Posted by Kenny Freestone on May 21, 2008 in Website

Yesterday between about 11:30 PM and 2:00 AM we did some work to improve our trees service database.

An unfortunate side affect of this work is that a few features of the system will be down for (we anticipate) a few days while we get everything caught up with new changes. During this time you won’t be receiving the “new content added” emails, and the updates to your trees won’t reflect in our search system.

We apologize for this delay, and hope to get it back up and running quickly!


  1. Wanda Modisette

    Has this upgrade effected the ability to view hints?…it just says “loading” when I click on one.

  2. Mary Murray

    I am having the same problem as Wanda in the above comment. Can you notify us when we can view hints. Thanks, Mary

  3. Confused

    I can’t get anything to work…I just started a new tree today, does this mean I will have to start all over again? This morning, the old system was still up and running, so can I expect all the changes I made to disappear?

  4. Bonita Voigt

    Is this effecting the whole system? I’ve been having off and on problems getting things like census to download into the viewer. The viewer comes up, but it just sits there and says “loading” and nothing never loads in the viewer. This problem has showed up yesterday and today starting around 8 PM EST. I just have to give up, ’cause I can’t view any of my “hits.”

  5. Kenny Freestone
  6. SharonHumes

    I am having a problem with the “invitation” to view a FAMILY TREE. For two weeks a friend has tried to “invite” me to view his tree and the invitation never arrived.
    However, he would receive a message saying ” Your invitation was successful. The people specified were sent an invitation to view your tree”.

    Today, after another attempt, the invitation arrive but when I “accepted” the invitation, the message at Ancestry was as follows:
    “An error occured while processing your invitation
    Your invitation to view the family tree cannot be found.
    The reason for this error could be one of the following:
    Your invitation has already been used.
    This invitation may have already been accepted by somebody else. Each invitation is only good for one user.
    Your invitation is no longer valid.

    The owner of the family tree may have rescinded your invitation to see the tree.”

    Has anyone else had this happen? If so, how did you resolve the problem?

  7. Homer Dennewitz

    Your information regarding some of my genealogy data is WRONG……PLEASE CORRECT!!!!!


  8. For the past 2 days I have been trying to see the original census lists. All of the pages I have tried to see have been “loading” forever and never quite get loaded. Is this the result of your “improvements?

  9. David

    I too am having a problem with inviting people to view my tree. After “family or friends” initially view my tree on ancestry and they try to go back at a later date, they can not figure out how to get back to view the tree. I have to give them a new invitation. Why??
    Also, when will you have 2008 FTM and the online tree merge capability? I do not understand why I have to delete, upload and rename of trees when I continue my research. The previous FTM16 had this capability.
    Please respond…

  10. I am having the same problem. When I try to add new “hints” to my tree, it just gets stuck on “loading”. When I research for records without the hints, I can’t print the records. This just happened Wednesday afternoon. I have tried tech support, deleted my cookies, and nothing has helped. This is very frustrating!

  11. Mary Beth Marchant

    To the person who wants Ancestry to remove incorrect genealogy data: I don’t think Kenny Freestone or any of the Ancestry people can remove people from anyone’s web site. You must contact the person or persons who have posted the data you contend is incorrect and ask them to either correct or remove the incorrect data. By the way, I am just an Ancestry user like youself. You might post a comment on the incorrect web site but Ancestry only provides the vehicle to post family trees and not the data itself. If a source someone is using is incorrect, check it out and see if something has been corrupted within the source.

  12. Rob

    I really enjoyed watching the Loading spinning icon around and around forever and ever. Thanks,, for the totally irrelevant waste of resources and manpower to update the Ancestry Hints feature with something nifty as the Spinning Icon Loading Zone and no productive result.

  13. Confused

    Okay, it’s now the 25th and your sweet little updates are still not working. Thanks for providing the free access to military records, but too bad I can’t add any other useful information to my tree. 🙁

  14. froggie13

    I haven’t been able to even log on to do any work on my tree for the last three days, my three days off. I guessing nothing will get done till everyone gets back to work this morning. Thanks for losing me three days off

  15. Steve Remsing

    I too have tried for several days to see the original census forms, and they never load. You sure took away a lot of research time for a lot of people over the three day weekend. Plans to do a lot of research over those three days came to a grinding halt because of lack of access. Are we going to receive back some of the fees we paid for a year subscription for all these days of lack of access ???

