Posted by on 14 July 2010 in Site Features


We  listened to your feedback and we are updating our search pages (New Search only). We gathered input from members through many sources and consolidated your feedback.  You asked for improved navigation, maps, shortcuts to your favorite data collections, easier access to recent searches and more browsing options. You will see these changes this Thursday. You can see screenshots of these new and updated features listed below.

Here’s what you will see:

New search homepage
The new search homepage will have updated navigation, maps, and access to both recent searches and recently viewed data collections.


Map on search homepage
You will be able to browse the data collections that are unique to or related to specific places.


Example of a place page
There will be thousands of new place pages for countries, states, territories, provinces and counties. For those of you who use old search, you may recognize that we have updated and improved the place pages you have seen in old search.

You can view the data collections has for each location.  For many locations you can find links to extra resources and a history of the important events that occurred in that place. Look for the “history” and “resource” buttons.

Example of recent searches and recently viewed data collections
The new search homepage will provide access to your recent searches and to a new page that contains a list of the data collection homepages that you mostly recently visited.  These features will be displayed on the new search homepage after you do a search or after you visit a data collection homepage.

Some notes:

  1. We will not be launching any changes to the new search forms this Thursday. We will release some changes to the new search forms in a short while.
  2. Old search will not be updated; these changes only apply to new search.
  3. A preview to the updated pages is located at
  4. On Thursday, if your search page does not look like the pictures in this blog post, you may be using old search.  You can switch to new search by clicking on the “new search” link at the top right corner of the search homepage.


I will post more details on each new feature in more blog posts. I hope you enjoy using these new search pages and find navigating has improved.

Best regards,

Laura Dansbury


Rosemary Jones 

And is going to have the proper map displayed the same as the US and UK ones?

15 July 2010 at 4:20 am
Kenneth Edward Berry 

Hi Charlene,
I have been having a wonderful time getting together My Family and My Wife’s Family details together on Ancestry UK.With all the updates I will probably have to use some of My G/children to help me get through them.But it really looks exciting all of the new changes.Just one request could you advise me how I can now put all the data I have found out so far onto Paper so I can send some copies of what I have achieved with Ancestry UK.Then will I be able to make it into an Album.I don’t think I will quite finish it all as getting closer to “my best used by date” I want to make sure it is at least on its way to a record which they will continue with. Then their children.Thank You for bearing with me.Best Regards to You and Your Team and of course Ancestry UK & AU.

16 July 2010 at 10:26 am
Edwina Fletcher 

Dear Charlene

This evening I wanted to enter a new citation & source and to carry out further research on my family tree and found changes on Ancestry AGAIN.

I had completely standardised all printouts and my records for over 500 people for at least the second time or maybe the third (I am beginning to lose count). You say you are listening but to whom? How many of us keep asking you all to stop making changes?

I do wish someone would correct the records on Ancestry first. In June 2009 I pointed out a major error in the 1901 England Census e.g. pages missing, wrong images and still it has not been rectified. I have now reported it for the 4th time.

Also in my Spam mail this week was a message saying Ancestry was missing me – my subscription does not run out until November 2010!

So the message I am getting is that I am not being listened to and probably don’t even exist!

Edwina Fletcher

17 July 2010 at 2:24 am

Hmmm…I’ve been reporting for MONTHS that the option, from within a person, to “search historical records” is broken. For eg – I’m in a person from East Yorkshire and get links back for census / BMD for every corner of the earth – except the UK. This USED to work brilliantly. I got some tosh back about you can use “search” but that’s not the point. That means me launching a new window and entering search criteria. I want to use the service that used to work where the page knows who i am looking at and retrieves best matches. I love the site but I think your testing stage needs some attention as new releases seem to break other things.

17 July 2010 at 4:51 pm
Mrs PFrancis 

Having read the comments above do these sites ever listen to the comments made.

17 July 2010 at 5:13 pm
Edwina Fletcher 


I suggest you telephone the help number found on the bottom of the Help Screen:-

“Need Help? Call 0800 404 9723”

The call is free and you will go through to a help desk in the USA. Be on-line when you call and they will talk you through anything you want to know and what options you have. I have always found them very patient, cheerful and helpful.

Good Luck


17 July 2010 at 10:41 pm
Jacqui Nelson 

I think as long as it improve things change is necessary. The old search was simple but not very responsive the new searches have their problems but, onwards and upwards I say. A truly responsive search takes in mind that we all search in different ways.
One thing I would really like to be considered is a way of organising my shoebox: maybe shoe box links being made, within my tree, to my ancestors who I have shoeboxed records for, or even categorising my records within shoe box.

