Posted by jhodnett on March 12, 2009 in Site Issues, Website

We wanted to let everyone know that we are having some temporary site problems this morning that we are actively working on.  The primary error you may notice is getting a message on the homepage when you are logged-in to the site stating “Everything has been removed from your page.”  We expect this and any other errors you run into this morning to just be temporary.  In the meantime, if your homepage is not loading properly, please simply use the tabs at the top of the screen to navigate to the different areas of the site.

Again, we are actively working to get this resolved and will post an update when it is corrected.   Thank you for your patience.


  1. James Ralston

    David, I just got off the phone with Tech “support” and was informed of, as they stated, “we are not perfect” and the problem will be fixed temporarily. Now, we realize how you are not perfect, but ever since the FTM 2008 debacle, your service has done nothing but go downhill. I pay over $200 a year for your services and have lost countless hours, due to your “IT dept” and the things done on YOUR end. The last two months, I, along with thousands of others, complained about the slow server responses. Things are getting better, but all of us out get so tired of “we appreciate your patience”. The worst thing is when “your new ideas” cost us countless hours of research, when we use something and all of our information gets lost, FOREVER. No one every tells us that we might get some credit for “our lost” service costs. But when subscription times comes, you can be assured that you folks will be right on top of that. One of my biggest peaves is, why you don’t involved some tech’s in the art of fixing your search engine. Currently, the only description for it is, IT SUCKS. If I want to do a search for Daniel Smith, that is exactly what I want, only Daniel Smith, not every Smith in your files. I know a little about computers and how to set parameters and wonder if someone else might think, it would be a good idea to change how your search parameters are set. I need to vent my anger, s they dont want to hear it on the phone. I am just tired of paying for something that I am not getting and never get anything in return.

  2. James Ralston

    Sorry for the misspellings in message #1. My frustration got the best of the aged fingers.

  3. Mary Beth Marchant

    This stupid thing should be posting right on the home page of your web site and not hidden on your blog. Like everyone else, I am getting absolutely fed up with this nonsense. We were told last week you were doing updates so what happened to that. I guess the updates caused more problems. Ancestry seems to be going down the tubes. I am paying $300.00 a year for this?????

  4. Brian Ballew

    I, like your other CUSTOMERS, pay good money for use of your PRODUCT! When I log on to what I have PAID for I expect that commodity to be available. I don’t want to be slaved to your petty little player who thinks it’s cute to change formats and programs. I have no time for these games. I have no desire to play these games. Quite simply, you’re screwing the pooch with these games.

    Get your act togather!~!!!!!!!!!

  5. Brandy Prior

    I totally agree with what James Ralston said. I absolutely hate it when I type in one name and a million others pop up that have nothing to do with the name I am looking for.

  6. Nancy Rogers

    What is the possibility for this problem with the main homepage and slowness of loading various pages equalling an extension on each persons membership? By the way my comes due in about a week, and at this point I am thinking seriously about not renewing. I have been a customer for at 10 years, and am frustrated by…the problems with the homepage, the lack of US materials (yes, I have read the blog on what you claim…that still does not change the overall picture), the slowness of pages loading, the “new search engine” which I refuse to use after several attempts, and the lack of attention to the complaints. I have not decided to renew, however interesting enough I have already gotton my renwenal notice from ancestry. By the way I have participated in the various surveys when asked to do so, and have memtioned these concerns (-the home page problem) every time. This problem today may be the straw that breaks the camels back.

  7. ssheehan57

    Oh hey wow a blog for announcements – I’ve found the blog area sometimes by clicking an article on the sporadic e-mails I get but then can’t get back here on my own. Suggestion: Since we already have a Home tab that takes us to our personal home page area when we click it, how about changing the link behind the Ancestry logo in the upper left to take us to a main blogs area page so we can check up on articles and announcements? Unless there’s something I’m just blind to, I don’t see any links to this area otherwise and only found it this time because of your link in a community post I happened to read.

  8. Barbara Barnett

    Ancestry, I am glad to see that you have now changed the message on the home page to indicate the error is with your system and not with something I have done. I worked in the business world for many years and I certainly understand computer glitches and temporary outages but a clearer message in the first place as to the nature and possible duration of the problem would probably have saved you some grief – and us, too. I received patient help from Mel on your help line and then accidently hung up before responding to the on-line survey. Please note he was helpful, not in resolving the issues but in explaining them to me. It’s a tough job…obvioulsy – given the tone of the blogs.

    I would like to to say that I agree with the others here on the search criteria. If I give information “to narrow the search” then I don’t see why I should have to wade through a bunch of names that don’t match the narrowed criteria such as birth day (sometimes two centuries of my narrowing year!) or place of birth. That would be a huge improvement. Thanks.

  9. Eric Shoup

    We have updated the message on the logged-in homepage so that our communication gets out to all members. The message now reads:

    “We are having temporary problems with the homepage. We expect to have them resolved shortly.

    Please use the tabs at the top of the page to navigate to the different site areas.”

    I would like to reiterate that search, trees, etc are still available by navigating via the top tabs of the site. This issue revolves around the logged-in home page.

