Posted by Ancestry Team on July 13, 2010 in Website

We  listened to your feedback and we are updating our search pages (New Search only). We gathered input from members through many sources and consolidated your feedback.  You asked for improved navigation, maps, shortcuts to your favorite data collections, easier access to recent searches and more browsing options. You can see screenshots of these new and updated features listed below.

Here’s what you will see:

New search homepage
The new search homepage will have updated navigation, maps, and access to both recent searches and recently viewed data collections.

Map on search homepage
You will be able to browse the data collections that are unique to or related to specific places.


Example of a place page
There will be thousands of new place pages for countries, states, territories, provinces and counties. For those of you who use old search, you may recognize that we have updated and improved the place pages you have seen in old search.

You can view the data collections Ancestry has for each location.  For many locations you can find links to extra resources and a history of the important events that occurred in that place. Look for the “history” and “resource” buttons.

Example of recent searches and recently viewed data collections
The new search homepage will provide access to your recent searches and to a new page that contains a list of the data collection homepages that you mostly recently visited.  These features will be displayed on the new search homepage after you do a search or after you visit a data collection homepage.

Some notes:

  1. We will not be launching any changes to the new search forms on Wednesday night. We will release some changes to the new search forms in a short while.
  2. Old search will not be updated; these changes only apply to new search.
  3. A preview to the updated pages is located at
  4. On Thursday, if your search page does not look like the pictures in this blog post, you may be using old search.  You can switch to new search by clicking on the “new search” link at the top right corner of the search homepage.


I will post more details on each new feature in more blog posts. I hope you enjoy using these new search pages and find navigating has improved.

Best regards,

Laura Dansbury


  1. I hope this is a good sign we are getting closer to that bottom checkbox that says:

    “Show only records from(Date) to (Date) and from(Location)”

    becoming active in the not toooo distant future.


  2. Jeff Ford

    It would be nice if you could actually see some of the photos without having to go to another page. Popouts would be great.

  3. BEE

    I’m with Sharon. I’ll certainly give it a try as I have with the present “new search”, but I always go back to “old search”. While I’m more then satisfied with the old search, I’m willing to learn something new, but it won’t take much to send me back to what I’m comfortable with!

  4. Chuck Willford

    I sure hope we did not change the check boxes routine.

    That is; Whatever I used last will be what comes up the next time. Do not go back to some default settings?

    I think the current “new” search is better than the “old” by miles and miles.


  5. Jesse

    As far as updates go, I HATE what you have done to the sources just now. I can no longer center click to open them up in new tabs. This is SO frustrating. Please fix this. I can’t tell you how much time this “upgrade” will waste for me. It unnecessarily takes up more space as well.

  6. Chris Fields

    Come on people, someone has to complain in all caps about not finding their great grandmother in a Swedish collection. Where are the real complainers tonight?

  7. Laura et al,

    Great job overall, although I think a bit more thought could go into the new Member Tree sidebar as far as the new Source Citations go. I’ll be posting to the Member Trees Message Board later to go into detail about that.

    To paraphrase someone, “Y’all done good!”

  8. Ancestry Daig

    I was just doing some work when all of a sudden the “Death” changes. For 10 years now, I have always put “After 1930” when I am sure it is after that date but don’t have the correct one just yet. Now if I do that up at the top under Death, at the bottom it will say something like “1 Jan 1931”. Does this mean my entire humongous tree will now show this for everyone? That means errors will be passed on to anyone who sees my tree. Please go back to the way it was before tonight on this one point. Otherwise, people will get very discouraged when building their tree, as they will think they have done something wrong, like I did. Regards, Ancestry Daig

  9. Pat Secord

    How accommodating of Ancestry to supply death dates when I could not find them (a little sarcasm here). Looks like at the top of the page it still shows AFT ….. so now must I go through all my people and put notes on those whose dates I’m not sure of? To me, this is one of the worst things they could have done. Hopefully, it’s some kind of glitch????

  10. It is a *HUGE* glitch!

    I would not, however, be in a rush to change things as I’m sure this will be rolled back with all possible speed and then who knows how that would affect any changes made in the meantime.

  11. Jo

    These changes are SO wrong and you TOOK AWAY FUNCTIONALITY and ADDED GARBAGE. Change it BACK! ALL of it!!

  12. Jessica Edwards

    Hate the changes! After I was done looking for documents to “prove” I could click I could just go back to all categories and see if any other trees were on that person possibly giving me new leads–NOW I’ve got to do a separate search for the tree & type the info all over again!Arghh!

  13. Rick Nordstrom

    I have three gripes about the “improvements”, two substantive, and one which is basically a personal preference.

    1) When adding a URL to a citation, there is now either a limit to the length of the URL itself or some other edit built in which doesn’t allow me to cite a link to sources I’ve been using all along. Case in point is one to a particular death certificate found on The “new and improved” software keeps telling me to correct the URL, which is functional and needed no correction for more than a year.

    2) Adding a parent who already exists in the tree to someone has went from mildly ungainly to full blown pain in the posterior. After the parent is added, one has to hit “return to record” (or whatever it says…I did it last night and am not currently looking at it) REPEATEDLY. Come on, Ancestry! You guys are the same ones who put out Family Tree Maker. It’s a breeze there, so why does it take a pint of blood and an act of Congress here?

    3) I REALLY don’t like the way the source citations are displayed on online trees now. You’ve went from a fairly easily navigated and intuitive system to one which requires more thought and more mouse clicks for no appreciable gain in functionality or utility.

    I dearly love and have found it to be invaluable in my research and the ability to share what I’ve found…but please stop “improving” simply for the sake of saying you’re doing something. I’m no luddite. Some change is good, but only when it’s needed. As teh old adage goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

  14. Jade

    The map for browsing is already on the Old Search global page.

    What is needed is ~searchability~ by location (collections uniquely about, such as newspapers, tax lists, histories — not every newspaper that has the place-name indexed by keyword in it).

    The Place Page should have a single scrollable list, not repetitive mini-lists. Drop that constant listing of the 1910 miracode index, please, and of the published 1790-1890 index.

    Drop “updated” collections from the ‘featured’ list since you never say whether anything of major substance was added (one page reindexed? 3 missing images replaced?). A specific list of latest-additions could be useful.

    What does this mean?
    “West Virginia Census & Voter Lists
    There are no Census & Voter Lists collections unique to West Virginia.
    View other Census & Voter Lists collections related to West Virginia.”

    And this . . . ?
    “Delaware Immigration & Travel
    There are no Immigration & Travel collections unique to Delaware.
    View other Immigration & Travel collections related to Delaware.”

    Why is only one of the WV Newspapers you have through listed?

    A great deal of material is omitted from the State pages. Such as, why are all three books of abstracts of DE Wills and estates (through the County Court) omitted from the Delaware list?

