Posted by Web Operations on May 19, 2010 in Site Issues

We’re letting everyone know that we are having some temporary site problems that we are actively working to resolve. We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause. Thank you for your patience as we work through this issue.


  1. Scott Denison

    I do not PAY MONEY for you to disable my trees to solve YOUR high traffic issues. Get off those profits and spend on your servers that support YOUR CUSTOMERS instead of just supporting your investors.

    I tire of issues like these you subject us to, it seems, far too often.

  2. Bruce Stewart needs to be careful to not overbuild it’s membership before having the infrastructure in place to support the increase in users. Remeber what happened to AOL for example. Maybe the timing wasn’t right for “Who Do You Think You Are”. Though I couldn’t see Ancestry not having an association with show. Great job!

    I’m looking forward to the improvements you have planned to make navigation of the site easier.

  3. Bonnie Ducharme

    PLEASE give me an approximation of how long the trees will be down? So far they have been down for 2 1/2 hours.

  4. Andrew T

    is ancestry gonna answer or not. and i completely side with bruce. ancestry needs to upgrade their server so they can support the all the new users.

  5. Annie

    Folks, I know it is annoying not to be able to access our trees when we had planned to work, but when there are problems of this nature, it is extremely difficult for Web Operations (or anyone else at acom) to give us an estimate of how long the site will be down.

    I would say, however, that a banner on the home page would have a great chance of informing more people than this quiet note on the blog, which many users never see or think to check.

  6. James Warren

    It would be nice if Ancestry answered the above questions. Or are we not important enough to rate an answer regarding how long the downtime will be?

  7. Andrew T

    and all the the site does to show us the site is downn is, “were busy right now, a bit overcrowded.” nice explanation acom

  8. Annie

    1 – there is a disclaimer in the terms and conditions that 365/24/7 access is not guaranteed and that we, the subscriber, understand no refunds will be given.

    2 – it is highly unlikely you will receive a response on this blog page to any question. Normally when there is a post of this nature from a staff member, the blog post is closed for comments.

  9. Allan Turner

    It would seem that the recent problems with may be the result of increased demand due to the NBC series “Who do you think you are?” If that is the case, I am disappointed that your company was inadequately prepared for the increased load on the system Servers. Since my current subscription expires tomorrow, May 20, 2010, being currently unable to access my family trees is a significant inconvenience.

  10. Sean

    An update on what the problem is or an estimated resolution time would be appreciated. As Annie suggests, putting that notice somewhere besides this blog would seem to be a good idea also. Recently I’ve been working online here mostly and importing to the home version. These repeated outages are making me wonder if I shouldn’t be doing it the other way around.

  11. Debra

    I agree with Alan. Everyone who has logged in during this “downtime” is entitled to a credit to their account.

  12. DuncanNeill

    Since you are VERY good for billing me for every second that I have access to your site, are you going to refund me my money for the time the site is down or extend my plan a day?

    It is more than an “inconvenience” when access to our trees is specifically what we pay Ancestry for. Not much we can do with the other “bells and whistles” without the access to our family information. Other businesses would find some sort of compensation for this huge “inconvenience”. I’m not interested in a certificate to the “gift shop”.

  13. Mischelle

    I’m on daily and this is the first time I’ve had problems. Let’s all chill and find something to do to fill our time until Ancestry gets things back up and running, hmm?

  14. David Reid

    Today I have truly realized how vital is to my life. I have cleaned my kitchen, eaten breakfast and reorganized my recent digital photos by 10 a.m. because of today’s problem on the site. Usually, I spend a few hours getting lost in one of the dozen family trees I manage. Don’t know what I would do without Please figure out the problem soon. My grandfather’s first wife’s untimely deth needs more research! — A loyal and obsessive site fan.

  15. Alan

    ‘Cloud Computing’ hah…. Guy’s I know problems occur but a banner on the homepage would be courteous and take 2 minutes…

  16. Robin

    Another reason that I use Family Tree Maker and not the Website for my trees. All the searches all working just fine….

  17. Kath Newton

    And I thought it was just me.

    I am still receiving messages and sending them

    Well I hope they are getting through.


  18. While everyone appreciates the efforts which Ancestry . Com has done to improve their site it has gotten to a stage that everytime these new improvements are implemented more and more outages of the system occurs. Posting that you are experiencing problems and are working to correct them is good but you are not winning points by ignoring simple requests like when do you anticipate the problem to be resolved.

  19. Tami Kudlauskas

    I know, everyone is angry! These are the little hiccups in life that are frustrating. I just found 6 relatives and believe me, I want to keep diving in, however we need to sit back, try to take a deap breath and realize, perhaps we are all being tested in the patience department by GOD.

  20. Scott

    It has become quite clear that ever since the hosting of “Who Do You Think You Are” and the “Free” trial subscriptions, that Ancestry was totally unprepared for the flood. There has been nothing but problems ever since this program first aired. So, non-paying users have overloaded the system, and cash paying customers like ourselves, are just out of luck.
    I am a professional that pays and uses this service every single day. Guess what? Now I can’t do my job!

  21. Kristen

    I am with Mishchelle, I’ve been on here everyday for over 3 years and I’ve never not been able to access my trees before, stuff happens to the best of us, and usually when it is least expected, or at the worst time… paitience everyone, I’m sure they’ll fix it asap….

  22. Eva

    Dear This is probably the most memebership fee I’ve ever paid – and it is not acceptable to find my tree function has been disabled – we should all get a REFUND.

