Posted by Anne Gillespie Mitchell on August 27, 2009 in Website

More data collections launched with the enhanced image page

We launched more data collections in the new enhanced image viewer yesterday. Here is the list of data collections that are currently available in the new format:

We will launch the 1900, 1910, 1920 and 1930 US Federal Census in the enhanced image page sometime on Friday.

Printing in IE and Vista

The enhanced image viewer, which is the activex controller that displays your image in both the original image page and the enhanced version, is not allowed to print on Vista unless you do some configuration stuff. This problem has existed for awhile and we are testing some ways to set this up so you can print current view with as easily as possibly. Until then, and it should be soon, you can use Firefox if you want to print selected portions.

Happy Searching!

Anne Gillespie Mitchell

Anne Gillespie Mitchell is a Senior Product Manager at She is an active blogger on and writes the Ancestry Anne column. She has been chasing her ancestors through Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina for many years. Anne holds a certificate from Boston University's Online Genealogical Research Program. You can also find her on Twitter, Facebook and Finding Forgotten Stories.


  1. Mike B

    Is there any effort to get enhanced image viewer for the mac, or will that be a thing of the past since it appears you have implemented FLEX (Flash for applications) at least partially on the web site. (Assuming you can develop the enhanced image viewer in FLEX, making any ActiveX or plugin unnecessary.)

    Please comment.


  2. Nancy

    Using Vista Home Premium and Firefox: I still have several 1860 and 1870 census images that won’t load, no Member Connect info, etc.; and now the same on the 1840, 1850, etc.

    Is anyone working on this problem, Anne?

  3. Katy

    When is this going to be fixed. I use XP Pro and IE 8 and I cannot do anything with the green toolbar with the “enhanced” images. I can’t see the entire image [get rid of the Index thing at the bottom which is blank except on the 1860 & 1870 censuses], I cannot print the images at all, nor can I download them. In other words I am paying for a useless subscription right now. I get “javascript error” and “error on page”. I have tried deleting cache & cookies and all other recommended fixes except using a different browser. My computer is already overloaded and I don’t want a second browser and Firefox won’t work at some of my other subscription sites although IE8 does. For a few days the toolbar did work, but then after this last upload of more “Enhanced” Images I’m back to being a very unhappy camper. When will this problem get fixed?

  4. Dave

    Re: Katy #4

    Remove the Index content at the bottom of the screen and the right hand panel by clicking on the double arrows >>.

    I am able to view the images more than adequately with Firefox 3.5.2 and IE8 also Opera. I rarely have problems with any other sites with any browser. I say all this because you must have a problem with your PC setup. I’m surprised that you find IE8 better than Firefox; my experience is quite the reverse.

  5. Michael Usry

    Q – What is the recommended browser for FTM?

    Q – Does the use of my personal browser selection alter the experience from within FTM Web search?

    Q – Any plans to actually USE the alternative information which is being placed by users into the images? I’ve made TONS of image corrections, but have yet to see them show up on the screen, as well as they are not usable on the Searches.

    Q – Why does the Green Leaf suggestions ONLY use the NAME which is indicated as Preferred vs. the other NAMES and/or Also Known As field?

    I am still getting use to FTM 2010, and hope that the problems from FTM 2009 have been addressed.

  6. Mary Crum

    Due to four PC crashes this year, I am now a mac user. I would really welcome and enhanced image viewer for mac, as well as a compatible FTM.

    Thank you!

  7. Dana

    I would also like to know when the enhanced image viewer will be working. I have not been able to use it for about a month and am at a point where I really need to pick at the information for clues. I am using 2 browsers but having no luck on either of them. I am trying to get an album together for Christmas but at this rate will never get it done. Is anyone working on this?

  8. T B

    Did you also do something to the Drouin Collection in addition to the other records listed? The index and most of the images for the Quebec birth, marriage and burial date base seem to have disappeared?

    A warning would have been appreciated.

  9. Andy Hatchett

    John- Re:#5

    Because that is the last year that the census has been released. By law it can’t be released untill 72 years after it is taken. The 1940 census will be released in 2012.

  10. I am 100% in favor of enhancements – However, when a product is enhanced to the point of failure one should stop and re-evaluate. The enhanced viewer was great, images loaded quickly, images were much clearer and life was good. Now, after numerous enhancements, images don’t load, three quarters of my screen is taken up by index partitions that I can’t remove, my system hangs because it’s trying to load data… Please take us back a couple of software loads and leave it alone for awhile until you get it fixed in your off-line sandbox. Thanks!

  11. BobNY

    Bradie #12

    The problem is that they have no off-line sandbox. They are in the lunch room throwing spaghetti on the wall to see what sticks.

  12. Mary Beth Marchant

    To John-comment #5-ancestry would post 1940 census records if they could. Federal Law prevents the release of those census records until 72 years have passed. The 1940 census records will be released in 2012. State census records-at least some of them-don’t have such restrictions. In my opinion, perhaps since so many people are not aware of this restriction, Ancestry could add an explanation to census records explaining this.

  13. Mary

    I hope you get the indexes back for the Drouin collection, going through parish by parish and year by year
    takes forever to find someone


  14. E Hilborn

    Why are you adding more to the enhanced image viewer when it does not work well with the browser the majority of users have? Shouldn’t you fix things before moving on? I am getting less and less out of my former favorite subscription. Unfortunately I am becoming disgruntled with the lack of effort to resolve the problems.

