Posted by Ancestry Team on July 28, 2009 in Site Features

Tomorrow, July 29th, we are launching two enhancements. The first is enhanced editing of index data, and the second is an enhanced version of the image page.

Enhanced editing

One of the most frequent requests from our members is to have the ability to add alternates to more than just given names and surnames. The fields you can update will vary by data collection, but they will include names, places and dates and we will expand the list as time goes on. We’ve also updated the way you add alternates to make it a bit easier.

When you are on a record page, on the left hand side, you can click on “Add Correction”

You’ll see the “Add an update” dialog:

Add what you know, click on “Submit Alternate” and we will make it available for others to see. This information will also be added to our search index over time to help others find this record.

If you added in something incorrectly, you will see a trash can icon in the summary panel. Click on the trash can and your submission will be removed.

Enhanced image page

If you’ve ever tried to read an image you know how handy it would be to see the indexed information on the same screen. In our enhanced image viewer, the index panel below the image will show you the transcription for each record on the image.

Sometime on Wednesday, July 29th, images from the following data collections will be shown in the new enhanced image page. Go to one of the search pages listed below, search for one of your ancestors or anyone else you can think of that lived in the 1860’s or 1870’s, view the image and see what the enhanced image page has to offer.

We will be making more census data collections available in the new enhanced image page over the next few weeks, and other data collections over the next few months.

You will be able to view and add alternate submissions from the index panel. Mouse over the field you would like to add information for, and when you see the pencil, click. Add the alternate information, and you will then see it in bold italics in the index panel. If you see information in italics but it is not bolded, then it means someone other than ancestry has added that information.

You can read more about the enhanced image page in a previous post Enhancements to the image page

Happy Searching!


  1. Carolyn Robert

    I love the new improvements. One of the things I’ve always wanted to see is a way to sort your search result by different categories, ie. for census records by state of birth, date of birth, spouse’s name etc. It would be really handy in searching to be able to sort the results.

  2. barb fisette

    Why do you NOT give priority to the birth, death, marriage states when given?

    It is annoying and insulting to look through hundreds of findings from UNWANTED STATES!

    Please consider our time is valuable.
    Thank you.

  3. debbie sherman

    i can hardly wait …. it’s hard reading some census,it beats dragging out the magnifing glass!!!

  4. Dee Brett

    I agree with others; priority should always be given to birth and death states, then followed by remaining states. It is not only annoying to sift through hundreds of others that are listed; it is frustrating. Researchers still may have to search other states; but first must eliminate the birth & death states.

    I think your improvements to the census will be refreshing; though I was not able to see the improvement when I searched…….I will anxiously await tomorrow !!


    carol you wright like you have a handle on this ancestry i would like you to e-mail me or phone so i ncan tell uyou what need, and the cost


    ann mitchel
    you wright like you have a handle on this ancestry i would like you to e-mail me or phone so i ncan tell uyou what need, and what is the cost

  7. Alice Hornbeck

    When I try to print census records with enhanced printer clicking the print that is not custom, a window appears and says ‘an error has been made’. And it will not print nor will my own brouser print. As I am on dial-up, the custom print is just too slow. This occured after some ‘updates’ on my computor. Guess I should call in about this or can you fix?

  8. I’m having difficulty with social security number that sumbitted on be half of my progenitor, George Washington Caulton #712-07-0885, no record sows up, nor can I find his death records for the state of Colorado, sometime in 1950.

  9. Chris Doberstein

    I have to answer some posts that have said that they are having issues wanting to look just in a specific state for census records etc. Thats what the advanced search is for put the name of the state you are lookng and check EXACT. If you don’t know the state then uncheck it…I believe it was POST #3,
    And Post #4 use your enhance button to read the census the + sign in the viewer

  10. Dick Moody

    Great improvements.
    In the next version, please pay attention to the requests to prioritize birth and death states; or, if you continue the current default search priorities, consider providing a radio button (check box) to indicate one (birth or death) to be the priority for that specific search.
    Thanks for listening.

  11. beverly frazer

    I can’t find any marriages from 1939 to 1949 in wy, or washington state. as far as that goes without going through all the deaths,births.
    and then i can’t find them anyhow.

    i would like to know how to do this without spending hours for nothing.

    i am just about ready to quit ancestry, i talket to a gentelman there and he couldn’t tell me anything, except the state. big deal that didn’t help eather.

    you press marriages, deaths m births in a state. thats a joke.

    i am trying to find the marriage of francis nina willkerson, lived in thernopolis , wy in 1939 married i believe a ralph shcroeder after that and died in kirkland wash. in 1985 . can’t find marriage license or anything else. i am getting very upset.

    there are other people i can’t find eather. every time i start to get on the trail you change. and only y0u know what to do.

    i have been with you for years and have bought all the programs and i know less that when i started.

    i love doing genealogy and thought i had the best sorces but i am not sure
    anymore…..beverly frazer

  12. These sound like great features. I look forward to using them. In the future, I would really like the have a feature added that would allow a user to sort search results by clicking on the various column headings. One click to sort ascending, and a second click to sort descending. In the meantime, I think is THE best online site!

  13. Chris

    When people edit records to give alternate information, I do wish you would add a MANDATORY field for recording where the person found the edited data and for their user name. It is bad enough seeing so many unsourced/undocumented/unverified data in member family trees, much less mucking up official data like census, military records, ets. with yet more unsubstantied data.

  14. Chris

    I agree with other posters – the ability to sort results (by date, state, name, etc.) would be a VERY helpful improvement!

  15. Michael Barrett

    The section for notifying Ancestry of incorrect census images is missing. The 1930 census of Midland City (Ward 1) of Midland County Michigan has many duplicate and missing images. I tried to report it today and the section to do this is missing.

