention that I had better finish and order my project by Sept 4th because it will disappear on the 5th! I guess I can consider myself fortunate to have made only one book and have not used the other things that are being discarded.

87 ChristineJune 8, 2014 at 10:50 pm

Wow. Bummer about MyCanvas.

88 KathrynJune 9, 2014 at 6:57 am

I used the Export feature on MyFamily and received several emails saying my download was ready. I downloaded zip files for two different sites and they are just the photos. Does that mean the files under News, History, etc. will not be exported or will I receive additional download notices?

Also, the photos came with long, random names and without the posts explaining who or what was in the photos. A lot of them are useless since I don’t know who posted them or who is in the photos.

89 KarenJune 9, 2014 at 9:53 am

PLEASE reconsider discontinuing MyCanvas. It’s such an important part of Ancestry.com to so many of us. Like many others, I have so much more work to do… I have finished one book and still have at least three to go. A September 5 deadline isn’t realistic or fair – summer is a busy time for most of us and it’s hard to get much accomplished during those months.

If you’re going to end the service, can’t you please at least give us a year’s notice so that we can finish our projects and have them printed? Please???

90 William ColemanJune 9, 2014 at 10:02 am

Add me to the list of MyCanvas supporters. I am not happy to learn about the loss of this service.

MyCanvas software and Ancestry information was the source of a favorite Holiday gift last year. Copies of 5-generation family history posters went to my brother and all our cousins. Here, for example, are a couple of notes I received back from them:

- Bill, I can’t believe you did this! I am so excited to see it, and don’t even know how to begin to thank you! You have been the greatest at always compiling family history and sharing it with all of us. Because of you, we can all look at pictures and see our history, and pass that on to our children. You have made our lives so much richer. Thank you, Bill. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Merry Christmas!
Lisa

- Bill, this is marvelous! Thank you so much! What great info and pics, and you are quite an artist in putting it all together.
This is really special – I can’t wait to share this with the kids when they come home!
Merry Christmas!!!
Love,
Rick

The MyCanvas software is a highly valued tool, important not only to members but those to whom we reach out to, sharing our passion for this work.

I hope Ancestry will rethink its decision.

Bill Coleman
San Francisco

91 Catherine McNulty BellJune 9, 2014 at 3:28 pm

I just need to reiterate again what a HUGE MISTAKE it would be to discontinue the MyCanvas program. I can’t believe that just four short months ago there was a major genealogical conference (Roots Tech) where a presenter shared some of the fabulous books she has created over the years using My Canvas. This presenter connected with cousins over the course of this conference who were interested in buying copies of some of the MyCanvas books she had previously completed. Like many other people who have faithfully used MyCanvas over the years, I too am in the midst of completing several projects- many for my personal lines and one book for a client. Three months is not a realistic timeline to complete several books. It is hardly a realistic timeline to complete one book (unless people do nothing else with their summer and forgo hours and hours of sleep).
http://blogs.ancestry.com/ancestry/2014/02/19/mycanvas-rootstech-meeting-new-cousins-and-sharing-your-work/
I also am a family history consultant in my church ward and have shared portions of the books I am in the midst of creating with the members of my family history class. I also belong to several family history sites on Facebook where I have shared portions of my work with cousin lines. Many of these cousins have expressed interest in having copies of the finalized projects and in learning to create books using the My Canvas program.
One thing I find very disturbing about this announcement to cut five programs is that no replacement programs are being offered. No one seems to know what ancestry defines as CORE PRODUCTS. The only thing I have been able to gather from the email that was sent out is that we are getting less services for our money for very poorly defined reasons.
Your faithful customer base deserves better than this, ancestry.
Catherine McNulty Bell
Salt Lake City, Utah

92 Clare ReynoldsJune 9, 2014 at 8:15 pm

The decision to end My Canvas is a devastating blow. I am a long time family historian and have stayed with Ancestry because of the versatility and ease of use in My Canvas. The many hours, days, weeks and years of work are all now trash. In this day of twitter, Facebook, the cloud and other sundry ways to connect why in the world is there no way to now save, migrate to another software, or otherwise keep my work?

