Posted by Ancestry Team on November 18, 2009 in Site Issues

We want to let you know that the and related Ancestry International sites will be down for about 4 hours for scheduled maintenance tonight (Wednesday, Nov. 18) through early Wednesday morning beginning at 11:30 PM Mountain Time (that’s 1:30  AM ET or 5:30 AM GMT).  The Ancestry World Archives Project will only be available for offline keying.

Thank you for your patience as we improve our infrastructure.


  1. Arlene

    Hello! Today is Wednesday. I’m glad it is scheduled tonight….I’ll be at my genealogy group meeting!
    Thank you for making the best web site.

  2. Carol A. H.

    Well, at least one can’t miss the blue line. That’s at least is a small improvement. And there was a comparison of 1:30 am to 5:30 GMT. I never could figure the difference.

  3. Andy Hatchett

    Easy way to remember-
    Los Angeles is 4 hours behind New York and New York is 4 hours behind Greenwich.


  4. Anna


    You are way off on time. Los Angeles is only 3 hours difference from NY and not 4. NY is 5 hours behind Greenwich…you are off by an hour.

  5. Mary Beth Marchant

    Gee, this is so regular. So, maintenance again. They need to do something though. Their problems are just getting worse and worse, problem after problem, mess after mess. Fire all the programmers and start over. Get some knowledgeable people for a change.

  6. Mark C Dodd

    No warning?

    It might be early in the morning in the USA but peak time here in Australia.

    This is twice in the last week where Australian users are denied access when they want to use it the most.

  7. As much as I don’t like the inconvenience of regular maintenance, I also understand the need for it when dealing with huge databases. As a side note, don’t blame the programmers. Programmers can only work with what they’ve got 🙂

  8. Corinne

    It is Thursday Nov. 19 at 1:40 a.m. EST and the site is not up?? That’s way off the scheduled 4 hour plan. What’s up?

  9. dale White

    Mary Marchant has it right. Like the new advertisments. You pay for using ancestry and now they have the balls to make you watch junk.

  10. Judith Barr

    It is now 19th Nov 1840hours Eastern Australia time in NSW. Can you let me know how much longer you are going to be off line please?
    I am please that you are fixing problems but I find it very inconvenient when it is for such a long time as I have limited time available to use this site, due to other commitments. Some warning would also be helpful.

  11. Mike


    If maintince didn’t start until 11:30pm Mountain time (1:30 am Eastern time) and the down time will be about 4 hours, It won’t be up again until 3:30am Mnt time or 5:30 am Eastern.

    I think what confused you was the typeo where they said they would be begining late Wednesday night and continuing into Wednesday morning, it should have read begining Wednesday night and continuing into Thursday morning.


  12. John Hay

    P.S. to all you yanks durham is in the UK so is yorkshire and no one left the UK to go to the US in 1600 or 1700’s to get married then return to the UK to die! so get real there is a life outside the USA and get yourself a passport and start learning!

  13. Linda

    Rats! The one night I get access to the computer! Shouldn’t at least this wee bit of the world revolve around me?!

  14. carole

    i’m confused, if the site was down last night at after midnight gmt it’s now 7.10 and site still not up. that’s 7 hours surely?.

  15. DOWN AGAIN?? This is starting to be a regular event! I do almost all of my work during the night (AZ time) which is now MST. My husband uses this office during the day for his business and I get on at night to do my ancestry and try to finish my books to send to people. I had no warning that coming in here tonight the site would be down since I was on it all last night and no alerts were sent that I saw!
    I’m getting ready to cancel my membership in since it goes down all the time in the middle of my work. I wanted to finish what I started last night since I’m going to Phoenix tomorrow and wanted to bring some info with me. Now that’s ruined. I think you have overwhelmed your site advertising on TV for people to join and now there are so many the site can’t handle it? Thanks for ruining my plans!

  16. Mike

    See why punctuation can be important, John? That comma in MY version of the sentence changes the whole meaning. And if you wanna be “in the gutter” with this whole thing, then you don’t have to try so hard… just look at all the “going down” comments you’ve missed out on.

