Posted by Ancestry Team on May 27, 2009 in Website

We are excited to announce the launch of the new site-wide navigation at the top of every page.    This change came about after a lot of research and gathering feedback from people who use the site every day.

You will find that it is quicker and easier for you to get where you want to go on the site. We also made changes to ensure that the navigation stays consistent throught the entire site (although please bear with us as there may be a day or so delay in getting all pages up-to-date).

Use the new drop-down menu links to jump to frequently-accessed areas of the site with one click.  For instance, you can jump from a record page to one of your trees with one click.  To use the drop-down menus, simply hover your mouse over the tab and it will open.


You can now also access your To-Do list and Quick Links on every page. Click the “Quick Links” link in the upper-right and you will have instant access to the links you use most. You can add new links to all of your favorite research resources- on or off Ancestry by using the “Add a Quick Link” button when the list is open, or by clicking the “Add to Quick Links” link in the upper-right.  You can access and add To-Do’s the same way, just look for the “Add a To-Do” button.


Note: As part of the new navigation changes some tabs have been renamed. The “Community” tab is now called “Collaborate” but it still the home of the Message Boards, Ancestry World Archives project, Public Profiles and the other great community products.

“Print and Share” is now called “Publish” and it is the home of MyCanvas and all of the great family tree books, posters and other projects. “Store” is now called “Shop” and you can still find books and our other great products there.


  1. Alan Edgecombe

    New site appeared this morning european time, simple to adapt to and easy to understand. BUT unable to upload photo to personal deatails or to amend personal details can this be looked at.

  2. L. Byron Culver

    We have been using for several months now, and there seem to be frequent changes. We get used to searching one way and then something else is added. Can you please just stop changing things for a while? Thank you.

  3. Randy Majors

    I like the new navigation, and it seems to make many of the pages load faster (as the top nav doesn’t seem to redraw).

    One enhancement request: in the family trees section, the content seems to be pushed way down on the page. There’s 1 3/4″ from the top of the browser to the top of the family tree content. Add another 1″ for browser buttons, and it means the content you’re interested in such as a person profile, tree, etc. doesn’t even start until the vertical middle of a typical screen.
    Can you eliminate the wasted whitespace please?

    Other pages such as the home page, search page, etc. are much better and don’t seem to have all the wasted whitespace at the top.

  4. Linda C. Parrish

    I for one love the changes you make. GE used to say “Progress is our most important product.” This statement is true across time and markets. Especially since the company making the changes pays attention to detail like you do. Keep listening to your customers!! PLEASE don’t stop changing things. It means you care. Thanks for all you do.

  5. Vicki

    Thanks for trying to make the system easier to use.

    A couple of suggestions for you –

    1) A way to beta test changes before they go production. I don’t know if Ancestry does this, but with the system I supported, users always found things in beta the programmers didn’t.

    2) A Preferences option in Search for “old search” vs “new search”. I would like to be able to set it and keep it to “old search”. This would save me from having to change it every time I log on, and would save space at the top of the Search pages where you currently display the option to switch.

    Thank you.

  6. awarriorangel

    Wonderful job. Excellent navigation. I love that you narrow down the categories so I can jump quickly to sections of the Learning Center or Search. Very helpful. Keep up the good work.

  7. Jeff Ford

    Looks pretty good so far. I am one of the first to criticize Ancestry for their numerous blunders, but I am also among the first to give them credit when they do something right.

  8. Thanks everyone for your positive feedback! We are really excited about this new navigation and we hope you find it easier to use!

    Alan- For a couple of hours after we launched there was a problem with uploading photos and making changes to your public profile. It is now fixed.

    Randy- Thanks for the feedback on the vertical space on the trees page- I’ve passed it on to our design team.

    Vicki- There is a way to change from “New” to “Old” search. Just under the header on any search page there is a yellow bar and a link in the right corner that says “old Search”. Click that and you’ll be switched back to the old search. It should remember your setting. If it isn’t please check that you aren’t deleting cookies when you exit the site and let me know.

  9. Vicki


    Thanks for replying. I already use the link you mentioned to switch back to old search, because I do delete cookies. I was hoping for an alternative that didn’t depend on cookies, and would allow the content on the screen to be shifted up a bit more.


  10. Dale Renaud

    I don’t like the new look at all. I hate it. I got good with the old page now completely changed. Do we have the option of going back to the old page? or are we stuck with this mess. Someone always thinking they’re improving something that doesn’t need improving.