    We are sorry for the inconvenience here. We will get this back up and working shortly.

    Eric Shoup
    VP Product

  10. Mary Beth Marchant

    To David Graham, Eric Shoup and al other managers-if the message had been placed on the main page in the first place this morning it would have saved frustration, phone calls, knashing of teeth, etc. I pay $300 a year for this service and we should expect better than this for our money. I also agree that because of the serious problems that Ancestry had been having over the past several months, that an extra credit should be extended to users. I experienced a small problem with another genealogy provider and they gave me a years extention even though I did not ask nor expect one for the small problem I was having. The problems I and others are having with Ancestry are not small. We deserve consideration.

  11. Lea Castillo

    I disagree with the comments about the search feature, if I want to search for David Smith, born in 1900, then I just click the “exact” button, and that’s all I get is what I requested. Even if I use the “+/- 10 years” feature and then click on exact, that’s what I get, anyone with that name born within 10 years of the date I provide. If I don’t use exact, however, sometimes I find info that I would not have otherwise found, for example, being “off” on someone’s birthyear by more than 10 years would not have found the records I was looking for had I clicked the “exact” button. Anyway, I just wanted to state that I actually very much like the search feature.

    But I, also, am quite unhappy with the slowness of the site, sometimes it is crawling so slowly that I don’t even want to use it, and this will definately factor in to my decision of whether to renew or not. I would very much continue my subscription without question if navigating from page to page would function more efficiently, without endless “hangs”.

  12. Mary Beth Marchant

    My quick links are still all gone. Am I going to have to create new quick links are what. This is the second time my quick links were removed.

  13. James Ralston

    Have you ever heard of the story of owning a car, it runs like its perfect and yet you take it to the shop to get it fixed? That is how I see you running this business. We as customers, know what we like, know how to use it and when it works, what do you do, just like the car, you want to take and fix it. Why didnt you leave the home page alone? We were used to it, it did everything we needed and did not need anything. As for the search engine and the individual who needs to use “exact”, that is a bunch of do-do. Installation of the proper parameters will get the job done. If I need to find what you have on Daniel Moroz, born in 1892, then why do you want to give me every clown named Moroz with that date of birth? it doesnt take a rocket scientist to figure out a search engine. Does the name GOOGLE ring a bell. Lastly, as some other angered customers have stated, there should be some consideration for us paying folks, but I think you will do just like our politicians, stick it to us.

  14. Carol A. H.

    Bad as things are regarding speed, at least my quick links worked and gave me a scant bit of speed, Really scant! Now they are temporarily not available!

    I’m so angry at your incompetence I could say things a lady shouldn’t say!

    I’m tired of hearing “We are working on it.” Stop trying and do it!


  15. Denise Anson

    Why can’t I attach a record to a new person? And, WHY are the persons DOB and DOD so impossible to see? I am soooooo glad I didn’t take a year’s membership to this. What a waste of money to commit to this fiasco for an entire year.

  16. Denise Anson

    Carol A.H. I agree wholeheartedly with you. But, hey: we now have our very own message center. Priorities, priorities, priorities.

  17. Carol A. H.

    The most worthwhile thing on my time with ancestry today is the blogs. I won’t use ancestry for research until you at least bring back the quick links on my home page. You forced me to use a new home page and so I use it, but now with your speed in competition with the local California snails ( the ones that slide on the ground and they are winning ) it’s next to impossible to do any work.

    Do you think I have endless hours to sit at my computer and wait for pages to load, multiple clicking of my mouse to find these pages and nothing else to do?

    I’m supposed to be retired and I’m still working at a job to pay you your $300 a year. I want to get more research done before I croak and become a statistic in the Social Security Death Index and before I miss the 1940 census in which I will appear for the first time!

    I’ve never been so p—– off for so long as today. Not good for my blood pressure!

    I’ve had a subscription for years and my membership is scheduled to end today….unless I renew.

    Stop adding “enhancements” and fix what isn’t working! You are getting messages from plenty of people in these blogs. You know what isn’t working. I don’t want to see any “new thing” until you fix all the problems you already have.

    You give me a headache! I think I’ll take some aspirin and go watch a movie on TV!

  18. Judy Holzwart

    I wonder if these “glitches” are the reason for my not being able to access the world archives keying tool?

  19. Walter R. Montgomery

    Like many others, I rely on you to get my work done. Removing the census tag from the home page is not only stupid, it makes my work much more difficult. Please restore US Census to home page immediately and quit improving it. I want what I paid for, not a lot of goodie brags about the service you took away from me. DISGRUNTLED DAILY USER IN AZ.

  20. Diane Johnston

    I do not understand why this change was necessary. We always had the option of being contacted anonymously through the connection service or by letting the other users see and use our email. I prefer to use my own email, many times I have been asked if I have documented proof of something I have posted or a photograph of someone. Using my own email I can send the person attachments if asked to do so. Also as pointed out by others I have also contacted previous users who still use the same email address with success. This service should be an option of cotacting someone based on their preference, not a requirement. I check my email regularly and answer queries sent to me from there in one step. I am not going to check email then be force to log on to Ancestry to answer it. My days of helping others just ended.
    This combined with “the new search” has turned a happy customer into an unhappy one.

