Posted by on 20 May 2010 in General, Site Features, Site Status

Hi everyone, I’m happy to let you know that the Ancestry Member Trees are now up and running again. We were making some upgrades in the tree system last night and encountered bugs that took us a few hours to work through. Our only solution was to take down the trees to fix the problem.  It took us much longer to resolve than we would have liked, but we believe the problems have now been resolved.

If you have problems accessing your family tree on the site, please try restarting your browser or clearing your cache. To clear your cache, please see the instructions in the ‘Help page’ at

Thank you for your patience whilst we worked to resolve these issues. Now – happy tree climbing!


Ruth Quayle 

are you sure you got it all back – I seem to be short of a lot of the work i did the day before. The shoebox that i filled with search results yesterday and i think i would even have difficulty in reproducing what i did as there does not seen to be many hints on my tree – is this as good as its going to get

20 May 2010 at 3:32 pm

your not the only one saying that check out

i have not checked mine yet only just in from work

20 May 2010 at 7:27 pm
D Anthony Hoffman 

It is off again!
When it came back on I printed off twelve pages of my most recent stuff – most of the previous I had previously printed off. All recent stories I have copied and pasted into my word processor (WordPerfect).
I have been doing genealogy for 30 years. Nothing so scary as this ever happened in the photocopy and hand-copy days. I did lose an irreplaceable 1950 street map of Birmingham, England. Nothing worse.
Computer collapse is so total – DEATH. It is DEATH. DEATH to months of work (potentially like death)
Then with the resurrection comes the frenetic backing up of data.

21 May 2010 at 10:20 pm
D Anthony Hoffman 

And now it is on again.
It is like a light bulb that threatens us by the simple insubordinate act of blinking

21 May 2010 at 10:24 pm
Gena Dodd 

Are you sure it is up and running as l cannot log on. It says my username or passowrd is not correct neither is my email address

21 May 2010 at 10:28 pm
David C 

Trees died and now I can’t even log in!

21 May 2010 at 10:29 pm

Me too…Can`t log on and won`t recognize my e-mail either

21 May 2010 at 10:36 pm

Thanks David C for your comment on not being able to log back in as I am in the same position and I thought it was something I was doing wrong.

21 May 2010 at 10:39 pm
David C 

Seems to be up and running again now… not sure for how long though, it seems unpredicatable now-a-days

21 May 2010 at 10:44 pm

This is getting beyond a joke – years of work vanished! Unable to log in as username & password not recognised neither is my email address. I have been a member for over 3 years & the service is getting worse, less & less to access unless you pay so much more. This however is the worst yet – a total lack of service.

21 May 2010 at 10:44 pm
Tilda M 

Same here – I can’t log on, it says my username or passowrd is not correct and my email address is not recognised

21 May 2010 at 10:45 pm

Just been able to log back in thanks.

21 May 2010 at 10:52 pm

I am able to log in but most of the search functions don’t work. I am just told to “Come back soon”.

21 May 2010 at 10:58 pm

This is silly, i have spent the last 3 days not being able to either search for something or apply the data i have found onto my tree. Come on Ancestry i pay alot of money for the ‘.com’ usage for me to just sit here and see that smug little boy laughing at me everytime a search fails. This is just not tollerable…’come back soon’ i’m likely to go for good and take my business elsewhere….

21 May 2010 at 11:24 pm
Jennifer Justice 

Come on! How much longer is this maintanance going on. Everything I’m trying to access is not available. I’ve been COMING BACK for the last 3 DAYS!

21 May 2010 at 11:30 pm
Angela D 

I’ve managed to log in and see my trees but can’t access any hints…just comes up with a page telling me need to have a subscription!! Since I have paid to have access to everything on offer, I’m REALLY brassed off. Compensation, please.

21 May 2010 at 11:37 pm
Andrew Marsay 

FAO Annabel Bernhardt

You’re the PR rep for yes? Can you look into why yet again, the service is down yet again? Been happily working away for an hour or so and mid-way into my research, all searches are disabled.

What is going on with the infrastructure at Ancestry? I take it that with the start of a US “Who Do you Think You Are?” series recently started your systems can’t cope and as a result your existing customers are suffering.

With all the outages over the last few months I’ve lost a number of days of my subscription where I’ve not been able to access the Ancestry service for one reason or another.

You will argue that the T&C’s are a disclaimer for this. The amount of recent outages are not acceptable to your customers but we see no mention of an extension to our subscriptions or rebates, just a passing ‘Yeah, sorry about that’ comment on a blog page that you have to find, rather than a personal email with an apologetic explanation as to what is happening at Ancestry.

There are many of your customers becoming very restless and frustrated at the moment, not good publicity, especially when some start writing into the genealogy magazines with their experiences.

When we can get access to Ancestry’s records it is great, it’s just very frustrating when we can’t especially as we’ve paid a hefty subscription for it.

I work in the service delivery arena within IT, if my business operated the way that Ancestry has been recently, financial penalties would have been awarded to my customers. Service Level Agreements don’t seem to work in favour of the consumer at Ancestry do they?

Anyway, I don’t expect you will respond to this but felt I had to articulate my frustration this evening. I sincerely hope the service is resumed a lot faster that the mid week debacle.