  16. Michael Barrett

    I use the old search engine as I have better luck getting accurate matches to my search request. I hate the new search engine as it provides too many results even when you provide data to supposedly narrow the search. Please do not remove old search as an opttion.

  17. Hi all,
    I too think that the old search method is much better than the new one. It gives much more ways to search, much more results for example if you do a exact search and much more. The new search method needs a lot of improvement.
    The new feature in the census records I have seen yet but up till now I several times came in a loop while pushing the back button in the upper left corner while viewing a census record. I hope this problem will be solved with this new feature.

  18. Pamela Abikhair

    Is there any way I can get rid of these so called enhancements. I don’t wish to see a transcription at the bottom of the emumerators page because of the huge amount of mistakes. “If it works, don’t fix it.” Thank you.

  19. Susan Civgin

    Having trouble enlarging census information. Screen goes blank when I hit the plus button in the toolbar. Do NOT need the transcription below – just takes up useless space. Is there any way to crop before printing? Several years ago, I was able to do that and then the format changed. I waste a lot of ink on the black border of the census pages.


  20. Thomas Kerwin

    The new screen display – SUCKS.

    I want to see the older version for the 1860 census images.

  21. Will You Please Please Stop Messing Around With This Site.

    I Do Not Need This Information On This Page – It Is Just Cluttering Up The Information That I Want To View.

    How Many More Feedbacks Do I Have To Send For You To Stop????

    As I Said Before To Kenny On The Other Blog Page Referring To The New Design:
    ” If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It”

    I Have Paid Several Hundreds Of Pounds To Use Ancestry – I Have Not Asked For These Changes = Please Revert Back To The Ancestry That Was Much Loved

  22. Maggie Jones

    It is very obvious that Ancestry does not want corrections, additional data, or image problems reported. This new form is much harder to use because if you don’t have a line number (i.e. missing image) you can’t report it. It is very sad that Ancestry makes changes that their customers don’t wanted instead of focusing on changes that their customers want. Maybe this is a new definition of a customer service that I am unaware of.

  23. Jo


    Regarding the 1870 census (which is the only one I’ve seen at this point) It would have been better to allow a correction to the AGE which is actually listed on the census and not the estimated birth year which is an construct that is not on the 1870 census.

    Case in point, for Henry Harrison in South Amboy, NJ, due to a transcription error of age 4 as age 9, doing the math gives an estimated date of birth of 1866, but I have his death certificate which states a date of birth of 14 Sep 1865. Which do I enter as the correction – the estimated year of 1866 or the actual fact of 1865 with no way to explain why?

    If I could simply enter a correction to what’s *actually on the census* this decision would not be necessary.


  24. Judy

    The “Enhanced” census image viewer is horrid. I do not need to be spoon fed information. If I can not read the image as scanned, I certainly will not rely on someone else telling me what is says. The indexing is horrid. I want the option to use the older version of reading census pages. This “enhancement” is about the final straw in my consideration NOT to renew my full Ancestry subscription.

  25. Connie

    What happened to the links at the top of the page? You used to be able with one click return to Search or whatever place in the string you wanted to go. Now the only way to do this is to click on the “back” button umpteen times. This is not helpful. Thank you.

  26. Mark


    I hesitate to comment being unsure if the initial census records are ‘done’, but here we go..

    I like the thumbnail option…

    Still need to add an ability to submit text/comments when alerting about an ‘Image Problem’ [helps explain the exact concern rather than something generic]

    I notice that any text previously submitted along with a record correction is no longer displayed. Hope this information [which at times is valuable] is not lost

    Thanks for adding ‘Delete’ option to record correction [sometimes mistakes are made…]

    The search engine use to provide results which included user-submitted corrections. Has that changed? Arguably one could view this as good/bad…

    I note that the individual record no longer shows that an alternate, user-submitted name is available. Without that, one wouldn’t know unless you went to the original image.

    And a quick ‘technical’ issue… In IE, the Ancestry Index on the image page will not display properly if you naviagate to the page using the browser history

    Thanks for your efforts and willingness to take ‘comments’

  27. Connie

    Re #29–I should have been clearer. At the top of the 1860 pages are links that can take you back to the county or state; but the only way to search a different census or another category is going “back” multiple times. Major time killer.

  28. Anne Mitchell

    A few comments:

    • If you only want to see the image, click on “maximize image” and that will collapse the panes< . This will stick on any image you view, until you click minimize image./li>
    • Each pane is collapsible as well, just click the grey double arrows on top or side of the panel. This will also stay collapsed until you “uncollaspe” it.
    • The “report problem” link right next to magnify and zoom is the same as the “Have problems viewing this image” on the non enhanced image page.
    • Jo, (comment #27). I would enter 1865 for the record in question. You can add a comment in the member connect panel if you want to explain it as well. Remember, any index we have, and any alternates you have are all there to help searchers find records. If the correct date is indeed 1865, someone is most likely to search on that. If you were kind enough to update the record with information, then when that gets rolled into the index, someone has a much better chance of finding this record. It is sort of like givenames. If in the census it is recorded as W P, but I add the alternate Wyatt Paul, then when someone searches on Wyatt Paul, I’ve increased the chances that they will find the right record. Event dates such as birth are very important in helping people find records, which is why we choose that field. (Long winded answer! Let me know if it makes sense.)
    • Connie, (comment #29), I think what you want is there. If you click on the state name, if you look at the dialog box, you will something like “Search > Census & Voter Lists > 1870s > 1870 United States Federal Census” and you can click on any of those and get where you want. If that isn’t what you are referring to, let me know.
    • Mark, (comment #30), see above about the image problem. And the delete option was a highly requested feature. Anyone can make a mistake! We still use the user-submitted alternates in the search engine. No one knows their ancestors as well as their descendants; the information our members add is highly valued. If a user-submitted name is not available then it means, it just an alternate transcription that we did or one of our partners did. We are working on a better presentation for this. Which version of IE are you referring to.

