Posted by Kenny Freestone on March 26, 2008 in Website

We’ve been doing a fair amount of work lately to make it easier to add information you find in other public family trees into your own. Starting back in December we began including information about other public member trees in the ancestry hints(tm). Before then, the hints only included information from OneWorldTree. We’ve also recently (a few weeks ago) improved our process for merging these hints into your tree, and improved the page that lets you compare the information found on these trees to your own tree. Lastly, today we added a link on all public family trees which will let you save that information into your own family tree. A great aspect of all these new features is the control it offers you over what information enters your tree, along with great tools to see which of the trees you might add to yours have sources, saved records, photos, or other compelling information.

Thanks to all of you who have written, or emailed, or have otherwise given us feedback on these pages. Now that they’re up, please don’t stop! Leave a comment or send me an email (kfreestone at to let us know how these new pages and features are working out for you and your research–we love hearing from you.





  1. Rundehel

    Never seen that “Save” option so far, Kenny. The last graphic took me to a Word Press login page.

    Right now, after few weeks of quicker, better access to Ancestry Hints results, it’s very slow (“Loading…” animation going forever) resulting in “come back later” message, like since last couple days. I’m guessing your guys are busy working on some new database servers?

  2. Tyler

    The (few weeks ago) improved process has made the merge feature much more usable.

    I’m curious about your sourcing plans. Before December, you provided a hard link to the OneWorldTree page for that person. Now it appears that you just provide a generic source with no link nor documentation as to exactly where it came from.

    I realize that public member trees may change locations so that may be tough to provide/maintain — but I’d sure like to be able to at least keep the OneWorldTree link/documentation.

  3. Tyler

    Sorry but got so carried away with my sourcing concerns that I’m ashamed to say that I neglected to tell you how great that comparison page is!

    It really helps to present a snapshot from which one can compare and, in effect, tend to judge the quality and applicability of both each tree source plus the details for a particular listed person.

  4. Lisa

    Regarding #3

    Tyler, it is there.
    Click View all source citations (bottom right of page).
    Under Source “Public Member Trees”,
    there should be citations for “Name”, “Birth”, “Death”.
    Click on one of the citations, then you should see under “Public Member Trees” a link to View the individual trees that are part of this citation.
    Click that link and you see the wonderful snapshot which one can compare your tree to the sourced from tree. This was enhanced several weeks ago, from the generic source with no link. Thanks! Keep up the improvements! I hope this helps Tyler.

  5. Tyler

    Lisa (comment#4), thanks ever so much! I was so disappointed when I first saw the generic links that I contacted ancestry tech support a couple of times regarding this but they didn’t give me much hope/knowledge of any improvement plan.

    I pretty much stopped looking at them — apologize that I really should have rechecked before I wrote the prior comment but your kind response has revealed the new handling and made my day! Thanks again–Tyler

  6. Kathleen

    I like the feature a lot. Will this be available to Family Tree Maker any time soon? I have so much information in Ancestry that I would like to add to Family Tree Maker in a simple (but choosy) way. Also, Ancestry is very slow and giving messages of “try again later” way too often. Hope this ends soon.

  7. Mary

    I like the new hint feature… to a point. I find that I have more than one of the same individual now, and I’m uncertain how to get rid of them. I was just ina section of my tree…I know the information was there, and then the hint added the same people in a second time as new people! Overall, though I think it is pretty good

  8. Bev

    It looked good at first but it seems no matter what I do I end up creating duplicate entries for the same person. Then I have to figure out how to clean up…

  9. Sharon

    I have found two pages for the same person (under “list of people in your family tree”), but the page that appears in the tree is incomplete compared to the other page that I found. How can I merge this information to the correct tree/place without having to duplicate all the entries on the incomplete page (not to mention all the other family member information that needs to be duplicated. (Hope this makes sense to you; I’m weary from trying to find the answer).

  10. Barbara

    Comment to #7, 9, 10 Thank you, I have been going crazy w/ the duplicate names and then lose everything on the completed page when I delete. I have concluded; to not merge anything, which certaintly defeats the purpose of it. Is there a trick to this? Or I need to write down all the new info. and then type it into my tree. Does someone have the answer?

  11. I do like the new merge features that have been added. They save a lot of time typing in the info.

    Now for the real big question why don’t you also have a merge features that would let us merge multiple names in our trees on here?? Also it would be a real time saver if we could merge info from FTM into our tree without having create a new tree and then having to delete the old.

  12. Gail West

    Like the “save” feature, but somehow when you updated the site, I’ve lost about 200 years of ancestry. What happened and how do I get it back?

  13. Joyce Coonrod

    I really like being able to add content from others to my tree but have had someone add content from my tree to theirs without being able to connect our trees. When I asked about it I was told she knew we had to be connected some where in the past because we had some of the same names. I will not use something I cannot connect at any time. Thanks

  14. shazanata

    I loved this feature but lately havent been able to get into it as it keeps coming up with the subscription renewal. Which i have done. Damn shame as that was one of the many features that drove me to joining Ancestry.

  15. Kathryn

    Thank you to #7,9,10& 11 for addressing this concern of the duplicates. I am VERY new to this and thought I was going crazy! I do NOT know how to clean up all the duplicates. IS there a way besides deleting my tree and starting over??