There is no time for me to complete my current project before the doomsday end date of My Canvas. What a waste!

93 Cynthia HilomenJune 9, 2014 at 8:53 pm

Although I can understand a for profit company needing to close down non-profitable products, I really hope Ancestry takes another look at what they are going to do with already existing DNA results. For a company that is looking to maintain open access of records for genealogists now and into the future, it seems extremely short-sighted to me that Ancestry can’t come up with a better plan than to destroy existing results. I really hope you company comes up with a better solution.

94 Stu HaleyJune 10, 2014 at 6:01 pm

Years ago when Ancestry announced that it was getting into the publishing business, I wondered why Ancestry was focusing on its core business. Evidently you have learned your lesson. In my estimation, Ancestry needs to grow its databases to keep long term members, and it needs to start improving the functionality of its software, such as making FTM reports WORD ready. And give us back the old search.

95 mJune 10, 2014 at 6:13 pm

only thing these people listen to is cash.. if people cancel there subscriptions maybe they’ll get the picture but i dobut it.

96 mJune 10, 2014 at 6:14 pm

I know when it comes time to renew I will be thinking about going else where..

97 Judy H.June 10, 2014 at 10:55 pm

If I took an autosomnal and a cousin took the maternal DNA test – would they show a connection?

Sounds like I may have to have my cousin(s) re-take tests.
Was hoping the test would show a link on her mother’s lineage.

Also:
What steps will be taken to dispose of these safely and securely?

98 Linde LunneyJune 11, 2014 at 5:12 am

I am deeply saddened by the news that Genforum is being axed. I am amazed that more people are not protesting at the loss of this absolutely invaluable research network but I imagine that most people have not yet realized what is happening. The news release talks glibly of “genealogy.com” and people may not realize that this means Genforum. There has been no better way to contact unknown relatives, check a clue, ask for help in unfamiliar locations. It has been crucial to my work in biographical research over the last ten or more years; alternatives just do not compare with the interface, coverage and flexibility of searching that Genforum offers. Please re-consider! I am going to post this on as many Genforum boards as I can to try to get others to join in this appeal

99 Sandy BarnettJune 11, 2014 at 5:41 am

I have read all 97 post. I have been an Ancestry Member for 3 or 4 years now. I have the latest edition of FTM. I did the the current offering for DNA but went to FamilyTreeDNA for the mtDNA test.

I don’t use My Canvas, but I do use GenForum and find it invaluable. Ancestry needs to make the DNA matches more user friendly. You can’t even search but the users name so with 192 pages of matches how in the world to you find anything.

As for dumping the DNA, I feel like the Saturday Night Live Amy and Seth REALLY, REALLY. Why in the world you you intentional dump and not transfer all that valuable material.

As usually I too will weigh all options when renewal comes around. Maybe it is time for a siesta.

100 T L ComptonJune 11, 2014 at 8:10 am

First you con us into buying your DNA test which provided almost useless results and now you are eliminating any record of those results and any future possible matching. I’ve been an Ancestry customer since almost the beginning and I am really upset about they way you have begun treating us. This decision really angers me.

101 Judy ColeJune 11, 2014 at 12:52 pm

I’ve been a member of ancestry.com for many years and am very happy with this service.
BUT I don’t understand your decision to retire, i.e. destroy some members’ dna testing data in Sept 2014, if I have this correct. I have not had any testing done yet, but I can’t imagine how upsetting this would be if I had. And for those who are deceased, to their descendants who will never have the opportunity to have this testing done in the future.
Given that the whole philosophy of ancestry.com is geared towards sharing and preserving artifacts and information about our shared genealogical heritage, this seems decision seems to go against the grain of your basic philosophy.
Please consider a way to transfer this important data to another responsible party rather than destroying it.