    Possible resolutions in the help section are non-existent. It does seem a counter-productive when one can’t even order copies of the images.


  15. I have a problem with the new enhanced image viewer. I finally found a census record of an ancestor and clicked on the Save button to save it to my computer. Everything appeared to work fine. It said it was saving to the Documents folder. But…’s not there. I’ve re-done it 3 times. Each time, it tells me the document exists and do I want to save over it. But when I go to the documents folder, it’s not there. I never had any of these kinds of problems with the old viewer. HELP!!!!

  16. To CheriZ5170 #17….I had the same problem – here’s what Ancestry. com sent me:

    With the Enhanced Image Viewer, you must click the Save icon to save an image.

    There is a setting with Internet Explorer on Windows Vista, called “Protected Mode,” which gives you additional protection from downloading viruses and other things from the Internet. This “feature” saves files to a hidden temporary directory. So, even though the file you requested is downloaded, Vista hides it from you.

    The following are suggestions you can try:

    * You can sometimes find your temporary Internet files through Internet Explorer.

    Click the Tools menu, then click ‘Internet Options.’

    In the General tab look under Browsing History and click on ‘Settings’.

    Click the ‘View files’ button. A new window will open with all your temporary Internet files displayed.

    * Run Internet Explorer as Administrator. To do this, right-click the IE icon on the desktop, then choose Run as Administrator.

    * Turn protected mode off: In IE, click the Tools menu, then the Security tab, then uncheck Protected Mode.

    * Turn off User Account Controls: For help with turning off the User Account Control, please see the link listed below.

    Turn User Account Control on or off

    * Use Firefox rather than Internet Explorer.

    * We also recommend using Internet Explorer 7 vs. Internet Explorer 8. We currently do not support Internet Explorer 8.

  17. jean

    hey BobNY #13

    have you forgot they like eating alot of fudge made with double cream and extra sugar as they prefer things to be sickly sweet!

  18. Rick P

    Where are the Canadian Drouin Records? They are essential for me to do my research. Please reply ASAP>>>>>

  19. James

    #17 Cheri,

    If you remember with IE7 after downloading the image the browser asked if you’d like to navigate to the image location. With IE8 this dialog not appear and the image is saved in the same place but you cannot easily see as the folders are hidden.


  20. Jack

    Sorry, but I do not like the enhanced image page either. There is too much on one page. The previous image feature worked very well.

  21. John H

    I ahare4 the concern that #23 and others have expressed and then finally noticed there a Image Only option in the upper left — just above the image. That allows you to see the image on most of your screen at you did before. I am surprised did not (is not) promoting this fact. The page is now very busy and it takes quite a while to absorb all that is there.

  22. Jerry Murdock

    I often wonder if the people who design the software for Ancestry have ever tried to actually USE it on their own family research. There are so many things obviously WRONG with the way the search works, and MOST could be easily corrected.
    1. If I have already selected and attached census documents for 1910 and 1920 for Joe BLOW, it should not be necessary to wade through 20 pages of census for those years to look for other documents I might need. (Yes, I KNOW I can select individual categories & do the same search for each category).
    2. If I select “Texas, USA” as place of birth, that should NOT exclude all documents which do not MENTION place of birth.

    The various “exact” categories should not exclude items from databases that do not include that information, but should allow indexing to exclude, for instance, databases from states (or countries) in which the subject never lived.

  23. Kathleen Connors

    Like TB and Rick,Icannot access the Drouin Collection Index. This index is also critical to my research and I haven’t seen an answer to the question of a problem…..?

  24. Denise

    RE: CheriZ5170#17 Bradie Williams#18
    This problem doesn’t seem to be with the Explorer 7 vs Explorer 8. On my computer I’ve had the problem you have and only did I have it once I’ve no longer been able to go back to the old viewer. I have Explorer 8 and was able to use the old viewer and it did not hide it in the temp. file. When I would switch to the advanced viewer that was when it would hide in the temp file which I could never find.
    It seems today that I can’t find the old viewer either…Michelle please bring back that option. Thank you

  25. Denise

    RE: #17CheriZ5170 #18 Bradie Williams

    With this viewer, I finally was able to figure out how to download the picture and it goes were you want it to and you can view it.
    Click on the Opions of the viewer
    Click on the compressed images
    Once you have found what you are looking for set the viewer at 200 percent
    (that way once you have downloaded it, you can actually see what you are looking for on your images)
    Right click on the image (even though there may be just a small portion of the image due to how much stuff they have on the screen now) and save picture as.
    You should be able to go to the image and see it just fine.
    And…I am using Explorer 8
    Hope this has helped you.

  26. Andy Hatchett

    Reed – Re:#30

    *Very* interesting indeed!

    I’m willing to bet that Ancestry can’t get it indexed correctly within 60 days.

  27. Anthony W. Clemente, Jr.

    Ever since the new census viewer has come on line I have been unable to save a copy of the page. The save box does not open to give an opportunity to select where to save it, etc. I am running a Dell with Internet Explorer and Windows (not Vista). Can anyone out there tell me what is the problem, why can I no longer save a census copy? With the censuses NOT using the new IMROVED??? system, I can still use the “save to” without problem. I am computer literate and have had an membership and use FTMaker exclusivley in excess of 15f years. SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME!

