Posted by Ancestry Team on October 26, 2009 in Site Issues

We want to let you know that the and related Ancestry International sites will be down for about 3 hours for scheduled maintenance on early Wednesday morning beginning at 1 AM Mountain Time (that’s 3 AM ET or 7 AM GMT).  The Ancestry World Archives Project will only be available for offline keying.

During this same time portions of,, and sites will also be unavailable.  Thank you for your patience as we improve our infrastructure.


  1. George

    Hopefully this won’t have anything to do with the Drouin collection, like the last scheduled site maintenance.

  2. Mary Beth Marchant

    Thanks to all at Ancestry for the headsup. This is posted on the main page and search pages too. Many times in the past we were blindsided. A few times in the near past, we were informed via the blog but not via the home and search pages. As a longtime Ancestry subscriber, thank you. We need to know this everytime there are downtimes for scheduled maintenance. I do understand that sometimes there are sudden downtimes but scheduled maintenance downtimes are on your calendar and we subscribers should always be made aware of the downtimes by more than one avenue. Again, thanks.

  3. George langelier

    Je déteste le fait q’Ancestry veulent nous abonner à des plus gros forfaits quand on leur fait des corrections.
    Quand ca réfère aux collections canadiennes, les francophones savent lire et épeler proprement.
    Surtout pas changer la prononciation qui avec le temps va fausser complètement les noms et les détails pertinents.

  4. janelle

    OHHH well..I have to say I’m disappointed,,just had a real LEAD on my gr gr gr grand daddy!! guess you have to do ‘maintenance’to give us the best!! what can i say? I’m addicted!! thanks keep up the good work! cheers..jan

  5. Terry

    It would have been more helpful to users of to advise the Australian time for this scheduled downtime. The warning just said early Wednesday morning and it is only now, when I can not logon, that I find on the blog that it was scheduled for 6:00pm AEST! (1:00am MDT).
    As usual, we in the antipodes have been totally ignored, despite paying astronomical annual subscription fees.

  6. Norm Bowden

    2 days Notice!!!

    Not even a Hint of it on any Ver 2.5 sites I belong to.!!

    Grrrrrr Trying to updates sites. Invite new members.. What an Idiot I look now when they are present with an error screen!!!

  7. Norm Bowden

    2 days Notice!!! New Zealand time 8:17pm

    Not even a Hint of it on any Ver 2.5 sites I belong to.!!

    Grrrrrr Trying to updates sites. Invite new members.. What an Idiot I look now when they are present with an error screen!!!

    And now This post won’t even save!!!!

  8. Hear, hear re Terry’s comments about Antipodean users. You’d think they could have notified all site owners by email beforehand.

  9. CaptJack2006

    Yet more downtime during the best time of the day to use your site due to it being so slow it is virtually unusable from 1700 to midnight every day. 48 hours notice for scheduled maintenance is a disgrace. I’m really glad I never upgraded my membership and yet another reason not to store your family tree on Ancestry.

  10. Denise

    Ugh. I agree. The site is too slow during the day and the best time to work fast is during the night. Downtime is necessary I know, but this is the worst time for a lot of us to do it when we have a lot of updates to get done.

  11. Paul

    Good to see Ancestry are on the ball with this….I’m very concerned that the GEDCOM file software that I purchased two weeks ago still has not arrived in England though …..!

  12. Jan

    I appreciate two days notice, or any notice at all. I also use the site more at night but only because of our “shift” hours. I do not find it slower during the day at all.
    It is not like the site is going to be down for days or weeks at a time; it is a 3 hour period at a time when the usage is the least.
    Thank you Ancestry!

  13. Anne Y

    As an antipodean I did get the notice and the notice was framed for my time zone – ie AEDST – perhaps because I use I appreciated the heads up and I was able to work around it. I notice the site is up again – less than 2 hours down time

    thank you

  14. Denise

    Yes, the site does seem to be back up but my family tree data is missing. Has anyone experiened issues. I’m about to panic.

  15. Denise

    false alarm, it just went down again so I guess it is still undergoing maitenance. If you have access to it in less than 2 hours, then you must be on different servers than me. I’ve been unable to access it for around 4 now.

  16. brian

    unless you’re a professional genealogist or Ancestry is part of your economic livelihood then you should stop crying with the life stories about how you didn’t get enough warning ahead of time.

    take your business elsewhere if you’re unsatisfied.

