Posted by jhodnett on April 21, 2009 in Site Issues, Website

We just completed some site maintenance to replace a piece of faulty hardware and briefly experienced some unanticipated site down time because of this (roughly 1 AM Mountain Daylight time or 7 AM GMT).  This has now been resolved and we apologize for any inconvenience it may have caused.  If you had any troubles accessing the site, you should be able to access it again now.  Thank you for your patience as we work to improve our services for you.


  1. roger


    Thanks for taking on board the comments regarding GMT, it really does help all of us located outside the US.

  2. Edna

    I can no longer log-in while another computer in my home is logged in. This is a situation I’ve never experienced before. I have the full Ancestry subscription (read “expensive”) so needless to say, I am NOT happy with this change.

  3. Linda has been down for about 2 hours, so far, today. Hopefully, someone is aware of this and is working on the problem.

  4. Richard Ridgely Sr

    Hopefully you are aware that the update profile system is not working. It is April 21 @9:20 PM Eastern. Please advise when the system will be available. Thanks

  5. Robin

    I search for records to match my ancestors, and when I find them, I click save to a person in my tree, and nothing happens. Am unable to save records to my ancestors as of 9:45 CST, 4/22. Help!

  6. RP McMurphy

    Thank you, David, for keeping us informed. Timely communication is the key to keeping the customer satisfied.

  7. Kenny Freestone

    Re comments 6,9, and 10…

    We’ve found the cause of this problem and have made the fix–things should be working properly for you now.


  8. Heather

    It’s 2:37pm Easter time, and I am still unable to link records to some of my tree members. When I click the “save” button, the box pops up to allow me to begin typing the name of the person I want to attach the record to, but it never loads the names that match what I’ve typed. I’ve also tried the option of “select from a list” and my list of names never loads.

    I was able to link the record so some of the family members, but not all. I did also notice that when I was able to link the record to my person, it did not give me the option of adding the rest of the household. I had to add each person one by one.

  9. Shyane

    Sorry Kenny I agree with Heather. When you are trying to save by typing in the names or going to the list it still is not working.

  10. Kenny Freestone

    OK, Heather & Shyane–

    We’ve looked again at this and are pretty confident that things are working right. It sounds like your browser however is working with an older set of files in its cache. To correct this you will need to clear your browser cache, and we expect that will fix the problem you are seeing.

    Short of clearing your browser cache, you could try re-starting your browser and doing what’s called a “hard page refresh” by clicking the ctrl+F5 keys at the same time.

    Sorry this has been frustrating for you–and please let me know if this does not work.



  11. Heather

    Thanks for all the timely support! That fixed the problem.

    If anyone else needs help clearing their cache in Firefox, click on “tools”, then “clear private data”, make sure “cache” is checked, and then click the “clear private data now” button.

    You shouldn’t even have to restart your browser.

  12. Shyane

    Not so good for me. I am on aol and still cannot save to someone else in my tree. The list just won’t come up.

  13. Is there the possibility that a Merge
    tool can be put onto it should not be too hard as you already have the procedure on the Family Tree site.

  14. Peggy

    I agree with Edna. This is an expensive site and not being able to have both of our computers up and running so my husband and I can research together is very frustrating. We are very unhappy about this new change at Ancestry.

  15. Andy Hatchett

    Edna and Peggy,

    If you have a membership than that membership is for *you*- not you and your family. Having more than one person using it at the same time is a violation of the terms of service.

    Why would one person need to be logged into more than one computer at a time to use Ancestry?

    If you and your husband each have a membership that is fine- otherwise, Ancestry is withing its rights to block other computers when teh member is signed on.

  16. Andy #21

    Oh dear, I’m registered with Ancestry, in my name, but my wife has been researching on our second PC – does that mean that I’ve violated the terms of service? Get real.


  17. David Graham

    Just to clarify, we have not made any changes to the way we handle member logins. You should be able to login the same way you have in the past, and we try to account for members who switch between computers (e.g., work and home). If you are having difficulties logging in when you didn’t before, you may want to contact Member Services so that they can check into your account (1-800-262-3787).

  18. Janet Glass

    I am no longer able to print a copy of the ancestry project I am working on- This happened about 2:00pm central time on Friday April 24

  19. Sherry

    I have experienced several problems over the last three or four weeks and I have been a member for five or more years.

    Today, the ability to search individual databases is gone. If I search “Ontario Marriages” and plug in smith, I am getting no results.

    If I search “Ontario”, I get results but am now taken to a page where I have to toggle through individuals rather then select the database that I need.

    What is going on??

  20. It looks like there are many collections that are not producing results. I was finding Franklin in the England and Wales Christening Records 1530-1906 yesterday – today now I get this messsage “Your Search for Franklin returned no matches”.