  17. Michael

    Have these people got nothing better to do than squabble about time-zones across North America. They need to get out more.

  18. I agree with comment no 18, by John Hay. I found a family tree with my grandmother in it and they had her dying in the US! Do people just go through and replace UK place names with USA ones? It sure seems like it.

  19. Mike

    It’s not scheduled to be up until 9:30 GMT. How is going down at 5:30 and not being up by 7:30 a long 4 hours?

  20. Eric Alan Marx

    I don’t understand the complaints that some are giving. When I was on a notice came up telling of the expected maintenance for four hours. I was able to be on the site until a minute before the downtime. It hasn’t been four hours yet so the maintenance is still continuing and when the exact time four the four hours is up I expect the site will be up and running.

  21. carole

    thanks for that mike and john hay!! not many people finding it up today. i was not sure what time they were working to but i guess as the time is posting at 1am ish it they must be working on some time across the pond.

    and number 32 i have found this also currious perhaps there is an alternative world were we all have doubles. if so hope mine is having a good life

  22. Neoma Walshaw

    This is so typical of American “get-rich-quick” business mindsets. This was a decent site for years, then the ‘suits’ got into it and decided they’d all get rich quick off us honest, hardworking people who pursue a legitimate hobby on the computer.

    Since they arrived, the quality and performance of the site has been in a downhill slide – and this is just another typical American business technique – shut ’em down with no warning and let ’em suffer.

    Ancestry just went public in an IPO last week – raised over $100 million – so the ‘suits’ are probably out buying their Maseratis tonight.

    I for one am sick and tired of doing a US marriage record search and having to filter through thousands of England BMD records that pop up – that is totally crazy and is characteristic of how this company has lost control of its databases from too rapid growth and not having enough experienced, qualified personnel to manage them.

    If the service and quality don’t improve about 1000% after this dirty trick, I will not renew in Feb 2010 -and I’ve been a loyal paying customer for more than ten years.

    And prepare yourself for about a month of s-l-o-w search response times, garbled results and absolutely no customer support – that has been the trend for the past couple of years every single time Ancestry has done “maintenance”.

    What ever happened to running redundant servers and updating one, then switching users over immediately (in the background) to the updated one while updating the other?

    That’s the way really sound web businesses do it – not mickey-mousing around with customers’ goodwill like this bunch of creeps is doing. Can you imagine Yahoo or Google or Wikipedia “shutting down for maintenance” for fours hours with no fair notice to customers – and allowing an employee to post a last-minute notice of the shutdown who doesn’t even know what day it actually is?

    They have finally pushed me over the edge with this indifferent trick.

  23. dangerousrangerous

    Downtime (timeframe):

    US 11-18/19-2009
    (Wed. night to Thur. morning)
    Eastern 1:30AM – 5:30AM
    Central 12:30PM – 4:30AM
    Mountain 11:30PM – 3:30AM
    Pacific 10:30PM – 2:30AM
    Hawaii 8:30PM – 12:30AM

    GMT 5:30AM – 9:30AM
    Australia (afternoon/evening)
    Western 3:30PM – 7:30PM
    Central 4:30PM – 8:30PM
    Eastern 5:30PM – 9:30PM

    Hope this helps figure out the time confusion!

  24. Lenore Slater

    Why is this warning not posted as a message as so many of the ‘new updates’ are? I’ve been working every day and night on this site and never saw any warning of this maintenance until I was in the middle of a document search, entered the information under the appropriate ancestor and ZAP! can I save this info? No, I’m kicked out! I sure hope this maintenance fixes the problem I’ve reported twice and never received an answer to!!! NOT IMPRESSED!

  25. carole

    thanks dangerousrangerous

    telling me the time zones, obviously this is not my strongest point. im off to findmypast they were down yesterday so i expect they will be up now. maybe they are on a see-saw

  26. Judith Gardiner

    After a busy day helping with NCEA exams and obnoxious teenagers, I wanted to chill out in a quiet room and check out what the other ‘quiet’ relations are doing in Ancestry. Do we get a credit on our account for missing out on a service we paid for.

