Posted by Kenny Freestone on May 29, 2008 in Site Features, Website

We’re excited today to be rolling a long-awaited and much-requested feature for family trees.

Many of our historical records on Ancestry have information in them about other members of the family—not just the one person.Previously when you saved a record, you could only save it to one person at a time, and if the record had information about other family members, you would have to find each of their individual records and save them one at a time.

Starting today when you find a record with family information, you can save and merge that record to multiple members of the household.

Is there a way to go back to hints you have previously accepted and re-merge those?Yes—last week we added a section to the list of hints for a person which now shows hints that have previously been accepted.

Merging responsibly

Now before you go off merging family information all willy nilly, please merge responsibly.The default selection on this new merge feature does NOT include the extra family members.This is so you can review them individually and be certain that they are a right match before you add them to your tree.As smart as our system is, it can still make mistakes and can occasionally recommend a merge of two wrongly matched people, or perhaps a merge that results in duplicate names in your family tree.

Give us your Feedback

So, how do you like this feature?Does it work well for you?What recommendations do you have?Please let us know how you like it.You can post a comment here, or if you prefer, feel free to send me an email directly (kfreestone at


  1. Linda Katalenich

    That sounds great – how about fixing the site so I can view the actual documents (census, military records, etc.)again.

  2. Nancy Jordan

    Great idea – I’m looking forward to the time saving benefits. Right now, the website is moving so slowly. Hope this is temporary.

  3. Linda Katalenich

    It just gets worse – now nothing works but the search. Can’t get to help, can’t download the viewer. This has been going on for more than a week – what’s happening?

  4. Kenny Freestone

    In response to comment #2…

    We’ve found with the roll of this new feature we’ve introduced a bug that has gummed up the works a bit. We’re working to get this cleared up quickly, and apologize for the sluggishness.


  5. Kenny Freestone
  6. 3 1/2 hours to try and input ONE name with a source. Each time I get this message: “Invalid or Unauthorized Input Has Been Detected” What gives?

  7. David Johnson

    The extra time spent “Loading” is really a drag. Also hitting enter in a text field to start the search no longer works — either have to tab to the button or move the mouse. Hitting the button is hard because it’s nearly off the screen. It would be nice to keep another button top/right or top/left as other screens sometimes do. I really dislike having to scroll to find the enter button. But on the other hand, thanks for the “search for records” button when there are no hints on the “People” page! — ddj

  8. David Johnson

    The enter button gripe is particular to the “add record to someone in your tree” screen.

  9. I like a lot of the new features however, site is running very slow today. This evening I am finding the census info on left side in hints is written in German. Not good! It would be helpful to add family from census to tree without having to type in – same as in Family Tree Maker.

  10. Jim Hubbard

    This new method is much too slow and requires more selecting & clicking. I must select who is added to my tree by data from census which is not allways new. Now I have about 5 more clicks to make and it is slower. This sucks.

    Jim Hubbard

  11. The information I found for Howard W. Hultgren was incorrect. His Mother is Josephina Carlson Hultgren, while Hilma Carlson was an Aunt that he lived with when his Mother was killed in the 1905 tornado in Marquette, Kansas

  12. PR McCullough

    This is a wonderful addition but needs to be tweaked to allow mergers with existing people in the tree whose names are spelled slightly differently than the index(an “e” rather than and “a”). I wound up with many duplicate people whom I had to remove one by one.

    Expanded tips about discretion and understanding the limitations would make this a more useful tool. prmc

  13. kayrisher

    Hated to ask for this feature but had gotten totally spoiled using it on familytreemaker program.. absolutely wonderful to have it online now!!!

  14. Tom Vought

    Just popped in to mention that I’m getting German on the update screen, but see that it’s already been noted and posted by another.

    I too noticed the sluggishness today, then saw new input screens popping up and figured the upgrade was gumming things up for a while.

  15. Anne Philbrick

    I am very disappointed in the upgrade. Not only is everything much slower, but I no longer have the ability to delete people or events. The merging capacity is poor, so that multiple duplicate people and events are created. Therefore, the loss of ability to delete people or events leaves everything a mess. I have canceled my subscription for the time being, despite having enjoyed Ancestry after subscribing last month and creating a family tree of hundreds of people and sources.

  16. Allison Lassen

    I like the idea of the change in adding everyone on a Census page at once except I keep getting a page error message and it won’t update.

  17. I’m really frustrated tonight becaue the merge function is not working for me. I get up to the point where I want to add soemthing to my family member and when I click on the “ADD” button, nothing happens. I’ve tried it using several different accesses, one on the Foxfire browser and one directly through my interet carrier page. Nothing seems to work tonight and I am pretty frustrated as I’d like to keep going but I’m going to hae to shut it down and see if it works better tomorrow. Haven’t had this problem before and I’ve added many, many items. Hope you can fix this. Andrea

  18. Brian M. Law

    The new feature that allows the additional family member selection is nice. However, if the person in an ancestry member tree is not spelled very similar to what appears on a particular Census record for example – the “Record Merge” forces you to add a new person in your tree in order to attach the record. For example, I located a Census record that has the name of “Maggie Shaffer”, but in my tree she is “Margaret Pearl Shaffer” and so, Ancestry wants to add a new person. For this reason, it would be great if there was a way to select the person to attach to if Ancestry doesn’t automatically find a match. Please let me know if this is feasible. Thank you.




    new feature including rels on census fantastic, cuts work, crossed eyes, mistakes and headaches, specially when you get to the prolific families!!

  21. Margaret Walton Allen

    I think this is brilliant but is there any way dates can be altered? because branches of my tree goes back as do many others to 1200 and earlier I find in many instances contributors put birthdates in as born in USA 1400 as an example because when people emigrated to America they took the names of the places they lived in England so I consistantly find… born Durham, North Carolina USA when it should be Durham UK.I know you can’t supply history lessons but if people knew the date Christopher Columbus discovered America it would wipe out all the misinformation that pops up constantly.

  22. Madeline Brasel

    I do NOT like the new way to add census records to people in my tree…when adding the record I type in the persons name, but now I can no longer just hit enter, I must stop and click on search with the mouse…next, after attaching the record I am taken to that person in the tree rather than back to census in order to attach others in my family, again and again! and NO, I do not like attaching the record willy-nilly to the whole group at once, lets face it, the transcribers and I do not alway agree on a persons name and how do I know the right name got attached to the right person?

  23. Joanne/Sam Wallendal

    I like this feature very much, BUT..a problem that I’m running into is the spelling of the names of the other family members. Often different sources have different spellings or use nicknames, i.e., Mae, May, Mary; or Kate, Catherine, Kathryn. So the feature sees it as a different person, where in reality it depends on the experience of the person recording the information, such as census takers, or perhaps a different nickname is used at different times. Is there any way that we can edit the information?

  24. Ruth Johnson

    I do not like the many of the new features. there are too many loading, check and recheck, with a Loading in between. While I set and wait. Also sometimes when I finally get to a hint, sometimes it is in a foriegn language. What gives here??? also, help doesn’t work. Seemes like Ancestry just goes from bad to worse. I sure wish there was another site we could use but seems like Ancestry has a monoply.

  25. Misty

    This isn’t working for me at all. Dang it.

    I can no longer attach sources (census records, birth records, etc.) to anyone in my tree. I get to the “Review and save changes” screen, but all it does is show me a “Loading….” message. Nothing ever pops up. I MUCH preferred the old way – it was so much easier, and actually worked!

  26. Tracey

    I love the new merge feature. It saves loads of time in attaching information to family members. I did encounter a problem with a person who was widowed and remarried. The merge wanted to put the marriage date on the wrong bride. Otherwise, I love it.

  27. Seems like it is back to one person rather than the whole family again. However, there is an issue with what page it returns you after you add the information. It used to return you to the person’s family page, but i could hit the “back” button on my browser to get to the census record with the whole family, and then after I had added the first person, it would go back to the census record with the rest of the family members. But now, it returns you to the hints page, even after the first person is entered. For a while it returned you to the person’s page (even after the first family member was entered), but that seems to have shifted sometime today to the “hints” page.

  28. This new system is rubbish. Every time you get a census to add to a family you now have to keep finding the census to add to the rest of the family,why change something that works!

  29. Don Monaghan

    Since yesterday Processing Image Request” almost everytime I try to access any type of image, but only after waiting 30-60 seconds for the response. The problem seemed less frequent in the evening so maybe it’s related to load on the system. Whatever the cause, it’s very frustrating and is really limiting the usefulness of the system.

  30. Don Monaghan

    Trying again – Part of my entry disappeared:

    Since yesterday I get a message “Error Processing Image Request” almost everytime I try to access any type of image, but only after waiting 30-60 seconds for the response. The problem seemed less frequent in the evening so maybe it’s related to load on the system. Whatever the cause, it’s very frustrating and is really limiting the usefulness of the system.

  31. I noticed you new “add” format but
    it looks like you missed something
    important. With the old format if
    you wanted to add/attach someone you would be directed to the list of the
    people in your tree. If this person
    was not already on the list, there
    was a place to click that said
    something like “add John Doe as a
    new member of your tree”. You’d
    click it and a screen would pop up
    to enter the info. That system is
    not available on the new format. I
    now have to go back to a parent or
    a spouse enter the name of the new
    person and then go back to whatever
    record I found the person on and try
    to attach it. Yes, I got in, but it
    was through the backdoor. Can you
    fix this?

    Please call me 518-348-6478 if you
    have questions.

    Rev. Barbara J. Silk

  32. Madeline Brasel

    This is getting very frustrating, what used to be enjoyable has now become a chore. Attaching records before was simple and to the point, now I must take several steps and end up in timbucktoo to attach records and return to same record! Please tell me this change is not permanent!

  33. Glenda Wade

    Lets say there is 10 kids and all in a roll. On each record that comes up, it shows all 10 kids well now I have 3 of the same person and I hit saved. It doesn’t put the record under the main person it just adds another person with the same name. It would of been nice if all the 3 of the records went under each child that was listed. Now I have to go in delete 2 of each of the same child.

  34. Paul Hart

    I am having problems adding stuff from the 1880 New York census. I am constantly getting Invalid Input errors. Plus, I have members of my family that have foriegn letters in their names (ie. è) This is also “invalid” and no records can be connected with them.

  35. Kenny Freestone

    In response to comment 37…

    Hi Madeline,

    I’m not sure I understand your frustration. We tried to set this new merge up so there would be as few changes as possible. When you see the merge page it should look and act the same as before, but also give the option to add more family members.

    I would love to have some more details on the problem you are describing.


    kfreestone at

  36. Delores Vega

    I absolutely love all the new things you have made available on Ancestry. It is slower than it used to be but then there is much more information loading. You have come a long way since I first discovered your website. Keep it up.

  37. Jana

    Great feature. Love it. Have been waiting for this for a long time. One question. Could we see the record image on the page where we are selecting who to attach it to? Then we could compare who is on the record with who Ancestry has suggested is on the record.

  38. Pete Mohle

    Several issues:
    1.Was this product in beta for any time before being released for general availability?
    2.I also am intermittently getting German headings . . .
    3.I’ve learned not to use your feature that allows for adding marriage data when a marriage record is found. It doesn’t matter whether I have the spouse’s name already on the target person record or not – the software will add “Marriage to Unknown”. The only solution I’ve found is, as others have said, to delete in edit mode.
    4.Frustratingly slow.

    Other than that, I’m retired so I have lots of time to sit here and re-do things, so no worries. And there’s really not much German to learn to survive 😉


  39. Jana

    Another question/comment. I figured out that if I have already accepted a record as a hint, I can go to “Accepted Hints” for that person and then merge it to people on their tree. But, what about records I attached but didn’t get through a hint? Something I found on my own. Could you please make it so that if I go to a historical record attached to someone on my tree, from their person page, that I can then attach that record to everyone in the family at once?

  40. Cindy Acton

    I like the new feature. One other thing I’d like is the ability to add notes (such as occupation, etc.) like those found in census records, without having to save the record first and then reopen it.

  41. Kenny Freestone

    In response to comments about GERMAN…

    I’d like to get some more information to help us resolve this issue where some of you are seeing German characters in the merge process.

    If this is the case for you, please send me an email (kfreestone at with some info:

    –ancestry username
    –Tree name
    –Person you are merging from
    –record you are merging



  42. Eleanor

    I like some of your new site. I am finding that the info from hints are just in different order (like the dates). but I usually have more info than what I get. I often wish I give give you what I have.

  43. Lin Durand

    I like all of the features of the upgrade with the exception of the profile on the ‘List View of People in xxxxxxxx’ (tree). I am administrating a tree of over 4500 individuals and am going through the name list one by one. With the old profile, I could see a difference in the shading of the print on each name and could tell which people I had edited and which still needed work. Now I am having a hard time determining which names I have worked on.

  44. klaxon

    Just found the new option to add possible relatives at the same time as an individual’s record is located in a census return. This will be a great time saver but, as you say, needs to be used with care. Neverthe less a great advancement.

  45. klaxon

    Having just entered a comment I was directed to the site where other people had contributed. Crikey some people want to be spoon fed. The system gives a HINT you decide whether it is valid and wish to use it. If the spelling is slightly different then “show detail”, accept the hint and then change it or add whatever you like. Your current members are shown in the right hand panel so if you get a duplicate there is only one person to blame and it’s not Kenny.
    I am over the moon with it!

  46. Lisa

    I am more excited everyday with all the added features!!! I only wish that I could do this as a full time job 🙂
    The appearance of the list with the option to click on who has hints is awesome too. This feature of adding other people from records is so cool. I can’t begin to tell you…..I was just enjoying playing with layouts etc. for the custom printing – basically so that I could print the image of a census and add all the other information more easily – and then I stumbled on this. I truly am an amateur – but I’ll get there! There is so much to learn here. Thank you so much for the service that you provide as well as constant advancement and progress!

  47. Tammy

    Look forward to using it. It should work great as I use to go back into the record and click on each member separately to add the record. This will make that effort sooo much easier.

  48. Dear Mr. Freestone,
    Your new merging has interupted my ability to add information to my family tree. I keep getting the message that I am not authorized to enter the data. I have a lot of work to do and would like this corrected as soon as possible.
    Thank You

  49. Martin Berry

    This is a wonderful new addition for adding addtional family members, where it fails is that if a persons name is spelled differently, the merge suggests that it is a new person or if the person cannot be found automatically, it does not allow you to correct this by selecting the correct person from your family tree.

    Also for those users who have a low band width connection, there should be an option to select a cut down version like the old style merge that was perviously used.

    I have seen a hint only to find that when i select it, it comes up with page not found and when i go back, the hint has gone

  50. Happy to see you are working on this problem. I havn’t tried your new system yet, but saw the opening to talk to someone. The old days there was a merge possibility which dissapeared. I have Caroline Mueller who married William Willmann. He died, then she married his brother Friedrich Willmann. The double name problem would not go away. Thank you Louis Schmidt.

  51. Some of the information is scrambled and It could be dangerous to newer eye (person who is up on their extended tree) It is very slow even at night. I have the very old family tree converted from windows 95 and it does not work.

  52. Lin Durand

    Am having difficulty deleting people from my tree. I remove the relationships and then attempt to delete the individual (they are duplicate people) but it does not work. Is anyone else having this issue?

  53. Jane McClure

    This is a wonderful feature! Of course, because the census is so full of misspellings, it has its limitations. If only you could make it so we can type in the correct name to match up with the wrong name, then have the record attach to that person. I hope that makes sense.

  54. Madeline Brasel

    The new layout is very nice, easy on the eyes…but

    In simple terms: I work on one head of household, find him in every census possibly, with wife/wives, children, military, birth, death, etc. After I verify if I have any of his family already in my tree I then add any wife, children, etc. Having done so, I then attach each census to each family member in order not to have to search for it again [some are spelled way off…my all time favorite was when I finally found Zachariah Taylor under Lachariah Laylor!].

    Before, I could go down the list in the census record, attach each family member and be taken right back to the same census to finish attaching each family member.

    Now, I attach another family member from the census and I am taken to that family member…say a child of head of house. Now, I must scroll down to whatever census it was and go back to attach another sibling, then again and again.

    I learned my lesson some time ago about attaching records en masse…I am still cleaning up duplicate people and deleting people born 450BC in Canada who died in 1960 in France…or some such nonsense.

    So for those of us who do not care for the mass attaching of census records, is there any way to simply have us return to the census after attaching records rather than bouncing us around the family?

    Allowing the enter button to work rather than clicking on the search button again, would not hurt my feelings a bit.

  55. Robin Mina

    Some nice features with the new system attaching records, but I agree that when attaching relatives to existing people (and the record has permutations in the spelling), creating a new person is totally awful.

    Worst immediate problem….I’m also getting “Invalid or unauthorized input has been detected” when trying to attach censuses. Why hasn’t this issue been addressed here? Would love to have a datapoint to know it will be fixed.

  56. Jennifer

    AWSOME! This could save me a lot of time in adding new people and records to my tree. You all do a great job at Sometimes, it seems like you are reading my mind. Thanks a bunch.

  57. Joan (Mrs. Robert E.) Stone

    In looking at the tree info for my mother (Jennie Jaquith Solsby) and her father William Henry Solsby, I find the last name as DOLSBY. This is totally incorrect and am sure is the reason that I have been unable to locate any information on my grandpa William Henry Solsby, born 1852 and married to Emma Elizabeth Heideman on July 23, 1883 (WEDDING CERTIFICATE on my wall)Please make these changes or corrections. I do not know how.

  58. Helen

    Love this, really good tool.
    Would love something along these lines for BMD for informants, witnesses etc

    Not too sure about the new search too many names are not showing up just a link which needs clicking, but all new things take time to be tweeked.
    Keep up the great work

  59. I am impressed so far.

    It was help both you and myself if you could
    get my E-mail straightened out. It has not been
    correct for about two years and you keep telling
    me it is wrong.

    I am sorry to bring this up here. Erase it if you

  60. debra harris

    When I accessed a birth record and used the “show relatives” feature it gave Augustin W Higdon’s wife as his daughter. Her birth was also on the same record. It was the Kentucky birth record for 1852 – 1910 for Mclean County. I have also ran into a lot of transcription errors. They will be recorded appropriatly on the original records but wrong on the transcribed version. When searching for someone and the transcribed version is what is used to access results, this makes it very difficult. Thanks for listening. Debra Harris

  61. Love being able to merge several family members at once, it has cut the amount of time I spend looking for historical records. I love looking for the records but hated attaching them to all the relatives involved because I got confused who was done and who wasn’t. It was a waste of precious time that I would rather be looking through the records and reading about my families. I like to visual how it must have been for them then. Thank you for all your updates, so we have more time to spend with our families, no matter how we spend that time with them.

  62. Kimberly Hogan-Morley

    I like the new features in theory, but the reality is that it is not a little bug- there are some major problems with the new software. In two days, I have had two people in my tree assigned to new parents, and the system will not allow me to delete anything. I have tried deleting events, relationships, and the individual. Nothing works. I am going to wait to work on anything until the bug is fixed. I think that ancestry should give a rebate on fees for the inconvenience caused by errors and several days of wasting my time. My e-mail received a high volume /delayed response answer.

  63. Rick Cwiakala

    This merge feature still doesn’t work. Can you let me know when it will be fixed so I can try it then? Thanks.

  64. Regarding the “INVALID OR UNAUTHORIZED INPUT HAS BEEN DETECTED” error message that occurs when a record fails to attach, could it be related to spelling permutations of names? I tried repeatedly attaching an 1850 census to a person I’d already named “Betsy.” After I changed the spelling of the person’s name in my index to match the record, which was “Betsey,” then the record attached. Haven’t tried to duplicate it yet, though.

    I’d really like to see answers to posts 6, 18, 29, 39, 43, 56, & 63 that reference the error message and inability to attach records; and answers to posts 12, 21, 27, 38, 57 & 63 that reference the problem that creates an unwanted new person when attaching relatives’ records with name permutations.


  65. James Cooper

    I have been having problems for the past two days trying to add information in one of your ancestry hints, such as a census record. When I try to add it to my tree I get the following message on screen.

    “Invalid or Unauthorized Input Has Been Detected ”
    There is a problem servicing your request—it contains invalid or unauthorized data. The details of the problem have been automatically logged to our servers.

    If you feel that you have reached this page in error, use your browser’s Back button to identify the page and data that caused the problem. Then re-enter the information.

    It does no good to re-enter the information I still get no where. This is very frustrating! Can you fix this problem ASAP?

  66. Jessica West

    I have used the new feature several times already and love it. It really saves time and is incredibly useful. I like that it can be used for various documents.

  67. Alison (greysky148)

    Now the bugs seem to have been shaken out the new features on the site are great. The new way to link all the relatives on a census report in one hit is great and being able to see a list off all ancestors with ancestry hints I’ve found really helpful.

  68. vhiddai



    Simply tried to attach a census record without any editing or adjustment

  69. vhiddai

    Was the input invalid or was it unauthorised? In what way was it invalid or why was it unauthorised? Simply to be told to go back and redo it is not helpful. Error messages should DETECT the type of error, LOCATE where it lies and INSTRUCT how to correct. I learned this as a programmer in the 1960s !


    This is an absolutley brilliant idea, it helps with all the confusion and it doesn’t take too much time., as well it helps with our arthritic fingers and hands.keep up the great progress.Thanks for keeping us occupied and for so much information.You have really made it so much easier, and cuts down all that extra time ,when we can easily ,and quickly find more family. i don’t know what i would’ve done without the Ancestry.MANY THANKS

  71. Omar Arnason

    This new merging feature has worked like a dream when I´m not using Canadians of Icelandic descent. Then this invariably happens:

    Invalid or Unauthorized Input Has Been Detected
    There is a problem servicing your request—it contains invalid or unauthorized data. The details of the problem have been automatically logged to our servers.

    If you feel that you have reached this page in error, use your browser’s Back button to identify the page and data that caused the problem. Then re-enter the information.

  72. i don’t know why every-one is complaining about, this is a wonderful concept.,could you also add family information on FAMILY HEREDITRY ILLNESSES that people have died from.this i’m sure will be very beneficual to any will be great for any living relatives and particularly for each generation to come. I’m having a ball on ANCESTRY,and it also helps one to get to know other family tree members ,even if they are not quite the ones you are looking for .,but with the INVITES ,one can get to know other people.,who maybe in some slight chanse might know one can get to become friends, in ones own STATE or OVERSEAS by EMAIL. There is so much to GAIN by ANCESTRY. So stop and think how grateful one has to gain by just being calm and collected. I’m still trying to find out if my dad has any BROTHERS AND SISTERS but remember GOOD THINGS COMES TO THOSE WHO WAIT. i don’t mind waiting.The FAMILY LINKS WILL SOON COME TOGETHER AND ITS WORTH ITS WEIGHT IN GOLD WHEN YOU FINALY FIND YOUR MISSING RELATIVES.So people just relax -have FUN, and be very grateful to ANCESTRY for their most wonderful their GIFT to everyone.,for without them we would’nt be were we are TODAY.MANY, MANY THANKS FOR THIS WONDERFUL SITE. You are to be CONMENDABLE FOR EVERYTHING THAT YOU DO FOR EVERY-ONE, PAST AND PRESENT.

  73. i don’t know why every-one is complaining about, this is a wonderful concept.,could you also add family information on FAMILY HEREDITRY ILLNESSES that people have died from.this i’m sure will be very beneficual to any will be great for any living relatives and particularly for each generation to come. I’m having a ball on ANCESTRY,and it also helps one to get to know other family tree members ,even if they are not quite the ones you are looking for .,but with the INVITES ,one can get to know other people.,who maybe in some slight chanse might know one can get to become friends, in ones own STATE or OVERSEAS by EMAIL. There is so much to GAIN by ANCESTRY. So stop and think how grateful one has to gain by just being cool, calm and collected. I’m still trying to find out if my dad has any BROTHERS AND SISTERS but remember GOOD THINGS COMES TO THOSE WHO WAIT. i don’t mind waiting.The FAMILY LINKS WILL SOON COME TOGETHER AND ITS WORTH ITS WEIGHT IN GOLD WHEN YOU FINALY FIND YOUR MISSING RELATIVES.So people just relax -have FUN, and be very grateful to ANCESTRY for their most wonderful .,their GIFT to everyone.,for without them we would’nt be were we are TODAY.MANY, MANY THANKS FOR THIS WONDERFUL SITE. You are to be CONMENDABLE FOR EVERYTHING THAT YOU DO FOR EVERY-ONE, PAST AND PRESENT.

  74. Charles Powell

    Invalid or Unauthorized Input Has Been Detected: Reproduce as follows:

    Ancestry user: cepowell53
    Tree: Charles Emmitt Powell 1953
    Census person: 1910 US Federal Census Lee W Venable, b abt 1884, residence White Bread, Caddo, Oklahoma
    Tree person: William Lee VENABLE, born 08 Mar 1885

    What may be odd: this census record is in my shoebox

    Click add (residence) as an Alternate Fact > Click Add to Your Tree.

    Response is: Invalid or Unauthorized Input Has Been Detected
    There is a problem servicing your request—it contains invalid or unauthorized data. The details of the problem have been automatically logged to our servers.

    Delete the census record from the shoebox. > try again clicking Name Add as Alternate Fact > Residence add as alternate fact > Add to your tree.

    Response is the same: Invalid or Unauthorized Input Has Been Detected

    I’ve tried 1900 and 1910 census on this person with same error.

  75. Carol

    I LOVE being able to add family members from census records! It’s a great timesaver! Good Job!

  76. Matthew

    I can’t figure out how this works at all – I don’t see any indication of it in the interface. Will someone please explain on what screen and where I should see something different along these lines? I’ve looked and looked, and I can’t figure out what’s changed…



  77. help!!! i can not attatch any records it hasn’ t made any difference what record i”m trying to attach, just like comments 43 and 73. in theory if it would attach it seems that it would be a timesaver.
    i also have been having trouble with viewing the pedigree chart in the family view page any help would be appreciated. thanks

  78. James Morris

    This merge enhancement is fantastic. I find it especially useful when I encounter another child. I can add the child, the source AND the record at one time – and put the child directly into the family.
    Thanks for the constant updates. I also like the list of persons in the tree with hits – all in one place.
    I guess I have not noticed the slow down since I moved to high speed access about the same time. I must be lucky. I think I would have been crazy by now if I were still on dial up!

  79. lynn seamark

    This is a great time saving feature. However the relationships don’t seem to always make sense.
    I’m linking a husband – the wife shows up fine – but none of the kids? though they are already in my tree and the names match closely with the ones in the census. It doesn’t pick up step parents or step children.



    I’ve tried several ways as well. None of my records were shoeboxed, and clicking on alternate facts didn’t help me either. I thought it might be name permutations, but no longer.

    Here are some other records that won’t attach:

    Ancestry user: robinjoamanda
    Tree: Huber Family Tree
    Census person: Augustus E McEwen, 1880 US Federal Census, residence Lawrence, Saint Lawrence, New York, age 46, abt 1834
    Tree person: AUGUSTUS E McEwen, born 17 Jan 1834

    Ancestry user: robinjoamanda
    Tree: Huber Family Tree
    Census person: Otto Kammerer, 1900 US Federal Census, residence Mankato Ward 1, Blue Earth, Minnesota, age 23, abt 1877
    Tree Person: OTTO LOUIS FERDINAND Kammerer, born 10 Jun 1876


  81. vhiddai


    See #6,#39,#56,#63,#74,#76,#82,#85

    While the trick suggested in #74 may work, it is timeconsuming and we all want to get on with attaching records.

    Do you detect a note of irritation?

  82. About the error attaching records, here are two more if this helps any–they’re occurring on the same profile page:

    Ancestry user: robinjoamanda
    Tree: Huber Family Tree
    Census person: Henry Uber, 1900 US Federal Census, residence Reading Ward 9, Berks, Pennsylvania, born abt 1842 [Record is shoeboxed]
    Tree person: HENRY Huber, born Jul 1841

    Ancestry user: robinjoamanda
    Tree: Huber Family Tree
    Census person: Henry Huber, 1880 US Federal Census, residence Reading, Berks, Pennsylvania, born abt 1842 [Record is in hints]
    Tree person: HENRY Huber, born Jul 1841

  83. Yvonne Savage

    Why won’t the “new improved program” let me save census information to the names I select???

  84. michelle harte

    Regarding Lucy Lem – was this not in fact Hannah Goate’s granddaughter.

    Lucy Fulcher married Charles lefoy Leni.

  85. Penny McKenzie

    I really love this feature. It saves so much time. I would like to see an option to “choose all” instead of having to choose each person separately to save even more time. Thank you so much for this new feature. Looking forward to other new things. Would certainly love to see a descendancy tree.

  86. Robert Malay

    I’ve tried to attach both a 1920 US Census entry and an immigration manifest to an existing individual – neither work, I get the “INVALID OR UNAUTHORIZED INPUT HAS BEEN DETECTED” for every attempt.

    This really, really stinks – put things back the way they were – given the varying name permutations and birth dates on census records and manifests your “solution” only makes the process even harder now.

  87. Karen B Kontrath

    I do not like this merge at all. I thought it was a good idea and that it would attach the census to all the children in that census that went the parents. Instead it has added them so now I have two sets of children that are actually the same people with just different spellings. I think a little more work needs to be done or this. I understand my lack of knowledge about this feature didnt exactly help, but now I have to figure out how to delete the extra kids and get the census attached to kids as I have them spelled.

  88. Evelyn

    I am trying to save a document from 1920 census to my tree and I keep getting the following message: “Invalid or Unauthorized Input has been detected” etc. I tried my other computers just incase it was a certain pc but the problem continues. What can I do?

  89. Jane McClure

    This is working well for me most of the time. Next, it would be great to be able to correct the misspelled family name of an entire family at once.

  90. hilary wood

    love this feature !
    it does create quite a few duplicates though, even when everything seems in order and i am being careful. i didnt mind that until i suddenly lost the ability to delete people this week, so for now i am stuck with my duplicates.( brand new mac with safari browser)

  91. hilary wood

    having just said that, i now find delete is working again today – many thanks for quick fix !

  92. jeri mork

    If I merge a name of a relative, will this add an extra name even if they are already in my tree and I only want to add the fact that they are on this particular census?


  93. vhiddai


    Problem first reported in #6, May 29.

    No sign of an answer or action.

    Would appreciate a response about the E.T.A. of the fix as it is presently impossible to attach census records and sources.

  94. Karen Wisler

    Great time saver. Just used it this past week and was thrilled how much time was saved in merging the census to family members.

  95. Two small problems:
    1. When locating people in the index to attach records to, please allow “enter” to work rather than having to click on SEARCH.

    2. In the event description line, typing quotation marks suddenly turns up as "….So if I enter quotation marks around a name [“Augustus”], it will show up in the description line as "Augustus"

    The two large problems:
    Now that it’s Monday, hope you will address 1) the INVALID OR UNAUTHORIZED INPUT HAS BEEN DETECTED problem and 2) the problem merging records of relatives that creates a duplicate person.


  96. Kenny Freestone

    RE: comments about “Invalid or Unauthorized Input Has Been Detected”

    Thanks to all who have posted comments about this bug. We believe we have a fix for it, and hope to roll it to the site soon.

    Basically it has to do with certain characters (such as ]/[#%) in your family tree which may be misinterpreted by our servers as javascript code. Our servers are a persnickity lot and won’t allow that, so we’re working to resolve this in a way our servers can handle politely.

    We apologize for the frustration this has caused.


  97. Patricia

    I really like the ‘idea’ of this feature but it’s not very ‘user friendly’ yet. I think it needs to be tweeked a bit more.
    For example – This time around, I am attempting to add the wife, which it allows me to do but there are 9 children that appear in the record but only the 3rd child appears below to select and THEN when I attempt to select the one child that DOES show, it gives an error and doesn’t allow me to add that child.
    On other occasions, I want to add children and because there is a variation of some sort in the record, it adds the children as OTHER Children from another marriage. I didn’t realize it had done this so I had to go back and delete said added children – instead of it merging them into the children that were already there.
    It is a nice thought but it needs to be worked out so there are perhaps more options for saving and not so much automation which just seems to end up creating MORE busy work and time spent trying to keep things straight instead of searching through the records.

  98. I love the new feature where you can add additional info from the Census records. It makes things so much faster. Before you would have to take all this other info down and then add it to the other person’s family. Thanks so much for this new feature. Janie Walker

  99. Robert Malay

    RE: comments about “Invalid or Unauthorized Input Has Been Detected”

    Basically it has to do with certain characters (such as ]/[#%) in your family tree which may be misinterpreted by our servers as javascript code.

    The other characters that may be causing issues are the Unicode characters – i.e., Eastern European, Slovak, etc

  100. Liz

    This new merge feature is brilliant – it is saving me so much time. As you rightly point at it needs to be handled with care, but it is excellent. thasnk you!

  101. vhiddai

    re #109 & #113

    The explanation is OK but we didn’t have this problem before, even if those characters were there!

    So this has happened as a result of your changes to the record merge.

    Looking forward to your fix.

  102. carolyn

    I was corresponding with someone who merged a name in my tree. can he do that without my permission/knowledge?
    Can I remove it and associated names?carolyn

  103. Kenny Freestone

    In response to comment 116…

    Another user can merge a name FROM your tree if your tree is public and the name is not of a person we believe to be living.

    Another user cannot add a name IN or TO your tree unless that user is invited by you to be an editor in your tree.


  104. vhiddai

    re: #113

    A further thought about the comment concerning UNICODE characters –

    Remember that this character set is designed to facilitate the globalisation of software !!

    ‘Nuf said.

  105. Since this new feature was implemented, I can no longer merge information, family trees or otherwise, without receiving an error that the data is invalid or unauthorized.

  106. Susan Curley

    This is SUCH a timesaver!! THANKS!!! My only problem is that when there are family members with other surnames, they aren’t listed as possible relatives, so you have to go to those persons & pull the file up for them. Hoping this will soon be fixed as well! 🙂

  107. stan walker

    the hints are great!! but messy it puts two three and sometimes more listings of the same person. when i try to clean up this mess it will sometimes remove all listings of the one i remove. how about under “relationships” or someweres a “MERGE” to get rid of duplicate entries

  108. Larry Preston

    When pulling information from 1905 census the family feature didnot pull the family but someother person from the census. It did pull the mother and one out of four sons.

  109. Pat Dickey

    Much frustration — multiple Hints display on the person page, but the link loads in the new GUI page without any hints displayed -also, loading docs with the image viewer used to just cause Firefox to crash – now it’s IE browser as well.

    You folks also have a major conflict (read browser crash) issue with Norton 360 2008 version 2.0 that causes Firefox (and now possibly IE) to bomb whenever a records image is launched — I’ve seen this issued listed in here before..when will a fix be coming? Norton points to Ancestry content scripting as the issue.

    I agree that a BETA issue was needed before unleashing this nasty beast of an “upgrade” on the paying public. I am hamstrung and this takes all the fun away, folks.

  110. Craig

    I absolutely hate the upgrade! Each time I add a name from the census records, the screen then jumps to that person, instead of staying on the census record so I can add the other people.

    Also, when adding locations from the main person page, the “auto” tab doesn’t pop-up underneath to let me pick a place I’ve typed in before.

  111. Sorry but I am not impressed with the new merge function – primarily because I have yet to do it successfully! I receive the message ‘invalid or unauthorized data’ and a Vista indication that the Ancestry security is corrupted. Please put the old software back so that I can get on with my family tree—that or consider refunding my annual dues.

  112. Mary Edwards

    I really like this feature. The only thing that I would like to see is like the family tree, where you can select all members at one time, then only have to review them and uncheck what you don’t want.

  113. There was a comment made in a previous comment that the invalid data error was caused by the presence of a special character or Eastern European character. My attempted merge couldn’t be more ‘vanilla’. It is a single line census record and there are no characters other than a-z and .,
    The failure is consistent. I have spent the last 40 years in software design and development and as a development manager, I would have terminated anyone who signed off any alpha or beta test report of a piece of software that is this dirty!!

  114. Judy Weiss

    I love the new record merge feature where you can add all family members at one time. When people have several children with them, it is a real time saver

  115. Carl Taylor

    This new feature is great. It makes it so mch easier to add sources to multiple faily members.
    Thanks so much.

  116. Viv Emnott

    Looking forward to advancements but finding myself disappointed when I’m in the middle of merging and then finding myself at this moment as I’m asked to comment on something I cannot download!!
    In these precious moments before bedtime I feel I’ve been robbed!!

  117. Pippa Cain

    Fantastic – this new feature will save me hours of tedious inputting! Many thanks! Am now watching out for the problems other people have been commenting on… so far so good for me though!

  118. Terry Morgan

    Hi A postive comment!
    Thanks for the additional merge facility. It’s excellent and very helpful in compiling the information to “cement” some facts together and corroborate information.
    My only slightly negative comment (sorry) would be in relation to the home page of the Ancestry site…it does seem to take time to fully load even with Broadband at 5Mb.

  119. Angela Webendorfer

    Love it! Please add a feature where you can choose someone already existing on your tree to attach the record to – lots of people use nicknames or middle names on the census records that this feature currently doesn’t recognize! Once you can choose the person this will be perfect!!!!!!