  28. Anthony W. Clemente, Jr.

    Fogot to mention in my previous #33 that I have read all blog entries and tried all of the suggestions to no avail. I cannot use “save as” feature since a right click only provides a properties box. When I click on the images “Options” box I get nothing the same as when I click on the “Save” button. ANCESTRY.COM this is your problem and I can assure you that unless and until you correct this problem you will begin losing loyal customers to your software and website subscriptions. I have not ordered FTM 2010 and will not until I see the improvements and not just lip service. CEO, I hope youn are listening. Your idea of going public in the stock market may rely on your ability to lead this company in all of it’s departments.

  29. Jade


    Why was part of the the 1820 US Federal Census for the Western Division of Monongalia County, Virginia deleted?

    Now missing are at least pages 116, 117 and 118 (using the manuscript folio numbers at upper right), 123, 126 and 127. Nearly all the surnames beginning with ‘C’, ‘G’, etc.

    116-117-118 were formerly all in one image. Now all three are completely gone. Was this your ‘enhancement’ to the 1820 enumeration? Removal of about 30% of an enumeration district does not appear on its face to be an improvement.

    Of 116-117-118 the third folio was not indexed at all. But I much prefer its being present, even if not indexed.

    Also the removal appears to have adversely affected the index for this enumeration. For example, search for Henry Haddon. The search results link takes you to a page where there is no Henry and no Haddon, and no surname that could remotely have been misread this way by an indexer:

    Maybe he was on the now-missing page 123.

    So what else was removed from the 1820 US Federal Census? Will this information be posted in the list of added and updated databases?

    Please, **please** restore the version that was there a couple of weeks ago.

  30. Billie Ranson

    The 1820 Anson Co NC Census is now also missing pages. A search still shows that the people are there but the pages are missing. It also affects G listings.






  32. Rick P

    Like Bonnie and many others, without the Drouin Records I will not be renewing my membership. I am calling 1-800-ANCESTRY tomorrow.
    We should get refund because they are no longer offering the same products when I joined.

  33. Andy Hatchett

    Rick- Re:#38

    Better read the small print…
    There is nothing in the contract that prevents Ancestry from withdrawing any database or feature – particularly when ordered to do so by a court of law.

    If you paid by the year you may find it cheaper to let your membership expire than to cancel it and have what you have already used pro-rated back to a monthly charge.

  34. Al

    Could SOMEONE please provide an answer for what has happened to the Drouin Collection?
    The entire collection of images and records have disappeared without a word of explanation and my research has come to a complete standstill in the interim.
    What has happened to the collection, when will we be able to access the records again and why was there no advance notice of their temporary (I assume) unavailability?
    This seems, to me at least if not to Ancestry, like very poor service to your subscribers.

  35. Al

    And…now I read to the bottom…and find my answer. Too bad I had to get this information from other users and not from Ancestry directly. They should’ve been the ones to inform their subscribers of pending problems and possible loss of access to the records.

    That aside, this itself is sad news. The indexing job was far from the best but the Drouin collection was an extremely valuable resource nevertheless, even if you did have to do most of the work yourself extracting the information.

    As for renewing — my subscription is up in days. I’ll have to think if it’s worth my while anymore to continue a subscription to Ancsetry without access to the databases most important for my research.

  36. Reed


    A look at your 3 most recent blog threads shows that many users are not happy with the new viewer (and other issues as well).

    And you’ve not replied directly to any users’ comments or questions on these recent blog threads since your #131 on 7 August on the previous thread:

    And yes, I am not including your preface to this thread, which simply confirms that the “enhancements” to the image viewer are not ready for the modern, cross-platform internet, and actually reduce functionality for many users, whose only remedy is to use another browser whether they want to or not.

    I know Ancestry has a long-standing commitment to ignoring customer input, but for a while there I thought you *might* be the exception to the rule.



    P.S. I rarely used the Drouin Collection, so its disappearance while under legal arbitration is not a personal Big Deal for me.

    BUT, after *all* the hype from Ancestry when you acquired this important database, couldn’t *someone* at Ancestry have the decency to speak directly to the subscribers when problems arose? Doesn’t this attitude toward customer relations **embarrass** anyone in the Executive Suite? Or in the cubicles?

    Just wondering…

  37. Andy Hatchett

    Reed – Re:#42

    Do you really think Ancestry is going to tell the membership they are loosing one of their crown jewels while in the midst of preparing an IPO??

    Ancestry was hoping this case wouldn’t be decided until after that was finished and out of the way.

  38. MikeF


    On your #42 where you said:

    “I know Ancestry has a long-standing commitment to ignoring customer input, but for a while there I thought you *might* be the exception to the rule.”

    You probably have given Anne more benefit of the doubt than anyone here. But the puppet doesn’t control the master. She is just another cubicle clone who is trying to maintain her integrity while toeing the company line. Silence is the only way to do both.

    But it is surprising that her masters have not replaced her by now. That is the pattern after we see one of these droids for what they are – i.e. a tweaker of external interfaces with no ability to influence underlying design or authority to comment on same. So when this is obvious for a manager such as herself, it is time for the replacement who will plead anew for time and understanding while they learn the ropes.

    The merry-go-round never stops, just the faces of the operators change.

    And we should all well know what Ancestry’s priorities are by now:

    a) marketing hype over substance as evidenced by spending 4 to 1 on marketing over data acquisition;

    b) treating the newb customer as king with their ignorant desires for trees over original records as evidence by Ancestry’s visible commitment to trees more than real data and their trumpeting when tree views overtook census views.

    Hence the refusal to meaningfully engage longtime knowledgeable customers about plans in the design stages and on long term plans for original records acquisition.