    These DE titles are still mis-named because they do not contain records as early as claimed:
    Delaware Marriage Records, 1806-1933
    Delaware Death Records, 1811-1933
    Delaware Birth Records, 1800-1908

    It’s okay for stuff to be not quite ready for prime time, but there was extensive discussion of all such stuff both 2 years ago (State pages content) and a few months ago (the DE vitals dates, which would take maybe a half hour to change).

  15. Laura Dansbury

    #3, 9: Thanks Andy. Yes, we are working on the rest of the features in the “preview tour” including “Show only records from(Date) to (Date) and from(Location).”

    #18: Hi Jade, We will look into the data collections that you mention are missing. With regards to the meaning of: ““Delaware Immigration & Travel
    There are no Immigration & Travel collections unique to Delaware.
    View other Immigration & Travel collections related to Delaware.”–we have separated out the data collections that are unique or specifically about or from a place from those that happen to contain some records from the place. A good example is the 1930 U.S. Federal Census. It contains records for all of the states and locations that were in the enumerated in the U.S. census, but it is not specific or unique to a state. This decision was based on feedback from members that they wanted to see the collections that were unique to a place rather than seeing the same collections such as the U.S. Censuses repeated for every state.

  16. robin_78

    Would you please put the source citations (in the lower right hand corner on profile pages)back the way they were? It takes longer now (2 mouse clicks instead of one) to add census records to multiple family members.

    I’m all for change if it makes things faster or easier, but not when it takes twice as long.

    Would you PLEASE put the source citations back to ONE click?!?!?! This is just taking too long!


  17. Linda Tremonti

    Hi Laura!
    I’m a “World Deluxe” Ancestry Member for several years now, and I’d like to ask you, when will more birth, marriage, and death records for Italy be added?
    Also, when searching for someone’s U.S. birth record, and punching in the name, city, state, and birth year, why does it go straight to “death” records first? The ancestry site says, “birth, marriage, and death”, so why not the birth records first, then followed by marriage and death records?
    Well, you guys at Ancestry are always doing a great job, and I have found so many family records, which I have put them all into a binder, and made myself a very large book; one for my side, and one for my husband’s side, and each book contains about 260 pages! I gave one to my father-in-law two years ago, who he got to see and enjoy it, before he died only too recently.
    I am proud to display it from my living room coffee table. This makes a wonderful gift and legacy to leave my two (so far) grandchildren!
    Thank you!!!!!

  18. Ancestry: oh gee, a special blog about searches…
    meanwhile you go live with crummy changes that you tried to sneak in on us!

    on the profile page, you changed a perfectly operating clickable link and gave time-consuming 2-step processes.

    on the automated fabricated dates, who gave the programming carkeys to a non-genealogist! now i cannot tease out the actual 29 Dec 1909 from the fabricated date you replaced when i had “bef 1910” you DIDN’T DO ME ANY FAVOR THERE!


  19. Linda Tremonti @21

    Linda, i believe the search results come back sorted by likelihood of a match; that is, the date of death may be a closer match than the date of birth, etc.

    have you thought there may be other relatives or ancestors searching for the people you located. i’m hoping you have documented your research in a tree on so many others can benefit from all your hard work. best wishes~~

  20. Jade

    Laura, re: your #19 without a number 😉

    –“Delaware Immigration & Travel
    There are no Immigration & Travel collections unique to Delaware.
    View other Immigration & Travel collections related to Delaware.”

    By “related to Delaware” (I take it) is meant “items where the word Delaware appears somewhere in the database” -?

    It would seem less tautological if you left off the ” . . . . related to (your place name here)” phrase.

    The missing DE databases are 2 vols. of Leon deValenger’s Calendar of Wills (for Sussex County and for Kent County) and a similarly-named volume for New Castle County.

    You are so right that the essence of the Location Pages discussion aimed at omitting databases that were not essentially ~about~ one locality.

    Great improvements in that vein have been made — for Delaware (as small example), no more Ohio records in /Gateway to the West/, no book on Forks of the Delaware (about PA), no book mentioning the Lenni-Lenape as “Delaware” in keyword indexing. All that is good and helpful 😀 And no outright wrong listings (e.g., nonexistent 1890 Veterans Schedule listing for DE). Oh, and did I forget to mention that I do not miss the Manitoba obituaries at all?

    Thanks for your help and hard work on this 🙂

  21. Not sure why this site keeps changing. Please keep the site simple and easy to use. One problem I now see is the Source citations list on an individuals page. It was better the way it was when you clicked the US Census citation and it opened the actual record. Now it goes to a new screen with WAY too much info (showing all citations), and when you select View Record, the Return to previous person shows a name from my tree that I wasn’t even viewing. ???

    I think there needs to be some issues resolved with the programming team. members should be allowed to have their own say when new changes are being implemented. Why you ask? Because we PAY to have access to this site and when things change, we’re no longer getting the service we PAID for. I find that a breach of contract. Please stop changing the look and feel of the site (as someone said “just to say you’re doing something).

    Also, you really need to start making it an option to view as Text instead of Java. All of these popups and java applets are time consuming and add unneeded headaches to researching.

    I didn’t even know about this Bef and Aft glitch that is changing dates. I don’t even wanna look. I just hope you ROLL that change back so I won’t need to edit your unnecessary changes.

  22. Kenny Freestone

    A few of you have commented on the changes we’ve made to source citations on the profile page (such as comment 17). We hear you and are working to address the concerns you raise. A separate message board thread on this topic is running at

    Rick (17)–I’m not certain I completely follow you on your item #2. Would you add some additional detail to help us better understand the issue?

    Also some have mentioned the bug about how dates appear on the profile page timeline (comments 11 – 14), we are working on a fix for that now. The issue is with the display of the dates–please be assured that the information itself is not changed. We hope to have this fix rolled shortly.

    I’ll create a separate blog post for source media later today and welcome your comments about that feature also on that post.

  23. robin_78

    Why has the ability to add () been taken out? I use this feature a lot when I don’t know the maiden name of a women yet. IE in the first name field I put in – Mary (Smith) and leave the last name field blank, until I discover what her correct last name is, then I remove the (). This helps me differentiate between the many Mary’s in my tree when adding records. It’s a great tool because what’s between the () doesn’t get added to the search, like “” does.

    If you want to really fix something, I have an idea for you. It’s in the Card Catalog search. The Card Catalog search retains whatever information that you previous put in for a specific individual and does not include any updates you’ve made to their profile. Also, it would be wonderful if it contained a drop down like the search function to find a person in your tree. IE in “Card Catalog” you search for Elizabeth “Lizzie” Smith. If you type in Elizabeth Smith, you get nothing. You must type in the entire name as it appears on the profile to merge into your tree.

    Can we please get the source citation issue rolled back soon?


  24. sgragg

    Newer is not necessarily better. What does it take to make customers happy? Listen to them and hear what is being said.

    Case in point – customers 1-29 [at this point]. Make me #30. Current census display is really the pits!