  120. Patricia Olson

    I love the feature, but it does take using with care. Could you possibly move the link For Seeing the List of Relatives away from the Add to Tree button? Several times I have clicked the add to tree when I really wanted to see who else was possible. They are just too close.

  121. vhiddai

    Re #128

    Dale, I couldn’t agree with you more.

    What is worse is the comment mentioning UNICODE characters. The way it was written by Robert Malay it looks like an excuse. For one thing, such technicalities will mean nothing to many people.

    More important, this character set is designed to facilitate globalisation of software – maybe the designers forgot that.

  122. designers is that what they are i had the idea that they were just


    thats how we would refer to a group (or person) here in the uk who says they are able to do a job. but when they do it you find they use the cheepest method and more to the point they have no knowlage of how to do the job in the first place and in the end it all falls apart and this causes a bigger problem than when they started. thats if they have not distroyed it first. the end result what they do is worthless.

  123. llwoodbury

    I love this feature and would be thrilled if there was a way to confirm presence of information.
    “Warning, this person has a record “1910 Census” attached.” or “Warning, this name is in your Family Tree”
    That way the flag can be reviewed before going further.

    Thank you!

  124. angela

    I absolutely !!!LOVE!!! this new feature. When new family members are found on records this way, you don’t have to enter every one by hand. FABULOUS!!!!
    I only wish that in “SEARCH” you could narrow down to a particular county of the state THEN search for name within the county.

  125. Cindy Richards

    Why can’t I attach census records to my tree? Worked fine before. That’s part of the reason I pay for this site. It helps build my family Tree. HELP!!!!!

  126. 1. When I have a census record of the first qife the merge has on occasion brought up only the second wife and I cannot merge the information for the first wife. There should be a way to scroll through spouses in the merge.

    Another problem I have run into that may have a way around it, is to add a child of one of the children. It will not let me merge the information because I have no way to designate the parent.

    Can you help me with these at all?


    Suzanne Hunter

  127. shirley sinclair

    Why is it when you ignore hints that the green leaf still appears on that person’s name apart from that the new merge page is come into the 21st century

  128. Donna Dallman

    I really like the new feature. I see a lot of people with negative comments, but I do not agree with most of them. I work with this every day, all day, and this will help speed up my progress.
    Yes, the website has been slow – real slow.
    One thing I would like for you to add, is the “select all relatives” or “unselect all relatives”. I know you are trying to keep people from just adding “all”, but everyone must take responsibility for their own tree. To be able to “select all relatives” would be better than checking each box all the way down the line.
    I DO like the new feature!
    Now, if you would just make the “merge two individuals” possible, I would be delirious!!!!!

  129. Carole

    All of you people who love the merge feature are careless.

    You don’t even know if you are merging correct information into your tree.

    I have written before about my family tree that has been compiled by another family member with wrong people in it, and this tree is now being copied over and over by people like you, who are merging freaks.

    I just found another tree in the new AMT system, put together by someone who merged hints carelessly. They have my great great grandmother being born in 1829 with the wrong name. The person they merged into their tree was my great great grandmother’s grandmother’s sister. It’s insane. I wrote to the tree owner and of course there was no response. Where did this person merge that wrong person from?

    Why from the One World Tree of course!

    And guess what? People like you are merging this insanely wrong person into your very own trees because the merge feature is so darn wonderful.

    None of you know what you are doing.

  130. Carole

    To Post #146 —

    You work all day, every day, merging people into your tree?

    Do you back up the information you are taking with documentation?

    Do you order birth, death and marriage information?

    Do you check cemteries for burials and find out what other family members are buried near that particular person?

    Do you obtain military information?

    Do you go through the school enumermation records and verify dates, locations and how many children were in that family.

    Do you verify that the children you are taking from someone else’s tree are actually the children of those parents?

    I have books for counties that have guardian and foster parent information in them, and many of those children that are listed with parents are actually children from other families, listed on censuses with the wrong last names.

    School records also list the correct last names.

    Do you check court records for divorces? There are marriages and children that are unaccounted for and not in’s records. You have to go to the County and go through the records.

    You have to source your information and back it up with documentation.

    Working frantically all day every day merging people into your tree is sloppy and I’ll bet a large majority of the information you are taking is wrong.

  131. Anita

    Its a good idea, but someone thinks its funny to change place of birth, marriage, death and so instead of hampshire, england they change it to hampshire, USA………….

  132. lynn seamark

    I truely love this new feature, but I see some hangups that are consistant. If the spelling of a name in the database is different than that in my tree – it doesn’t find the relative. I am working on one family now that the son is listed by a middle name and the linking to relatives wants to add a new child. It also doesn’t allow a choice – if a second spouse has a similar name to the first. I’m finding that I rarely can link to an entire family, some in the census just don’t get matched up with the tree.

  133. Donna Dallman

    This feedback area is to report what customers think of the new software features = not what the customers think of each other.
    I must say to #147 and #148 – that both of you are pretty CONCEITED to ASSUME that you know what I am doing with my tree. I am NOT “working frantically” all day “MERGING” names into my tree. I work ALL DAY, EVERY DAY, searching and researching names to put in my tree. I do NOT just slap in a bunch of names from One World Tree!
    What you two need to do, is just answer the question that Kenny asked you about the SOFTWARE features – and let the rest of us take care of our own trees, even though as #147 said = “None of us know what we are doing.”

  134. Ken Weaver

    Hints that are incorrect ones persist even after I’ve checked them out. Is there a way to deactivate a single particular hint that you’ve figured out doesn’t apply?

  135. Clare Short 11

    Please when I merge I some to have duplicate people on my listing. SO I have gone back to delete them, Then have deleted some that I needed to keep: Is there anyway to merge those duplcate people on my family listing.

  136. Karen Gmyr

    I love the feature (though I’m still unsure how to use it fully) but I can’t seem to find the previously accepted hints for people who don’t show new hints. How do I access these?

    Also, I was going to use this for a 1930 census record, but since the extracted names did not match the family names I have (and if you look at the record you can see that my names are actually correct) it tried adding the children as new individuals. Is there a way to request that the merge family records search for possible matches based on parents and ages or allow you to select someone from your existing tree without having to go through the old fashioned way of adding each individual? And once someone is added is there a way to flag the record with the “alternate” name without having to submit a separate report?

  137. Marilyn

    I hate the fact that there doesn’t seem to be a FIX for the viewer, I’ve done everything, resetting the security, tried to go to C: Prompt to type it in…before a new item comes along they need to get the bugs out of this one, without us getting so frustrated. I’m ready to just throw in the towel.

  138. George

    After merging an item, that needs to indicate that it has been merged. And/or mark it to check later.


  139. Chris

    Would love to be able to save an entire set of census records instead of having to save each page seperately (i.e. one click to save all pages for the 1900 US Fed Census for District X, City, County, State). Many of the older records have my family members on every single page. Becomes a pain to save each page.

  140. Laura A Bunyard


    Good idea if the record has been transcribed correctly. If it has, it saves time. If not, then I have to go back to the actual copy and dig the information up. Not very time saving, eh?

  141. Laura A Bunyard

    Hmmmmmmmm. German, eh? I knew it weren’t Spanish or French. That aside, I am quite perplexed by the bad adding of family members as in people under 10 having children or the child being merged into a family 200 years older. People born and died on the same day and giving birth after that. Parents born in another country and the children born in at least two or three different states in the USA or the country. In the 17th,18th and 19th century people travelled by ship to the new world. They didn’t go back and forth from England to the new world. I have two more months on my subscription and I am spending too much time on correcting the bad information I run across or dealing with the merge feature when it tells me it can’t do what I’m asking it to do and then I go back and enter all the people on the record manually and go to the spouse and it works fine and I have two of everyone to weed out. What’s going on?

  142. I love this new feature, appreciate your words of caution, but this is beautiful…thank you, thank you. I found it quick and easy to link this to my existing people. I discovered a while back that it helps to review the original document, add any new people and then attach the record. I will have to test this new feature for creating new people and then attaching the record. But I love the time savings and less effort in double checking the facts to ensure all members on a record have the same updated comments/details I add.

    I am also pleased to see the feedback of others, I feel less alone as I see I was not the only one with an issue and can save time spent second guessing my difficulty. Another good move.

    As for the latest changes to searches, it is taking some time to adjust to the new process and it has been slower but only because I have to adjust my search approach. I appreciate your upgrade efforts and opportunity to test and provide feedback.

  143. Cindy Acton

    I have a problem with this new feature. If I try adding all family for a census record when the family is already in my family tree, it will find the father and children but not the wife. If I add the whole family, I’ll end up with the children listed again with an unknown mother or two entries for the wife. There doesn’t seem to be a way to add a census record for the whole family and assign the wife’s info to her maiden name.

  144. Being able to add data to an entire family at the same time is absolutely AWESOME… Thank You!

    Now, if only you could add another merge feature so that I could check for duplicate individuals. As careful as I try to be, duplicates occasionally happen, since it’s hard remembering everything about 5,000+ individuals.

  145. Katy

    This is great!

    It would be wonderful if you could add the ‘Select Someone Already in Your Tree’ link for those entries with initials or misspellings.

  146. Carol Van Cleef

    This is a wonderful feature. So far it has worked great. The only ‘problem’ I see so far, is not being given the option to attach the record to children that Ancestry doesn’t automatically match up, like “Molly B.” on the record not automatically pulling “Mollie Belle” out of my tree. I am amazed at how well it does, but would like the option of making manual matches for ones you miss. Thanks for the cool new tool! And I must say, after looking at some of the other comments, there are a lot of impatient people out there! No news there, but I didn’t think genealogists were among them! Remember the days of searching indexes by hand and writing the courthouses, praying for a sympathetic clerk?? Relax!

  147. Mary Jane Cook

    Perhaps you can address two questions for me. Is there someplace to enter Significant Other as opposed to Married? Also, I used to be able to search for Duplicate individuals but now it seems like you have to KNOW the duplicates before merging (specific individuals). Thanks

  148. Lucy Feckner

    I would like to see a merge option for duplicate people… is there such a think like on family tree maker… Lucy

  149. Bob

    Kenny How do you use this new Merge feature and were is it?, I must be dumb(can I get a job at Ancestry?)

  150. Carole

    #151 Donna –

    I see that you have been designated the Blog Police for this particular Blog. Thank you for your attempt to put me in my place.

    However, you need to be aware that the subject of this particular blog line has nothing to do with software, but is about the new record merge feature, of which I commented about. I am on subject.

    THE RECORD MERGE FEATURE IS FLAWED in that the thousands of people using it do not know if they are taking correct information, yet these incorrect records are being merged over and over again into thousands of trees, being printed out into family books, so on and so forth.

    What I wrote obviously went right over your head.

  151. Gill Holmes

    The new merge feature is excellent and saves a lot of time. Two things that would improve it (if it is possible in the future – I’m not complaining!):
    The spouse’s (mother’s) name shows as the married name on the merge – I have to be careful to go to hide options and remove the married name before it records it. It would be very helpful if the surname appeared as a blank for married women.

    I have already accidentally duplicated children when the name differed slightly – it would help if other children of the couple who do not appear on that census appeared in the right hand column – it would be immediately be apparent if there were duplicates then.

    Thanks and keep up the good work

  152. Cynthia Harp

    Your new search still stinks. The person I just checked never lived outside the U.S.A. but the majority of things for Birth, Marriage and Death are for the U.K., four out of five. This is a well documented person and her birth and death places are present in my database. I’ve always thought the search needed improvements. When I enter a persons name I expect info on a person of that name in the various spelling, not people totally unrelated. If I search for a Rebecca X I don’t want to scan through names such as David X. I’ll look up David later. At that moment all I want is Rebecca. I waste time that could be used finding actual info going through page after page of people often times in different countries let alone different names. If I want stuff on children and spouses I’ll look them up. It would take less time than it does now. If I do the more detailed search it never turns up anything, says no records found. Then in the general search there might be several things right off the bat. It’s frustrating to say the least. I hope this makes some sense, I get rilled up when I try to explain it to others. Otherwise I’ve found many records and useful things here. I have so many people in my database and hate to waste time.

  153. Jeff

    This option saves a lot of time I really appreciate the thought you have put into it. I have 2000 people in my tree and adding all the time, so this is a big benefit.

  154. Cindy Jones

    I haven’t used this new feature yet, but judging from the comments posted here, a person can truely benefit from the time saved; IF one is careful. No amount of “soft-ware” is going to replace the accuracy of a live, human person. I’ve been a subscriber for over a year now. The amount of information I have gotten through all the records is awesome. But, the most dear and most accurate information has come from Ancestry members that I have met. I’m talking about all of the relatives I have met—AND NEVER KNEW I HAD! So, although this “ancestry thing” ( as my daughter puts it ) can get a bit frustrating, I can’t think of a better way to spend a rainy afternoon. Thank you Kenny, and everyone at!!

  155. Lynn

    Thanks for this wonderful new software feature. Thanks to Kenny and the ancestry team for listening to the members regarding new AMT software features.

    I hope that you can improve it one step further so that when the software is not able to match to someone already in the family group, that we could manually select the person from the tree that needs to have the historical record attached to. This new feature will be a big help also when the 1940 census comes out.

    And #148 and #168 Carole,
    We are getting a little tired of you.
    Do you think you are the ONLY person who knows what they are doing? You sound like it.
    Most of us know our families very well, and we are using this new software feature to attach the historical record sources and citations to our family already in the tree. You apparantly are only posting on this blog to complain and ridicule. You direct your posts directly to members you KNOW NOTHING about. If someone dares post something positive in these blogs, there you are posting how we all know nothing.

  156. Robert

    I would like FTM 2008 to include the feature of syncing my software with online tree account. It’s a pain to try to keep both trees updated.

  157. I am having problems getting census records to open when I access them. I have the newest download feature but it just keeps blinking and want let me open the census file.

  158. I really enjoy the new merging system it helps me grow my tree faster, and sure you can make mistakes so you have to be sure you have the right people.
    Also I wish you would come up with a merge system, that will merge people I already have in my tree with the exact same new person if they match. My home tree has this capability so you don’t get to many of the same people.

  159. vhiddai

    re: #147, #148, #151, #168, #171

    First, please will you ladies stop getting personal and retract your claws or go somewhere else to do it.

    Second – the new merge feature which now seems to be bugfree (thank you Kenny.)

    I learned long ago not to trust, blindly, automatic offerings generated by software. But then, I’ve been working with computers since 1966 when I was a programmer. (Yes. There were computers even then!)

    I check the ANCESTRY offerings as best I can (#148 !) When, and only if, I am satisfied I either attach the suggestions ONE AT A TIME or enter the info by hand. A methodology that is old-fashioned, long-winded and very safe. I don’t get any of the problems that many of you are suffering; there are no duplications (as far as I know) in my tree and all of the names are consistent. Alternative spellings are no problem – the human brain is quite good at detecting them.

    It’s up to you what you choose to merge into your family tree, using this software. Kenny is right in his advice. If the software offers nonsense and you merge it blindly into your tree, not only is it your own fault but also nobody else has the right to criticise you or blame you for perpetuating nonsense. The fact that perhaps the nonsense came from someone equally careless as you is irrelevant. And if you’ve done it through inexperience, you’ve learned the hard way. At least – hopefully you will have learned after having spent the time to correct the nonsense.

    If you want to build a complete family tree without real research effort, ANCESTRY will help you to do it and quite painlessly, too. Don’t complain later or request / suggest even more automatic features to overcome the difficulties you then experience. In this blog, it seems that many of you are doing just that!

    Reflect! ANCESTRY (i.m.h.o.) is about connecting people. And that really works. But it is NOT a good genealogy system; there are much better ones. Instead, use it to find the reliable info that is out there and then be selective.

    Finally – I find it odd to see people describe this new merge as ‘awesome’. It does not at all fill me with awe. (Maybe I’m cynical or perhaps my vocabulary comes from an earlier, British generation?)

  160. Very pleased to see info on the Oakleys who are my direct desendents. Edward Oakley was married to LAVINIA Smith.They were married on December 26th 1876 at St Mary’s church Luton. Her brother was Rodney Smith a famous traveling evangelist. I do have more information if you are interested.

  161. Amy Drake

    I love the merge, the only thing that I feel is missing is the link to select all relatives like you have when you link a family tree.

  162. The new merge is great but I wish that it would allow for misspelling of names either on the census or in the transcription.

    I wish you had an undo feature.

    Keep up the good work. Even WOW has an update or fix a week. May be you should consider their tact and have a few hours a week in which you do site maintenance. They close down from 1am to 11am PST every Tuesday.

    :0 Virginia

  163. vhiddai


    UNDO is the one thing that is missing throughout ANCESTRY but one can understand he difficulty of implementing it !!

  164. vhiddai

    As for updates and fixes you have to reckon with times that are convenient world wide. Which they are not !

    For me, ANCESTRY is appallingly slow between 16:00 and 18:00 GMT and you can work that out for yourself, whichever time-zone you are in.

    I’ve long since stopped being frustrated except that I sometimes wish that Americans would recognise that Europe exists.

  165. Alice Hornbeck

    I think it is great. I’m out of time to fill in everything I wish. Why do I have such a hard time adding marriage dates and places? I just joined ancestry a week ago so it is new to me. I do see mistakes or unproven or questionable stuff. I add as alternative. It’s all great!

  166. Cindy

    Like the ability to add records to all relatives and the new header showing parents, spouse and children of the person being searched.

    It would be even better if…
    – there was a ‘manual match’ option for times when I have the person in my tree but the record has spelled their name differently.
    – it seems to require selecting a spouse even if my info is a perfect match when adding any children; if the spouse is unselected, the children get added as “parent unknown”.
    – and in a really idealized world, the system would signal when the record is already attached for an individual.

    Keep up the good work!

  167. The U.S. Federal Census Record on 5 April 1920 City of Chicago, Cook Illinois, Donald P. Jacobs Male Age 2 M the Information on is not Correct Says born 1910 age 10 on this Census Record

  168. Sue Reed

    Actually, it seems to me like a step has been added. Previously once I found the census record of the person being searched for and saved it to him, I would have to click on that record to get back to it. But then for each subsequent person in the census once it was saved to them, it would automatically go back to that record and I could click on the next person and save to that person. Now I have to click on the record each time to go back to the entire record so that I can get to the next person. Unless I’m missing something about the way you say to “merge to multiple members of a household.” I don’t really find any option that makes it as easy as you make it sound.

  169. I love this new feature. It is a real time saver! Thanks for the innovation! I wish it went a step further to include in-laws with immediate family members. Sometimes widowed parents are living with their children and are listed on the census records, but they do not show up on the add family members feature.

    I wish you had some sort of feature that allowed corrections across records. Sometimes I find errors in place names and such and it would be nice to correct it once and have it go wherever it needs to like with the find/replace feature in Microsoft Word. That’s it, we need a text editor feature for all the text in the file. Thanks

  170. Great idea, but OH SO BUGGY. Say I’m workingon Ebenezer Moody. Up comes a birth record of his daughter Miriam Moody’s birth. Great! That documents Ebenezer. Except then a form about Ebenezer shows up side-by-side with a form filled in Miraim’s information — presented as if Miriam’s info is changed info about Ebenezer. Miriam doesn’t show up as a “view other relative”, nor does her mother, even though they’re both on Miriam’s birth record (of course). In fact, the only relative who shows up is Ebenezer’s son

    Next, I find Ebenezer’s own birth record, which of course includes his parents. But *they* don’t show up under “view other relatives”. The only one that shows up is son Jonathan again.

    Same thing with Ebenezer’s marriage — his wife doesn’t show up under “show other relatives”. Nope, it’s son Jonathan again.

    Some of this looks like alpha software, frankly, not even beta. Not that I mind doing product testing for a good product, but I can’t help wonder, where’s your QA team? Are they part of product planning? Scheduling? Do they sign off on releases before code goes live? You’re product manager, dude; QA should be your best buddies. They’re the ones who keep the egg off your face.

  171. Sue Reed

    My previous comment may not be valid because after reading some of the other comments I’m thinking that this merge feature must be related to Family Tree Maker trees and not to “My Ancestry” trees. I was working in “My Ancestry” at the time I read this and that is what was on my mind. And although I’ve gone back and reread the comment by Kenny Freestone, it doesn’t say which one it refers to, so . . . I should have kept my comment to myself until I was sure! 🙂

  172. Carole

    #173 Lynn must be Donna.

    Sorry, I am here to stay.

    #177 vhiddai – Thank you for your post. You are right on the money.
    Sourcing the information you are merging is what I am trying to say to these people.

    Unfortunately, from what I have read on most of these blogs is that a great majority of the new members of Ancestry are blindly merging people into their trees and not sourcing them.

    These people are interested in building a tree as quickly as they can without doing any research beyond merging.

    Through the merge feature, people are also taking information from the One World Tree which is overloaded with errors.

    This is the danger of the merge feature.

    And you peole who are “tired” of me, then don’t read my posts. Skip them.
    The option is yours.

    I do not speak with negativity, I speak with common sense.

    Source your work people. Just because you can save a census to your tree, and add those people on that census does not always mean you have the correct family members.

    Families named their children the same names and birthdates were very close. Brothers that married and had children named their children basically the same names. It is not uncommon to find 6 Andrew Jackson Smiths or George Washington Browns all born within a very few years of each other and living in the same general area. Pick up one of the wrong George Washington Browns from someone elses tree without sourcing that George or his family is your George, and you errors in your tree that you will pass on to other mergers.

    Adios and happy merging.

  173. Shelley Murray

    I really like the new feature. It saves me alot of time. I use slooow dial up. I had been having some problems and called your support on the phone, a very nice young man sent me step by step instuctions via email and everything seems to be running more smoothly now. However, I came across a mistake in one of the census. The site had the Grandmother listed as the Mother. (I submitted a user comment.) So I will have to access the page again and save the info. Maybe it would help if there were check boxes to id the person as Mother, Father, etc.
    You may even want to include same sex partner afterall, it is 2008.

  174. lynn seamark

    For some reason – sometimes the children (relatives) listed appear twice on the screen to attached the record to them as well as the parents. When it does, it lists them the second time as ” unknown mother”

  175. Madeline Brasel

    1: please [again, I ask] make the search button work with enter key as it used to
    2: please have the screen return to the census I have just saved a person from [so I don’t have to keep getting bogged down waiting for the automatic search to finish in order to manually go back to the census!]
    3: ever since this ‘upgrade’ after only a few hours the census records ‘view original’ freezes and refuses to load

    I have no use for mass attachments, you can keep it or leave it, I suspect what I ask should not affect that

  176. James Crouch

    Faulty hints. Misspelled last names like “Botten” that is clearly “Bottin” on the document. The result is duplicated hints with one being an incorrect spelling of the last name. This will also take up extra storage space making your service more expensive! Every bit adds to the whole. I know last names are purposely altered. However, there should be a link supporting this if the spelling has changed.

  177. Sherry Hall

    Page says to add other family members shown on this record (census) but none of the other members are available.

  178. vhiddai

    re: #194 Carole

    Dear Carole, you want to stop the spread of bad family tree information. Sorry for you, you won’t do it no matter what you say, just as you can’t stop the spread of computer viruses. Instead, you can advise about procedures (like “don’t open e-mail attachments from unknown people”) to reduce their proliferation. One experience with a computer virus is sufficient for most people.

    In any case, this blog is about the merge feature, not about genealogical research. My startpoint – there is nothing intrinsically wrong with this new merge feature. It’s not the knife’s fault if you cut yourself. Nor is it the fault of the manufacturer. And the first time, it’s not your fault either.

    In the old days, apprentices learned through experience how to use their tools. Many of the people posting in this blog are novices. Look at what they post. It is mostly a cry for help. To chastise is not always the best way to teach. No matter how much advice momma gives the baby will still touch something hot: hopefully, only once.

    The novices extract info from others’ trees quite freely. The reasons:- lack of knowledge and experience about where and how to search, a heap of ‘free’ info for the taking, and the desire to create a complete family tree quickly. This new merge feature is a god-send. Just think what an enormous heap of people one can add: parents, spouses, children, dates – you name it.

    Then they start to discover that census returns contain transcription errors, spelling mistakes and even deliberate original misinformation. Others’ family trees have people married before they were born or hopping backwards and forwards across the Atlantic to be baptised, married, buried. And the IGI contains all sorts of oddities and inconsistencies. In the meantime, they have placed all this stuff in their family tree.

    I’ve been down that path. In the end I deleted everything and started again. That’s the first and last time! I don’t trust the trees of others further than I can throw them and I check everything. But every baby has to learn to walk.

    The novices simply post requests for more automatic ‘bells and whistles’ on the tool; I hope Kenny will resist. The present automatic features are creating sufficient difficulties.


    The newcomers need (public) advice and guidance about what to do, what not to do and how to use the tool to best advantage. Then they need help on how to recover from mistakes. This blog is not the best place for it and, indeed, many won’t see it.

    [imho] The ‘merge page’ should contain an amount of basic advice on how to use the tool, a pointer to where more can be found and not just a cryptic comment that you can review and select relatives. So you can! [imho] Somebody has to write the handbook.

    However, dear Carole, I have horses and I have long since given up trying to force them to drink.

  179. Judith A Robinson

    The ability to add relatives that show up on a hint, e.g., in my case right now a Census, is really convenient, but – I can’t do it because the individual is widowed and her children who show up here are the children of her deceased husband. If I use this convenient feature, they will be added again as children of an unknown father. I’d like somehow to be able to pick the parent if I choose to click on children of the primary individual.

  180. vhiddai

    re: #196 Shelley

    ANCESTRY has no consistent way of handling partnerships and the idea of same-sex partnerships hasn’t yet caught on.

    I have provided Kenny with a test-case tree based on reality in which there is a same-sex marriage. One of the partners is the natural mother of a baby conceived with a donor after the marriage, the other adopted the child for legal reasons.

    In one place the child has an ‘unknown father’, in another the donor appears as ‘father’, in another the natural mother does not have a child although she has the female partner (labelled ‘husband’) who adopted the child.

    Such a mess arises in a system that has grown simply by having bits added on rather than being a coherent design.

    However, this blog isn’t the place for this discussion which is why I contacted Kenny by e-mail.


    I have been adding updates and now find that it tells me I have to select one parent before I can add relatives. What’s that all about? Why can’t I add relatives?

  182. judy adams

    Too all

    i dont want this to be taken the wrong way. but every one of us have a right to an opinion and a place to vent as long as it does not become personal (eg so and so is an idiot would be unwelcome and totaly out of order.) the fact is carole , others and i feel strongly that the merge feature is helping to premote SLOPPY RESEARCH and perpetuating FALSE ANCESTRAL TREE DATA. When you see as carole and i have your data which in my case i have worked on for 8 years using accepted geneological resores (eg parish records) screwed up by this in our opinion defective feature which alows merging from ALL SORCES on ancestry. i sure we are aloud to moan and yell and try to point out that care should be taken. unfortunetly we are not all Shakespears when it comes to the writen laugage just one look at my writen english which i have dilibetly not crorect (i’m dyslexic) should show you this. all carole and i are trying to say is hey this merge feature is not a very good idea for ancestry to aplie to all sorces.

    personally being able to merge records such as census and parish indexes and such like as a sorce citation is ok if you like to build a tree in the AMT, as long as care is taken (that i belive is what carole is saying too) but for ancestry to alow the merging from none offical sorces such as submitted trees especially the error riden OWT should be re thought by ancestry and those that are not very experinced should be warned by our selves if we feel it appropriate (those of us who are cearful know not too i am sure). As we are talking about the merge feature and this blog is entitled
    New Record Merge Feature
    So this is where OPINION AND RANTS should be aired by ALL in regard to the merge feature. if it was about the tree system then of course we should write there but at times our opinion/rant will cross over into more than one blog heading.

    I am so disappointed and not happy when I see my work I have done on one bit of my family corrupted because of the blanket merge feature from ancestry as I was almost the first to sort it out I now keep getting the blame for the erronouse data that OWT infact created so yes I am ANGREY with the ability to merge but more so with ancestry and will take every opportunity to shout this from the roof tops

  183. vhiddai

    re: #206 Judy

    You have every right to vent your feelings in this blog. But what is your problem?

    You say “I am so disappointed and not happy when I see my work I have done on one bit of my family corrupted because of the blanket merge feature from ancestry as I was almost the first to sort it out I now keep getting the blame for the erronouse data that OWT infact created”

    Is your family tree corrupted by somebody? I doubt it unless you gave editing permissions.

    Why do people contact you, blaming you for erroneous data? “I now keep getting the blame……” You know how to answer.

    Do you want recognition that you were “almost the first to sort it out…”?

    Is it only now that someone can pick up and add info from OWT to their own tree? No. It is simply quicker and easier.

    Do you own the info in your tree? No.

    Have you published your tree? If so, others can extract info from it.

    By banning the merge, do you want to stop them from doing it? Simpler not to publish your tree.

    As I see it your problem is “that the merge feature is helping to premote SLOPPY RESEARCH and perpetuating FALSE ANCESTRAL TREE DATA.” How do you know that your own ancestral tree data is not false? (I find the word a little extreme.) Were you there when someone was supposedly born in 1803 or do you just take someone’s word for it? There were no birth registrations in those days!

    To save me repeating my further thoughts, please look at post #202.

  184. vhiddai

    To Carole and Judy

    I will probably keep on getting afterthoughts on this topic and posting a PS but here are some more questions for both of you. They are based on your worries bout ‘correct’ research. Not only that, I’ve looked at some of your posts in other ANCESTRY blogs and can only agree with the substance of what you said there.

    If you want to build your family database, why not use a specialised genealogical database package instead of ANCESTRY? I do.

    Why don’t you keep your careful research to yourself and perhaps your immediate family? In other words, quarantine.

    Why do you publish your family tree anyway and who is your target audience?

    If you need to publish, couldn’t you do it some other way than by using ANCESTRY? (There are far superior methods, including building your own website, which I did.)

    imho, ANCESTRY is excellent for searching census records but not much else other than the chance of making contact with family members you never knew existed. I now correspond and share information (like copies of BMD and other certificates) and researches with a 4th cousin in Australia, found through ANCESTRY.

    imho, It is too slow, too cumbersome with too much emphasis on the cosmetics (Ok there are reasons) and looks something like “the house that Jack built”. I spend ages watching the “waiting for………” message while it loads all of its goodies.

    OWT contains unreliable nonsense. Others’ trees provide occasional pointers to possible relationships, provided you take them with a pinch of salt. I only built an ANCESTRY tree so that I can pick up such pointers.

    You just have to learn to live with the warts on this particular (mostly free) software, use to your own advantage the bits that work and ignore the other irritating bits just like you do with W******

    Complaining about what others do with it is as productive as complaining that kids nowadays can’t do mental arithmatic so pocket calculators ought to be banned.

    With all best wishes and commiserations…

  185. Valita Randolph

    Overall, I am very pleased with the improvements here. I agree with some of the others about coming up with duplicate entries if the name isn’t spelled exactly the same. And if I have a spouse named Mary E Maiden Name, it won’t recognized that Mary E Married Name is the same person! That’s frustrating.

    I hadn’t noticed any slowing down of the system–guess I was one of the lucky ones!

    Thanks for the update!

  186. judy adams

    And once again we are not all Shakespeare when it comes to expressing ourselves in the write word
    You say “I am so disappointed and not happy when I see my work I have done on one bit of my family corrupted because of the blanket merge feature from ancestry as I was almost the first to sort it out I now keep getting the blame for the erroneous data that OWT infact created”
    Is your family tree corrupted by somebody? I doubt it unless you gave editing permissions.
    I quite clearly lay the blame in the above to being the merge being aloud in OWT and have not blamed anyone BUT ancestry

    Why do people contact you, blaming you for erroneous data? “I now keep getting the blame
    Do you want recognition that you were “almost the first to sort it out…”?
    Because I was the one who researched the data first WITHIN ORIGINAL PARISH RECORDS until then some of it had been taken only from the familysearch site by others and there were mistakes
    I then put my corrected version up for all to see and everyone knows this now by word of mouth (email). it’s a bit like Chinese whispers if ‘a’ tells’ b’ then ‘b’ tells ‘c’ that ‘a’ was told by ‘me’ but ‘c’ then goes to OWT and adds data that has been created there by MERGING my original work with anther completely unrelated tree that I seem to be missing then ‘c’ passes this on to ‘d’ citing me as researcher ‘d’ pass it on and so on I am bound to get contacted by some one eventually and if that person is using the details ‘c’ has passed on with my name and they then discover the details are wrong they have my name and I get contacted asking me how I arrived at the erroneous detail which ‘c’ added YES THIS HAS HAPPENED and to make it worse I was contacted via another site by that person who uses the site exclusively and never used ancestry. When I checked both here on ancestry and several other sites I found the data I had supplied to be used by ANY PERSON that was interested with out any form of copyright notions on my part had in SOME trees been taken and shown correctly but there were ones which now showed the erroneous details also. I have then had to TRY to inform these people with the details taken that OWT had created by merging that the data is wrong. Now that anyone can add data to their trees in AMT from OWT extra the problem is going to get worse by the ability to MERGE FROM TREES

    Is it only now that someone can pick up and add info from OWT to their own tree?

    I never said it was

    By banning the merge, do you want to stop them from doing it? Simpler not to publish your tree

    I NEVER said that merging should be band totally on the contrary I said

    personally being able to merge records such as census and parish indexes and such like as a source citation is ok if you like to build a tree in the AMT, as long as care is taken (that I believe is what Carole is saying too) but for ancestry to allow the merging from none official sources such as submitted trees especially the error ridden OWT should be re thought by ancestry and those that are not very experienced should be warned by our selves

    Have you published your tree? If so, others can extract info from it.

    THAT’S WHY I PUBLISH MY TREE we have a little thing here in UK giving us ‘the right to information’ as far as I am concerned if the info I use is free in the first place in parish records (which it is) then I don’t have the right to put copy right on my work . if I get it for free I will shear it for free so others can join in the research and more info is then likely to be found .

    How do you know that your own ancestral tree data is not false? (I find the word a little extreme.) Were you there when someone was supposedly born in 1803 or do you just take someone’s word for it? There were no birth registrations in those days!

    Firstly others who have now joined in the hunt for the ancestors I talk about above have also checked the details and I do say they should check it out. I use not only parish records but transcriptions by places like IGI too for the same person. Why simple I was checking out a parish record and too me the ‘t’ in winter looked like an ‘s’ and seemed to read winser / winsor a name which did also appear in the same records when I checked the transcripts by the official genealogical society for the county they had winter so I ASKED THE ARCHIVEST his opinion which he gave as being winter so I do not assume and try to use more than one source

    There were no birth registrations in those days!

    I BEG TO DIFFER while it is true that the General Reg Office records here in the UK date only from sep 1837 THERE ARE OFFICIAL PARISH RECORDS HERE IN THE UK SOME OF WHICH GO AS FAR BACK AS 1539ISH A FEW GO BACK EVEN FERTHER THAN THAT.

    First, please will you ladies stop getting personal and retract your claws or go somewhere else to do it.
    AND IN POST201
    Dear Carole, you want to stop the spread of bad family tree information. Sorry for you, you won’t do it no matter what you say, just as you can’t stop the spread of computer viruses. Instead, you can advise about procedures (like “don’t open e-mail attachments from unknown people”) to reduce their proliferation. One experience with a computer virus is sufficient for most people.
    AND IN POST206 to me
    You have every right to vent your feelings in this blog. But what is your problem?
    You have I feel become personal a little bit too much yourself. I at least did not tear into anyone persons single post as you have done. when I made post 205. I tried to keep it impersonal and pass my opinion on the subject but if I failed I am sorry for any offence caused to you or anyone else in that post. This time I have defended myself because you decided to make my post personal and answer me in the same way you asked others in post 177 to stop!
    At the end of the day

    I still stand by what I said ; note the word helping

    “that the merge feature is helping to promote SLOPPY RESEARCH and perpetuating FALSE ANCESTRAL TREE DATA.”

    This will continue to happen while ancestry continues to allow merging across all fields instead of just official records only

  187. judy adams


    i am not whole against your thorts on the subject as i said my tree is up so others can join the hunt and as the info is free anyway why not shear it. i am luck in that i live close to the county the screwed up rellies come from and can see the regs fairly regally OTHERS CANT DO SO.
    I RELIE ON OTHERS CHARITY TOO SOME TIMES to point me in the right direction wheen i check the data i use it saves long hunts in the records if you know where to look roughthly in the first place from
    others research

    as for building my tree here in AMT

    forget it i have expressedmy reasons in the blosg post else wher i like you use a home based reliable system

  188. vhiddai

    To Judy

    Goodness! I really opened the floodgates!

    Sorry that you took it as an attack (was not intended) but now not only do I understand your concerns and what underlies them but also I have every sympathy. Furthermore I agree that you have every right to be irritated. I would be, too, in the situation you describe. I have been part way along the same path myself, but not to the same extent.

    So what can we do about these things? For one thing you mention that we should warn those who are not very experienced. Agreed. We should and can. Next step is to plan how to do it in a positive way so that one doesn’t look as though one is simply blowing off steam.

    After that, how can one persuade the novices, plagiarisers and quick tree-builders to heed the warnings? V.difficult to impossible when you think about the easy paths that ANCESTRY provides.