    Please help this beginner!!!!

  16. I have been using the Add feature for a couple/few months, love it, except for the older census, 1850-1870 don’t have the “Show other Members” link on it, so you have to go around and around to pick up each person. Ok, we’re getting spoiled here. 😉

    Can you please email me with an answer to this:

    My problem:
    As of yesterday, I can no longer get a page to load in the attach mode to my family tree and the start page will not load.

    I go from the census page, click Save > Save to someone in tree > choose name (the auto fill type in a name has stopped functioning) I have to go to the letter of beginning of last name to get the correct person. Whereas before I could type in the box and pick up the person that I needed.

    Once I choose the person, my page(s) try to load but can’t quite get the job done. It just spins in the loading mode. I noticed on the home page the same thing is now happening. It just reads Loading. This happens on all pages that are using whatever this technology it is.

    The page is in perpetual loading mode and it never completes. I have to click on my family tree, then manipulate to get who I want. But once I find records, I cannot attach them because of the technology that is being used to link the information. I’m lost here, what’s happened? It worked the day before yesterday!

    While my research continues, I’m frustrated that the page(s) not let me see the Review Mode. I’m having to mark these to “add later”, the java or active x is not functioning properly.

    Do you know of a bug or a fix for this?

    I’m using the same computer (for these last months) winxp sp1, up to date firefox version. I even went so far as to try iE 6.0 and it failed as well.

    I’ve rebooted my system, dumped temp internet cache files, cookies and nothing is helping. Did a virus scan, adaware scan, etc, no help whatsoever.

    Can you suggest a fix to this or is it perhaps an SP1 issue and I’m going to be forced to upgrade to SP2? My system is not very stable that’s why I never upgraded to sp2.

    Also, just as a side note, this week I’ve noticed other things that are not sp1 supported now, which is why I’m asking if this is an sp2 related issue. My free anti virus software, and my free ftp program are no longer supported with sp1, they ask me to upgrade. Both are now forcing me to upgrade to sp2, but I’m waiting until I can back up my data.

    Could my ancestry trouble be a sp1 issue? I went into control panel and went to Java, It’s Sun I believe, clicked update, but it stated that there were no updates. I keep that updated as they come in.

    Do you have any suggestions or ideas?

    When I first log in to ancestry now the start page has many boxes where you will see the circle(s) which spins and spins until it’s loaded (meaning that feature is loading), never completely loads any longer, all of the different areas are just circles, they spin and spin and never loads. I don’t get it.

    Why did it work 2 days ago and now BAM! it won’t? I think it’s something that’s changed with your pages, coding.

    At one point, I walked away to let it go and see if it might load if I was more patient, but 5 mins later, it never loaded. I had to get off of that page and say away from that type of page now.

    I’d appreciate help on this, I feel like I’m a sitting duck and I can’t do what I need to with my genealogy.

    If the techs need to email, please do so with my thanks.

    I can move to “People” in my tree and the “Family view” page loads.

    Another issue that I just noticed a couple of days ago, about the time this all started, is when I click on the family tree hint, the next page loads and states you have no more hints (or whatever it says). I hit return to tree up top, to get it refreshed and it will show again that there are hints for a family tree match or possibility. I go forward again and I see the same message, there are no more hints.

    That’s happened on a lot in the last couple of days. Is this related by chance?

    Thank you for any and all help,

  17. Cathy

    I just posted at 12:20 a.m.

    I found the resolution to the pages not loading properly with ancestry. It is not an sp1 issue, nor is it ya’ll.

    I thought back to what has changed, it was My fault!

    In thinking of what software I’ve recently installed, it dawned on me that I had installed CA Security Suite which is AV, Firewall, etc, this weekend.

    I just disabled the firewall and now the pages are loading properly. Remember this fix in case others encounter it.

    Sorry for the trouble, but glad to have a resolution. Now it’s time for me to backtrack and pick up all of the things that I missed.

    I believe it is an issue with cookies that are not enabling, I must have denied one and the program is remembering my answer so it’s not allowing all cookies on ancestry to be stored.

    Until I know more about this program (that I bought in Jan which was sitting unopened until a few days ago), I’ll have to disable the firewall for now to get ancestry pages to load properly.

    Geez, I’m glad I took computer repair classes back in 99. They’re still paying off! 😉

  18. Jo

    Glad to hear about the firewall fix – I work fine at home, but tried to open my tree at work (to print out a few pages) and ran into the same problem…at least now I know why.

    Other problem, I also have (and don’t see anyone responding to that) is the family tree hint, then the next page states you have no more hints. I get a leaf on my mother and on a grandfather but there are NO MORE HINTS. I’ve tried to click ignore, cancel and anything else I spot, but the next time I enter, same old shakin’ leaf!!

  19. Vestina Fields

    I am having a problem with attaching hints. When I click to attach a hint it just sits there “loading”. I have emailed support several times but no help at all.

  20. I have 3 Alexander Baughman in my tree and they have all the same dates, of born and deseased, plus one have two sets of parents and two different wives. I tried putting a middle letter for seperating them and it did not work. I have been to the Newark,Licking County Library and this I may have to reserch it more.

Comments are closed.