  27. Jill

    Off line AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!! Fine, just credit my account with the down time, it’s getting to be every week! We do PAY to access this site.

    Also, what the heck is ET time and Mountain time? It’s not in my list of time zones.

  28. Neoma Walshaw

    Nos 18, 32 and 35 – you are so right about the “junk” genealogy that Ancestry is allowing to hit the web – no controls, no standards, no QA at all – and this “junk” will remain out there into infinity, sadly.

    Just a tip from one who has been doing this ever since the first database was ever posted on the web: When you search and get a hit on another tree, look to see whether it is sourced or unsourced. If it’s unsourced, don’t bother to open it – you cannot trust the information that has been posted there – and when you find mothers who were born after their children, you can bet the idiots who just “grabbed the first thing they saw that looked like a match” don’t care whether they are ruining this legitimate, research-based activity for the ones of us who do care about the quality of our work.

    Note to John Hay: Give us a little break, John. I lived in England 12 years, and I can assure you there are plenty of blokes who don’t know the difference, either – nor do they care. Just had an excited e-mail contact from a West Riding person last month who “discovered” that a person in my line had “moved to a different town before her death” – and she wanted to be sure I had “caught that” myself! The person she was so willing to give me bad information about is buried right where I had shown her to be – and there’s a photo of the grave, as well as a description of the village church posted to her data. This poor lady apparently didn’t take time to read up on my ancestor’s data BEFORE she jumped right in to “save me” from myself! Surely do wish I was back there in the Calder Valley right now, though – beautiful place.

  29. Chris

    It would help an awful lot if you could word the initial announcement in plain English. What time should this work begin and end?

    “maintenance tonight (Wednesday, Nov. 18) through early Wednesday morning beginning at” makes no sense unless it is going to take almost a week!

  30. Lesley Fiedler

    if you have to make the whole site unobtainable to subscribers then perhaps the downtime should be added to extend their subscription as they do not get to use what they have paid for .
    It was impossible yesterday to use and today the same thing thats 2 days here in Australia not 4 hours

  31. Chris

    I’ve been in IT all my life. The norm would be to make and check the updates on a test environment server and then update the live system. Result should be little or no down time. Imagine if the traffic control systems or rail network systems went offline for hours. I assume all of our contracts will have extra days added to compensate for what we have already paid for !

  32. Neoma Walshaw

    Surprised they didn’t shut down the blog as well – but you can bet they have someone monitoring it right now – and keeping a tally of the complaints.

    Suggest we all flood the telephones tomorrow and request a credit to our accounts for the two lost days. Yes, two days – the site has been junked up results-wise since Tuesday 6 a.m. (US Central Time) and running at a slow crawl. That is the ONLY thing that will get their attention and stop this foolish treatment of paying customers.

    Phone Number (US Toll Free):
    1-800-ANCESTRY (262-3787)

  33. susan

    Just plain fed up with paying for something I cannot use.
    If we added up all the down time
    with Ancestry we should get a least 2 days of free searchimg added on to our memberships.

  34. Lesley Fiedler

    think its ALMOST fixed 7.37 pm Australia still not getting pages as they were before its all a bit roundabout searching at the moment but better than nothing

  35. Andy Hatchett

    Connie Re:#13

    Re-read the post. It was do go down at 1:30 EASTERN time and be down for 4 hours or so- it has as of 1:40 am been down 10 minutes!

  36. Andy Hatchett

    Neoma Re:#46

    Just how much of a credit do you think you’ll get?

    Clue: $300/365days/24hrs=$ 0.3425/hr.
    So you get approx. 3 cents for each hour the site is down.

    Oh- read the fine print. Down time is covered therein.

  37. Just to express my humble opinion. I prefer using this method of research, relaxing in the comfort of my home, rather than tracking down my ancestry the old way! Perhaps we all may need to take stock & appreciate what we have!
    Just a thought.


  38. Jeff

    doodle dee dum it’s now 6:05 Eastern Standard Time Thursday Morning…. Think I am going to find a new hobby

  39. Jeff

    Wouldn’t it just be nicer if you said you have no idea when you might have this up and running again ! ?