    So there must be pressure on ANCESTRY to get their act together? This is what I can see that you are trying to do. What sanctions, other than public opinion, can be brought to bear? Not a lot, I think. How can we find others who agree and are prepared to club together? While a vociferous pressure-group might have some effect you have to reckon with the fact that ANCESTRY is primarily a money-spinner and only secondarily is a provider of a service.


  189. Barbara Erickson

    After merging from a census record the additional family member it created a duplicate with a different spelling of the first name and another person it shows 2 mothers now – and neither of these duplicates can be deleted. Before the rollout of the new features I was able to remove family members without any problem.

  190. Barbara Franks

    I wish you would come up with someway to merge indiviual names…When adding some spouses, I have found that it will make a new name in the list of individuals. The only way to fix it is delete that second name. But when doing so it breaks the tie to the correct family. Therefore, I end up with two of the same families, or double the information. Need to be able to merge certain people and certain family members……

  191. judy adams


    comments accepted.
    at the moment i dont see many avenues open to address the problem other than too take the oppotunity to vent on here when an entry gives us the oppertunity to. if we the bloggers keep the subject open as often as the comments warent more people will be told each time. it might be one per year who has not seen the blog per year but it could be hundreds. if ALL OF US keep protesting when we feel apropiate to do so the word will get out eventurely NOT THAT I WOULD EVER BELIVE THAT ANCESTRY WILL TAKE THEIR BLINKERS OFF they are stuck in their own little world of money making.

    i have seen recently that one person in eroupe i think its anna in
    sweeden with out navigating out now i cant be sure sorry if i am wrong has been so concerned that she contacted her geneological society and they too were concerned

    i recently answered a letter in one of our genealogical mags on the subject and the mag did say they plan to print if possible. i have also done so on the verious mags blogs (6 issued here but not all
    have blogs) but make sure i dont open the debate (not that brave)

    it is only in these ways will we get the message out

    SO EVERYONE DONT BE SHY IF YOU HAVE A CONCERN RE THE MERGING OF RECORDS FROM TREES NOT THE MERGER OF OFFICAL RECORDS shout at ancestry when the opertunity is there as long as it is warented that is with in the blogg subject no which hunts as this will not get us anywhere.

  192. vhiddai

    Laugh at me if you like.

    Laugh at me if you dare.

    The only way I know to get in to this blog is from that merge page “provide feedback”. I can then poke around for other blogs – only initiated by ANCESTRY staff.

    It seems to me that if ANCESTRY.COM is at all interested in what we think, it should provide an easily-entered and properly administered forum as in so many other websites. We ought to be able to start our own threads provided we have a login account.

    If you look at the “Community” tab you find nothing except member connections and message boards, all based on surnames!

    Is it that they do not dare to have such a forum? Didn’t it occur to them? Don’t they want to spend the effort? Or are they not really that interested in what we think?

    imho It is a pressing necessity.

  193. vhiddai


    Posted the above before I saw your reply. Thanks for your comments.

    I am pleased about the reactions for other genealogical societies. I am horrified about the implications.

  194. Cindy

    The other day, there was a neat feature that didn’t last — here’s a plea for making it permanent!

    When linking in a parent from the list of people who already exist in your tree, there was a shortcut showing the spouse(s) of the existing parent and allowing you to select one of them. This was really great, esp. for my Scottish ancestors who used the same forenames many times. Without the feature, I have to go through dozens of identical names to find the one with the correct birthdate.

    A small improvement would be to fix the inconsistency in the selecting a person from the list of names in your tree. After entering the name in the search fields, hitting enter should start the search. Instead, it requires taking your hands off the keyboard and using the mouse to click ‘Search’. In most other contexts, Enter will launch a search.

    I also would love to have a quick way to print my family group sheets (with birth, marriage and death info) from the main pgm. Having to to to the press page, set up a new ‘book’, select which type of page, which person, which spouse, etc. is too time consuming for an operation I bet many of us would use.


  195. It’s working well, I can see it once in a while, not always even though I’m on the family view. I’ve used it several times today as I am picking up stragglers (in the family lines) and I’m testing this out.

    I think it is a GREAT tool and if some of you don’t understand the feature and have not merged other family trees responsibly into your trees, you might not understand it. I have done it all, even started over with one tree due to my errors of not knowing what I was doing with merging another set of family files in.

    I would suggest you make a Test tree, put in a few names then see what you can do until you get familiar with it, then when you are confident, merge carefully.

    Remember when you merge if you see NEW by the Family Member name it will create another record. If it is not what you want but the others are, uncheck that persons record, copy what info you want to put into your existing person and then merge.

    Other than that, you will see the word new to the fields that it will be adding to you existing members names.

    Hope that helps someone out. I’ve been asking for this feature and am very happy to see it in action.

    Now as for the New searching techniques on ancestry (another feature) I am not keen on that …yet.
    I keep reverting back to my old view, then later testing out the new again, but I just don’t get the results that I can get or perhaps I’m just not comfortable with it, yet.

  196. Donna Dallman

    To all of you who think we should not be allowed to use this new merge feature = = I just wonder why you think that ALL of US out here (meaning everyone except YOU TWO OR THREE PEOPLE) = are so stupid that we cannot decipher anything on our own?
    You think that just because something is offered, that we feel compelled to take it.
    Well, you are wrong!
    I go through many steps, searching and researching and checking and rechecking each name, before I put it in my tree. When looking over the Ancestry Hints and rarely – the One World Tree – I go back and forth many times – and I HAVE EVEN FIGURED OUT HOW TO CHECK OR UNCHECK A NAME – TO EITHER PUT IT IN – OR KEEP IT OUT of my tree!
    Imagine my stretched intelligence = figuring all of this out on my own = with no “restrictions” or “regulations” to PROTECT ME FROM MYSELF!!!
    And SHAME on to offer a service that I want and that I pay for every month.
    Come on – all you people that are talking down to us = because we want this new merge feature = just let us wallow in our ignorance, and please drop the superior attitude and the lectures. Just let us enjoy our trees and the building thereof.
    Let’s call a truce = and everyone just return to your own tree = OK?

  197. Joyce Norris

    This is GREAT!!!! I have often wished that I could take the census information on the family and add it all at once instead of piecemeal. Thanks.

  198. vhiddai

    Thank you, Donna

    In the defence of those you mention, I would only say that I think they are genuinely concerned about the integrity of the information in ANCESTRY. I just think they could do something more positive with their concern than protesting with such hyperbole (“the thousands of people” – see #168).

    For example (and see post #219) simple guidance and well-written advice for newcomers who have had an ANCESTRY subscription for one week and have just come across this merge and the One World Tree. Perhaps a few succint (but not cryptic) hints on the merge page. Nothing more and no talking down.

    Personally, I don’t care about the integrity of the information – it has none anyway and I learned to work exactly the way that you do. I wouldn’t expect that ANCESTRY can or will do anything to improve information integrity – it’s far too late for that – although it would be a pity if the whole operation fell into disrepute because of it.

    Take to absurdity the complaint about permitting the merge feature to merge the ‘non-official’ information from others’ trees. Then logically you must also remove the ability of it to display census records (which are actually official) as they are sometimes badly transcribed and contain wrong spellings, inconsistent addresses, erroneous relationships and mis-stated ages which people will copy and spread.

    The merge feature itself is not flawed. Perhaps those thousands of people who were counted merging incorrect records into thousands of trees will also work out how use it sensibly.

    Still I think we need a general forum accessible from the homepage.

  199. help!!!! This merge feature didn’t work at all and then worked for a day and now it is still not working it will not attach any records at all I have waited for several days and it hasn’t came back. please fix
    soon!!!!!!!! and to others please keep comments limited to web site bugs so web site bugs can be identified easily and fixed!! thanks

  200. vhiddai

    To everyone—

    Please take a moment to send an e-mail supporting the idea of a real forum. It is very necessary and can only be of benefit to us all, including ANCESTRY.

    The more people that support it, the more likely it will happen.

  201. Carla Bailey

    I was adding a Social Security death record and it offered me “the rest of the family” and showed a sister. How would this be on a SS death record? Also, I had a sibling that showed up as “rest of the family” for some time on various different unrelated records.

    Generally speaking, I love being able to add the rest of the family. Just bugs to iron out and perhaps the need to better understand some of the documents and what they do and don’t contain.

  202. Cathy McCormick

    Response to #217 by Cindy

    I hadn’t noticed the auto fill type of feature box upper right side “Find a person in tree” or “See full list of people”. As you type it would generate a list of possibilities of family names, like an auto fill feature.

    Today, however after reading your comment, I stopped and watched the circle go round and round and saw that it was working, checking my list of names for possible matches as I typed. I really like that, so I’m with you in regards to enjoying that new feature.

    long post, sorry…

    As for some people that are complaining about the errors in names, ages, etc, I’m with you, they need to be fixed.

    I’ve found many “Man married to Man” files in the Missouri Marriage Records, 1805-2002 data base,

    IF I send in a Add Correction, I will get a generic email back, stating that ancestry does not have control over others people’s information and they are just passing along what was entered by that organization. I’m thinking What, it’s in your system! How can you not have control? Then I realize that this is a Missouri based information bank and I can see that they do not have control.

    It’s still kind of funny to add a marriage where the record purports the wrong information being a Man married to a Man, I have 2 or 3 of these records in my family tree from this same database.


    Missouri Marriage Records, 1805-2002
    NAME: James L Wilbourn
    Marriage Date: Jul 1898
    Marriage Location: New Madrid, Missouri
    Marriage County: New Madrid
    SPOUSE Name: George Carmody
    Father’s Name: James L Wilbourn

    This is apparently an error and it’s suppose to be Jennie Lee Wilbourn. I learned today that her last name is most likely spelled Wilbourn not Wilburn, another alternative to address.

    The image is too light to read, but it’s the one on the right. If I didn’t know who I was looking for I would not have found it. Some of these things are taking me years to track down due to transcription errors.

    I reported the Unreadable image issue, but it takes a while for them to get back to that database during their quarterly maintence, info provided to me via emails from them.

    I can send a blank-it type of letter to ancestry support but then I get the generic letter back reporting that they have no control over others’ databases.

    Ok that’s fine, but what about support for us? I’ve identified 3 such marriages in the last few days of family members where Man is married to Man. There is no place to go to get it corrected. I can include a comment and hope that helps others out, but as for ancestry, I get stuck in the perverbial loop ….we can’t control other’s information. I give up reporting some issues, I’m learning.

    I’d love for them to address the wrong Age and estimated year of birth issue since that is another main way of searching. I am constantly adding corrections as I go along and I’m getting tired of doing it…but then when I run across one that someone else supplied that helps me and I gain steam again.

    YES We do need a Blog!

    I’ve been with ancestry for about 6 years. I just started using Family Tree online. Unless I have documents to support the addition to the family, I am not comfortable with the new family names that come in via One World Tree feature.

    While I’m researching, at times I’ve added in a couple of possibilities, although they contradict each other, ie: 2 census records for 1870. Am I confusing the facts, well, possibly. But it’s my Tree, My Work and until I see them in a census or other “official” form, I just don’t believe what is stated without proof.

    That’s where the merge comes in from the Census. That’s helping me out a lot, I really like that because we are working from official docs, minus the transcriprtion errors. I don’t have to rely on someone else’s info and bring in their errors in my database.

    As for others trees, I use them as tips and go into their trees, check their census records, click the Add Family, then on that next page before you hit continue, you can right click on the family tree name or right click on the person that you are researching, open in new window, then browse around. That will get into their records.

    You will be able to see what census they have attached for whomever, marriages, if sourced, etc. I do what you might call a “preview” and let them help me with my research. That’s what I’m doing on the Wells in my family right now (branchced off of Carmody mentioned above). It’s working rather well.

    I don’t like bringing over some records from some trees, if you do that, you won’t be able to edit your information correctly.

    I have a Ernest Everett Mills in Missouri. I brought in someone elses info and now he is not fully mine. Therefore, I created a 2nd one and am digging into this persons records to see if it fits in with mine. Afterward I will delete their person and get free of their tree…I hope. 😉

    I’ll hush now,

  203. Peg

    Okay, so I’ve been using the new feature for about a month, tad slower, but I like it. Time saved when dealing with families of say 14, all get sourced in one shot. Love that!!! One very maddening feature of this new merge feature is: Have a name to merge and the family comes up. Great! The only “family” offered are siblings. Go to check the box and whoa – no, so sorry, can’t do that unless you first click the parents (who aren’t even there!). So, how about freeing this up a bit so that I CAN click on the siblings. Yes, in some cases, have figured out who the sibs are and am still looking for their parents. Just a suggestion, but it’d sure be a big (& faster) help!

  204. Kenny Freestone

    In response to comment 215…

    Hi Vhiddai,

    We do host an excellent forum for user-initiated threads on a host of topics:

    It is true that most of our message boards are surname or research-focused, but the ones at the above URL are centered primarily around

    Let me know how you like it.


  205. nellkiddywalker

    It is a good feature, but it offered only one of Joel and Elsie Berry’s three children shown on the 1910 Census

  206. vhiddai

    Re answer#232


    Kenny thanks very much, indeed.

    Suggestion: For those who didn’t know about it, put this link at the top of this and all other pages where you invite feedback. Tell people like me to put their irrelevant comments in that place and not here.

    Further suggestions are in a direct e-mail to you. They are irrelevant to this page!

  207. Kendra Jones

    I LOVE this merge feature, however there are a few bugs in it. It doesn’t always recognize children or spouses as current family but as “other unknown” This can cause you to duplicate the children in a family unless you watch very carefully.

    Thanks for keeping up todate on features!!!

  208. Henry Bowen

    I have 2 Henry Bowens, one 1720 -1784, who’s parents are Moses Bowen 1674-1760 and Rebecca Reece 1676-1780. The other Henry Bowen 1678-1755 , show parents to be Moses Bowen 1674-1760 and Margaret Levisa Smith bn. 1741. Henry Bowen 1720-1784 was married to Lily McLlhaney and Jane Carter 1683-1702. Both Henry Bowen show to be married to Jane Carter 1683-1702. I need some help sorting this out. I have children that are mixed up. Thank you , Ann B.

  209. Cindy

    I really love this new merging feature. Just remember that the female spouse has her married name not maiden or unknown. So you need to change it. Otherwise, I love that you can add children you don’t have just by clicking on them.

  210. Harrison

    Excellent idea. I’m having a problem selecting a sibling because it says “must select at least one parent” but the sibling is the only person available for selection.

  211. Brenda Goldy

    I love this new feature! The only thing I would change is to be able to select people from your tree instead of only getting the matches supplied. Sometimes it selects the wrong person from the tree and I don’t see a way to change it.

  212. again it’s been ten days since this started and i still can’t attach records. is it being fixed? what is the status? I can’t be they only one out there, Is there another way to get help?!!!!!!

  213. lynn seamark

    I’m still having difficulty with spellings when trying to link family members. Something as simple as Lula instead of Lulu can prompt a new family member. Maybe if there was an option to link to members in your tree as an alternate. Family tree maker allows you to scroll through the children and match them that way.

    Otherwise – this feature is really nice.



  215. I like this feature. I agree with comments 12 and 21 about a way to spouses or children whose names are slightly different. Also, you cannot add another sibling unless you add a parent. This makes a duplicate on the parent’s information. I really love this feature, though.

  216. A Frank

    Wonderful addition, when attaching records to a person, to be able to see the relatives and attach records to them at the same time. What a time saver! Thank you.

  217. LOVE the merge! It’s so nice not to have to type that info in. Especially for relatives in the 1900’s between the SSDI and the 3 censuses, you can pretty much eventually get accurate info. Has been very handy for the wedding and graduation family tree poster gifts I’ve been creating. I remember when I with great anticipation was waiting for the 1930 Census, and now the 1940 census is just around the corner. As always an endlessly fascinating obsession!

  218. Maureen Baker

    I like this feature, however I have hit a few snags. Let’s say I know one or two children of a couple, find the census record that lists all twelve-I merge, and up with 14. It would be nice to be able to weed out the duplicates, or maybe somehow flag there is a duplicate name. It’s great if you don’t know the person’s spouse or children, but a headache if you know a few. It’s complicated to go back and read each name if you are not that familiar with the family. I’m also having to undo about 20 hours of duplicates my daughter did to try and “help” me-she is only 11 and wasn’t aware of the duplicate factor. So, I will use this feature but only if I don’t have any info on the person. Thanks!

  219. worked great this am and pedigree view showed back up. 2 hours later pedigree view disappered along with ability to attach records to existing people.

  220. Randi Welhaven

    I love it! I do have a request, however – as censuses (censi??) are notorious for misspelled names, would it be possible to attach a family member’s information to someone that already exists on my tree?

    That way, I won’t have to delete the second, third and fourth wives because the census taker couldn’t spell BERTHA.

    Many thanks!

  221. Susie Edwards

    When pulling up relatives, it pulled up the wife by the married name, and did not pull up her 3 children listed in the census.

  222. Sherrie Wieland

    I am hoping any kind dear soul will take pity on me and translate my family tree maker file into a GEDCOM file. I am trying to help someone with their genealogy. One of their ancestors sent me a Family Tree Maker file — I’m sure full of great relevant information. However, I don’t have Family Tree Maker, I use PAF. If you could convert this file into a GEDCOM, I would be eternally grateful!
    Many Thanks in advance,
    Sherrie Wieland

  223. Karen Mason

    I love being able to merge from other trees. It just pops the info that I was needing for family members so much faster than normally searching, HOWEVER, I am finding that it is hard to get back to my tree from this page. It seems like a dead end unless I back up page by page and refresh on my tree. I have only been a member and doing genealogy for a few months and maybe I just haven’t got the hang of it yet, but you provided a feedback link and I jumped in with mine. Thanks.

  224. Amanda

    Not sure where the discrepancy lies. Kate/Kathryn Hawkins seems to have two possible fathers both at same address. No mother for father #2, so I have added neither until further reseach is available.

  225. diedra hyatt

    I am having trouble deleting the multiple entries of the same person. i tried following instructions to delete the extra entries,but have had no success. Any explanations as to why this is not working would be appreciated. Thanks, Diedra Hyatt.

  226. Audrey Miller Hastings

    This is not a comment about your website, but rather a correction on someone’s reading of the 1920 Census attached to Mollie A Beasley, MILLER tree. It shows her as Mollie Wall, but age 5 or something? This is Mollie Beasley Wall with her two children now living at home with her father William Shadrach Beasley. Please pass along this information. William Shadrach Beasley was one of my great-grandfathers & I know that Mollie A (a sister to my grandmother) was born in 1893 & married to L C Wall earlier.

  227. So here’s what I think. First of all, I have been at this for 1 year exactly and consider myself a novice. I have seen a number of changes on the site, mostly good I guess. What I’ve noticed with the new record merging is that I am not as comfortable with the accuracy of what I end up adding to my tree as I used to be. It seems my new motto is, “I’ll clean it up later”. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t get to it. Cleaning up merging errors is multifaceted an can be a nightmare. My tree is public so if I don’t get to clean up the errors then everyone can see them and someone may think it’s accurate information. A potential vicious cycle.
    For a short time there was a merging feature where my tree remained where I could always see it on one side of the screen and my choices of what was available to merge was on the other side. I scrolled down and made my own choices as to what to merge. The only feature (or maybe you would call this a tool) missing for me was the ability to have the information just chosen then added to the other side of the screen where the tree is so it can be seen at all times. That way before I hit DONE I could make very important corrections and delete the extra ancestors or non-ancestors before it becomes that nightmare I was talking about earlier. I certainly can’t remember what name scrolled by a moment ago, particularly when there are 4 versions of it and I’m looking at hundreds of names. I bet most of us can’t and why should we have to remember in this day and age of computers.
    My trees have always been public and in the past did not understand why anyone would have a private tree. Well, my tune has changed and so have the private vs public status on most of my tree’s as of yesterday. I’m not comfortable having them public until I can correct my work. What a shame.
    So, in a nutshell, my feedback for regarding the merging of records is:
    1. Yes, it’s handy BUT it’s creating alot of clean up and deleting work. Sometimes this work is quick and easy. Sometimes it makes me want to throw my computer out the window. Because of the need to delete and clean up it created a nightmarish potential for inaccurate information to run amok.
    2. Make it simple. I don’t mean simple so your clients don’t have to think, I mean make it user friendly with the potential for the client to make choices as to what to merge and give them the tools to make accurate choices. (see above regarding split screen).

    That’s all for now. Probably I’ll think of more later.

  228. Mary Barrow

    THANK YOU!!!

    Since my ancestors mostly seem to have had LARGE families, this is extremely helpful to me!!!

  229. Jane McClure

    I’ve had some success with this strategy. When trying to merge a family from the census, it often won’t accept the wife, therefore if you go ahead, all the children get added to Unknown Mother. Try this: instead of starting with the father, start with the mother. Attach the census record to her tree, then when relatives are added, the father’s name will usually be accepted. This still doesn’t always work with all the children, but it’s worth trying.

  230. Mark Jones

    Nice feature but it would be best if you could tell whether you’ve already added that particular census information to the additional relatives. If you already have, you end up with duplicates.

  231. Elizabeth Barnes

    Love the new merge but for a few glitches. When the year is out by a year(ie 1856 the next census 1855) the system put in a new person. When the name is spelt incorrectly the system add the family as new people even if i manually correct the spelling

  232. Sandra Whittier

    What is a website? I don’t think I have one. I have been using the newest features until today. I sure did miss them. When I saw the feed back button I just had to tell you I was really missing the new feature.
    Is this what you are talking about in the merge feature?
    I noticed that you are keeping tabs on if I don’t accept hints. Sometimes I already have better than you are giving me and I’d rather not accept the chance of a mess-up or they are not the right people. Will I not receive any more hints if I don’t use all that you give me? Where can I go to get help when I need it? Sure have enjoyed giving my in put. Thank You

  233. David Bogle

    I love the new merge option, but would ask if it’s possible to allow me to select an individual for those records that don’t quite match my existing and therefore try to create a new record in my tree – can we have an option to allow me to select the individual on “new record” options?

  234. Deborah Drew

    I find this new relative features fantastic. It is so much easier to see if I have the right information and then at it to my tree. It makes growing my tree so much easier and faster, so I don’t have to retype information ovr again.
    Great Job Ancestry, Love your site
    Outer SE Melbourne

  235. I love the new feature – being able to merge several family members at one time, from census records. That brings up my problem. Because of variations in spelling, etc. I ended up with several duplicates in one family. It will not allow me to delete these individuals, nor can I find a way to merge the duplicate individuals. How do I go about removing these extras? One is a wife & others are extra children with same names. I know I must have done something without paying attention. I would appreciate your help. Thanks

  236. I have the largest database on your site with about 36,000 people. If the name or dates don’t exactly match it don’t show the people so I can merged.Like the 1910 census of John Perry Branscum.

  237. Elizabeth Prince

    I like this new featture. If only you could ad the link that lets you add everyone from that list to the tree. Instead of checking each name.

  238. Hi Kenny,
    I am trying to be positive and watch carefully what I do before I choose to merge. I began a brand new tree yesterday so the slate was clean. Today I have so many duplicates I don’t know if it’s really a time saver or waster for me. I am reading all of the positive comments and wonder what they are doing that I am not. Before the new merge I got very familiar with whatever family I was working on. I would almost always open the actual census and look it over because it helped with the hunt. There might be family living next door you had not been able to find the traditional way, etc. Also it’s not uncommon that names and dates are transcribed incorrectly and looking at the census yourself is a big help. I find I don’t tend to look at the actual census much with the new merge function and I’ve been thinking about why my ‘hunting’ style has changed and I think its because there’s a sense I don’t need to since the merge function has given me all of the family names etc. It is not as satisfying for me, it’s like an assembly line work. I feel more confused about who belongs where and I would rather add the correct people to start with than to figure out who to delete. If the merge function were accurate or at least much more accurate I would like it and use it. For now I am going back to my old way of ‘hunting’.
    I anyone has any tips or hints for me or if I am missing the big picture here please let me know.
    Thank you

  239. I really appreciate this new merging feature. Even better,the caution to “merge responsibly” and to be able to review the record person by person (with some genealogy sites, it’s merge all or nothing!).

    I do seriously believe that is the best genealogy site because you give us all these records to review, other public trees to peruse, plus access to stories and photographs others are willing to share (bless them one and all!).

    And to top it off, everything on an individual’s tree is added ONLY if and when they wish.

    Thanks for continuing to update and improve

    Deena Herod

  240. This is absolutely my favorite option. Before I had to hand write other information in order to show it on my tree. Either that or print each page. Anyway, my hands Thank You Very Much!!

  241. suzanne baul

    What a marvellous improvement you have made to the retrieval of data,now instead of laboriously typing in information on each member of each generation; it is there at the click of a mouse!

    Well done!

  242. Steph

    I am new to Ancestry ~ 1 week, so all of this is new to me – UNTIL I came to #124! I thought it was just because I was doing something wrong that the notice kept popping up about `~error…has to close…send report…’. This occurred when I was loading census pages and pressing the arrow to go forward. I just got used to clicking “Close” and then immediately reopening from my desktop. I am not super computer savvy, so I appreciate the information posted here. It has been helpful.
    I have no recollection of what the site was like before when I tried it in Aug 2005 for 2 months.
    I am amazed at how much I’ve been able to do in one week. When I think of what my GGGGmother had to do to make the paper tree she made…
    I think that I have to use the language of the country I am looking in in order for the information to come up. I would be looking in Germany, born & died there and would have a US Census list with “possible hints” show up. And I have seen a few ancestors with similar names living for more than 100 yrs – i.e. 1625 – 1733. I think this really unlikely.
    Using the computer to research certainly has a steep learning curve. I thank all of you who post helpful hints for beginners like me.
    Blessings on you and yours,

  243. Heather Russell

    This site is fantastic! Thanks for the merge feature. It really speeds things up. I think I’ve done about three or four years worth of research and tree building in the last two weeks for a fraction of the cost of a professional resercher.

    I would like to see a manual override matching system because sometimes I know the family members match but the name spelling (or some other detail) is just different enough that the people don’t match up automatically. I can still attach the record by searching it again for the unmatched people, but it is less confusing to do it all at one time.

    In addition, I would like to be able to manually add information from the census pages (like the street address written on the side, the dd/mm of the census, occupation, etc.) that does not automatically transfer. The detailed info helps me compare information for individuals to ensure I have selected the right record.

    Thanks for making genealogy for the masses!

  244. I am having a hard time trying to get the Adam
    Hahn relationship prior to his marriage to Anna E.
    Rettig straightened out. I give up at times. This is
    in Indiana.

  245. C. T. Shuttleworth

    I have all this information on my Family Tree Maker but don’t know how to merge that with Ancestry. Do you know any shortcuts??

  246. I absolute LOVE the new merge feature. This saves me a lot of typing and a lot of going back and forth to add this record to each family member. Thanks!!! This is one of your best. !

  247. Bobbie

    I love this feature! I had been thinking about suggesting it but never got a round-to-it!

    Thanks much!

    I might comment more after I have used it for awhile.

  248. Barbara Taylor

    You have provided me with a hitherto unknown sibling for g.grandfather. Now I will have to find out what became of her!

  249. Lorraine

    I think this is realy helpful. Absolutely wonderful if I am just finding and adding new people. The only down fall is that if I already have this person, it’ll make a duplicate. So if I find someone in 1910, 1920, 1930 census, I now have them listed 3 times. Any suggestions?

  250. Charles

    Regarding #287, my basic rule is “Merge, do not Add”. Until can merge two individuals like Family Tree Maker 2008, the pain of duplicates is just to much to risk uncareful adding.

  251. I found the new system confusing- example my ancestor is Lucian Bland
    then it lists himself as a parent (no way I could see to change this)and his true father was also listed- then his sister was listed as his mother.???
    Maybee I’m just not understanding what you are trying to tell me- I’m open to new ideas and appreciate any help I can get..Catheron

  252. Pricilla "Pat" Washer

    I absolutely love this new feature of saving census information to all family members mentioned … with the choice to “responsibly” merge that information. What a time save for us!

  253. hello, this is one of the features that I have enjoyed on the offline Family Tree Maker 2006 for a while..but a glitch that someone else may have already commented on is that when you merge people with a name that is transcribed incorrectly (for whatever reason, sometimes through no falt of the transcriber..)it still makes them a new person, and how are we supposed to merge the two individuals after the addition of family info…this is also a feature I truly enjoy on the FTM 2006..will wait for a response..and thanks for all your hard work on making this program so flexible…

  254. Julie

    Very diappointed. While it looks great, I’ve spent too much time having to delete duplicate “other members of the family” because the program failed to recognizet them as the same person. It is much faster to just attach each person individually.

    It’s a great idea, too bad it doesn’t work better.

  255. Great feature. I’m finding it very helpful. It saves the laborious task of entering the same data to family members. There are still glitches with merging this data to another person on another tree. The selection drop down does not change to the tree selected. The software merely picks up the next tree in alpha sequence. Wish you could fix that as I want to merge data from one person to the same person on another tree. Also wish you would allow for merging descriptions.

  256. Ref: New adding and merging of family members from Census records:
    If one parent is not included on the census listing, i.e. they are away from home, in hospital, visiting or even dead, then the children are added as having unknown parent and even duplicate themselves if already listed from prior censuses. Very time consuming then to delete them all and start again.
    Otherwise, I love it.

  257. John Blaine

    I will attempt to answer my own question ( 271 ).
    After doing all the many things that support told me, clearing catche, deleting cookies, etc., I turn my firewall off and that did the trick. If you are running XP turn the XP firewall on for some protection while you merge records. Now that I got it working, on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being best, I rate it a 9.

  258. Cheryl Bills

    Thank you for this great new feature! I was pleased and surprised at how well it worked.
    I would also like to comment on the Iowa State Census information–which is GREAT with one exception. When it appears as a location, only the town shows up on the record, no county or state unless I type it in. Please check this out and see if it can be adjusted.
    Thanks for all you do to help make our family history better.

  259. Angela Eisert

    Thank you so much, especially the things you said about responsible merging. The progress here is meaningful.

  260. Love this feature — it realy speeds things up in adding records to multiple family members. It’s especially useful when discovering new people for the first time.

    Here’s a problem though — sometimes the record has a name wrong (misspelling or nickname), but you know who it refers to. The feature wants to create a new person, not recognizing that it’s really someone already in your tree. There should be a way to override the creation of a “new person” and connect the record to an existing person.

    Hope you can add that functionality. Right now, you have to leave the wrong item unchecked and go back and manually connect the record to the right person.

    Bill Bernardy

  261. The merge facility works well as long as the names to be merged from the database are nearly identical to those in my tree. It appears to be keying only on the name, which can be varied and even wrongly transcribed. It would help if it also considered birth dates and places and, as in FTM 16, offered the option to attach a record to any name.

  262. vhiddai

    I read the comments about how easy it now is to make one’s tree grow, with some amusement at the implicit naïvety.

    Years ago in England there was a TV series entitled “Never mind the quality, feel the width.”

  263. Kenny, I can’t tell you what a difference this makes…well i’m sure you know. It takes very little time to look at the important information without having to toggle back and forth to double check dates, names, etc. I love researching but i don’t have a lot of time on my hands.and i haven’t even used it to its full potential yet.
    Thank you so much for the improved site. Its awsome.

  264. Ganemede

    I like the fact that it was designed to save time, however there are still a few bug that drive me crazy. Due to the fact that I am usually merging census data, the names can be inaccurate/incomplete and therefore do not link up with the members in my tree. Perhaps the problem is it’s too automatic. If I choose the people myself from the family list, I wouldn’t have this problem.

  265. Shari Peavy

    I think I am still a bit over-whelmed with all the new options, but even so I have found family that was “lost” for years. I am really in a fog sbout merging the same people into one person; but I will figure it out! Thanks, to me the site is vastly improved and I like it.

  266. Melody

    I am pleased with the new search. Sure it’s a wee bit annoying to have to click on search and it’s a wee bit annoying to be taken back to the person I did the merge on but…

    I like being able to merge many people from the same family at one time. Lots less clicking (more than making up for the having to click the search button when choosing a person or when getting back to the screen I was on).

    I can copy and paste between many people at a time. I alter the formatting of places. Now instead of having to type the new format on everyone of the 12 children Mr. Fertility, I format once for him, and then copy and paste to all of his children for the same census record.

    I especially like being able to merge info from one of my trees to another. I keep two copies of my trees – a private one where all the info needs to be sourced (as opposed to coming from public trees) and a speculative one where I put best guesses and info from public trees. I use the speculative one to “try out” different info I’ve found. It’s been very helpful in making connections and furthering my research. When something has been confirmed in my speculative tree, I merge it back into my strict tree. When my strict tree proves something wrong in my speculative tree, I merge from my strict tree to my speculative tree.

    I like the new merge Very Much.

  267. Kate

    New record merge feature – brilliant idea. Makes adding new people/families so much easier. Makes you want to search more. More like this please!!!

  268. lynn seamark

    If the name in the census record is poorly transcribed – attaching the rest of the family is not possible because it thinks they are all new. You must link each member seperately. It would be nice for the linking to be smarter and allow you to pick from the existing family.

  269. Amy J Fielding

    The merge feature is great when it works, but it seems to operate erratically. Today, for instance, I wanted to save a census record to the head of family. Although there were a wife and six children listed, only one child was offered for merging. Often, the merging of relatives is not available at all. I cannot figure out why the feature works some times and not others.

  270. Andrea Messenger

    I am finding this new facility extremely useful. It can sometimes save hours of searching. Adding parents, siblings, husband/wife and children, then attaching the source to each person is great.
    I always make sure that the info is correct first.

  271. Cathy

    I am using the merge feature, it’s really wonderful, when it’s available. It seems to not like the 1850-1870 census. It would be wonderful if we had an option when merging to choose the family members name.
    Example: I am merging Noah Ganner and his family. During the 1920 merge it was flawless.
    In this 1910 merge it is not picking up Emma Doyel as the wife, so I have to uncheck her, it’s seeing her as a new person. If I had an option here to add her in, then I could merge the family record to the correct person.

    This is where people get frustrated, this is the error made normally. As I’ve pointed out before, watch for that word NEW Person if you see that, stop what you’re doing. You can always go back and pick up that individual after you get the rest of the fam added in.

    It would be nice though to have an option there to choose the family member name when the record is off like that. It might cut down some of the confusion of people adding in extra people.
    Thanks for listening. I’m enjoying this very much when its available on the page!!

  272. Amy

    What a great feature. Awesome, makes easy work of adding relatives that otherwise may not have been entered!

  273. Kathleen Keefe

    I like the merge feature, but I’m dismayed to find that the transcriptions of the census records are often so wrong. For example, the 1930 census shows my grandfather’s place of birth as Finland when he was really born in Ireland – and the actual document clearly says “Irish Free State”. And that’s just one error I’ve seen. How can I go about getting the transcriptions fixed?

  274. Robert Lowe

    Hello Kenny,
    Any idea if Ancestry are planning to re-link all my sources that were previously linked, before some sort of bug or an intentional decision was made to break all the records, I have spend many hours enhancing my family history by ensuring everything is sourced, in a very short time Ancestry has undone this.

    Robert Lowe

  275. Becky

    I think it works nicely. In fact I was so tired of looking someone up and getting this multitude of people that had been randomly added to that person without a thought or a bit of research. I’m happy with that change. 🙂

  276. Michel Bryson

    It would be helpful if, when adding family members from a record, we could select someone already in our tree. For example, my grandfather was John Edward McDermott. Sometimes he’s referred to as Eddy – which the system adds as a new person. And sometimes the census has a space in the name (Mc Dermott). So I add all the records I can find, then re-open them and manually attach them to the correct names, then go back and delete the duplicate people.

  277. Jane Weaver

    I like it. It works good until it gets all mixed up and adds the wrong people because of family trees with maiden names of mothers name isn’t the same as one it recognizes and I end up deleting children and reoganizing, losing more time than I saved–but it is a really good start.

  278. I really like this new feature. It saves me the time of adding every family member, one at a time, then going back and attaching their sources. I do believe that attaching the sources should be done responsibly, but I really wish every person could be added, instead of the website choosing who it thinks should be added. Sometimes it doesn’t catch that there are 2 different people, but their ages are just close (or sometimes twins). It would also be good to allow the user to decide whether a person in a family was ‘new’ or not. Misspellings of names doesn’t constitute a new person, so it would be helpful if that could be another option that a user could decide to use or not. Also, it would be great if family members on censuses older than 1880 could be added/merged the same way. It’s true that not every person living in the home was a child or parent, etc., but the genealogists who strive for accuracy would check into that before adding them into a tree anyway. The other variety can still do it the wrong way, too. Just a couple thoughts on possible improvements or options, but overall I really like this new feature!

  279. Lisa Kasper

    I love the fact that you can attach a historical document to several family members at one time; however, there’s always the issue of transcription errors. For example, I attach a historical document to John Puzo and then want to attach it to his wife Domenica and daughter Rosanna, but the names on the census are “Manuel” for “Domenica” and “Rose” for “Rosanna”. As a result, it prompts me to “Add a wife” for “Manuel” and a child for “Rose” . . . how do I override??

  280. ReneeTS


  281. Bonnie Baumann

    On this particular record, it is showing the parents backwards… with the mother’s name connected with the father’s and vice versa. So there are still a few kinks in it; however, I LOVE this new feature!