102 Carol RobertsonJune 11, 2014 at 8:58 pm

This is so typical of Ancestry. A few years ago, I was working as one of their experts as were many others. Many of us had quit our jobs to do the expert job full time and with about a one week notice, they closed the program. They purchased a firm, Genealogist Pro that had genealogists and trashed those of us who had busted our butts for them. I guess we were an experiment and proved to them that the program could work. We were expendable and they could make more money by getting rid of us. For now, they are the only game in town but someday karma will catch up with them. They only care about our money. It doesn’t matter what we want.

103 Alan PfahlJune 12, 2014 at 12:34 am

Are you serious? I understand making a business decision to get rid of “My Canvas”, but if you are going to do so you HAVE to let people extract their data electronically!!! These documents were not prepared in an hour or two…

104 Alan PfahlJune 12, 2014 at 12:45 am

By the way, the note saying “Commenting is open until Wed, 18 June 2014″ might be a very convenient way for you to shut off the feedback of your members, but it is totally inappropriate. Most people won’t even know your plans by then and there will be hundreds of people who will want to comment as we get closer to the ridiculous September deadline when everything vanishes. Again, it is only fair to provide a way to extract the electronic files if you plan to proceed with this decision relating to “My Canvas”.

105 DeVaul MartinJune 12, 2014 at 1:05 pm

I’m just flabbergasted!

I just came to this help site to find out how I can have my DNA results “color map” and other information, as well as that of my children and wife, printed out on archival paper so that it can be framed or bound in book format, and now Ancestry secretly cancels the DNA program after hawking its DNA kits for Fathers Day?

Is this not fraudulant? What was the purpose of starting the DNA program if you just planned to cancel it? If Ancestry is suffering from financial problems, the least it can do is offer to provide a hard copy of a person’s DNA results map and ethnic information before cancelling the program. That is only fair given the cost of the testing.

As for the cryptic distinction between autosomal DNA and mito-DNA and y-DNA, this does not really answer any of the questions presented here, as no one knows what this will actually amount to.

I believe Ancestry owes a complete explanation of this secret decision and it must be posted on the DNA Home Page of every member along with exact details as to what will happen to a person’s DNA page and their access to it, including whether they can ever print it out in any format whatsoever.

106 Deborah Moon-TaylorJune 12, 2014 at 3:22 pm

Shame shame on Ancestry.com!! I am VERY distressed & disappointed that MyCanvas is being discontinued & that our Projects will be deleted – our projects will be gone forever! REALLY Ancestry.com – how can you do this to us?!? There is no way to even save or download the projects. How inconsiderate of Ancestry.com. Plus, Ancestry.com only gave its members a 3-month notice – this is EXTREMELY inconsiderate! Ancestry is biting the hand that feeds them. PLEASE EVERYONE WRITE, CALL, EMAIL AND COMPLAIN – MAYBE ANCESTRY.COM WILL LISTEN TO US & KEEP MYCANVAS OR AT LEAST EXTEND THE DEADLINE.

107 Deborah Moon-TaylorJune 12, 2014 at 3:23 pm

PLEASE EVERYONE WRITE, CALL, EMAIL AND COMPLAIN – MAYBE ANCESTRY.COM WILL LISTEN TO US & KEEP MYCANVAS.

108 Deborah Moon-TaylorJune 12, 2014 at 3:28 pm

Agree with many of the comments – Ancestry.com needs to provide a way for us to extract our projects electronically if it proceeds with plans to retire MyCanvas & delete all the projects.

109 Tilitha WaicekauskasJune 12, 2014 at 3:33 pm

I am so disappointed in Ancestry that they would even consider treating their people this way. I have been noticing a change in customer service for awhile now and every time they change something, it becomes less user friendly. The search is nearly impossible now and never results in usable clues. And to not be able to download the family tree or any of your other data is ridiculous. Also tragic. When I started putting my tree on Ancestry, I had no idea that I would totally lose it if I cancelled my subscription, and this almost amounts to extortion. Pay almost $300 a year, or lose your own private data. Not at all ethical.

