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

As an update to our previous post, we wanted to let everyone know that we have resolved many of the issues we were experiencing on the site this morning.  In general the homepage should load properly for you.

The two temporary exceptions are the Quick Links and To-do sections.  For now, these two sections will not display the links and to-do items that you have added in the past.  Your information is not lost, but is simply not able to be displayed temporarily.  We are working to fix this as quickly as possible.

It is possible that you may also see other occasional problems on the site as we are continuing to work on these issues.  Thank you again for your patience.


  1. Jim Thomas

    I appreciate keeping members informed of what is happening. However, I think owes its paying members a quality explaination for all of the outages and incidents in 2009. Perhaps a special update on what is happening and why? I am seeing more and more strange occurrances appearing with no explaination from I have several people with “leaf” that when I open them up, the page hangs and comes back with the message unable to deliver the data at this time. I have tried hitting these people over the last month and still get the same message.

  2. Denise Bartram

    Hang in there team! Of course there are going to be problems, and when there are, they are prioritized and fixed. Don’t let a few complainers get you down. You are doing a very good job!

  3. Lonnie Brown

    Dropped subscription due to my slow dial-up. Have high-speed connection now, so subscribed. I don’t have all day to devote to research and when I do, has semi-crashed.
    So far the two weeks free looks like a wash. Census images that don’t come up. Pages that won’t appear. Yeah, I’ve seen the explanation, but considering the serious problems, maybe you should offer to extend the free period by the quantity of hours/days subscribers experience these problems.

  4. Nannette McCormick

    I have also been having the problem of the website hanging when I click the “leaf” and the message of unable to deliver the data. I love this site, but for the price of the subscription, I expected more reliability and faster navigation. I hope you can get the bugs worked out as I would like to continue subscribing, I am having a lot of fun discovering my ancestors. It just gets frustrating when I have limited time for my research, and I have to wait so long for pages to load, only to get errors.

  5. Beatrice Lovell

    I noticed that the site was very slow, and still is. It has been fast, until a couple days ago. I hope it clears up soon.

  6. Lisa Cacicia

    Ahhh, you people must have the most reliable site on the web. The service is slow or nonexistent most of the time. You call and complain or even better yet, get the runaround when you talk to your tech people. Like it’s somehow OUR FAULT. Ya right, how about putting your money where your mouth is and giving us a couple of FREE weeks for all the delays we have to put up with.

  7. Diana Maloney

    I also get flustrated with hang ups, especially when you have a tree as large as mine almost 20,000 names.

    I thought this morning someone had wiped out my years worth of work, good thing I keep a hard copy in my files of photos and documents. I about had a heart attack.

    I was just bragging ancestry up to someone the other day and told them I would even make a commerical for you if you ask me to.

    hope you get the bugs worked out again and get back to the tree I love so well or I will be cancelling my subscription next time around.

    89 bucks a quarter is pretty pricey, but still think it is worth it unless my pages do get wiped out and all my hard work goes up in smoke.

  8. James Ralston

    Denise, I don’t know what world your living in, with the “doing a very good job” comment. I really think the reality people out number you.

  9. Carol A. H.

    To Peggy Ellis #10

    Yes, todays webinar will be available in a few days; I’m not sure of the date. Click the “Help” at the top right of the home page and then click the “Webinar” tab. I think all past webinars are available.

  10. There is something wrong, I have corrected my families and now I find they are all mixed up…I have always found it easy to work with you, but what can I do to correct this, with out having to start over?

  11. Carol A. H.

    To Diana Maloney #9

    Don’t trust your work to one site or place or medium. Make a GEDCOM of your work or tree and save it somewhere.

    I’m a FHC librarian; we tell everyone: Backup; backup; backup!

  12. Julie Wheeler

    I’m not sure where to direct my query but for some unknown reason with FTM 2009 my grandmother’s siblings have suddenly become my 9th cousins 1x removed and there is no association with any other family inmy tree
    Can somone please explain what is happening

  13. Glenna Cannon

    I’m a new to your site, taking advantage of your “Two Week Free” offer. My main objective was to obtain the DNA kit for my husband, but also to see if I could find several pieces of missing data from our collections.

    I have been involved in collecting data for nearly 30 years, and when we first started it was much more difficult than now. We actually had to visit places to dig out the info we needed; visiting overgrown cemeteries, church basements for the records, but I have experienced a great amount of frustration with your site in particular. Pages won’t load, information I know to exist and have gotten from other “FREE” sites can’t be found, and more malfunctions than I would have expected from a somewhat pricey entity. I would have expected a great deal more reliability than that in which you provided. I am not interested in continuing with a company that cannot provide me with a modicum amount of information for the amount of time I have devoted. If your site improves greatly, please feel free to contact me for another trial.