  282. Wendy Davies

    Love the addition to link family, only problem is if the name is spelt slightly differently or family name reverses from one census to another eg. Elizabeth Hepzibah Gregory then Hepzibah Elizabeth Gregory, it shows up as a new person and there is no way of being able to connect them except by going back to the original record. Find it brilliant otherwise.

  283. Lisa Trodden

    Adding the census records to the other family members listed saves a lot of times. Thanks

  284. Liz Ford

    Great idea to be able to merge family members at the same time as you do the 1st but there isn’t enough flexibility. It won’t allow you to chose to associate a nickname to a given name so names on both records must be exact spelling. Same with marriages and children, exact names and spellings as well.

  285. Terrell Thompson

    Great! I must have used this feature a thousand times the old way. You know, add the people to your tree one at a time, going back over the same steps back and forth and back and forth.

    This is the most efficent change you have ever made. I Love it.

  286. Drew

    I love the Record Merge feature. The biggest issue I have with it, however, is that if a name is spelled differently, you only get an option to add a new person. You should be able to merge that data with an existing relative, also.

  287. Terrell Thompson

    While merging the 1870 census of John Thomas Ransdell I was offered the option of merging his son, Vere Ransdell who was not born until 1895. There is a glich somewhere.

  288. jacnrg

    I love the new search features! One suggestion, keep the 5 star ranking to enable us to whittle down thousands of possibilities into dozens. Also, if we put in NY as birthplace, only return births in NY, not other places.


  289. Lisa

    I think this feature is incredible….but why is it that it appears sometimes and other times it doesn’t?

  290. Since the installation of the Enhanced Image Viewer I have had problems attaching the census record to an individual in my tree.I have had to save them to my shoe box until hopefully I am able to attach them to my ancestor.Is anyone else experiencing this or a similar problem? Before the installation of the viewer I had no problems at all.I have had a computer technician look at my computer he said the problem is with the website.I would appreciate any thoughts on this issue so I can move forward.

  291. Julie Leeds

    When one of the parents has passed away, it lists the children as being from and unknown spouse when merging them. Is there a way around this?

  292. I cannot merge the 1930 US Fed Census for Amelia Mollie Busch. I get a page error and it continually shows that it is loading, but never completes the action. I was trying to load her and the rest of the family.

  293. Walter Gallant

    The idea is good. However, it needs to be more versatile. Users should be able to see all of the possible matches in their trees, and they should then be able to match the found records to the correct tree members. The match makes too many wrong assumptions about who matches with whom, and it can’t yet figure out that variations (even simple ones) might be the same person. So most of the time I can’t use the feature, because it dumps too many unnecessary duplicates into my tree, and I have not yet been able to find a graceful way to merge duplicate persons in my tree. But please, keep working on it, ‘cuz when the kinks are out of it, it will be a useful feature.

  294. Donna

    Love this option before I would have to go to each individual and connect them to the document. This is such a time saver. Please keep up the great ideas.

    Thank you

  295. I can’t tell you how much I LOVE THE NEW MERGE FEATURE!

    Since I started building my tree one week ago, I have been able to add hundreds of people to my family, and don’t have to do hardly any work at all!

    I just sit here at my computer and accept the hints. Ancestry has made it so easy! Thank you!

    Since there are so many trees with the same information in them, I just KNOW the information is correct, so I don’t even have to do anything at all except keep on building my tree. I can’t believe how much royalty is in the family. I’ve gone as far back as 542 AD already.

    I can’t wait. I figure I should be done with my family next week, and then I’ll start on my wife’s family.

    With the new Ancestry book printing thing, I plan to print out several copies of the trees and give them to my family members for Christmas.

    Thank you Ancestry for offering your “Family Trees for Idiots” program to all your new subscribers.

    I love it!!!!

  296. Elizabeth

    LOVE IT! Now, if only it would recognize duplicates and alert us to that .. it would move up to AWESOME!! Looking forward to that being a feature in the future…Please? 🙂 Also, unless I just haven’t found it yet, a way to easily and quickly compare/merge duplicated individuals… so far, I’m doing that checking manually, and being much more careful in checking before entering…which can be a bit cumbersome sometimes. Nothing is perfect, but this program does keep getting better and better! YEA

  297. Sherry Hightower

    The option to add the individual FAMILY members (via Census) does not always appear. Just now, the system showed 1 out of about 12 children, did not open for the parents so I could not merge the one available child, since I could not select “at least one parent”.


  298. Stephanie Pires

    I am so impressed at so many new things. I haven’t been a member for about 6 years. What does bother me, is that I know that the system is adding someone as new, when they are just a variation of the spelling. It would be great to either save the info, or add it to the correct person.
    But I am not complaining! I love this site.
    What happens is that I sometimes get multiple spellings added and people. It would be nice to be able to merge these entries as one would merge with other people’s trees.

  299. Vivian

    This is very exciting and much needed. I see the progress you are making and see so much more that needs to be made. With this option, can you also include a comment for error correction instead of going to the census page itself to do this. I’ve submitted several corrects already.

  300. Jane

    When adding persons attached to the record, it would be helpful if there were categories other than “spouse” and “child”….for example, “mother-in-law”, “brother”. Thanks.

  301. Sheri Crawford

    I find this is a valuale tool for merging large families. This merges the family quickly all at one time. When I come across a file that doesn’t have this feature, I have to go into each person to merge.
    I urge everyone to us this tool when available.

  302. Great Tool, But When Names are spelled wrong. I get extra spouse`s and children.I need option to change spelling of names to stop new persons from being added and stop new spouse`s from being added I need to uncheck new person name and enter correct Information. Great when It works but lots of work when not.when I have Missed spelled Info.I just do one at a time. Thank`s Kenny

  303. kay risher

    re this comment..
    This is a wonderful addition but needs to be tweaked to allow mergers with existing people in the tree whose names are spelled slightly differently than the index(an “e” rather than and “a”). I wound up with many duplicate people whom I had to remove one by one. —
    so did I and would suggest that existing family be displayed so you could skip some potential Dups .. but more than that -existing spouse should be displayed with option to merge or create new spouse ..
    otherwise you have to go back to your tree and add correct parent should spelling or even maiden/Married name keep the present spouse from being displayed.

  304. Cheryl

    Some of the new features will be great when the bugs are worked out….in the mean time, it stinks! I’m paying for a service I can’t use because I do not know where the information is going to end up within my tree. It is extremely frustrating!

    I have valid duplicates in my tree–brothers of one family marry sisters of another family. I would like to see the system point to the duplicates—there is no way to differentiate which line you are in when you save information. The documentation does not always end up in the line you were searching.

    The merge function I have found to be a total pain….I end up with children of “unknown parentage” and duplicate entries. All time consuming to go back in and correct.

    Some documentation I have saved to an individual works fine one day, the next day— it’s gone. Like it was never there. I add it back in and 3-4 days later the original set of documention mysteriously reappears, creating duplicate information and wasting time.

    What was once an enjoyable passtime has become a nightmare—you don’t get much research done for correcting errors or tracking down where the information ended up. Until this site is fixed, I am seriously considering canceling the subscription. I certainly have better things to do with my money than pay for frustration—I can get that for free

  305. Cathleen Strabala

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this feature!!! Time saving, easy to use; I couldn’t have designed it better myself!

  306. Sandra Harris

    How do I avoid duplicating sources in the census attachments? I find I end up with duplicate citations on a person if I attach from the child’s census record. Sandra

  307. Carla

    I like this feature alot. It is very helpful with large families.

    Please add it to 1850-1870 censuses.


  308. Helen.Hiner

    I am enjoying all the advancesments you are making. I also need to review the information befor recording it. If you would write a place were we can keep your information for review.

    I am not a computer programer. I maynot be expressing what I would like in proper turms. Please Advise.

  309. I love the new features. It makes working on my family tree so much easier and exciting. I don’t get frustrated wondering if I missed someone or not. In fact, I haven’t been able to work on getting my website up because I enjoy working on this site so much. If I were going to add anything, it would be some sort of alert when a date is obviously wrong – such as a parent’s birthdate being before their children’s. When I find one, I will try and research it further and correct it, but when you get into the “G” zone you tend to get overly excited and assume that the dates are correct. I wouldn’t make it so you can’t continue without correcting it, but some sort of little note popping up would be helpful.

  310. Curtis Felts

    I think this is a great feature but I think it needs to come a bit farther along. Merging the info to match the person/family. What is missing is a way to merge info or names that are not exactly as listed in the record hint… for example: I have a relative named Margaret in my tree and when I get these hints they never work out because she is often listed as “Maggie”, the merging feature should allow for us to choose from a list of names to merge with to allow for slight name differences but which we know are the same people. Also sometimes the names have spelling errors in the hints/records but we know its the right person.

  311. Moira

    Love this new feature. It speeds up the building of the family tree and allows a double check of facts as you build

  312. Kay Ralston

    Like the ability to include relatives, BUT, in adding the information sometimes an individual who is already in my database is duplicated. Example Harvey Faust married Ella Faust. No maiden name shown. In adding his wife, she was duplicated because she was already in my data base as Ella Horn, her maiden name. Is there a way to merge duplicate individuals? I know I can delete, but it can be very time consuming, especially if there are a lot of children.

  313. Lorraine

    As with all changes, we sometimes have to give something up. So to be able to view, merge and add other family members on the same census, is wonderful. I do believe the problem we are having is that we are compelled to accept the name as listed in order to “attach” the document in whole or in part. If there was a way to merge and “edit” the names so that it would not add a new person by default, this would help. I read several of the messages and it appears that because the “name” may not be spelled the same way on the “hint/doc/or other tree, by default it will add an entirely new person. Thus making us now have to go back, delete the unwanted additional person, and then search again for what we just deleted in order to get it attached correctly. I have faith you will fix it. Until then, We should all use with caution. Or at least two tylenols. LOL

  314. D Robert Dunn

    The merge lists siblings, but will not let me merge their infor… says I have to select at least one parent, but there’s nowhere to do that either. ARGHH!

  315. Norma Roper

    These new changes are driving me crazy….it’s taking me so much longer to find anything. Also, I have other trees…now I can’t find them. What ever happened to “My Ancestry”. Your efforts to improve your system is killing me. Norma

  316. My second year wit You and your staff are doing a real Great Job.
    Thank You for the hard work all you put in to make this happen

    Larry Jolley

  317. sarah

    Hi you have a record in the 1901 english census that has been transcribed incorrectly. It relates to the Hotheuls family at richmond st. I can say without a doubt that this should be the wheals family. the 1st record should be charles h wheals not charles hotheuls. I know this because they are my great grandparents, great uncles.

  318. Noma Foltz

    I like the new way of doing hints with the list of all the people. I also like the new addition of showing the whole family on Census hints. Only problem is some hints don’t show the whole family…why? Maybe it needs some tweeking!!!

  319. Jeannie Phifer

    When I add a record to someone, and it allows me to add relatives, it often doesnt find that person is already in my tree. It would be very helpful if we could “choose” the person it should be attached to.


  320. Larry Jolley

    This is my 2nd day working on the update Ancestry.Com
    Kenny the program is a credit.
    I read the message section and feel that I am comfortable with this program.
    The older program was a pain, the newer program helps you along as you go.
    Thank to your Staff and You
    I do not have a web or Ancestry email having problem understand that is my problem I have TBI.

  321. Susan Epple

    I REALLY like the “add relatives” in the census feature, but it doesn’t work in some census years and for some reason in the years where the feature did work a couple of days ago (1870 for example), I’m now getting “phantom” siblings (no first name, no dates) to be added and not the people who are actually listed in the census record. Yesterday I got the “phantom” sibling AND actual people.

  322. Jane Kimble

    I love being able to attach a census record to several members of the family BUT sometimes I’m offered that option and sometime I’m NOT offered that option even tho I know other family members are there. I can’t figure out how to always have that option??? That is frustrating. Need button or something to get that option all the time.

  323. Beverly Anderson

    I love this it is so easy to add family members to the tree. It saves so much time!

  324. Erica Olson

    I love the family merge on the census records. Others have mentioned this, but the addition of the ability to merge family members from the census to EXISTING individuals would be a huge help. If the names are slightly different in spelling, it wants to create a new person. Thanks!

  325. Vanessa Genens

    This is such a time saver! Now I can get on with my work without having to write everything down and then enter it in the record. I love it!

  326. lesley busher

    This records merge is a really fantastic addition. It saves so much time when discovering and adding new members to your family.

  327. Julie

    It would be nice if you could manually select someone from the family tree for which to add the record. It often misses a spouse or child because of a misspelled name or difference in name. Otherwise, I really like it.

  328. gerald Myhre

    In the vien of merging responsibly I would like to be able to send the hint to my shoebox for later study.

  329. Terry Barker

    The merge feature is really cool, except that I have a situation where a guy had two wives, but I can’t add the 2nd wife, I can only merge her information into the 1st wife’s information. It’d be cool to have a way to say “No, I don’t want to merge these two people, I want to add a new person entirely.” That’d be awesome. Thanks.

  330. David Sandilands

    I like the new system. Much more efficient, and yes you still have to check names with different spellings, as you should be. My only dislike is the type-ahead feature has changed. It is no longer available on some name additions and the default now serves up a lot of irrelevant names, similar to getting American place names incorrectly served up by some of the sources. I preferred the old type-ahead which appeared to work on your own selection of place names, so you could add in district names and other relevant information with one click. (Is there a switch for this?).

  331. Linda B

    At times the option is not available. Other times even though a spouse already exists the site makes the same spouse a new spouse creating two sets of children belonging to the same family. Mostly however I find this feature a great time saver.

  332. Shelley Murray

    I found the birth record for William Thomas Edgar Moore and instead of giving me the option of adding his parents. It gave me his spouse.
    Her name was not mentioned in the document.

  333. Ellen Dickinson

    It would be helpful if there were a box at the top of the relatives on the historical events so you can add them all instead of having to click each box individually.

  334. Yvonne Pennestri

    This addition has been wonderful. It saves me time, as well as paper. In the past, I made a copy of the preview page, so I could be sure to connect the record to all persons. Keep up the great work!

  335. Michel

    With the family name undergoing a spelling change, but finding the correct family, I was not able to add the source all at once, but had to do do each one at a time. Not really the best feature YET. Work on it.

  336. kay harvey

    samuel H luscombes’ father is recorded on 1881 census as edro? it should be edward born buckfastleigh devon

  337. Hi Kenny,
    I’m a board administrator for “Baumgart” message board. If you are knee deep with your own problems that does and dosen’t make me happy. You are doing such a heck of a great job on all the new features. Everyone you have done lately has blown my mind. I love the ease of moving from one area to another. One I would like to see is if you know for certain that information that comes up is in error that there would be away to change. An example is
    in my great uncles. The site is connecting one of my great aunt son with his cousin. The cousin is coming up as a son which is definitely not true. It’s because the son and the cousin had the same first name. And is automatically trying to pair the cousin as a son.

    Keep all thgose good changes coming but please take some time off to go fishing. (lol) 🙂

  338. Barb

    I LOVE the new feature for accepting other relation to attach! It is coming in handy for my husband’s family which have 10-16 children per couple!!

    I am so glad I waited to work on his family!

  339. Paula Copp

    Can you make it possible to select all relatives from more pages? There are some results where this is not an option.
    Also, the feature does not appear to work consistently, in that sometimes the parents and or husband/wife are not added to the family tree, despite being selected to be merged.
    Also, please make it easier to locate and search on women’s maiden and married names (possibly display both on every record). This is especially helpful when a maiden name is not known, instead of just saving “Mary (unknown last name),” I would like to save her as Mary (blank), married name Smith. Since this option is not available, I routinely save the married name as the middle name for all women who’s maiden names are not known to me.

  340. Michele

    Like the new features, does seem like to all takes longer now!
    Frustrated with getting undefined when ancestry family trees appear and then being asked to check back in later. Sent comment in email to ancestry days ago and received no comment.
    Also, love the adding relatives feature except just tried to add a relative but won’t let me without adding parents and as it was a civil war record parents are provided.

  341. Jeanne Bickerstaff

    This is really an excellent resource. It is a time-saver and makes it much easier to source other family members on the same record. Thank you so much.

  342. When you have added a “hint” to someone and go back to the list it should be noted that it has already been added wither by a color or a tag “added”. Also, when you go to a persons page i.e. when you find famous relatives, it would be really, really, really wonderful if you could just add that entire line and family in one click. I have to add person after person after person. It’s great that the info is there but you should’nt have to cut and paste when it is already all in there.

  343. Constance E Burnell

    Re: Thomas Baird
    Bn. 1850 Ralls, Missouri
    Information came up regarding his siblings. Unable to add siblings to his file as no parent was mentioned.

  344. Carolyn

    Often, when trying to add passenger list data to my tree(s), the wrong data entry form appears. it is entirely useless as it doesn’t have the entry spaces for anything. What a waste of time.

    We also think the new multi-colored format is giving us trouble. We are receiving multiple “Error Messages” and cannot easily open up the information.

  345. Ami Jackson

    It would be cool to have the “Add as alternate fact” check box on this feature, like we have on the One World Tree merger.

  346. Hazel

    This new feature is certainly not as good as it first appeared to be. It misses out some family members for no apparent reason, adds on people as ‘new person’ when they are already on the tree so duplicating them, and doesn’t always link chilren with parents properly so a child will be posted with an unknown mother or father when that parent is actually there but has been ignored for some reason. It now takes me longer sorting out the muddles than it used to take putting everyone on individually.

  347. Robert Hood

    the merge appears to be an excellent tool/benefit, with one caveat: bad information from folks who do sloppy genealogy work. I know this is not your fault, but it gets old passing on whole families when someone has input dates of births of 3-4 children after the mother has died or when she was in her 70’s.

  348. Rosamond Crawley

    This would be a great feature, but it doesn’t work at all for me! There needs to be a way to search for specific family members to attach to the additional people in the census record. I tried to link a census record to a family. It tried to add a new child to the head of house for each of the children listed. There was no way that I could find to attach those children to the children already in my database.

  349. Erin Parker

    I love this feature – what a time saver to be able to incorporate a whole household on one page, from one census record. I haven’t experienced any noticeable “slowness”, either. I also like the new search page. One thing I wish for – the bubble at the top that shows the info for the person in my tree I’m searching for, I wish that would stay visible on the screen as I scroll down, so I wouldn’t have to keep going back up to the top of the screen to check dates and stuff.


  350. LaGarry Smith

    I’m can’t seem to get the record to accept all of the children from the record. Help!

  351. Robin Faulkner

    I found this feature easier to use than the one by one access, as I have lost several entries and do not know how to get them back again. It means I can also the record in their context. Thank you.

  352. Joel Reid

    While doing some record merging I noticed a very simple ERROR. The problem is because father and son have SAME NAME. So some got confused and merged father and son’s dates.
    Joseph Patchen b1610 d1689
    Joseph Patchen b1643 d????

  353. Rosemarie Derry

    The time saved is excellent,but it does tend to show married women as new….(different surname and sometimes marginally different year of birth. An option to relate to someone else in your tree would be good.

  354. Pamela Ross


    Census REcords for George C Dent are showing several family members but they can’t be merged.

    Each of the census records I’ve tried to merge shows “John Dent 1814 RI” as a sibling. I can merge John to George but john isn’t on any of the census reports. don’t think John is George’s brother either.

  355. wgaede

    While I enjoy the automatic searching for documents, I am having difficulty when a document includes another name–such as parent, brother, etc. If the name is not exactly as previously given, it makes a new file. Either I forgo adding the new person or have a duplicate. I find myself spending most of my time going through duplicates to make corrections.

  356. Ian Lovatt


    really appreciate this site and the hard work. Well done.

    I have a hint aginst my Great Grandad. it tells me he had a son – James – whom i do not know of and my ftaher neither.

    I’ve gone in and searched the BMD fopr this young man, and that throws nothing up.

    Please can you tell me why does a hint pick this up but I cannot then get a hit in the BMD register?

    I can accept it’s a freak/error and no hard feelings!!!! Just wnated to check with you guys.

    Once again, fantastic site, love it ot bits


  357. I love this new feature. It helps sooooo much you cannot believe. Getting information one one family at a time helps sift through what you will need and what you have wrong and comfirming what you have right. Thank you so very much
    Shirley Kading

  358. While I think this Nolan might be related, I am only given a choice to add the hint, or ignore. The Thomas Nolan listed might be a brother of my great grandfather, so I’d like to put it in the Shoebox, but can’t figure out how to do it.
    I love all the new features in Ancestry, as well as the compatibility with Legacy.

  359. stan walker

    it gives a child to add but when i try to check “mahalia higgins” an error box pops up stating “you must select one parent”

  360. Jo-Anne Hiscock

    Because of incorrect Data on my grandparents I did not want to merge the sibling documents for my Uncle.
    How do I get the correct data there.

    My Grandmother’s first name is incorrect and my Grandfather’s birthdate is incorrect.

    Thanks JHiscock

  361. Carol Murry

    The merge feature for everyone in a specific file ie a census record, only works for the immediate family. In other words lets say that a sister or brother is also listed as living with the family only the spouse and children are able to be added, unless the parents of the brother and sister are listed. Additionally, if there is more than one spouse it will not allow you to add the second spouse unless it overwrites the first spouse. Any fix in the works for this?

  362. Lynda Littrell Benjamin

    How do I show an alternate name on a record–my G-grandparents are listed in your records as Littick–correct spelling is Littrell
    Thank you

  363. Jan Groshan

    Nice feature, but in my particular case I got an email that Ancestry had found a possible “match”, which in fact was a match for a different individual on my tree but I had no way of linking it to another individual….other than the one that came up when I clicked on the information. Having the ability to “link to someone else on your tree” would be a great idea.

  364. David

    The merge of other relatives should allow for the selection of someon from the tree list if no match or an incorrect match is identified.
    Thi feature would also be great on birth records where th mother/father are listed, like in Texas.

  365. Valita Randolph

    Why can’t I add information that is available in the record to the people listed in the record, when those people are listed in my tree? I just tried to add info from a census,and all it wanted to do was add two “new” children who weren’t new at all, and it ignored all the others.

    All in all, a great improvement, though!

  366. Lisa Barber

    Though I appreciate your encouraging restraint in merging individuals, it would be nice to have a select all option when one is viewing the relatives of a found individual.

    This family tree feature has been wonderful. Months of work that I had done previously has been found and merged in minutes by this system. Thanks. It seems to only be searching other family trees. Is that an intentional limitation or coincidence for my research? No direct response expected.

  367. Lisa Barber

    two more comments from me:
    When I try to merge an indidual from a record where only one of their parents was listed, it wants to attach them to a second marriage. If the program could “ask” me first it would be great. Second related comment is that it is very easy to mrege an individual and hints, it is not easy to delete them if you discover later that they weren’t merged correctly or their not related after all. An easier editing interface would be lovely.

  368. happytrailsfarmer

    Ever since you added this I keep gettting “Error on page” and I can not merge any of the information. I have tried everything to make it work right. It sucks.

  369. joe

    this is exactly what was needed. it moved adding a census froma 20 minute task to a 2 minute task and anything that imporves effciency by an order of magnatude gets my gratatude.


  370. Wes

    This is a great new feature and overall very time-saving.

    One thing I’d like to see addressed is that you often can end up with duplicate “Residence” entries for the census year if you’ve already attached the census to one of the parents (because to add the children using the merge function, you’re required to select the parents). It seems like something that the system should be able to detect, and not end up with multiple duplicate citations on the same individual.



  371. Annemarie Carlan-Menard

    I love this new feature!! It is also wonderful that I can make the corrections needed to the information. Such as, James Carlan b.1846, Ireland landed in the states on July 2, 1864 according to his immigration papers in PA. This is great!!! Thank you so much for doing this!

  372. when merging the 1900 census document into my family tree for Mathilda Imler up pops her hubby harry C. Mock – but this time as a “new person” – he is not a new person – he is already in my family tree with the exact same birth information as listed in the 1900 census documnet, thought the merge wants me to add him as a new person – thus duplicating him my family tree. This has happened many, many times when trying to merge family data into my tree in recent weeks – please recheck this feature so that you can better help those of us using your search engine, which we pay for, to build our family trees.
    Libby trautman

  373. Melissa Koch

    this feature for marraiges only ever adds the mother! the spouse would be nice too… especially in the case of muliple spouses

  374. Maudotha Ratchford

    William Odis Ratchford: I have , anyway what I thought I done is add to Christopher Aclin what I had found in the Census and other events into his profile under the above tree. Like today I receive Hints for the item I had already place in his profile. I look for what I had intered. Not there. Can you tell me what is wrong. I follow the directions some info gets in some don’t. I dont agree with some of the info offered. But I still would like for the ones that I have selected to be input. Please let me know were I am going wrong. I don’t have enough time left to keeping going over again and again. Maudotha

  375. Shirley Lash

    This is much better than before. Please don’t change it unless you find other sources for us.

  376. DianeEdwardsAnger

    It is great and grand being able to merge and yes you are right, don’t do the willy nilly, but you know we almost have to at least once to learn not to. It is great though, cannot say enough good about it. I would like to be able to add on the lodgers or servants, somehow under the umberella without having them show as family. Keep up the good work. Diane
    Linda it sounds like you have Vista, I forget how I did it, but you have to go in to the viewer and adjust it to the compatiblity of Windows 2000 it will work then. I fumed at first too. Most computer shops can help over the phone or call Big Bill.
    LOL Diane

  377. theresa

    I wish ya’ll would add a extra place for people to put nick names so people can add them with putting them in the name space

  378. Mary Mayfield

    I am having a few problems learning
    how to operate the new program.
    I am related to Thomas H. Houston
    and have not been able to make correction when needed.

    I am still learning,
    Mary mayfield

  379. Debbi

    This is a fantastic feature, or WILL be, IF you can get it to work properly… especially since the old “add” had to be done twice… once to add a person with birth date, then again to attach the census record you got the info from. What I found here on this family add is what others menioned: It thinks a “new person” must be added when the name is misspelled or differently spelled. It is COMPLETELY useless at this point, as I have no need to have multiple records, so I will have to go back to the old method of adding each person one by one. This is a significant flaw in the otherwise possibly exciting new feature.

    There really should be a match-up option which works similar to the old feature which finds [or offers] the matching record and allows me to choose with whom to match the record and then allows me to make corrections to the name field, for example.

    I look forward to using it when it actually works as it should! For now, it is a hopeful and often-maybe-sometimes-useful feature. (It’s about a 50-50 success rate so far, what with all the enumerator and index transcription flaws.)

  380. I think it is great when reviewing census and you are able to add others on the list. I was writing the names down and transfering…thanks saves me a whole lotta writing.

  381. Mike Albright

    First thank you for your hard work. is money well spent and is extremely addicting. This merge feature is a great addition.

    What follows are few possible improvements related to this feature.

    1. When adding members to one’s family tree from another member’s family tree or census, occasionally a person will be considered a new person when in reality that person already exists in one’s family tree. It would be very helpful, in these instances, to be able to manually associate a person that is mis-identified as a new person with someone who is currently in one’s tree.

    2. At times I have added records for what I thought was a new person into my tree, but later realized that these records actually belong to someone who is already in my tree. This results in two people in my tree when in reality there is only one individual. It would be very helpful to have a less manual process to merge the duplicate persons into one person in a tree.

    Thanks again.

  382. I a constantly reputting in the same information about my ancestors. They question is WHY? That is the only problem I continue to find with this program, plus someone is changing my information and I am the only one that is suppose to have access to my family tree.

  383. Barbara Diane Hart

    Margaret A Dildine was my grandmother and her date of death is: 15 Jan 1975 Phila. Pa. Barbara Diane Corbett is my maiden name, and I go by B Diane Hart, the mother of #1 Frederick William Hart.

  384. Titiantop

    Like the new UK census detail layout with it’s attached family but would like to see a space to enter the description details.

  385. lynn

    Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn’t. I haven’t been able to figure out why it’s not always consistent. I love the feature….when it will let me merge or add family members who have been born since the previous census but it won’t always give me that option.

  386. Frances Mae Peters Goes into The Peters Tree.Elvis Ray Peters Sr. is my husband (susiesonshine)Edith Sue Sconce-Wardwell- Peters. I asked to work on the Peters records.

  387. Laura Hill

    I like the imrovements. I would like to have the option of going back to the list of people with hints so that I can work on the next person with a hint without going back to the tree. Thanks for your hard work on the site
    Laura Hill

  388. Duane Alphs

    It would be nice if there would be some way to add individuals whose names are wrong but are actually family members. For example, if someone’s name is William and it comes up as Bill it would be nice to be able to add that person without it becoming a new person.

  389. briannewton175

    The facility to include relations when attaching an Ancestry census hint is excellent but I have one remaining beef. When a new person is created from a census transcript, the residence data does not get attached to the new person. It is necessary to do a second attach of the same census record in order to have the residence data included for that census year. I suspect the problem is that the new person form which appears during the process has no field to accomodate the residence data being transferred from the source census record.

  390. I got a hint of a family member. I went in to add him and the offer was to add additional family ( a sibling). When I tried to add it, the software told me that I had to choose a parent, but one was not available to choose because only the sibling was attached to the record. So long story short, I had to add the sibling independently of the family member.

  391. Laura A Bunyard

    I really like the merge the whole family as a unit until I get to variations in the spelling, or the child without a parent, or people with slightly different birth years and then I end up with one or all of the family members duplicated. This is most frustrating because it means that the little merge feature has created more work, instead of eliminating the time I need to round up all the loose people from the census and various tree records.

  392. whitehead19281

    ulir papper born hull 1877
    should be alice papper
    see 1881 census
    daughter of james and mary ann

  393. Kelle Luoma

    Great feature, love it! Now, how about the ability to merge duplicate records instead of deleting the extras, then going back to add details? Esp. helpful when there are spelling variations of the name. Spelling variations would become alt names with the ability to choose the preferred name.

  394. David Whipkey

    I think that this will be a nice new feature. Many times I have had to keep going back so as to include all family members from a source like the Census. I like what you are doing.
    Thank you,

  395. Marilyn Sanders

    In the 1850 census, I found my record with husband, wife, and many children. When I asked to add relatives, I got only one more to add.

    I really have enjoyed being able to merge records into my tree, but I’ve found that its very easy to copy bad information from other peoples trees and from census records.

  396. rebeccahrich

    this rarely shows other relatives, and when it does, it is siblings and will not allow me to add, unless i pick a parent and there is no option for a parent.

  397. steve seper

    how does one merge two people that are the same person, I did it thru one of the census merge.

  398. Lloyd Robinson

    I like this option!! It saves so much time and effort. Will be glad when it works on earlier census reports

  399. Carla Elliott

    I like the merge features very much. However, and this is not the first time this has happened (!), sometimes census record names and facts are misread (i.e., Macey for Marjorie; or, in the most current case, a mother is listed as a sibling by by whomever recorded all your census “facts” and we are not given an option in the merge to make those changes which need to be made!
    It would be most helpful to have a little button at the bottom of each pair of people to merge that would offer us the option of changing some of the information Ancestry reads to what the census gives us as true or “facts” we have records to prove otherwise.
    Thanks for your consideration!

  400. Jon Piesing

    I really like the feature.

    My main comment is one already made – it doesn’t handle variations in names very well. (#12, #21, #27, #61, ….).

  401. Beverley Clarkson

    Whoever transcribed the 1852 census for my family is wrong. He included a neighbour s child as one of the family; the census clearly shows otherwise.

  402. David Cazalet

    How do I fix relationship mistakes created by the new feature? I can’t figure out how to attach children, who have been added by the feature to their parents or how to make sure a spouse, whose name is spelled incorrectly by the census merge with the actual person in my tree.

  403. Virginia SUMMERS-ARNOLD

    What I would like to see is when someone mergies your people with theirs I would like to have a email sent to me notifying me that someone has a link to me.
    Then let me know who they linked with.
    Then I will be able to check out their link and maybe it will be a break I have been hunting for.

  404. Rose Stephenson Waters

    Misspellings of names and other misinterpretations make it impossible for me to accept some of the hints given even though the people mentioned are in fact my relatives. How can I make the necessary corrections?

  405. Annette Morris

    The only problem with downloading information to ones tree is…When the names have been wrongly transcribed there is no option but to use the wrong name. I think there should be a way of un-ticking the name box. I have had this problem on four separate occasions!!

  406. Tom Johnston

    When ‘other’ family members are shown the system does a fairly good job at figuring out if you’ve already got that person in your tree thus allowing a merge but sometimes it can’t figure it out or it gets it wrong.. (due to slight variations etc).. I suggest a ‘default’ guess but also a drop down of the other family members that I can associate the new data for.

  407. Valerie Balester

    I love the new feature even with its imperfections. But it stopped working yesterday. Every time I try to use it, the same name comes up as related; sometimes that is the only name that comes up even though others are on the record, and sometimes it comes up along with those others. Looks like a bug.

  408. I absolutely love this feature! The only thing that I would like for you to add is a link to “attach the record to someone in my tree” if the program has not identified the correct person.

  409. Peter Longbottom

    When saving family members to my on-line tree there is no facility to save them to one parent only when it is clear that the children are from a previous relationship. Can you add this feature please?

  410. Colin Burton

    A big thank you to Ancestry, I have been trying to find my grandparents on the 1901 Census for years and today you found them for me.
    You have helped fill a missing link and helped me fill in another piece of the family jigsaw.
    Thank you again. Colin.
    Ps If you have time I have an interest family member on my wife’s side (Goodliffe family tree) a Col William Winer Cooke.Died at the Battle of the Little Big horn and was later exumed and taken back to Hamilton in Canada.

  411. dana

    merging is excellent, can you add to more areas… and allow corrections when the merged item is mistakenly seen for a wrong member due to the census takers incorect spelling, ie: courtland henderson wanted to merge with his father, not his already documented name in my tree…etc.

    thanks great work, it is getting better and better.

  412. Diana Devers Osbahr

    All of the information that appears in a source does not show up in the list of items to merge. For ex., the Minnesota Inscription… shows cemetery but then it doesn’t appear in list to merge.
    How do you merge from Ancestry into Family Tree Maker? No one seems to understand to help me. When you write an article – there are all sorts of levels of experience. I am a 2 week beginner and get lost in the explanations. Companion Chart CD doesn’t work- won’t open – and your techs are not familiar with it.

  413. Cindy Wright

    Thank you so much, for adding options that help make sure you have the correct person so that you don’t keep adding the same person over and over! Thanks so much for resonding to my earlier E-mails! Cindy Wright

  414. Cory Mason

    I found your 1880 census for Charles H Driskill listed him as Chs. H. Driskin as well as his daughter Mary F. Driskin. This is incorrect for the name spelling. They are correctly listed in the household of Milton L. Fore but the names are mispelled and don’t show up in searches at all as I only had enough info from family records to know the difference. We knew he lived in his father in laws household and that his wife was not listed there so that is how I searched and still took almost an hour to find the right one since I didn’t know it was mis-spelled “Driskin”. I hope this helps as I often have difficulty reading the old hand-writing…

  415. Cory Mason

    Kenny, about 488’s question about merging to Family Tree Maker if this may help… you may have already told her but I found the same problem but what I have done is download/save the file from to my pc. I then convert that file to a “” file sometimes by having to save it and change the file type to “” manually in the “save as” dialogue box. Then, I merge the trees on my pc which also makes it more compatible to upload back to my tree… hope this helps.

  416. Katherine

    The merge feature is wonderful as long as you are aware that if you merge the children on a record where one of the parents is deceased that they will be added to the tree as children of parent an unknown spouse. In this case you will have to “fix” those records by adding that parent using the “Choose someone already in the tree”

  417. tammie

    I really like the new feature that gives you ability to attach all family members at the census level. Saves a lot of time and clicking!!
    I also appreciate that you have to check over them one by one just to make sure they match to your info. I like the suggestion made by some to be able to use a “drop down” or some other selection tool to pick someone that the system may not have picked up as a match to that family.

    Thank you for the hard work!!

  418. Steve

    Ditto suggestion 493 by Tammie, namely allow the selection of a match to an existing person that your program did not detect or to select someone other than the one your program selected. You can use the same subroutine as you do when adding a relationship to an existing person.

  419. Nancy Jenkins

    I saw that on a record of Hall Neal Bowers that had listed Florence Bowers as his spouse. She is his daughter, not his wife. Hall Bowers is my G.G.Grandfather and Florence Bowers is my G.Aunt. Please update this record if possible. Thank-you so much, Nancy Kottcamp

  420. Your(?)typed interpretation
    of my grandfather’s name on the 1920 census is incorrect. Is there any way to change it? His name was EARL JOHN HUNTER, born Perrysville, Green Twp., Ohio, 13 May 1906. The typed copy has “CARL A.” His parents were EDWARD BURUS HUNTER and MAUD (MINA) BECKLEY.

    Thanks, Sandy

  421. Mary Beck

    Sometimes the directions state that I must choose at least one parent to link when I am connecting a document to more than one relative. Yet I am given no parent to link.

  422. Sue Welton

    The 1920 census was transcribed incorrectly for my great grandparents and their family. The last name should have been spelled Jenkins, but they have Jankins. Abraham L. (for Lincoln) Jenkins, Yamhill County, Oregon. It made this record much more difficult to find. If you can correct that, It would sure be appreciated.
    Thanks, Sue

  423. Joe Davidson

    It’s a good feature, but I don’t see a way to merge information from a census record to a person that it doesn’t already suggest. For example, my relative’s name was Caroline but she went by Lina. There’s no link there to say merge with an existing person and I can tell it which person this is.