    Keep the comments coming…I’m reading.

    Happy Searching!

  29. Nancy


    I like the thumbnail option and the ability to delete, especially to delete from the shoebox when I have saved that record to an individual.

    I can’t find the grey double arrows to collapse a pane.

    Thanks for this blog.

  30. Rich Denton

    Is there a way that I can continue to use the old version ? I find I am having to do a lot of scrolling to see the parts of the page that I want !
    I have a small screen to use for viewing and even at 25% , I do a lot of scrolling. If I change screen size, it’s to small for me to read.

  31. Mark


    I’m using IE 7.0, but, that said, I can’t duplicate [of course]…

    wrt the ‘Report Image Problem’ comment… My suggestion is that the user have the option to include a ‘message’ along with the generic issue. For example, I had a record which spanned two images [the primary page along with a continuation page]. After viewing the image ‘linked’ to the record [which was correct], I moved to the subsequent image on the ‘roll’. This image was in error [e.g. not related to the first image] and caused a portion of the transcribed fields/data to be incorrect. I was able to find the correct continuation page and the ‘good’ data/information. Hard to explain all that with just ‘Wrong Image’

    fwiw one interface suggestion/option… From the Ancestry Index on the Image page — if you double click on an entry I note the page ‘updates’ to the newly selected individual. However, you can’t easily get to the transcribed record page for that individual [the ‘Return to Record’ button takes you back to the original individual]



  32. Ellen Hilborn

    1. Regarding the new search, please do not give up the old one. That one is easier to finesse to find the garbled names. If I search on a first name in that one with a complete location I can find a person.
    2 The new image viewer has a big problem — I can NOT print the image at all. I like to have a copy of the image for my records as well as the record page but This is not working. I am getting extremely frustrated with this. I will have to go back and get those images if and when you fix this mess.

  33. Ann,
    I like the improvements, but there are still problem areas. When we look at “hints” on someone on our tree, we can see that persons info, spouse, children and parents, which helps us identify the hints as valid. When we use “search for historic documents”, we can only see a small box with the birth & death dates. Not much help. I constantly have to write down the other information to help me identify whether a document is about my person or someone else. The other big problem I have is not being able to sort search data by dates, place, etc.

  34. Ida Watson

    Looking forward to tomorrow! Usually takes a bit for us “ole folks” to accept change but it is usually worth it.
    #14 Reader comment: Try 1930 US Census, Wyoming, Thermopolis. Asked for Nina Wilkerson, Francis Nina came up first on the list then a bunch of Ninas. All takes patience = time!

  35. Rich Denton

    I just entered a comment and forgot to mention that even if I change Image size, the scroll bars are out of the viewing ares , so I will have to scroll to move the image anyway !


  36. eugenecordell

    I wish you would stop changing how we do our research on this website, I am 80 years old and can not find my way around when you make changes to
    maybe I need to

  37. Jo

    Thanks, Anne, I will go make that correction now and attempt to leave a comment.

    Oh, and I especially like the ability to remove records saved to my Shoebox! I can finally clear the mess out! lol

  38. I am also having a problem finding people on the census when I know they have to be there. As an example they are there in 1860 and 1880 but I cannot find in 1870. Any suggestions would be apprciated.

  39. Jeanne Bristol

    Each and every record from the newspaper that I’ve used in the past- Sheboygan Wisconsin is not “image not available”

    What gives?

  40. Flip Kohler

    Keep up the great work. What bothers me is in the census search you get the last names in and then get the varieties (which is fine) but then get the names you are looking for later on as well. These could be grouped better.

  41. Hazel Clack

    I totally agree with barb fisette; and I have contacted Ancestry more times than I can count about the issue of searches bringing up unwanted names, unwanted states, etc, etc. Even records for England, Canada, etc when the person never left the U.S.!!
    Why can’t you seperate the census records, by state? It would also help if Ancestry took a look at their other database records and put them into a state-by-state grouping.
    It’s a waste of our time to ‘surf’ through all the unwanted documents!

  42. Mike

    I am unable to see the newly updated records image page. It still opens as the old normal image view (I tried the 1861 Census of Canada). I tried both Safari and Firefox.

    Any ideas?

  43. Anne Mitchell

    Mike, it appears that the 1861 Census of Canada did not get included in the initial list. 1871 was.


  44. #22, Pamela Abikhair said: “Is there any way I can get rid of these so called enhancements.”

    Answer: Get a Mac. We still get a viewer that doesn’t even let you save the image to disk automatically. You have to open it in a new page and manually save it with a “Save As.”

  45. I would like to know if there is a site where delayed birth certificates are kept? It would be nice to have all information concerning one state or country grouped together. Thank you for the great job you all are doing.

  46. Beverly Watson

    I love the Enhanced Editing. So many times, I accidentally stumble upon a census record because the transcribed name bears no resemblance to the actual name. Now I can correct the name so in future this person can be found. This is a wonderful addition.

  47. Mike

    I believe that all these enhancements are good. We need to just be a bit patient while the wrinkles get ironed out.

    I think the biggest problem is that users don’t necessarily understand why the changes are implemented, and what they are trying to achieve with them. Because of that they are trying to search the same way they were when using the old methods, and are perhaps not using the new functionality as intended (which when used as intended actually yields better results).

    In response to C. Drew (#49): I am using a MAC and have all the functionality available to me (except for what used to be enhanced image viewing). All new functionality is present when using Safari.

    I have to agree with Beverly Watson (#51), I like all the enhancements that are being implemented, especially the new member connect. Since this morning I have been able to further a lot of research that I previously couldn’t find, because member connect allowed me to get one or two sources from other members trees that opened up entire new doors for me.


  48. Donna Stock

    I seem to be having trouble attaching the record to others in the family on that record too. Did this feature go away or is it just somewhere I can’t find it now?