  14. Ronald L. Stephens

    Hi, with all of the Millians of people on Ancestry, there going to be times when thangs don’t work as we like, you do a great job.
    I was woundering if there a better way to cataloge the way States, names are set up, I search for days for name of people, States.
    Again Thanks.
    Ron Stephens

  15. Pat Carolan

    I am very tired of getting the Image Not Processing message. It is not my computer but I did what you suggested by clearing cache (even though I do it 2 times a week!), temporary internet files, etc; did your suggestion of Control F5 for a hard refresh. This problem started 2 days ago. I agree with alot of the other people who are upset. I come to ancestry every day and have noticed more problems than ever before. It is hard to do valid research when I can’t see the original document.

  16. Thomas Mann

    I added Message Board Favorites to my Home Page. I then selected boards that I was interested in and clicked on “add to favorites”. A message appeared telling me that I had in fact added them. However, the tab on my Home Page says that I have not added any favorites. What gives? And why can’t I get back Home from this page? I had to re-login twice.

  17. Sherry Lewis

    Last night and this morning I am having the same issues…when I hit the back arrow after viewing a census page, I get sent BACK to the same census page, over and over and over. I am having to log out of Ancestry and log back in. Very annoying!

    Secondly, I am seeing leaves all over my family tree for information that I have already ADDED to my tree. I check to make sure, and indeed the “new leaf” info is already IN my tree. Why is this happening?

    This entire situation of errors and slow-loading, etc., has gone on for months and months. IF ANCESTRY DOES NOT IMMEDIATELY and GENEROUSLY REIMBURSE long-time customers for this ongoing level of poor service; I believe that a BOYCOTT of your site is in order, along with an OFFICIAL COMPLAINT to the BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU. Enough is enough, truly it is.

    Please let us know how ANCESTRY intends to make up for this abuse of our loyalty so we may get on with legal action, if that is the only method of gaining ANCESTRY’S attention. We feel abused and deceived and we pay handsomely for this service. GENEROUS REFUNDS are in order!!! “We’re working on it” is grossly insufficient for what we continue to tolerate.

    Lastly, this irritation is not directed at you personally. Please forward this to upper management.

    Thank you.

  18. Tony Brothers

    “It is possible that you may also see other occasional problems”

    Possible? “May see” “Occasional”

    In Ancestry lingo, I don’t think any bookie in the world would take those odds.

  19. James #11 – I have to agree with you 100% Denise is not of this world, or if she is then maybe we should all have some of what she’s taking so that we too can think that Ancestry is going a “very good job”.


  20. Deborah

    I understand the frustration with Ancestry when it doesn’t work right, but you people who empty your cache files twice a week need to update. I have to delete my temp files 2 or 3 times a day while researching. Every click of your mouse to a new page loads info into your temp files, those aren’t meant to hold tons of info for a long period of time. My computer bogs down if I don’t delete the temps files often as well as rebooting at least a couple of times a day to truly clear the cache and I have a very good computer. It really helps and mine doesn’t bog down nearly like you say yours does because I do this. Save yourself some time and let your computer swallow and digest the info…not just hold it in it’s computer mouth so to speak.

  21. Oh Deborah – what a load of ….

    I guess that only applies to Ancestry temp files then. Have you not noticed that other sites are faster, I have.

    I use other sites that have images just as large as those on Ancestry, they just load faster. The pages load faster – and I don’t have to empty the cache or delete temporary files. You’ve been listening to too many Ancestry ‘help’ desk people 🙂


  22. Jackie

    The site vanishes/crashes constantly. The hints don’t pop up anymore. The search is WORSE than it was before. It’s slow as molasses most of the time. You need to fire your entire ‘tech’ staff and get some people who know how to make a website run properly. Obviously, none of them ever USE it, or they would be changing things in a hurry. For the amount of money it costs, we should get refunded every time the site shuts down. So many things could be made simpler and run more smoothly if you had somebody who knew what the heck they were doing. And I am so sick of that ugly green color. You all don’t have any competition, that’s your problem. If you did, I imagine things would be a LOT different. Get on the stick, please.

  23. M Coury

    Nothing but hangups today. And I agree the Ancestry experience is getting worse and worse, not better. Too many results that could not possibly apply to my search. I have already cancelled my renewal. Just too expensive to put up with the problems that are constantly occurring. Pages don’t load or load too slowly, or hang up. It really needs to get fixed.And it has nothing to do with refreshing or rebooting or any other personal computer problem. The problems start right when logging on. Never used to happen. I would rather have fewer new things added and have what is here actually work well.