  424. Shirley Avera

    I find this “new” system to be very frustrating as it adds the same people over and over again. The old system was much easier!! This system is probably helpful for beginning a family genealogy but not for one already established.

  425. Pat Ratcliff

    When you click on see all relatives and click on a sibling you cannot merge because the parents are not listed.

  426. Barbara Joan Jeffery Reed

    Every time you have changed the format for a Family Tree, I have had to go in and re-enter all the hints that I had accepted in the old tree. This is very annoying and time consuming. The pictures and stories for personal profile have not always followed either. I hope you quit make all these changes!!

  427. Leslie

    If the family members merging feature would allow a link to the current family tree, then valuable census information of family members could be added even though the census name is misspelled and is not recognized as a current tree member. It is a shame to have to forgo using the information from the census because the census has a transcription or name variation error — which is so often the case. I am hoping you will add a link to the family merge feature to click on an existing tree member for relatives.

  428. Bruce Walker

    Who is doing the data entry? There are many misinterpretations of what exactly the names are supposed to be. Where do we send the corrections for this?

  429. re #198 .3
    I have been struggling for a year on ‘My Ancestry'(since the viewing option was improved) with census records ‘view original’ refusing to load and causing all programmes in use to shut down. Yesterday it took 5 tries before I was successful! Has anyone else had this problem?

  430. Robert R Kling Sr

    Hi: I don’t have much today since I anm a novice, but I would like to comment on the listing as Mary DING. Since this family in the census is my Grandfather GEORGE KLING and Grandmother is Mary Ann KEENAN – KLING. I looked at the copy of the19110 Census and yes the writing looks at first glance as DING a closer look with a maginified lens shows rth the writer had written Kling not Ding thank you. Bob Kling

  431. I’ve tried, both the old search and the new search, to add 3 diffrent ‘arrivals’ from the NY passenger lists, and every time the record wants to add just name, birth info and death info. The arrival information doesn’t even show: not the date, port, etc.
    Something happened when you created this new ‘add family members’ thing.

  432. I AM becoming very frustrated. By trying to merge and link or add things to more than one I have ended up with gibberish in some areas. I have people duplicated in the list but then you can’t gt there from here. I am not hearing back from technical support which is even more aggravating. It was going great until the free period ended now I seem to be having the problems. I really dont want to think that there is a correlation. I have been going on the site for years.

    I do appreciate that the help I am obtaining is far more than I ever would have gotten before the advent of the internet. Thank you for all your knowledge.

  433. I love this new feature its great, however I would love it if you had a feature that chooses to “select all” like you do when merging a tree. I know we have to check family names, but it would be good for large families.

  434. Carol

    It would be helpful at this point to be able to add individuals to my tree and choose a person in my tree that is included in the records under a different name.

  435. Pippa Baddeley

    I can’t add any information from “hints” any longer – if I use my PC at work (not always convenient!!), the information gets added to the ancestor record(s) – from Census records or merge data from other family trees.

    If I’m at home using my Mac with Firefox ( latest version), I just get a screen that says loading but however long I leave the records, no data gets added to my ancestor records.

    I have previously been able to add information to ancestor records using my Mac and Firefox.

    Any suggestions?

  436. Martha Barnett

    There should be a way to merge two children. In some cases the same person is listed with different names. As of now I know of no way to merege them correctly.

  437. Pippa Baddeley

    OK, I’ve checked your help section – despite my browser saying I had the latest version, seems I didn’t. So I’ve upgraded to Firefox 3.

    The problem with Attaching Hints still persists – I click on the ADD TO YOUR TREE button, but all I get is the loading screen.

  438. Tammie Zuker

    I love this new feature that allows you to add the relatives, children and spouses automatically when looking up information.
    This is really a time saver.


  439. Jennifer

    The ancestry site has helped alot all though I am not finished yet. The hints are really great. You all have found great uncles that I didn’t even know that I had. I showed my mom and of course she knew all of them. Once again thank you.

  440. I’m getting a LOT of duplicate people (listed as New Persons). There must be a way to merge the records together without getting tons of Duplicate People. Please advise…

  441. Nott-Hopkins

    One of the things i have seen frequently happen with this feature (merge additional relatives) is that a relative not listed on the original record will show up with several records as being there. This person if selected completely compromises the integrity of the database.

  442. DianeEdwardsAnger

    There is an error, in the information it is showing the neighbours as the parents of the Jackson children.

  443. On the merge feature. It would be great to add the feature of selecting from our tree when the person comes as a new person. Almost always it’s a spelling error or transcriped wrong and this feature would allow us merge the right person in the tree.

  444. My grandfather, Kess Lawson Forrester, is listed in the 1900 census as Kess I. Forrester. The other members of the family indicate this is his family.
    How do I attach and correct this for future website readers–that Kess I Forrester is Kess Lawson Forrester, Kess L. Forrester?


  446. Tim Maddock

    I love the ability to add source references for all family members in a census entry. It used to take me “forever” to access each family member individually. I have tried this several times with great success.

  447. Patrick Horgan

    It’s frustrating that for example this shows a son Joe living at the same address, and I know that’s it’s the same as the son Joseph, but my only choice is to add another son Joe. There must me some way to match them up. I’ve made the mistake before of creating duplicate kids, and don’t know how to fix that!

  448. Georganna King

    I have noticed lately when attempting to add hints for my grandfather that the records with “add hint” link have been trying to say that, for instance, his mother (Annie)comes up as the person I need information on. Instead of showing “additional family members” as his parents and siblings, it shows spouse and children (as if he were his mother or father), but I am needing to add as parents and siblings.
    I refer to Ulis F (aka Franklin E) Reynolds or King, born 1896.
    I keep trying, as I am trying to learn the maiden name of his mother, but this slows me down.
    Also I am getting a box that says my request cannot be processed at this time, referring to other census links on the same person.
    Is there something I am doing wrong?

  449. Kristin D

    I love this feature. Doesn’t always pick up everyone I want, and sometimes the option isn’t there at all, but it’s wonderful when it is there! (especially for those very large families)

  450. Lisa Dayhoff

    I like this feature, but there is one thing that still bothers me. There are times when several results come up matched to either the wrong person or showing as a new person. We should have the option of changing who the names are matched up with during this process also… it saves having to go back through and manually adding or changing them later.

  451. Laura A Bunyard


    I really like the new merge feature when it works. If the date information is different, a new person is created. Today I wanted to add a record for Laurin M Hardy’s siblings, but the record didn’t add the parents, so I can’t add them. Also, I was working on a line last week and the computer kept trying to add a child when the record didn’t include the child. Any fixing would be a great help. Thank you. 🙂

  452. john hassen

    On census 2nd wife with name of husband vs maiden name in record appears as a “new” person and cannot be successfully reconciled to capture source

  453. Carol

    Death index requesting a parent when non is listed. It lists a sibling and would like to connect record to sibling even if parents are not listed. Should be able to add parents if none or not.

    Really like the new programs

  454. James

    The record merge feature is really really cool and useful. It could be made even better if more information were shown for the person on the right. I have several people in my tree with the same name and it is hard to determine if I have the right person.

  455. Barbara

    I really love this facility. It’s so much easier than the old way. One thing I’d like though; since we know the actual dates of the censuses, any chance that could be automatic in the Residence box? Or am I just being greedy?

  456. Linda Stanch

    On this particular census the entry for Carson is incorrectly followed by entries for Sislies instead of the wife and children for Carson.
    Thanks for all the new features. I try my best not to use them “blindly” and go back and recheck. Thanks again,

  457. Anne Bloomenthal

    I, too, love this feature. (And I’m glad I didn’t find out about it until the initial kinks were worked out.)

    One “logic error” that should be pretty easy to solve: if the “new” person is being merged as a WIFE or MOTHER of the initially linked person, the new record for the woman should have the last name blank (because the data record has her married, not maiden, name).

    The problem of ending up with duplicate events/sources is that the merge feature apparently does NOT ACTUALLY IDENTIFY whether the event/source (e.g. 1930 residence coming from 1930 census) has already been linked to the person. When doing the linking, it shows ALL the current source/event (e.g. 1930 residence) information as NEW, even when that’s not the case.

    My work-around for avoiding the creation of duplicate family members due to spelling differences is to keep multiple browse tabs (or windows) open, and when I see that a person, who I know is already in the family, is not matching, I go to that person’s profile and change the name, e.g. from “Anne” to “Anne or Ann” – so then it will link to the new record that has “ann. This works most of the time.

    This feature still has some bugs, but it’s a wonderful labor and time saver!

  458. Mary D Leach

    I have been working on my tree for years you have helped with the hints you look read and add on, Sure bets typing in each person

  459. Ruth Tootill

    I’m afraid to point out that something weird is happening with this feature. When I go to attach a record the surname & forename fields switch places and are causing me loads of extra work i.e. going back into the person page and swapping the names back. Also I have noticed it swapping mother and father deails around.

  460. I have had some trouble lately with the merge feature switching surnames with given names. I also would like to know what to do when the merge program doesn’t merge obvious matches?


  461. JOHN A. ROWAN


  462. Nott-Hopkins

    One of the problems I have seen with the new merge family members is that when you go to a record for a person, such as the social security death Index, it will list a child. First, I did not know the acutal record included such things so I believe it to be a “bug” to be worked out. second, if you were to try to add the child, it does not allow you to because you must first select one of the parents. Since the original person is the parent, they are already selected. I am not able to add the child from the record.

  463. I have found the new merging of family members confusing,as it duplicates people in my tree and when i try to delete them it takes out a whole branch of that family and it takes a lot of work to imput everything back.

  464. Christine Stonehouse

    I to find the site is slower, but I am keen for it to progress, I have found also that ancestors are duplicated and removing them is fraught, as you find deleting one (for example) Lizzy Ellerbeck has deleted her completely from her position in the tree but she still comes up independently on the list. This is rather confusing as you can imagine. So I vote to keep the new and we will just have to wait for everything involved to catch up.

  465. mamaburk

    It would be good if the record merge also worked when adding a marriage and only one party is already in the tree. I have noted that when a marriage is added and both parties are in the tree, the record is now added to both. However, sometimes the name of the second party is not know until the record is found.

  466. I want to change the person to merge. It came up under the wrong son of my grandfather, and I can’t change the infor to the other son, so had to hand write it all down, and add it by hand. thanks

  467. Marcia

    I love this feature. I used to hand write all the names listed on the census reord and then enter them one at a time onto my tree.

  468. Carol Culver

    Why can’t I just add the census to my tree without it wanting me to add information that I don’t need. I cannot see any way to just add the document to my tree…help..I am not happy with the new format.

  469. Shirley Steins

    Printed Document says head of household is 5 years old, but original document says age is 57 for George Potemko

  470. peter adee


  471. Diana Brown RLB4472

    Why will none of the Census Records or any of the other images come up on the screen? I hope you realize you are waisting a lot of time for many people, with having to come back to the sites sometime in the future (if we remember which ones) most of the time it takes forever for anything to load. It used to load in a reasonable length of time. Merging the CR’s puts the people in each time. FIX THAT!!!!!! It takes precious time to go back & remove people that get put in multiple times.

  472. Linda Johnson

    I like the merge feature very much. It greatly reduces time spent revisiting a source and saving for other members of the family also mentioned. I have noticed that occasionally a few of my family members are not shown as possible matches, expecially those I have left with un-Anglicized names or unusual names, and they are in the record. It would be of great assistance if there was some way to make the link between the record person and the family member without having to re-locate the record and then attach it to the family member. For example, my ggg-grandmother was born Stina Cajsa Nilsdotter in Sweden but shows up in various American and Canadian records as Christian, Caroline and Cora so when I found the 1860 US Census for her husband, the program showed Caroline but did not provide Stina Cajsa as the possible match.

  473. Ben Lovitt

    I find this feature helpful; however, I sometimes end up adding the same record/event to a person that already had the record/event added. An improvement for the “family merge” feature would be to recognize if the record is already attached to a family member.


  474. Phil Williams

    This new feature is great but is lacking one major option.

    If some detail, like spelling, is slightly different for a family member that is already in the tree it is assumed the person is a new addition. Simply add the option to link to person already in the tree and the issue is solved.

  475. Larry

    I agree with 564 & 565 on the failure of the merge to recognize someone already in my tree which of course will double that person.
    Otherwise I love the new feature and would love to see it on all searches. Adding the same record to more than one person at a time is fantastic!


  476. When listing other relatives at a census residence, the system should provide an option to attached that document to the others. As it is, you have to attach each individually. Thanks for the opportunity for input and please know that this is a great feature. This is just a suggestion that would most likely be helpful to all users.

  477. Pat Horton

    I am having problems merging the information I have found on the 1861 census for James Henry Boon. His name is indexed as James Wm. instead of James Hy. and it is being treated as a second individual.
    As a result I am also getting two fathers and mothers recorded. How do I merge these details.

  478. Judith Horton

    family merge did not include children by another spouse… and seemed to expect a merge of all different information instead of desired information. would like the family member merge to work the same as individual merge.

  479. Cherie Hopper

    Hi! Absolutely love the feature!! I don’t know if this is the appropriate venue for this particular item of feedback. The pages are out of order on the census. A page got inserted between the Baileys – it makes it look like Ruthie is the daughter of Minnie Tincher. That is not correct.

  480. Diana Martin

    Great feature BUT– today it’s not giving me the correct list of relatives. A relative from a DIFFERENT Census keeps showing up and NOT the list of relatives on the census I’m adding! Weird! I’ve tried redoing it several times and nothing changes.

    Also, the other day the feature was missing….maybe you were working on it?

  481. C Colombe

    Really like the merge record feature but warn people not hit the “back” button at anytime to go back for more records, like other family members on the same Census. This is only explanation I have for duplicating people.

    I am not a newbie; this is my second free trial and have been using the limited features outside of free trials to keep adding to my trees from local obituaries, physically viewing local birth and marriage records at the City Clerk’s offices, so I am quite familiar with having to check for the presence of someone from my tree before adding them as new to prevent duplicating the person.

    I found one Census record I reported for not having all 3 parts (name, birth year, residence) follow for one individual.

  482. Judy Gleason

    Absolutely wonderful! Getting records onto the tree is so much faster, leaves more time for research! Sometimes it doesn’t show what I have already recorded, but hopefully these bugs will be worked out and eliminated.

  483. C Colombe

    Re: duplication of individuals

    I noted tonight the duplication occurs if you check on any of the faded family members below the person you are in the process of merging. If they are already in your tree, they are added the second time. I only noted tonight, after doing this for 9 days, that this how the duplication occurs. I wish I had the chance to attach (or create a person) only after checking, like with the original merged person. Only tonight did I notice the “new person” notation on faded ones I had checked to add.

  484. judi

    I find the merge to be helpful — however, it needs to have the ability to select someone already in the family (as you do with adding children) because I am ending up with duplicates of people rather than one file with many things in it for an individual. It’s completely maddening.

    Also in the lists of people–it would be helpful to be able to merge two people that you know are identical.

  485. Tammy Blandino

    There is only one problem. If the spouse is not listed in the record, then the system automatically attaches the child to a different, unknown spouse. It is impossible to merge the record with the existing spouse (who is the other parent of the child). As a result a great deal of editing has to be done manually. Its a real pain.

  486. is there any way to make merging of information of a single individual when the programs make duplicate persons, like in the FTM 16….this would be a great feature and would make soooo many of your customers happy….it is very frustrating to have to re-attach info that we have found….just because we have duplicates that should be one person.

  487. Frederick Sieber

    Overall this is very good. Sometimes, the routine does not match the census record or a relative to someone you already have in you tree, and wants to create a new person in the tree. In this case, the program should have an option to allow the user to choose someone from his tree to match with the census data that the program could not match.

  488. Helen.Hiner

    I am not going to enter this information without further resurech because of the difference in date of birth, I must say it is a joy to receive more imformation on our family.

    Thanks so much.
    Helen Hiner

  489. mamaburk

    On three british census merges today I have had the sibling of the person I was trying to merge [with his wife and children] show up at the bottom. This sibling is NOT in the census record I am merging. Where does he come from?

  490. Sabrina Camilleri

    Parents are not listed but won’t let me merge siblings. I love the merge feature. Your web site is cooking.



  491. when merging – the census data is sometimes off by a couple of years on births, which I have clear documentation for – so instead of providing a possible merge for you to decide if it is right or not, the merge on these census documents wants to add totally new people who are really not new – they are the same people not new ones and this is very frustrating as you have to go back for each person to upload that census documentation. If you could correct this it would be very helpful as it has happened tons of time! thanks!

  492. Martha Russell

    I like the feature that allows merging of additional family members from one source, but when I wanted to merge to a different spouse than the one who came up as an option, I was unable to find a way other than closing out and going to that person directly. Therefore, I was unable to merge the five children who were connected to that other spouse.

  493. I love this ability to add all the people on a Federal U.S. Census that are in that specific family. The old way took so much time! Occasionally, I will have something put with my part of the tree that is not the same person I am working on. One just has to be careful before clicking. Thanks to you! There are sluggish days and I do have duplicates showing up on a person even though I do not click for that record to be put on that person. It takes so much time to delete the same names that wind up being listed several times on the family side of a person, when I have not clicked to add them.

  494. Shelley Murray

    Unfortunately, I was not able to add to my tree.
    Too many technical difficulties at times of high usage.
    I am not happy about this. I pay for this service and am not receiving what I pay for.
    I have been having problems accessing documents too.
    This has been going on for months and I have called several times and asked for help and no one seems to be able to correct the problem or offer any compensation.

  495. Arlene Miles

    I worked on several family trees and now want to merge three of them together without dupication.
    It sure would be niceif your IT folks can make this happen sooner rather than later.

    Thanks for the good work so far.

    NEW: You can also review the relatives of Mary MOULDER on this record and select those you want merged into your tree.
    • Option provided BUT when click on option
    • You must select at least one parent in order to add a new sibling
    WHY DOES NOT ancestry provide the parents needed to allow the choosing of the option provied?

  497. Judy Weiss

    When merging records, I often have a spouse or child show up as “new” when it really matches someone in my tree. There is no option to match with existing family members and it would really help.

  498. Nancy Harrington

    You don’t have select all on this version but on other versions you do. Select all would sure make it easier to merge records. I still look at each record individually but now there are the extra steps in clicking each record. In addition to select all, a show options for all records would be nice.

  499. Patricia Liverod

    I think this new facility is brilliant. As you say, it does not always come up with the correct relative but on the whole it saves a huge amount of time. Just one thing, would it be possible to include the occupation of an ancestor as well?
    Best wishes

  500. Mary Eagleson

    I find it difficult to go back to my family trees and make corrections. I have inadvertently added an ancestor to the wrong tree in the past. Also it is difficult to view each entire tree.

    I especially appreciate eacy access to censuses and the material included before actually accessing the censuses.

  501. Michel Platt

    The new merge is still not up to snuff. If there is a slight spelling change in a wife’s name from 1900 to 1920 for instance, it creates a new wife, with new children, so it duplicates unnecessarily. You should be able to force the merge of a person

  502. Y Southward

    Brilliant! I have found some family members I may not have found so readily going down the ‘old’ route.

  503. SUSAN


  504. Shawnna Thomas-EL

    This is great! I knew all of these names from talking to an older family member, but in doing this by myself, I’m sure I would have left someone out hda it not been presented in this format. Thanks!

  505. Shirley Gray

    Why bother to put a sibling in a match when your program says we must have a parental match?? Especially when I already have both parents listed. Why do you bother to offer something disallowed when you know it will be disallowed beforehand?? What is your point??

  506. Paul Weber

    Since there are many transcriptional errors, it would be nice to edit the names of relatives when adding in multiple persons. I have ancestors named Honeyager, but this is transcribed wrong more often than not. I can’t merge in the children usually without many duplicates being created. If I could edit the input…

  507. Jane McClure

    It’s hard to figure how your search engine works (if that’s what it is called). I do lots of research in KY which has wonderful records online, but if I ask for a search of someone who has died in Kentucky, and I have that typed in, I get dozens of other places. Then, trying to get to Kentucky Death Records is much harder than it should be. We should be able to start typing in the name of the source we want, and everything Kentucky should start jumping up right away. )I know, that isn’t computer language)



  509. I miss the “find living people” feature that was in the old search system.

    When doing search, please include looking in my own tree so I can avoid duplicates. The same person may be related in different ways or there may be duplicate entries of the same person.

  510. caroly pierce

    Wellllll! What the heck happened to the “Merge” feature??? lately, I don’t often get the actual family listed on the census w/ the person I am following. On the passenger lists, the dates of passage aren’t there, and why can’t we add a child that the transcriptors have goofed up? I can only add the latter to an unnamed parent. Yikes!!!! Please clear this up. the merge feature is lovely, but so laden w/ bugs.

  511. Sarah

    The new addition of being able to add family members to the census record is wonderful. It has saved me a lot of time. I wish that you would consider adding a blank line to each person, so that comments or Occupation could be added. Thank you again for this valuable time saver.

  512. Dianna

    Well – I like it. Except – sometimes it offers to do this (add entire family) and sometimes it doesn’t, with no reason given.

    Also – same person / different spelling = new person is annoying.

    Plus – being able to add children to existing spouse would be a benefit on this section. Just some check box or something.

  513. Linda B

    This feature is not consistent. Sometimes the option to review family members appears. Sometimes it does not. This particular time I had the wife appear but not any of the many children nor the father of the head of household. Overall, the feature is a great time saver when it appears!

  514. Mark Newman

    There are many useful features, but I find it complicated to fully understand what is happening and several times, particularly when adding data to a spouse and children where there are more than one spouse; the result has been duplication of members of the family in all sorts of odd places. This takes a long time to correct – I haven’t found an easier way than editing each individual and this not only takes a great deal of time, but is also very awkward to deal with. Two things which would assist: 1/ It would be helpful if more than one window could be opened at once; 2/ If the Family Tree page could be edited by highlight/delete or add options on the siblings/children listings it would make life much simpler and result in fewer errors. Incidentally, I think the sprint-outs are grim!!! Otherwise, thank-you for the many good things in the system!

  515. Lauren Argento

    How about adding a field for the census records for corrections? People with incorrect names are viewed as new people. Tree is getting too hard to clean up with all the incorrect info due to spelling errors on census records.

  516. I am getting numerous mismatches, either the wrong generation, or more commonly, one spouse for the other. I cannot find the shoebox so I have to delete them.

  517. S.Bennett

    Totally agree with PR McCullough – there needs to be an easy way to adjust mergers with existing people where the transcription is wrong (i.e. last name Dallin was transcribed GALLIN, therefore wants to add all the family members as new records with the name GALLIN)

  518. Phillip Auth

    The new record merger feature is FANTASTIC! It saves ALOT of time. I have 3 suggestions to make it and the online family tree even better. (1) I read recently the LDS church and ancestry are teaming up to update the census indices. With this new merge feature, I strongly encourage you to capture the date of enumeration in the index so that a residence is for a specific date and not a year. It will also make it easier to determine birth dates on children with fractional ages! (2) I just attempted to merge an indidual who was enumerated with his second wife but the family merge tried to merge her with the first wife. There should be a feature to indicate that the person in the index is a distinctly seperate person. (3) Lastly, and more broadly to the entire online family tree. I have over 23,000 individuals in my database. When I upload none of the tons of sources are added. I love the new online tree but I’m not going to use it to replace my own software. There needs to be an easier way to move back and forth between your online tree and my stand alone software. I recently replace my online tree which and approximately 18k names with my stand alone tree which had over 23k. Right now I am entering information into both which is duplicative. It would be nice if you could update the online tree without a wholesale replacement!! I realize this may require some intense programing but I have faith that you can do it if you dedicate the right resources. Regardless, keep up the good work!

  519. Phillip Auth

    Just a quick follow up on item (2) above after reading all the other comments… my ancestors first wife was Bertha… his second wife was Kate but the family merge attempted to merge them together. Since other have indicated that a merge thoughe Kate, Catherine and Katherine were previously considered different individuals, it would appear that merge has now gone from one extreme to the other. I would concede to error on where it is now but to added the ability to unmerge if desired!

  520. Mary Crawford

    I really like the new feature of adding additional family members to a selected record. Overall, it’s very easy to use and a VAST improvement over the old system. However, it would be nice to be able to look up specific names in one’s tree that are close to the names on the census – while some names show up on the census, there is no option to search for them when there is no obvious match back to the census. Also, oftentimes while attempting to add a sibling, it simply won’t to go through.

  521. Brenda Scott

    Oh dear. It worked perfectly well before. Now I just get a message saying I can upload the relatives, but there’s nothing to tell me HOW! Only a click-on message to provide feedback.
    What a pain this has become. Why ‘fix’ something that hadn’t broken in the first place?

  522. Mary

    Changes quite good but very frustrating that my ancestors details keep changing to being born in USA not in UK as already discovered. Please fix default countries

  523. Jean M Wright

    The family attached link does not work. The 1860 Census for William Irvin Wright encludes both parents and 5 siblings (or more) but when I click the family link I get: one item about boy twins.

  524. Trudy

    What you want to do would be great. My concern is that I have a Christine in my tree and they have spelled her name Christina. She is the same person and I don’t want to add her twice (once with each spelling)like it seems I am asked to do. Thanks

  525. gerald Myhre

    It would be nice when a persons name is grossly mispelled in the census transcription, and it would create a new name entry, if we could move the correct persons info into the right column for inclusion of the data.

  526. Bonnie

    It seems in trying to “help” make things easier, you made things more complicated. I used to be able to attach records of an entire family on a census in a couple of minutes. Now it takes forever. Not only does the site download slower but it mismatches “relatives”. It will show a brother as a child and you cannot change it. Many times not all of the “relatives” are included. Very disappointed.

  527. Sue

    Your merge application does not always work correctly. I did a search on Stephen Coleman Townes, census year 1840, Pittsylvania VA, his birth year 1796 or 1798. The record returned has no other names attached but it bring up a record to attach for William M Townes. The system will not allow you to add the record anyway because there is not mother listed (this needs to be fixed also because there are times when only one parent is available).

  528. Anita Kimball

    Being new to Ancestry I don’t have a prior system with which to compare. However, I would like to add my suggestion to the others regarding the different spelling of the given name. Ex: Sarah in 1900 was given as Sallie (nickname) in 1910. NOT a new person but the same. Very frustrating…Please fix! Thanks for all the information.

  529. Steve Strickland

    I have several places where the branches come back together and have the same name in different locations. It would be great to have a merge function so I could select where this occurs and make two names the same person and keep the relationships

  530. leightonp_1

    Hi, While searching 1871 Census for Mary Ann Bond, gave me sibling Sarah Ann Warry, which is correct, however birth/death details are incorrect. They belong to Annie Warry Passant.

  531. Tom Brown

    When merging information to a family in a family tree, I think it would be a nice feature if all individuals were listed. Often I find that there is a transcription error which prevents me from easily merging a record to a family member.

  532. Martha Franklin

    Thurman McDaniel was son of Nancy Jane’s frist husband. After Robert Osburn McDaniel’s death Nancy Jane married Robert Murphy Henry. She had Gladys in 1900 and then she burned to death when Gladys was 18 months old.

  533. Rosemary Durham

    I don’t like the fact that when you try to merge new census info onto the tree it then ends up adding the children twice to the same parents. What a waste of time. The merge feature says that this is new info, but it isn’t.

    The Family Tree Maker manages to merge info on children very simply and straightforwardly, why cannot this site manage it?

    Now having to delete six moe children…

  534. Bruce Walker

    You need a capability to search one’s entire family tree to look for duplicates, and then have the ability to merge two records of the same person into one. Some times the information entered from a Census in misspelled; this creates a whole new person.

  535. Rosemary Durham

    Aaaargh! Using the merge button has been a disaster. Having got children entered TWICE by using it, I then tried to delete the extra children and found that I had detached a whole branch from the family tree… and now have to delete the whole branch, as the technical whizzes have told me that it is impossible to merge people who have got detached (why is that, you may ask) Thank goodness I have their details on my Family Treemaker so that I can add them again.

    The merge button for use on the census details needs to have some kind of warning: USE AT YOUR PERIL!!

  536. Faith

    The family for Vincent Ira Ball and his wife (N.) Elizabeth Ball keeps having the wrong parents posted for the children. Beards and Baileys? It’s rather odd, because the census is readable.

  537. Richard Pender

    You offered me Hannah Bangs to be combined with John Doanne?? That doesn’t work, not even quite!!!!

  538. Jack Sulsona

    You need to consider how surnames are
    listed and used in Spanish speaking countries. Ancestry software doesn’t address this well. Causes me serious recording problems. For example Jose Felix Colon meeans Jose’s surname is Felix. Colon is added to show mother’s family name. If Jose marries Lola Cuevas Moreno, Cuevas is her father’s surname. A child named Manuel would be Manuel Felix
    Cuevas. Felix being his surname and Cuevas identifying his mother’s family name. If Manuel had a middle name it would come after his given name, then surname, then mother’s family name. This system is not practiced as much in the USA today. It is in most spanish speaking countries and in their records.

  539. Charles Hall

    I like this new feature. It really saves a lot of time when adding historical records for multiple family members. It works pretty well, but there’s at least one important improvement I would make. Right now, if the spelling of a person’s name is different by even one letter from the same person in that family that I already have in my tree, the software treats it as a new person. That means if I accept the addition, I wind up with the same person twice in my tree. I wind up having to do the changes manually in this case. I suggest you change the software so that if it doesn’t recognize a person as already being in the tree, it gives two options: 1) to create a new person or 2) to choose an existing person from a list of people in that family to merge the record with. Practically speaking, I run into this problem with almost every family. There are so many variations on spelling from one census to the next. I have one person whose first name is spelled at least six different ways in different historical records! Thanks for your continuing innovations with the program.

  540. Margaret Tull

    While I really have enjoyed the merge feature with census records, one area that could be improved would be to ask which spouse the children go with?

    or give an option for the children to be placed with a spouse. For example 1910 census, the husband has died but there are several children since 1900 census and the merge wants to put them with unknown spouse.


  541. Scott Denison

    I just found this feature at the merge screen for Census records – I use Ancestry daily, and have been using it for years. The feature blends in with other crap at the bottom of the screen. It should be more obviously placed on the screen. Great Tool!

  542. I now really like the ability to merge family members into an existing tree, but when one of the spouses has died, it only lets you merge the reamaining children as if their parent that died never existed, and lists them as “Unknown”. Other than that, pretty good.

  543. JoSweeney33

    The feature of “merging” relatives from the census SOUNDS great; but, it doesn’t actually MERGE them — it ADDS them, even if that person is already there. I now have so many DUPLICATE people in my trees that I will have to go back and individually delete — AFTER I figure out which of them is the one I want to keep!

  544. something needs to be done about when a parents name is spelled wrong on a census it could be corrected otherwise you wind up with two wives or husbands and the children’s parents come up as wrong, and if a parent is deceased, comes up as unknown parent if children listed on census with living parent.

  545. when i went to add the 1910 census for Carl J. McMullen – up came the right document, with the right person, but low and behold – whomever translated this original document into the “add relatives” wasn’t even close to what the census document said – the census is righrt – your translation is way, way off and because of this I can’t properly attach it to the rest of Carl’s family which is absolutely listed correctly on the census document. I am paying for this service and I have made this comment multiple times, yet it remains in an error state. Please, please address this issue. It is hard enough tracking my relatives, paying for a service to help me and finding that the service is wrong much of the time.

  546. Linda Smith

    Good idea, though in my particular case I think it’s the wrong match! Never mind, I’m sure the right one will turn up eventually!

  547. Meredith Lane

    In the case I am looking at right now, the list of relatives (and they are real) is of SIBLINGS of the person the hint is for, not OFFSPRING. But, if I merge them into my tree, they will go in as offspring, which means that I then have to spend a whole bunch of time moving them one by one to the right generation. Could you please make it possible to select where in the tree one wants them attached?

  548. Gregg Watts

    When it works, it can be a real timesaver, but sometimes I just shake my head at the results – like when it doesn’t find a match between a census record for Mary Smith born in 1846 and a Mary Smith from the same family born in 1845 in my tree, or a census record for Margarett and a matching Margaret in the tree.

  549. Sharon Mugno

    I really like not having to constantly go back and enter the same information under different family members. But I do have one question for you before I merge a record that I have found. The record has somce of the family surnames incorrect and once I click on the name to insert it automactically brings up a new person for that tree, is there any way I can add this data to the correct persons without adding new family members?

  550. Helene Gray

    I have identified a woman who is described on being the daughter of other people on the same census return. However, it is now apparent (by checking other years) that she is not their daughter, although she is the granddaughter of the older residents of the same property. Without a parent identified, how can I attach her to my tree?

  551. I like the new merge possibility a lot. One thing I wish it could do would be when merging information from other ancestry member trees, would be to scan my existing tree for matches. A group of us are building a tree primarily around our Casey County, kentucky roots. Back before the merge was more careful, the merge when attaching information from other trees would attach whole branches, so we ended up with a lot of duplications….
    but overall, I still enjoy the ability to merge information easily.

  552. Pam Caldwell

    I wonder if you would consider writing the “Or add this information to some-one already in your list” in red. It merges into the background and you end up adding duplicates.

  553. Doris Dixon

    I was trying to correct the birth & death dates on my grandfather Robert Coleman and his wife Emma Mae Stockman Doris

  554. Irene Anderson

    How do you correct mistakes in some people’s names?. My aunt Terral Holsted is shown as Ferol Holsted in the 1930 Census in Oklahoma. Her father is shown as Peta when his real name is Peter.

  555. Carol

    When attaching individuals from census records and other records to my family tree sometimes children and individuals are listed with under their married names or relatives are listed living with relatives but there is no way of attaching them easily in my tree. Another option (attached to others listed with the families) of attaching or adding new indivduals would be helpful. Ex. if I could add a new person to my file or pick from my family file and individual to attach the listed person on the record would be very helpful. As is I have to skip that new individual and only attach the record to the one the computer recognizes.

    Love the new options available in spite of the problem. Thank you to all of you had workers we appreciate you!! Carol & Larry Bassist

  556. THIS MERGE SOUNDS A GOOD IDEA AS I have set up two trees, one for each parent but naturally have sevearal people to add to both and its so annoying to open one up and find no info which is in the other tree.
    Haven’t tried this set up Yet but I will

  557. Susan Twomey

    Good feature…keeps me from repeating the same names over and over, while only wanting to add sources…Unfortunately my MacOS 9.2 computer is no longer able to attach records…and I am missing the Shoebox…what do I do with sources I don’t want to lose but am not sure about yet?

    You are getting so good at what you are doing that I now find that I need to get a newer and more capable computer!


  558. Judith McKinnon

    I need help in looking at Real Estate Records- Deeds,etc.
    I know George Root Was born 1805 Grand Isle VT.Died in Willsborough,NY July 3 1886. The 1860 New York Census said George Root`s Parents were from Vermont. I`m trying to find out what their names were. Can you help me?
    Thanks, J.Mckinnon

  559. I have a problem with a record that does not show wife or husband at that cencus not giving the option on adding spouse. and thus making the children on that record show up all over again with unknown father or mother. Is there a solution to that? I see that happening all through the diffrent trees. I would like to attach records to some ancesters but this will show them with unknown father.

  560. Row Relf

    I love the new merge feature on records. I can add family members I didn’t already have without having to do them one by one. I can also add that census to someone else without having to go through it all one by one as well. An excellant added feature to a great family tree website which I think is one of the best I’ve used.

  561. Linda Remley

    Great feature. Cuts down on a lot of steps to access and place the info on my tree. Discovered a couple of “new” siblings for my husband’s grandfather.

  562. Shawn

    This is very little help and actualy makes everything allot harder since you do not have the option to merge people in the individuals file. If the wifes name is spelled differently, she show up as a new person and you can not add the record to the wife with out ending up with the same children listed with a different mother. You need to make it more like FTM were you can really merge people and information wether the name is misspelled or not with out getting multiple mothers and children.
    Also you need to make it where I can upload a FTM file to with all the pictures and media that a GED file will not allow.
    If you do have a real merge option let me know because I have not found it.
    Sincerely, Shawn

  563. Laura Kozin

    The new merge option is smoother EXCEPT when Hints brings up a set of information from more than 1 family tree, very often the server or whatever cannot handle the function. After waiting a couple of minutes, the error message comes up “Sorry we can’t do this right now. try again later.” It is pretty consistent: 4,5,6,7,8 family trees involved give it a brain freeze. Annoying & a waste of time waiting, only to get the error message.

  564. Love your feature but it needs some tweaking. For example; your hints on my fathers brothers & sisters, ie 1900 & 1910 Census, I personally know the correct statistics very well.It only makes sense that I would not want to change the birth dates to, only approximations from the census, by merging the (lumped) data from the census into my tree as it is offered for my fathers siblings. Little details, such as the incorrect spelling of my fathers brother’s name by the census enumerator, (or the means by which interprets the handwriting of the enumerator),Stewart instead of “Stuart”, (his ancestors family surname), makes it hard to use this with no 2nd thoughts as to compromising the accuracy of my tree.
    That said it would be nice to be able to attach the source records to my tree with a reference link, (without changing the correct data in my tree) !!
    Respectfully Submitted,
    Richard Davis

  565. Richard Davis

    After reading many of the comments, I agree with the last statement in comment # 27. If we could edit each fact before merging, it would work great, because, let’s face it, each of us can only vouch for the accuracy of a limited amount of our database of the family we personally know and are familiar with and then we have to rely on the accuracy of the public records, and other researchers work.