  25. Ancestry Daig

    Hi Laura and Kenny, I’ve done some more work with the new set up. Regarding “After 1930” that now would say “1 Jan 1931”, I entered things in a couple of ways, even tried to see what would happen if I left the approx. death date blank. If you do this you quickly discover that now you get “doubles” of the same person, as you don’t have a place that is fairly static to go by with the others in the family. So I had to re enter “after 1930” back in to those I took it out of. Thank you for your reply. This specific way of doing things was really helping the search engine to find things easily. Glad you will be going back to it soon.
    Ancestry Daig



  27. Adele Anderson

    Since this is the ‘second event’ this summer . . .

    I won’t bother to spell it all out; however, I agree with almost everything all have said. There seems to be a lack of actually putting the user first with regard to changes. The changes are impressive appearing (eye of the beholder) in some ways, but lack functionality that many users like. Then, it becomes the issue of: if not the users needs first, whose needs are being met? I don’t want to answer that, because I fear it will appear to be unkind.

    Often I grumble to myself about new changes, but eventually I adjust. This time there are so many ‘glitches’ with new update that I feel there is no point in even trying to adjust. Maybe it was just put online too soon.

  28. Ancestry Daig

    Thank you for putting back the “After 1930” ability. I really appreciate that. It works fine now.

    Here is something that might be helpful also. Whenever any change is made, make it, but have someone who has a tree already try it out before it gets released to the general public. That way bugs get fixed before we even see them. I would also suggest just one change at a time, so everyone gets used to it. Imagine yourself just starting out as a genealogist and trying to wade through everything.

    I also think it might be a good idea if a simple video is shown to anyone new to, which shows in a simple fashion how to share photos and data in a step by step easy manner. And lastly also for new folks, a simple way of showing in a video of some kind how to “move around” in another person’s tree. Thanks again for listening and taking action. Regards, Ancestry Daig

  29. Cathy

    What I don’t like: On the individual’s page, if the date of death is “before 1920” for example, it seems to randomly choose a date in 1919 and place it below. Before it would just repeat what was showing at the top. Now it is too confusing. Same with marriage dates, birth dates.

  30. Pat Dakin

    Re: changes in the family trees. I agree with folks who do not like the new source citations; makes it so much more difficult to input sources; does not recognizes long url’s. My biggest complaint is in the bottom right-hand side where you list source citations and ancestry automatically inserts ancestry family trees. If I do not put them in as a source, why should you? Many, many times other trees are not about my person or have wrong data, etc. I think if a person wants to include a particular tree, let them, but ancestry should not automatically assume just because there are a few qualified matches of data that the other tree is a source. I have been a long time user of FTM and subscriber to ancestry. Changes are good, but only when the change is for the better. Changes should not make our lives more difficult; and the computer can only do what the human programs it to do. I am like others; less changes and concentrate adding more records and data.

  31. Dorothy M. Lewis

    It appears you’ve added/restored everything I’ve asked for, so I’m a happy camper. But, I can’t wait for that bottom checkbox that says: Show only records from(Date) to (Date) and from (Location)”. How AWESOME that will be.

    Thanks so very much for listing!

  32. Gloria Forsythe

    Newer is not always better. My question is about the ability to see all the photos that are attached to public trees. You used to be able to see them all and now you can only see one person at a time. Is that ever going to be put back like it was?

  33. BEE

    So far, I’m not hearing anything that would make me want to abandon the “old search” for “new search”, unless “old search” is being fazed out?
    I’ve already given up trying to use FTM until I can figure out how to register, and why I have to! So it just sits there unused!

  34. Ancestry, at the bottom right side, why show a fake image of the source citation if it is NOT clickable. someone’s hair-brained idea is only cosmetic yuk! you’ve simply forced us to go to the TAB Facts & Sources, we always had that ability. so you’ve taken away a convenient one-click link & turned it into something cumbersome, so now…
    i prefer using the source citation link from the Timeline.

    and while i’m complaining…
    on the Recent Member Connect Activity, ever since those changes were made, there are two different clickable links. if there’s only one record on the line, clicking takes me to the INDEX record.
    if there are two or more records, when i click on the records, then click on one of those, the link takes me into the IMAGE when i really need the index record. from the IMAGE, when i click on ReturnToRecord, it takes me to search criteria instead of the INDEX record. ***what a mess***
    why are you giving two different clickable links, shouldn’t all links go FIRST to the index record?

    Ancestry, you get paid to waste your time breaking & fixing this stuff. my time is valuable too y’know. ***SIGH***

  35. charlotte

    Come on people lighten up!!
    I guess if this is all you have going wrong in your life you are lucky!

  36. Tom Rouse

    Why do you keep making “improvements” that make using this site more difficult? You are taking the fun out of doing family genealogy… maybe that’s the plan. Make everyone have to “hire a professional”.

    Please, no more improvements.

  37. Gloria Forsythe @38

    you can see all the photos in your tree from your Home tab, where you see “Recent family tree activity”, click ViewThisTree, or use the dropdown arrow to select the desired tree. The link will take you into the tree with the extra link options, click on MediaGallery. Hope you see it there.

    Unfortunately, as soon as you click on a person’s record, the MediaGallery option goes away, and you have to go back into the Home tab to select the tree again or just click on photos from the Home page.

  38. Reed

    It seems like the previous posters have already hit on many of my own reactions. I’d like to second, in particular, the comments of Andy Hatchett and Jade.

    The new search engine does seem to be getting better at doing what it should, but still has a long way to go. Of course, a big part of the problem is Ancestry’s often wrong, wayward or just weird indexing. Today’s example is a new title from the “Stories, Memories & Histories” section:

    “ Fontes historici liturgiae glagolito-romanae a XIII ad XIX saeculum [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2008. Original data: Lucas Jeli?. Fontes historici liturgiae glagolito-romanae a XIII ad XIX saeculum. Pragae: Slavorum Litterae Theologicae, 1906.”

    The best part, though, is this note: “These records are in Italian…”

    Unfortunately, this book is in Latin, which is to be expected for a book whose title roughly translates as:
    “Historical Sources of the Glagolitic-Roman Liturgy of the 13th and 14th Centuries..” [My apologies to any bona fide Latin speakers; I’m winging it here.]

    I hope this book proves useful to someone, but they will need to know that it’s indexed “in Italian,” written in Latin and covers a lot of priests and ecclesiastical goings-on in the Slavic lands. (Personally, I’d rather they fixed the thousands of missing BMD images for the Chicago Tribune in the “Historical Newspapers” database…) Oh, well.


  39. Linda Jonas

    One new change that I noticed is that if someone has an event occurring “after” or “before” a certain year, Ancestry is now inserting the day before or after into the timeline. For example, if I enter a death date of “before 1860”, Ancestry is now automatically entering an exact death date into my timeline of December 31, 1859. Please remove this feature.