  24. Barbara Graser

    When I put new relatives on my family tree, the next day on my email I get this message that states new people added to your tree. DUH! I put it there. What goes on here?

  25. Barbara Graser

    When I put new relatives on my family tree, the next day on my email I get this message that states new people added to your tree. DUH! I put it there. What goes on here? Well how come I got no reply?

  26. The response time is so slow on ancestry….. every other program is fast…What seems to be the problem here? at this rate is not worth the money we pay

  27. Sherry Lewis

    Deborah #23,

    Wake up and smell the coffee sweetheart…most of us are not computer novices. I (and most of mt Ancestry comrades) empty my cache several times AN HOUR

  28. Jim Thomas

    As you can see, your members are getting frustrated. I have been a member for 9+ years now. Rather than adding new web page features, you need to be concentrating on quality of the site. Networking speed to/from the server farms and software improvements to allow better and faster searches.
    I have been VERY happy with the new content coming available. has become my primary research tool. Daily use. But if you expect to stay the premier genealogy company, you need to get things straighted out soon. I have seen numerous notes on clearing cache on IE. Yes, this does help a bit but I have been doing that several times a day lately. I am running Vista Ultimate 64bit OS on a new laptop with 4GB ram. I am also on a high speed internet connection not dial up. A good explaination of what you are perceiving the problems to be, would help your customers understand the situation. Also you need to explain timeframes for improvement. I too, get a bit frustrated paying close to $300 yearly and fighting to get the data daily.
    Thanks for listening.

  29. Sherry Lewis

    DEBORAH #23,

    Please wake up and smell the coffee sweetheart. I (and the majority of Ancestry users) am not a computer novice. I clear my cache, history, cookies, temp files, etc., several times EACH HOUR, not once or twice a week. Apparently, some of us are much faster than you on the keyboard, as we are STILL having myriad problems DESPITE having the knowledge and expertise to clean out our files – several times HOURLY, not WEEKLY. Pull your head out of your bottom. Doesn’t make a damn bit of difference how often we “clean” our temp files. I am extremely fast on the keyboard, and cleaning out my temp files, cache, etc., every 2-3 PAGES is still “bogging me down”. I have been on ANCESTRY for almost 10 years and this past year I have been more frustrated than ever in the past decade. Don’t speak to us as if we don’t have a clue what we are doing.

    The only person at fault here is ANCESTRY.COM, end of story.

  30. J

    Hey this site is great. If you want problem sites, I can give them to you. Have about 4,000 names. Joined in the last month. All is going smoothly. Perhaps the time I chose to access the site may be a key as I would assume that I access it during low volume time.

    The main problem that I have now is that I still have about 200 Hints to clear. Yep some are worthless but most are a great help. Love the fact I don’t have to search endless documents.

    Keep up the good work, have a thick skin and remember, only those that don’t try to do anything are the only ones that don’t get complaints.

    I guess I do have one complaint: I’ve emailed about a dozen other users and have yet to get a response from any of them. Bunch of deadbeats, I guess.

    Thanks again

  31. Jackie

    Now I am REALLY about to freak. I put a second wife’s name in for a man and the first wife disappeared. But wait… she is still linked to her children and to him on her page and on the children’s pages, but on HIS page, she is UNKNOWN SPOUSE. There is no way to get rid of unknown spouse unless I link to the first wife again and go relink each child back to her again on his page. Then, I imagine he will show up twice on HER page as unknown spouse. What do you have to say about that? It is giving almost no hints with leaves anymore. I have to manually search for each and every item because it isn’t finding anything. A few here and there, but nothing like usual. While ago I had a man and woman who were switched … the man was the wife and the woman was the husband. I don’t think I did that, but I had to delete the children and re-enter them because it kept warning me that the children should be the same as their father! As someone else said … are you going to fix all of our stuff back if it’s all scrambled now, because downloading a gedcom would just be downloading the scrambled mess. I have over 35,000 names and 40,000 linked docs … how could I possibly fix all of that one by one? Hope YOU have a backup for OUR stuff!!!! Let us hear something about what you are doing about it asap, please!

  32. James Ralston

    To all who have put up anything on this blog, have you noticed that management has their head further up their rear, than when we had the FTM 2008 debacle? All of us thought that they would have learned from that experience, but alas, the head went deeper. Now I am not a computer genius, but do know my way around them. If this bunch is the best that they can come up with, then they may as well file for Chapter 11 now. Hey, management, YOU BETTER START LISTENING TO THE PAYING CUSTOMERS. Stop screwing the pooch and take the advice I put out earlier, if the damn thing was working, why go and try and fix it. The only thing you have demonstrated to the paying customer is that your IT group is a bunch of boobs.