    And hey now that I think of it, they haven’t even offered us their “valued” customers a chance to subscribe to their IPO. Oh well.

  39. Jeff Ford

    I don’t really like the new “enhanced” image page. It is what we have come to expect from Ancestry. Eye Candy over substance.

    The old page(s) were much easier on the eye to look at. There wasn’t as much clutter either. When you go to 200%, it was much easier to navigate the old page than the “new & improved” page.

    If you do not have a full screen for your browser, it is hard to move from one section to another section.

    Miss Mitchell, I have one word for you.


    Give us substance over eye candy and a lot of us that do SERIOUS research will accept your efforts.

  40. MikeF #45

    While I’m ambivalent on the subject of the enhanced viewer – I really side with you on Ancestry leaning towards the newb users, not so much leaning as bending over backwards. But isn’t there an IPO on the horizon, “wait we have x thousand **new** subscribers, look at us and how successful we are”.

    Sometimes even the most successful venture can fail if it doesn’t listen to its core users who helped it get where it is today.

    Adding to what you said, the recent touting of the new tree upload features in FTM2010 is a prime example of catering in a large part to the name gatherers. Someone recently professed to have over 60,000 people in their tree in less than 2 years. I checked out the tree, there were so many duplicates and impossible marriages and births that it was embarrassing to look at – but that is the subscriber that Ancestry now seems to crave, sad isn’t it.

    BTW – my copy of FTM2010 is being uninstalled and the media destined to end life as a coaster, along with 2008 and 2009. I won’t be lured into the next releases – not for a very long time and only after good reviews from the people who frequent these very pages.


  41. Jackie

    I’m not believing my eyes here with these really insulting posts. Sure glad none of you people were around me when I was making my decision to join here.

    I’m still relatively new and if I ever decide to not renew my membership, it certainly won’t be because of any services offered or not offered here. There are many areas that completely amaze me and I’ve only scratched the surface of what’s here.

    Now you long time members are telling me Ancestry is really awful after all and I probably wasted my money by joining? Again, I believe that Ancestry is an amazing place but some of the members here leave a lot to be desired.

    I had no idea that Ancestry’s Drouin records even existed here let alone that they’ve been holding this place together all along. I’m surprised that the world didn’t stop spinning altogether over this devastating news. I’m completely distraught lol.

    I’m still getting used to the new viewer too but, just like everything else I’ve learned to use around here, I’ll get there. Maybe I’ll like it or maybe I’ll just hit image only when the extra info is in my way.

    Why be so hard on the employees here for things not in their control? Only thing more counterproductive than the posts I’ve been reading lately would be to find out that the gloom and doomers are related to me lol.

    Have a GREAT day!

  42. #48 Jackie

    Get used to it Jackie, we don’t all wear rose tinted glasses and some of us have been around long enough to know when the Emperor isn’t wearing any clothes – and get up and say so.



  43. Judith Field

    In response to comment #33, you might want to check and see if you are running a credit card ‘Virtual Account Number’ program like UCS.exe on your computer. The old version of this program caused problems with IE8 when you had to fill in information in boxes. I had a problem with saving census images on Ancestry and on some other sites until I deleted the old version of ucs.exe and installed the new one which Citi bake released on Aug 23rd.

  44. Debby C

    The veiwer is nice, I like the clear pages, the only thing I do not like is you can not save to anything, no computer, no shoebox, no tree. Was that for a reason? I am using XP with IE 8. Oh yes and it takes longer to load the viewer and documents.
    Do I recieve more time on my subscription when I can not save the documents I need until the viewer is fixed.

  45. Jackie

    Re: #49 Tony,

    Gee, Tony, thank you for setting ME, straight. Second time today, both by you seasoned veterans.

    Of all the millions of people here, why someone would single me out for trashing because my tree’s not perfect is beyond me. If I decide to stay, I sure hope I don’t become a “long time member” like many I’ve been reading about here.

    I’m trying to learn what works and doesn’t work when I’m searching, I was not aware that being a long timer gives one the right to be abusive at will. This would never help me.

    Too many long timers do much else than complain. Where’s the solution? Have any ideas? Sure wish you did…I’m trying to learn.

    In an effort to keep these people out of my way, I remove all family members of theirs from my tree. Sad to say, some of their trees are so well done that I wish I could ask them for help but when first contact is to be so insulting, I want them as far away from me as possible.

    These attacks caught me totally off guard and while I’m reading that they’re going to leave if Ancestry doesn’t meet their demands and insulting other members loud and long in public areas, I came to the conclusion that I need to protect myself from these people.

    No one told me when I got here that many members have taken ownership of family members in their trees and we have to ask their permission for them to be related to us.

    I’m getting very good at using the resources here but no way would I consider making my trees public or ask help from a long timer.

    Instead of simply letting me know something about my trees, they have put me in a position where I can’t share my information because they are allowed to post hurtful comments in my tree if they don’t like it for any reason. So, while I’m reading everything here, I’m learning on my own like I started.

    Might be time to stop reading these blogs too and I read them for the very first time last night. Most of the content is venting and hurtful, and I didn’t know that was an unwanted perk of being here.

    Tony, please let me know if you’d like to send me a list of your family members for removal from my trees and I’ll temporarily open my mailbox for receiving for you. Our contact here is so brief, let’s not wreck it with useless insults and hurtful comments, ok? Thanks…

  46. Jackie #52

    WOW!!! What a rant, it looks like someone really upset you and maybe I was the straw that broke the camels back.