  49. Anne Mitchell

    Mike and anyone else who is interested, let me see if I can explain why.

    First on the editing, in a nutshell, it’s because members have asked for it. I’d say that it’s in the top ten of member requests: let me edit more than names! And it’s a great idea. Every piece of data you put in is eventually added to the index making the record just that more findable. It’s an Act of Genealogical Kindness that keeps on giving. 🙂

    As for the index panel, it makes it easier to read the multi record images. You can easily spot relatives in the household AND on the page. Lots of people lived next door or in the same area. I’ve gotten in the habit of scanning the surnames in every image I look at…you’d be amazed at how quickly you can find interesting possibilities. Bottom line, it makes the image more scan-able. Once you use it for awhile, you get addicted to it.

    Comments in the member connect panel. I’ve got these ancestors that I know stuff about, and I’d love to share the tidbits. For instance I just updated one of my ancestors Frances J Hackler Hash: with info on who her parents were and that she was a second wife. It might prompt someone to contact me with more info, it might not. But it might make someone’s life easier. And I know people might post something that’s wrong, but they probably mean well, and anyone who is at least semi serious about genealogy is going to check it out and verify it. You just never know where the next clue is going to come for that brick wall you’ve been banging at.

    Source tab. Sure, we’ve got some work to do before we get it to Evidence Explained standards, but it gives us a great place to start and get more information out to people.

    Printing has been improved with more options…go check it out. And we are looking into the whole IE8/Vista craziness.

    And try browse…you can do all on the same page..we think it’s a lot more convenient.

    Member connect is really interesting. I was amazed at how many others are looking at my ancestors. I’ve got more cousins than I may know about. And more cousins may mean more information!

    For some of you, the change may seem a bit jarring at first, but I suggest you give it a chance and see if items like the index panel don’t have their uses.

    OK, I think I am VERY long winded today!

    Happy Searching!

  50. cyndy sherwood

    I too am having trouble saving a record when a hint is given. Under the old format this was not an issue.

    Also do not seem to be getting as many hints as before.

  51. Venita

    The new indexing on the page is an irritation in trying to read what is actually there. I hate that I have to click 2 or 3 panes when I go to use the site for just one entry. I don’t think I am going to “get used to” this new feature anytime soon and would prefer the option of choosing the view like I choose the search option.

    The new search option has issues that need to be fixed before I will prefer it over the old. for example:

    1) It only gives you a maximum of 50 places to visit for a specific record be it marriage, death, military, wills, etc. I have stumbled into the correct site by looking down to the 161st and 193rd site listed before.

    2) It does not give as many spelling options in the states already listed in the person’s profile. I am researching Tyler and have found records under spellings as odd as Tyener – never would have found it with the new search engine because it is never an option to look at.
    3) It is very difficult to switch between the two search options. You have to start your search all over again and it isn’t fun. It would be great if you could switch without having to go back all the way to choosing the tree your working on.

  52. John Leith

    JULY 29 IMAGE “ENHANCEMENTS” NO GOOD IN NETSCAPE 7.2. The July 29 image enhancements make the images completely inaccessible when using Netscape 7.2 – images flash on and off and don’t last long enough to read. While I can use Ancestry’s census images in MS IE 7, there are times when it’s much better to use Netscape.
    Please add some kind of toggle button to deactivate these so-called enhancements, so they stay off until I choose to activate them again some other time.

  53. Rosemary West

    Please keep the old views and old searches as options. Much of the old stuff was better, less cluttered and easier to use than the so-called improvements.

    One improvement I always ask for and have yet to see is the ability to sort search results the way I want them sorted. In a long list, especially where misspellings and other errors may be an issue, having a choice of which field to use for sorting would be extremely helpful.

  54. Mary Beth Marchant

    Here is one thing that I have found that is a huge problem when wanting to correct a record-census record, etc. Using my member tree-when I click to connect a census, there is no link at all there to correct the census. I have to go and search that census independantly of my member tree in order to get the correction page. Why is that? It needs to be fixed promptly. Since Ancstry is emphasizing member connections, it seems reasonable to have the correction page show up when I connect a census to a person on my member tree.

  55. Tru

    I will be CANCELLING if they don’t give the option of switching back.
    I Want to see a full page census without having to click it for every page.
    I want my privacy, and don’t want to list that I may have saved this page.
    I HATE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  56. LaVern Carter

    I can’t print and that is really making me mad. Worked fine an hour ago. Now, you open the census and click on print and nothing happens.

    Don’t fix something that ain’t broke.

  57. shirley bowser

    I agree that you do not give priority to requested state, birth, death, etc. but bombard us with list after list of irrevelant information. In most cases it’s not just other states but other countries as well. It leads me to believe that your data isn’t organized.

  58. Betty Beard

    Will corrections that I made to the census images (hundreds of them!) before the new display went into effect still be available for view? Or do I have to do it all over again?

  59. Linda looney

    I am not happy. Because of the neww system, I cannot directly access a newpaper obit for OH. This obit had quite a bit of info on my uncle’s family. I felt like O would easily be able to go back to it when I was ready to add his info into the family tree. I also liked the snapshot of the individual. It gave me other trees to garner information on my ouwn family and it’s various offsho0ots. Pleadse, at least put the snapshots and associated trees back in the system.

  60. In response to Mike (or was that Mrike? :), I have tried it in FireFox and Safari. I still don’t see a way to save the image without having to do a “save as.” There is no longer a “save” option in the new viewer, but If I go to Image-only print, the same popup that’s always come up returns, with print instructions and these instructions for saving:

    To save a copy of this image to your computer:
    1. Click on the image with your right mouse button (control-click on Macintosh)
    2. Select “Save Picture As” (“Download Image to Disk” on Macintosh)
    3. Select a name and location for this image on your computer
    4. Click “Save”

    As an aside, is the image supposed to completely vanish when zooming in or out? The only apparent way to get it back is to click to the next or previous image, which then loads at the newly-chosen resolution. Then you have to click back to the page you were on in order to see it at the new resolution.