    Respectfully Submitted,
    Richard Davis

  566. Sandi_Andreas

    regarding merge responsibly. oops, I have one that I need to delete. I’ve tried several things, but I’m not seeing anything that tells me how to get of this duplicate entry. Thanks

  567. Jean

    If you know a deceased spouse has parented children shown on a subsequent census along with widow/widower, an additional line allowing you to link to deceased parent would eliminate need to go to individual children & link manually one by one to missing parent.

  568. Maria Nicklin

    Hello Kenny,

    Being able to merge records with more than one family member is a great improvement, thank you.

    I also wanted to let you know that my ancestor Haley Flounders is recorded on the 1891 Census as Alby Flinders.
    Not sure if this is the place to inform you of this, if not could you please pass the information to the appropriate person/Dept.

    I hope this information is useful and prevents misunderstandings for other users of Ancestry.

    Kind Regards

  569. philipthorne1

    It would be good to add comment for mistranscribed names to the database, without having to go anddo a seperate search. Or does the database grab back the name of the person you have appended to automatically?



  570. Amy K.

    This is a great idea. In practice, though, the add feature is still limited. For instance, I found a record of my ancestor at age 10. I can’t “add” other relatives who are part of that census. I’m still looking for another part of the family and this could be a link. Thanks for all the hard work, though. Hope you can work out this glitch.

  571. Susan Wilson

    When Adding census to family tree, it often merges only the person selected and not the rest of the family. Show relatives doesn’t even appear. Or the list is sometimes incomplete.I just did one family with 9 children- I was only shown 1 parent and 1 child to select and add to my tree!

  572. Jacob Battin

    It would be easier if this feature didn’t add the last name of the husband when adding a new spouse.

  573. John Frengs

    I’ve only just started using the website to build the family tree, and this is a great feature. If Ancestry has mis-spelled the name when picking it up from an original document, like a census recored, can it be changed? For instance, Adolph Frengs is shown by Ancestry as “Things” in the 1920 census. All of the data is correct.

  574. Angela Galloway

    You have the wrong venue for place of death, and also the wrong year. Richard passed away shortly before his sister, my mother, which was July 12th 2002.

  575. Sharon Zingery

    I just attached a historical record from Family Data and when I clicked on seeing other family members, I expected to see people listed in the record. Instead, George was listed as his own father????

  576. Often, it doesn’t pick up matches, even though they are identical! Instead, you end up adding duplicate people. This needs work! Otherwise, I LOVE the ability to post a census record to the whole family!

  577. Jonelle Sether

    I sent a nasty letter yesteray about all of this. Even called it stupid on the duplicates….so you read my mind, or I yours….I apologize but noticed silly aggrevation. Now I hope it is cleared up. Still want to back this thing up???? So simple, cannot figure out why?

  578. Terry Moore

    If a wife already exists with an unknown (blank) last name, the merge function wants to create a new wife with her married last name. This also plays havoc with the children. If they have already been entered with “no last name” mother, duplicate records are created with an unknown mother. You’re close on this new function, but it needs some more work.

  579. Sarah Holmes

    In the case of adding the family members on a census I don’t agree with adding the parent to add the siblings. It turns out that the parent on the census is actually a new step parent and now it won’t let me add the siblings so i have to go through and add all 12 siblings separately. this defeats the purpose I think. also would it be possible to be able to chose which sibling already on the tree matches the ones on the census? many times there are misspellings on the census so it’ll want to add the source to the wrong sibling or make a new one when the match is already on the tree.

    Thanks sarah

  580. George H Leavitt Born 1834 in Harpswell Cumberland was the husband of my GreatGreat Grandmother Mercy DeWolf who was married twice before and both husbands died befor she married George.Her first son was George F Reed b 5 May 1848 father Francis Reed died 23 Sept 1848 she then married Solomon Higgans on 9 of April 1849 and had Margurate b1851,
    Mary b1852,Josephine b1853,Solomon b 15 1855.Solomon Higgins the father 22 of Sept 1855.Mercy and George Married 22 Apr 1858 and had Wilbraham [William]b1858 d1913,Charles b1861,James b1862 d1890
    Ada H b27 Apr 1866 and Ida b 27 Apr 1866. Ida was my greatgrandmother she died 21 Apr 1947 here in Massachusetts.My grandmother was one of Ida’s three daughters she also had two sons.Togeather George and Mercy had five children.This information came from Ida’s family Bible. Sylvia simko.

  581. George H Leavitt Born 1834 in Harpswell Cumberland was the husband of my GreatGreat Grandmother Mercy DeWolf who was married twice before and both husbands died befor she married George.Her first son was George F Reed b 5 May 1848 father Francis Reed died 23 Sept 1848 she then married Solomon Higgans on 9 of April 1849 and had Margurate b1851,
    Mary b1852,Josephine b1853,Solomon b 15 Jan 1855.Solomon Higgins the father died 22 of Sept 1855.Mercy and George Leavitt Married 22 Apr 1858 and had Wilbraham [William]b1858 d1913,Charles b1861,James b1862 d1890
    Ada H b27 Apr 1866 and Ida b 27 Apr 1866 twins. Ida was my greatgrandmother she died 21 Apr 1947 here in Massachusetts.My grandmother was one of Ida’s three daughters she also had two sons.Togeather George and Mercy had five children.This information came from Ida’s family Bible. Sylvia simko.

  582. Janet Packer

    Good idea, but so slow to reload the pages as they have ads on, and also seems to keep checking for matches, which again slows page loading down. I’d like to be able to turn the abouve features off, otherwise this is so slow, I don’t think I will actually subscribe & I’ll go back to using Generations Family Tree.

  583. Marilyn Schiffman

    How about allowing us to add other people shown in census data since many families in the past had multiple generations living in the same house.

  584. This is my family anf I would like to contact some who knows this much about them is they would be worthy. I looked closely and found some things I thought were were great about Wylie and one thing I could not verify. my email is Wyliey way my grandfathers Uncle although I did not know him personally. ceim2634 I am 70 sometimes my memory goes weird and it may be 2634ceim.

  585. Joean Rasnick

    This site has been very helpful. It has made my work so much easier. I found one mistake on my family that needs to be taken care of. My grandfather is Willie Holbert Rasnick and he married Millie Marie Stanley. On here they have her as his daughter. They had 8 children together. I hope this helps.

  586. Mary Toth

    I find it frustrating trying to attach records to the tree. It seems to change the name of the person I try attaching it to. EX. I find a record about my grandfather (on my father’s side) and when I try attaching it to him suddenly my mother’s name will change. Or his mother’s name will change. Or it wants to attach to the wrong person (we have lots of andrew’s in our family). What gives?

  587. Patricia Hines

    I really like the merge feature. It is great. I wonder though, why I am offered to select family members and then when I do and the only ones that come up are siblings, and when I click on them am told that I must select a parent first. but no parent is offered so I am unable to add the siblings.

  588. Patricia Hines

    I have on more comment on the merge feature, sometimes it matches it to the wrong person on my tree and I don’t know how to get it to merge to proper person! Also I have ended up with multiple same name persons instead of merges–how do I remove all the multiple entries and get them to merge??

  589. Yes you Can go on my web page Charles M Kimball B 17 Sept 1880 in Chelsea Maine usa Father Charles M Kimball and Mother Flora L Dill B 13 March 1860 in Gardiner Maine Charles M Kimball and FloraL Dill were married in Oct 07 1877 Gardiner By name Davis. there is a Charles H Kimball who also Married Flora Dill sister Hannah Ann Dill b 5 April 1845 I Dont think this is the same Charles Kimball I Do not know Charles M Kimball parents name it would help me

  590. Susan Bridges Niemann

    This is very helpful!!!
    Here is my comment: if a name is spelled incorrectly (e.g. my g-g’fathers name is Stacy but because the handwritten census was hard to read, it was translated as Slarry) – there is no way to connect this to a known person.

  591. Well not sure of what to do.Im looking for any info I guess.My granddad-Bert Cobb from Wisconsin married Ethel Knight ,asshe was ful bloode indian,he took her from her home.i dont know what type she was.i was told he crossed the lake or river to get her. I dont know all the details.My dad was Maurise Raye Cobb-after name change from Melvin Delvin.Id like to find out more.

  592. Kassy Daggett

    I would like to suggest a feature that would be very helpful. When a record pops up showing other siblings, wives, children, etc. it would be helpful to be able to attach that new record (Census, etc.) that is spelled incorrectly to the person that record actually belongs to. Currently the only option appears to be to not include that person in order to not add an additional child, spouse, etc. Very often the early census records have serious spelling error due to the transcription of handwritten materials.

  593. Helen.Hiner

    I am injoying the new system. Your news today realey made my day. You see our familys always had 12 or more children. This ment I was doing a lot of repetive work. I hope what I read will make life a little easer.
    Sincearly, Helen A. Hiner

  594. It’s great that this feature has been added. Unfortunately, I do wish that it would add children without unknown parent(s) as it makes more work to include them, there is no shortcut there.


  595. K. J. Wood

    Good, but better if one had the option of saving other family members (e.g. Grandchildren) or some one else on the record-e.g. I’ve found young cousins in the household (listed as “Nurse”) who were staying to help out with a newborn etc.
    Best wishes, Karen

  596. thankyou for the chance to reply .I would like to see proper task bar,this would make better to move around more quickly the site there should also be a means to stop us from repeating the information that we acquire…..patrick

  597. Shirley

    The whole list of children noted on the actual census is not coming up on my James Moore – only one child.

  598. PR McCullough

    I greatly appreciate this feature when it is enabled and active. Unfortunately it often asks if you want to see the relatives when the information is not available such as for the 1885 Florida State Census. Keep making refinements so that it is more often functional!

  599. Judith Buck-Glenn

    This is great EXCEPT that if the information on your tree deviates from the added relatives names–like me, with my “Armanus” husband being called “Arman” on a census–there was no way I could tell the program to link the information to Armanus, and I ended up with a lot of kids being ascribed to an “unknown spouse” and a whole snarl of other issues developing as a result. I had to dump all the relatives because it became a mess, with half the kids being linked to Arman and half to Armanus. You need a way to tell it that it should consider a name already on the tree.

    Also, I have noticed that things entered under the advance options as alternate information don’t seem to end up on the main profile that way, which is frustrating.

  600. I receive clues for people who lived 300 years apart,i.e. Joe Blow born in England in 1500 with a clue for Iowa marriage records in USA in 1800’s. This happens regulary. I also receive clues which I have already added to people. Overall I love this feature,though.

  601. Sharyn Fahey

    When merging other family members under the census records, I already have the name of the family members in my tree. When you merge, you are adding them a second time, thus creating more work for me in removing the person you list as new, but is not new to me.

  602. Susan Montelius

    The merge relatives section of ancestry is not working correctly. It shows some siblings of one I am working on when they are not even in the census. And it doesn’t show anyone who is in the census. Merge Relatives is a great tool, when working properly.


    The name great-grandfather is mispelled. It should be Rass Berry Taylor not Rasberry or Raspberry oor Raspben.

  604. cascott_92501

    When viewing other family members from historical hits it would help to be able to select the correct people to attach a relationship to. For example, the children of a widowed woman pop up with the father being an unknown spouse.

  605. Sarah Holmes

    I like the feature of the mass adding, but more options as far as who to add the census records to would be nice. Also if you accidentally add the record to a name that it’s been added to previously then it shows up twice on the timeline for that person.

  606. Looking for more information on Charles M Kimball b 1844 D Feb16 1886 in Augusta Maine (togus Me) his two children with Flora L Dill b 13 March 1860 d Gardiner Maine Are Lillar F Kimball 09 April 1879 in chelsea Maine Brother Charles M Kimballb17 Sept 1880 D 28 Oct 1957 Thank you for all yor Halp athen-garland 0n Ancerty or my email is

  607. Alfred S. Liddle

    Merging info on relatives is a great idea. I just couldn’t figure out how to use this feature to add a new relative that showed up for the first time in the record I was viewing.

    James Liddle (1796-?) of Romsey, Hampshire, England, had wives Amelia and Ann, both deceased before 1861. Information in the 1861 English Census for Romsey, Hampshire, shows (another) wife Ann, who I wanted to add to the tree.

    I’ll next try adding Ann as a third wife and see if the merge feature allows me to attach the information from the census entry to her record in my tree.

  608. H. R. Wismar Jr. (Bob)

    August 26, 2008

    Great information. Thanks!

    The 1930 Census has my grandparents in Red Bud Illinois which is correct; however, their names are not correct on the search results from Ancestry.

    Ancestry says: W T Wemhoener (Grandfather)
    Cathrien Wemhoener

    Should be: W F Wemhoener
    Catherine Wemhoener

    Actual: William Fredrick Wemhoener Sr.
    Catherine Wemhoener

    How can I get this corrected for future generations?

  609. Name John Tollett
    Birth date abt 1845
    Birth place Arkansas
    Residence date 1850
    Residence place Madison, Sevier, Arkansas
    While merging a hint from the 1850 USFC It told me that 5 year old John’s 3 year old wife was Angeline Blackwood. I looked at the document and could not find that information on it. Think you have a bug.

  610. Grace Nugent

    I love this new feature but why is it only on some of the census report mergings? i.e. Ellen Hobard Riley is listed with her husband and children but only Ellen’s information comes up to be merged.

  611. Jerene Ramsey

    I do not like having a way go back a page! when you have the wrong info on a person, say you are working on a husband and the wife’s info is showing I have no way to get it to her. if I cancel it I have lost that info. give us a way to return Please. If there is one I don’t see it. Thanks, Jeri

  612. I have found that if i do a “family merge” on additional family members, I do not get just the additional information, but, now I have duplicate family members.
    Also, when within my family profile the place of birth doesn’t carry over to “search historical records” and I get similar records for all states. I than add place of birth and place of residence; my record comes up but now I must locate the person on my list of family members to add the record. I want to add the new record to the person that I just searched on!!!

  613. Nancy Preiss

    I loved the new merge ability and was also able to find my grandmother in the 1910 Census. This was difficult because she was a boarder in 1910.

  614. lloyd armstrong

    I only get offered this option at random times- it is very useful – but very frustrating when I am not offered the option

  615. LibbyGene1

    Is there some way to save a census reference to the shoebox until more info is turned up to verify that it contains the right persons?

  616. david schutz

    New Record Merge Field is an excelent idea and so far it has made life alot easier in tracing things

    thank you

  617. Elizabeth Davies

    I love this feature – you can easily add new family members and refine data, from censuses.

    I’ve also cautiously used the merge from other trees and like the fact that you can check item by item, and correct or ignore as you go along.

    Nothing negative to say at all – well done Ancestry!

  618. Silver Allen

    Hint are helpful, but found hints for Alfred Magner Magner was spelled with a “W” for parents and siblings.

  619. kriss poll

    It linked Mary E conrad with Mary E Donner but this is the first time where I think they are different people. The Birth date and other information is different. Is there an option to say “I don’t think this link is correct and it is really a different person in my tree?

  620. Rosemary Alford

    I have had problems with this feature adding duplicate records for ancestors who are already on my tree. When I have tried to delete the duplicate it has automatically deleted both copies leading to hours of work to find “free floating” parts of the tree

  621. I love the merge feature, it saves me a lot of time, but I have encountered a problem. It seems that unless I select at least one parent, I am not allowed to add siblings via merge, but the records in question do not contain information on the parents, so I cannot select one. How can I merge the info on the sibling? Thanks. Irene

  622. Tamsin Majerus

    Love the merge feature – still getting used to it. Is there anyway we can record amendments to the transcription when it is inaccurate, as this would save others time in the future. eg I just found Rev’d H J Borrow listed as Reid H J…clearly a mistake as the address and other occupants are all correct and his surname (Borrow) is clearly visible and legible.


  623. Pamela Berry

    I believe the last name should be “Berry” instead of “Perry” as noted. .I believe the last name was mistakenly misspelled. The family tree, however, is the same.

  624. P John Andrew

    On the Family Tree, the date for the birth of Isaac John’s son – Charles – is shown as 1856 – the same as for ‘IJ’ !
    If at the 1901 Census, Charles was 15, then the yeat of birth should be shown as 1886 !

    Kind Regards, John A.

  625. Concept and practice on the whole great. In all things mistakes occur in the case of records regarding Ellen Primett and her family the record transcribed from the census has her family of daughters with two men as parents!!!! In these circumstances can’t merge whole family records in one go. Still system gets better every time.

  626. Tommy Michaels

    Often times the spelling on the Census record is slight off such as Elmo for Elmer. It would be nice to be able to select someone in your tree than having to select Elmo and have a new person. When the names match with ones in my tree I do attach the record to that person, but half the time there is no exact match

  627. marilyn

    I wish we could merge people on our lists together (someone may have an initial included on one doc and nothing on another so then it looks like 2 different people even though all other info is exactly the same

  628. It would really be nice if there was a way for the program to know you already have family members listed so they aren’t repeated. AS of now, you have to have a print out of each person’s tree and have it in front of you so you
    don’t repeat those names.

  629. Mike Daigle

    This is an EXCELLENT idea and saves countless hours and hours.

    There is one more feature that I don’t see at That is a
    “unattach” feature, so if you still wish to keep info on someone, but realize they don’t fit right there, you can “unattach” them there and “reattach” them where they belong. Thanks again for listening.

  630. Garnet Quigley

    When the Hint or multiple Hints are offered could not one of the offerings be a hint that the individual in question may exist as a duplicate within the user’s own tree? If the user opens this Hint on possible duplicates could the user not be offered the same currently existing person match screen but this time comparing the older record with the newer one within the user’s own tree. And then having the same ability to merge the two as the user currently has merging individuals from other member’s trees.

    In other words could Ancestry not use the existing screens and merge functionality but just add the option for a Hint on duplications within a user’s own tree?

    Even manually adding for example a spouse, without a time-consuming search of an existing tree’s list, users can easily miss the fact the spouse already exists on the tree as an unmarried child of parents captured on another occasion.

    Having an easy way to identify duplicates and to merge them would benefit everyone including I believe database management and indexing when duplications within trees can be removed from consideration.

    I would like to see the users be given a choice. A choice whether to avoid the automated merging tools Ancestry provides such as many apparently do, or a choice to use them knowing there is functionality to overcome the duplication challenges.


  631. Josh

    I’ve just found my family in the 1920 census. It’s a family of about 12 people. I’ve previously entered most of them in my tree, so there should be some matches. However, when I click that I want to associate the record with the relatives of the current person, it only show 3 of the people from my tree. The spelling of the names in the record is a bit off, so it does not know that they are the same people I’m trying to pick (example: Osila is not seen as Otila). When i click the name on the left, it tries to add a NEW PERSON on the right. That’s not good. Now I have to revisit this record 9 more times just to associate it with everyone in the family. Can’t you add something to allow me to associate relatives of the current person to names already in my tree? That would save a lot of time.

  632. I do get multiples of people(children) listed when I accept more than one record and I accept all people. Must I go and only accept the people that I have not included before and skip the others that were included? I am new to doing ancestry but I love this site. Thank you for making my search back into history fun and much easier than I ever thought it could be.

  633. Judyg

    I LOVE this!! However, 1856 Iowa census info on the family. When I click Show Relatives it will only list one of the children and not everyone. Happens this way regardless of which person I click on. Thought you’d like to know.

  634. Love it!! A superb timesaver.
    Thoughts for the future: ability to choose which family members to connect information to; sometimes the names are transcribed incorrectly or incompletely and the software doesn’t match them up properly.

  635. Dave Dike

    unable to amend records that are transcribed incorrectly or incompletely, eg. 1930 Census for Roy Dalma Hill, my maternal grandfather, includes entry for Sarah E Lam – misspelled “Lane” – my mother’s maternal grandmother, but ostensibly unmergeable. Mergeability of other household members may be useful to future researchers. All the same – great service. Thank you. What fun!

  636. jzihlman

    I like the new feature. I would like to see the ability to browse the family list with the relatives that get listed because sometime it doesnt show a match because of a difference in spelling or date of birth listed. Knowing my family tree pretty well, I recognise when this has happened and don’t create a new person but I also can’t put the reference with that person. Sigh, except to type in a note.

  637. jzihlman

    adoption is a problem. my mother was adopted by her uncle. Not uncommon in the depression era to be put out with family during that time. I want to list her uncle as her father. He did legally adopt her, but I also want to list real parents. More complicated I guess. Have you plans for this problem?

  638. Charles Bather

    When I try to add a list of children to their parent, I seem to end up with them attached to the Grandparent. The real parent gets deleted. I don’t know how to recover from this situation. How about an ‘undo’ button?

  639. Jim Kempton

    great feature but is wildly unpredictable. Sometimes it appears and not so at other times. Sometimes it shows family members not included in the (ie) census you’re looking at and not the people you’d like to add.

    When it does work it doesn’t show if the other family members already have a reference to this record, resulting in redundancy.

    Getting better all the time,
    Thanks for the efforts,

  640. Carol Burk-Braxton

    Why do you have to select parents in order to be able to merge siblings? Often there is no option to select parents, so one cannot merge siblings even though they are known to be valid and were listed on a record.

  641. Sara Wedeman

    I want to add my agreement to the comment made by the person who proceeded me (Carol Burke-Braxton). It is very frustrating to see a sibling attached to a file and not to be able to add that sibling because you have not added the parents, when there is no option to do so) and when you know the sibling to be an accurately identified individual. I hope you’ll correct this glitch. thanks

  642. Debbie Vietzke

    When the widowed mother appears in a later census with the children, the merge process does not give the option to attach the children to the deceased father. It implies the father is unknown. It would be great if we could attach children to the known father at this point.

  643. Betty Garber

    On a different subject…Am I the only one who now cannot see the parents and spouse on the screen? In the last two days the parents have been moved to the far right and the text size is way too small for those of us over 40years old! Now I must put my nose to the screen and it is very tiring on the eyes.

  644. Peggy LaZier Smith

    James LaZier was my grandfather. My dad, Raymond Joseph LaZier told us that his father was born in France. I have found a census that recorded his birthplace as Italy. All of the rest indicate France as his birth country. My dad referred to him as Jean. He was only 5 or 6 when he, his father, died.

  645. Mary Geier

    I love the new option to add family members but I keep getting an Internet Explorer Script Error that keeps me from adding this information to my tree. Can you help me with this? It keeps popping up each time to go to add people or information. So it is keeping me from using this lovely feature. We went to IE and told it not to notify us of Script errors but that didn’t help.

  646. Brian Gillespie

    I love the multiple person add feature. It saves a lot of time. However, sometimes it thinks one of the people is new when in fact, he/she already exists in my tree. How about adding a button for each listed person to optionally select someone already in my tree? Keep up the good work!

  647. Kevin Long

    1. How do I combine two individuals once I have merged in an “extra” that the program did not correctly match up with an existing person?

    2. There is another section after spouse and children which shows a sibling which is not from this record as follows: “Other Children of (Siblings of George F. Sample)”. When I click on the check box next to that individual it get a pop up about needing to choose at least one parent first. What is going on here?

  648. Sam Casey

    attempting to attach a Texas death record that also included info about a sibling. Software would not let me attach sibling info because I didn’t select a parent. There were no parents on the record to select.

  649. J Sims

    I have had to individual add the 1850, 1860, and 1870 Federal Census records for each member of the family. Starting with 1860 this was 5 people. When I get to the 1880 census it finally populates “add relatives” but does not recognize the family members already on the tree. So, again I have to attach the record to each family member. This experience has been work and more time consuming. Please fix this soon. Thank you.

  650. I really don’t know where to start>
    I would like to start with my Mother
    side of the family, How do I do it? When Her name was Johnson, Married a Johnson
    was told Had a child by him then Married
    Archie Harrell, then someone said his
    name was not Harrell but Howe. Who do I
    believe.Lord I need help, is there any one can help me I paid this money I just need some help Please Lord if you are listening I am the one whose .

  651. lynn seamark

    Still having trouble with linking family members from the census. The 1900 seems to have the most trouble. If the last name is different in the index than the last name in the tree, it does wierd things – such as trying to attach a new wife (first name was ok) then wants to add children to unknown spouse. You have to be real careful or you end up with duplicates and have to unpick them all and add the link to the census one by one for each child. I still also have trouble with the marriage attachment when starting with a child and attaching the date of marriage for the parents. It adds a record to the parents stating a marriage to the child.

  652. M

    Yep. The “Show relatives on this record” appears to be broken now. It’s not picking up other members of the family anymore. It points to a member of another family… always points to that person.

  653. molly

    Okay, seems to work generally but you have to be careful of everyone having been born or died in the USA! Hampshire to me is in England, Palestine is in Palestine, etc etc and neither are in the US when researching family from England especially if one is searching before the 1490’s as the Americas had not been discovered let alone colonised. So this does mean you have to read through ever site you open.But I guess this is supposed to be a labour of love after all!

  654. Nan Whitcomb

    A little hint. When errors in spelling are found in census records. Before adding the record, go to “comments and corrections” Do your corrections for the names, but wait until Ancestry e-mails you that the corrections have been made. Then when you go back to add the record it is easier.
    I also found that the other family members won’t be added unless you click the box.

  655. Catherine Hawkes

    The record I found has a second marriage for the head of family – and the merging system will only let me over write the second family names – I want to annotate why there is a name change.
    Also – Family name spelt wrong on historical record – how do I get it changed?

  656. emma

    i wish that you could add other relatives as well it seems that only parents or children and spouse can be added, if there are any other relatives ie nephew or siblings with a different last name through marriage then you have to add them one at a time makes it hard and iv lost relatives in trying to remember where they all are!



  658. There is information in the 1920 for Allma B. Mabry born abt 1912 and was at the time 7 1/2 years old, Mothers name Dolla.

    This information is incorrect, I am from this family, Alma was my Grandfathers sister and we have a Family Bible with all the children of Sylvester Lee and Dollie (McGrady) Mabry all of their DOB’s, Marriages & Death Dates are in this Bible along with pictures of mostly all of their children. Her name is Alma Dell Mabry and she was born on 8 Nov 1918 and died on 9 May 1922, which this Bible has been passed down by my Great Grandparents – Sylvester Lee and Dollie McGrady Mabry.
    All that is written in the Bible was written by my Great Grandparents. I know that sometimes back then the record taker was not very good with writing things down, I have found many mistakes regarding my family’s history and information.
    Just wanted to give you an update and let you know of the mistakes that can be made.

    CherylAnn Mabry-McComsey

  659. Justine Brazina~Bachman

    I love the new merge feature, but AT TIMES it will not include all of the family members. And i can clearly see them on the original census records. Please help, I must be incorrectly triggering this. As I really enjoy attaching the record to all of the members of the family simulateously.
    Keep up these great advancements!

  660. Robbie Mae Bronner

    Thank you! You are very helpful to me.
    I need a space for a second marriage. I found in 1870 Noel (37)the same person) lived with Harriet (38)with three Rutland children (Elizah/Elijah 17,This checks out to be Elijah, Sr born in (1853) Charley 10,& Cressy 4). I found in 1880 Noah (47) married Fannie (23) and had a daughter Sarah Rutland (2). I will also check for death records. Any help here will be highly appreciated.
    Elijah,Jr. born (1880) & listed too as (1882)> He is my grandfather and I knew him,his sibblings and his children. I have his death certificate and I have Elijah, Sr. death certificate. I can’t find Noah’s yet I found in 1895 he married Edna Ogletree in Monroe county,Ga.

  661. Clare Loppe

    This comment concerns the transcription of the record for Charles Arpin in the 1901 Canadian census. His birthdate of 1900 makes him a “one” year old, married head of house hold with many children. Not Possible.

  662. Sheila Gropp

    I see a area for improvement of this feature.

    I have used it many times, with on limitation. When there are family members on the historical records is slightly different then what I have in my tree, it does not recognize it and I cannot add it with adding a new person.

    It would great if I could select a family member out of my tree to link the historical record to.

    Let me know if you need more information.

  663. Lea Miller

    I love this feature if I am adding a wife and children and everything matches. However, if there is a parent missing, it lists the children a second time with an “unknown mother/father”

  664. Jan Beasley

    This is a good feature, but its presentation is not well thought out. What I want to do is link the record to people existing in my tree, not add people to my tree, and it is not clear what will happen if I do check on some. For example, in this particular 1880 census listing, I have the male head of the household, his current (second) wife, two children from his first marriage (wife presumably deceased), two children from his present marriage, and a step-son (who is the son of the head of household’s current wife and her previous (deceased) husband. I don’t want to add any people, or change their names or birthdates, etc. I just want to link the record correctly.

    The set-up of this page does not make it clear that I can do that.

  665. Lois Follmer

    I LOVE this new feature! I have found only 1 problem, if a grandparent lives in the home like in the census, the different last named person does not come up in the merging. If that could be fixed, it would be really great too.

    Thank you so much for this new feature. Family Tree software & Ancestry changes have saved me HOURS of looking!

  666. theresa allington

    I like the fact that other family members come up for you to include in your family tree. It makes things much simpler.

  667. Thank you for “adding family members” when I add a source and additional information it’s very helpful and saves lots of hours of adding new people.

    I do have one suggestion I’ve run into a couple times.

    Sometimes the spouses or chldren are misspelled so much that the system cannot match it with information I already have…if I could click to add a person already in my tree – I thought that might be an easy solution.

    Thank you again.
    G. Longstreet

  668. The new features are good and help a great deal. Just a bit concered about the (Ancestry Hints) keep getting single females married to husbands with same name or is it that she has married a distent cousin with same surname.

  669. Juliana Mulroy

    I love the ability to add other members from Federal census so easiky–doesn’t always work if record is for someone other than head of household. and skips children if list interrupted by someone else, including another blood relaice. Since I always check image, I would like to see all members of household, even boarders (often relatives) listed, with relationships, if given.

    Does not work with Iowa State Census and other records

  670. Cathy Schaller

    I have been getting quite a bit of duplicate information. When deleting and cleaning up the information I accidently deleted my grandfather. I can add his name back in but it causes duplicate information again. Trying to link him in without doing this seems to be impossible. How can we merge duplicate information without going through having to delete information. There is an option on Family Tree maker to merge duplicate information is there one on here? My cousin is having the same problem and has spent 3 weeks cleaning up here files also.

  671. Beth Blote

    Need to mark the possible duplication of possible merges to the actual duplicate family members already in my tree because I cannot check during the merge process. Then I don’t know which duplication to delete. I’m having that problem already.

  672. Why does it tell me that I have a new person when the name is exactly the same, but it isn’t picking it up? I don’t want to attach it to my person for fear of having two different people for the same family then I will be in trouble.

  673. Ric Hooban

    How do I merge two people who are the same into one without losing the info? I have a lot of duplicates like a Mary A and a Mary who are the same person. Surely there is a way to merge two people into the one person they are, and, if there isn’t, then get on this task pronto. Thank you. RicWhaley

  674. Tui Lewis

    New feature sounds great. Looking forward to trying it.
    SLUGGISH was mentioned back in May 08, Am still finding it this way in September.
    Any help on the horizon please?
    As love the site.

  675. Mike Damon

    When doing a merge, it would be nice to have a icon to manually match a person on the left with a person in your file. If you add a person (child or spouse) that did not match because of mis-spelling, you end up with duplicates. If you don’t, you have to remember to go back an add the citation to that person manually.

  676. Marion Adam

    I find this to be a useful feature – except that it lists the Census info as a birth record source only. It does not register as a residence. If I want to have that show in the individual profiles, I have to go back to each person and remove/restore the link. This is annoying and time-consuming.

  677. Marion Adam

    I need to amend my comment (#790) – this lack of the residence link occurs when adding someone as a “new person” to one’s family tree. Testing it again now….

    Now I see that the Residence does show.

    Ignore #790 🙂


  678. Bruce Veazie

    This “feature” is definitely messed up.

    There is information in the relatives section that does not come from the historical record. And information in the historical record does not show in the relatives section so it can be added to the relative.

    For those of us trying to link to historical documents this is a great hindrance.

  679. Bruce Veazie

    Add’l info for my comment above.

    D W Barkley Town of Orange, Schuyler, New York 1860 Census

    When the Add Hint link is clicked:

    D W Barkley with correct info is shown.

    Under add’l relatives, none of the entries in the index show except:

    Ella A Barkley (from the actual next page of the census)

    The information for Ella A Barkley in the document part of the Add Hints page has a full birth date rather than “abt whatever” and a *death date* in 1940!

  680. RogerWyatt24

    I like the system and enjoy using it. There is still the problem when it states “New Person” when that person is already on the tree you are working on.
    I do have concerns about those who use it and are not responsible. Some users appear only to have an ambition to add as many names as possible to a tree, regardless.
    Thanks for your efforts to improve the systems.

  681. alice larson

    What a wonderful surprise to find all my work gathered together. Thank you much. a very wonderful addition to genealogy work.

  682. Bruce Veazie

    The interaction with the actual census index is still of medium use. Someone posted a “correction” to the index which is incorrect. The “Add Hint” interface now takes the incorrect entry as gospel, whereas I want to use the actual historical document.

    I have in my tree
    Fred W Barkley
    Margaret Emery – his wife

    1930 Census Winthrop, Suffolk, Massachusetts
    Fred K Barkley
    Margaret E Barkley – wife
    Martha Conery – mother-in-law

    1. a “correction” was made to Margaret E to make her name Margaret E Conery
    2. A close examination of the census image reveals that Martha “Conery” is Martha Emery.

    Now the “Add Hint”, when applied to Fred Barkley insists on creating a new person for his wife, rather than letting me decide. I have a wife Margaret Emery and the interface won’t apply the index entry “Margaret E Barkley” to her.

    As a result, each individual has to have the census information added separately.

    The interface should default to the index information, not someone’s “corrections.”

  683. Peter Styles

    Dear Kenny

    Looks very clever but it doesn’t work. If you don’t have a precise match on the parents then it duplicates the entries. Example: I have a wife called Ann but no maiden name; the census shows Ann Styles (her married name) and the children all match; so I choose to select them; when I get back to the detail sheet, I find the system has made a new wife and a second set of children. I have given up using it, in frustration, and gone back to linking the census data one at a time.

    Peter Styles (07976 550876)

  684. I love having the relatives listed and to be able to merge….

    My hint for Jacob M. Burrough (spouse Martha B. Burrough) is great, however, it wants to attach to his grandfather Jacob Burrough (spouse, Sarah Helmick)

  685. Carla Elliott

    I really appreciate the ability to merge other family members listed on a particular record to my files. However, there seems to be a slight glitch in the program! I accepted such on a census record that listed two extra children whose names I had not known. Thereafter, no matter what the source record I viewed, it offers me those same two children, who are not even on the specific record I’m merging. Obviously, something is not quite right!
    Thanks for this opportunity to let you and others know.

  686. Don’t know website.
    I have some difficulty when trying to find my family tree. Some of the information has been deleted. I only find 7 names in my tree. What is wrong? Please find all names of my tree and help me merge them.

  687. Karen Parker

    It would be nice if there was a way to merge two people once they are already entered on the tree. I find I have to go back and delete someone who was already in there with the name spelled differently and then go back and add all the sources I already had on one or the other. Also for some reason known only to the peculiarities of the computer there will be someone with the correct name and it just does not match them so I have to add the family and then go back and add this person and hope I don’t get interrupted and forget them.

  688. Karen Parker

    Two other comments I forgot. One is person B is listed on a census record with person A. The connection comes up with person B’s name but when you go to the record it says to connect to person A. If you don’t watch very carefully you are connecting to the incorrect person.

    Number two is I would like a way to go back to the list of people with hints without bringing up the full list of people first. I have to wait for the full list to load then click on people with hints. This takes so much extra time.

  689. Scott Hunt

    1910 United States Federal Census; Rome Twnship, Crawford, Pennsylvania, USA
    Inskip Morris, the next page shows Mary E. as spouse.

  690. Jane McClure

    When I attach 1900 census records, Ancestry shows the marriage date on the individual page–which is great, except that more often than not, it shows a father married to his daughter rather than his wife, etc. This has just started happening recently.

  691. Hi
    Twice now, Ive had a glitch where one of the children is labled as the spouse, and I am unable to change it in the merge. this is on the lt side in the events column – on the far right, the spouse is correct. Both times I had to delete and re-enter info about the wife/husband to get it corrected.
    Also, the merge shouldnt change the maiden name of the spouse, but if you merge the female, it automatically changes it to the married name. This has happened even when I didnt check the spouse to merge, knowing it would delete the maiden name. I’ve had to go back and change MANY married names to maiden names because of this – Frustrating. So I merge sparingly. lots of great info available on your site! Just needs some fine tuning.
    Thanks for all your help with my research – i wouldn’t be so far without you all. Becky

  692. Whomever transcribed a census record for the person I am working in, listed the wrong sex. Now when I try to merge the info from the Census, it won’t let me without my sending the male info to the female side!

    When can we expect to be able to send corrections on things other than names?