    Now, for Deborah #23 and anyone else who is willing to listen, there is a free program that every computer novice needs to have to keep their computer clean. It is called “CCleaner”. It is free, just Google it and install. Everytime, just before shutdown, click on the run program and it will clear more garbage out than you can believe. And don’t click save when it gives you the choice. It also contains a registery cleaner that works great. I have used it since its beginning and think it’s the best free program on the Web.

    Lastly, I want to say thanks to Tony Cousins. You think just like I do.

  33. J

    I really can’t believe the bitching that is going on here. I really have a pretty complex tree on this web and have had vertually no problems with it. So what is with you guys: can’t you type? Do you need to upgrade your computers, or do you just need to quick having a beer while you’r imputing into the website?

    Most of the problems are probably caused by the nut behind the keyboard.

    I love the site. It works well providing you treat it like all other aspects of computing.

  34. James Ralston

    I must say, “J”, you and Denise must live in the same other world. I am not a gamer and have a very fast computer. If you think this site is fast, reliable and effective, then you are the one who needs a beer. Before you call us drinkers, nuts behind the keyboard, then you need to look in the mirror. Wake up, smell the coffee. This site is ever so slow, has geeks who change stuff when everything was working fine and never listens to customer input. Their lack of customer satisfaction came to us in the form of FTM 2008 and now the lack of service. Obviously, we know two people who are in another world and those two think the rest of the “hundreds and probably thousands”, that are experiencing problems are just imagining them. You are probably even satisfied with the “so search engine” they use. I am just an old man, with a few years of computer experience and I don’t experience the problems that we have here, at ANY of the other sites I use.

  35. patchapman

    please can you tell me if i can use the 2006 version on the 2008 and if i can how do i do it

  36. James Ralston

    Pat #41

    Some strong advice, stay away from FTM 2008, unless you want to have untold problems and lose your data. It was so infested with bugs, it was unreal. That is why they gave a lot of people the free 2009 version. Don’t just take my advice, ask your friends.

  37. Mary Beth Marchant

    To Pat regarding FTM 2008-FTM 2006 and FTM 2008/2009 are completely different. You can install both on your computer if you want to. You would have to import your FTM 2006 trees into FTM 2008 because they will not automatically open there. If you books that you created, most of your book will not survive the import. I installed FTM 2009 with the patch because the book feature was added. However, the book feature is really bad in my opinion, especially if you wanted to import your already created books into it.Books I had that were 500+ pages were left a skleton with about 140+ pages, no photos and most of the genealogy charts gone too. However, as I said, you can use both versions. Unlike the previous FTM versions wherein you installed the newer version and your older version was replaced, this will not replace the older version.

  38. Carl Peterson

    I am really frustrated with your service. It appears that almost all of the work I have done on my family tree in the last five days has been eliminated. This is unacceptable. Is there any chance of this information being restored?

  39. Anne Girucky

    I agree with the slowness of the site I am on here almost everyday and my subscription is up for renewl I don’t want to cancel. I just want the problem(s) fixed.

  40. J

    Fast Website:

    Ah, no, it is not, but considering the vast number of items on it, it is quite fast.

    So beat the system as I do: use two computers at the same time. While one is thinking, you can be imputing to the other.

    Come one, use your smarts.

    I’m older than sin and I figured out how to do that.

    Just checked: have 500 plus hints to clear.

    Hey this web site is great.

    The only people that don’t have complaints are the people that don’t do anything.

    Keep up the great job.

  41. J – what a strange name

    To your #42 – “The only people that don’t have complaints are the people that don’t do anything.”

    I guess that must apply to you, you’re not complaining – are you?

    And as for #39, it must be the result of using 2 computers at one time that causes so many spelling mistakes – “So what is with you guys: can’t you type? Do you need to upgrade your computers, or do you just need to quick having a beer while you’r imputing into the website?”.

    Grammar and spelling are not your strengths are they, that may account for the complex tree you have 🙂

    Hi James Ralston


  42. J

    Some real advice on this website that has worked for me:

    1. Backup or rather download often. Its done in any business so if you family tree is of value to you keep it well backed up.

    2. If you’re frustrated by slowness, use two computers, or if you have dual processing, use two websites at once. I have a desktop and a laptop, both with dual processors. I will just use one website on each, but it does speed things up.