18 July 2010 at 1:40 pm
Jacqui Nelson 

I think as long as it improve things change is necessary. The old search was simple but not very responsive the new searches have their problems but, onwards and upwards I say. A truly responsive search takes in mind that we all search in different ways.
One thing I would really like to be considered is a way of organising my shoebox; maybe shoe box links being made, within my tree, to my ancestors who I have shoeboxed records for; or even by categorising my records within shoe box.

18 July 2010 at 1:43 pm
Liz Heywood 

I would like to see ‘visited links’ changing colour more obviously so that I don’t repeatedly open the same link eg when working through a list of search results. I suspect that the colour does change, but it is very difficult to see it.
Thank you. Keep up the improvements!

18 July 2010 at 3:05 pm
David Clayson 

For the first year I had the Premium search and got 90% of info. So when I renewed I only needed the Essential search,when i came to save my info I was unable to read records that i had saved to my tree even though I had paid the premium.
If i had been told this at the start I would have saved as I went to read the docs on my tree I have to upgrade.

18 July 2010 at 6:00 pm
Doug Mills 

I hope that the revisions will overcome one of the most annoying features of Ancestry searches. This is that fact that when I limit a search to +/- a certain number of years from a given date,this seems to be totally ignored. I am presented with huge lists of results which are mostly irrelevant and seem to totally disregard the date limits that I have set! If I request results from, say, 1780 to 1800 that is what I want!

19 July 2010 at 1:09 pm
Ann Payne 

I am very disappointed in the latest changes made to this site. The London Baptisms seem to have disappeared or at least are not instantly shown with the other information. It was much easier to see a list of where people appeared i.e. 1881, 1901, London Birth/Bap, England Death – we could then choose which collection to view. Now they are all bundled together. When I say ‘exact matches’ I mean exact – when I say +/- 2 years I mean within 2 years of the quoted date. I have doubts about renewing my subscription unless the format is changed back.

20 July 2010 at 2:16 pm

When I first saw the changes to the way facts and sources were presented I thought that I must give myself time to get used to it but the more I try to check on information the more irritated I become. It was so quick and easy before, now it takes twice as long.If I just want to check on an address or occupation in a census I have to scroll through to get the right one instead of just clicking on the one that I want, then I can’t get back to where I want to be. As my daughter always says ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it!’ What was a very enjoyable hobby is fast becoming very frustrating.

20 July 2010 at 5:14 pm
Tom Fisher 

1. When will the 1911 Census appear on

2. How do i delete a Census hint that i have added to someone in my tree.

20 July 2010 at 10:40 pm
Dave Fleetham 

I do wish you would leave the search page alone.

I like the old search page. It puts you in control of the options – you can see all the John Smiths in a given dataset and allows you to decide which is the best fit. This new design decides this for you and you will make mistakes.

21 July 2010 at 7:39 am
Stan Irwin 

Just to re-iterate what Sandy (and others) have stated.
It was just right- now it is all wrong.
The source citations took you to the record you wanted- now you get a second page of source citations (with erroneous gobbledygook) and the choice of going to the record (which is where you would already have been if they hadn’t changed it) or the image. This after having to scroll to the appropriate record again. That makes it about 30% less efficient- retrograde or what?
And if you save a second record by mistake; try getting back to delete the wrong one!
I won’t be renewing next time if this stays the same.

21 July 2010 at 9:25 pm
Gerry Roff 

Can I echo comments from other users. Your new interface makes searching for an individual across all collections much more difficult. I hoped that selecting the “old interface” option meant what it said, but sadly this is also amended and difficult to use.

I wish you would maintain an option so that experienced users can access your site exactly as before. The new interface is definitely a retrograde step.

22 July 2010 at 1:31 pm

I really do not like this new interface, when something works why does it have to be changed?

I totally agree with the comments made by Gerry Roff,
Stan Irwin, Dave Fleetham and Andy. This is a backward step and I for one do not appreciate it, it makes mw wonder if it’s time for a change.

22 July 2010 at 3:43 pm
tim noble 

hi how do i view other poeples total media photos etc without having to search through individual names for photos

24 July 2010 at 9:05 am
Janet Robinson 

I agree with the comments about the new search. i don’t want to see lists of all census etc I much prefer to see lists of names so I can immediatley choose the most appropriate – now I’m just toing and froing. I’m not sure who requested it be changed but judging by the comments you need to change it back or risk losing custom.

24 July 2010 at 10:16 pm