  11. Jacqueline Stephens

    Today (May 27) am having a terrible time attaching census records to one of my two trees! When I am working in one tree (Stephens Family) and find a census record to add, I’ll click to add it, but it will not let me because it throws me back to my OTHER tree (Henry-Bowles-Houliston) and the person I’m trying to attach to is NOT on that tree!! Also, for some reason attaching the census data no longer (as of today) allows me to merge children/spouse and sibling information from the same census report! That means I have to enter it all separately! HELP, PLEASE!! Was not having this problem yesterday!

  12. Mike

    I am disappointed to see that the “Return to [name]” button disappears when from the search results page as soon as the search criteria are modified.

    Requested behaviour would be to have the button always display the person you originally initiated the search from. Please consider this improvement, as it is extremely tedious to hit the back button 35 times after doing many searches to return to the person detail page.

  13. Buck

    For the most part I like the changes. I’m going to agree with MIKE’s post, the “return to (name)” needs to stay on other pages. This is one of my biggest pet peaves. Or better yet, make names hotlinks so I don’t have to use my pc’s back button.

  14. J M Smith

    I would very much like to see the improvements on ancestry, but have been unable to log on in either Firefox or Explorer browsers. Is the site now only for those with Vista and DSL? (I have neither) I was only able to access this blog through the “backdoor” by going to google and entering there. Wasn’t able to access home page or search page from google. I have emptied my cache and history. Any suggestions?

  15. Lucy Macnaughton

    What happened to the “Refine your search” link? It no longer allows you to click on it. It is there but useless. Can we get that fixed? I have been researching with you for many, many years and liked everything just fine except that you have to keep telling it the country and state. That is annoying and should be able to remain there till I change it. That is the only thing I would ever have changed on the site besides adding more material.

  16. ditto on the comment about beta testing.

    I’m a systems admin, and look for those “odditities”

    Besides I use SuSE 11.0
    and FireFox most of the time to use the site

  17. Arthur Granbury

    Looks like the list of threads on a particular board no longer has links in a different color (none are bold) and the list of boards in Alerts are all bold regardless of no new posts.

    Please fix.

  18. M Peters

    I welcome the new changes and slick interface very much but how do you access and edit each To-Do item?

    A lot of my reminders are more than a few words long and I can’t remember the full text of each one(!)

    Hope you can help!

  19. Phil Kohler

    How do I go about asking a question? I see the comments people are making but do not know how to get my questions asked. Thanks

  20. Joyce Ostrander

    This is TERRIBLE!! I search by state, can’t do that any more like in the past. That’s VERY cumbersome to do now.
    Can’t refine search once you’re in a database.
    You seem to have moved backwards, rather than improving anything.

  21. I like the ease of the updates but it does take time to readjust to new ways.
    I picked the wrong day to update files. I had done updates in ancestry yesterday and downloaded my gedcom file from ancestry to place it into Family Tree Maker to do a book and none of the photos transfered over. I had 10885 files and now have 10232 losing 603 files and lost all the other trees I was attached to on It overroad the last saved file. mylast saved gedcom was 3/20/2009 with 10245 files, which I have still.
    I thought having my tree online was a great protection to have. I have no idea what files were lost or where to start to rebuild. Photo file stayed same on ancestry just didnt transfer to FTM. What do I do now?

  22. Joyce Ostrander

    Canceled my membership when it expires. I would’nt use this even it was free, never mind having to pay $155 a year.
    I do volunteer research for adoptees searching for birth parents. I need to stay in the same state to access the births, deaths, marriages, etc for a particular state. That way of searching is gone. And I used the “refine search” all the time. I use the same last name and change the first names or add/eliminate middle intials by “refine search”. Now you have to start all over, a new search entry.

  23. These changes seem to be only for the individual subscriptions. Our library has Ancestry Library Edition, and looking at that page right now, I don’t see anything like these changes. Just so people know – when they come in to use it at the library, we can tell them that they must have an individual subscription to avail themselves of these new features.

  24. Anne Mitchell

    We are aware that the refine your search link at the top of the page on old search is not linking at the moment, and are working on fixing it.

    If you press Ctrl+End, you will get to the bottom of the page and find the refine template. The functionality is still there, it’s just that the link doesn’t take you to the bottom of the page.

  25. Toni Sheehan

    Why can’t I simply go to a census site and browse the census. I am looking for a listing of children in an orphanage but can’t pull up the county and twp. to search. You could at one time do this but no longer. You are making Ancestry much to difficult for the casual browser.