    What surprises me is that you can go to a related site like findagrave and be directed and admitted to files during these periods of “down time”….

  40. Alexandra

    It’s now 13:25pm Thursday 19th November 2009 here in Lagos (that’s 12:25pm in the UK)and STILL NO ACCESS. This is boring.

  41. Jeff

    We want to let you know that the will be down for about 4 hours for SCHEDULED maintenance tonight. MUST HAVE FOUND SOMETHING REALLY REALLY BAD HAHAHA… 9 A.M
    Eastern Standard Time ( You all sure blew that 4 hour SCHEDULE !)

  42. Jo

    No wonder there’s so much bad genealogy going around…if so many of you can’t, or won’t, even do research to figure out time zones! Sheesh!

    Ancestry is located in the US, as I expect are most of their programmers, and I imagine the majority of their clientele, as well. It’s only natural that they work on their own country’s time schedule, choosing down time during the least amount of activity for the most amount of people.

  43. How about an update, Ancestry. Something is obviously very wrong that you missed your 4 hrs predicted down time by a mile. Can you give us some info?

  44. Hi all-

    The was back “up” last night around 3 AM Mountain Time (in the US :>). Thanks for the feedback regarding the time zone posting. We will try to include attitional time zones in future postings like this.

    If you are still seeing the page that tells you Ancestry is down, please 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”.

    Some browsers have a setting that “caches” a page to make frequently viewed pages load faster. You might be getting the old “down” page and this will clear out that cache.

    If you are still having difficulties, please call our tech support team at 1-800-ANCESTRY.

  45. JEAN

    Neoma Walshaw WROTE
    Posted on:
    November 19, 2009 at 1:53 am

    ‘Just a tip from one who has been doing this ever since the first database was ever posted on the web: When you search and get a hit on another tree, look to see whether it is sourced or unsourced. If it’s unsourced, don’t bother to open it – you cannot trust the information that has been posted there – and when you find mothers who were born after their children, you can bet the idiots who just “grabbed the first thing they saw that looked like a match” don’t care whether they are ruining this legitimate, research-based activity for the ones of us who do care about the quality of our work.’

    Why I understand that you are tiring to give sound advice I do not agree with all that you write above. Yes there are many out there that do in fact HIGH-JACK others hard work with out regard for accuracy. To say that one should not open ANY tree that is shown as unsorced is in fact bad advice. my own tree which I have working on for ten years now with the info taken from various places a majority of which are archives and certificates is shown as unsorced because ancestry do not allow people who are not invited to see MY SORCE NOTES. I work on my tree offline and only update my tree now and then by removing the old one completely. I there fore don’t bother to link ANY hints to the out of date tree which appears online. My reason for this, I DO NOT LIKE AMT.

    The better advice in my opinion would have been to NEVER attach a TREE hint to the tree that a researcher is building but that they should conceder the information that is presented within the hint bearing in mind that it just might be wrong. Then by doing INDEPENDANT research by using parish achieves and other original data such as census to prove or disprove the data presented in the hint. The researcher should then and only then if the tree info proves right KEY IN MANUELLY FROM SCRATCH the info NOT just attach the hint.

    If a glaring mistake is made then either contact the owner of the hinted tree (I have found that they mostly do not wish to answer) and or leave a comment on the tree stating the mistake and citing the source and or reason for the comment. IF they respond and correct the tree then make sure that this is acknowledged by thanking them for correcting. If not just leave the comment for all to see.

  46. Andy Hatchett

    Jean Re:#65


    Just curious as to what software you use that Ancestry won’t show sources that are in your GEDCOM that you upload?

    Have you tired uploading to WorldConnect?

    Will it show your sources?

  47. Leanne

    It is VERY, VERY, important to CLEAR YOUR CACHE when attempting to bring up your tree after previously getting the maintenance message. If you don’t, you will probably continue to get the maintenance message after they are up.
    For all the its problems, Ancestry has given me priceless returns for my dollars, and a chance to hone my impatient character trait.