  16. Frankie Krausse

    I too have problems with this. When I click on census, WWWI record etc that has to do with a jpg, goes to a screen wanting me to download a new viewer. But you can’t do anything, it is already locked up. I cant even use the contact info to call. Can’t seem to access anything to show a phone number. How in the world did this happen somewhere around the 20th and nothing, absolutely nothing has been done to fix it. I have been a member longer then I would like to remember but have never ever had a problem like this. Even when I installed my 2008 ftm and then had to take it off and reinstall version 16 because 2008 was a piece of garbage.
    Sorry I’m so upset. But it’s been a week.

  17. Ellen Barnhill

    Why is the entirety of down today? The on-going problems noted in the blogs for the past week seem to have migrated to the entire site! Will we be returned our money for these missed days?

  18. mikki

    I,too, have not been able to access several different types of records since Fri May 23. View finder keeps loading. Not all records though.It seem random. Totally ruined my plans for 3 day weekend. And, I’m paying for the privledge. This is not the first time, either. Everytime it seems the site is “improved” it takes days to weeks til things are moving smoothly again.

  19. Is there any end in site to this very frustrating problem????? It’s been a week and still can’t see hints. To the person who said he has a spinning loading icon, be glad, all I have is the word “loading” with 3 little dots. Shouldn’t we be receiving an e-mail about when this is going to be fixed? If it can’t why not go back to the way it was before all this happended?

  20. Lynn

    The issues you are seeing must not be affecting everybody. Everything has been working as expected for me Monday, Tuesday, and today. Hints are working just fine. The Member Trees seemed to be working very well (faster than usual) yesterday and today.

  21. ernestine carter taitt

    i need a phone number to call for help.

    i can never add to my public tree

    please please help

  22. Kenny Freestone

    In response to several comments about hints not loading properly…

    We’ve had a few reports of hints not loading for (we believe) a very small number of people.

    One customer reported to me that turning off Norton Internet Security 2008 resolved the issue. Another had it resolve by itself after a day or two. We would love to get some more details about this bug.

    If this is something you are experiencing, please send me an email (kfreestone at with some information that will help us get to the bottom of this:

    –browser info
    –Ancestry username
    –tree name
    –person in tree you are trying to see hints for
    –does this happen for all people, or just some

    Thanks for the help, and we apologize for the bug.


  23. The new family merge function is great in theory but right now is super-slow.

    Here are the top things, IMHO, that Ancestry needs attached to their trees:

    1. Need to be able to easily merge individuals within your tree. Some of us have multiples of the same individuals, some with different info attached. Right now I have to delete one and re-create relationships, but some sources may be lost. I can easily merge people from OTHER people’s trees into mine, but not two individuals who are the same in my own tree.

    2. Need to be able to search equally for accented and unaccented letters in “full list of people.” If I am looking for a Napoleon with an accent, then when I type “Napoleon”, it simply does not show up on the list. This can be somewhat remedied by typing only the letters up to the accented letter, but if the accent is on the first or second letter, it gets difficult to find people.

    3. Color coding based on level of verification. Ideally, “red” would be “not verified at all”, green would be “highest verification” via sources. Perhaps intermediate levels for questionable or conflicting sources, or some BMD events verified, but others not.

    4. Need a space to enter a person’s title–e.g., “Captain,” “Deacon”, etc.

    5. Need a space for a person’s preferred name or nickname. If Joseph Louis Alfonzo Hermenegilde Perrin is known as “Al”, should be able to enter that, or if “Alfonzo” is the preferred name, should be easy to locate and navigate to that name.

    6. Need to be able to see descendancy trees. Right now only ancestry trees are visible.

    7. Need to be able to see Ahnentafel tables.

    8. Need ability to add the same source to BMD events for multiple individuals. Many of us get events from some page of some book, maybe on Ancestry, maybe not, but we have to re-enter over and over for each event for each person. Maybe something like your new “family merge” page where it shows all the individuals in the family, a checkmark for each of the BMD events (and maybe even other events attached to the person), and an ability to enter that source for all of them.

  24. One more thing that would be helpful: to have a decent wiki-tree. It seems like OneWorldTree was kind of an attempt to do that, but nobody could correct the mistakes.