22 May 2010 at 12:18 am

Are you quite sure you are up and running?
Since your “unplanned maintenance” I have had two instances of barred log-in, being allegedly already logged in on another computer; and about ten instances of the dreaded “witching hour syndrome” which until this week only afflicted other web sites, not Ancestry. In case anyone is unfamiliar with “witching hour syndrome” it is getting a busy screen at exactly four o’clock in the afternoon and again at exactly ten o’clock in the evening. Something must be done.

22 May 2010 at 12:22 am
Andrew M 

They need to reinvest some of our subscription money into better services, more robust applications, improved hardware and better communication systems.

I know that systems need updating and definitely backed up from time to time but these need to be planned and communicated out to customers much better than they are currently doing.

I was happily working away earlier this evening, when the search system came to a stop, without any warning. That’s what is frustrating!

So that’s it for today I suppose, Ancestry is telling me I’ve done enough and I’m to go to bed now…

22 May 2010 at 12:30 am
Chris Hollow 

Once again your site was down last night. Searches was not available, no access to blog to register a complaint.

So we have had the “you have lost nothing” assurance, which I doubt.

When are you at Ancestry going to stop treat your customers with contempt and start providing the service that they are paying you money for? How much compensation am I entitled to for the loss of service again?

22 May 2010 at 6:16 am
kim bryant 

quite understand the need to fix problems, but instead of a message saying i have no account, my user/password is wrong a simple “SORRY SERVICE NOT AVAILABLE” would work.i agree with every one elses messages, for the amount of disruption this week you need to compensate us. after all the guys at the top obviously are on a good whack, i am on minimum wage and this is my equivalant of a meal out or trip to the cinema. get your act together and treat your customers fairly.

22 May 2010 at 7:09 am
marlene judson 

Could you please tell me when the site will be operating normally again.
I cannot search for anyone and when it does let me in, all the years are wrong, or the message is telling me there is no person of the name I have put in. As I have accessed these names before on this site it does not make sense.

22 May 2010 at 9:38 am
Annabel Bernhardt from 

As you may have noticed, we experienced some search issues on our site last night. Though you may have experienced some login issues recently, this problem has now been fixed and our development and web operations teams are now working hard on the search problem, which we hope to have resolved as quickly as possible.

We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause and will keep you posted as we have more details. As always, thank you for your patience.


22 May 2010 at 10:16 am

Come on Ancestry- You want new customers hence the free trials but surely you want to keep them after? I at the moment are not happy, since I have been a member I have had to re transcribe numerous of incorrect details (And If I see one even if its not my family I do alter it), and now over the last week a very poor service!

What happened to customer care? after all its us that pay for the site etc

I think you should give customers a day or so refund as a goodwill gesture

22 May 2010 at 10:36 am
Andrew M 

Had a nice email from Ancestry today saying that as my access to the site on the 19th May was compromised, they are going to add a day onto my current subscription and have also given me an apology.

Well done Ancestry for doing this, lets hope we don’t experience futher extended outages like this again.


22 May 2010 at 9:10 pm
john brown 

I’m not sure what all your recent “upgrades??” were supposed to have done, but I can assure you that the search facility available now, is NOWHERE NEAR the one that it replaced. I’m currently doing a project on the census databases, and whereas a week or so ago I could find 95% of my targets, that is now down to about 70% (no matter how many times I amend my search details). Where is the search option for “registration district”? the new County/Town etc doesn’t pick up half the information.
When viewing a census page 3 days ago it took about 3 – 5 secs before it could be viewed, yesterday and today it varies between 2 minutes and so long that the server “times out”.
I joined Ancestry because the company I was using had a similar 2 min to timed out problem with their server, and now your IT bods appear to have managed to replicate the same problem on your site.
Do yoursef (and all of us) a big favour, undo whatever you did to the search facilities and delete whatever you have inserted into the “view origional document” programme.

23 May 2010 at 6:22 am
Steve Bliss 

Having had an account with Ancestry for over 3 years and the number of times I have gone to access the site or my tree and been unable, I am know looking at one of the other provides to see what they offer.

Which is a shame, I am fed up with Searching a person and been offered information from the USA even when I have selected “Don’t show results outside the UK”

Some of the improvements that have taken place have turn my hobby into a nightmare.

Did anyone read our comments when asked what we thought of the new search tool and the new layout?

Why fix something that isn’t broken?


23 May 2010 at 3:40 pm

A new tree I was working on disappeared except for the home person. All info lost along with hours of work. Next day it came back! Today it has gone again. Just left with the home person.

If it does this with my ‘big’ tree, I will lose years of work, photos and documentation. Is this possible. Do I have to try to save all this work somehow?

Also, I agree with the UK search statement. Why throw up stuff from the US when specifying UK only?

26 May 2010 at 3:52 pm

Hello, We’re very sorry for the inconvenience and the confusion regarding the data in your trees. We understand that your trees are very important to you, not only because of the valuable information you have collected there, but because of the countless hours you have spent accumulating it. There were a few glitches once the trees got back up and running, and that should account for the hide-and-seek information you’re reporting. We have taken steps to correct those errors and believe that things are in good standing once again. Please be sure that we will take every step possible to ensure that no data is lost permanently and that all your information is intact on your trees.

If you have more questions, or specific glitches to report please do not hesitate to contact Member Services on 0800 404 9723 or

26 May 2010 at 4:43 pm