Posted by Eric Shoup on February 24, 2009 in Site Issues, Website

The first two parts of our 3-part upgrade of the Member Trees system have completed without requiring any downtime. 

As I have mentioned in previous posts, we are spending a lot of effort behind-the-scenes to upgrade this system so that it will continue to meet customer needs as it grows.  As part of this effort, we will be upgrading some software on the servers that house this system.  These servers also support and

The third and most involved piece of the upgrade will occur early Wednesday morning from 12 to 8am MST.  During this part of the upgrade we anticipate the following impacts:

  • – Whole site will be down from 12 to 8am MST
  • & – Rootsweb’s WorldConnect and its sister database, Ancestry World Tree, will be down from 12 to 8am MST

Just to repeat, the outages related to and will be limited to the WorldConnect and Ancestry World Tree systems only.  Ancestry Member Trees (our main tree system) will not be impacted.

 This is part 3 of 3 planned maintenance windows to complete this upgrade:

           Part 1 – Friday, 20 February 2009 – COMPLETE

           Part 2 – Tuesday, 24 February 2009 – 12:00 – 8:00 a.m. MST  — COMPLETE

           Part 3 – Wednesday, 25 February 2009 – 12:00 – 8:00 a.m. MST


Eric Shoup


  1. Scott

    Out of curiosity, does the upgrade for Member Trees include the capability of ‘updating’ your tree with an updated GEDCOM that wont erase the pics you’ve uploaded previously? The tree on my computer has been updates countless times since I initially posted my tree on, but I haven’t updated my tree on Ancestry because A) there are too many updates to make these changes in my software program AND, and B) I don’t want to delete my old tree and upload a new one (or have multiple trees on because I don’t want to have to re-upload all of the photos, etc. that I included with my first tree.

  2. Donna

    I have the same questions. I have quit working on my online member tree because of the constant “doubling names” problem. (I have written you many times about that problem). And when I downloaded the Gedcom to the FTM 2009, I had to start completely over – putting back in over 1700 pictures and 1100 stories. My tree has over 39,000 names, and I will have to go through every single one of them again. It also just transfers the “ghost” of a census – not the true document, so I also have to go back through all of that and delete the “ghost” census and find a real one and put it in.

    This is a TREMENDOUS task which will prevent any forward progress – as I doggedly go through the entire tree again – all because you have not allowed all of this media to be uploaded or downloaded between online and offline FTM (and you won’t fix your doubling problem on the online tree).
    I hear that NOW – it is possible to transfer all of the media – but is that really so?
    I have gone too far on the complete redo of my tree, to benefit from it at this time, even if that is so. Since I can’t “jell” the two trees together, I have no choice but to continue in my nightmare.

    Two questions – will the new updates and upgrades help speed up the website – and allow for media to be transferred with the tree?

    I guarantee you I will never upload my tree to again – and go through this task again – until it WILL transfer all of the media and stories.

  3. I agree 100% with Donna. I too have too many doubles. Isn’t there some way to handle this; i.e. when a name has at least three matches of birthdate, name, parents’ names, siblings, etc. it would ask you if that is the person you already have in your tree. This is too much work. I’m thinking of doing just one family at a time, printing it out, and then deleting it from ancestry. It would be a lot less confusing.

  4. Tom Vought


    Am using Firefox ver 3.0 and this afternoon all the embedded links in the ancestry pages have ‘netscape.’ added to them. Source text of the pages clearly show them. For ‘view a cesus page’ image button, instead of:…data…

    The links in Firefox are loaded as:…data…

    Won’t load bogus addresses of course.

    My homepage gives a “Everything has been removed from your page.” message at in Firefox, loads OK in IE 6.0.

    Firefox loads a top of page banner with the Netscape logo and a search input box. Source for that seems to be*

    A snip from a page source:

    Of course I hate IE, being a Firefox user, and would surely like this corrected. Seems to be coming out of mfcreative.


  5. David

    The technology of synching online trees existed in FTM 16, so why not with FTM 2009? It seems to me that Ancestry wants the online subscriptions to be focal point of the research that a person does. But without syncing capabilities in 2009 FTM, why should we do any research on existing online trees?

  6. I have 2 sites on I have been having various problems with it over the last month or so. I have had some very unprofessional error messages (I have a screen capture) and no replies from the admin or webmaster–in fact they blacklisted my email address.

    We were never notified of this site maintenance and have had ongoing problems with folder permissions on a TNG site and Internal Server error messages and now it’s not accesible at all.

    It would have been nice to have gotten an email warning of this site crash in advance.

    I have 200-300 members trying to migrate over to this site from the MyFamily 1.0 as I understand it will not be available in the future and I also notice on the Home page, many of the User Sites listed have bogus links.