  26. LarryN-

    You are correct. Libraries have a different membership that doesn’t include many of the personalized features such as family trees, Quick Links, To-Do’s and other products that are unique to an individual. We did add the search drop-down for the Ancestry Library edition to enable faster navigation.

  27. I.J. Wilhelm

    I have no problem with the new navigation system, but what has happened to:
    1) refine your search option when search comes up with no options or when you want to change some of the details of a search;
    2) ability to print fom documents, stories, etc. that are turned up in a search.

    Since the beginning of this week, I have been unable to do these things.

  28. George Landry

    browsing through the newspaper archives is still slow, it takes an average of ten seconds to go from one page to the other…after I have been on for about an hour , everything seems to slow down.

  29. Shelley Way

    I needed the surname in Bastrop Co., TX for the 1870 census.
    I put in the surname and Bastrop Co., TX in the location and got over 4,000 hits in Texas. It certainly did NOT narrow my search to Bastrop Co. Thank goodness there is a way to go back to the old search…please leave it intact. Like several others I’m tired of all these changes. They might be okay if they worked as they should but something is always wrong with them.

  30. Carol A. H.

    In addition to the underline being missing on the top “Refine your search” the boxes in old search templates are not as big vertically when you enter information to search historical records. If you search trees, it is the same as it always was.

    There is a noticeable difference in text size in the old search templates in some places, not all. It’s smaller. More blank space is visible which is one of the reasons I hate the new search. Too much wasted blank space.

    My eyes may not be perfect but they didn’t get worse over the weekend!

    I wish you people at TGN or ancestry, or whatever, would leave old search alone. Stop messing with it. Play with the new search all you want, I don’t use it. Too slow, inefficient and lousy results to cite a few items.

    The whole system seems to be slower. Just because it is new, doesn’t mean it is better. I guess you people have to do something to justify your paychecks.

    How about fixing some of the databases which are impossible to search efficiently because OCR was used. Newspapers and directories to name a couple.

    Give it a rest! Enough already with the changes!

  31. Kathy Marie

    30 Written by:
    George Landry

    Posted on:
    May 28, 2009 at 8:50 pm
    browsing through the newspaper archives is still slow, it takes an average of ten seconds to go from one page to the other…after I have been on for about an hour , everything seems to slow down.




  32. Kathy Marie

    Melissa Phillips would you please pass this along to Michelle Pfister – I can’t seem to find a way to send this to her FTM 2009 portion of the Ancestry com Blog

    Michelle Pfister——–I hope you find this as I can see nowhere in the Family Tree Maker Blog to report it other than here

    A Few Suggestions —–Please pass them along to the programmers/decision makers
    Number 1—It would be nice if this Blog used a full fledged word processor to create suggestions/point out issues and problems, etc. Trying to type info into the little box that is provided is difficult and time consuming. Also, if I/you try to overcome this by typing comments on a word processor (e.g. MS Word) and copy and paste them into the little box provided, then in most cases the formatting is destroyed and you/I have to scroll up and down in the little box provided to fix the formatting.

    Number 2 –I know this has been suggested at least a thousand times, but I will try once again. Create two “threads” in the Family Tree Maker 2009 portion of this Blog. Reserve one of these threads to be only used by users who want to provide suggestions for improving/enhancing FTM 2009. Reserve the other thread for users who want to point out problems with FTM 2009, but don’t have suggestions for fixing the problems. ——Yes, I know these items can be sent directly to the “Programmers/Decision Makers”, but I think showing them directly in the Blog gives all users a view of the suggestions/problems made by other users. Also it would help in putting all the problems/suggestions in one place rather than having them helter skelter throughout the total Blog
    Number 3 – This suggestion deals with the Data Errors Report in FTM 2009 — I will Just give an example – In the “Errors to Include” Menu if I check the box “Wife’s surname same as husbands name” and run the report I get a listing of all the females in my data base who have the same surname as their husband (This is good and a very useful report for investigating potential errors). However, if I investigate, say just one husband and wife and find that both have the appropriate surname (e.g. they are cousins) I can’t find any mechanism to point out to the system that that particular item is ok and don’t tell me about it in future runs of the report, so I am suggesting that such a mechanism be provided ——- If there is a mechanism, but I just can’t find it, sorry for reporting it. Also there should be a mechanism, which says something to the effect that “globally” remove all individual mechanisms that I have previously reported as ok and let me start all over

  33. Netzband

    Having been a member of Ancestry for a long time, I like the new navigation. However, I really like having a search by state function. Am I missing this or is it truly gone?