    3. Keep your genealogy in several forms. I still have mine on PAF but added FTM and this website in the last 60 days.

    4. If you’re frustrated by slow response, use the website during slow hours. Can’t tell you when that is for you, but it doesn’t take
    long to figure it out.

    5. If you try the dual processor/two website idea, and it doesn’t speed things up, consider getting a faster computer or a faster internet connection. My 6 year old dual processing desktop computer is a little slower than the 6 month old dual processing laptop.

    6. Process as much as you can on FTM and then upload it. In fact I have friends that never bother to put their tree on the web, just use it to access data from their FTM.

    FTM=Family Tree Maker
    PAF=Personal Ancestry File

  43. James Ralston

    Now come on folks, remember, J and Denise are not of our world. All of the hundreds and possibily thousands who are experiencing slow, slow service, inept IT people, who can’t leave a working program alone, must all be the drinkers or nuts behind the keyboard, as J stated. Please J, get a life, you must be brain dead or totally computer illiterate, because the numbers are totally against you and Denise. Heck, I bet J, that you thought FTM 2008 was a success.

  44. Amanda Greene

    I created several trees for my family in Feb 2009 and they are ALL missing. What happened to them???? I put hours of work into putting them together and they are missing from my account.

  45. James Ralston

    J, please answer Amanda of message 55. Tell her about having no problems and how great the program works.

  46. J

    Thanks James, but someone on the staff would be better qualified. \

    Having said that there are two things to say:

    Read what they are saying about having temporary problems


    Backup. In any computer oriented activity, one needs to download a backup. Its done in every aspect of business. If its important. Save it.

  47. Like Comment # 37 and I had People missing and picture’s missing. and one of them was Roger Williams and my 5th grader was doing his State Museum on The Colony of Rhode Island because he is the 13th Great Grandson of Roger Williams who founded it. And to find him gone and his pictures was NOT COOL AT ALL

  48. #57 – “J” – I’m guessing that you haven’t been using the site for long, either that or your long term memory is shot.

    Try using this link – or if that fails just navigate to site ‘site status’ on the main blogs page.

    The link I’ve included shows January 12 as having site problems. That is not temporary. Wake up or start keeping notes to aid your memory.

    Also, backups are important but it is not up to the users of a system to make backups. I don’t expect my users to download all their files from the server and make a backup on their own PC – the company does that automatically.


  49. All day, 3/16/09, I have been having lots of problems merging other family trees with my own. I have not seen any notice from, nor has anyone else complained. Am I the only one who is having issues today?

  50. margaret Spas

    Up until about 1 week ago, I had smooth sailing while loading photos to my ancestry pages.However, now I am having much trouble doing so. Please give me direction on how to successfully upload photos to my family tree. Some times it works well, lately now so well. Thank you.

  51. margaret Spas

    After reading some of the comments, I am relieved to know that I am probably not losing my brain power. It has been terribly frustrating to have to keep going back to replace material that I already had added. I am a patient person so I will just wait until a smiley face appears on my e-mail. Thank you.

  52. Jeff Dechape

    For those complaining about being slow, Try installing Internet Explorer 8 Beta. I installed it Friday and the pages have been loading much faster. Before I installed it Ancestry was crashing IE7 at least once every couple hours. I have had NO crashes with IE8.

  53. Karen Staszel

    In response to many of the complaints, I have been an Ancestry member for many years. I do not research full time, but access the system at all different times of the day. I have very seldom had a problem accessing documents or data and even when the system might be slow if I leave and come back later, everything is back to normal. I have found it to be most slow on Saturday or Sunday afternoons when possibly more people than normal are accessing the data at the same time.

  54. D Anson

    Well, here we are again. My To Do list is gone and my Quick Links are missing as well. Just when one thinks things are getting back to normal…..(whatever “normal” may be)

  55. Deb H

    Hey everybody – sniping at each other definitely won’t help! Most regular users agree that the site is extremely slow and the new search interface is horrible, but there may be a few who have somehow managed to find what they’re looking for efficiently and quickly. If everyone who has threatened to cancel ACTUALLY DOES SO, that will be statement enough. A cancellation reminder is already in my calendar for May and I WILL be following through. And for those of you with FTM 2008 problems, I have one word -“Rootsmagic”. I switched a couple years ago and have never looked back. Check out the Rootsmagic blog – nothing but POSITIVE comments. Beta testing on an upgrade(by anyone who wants to participate)is underway. There will certainly be some bugs uncovered, but it’s obvious from past blog entries that the developers are committed to release it ONLY when it’s working properly. Good luck to all.