    Looks like I’m going to have a poor weekend researching – there isn’t any support at the weekend.


  21. Sarah Galbraith

    I too have had problems with the Scottish records, being unable to access any of the actual records for individuals, though, tantalisingly, I can get to the search results screen, which states that there are twelve hits waiting for me.

    I feel that the lack of support at a weekend, and the fact that there appears to have been no remedial action taken yet, should result in users having the renewal date for their subscription extended by two days.

    I can accept that free services need not provide help, support and maintenance at weekends: I think that paid-for services do need to provide seven-day support.

    Sarah Galbraith

  22. Michelle Woodham

    The census records are not the only databases not producing results. When searching for a surname in the state of Louisiana (in the old search mode), I get a list of results in several categories… BMD, military records, census, etc. Clicking on each individual database, I get a page that states “0” results.

  23. Sherry

    I was reading Edna’s (3) post and wanted to share another issue that I am having since they changed whatever they changed.

    I have two subs to ancestry and I use to be able to login and out easily switching between the two.

    I can no longer do this. I have to log out, clear my cache and then login. I never had to do this until recently and have had the dual sub for over a year now (TWO subs using ONE computer).

    I did write to tech support and all they told me is that ancestry users “usually” have one account so in a nutshell no help at all.

    I also want to add the trouble I am having with with the back button on my internet browser as I think I posted this on the wrong blog….

    For weeks the back button does not work on a single click and it seems only the “ad” changes instead of the page, it hangs and many times I have to double-click fast to get to the previous page. More often than not, I get frustrated and end up having to start the search all over again. It only occurs on this site as I also use scotlandspeople and a variety of other sites to glean data.

    And I do not like the new “search experience” – if it aint broke, don’t fix it. I got a taste of it today and not by by choosing.

  24. Deb H

    2:00-3:00 PM EST: More databases not producing any results – even sorting on names that ARE in the index and test searches on names like “SMITH”:

    1. Hinshaw’s Encyclopedia of Quaker Genealogy – vols. 1, 4, 5 and probably the other 2 vols. as well. These databases were working fine yesterday.

    2. Georgia Marriages 1699-1944

    Probably tons more. Glad to know it’s not just me. I made my first-ever report to Support and noticed that if a problem was reported on a weekend it might be Tuesday or Wed. before there’s a response. I don’t even want a personal response…I just want the database fixed. hopefully there are at least people working on the weekends to field these problems!

  25. Maxine

    I have tried clearing my browser cache but I still can’t attach records to anyone in my tree. This started last night and evidently has been happening for a while, although previous to last night I had no problem. Help!!!!!!!!

  26. Rick

    At 10:47pm EDST on 4/25/09, searching finds no matches on any surname that you try to search on. A list of records appears stating there are 5 matches or so, but when you click to see the matches you get the “No Matches Found” screen. I have been trying at various times for the last three hours, same result.

  27. familyfinder8255

    Considering this is a paid membership site, they should have staff that work the weekends/and or on call to correct these errors. I emailed both Kenny and David and have had no reply. I certainly hope they plan on adjusting everyone’s membership for this down time.

  28. Sherri

    I also get the ‘no matches found’ when I click on results. Does anyone work on week-ends to fix these problems?

  29. Kathie

    For 2 days now, my searches show matches but when I click on the results it shows “no matches found”. Irritating since I do most of my research on the weekends.
    Sherry, I was having the same problems with going backwards. It seemed as if I had to run through all the ads. When I contacted Ancestry, they said it was my PC not their site. Now with others experiencing the same, its obviously not my PC.

  30. Sarah

    I can access results and even images on the English censuses with absolutely no problem but when it comes to the Scottish ones – there are no results, no matter what name I enter.

    I have to agree with those who have said that they do not like the ‘new search experience’.

    Does your technical dep’t ever ever try and access the site in just the same way as we paying customers do?

  31. Joyce McKeehan Keeney

    A few years ago, I didn’t even know my grandfathers name. I now know he lived, farmed, voted within miles of the house I grew-up in. his life story was on the front page of a local newspaper in 1919 and with the information i found on Ancestry, I have obatained his death certificate. I now have a tree on Ancestry with 4500 people documented by over 6000 records found on Ancestry . . . to me, Ancestry is the best thing since Ice Cream. But . . . when they have problems, they are less then forthcoming, leaving all of us thinking we have terrible computer problems, when all the time the technical problem is theirs! I, too cannot attach documents (except those they find for me) and I can no longer invite people to my tree: says E-mail invalid, or if I use user name they cannot access the site. Ancestry needs to acknowledge their problems, instead leaving paid members in the dark! I have the deluxe membership also – putting out too much money, to have to endure these problems without an explanation from Ancestry.