    I really don’t understand the reference to your tree, I have no idea which tree or family name you’re talking about, and if you really think I was being abusive in my short response to you then I am truly sorry – but.

    What prompted me to respond to your posting the way I did was your inane comment about the Drouin collection – “I had no idea that Ancestry’s Drouin records even existed here let alone that they’ve been holding this place together all along. I’m surprised that the world didn’t stop spinning altogether over this devastating news. I’m completely distraught lol.”.

    The Drouin collection of images is an extremely important collection of records detailing vital and Church records in Quebec from the early 1600’s through to the early 1940’s. The fact that a judgment has been made against Ancestry for not fully indexing the records is, IMHO, huge.

    And if you read further back you will see that poor indexing of records is a topic that runs through all these threads, as well as the ludicrous new search mechanism that finds completely unrelated results for a simple search. Returning records for different name in the wrong time frame and wrong countries. Don’t get me wrong – the old search wasn’t perfect but the new one is worse – so we complain. has an amazing repository of genealogical information and if you want to go back a few months on these blogs you may understand that a lot of people here do sing Ancestry’s praises.

    I’ve been a world subscriber for a number of years, yes I am a long timer and I do know that things seemed better a few years ago. So please allow us long timers who do know the difference to use our freedom of speech to highlight where we think it’s going awry.

    As for me asking you to remove my family members from your tree, I wouldn’t and couldn’t do that. My tree is not on Ancestry (public or private) so you wouldn’t and couldn’t have merged any of my family members to your tree(s).

    So my only ‘sin’ yesterday was in suggesting that you wore rose tinted glasses 🙁 and you saw that as “useless insults and hurtful comments”!! And before you respond to my use of the word ‘inane’ – I’m sorry but it was the best word I could put in print.

    Live long and prosper.


  47. Anne Mitchell

    Comments about the Drouin collection should be entered on that blog post.

    If you are running the enhanced image viewer (which runs in both the basic image page and the enhanced image page), you cannot do a right click and save the image.

    To save the image, you must be in “View All” mode and save from the orange button in the top right corner. You should see a dialog box allowing you to save the image anywhere on the system.

    Remember, you can see just the Image, but pressing “Image Only” or minimizing the side panel and index panel.

    The 1820 census issues with image have been sent to our team and have been restored, or in the process of being restored.

    MikeF, I have to say that your assumptions of what my work life is like, and what I find it to be, are quite a bit different. 🙂

    Jeff, I do believe there is substance in this new enhanced image page. The most requested addition that I have received since I joined a little over a year ago is for improved editing features on records. And the index panel has given us the ability to really make editing easier and more accessible. And we’ve seen a huge increase in the number of alternates added, so I do know that people are finding it and using it.

    And let’s not snipe at each other. Please.

  48. Mary Hiatt

    I was using the new viewer with no problems viewing or saving or doing anything else. Then, after the short “shut down for maintenance” on Tuesday morning, the viewer page loads with “done, but with errors on the page,” or just “error,” and I’m unable to view or to use any features at all. I cannot “view image only” or get any feature to respond. Has anyone else had new problems since Tuesday?

  49. Anne Mitchell

    Mary what browser and os are you using? Also, it usually helps to delete your temporary files, or try press Ctrl on your keyboard and Refresh on your browser.

  50. Nancy

    Anne, now that you have resurfaced, could you please address the issues with Vista Home Premium and Firefox 3.5.2. I am still unable to view many census images, in virtually all years.

    As you will remember from our MANY e-mails several weeks ago, there is no image, no member connect info, and most of the “buttons” do not work. With IE8, census images appear, but nothing else.

    Please address what you and your team are doing to correct this situation.

  51. MikeF


    How come under options it says the following:

    “Use the Advanced Viewer
    Faster viewing and downloads

    Use Compressed Images
    Compressed images will download faster but may be harder to read”

    I mean, they both say “faster” so which one is faster (compared to each other), the second one listed since the description under compressed says faster and should modify the option above? Or are they both faster than previous options? No way the unwashed masses figure this one out.

    On your #54 and my assumptions on your work life, your comment is actually sad because it reveals you have no inner conflicts about so many of Ancestry’s actions. Refusal to *meaningfully* communicate, or an outright refusal to communicate at all in many instances, is highly insulting to customers. And your promises of the past which remain unfulfilled re coming back to certain issues are a matter of integrity whether or not you were told not to come back to them. But you don’t have a problem with all that. So you are a “team player”.

    “Good for you.”


  52. Jeff Ford

    >Jeff, I do believe there is substance in this new enhanced image page.

    You must be the only one then. I follow the old axiom, “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.” The old (and better) viewer was better. It got the job done without all the flash that the new page has. It worked. People are using it because there is NO other option! Unless you happen to get a record that hasn’t been converted to the new system.

    Editing? Are we working with Photoshop or what? I need the ability to save the record in question to someone in my tree or not. Please explain what you exactly mean by editing?

    Where is the ability to save, for example, a census record to My Shoebox? I am looking at 1930 census for relative and there is NO option while looking at the census record. I have to back out to the page that contains the Page Tools. Enhance that, not the record itself. Under the old system, I could save the record to my shoebox, save it to someone in my tree or not. With the new eye candy enhanced system, I can’t!

    I do see the option to save to the Shoebox, but it is NOT clear. Before, it was right there out in the open.