110 Comments on Y-DNA and mtDNA TestsJune 12, 2014 at 5:09 pm

[...] many of you know, we announced last week that we’re retiring our Y-DNA and mtDNA tests. Unfortunately, we didn’t explain clearly our [...]

111 Kristie WellsJune 12, 2014 at 5:40 pm

@DeVaul: The DNA kit we were promoting for Father’s Day is our autosomal test and it is still available. We are retiring the Y-DNA and mtDNA tests so that the team can focus on our autosomal offering. Please see this post from SVP of DNA, Ken Chahine: http://blogs.ancestry.com/ancestry/2014/06/12/comments-on-y-dna-and-mtdna-tests/

112 Kim BuchananJune 13, 2014 at 10:03 am

When I joined Ancestry.com one of the features promised me was the ability to make quality Posters and Books. Now they are taking that away and I think that is terrible to do to your subscribers. I’ve spend years producing posters and I’m in the middle of a book. All that work lose. Shame on Ancestry.com for treating their subscribers so badly.

Kim

113 Louise DeanJune 15, 2014 at 1:26 am

I don’t have an Ancestry subscription but have been a regular user of Genforum for years, what a disgrace to close a free service that allowed people to share information and make connections, what’s next to be
” privatised ” and withdrawn from being freely available ? Familysearch.org ;(

114 EliJune 15, 2014 at 1:35 am

I’m still reeling trying to understand how and why I am losing months and months of work as MyCanvas ends in September. If Ancestry continually refuses to listen to the many disheartened and angry posts about losing these services, and decides to dump it all regardless, can you please tell us WHY? Why can’t we be allowed to keep, download, or transfer our MyCanvas files after putting so much time and effort into them? Help me and others understand the reasoning behind this seemingly arbitrary decision, especially in this day of easy databases backups, common cloud storage, and standard file transfers? I would guess you have *some* ability to find a basic solution to at least not let your long time supporters walk away so unhappy.

115 AnnieJune 15, 2014 at 6:22 pm

I never used My Canvas or did any DNA tests, but the one site I have used a lot is GenForum. It is the best site for communicating with others and sharing information. I think it is a big mistake to shut it down.

Dick Eastman’s news letter has a reference to Eric Shoup and his profile and experience which was publishee in Fortune Magazine. Shoup isn’t interested in genealogy except as a product to make money. His background is in high tech business. Ancestry could be just another social media site for all that matters to him. We definitely are the losers here.

I realize it is a business. But it was a product that I was willing to pay for. Ancestry has gobbled up almost everthing to make money. And what is most insulting is most of the material all these sites have was given freely by us, the paying customer.

116 GeorgeJune 15, 2014 at 6:27 pm

Businesses now-a-days have no loyalty to customers or their employees!

117 StephanieJune 20, 2014 at 12:41 pm

I hope that your DNA match service will dramatically improve what we are able to see and to research. I first tested with Family Tree DNA and prefer it. On ancestry.com, I cannot search for a particular match. I have to do it by surname. Usernames cannot be searched. So, if I want to ask a match if he/she has particular people (by username) in their list, it can’t be done easily. That person would have to scroll through the entire list, page by page to find out whether the person(s) are in their matches. Secondly, I can search based upon who I have in common with a particular person on FTDNA, I can look at how their chromosome chain matches me and do up to five people in their Chromosome Browser. There is so much more information available than you are providing at present, ancestry, so I hope you will focus on doing the DNA matches part in a more user-friendly way!

118 Marci BowmanJune 20, 2014 at 1:13 pm

It behooves us to always remember that Ancestry.com is now run by businessmen, for investors, with a constant eye on the bottom line, not genealogists. It is no longer being run as a service with respect for the genealogy community, as it once was.

Our autosomal DNA is also in jeopardy of being dumped with a few month’s notice if too many people find out they are not getting the necessary matching tools needed for any real genetic genealogy research. If potential customers know their so-called matches are really just another scam, perpetrated by people who are trying to dumb down the product rather than offer real value for the money, the revenue stream will slow down. Or when the next big fun-sounding thing comes along. Then goodbye autosomal DNA tests and hello to the next marketing ploy.