  40. D. Barry Sheldon


    If you want real feedback, please make it so that these screenshots can be seen. Unless you plan on not just updating and this is only a bunch of ???. This way you can say you included the multitude of users and their comments

  41. BEE

    Why are things getting more complicated? “Source Citation” – “1900 United States Federal Census-3 Citations from this source provides evidence for Name, Residence, Birth” so it says on the Overview – click to see all this on another page – click to view image, or to see record. Why the extra work to view a record or image? This is not an improvement!

  42. BEE

    I don’t know what is going on. I’m trying to view a 1910 {or 20, or 30} census from the “Source Citation”, and it keeps bringing up the 1880!

  43. Diane Sheppard

    The old search screen and its results provide much better results. Please do not get rid of it.

  44. iamfab

    Been an annual premium member since February, and have now completely lost my search abilities now !!

  45. Laura Dansbury

    #50 – I am sorry you are finding searching more difficult. Will you please email me directly (my email address is listed above in my bio) and give me an example of how your search abilities have changed?

  46. Blanche McKinney

    I do NOT like the changes! It takes so much more time to find what I am looking for. Also, I know there are newspaper articles about one person I am searching for, but the site tells me “No information.”

    Please put it back the way it was!

  47. Tammy Williams

    I am relatively new at this. Been using for 3 months. I was just starting to feel comfortable and confident. Not now. I can truly say I do not like these “updates”. I am beginnning to think I wasted my money if changes like these are what I can expect from Reading all of your comments is making me feel like I’m not alone with my uneasiness. Maybe I should go back to the old way of doing things- paper & pencil.

  48. Tammy Re: #54

    Although I take Ancestry to task over certain things I still consider them one of the best genealogical values available.

    Remember, the comments and complaints on this blog and on the various Message Boards constitute a *very* small minority of the total membership.

    Ancestry will change- sometimes in a way that not all agree with and sometimes it takes them more than once to get it right- that is the price of progress. There has been a lot of change in the recent past and I’m sure that there will be more in the future but don’t let those changes deter you from getting the benefits Ancestry has to offer. There are often work arounds for changes that are introduced. The message boards are a wonderful resource filled with helpful people.

    Just give yourself time.

  49. Sheri

    Many of your paying customers do not have high speed internet connection. The more clicks required, the more time and pain it takes to accomplish anything.

    The new format for source citations on the right side of the page was unnecessary. Please go back to the old way. Adding a source is complicated. I figure when I add a source using my slow internet connection, I’m going above and beyond the call of duty, and helping ancestry and it’s members. If it gets more complicated/time-consuming, I’m going to have to keep my sourcing to myself. I specifically do not like you automatically citing another family tree as a source. That should be my decision.

    Your site is getting way too complicated. Whenever I invite a family member, I have to make up an email to tell them “briefly” how to use the site — and the email gets longer and longer. I’m the research nut. Others want to have a quick look around now and then without earning a PhD in

    I love and all of its sources. But please move beyond Beta — or don’t charge.

  50. BEE

    I’m with you Sheri – I copied a comment I made above to a different blog because I didn’t know if people were still finding this one.Andy offered his advice on that blog, to which I responded: “Thanks for your help Andy – lol! NEVER thought to scroll down to see that every document is now shown on a second page! but instead of going right to the record, there is still an extra “click”.
    Yes, I can go right to the individual records by clicking on the Timeline list. Oh well, live and learn! :-[“…..More complicated, we don’t need!

  51. Adele Anderson

    Sarah #58 – I’m wondering if you are referring to something I’ve noticed regarding the records/sources. Off the top of my head, just discovered that marriage records are not attaching to individual.

    I love Ancestry (normally), but I don’t love it when changes involve extra steps, don’t seem to have logical paths to reach the target, and require constant ‘clicking’ back and forth, etc. It is burdensome.

    Please let us have some word as to what you are trying to do for us? Or, maybe internationally understood words to accomplish what we been accomplishing in the past? Something to allay some of the frustration we are feeling?

  52. Laura

    I’m trying to use this new search procedure, however I have clicked on the new search in the upper right hand corner of the page and still have the old search page and results.

    On a side note, I have not been able to get the public, private and one world trees to show when I search for a specific person.

    Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

  53. Jan.

    I have just left the Australian BDM’s with a sense of dismay–, the information is soooo messed-up and inaccurate that most of it is unusable for a new or novice researcher.I had in fact started to leave comments on each incorrect listing until I realized how large the job was! I can only surmise that the transcription was done by a very poor OCR reader. Co-incidently I clicked on the header line at the top of the page out of curiosity and discovered that many others are having their own unique problems. I recently subscribed to Ancestry.Com and now believe that my money has been wasted because of the massive amount of incorrect info.

  54. Gene Dorris

    Probably for older people — and at 65 I qualify — and most of us doing genealogy are — change for change sake does not work too well. It is hard enough using new technology and acquiring skills in it, much less adapting constantly to our favorite website.

    My immediate reaction to the changes is that I don’t have the flexibility to surf for new data. Generally it is already very hard to figure out what new sources you have added. It is more difficult to find the basic services I have gotten used to.

    You might think about testing change with a group of computer illiterates like myself BEFORE you enact them.

  55. Jan.

    I support the views expressed by Jan 61 and give some examples of the poorly transcribed records.
    Name: Rinhold Julius * Should be- Julius Reinhold *
    Spouse: Ellie Hine ” Henrietta Elizabeth #
    Marriage: Victoria
    Marriage: 1912 – Victoria

  56. Alan

    I support the views expressed by Jan 61 and give some examples of the poorly transcribed records.
    Name: Rinhold Julius * Should be- Julius Reinhold *
    Spouse: Ellie Hine ” Henrietta Elizabeth #
    Marriage: Victoria
    Marriage: 1912 – Victoria

  57. Monika

    Kenny, I am not a computer programmer, but I wonder how difficult it would be to give people the right to “opt out” of some of your “improvements”. I am sure you mean well when you make these “improvements”, but some of us hate them. I so wish you could keep your entire focus on what really needs fixing (what is “broken”). When this is all fixed then go on to the “cutesee” stuff, and give us the option of not participating in the latter.

  58. Geraldine Green

    Please tell me that I’m doing something wrong! I am trying to search through British records. I have been ALWAYS a member of I have no interest in US records and now all I am getting when trying to search for records is screeds of US records. I DON’T WANT THESE! Please stop changing my search from to .com If I am doing something wrong because of these ‘new’ updated ‘improvements’ please someone correct me!

  59. Elaine Bell

    I have been using Ancestry for quite a few years and love it. Best of all I like the Old Search – I can usually find exactly what I am looking for in a very short time, if not I then have the option of looking for it by leaving out most of the details or by using wild cards.
    The Old Search satisfies all my search requirements. The New Search is completely and utterly confusing. Please do not even think of removing the Old Search.

  60. Goldman96

    I would REALLY like to see some improvements to the MEDIA GALLERY…NAMELY THE PHOTO’S-we should be able to create & name folders to add photo’s from different family lines. This would make it much easier to search for a photo rather than having to go from page to page to page to page. If there is an easier way to search for a photo from the media gallery when you aren’t sure of the name on the photo or document, could someone please tell me?