    >And let’s not snipe at each other. Please.

    If Ancestry spent more of their time and OUR money on eye candy. If “you” would do that instead of adding flash over substance, we or I wouldn’t complain so vigorously. I have seen NO effort to fix the search function, any protests that you have withstanding. I still get spurious results.

    Perhaps this fascination with eye candy over substance starts with a online dating CEO.

  53. Len

    I was having no issues yesterday with the enhanced view, but today it is not working correctly. Getting error on page and can’t click the save button. I went to another 1920 and it worked, I go to this one it won’t work. Firefox 3.5.2 won’t work either, as well as IE8. I have tried on XP as well with IE8 and Firefox on another computer that did work yesterday.

    Webpage error details

    User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 8.0; Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; Trident/4.0; SLCC2; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; .NET CLR 3.5.30729; .NET CLR 3.0.30729; Media Center PC 6.0; InfoPath.2; OfficeLiveConnector.1.4; OfficeLivePatch.1.3)
    Timestamp: Thu, 3 Sep 2009 02:30:03 UTC

    Message: Expected ‘;’
    Line: 969
    Char: 45
    Code: 0

    Message: ‘isInstitutional’ is undefined
    Line: 4542
    Char: 5
    Code: 0

  54. Jackie

    #53 Tony,

    Tony, I’m so very sorry that I unloaded on you, you’re right, might’ve been the straw…Maybe Ancestry needs a blog named “Get it out of your system” or something. Just me, when I’m reading about something that I might need to know to make my life easier, I find complaint posts distracting and off-topic (like me here now but I’ll wrap it up LOL)

    My first comment about the Drouin collection, now I’m wishing I’d seen it before it disappeared judging by the many comments after my first one. It’s like reading an obituary of sorts for a record collection. I do hope they get this collection back.

    You called it my “inane” post, I was thinking it was my lame, feeble, and obviously failed attempt at trying to find some humor in the situation. Just my nature, feeling bad sucks.

    All’s said…

  55. Robert Esch

    I read the comments periodically to be aware of what problems are out there, and many of the comments have been helpful to me. I also enjoy hearing the criticism, since it is nice to know that I am not alone in my feelings.

    I am still waiting for the “family additions” being made available for census reports before 1880. It would save an enormous amount of time. Having to add one individual at a time is such a pain, even though the “family addition” mode is not perfect.

    I hope also that some day one can switch from one census to another without having to enter the same data once more. There must be some way to keep the information in default mode, before it is altered.

    I see that it is now possible once again to “turn the census pages” by hand, and to search for a particular county and township of interest. The “enhanced viewer” still creates a narrower window, but at least it is possible. I agree with the criticisms of the “new view” and wish the old were still available.

    I believe that Ancestry needs to continue to be responsive to the suggestions and criticisms of the membership. Maybe “the customer is always right” is no longer completely appropriate, but I still feel that there is a lot of wisdom in that phrase. Those who respond to the criticisms need to have a “thick skin” and to look beyond the criticism for solutions. The membership have also shown they are willing to help others with their problems. Best wishes to those on both sides of the issues.

  56. Jackie #62

    Good Morning and that was a really nice note, guess we’re ‘friends’ again 🙂

    As for ‘a blog named “Get it out of your system” ‘ – most of the time that’s what is covered here because this is where Anne and other Ancestrians ‘publish’ changes and new revisions. The track record of changes over the last 12-24 months leaves a lot to be desired (I’m not sniping Anne – honest) hence the complaints that definitely overshadows the praise.

    There is a lot of help here and don’t let the complaints get to you, it isn’t personal – normally.


  57. Carolyn

    When you made your big change to enhanced the image viewer.
    Guess What?
    I Have No CensusImage..none…000. When I click on census image nothing happens, nothing works on the new page. This started August 30 and today is September 3
    I have sent 4 emails for assistance/help and no reply. Please Help…

  58. There seems to be a lot of bugs with all the changes going on. On any given day, something hasn’t worked. It would be nice if we could get a daily message that said something like – Problems reported on the census pages – the return button isn’t working, but we’re working on it. OR, Problems reported with the SAVE feature on the census pages. It pops up, but doesn’t let you do anything, but we’re working on it. I think this would be more helpful than sending unanswered emails, or filling in a silly form that doesn’t let you explain what the problem is, or surfing through goo-gobs of blog when all I want is to know if it’s an individual or global problem and whether ancestry is aware.

  59. Sonia

    Anne wrote:
    To save the image, you must be in “View All” mode and save from the orange button in the top right corner. You should see a dialog box allowing you to save the image anywhere on the system.

    However, when you click on save, the box that pops open with the options disappears before I can get down to it. Where did it go? Just like this comment box – appears and disappears.

    Is there something IE8 should be doing differently. I don’t like the idea of turning off things since we have them turned on to try and avoid bad things invading.

  60. BobNY

    As of June 30, 2009, Ancestry employed approximately 100 engineers who are focused on the design and development of new features and products, maintenance of their websites and development and maintenance of their internal operations systems.

    I find it mind boggling that they cannot develop a browser agnostic platform for their almost one million subscribers.

  61. Mary Beth Marchant

    Now the 1910 census page is even smaller. Comment is on the left side of the page before I even open it and Comment and member connect are on the right side of the page when I open it, making the actual image about 3/4 of what it was. This is absolutely nuts. I don’t want to know what other members are doing and I sure don’t want the page cut down even more than what it was. Ancestry is crazy.