  61. Anne Mitchell

    Betty, all those corrections will be available in the new view. There’s too much good stuff out there to leave it behind.

    Anyone who is having printing problems, it helps a lot if I know your OS, your browser and version and from data collection you are trying to print from.

    Linda, the obits, newspapers, have not changed at all with the enhanced image page. Are you referring to old/new search? If you are on a search page, look at the yellow bar and click on “Old Search” on the right. This will return you to the previous search experience.

    C Dew, the save functionality is in the upper right hand corner. And no, the image is not suppose to behave that way. Again, if I know your OS and browser version, it helps a lot.

  62. Hopkin Williams

    How do I send info regarding incorrectly linked census pages? For instance in 1860 Vt, the last two
    images of Bolton Vt are for Charlotte Vt, but are not included with Charlotte’s. Also, if you look up a name of someone from Charlotte who happens to be on one of those pages (i.e. Joel Stone), the response will show them as living in Bolton

  63. Stragely enough when I want to look at a census imag, that is exactly whet I want to do, not have my screen cluutered by all the other stuff.
    I am sure it looks cool on Big displays, but some of us don’t have such luxuries
    Don’t tell me I can use the maximize button, why does anything I want to do on this site involve and ever increasing number of clicks?

  64. Jean Cook

    Is there some way to make the image full page like before? My screen is so crowded with all the other stuff that I only have a small portion of the image showing.

  65. Roger Verboncoeur

    I used the Magnify Option along with the Click & Drag to expand an image to the full size of the screen & eliminate the black border. Pressed Print, Image Only & Print Current View. Out of the printer came a blank sheet of paper! Better than all black I suppose, but not ready for prime time…

  66. Having submitted several thousand corrections to your system over the last may years knowing that people looking at the same entries would seem my email and be able to contact me I find that the “improvements” have removed my Contact Information.


    Be Advised

    If you remove the old search system I will remove my subscription

  67. Barbara Hernden

    I have been a member almost since you first started this site and this “new” census page is CRAP!!!
    Put the census images back to the original format and stop trying to get cute w/ page layouts.
    If you want to “fix” something, fix the search feature so it shows you only what you ask for … I don’t want to see someone born in another state(s) when I’m searching ONE particular state.

  68. Daniel Froehlich


    Trying both Firefox 3.5 as well as IE 7.0, to access the 1860 Census. I cannot get the “enlarge image” button to respond; nor does anything happen when I click, as instructed, on the arrows below or to the side of the cenus image. All I want is to get a full screen image of the census page. I am able to enlarge or reduce the small portion of the census which shows. When I move my mouse over the arrows, the print button, etc. I get an “error on page” at the bottom of the screen. Do I need to download some new viewer? It appears from comments that I am not the only one with this very frustrating issue – I was doing fine on the old system this morning.

  69. With the bad olsd system when submitting a Correction to a census entry, there was a comment so we could pass info to the Moderator such as
    This Surname applies to the whole family

    Which saved everyone time and trouble, but you have improved it out of existence!

  70. Patt Ricketts

    It sounds like some people are getting the new enhancements to work. I’ve tried both Firefox and IE8 on my desktop (XP) & laptop (Vista). I’m trying to view the 1860 & 1870 census.

    In Firefox nothing works. In IE I get the image in a small pane but none of the buttons work at all.

  71. Kay McCullough

    I agree with Michael and others who want to keep the old way of searching (I didn’t like the “new search,” either). This will definitely take some getting used to.

    I have found so many errors in the transcriptions and family trees — you need a requirement to have documentation before people can upload wrong info.

    I am glad to have had all year and have completed many projects for friends and relatives. I understand this might help someone who is just starting out, but for those of us who are experienced, I at least don’t need all this foo-foo stuff on the bottom. Also, all of a sudden it is difficult to print off the original census records.

    We’ll see if I continue my subscription once it runs out. Some times, progress is not a good thing. Like they’ve said, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

  72. Bill Macy

    I agree with this posting 100 %.
    Give me the old engine back.

    20 Written by:
    Michael Barrett

    Posted on:
    July 29, 2009 at 5:04 am
    I use the old search engine as I have better luck getting accurate matches to my search request. I hate the new search engine as it provides too many results even when you provide data to supposedly narrow the search. Please do not remove old search as an opttion.

  73. Mel Hatch

    I can’t seem to be able to print the very fine looking maps that are now available. What can I do to do that?


  74. Melinda Poole

    We want the OLD back. Searching carrying you to too many areas. Merging & attaching harder. Give priority to the states we type in, not 100 other places!

  75. I agree with Sharon Hascup. I would first like to be able to save records without Family Treemaker freezing up. Then I would like to mark records I have used or ignored so that I do go through the same stuff over and over again. This was a feature of earlier versions.

    I just did a search on Martha Caldwell, born 1750 in Cub Creek Virginia and died 15 May 1802 in Abbeville, South Carolina. I got a bunch of records that do not match the dates, the first name, the last name or her husband’s name. I cannot imagine how you are searching to get something so out of whack on the first search page.

  76. Richard Grant

    Like a lot of others when I click on Print in the Census Image I get only a black and dull green page.

  77. Hi Anne

    For what it’s worth – I really like the new enhanced image screen. The fact that I can turn off panels is also good (and it stays turned off – I don’t have to remind it every display).

    Not had a problem with printing, in fact the only issue I had for a short time was that the ‘back button’ on the mouse didn’t return to the index page – but strangely it now seems to work.

    I used to have to return to the index page to find the surce information (RG numbers etc.,) if they weren’t displayed on the image, now that is in the right hand panel – really good.