  25. Angry

    Here’s the truth about the “update.” It was a guise to reprogram the system so that free users can no longer add members to their trees through HINTS. Now, when we click on hints, we get a webpage with the words “security” and “deny” in the URL, and we are flipped to a screen that tells us to subscribe. Well, I was building my tree and trying to decide if it was worth subscribing, and I just decided it’s not. So, Sayonara,

  26. Kenny Freestone

    In response to comment #30…

    With every new feature, especially those that are complex, there are bugs that can come up. We would like nothing more than to fix the errors that are plaguing you. Please send me an email with some detailed information including:

    –your ancestry username
    –the URL of the page that has the problem

    This will be very helpful–thanks.


    kfreestone at

  27. Robert Malay

    As a paying customer for many years, why am I suddenly seeing this:

    Invalid or Unauthorized Input Has Been Detected

    When attempting to attach hints to people who have been in my tree for quite some time. This seems to be directly related to your most recent update:


    seems to be the culprit.

    Bob Malay

  28. Kenny Freestone

    In response to comment 32…

    Hi Bob, sometimes this error occurs when the family tree has certain characters in it that are blocked. This is a bug we are working to fix. If you would like us to dig into your case we would like to do so. Please email (kfreestone at me your ancestry username and the full URL of the page.



  29. Ray Lantz

    I just upgraded from Norton Internet Security 2007 to 2008 version. Now every time I try to view an image on ancestry it either doesn’t load and freezes right after the progress bar form loads or image loads then it freezes. When this occurs I must shutdown the Internet Explorer using Task Manager. This does not occur when I turn Norton IS off totally. I tried numerous attempts to adjust Norton IS settings but could not find any setting change that would correct the issue.

    Using MS Internet Explorer
    Using Windows Vista Home Premium
    User Name rclantz

    Ray Lantz
    Software Engineer, Tele-Tracking Technologies (
    Pensacola, FL

  30. My brother is Stephen K. Maxwell. My mother was married twice. First to Charles Homan. My step sisters and one brother are of this marriage.

    My brother and I are the children of Stephen Edward Maxwell. Please change my brother to Stephen K. Maxwell. I wrote a comment but it has not been changed. Thank you!
    Margaret J. Schulte, nee Maxwell

  31. Theresa Congdon

    I installed a Norton Security 2008 and now I cannot look at census records at because the page will not load. It seems to freeze. Then I have to use task manager to end the task for . This is so frustrating. The operating system on this computer is Microsoft Windows XP.

    Thank you in advance for any help you can give.

  32. I am having problems with ancestry hints being saved today, 6/20/08, is there a reason for this happening again. I know last month you did an update to your server and it took several days for this problem to be corrected. Waiting for your answer.

  33. Why is it that I must keep adding info that I have previously added? And I get a message that says Internet Explorer cannot add the info, but when I click the back button it has loaded. It is quite frustrating. I believe I have multiple lines of the same people. And I always start with the home person. What is happening? If and when I get a book printed when I have multiples of the same people?

  34. I started on geneology and had 7 families that I was working on and now i can onlyu pull up Hoehn family. What happened to the others? I have been working on these for months and had a huge paer trail.


  36. leisa_ baker

    Love the new search.its great to be able to update siblings at same time however I am having problems where spouse is remarried but raising both partener’s kids in same household. The Surnames show the previous partener is the father but on your multisave system it causes problems. Can we have a button that allows us to remove obvious non parents please.

  37. Tammy

    I hope this isn’t an obvious question, but is there a way to merge my Family Tree Maker 2005 data with my family tree? So updates I make on family tree can be updated in my Family Tree Maker 2005? Or, do I have to manually enter updates in both family trees? Thanks in advance.

  38. I have received a few complaints about one of my relatives “significant other” (wiyh a different last name from me) being loaded into an data base showing she has my last name. She was a member on my website (I have since deleted her)but we never loaded her into any of the family trees that we loaded thru web site. Please tell me how to correct this TERRIBLE ERROR !!!

    Tom Meleney 704-890-6314

  39. I cannot find a way to edit my family tree…Ancestry keeps telling there is an edit button but there isn’t..I’ve tried everything..How do I edit and/or remove some of my family tree. I just rejoined and I’m not going to extend my coverage that’s for sure…this program is NOW too hard to navigate.

  40. Jonie Berdin

    Could we please have the birth year by the childrens names on the “People” pages instead of the blue squares and pink circles? It would help very much. Thank you.

  41. Dear Kenny, It is 1:oo Am. and I am very very tired. I must change the information that was merged. I have the son as the father, and it is so confusing. I can’t make corrections on the page so it delays me getting the record straightened out. To-morrow, when I am rested, I hope to peruse the records, and hopefully have it corrected.

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