  23. shirley Swanson

    When I pay 3 figures to use a service, I expect it to be there.
    I expect it to be as advertised not constantly tweeked to suit ancestry’s feeling for what is cutesy and what. When I can’t get to ANY of my trees, ancestry is stealing my money. Gee, didn’t we bring down some financial firms for such as that???
    Maybe ancestry needs competition; I hear its healthy

    I want my TREES back………

  24. Mischelle is correct – I work for a large insurance company and about once a year the computers hiccup.
    Need more things to do? Check for graves at Look up ancestral towns on wikipedia. Look at the redbook ancestry has published at
    Look at the free city directories on
    Set up some google alerts for family history info you on your ancestors.
    Set up a free google site on your ancestor:
    Build your bookshelf with genealogy books in google books. I can find a million things to do while ancestry is fixing itself.

  25. David has ask America “Who Do You Think You Are.” My answer to them – – I am a 1st class paying customer for your services. Now …. treat me like you want to keep me as a “paying” customer.

  26. Sue

    I was prepared to work on my tree today too. It is part of my daily routine. It is annoying that the site is down. I see no reason to blow my blood pressure.
    I still have all of my hard copies to work with. I can still research on the other sites,and really,how hard is it to take notes and fill in the trees later. Some people sound like addicts needing a fix.

  27. Tara

    Wow, I can’t believe that there are so many very impatient people out there. Guys seriously, relax… Things happen :0) I would suggest holding your actual trees in another location outside of the internet so that you aren’t stopped when something like this happens. Its always a good idea to have a back up. Take a breath and be grateful we have this site at our disposal to begin with. Our ancestors certainly didn’t.

  28. MikeyJ

    Well, while it’s certainly frustrating, hopefully this will serve as a guide for’s marketing department in the future.

    While it was good to post the update on your Twitter account and your blog, maybe (moving forward) you should also coordinate with other departments to keep your social media accounts updated throughout the process, rather than remaining silent.

  29. Eric

    Honestly, I expect outages – its the nature of the beast; however, was I don’t understand is ACOM’s complete lack of consideration regarding the inability to communicate with customers. There we 15 post on the message board before ACOM posted anything to let customers know what was up. Not to mention their decision to post the outage to a blog and not their home page.
    I seem to recall the WDYTYR pop ups working swimmingly every Friday to constantly remind me of the show. Therefore I an quite sure the site developers have the basic concept of a javascript popup to inform us of an outage. If not, the lowly “flashing tag” will work in a pinch.
    Come on ACOM, you’re getting this from one of your greatest supporters, truly! However, in the service business, those who do not convey, perish!

  30. Yvonne

    Refund is in order for all of us logged in right now. I just got new information last night and can’t enter it or research it! I really can’t even afford anyways, but can’t live without it either. If you have free subscriptions for these people as other of my comrades have stated in the comments, then u can afford to help us out when we paid for something we can’t even use.

  31. Karlene

    I am very disappointed that the site is down so long now. I understand maintenance is necessary but not to be shut down for as many customers that you have and much it is needed. I only have certain times that I use ancestry because of my profession. When I cannot use it it sets me back.
    Please use your fit it services at another time when things are slower.

  32. John H

    Displaying the messsage the reads

    “Your family tree is just fine. Due to extremely high traffic, we’ve simply made this page easier to load by temporarily removing the family tree tool.”

    is a major disservice to your users. You had it there when the TV series had just run and you got lots of new traffic. However, today the family tree is NOT accessible and phrase about “…made this page easier to load…” is just plain BS.

    At least post a notice that is factually correct and honest.

  33. David

    Tara, I agree that we probably are “blowing this out-of-proportion” to some degree. However, is a service that most of us pay top-dollar monthly fees to use.

    Personally, I have noted that since has opened up the doors to America and invited in people with ‘free’ temporary memberships – the premium service I pay for has declined. My tree searches freeze-up more often than before; records are slower to download (and I am on a premium broadband ISP) than they once were.

    I think what we are all saying, is please, at least give us the respect and customer service our “premium monthly fees” are being paid for. Incidents do happen – – but in this case – – silence is NOT golden.

  34. Melissa

    WOW! I can’t believe how rude and annoyed everyone is! It is 2010 & technology is not even close to perfection! Every one needs to relax! I was wanting to log on today too – but I am not going to die if I can’t get on! Knowing that every paid website has hiccups – y’all took the chance when you gave your money. I have never met a website that didn’t temporarily have outages.
    Take a deep breath & relax – I am sure it will be up & running soon!

  35. Nancy Crouse Rogerson-DeBusk

    This announcement needs to be visible to all users when they click the Family Tree drop down tab. I thought there was going to be a date behind my dash (1957-2010!) due to heart failure when I discovered my family tree was missing this morning. There was no explanation, my account was up-to-date – I thought I had somehow purged my tree last time I was on here. I love this site and don’t regret the many dollars I pay for this subscription, but I expect clear communication from the next time this situation arises. I like searching for my ancestors. I do not like searching for my tree.

  36. Ruth Smith

    WOW is right they said that it would be down on May 13th this is the 19th. Why is it taking so long to fix. Maybe they need more IT people.

  37. Just for future reference, I download my tree’s gedcom from every week so I have a backup. I have Family Tree Maker 2010 so everything imports. Family Tree Maker also lets me search for locations and do special reports. They work well together for me, and provide another source of info. Every professional researcher should have a backup for their trees. In any business these things happen and you need to have alternate methods of accessing your data. It is just common sense.

  38. Sharon

    Someone needs to learn how to do HTML Code on ancestry. On my name and location there’s all this code that doesn’t belong there.
    Not only that I can’t get a picture to upload for my name and location.
    Also this week I was searching for a name and nothing came up and I searched the next morning the same way and 3 census with his name came up.
    That shouldn’t be happening.
    My public view is also not showing up all my trees.

  39. cccourt

    Oh geez people…get a life. Are you this dependent on this site, and this site alone?