    I called Ancestry and they suggested emailing, which I did and no reply whatsoever.

    I had to develop this site because of the problems the other commenters mentioned of not being able to update trees on Ancestry Trees, etc with synched gedcoms.

  7. In all fairness I need to say this. I have complained about the slowness of this site. I checked on this again after the latest down time which was the 3rd one. It was still slow. Even though my computer didn’t indicate the need for it I then ran a defrag on my computer. The speed has improved greatly. Note to self: Keep it simple stupid. Sometimes the fix isn’t the complicated one. Keep up the good work Ancestry and I will keep up with the defrags.

  8. Barbara

    Please!! I have requested several times –really more than that—for one to be able to merge people on the online tree. I have got so many duplications that it is depressing. When I actually talked to someone–they told me just to delete them. Now that is really asking too much. To me this is a very important thing. Cann’t this be resolved before adding something else? Please help us!! I have been with since 1998!!

  9. Mary Beth Marchant

    Well, Eric. I am not sure what type of updates y’all are doing. However, the member trees work is slower than ever the last couple of days and the things that plagued me two or three weeks ago and that I thought were fixed or back again. One of these is: when I am adding a new person and click “save” nothing happens. The background is greyed out and the added person page just sits there. Finally a couple of minutes later, it takes. This happened frequently two or three weeks ago and Kenny Freestone assured me it was fixed. I saw “back to the drawing board”

  10. Rita

    I somehow doubt this “feedback” will make it into the blog, but here goes…….(I copied to file)

    Well, I am so glad I’m not the only one being brought to their knees by Ancestry. It all started with me in May 2008, and has progressively gotten so bad, I called them to make sure the subscription doesn’t renew.

    I think the largest disappointment I see is the lack honesty; When a consumer calls Ancestry to forge a complaint, only to be blown off by 9 different stories by the sales rep, not a good habit to get yourself into.

    Yes, Ancestry has the largest record holding in one location, but it only shows, when you eat too much, you get too fat. As I’ve told them for the last 2 years, update your server!

    Since 2008, even before the July scenario, the site just dragged, errors out the kazoo, not able to print or save. When you contact them, the last thing I want to hear is some manufactured story.

    When a person searches, Joe Smith of New York, they want that particular Joe Smith… NOT every Smith in the book. Not that I’m a computer programmer, but I do believe there is a switch that can be flipped to narrow the search.

    The post by Eric Shoup dated Feb 24, 2009, addresses the problem that we subscribers have suffered through the last year. Several of my friends and family have lodged complaints to Ancestry, and blantantly ignored.

    So, when I called yesterday to get an update, did Holly need to be so snippy? Perhaps she needs to learn how to channel her emotions toward the real culprit, and remember who pays her wages, and keep her opinions to herself?

    The last email I sent to Ancestry, which was the 3rd one in one month when I wasn’t getting any answers, that “they left me with no choice, and I was going to file a complaint with FCC…” Taking money for an internet connection is not something you don’t want to follow through with.

    There’s something about paying a membership fee, to only get 3/4 of the year useage that rubs me the wrong way.

    Before finding this blog, I tested the site again… takes 12-17 seconds for the page to change, and another 2-4 seconds for the screen to unfreeze, only to have an error page.

    Don’t tell me about emptying cache, cookies, temp files… I’ve heard them all. As I have told Ancestry, I keep my computer well tuned…. AND

    they need to stop dropping spyware on me, and learn to play nice.

  11. Cathy Hulock

    This will be the third weekend that ancestry hints won’t save. It really is irritating because it won’t get fixed until Monday and I will have lost 3 days again. It is not my cache, not my computer, not my service provider. It’s a problem with your file handling and probably with the free section that floods the system and won’t let the paying people use the service. Please get this fixed. Control F5 etc. does NOT help.

  12. Eric Shoup

    Scott, Donna, Connie, David- Your points are well taken about our GEDCOM upload and FTM synch. We need to make this easier to do. You shouldn’t have to find and erase duplicates, etc. We are evaluating what it would take to do this the “right way”.

    Pat — I can’t speak to what is going on with That site and TNG (The Next Generation in Genealogy Sitebuilding) are not related to or its parent company, The Generations Network (TGN).