  693. I have been using for about 18 months and find it very helpful for family information. One thing I have learned from this data base is that is was typical to use middle names because there were so many of the same first names duplicated in families there was no other way to identify one branch of a family from another because they were all large. When I ask relatives for info all they know are middle or nic names for the older relative so it sometimes takes hours to research them and some are never found. Some tree seekers do not investigate they just click and then your family is tied into a mess or they leave out one generation and just connect anyway.

  694. !910 Census was wrong. Effie was my grandmother name. my dad was John Garrison. Effie had remarried and her name was HASSELL. She had an another son Alley Bradford (Pat) Hassell and a daughter Mertie Hassell by Mr Willice Hassell of Holly Pond, Cullman County Alabama. He past away after Mertie birth. About 1902 Effie married Mr George Wahington Moore. About 1920 they moved to Tuskahoma, Pushmataha, Oklahoma and lived there until there death. Effie in October 1929 and Mr Moore January 1930. My mom and dad lived in Oklahoma until their death.

  695. Bonnie

    The feature is convenient… however, the same issue exists that has always existed. Your transcriptions are frequently WRONG.
    My GGGrandfather Sylvanus Scott, is shown on the transcription with one relative and an incorrect age. When in fact, he was two years younger ON THE ORIGINAL CENSUS. Plus, he had an entire family listed in the original census. None of which included the person listed with him on the transcription. You all really NEED to devote time to information provided to you by subscribers who ONLY go by the ORIGINAL transcriptions. You are selling a defective product and encouraging point and click genealogy, which is horrible for accuracy.

  696. Laurie Kirby

    This is great and has saved me a lot of time. However, my one problem with this seems to be trying to deal with different variants of a name. I have a James Henry Rayner in the 1901 census where the name as it appears is Jas Hy Rayner. This ends up creating a new “child” to this family rather than merging the census data with the existing James Henry, though the screen would appear to merge Jas Hy with James Henry. I’ve had to delete Jas Hy twice now.

  697. Brenda Humphrey

    I was about to add an iowa census as a source, and noticed the information (spouse and children) was incorrect. The census said he had a wife and four children, the addition page listed one child by an unknown spouse, and no one else.

  698. April Nienberg

    They have the corrected name from Hienberg to Neinberg…it is really Nienberg. Maybe it can be corrected again.

  699. On a 1920 US Census, Gene Price, was listed. She is the daughter of Sumner Bacon Price, not his wife. How do I list as such. It came up
    to be checked as his wife.
    Mary Mayfield

  700. Nicole

    I haven’t read the comments, so this may well have already been mentioned…but it would be nice to have the option to merge records that are far off enough that the site doesn’t think they’re a match. I’m running into this a lot where, say, the census put someone down with their middle name as their first name. Before I looked closer, I had a great-grandfather with the same set of kids listed three times – once with “Mary Sue Smith” as mom, once with “Sue Smith” and once with “unknown mother”. Fixing that took a while! 🙂

  701. Christopher Colbert

    There appears to be an error occurring when I attempt to show the relatives for Eunice Marilda “Hallmark” Armstrong. I keep seeing one of her daughters, Salema Armstrong. The same error occurs when I try the same for Henry S Armstrong, Eunice’s husband. Its a minor inconvience and otherwise your service is so great! Thank you thank you thank you so much!!!

  702. jzihlman

    Its a great feature when it works. but &%$# when it doesn’t. Mary G comer is married to Zachary Taylor Carr , alias Z T Carr and when I get cesus record for him with her in it. I hit show relatives, and it doesn’t think she matches so it wants to create a new person. so I change her stats to match and try again, but no, it wants to create a new person, damn it damn it, I tried and tried and changed stuff and tried again, no go
    !!!!!!!!!! That is irritating!

  703. Fred Montgomery

    Kenny: Heads up on the 1930 cenus for William C. Monthomery of Carter County, Tennessee, District 14. WM. C. and Sarah Montgomery were my G-Grandparents. Ancestry has his child listed as “Edna”. Actualy it is a male named “Edens” which was my G-Uncle.Did’nt know who to tell,so you were elected. Thanx, Fred Montgomery

  704. Jenny Elliott

    One little adjustment or added functionality I would like to see added to this record merge feature is the ability to select a different or existing family member from my tree to merge the name with (like maybe in the “Show Options” part). So many times names are spelled incorrectly on the census records (like May and Mae) and the record merge doesn’t recognize that it is the same family member.
    Otherwise, this feature has been very helpful!

  705. Dgoodale

    The names that came up on this census are nick names and not exactly what is on my tree. I would like to see the “household” members on my tree so that I can choose the correct person on this page.


  706. Ralph Jackson

    I keep getting a message which states “You must select at least one parent before adding new siblings,” but there is no parent available to select. What is going on?

  707. Karen

    Great! I love how easy it is to add more information to all the family in a few clicks. It saves so much typing.

    One problem I have noticed is with the names that can very with spelling. The system thinks these are new spouses. In options there should be a way to choose if you know it is the same person.

  708. Kay Willerton

    Just because someone is a widow or widower, it doesn’t mean that the dead parent is unknown. Why can’t it meld the children into the children of the living spouse? Very frustrating when you wnat to merge information into the whole family but because it reads ‘unknown spouse’ you end up with duplicate children.

  709. Patricia Bowers

    This is a great idea, but it doesn’t WORK most of the time. For instance, I was given the sibling of this person, but was told that I had to choose a parent to allow the sibling to be recorded. Since I don’t HAVE a parent to choose, I also can’t choose the sibling. Not very useful!

  710. John Cannon

    I find that a person is often not selected for the merge even when the name is spelled exactly the same and the dates are the same. I wind up with children in my tree with unknown parents, or with the children entered in my tree twice.

  711. The Rebecca Laybourne, born in Toronto in 1846 to John and Alice Laybourne married Charles Hewlitt and divorced him about 4 years later. The Rebecca Laybourne listed in your note would not be the one I am looking for as Laybourne is this one’s married name, not her maiding name. I believe that the Rebecca Laybourne Hewlitt I am looking for may of moved to Washington state after her divorce.

  712. Barbara Coleman

    For the past 3 weeks or so when I try to add information found from searching I get a message that an Internet Explorer Script Error has ocurred and after I clear the message it pops up again….I can’t add info to anyone in my tree.

  713. When I am working on certain family records, I have the option of adding a family member, who is in both our records as I select the box to add this person I keep getting the warning “you must select at least one parent in order to add a new sibling” I don’t understand this because there is not a option to select another parent or parents on the page

    Thank you. Dennis J Friedman

  714. Patricia Bowers

    Okay…. it provides a person… and his sibling – and then doesn’t let me ADD the sibling, saying that I must choose a parent, which is NOT shown.

    Not very helpful.

  715. a. marie nelson

    when adding info ‘attaching a hint’ and there is and varying in the person name like lizzie verses elizabeth sorry for the spelling it adds a wife and i have a hard time getting rid of her or if i add on new info from another cenus where there may be a child i did know about new wife please make it less wife touchy or eaier to drop them because if i delete them then i have to go back and readd stuff

  716. Vivian

    I would be nice to be able to choose which family member you wish to merge. It does not always recogize the spouse and ends up adding the same spouse twice.

    It’s come along way –
    Keep up the good work

  717. I was just wondering how a name that is spelled wrong on a census, namely 1930 census Maine, in Houlton. could be corrected and easier for someone to find. You see my grandfather name is Hanning but it was spelled Hanson but looks like Hannon on the record.

  718. Phyl Menyhart

    I would just like to say a great big thank you to all at Ancestry for all the work they are putting in to the shaking leaf, and of course everything else they do I have been able to expand my tree even more over 2 thousand names.

    Thank you again

  719. As with several other comments, when going over merges, noticed that there were duplicate names that I could not delete. We need somehow to be able to correct errors. Would appreciate direct e-mail regarding any fixes on this problem.
    God Bless,
    Jim Brown, Jr.

  720. Mary Petrey Pike

    I like this feature but how do we correct any wrong data that is in it? Can that be done? 1920 census has my father’s family and I know it is them, but a few of the names are spelled wrong and the name of the town.

  721. I have been trying to view an image on the 1930 census in Porter Midland Michigan for Frank Neitzke but the image itself is not there. There are double pages 9 and 10 and 11 and 12 I’m not sure which one is missing but the names are the same on these 4 images and the names I’m looking for are not there?

  722. Ann Bales

    Would it be possible to have an alert that this person is already in your family tree. I am getting duplicates in addition to adding new information.

    Thanks Ann

  723. lynn seamark

    Lately, I’ve had more trouble linking the record to the spouse and children than usual. The last name is wrong in the index but the first name is spelled right or close and usually that was enough not to trigger your system to think it was a new person for the tree. We need more flexibility for this to be an aid more than a hinderance.

  724. Norma Thomas

    I would like to be able to edit children also when the family tree info is for the child but comes up for the mother or father. No way to make it go to child I could find.
    Also when viewing tree I sometimes need the Ahnantel (spelling ?) view and then copy it off to check correctness of what I have found. it would not let me do that. That was a good feature before.
    I like most of the new features I have found. I think you should offer the FAmily tree software upgrade like does. Norma

  725. Chris Jones

    When I clicked on a sibling of the individual in my tree being displayed, it asked me to select a parent. Both parents had already been selected, so I think there may be a bug here.

  726. Carol

    On ancestry when connecting records to a individual with the option to connect others on the records, Need an option to also search my records and connect a preson from my records. Sometimes the record shows a different name spelling for someone in my records and I can’t connect them unless I add a new person. Also, Marriage records should give the spouse information and the option to add them to our records. Thanks (I really like the new setup)

  727. Great feature but it is possible to list all children or spouses listed in both the record and the tree, as some family members are listed by several spellings of the same name.

  728. Rose O'Donnell Mulcahy

    In adding a relative’s record from the Social Security Death Index,I noticed a new feature: SHOW RELATIVES ON THIS RECORD & SELECT THOSE YOU WANT MERGED INTO YOUR TREE.

    Unless something changed recently, the SSDI record does not list additional family members, so this suggestion is meaningless.

  729. Richard Evans

    This 1900 US Census Has TWO SABIA Families. One Sabia Family is transcribed in Error as Seaborne.
    The name is in FACT SABIA.
    Head Frank Angelo Sabia,
    Wife Elizabeth Cecelia Ferrone Sabia and Children. One of the Children lited as BARRY in Error. It is BOZZIE. short for Basileo.



  731. Laura Olson

    On one particular family, whenever I click show relatives, it only lists one sibling (always the same one, regardless of what sibling or parent I am searching records on),

  732. Sallie Hanson

    Same person, but different spelling … you check, but now u have another spouse plus all the same children. More time to remove one of the sets.
    Same person, but used nickname, etc. Again a new spouse or child.
    Good idea, but lots of work needs to be done.

  733. Drew

    I like the Record Merge feature but it should give me the option to apply any changes to existing family members instead of just trying to add new members.



  735. Laurie

    I wish there was a way to input the correct family memeber when it doesn’t recognize the person. If it can’t find a match in your tree based on the information, it wants to add it as a new person. Sometimes you know who it is, but you have to go back and do that person individually.

  736. Ruth Hunt

    I think the merge is great but I have more information than is posted on the site adn I have the correct spelling of the names and Birth and Death dates. I am not sure who submitted the information

  737. Kenna Stewart Ehret

    On the whole, I love this feature. It saves tons of time and boring repetitive work.

    I have had one problem. We work from the present to the past, children to parents. When I add a record containing a marriage year with the parents of a known person, both parents are married to the child. I have to erase the event and add each parent and then the event.

    Still, I have saved some time with the sibling additions.

  738. Ancestry is showing a hit on Lucinda Brown – 1880 census Fannin Co TX – when I pull it up to attach to my tree it places William Moore’s name beside Lucinda’s – When I switch to William’s name on my tree there are no matches to pull up. I don’t know how to deal with this.

  739. Mike Parsons

    After following people with hints and then adding them,or otherwise, there doesn’t seem to be a quick link back to the next people with hints to deal with.
    regards Mike

  740. Lorraine L DeVore

    In this census (1930 Long Beach, CA), the daughter is married and living at home with her children(unknown reason). My only option for including her in the census source is listing her as daughter of unknown father. Her father is known and she is not a new child. How do I merge this info? I would also like to include her children. L DeVore

  741. jill clark

    totally confusing. I keep using the merging items for “new information”, and it keeps adding the same people with different names to my lists, and it’s making more work for me, having then to delete things.

  742. It would be more helpful to be able to select a name from your current tree for each person included with your selected person on the census. People who took the census seemed to misspell the names or mis interpret them when listing them typed. Sometimes they add an extra letter. I find it quite involved to go back and add the misspelled name as an alternate name and then try to add the census again. I do like it when all the names are spelled the same and you can add the whole family at one time. I have found several times that the letters have been added to name, middle name used, nick name used or misspelling of first or last name makes it difficult to add the census information.
    SUGGESTION: Maybe you could select to use the name as alternate name for someone from your list and you click that box and then select the name from your list already on your tree. I know that every suggestion involves more expense to add that idea to the program.

  743. Virginia M. Lee

    I am trying to add sources to persons o my family tree. Janet Lee, one person, has been married twice. I am having trouble adding the source to the correct marriage. Itkeeps being added tothe first marriage instead of the one that took lace in 2001. There are two marriage sources from TX marriage indec, one for each marriage.

  744. Some name don’t Get translated from the census to the TYpe copy correctly. Ei. Hazel A. Bauman’s mother name on the census of 1900 is Amy and some one has typed it as Anne. THis is my husband grandmother and I know he has her name correct. Please have you transcriptionists be more careful.

  745. Some name don’t Get translated from the census to the TYpe copy correctly. Ei. Hazel A. Bauman’s mother name on the census of 1900 is Amy and some one has typed it as Anne. THis is my husband grandmother and I know he has her name correct. Please have you transcriptionists be more careful.

    I liked being contacted about people I’ve been trying to find. Knowing that other are looking for these same persons and being able to contact them is great.

  746. Susan Mack

    Using either IE or Mozilla, the website does not complete the adding a record function. On IE, the bottom says “Error on Page” When I open up the detail information it says error – object expected. On Mozilla, the page says “done” but nothing is happening or moving. I go back and start over but get to the same place. I have cleared bookmarks and deleted cookies and deleted browsing history. No different. I have been having problems for a couple of weeks now.

  747. George Adams

    This is a huge timesaver. There is less chance of moving on without saving ancesters you dont have in your tree. There are times when I have forgotten to write down the new ancesters found. Thank you

  748. My ancestry name is micky_o – I have two trees “A William Cook Family Tree” and “Reunion Cook”

    Yes the new feature is wonderful when it works. However, there are times when it just doesn’t make sense. One particular instance is an 1880 census record for my gr great grandparents and family. When I click on the “view additional relatives or however it is named” it brings up the entire family. However, for some reason it appears as though my gr gr grandfather is not in the system even though he is. If I click on any of the children at this point, it will add them without a father. I have seen this type of situation several times and know it is a problem. As I have viewed other trees, I have seen the children not attached to one or the other parents and often listed twice. Thus many times in “One World Tree” you find the children listed twice.

    Thank you for the opportunity to comment.

    Micky O

  749. Edward Allen Summers

    I am able to provide update information for the family of Owen Wilson Summers and wife, Vernon Lee Grace (Summers)between the years of 1896 to current year.

  750. Bonnie Ducharme

    I would LOVE to see another line added so you can add their job description when doing this merge! This is a great new feature and so timesaving then the old tedious way of going back and forth for each separate person! Thanks!

  751. Margaret Maulin

    I want to echo Dennis J. Friedman’s comment of September 21, 2008. When the option to add family members is given and you try to add a sibling, you get a warning that you must select at least one parent. The parents are not listed on the page so you cannot choose one of them.
    Are you working on a fix for this?
    Otherwise I love this feature but going back and getting the source attached to all the family members is a pain as it works now.
    There may be other comments on the same subject but Dennis’ was the most recent I found.

  752. When I merged William O’Meara born 1823 and his children in th 1880 census, the children that were living with him were added as children of an unknown wife because his wife, the mother of his children, had died earlier. I cannot figure out how to remove that term “unknown wife” so it appears that the children do not belong to Anne and William.

  753. I have two records that if I would merge them would have James Hilliard VanGorder (father) and James Floyd VanGorder (son) having children together. Any suggestions as how to fix this? 1930 census.

  754. Robin

    I am new to Ancestry, but this feature has been very helpful to me . I would like to know, how Can I submite a correction? A cesus sheet has grandmothes family, all names & birth dates match, but last name was read & entered as Luman instead of Lyman, just a small faded spot on the record. I am positive it is my husbands family. Thank you for thia wonderful site 🙂 Robin

  755. emma neville

    hi i like been able to add relatives but for some reason when it is giving siblings ie when 2 sisters are both servants in one household it will not allow you to add the second sibling as it asks for you to add a parent first (which of course you are unable to do as they are not listed with them)

  756. Nanette Ellis

    It’s great that you provide the opportunity to add relatives. However, one record I was attempting to add showed only a sibling of the person in my tree. When I indicated that I did want to add this sibling, I received the error message that I must select one parent. However there was no parent listed. ??

  757. Dianne de Cruz

    Being able to review other relatives of a person I am researching is just great. Then I can compare my research to the rest and fill in the blanks, add new people or correct some mistakes I have made.

  758. Barbara

    This feature is a help. However, I’d like to be able to make corrections to the hint. For instance, my grandfather’s last name is indexed with a wrong spelling for his first name in one census and a wrong spelling for the last name in another census. I’d like there to be an option to make the correction, but I don’t see it on the screens I’m using. If I’m missing that, I’d love to be told where to make the change. Thanks.

  759. TJ Tell

    great tool when it works, there are glitches where there are 3 generation in a household, it will pull the grandchildren is a children when adding on the husband, and does not hace an option to add when adding under the mother.

  760. Lisa Kovach

    The relative merge is giving me a message to select a parent to merge, yet there is no feature. can this be corrected?


  761. I don’t know how to merge information that appears incorrect in some aspects but correct in other areas. I clicked the leaf for Lincoln Breckinridge Parker and what appeared is both correct and incorrect. Ruby (Rubby) Parker is his mother, the information displays Lucilla Brown as Rubby’s husband but Lucilla is her mother. Her husband is Daniel (robert) Parker or vise versa. And the siblings are those of Rubby and Daniel and not of Rubby and Lucilla. How did the data get so mixed up and is it possible for me to fix it or are you responsible for how the data displays? HELP

  762. Catherine Dunn

    I do like this feature, however, I have noticed on many occasions that the original transcription is not done properly, therefore, the record you pull in is not correct. I do realize that it can be difficult to read original documents and sometimes a ‘best guess’ is all you can do. However, I checked and the Family name for this record is clearly Watt, not Wall. In addition, the entry for Margaret Maasz is incorrect. Her name is Margaret Maass. I realize as well that I have an edge because these entries were for my Great-Uncle and my Grandmother. Thank you.

  763. Frances Russell

    I think this a wonderful feature when the names are recognized. I have here an entire family whose last name is incorrectly spelled with the two vowels transposed. So it will be necessary for me to do manual entries for each of them. Too bad for me!

  764. Jean Seddon

    Seem to have some problems on Ancestry Hints (green shaking leaf) with names of parents and sometimes obtaining maiden names of females

  765. Peg

    Sometimes this feature pulls up siblings of the person or children of the person. When I go to check the block so that they are sourced with the same item, I get a response telling me I have to first select a parent. Sometimes there isn’t a parent available to check. How about fixing this so that we can include this source for any family member who comes up? Sure would save a lot of time… and I’m not getting why there’s a requirement to include parents on this feature.

  766. It is about time for me to get some directions in listing family members. I greatly appreciate this method now at my fingers, BUT, I do have a hard decoding and deciphering the methods you need for me to fill out. My dates are from Headstones and Courthouse records. I hate to put land transfers in the Family Tree but if I must I can, back to 1700 days. Please, I do need help.George G. Moss zip code 62703

  767. Sarah Gill

    I’m trying to add in someone’s grandchildren (whose parents are unknown) but I can’t seem to manage it.

  768. When I follow the Hints, I’m having a problem attaching the hints to the correct person, with a person with same name. (Father & Son, Sr. & Jr., ect.) Also, it won’t let me attach information if it don’t have a parent name, even thou the data is not there.

  769. Kenneth W Beamer

    This new site has greatly improved over the old one, you are doing a great job. I really enjoy the new “People with Hints”. In the 1880 census Second Creek District,Monroe,West Virginia, the census taker wrote the name Mattison Beamer when is should have been Robert Madison Beamer. Is there any way to correct this to make it easier for people to find the information if they are not sure of the correct spelling?

  770. Kerry Hook

    Why does it say, “You must select a parent” on the screen for some census records when there is no place to do just that? This means that I end up with a person on that record that I cannot click on to add to my tree.

    Hope you can help.


  771. Ivan Oakes

    Generally good. However is fooled by female with married name living in household. In this case it guesses the wrong surname when finding “relatives”.

  772. gwen

    Hi Kenny,
    Just making a note that I think there is a miss translation on the 1871 England census for Amy Willing Cole. She has been translated as Henry. I have examined the original and can see how the mistake could easily be made. Perhaps you can relay this to the appropriate people.
    Thanks for a great site, it is very helpful.

  773. NancyDrewFan

    PLEASE, PLEASE FIX YOUR MARRIAGE FEATURES IN YOUR PROGRAM. My subject has two different marriages and two different marriage dates. They are entered on my subject’s page. When I try to attach the 1900 census, it lists as a source on the wrong marriage and date, even thought the correct date is already listed. Does your program not look at the dates already entered and match itself to them as a source? It sure would be nice to use the census as the source, but I am unable to do to the BUG in your program. THANKS!

  774. Tandy54

    Several times now, I’m offered the name of a sibling on the record whom I can’t add “without the name of one parent.” But the parents aren’t named on the record & can’t be checked! For example, a soc. sec. death record. What a frustration. Yet I do appreciate the advanced capabilities, in general.

  775. The Donald Nielsen you have for a son of Carl E U Nielsen is my father,Leander Donald Nielsen. You have the rest of the info right.Carl’s wife and Lee’s mother was Laura Doyle. They had 4 children Virginia,Barney,Eugene,and Leander.Wish I could find Carls’ parents-they seem to have fallen off the world.

  776. Claire Bushell

    This is a great time-saving feature. I find it very useful but would like to be able to have the option to select a person from the tree if the correct person to merge with doesn’t come up automatically. Is this possible?

  777. LM

    Thank you for allowing me to comment.
    Point #1:
    Could you please make it IMPOSSIBLE to link up persons where the given Dates would be impossible, as based on the birth, marrigable/child bearing age of mother and DEATH of the parents?

    Point #2:
    Often I see references to USA places when The New World had not been discovered. Could this practice be made unacceptable?

  778. caroline jackson

    merge feature is great, but it sometimes does not recognise a spouse of it is spely wrong and tries to create a whole new family, is there a fix for this???

  779. Al W. Benton

    You have incorrect information re the marriage of J D Jones and Sam Benton in Kentucky, 1906. Sam married Prince N. Nickell NOT J D Jones.
    Thank You,
    Al Benton

  780. Emily

    This is a really great website, however, when we merge the information to our family tree, it doesn’t give us the option to link the new person to someone who is already on the tree. For example, I found John Rabideau, whose wife was Ida Detour, but she came up w/a different name on the census, so all the children that were listed under them when I go to add her (she is showing as a totally new person even tho I’ve already added her) are going to show up as children from some other wife…. no easy way to fix this either. Just a little feedback. If you know of an easy way to get rid of duplicate people on your tree due to this problem, PLEASE let me know!



  781. I love the fact that we can merge records on Ancestry with our tree on myfamily. However, the fact that you don’t have a link to go back to your ancestry search is annoying. You have to go back and back and back until you get back to your original finds on historical record.
    But I guess I can live with it. If there is a way I don’t know of to do this better please let me know. Thanks.

  782. hazel Jean Lowe




  783. Lottie Bailey

    I was an Ancestry member quite some time ago and I had done a lot of research on my family tree. I wanted to join again to continue where I left off,however I can’t find anything! HELP!

  784. Donald Sylvester

    I frequently have family members who do not work on my tree ask how they are related to someone in the family?

    It would be great if something similar to “FAMOUS PEOPLE RELATED” could be written.

    One would enter two names in the tree database and the connection could be mapped to be able to be printed (in order to show the inquirer how they are related).

    I have over 3,200 people in my tree and I am constantly telling people IN WRITING how they are related to others.

    This would be a great tool to get others involved in

    Donald Sylvester
    11402 Wickersham Lane
    Houston, Texas 77077
    Cell: 281-543-2622

  785. Judi Findsen

    sometimes a hit is shown by that great little leaf, but it should go to the other spouse. We need a way to choose who to merge the hint to.

  786. figaro1st

    I don’t understand why this merge other family members feature is so unreliable. One time I come up with Margaret Fletcher and it says fine, Margaret. The next time I come up with Margaret Fletcher, it says “New Person.” Or I attach people, and it makes them children of an unknown mother, even though it is bringing them up as already in my tree as children of this person. I waste so much time going back and correcting the errors that I’m very tempted to go back putting them in one at a time! And I can’t see a rhyme or reason for when it is doing this. Please fix it!

  787. Adrienne

    This is a good feature overall. It does make an assumption that the person in the record must be merged with someone in my tree, but it is actually another person. There does not seem to be a way for me to mark this. I can either except them as a merge with the wrong person, or not accept them at all. Frustrating.

  788. Kim Smith

    The only thing I found so far that I wish was different, is when I add a census for all people listed. For example: My grandfather’s older sister was Elsie and in the 1910 census, she got listed as Eley, so it wants to add her as a new person. And it doesn’t have the option to attach the census to her under her real name of Elsie without making her a new peson.

  789. PR McCullough

    Records for the federal census enumerations prior to 1880 and the 1885 Florida State Census indicate that you can see and merge relatives. That function is not working on my computer! One person repeatedly displays who has no relation to the people listed in the family group.

  790. Cheryl Wright

    I am in the processing of attaching hints on the wife. THe husbands info comes up for the wife. The spouse makes her married to herself.

  791. Jim

    The record for Henry Schork and family is not accurately converted to digital in the “1910 United States Federal Census”.

    After searching the scanned document, Henry Schork has a wife Anna and 2 sons, all with the Schork name. Your digital record shows Henry Schork living with O’Brien.


  792. Shawn

    I really love this new feature. But I only wish that when you are merging the family members that you could pick a person to merge them to when the spellings are off.

  793. Clairine Johnson

    Great site….second time I have been on it. Went on with my daughter-in-law and I am so excited about my findings that I have to figure out a way to get my family tree out of her name (even tho it will finally reach her name on the tree). Oh well, my complaint is that I couldn’t pick children records without changing a parent. My parent information was better than the new one offered, but I couldn’t add the children that I didn’t have. Thanks, Clairine
    P.S. I look forward to more. In fact I am thinking about looking into a business with Genology.

  794. Kathryn Maynard

    it would be nice when you do a merge info from census families which spouses could be married twice which there should have tag to say second marriage or something like that so it would be easier for us to do the merge info without our knowledge.. i have done my research which i am doing the merging… save me time to do the adding info in my own way!!!

  795. Laura Hill

    Margaret Fox keeps showing up on the hints but she is not listed on the census that I am doing. None of the other family members are showing up.

  796. Terrie Dawkins

    I would love to be able to see everyone all the kids and sblings and there kids because i know alot of them

  797. Belinda Robinson

    I have found this a useful feature, but get caught occasionally when it decides that the same person is a different wife. The resault is that I end up with three census docs giving rise to 3 wives with the same name and a marhginal difference. I then have several children repeated with the same mum. You have warned of this.

    It would be really helpful if, having decided that you have duplicated a person, that you could merge the details.

    So far, I’ve been slowly deleting each of the duplicated kids and the offending Mum. That means not saving the different source docs or a very slow procedure to enter all the details by hand (having been spoilt by the ease of the new system where it works properly).

  798. James

    I like the new merge feature, and I agree with being responsible. There are lots of variations in how names are recorded, which brings me to my comment, when names don’t match according to the matching process, it would be useful to have a way of manual matching to existing records.

  799. Pauline K Coon

    The father of Berta Katheryn Carter Coon was Edgar Norton Carter of Oakland, Coles County Illinois

  800. Mary Adkins

    There is some incorrect information on the 1920 census for my family. I need to correct the information on the information page. My mother and aunt were listed as spouses when they were actually daughters. I don’t know how to do that.

  801. Thanks for updating the Family Tree and making additions easy. I like how you search the people in my tree for me. This alone has saved me hours in time. I do check carefully to be sure the suggestions match what I already have and have proved. PLEASE add more cemetery, marriage, and death records for Mississippi. Did you know that on microfilm in the Archives in Jackson, MS, are death certificates from 1912 to 1943? They are rich with data. Can you scan those for adding to your data? MS records are so difficult to obtain. The family members I am having difficulty locating are from MS. Thanks for the improvements

  802. Sophie Frizzell

    Great feature, but one possible enhancement, where a new person is being added, allow selecting of someone already in your family tree. Also, allow forcing a new person when linked.
    I have found the occasion where someone is not correctly linked, or not linked when they should be.
    Keep up the good work.

  803. Marjorie West

    I’m having trouble with the information and pictures staying in
    my family tree after adding the information. sometimes if the info
    is still there it is changed like
    from sibling to half sibling and
    from Mother of a person to the wife
    of a person.Is it a tech problem or
    my service? Thanks, marjorie

  804. Cory Mason

    Leonard Lawson Mason appears on your census as “Moson”. He was my great uncle, married to Annie F Bray daughter of Walter Scott Bray & Leticia or Letitia Hudson Bray. Hope this will help other’s in their search if this name is corrected & the one you have listed could be listed as “alternate”.

  805. Tom Wilcox

    Good work so far, but if we had a merge feature much like found in FTM 2009 or another tab to manually pick someone in my existing treelist to merge the data and source to would be an EXCELLANT feature add on. I use the advanced merge features alot to format the data more consistantly as well as adding alternate data and/or sources. Being able to get the “nickname” in the data to merge with the “birth” name in my tree results in me having to do a completly new search looking for only the “nickname”. Very Very time consuming and ackward. But you guys are doing good work in general. Keep it up.

  806. Wendy

    The search feature is only partially useful–many of my REAL matches come from other trees. They HAVE historical documents to match….so why can’t I FIND them when I plug in the correct information? The site sends me everywhere but where I want to be. IT IS SO SLOW that I have other non computer projects going while I am waiting for the information to come up so my day isn’t a total waste. 60%-70% of my computer time is wasted waiting for pages or data input. I have a wonderfully fast computer otherwise.

  807. I just merged some Census Records showing others in my grandmothers houshold; in going back to my grandmother’s specific area, i noticed that her neice had been put in as her mother!I could not seem to get rid of that entry. What do I do and how do I move the neice to a correct “relations’ spot now?
    Please send info.

  808. Martin Mackett

    The Merge is a greatthing but we need more control over it.
    ie be able to over ride it’s idear that this is a New person in the tree just because they have added another name or the DOB has been transcribed incorectly ( just the same as you can in Family Tree Maker)
    ie add as a new child in your tree, ect.
    Come on you know you can do it, and it would in provethe meerge 100%

  809. Kathleen Keck

    George Hallstrom was married to Paul H. KECK’s daughter. Barbara Clare Keck. George Hallstrom was Paul H.KECK Sr’s son in law How can I correct this

  810. Karen Parker

    Sometimes the “system” recognizes a wife and sometimes it doesn’t even though she is listed the same way every time. I have been adding census records and the wife is listed on every one of them (surprise)the same way Sarah J. and her married name. Yet in 1880 it doesn’t recognize her and I ended up with all the children added again with unknown mother. Then I had to go back, delete all the duplicates and add the children one at a time. They had 14 children………..

  811. Karen Parker

    Just remembered another problem I have had. I end up with a marriage for the couple with the correct marriage date. Then the 1900 census will add another marriage and there is no way I can enter the other spouse so I have a source for the date. Sometimes it will have one of the children added as the spouse. Drives me crazy.

  812. Rochelle Gereg

    Another new procedure to learn. This is the 3rd time I have to learn new ways of doing my family tree, by the time I get it down pat , they put in a whole new way of doing it, never have time to research or gather information togeather as I am always having to try and figure out How to do it and get nothing else done.

  813. awilliams

    More often than you might think, children in hints are attributed to the wrong parent. Also, spousal names are confused when there is more than one, particularly where names are similar or the current and former spouses are siblings. Short of retyping all info, how can those names, dates, and locations be shuffled under the correct name?

  814. Love the new program (except the bugs and slowness of course, but you’re already on that problem).

    My current problem is that you offer me a female and her daughter as the mother and father of another daughter. I want to add the mother, but not the father offered. Is there a way I can choose only one?

  815. Teresa

    This is a fantastic feature for adding new people to trees. I doesn’t work as well for those already on trees but that seems to have improved some since first introduced. Thank you for constantly adding features and improvements.


  816. Barbara D. Hamming

    I’m not very good yet with computers, but I can’t find a way to add this document (from a collateral line) to my chart. This document is for the brother (Hermann) of one of my relatives. I’d like to attach it to his brother (Carl) in my husband’s line but not change Carl’s info to Hermann’s in the process.

  817. Census Record for Lona or Bona Boatman born Apr 1878 age 22 on the
    1900 United States Federal Census Webster Co., Mississippi
    Shows her as a dautghter-in-law with a son William B Boatman age 2 and you list Conway age 10 as her spouse. There is no way that Conway is her spouse. Please correct to error. Her husband is George W Boatman as listed on the 1910 Montgomery Co., Mississippi Census.

  818. Teresa

    This does not work if the relationships are not the biological parents. Step-parents get automatically attached even when you try to leave them out, so it is better to do it the old way with each person as an individual. Attempting to then fix the relationship to step-parent still doesn’t work. Step-parents have to be deleted to fix this mess.


  819. Alan McKibben

    Hello I do enjoy the new feature it is a great time saver. I have also been a willy nilly and duplicated some names, but I did it because each entry had different information that I wanted to compare to see which was accurate. Thanks for making this a fun sight to work on.

  820. Linda Kelly

    Any idea why I’m getting a hint written in French? I’m unaware of having changed the language setting, but there it was, big as life. And I didn’t/don’t see how to change it back. HELP! And thank you.

  821. Tandy54

    Forgive any repetition of points raised, but How can one merge the names under “Other Children of___ (Other Siblings Of___)”???? When I check a name of say, a legitimate sibling, an error message tells me that I must “enter the name of at least one parent.” Where? There’s nowhere to enter such a parent, although the parent exists in the tree (even the sibling, under another census!) But No, the sib must be abandoned, tho temptingly offered….fix this! fix this!

  822. Tracey Hoy

    The new ‘Add relatives’ to merging records works well – as you say though, like any new feature there are small glitches which I’m certain will be sorted eventually.
    If I could suggest an ‘undo’ feature to a merge, so that if people have merged twice it could be undone. Also I have found that if adding a Census record to someone and there is a second wife, the children of the first wife will often merge as New Persons.
    I once merged a line which I alter realised I should not have. I wish there was an undo merge or roll-back feature for human errors! Yes, I am more careful these days…
    I am not experiencing most of the problems other people describe – maybe sometimes it depends on what operating system and settings they have rather than actual ancestry issues?
    I’m trying to be constructive, rather than critical. I think Ancestry is a grand site and the constant work you do to make things work for us is appreciated!!

  823. carolyn burgess

    When attaching someone to a person in your tree why cant you pick it to be parents for? it always makes one parent spouse and the second their child. hate it

  824. Barb O'Donahue

    I have found that the matching of individuals who clearly have the same names is very unreliable, and that when you add family members especially when merging with other members trees you end up with MANY duplicate individuals and you do not have the opportunity to make sure they are not already in your tree. This feature needs to be modified to prevent that. Once you have multiple individuals in your file it is VERY hard to remove the duplicates especially if they have other people attached to them because you lose that information.

  825. Marilyn Lewis

    I have looked at the Oct. 2008 comments (this was added in May?), and I experience the same duplications instead of melding into the name requested.
    This is not worth the effort of deleting sometimes a huge number of entries. PLEASE ADDRESS THIS, or delete the function.
    I love your work, but this one sure needs help.

  826. Scott Smith

    This feature is nice, but it would be very helpful if it didn’t automatically assume that a relative whose name is spelled differently than someone on my tree is a new person. Census records especially have spelling variations from census to census, and don’t always match people in my tree by how the name is spelled, even though I know it’s the same person. The option to add the relatives listed on the census record to someone in my tree would be useful.

  827. Some ideas:

    There should be a better automatic error checker. Some people that are entered appear to have lived 150 years or had children when they are 8 or maybe married when they are 5.

    There should be a filter so that people are not listed numerous times. It is very confusing.

    Your direct line should have a star next to it, or shown in another color on all pages. You can get so deeply into your research, you cannot remember who was who to go backwards. Direct lines need to be noted.

    It seems like at least 50% of the documents I try to open do not exsist. Can that be improved.

    I’ll send more, I’m sure – I am always full of information and ideas.