  17. Denise

    Brian, is that directed at me? I’m just working on a family deadline because my father is sick. I didn’t care about the warning ahead of time. I just have a lot of investment over the year in the data and my dad doesn’t have a lot of time. I’m thinking you were talking to the other person but wanted to make sure that my issues were explained that I’m just anxious and eager to get going, not dissatisfied. Didn’t mean to come across any other way.

  18. David Woodcock

    Does this mean we will get an extra days credit to our ancestry subscription?? if not why not we pay for a fixed period

  19. Just when i got up early to make the most of my last 2 days’ subscription this happens. If it was posted I didn’t see it, and I don’t know how. I’ve had my nose on the screen many times a day. Glad that it’s not a blip on my PC, or just because I haven’t renewed my monthly subscription!

  20. brian

    no, denise, it wasn’t directed at you specifically and i appreciate your family situation. it was directed to the crybabies who expect the website staff to schedule their updates around the millions of users schedules.

  21. susan

    I did not get notified at all so you can emagine my surprise when I logged one.
    Brian ,I am sure you were taught better manners than to speak to people that way.
    We do all PAY for our memberships.

  22. Sharon

    The last comment was unnecessary & unwarranted. Everyone understands scheduled maint, but insufficient notice can be disruptive to one’s schedule. I’m sure Ancestry would rather have more of us as subscribers than more of you.

  23. Denise

    I work in IT in a very large firm. Scheduled maintenance is scheduled far in advance of 2 days. When it is done in 2 days notice, it is usually not maintenance, it is to fix a problem discovered that can’t wait. Just sayin.

  24. Lynn

    Lucky people who got advanced warning, I am in England and we got no warning at all, been off since before 7.00a.m GMT and is still not back up yet, very annoying.

  25. brian

    i guess you’re right – disruptive to your schedule. ancestry should do it’s best to schedule their updates and maintanence around your daily agenda just to keep YOU happy, right? since, in fact, the world DOES revolve around you, no?

  26. kim

    Brian’s comments are totally unwarrented. Anyone using this service has paid good money and has invested in many hours of research, not only online but in the flesh. I am on a limited income and work full time, so a day off set aside for online research being thwarted by maintenance is frustrating, without him inferring because I don’t do this as a job that somehow I don’t matter. Surely this comment site was set up to assist Ancestry to make the situation easier in the future, ie better info for other countries would be one avenue to work on.
    Keep your chin up Denise, there are loads of us doing this research for similar reasons, alas there are quite a few “gentlemen” like Brian out there!!

  27. emm

    Well it’s been down far longer than 3 hours – about 6 now i think. I too am in Australia and saw no notice at all.

    This is the only message i see when i try to access anything

    We’re sorry, but this page or feature is temporarily unavailable. We are undergoing maintenance or resolving some errors. We apologize for the inconvenience and ask for your patience at this time. Please try this page again shortly or visit our online Help knowledge base or Ancestry Blog to find up-to-date information about any possible website errors we may be experiencing.
    An update on when its likely to be back online would be appreciated by all im sure

    Thank you again for your patience.

  28. Janet

    Perhaps when you give the headsup you could make the time thing a bit clearer to silly billy’s like me who just took the time stated to be New Zealand time…..doh!

  29. Kim

    OH MY GOD my frustration with no access just got obliterated by Brian’s comments. Just who does he think he is? We all pay our fees, we all have time schedules etc etc surely this comments page is for Ancestry to get ideas on how to make this needed but annoying maintenance run as smoothly as possible, not for him to attack the rest of us for giving them our feedback,what a p****

  30. Ref the comment that there was no advance notice for English users. If I recall correctly it’s been on the home page for the best part of a week.

    I’m pleased to see the majority of posts support ancestry. Sites do need to be taken off line from time to time and let’s face it’s only a few hours.

    My only suggestion is ancestry could customise the generic page you see when the site is down. It’s the same one as you always see if there is a problem with the site and for those people who did not see the advance notice it might help them to know when the site is likely to be up and running aagain

  31. Maria

    Maintenance helps eliminate problems and is therefore necessary for the smooth running of the site. How many of you would complain that you have paid subscriptions on a site that has too many error messages or runs too slow? Be thankful that Ancestry warned of the maintenance rather than ‘going down’ and all your data being lost! It’s only for approximately 3 hours for goodness sake!

