Comments on: Focuses on Core Offerings The official blog of Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:01:08 +0000 hourly 1 By: Annegell Burton Mccants Annegell Burton Mccants Sun, 20 Jul 2014 04:29:57 +0000 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 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 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 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. -

By: Julie Grexton Julie Grexton Mon, 14 Jul 2014 22:23:16 +0000 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 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.

By: T. E. "Gene" Carnes T. E. "Gene" Carnes Mon, 14 Jul 2014 18:51:24 +0000 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 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 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 and get a Court Order to stop them from destroying our information before it is too late? Maybe not! may be as untouchable as the IRS and their lose of emails.

By: Maggie Fimia Maggie Fimia Mon, 14 Jul 2014 00:26:55 +0000 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: 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:

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 management.

By: NormaABQ NormaABQ Sat, 12 Jul 2014 01:01:58 +0000 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 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.

By: Karen McPherson Karen McPherson Fri, 11 Jul 2014 03:01:24 +0000 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 is down again!

By: Cathy Whittington Cathy Whittington Wed, 09 Jul 2014 01:48:49 +0000 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

MyCanvas is the publishing portion of and so we are the same company, we are not severing the relationship 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 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.


Customer Solutions Associate

By: Carolyn Sidebottom75 Carolyn Sidebottom75 Wed, 09 Jul 2014 00:26:34 +0000 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?

By: Patricia Campbell Patricia Campbell Fri, 04 Jul 2014 13:32:25 +0000 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 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.

By: Judith Taback Judith Taback Fri, 04 Jul 2014 01:48:43 +0000 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