  34. tcandkk


    Click on the search button, ignore the roll down menu. Scroll to the bottom of the page for the list of states.


  35. DelWilliams

    I’m impressed with the new site navigation, it really does saving having to return to the Homepage. Having said that, I’m a long-time Ancestry subscriber, I still don’t use new search because I have yet to see any reason to get hundreds of results when I only need a few. When I start seeing 100% praise about that feature from subscribers in your blogs, then I may take a look at it again. I also almost never do a search from the main Search menu, I prefer to go to a specific database to do a search. One thing that I wish you would fix is the US Census searches so that when you search by State and County for the entire census, why can’t those parameters STAY when you click onto the individual years?

  36. Dave

    The ‘refine your search’ button does not work anymore. I’ve spent extra hours because a have to do a new search instead of refining my old searches. Its extremely frustrating. If you continue to make improvements, it won’t be long before this service is completely worthless.

  37. Thanks everyone for your thoughts and feedback both for the new navigation and old search v. new search. I’ve passed the search feedback on to Anne and the Search team.

    Just a reminder- we are aware that the “Refine your search” button is missing and are working to fix it. In the meantime if you press Ctrl+End, you will get to the bottom of the page and you’ll find the refine template.

  38. I’m new to Ancestry site and I’m still learning. You make it easier to confirm what I have had a while in handwriting. It’s also quik to use as a referance at the libraries and crthouse records.Thank You..Your site has helped me locate so many ancestors..and even living cousins..
    Keep up the grt work.

  39. Cathy

    You all have done a wonderful job! I love having everything right in front of my very eyes.
    It’s awesome!

  40. Jo

    Melissa, what’s taking so long to fix the “Refine your search” link? A user named familyfinder8255 on the message boards pointed out that the problem is a misplaced tag in the html code. Specifically, the ending anchor tag after a href=”#SearchAgain” should be placed after the words “Refine your search” instead. (I left the brackets off in case it wouldn’t post properly with them). Anyway, that sounds like an easy enough fix.

  41. Suppose I am on another person’s public tree and I want to use a picture of theirs. I go to the attach button and press it. Up pops a box with a drop down menu to choose the correct tree. When I try to change to the tree I want it will not do it. Can you tell me why it won’t? It is very frustrating.

  42. Beverly

    Since the upgrade I have found that the refine search button on the BMD pages does not work. Which means I have to reload and start again which is time consuming.

    Am I doing anything wrong, or is this a new development??


  43. Beverley #45

    I guess it must be early morning where you are 🙂

    There are at least 10 messages here about the problem with the ‘refine search’ button – particularly #25 from Anne Mitchell and #39 from Melissa Philips.

    Just FYI – it isn’t you….


  44. J. Proctor

    What happened to the exact option in the searches? It seems to have disappeared as part of the new look for the site. I had gotten really good at using it and I really can’t do much without it. Most of my ancestors had pretty common names and I need to be able to force at least one fact in each search or else I end up with 200k+ totally irrelevant results to wade through. I hope it reappears soon. Without it, this site isn’t very helpful to me.

  45. Syble

    I DO NOT like the changes, the drop downs are okay, but each time I want to revise my search, I have to go back and type in all the information again.
    It has been very frustrating. I want to be able to search a particular database, i.e. 1920 census for Daniel J. Barnett, I may get pages of hits, I don’t want to go through all those, so I want to go back and research quickly Daniel Barnet or D.J. Barnett, etc., and if I find him on the 1920 census then I may want to look for this same person on the 1930 census or a particular states death records.

    I’ve actually left an ancestry search and went to another site several times lately to easily find what I’m wanting. I don’t have time to look among hundreds of hits.

    In my opinion this was a big MISTAKE.

  46. Robin Woodson

    The dropdown menu for “my trees” drops BEHIND the rest of the page, therefore rendering me incapable of choosing another tree from that dropdown. I have to go to the family trees button at the top, and go through several more steps to get where I want to go. Please fix this.

  47. In lieu of adding new features that the Ancestry staff feels has significance, it is believed that current subscribers would place more importance on cleaning up the programs already available. An example is the lack of consistency on how search results of a census inquiry are displayed. It is not logical that the index of one census record scatters family members at random while, from another record, everyone of like surname is displayed in sequence according to their year of birth. Your concept requires the subscriber to toggle between screens because we extract names from the actual census page for comparison to what your index lists for the name and birth year. An entire family should be displayed and grouped together. The children should be displayed in sequence according to their year of birth and follow immediately below the mother (or head of family) who, in turn, should be displayed immediately below the father (husband)

  48. Fran

    I do like the look of the new navigation bars. But it has not help the system is still slow. It is not my computer I am using DSL. My friend uses a LAN system and the third computer has Dial up all are doing the same.