  40. This keeps happening too often! What is going on lately? I have traveled for my research and need access to my tree!!!! When will this be fixed!?!

  41. Bette

    This is my first time on the blog. I only came here because the tree site is down. I have never thought about this happening. Maybe I should have this information backed up in another place. Do I need another software program to do that? Your help would be appreciated.

  42. Tony Freeman

    Just as well as the sun is shining here in Italy … time for another bottle of Prosecco …. salute to all my friends on Ancestry :-))

  43. How long is this going to be down. I just upgraded
    my account and should not be charged for the service I am not getting.
    When you are done do I get a refund for no service?

  44. David

    Judging by the time-stamp (apparently Mountain Daylight Savings Time)on each blog posted here. ATTENTION – – if anyone other than the tech-service folks are in the office yet this morning – and reading this blog – – – the Tidal-Wave of angry-mob sentiments that began on the East Coast (8:11 AM EDST / 6:11 AM MDST) is now in the Midwest, and is heading westward in your direction.

  45. Theresa Mikulka

    I almost had a heart attack this morning when I got on and all my trees where gone!!!! Took me well over 15 minutes to find out what was going on. The ‘note’ that the Family Tree function was removed for easier access made no sense to me. It is getting harder and harder to navigate this site. Stop changing things around and keep it simple.

  46. Follow us on twitter…oh we’re sorry but it’s too busy….guess these folks at ancestry need some new management in their customer service area who understand how to keep the clients informed on what the problem is and when it is expected to be resolved….

  47. LoisA

    Why are you doing this ? If it works leave it alone. I have a full membership with you and it is becoming more and more difficult to justify the expense. I am in the process of writing a history of one of my ancestors for a local historical society and now I can’t even access my information. When is all this mess going to be resolved ?

  48. Is this my imajination or is this some thing that always occurs in GMT day time?

    I am sure never got up at night time, following not been able to sleep and finding the service down!

  49. Brian Lehman

    I don’t like this either,Just proves how important it is to have a genealogy program on your computer!
    I can still “play” with that!

  50. Susan Graham

    Cannot see my Tree for the Forest topic

    I hope my tree has not been cut down permanently. I have it on my Family Tree Maker software and I still cannot access it.

    I am not happy.

  51. angie jones (yager)

    I am on my free trial, if this keeps up i might as well cancel the account.

  52. Nancy

    Nice that we can access Hire an Expert or Shop, but not our Family Trees. Only have a few hours daily that I can work on my projects…this is my time!

  53. Just wanted to agree with Melissa, I’ll just keep trying & hope the Family Tree issue is fixed shortly, if not I’ll try again another time. Mind you here in the UK it’s late afternoon so not more mor day hours left so fingers cross ancestry can restore the Trees soonish!!!

  54. Suzanne has made an incredible amount of information available to us which simply wasn’t available even 10 years ago. It sorts through billions of records. It’s amazing. I am grateful. Genealogy is now very popular, and will become more so as the Boomers discover family history. So there are growing pains with a new technology. Let’s give these folks some credit for having done the marvel they have already done, and help them through this new phase of growth.

  55. Brendan

    I live in Ireland, the website has now been down over 6 hours. Good idea about backing up to Familytree, only problems it will not download pictures, stories etc to the .GED

  56. LLN

    I agree. The announcement should be readily visible when logging on so it is easier to understand the problem. This negatively impacts my future consideration of utilizing and recommending it to my family and friends. I have invested much time and energy inputing my family information (over 420 persons) on to what I believed was a reliable platform. Perhaps I was mistaken.

  57. Jean

    I am a long time member of Ancestry for over 10 years. This is the worst one as I can’t even work on my tree. You have no rights to remove my trees.


  58. Kristina

    “Trees Service on the web site is temporarily unavailable due to technical difficulties. We are working to resolve the issue. In the meantime, you can continue to use the functional parts of the site. Thank you for your patience.”

    How informative…

  59. Tom

    For a while I thought I was alone in losing access, and fired off an e-mail inquiry. Now I’ve stumbled onto this page and discovered that it’s a system problem. It would have been nice if I’d been warned on Page One, as I signed in that I wouldn’t be able to access anything. I wouldn’t have wasted a lot of time trying to find out where my trees went. POST A NOTICE UP FRONT WHEN THIS STUFF IS HAPPENING!

  60. Nelson

    I am in here off and on but it seems your site is down half the time I try to log on! This is about the fourth or fifth time I have experienced this!
    Enough is enough. I too will be discussing a refund. Whereas I enjoy your site and find it invaluable I think having to dole out refunds might put more of a sense of urgency in the powers that be!

  61. Kathleen Carlson

    I am under a deadline for a relative who is planning to visit ancestral homes in northern Europe. I need to know if the site will be down for 2 hours, 2 days, 2 weeks….give us a ballpark at least!
    Also, will this mean my I will need to go through all my trees to assure they are OK?
    We all need some kind of answer!!! Please!?

  62. Rosa

    Take a chill pill everyone. They will have it back up soon. I don’t like all the changes they make either, it seems like I just get used to one way and they change it to another. Yes, we pay “three digit ” subscription fee, but compared to traveling to all the courthouses, etc it is a bargin for so much information.

  63. Cynthia

    It is now 4.15 and still no access to my tree, please hurry up or at least let us know what is going on

  64. Debbie Yarrow

    I agree that these unexplained outages are inexcusable. My guess is that an infrastructure was not established to keep up with the new demand due to Who Do You Think You Are? My question now is “Who do you think YOU are, to let us down like this?” We should be compensated for the time our information is inaccessible.

  65. Tom

    I realize that there IS a notation on the home page, but the itty bitty thing is somewhat hidden and easy to miss. Couldn’t it be more prominently placed? God forbid you might have to take out some ad or self-promotion, though.