  48. brenda

    I thought the site was only meant to be down for 4 hours. It went down last night australian time and over 12 hours later it’s still down. I am a relatively new member but there have been so many “scheduled maitainence” in the last month or so ,that the benefits of being a member are very quickly receding.Get your act together. I really hate paying for something that doesn’t work to well.

  49. John H


    I find it hard to imagine that this maintenance was decided upon on such short notice that it was only known at 521p (MT) — the time stamp on the first posting in this blog. Unless it was a major emergency — why was it NOT announced with more lead time. THIS REDUCES THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO GET ADVANCE NOTICE

    When I tried to sign on this morning, I was greeted by a message that said I was signed on elsewhere and thus access was denied. I knew this to be FALSE — but since it was before 8am MT — I could not find out what was going on by phone and since I could not sign on at all — I could see the blog. When I called 1-800-ANCESTRY, no message was there about the fact maintenance was occurring and when it is expected to be finished — why is that so hard to do???

    I am now home again and see what happened — but this should have been handled much better.

    Also, you need to understand how time zones and the calendar work.

    “…will be down for about 4 hours for scheduled maintenance tonight (Wednesday, Nov. 18) through early Wednesday morning beginning at 11:30 PM Mountain Time (that’s 1:30 AM ET or 5:30 AM GMT).”

    First once you go past midnight — the day of week changes (most people learn this by about first grade) and thus it clearly should have said through early Thursday morning.

    Also, since we are now on standard time in US (but they are not in Australia since they are in the southern hemisphere) GMT is now 5 hrs ahead of EST (or current NY time) It is 4 hrs ahead of EDT (or summer NY time)

  50. John H


    I see from the time stamp on my just prior notice (#70) you still have NOT reset the clock for this blog from MDT to MST — we off daylight time at 200am on Nov 1 — over 18 days ago.

    If you want to know about time zones — go to

    Ir has all the details — including the fact Europe, Russia and Mexico went off daylight time a week earlier than did the US and Canada — just to keep everybody on their toes.

  51. Andy Hatchett

    I personally would love to see ALL times stated as GMT – then let everyone fend for themselves as to what that means in their local time. If they can’t figure it out they shouldn’t be using a computer anyway!

  52. Phil Perry

    I have not been able to get back on Ancestry since the maintanance and I was just told by someone at Ancestry it’s because I have AOL and Ancestry doesn’t support AOL! What? I think that’s crazy talk!

  53. Andy Hatchett

    Phil Re: #72

    I don’t know exactly what “support AOL’ should mean but I do know that there is a special mailing list ar Rootsweb for AOLers as there seem to be unique problems with it interacting with Ancestry/Rootsweb.

  54. Ron Hillman

    What a mess! I can’t access anything! I pay good money for this and can’t get on! I’m disgusted – I won’t renew! Quit messing with everything. It was perfectly good before all the changes!

  55. Who cares about the time any more . I haven’t been able to access for 22 hours now . I’m on a 12 day trial. And have entered 200 names or more . I have tons of info from my family and pics . Maybe I should pull out ? Is this common here ? You sure don’t get much bang for your buck here it seems . Hummmm

  56. I have noticed also some of the peoples trees are wrong . You kinda learn who has the best info .
    Like my Great grandfather . He is in a lot of trees . But I actually have his trunk full of Deeds and records . He was a judge . And noticed he fined people 1 dollar for sabbath breaking . And I have 4 pics of him . Nobody has till me it seems . I was posting them when all this shut down accurred . Talk about bust your bubble. lol

  57. Can access the thompson part of the site but not the Vassar Family tree. This is 8:30pm pacific on the 19th. Still cannot get to my page. I am sharing the site with The Thompson Family tree…. Ray Thompson is main owner of site and I am a contributing editor. Please advise.

  58. Leah Grantham

    regarding message 63- Thank you Melissa for clearing that up for me, that ended up being the exact reason why I couldn’t access the site and now it’s working great!!!!