    I have logged off and on and it does not help. Sometimes it will not even log me off. So I shut down the computer and reboot

  49. barbara dehle

    Why can’t I use the “refine” search button on the old search anymore?
    I far prefer the old search to the new one.

  50. Jan Draper

    I have no problem with search since I’m using the old one that works. However, other features I have enjoyed are gone. All of the Family Trees are in the same format so I have no choice anymore. When starting a new family tree, I liked being able to print out the “Registry” sheets. That is also gone. I have stayed with Ancestry because of the options that I had but the key word is HAD. Ancestry is becoming a clone of the other sites and losing it’s uniqueness as well as my subscription. When you start losing options, it is no longer user friendly no matter how good the Search is

  51. Jan

    Re: the comments made by Don in #51:

    I agree that there should be consistency, but disagree with the comments about the family should be listed. If you are looking at a census record, and you choose ‘view all neighbors’ to see the entire page, the results should be listed in the same order that they appear on the census page.

    They should not be put in alphabetical order, or re-arranged according to some algorithm of what someone else thinks ‘should’ be done. If there is a mistake on the census page and the children are not listed in descending order of birth year, so be it — the display should not try to correct that.

  52. Allen Bond

    The drop down feature is good. However, since it went in all my attemps to add records from census and other sources duplicate. I can’t be the only one with this problem. I’m tired on deleting duplicates after a week of this problem.

  53. I would like to see a means of Highlighting the the people I have found in the census transcripts and birth death and marriages entries which is also printable making it easier on the eyes when viewing either on screen or in print. Thank you.

  54. Jacqui

    New upgrade means the “Refine your search” in old search is no longer a hyperlink so useless.

    So far have emailed the support desk three times the last two with very specific details and the last one with a screenshot as an attachment. Unfortunately they seem to be incapable of understanding plain English or maybe they have to follow a script? Perhaps my last email saying please check first before you send me another standard reply may work? Or maybe not.

    I am really fed up of having to use the back button and gradually increasing the information I put in the search terms so have hardly used ancestry for the past week. Bit of a waste of a world subscription isn’t it? Any ideas how I can put in for a refund?

  55. The new format is good ,well done.
    what i would love is for the bmd indexes up to 1883 to be in the same format as the 1984 onwards is. any chance in the near future,rather than the present long winded page by page research.
    Regards Barry

  56. Without going into detail, I find the new search cumbersome and irritating. I want to get back to the “old search,” but there is no yellow bar just under the header with a link in the right corner that says “old Search.” What now? I’m a 10-year member of Ancestry, and this is NOT an improvement.

  57. Elsa #62

    I’m guessing that you are on the home screen, and if so you are correct there is no old search link.

    If you go to the search screen (click on search tab) the yellow bar and link to old search is there.


  58. Paula Bevilacqua

    I have heard great things about your site. But I am getting very tired of asking your search engine to find Joseph Brown of Washington County, Tennessee USA census records of 1820 calling up 5,388,333 census records of many years and many, many names besides Joseph Brown. Am I doing something wrong.

  59. Annmarie LaDue

    I’ve been a member of Ancestry since around 1999, off and on for a couple of years. Been full force since about 2001 time frame and subscribe to ALL! Since some blogs I can not comment on, I will say the German Records would be great for older times if and when possible as my German Roots came over in 1852 from Prussia (did however, find them on ship records!)

    I have seen Ancestry grow and grow, daily and yearly and the data available now is far beyond what I ever expected from when I first heard about this site in my Family Tree Magazine!!!

    I just started adding my family tree, but right now it is private due to the fact I have added living people (it helps me in my research!)..but always feel free to contact me if you have any interest or questions about my tree!

    I’m getting use to the new changes this site is offering and wish some old ways were still available, but if you’ve been on here from the beginning, this site has come a very long way and it only gets better!

    However, I’m not crazy about the newspaper part, but I do subscribe to Newspaper Archives and I love it!

