Posted by Kenny Freestone on February 10, 2010 in Website

The Family Tree Service will undergo scheduled maintenance tonight for a few hours beginning at about 11:00 PM Mountain Standard Time.

During this time Ancestry Member Trees, OneWorldTree, some portions of My Canvas, the sections of the Home Page that are related to Member Trees, and the sections of 2.0 that are related to Member Trees will be unavailable.

For the vast majority of our members living outside Mountain Time, 11:00 PM MST is the same as…

Coordinated Universal Time: 06:00
In London: 6:00 AM
In Melbourne: 5:00 PM
In San Francisco: 10:00 PM
In New York: 1:00 AM
In Moscow: 9:00 AM
In Rome: 7:00 AM
In Tokyo: 3:00 PM


  1. I’m wondering why I have such a tough time wandering throughout your ancestry program. I don’t seem to make a lot of headway at each of my encounters. Is it just me, or are there some pitfalls that I’m not aware of? I hope that I will get some excellent results shortly be-fore my membership is up.
    Thanks, Rich

  2. beth

    Why don’t you just put up a warning on your front page that the site is subject to monthly maintenance? Then stick to an advertised schedule, rather than these seemingly random and tiresome maintenance interruptions. I’ve been using Ancestry since it was FREE and I cannot say that it has improved since it became a COSTLY subscribership.

  3. Kathy

    My frustration is that I work full time DURING THE DAY and at night, once my family has “retired”, I get online to use Ancestry. This is the 2nd night in a row I’ve received the message the site is down due to maintenance. Many of us are just “getting started” at 11:00/12:00 at night. Is it possible to alternate maintenance between daytime and nighttime to accommodate all users?

  4. I hope this time you people at ancestry get the message. I pay for TIME on your site, and the TIME I use it is during the night (in Arizona). I have lost about 10 hours search TIME in the last 4 weeks-TIME I have paid you for. My subscription is up tomorrow and I am now leaving to find another genealogical site that doesn’t charge me for something and then take it away.

  5. Bruce

    I’m with Beth on this one (though only a recent user).

    Many websites have an ‘overscreen’ that sits on the front page (or a newly opened page, if one is already logged in) advising users of an impending shutdown. This ‘overscreen’ is removed by the use of the ‘escape’ key.

    On those other – user supportive – websites, with that knowledge I can adjust my ‘world’ around the scheduled event.

    It’s not hard to do, and gives respect to the user/s.


  6. Pam

    Here we go again. I too work days, and the only time I can do my searching is at night. I am a paying member and I think the fair thing to do, considering how many nights I have lost in the past month, is to give me free time on the world wide search of equal amounts of time. This is getting to be bullshit!!!!

  7. Bruce Bennett

    For a few hours?
    Professional would at least give an educated guess as to how long someone would have to wait.

  8. Bruce Bennett

    For a few hours?
    Professional would at least give an educated guess as to how long someone would have to wait.

    When making the above comment I kept getting the error
    “Duplicate comment detected; it looks as though you’ve already said that!

  9. Kathy

    Sorry for blank previous comment. Sent before I wrote.

    Although frustrated when the site goes down due to maintenance, this is the 1st time I’ve made a comment. I just now looked at the comments made regarding shutdown frustrations, and there are hundreds. No response from re: our comments.

    Is the intent of this section to give us the opportunity to vent with no expectations of feedback or changes in the process?

  10. Yvette

    I agree with Beth, you should put a warning notice on the front page that there is a scheduled maintenance so we can plan around this, preferably 24 hours before it happens. I also agree with Kathy that I work all day and it is frustrating to want to do some research between the hours of 8-11 PST and I can’t because the site is down. I know you can’t please everyone, but a 2 AM MST time to take applications offline can accommodate those who are home during the day and those who work on their family history in the evenings.

  11. shirley

    I am sick and tired of your taking away the time which WE PAY FOR at night for YOUR MAINTENCE. If you fixed the problems that you have, it maybe would be acceptable, but YOU NEVER FIX YOUR PROBLEMS. You are doing this on a regular basis now, and I research at night. I think you NEED TO REFUND MONEY to US FOR THE LOSS OF TIME. THIS IS GETTING OUT OF CONTROL.

  12. I was in the middle of posting pictures to my tree. Please advertise when you are doing these maintenances. I went through alot of work to prepare for it, and will have to go back through it once you are back up!!

  13. beth

    #11 You are right on the mark! Reading through the myriad of complaints about these downtimes, the rare responses are not on point but address some side issue. Look through them yourself.

    They do put up banner announcements. But the top of my screen is blue, the same color as their banner, and sometimes I don’t notice it. In any case what I think they should do is make a BOLD SENTENCE on their front page that maintenance will be done on the first Tuesday of every month (or whatever) and then stick to that schedule so we all know when to not bother trying to logon.

  14. I had just found a vital key of information after searching for weeks on one person. I was getting ready to attach and boom I lost it. Now I have to go back and hope I get the right spot again. If it had been on my page when I went on the site, I would have been watching my time or came back. Its just frustrating when you are in the middle of a search.