  66. Elissa Sohl

    I also am frustrated by this, and am disappointed that you did not have the courtesy to post this to our main pages.

    On a total side note, but the one thing you still don’t address in your updates is the shoebox. I would love to shoebox items to individuals, without linking it as fact to an individual. IT would be much more convenient than these others piddly updates. ONe main shoebox does not allow you to coordinate records and searches to back up these suspected records. But, given that you have not reacted yet to the people on here about these service outages, I am sure this will go overlooked as well.

  67. Demi

    Since the site is not down due to scheduled maintenance, Ancestry need to credit all customers account for the inconvenience and fact that we are paying for services we are unable to utilize. If you can’t access your tree(s), you can continue the research.


  68. Denise

    If we are paying for a service we are not getting we should receive a refund or an extension to our renewal date especially if its true that the problem is due to a high demand of free trials.

    Some idea of how long its going to be down would be helpful or has everything been lost.

    It might be a good idea if Ancestry looked after its existing customers before looking for new ones.

  69. Jackie Browning

    I just rejoined Ancestory and this is what I get. I used it only one day and already it is down. It makes me want to ask for my money back. $155 for this. I don’t think so, it’s not worth it.

  70. Chuck

    LOL, I’m sorry for finding humor in your web problems. I spent 50 years of my life building houses for people. After that I’m convinced that the 80/20 rule is a fact. The human race is directly related by 20% Homosapiens and 80%Neanderthals. Maybe you should extend the time lines for your searches and DNA tests. You sure brought out the Neanderthals today.

    Good luck see you when you get back on line.


  71. Bill

    Why is there no way to synchronize FTM 2010 with the tree. It is annoying not to have this capability.

  72. Barbara

    Mercy! Calm down……let’s give them a chance. Everything will be up and running soon. Maybe it will be worth waiting for????? I joined last week and I have so enjoyed building our tree. It is such a great site. We are all building together and linking together. It is so fun!

  73. Debra Thompson

    The only reason this is upsetting to me, is because I have a Family Tree book that needs to go to the printers before the end of the month and this causes me a delay in the information that I need to finish the book. I don’t exspect a refund, but I do exspect to work on what the problem is and fix it so that it does not happen again. We all need to learn to be a little patient, thats what we all lack today.

  74. Kathy Hayes

    Hey folks until Ancestry is up and running go on to search for your Ancestors burials its a free website.

  75. Lois Dye

    I really have a hard time with all the advertising to get more members when these problems happen too often for the members that you already have. I also research for others ON A DEADLINE – but Ionce again, I have to explain “technical issues”. I frequent several sites, and do not encounter these problems.
    It’s time to show some customer appreciation and at least add on the days lost to our subcriptions.

  76. Marralene

    Not happy the site is down…should have a bigger post to notify us.
    Agree with a couple other posts…there is still lots of searching to do!
    I just did some searching in the non-population schedules…they are working fine!

  77. Kevin H

    I think different folks have hit on the issues. I think someone isn’t thinking about infrastructure planning. Did someone think about build-out before alliances with television shows and other profit-driven ideas came down the pike? In my mind there are serious functionality issues that has never addressed. One issue that I have raised many, many times is duplicates. I can’t imagine how many terabytes of data are taken up by duplicate data records both in my tree and that of others. The only solution I can think of is to either delete those one by one while pruning my tree or upload and overwrite my tree and lose all my media. I think aside from service outage issues Ancestry needs to take a look at the knitting and seriously address functionality issues before you start looking at making the site sexier. Additional databases don’t do much good if the existing interfaces aren’t very functional in the first place. I still don’t see the utility in the locations feature – and I’m sure that cost a fortune to create. We need nuts and bolts improvement in issues like speed, responsiveness (dare I say “up time”) and capacity / load balancing before any more emphasis on user interface. Sorry but that’s my opinion and I’m going to stick with it.

  78. BIGVAL2

    I have read the comments and agree that taking a three figure sum of money to use this site ,and then closing it down quite fredquently this year , without any recourse is criminal . Of course there is always the small print ! the short and curlies spring to mind!………

  79. Ned

    Makes you realize how addicting is! My daughters say I need an intervention! Maybe this is good for us, at least obsessed amateurs like me!

  80. Daniel Filtness

    Like so many of you, i agree. Spend so much money with Ancestry, only to be told the ‘Tree’s’ are down. Yet again. Been like this for hours now in UK, and i cannot even get it to work on FTM2010.
    Not very happy with Ancestry.

  81. Heather

    Oh for goodness sake.. Ancestry does not profess to be perfect, things will break and need to be fixed at some point or another.. maintenance is going to affect different people in different time zones no matter when they do it!
    Can everyone just calm down?! I have never had a down day on here, and I joined in February, one day out of 100 is not bad going really..
    It will be back before we know it, and you’ll all feel silly for getting so stressed out!
    Here’s an idea, go spend time with your living families!! 😀 😀

  82. jane

    I would like to know if we are going to get a rebate of our suscription for every time the system goes down?

  83. Peter

    Well the unrest has reached the West coast this morning. I was on the site until midnight last night and was looking forward to checking in this morning at 7 am before work. I recently upgraded and find this very frustrating. The show was great and did show how Millionaires are able to use the site while traveling the globe in search of there roots.

    Todays show paints a different picture… this is how the everyday person might expect to be treated by a service that they pay hard earned cash to utilize. Rebate or refund time is now.