    So, between these two sites, I have found a wealth of family information and with my hobby of metal detecting (in regards to the newspaper research on items found or helping find information on people that may be connected to an artifact found! And I have to say, between both sites, I was recently ask to see if I could find a living relative of E.B. Thomas and one of my Metal Detecting friends this past weekend returned an item to a great granddaughter of E.B. Thomas!!! It was a coin he inscribed in 1822 with his name! This was returned in Oklahoma. What a wonderful ending! You can search E.B. Thomas in the Family Tree section and even see his photo! So, I like to use these two sites for many reason! Even found my sister’s father in law’s parents on census records. He was adopted in 1936.)

    I’m only second generation in the US on my father’s side (Ireland and Denmark), second generation on my mother’s side (Scotland and England) and 6th generation on my mother’s side (German).

    Those that post Family Trees on here are a big help in researching family as I recently found 2 cousins in England due to someone posting their family tree (THANK YOU!)

    So, if something is not here right now, I’m sure it will be in time. Some states / countries just won’t allow information share, they want you to go to them. The State of Virginia is not so friendly in getting information and that is where I live. I go to courthouses in the area to copy as much as I can, carrying my copier with me!! I research in the Hampton Roads area and help folks whereever I can.

    Ancestry has done an awesome job and they have come a long, long way from where they started. I would like to see more data from countries my family comes from, but for now, I am just as happy to have what is here and will continue to be a member for as long as I can (mentally, physically and financially!!!)

    Thank you Ancestry, for all you have done and what you plan to do in the future. I have seen a great urge of late of those researching their roots. However, I agree with some that say, the younger generations won’t go but so far!! I’ve been researching since 1974 (Alex Haley was my inspiration!) And going from paperwork and libraries and courthouses to sitting on my computer and typing in my data and researching in the comfort of my home, we have come a long way!

    And if EVERYONE posted their famiy trees (private or public), it would help connect so many more families!

    Blessings to all and in your search of your roots. I feel its important to know from where we have come from, to understand where we may be going!!!

    Good Luck Everyone,
    Virginia Beach, VA

  60. Alan Edgecombe

    Unable use the siblings on show relatives on a census due to the need for a parent to be nominated, this is not possible when siblings are living with siblings. The record if used then assumes you do not want that siblings records, and they are lost. PS Contact is not working e-mails try to send and after 10 minutes the e-mail is rjected is there a problem with the contact us e-mail system

  61. thomas j welch

    You have completely messed up this web site. It was easy to navigate before it was screwed up by someone who thought they were doing something great. It appears that I am not the only person upset. I can’t locate anything using the new ways. Hope you have enough sense to make changes to correct the problems created in trying to locate information for my ancesters.

  62. James L.McConaughy

    I hate the new search. I entered info for a female born 1851 in New Jersey and get hundreds of hits for males born in all years in Sweden & Denmark. None of the names were even close. I finally found my person on the third or fourth page. I had spelled the surname with one “n” instead of two. If I want to switch from census to marriage, I have to wait while the site reloads and then re-enter all the info. It takes more than twice as long as the old search.

  63. I have been asking for years about getting the relationship calculator on it seems to have fallen on deaf ears once again. I make requests and I can even get what I want even though I have paid for an entire year. I also wanted to see if she showed double and triple relationships between families. like Double cousins. I know I have a lot of intermarrying in my family. I’ve run into a few, but I’d like for to point out things like that. (and things like My aunt married my cousins husbands father. It doenst’ show relation like those I gave above. Another one is both my parents and grandparents are cousins. I want it to pick up on things like that and show me.

  64. Andy Hatchett

    Cynthia-RE: #71

    You are operating under a false assumption.

    The Online Member Trees feature in *not* a genealogy program; if is merely a display application.

    To get what you want you need a real genealogy program on your computer and maintain all your information there.

    For more on this subject check teh Member Trees Message Board.

  65. Thanks again, everyone, for your feedback about the new navigation on the site.

    For those of you who were concerned about the bug that temporarily removed the “refine your search” link, it was fixed this morning and is now back where it is supposed to be. Thanks for your patience!

  66. Lisa

    Re #72 Andy,

    Yes, for display, Our tree members want to be able to see how they are related to people in the tree, in addition they want to see how any two people are related. These tree members will NEVER have the tree on their computer, they want to view the tree and learn about their family.

    This is a tool for genealogists! as well as their families who do not work on the trees.

  67. Sherry

    Andy is correct.

    I use Legacy and can view my tree as an html (website) at any time, you do not need ancestry for that and this program is fantastic. I love the sourcewriter help.

    Do not get me wrong as I love ancestry as far as their database goes. I have found many ancestors and appreciate their service which is why I have been with them for so long.

    That being said, I do not like their approach to family trees and will never post my tree on their website as a result.