  828. Roger Gibbons

    In general this works well, but there are problems when a search is made for a wife, normally listed under her maiden name. This will occur when a husband is working away on census night, and listed separately, but a few new children have appeared and need to be added. The software wants to add a whole list of children again, but is not able to just add the new ones to the correct married couple

  829. maxine Weathers

    on record for George Lewsley, Ann Lewsley and Roseamon Lewsley Census 1881 RG11/3220/67/17 you have last name as lusley not lewsley

  830. Wilbur Walter Lane’s wife under One World Tree is listed as Jennie Frances Ferguson born 29 Sept 1867 MO died 8 April 1917 in Okemah, OK. She is also listed as Virginia Frances Ferguson with same birth and death dates. They are the same women.

  831. rosalind askew

    the record of George Clinch is not a father but a brother. how do I correct this? (from the 1871 census)

  832. Alison Bell-Irving

    After the record has been successfully merged, is there a link back to the search results without having to use the back button?

  833. leighton passant

    Hi, Ancestry hints have shown the father Robert Alan Black (born 1901) rather than details of Robert Alan Black, if any.

  834. Julie Winn

    The documents are great– but a lot of times the census names are so far from the real ones that it looks like a “new person”– and there doesn’t seem to be any easy way to merge the incorrectly spelled “new person” with the correctly spelled real one.

  835. Fred Whitelock

    Thomas Whitelock- residing at 44 Pickwick Street, Toxteth Park, Liverpool in the 1871 Census on your database is shown as about 21 years of age. I would say that on closer inspection it is 31 Years of Age. This would tie in accurately, as at that time he was unmarried. It is unfortunate that he is shown as FEMALE by the Ditto comment in the gender column, rather amusing don’t you think.

  836. Listed in my Malette family tree which segques into the CRUMP tree is my Grandfather o my Mothers side(Malettes) the spelling of her father is incorrect in many areas and I would like to clean it up asap.
    How do I go about it ?I did email different people in the last years or so about this error.
    The name Gavin Spellington Malette SR has his first name misspelled The proper spelling is: Gavin not GARVIN .How do I make this correction.
    Sincerely, Mary A. Christiansen thank you

  837. Priscilla Long

    I have lots of duplicate names in my tree.Everytime I use a hint,the person goes in again, sometimes 8 times.

  838. Kathryn Beatty

    When US Marriage records are identified as hints, the hint includes spouse’s name, but the spouse is not listed in the data that can be added, nor is the date of the marriage. Can this information be added?

  839. Sue Welton

    The 1920 US Census, Omaha Ward 7, Douglas Co., Nebraska made a mistake in transcribing a name in the Joseph W. Pokorski Family. Their daughter’s name was Catherine Ann Pokorski. She was married to my Great Uncle Robert Burns Garland. The census clearly wrote her name as “Cassie”, but Lossie was written in the transcription.

  840. Deborah Zanella

    Under select relatives only sibling appears. When I click on the name I am told I must select at least one parent first; however, there is no parent listed.

  841. Sandra Cameron

    Don’t know my website. How do I correct errors in what I did and what I found in your information?
    Change “Cameron Family Tree” to “Cochis Family Tree”. All children of Peter J and Sarah A (Carroll) Cochis were born in the US.

  842. Laura

    I like the new feature where I can merge relatives on a record, however sometimes the siblings are shown as relatives, but I can’t merge the info unless I choose a parent. In some cases no parents are listed, so I can’t possibly choose a parent and I am still left entering the info for the sibling manually… I wish this restriction could be removed since I am being “responsible” but your data is faulty.

  843. Hi! This is my first day, and seeing this is exciting. I also want to compliment you on the ability now to correct mistakes. I have been so frustrated when the corrections were not accepted. Especially at 1:00 am or around 2:00., am. Thanks for the many im-provements. Now, I would definitely recommend this program. Thanks!

  844. Kate Kern

    Kenny…great feature..use it all the time. What do I do when I find that the information from an original document (i.e. a census) has been incorrectly submitted resulting in a record that is totally incorrect? I have found many of these where bogus family members are listed and then when I click on the original census record I find accurate information. What can I do to help ameliorate this problem?

  845. The 1905 Wisconsin cesus for Springvale, Columbia Wi, shows a Harrington Farrington and family attached to James Cowley and family,they are not connected. Over site on trenscribing census.

  846. Alex

    Fantastic innovation to be able to update family members in one go – slight issue I’ve had is where the birth year of the spouse is slightly different on the record, & a new spouse is created & all the kids info is attributed to new children of that marriage…..
    Would also really help me if sources included the names of trees that dates etc were copied across from.
    Otherwise, great feature – Thanks!

  847. The following details are NOT my gt grandmother’s children they belong to Elizabeth Annie Leverton’s father Alfred Leverton b1850 d 1906
    Elizabeth Ann Leverton
    Birth:abt 1882
    Porth Cawl, Glamorgan, Wales

    Pontypridd, Glamorgan, Wales Elizabeth Annie Leverton
    Birth:1880 ? Born 1882
    St. Mabyn
    , Cheshire, , England
    Residence:1901 new
    Pontypridd, Glamorgan, Wales new Show Options
    Elizabeth Ann Leverton
    Check the fields on the left that you want to be copied to this person.

    Show advanced optionsHide advanced optionsName Elizabeth AnnLeverton
    Was:Elizabeth Annie

    Add source
    Add as an Alternate Fact
    Birth date abt 1882
    Birth place Porth Cawl, Glamorgan, Wales
    Was:St. Mabyn
    Add source
    Add as an Alternate Fact
    Death date
    Death place
    Was:, Cheshire, , England
    Add source
    Add as an Alternate Fact
    Residence date 1901
    Residence place Pontypridd, Glamorgan, Wales
    Add source
    Add as an Alternate Fact

    NEW: You can also review the relatives of Elizabeth Annie Leverton on this record and select those you want merged into your tree.

    Provide feedbackShow relatives on this recordHide relatives on this record
    Other Children of (Siblings of Elizabeth Annie Leverton)

    Please Correct the details

  848. David Mason

    merge facility good but does need on screen warning re duplication if for example dates and names are wrong on the census. Could you open the fields on the left so that a better match can be obtained ?
    but does save a lot of work if used responsibly

    re your new search it comes up with too many options even when you are spacific in the question regards

  849. Elizabeth Dimick

    I would like to be able to change someone listed as “new” when merging family members to “choose existing person.” Sometimes (especially in the census)a name is spelled differently and even though I know it is the same person the system won’t let me choose someone already in my tree. Thanks,

  850. Elizabeth Thomas

    Being able to add family members without having to write them down, then type to page saves a lot of time. I need to correct last name on 1880 census, clark co,ohio,Martin Rockenfield, names given as Rackenfield.

  851. Allan Knight

    1881 census for Mary Mayne b.c1848 Chichester,W.Sussex shown as an Ancestry “Hint” Contains incorrect information. Williiam Rowell is shown as a son of Mary, when in fact he was a nephew, being the son of her sister Emma Rowell(nee Mayne)widow of James Rowell 1856-1881.
    Emma Knight(nee Rowell/Mayne) was my paternal gt.grandmother.
    I trust this information is of use to yourselves, and that I’ve sent this message to the right department!!
    Regards, Allan Knight

  852. Michael Krause

    When I try to merge other people that are related who are on the record, it brings up a certain sibling. When I try to merge it it tells me I must select a parent first. No parents or people from the record is listed. I hope you can help me.


  853. Michael Krause

    When I try to add children & Spouse for people who are the children of Samuel Funk & Elizabeth Cordell. When I click show relatives it only showes Presley Cordell Funk a brother. When I try to add or merge it, it tells me I must select a parent first. No parents or people from the record is listed. I hope you can help me.


  854. Tammy

    I like the new merge ie with census docs and other records. One big problem I notice over and over, here is the example I have today of my issue.

    I have a family and 10 children in my tree. I find the family 10 years later in the census, however there are two additional children, but the man is now a widower, wife obviously missing from latest census.

    When I go to merge/add relatives. The sofware only allows me to add the children as his, but with unknown spouse/parent. The outcome is that I end up with doubles of the children already in my tree. When I go back to the man’s person page. now my original record of him and his wife and family are showing, but also he is shown with unknown wife, and all the same children listed again as duplicates. We need to be able to have a checkbox that we can check if wife is known, and have the record from our tree acknowledged, so this duplication does not happen. It has caused grief. If you want an example ask me for link to my tree and you can repeat the issue at your tech level.

  855. John Burd

    I love your site but where can I get more Birth, death, marriage information? Maybe I’m just not using your site correctly? Please help….

  856. Paula Rice

    I have tried numerous times to merge Emaline R Downs marriage to Lemmel McGuire in 1884 in Craighead County AR to Emaline Penter. Each time the site tells me I have successfully merged, but when I look at her page the marriage is listed (I entered it manually) without the historical record citation. It took 2 tries to get the historical record notation on Lemmel’s page. When I pull up the record, it says it has been attached to Emaline Penter.

  857. William Pupke

    Unable to open an original census image after several days. When tried to “continue” to save it wouldn’t open the list of other family members. Instead it listed just one sister – the same one listed for a number of other census.
    Thanks in advance for assistance

  858. Karen Gray-Leach

    I found Mary Cates on this census and it states Rosenblum was her spouse. If you look at the record it lists Robert Cates as the head/her husband and there is her son listed as well, his name being Robert Cates. The Mobley family is listed above. So Mr.Mobley isn’t her husband.

  859. Excellent family merge option, however sometimes it does not pick up on all family members because of name variations.

    Please add option to attach to other people from your tree. This could work similar to the attach to someone in your tree option found on every record page. This option could be added to the bottom of the family merge page next to the attach record link.

    This will also be hopefully in notating a deceased spouse that does not appear on the census.

  860. Susan Page

    My comment is about searcing in general and one specific comment regarding the information on the census. I am having a hard time finding information when I want to limit a search to one state – if I put exact – I get nothing, but then I get the entire US and I know what I am looking for is in one specific state. I got to this site because I want to attach the 1860 Census to Jesse Asbury Mann, b. 1792 – I found him and two sons living next door to each other. But, when I search for Jesse or Sarah, his wife, they do not show up. When I look at the original document Jesse looks like “Jefrey”. How do I attach that record to my Jesse? Thanks for your help.

  861. Trudy

    I like this. Thank you very much. I do notice that not all census have this link yet. Is this still an on-going project? There was one census that had several other family members on it and it didn’t have a link. Bummer.

  862. Mary Masterson

    I like this when it works. Thank you very much. I agree with those who have pointed out that it is not always possible to merge the other family members that you see have been listed. And when I try to search for those individuals separately, even when I know which date I need, it is very cumbersome to find them again. I also have ended up with multiple listings when merging. Still, when it works it is great!

  863. I agree with lots of comments re problem of dealing with multiple spellings of names, duplication of individuals, difficulty in cleaning up or correcting errors.

    One suggestion re use of database: develop a way to pull up a specific source by name or by first letter, rather than having to scroll through lists of sources. Also, please categorize the sources in more systematic way – by country or state for instance. Now some are by country, some state, some by county or town. Makes for much more work.

  864. Deborah

    This is ridiculous…. I have more problems adding family members due to multiple spellings and other reaons… but the now, it won’t take a spouse because the first name is correct and the last name is Rano, and the census has it spelled “RanA.” Just because the last name has one letter incorrect, it thinks it is a new person? What a pain!! Please, this is useless it if can’t give us basic editing. The census transcriptions are sooooooo faulty overall that this “add” feature is more trouble than it’s worth by creating false hope and more work.

  865. Carolyn Hurt Patton

    My mother, Amelia Jael Lowrie Hurt was born on Jan. 13, 1901 in Silver Valley, TX. When mother was almost a week old, Casandre Jael Dove Lowrie stepped out on the porch to get a breath of fresh air. She became ill and died on Jan. 20th, 1901. Of course, everyone thought she became ill because she got up out of bed (at that time, not recommended!) and went outside (heaven forbid!). More than likely she died of a blood clot from staying in bed for a week after giving birth to my mother!

  866. Carolyn Hurt Patton

    Some info lists one of the sons of Robert Edmund Lowrie and Casandre Jael Dove as being “Albert” Dove Lowrie. His name was Arthur Dove Lowrie. Dove married Dorthy Chatfield. They had three children, one of whom is still living at the age of 87.

  867. I like this feature – it saves time when finding new family members. However, if merging info on people already in your tree, it results in the same info being recorded again, even if it is already there (e.g. if you have already attached a record to a person, it will still attach the same record again, even if already attached.)

  868. With regard to the Emma S Wolstemholme record the name is mis-spelled as Walsechlane or something like that – my cousins and others want to make sure that the spelling of their family name is : WOLSTENHOLME – Thank you for your help – I just try to go with the flow – Blessings – Bob Kling

  869. Ruth Marshall Austin

    Thank you so much for your help in my family research. I have found many helpful leads and information by reviewing your family trees. Thanks for the information you sent me today regarding my maternal grandmother Emma Etta Hall Dawson of Carroll Co., VA. Ruth M. Austin

  870. Ruth Marshall Austin

    Thank you so much for your help in my family research. I have found many helpful leads and information by reviewing your family trees. Thanks for the information you sent me today regarding my maternal grandmother Emma Etta Hall Dawson of Carroll Co., VA.

    On another note regarding my late husband’s family tree, if this is not askingtoo much, I have been searching for Miles Austin’s parents for about 30 years, but have had no luck. Miles Austin was born around 1800 in Virginia according to the 1860 & 1870 Franklin Co., VA Census reports. He died some time between 1870 and 1880, probably in Franklin Co., VA. He married Nancy Sledd on December 25, 1821 in Campbell Co., VA. Nancy Sledd’s brother Josiah Sledd was the bondsman. Nancy was the daughte of Dodman Sledd and his wife Ms. Wilkerson of Powhatan Co., VA and later of Campbell Co.,VA.
    I found a record of a Miles Austin at Yorktown, York Co., Va in the war of 1812, but am not sure if it is the Miles Austin I am researching as he would have been around 12 years old in 1812 and probably too young to be in the military. Thanks again for any help you may be able to give me. Ruth M. Austin

  871. Ruth Marshall Austin

    Thank you so much for your help in my family research. I have found many helpful leads and information by reviewing your family trees. Thanks for the information you sent me today regarding my maternal grandmother Emma Etta Hall Dawson of Carroll Co., VA.

    On another note regarding my late husband’s family tree, if this is not askingtoo much, I have been searching for Miles Austin’s parents for about 30 years, but have had no luck. Miles Austin was born around 1800 in Virginia according to the 1860 & 1870 Franklin Co., VA Census reports. He died some time between 1870 and 1880, probably in Franklin Co., VA. He married Nancy Sledd on December 25, 1821 in Campbell Co., VA. Nancy Sledd’s brother Josiah Sledd was the bondsman. Nancy was the daughter of Dodman Sledd and his wife Ms. Wilkerson of Powhatan Co., VA and later of Campbell Co.,VA.
    I found a record of a Miles Austin at Yorktown, York Co., Va in the war of 1812, but am not sure if it is the Miles Austin I am researching as he would have been around 12 years old in 1812 and probably too young to be in the military. Thanks again for any help you may be able to give me. Ruth M. Austin

  872. Susan Paprcka

    This listing is inconsistent with the original document. Susanna Bear is correctly grouped in with the Hassel family. Should be mother-in-law to Hafer family listed above her on the original document.

  873. WARNING: The merge feature is not effective unless the head of household is used. Watch for these negative results:
    1. Parents married to children.

    2. If only one parent is listed on census and the merge is used, the child shows up under unknown spouse.

    3. Other names on the census are ignored, with no prompt to add them to the tree if they are relatives.

  874. Linda LubeckShrauger

    I am having trouble editing certain things like it has me married to my son; and my daughter-in-law married to my husband and then it won’t let me correct it.

  875. While merging to the Edward C Zamboni family from the 1930 Owatonna, Steele, Minnesota index, the daughters named Mary Jane, Mary Zenobia and Mary Margaret do not show up as family members in the merge process. The only daughter shown is Mary Jane but the choice was to merge Margaret. Since it was common to use Mary as a first name in many Catholic families, it seems tha the merge process should look at the middle name as well.

    I then try to merge Mary J Zamboni with the correct daughter and when I click family members, it does show Mary Margaret but no parents and I receive an error message that I must choose a parent. Oops!

    I am then forced to add the family members individually.

    When this works, it is great and I love the feature. Unfortunately, too many times children that are already listed are added a second time or cannot be merged except individually and then I don’t love it. 🙁

  876. Icebc4real

    I love the family merge feature…so far it prove correct. However like mentioned in the article, you need to merge responsibly. ‘Dont drink and merge’ just kidding.
    I do like this feature, hope it stays

  877. When attaching a veteran’s grave and an obituary record, the choice to add a sibling appears (the only other relative listed)however, the error message appears “you must first select a parent.” The parents already exist in my tree but are not in the record being attahced.

  878. zondu

    The “Show Relatives on this Record” when adding census data, for example, is a SUPER feature! The only thing that’s not super is that it is shown BELOW the matching data to merge instead of ABOVE it. I didn’t even realize this feature was here until today despite using the merge record feature consistently on a weekly basis. It’s a shame I didn’t see it earlier (it was below the “fold” of the web page) b/c it would have saved me many hours of manual adding a census data record to all family members!! Please consider moving this feature to ABOVE the box with the data fields (where the upper “Add Record” button is). Thanks!

  879. Clarence Williams WAS NOT my dads wife, He was my mother, JOsie Kelly Garrison, Step father. They (Clarence Williams and Rebecca Delay Kelly Williams)lived in Kauffman County Texas and died there.Josie Kelly married my dad and moved to Oklahoma and mom and dad died there. Please correct my Family line or tell me how. Thank you Doris Garrison Watson. John Garrison died in Kiowa county Oklahoma but is buried by my mother in Tuskahoma,Puahmataha County Oklahoma.

  880. 1900 census is my dad. the name Hassel was Effie Second husband. Dad was called Jeremy until he went into the navy in 1917 and changed his name to John. He went by John the rest of his life. Mr Willice Hassel was Ellie”s second husband and after his death she married George Moore in Alabama and they moved to Oklahoma. Tuskahoma, Pushmataha County. They lived there the rest of their lives.

  881. Robert Aubrey Carr

    Harrison F. Barnes died in 1910. His wife, M. Victoria, raised the three children he had by his first wife when M. Victoria and H. Barnes got married on the 25th of February, 1900. Their marriage certificate was issued by the court house in Elba, Coffee County, Alabama, USA. I have a copy of the marriage certificate. On the marriage certificate it states they were married at her residence. I looked at the 1900 census of cofee county several times. The while I was researching her father, Jacob P. Edwards I found him under his father, Pilot H. Edwards, Southern district, Henry County. She was born in 1882 so she was not listed on the 1880 cenus of Henry County because she had not been born yet. Her father, Jacob P. Edwards was born in Henry County, Alabama, in 1847.

    The reason I know what her father’s name is because on the marriage certificate he is listed as giving his permission to get married because she was not yet 18 and Alabama law says a girl has to have the permission of one of her parents to get married. Her mother was probably in the wagon with her father. Her father and mother lived in Hilliardsville, Henry County, Alabama which is next to the Chattahoochee River separating Georgia and Alabama. M. Victoria Edwards’ mother was a Gardener. I found her family across the Chattahoochee River in Randolph County, Georgia. I love geneaology. You find out a lot about your family if you are willing to invest your time.

    Robert Aubrey Carr

  882. Jennie

    Generally I like it, and it saves loads of time.

    However, I hate it when you already have the wholefamily in your tree, and when trying to merge a later census entry for some of thos family members and their name has been abbrev. LIke Wm for William, it won’t accept it as the same person! This is particularly annoying if it’s the mother or Father, because then none of the children will either record, or record with both parents. It would be great if there was a way to accept the parents under a review process so that a Wm. could be accepted as a William and then all the family will merge as you expect it to.

    Keep up the good work though and I am getting used to the new tracing feature, and using it more regularly than the old way now.

  883. Reed

    The merge is good except that unlike on the software if the name of a child is spelled differently you may inadvertanly add them as a new person since you dont seem to get the change to merge that child with the one that is already entered in the tree.


  884. Just a comment regarding the adding relatives option.When adding from someone elses family tree If your person has two spouses it only gives you the option of adding to the first spouse only, but not to the second spouse whom the information needs to be attached to. This is something you should look into rectifying.

  885. Mike Albright

    Please consider adding the ability to manually select matching relatives on a record. In other words, when one selects the “Show relatives on this record” link, one is presented with a list of additional family members on the left side of the web page and’s best guess as to a match on the right side of the webpage. Unfortunately,’s guess is often wrong. It would be nice, in such cases, if a link or dropdown list box was presented per person that allowed one to manually select a match from ones tree. This would mean that by default one would be presented with’s best guess, but in the event that the guess is wrong one could override the guess in an efficient way.

  886. Annie

    I have been frustrated with the family merge feature. It is inconsistent, as some census records have it, and some don’t.
    I have come across some records with multiple children, but then find only one child listed in the family merge.
    I have also had a similar problem to # 1027, and have encountered the error message “you must first select a parent”.
    The parents were deceased at the time of the census, so they were not in that record. They were already in my tree however.
    Another problem I’ve had: getting back to a page one actually wants to be on after merging records.
    I think I liked the old method better! I hope you can fix some of these problems soon.

  887. On the John S. Darnall search, George Thomas keeps showing up as “other family member” but he is not listed on the recap or the original document, and the actual people on the original document are not accurately shown on the recap and do not show up at all on the “other family members” page.

  888. Jeannine Sills

    Oh my goodness! I used to be able to make corrections.I look at the original and know exactly how the names are spellec. Now, I’m stuck with this spelling by the transcriber.

  889. Anne Hagler

    I’m having a problem with two different people (father and son) with same name. Even with correct date of birth, the son is listed as the father. How do I fix this?

  890. Jane Green

    I like the new method a lot, but sometimes I think it should pick up matches that it misses. This seems particularly true with female spouses–the software doesn’t pick up the maiden name of the spouse in order to make a match.

  891. The merge is great to add other family members – but when you’re merging a child with a census it may show his siblings but not allow you to merge them as you “have to add parents first” but there is no option to add the parents? solution?

  892. Also, would like to see a “print format” available as you work with the matches. You no longer have this option when you’re working with a possible match and looking at it.

  893. its harder to move around. For instance if you’re working on a hint, follow it up, and ask to return, it returns you to the tree rather than the other hints or whatever – so the “return” screen should have options of where you want to return to pls.

  894. merging family information has saved me tons of time. Usually when you are searching for ancestors, you mostly want your direct line but feel you should also put their siblings and such (even if there is eight or more!). But now when I find a connection, it just takes me less then a minute to add all the family members!! I really like this feature. thx!

  895. Lynn

    When it pulls up the family for you to merge why can’t I change a persons name instead of it always showing them as a new person. Like Elizabeth would be in my records already as a wife and on the census I pull up to merge she is Eliza…she only shows up as a new person and there is no way to merge them together before it goes on your family page…then you have to change everything including children to the old named wife.

  896. katy

    Do you really expect us to look through all 1000+ comments to see that you are addressing issues with the site? I have issues all the time and can’t get a response to the emails to “HELP”. What gives with getting the information in another language? This site seems to be way overpriced for the performance issues we continue to encounter!!!!!!! Now I had to “zoom” out on this screen to see how to submit this comment because the right side of the screen doesn’t fit due to the enormous number of complaints filed here.

  897. Hi to you all: I am plugging away trying, with all your help to complete the family ancesry document fo the families down to the great-grandchildren.So far so good. For the past several months I have been at it 8-10 hours/day. It takes a lot out of me butwith your help I expect to complete the project before Father Time comes knocking. Blessings & Thanks – Bob Kling

  898. Arlene Siefert

    No this does not work!!
    Nor can I attach a record to any person already in my tree. This has been a problem I have requested help on before and has ignored me. Please help!!

  899. Jenifer Penfold

    Wow! I am well impressed – my family history is a closed book, with all my father’s side either dead or disappeared and my mother not remembering very much at all about either side. I found my grandfather’s death record – knew where and approximately when he died – also found his medal stuff from WW1 as I knew he was in the Devonshire regiment and suddenly, thanks to the record merge function, I have a whole bunch of (deceased) great aunts and uncles that I never knew existed! I will have to run them past mum to see if any of the names ring bells, but I could be well on the way to the next generation back in time – thank you!

  900. Tracey Hoy

    When accepting ‘hints’ and merging that info, sometimes it shows people as New Person when they are already listed.
    Until the gliche is fixed, perhpas if it’s trying to add new person when it’s not a new person, you could have an option to Merge with existing person (and a possible name match).

  901. On one of the census records for an individual family group, I have found other related family groups that I am researching. These family groups are listed on the same census page but so far I have been unable to locate a way to link them. How do I link or get back to this page in order to link it to the other family groups that were living nearby but in different homes?

  902. dave

    Understand that software may add rather than merge but now have a multitude of duplicates with no easy way of making them merge, or connect with parents and kids and/or delete.

  903. Carol Coerber

    I don’t think I have a website.

    I have been using my two free weeks on your website, and I am having so much fun! Not getting a lot of work done, but having fun!

    I have a couple of questions:

    I cannot seem to find the 1890 census, which would help me a lot to find some of my great grandparents.

    Also,I have names of some people who I think are siblings of my great grandfather. I cannot find a way to add them anywhere, because I don’t know his parents’ names. Is there a way to add them somewhere?

    Thanks so much for providing this site. I think I will do a year of the world ancestry, because everyone that I don’t have now was born in Germany!


  904. Donald

    The article is great and I think the feature is great. There is however one thing I wish you guys could somehow change. When you do select show relatives and begin attaching the hint to multiple family members, there should be a way to tell if that hint has already been attached or it should not let you duplicate a hint. I’ve duplicated several now and had to go back and remove the duplicates. I appreciate the upgrades and hope you guys can get this problem resolved soon.

  905. Mary Pennington Rushing

    Would like to see things more consistant, such as having family listed when adding information off a Census Record, some time you get this wonder tool and others not. Frustrating.

    Could also like to be able to search Census for just one year and in one county/state. I want more control over where and what I’m searching. Same for Birth, Marriage, Death.

  906. Jennifer

    The last name of Dorsett Lee Waldrip should be changed to Waldrep. As well as their Children (Alvis (not Adis), Zelmon, Francis Estelle, Cecil Doss, Melba Clyde.

  907. Donna Welsh

    I just wanted to say that there was an error on the children of Robert Fish and Lucy Sparks. Here it is listed as Delma M. Fish born in 1914. Her name is Della M. Fish born on July 6, 1913. She’s my grandma. 🙂

  908. Verna Mosby

    Can you please tell me how to remove the name Thomas Walter Dupes from my initial home page….he is not a relative and I had only looked him up for a cousin. I want to correct it before I add more info. I appreciate your help. Verna Mosby

  909. Kimatha Phillips

    I am new but like the others I experience sluggishness. Perhaps a new computer system is in order?!

    I am also finding info that is evidently transferred wrong from handwritten Census Records. I do not see a way to correct that to provide proper feedback.

  910. Teresa Thompson

    When merging if the two names are not the same how can I go on? In the case I am speaking of is the father and grandfather of Emily B. Colbert, and mother and grandmother of Emily B. Colbert. There is incorrect information here.

  911. When trying to merge info for Emily B. Colbert, I found that it was set up to merge the father and grandfather, and mother and grandmother. It wouldn’t let me go on until putting in a parent. What’s up? Also when scrolling down to check which ones to merge, one side moves unevenly without the other. what is going on?

  912. The first example is of father and son. John L. Thurston is the son of Lester Thurston. Sorry.

    The second example is Hannah was the wife of Zephaniah Thurston. She was Lester’s Mother. Thank you!

  913. Barbara

    It would be nice if the “new person” button allowed us to correct the fact…such as when the name was simply transcribed wrong, but we know its still the same person (not a NEW one). Otherwise, this is a great feature.

  914. Malcolm Ward

    THe Census record merging feature is great – many thanks. Just noticed however that the system selected a child born abt 1895 for merging with the 1881 census;this reinforces your point about “merging with care” !. Many thanks.

  915. Douglas King Ogden

    When attempting to attach a new source which is similar, but not identical, it only gives a choice to leave record as it is or revise to the new source. It does not add the new source.

  916. Deb Soracco

    Adding relatives is a TREMENDOUS help. It saves me so much time as well as eliminating potential errors during transfer.

    THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  917. Amy MacLean

    Usually, the merge button works fine, but I’ve been trying to merge siblings in the Census area and am being told that I must first select at least one parent in order to do so. In one case, I had already selected a parent; in the other case, there was no parent to select.

    Other than this time, I have LOVED this feature. It is a great time-saver.

  918. Amy MacLean

    Each time I go to a historical record, the same relative is showing up as a possible addition. Somewhere is a glitch!

  919. Patricia Shade Lotus

    I tried you new site, but it is confusing. It has many family members, but some are on my Dad’s side and some on my Mom’s side. When I tried to click and learn more about my great grandparents Henry M Devoy and Ella Devoy, and selected my grandfather Gillo_ _ _, it tried to put papa’s info merged with great grandpa’s info.

  920. DebbieJP56

    Love it, love it, love it! What a time saver. This is a wonderful addition but needs to be tweaked to allow mergers with existing people in the tree whose names are spelled slightly differently than the index(an “e” rather than and “a”, soundex, etc.). I wound up with many duplicate people whom I had to remove one by one. Possibly show siblings or children for that person so you can select them if you know that it is a mispelling, nickname, etc.

  921. Jennifer Stanford

    OMG!! I LOVE the new feature to add family members from the census. Where has this been all my life! This makes things SOOOOO much easier. THANK YOU!!!!

  922. Sandra Miers Carr

    Sounds good. I still would like to put some records in a shoebox so I can figure out later if this is the right person. I might not be sure at first but I don’t want to lose it if I don’t save it.

  923. Jim Stone

    When merging records, you should show the records from both sides of the family(s) being merged. Let the user decide whether it is wife or daughter and which children belong where. The census takers often misspell names and groups of names.

    For example look at the family of Rubin Gorin of 1910 and Ruben Goren of 1920. The dates on too many of the family agree and it appears they are the same family despite the spelling differences. There are also problems of nicknames versus formal names and the computer often can not reconcile the two, but the user can. What are the odds a husband, wife and 5 children have the same birth dates in 2 families?

    It is pretty obvious that the 1910 census taker misspelled both the parents names as well as some of the children.

    Lizzie Goren was my wife’s grandmother.

  924. William

    This sounds a great facility and I can’t wait to try it. By the way, is there going to be a facility to rationalise a family tree by looking for obvious repeats of details about a person, i.e. same name, same date of birth, which would lead to the conclusion that there may be instances of the same person appearing several times in a family treee.

  925. It would be nice if there was also a correction link on the hints. I am adding a hint under the name of Dance which is a mistranscription of Davee. The way it is set up now I have to go in separately to correct it and all the names need correction!

  926. Jean

    This is a WONDERFUL feature. I love it. I think, as long as it is used carefully (as you recommend) it may actually reduce errors. Meaning, I think there is less room for error than when one has to go back and forth between the census record screens and one’s personal information. I have made the mistake a couple of times of duplicating names so I’ve learned how to avoid that. Thanks. It’s great.

  927. dee

    The Records merge feature used to work very well but lately it’s been missing too many household members.

    Today, I went through 3 censuses for one family. Two offered the Merge feature so I clicked on it. Only 1 sibling showed up, though. There should have been 2 parents and 8 siblings.

    All of the names were listed on the page which lists the household members so I’m not sure why the Record Merge didn’t pick them up.

  928. Wanda Honaker

    Why do I keep hitting enter and the file does not merge or several merges or adds several of the same names

  929. I am very happy with the new things that have been added, when I fist started it was so hard to find my
    family and make good connection,
    Thank you so much for all of your
    hard work that you have done,
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your
    family. sweetthing68

  930. Robert Highfill

    I think this information is for the wrong generation. The children listed are actually the siblings of Robert Earl Ford in my tree. His father was William H. Ford according to my mother who would have been the daughter of Robert Earl Ford. I will be seeing her later today and will check with her again. I will let you know after I talk to her if your data is correct or if not.

  931. TD Wilson

    excellent feature.
    In the same way, one thing that would be great would be to see anyone in your own tree that is similar too to prevent duplicates.

  932. Fred Montgomery

    Thomas Cook 1920 census should read as follows Thomas, Elizabeth, Clayton, CARRIE, Hattie, TARZAN, Margaret, MANELLA, Rosamond, Roosevelt, Delorah. These people were my G-Grandparents and G-annts and uncles. Roosevelt and Delorah were my grandparents.


  933. Kim Washington

    And This all sounds great! -However I too would Like to have the site fixed so I can view the actual documents (census, military records, etc.)again, immediateley.
    I like that it allows me to view the other siblings on a record.
    My comment, is even if I already know d/t other confirmed sources that are acurate, & shown on my tree. But neither parent is shown/ named in the particular source. It does not allow me to add the info as a source for the additional sib. Ugh………..

  934. lonnie r pender

    Seems to work well most of the time but for whatever reason the 1860 census records regarding Henry Childs Simmons and Nancy Ann Pender Simmons will not allow merging of the children of that union.

  935. Penny Reed

    This is a great feature! However, it very often only includes one or two of the family members listed in the review. My relatives tended to have many children, so I would like to be able to review/add them all.


  936. Lori Beatty

    Great when the merge feature works, but!
    Crashes when attempting to save information. I have tried all sorts of tricks including manually entering all peoples and births before attempting to save. It appears to be worst when your system is slow, but not always.

  937. Ann Sanderson

    When merging hint on a census there were no parents given only siblings and Ancestry wouldn’t accept it because it needed at least 1 parentis this something anyone else has come up against

  938. Steven A Myers

    If I “ignore” a “hint” on an individual’s page, then move on to something else, but then decide that I’d like to go back and review the hint that I’d previously ignored, there’s no way for me to do that.

  939. Steven A Myers

    When I want to add a parent to existing children, the pop-up allows me to enter the name of a new parent, nicely allowing me to choose which children the new parent belongs to. If, however, I choose to go to an “existing name” then that choice is lost, and I have to go through the tedious task of adding children to the new parent.

  940. Mattie

    I am trying to find out how to change a name. My grandmother’s name is listed correctly as Jane Butler Jackson on the 1880 census but for some reason is listed as Jack B Jackson in 1900. Her children and mother appear to be listed correctly. Also I am unable to get the image for 1880 census. HELP!

  941. Gail

    Why doesn’t the 1900 census allow you to merge information to other family members. Other years work well (1880, 1910, 1920, 1930) but the 1900 year only shows what is on the census record and does not display what is in my family tree so that I can merge the information. It really saves a lot of time when you have a large tree. I really like the merging capability.

  942. Bruce Stange

    Nice feature!
    Found some great hints but since the first names were spelled differently on two of the seven children, I couldn’t or probably shouldn’t add them. I’m sure it’s the correct family Steef for Stephen and Annie for Anna, close match for sure!
    Thanks You,
    Bruce Stange

  943. Darlene Douglass

    I really like the merge with extra people option but when names are spelled wrong in the transcription it would be nice to be able to change them so they can be merged or have the information merge without name to the right person. Great feature!

  944. Steve

    Why is it that you only have the option to add family members sporadically instead of all the time? I only get the option to do that about half of the time.

  945. when trying to merge Michael Goodnight’s family, only a sibling Susanna comes up and the merge feature won’t work. Tried it several times, went out of the site, then back in with same results.

  946. Val G

    Hi Kenny, great job… Like you said, the computer system can’t know everything so we have to watch for it and ‘out’for our own selves.

    But I’ll accept the computer getting it right at least half the time… that’s half the typing & time it would have been doing it all myself from my notes… heheh… I just have to look at my notes, verify what matches, blank out what doesn’t & “click to accept”….. COOOL! So what if I have to enter a little data “manually”…. ugh… manual data entry some people on here complain of ….. poor them….

    I got to doing this with the mindset that I’d have to enter every itty bitty piece of data… was willing to do that… most of these people were too, at least to begin with… but, there are just some people that have a hard time with continuous, redundant work… takes too long…. Me? I’ll do it either way… But believe me…. I’m very grateful for every little “extra” help I get… Like careful merging… when it works…

    Yeah, the “buggy’s’ in the system get really annoying… but you guys work on them “continuously & redundantly” because there is no other way for you… I feel for you people at and the gripes you get… I know how it is on this end of the game… it gets frustrating when things don’t go right… BUT… how much more so on “your end of the stick”… We get headaches from this when it goes wrong…. YOU guys get MIGRAINES!… I know, BEEN THERE! So has my son, a computer tech.

    So chin up, keep up the good work… you guys at ancestry really are appreciated… ALOT…. just some people have a funny way of showing it…. or not so funny… heheh.

  947. Robert Dorrell

    I love this feature. I love finding a Census with a list of children or parents that I didn’t have before. Sometimes the “Merge Family Member” isn’t there. Sometimes the name on the left side is linked to the WRONG NAME on the right side of the screen.

    Sometimes the Census identifies relationships to head of household. I.E. Boarder, Inlaw, ETC. I would like to be able to add those notes for each person at the time I am merging them, or to link or unlink the name on the l