  32. Ann-Marie Roberts

    Just disappointed to find it off with no warning here in England. Had an email from a distant relative in New Zealand this morning with some interesting family information, so was itching to get on line and check it out.
    It is a vast site and I suppose maintainance has to be done. The times are not going to suit everyone are they.

  33. susan

    I have nothing but praise for Ancestry and I have been a member for a number of years now.
    I was not notified,so I find that unexceptable.
    Brian! your comments are rude and uncalled for.
    This page is for comments and opinions so please let those that want to have there own opinion.

  34. Shanan

    I am amazed at the comments this topic attracts.I am in Australia but use the US Domain and got notice yesterday I think. Like an early comment said, thanks for the heads up. Often I have found myself in the middle of research only to get the check back soon page pop up, with no clue how long it will be before I can do my ‘thing’ again. Yes we pay but that doesn’t eliminate the need to have parts or all of the site down for maintenance. But as Denise said schedule maintenance is known much further in advance than just 2 days and I am sure it would do well to take this into consideration and give subscribers further notice. We get email of various sorts all the time why not an email with the schedule down time maybe a week in advance with the 2-3 day advance warning placed on the website as a reminder. I can see that having the advanced warning posted on the website is only useful a few days ahead as many would see it and forget if it was a week or more ahead of time. Even though Brian, your comments are what some would think when reading the complaints but I think all in all it’s not very constructive to belittle and use sarcasm towards these possibly narrow minded individuals.Yes in some instances with the right audience your comments would bring a chuckle. But here on this blog and on there are a multitude of people from varying backgrounds including those who no matter what deserve our respect if only because they our our elders. Besh wishes.

  35. Jane Byrne

    OK it’s 3 hours 40 minutes and counting-why are your international subscribers always disadvantaged by your fiddling with the site??Can’t you alternate the timings?
    Come on get back online!

  36. Davinia

    Ancestry has had a banner informing of this maintenance for well over a week.

    Unfortunately it is now 3 p.m. UK time and the site is still down.

    It would be good if Ancestry could provide a status update

  37. Nancy

    Don’t really know what myfamily website’s name is.

    What in the world is GMT time?

    When I go to myfamily I get the message that it is down but signed by That is confusing as I don’t know what site your talking about that is down.

  38. Really not too pleased with the estimated 3 hours offline time you gave, it’s more than 9 hours now and no sign of Ancestry coming back online.
    Can’t Ancestry keep us informed???????

  39. Andy Hatchett

    Here is what I don’t understand….

    Ancestry has this message system that they used to send every member a message when they started the message system.

    So why not use it to send a Notice when scheduled maintenance is going to happen.

    The very last line should be the time and date expressed in GMT time with a note that all users should convert that to their local time.

    If users can’t do the conversion then they don’t belong on a computer anyway!

  40. Andy Hatchett

    Shanan Re: #35

    Age alone is no reason to respect anyone, be they genius or fool.

    Age simply means the person got lucky in the Lottery of Life.

  41. Sandi

    Okay, it is noon central time. Has the site came back up, or is it like another site that no longer works with my Mac search engine. I don’t want to use firefox, it is just to slow.
    Okay I just checked firefox, the site seems to be up now, so why can’t I get on with my Mac? Can anyone help?

  42. Curt Bowles

    I hope you are adding a online download capibility…

    I hope your are going to provide a custom support feedback email address

    Why don’t you offer an upgrade program? Everytime they upgrade the operating system you have to update this software and Pay full price!

  43. Harold

    It seems an extraordinary long three hours from GMT 7.00am. If there is a bigger problem other than scheduled routine maintenance we should be kept informed considering the subs levels.

    Can the blog or home page be updated regularly please?

  44. Elaine Wright

    OMG its like been 12 hours on my watch.
    When should we expect it back on???
    Our Great Niece was born yesterday…..anxiously waiting for myfamily to get back on line.

  45. Carla

    Actually, a personal phone call from Ancestry two days in advance of the next time they plan on bringing down the site would be nice.

    But please call between the hours of 0800 and 0900, or I shall be quite displeased and will have yet another thing to complain about.

  46. Roger

    I know the staff of Ancestry do take notice of the comments on these Blogs, because they have responded by implementing a number of suggestions. We now, usually, get a maintenance warning on the Home Page and the Time in GMT and for that I thank them.

    For Nancy’s benefit, GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) is the World base time zone, all other zones are either plus or minus from GMT. It is based around the zero degrees line of Longitude that passes through the Greenwich area of London.