    The square magnifying glass is really great, especially for my 60 year old eyes 🙂

    So after only a short time seeing the new images I can say I’m really happy with the improvement (but watch this space – I may find something I don’t like).

    And on a last note – I’m an old-search ‘luddite’, please do not ever get rid of the old search until everyone is happy with the new one – that should see the old search lasting until around 2050 😉


  78. While I appreciate the improvements made to the census records, I am disappointed that as a user, I was not aware this change was occurring.

    I had spent countless hours using the old system to add comments on the census records identifying where individuals can be found in a database I created at Ancestral World Tree. It now appears all of these comments have been erased by the new system.


  79. Sharon Kearns

    Fantastic What a great help to everyone. Sometimes names and ages can be difficult to read and its great that we can make corrections which could help fellow researchers.

  80. Carol Lehman

    I cannot print from the 1880 census images. It prints a blank page. I am used to printing out the original image, both enlarged sections and the whole page. This simply does not work today. It snaps to a view at 100% and does not print. Help!

  81. Eleanor King

    why can`t I just get Pennsylvania newspapers, when I am looking for some one in Pennsylvania.

  82. pwright

    At first, I thought the pages were coming up in error, because I kept getting the index for the pages… I can see how it might be useful, IF it were working correctly… I’m only getting half pages that include the image section (which shows blank), the “member connect” section, and the “Ancestry Index” section. That takes up the top half of my screen, and the bottom half is all blank. I tried the “maximize image” button, to no avail… I have the “error on page” message in bottom left of browser. FYI, am using Vista Home Premium 64 with IE7, on a laptop. Since a laptop screen isn’t all that large, the 4 or 5 lines of index which is all that I’m seeing is pretty annoying. I like the editing feature… as long as I can see the original image when I want to! So far, no luck… :^(

    I know we all get in a rut and get comfortable with “what we know,” but I gotta say I’m not so happy with all the latest changes going on around here, either. I’ll keep trying, but I sure hope this fixes itself pretty soon. I’m getting the same kind of page when I use my Family Tree Maker 2009 software, too… so, online with IE7, or from the software, I’m not able to see the original images. I ain’t happy!

  83. Debbie Perkins

    I would like to see the family view screen show all spouses and children for individuals. Right now I can only see one spouse name with their children. Like to see all members for that individual.

  84. Mary Pierson

    When I put a name for a census search I know was there in a state I can not find them on the census, or marriage or death. Do you have all records in the late 1800 and early 1900?

  85. Karen Beavers

    I’ve looked at the new “enhanced” page that’s coming out tomorrow. Now the page is WORSE! I’ve commented before that I can’t view the census or other pages because of the title bar at the top and the lack of full screen working when selected. DON’T CHANGE to this “new improved enhancement”! Work on things that won’t work now like attaching a file to a tree instead of having to save to my shoebox.

    I agree with Michael Barnett and others who use the old search method. I won’t use the new method since a middle initial in a name will give everyone whose name starts with that initial instead of the person I’m searching. Put in a middle name and the same thing happens.

    Your changes are not beneficial to researchers. I’m online at least 6 hrs. a day due to the poor transcriptions of the census records and too many incorrect search results. I have to look at the originals most of the time and then to deal with your changes isn’t my idea of genealogy research.

  86. Ronald Hayhurst

    I personally do not like this new format. I would rather go back to the old setup. To me it is more confusing with this Enhanced version.

  87. Craig Ehinger

    The new enhanced viewer page can be overwhelming when it first pops up. So many boxes to choose from. The indexing at the bottom is great and allows editing so much more easily than going back and forth bewteen the records page and the image of editing the spelling of the whole family without opening each child separatly. So far so good. I am sure I will have more to say about as I get used to navigating it. I also agree with other on prioitizing your serch perameters. It is frustrating to find the exact dates and states you typed into the search after paging through 647 “matches” yet exact match produces no hits because somebody transcribed a name incorrectly or the original was way off base. Depending on what info I am looking I use both old and new search engines. I have better results with immigration records with the old engine and better census results with the new.


  88. Carolyn

    I love the new feature that shows the index information below the image. I needed this last week when Fox was indexed as Far and I couldn’t save it to my ancestor until I figured out how it was indexed.

    Also last week, I found an ancestor on a page incorrectly indexed as Conway County, Arkansas although Carroll County was clearly and readably written on the image. I could not find a way to submit a correction request.

  89. Craig Ehinger

    Me Again.

    A few others have already mentioned this but I believe it is important to say again. What have happened to the comments posted on the corrections list for each record? I have been a member for several years and every time you change something all the notes go away. I cannot even access corrections I have submitted over they years. I spend a great deal of time explaining the corrections I add so that others do not have the same difficulties I had locating records. I often give much more information to lead them new records. Now all we have is a corrected name with no explanation. I often see corrections added by others to records that I am searching for that are 100% wrong and I have no way to contact that person to explain how I know what I know. There are a lot of people just latching onto any tree that has the same name as their grandpa pop up. They then add thier incorrect information or spelling or spouse, etc. to their online tree and mislead thousands of others. I had one online tree attach 14 generations to my family in error. Fortunately I was able to contact that person and correct her error. We pay a hefty membership fee to use this sight and it is a shame to see so much incorrect information added with no way to contact the person adding it. If I have incorrect information I want to know it.


  90. barb fisette

    Please do not remove the old version!!!!!!!

    My opinion of your site is decreasing fast. I use other sites that are much better for the census records. You ruined a good thing. The idea of a transcription of the page is good .. what is lacking is the transcription does not follow exactly line by line.

    You mix up all the entries on a census page, not grouping the Familys together, as on the original census documents.

    Do you even read these responses?

    Please do not remove the old version!!!!!!!