119 LGlaweJune 25, 2014 at 3:37 pm

While the DDos attack is inconvenient as it is at least correctable, the decision to “retire” the MyCanvas service is a violation of the trust Ancestry worked to build. When MyCanvas reduced the page limit from 250 to 120, causing any user with large content books in the work to spend countless hours reworking the format splitting books into smaller ones, users rolled with it.

Now, you aren’t asking us to rework, you are forcing your customers to abandon thousands of hours of work with no solution for exporting the data to a useable format. If this decision stands, the as yet unfinished works will be printed on copy paper and reduced to little more than reference documents to use to build the books in another application. While three months may seem sufficient to someone who has never generated this type of product, it is completely unreasonable to expect completion of several unfinished works.

If the company decides it needs to pare down its core offering to be manageable and ensure stability, so be it. If you choose to be responsive to your customers, however, step outside the box and find alternative solutions to simply deleting content. There are a number of book publishing companies out there, but none have the integration with Ancestry to provide records pages at the click of the mouse. Why wouldn’t you consider partnering with one to provide your customers the services rather than risk the negative goodwill you have clearly generated with your retirement?

120 Cathy WhittingtonJune 26, 2014 at 2:02 pm

I would like to underscore #118 LGlawe’s comment above. My earlier post and so many others say the same thing.

Please Ancestry – listen to your customers and either keep the MyCanvas product or provide an acceptable alternative.

121 Bill DraperJune 26, 2014 at 5:51 pm

What exactly is your core competency? I use Ancestry to host family trees and look up documents, because, well, I don’t have any alternatives. Every free site of any value that I ever used is already bought and eliminated by Ancestry. I thought that was the core competency.

You had a great service in MyCanvas even if it isn’t a huge profit center. Unlike AncestryDNA which, after hundreds of dollars, turned out to be a huge waste of money, although I’m sure it’s currently a bigger profit center. I report stating that I sprang from European hunter-gathers is not worth the cost. The YDNA product came the closest to providing real information, but you don’t use it well and your marketers steer members away from it.

The DNA tools are junk. I can’t establish a family group because the software won’t work and nobody will fix it. But I guess it doesn’t matter going forward, because the autosomal test doesn’t lend itself to real matching anyway. If you’re really focusing on competency, why not dump the entire product and help us find our ancestors instead.

I love your tree service, and appreciate whatever records I can find. I even sit through the week-long outages like I just experienced without calling and complaining. But on a professional note: From a public relations standpoint, it would have been smarter to announce the positive core service changes to balance the pain of downsizing. Monopolies should worry about perception, too.

122 S drouillardJune 27, 2014 at 6:24 pm

Please reconsider retiring my canvas or offer the software for purchase. It is the only software out there that creates family trees with all the information we have gathered on ancestry. I am highly disappointed with this decision and the direction your company is taking.

123 Cathy SheltonJune 29, 2014 at 10:22 pm

I have been a member of Ancestry since 2002. Regarding your decision to retire the two DNA tests-if I hadn’t already purchased your autosomal test at the NGS Conference in May, I certainly would have gone to another company since it is seems likely that in a few years you’ll drop this test and destroy this sample in pursuit of the next hot topic. I’m even more furious that you are dropping My Canvas and not facilitating a means to download projects. I have spent countless hours working on my projects, and updating them as new information is found.

Making a profit is one thing-but losing credibility with your customers is not a good way to ensure the economic health of your company. I’m mulling over my membership-my 12 years of sending you money may end over this.

124 wayne johnsonJuly 1, 2014 at 9:04 am

it will be better to email the raw data all the accounts

125 E CrowJuly 1, 2014 at 9:55 am

Please offer MyCanvas as software we can buy and download! Don’t just leave us out in the cold, ancestry. We have no other place to go where we can get family tree books that connect to our trees and research! All I can say is this opens up an opportunity for other photobook software companies to capture the family tree book market and make a profit, maybe by including an “import Gedcom” feature into their software. It seems so doable from a programming perspective (though as ancestry owns all the document sites, it would never have the same level of power). I just don’t understand why ancestry doesn’t capitalize on it, or why they have elected to shut out their MyCanvas customers without ANY option whatsoever to preserve weeks, months, or years of work on their family tree books. Please reconsider offering MyCanvas as separate software if nothing else, ancestry.