  15. Lee

    A “few hours”? Why not set up a true schedule for maintenance and let your paid members know in advance exactly what the time frame will be? Other websites manage to do this – eBay comes to mind. Why can’t Ancestry?

  16. shari

    I really liked getting the down-time notice a couple of days early. It helped me plan my projects.


    Oregon, USA

  17. Peter Strauss

    I agree with most of what has been said today.
    However not all subscribers are in North America.
    The downtime started at 5PM in Eastern Australia. You don’t know when you will be back.
    I may as well go and watch some crap telly


  18. keith

    Thanks for the warning. I saw it a couple days in a row. I don’t know why people are complaining. Is partial notification part of the problem? Happy with the site so far.

  19. Belinda

    As the use of this site is not cheap, perhaps updates to the site can be done at random times as said previously. Most updates I have noticed have been done 5pm (time in VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA). Perhaps shifting the times around to make it fair for everyone.
    But the site has given me lots of wonderful information, so thank you.

  20. Pam

    Robin: Try The site is FREE & and they have alot of good information. You can search all resources, or click on the record search pilot at the top of the page. Puts to shame!!!

  21. Susie

    In this day and age, when you are charging for access to your site, it is considered phenomenally bad customer service to simply start maintenance unannounced. A pop-up window upon login, an email to registered users, etc. announcing the date and time (best guess) would much better prepare your customer base for the interruptions caused by the frequent down times. These interruptions should never come as a surprise or be stumbled upon while research is in progress. Please give some consideration to providing adequate notice to your paying customers. It is now 3:00 a.m. and your maintenance is still not completed. Thanks.

  22. Dave

    The original message mentioned a “down time” of 2 hours, now it a “few hours”. This is becoming a regular occurance. This site is not cheap. How about a “goodwill” gesture from Ancestry and give us a couple of “free” days added to our existing contract.

  23. Vic Mather

    C’mon you Guys,..What’s the hold up. It has been over two-and-a-half hours since you started your so-called “maintenance.” How much more money do I have to lose before I can access your site.

  24. Margie

    OK, this is my first time posting here.

    I don’t know about anyone else but on my main page when I signed in on Monday, the “notice of maintence” was there as it was on Tuesday and again tonight so I kept an eye on the clock. Yes we all have a limited time on the computer, but maintence is a necessary part of life when it comes to computers. I don’t care what site you are on worldwide, they all go down at one point or another. Mind you I also get a little fustrated sometimes when I am on the roll with finding information, but I look at it this way, if Ancestry didn’t do it we would have alot more problems and things wouldn’t be improved.

    Richard—stick to it, I didn’t find much at first and then one name kicked it off and in the last 2 years I found 7 different cousins, none of us knew about the other, all living in different areas of the country. Now we are learning about each other and putting the family history together.

    Kathy—I agree on your shifting the time for maintence. I think that would make everyone happy and the idea of adding a day or so to the yearly contract free to cover the time would definately appeal to all users.

    Good luck to all on your searches!!!

  25. Bromaelor

    Are all these whingers saying that they lead such sad, lonely, depressing lives that they have nothing else to do during the few hours that the Ancestry site is down for important maintenance? Upgrades which improve the site for all of us?

  26. I love the new time line, I have broken each time line listing death of family members. sample:
    my father in law: Kenneth, I put on his time line, death of his mother, father, brothers and one sister.

    When I attached headstones of his father, mother, sister, brothers it attached to his media section on his profile. I feel if you attached to the time line, it should not be attached to his profile unless you want it to be. This way you can attached items from other main family members with out adding this to his media section. thanks
    Erlene: I think this way the time line can really tell the hold story in this person life, the death of his parents, silbings, wedding of his kids, and birth of this grandkids. I guest what I am tring to say, is that the timeline can show everything that happen in that person life with out attaching to his media section.

  27. carol

    I’m still waiting for you to fix the “Error processing” i get everytime i want to view a Military, or Newspaper site.I cleard my cache several times.
    What is the problem?????? And i do not like that i have more clicks to get to a specific state for their records in the Card Catalog. This is just too much information on the side panels. I finally figured out how to get rid of the “widget”-that was useless as far as taking up room

  28. Richard Flagg

    So you guys think you have made family trees better.
    This upgrade made things worse, now I have to hit edit buttons twice to edit a fact.
    Not everyone has a large screen yet you manage to make me navigate down a page to get to info. Just give me a small button to add media if i really care to.

  29. Bromaelor

    Having used the new version for an hour or so I have to say that the “+ Add media to this event” on every event is beginning to look a bit obtrusive?

  30. BEE

    Just wanted to say that the “notice of maintenance” appeared at the top of my screen for a couple of days. I don’t remember if it stayed or was a “drop down”, so I was aware of it.