  59. JOHN

    It has now been over 24 hours (not 4 hours) since I have had access to my information. Would you PLEASE advise when I can expect to be able to do so or should I cancel my subscription now and go elsewhere to do my research? Please advise by return. JDS

  60. Cecelia

    It is 12:55 PM ET , Friday, Nov 20 and I have not been able to access my original tree for 3 days now. However, I can access 2 of my other trees and some other peoples trees– what’s up with that ???

  61. JEAN

    hi andy

    thanks for your message at 65

    i infct use PAF but all my ref are in text form at this time in the notes space. i am slowly going through my tree adding in the sorce on the proper tab having down loaded my tree from the original version on my computer into another file but with out my source notes i am slowly reimputing them one by one into the new file while i am still activly maintaing the old file also rechecking everything i have. with over 1,500 direct decendents and a simular number of connected people it of course is taking a lot of time to do. it has not helped that i was taken seiosly ill last year and being dyslexic means my progress is slow.

    and yes my tree is up on worldconnect over at ROOTSWEB where i update from my maintained old file every 2 or 3 weeks. the version here on ancestry is a year and half out of date and i will only correct any glaring mistakes which i hope there are none. what i have done is added to the title of my tree here on ancestry to all that see my entry a note saying an updated version is on rootsweb where my sorce notes can be seen.

  62. Andy Hatchett

    Jean: Re: #85

    Ok, I see what you are doing now. Please e-mail me as I may have a way that will eliminate a lot that hand entry.

    And yes- it is a free trick, I’m not selling anything *GRIN*

    If you include a link to your Rootsweb Tree it would be helpful.

    My e-mail address is

  63. Doris Rayburn

    When I search for someone who died in the 1800’s even as early as 1840, do I get search results for the 1900’s? That is a lot of information to go through when you are researchng common names like I am – Jones, Smith, White, Davis, etc.

  64. Beryl

    The ancestry web site has not returned to me since the routine maintenance on November 18th.

    How do I geet it back, I urgently need to use it.

  65. philipwhite31

    I find much of your new search frustrating. Oftentimes when I look up a census record and wish to go back to the page where I need to change some seaarch data, your program will not allow it. It repeatedly gives me the page I am trying to leave. I have to exit out of the entire program and login again, to be able to edit my search. That is extremely frustrating. The census I was working on today was 1850 Franklin Co., VA. But it has happened on numberous counties in various states.

    Pat White

  66. I’m really upset. Some how you folks have my people all mixed up. I hope no one I know looks at it. If you can’t fix this problem, at least take them off
    where people can’T see them .

  67. Leona

    I still can’t get my website to come up where it is readable like before. Our whole computer crashed between Wed. at 9:30pm and Thursday morning 9:30a.m. Seems stange that that would happen when you are doing an update. Now nothing is right on my websites. Please check into this and see what’s up.

  68. James

    It’s Monday the 23 Nov in Oz, and I still can’t access my Ancestry home page.
    When will we have the site up and running again?

  69. dorotheasuemike

    I am doing genelogy NEED all info about including names of coal miners kill 1965 near Fairview WV. My consin was killed there and I can not find his death record or birth record. His mother was Bessie Mike Higgenbottam . on a marriage record he is Mickel. (he married a Stull 1957.) He was born 1932. marion co. father unknown.

  70. JEAN


    have been searching the trees to night and needed to check the cenus so went to the 1851 census which i needed to search (USING OLD SEARCH EXACT not that waste of space, time effort and money thing that is new search). i put in the surname westbrook and in the birth place [Country, County or island, Parish or place] boxes i put in – hampshire alton i knew for a fact i should get hits but oh no i did not of course. ok so i took out alton and hit search again. you guested it nothing. removed hampshire this time and put hampshire instead in the key word box at the bottom and what happens …… no your wrong up come all the westbrooks in hampshire including the ones born there. now i experimented i cleared the form and added just alton (a large town in hampshire) in the birth place box and the results nothing, zealtch diddle sqaut


  71. Mary Beth Marchant

    To #93-needing West Virginia Death certificates–Ancestry does not have any West Virginia Death records posted as of now. However, there is another web site whereby you might obtain at least some death certificate transcriptions. E mail at and I will give you the web site address-many states for privacy reasons do not allow death certificates to be posted.