  84. Susan J Williams

    A few weeks back I would have joined in the chorus of disapproval about lack of access to Ancestry, especially as I am an addict. Now, after a visit to Tunisia, where I saw children walking miles to school, young women having to go by donkey cart (and they were the lucky ones having transport)to fill dozens of containers with water for the day, and old women struggling with the provisions on the back of a mule it kinda puts things into perspective.
    I just turn on a tap to get a drink and I have a car to go to the supermarket and I am sure I can do without my hi-tech hobby for a few hours. Most of the world cannot even indulge in a hobby they are too busy struggling to live. (Rant over!!)

  85. Jeff Meyer I see you have no problem charging my account when the MONEY is due. You’re losing a potential GREAT customer. If you don’t fix this in the next hour or so. I’m gone and so are the 5 or 6 relatives that I’ve “brought” you. Also I’m posting your bad service on my FaceBook site, for thousands to see. I want some money back!!!


  87. John David Massey

    For the amount of money I spent on this web project I am quite disappointed. I get repeating data on my tree which is annoying. The DNA testing showed a minimal few relatives around the globe and none of which are even close relatives. When I get onto an associated website for the DNA I have trouble comparing DNA because it did not down load properly. The important thing is that I have been told by there members that there are other websites with far more DNA matches on them. I just want to get what I pay for and not set idle hoping for more. What is upsetting is that none of this is backed by it is just what the other members have put on the website. I see a lot of errors and it is annoying when you track an ancestor from hundreds of years ago, before the United States was even formed and it says there death was in some state in the United States. I don’t get it? For the money I have shelled out in a deluxe world membership and DNA testing, I would have thought that I could have gotten more bang for my buck!!!

  88. robin wightman

    This is very frustrating, has been down for a couple of hours to my knowledge but most of the day according to the time of some of these comments. It would be nice to have had some notice as usual so guess it is an unexpected problem. Maybe we should be credited with extra days?? Not sure about using ‘find my past’ as it costs without a subscription. Lets hope its back soon

  89. Shirley Jackson

    I agree with Mischelle, I am on the site for hours everyday and I can count on one hand the amount of times that I was unable to access the site.
    kthough it would be nice if they put a banner on the home page when this happens

  90. Suz

    OMG Folks! This is just like car trouble – no one likes it, no one expects it…it happens. Blah, deal with it. I had heart failure this morning when I first logged on and could not locate my tree. I was thrilled to find it was a technicle issue, one I am cetrtain they will fix. I have used this site since 2005 and as a premium customer I have been happy for over 5 years. This little set back will not discourage me – I’ll be patient. Although I agree, the communication could have been better. They e-mail me about everything else – why not this? Faithful customer, Suz

  91. Shirley

    Ok, first day, I understood…second day, not funny anymore. Have just connected on a line I have been working 25 years, and now can not get on to see others trees.
    However, I do have a full sunny day, that I could be painting the house, or pulling weeds,but I would rather be doing genealogy. So I’ll go check out, google, Footnotes, World Vital Records, Genealogy Bank. Find-A-Grave, and the Washington Digital Archives, all those great sites, and maybe in a day or two, re check Ancestry.
    Good luck to all of us, that wanted to get on to Ancestry.

  92. whats the problem. our relatives are DEAD they are not going anywhere. if they were alive i would be talking to them. HAVE PATIENCE it will be back on. in the mean time go and wash up. this is something i neglect when hooked on my family tree

  93. Trisha

    I know it’s an inconvenience to everyone for the trees to be down, but I’m sure it’s not something Ancestry is doing purposely. I too am annoyed by it, but all you can do is be patient and hope the problem is fixed soon. I wonder also what the problem is, as this has happened quite often this year. I’ve been a member for a long time, and it seems so many more people have trees now, which is great to find connections, but the necessary servers need to be implmented so this doesn’t happen, if that is in fact the problem.

  94. William

    As a follow-on to Joan Hanlon’s comments and her backup suggestions. Perhaps should comp all of us who cannot access their family trees with a 2010 version of Family Tree Maker?

  95. Barbara

    Usually you are down for a short period of time and I have been patient. But this length of time has gone to far. I wish I had paid my money to a company that cares about their customers. ( I paid you for a year in advance). I want to work on my tree on my time not when you are ready. Shame on YOU!

  96. rlrosentreter

    Sue, we are addicts and we need a fix!!!!! And to all of you complaining about the monthly cost of—I bet you spend more than that a month on coffee and donuts. A trip to my local quick stop for a couple of cokes and a few snacks ends up costing me in one day what ancestry charges for a month of service. Quit whining about the cost and don’t use it if you don’t want to pay for it. And go look at all your receipts for the trivia in your life and then get your priorities straight. I’ll bet ancestry is one of your cheapest luxeries. It doesn’t make sense to demand a refund over something like this. My electricity goes out once in a while and I don’t call my electric company and demand a refund because I couldn’t turn on my lights for a couple of hours. They are fixing it already and pacing around throwing a fit doesn’t make it go any faster. DUH!!

  97. Pamela

    all of you that are complaining need to get a life. Its not worth getting so worked up over. It will be up and running before you know it. In the mean time, find something else to do like the chores your neglecting or go outside and enjoy your day. Ohh here is a hint, spend some time with your living family!!!

  98. Sue

    I frequently have problems both with the “Trees” and with the search. For $300.00 a year I think Ancestry should improve their service. Personally I think a lower rate for all would be a better solution. I have been paying this amount for 5 years now and while the information is good, some of it is also faulty.

  99. Victoria

    Its now 16.31 in the UK and no Ancestry all day – whats going on??
    Can we not have an update please?

  100. Ingrid Kirschbaum has become part of my daily routine. I look forward to it. It relaxes me when I need to be relaxed. I have medical issues and sometimes am up at night, and lately it has been difficult to use the site, as everything seems to take twice as long to load. During business hours there are lots of lost searches, or blank pages. I hope that they can resolve this soon, as we do pay a lot of money to have this access. I know that the TV series brought in a lot of “free” users and ultimately, that will be good for, but right now, it is not good for the users.