  21. I get frustrated when I add information (census, records, etc.) to wives of Decendants. I have often times searched a long time for their “maiden” names and when I add information, it changes their maiden names BACK to the Husband’s name! I then have to go back into their profile page and edit their information (maiden names, etc.). Why is this?

  22. Karin Kirkwood

    I understand everyones frustration and probably more so cuz I only have a limited time each day to work on my ancestry. I’m a truck driver and on the road up to 3 mos. at a time and only get to try to enjoy this service while I’m trying to get to sleep in the bunk. So when problems arise during my only time to search, I tend to get very frustrated.
    Then to top that off, the other day I was invited onto a family tree and when I tried to accept, I kept getting “that tree is no longer avail. on ancestry.” which I knew was a bunch of crock. I would like to stay with Ancestry but my time is very precious and I hate it being wasted for no reason.

  23. Carol A. H.

    Well, now that I’m calmer, I can send a new blog. Friday is my day off and the only day I can really talk to a Tech Service person, since I tend to save up my problems and questions and sit down prepared to wait while my phone is on speaker. Yesterday, I got through with very little wait time.

    I have learned that if you have Windows 98 or lower, you are going to have more problems with ancestry than XP or Vista. Not good news for some folks, I’m sure. I have XP. If your browser is IE, it should be at least version 7 or higher. Firefox version 3 is supposed to work well but I never noticed any improvement on my system. I have the highest speed available on a dedicated cable through my ISP.

    I mentioned that I was getting duplicate source records in my online trees. The support guy said they knew about that. (Another problem they don’t talk about.) The quick links are back so I have just a scant bit more efficiency. I changed my subscription to US Deluxe For $155.40 instead of World Deluxe for $300 and joined the New England Historic and Genealogical Society for $75 a year. I realize this is not something that would be a good option for everyone but most of my ancestry is in New England. It works for me. In just one day I found many records and sources that would have cost me a lot in money and time waiting for films from the FHC. I say this even though I’m a volunteer librarian there. I have to be practical; I don’t have unlimited funds for genealogy and I certainly don’t have a lot of years ahead of me. What I do have is a reasonable amount of patience and tenacity, plus I’m a born snoop.

    Hope some of this helps folks and again I say: backup, backup, backup!!! Download you own trees from ancestry and save them somewhere safe.

  24. Amanda Greene

    Help!!! All of my family trees are missing. I did a tremendous amount of work last month (Feb 2009) and printed screen images, but not did not download the trees to back them up. What did you do with them??? Will you fix this problem and put my trees back???

  25. Frank Haberman

    I too, have been a customer of Ancestry, dating back to the days when Broderbund was managing the software side.

    I use to write reviews for the software when Broderbund was running the show, that stopped when new management moved in.

    As for the changes and problems at Ancestry, I have switched my service to a month to month and now pay more and get less in return.

    Each time, I cancell my service, I get a pop-up and explain why and how to improve things, but surprised no reply.

    I choose to retain the old format when searching for family, however, after review two to three pages, it swithches to the format, that I hate with a passion. When I click on the tab, to switch back to the old format, it starts me over again. This is just a plain waste of time and money.

    Ancestry, should take a hard look at the state of the economy. Ancestry is not many of list today as being required to make it from day to day. I don’t know how much Ancestry values my money or yours, but someone needs to open their eyes. Remember it our dollars that built your company, not your programmers. It’s time to maybe start rewarding your customers that Ancestry, what it is today.

  26. Carol A. H.

    To Amanda Green #28

    I would be very interested in learning if you got your trees back. I haven’t lost a whole tree yet. I don’t know how you would get them back. Call Tech Service at 1-800-262-3787 10 am to 5 pm, Eastern time, if the problem still exists. I find they try to be helpful to a point. The point is how much they know. Some of them just don’t know what all the problems are but at least they are in the United States and speak English as a first language.

    I spent 2 hours with Microsoft tech service Sunday afternoon! I spoke to 5 different people In the Philippines and India before I finally got to someone ( #6 ) who could fix my problem. That was a nightmare! Too bad companies out-source techical help to foreign countries. Understanding their English is half the problem.

    Make a GEDCOM file of each of your trees and save them somewhere on another medium.

  27. Joyce

    I don’t know what is wrong with this web site, but I have been unable to use it for over a week. The home page says All Widgets have been added to your page, and more to come and will let you know. I didn’tpay for widgets, week before it work perfit. and now its a complete mess. I do believe you need the old web site person who use to be in charge, and not the one you now have. THis never use to be like this. I could use it any time day or night, and get around on it. Not now. Family of the person you are looking for is hid, and when you bring up the family you only get family tree. So what is going on out there in Utah!!!!!!!!

  28. Annette

    As of today I am still having problems with the site. I was sent an email that some documents matched someone. I went and followed the link and it was saying above the document that this person already had this document. So I hit ignore. Well I went back to view there was no documents at all. Also when clicking on hints to view a hint tree it will not load. This is really annoying and thought most of this had been fixed. Thank you for hearing me out.

  29. RP McMurphy


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