  61. Laura Dansbury

    #68 – You can exclude US records from your search from both the .com and the Ancestry sites. In the search form located at or, if you select “show advanced”, there is an option at the bottom of the form called “collection priority.” You can set that to “UK and Irish” and then check the box that says “Show only records from these collections.” For more details, you can review our blog posting on collection priority (

  62. Laura Dansbury

    #60: To see these new features, go to Make sure the link at the top right side of the page, just below “Add to quick links” says “old search.” When you are on the new search homepage, you should see the label that says “old search.” These means you can go to old search. If the label says “new search” then you need to click it to go to the new search homepage.

  63. Tom

    For those of us who remember searching miles and miles of mictrofilm and fiche, is wonderfully easy. I guess some people just feel the need to complain about something.

  64. Ann Marie Holdron

    I am leaving for the U.K. on 22nd July which is in two days time and I amlooking for the grave of my grandmother Marie Eulalie Holdron (born Besson) which I think is in Stevenage or Hitchin – she was a Roman Catholic and died 1958. Also my grandfather Fred Lancaster Holdron who died on 14th April 1958 in Brighton and was cremated. He was not a catholic. Is it possible for you to point me in the right direction.

    Thank you


  65. Olin

    I cant stand the new search form. when you search you have to pick a certain category and no picture preview. why cant i see a list of every option instead of it broken down. im not complaining but there making it harder and more work to find things, i dont know who your listening to but we don’t want else changes. listen keep it simple and easy type what you want a click search.

  66. Olin

    i just saw the old search link and got really excited till i tried to use, if the old changes don’t return or an option is given to have the full old style searching back im gonna cancel my account and i know that sounds extreme. it takes you twice as long to find something and its more difficult to find what your looking for, cause we all know half the time i dont know what im looking for could be in florida or maybe alaska. not gona waste my money.

  67. Laura Re: #72 (not numbered)

    Might I make one small suggestion about the “Old Search” vs. “New Search” links…

    Change the wording to say “Go to Old Search” and “Go to New Search”. It would be much less confusing for all involved- particularly newbies.

  68. Bonnie Bartlett

    I Can not add anything to my Fields family tree that I put on ancestry. What’s going on as I have a membership? Bonnie

  69. Melinda Baker

    I love and can cope with changes; however, I have a concern. When researching a census, etc. (any record), I have to click the green arrow box (link at the top left) to “go back” and the arrow has the person’s name in it that I’m researching…WELL, for the past few days it has read the name of people that are not in my tree…people that I’ve never researched. Is anyone else having that problem? It makes me wonder if something has gone “awry” in my tree.

  70. Myrna Goodwin

    The way the census documents are attached to each person’s page makes it FAR more difficult to use. LOTS of clicks that are not necessary. And rolling down to find things once you already found it the first time makes it very difficult.

  71. Christine

    I feel the functionality of the search has gone way down with the new version. Fortunately the old search seems to be back on as of a few minutes. Please keep it!!!! Now I can keep the details of the person I was searching for, even if I change something.

    With the new search it would lose all the details and expand the search results to the maximum whenever I changed the slightest thing in the search box.

  72. Myrna Re: #82

    Any source listed in the sidebar will also be listed in the source link in the time line itself (right hand side of the time line across from Event Name)

    Much easier than doing all that scrolling!

  73. I spent lots of money purchasing the “bundles” of info on CDs, now I find with FTM 2010 I cannot use them!!!
    Why is it so hard to move from our “tree” to the Information page of births, census, etc?? New is not always better, don’t fix what isn’t broken

  74. J. Fulmer


    Please just keep the “Old Search” option going as long as you can. I realize you’re wanting to dump it …but simply using Old Search instead of “New Search” avoids lots of these complications and troubles. Why can’t you acknowledge the value of using “Old Search”?

    Your opening line above says, “we listened to your feed back …”, but I’m not convinced that’s really the case.



  75. BEE

    I totally agree with #86! If the document I’m looking for isn’t there to begin with, all the information in the world isn’t going to make it appear.
    I continue to give it a try, but I always go back to “old search”.

  76. Elaine Turner

    I agree with Jo…….These changes are SO wrong and you TOOK AWAY FUNCTIONALITY and ADDED GARBAGE. You have made it harder to use. I use the OLD SEARCH all the time and I do not want anything else. Change it BACK! ALL of it!! Then leave it alone. If you want new users, this is not the way to get them.

  77. Jan Douglas

    Has any one else noticed that the button to return to the person you’re researching has a different name to it?

  78. William Danner

    NEW search is confusing – always has been for past year or more. I don’t need drop down menus. I KNOW who I am looking for. I don’t need suggestions. AND, I ALWAYS go back to OLD SEARCH and find who I am looking for. It’s not about changing to a new system and I will NOT get used to the new as opposed to the adequate OLD.

    Please do NOT get rid of OLD SEARCH.

  79. Virginia Dunham

    Please keep old search…do whatever you want with that “new fiasco…oops, sorry…search”.

    Invest some more man hours into fixing the mess in so many of your indexes.

    Then maybe people could find things better without “glitzing” your search machine.


  80. craigkmcpherson

    When will we New Zealanders be able to search for ancestral records for New Zealand?
    We are a very different and independent entity from Australia and yet many times my searches have “defaulted” to Australian records? My roots are in UK.
    I have gaps in my tree from the early 1800’s simply because New Zealand records can not be accessed.
    Please help?

  81. Susan

    I don’t like it. I don’t like the feel. As some one else said before “if it isn’t broken why fix it”
    Rich Pea @27
    Maybe your getting people you weren’t viewing but I am getting people I have never even heard of. Go figure.!?

  82. Craig Re #92

    You’ll be able to see New Zealand Records when the powers that be in New Zealand grant Ancestry some sort of agreement to have access to place those records online.

  83. julia

    When it becomes easier for me to build a time machine and get it to work, than for me to navigate this site, then it is time for you guys to go back to the drawing board and use some of your old tricks and delete the new one’s! I don’t get very far here on any given day, then I just quit, everything just takes too long now!

    Frustrated! It used to be soooo easy!!!


  84. BEE

    Julia, I think if you click “old search” you will find it less frustrating. Of course, you will have to remember to take Andy’s advice and click the “source citation” to the right of the Timeline, instead of the list of “Source Citations”, where you now have to scroll down through a whole page – sometimes quite long, to see the source at the bottom of the list, and then click on what you want to see. Frustrating indeed!

  85. Harold Murray

    It would be nice on the search pages when you have many pages to search that you could go to an exact page without going thru them one at a time.

    Especially when you may have 30 or more pages in an alphabetical order. and you want the surnames beginning with “M”.

    As it is now if you use an exact surname search you may not get the pages of that surname.