  101. Lucy Hale

    Please try and fix the problem quickly, i was in the middle of some important research. I do so enjoy I am on it everyday.


  102. Christine Clark

    Hope it’s back up soon. Kind of hard to use the rest of the site without access to my trees.

    Thanks and good luck!!

  103. Tim Tiffany

    I just want to put in my 2 cents too. Yeah what everbody has said. I spent on unecessary time on a reboot, virus check, internet options review and stress that i lost my tree. Lucky that I accidently found this site. Check back later? How long is later. Arghhh!! You need to let us know up front instead of leaving us hanging that it could be our computer or IE explorer problem or something.

  104. Shannon E

    I have accounts with other online companies, such as online games. These other companies take one day out of each week to do what they call patches or updates. With one company the customers know that it is going to happen every Tuesday from 5:00am EST to 2:00pm EST. Yes, nine hours! When you have a system this large, where people all over the world have access, it takes TIME to do updates, fix problems, etc. I would suggest to that you come up with a schedule like this and only on a specific day/time of the week you make updates, changes, new releases. That way your customers will not be upset or “Freak Out” that they might lose all their information. Just a suggestion.

  105. Marie

    Not everyone that uses ancestry or any other research site is a professional some have just started trying to learn for the first time. I agree with Nancy I like searching for my ancestors. I do not like searching for my tree. Shirley S I to agree with you great post.

  106. Bonnie Ducharme

    Just so everyone knows, this is a list of the “site problems” for 2009 and 2010 including today: 5/19/10, 3/5/10, 2/25/10, 1/23/10, 1/22/10, 1/15/10, 12/27/09, 11/18/09, 11/17/09, 10/29/09, 9/17/09, 6/23/09, 3/12/09, 1/16/09, 1/13/09, 1/12/09. These are NOT scheduled maintenance, just “problems”, so those of you who are saying it’s only happened once or twice……..well, read the list! I am on ancestry every day with a premium subscription, so when ancestry has problems, it IS annoying!

  107. Kathy

    I know this is inconvenient for us, but has anyone here had a job working with computer programs? Even the experts sometimes don’t have an “easy” fix for everything that goes wrong. Has your computer ever crashed? Think about what it takes to get it working again.

  108. I find it quite interesting how some relate to their frustration at not being able to access their tree while others are condeming those who express this frustration with comments like get a life, get over it, etc. This kinda mimmicks real life, you know, like the tea party people are tired of the way washington is ignoring the people and the liberals are saying get a life…tea anyone?

  109. Gill

    Today is the day I had set aside to work on my tree.Have tried on and off all day.It would be nice to know whats going on.

  110. MikeyJ

    “PR and Marketing Departments, meet the IT Department. Why don’t you guys have a little pow-wow and figure out a way to communicate to your customers.” Thanks, the above signed 127 customers.

  111. Understand web-sites have there problems. Please be more specific and explain the problem in your banner. How long will it last. Is it anything to do with the Volcanic Ash Cloud!!

  112. Mike Bennett

    After this all settles down an d the site is back up again, could you take these messages to the middle manager that decided that it would be a good idea to cut costs by not performing proper testing after the last upgrade. Perhaps he could attach it to his resignation along with the bean counters above him who think that cutting corners by reduced testing is a good idea.

  113. RaeLynne

    Would you all like some cheese with that whine?
    I have been using Ancestry for over 6 months and have never had a problem. I used to track to the city to visit a library that had Ancestry access. Now, I am so grateful to be able to sit down and pull up Ancestry anytime I want. This is the first time there has been a problem for me. No big deal. My car breaks down and I have to get it fixed. I don’t lie on the floor and throw a temper tantrum. Really people, how old are you? We are very spoiled by this web site. If you were to do family history 10 years ago, you’d understand how soft you really are.

  114. Patricia Geiger

    I almost had a heart attack when my trees did not pop up! I am helping a grandchild with his pedigree and got it ready to print last night. Then no tree showing up this morning UGGGG!

  115. catherine5115

    The information we put into our Trees is ours and you should allow us to access it. An email informing us of this problem would have been courteous.

  116. Valerie

    Are all the members going to get a credit for the amount of time being down? What is the current projection of the site getting back up and running properly?

  117. skbracken1

    I hate it that the site is down. I am a new customer to and if this kind of problem happens often I will not be a customer any longer. I understand problems occur, but to charge everyone the price that they do they should have some kind of back up plan to solve the problems quickly.

  118. Kim

    Well I’ve been waiting 3 hours now. Hope it’s not going to take much longer as the time I had available is dwindling away. Are you going to credit everyone with comparable time at the end of our contracts?? I have to make good to my clients, so it’s only natural that I expect you to also.

  119. Jane Griffin

    I’m not a blogger, but I am curious to find out when the “Exact” feature was dropped…or perhaps it’s one of the problems ACOM is experiencing? It is a shame that they don’t put more emphasis on communication with the customer, better planning, and I would guess enough more-experienced techs! Typical for big business! It’s all about the money!

  120. Diane Taylor

    Personally I’d be happy if the issue is more people joining, that means more possibilities of others helping me in my research!
    This reminds me of the neighborhood when there is a power outage…people go outside and start talking to each other as neighbors for a bit. We have no idea how long it will be out, and once it’s back on we forget the inconvenience.
    People, quit complaining, let them do what they need to do, come back later and carry on. And for those like me that sneak on during the work day… GO BACK TO WORK!!!!
    Good job Ancestry!!!

  121. Katherine E. Atkinson

    I too was frustrated this morning when my husband came home from work and I was eager to show him what I found just last night. However, I am thankful for the ease and speed of which I learned what I did and am perfectly willing to be patient while you do what you need to do. The price we pay for his information is more than reasonable. I am very thankful for what you do. Please pardon those of us with less than cool heads.