126 NancyJuly 1, 2014 at 5:07 pm

I appreciate the extension for the retirement date for MyCanvas but I am so disappointed that Ancestry insists on retiring MyCanvas at all. Surely, Ancestry can find a way for us to transfer our books or download them so we can continue to update them with new information. The core offerings mean very little if we can’t share them through quality family history books as offered by MyCanvas. Please don”t push the bookmaking features in FTM as they are of poor quality. Ancestry has failed to support the needs and wants of its customers when those same customers have faithfully supported Ancestry.

127 Clare ReynJuly 2, 2014 at 11:45 am

I am greatly disappointed about the demise of My Canvas. It is the only publishing software that makes sense to use in conjunction with Ancestry. Its flexibility and direct link to data in family trees archived on Ancestry makes it invaluable.

I have spent several years compiling data in Ancestry just so I could use My Canvas. I have tried using the FTM software reports, but was sadly frustrated with the results. “Sharing” on Facebook is a poor substitute.

Unfortunately, I will not be able to complete my current work before the September deadline. It is destined to be electronic garbage.

It makes me very unhappy to know that my time and effort building online trees with media and supporting data means so little to Ancestry.

With the ability to save data to a “cloud”, interact on Facebook and Twitter, why in the world is there no way to migrate, archive or otherwise save the My Canvas data?

What is next on the chopping block? What other services will be considered outside the core offering of Ancestry?

128 Gary PokrassaJuly 2, 2014 at 1:18 pm

I am a subscriber since 2002. I happen to be CFO of a public company. I spend every day thinking about business strategy. I can tell you whoever decided MyCanvas is not part of the core business is not understanding what the core business really is.

Any genealogist will tell you (as many in this blog already have) that being able to generate reports and publications is a major part of any genealogist’s interest. Evaluating just how profitable or not the MyCanvas function may or may not be by itself is missing the point. It is an absolutely critical part of our interest and needs. Supermarkets may sell milk as a loss leader. They do not care what the gross margin is on the container of milk so much as they care about the margin for the entire shopping cart.

Please reconsider dropping MyCanvas and at least provide a method of saving our work!

Gary Pokrassa

129 Judith TabackJuly 3, 2014 at 7:48 pm

Please reconsider your decision- obviously a business decision – to drop the My Canvas option on Ancestry. As I see it, after all of these years of doing the research, I will have no way to convey/save my findings to any of the people on my trees except by computer. Over the years, I have found that most people are willing to provide information and photos but are not computer literate. They look forward to having a published record of their efforts that were used to help create the tree. I am the owner of 8 trees and involved in one way or another with 15 more trees some going back to 1998. Ancestry does such a spectacular job of publishing the trees for their users. Please do not stop now. It will be a real disservice to the genealogy community… Judy Taback

130 Patricia CampbellJuly 4, 2014 at 7:32 am

I want to add my voice to the throng of people who are appalled at the cavalier manner in which you informed us that we would have a mere three months to finish up and publish any MyCanvas projects before the service would be summarily discontinued and our projects, some years in the making, would be “deleted”. I have written to you, and posted on your Facebook page, and now on this page I see that the response has been the same. . How can you read all of these responses, some with valid solutions (selling the product, charging additional fees, providing the ability to upload our projects to our personal computers…) and not even provide us with the dignity of a response. The only response has been to reiterate the closing date and mention the “core services”, whatever that means. No dialogue with your customers. No real explanation. No apology. No concern for the thousands of broken dreams and promises. No practical solutions.
I have used ancestry.com precisely BECAUSE of the MyCanvas service, as an end result of what to do with my research—a family history book to bring my ancestors to life. Tell us again, now, why I shouldn’t just build up my information on FamilySearch as they will be adding publishing features? I pay for the world membership with you, and they are free. You had a corner on the market of genealogical publishing tools—and you are just throwing that away? Why don’t you try advertising it, instead? I found it quite by accident. You never pushed it. This service makes you unique in the genealogical services world. Doing away with it and then callously deleting everyone’s work is not only a step backwards, it betrays the trust of those who have spent countless months and years creating works of art to share with their families. And then to not even have the decency to actually come on these sites and offer any kind of explanation or provide Ny alternative solutions? It smacks of uncaring, unemotional big business, and that is NOT why we came to ancestry! You disappoint me.