    Instead of changing the Home pages format; you should do the above. and correct the search errors.

    Also as being a genealogy research persons you should use the correct format for All census transcriptions. i.e. now you have the “Condition of Marriage or Martial Status:” after the “Occupation” and by the census format the “Occupation” should be after the “Condition of Marriage or Martial Status:”

    With the EXTREME COST for the privilege to use your pages and you being certified genealogist you should be more diligent with your formating.

  86. I agree with the majority; I don’t like your changes either. Further, I would really appreciate it if you would make some of the pages viewable…your synopsis is somewhat helpful…but the actual document is so light I can’t read it no matter what I do. I’VE REPEATEDLY REQUESTED YOU FIX THIS PROBLEM AND HAVE BEEN IGNORED for quite some time now. WOULD YOU LIKE ME TO DO THAT WITH MY MEMBERSHIP? I am here to ‘get the correct information’ and if I can’t do that with this ‘service’ what good are you. Someone had to be able to read the page to transcribe it or scan it, so divvy up the readable image for the 1860 Census for Izard County, Arkansas, Pages 1-12. Thank you so very much….again and again if you do it and a pox be upon you if you don’t.
    I also agree that it would be nice to give a date spectrum to the search but if that means using this ‘update’, I pass.

  87. Tom

    I guess if I was like a typical responder to this board I would say something like, “HEY!! WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO GET A BUTTON THAT DOES EVERYTHING FOR ME?” Actually, it takes me less than a minute to get to a specific person on a census page from a hundred and fifty years ago. Gee, I guess I’m not seeing just horrible it is to be able to do something like that. Maybe I should try being more negative and cranky.

  88. Laura Dansbury

    #78: Andy, your suggestion is a good one. We are working on it.
    #75: I’m not sure what page you are looking at. does not require you to pick a category nor does it suppress access to images. You can select a category from the right side if you wish to go to a specific category page before you do your search.

  89. Katie Brammer

    this new search engine is awful, frustrating, majorly limiting and hugely inconsistent. Please, please, please revert to the previous version (and not the OLDER option that is available with assisted navigation).

  90. Barbara

    THANKS to all who mentioned the “OLD SEARCH”
    Now I can find people again! That new search pays NO ATTENTION to the information plugged in. If I ask for a name in Pennsylvania, I don’t need to see that name in the whole county! THANKS AGAIN!!!

  91. I like the location pages. However, I was disappointed that after drilling down to the location collection that I was interested in, I could not search the collection from the search page. In other words, add a Search box to pages like this:

    –Butler County, Kansas – Butler County Stories, Memories & Histories (which would search the 2 sources listed)

    –Kansas Stories, Memories & Histories (which would search the many sources listed).

  92. Janet Re #104

    The collections on the State and County pages each have their own search form that allows you to search and/or browse that specific collection, which, imho, is much better than searching all collections at once as it doesn’t overwhelm you with pages and pages of results.

    Just click the link for any specific collection; in your example you can click ‘History of Butler County, Kansas” and search that database or click “Butler Couny’s eighty years, 1855-1935” and search that database.

  93. Bob

    I concur with #81, #89, and #93. The “Return to …” gives names not in my tree, so something is definitely wrong. I also agree with the complaints lodged above. These are thoughtful people who should be listened to. I am still waiting for the “add the entire family in one step” capability to work for census earlier than 1880. That is the type of change that would be helpful, rather than cosmetic changes that confuse and require more time needlessly. This blog should never be removed; it is a terrific “suggestion box” and in the long run can bring about improvement — if taken seriously.

  94. Sonya Russell

    #92 – Craig.
    I’m with you, more NZ records would be soooooo appreciated by this member, but Andy is probably right, maybe no body will give them permission.

    If they did there are heaps to upload, all the electoral rolls, the BMD index, war records, etc.

    I guess for now we just have to keep trawling through the microfiche and NZ Archives (not that I’m complaining in that regard, I think NZ Archives are amazing and really helpful). PapersPast almost makes up for it as well.

  95. Laura Dansbury

    #140: Thank you for trying out our new place pages. I am glad to read your feedback on how they worked for you. I agree with Andy that I think you will probably have the most success by searching individual data collections if you are targeting a specific place and interested in stories, memories, and histories. However, your suggestion is helpful and we are working on ways to make seaching more efficient.

  96. BEE

    Well, I’m hoping that is just a typo, otherwise, 30+ posts have gone AWOL – but the fact that so many people are still commenting on the subject of “old search” vs “new search” should say something.

    I’m amazed to find continued posts on this subject when I check in each day.

    I do hope someone is listening, but from Laura’s comments, I think anything said about “old search” is being ignored.

  97. Gerry Hoffman

    I’m not happy with the new format for displaying the results of searches in Newpapers. The old format showed a snippet of the image of each match, which greatly helped in both seeing the context (so irrelevant matches could be ignored) and in finding the name on the image. Now I just get a list of dates. This makes the results useless.

  98. Jade

    Bob, #106, “I am still waiting for the “add the entire family in one step” capability to work for census earlier than 1880.”

    The problem with your request is that the US Federal Census (and most State ones) for before 1880 do not state relationships between household members. The eldest male and female could be brother and sister, for example, and any younger household members could be children of either one, or a mix, or nieces/nephews . . . etc.

    If you have proved the relationships between the household members, that is an entirely different matter, and you can indicate this in “comments” on individuals’ Overview pages and/or in the “description” field (limited in number of characters) for the Event, and/or in the Notes field of the source-citation for that enumeration.

    The key here is that these earlier enumerations in themselves are not direct evidence as to relationships to head of household, so they are not encoded to indicate relationships.

    It is bad enough that indexers/abstractors often have invented non-indicated relationships in the 1880+ US Census enumerations (such as erroneously designating a parent for a grandchild of head-of-household) — without their inventing relationships for the earlier enumerations.

  99. Jan

    I am continually amazed by web sites that change with no regard for the people using the site. The designers just decide they know what people want. This new search is a mess. Put the link to the old search back, that brought back so many unmatched records it takes forever to go through them all this one is ridiculous. I get maybe 2 taht are near and then not even right state or first name for 20 pages oh then back to the right state.

    I ran an electronic banking dept for years and we never made a change without having customers try it out and tell us what didn’t work before instituting changes. Designers have no idea what the public wants. I don’t even have the energy to search anymore it just takes too many hours out of my life to go through what this new search brings back. If the link to old search doesn’t go up, cancelling after years of subscribing.