  72. Andy Hatchett

    Mary Beth Re:#95

    Actually, while states may not, due to legal restrictions, post death certificates themselves, there is no way they can prevent anyone who gets a copy from the state from posting it. State and Federal public documents are not copyrighted.

  73. Shoultz

    Why should one contribute free to Ancestry.Com when Ancestry.Com charges one to view their own contribution?

  74. Pat Secord

    Re #97 Shoultz
    Because, simply put, we all share. I’ve gathered many clues from others trees, and hopefully, others have been able to use some of my info.

  75. Sara Gredler

    Can anyone tell me what is going on with the 1860 US census? I am getting constant image error messages, and now, using Old Search – Exact Matches, I am not getting *sny* of the data to match my search. For example, I put in “SMITH” for last name, Massachusetts for state, Barnstable for county, and Orleans for township, and I am getting results in TENNESSEE! What is going on?

  76. Nel Hatcher

    What in the world is wrong with the old search engine? I either do not get any results when I know I should or I get results totally unrelated to my search criteria or when I access the image, I get an error.

    This has been going on all day 11/23.

  77. Gloria

    As a senior citizen am I using an outdated definition of the word “soon” as regards the time that the US census search will be back up and running??? (And forget time zones. They’ve lost their meaning in this latest black-out.)

    To me, “soon” does not mean several days. I was able to view a few census pages in the wee hours on Thursday (19 November), got error messages for a couple census pages, and the whole thing has been down since then. It’s now late evening Monday (23 November) and I still get the “resolving errors” and “check back soon” business.

    I’ve cleared my cache 3 times now, so please don’t tell me that’s the problem. And please don’t blame AOL since I’ve been viewing pages via my AOL connection since I subscribed. (And we have a dial-up connection as well.)

    By the way, according to my dictionary the definition of “soon” that I am accustomed to is: “1. At a future or subsequent time not long distant; shortly. 2. Without delay; in a speedy manner.”

    As far as I’m concerned, the dictionary definition still fits. So if you don’t know how long something will be out of whack, why not just come right out and say it? Fess up and say “we have no clue what’s wrong” or maybe “it’s the weekend before a holiday and we have better things to do that fix things so you folks can do your searches” or something like that.

    Or for pity sake put a great big announcement on the main page telling people what things AREN’T working so we can go do something else! I don’t have all the time in the world to keep “checking back” and clearing my cache. I’d LOVE to get some WORK done, and for me that means filling in the blanks by viewing the US census pages……. which is the ONLY reason I subscribed in the first place!!!!

    (And a P.S. to whoever it was who said to ignore unsourced trees… My tree, which is on Rootsweb and so shows up on Ancestry, does not show sources because many of my sources are living people and I don’t show living people at all. I can’t pick and choose which of my sources to show, so to stick with my personal policy of not showing living people I’ve had to opt not to show sources either. I have tons of sources. Good solid ones. They just happen to be private due to the “all or nothing” non-option.)

    Ancestry — Get the US census search working again!! (The “old” version. The “new” one is, well, yucky.) An old lady in Illinois is getting quite annoyed.

  78. Jo

    #99 Sara – I just tried your search (using old search) and got over 50 Smiths in Orleans, Barnstable, Massachusetts in 1860, with or without Exact checked.

    For the record, everything is & has been working for me all along since the maintenance. I’ve had no problem with the search engine (old search) for any census year, or with viewing the images.

  79. christal bassett

    Is anyone else having an issue with missing info in there tree. All of a sudden an entire branch of my tree I have been working on is just gone!!! I have e-mailed customer service but so far no response. Just wondering if this was caused by the recent system maintenance?

  80. Vera

    People are stealing photos from my website and putting them on for people to pay and see! Theft!

  81. Andy Hatchett

    Vera Re:#104

    If you took the photos you own the copyright to them and can notify Ancestry’s legal department and demand that they be removed.

