Posted by jhodnett on April 7, 2009 in Site Issues, Website

We just wanted to let everyone know that the site will undergo scheduled maintenance on Wednesday, 8 April 2009, from 1 AM to 3 AM Mountain Daylight Time.  We do not expect this to cause any site problems or downtime, but it is possible that some portions of the site may be unavailable during this time. We apologize for not posting this notice sooner and will work to give a bit more advanced notice next time. Thanks for your patience as we work to make sure the site is running smoothly.


  1. Carol A. H.

    Thanks for a clear explanation of the time of your maintenance. Beats banging my fists on my table. We all know what time zones we live in so we can figure it out. Could not add source to a person in my tree, but I should go to bed anyway.

  2. roger


    I not so happy as Carol with your announcement. Your still ignoring users outside of the US who have no idea what Mountain Daylight Time is. Please put the equivilent GMT time on your posts so the rest of the world can work it out.

    As least put a time in GMT on the Home Page (08:00 to 10:00) even if they got it wrong! That was the right time for BST (British Summer Time) but an hour out for GMT. At least they tried.

  3. RP McMurphy

    Thank you again for the “heads up”. Communication with the customer is key to satisfaction. You ARE trying, aren’t you??? 🙂

  4. crisg580

    Finally found this after spending an hour trying to access the site which is completely down. Every website I’ve ever used that is closed for maintenance has a message that appears stating so when the user tries to gain access. It would be nice if Ancestry did this instead of just returning error messages.

  5. Linda Bennett

    Isn’t it amazing how many of us are doing genealogy research in the wee hours of the morning? I’m glad to see that I am not the only one who likes to do that.

  6. Ruth kennon

    just bought 2009 Family Tree Maker got it all downloaded but when zi try to do a search on the advertisment for 14 days trial comes up. Help!!!

  7. Mary Beth Marchant

    Well, I did not know that 1 to 3 am MDT also meant 9pm Central Florida time. Site just now became available again. Even E mail to managers is bouncing back. David Graham said

    “We just wanted to let everyone know that the site will undergo scheduled maintenance on Wednesday, 8 April 2009, from 1 AM to 3 AM Mountain Daylight Time. We do not expect this to cause any site problems or downtime, but it is possible that some portions of the site may be unavailable during this time. We apologize for not posting this notice sooner and will work to give a bit more advanced notice next time. Thanks for your patience as we work to make sure the site is running smoothly.”
    Oh, really.

  8. Robin

    Has anyone besides me had trouble with some of the pages loading since the last maintenance this past weekend? Mainly the records view thru the Enhanced Image viewer and the Family views of the trees? They just stopped working for me over the weekend (unless I press F5 after each time I try to view them), and I’m a bit curious if anyone else has noted this problem?


  9. David Graham

    Just to follow up, after this site maintenance everything came back online without problems and we did not notice any site issues during the maintenance.

    If you have experienced problems on the site since this period they were likely unrelated. We definitely want to make sure things are running smoothly for everyone, though, so if you are running into problems please make sure to contact customer support at

    Thanks again for your patience as we work to make sure that the site is running smoothly.

  10. David
    The link to support is very helpful – as long as the problems occur during the weekdays.

    I know a lot of people research outside those rather limited support hours – when is Ancestry going to provide support at the weekends?


  11. Dorothy

    Having a lot of problems using the back button when trying to get genealogy information. Every time I click back a different advertisement comes up and it won’t let me go back without clicking several times. Once in awhile it freezes up the computer. Not too happy about this.

  12. Dorothy

    Looks like this is the only way to get to you. I took your advice and connected to to send a message about problems with the back button and advertisements and when I was finished I clicked continue and it came up with “Message From Webpage” select a request requires a value, I could not see anywhere to add anything more. Some of us are not computer geniuses and do not know what you want. HELP


  14. Sherry Lewis


    I am having the same problem as Dorothy (13) – each time I hit the back button after viewing a census page; I am returned to the SAME census page, over and over.Have to double-click each time to get off that page.

    Also, PLEASE do not get rid of the OLD SEARCH.There are a number of things I can do on the OLD search that NEW will not perform well or at all.I frequently use the old search with first name only when looking for records in which the surname is often misspelled.OLD SEARCH gives me the results I want quickly.New search gives me pages of garbage,to put it politely as possible.

    Honestly, I have seen nothing so far in NEW search that OLD can’t do better and faster.Please pass this on to the decision makers.

    Thank you,
    Sherry Lewis

  15. Carol A. H.

    Well it never fails. As soon as ancestry removes or closes a particular blog that is hot, people have nowhere to go to vent. They find a likely blog and the others see the number of posts on that subject increase and think that must be where the action is.

    Guess what, it is! And I’m drawn to it because I want to keep up with what is happening to others in general and also it is a way to communicate in particular to a lot of smart people who can find the flaws and sometimes come up with the ansers or at least some good suggestions. And then you begin to think, “Well others have similar problems. I’m not crazy!”

    The site addy on David’s #10 will take you to a place to email ancestry. You can get to this smae place from the help tab or the “contact us” at the bottom of each page/screen. Nothing new. I generally find this not the best way to get your answers. Too many standard responses which don’t apply to my problems. Also once an answer is sent out the problem is solved as far as ancestry goes unless you want to re-email them again. Emails are quickly forgetten and take a long time to get and send.

    I find the best way to get answers is to use that old fashioned thing called the telephone…..however, Tony is right; there are only certain hours, certain days they will answer.