  122. Tina Storer

    Hey everyone CHILL OUT! I am on here everyday but you can’t predict when something will go wrong,its just like having kids everyday brings surprises (good and bad).So everyone take a deep breathe and relax!

  123. Katie

    I’m new to, so new in fact that my I’m still on the 14 day trial. After reading some of the comments about this happening often, don’t know if I need this aggravation. My sister called this AM with some new family information and I can’t use it until ??????

  124. Lynne Black

    their database probably crashed because its so huge due to crap and duplicate could probably be reduced in size by 40% if they didn’t spend so much on TV ads, and concentrated on bringing their database into the 21st century:
    1. Give us a way to merge duplicates, there is simply NO reason not to allow this to be done.

    2. When adding data from someone elses tree, provide a list of possible matches so that you don’t have to have another page open to try to search for a possible match.

    3. Quit giving me a message that a child’s last name needs to be the same as the fathers..maybe that’s the case in the US, but it doesn’t happen in Scandinavian countries- instead of that nonsense give helpful warnings, i.e. child’s dob is before parent’s.

  125. aj

    do you have to pay for this im doing a school project for 6th grade and its due next wednesday

  126. Bonnie Ducharme

    RaeLynne: Check the above post for the last six months worth of problems………….

  127. Emma Henning

    I have spent several hours trying to access my tree- I do not have long before my membership expires so every bit of spare time that I have available to me needs to be spent on my family tree. Without access to my tree it is very difficult to check if you are even researching the correct person and then any research you have found will still have to be entered at a later date – what a waste of time ! I have spent well over £100 on this site, this year alone.

  128. Marie

    It isn’t how soft or spoiled we are. we pay good money that we all know will not be replaced for something that was not our fault to begin with..

  129. Avril French

    I do not mind losing access temporarily if the wait is going to be worth it. Incidentally it is not only which is affected but also which I subscribe to.

  130. Geraine

    This stinks, this is the last day of my FREE 14 day trial and I can’t even us the site. Will I get an extra day before you try to bill my CC?

  131. susan bogan

    It would be handy instead of wasting our time letting us sit here whilst the site takes forever to pop up a screen and say there are problems. I think thats would be mosr usefull and then i dont think anyone would mind while you site is rectified, but ive soent ages trying to work thinking it was my server aol that was playing up yet again…………. Just a pop up in the corner of the page would help everyone
    susan bogan

  132. DONNA


  133. John

    Temporary Site Problems
    Posted by WebOperations on May 19, 2010 in Site Status

    Intermittent Site Problems
    Posted by Melissa Philips on March 5, 2010 in Site Status

    Search is experiencing intermittent issues.
    Posted by Anne Mitchell on February 25, 2010 in Site, Site Status

    If you are still seeing the “Check back soon”
    Posted by WebOperations on January 23, 2010 in Site Status

    problem with international sites
    Posted by WebOperations on December 27, 2009 in Site Status

    Temporary Site Problems
    Posted by WebOperations on November 17, 2009 in Site, Site Status

    Temporary Site Problems
    Posted by WebOperations on October 29, 2009 in Site Status

    And the list keeps growing 🙁

  134. Maureen Willams

    I just got off the phone with Ancestry and they said it should be up and running in 2 hours. So that would make it a 4 hour interuption of service??

    I have the deluxe program and at the price I expect to be able to have access to it. Although some interuptions are understandable…this length of time is not good for customer relations at all!

  135. Meg A

    This is now oh so not very funny at all.
    Yes, I can do other ‘stuff’. BUT am now throwing the dummy out of the pram!

  136. Sarah-Jayne Sheen

    I was working on my tree this morning about 11ish uk time and it crashed on me, thought it was my internet connection at first. I agree with the comments that when you pay for something which is an expensive hobby you expect a good service.
    As a goodwill gesture, Ancestry should give all customers one day free.

  137. Barbara King

    Everyone needs to cool down and let Ancestry do their jobs. Yes its aggravating not to be able to get into your site but its not like it happens everyday. I haven’t been able to access for 5 hours. Tomorrow is another day.

  138. Craig

    At the basic monthly rate of 19.95, each hour of outage equates to 2.7 cents. Not really worth pressing for a refund. spend your down time cleaning your house or walking the dog or… something.

  139. I realize you are doing the best you can, I am retired and spend my mornings working on my family trees. This has ruined my day!!

  140. Victoria

    Ancestry UK has been down for a few hours now – probably the volcanic dust (or some other lame excuse)!!!
    When will they update us I wonder?

  141. Sherry

    Down AGAIN…………..Wish there was another site besides,,Looks like they need a little competetion…….maybe this woul’nt happen so often!

  142. Robin

    I’ve been a member for almost four years now, the first three years paying for the WorldDeluxe membership. When that got so outrageously expensive this year, I downgraded; I have been planning to upgrade back to the WorldDeluxe, but it’s hard to justify spending that much money when the site is down as often as it has been lately.

    And while I can understand why some folks feel compelled to defend ACOM, what it boils down to is that we are PAYING them for the service they provide. If they are so willing to take our money, then they need to provide the service they advertise.

    As one member said, how funny that the “Shop” and “Hire and Expert” functions still work, but not the functions that everybody uses. Of course, you have to wonder if they wouldn’t take your money on to hire an expert, then tell you sorry, that function doesn’t work.

    And to have it down for this many hours is ridiculous.

  143. Kevin H

    For folks who are concerned I want to pass along my “Plan B”. If it works for you fine – if not – that’s fine too.