131 Carolyn Sidebottom75July 8, 2014 at 6:26 pm

My MyFamily site is due to expire on August 20, 2014. Does this mean I have to have all of my data migrated by that date, or is the September 5 expiration date meant to apply to all MyFamily sites regardless of their expiration dates?

132 Cathy WhittingtonJuly 8, 2014 at 7:48 pm

Echoing Patricia Campbell # 129 above and so many others. Very well said Patricia. I have commented on this blog more than once, spoken to customer service, emailed … waste of time. The only personal response I received is pasted below. This was on June 6. This sentence really jumps out at me now “We understand the value this service has brought you and realize that some of you may be finishing up a project or would like to print an additional copy of a completed project.”

Obviously management at Ancestry has ZERO understanding regarding the value of MyCanvas. I have to wonder if any of the people making these decisions has actually worked a project. I’d like to know the answer to that. Ok Ancestry management – an honest answer would be greatly valued… do you actually understand the impact of this decision? At least have the courtesy of replying to the people who are paying you.

Hello Catherine,

Thank you for contacting MyCanvas in regards to if we are ending the relationship with Ancestry.com.

MyCanvas is the publishing portion of Ancestry.com and so we are the same company, we are not severing the relationship MyCanvas.com is completely retiring and will no longer be accessible after September 5, 2014.

Over the years we have built up a variety of products that enable our users to discover, preserve and share their family history.

We recognize that there are a lot of ways that we, as a company, can make family history easier, more accessible and more fun for people all over the world.

In order to do this, we need to focus on our core offerings to ensure we’re delivering the best service and best product experience to our customers.

To that end, we’ve decided to invest more aggressively in our core Ancestry.com business and plan to retire the MyCanvas service.

Starting on September 5, 2014, the MyCanvas website will no longer be available.

We understand the value this service has brought you and realize that some of you may be finishing up a project or would like to print an additional copy of a completed project.

Since the MyCanvas service will be retiring three months from now, please finish up your projects and get any last minute printing completed during this time. After September 4th, MyCanvas will not be accepting any printing orders and the site will no longer be accessible to view or complete your projects.

As you are finishing up your projects, please feel free to use the coupon code MYCANVAS2014 to save 20% on your order.*

If you need additional assistance, please feel free to reply to this message, or call us at 1-800-507-4612 between the hours of 10am to 6pm Eastern, Monday through Friday.

Sincerely,

Rebecca
Customer Solutions Associate
MyCanvas.com

133 Karen McPhersonJuly 10, 2014 at 9:01 pm

Exactly when are you sending an email “to all customers accordingly”? Apparently this extension was announced on July 1, and here it is July 10 and the only reason I found out is I happened upon this blog, while looking for a reason that MyFamily.com is down again!

134 NormaABQJuly 11, 2014 at 7:01 pm

Ditto to #132 comment by Karen. No e-mail this time and no e-mail when the original announcement was made. Not everyone reads (or is aware of) the community messages. My first notice of “retiring services” came from another genealogy website. Then I had to search a while to find the notice on ancestry.com. Also a three-week extension is way too short given the amount of time and effort needed to complete a MyCanvas book. If an extension of a year or more is not possible, then provide some options for saving files.