  91. Stephanie

    I don’t like the fact I am unable to save the cencus image to my computer for futher research

  92. jackie burwell

    Can’t print don’t like, too much on page, had to go all way through 1870 to find page kept getting page not available when i clicked on icon

  93. I love the enhanced image page. In the past I have always had 2 tabs open – one for the index and one for the image. It is great being able to see the index of everyone else on the page and to go to the next page and see the index for everyone on that page also. As you say, relatives often lived nearby.

    Thanks for the example from your family – Frances Hackler Hash. I notice that you corrected Franka J. to Frances, but Franka J. is still what shows up in the Index panel. I submit a lot of corrections for my surname, Barbee, which is frequently misindexed as Barber. I would like to see an example of how that would show up in search results and the index panel. In other words, if I search on “Barbee” and someone has submitted a correction for a “Barber” record, will that still show up in my search results and how will it appear in the index panel.

    FYI, I tried correcting some “Barber” records to “Barbee” using the new method in the 1870 census. It seems to work great! The only thing that would be better is if I could submit the correct surname for the family once and and automatically correct each member of the family.

    I found a bug – I provided an alternate given name for H. B. Barbur (previously corrected to Barbee) in the 1870 Tarrant County, Texas census. When I clicked on any other given name on the page the Ancestry Transcription showed “H B” (the previous record that I corrected) rather than the given name on the record I was trying to correct. That was a little confusing.

    I went on and submitted an alternative name for H B’s wife “Sophronia Virginia” even though the Ancestry Transcription showed “H B”. It seemed to record my change to the correct record.

    Thanks Ancestry!

  94. Andy Lanier

    Please inform me as to how I can go back to the old version. I do not like this at all. There’s much to much clutter on the pages.

  95. carolyn


    A lot of complaints on this page would be solved by using more than one window or tab. I use one for the main page, one for my main search for a person, and then one for where I am searching, that way, I can jump from one search to another and do comparisons and anything else.

    Hope this helps.

  96. carolyn


    When I am using the Family Tree Maker on my computer, I also have in a different tab. This way, I can search, without losing data or forgetting what I am actually searching for (I get sidetracked).

    Hope this helps

  97. Mary

    I am having problems printing from the “enhanced” version of the census records. I used to be able to print just the section of the census I wanted, not the whole thing. Even using the customize printing version, it prints up the whole census and it is too small to read without a magnifying glass! I like the old version much better.

  98. Paula

    It would be a wonderful feature, if searching on a female relative, there was an option to search records by her given surname OR her married surname. Many on my maternal line get put to the “back-burner” as a result of having records (despite the date entered) pulled up under her birth surname. I am so thankful for everything that you are doing toward the advancement of genealogical research. Keep up the good work!

  99. Sandy

    It’s too difficult to read the census records now that there is even less space devoted to the viewer. I’m not sure how this is an improvement. Please at least make the top section collapsible. Too much clutter and distraction — sorry, just my opinion.

  100. Liz

    I miss the “Add Comments” feature. I have a KY Death Record on which the deceased father’s name is incorrectly transcribed. The only correction option is for the given or surname of the deceased. However the record provides so much more information that may or may not correct (places, dates, names of spouse, mother, and father). Before, even though we couldn’t offer a correction for those fields, we could make a comment that might catch another user’s attention.

  101. William B. Kelley

    It’s nice to be able to correct more than just a name, but what happened to the ability to include the basis for your correction, such as personal knowledge, corroboration by other censuses, etc.?
    Also, what happened to the ability to add a comment rather than just a correction?

  102. why is it that all comments seem to come from America it would be good to see the birth mothers names on birth certificates and their maiden names on the wedding certificates especially those english ones so that other countries can access them.

  103. Jerry Bryan

    I’m usually one of ancestry’s severest critics of good ideas gone bad, but I will have to give this one a qualified thumbs up. Here are some comments.

    1. Defaults are important. The default of Minimize Image *must* be changed to a default of Maximize Image. That one simple and thoughtful change would do much to assuage the objections to the new enhanced editing page. I think that most people will want to operate in Maximize Image mode most of the time. And as one who always clears cookies upon exiting a browser, I know in advance that I can’t change the option to be the way I want and expect it to stick.

    2. It would have been much better to be able submit a correction to the census age than to the inferred birth date. You are asking us to correct something about the census that’s not even in the census (well, except for the 1900 census). I hope it’s not too late to correct that design decision.

    3. The collapsible pane feature does not seem to be of much value. What is needed is a way to get rid of the entire right pane when the index pane is showing at the bottom the screen so as to give more screen space to the image in Minimize Image mode. But you can only collapse pieces of the right pane, not the whole thing.

    Back to my most important suggestion about changing the default amount of screen space devoted to the image: I’m sure there would be a huge reluctance to change the default view, because changing the default would by default be hiding all the new goodies. And the new goodies are nice. But no matter how nice the new goodies are and no matter how proud ancestry is of them, the thing that ultimately really matters is the images themselves. It makes no sense that by default the single most important thing on the screen and the thing that people will use the most gets such a tiny percentage of the screen real estate. So please change the default, and please change the text on the button. Instead of Maximize Image or Minimize Image, the button should say Display Index and Side Panels or Hide Index and Side Panels. Don’t focus on the panels. Focus on the images.

  104. Mary Downes

    Just stumbled across the improvements on the enhanced census records and love them! Can’t wait to see these changes rolled out across all image records.

    Thank you for your efforts to continue to develop Ancestry.

  105. Patricia Ramirez

    I am not sure I like the new search. I just did a search on the ssme persom both ways and came up empty on the new search and with several options on the old search. Like others, if I ask about Jones born in Georgia in 1822, I don’t want to see Smith born in Iowa in 1910.

    I would also like to see more data bases for Southern researchers. What is available is very sketchy.

    I KNOW I don’t like the new FTM. It is not user friendly at all. In fact it is CRAP.

    Like other commentors, I will have to decide whether or not to renew my membership when the time comes.