    1. At least every quarter I back-up my data (often sooner) as a GEDCOM file. You can export your Ancestry or FTM file as a GEDCOM – do a Google search on GEDCOM if this is unfamiliar to you.
    2. I place a copy of my GEDCOM on both a free and a paid storage service – I use Google for my free service.
    3. I use Worldconnect, a free service in part funded by I can post my deceased (and NOT my living) relatives (I practice ethical genealogy – which means NO LIVING RELATIVES posted publicly anywhere.)
    4. I print out my Family Tree frequently. I use a genealogy program and print Family Reports and Ahnentafels as well as Tiny Tafel reports. These are fairly common in any genealogy program. If you don’t have a genealogy software program – a Windows (only :() version is available at the Family Search (LDS) site: This is an alternative too – though does NOT have the features of commercial software like Family Tree Maker. Mac users – I use Reunion – it’s kind of pricey but worthwhile. GEDediT is cheaper but not as feature-rich.
    5. I keep a copy on a USB drive so that if all else in my home goes up in flames – I’ve got my family’s history – and some of their media.

    No this isn’t the end of the world – but it does point out that we need to have redundancy built into our hobby.

    Again the advice is there – and like any free advice it will have value for some – and not for others.

    Have a great day!


  144. Lisa

    Has anyone heard how long this downtime will be? I need to download some references and records that are attached to my tree.. I am going out-of-town with all the information to do research tomorrow…

  145. Pauline Bryant

    I just hope when we get back onto the site that I don’t have to redo my family tree, as I have already experienced this in the past. There must be a black hole where people I have added to the tree go because the next time I go on they have gone, anyone else been experiencing this?

  146. Jeff Meyer

    I just called to cancel my account, and then some moron ignores my request and starts telling me that the problem I described to him doesn’t exist. Then he’s telling me how to search for relatives using the search feature.

    I just hung up…Maybe the cancellation feature works online.

  147. RitaMJuray

    I came back on this site to help a newly found cousin in his search for relatives. Now I remember why I let my subcription expire in the first place. This is a very expensive passtime. Please refund all of us a day’s fees. That may make us happier with your commitment to researching our families.

  148. MikeyJ

    New post:

    Unplanned Maintenance on Ancestry Member Trees
    Posted by Eric Shoup on May 19, 2010 in Site Status
    As an update to our previous post, we want to let you know that we are currently working on unplanned maintenance on the Ancestry Member Trees system. We expect family trees on and its related international sites to be down for an extended period today.

    Be assured that the information in your family tree is safe and will be available when the maintenance is completed. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused and will keep you posted.

    Thank you for your patience.

  149. Tara Genieys

    I agree with the person above who suggested other avenues of research. I’ve been a paying member of this site for over a year. I have my tree backed up with a free family tree maker from However, I get a TON of other information from using googles “News Archive” search. I also have used who has a free trial. Also has records of my German ancestors back to the 1500’s. Ancestry by far has the best way of combining lots of information into one spot, but the Mormons at have a ton too. And a good search engine to narrow things down. I have only experienced site difficulties a few times. They’ll get it back up, no worries.

  150. Gregg

    This service failure caused by high volume is getting to be a regular thing. I pay for the international membership and search and that’s a fair amount of money. I think we should all get a free month, a day would be a joke.

  151. elmichael

    all the freebies that responded to the ads that ancestry has been running recently are looking at our trees to find (as advertised) photos and stories of their ancestors that we have been paying (and working) to uncover!!!

  152. Tina

    I have just upgraded to the top rate and I am a bit frustrated that I can’t get at my tree. It isn’t the end of the world though as it has made me realise I spend too much time on There are other things I can do to research my family history, like getting out and visiting record offices, and places where my ancestors are from.
    Hopefully will get this fixed as quickly as possible.
    I enjoy researching on this site, but have been made to look an idiot as I have recommended this site to my friends who want to research their family history.
    They always say patience is a virtue. So everyone calm down, be patient, will sort it out.

  153. Pete

    Well its down again.

    Oh Well lets trot off to Genes where I have a copy of my tree and then over to FMP to use the Census records.

    Can always transfer the updated Gedcom from Genes to here later.

  154. JHB

    Somebody really needs a hug!
    Remember – the karma that you spread will be returned to you tenfold.

  155. Theresa

    The past few days my trees have been unstable and slow to load, last night my Shoebox kept crashing, now my Trees are completely unavailable. I agree with all the messages that say we should receive compensation for the time we are unable to use our Trees. How about one week free to World Deluxe?

    This indeed is a very expensive hobby!!

    I phoned Customer Service on an unrelated issue and inquired about when Trees would be up again and all they could tell me was that they intend to have it repaired sometime today – morning? afternoon? tonight?

  156. A D Brooks

    Dang, I am kicking myself for not recently downloading my Gedcom. One of my relatives thinks we’re related to a co-worker, but I can’t access my tree to see to which of my family this could be. I also pay for the deluxe version for quick, quality service. Don’t see it as useful to demand a refund, though. Would rather they invest into a solution that would allow for access to a back-up server, when they experience problems. Unfortunate!

  157. Patty

    My husband is happy; I’m not. I know I have been obsessive lately, but when you’re on a roll and things come to a halt, it is frustrating. I must also add that this is probably the most labor intensive program I have ever worked in. All that aside, please fix the problem(s) quickly! And, I also believe we should get a FREE day. We do pay every month and certainly on time since it is “demanded” of us.

  158. Cynthia Woods

    I use this site every day, too, and this is NOT the first time this has happened for ME. Good for you Mischelle that it hasn’t happened to you!!!! Should we wait until it does? This is not right especially for US paying people!!!!

  159. WebOperations

    We have posted an update for our customers on this blog. Please visit this blog post for addition details – Again, we truly appreciate your patience through this situation.

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