135 Maggie FimiaJuly 13, 2014 at 6:26 pm

From your website: “Our mission is to help everyone discover, preserve and share their family history.” Apparently the only way we will be able to “share” is in front of a screen. We will have no way of using our own info to tell our own stories. Here are three suggestions and an offer for those who want to do something about it:

1. Here is the link to register your complaint: http://www.mycanvas.com/Support/Contact.aspx. I They are forwarding all messages to management. Give it to your friends and relatives.

2. Call Tim Sullivan, the Executive Dir. at (801) 705-7000. You won’t be able to talk directly to him, of course, but you will get directly to “corporate headquarters.”

3. If they do not significantly extend these deadlines or restore these services then maybe our response is to change our settings to “Private” instead of “Public” Tree. Ancestry really discourages that because a significant percentage of what they offer to others are the public family trees.

It would be a little more time consuming to have to contact the owners of trees, but it may be that kind of leverage that gets them to reconsider.

Lastly, if anyone is interested in coordinating efforts on this or has other ideas please contact me directly: mfimia@zipcon.com.

I just got back from seeing many relatives in Europe and showed them the family tree posters I had done – with photos, stories, maps, etc. It made it so much easier to understand how we are connected. I promised to do about 10 more for people. You can see one of them on my Facebook page

I am disappointed beyond words with Ancestry.com management.

136 T. E. "Gene" CarnesJuly 14, 2014 at 12:51 pm

We too are devastated at not being able to transfer our website and its entire data in a useable condition to some other location. The MyFamily.com downloads are photographs only without any narratives or other identifying information. We are about to lose 14 years of accumulated history with no means of retrieval of that data that belongs to us not Ancestry.com. Is there not a Law Firm or a lawyer that is a subscriber to these services, which are being “retired”, that can start a Class Action Lawsuit against Ancestry.com and get a Court Order to stop them from destroying our information before it is too late? Maybe not! Ancestry.com may be as untouchable as the IRS and their lose of emails.

137 Julie GrextonJuly 14, 2014 at 4:23 pm

I also am very disappointed with the decision to shut down all the myfamily websites.
I have maintained 3 family websites for over 14 years, and now all that family history will be lost. Exporting photos is simply not good enough.
Myfamily websites are very important to families as a repository of family addresses, photos, news, history and even family recipes.
Now with the click of a button, Ancestry is planning to destroy all that family history gathered over the past 15 years or so?

Several of my family website members were frequent contributors to the website as elders in the family, and all have now passed on. We will now lose their historical memories, comments on photos, news items, recipes etc. that they left with us on the family websites. We, and they, thought we would have these memories preserved on our websites for future generations to share.

It seems that Ancestry.com has moved away from their original goal of preserving family history to simply creating a profitable bottom line.

By canceling what to most of us were two of the most important aspects of Ancestry in gathering and telling our family story, (mycanvas being the other one) Ancestry is moving away from their original purpose.
I am most disappointed in Ancestry with this move, as I had always promoted them as being the best genealogical and family history source available. This no longer seems to be the case.

138 Annegell Burton MccantsJuly 19, 2014 at 10:29 pm

I cannot believe that no one is mourning the unbelieveable loss of Genforum. In my opinion this is one of the most important genealogical tools that I use often to communicate with other genealogists. It has allowed me over the years to make several breakthroughs and I have met many researching “cousins” through my postings. As a teacher I referred my students to genforum and Rootsweb as a beginning tool in “investigating” their family heritage.This is by far the greatest loss from all of these cuts from a research standpoint and shows that ancestry.com management definitely does not understand genealogy and the research process. Shame on you.I feel the loss for the dedicated people who have invested so much of their time and knowledge building wonderful sites on My Family.com and, although I have not used it, clearly MyCanvas is important to many people. I only hope Rootsweb isn’t the next target to bite the dust!
I think these actions clearly show little concern in doing what is right for genealogy and for their customers. Yes, we will survive, but maybe I will see if I can survive for a while without ancestry.com to send a message. There is so much wonderful information out there now on other websites. FamilySearch, here I come. Please, don’t let the evil empire take you over or steal the information you worked so hard to collect and index and make available free to your loyal users. Users, not customers. -

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