  106. Anthony Williams

    Hi – The new “Improvements” aren’t working for me. On my Samsung Netbook running IE 8, the options just flash up and I’m unable to view them again. Clicking on the print icon does nothing. It is working fine on my desktop also running IE 8.

  107. Brenda Minor

    Well, I showed up today to find more changes taking place. Some good… some bad… I sure will be glad when you’re done! I’m not 80-years-old. But I am a self-taught pc user and this technological stuff gets on my last nerve when things don’t work right. I never know if it’s me, you, or IT. I’m all for progress… But I do subscribe to the belief that if something isn’t broken, don’t fix it. AND if somethings not working right, fix THAT and not EVERYTHING. You do have a wonderful website and even though it’s a been on the costly side, it is usually worth every penny. I don’t think I could have gotten all of the family history work done without you. So, I hope you will keep it that way. I will try to be patient while ya’ll work out the kinks. Thanks.

  108. Patricia Sarvis

    I could not get the print function to respond on the census image screen. What is the problem?

  109. in #83 Written by: Tony Cousins

    He says

    “For what it’s worth – I really like the new enhanced image screen. The fact that I can turn off panels is also good (and it stays turned off – I don’t have to remind it every display).”


    Suggestion for Census images –
    at the moment one can either click on the Image thumbnail or the text Link underneath with the same result.

    Suggested change
    Clicking on the thumbnail should bring up the census image Maximised

    Change the wording of the text link so that it indicates it will bring up the image and all the extraneous clutter.

  110. Dilip Sharan

    The enhanced image feature with summary data is brilliant. Just tried it out and it really saves time flicking backward and forward. Well done!



  111. Pat Belterman

    This is in response to Alice on comment #10. I too am having trouble printing. I have to go to the custom print and it is a pain. Takes too long. I am also having problems enlarging the print when printing. I try the enlargement but when it prints it’s the regular size.

  112. Quentin Fennessy

    This is an excellent improvement. Please continue to make family research easier.

  113. Patricia Rand

    COMMENT field missing. Sometimes it helps to give additional information when correcting a name, for instance, when the census uses only a nickname and you would like to record the correct full name. Please consider adding the ability to COMMENT back to the images.

  114. Larry Van Wormer

    Overall, I don’t really see the changes as much improvement. For me, there’s just more screen clutter. Not a major loss, though. A couple of specific requests:

    – I liked to be able to move forward or back a page in the census by simply clicking arrow symbols. That does not appear to be available any longer? Not much harder to put in the page number, I guess, but still a minor loss.

    – When I’m inputting a comment, would *really* like to be able to see other comments *before* I input mine. The comments are useful, and in some cases duplicate my input. If there’s a way to see them, I’ve missed it so far.

  115. Lois Carmony

    You’ve made copying death certificates from the
    site more complicated and so far
    I haven’t mastered the technique
    that’s offered.

  116. It’s time to get the basics of search fixed. Too much erroneous information. You should get the same results using the new or old search if the criteria is the same. Right now you don’t! I agree with the others about giving priority to birth, death and marriage states when given.
    Anne, please comment on what you are going to do to eliminate the unwanted search data that is a complaint in these threads.


  117. Rosalind Ashmu

    What have you people done at Ancestry to a perfectly good website.

    I can no longer just print the portion of the census records that I want.

    Bring back the old feature.

    I don’t care for the new site, so I’ve been using the old search.

    If this continues I’ll find another source to do research on.

    You probably won’t print this because you only want positive comments.

    Rosalind L. Ashmun

  118. #118 – Pete Smee:

    You turn the panels off by clicking on the grey >> bar on the panels. It’s in the middle of the edge of each panel, maybe a suggestion to Ancestry would be to highlight it more.


  119. #110 – Margaret:

    Not too sure which records you’re talking about when you say “it would be good to see the birth mothers names on birth certificates and their maiden names on the wedding certificates especially those english ones…”.

    If it’s the UK BMD Index records the birth mothers maiden name wasn’t recorded on the birth index until about 1911, same goes for the maiden names on the marriage index.

    The only way to get this information is to order the certificates from the UK GRO at seven pounds a copy.


  120. Is there any way I can make that “connect activity” go away or eliminate from my screen. Personally – I don’t care what someone else is doing every day. Or can it be dropped to bottom of screen so I only look when I feel like it

  121. #129 – Missyad

    On your home page select ‘customize your home page’ – once in there you can select the option on each ‘widget’ to delete it or move it up or down the page. One you’ve finished click on the ‘exit’ link of the topmost ‘customize your home page’ panel. Sadly the option to delete the advertising widget isn’t available 🙂


  122. Mark

    #118 – Pete Smee

    If you move your cursor from the ‘Image’ pane towards the panels, you will see it change from a ‘hand’ to a ‘pointy finger’ as it transitions across the pane boundary. You can click anywhere on the ‘boundary line’ when then cursor has ‘changed’… hth

    #123 Larry Van Wormer…

    The left/right arrows in the upper right in the ‘tool bar’ [next to the word ‘GO’] seems to work and move thru the roll as before [at least it seems to be the case…]

    wrt Making comments to individual records… that function still seems to be present via the ‘Leave a Comment’ button. You’ll just need to make your correction to the record [Given Name, Surname, etc] then leave related comments and information using the ‘Leave a Ccomment’ option. Two separate steps versus the all-in-one process in the previous interface.


  123. Anne Mitchell

    Some of you have asked about the comments that you entered in the original editing tool. They are still there, but we have not published on the enhanced image page. But it appears the desire to have them published there is strong, so we will be moving them there probably sometime next week. I’ll post in the blog when that happens.

    I’ve written a new blog post, with some tips that will hopefully answer some of the more common questions that I’ve seen here at:

    I’m going to close this blog post for comments, and we can continue the conversation on the new blog post.

Comments are closed.