    They seem to lull you into attaching records and that is fine but if someone does not have a sub to that particular database, they are directed to “pay” in order to view same. I may sound like a nut, but if I am going to take time to share information, do not want ancestry involved and certainly do not expect folks to pay for my research.

    While I believe that Ancestry should generate an income for what they have accomplished and wish them well in that regard, I do not feel that they should generate an income from the research of others.

    On one hand we are paying, on the other we are also giving and this giving seems to be lost.

    Sorry for being so off-topic from this thread.

  68. mcwasthere

    AnnMarie in note #67 expressed much of what I feel about Ancestry. I seldom look at blogs because it seems that they are a forum for all the naysayers to post their feelings anonymously. That said, I will post my positive comments.

    I have been a member of Ancestry since 2002. How I wish I had been there since its inception! As a result of having an old Bible, I tried to start researching in our local library (with a very good genealogical section and equipment) in the 80s. However, very little was accomplished with a day’s work of cranking microfilm machines, waiting for a librarian available to copy pages (it was not self-service back then), traveling to small-town libraries for hand transcription because of no copiers, etc. Since subscribing to Ancestry, I’ve made fabulous finds, all from the ease of my home.

    Yes, sometimes Ancestry’s new changes are a bit frustrating, but I find that after a few weeks I’ve adjusted and never look back. I feel that some people are losing sight of the wealth of material available on Ancestry and are focusing too much on the technical.

    A few little tweaks would be nice but are not critical for me:

    1. I would like to see a way to determine relationships in the tree.
    2. I would like to add a fact and a source in one step rather than two.
    3. I do want fonts to be large enough that I don’t have to strain my eyes. Every time Ancestry makes a page change, it seems that there is more on the page and fonts are smaller. However, so far, important facts are in bold and are still easy to read. Ancestry, please keep in mind that many of us wait until we are in our 50s and 60s before we get interested in our families. We need all the help we can to keep things legible.

    I hope the above comments don’t place me into the negative blogger category. I think Ancestry is doing a wonderful job and can’t imagine going back to life without the site. Thank you, Ancestry.

  69. Ruth Dresher-Brown

    It would be nice in deepening searches to have the family info stay at the top with the rest scrolled under it. I always have to pages open so I can review the people page against the data presented in the search page.

    Toggling would be nice.

    I got a msg I could not edit in the new person page preview mode, had to go back to old search.

    I do not appreciate the advertising pop-ups! Send out messages, quit interupting my work.

    Once I’ve attached an item the search page does not always make note of the addition, opening me to duplicate entry. It would be nice to get a notice that this may be a duplicate of ” ” and caution.
    Thank you.

  70. Barbara

    I agree with Jade #7
    My initial reaction to the new look was that I hate it. I don’t like the new look or the layout. I like the time line on the left at the top and I don’t need the Media Gallery in my face. That should be at the bottom out of the way. Just add the new enhancements to the old layout or if the new layout is a done deal and it’s going to be forced on us, at least make it so we can customize the layout like on the homepage.

    One problem I did find is the inability to get back to the individual’s profile if you choose any of the options from the drop down box at the top of the page, next to the tree name or if you choose to go to the “View family tree”. If you pick any of these it takes you out of the person’s individual profile page with no easy way to get back that I can figure out. You have to go to the “List of all people” to find the individual whose page you were on or you have to type in the name in the “search for person” box, or if you go to the Family Group Sheet and click on the little View Profile icon it, which took me a while to figure out. This doesn’t make it easier or quicker to navigate. In the old layout you could choose “People” to get back to the individual profile page from the tree view. That choice seems to have been left out of the new layout.

    One thing I would like you to add would be a place under the person’s name to put an alternate or nick name.
    Also, I have been researching in the City Directories lately and I have found it very frustrating. I have been searching manually to find the people I am looking for because the search engine will not find certain names and I waste a lot of time trying to trick the search engine into finding the page that person is on so I can attach that record to the individual. It would be helpful to be able to save directly from a manual search of the City Directories.

    I think you wasted a lot of time and money on this new layout. I really don’t see much of an improvement from the current layout. I would rather you use your time to add content and definitely fix the search engine problems.

  71. Barbara

    I added this comment to the wrong page. This was meant for the latest post. My reference about Jade#7 isn’t on this page.

  72. AG

    Re #69 … you are so right. Once again Ancestry’s “improvements” are a real bunch of hogwash. You are making it way too difficult to find people. At least let us choose which area to search, not give us everything and then waste time going through pages and pages of useless information. I need to locate people both in England and throught the US and trying to find the right person now takes forever. Ancestry would be better off with less bells and whistles and more consistent information. Please bring back the search function with the location. Anybody listening? Anybody caring?