  32. Thanks for the advisory. One thing I would like to know when can those of us with ancesters in Spain can get access to records. I understand Latter Day Saints have their interns working at several sites. Can you cue us in on this? Otherwise, great work folks……and we keep trucking along…………

  33. Bill

    I have two concerns at this time:
    First, when using the back button to leave a data base it requires numerous clicks to make it work. This has been a problem for about two weeks.
    Second, when I do a search now, there are no matches even though the search indicated that there were. This has been a problem this weekend.
    Very frustrating.

  34. Sherry

    It is very helpful that all of you have posted to this blog. I honestly thought my computer was having issues (for weeks) and it finally crashed in the wee hours of yesterday morning.

    First off, weekend support. The whole weekend has been wasted in both my subs. Many of us work during the week and spend some of our weekend researching. Not having someone on hand is inexcusable. As someone suggested, cut your weekday hours and be there for a period of time on the weekends to address problems.

    Although I know it is probably impossible for ancestry to go through each and every sub, you owe us and should offer a “free” two day search of all records to the general public……and advertise it. I know that many people cannot afford the subcription as they are on a fixed income. I would be very happy with this resolution.

    As I mentioned before……

    David (Graham), you say that nothing changed with the way folks login and while this is true, something did change. When I login onto one sub and then login to another, once I hit the search button, I revert to the previous login. This is extremely irritating. I was told by your tech support that ancestry now “remembers” login info “for ease of use”. My internet browser was already doing the job, thank you very much, and I did not have this issue before.

    While I certainly understand that whatever ancestry did probably relates to site abuse, I am a paying subscriber and am suffering as a result. I am pretty fast and this slows me down.

    The back button is driving me crazy. I don’t care about your ads, when I hit back, want to go back. I spend $300 / year on this very useful index. I do not have time for this crap and I do not need your ads. I have been with you for over five years so it is obvious that there is no need to advertise to me. Offer an “opt out”.

    I am tired of clearing out my cache. I never had do this before. This is not just related to the login, this is related to searching. If I do not do this, the search gets bogged down.

    I had a taste of the “new navigation” and it is a complete waste of time. Please do not change this.

    With all of my complaining this weekend, I will say that I very much appreciate your service and hope that ancestry in turn appreciates their customers.

    Do not tell us it is our PC’s after using your service for almost five years. The problem is clearly with ancestry and the changes that they made.

  35. Deb H

    i thought the back-button issue was just me. I had to click thru ad after ad after ad…ad nauseum! Shall we start a pool as to when it will be fixed (or even acknowledged)?

  36. Dianne

    I am also experiencing problems with the back button re the ads and when searching individual databases for Ontario Births or Deaths or Marriages telling me no matches and I know they are there from previous finds. This is very aggravating and waste of time. I have full subscription to all databases. I have always been satisfied until now.

  37. Diane

    On home page, enter a name search, e.g. FN=John and LN=Crossley and Location=Scotland. Get list of results, e.g. 1861 Scotland. Click on 1861 Scotland and get a page indicating NO results. Come on guys… something is obviously broken. I can’t believe that NO ONE from is monitoring the blogs over the weekend.

    If was a business-to-business type of website, workweek only support might be acceptable. But I suspect this site is used more during non-business hours and it is international no less. Mon-Fri US hours are no longer acceptable.

  38. lesley

    I am really angry I have not been able to get results all weekend We pay for this access and when its down all weekend it is totally unacceptable when people in Australia have to wait almost a week because of Time differences The local Australian 1800 number says they can do nothing all and its up to USA when they get to work and then it may take another few days Mon-Fri US hours are no longer acceptable to paying subscribers All Customers should be credited for this loss of access

  39. Sherry #44 said “Although I know it is probably impossible for ancestry to go through each and every sub, you owe us and should offer a “free” two day search of all records to the general public……and advertise it. I know that many people cannot afford the subcription as they are on a fixed income. I would be very happy with this resolution.”.

    I think a better solution and I suspect would be very easy for TGN / Ancestry is to move the renewal date for everyone out by 2 days.

    Oh look there goes a little green man riding a Unicorn being chased by a fire breathing dragon 😉


  40. Cindy

    Back button problems? I can’t even logon to my account this evening. I keep getting an error message saying someone else is already logged on. Well, it isn’t me; and it isn’t my husband; and we’re the only two people here, and no one else knows our account info. So, what gives? Then I call the customer service number (hah–that’s a joke) and of course they’re closed until 10 am Eastern Time tomorrow. Good thing this isn’t Friday evening. After reading the comments here, I’m wondering if the subscription is even worth the trouble. We’ve had it for a year and have hardly used it.

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