  62. Mary Beth Marchant

    I really do not understand why in the world you people cannot leave well enough alone. Why do you have to keep messing around with it.

  63. Nancy

    I can’t read the margins of the 1840 Census of SHOAL Creek, Newton, Missouri. It is indexed as SHORT Creek, and I have submitted corrections several times. Before at least you could read the correct name in the margin, but now it is so tiny and scrunched, it is illegible.

    AND I STILL CANNOT ACCESS MANY OF THE IMAGES or the controls–and still no reply from Anne Mitchell.

    This is beyond frustrating!

  64. Once again it appears as if has attempted to fix the Enhanced Viewer Image problems, because what was working fine yesterday no longer works today! Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but backwards is not the proper way to go when fixing problems….

    Anne (in a previous message) explains how to use the new buttons to see only the image, to select the Save functions, etc. what she didn’t explain was what to do when you select any button on the page and it does nothing, zip, nada, zero – just continues (supposedly) loading data from the database (forever).

    I realize that getting software to work, especially across several operating systems and with multiple browsers is not easy, but I recently switched to what recommended to use and now, once again, nothing works – this is very frustrating, but what is even more frustrating is the lack of customer service or support provided by It would take very little effort on their part to at least keep us advised of known problems and what is being done to correct them. If you look at the site support message area, it appears as if there are no problems at this time.

    Come on – would it be too much to ask for at least one comment a day on this problem?

  65. Jade

    Anne, re you #54 (“The 1820 census issues with image have been sent to our team and have been restored, or in the process of being restored.”)

    Thank you for forwarding to the responsible parties. I don’t know whether the missing NC images have been restored, but I hope the missing Monongalia County, VA images will be restored soon.

  66. Carolyn

    #65 Carolyn
    In reference to my problem,No Census
    Image from August 30-September 3.

    Do Not Know What Happened! I Have Census Image Today!! I was so happy when I saw the green connect bar streaming and a census page appeared. I hope it last…..
    Thanks Ancestry if you fixed this problem………..

  67. Edith

    Why oh Why are you always screwing up what works fine. I thought the previous image viewer was just fine. I always noted the image number in my records and now I can’t find the number of the image I am viewing…that is just one of my dislikes.

  68. Robert Esch

    In regard to the Enhanced Image problems, I found still another. When I set the image size to say 150%, the double scroll bars make it almost impossible to get the information from a given census line. The only way to match the information(from the far right) for a particular individual is to look for the age or some other intermediate descriptor for that individual, because the scroll bar I need is hidden beneath the other scroll bar. Has anyone else experienced this problem? I apologize for doing a poor job in explaining myself; maybe someone else knows what I am talking about, and can do a better job explaining. Thanks for listening. I suppose I could reduce the image size to 50% and then scroll to the right, but then it is difficult (with my 60+ eyesight) to read the information!

  69. I find MANY cases of US census search results for a person directing me to the WRONG census page in the NEW format. In some cases, I find the person on another census page for the Township. In many cases, the census page listing the person is now MISSING from whole set of census pages for the Township.

    This problem rarely happened with the OLD page format. Your quality control of the conversion process to the new page format is VERY poor.

    Fix this fast or I am GONE!

    On the other hand, the new page format makes it much easier to try to correct the many indexing (and other) errors in your US census data.

    Using FF 3.5 on XP SP3.

  70. Eleanor Reynolds

    Count me among those who was extremely disappointed in your not considering Mac users.

    What about enhanced image view for us? Can’t be that hard.

  71. Katy

    I’ve expressed my frustrations with the new Enhanced Viewer and the inability to use it in any form. I spent a number of hours emailing and talking via phone to the tech people and nothing helped. I tried both IE7 and Firefox – I use Windows XP Pro and have nothing particularly different on my computer. Finally I followed the instructions on Ancestry’s website for completely deleting and removing the Enhanced Viewer so I could at least see the pages in the basic viewer. Just on a whim I was on FTM 2010 which I downloaded about the same time the Enhanced Images went away on my computer and while I was in FTM 2010, I tried a Websearch on Ancestry and what do you know – a magic fix! The pages downloaded in the Enhanced View form within FTM 2010 and all buttons and menus were functional. I then opted for a separate window and all was still working. I got no message about downloading the Enhanced Image viewer, it was just there. A search of my computer does not reveal the Enhanced viewer files anywhere on my computer – and yes I know how to view “hidden” files. After closing FTM 2010 and going to IE 7 and making my way to Ancestry, all was well and I had the Enhanced Images. They download a bit slow, but they are there. It seems that the Enhanced Viewer was somehow built into FTM 2010 and when IE 7 downloaded the viewer files again, then the pages would not function. I wonder how many others could benefit from this “fix”. I do believe you have to completely uninstall the viewer before trying to use Ancestry through FTM 2010.

  72. Virginia Cohen

    Early on, when people complained about the new format taking up all the space on the census images, you said that it was easy to set the screen to “image only” and that it would be remembered. Well, it’s not remembered. I have found that it has to be set on every image. Not much fun.

    I don’t disagree that the extra info could be useful – but only when I want it.


  73. Karen

    What is with Ancestry lately? I cannot print the US Census, no matter what I do. Seeing as Ancestry is becoming useless, will we be getting a credit for the time it is not working. You had a great product, but something happened. Maybe a little more behind the scenes testing and debugging before going public.