  56. #66 – Deb – you are so right, sniping will not help resolve the issues with the web site. But when some people continue to praise Ancestry or say there are no problems then it may reduce the frustration of the contributor who can see that the Emperor isn’t wearing any clothes 😉


  57. Carol A. H.

    Ah, Tony. I love it! And I needed that laugh today, regarding the Emperor’s clothes. I don’t get many laughs on the blogs. However what you say is true. I’m not minimizing it at all.

    And Deb, we are not snipping at each other so much as trying to get ancestry to take notice that we see the Emperor isn’t wearing any clothes, no matter what they say.

    I think most people who blog are really frustrated, but basically we want to help each other. Why else would we spend hours on family trees and make them public for anyone to use. We are giving of our time, not to mention money, since we pay for this service.

    And yes, caneling will send a message but they DO have the records that I need, so I just changed my subscription to only the USA. (For now.)

  58. Nancy Rogers

    I too changed my membership to the US only, and I did on the phone with a real live human being, so that I could say exactly why I was doing it. Actually I would say that rather than the Emperor not wearing any clothes the closer analogy that I can think of is that of the failure of No Child Left Behind. Ancestry’s attempt to get all of us on the same page reminds me of the basic view of NCLB. I believe that we were just informed that the numbers prove that it did not work…I hope ancestry wakes up and realizes that there ideas of a one size fits all will not work either.

  59. Jean Lehnherr

    Why, when I search for a person born in the early 1800s (for example), do the pages of results I get list people born in the late 1900s. Or when looking for info on someone born in Germany (for example) do I get lists of people born in the US? This happens whether I am using the old search method or the new.

  60. D Anson

    Day 2 of “normalcy”

    I, too, have “downgraded” my subscription from World to US only and anticipate the day arriving shortly where I’ll drop my subscription entirely. I have never been so disgusted or disappointed with a product that I’ve purchased.

  61. #68 – James Ralston

    I think I’m awesome too (not), so we really must be related 🙂

    Thanks to all for the kind words and especially e-mails through our web site. Maybe Ancestry will dress the Emperor one of these days.


  62. Re my last post I need to change something – Maybe Ancestry will re-dress the Emperor to the former glory – this used to be a really great site, lets hope its not a case of RIP Ancestry.


  63. This is my second year as a subscriber to Like everyone else I have had my good days and bad days with my research. But I thought that instead of complaining about what was wrong I would Thank you for what is right. Without the help of Ancestry, I would have no info on my Fathers side of the Tree. So BIG THANKS Ancestry. Keep up the good work, I know any problems with the research will be fixed.

  64. D Anson

    I think everyone should receive a prorated refund based upon the number of days that this site has not been 100% usable. Here’s a thought: in the future the subscriber’s will pay only for the time used. Will that work? Seems fair to me.

  65. Carol A. H.

    To D. Anson #78

    If I had to pay fot my TIME on ancestry, such as by the hour, I could never afford it at all. I do use it a lot. It has the records I can’t find else where. And the biggest problem: since ancestry is so SLOW, the cost to me would be prohibitive. Did you think about that?

    A credit for down-time would be nice.

  66. D Anson

    Good point, Carol, regarding the expense due to the slowness of the site. I hadn’t considered that. Ancestory would surely be the winner in that scenario. My bad! 😉
    I still think some kind of restitution should be offered the subscribers though.

  67. In place of ‘restitution’ what about an incentive to renew a membership – a straight percentage, would that work? It would for me but I’m not too sure the money people at TGN would go for it 😉


  68. Rick Schramm

    You know I realize that you have had a lot of technical issues recently and I forgave you for the first round as it cost me a lot of lost time on my subscription. Now the same problems are popping up again. And again I am losing valuable time on my subscription. I am sympathetic with you to a point but my computer experience goes back to 1985 so I know them inside and out. I haven’t taken a computer to a computer tech for repair in over 20 years. The email address you are writing me at is 12 years old already. I have built data bases from scratch, trouble shot programs and managed LANs and IT security. So I know you have the top notch minds working for you. I have followed your business ventures and watched you grow like few companies do.

    Now I expect better service than what I am getting because I know the resources you have at you disposal. I have good instincts and it could be a software problem but you would have routed that out by now or should have. Your servers are getting bigger and newer but that shouldn’t be the problem either. No, I think someone, somehow got past your firewall and left you a present of sorts.

    Now I don’t mind being wrong and I hope I am. But you folks need to get this thing cleaned up. After all it was you people that started so many people down the genealogy path.
    For my inconvenience I could live with a rebate on my next subscription but I also know the company is too tight to part with a dime. So, that leaves me one alternative and that is to complain every chance I get. My mom was with your service for years and I joined when she passed in mid 2007 and I have never had a problem with your on line website or off line software except you are too tight to include the book on disk in the software.