    You know the look of it isn’t even good this crunched up box on the side showing the results wow I cannot believe how much you people missed the mark

  100. Jade

    If I am searching Pennsylvania Collections, why do I get results from these (and they are only a few for the wrong places):

    The records of New Amsterdam from 1653 to 1674 anno Domini
    Lima News (Lima, Ohio)
    Mansfield News Journal (Mansfield, Ohio)
    The New York Times (New York, New York)
    Times Record (Troy, New York)
    Scandinavian Immigrants in New York, 1630-1674
    Steinfeld, Germany Baptisms, 1788-1840
    Steinfeld, Germany Deaths, Part Three, 1803-1922
    Massachusetts Marriages, 1633-1850
    Missouri Marriages to 1850
    Massachusetts Centinal Marriage Notices
    Kapsweyer, Germany Church Records, 1693-1920
    Virginia Marriages, 1740-1850

    “Lived In” is ***not at all the same thing***.

    I want to search only in items that are ABOUT Pennsyslvania. NOT newspapers that mention PA that are published in Ohio, not directories that have listings of items with the word ‘Pennsylvania’ in them, etc.

    I should not have to specify “USA Collections Only” and should not have to deal with the wonkiness of how NewSearch deals with “lived in.”

    Please fix it so that Collections for X place are just from and about that place.

  101. Kathryn

    I despise the new search. I cannot locate files today that I was able to easily locate on Monday in the “old” search. Somehow my parents’ names have become completely corrupted and I cannot correct my mother’s name on their marriage info. I kept getting “no information found” for my father, where I had had 200 people to sort through on a search for him earlier this week. I cannot “search all records” any more and need to search by collection instead. The new search seems to insist that you have all that info you are trying to find–birth date, marriage date, etc. If I had that info. I wouldn’t need For the amount I am paying for my subscription, I think I should just cancel it, since it’s not worth much to me now.

  102. Jade Re:#113

    You said-“If I am searching Pennsylvania Collections, why do I get results from these (and they are only a few for the wrong places)”

    How are you searching- Old Search or New Search?
    Global Search or searching the individual Data Collections on the Pennsylvania State Page?

  103. Jade

    Andy (115)

    Old search has no ‘search locality collections’ function.

    If I were searching Berks Co. Wills I would not get the extraneous listings.

    Therefore I was searching PA Collections using the link at upper right from the PA State Page.

  104. Jade Re:#116

    LOL! Would you believe I’ve never noticed that search link!

    Once I get to a State page I go to individual collections or the County page. I just never paid any attention to that upper right hand corner before.

  105. Jade

    Andy, re: #117

    That ‘search (X Locality) Collection’ is one of the really wonderful new features. The link at upper right to the NewSearch form is superior to the truncated search box that was mid-page in an earlier draft.

    But there appear to be some flaws in the code to NewSearch User Interface as to how to restrict the search actually to a specific Locality Collection.

    Also NewSearch still has the fundamental flaw initiated around 9 months ago: it returns “Soundex” name results as default when I did **not** ~select~ the Soundex search option. This nullifies a lot of the efforts to make NewSearch more precise and intuitive. For example, for the name “Angstadt” I get myriad results keyword-indexing the abbreviation “Aug’t” and “Aug’st” for “August” in dates of transcripts 18th-century documents. Ecccch.

    The same flaw is disrupting OldSearch results. Since OldSearch has the Soundex search option in “Exact” mode, what is the point of making Soundex part of the default (non-exact) search-results? I am getting pages and pages of items for completely wrong names, which is most frustrating. It is particularly aggravating because the Soundex-equivalent names are given the same ranking as the name I entered. There is no way to sort the results by name-spelling in order not to have to click and click and scroll and scroll, which would be useful since the wrong names seem fairly randomly interspersed with valid name-spelling variants of what I searched for. Grrrrrr.

  106. Jade,

    I’m completely with you on the Soundex thing!

    Since it is, by its very nature, an *EXACT* match, it should not be included in anything else when searching unless specifically requested by the user.

  107. Jade

    Re: Andy’s #117, my #116, 118

    Hmmmmm . . . I seem to be guilty of ‘wishful thinking’.

    That search link does not say it is to search (locality name) Collections.

    It says it is to search for items on ancestors who “lived in (locality name).”

    Thus when I search for XY who “lived in Delaware”, I get items for every other place, including stuff keyword-indexed for just the firstname and just the surname. Sigh. Same old NewSearch.

  108. Jade

    Re: Laura’s #19, my #25.

    For the US, I see a problem with the way the State pages are designed.

    I would expect the State Page to list all statewide items *about* the State as well as all items about single and clusters of Counties.

    Instead, the items about specific Counties are listed only on the County pages.

    I think this is a mistake.

    I also would like to see all of the database items for/about the state in scrollable lists from the main State page, rather than having to click in categories to see them.

    The link to “see all in Card Catalog” does not serve this purpose, since it includes US Census, Public Records Index-type items, and all manner of general compendia that have sections or ~mention~ of a given locality. It is arranged by default in the nearly useless order of so-called “popularity.” In the “narrow down” list in the left sidebar it does not include a State Name so one cannot retrieve only items ABOUT a given US State (rather than ‘including something about’ a given US State).

    These issues really limit the usefulness of the US State pages.

  109. I agree with all of the above comments. Especially about the new search capability–or non-capability.
    But I have to add one more problem–please, please, stop sending me emails when I have added something to my own tree! I still have to open them to be certain one of my guests has not added something to their trees which I don’t yet have because it says “Your Owens tree is growing” and I can’t tell if it is growing because of something I added or if the guest added Owens info to their tree. Many times they have added to a different branch of our tree and don’t have anything to do with my family. In fact, it is more convenient to add things to the “Recent activity…” on the home page than to send emails at all because when someone added to their tree I didn’t have to go to Outlook Express to see it. But there should be a way to delete entries that don’t pertain to my tree or ones that I have already checked and added to my tree in the “Recent activity…” listing. A delete button would be SO handy.

  110. Jerry

    Please stop changing up the format so much. These are really not improvements at all to me. Everytime I update my family tree, it sends my e-mail a message saying “your family tree has been updated ” I know that ! I’m the one that did it so I don’t need an e-mail to tell me. Also I was so excited because I found an obit on a relative of mine we had been looking for for years. The first page of the obit had just started off with general info and then said “continued on the following page” highlighted in blue and then when you click on the blue, the page says this page is not available. Now I have no idea who the survivors are. What a Ripoff ! If multiple pages are given, please make sure that the following pages will be able to be accessed since this is where all the pertinent info generally is located. I would say that 90% of the stuff they give you on a search never applies to my family. It is useless and time consuming to go through it all. Quit trying to impress us with all your wonderful updates and changes. Just kep it simple. Please !

  111. Eva Goeken

    PLEASE go back to the old page. If this continues I will have to cancel as I get no where and have been wasting my time for last several days. I am 74 and do not have time to waste !

  112. martin w. johnson

    you keep making it harder to access record indexes.
    it was easy before to access civil war pension card file index. = military, then civil war pension card index. now its several steps to get to it. today i clicked on family trees more & it does not show ancestry world trees. only shows public trees & one world tree. before you clicked on more & all family trees showed up to choose from.