    Mary Beth & Cathy – I would like to get more info about this issue with saving. Mary Beth – I think that Kenny Freestone has been in contact with you already about this saving issue. Cathy – would you be willing to get on the phone with us about this one? if so, please email me at eshoup at



  13. David

    I have been hearing similar answers for the past two years on the capability of syncing FTM with the online trees. As a user and beta tester of FTM since 2000, I am tired of hearing that there should be a better way of uploading our data. One of the primary reasons that I originally put my tree online was for my family to view all of the lineages that we have. When a person that has been “invited” tries to view the tree after a number of weeks, they cannot find the tree and are told that they should join This is wrong. Ancestry had the capability for syncing online trees up to FTM 16. This is the way it should be, in fact my old online tree for the FTM 16 is still online and anyone can view it to this day! I have been investigating different genealogy web hosting software and web sites since Ancestry cannot fulfill this aspect of genealogy

  14. Mary Beth Marchant

    Yes, Kenny answered my message. I will do a screen shot next time that particular thing happens.

    In addition, today and yesterday the web site is extremely slow again, especially using IE. Even using Firefox, the web site is quite slow. I don’t know about the updates, etc. that y’all have been doing, but I see very little if any change to the response time. I have already spoken by phone to Jay Fichialos a couple of weeks ago and let him know of my concerns. I have had a subscription for nearly 10 years including the World Subscription. I don’t mind paying the price but would really like to see better response times more than anything else. I think that is the primary complaint of most people. Next is the “search” problems. I would never, never use the “new search” because it is awful.

  15. Robin

    Well, it’s almost 10 am here central, and I’m still having problems with hints loading. They just don’t load, freezing up all windows working from, requiring a reboot. This occurred all day yesterday, after the maintenance, and it looks like it’s going to continue today. Argh!

  16. Patti Lowe

    Thanks to all at who have worked so hard to give me so much info. I am a senior person and do not know a lot of computer lingo,but I am learning.When I realized I had doubled some of my people,I knew it was my fault. You have to be very careful when transfering info from other trees and census. Love the new search!
    I am having a wonderful time researching and learning.

  17. So where is the explanation or dare I ask the apology for the horrendous delays Sunday afternoon? Images were taking 25 – 60 seconds to load. When is Ancestry going to get this site moving again?


  18. John

    Why don’t you put the date of the Wednesday update in the future in the title — I saw the headline today (March 10) and had to go it to see it did not apply to tomorrow — March 11.

  19. GERALD

    When are you people going to get this sight working like it should ????. I am loosing my cool. To day i am loosing info. before i can save it. I am very tired of all the problems I am getting on this sight. I paid for a year, get it fixed or send me my money back…. YOURS TRULEY

  20. Mary Beth Marchant

    I am adding my 2 cents worth about the absolutely HORRIBLE slowness on this site since yesterday March 10 and today March 11. I think we deserve an explanation and some free subscriber time, say two or three months added on to each subscription for this none working site. If y’all don’t fix it soon, you are going to lose so many of us who have stuck by you. Perhaps it won’t matter but in this bad economy, it should matter. It would be a really good thing to post a message on the main web site about this awful slowdown in the last few days. I did hear from one of your managers that they do not even know for sure what is happening. If your programmers don’t know then perhaps y’all had better hire some who do know what to do. I have had this subscription for nearly 10 years and am sitting here fuming today and being absolutely FRUSTRATED. I’m getting timed out on Firefox when I never get timed out there.

  21. Hey Mary Beth, have you noticed the lack of response not only from the site but the managers too.

    I know that many are saying the IE is a problem; no doubt it is a larger program than Firefox or Opera or even Chrome (tried them all) but if I’ve never used anything else other than IE to access Ancestry then why is it now a problem?

    On another blog you posted to its being touted that the Java zoom is an overhead, I’ve never used it so that can’t be my problem.

    I built a new PC recently – quad core with 4 GB memory and SATA drives, which combined with a fast Verizon FIOS connection, should mean I have lightning fast page loads – it does, on every site other than Ancestry.

    Is there a pattern emerging?

    Maybe the new search is causing a problem; the old one was so much simpler and produced a lot less and more accurate results.

    Maybe the sudden influx of new users’ intent on creating multiple online trees and copying / merging other trees to theirs is a problem.

    I guess we will have to wait until someone in Ancestry responds, but don’t hold your breath – after all – the last response to this blog was 9 days ago 😉


  22. Mary Beth Marchant

    To TonyC-there is one Ancestry manager who does return e mails. I heard from him today after my e mails about this horrible slowdown. He said they are not sure what is causing it. I wonder that leaves us??? They are the only ones who can fix it. And you are right that there is usually very little response from most Ancestry managers. The response we get from Customer support is even worse since they seem to be all reading from the same script–that is clean your cache, get rid of that, do this and on and on. We find out much, much later that it was something they did, just as they did something to the Iowa 1925 census. Don’t you think it would behoove those who upload the census to check it out before they delete half of it. Why do we subscribers have to point out these failings.

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