    So get your act together……


  69. Teri Allred

    I have been a subscriber to and just want to say I use it nearly every day and have experienced very few problems; however, earlier this week I thought something was seriously wrong. I do not use the “leaf” feature, prefering to use the “people” tab. I have over 20,000 names on my main database and often use the link to hints. The odd thing happening the other day was that changes did not “take” when viewing it, but they were there, kind of… My only complaint was that I was unable to find a place (forgetting about the blog feature) to send a message to find out if there was a technical problem. Is it possible to put a link somewhere for this purpose. Thanks for a great research source!

  70. Rick Schramm

    Tim Sullivan, CEO of The Generations Network Inc., signalled that going public may be an option for The
    Generations Networks, which is privately held. “I wouldn’t say we have plans to take it public,” said Sullivan, but he added “We’re going to do whatever we should do to maximize value for our shareholders and service our members and subscribers,” Sullivan said.

    Care to comment on what your CEO said? Sounds like he is either into customer care or a BS artist. I checked your stats. In January of 2009 you had 9 million inquiries by 4 million people. That sure is a lot of people to have mad at you….

  71. John Covington

    The merge function with FTM 2009 continues to be a real disaster. Somtimes it takes up to 4 to 5 minutes, especially this week. Is it that the upload of new content to your system has tagged the server for equal time as requests are coming in from we subscribers? I usually add up to 200 or so names (over 36,000+ now) to my family tree each day, but with the slowdown the week, it is now lucky for me to add 20 to 50 a day. Really poor showing on you all. Like Rick, I am am 30+ year techie for computer systems, been there – done that. So, please get the system back to a ‘respectable’ speed for us all.

  72. I am a new used to and I am having trouble figuring out how to add an individual without a direct connection to another person on the tree. So how do I creat an individual that I know is part of the family but I have yet to learn where and to whom he/she is connected to on the tree? Tks, Al…

  73. Carol A. H.

    To Alfred Sacco #86

    I had a similar problem in a different way. I needed to add a brother to a man whose parents names I did not know. I used “Unknown” for the parents and then added the brother to the “Unknown” parents. I was sure of the two brothers but still don’t know the parents names. I added a country of birth for the parents. It wasn’t easy but I finally got it in my tree. Maybe that will help you. Using “Unknown” for a name is not really recommended, but I really wanted the two brothers in my tree. Fake it somehow, and get back to it later, as soon as possible. Or call customer support: 1-800-262-3787 weekdays 10 am to 5 pm Eastern time. Be sure to note the fact they run on Eastern time.

  74. MY family tree does not link to our DNA group page under trees. Is this one of the problems that you are working on? If not, how do I link my tree into my DNA group?

  75. John Covington – #85

    I’d really like to know how you find and validate / prove 200 members in your tree each day. It took us all weekend to find a twig with just 10 people on our tree, with source records that is.


  76. williamdavidjohnsonjr.


  77. Carol A. H.

    I read #85 and scratched my head and thought how can that be. 200 a day! What kind of quality research is that? Does he have a staff computer elves working 24/7? Where can I get just one of these elves? I’m not greedy, one will do!

    Maybe these names were from a tree John already has in a database on his own computer, but I still question the quality of 36,000 names on any one tree a person has.

    Even if you get help from some other people, to be a quality tree, you still MUST verify each name and all sources. Never accept anything from anyone without doing the verification yourself. And you need more than one source. Some real professional genealogists who make their living doing research will tell you, you need many sources. ources contradict each other.

    Yeah, I know. Some sources just do not exist at all.

    Yeah, I know. You don’t have the time to do all that.

    Without proof, there is no truth!

  78. keep your tekies working. something isn’t right yet. i make enough mistakes on my own,ie: deleting a tree by mistake, you guys are supposed to know how this all works? you are the best site i’v found so far.good luck w/the improvements. keep updating us. it makes patience possible

  79. Vicki

    Just wondering if I’m seeing what I think I am, and if it’s a concern.

    The public trees seem to work as follows: If a family is entered in a tree and the parents’ birth dates are in the 1950s but no birth dates are listed for the kids, then the parents show up as “living” but the kids’ information is shown.

    I would think that the kids would show up as “living” as well, even with no birth dates being given. I also think spouses and sibling should be covered.

    Are the trees really working this way? If they are, am I suppose to fake the system out by putting in bogus birth dates of “aft 1980” for the kids to keep them from being shown?