  113. Vervaen

    WHY does every NEW employee of Ancestry feel the need to “re-invent the mouse trap”??
    If Laura Dansbury was “so successful” at her previous jobs–as claimed–then why is she here messing up our Ancestry search ability??
    Same thing happens with resturants: a successful restaurant(either hires a new chef or gets a new owner)and immediately they feel the need to change things, then they wonder WHY they’ve lose most of their customers. It’s because they’ve changed the very thing that WAS making them successful When something is successful, YOU DON”T CHANGE IT!

  114. katie

    I’m sorry but I am not happy with this new search feature AT ALL. It is impossible to navigate, and since when is a simple birth date an “advanced” search option? That should be included in the basic search.

    I think it’s clear that they’ve completely revamped it to make it simpler for all of these brand new customers they’ve been wooing. People who know nothing but a name and maybe where the person lived.

    Please at least make the old search available for those of us who have been using it and are used to it. A simple date and place of birth needs to be included in the basic search. Or at least a pop-up to input the advanced terms like before, rather than having to open a new page?

    Also why even make exact standard? I know many people get frustrated when names not even close to what they’re searching for pop up, but we all know you are highly unlikely to find your ancestor’s name spelled or transcribed correctly every time, not even most of the time. Unchecking every box is really annoying.

    Sorry for the complaints, but I feel like you just took a step backward rather than forward. I actually thought maybe my browser was finally too old to work and it had switched me to some arcane old basic search.

    Please make the old search available! Thank you!

  115. Vervaen Re:# 126

    Ancestry hasn’t lost customers- in fact there has been a steady growth.

    While you personally may not like the new pages, many of us find them, in the main, to be useful in our research.

    There is also the fact that Laura didn’t develop these pages alone in a vacuum, others had input to and discussion about them, to say nothing of them being approved by those higher up, so to single her out is a bit over the top.

    Imho, you owe the lady an apology.

  116. Jackye

    This is awful! Bring back the old. SOOOOOO much more cumbersome! Not straightforward anymore. Can’t search by exact name anymore without unclicking all these buttons!!

    Just give us back the old system!!

  117. davidmariaw

    Dang, At least give us the option of the old system. You’ve messed with it before but this time it is really messed up. I’m so frustrated I’m ready to demand my money back. I like speed when I’m searching. Why Why Why do you folks feel obligated to mess with a good thing. Don’t fix it unless it’s broke. David

  118. Carol

    #38 & #43
    I agree with you #38. When you go to another public tree you cannot see all of the photos attached to that tree at one time and it is impossible to go to each individual in the tree just to see all of the photos in that tree.
    #43 You are right, but that only pertains to our own trees. We can not go to other public trees Home page and click on there Home tab to get to all of there photos.
    Ancestry this has to be changed back to being able to see all the photos at once and not just one person at a time. Please fix this.

  119. Julia Manca di Villahermosa

    How can I merge similar data? Such as Spouse and Children with conflicting spelling or dates. To me some are the same.
    If I cancel one does it cancel the whole record?

  120. Diane Sheppard

    The New Search results are totally unacceptable.
    You waste far to much time trying to get what you could see in one screen using the old search function.

    Although you stated that the old search function would remain the same, you have changed the search screen and the results. The stars system doesn’t even work properly. You need to go back to the old search form where you could designate whether you wanted exact matches, soundex or miracode and the option of using wildcards such as an *.

    Now, if you do a search in the old form you get no results even though the individuals are in the various census (as an example) or birth, marriage or death records. The only way you can get to those records is if you accept less than five stars. This is ridiculous considering that there are over 20 exact matches that only rate 3 stars!!

    The results should be presented first in a summary screen the way the old search results were presented by Census, Birth, military, etc.

    Don’t mess with success! Bring back the old search exactly as it was before as well as the way that the results were presented!


  121. Adele Anderson

    I’ve already commented that I do not care for the new search, but the old search (preferred) has changed a bit too, I believe. That said . . .

    Whatever happened to the search form that upon typing a few letters of the individual’s name allowed the other information on that individual to pop into the form? I miss that form ability and find that not having it sort of discourages me from searching as readily as I once did.

    Since member connect seems to randomly pull similarly-named individuals into it, rather than specifically-named individuals, I would find it helpful to be able to go through 75 or so potential member connects by first ticking the ones I wish to ignore; then, globally ignoring them rather than having to click each one separately causing it to re-load the page and return in order to do the next one (a huge waste of time). I usually just wind up not examining each and marking the entire file ignored (too lazy? lack of patience? not a true genealogist? does it matter since I pay a yearly fee?)

  122. BEE

    Peggy, “OLD SEARCH” is still there in the upper right hand corner. If you are in “new search”, it says “old search”, and vice-versa.
    This morning, I was searching for a 1920 census for someone who was 12 years old at the time. When I went to “search historical records”, I happened to be in “new search”, so of course, after typing just a few letters of her name it brought up all of her information, including her married name, so the first document that came up with 4-1/2 stars, was for someone with her married name as her maiden name, which obviously, wasn’t the 12yr old girl I was looking for! Her name was Bertha M- this girl’s name was Katherine M – Bertha’s father’s name was John, Katherine’s father’s name was Charles J. Both girls were born in the same state, but two years apart.
    I switched over to “old search” and typed in Bertha’s name, year of birth and state – leaving out her last name entirely, because it was often misspelled, gave the names and birthplace of her parents, and luckily, the first document to show up was the 1920 census that I was looking for.
    I know it’s not always that easy, and I could have edited the “new search” but I’m much more comfortable with “old search”, and perfectly happy with it, so I always go back to it.
    Although this topic that was not that easy to comment on – since there was no “read more” button, it did generate many “comments”, and most voiced the same negative opinion about “new search”, so lets hope “they” understand that there are many of us who LIKE “old search”, want to see it stay, not have it ignored, and certainly not messed with!

  123. Pam Spooner

    You have rendered this site virtually useless with regard to the search function! So much garbage appears that the search results are unuseable. We need to be able to better filter the results (as in the “old search”). By entering a name, birth year & birth location, I get literally thousands of hits in almost every category! HELP!!!!

  124. Laura Dansbury


    Thanks for your comments and feedback. I understand that many of you value and are still using old search. The link to old search remains available at the top right of the search homepage located at

    For this update, we did not change the search forms in new or old search. We did not change the logic or the display of search results in new or old search. Exact works the same as it did before this release.

    #120 Jade: We are working on adding the ability to restrict searches to records about a location.

    For everyone who gave me feedback on the new look of the search homepage, navigation to category pages, recent searches & viewed collections, and the place pages, I appreciate it.


  125. Deloris

    As I’ve said for years now, I’m sticking with Old Search until I see NO COMPLAINTS on this blog. As much as I love Ancestry, it is their records that I’m interested in, and trying out all of these silly improvements only makes things more difficult. At least in Old Search, you do your Search, and you get Results that you can actually look at, without going through all the bells and whistles you guys keep adding. So, don’t ever get rid of Old Search, let us choose what we want to use.

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