  31. I juts logged into my tree and see that there additional ‘Add Media’ buttons now for EVERY single fact I have added for a person. As I have BMD, census and occupation (as much info as possible) for a person this is truly annoying as it adds unnecessary lines to the page, means having to scroll down rather than seeing most info on one screen & makes reading the info unfriendly… Additionally when editing a fact, you click on the fact and then it brings up an ADDITIONAL screen where it has another selection to go to edit (used to be you could click the fafct and edit easily). This too is annoying as it makes updating info really laborious. Kenny, Who comes up with these ‘enhancements’? Real-people users or a tekkie? There was already a way to add media without having to see this for EVERY fact.

  32. janet

    I can’t beleive your member rates are so high.Maybe you should remember its our information you’re selling.I hope ALL members will remember this befor they consider paying thier next bill.

  33. Mary Beth Marchant

    Adding Media to the time line may or may not be a good thing. However, listing that “add media” button to each and every timeline event is so much over kill. It really gets in the way. A button “add media to timeline” such as is the case with photos, etc. would be quite sufficient.

  34. Janet

    I really wish you all would leave well enough alone! Just about the time I get comfortable in inputting information, etc., you go and change something and I have to take the time to figure out how I continue to do what I used to be able to do with ease. The really frustrating part is that I don’t really see how the changes make things better or improve anything. Just leave things alone – you don’t have to be changing things just because you can! I hate to complain because is a wonderful site and I love having the census at my fingertips – I started genealogy research almost 35 years ago I know what a treasure having all of this on hand is. I just get tired of the constant tweeking you all do.

  35. MadeleineNewman

    I have tried repeatedly to get help with an issue on Ancestry, both in the Family Tree Maker 5 and Family Tree Maker 2010. I am able to view original documents but I am unable to save them to my computer. When I click on the Save button the document will disappear. This is very frustrating especially since I have upgraded to have access to the entire Ancestry site. Can you please help?

  36. Debbie Baker

    “Add Media to this Event”
    “Add Media to this Event”
    “Add Media to this Event”
    “Add Media to this Event”
    “Add Media to this Event”
    “Add Media to this Event”
    “Add Media to this Event”
    “Add Media to this Event”
    YOU CALL THAT AN UPGRADE? Please leave well enough alone. This is overkill, not an improvement. Now, when I want to add a comment I have to go through 3 or 4 more screens to make the change. There’s plenty enough for me to do – I don’t want to waste my time trudging through more screens. In the rare case I have Media to add, I know where to find that tab. (THAT “upgrade” took me a few days to find last year.)

  37. Wayne

    Well, I am still having the same problems as always with a lot more screen changes you have added. Half loading pages. Half loading images. Half loading data. Bottom of my screen keeps saying “Done but with errors” Ad servers that can’t get the information for your Turbo Tax ad you would like to sell and on and on and on. The good thing is the old screens that you have left in place still work just fine. It just all the other items you keep adding. In the day time it works fairly well but at night forget it. You would think customer satifaction would be higher on your list for your web based software. My thoughts are I wish you would go back 2 years and re-install that program. Not near the problem as all these NEW UPDATES. It is pretty bad 2 years ago I could work on the tree and do 4 hours at night without any problems. Now I work four hours and may get a hour worth of information in. By what I am reading on your blogs I am not the only person that is having problems so please dont say clean my history files and all the other things.

  38. Wayne

    I forgot to add this. I used to be able to open 3, 4, 5 pages at one time. View a census, copy and paste names from another source and so on. Now you have taken all that away with this new updated program. Almost all all items or buttons you can not right click on the mouse and open items in a new window to view. Your company has great things in scanned documents and ect but you need to start getting all this working together and quit adding all this other stuff to your program.

  39. Dorothy

    The website has been down now for 2 nights. I like the site but I really don’t like paying for something that I can’t use. Off tomorrow for a snow day and was looking forward to being able to doing some research- now I’m not so sure! Please get the site working again! Thanks!

  40. MJ

    The last two times you folks have done maintenance, I have been unable to attach records to profiles in my tree for at least 24 hours. I have also been unable to attach profiles from other trees…Today was a wash in this regard and I can only hope the problem cures itself by tomorrow as it did last time. Meanwhile, I do not understand why people who have spent hundreds or thousands of hours and dollars creating a tree and attaching records to it lose access to those attached records once their memberships have expired. I understand not being able to search for more but I paid for access to those attached records. Access to the tree is of considerably less value once the records are inaccessible. It’s a bit much. Having said that, it would be a truly great site were it not for these issues.

  41. Charlie

    #42 What they call it is “maintenance”. If they were honest and posted a notice about upgrades, we’d have a chance to try and talk them out of more useless, counterproductive, interfering changes.

  42. Ross Eddy

    Since Friday evening Feb 11 I have been able to open Ancestry but when I enter names and dates that I know are correct in censes, family tree or SSDI I get “no match”. This is almost two days without service.

  43. The Family Tree Maker 16 had a merging system that I liked when you entered the month, day, and year a person was born, it would automatically ask if you wanted to merge if you happen to have the same person in from the other side of the family?

    I do not know if I am explaining this right but my 2010 Ancestry will just add the person again????

    Thank you for your time.


  44. Vicki Whitaker

    I hope the downtime is to get rid of the usless and annoying “+add media to this event” option for every life event. This isn’t Facebook.

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