    Since I don’t know how to see my tree as someone else would, I can’t see who would be listed as “living” and who wouldn’t, so my whole tree is set to private to protect the people in it.

  80. Carol A. H.

    To Vicki regarding #95:

    Your situation sounds like a need to make a phone call to ancestry. Somewhere I read that if there is no death date and the the person’s birth date is only X number of years ago, they are supposed to be listed as “Living.” I have seen many trees with “Living” people who most certainy must be dead by the reference of the person’s parent’s data.

    I understand what you mean when you say you don’t know what others are seeing. When you look at your own tree, you will see everthing. One suggestion is to go to a place where they have a full subscription to ancestry. Most public libraries don’t include the trees with their subscribtions. My local Family History Center (LDS or Mormon Church) has a full subscription.

    Also remember what you add to a tree may take awhile to show up in your tree to others due to ancestry’s time lag in upgrading their information.

    The only sure way for living people not to show up in your tree is not to put them into it at all.

    It’s a shame you have to make your tree Private when some of your people might be related to others. You can be contacted anonymously of course, but I find most people don’t respond even in that fashion. There are some folks who will, though.

    Goo luck.

  81. Rick Schramm

    Oh but he added “We’re going to do whatever we should do to maximize value for our shareholders and service our members and subscribers,” Sullivan the Current CEO said …..right after I get back from the Bahamas… for a couple of months with that sweet little dish I met in accounting…

  82. Will

    To Sherry complaint #20 clicking the arrow to go back works forme ,At first I though what the hell! once my double click was firm it has worked for me every time. is the most expensive genealogy platform on line and they have taken 90% of what used to be free sites.For this reason only I believe they need to make sure When they plan changes in this site that they make sure its pullet proof before they activate and make us all pay. Over all this site has saved everyone in here money.Every once in a while there is a trip to some where to find something we all do it right from here. I am sure Ancestry will fix the problems. Everyone has an opp to stop for a month or two till they get it right, that is if people are smart and only pay by a month that you actually would use it as I do.For Big Family Trees I do think regartdless of the problems to the site Ancestry should offer those big contributors something any way.

  83. Will

    Vicki what are you protecting them from? this day and time there are thousands of other places to find names and people.My tree is all visible so my cousin I have never met can see who their family is and maybe help bring closure to missing links of my own.
    P.S. If the parents are alive they should be shown as living ,if they have passed put death date or unknown. I think.

  84. Donna Huddleston

    This past weekend Fri, Sat, Sun, many of the searches I did ended up with the “site down” page, the one with the picture of the little boy. I could get to census records. Most tree searches I did got the error page, but if I resubmitted a few times, it would go through. Monday am I thought about clearing my cookies, duh! All working fine. This morning got a different error page while trying to send an email through Ancestry. Got the page a few times, cleared my cookies again, fixed.


  85. Vicki

    To Carol A. H. re #96

    Thanks for taking the time to reply and for the suggestions. The one about finding a place with a full subscription will come in handy if I ever make my tree public.

    To Will re: #99

    Thank you for your perspective. What information I put on an internet site about myself is my choice. What I put out there about someone else is, I feel, another matter entirely.

    The parents are still alive and are shown as “living”. I think the children and eventual grandchildren should also be shown as “living” and not have their information displayed even if no birth dates are provided for them.

  86. kerrie myers

    I have been trying to contact you but I am having trouble navigating your website. I can get so far through the site then it freezes. I have only been on this site since March 9 and have not been able to use it properly. I am sorry I can use your learning centre as the page freezes. I can not open an original document the pages freezes. The Australian support can not help me they told me to contact the UK and get them to put me through to you. I have tried to ring you myself from Australia but the phonme number does not work from here. I have tried to contact your tecnicial support twice now with no results ths is my last resort. CAN SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME.

  87. Lois HIll

    Please find my Family Tree. They say it is lost or damaged and I have never seen it since i got my new computer for a Christmas gift.

  88. Carol A. H.

    5 Apr 2009


    I hate to see someone floundering so I will give your problem a shot. Is “Family Tree Loois” the exact name of your tree? Try looking in the ancestry family trees using a name you KNOW is in your tree. I found more than 100 instances of the name “Loois” but not a tree of that name. If it has been deleted, and you don’t have a backup, it is possible ancestry copied people from your tree and added them to ancestry’s “One World Tree” section.

    You could try clicking on the “Community” tab and then clicking on “my profile.” Your public (not private) trees will be listed there. If no trees are listed, I’m not sure what to do next.

    Did you actually telphone ancestry? Their number is 1-800-262-3787 and they are available at 10 am to 5 pm RASTERN time, (US).

    Good Luck.

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