  73. James Lothamer

    I just want to say that I find it very difficult to do a search on for the sources that might be available for a particular item. It’s easy to seach a name but not a topic or a source (or even to see that you have the source). But I do enjy the site.

  74. Ruby Ryno

    I like the new format. For getting to a certain state, just go to card catalog. Once you filter to United States, then you can filter to State. You can filter by collection, place, date, language. Once you choose a filter, such as census, it will reset and then you can filter to USA, then to state. Once you click on the census you want, a new page will open up with search function. But if you scroll further down page, there are the states you can choose.
    To change any filter, just click on x to get rid of one you don’t want.

    You can always find problems with anything, but since I am one of those that used to have to go to libraries all the time, Ancestry is a great convenience for me. While it is not perfect, like all technology and our family trees, it is a work in process.

  75. tlhittle

    This probably isn’t the correct place for this question, but I’m not seeing any better place to ask it and the subject here is search.
    So.. In Church records under the heading directories and membership lists such as:
    l Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, 1757-1885: Upper Milford Reformed Congregation ., how do associate parents and sponsors to the child that is baptised? There seems to be no reasoning to the way they are listed. If a sponsor has a different last name than the child, I see no way of even guessing which child they sponsored. Children with the same last name show up in order in the list and so do the parents,(with sponsors of the same last name mixed in). It would seem to me that some order would be set up by the data base such as: surname of child’s Birth, child baptism, Mother, father,sponsors and on to the next event, (probably alphabetically by child surname then church record). If there is any such order to these records I’m missing it. Help on this is needed and would be greatly appreciated.


  76. marrene2

    As with all changes, some are good, some not so. Have a little problem with all the drop down (or pop up) menus…keeps me from trying to type in my data. Could this be changed a bit please? I’d also like to see a change on names. When I want to see a Richard Whomever….I get so tired of fighting through a bunch of Charles, Jack, Ted, Martin Whomevers trying to find the Richard I’m looking for. How about either putting in the Richard names or just saying there aren’t any more on record at the moment? Unless there is an initial with a C there isn’t much of a chance any other name will work.

  77. I.J. Wilhelm

    Am I the only one with this problem? Since the new changeover, I am unable to print from newspaper or book references from stories and publications. There are no longer icons to click on to print or to order copies, etc. There is very little point in having whole books and newspapers online if one can’t access parts of them and print relevant details. Please fix this.

  78. Reed

    Of course, the “improvements” aren’t much use if the databases are incomplete. Here’s **another** incomplete directory (this one goes from “A” to “Ideal Machine Co.”):

    U.S. City Directories > Ohio > Columbus > 1946 > Polk’s Columbus (Franklin County, Ohio) City Directory

    The remaining pages are missing. Come on, Ancestry, at least check to see if you have all the directory pages/images attached to the database. (And who knows whether the names are findable with the search engine. I was browsing manually through this directory.)

    New Navigation Tools won’t fix items that are missing or improperly indexed…


  79. Robert E. Tapscott

    It would help navigation if one had the option to order lists of messages on a Message Board by date, oldest first. Right now, it appears that they are ordered latest first automatically. The ability to order by submitter would also be handy.

  80. Virginia Saul

    I have been a subscriber for many eons but I do not like your new search for US census. I was looking for a particular person and I had where he was living at the time of the 1920 Idaho census but it did not show him or his wife or son on the search. The seach could not locate him at all even with excate match not checked. I found him by looking through each page of Center Point, Canyon, Idaho.

  81. B

    I do like the idea of having my To-Dos available via a drop-down from all pages, and it is great to be able to prioritize/move them around by simply dragging.

    That said, I have the same question as “M Peters” in post #19 above. Two issues: first, I also need to be able to access/edit the To-Do items. Second, many of my to-do items are 2x or 3x longer than the very limited ~35 characters that actually display.

    Please advise if we’ll be given the functionality to edit and show the full text of our To-Do item in the future.

    Also, what happened to the hints link from the main page? It used to be so easy to go to and see “See All People With Hints,” then start my research.

  82. Mel Freeze

    I have been with Ancestry for a few years.I refuse to look at your new stuff.
    Please,your customers are researchers,and it seems we spend more time trying to keep up with your never ending,changing things. When we get in a grove you change. If we needed something differant we may move to another Comany.

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