  74. I have been having problems searching the census lately especially when I try to just search a county in a state. I have tried several ways in which to accomplish this but nothing works. Always, people are listed from all over the US and you have to look at everyone or skim through them to find the State and County that you were originally searching for. This has become worse lately. Also, it is almost impossible add people from the census records to your family tree because in each census there is some slight variation in the spelling of their names and it won’t add that child or spouse, but want to add an addition spouse and different children although they are all the same and original family. I have learned how to keep from adding these additional same spouses and additional children but I notice in some trees, some people have three spouses and three sets of children although they are the same family. And I do know who to search and I do know how to add family memebers. Just wanted to vent my frustration with the census record search here at ancestry. It seems you can’t send an email, and when I have in the past, I only got an email back telling me I didn’t know how to use the search correctly because I was inferring about not being able to find my ggrandfather in the census. He is not in the index, I have another family which is in the index and on the same page attached to my ggrandfather so that I can go back to that page.

  75. BobNY

    Billie #86

    Ah, but that is not her job. As I have been told numerous times, those kinds of issues belong to the US Content Product Manager. Too bad he doesn’t respond to issues with anything other than “we are investigating the issue.”

    She does search which apparently includes the hideous enhanced image page. The fact that a section of the data set has dissapeared and not able to be searched is not her problem.

  76. Jade

    BobNY, re: your #87,

    Quite right about the division of labor.

    However the problem of the deleted images interlocks with a search problem.

    For the deleted Monongalia Co, VA 1820 US Federal Census enumeration pages that were deleted (about half of those in the Western Division), for those that were indexed already the process of deletion also merged URL addresses.

    So for the pages that were indexed but deleted, the search engine comes up with the name all right, but the link is to an existing image page that does not list that person. This URL is probably where that person’s page used to be.

    Interestingly, the indexed persons appearing on still-present page images appear also to have correct present-location page URL links. So someone changed those URLs after the deletions. It appears that someone knew of the deletions at the time of the event.

    For this enumeration a number of the images that were there a few weeks ago were multi-page images. Some scattered pages were deleted, but in another case all of the ones in a multi-image group were deleted.

    One page, the third down in a group (page 117), was not indexed at all in this enumeration.

    These images have not been restored either.

  77. Janice Reed

    Strange that on Sunday I could print census from the new format but not on Monday or today. Am I doing something wrong?

  78. I am hoping this is in response to the articles I have been reading in
    Anne Mitchell’ area.

    I have called Ancestry several times in order to get help with the problems that have occured since ancestry has added this “New Enhanced Viewer”.

    My problem is simple: IT DOES NOT WORK.

    I can not get access to census records, the enhanced view will allow me to see the census BUT that is all.

    I have addressed Ancestry by telephone about this situation 3 times now. Bless the technical support team!! They have their hands full!!

    On the 2010 home edition, on the dashboard there was a link to your site. I read the articles responses from the people who actually make Ancestry ( The paying customers).

    I find that their problems are not being addressed on this page. When I talked with technical support, we did everything possible to make it to where I could download the census, use the tabs, ect. TO NO AVAIL.

    I have even reported that the two ancestry website that have had these problems written to the technical support team, who did not seem to realize that there are SO many people who are having the same kind of problems with the “New Enhanced Viewer”

    I know my problem has not been solved, ancestry technical support have done everything they could, and I have uninstalled/installed/reinstalled/updasted/cleaned internet options/ added firefox/ stripped firefox out ( it did not work either)/ tried IE 7, 8/ rebooted a million times/ tried 4 different computers with different operating systems/ ran scan disk/ defrag/ called technical support and am writting here.

    The reason I am writting here is to say one thing to each of the users on Ancestry:

    CALL” 1-800- 262-3787
    COMPLAIN, have them write up a report
    inform them of their problem and then insist that they either go back to the old viewer or fix this problem in the next couple of days.

    If we all inform Ancestry of the problem and we tell them that we want to old viewer back or this one fixed quickly then they can not act as though they do not know about the problem. I am a paying customer, but I am “old hat” I still use the telephone before writing on the computer.

    AS for being rude, no one should be, everyone has their jobs to do, but everyone has a boss, sometimes it is the boss who has to be notified of a problem.

    I have loved being on ancestry, but right now I am “An unnhappy camper” to quote a person on this page. I hope that ancestry will put up the old viewer so I can access my stuff again.


  79. Joan L

    WHAT!!!?? This new research format and input screen is not at all helpful. WHY did you change the input from approx DOB to exact m/d/y and WHY is everything but the kitchen sink included in a very specific request that creats more confusion. I’ve used Ancestry for years and the other REQUEST format worked so much better. If I didn’t know that some data was out there, I would give up and think people just didn’t exist on any of the census or other recrods. PLEASE CHANGE this back!!!

  80. George Myers

    Still don’t like it. Cluters the page to view a image. That is why I went to this page, I knew who I was looking for and just want to view, possible save and now you can’t do that from a full page view. Makes no sense at all. Its a bone headed idea. But as a friend says, where’s the money. Must be about money for enhanched views down the line.

  81. Carol A. H.

    When I want a census image, that’s what I want! Not all the garbage you now have on that screen. Yes I know I can make the image bigger but it still doesn’t fill my monitor screen. What a waste of time!

    I agree with the negatative comments on this blog. You are now making what was simple and efficient, messy and inefficient. These are NOT improvments!

    When are you guys going to STOP! Keep it simple!

Comments are closed.