    Now Ancestry, another request, I know it’s usual for Web Site maintenance to be done in the middle of the night, but does it always have to be done based on Mountain Time? I know this suits the American users but it means that Europe and Australasia always suffer the site being down during the daytime. Please will you consider, sometimes, shutting down while it’s night-time in Europe or Australia. Why not rotate it around these three major areas and let everyone suffer equally?

  47. Kirk Sellman

    When you get that phone call, would you please call the rest of us. Sometimes I don’t hear the phone.

  48. Kristi, Elaine and others,

    The site has been back up since early this morning (mountain time). We discovered a display issue with Myfamily 1.0 that was causing it not to work properly. We are working to fix that now.

    If you are still having problems accessing the Ancestry sites, please email me at and we can sort it out.


  49. Sandi

    I can excess the site by going to help knowledge base on the check back soon page. then search. Not everything is there, but you can search. Might give it a try. I was told that Ancestry doesn’t support the Safari search engines, And it is working going that route.

  50. suzanne a. Jackson

    It is now 9 PM Wednesday Oct 28 and you are still down. is there a problem? I use this site too much and am lost without it

  51. Elizabeth

    It is now 6:20 pm, Alaska Daylight Time. Ancestry is not available using Safari. It is available using Foxfire. Perhaps the Ancestry techs can tell us what’s going on….

  52. Dianne Carpenter

    I think that we all need to be a little more understanding about the scheduled maintenance downtime. It really benifits all of us in the long run. Thank you Ancestry for all the hard work and for keeping the site as up to date as you do. Remember it is better to be down for a few hours rather then days. Again THANKS TO ANCESTRY FOR ALL THE GREAT WORK.

  53. Claire Rainville

    Hello everyone,
    I didn’t have a problem with downtime. “Lucky me”
    Am usualy on by 6:00 Eastern time.
    I do have a problem with a black screen.
    I’ll click on a name or description and all the boxes go black. I wait a few minutes and everthing comes back. “Family Tree 2010”
    Like everyone eles, I don’t like rude people, so young man please remember your manners, your ancesters are watching.

  54. Sandi


    I was told by tech support that Ancestry does not support Safari, and that I was just lucky that I was able to get on using Safari. He told me that I would have to up load Firefox to access the site. So sad Safari was so much faster.

  55. suzanne a. Jackson

    7 AM central standard time Oct29 still no access to I pay a healthy sum of money for a deluxe membership, No one at ancestry has ever told me it was not “Mac” copmpatible How and when do I get back on ? Do I get a refund for time lost?

  56. For those of you who are still having trouble accessing, please try clearing your cache.

    Try clearing your cache. To do this, please go to “Tools” in your browser and then select “Internet Options”. In that menu, you will see an option for “Browsing History” and select “Delete”.

    Sometimes your browser “caches” a page to make things run faster. You might be getting the old “down” page and this will clear out that cache.

    If you are still having difficulties, please send me an email at or call our tech support team at 1-800-ANCESTRY

  57. Andy Hatchett

    I don’t know how many more times it needs to be said but… Ancestry does *NOT* support Safari.

    Get Firefox.

  58. Chagoi

    #67 Lorraine

    I’m also on a Mac. Both Opera and Firefox stopped working for me the day *before* the maintenance. Whenever I click a Search button, Firefox puts up an error message:

    You have chose to open sse.dll
    which is a: Windows DLL
    Would you like to save this file?

    I’ve done all the usual clearing of caches/history/cookies etc. and the site maintenance didn’t fix the problem which still exists.

    However, I downloaded the Seamonkey browser, and everything is now hunky-dory. 😉

  59. I am still unable to access the front page by using the “Front Page” back button while in other parts of MyFamily. I am sent to the Ancestry page regarding maintenence issues.

    Is anyone else having this issue?

  60. It’s becoming an absolute pain in the ‘you know where now’! I’ve now lost 5 days worth of research! I cannot even perform ONE search on the site. Thank goodness I have The Genealogist to fall back on. I hope ancestry subscribers are going to be compensated in some way!

  61. Susan

    The ancestry site stopped working for me last night and said I needed a new brower. I followed the instructions, downloaded the new browser…no luck. The top of the ancestry pages are filled with a bunch of random looking letters and figures symbols. The site still refuses to let me view census images, etc.

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