    If you do *not* own the copyright then the actual copyright holder should be notified and they can notify Ancestry.

    Other than that there isn’t much that can be done.

  82. Chagoi

    The [old] search in both the England and Wales 1851 censuses has been misbehaving for more than a week or so.

    If *any* word is entered into any one of the three Birthplace boxes, the search returns ‘no matches’.

    To find a person with a known birthplace who is probably residing elsewhere, one has to use the Keywords box which can then return ridiculous numbers of irrelevant results.

    All the other UK censuses are working as normal.

    Yours in frustration

  83. Julie Kimball

    I have been trying for four days to cancel my account. I see that I’ve been charged another $19.95, which I want removed because I can’t reach you to cancel this account. I’ve tried calling during regular office hours, I’ve repeatedly tried to follow all your online directions and links for account cancellation, but they are either dead, error out, or lead me to sign up again or to a new website. This is the only link on your website I found that enabled me to contact you by email.

    I’m now angry and think this services is not legitimate. I want you to remove the last charge since I’ve had no recourse to cancel.

    I expect a response either by phone at 708-425-6461 or to my AOL account by close of business 11-25-09 telling me my account has been cancelled and my money refunded.

    Julie Kimball

  84. Liz Ward

    For the last 4 days I have been unable to get the homepage for or, its just not loading up, any ideas? I have a subscription!!

  85. Dan Oswald

    I just subscribed to Worldwide Ancestry. I have no idea how much it cost me as the price was given in British Pounds (I guess). There is no option to have the price in US dollars?

    Also, I go to the home page and everything is for UK. Where is the option for USA searches? I don’t go back to Europe for several generations and I’m not that far yet.(Do you suppose you could make it more US friendly?)

    Also, I have no idea where to voice this complaint and hope that it gets to the right place somehow.

    Dan and Leah Oswald


  86. Andy Hatchett

    Ron Re;#112

    Most experienced researchers will tell you don’t link to other trees.

    If you are absolutely sure those people belong in your tree then add them by hand. Linking to other trees *always* causes trouble down the line- usually by winding up with duplicate people in your tree.

  87. Sandi Lee Craig

    What happened to the old EASY way to find all your publications and listings – I’ve spent about 30 mins without any results looking for the list. I DO NOT LIKE the new look of So glad that I have most of my genealogy done from the site before your ‘new’ updates! I find it impossible to add comments to Family Trees – to correct obvious mistakes or to update and share additional information. Tweeking the site is NOT making it better for me!

  88. Lynne

    I access ancestry hoping to access search results in the least amount of time instead of the ‘new and improved system.’ If not, I go elsewhere.

    I would throw up my hands and give up, but my subscription does not renew until June or July 2010.

    Seems to be an equivalent of the old bait and switch routine. When I FINALLY get my results narrowed down, the page has so much visual clutter I cannot focus on the info I need.

    This is not what I paid for and it represents a complete waste of my hard earned money.

    What gives?

  89. BEE

    This is off-topic, but apparently the only place to comment at the moment.
    I still make a valiant effort to use the “new” search, but I find no better results, and find it – as others have said, just too cluttered, and definitely NOT user friendly in my estimation.
    I’m sure “the powers that be” would say because we have gotten so familiar and comfortable using the “old”, but for a “senior”, it’s just too much work!
    Also, what is showing up for “hints” is bordering on the ridiculous! Census and other information that don’t relate to the person in question at all! So added work to add it to the “ignored” pile – and that’s not counting all the “connections” to be removed or ignored. Once in a while, there is a legitimate “connection”, so I continue to keep that feature.
    For anyone who has helped me in the past with their advice, I thank you.

  90. Lynne

    Thank you Bee for your post, although I doubt seriously anyone cares.

    What I want is simple: the ability to narrow my search terms from the beginning, bet my results in a simple table as before and the ability to further narrow down the search from a table of drop down boxes as before. No thumbnails, no hints and tips, no list of anyone else researching a particular name.

    I do not want to search for a particular name in a particular place and then be hit with every occurence of that name in the US and then having to go through the laborious process of narrowing the results one factor at a time.

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