    Their hours are 10 am to 5 pm EASTERN TIME IN THE USA. The number is 1-800-262-3787 from inside the USA. I have always gotten a real live human being even if I have to wait a long time occasionally. They are polite and if the answer you get doesn’t do it for you, they will talk about it and work with you.

    The hours are really 8 am to 3 pm on MOUNTAIN TIME (Utah) but let’s not confuse the issue.

    I’m sorry I can’t give good advice to those who live outside the USA. I honestly don’t know how the system works in other parts of the world. I guess I could figure out the time difference but they may have another number for those outside the USA. That’s a fairly common business practice.

    Ancestry DOES need to extend their hours. I suggested this a long, long time ago. There must be some folks who might like to shift their hours a bit. I don’t like going to work at 8 am. I’m sharper later in the morning. The company would do well if they had flexible hours for live customer support.

    More working people are doing family history research. It is no longer the domain of the retired person. It would be a good business move to have more personal support hours.

    I too have had some problems with the trees which started right after the “maintenance.” I think I’m learning to get around these problems, one of them being the backing out of a person’s page in the trees. In some cases I notice there is a “Return to tree” button on the lupper left that works better than the browser back-arrow. Also clicking on the underlined name when you are in a record such as a census index returns you part-way back. There are still some places where there is no return button, so you have to use your browser back button/arrow.

    Good luck folks.

  16. Carol A. H.

    Oops! I forgot to tell you ancestry only works Monday through Friday. No weekends. Don’t know about holidays. Must be a cushy job.

  17. Carol A. H.

    To Jessie Treva Markus, #15:

    You need to go to a Family History Center where they will help you get started. It is part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon). The nearest one to you in Coopersville is in Grand Rapids. You will need someone to help you if you are special ed. There is no charge to get started. Librarians work for free. They have computers you can use for free and will take the time to help you, but they do not do research for people on a full time basis. They will tell you what you must do to get started.

    The Internet address for finding Family History Centers is:

    The actual information on Grand Rapids is:

    Grand Rapids Michigan
    2780 Leonard NE
    Grand Rapids, Kent, Michigan, United States
    Phone: 616-949-3343
    Hours: Tue & Wed 9am-9pm; Sat 9am-1pm.
    Closed: Closed April 4 and April 9-April 20
    Attention: Please Call Ahead In Bad Weather To Make Sure We Are Open.

    Family history research takes a very long time. Most of us have been doing it for years. It is very interesting and I can understand why you would like to do it.

    Good luck.

  18. Carol A. H.

    It is about 11:10 Pacific time and I’m trying to work on trees. I keep getting this message in big black letters:—SERVER IS TOO BUSY

    What are you guys up to now? There was no warning of “maintenance” so what’s the story now?

    There are people who try to work around the prime times which are too slow. this is NOT making me happy!

  19. Carol A. H.

    Well this will be my last post for tonight–actually it is Monday here. It’s so bornng not to be able to work when I want to.

    I missed adding my two cents worth to what Dorothy #10 and Sherry #16 posted. I’m having the exact same problem when I’m in a census page–the actual page. But it is not happening all the time. However it started after the maintenace of 8 April. Never happened before. I said nothing because it doesn’t happen all the time, and I already do my share of complaining.

    I have to second (for about the umpteenth time) Sherry’s comments regarding new search. I just can NOT use it at all. I feel like I’m trying to wade through mud, and uphill at that. Please don’t make us use it. Please keep the old search. I have on many occasions to different people given all the reasons why it is so bad, so I won’t go into it again. There is not one good thing about it.

    “Good night and good luck”

  20. Robbie Burnett

    I am VERY frustrated with the new patch. After speaking with 2 tech support people about the end of Feb. I learned that there is a “bug” with the new patch which causes failed media merges from I unistalled the program and reinstalled WITHOUT the patch. I have asked several times if that bug has been fixed. No one even bothers to respond. So finally, last Friday, I called tech support. I got a young man who was not interested in hearing what the problem was, only that I had to install the patch. You guessed it. Failed media merges again. So I called again today. This time I was fortunate enough enough to get someone who would listen to me. He didn’t know about the bug, but went to someone else who confirmed that there was indeed a bug. I have uninstalled this program again. PLEASE, PLEASE FIX THIS BUG.

  21. ina

    When I open, it comes up with a family tree that is not mine! I don’t have a family tree on Ancestry or any other site. For now, I use Ancestry for research, and it is GREAT for that! I am a guest to view another person’s tree, and it is his tree that shows up as “mine”. Why am I getting it and can it be taken off!

  22. I too have problems since ancestry did maintance. I can do anything on my site except open my tree. HELP!!!! Have used tech support and they tell me my computer is no longer compatable. I use windows 2000 and internet explorer 6. Has anyone else had a simular problem?

  23. Sally

    Good morning. The website appears to be down. I am in Houston, TX. I have been trying for about 2 hours. I noticed the site was down on April 8 and for April 18 in UK/AU. Is this affecting the US? I have just enjoyed this so much. Really incredible. Let me know when I can get back to work! Thanks.

  24. Just what is going on?

    The site was totally unavailable and now is soooo slow. I couldn’t even get to the blogs to see if there was a ‘maintenance’ notice.

    Answers are needed – when do we get them?


  25. Coleen

    I am in Alaska (its only 10:30 PM here) I love to us about now but its been out since yesterday for me…whats going on? I want a credit for those days LOL

  26. Coleen

    ATTENTION: Those of you who can’t seem to get anything out of tonight…click on the right upper corner where it says “try it” evidently they want us to use their NEW format…when I used the new format (which I hate) everything works.

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