Posted by jhodnett on August 23, 2010 in Website
The Family Tree Service will undergo scheduled maintenance Wednesday for about 3 hours beginning at 12:01 AM Mountain Time. (6:01 AM GMT, 2:01 AM Eastern, 1:01 AM Central, 11:01 PM Pacific) 

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


  1. Mary Beth Marchant

    I do hope this date is right and not messed up as it was the last time maintenance was announced. If everyone remembers, the day was completely messed up last time. Can we bank on this one this time?

  2. beth

    Thanks for the 2 day notice this time. Good idea. I hope this “maintenance” will fix the over-writing on the trees for the last several days, along with problems in the messages section.

  3. i’m an newbie, and welcome any positive feedback and leads. i will be signing-off in about 15 minutes; it’s 3:30pmPST. anyone free to blog back/forth w/ me now? Later? Love, Jewelz

  4. Wendi

    I keep getting the message below when clicking the leaves in Family Tree Maker, will the maintenance help with this issue? I’ve noticed this for the past few days.

    “Check Back Soon
    We’re sorry but is temporarily unavailable. We are undergoing routine maintenance or we may be experiencing unexpected technical problems. We apologize for the inconvenience and ask for your patience as we work to correct the situation. Check back with us shortly.”

  5. Arlene

    I’ve also been getting the same “Check Back Soon” message described by Wendi above randomly for the past few days. What’s causing that? I sure hope it will be fixed ASAP.

  6. Bob

    The temporarily unavailable message started a.m. on Saturday 21 August I think. As of today (10am BST) 24 August the problem still persists – So no availability for about 4 days which makes a bit of a mockery of the message “Check back soon”.
    Can someone please give us an update regarding this problem and the likely resumption of this service.

  7. BEE

    “Review Hints”, hit cancel, and nothing happens, so I have to go back to the drop down to go back to tree. Hope this will be part of “Family Tree Maintenance”

  8. Chris

    #7, 8, 9

    The “check back soon” error message when attempting to review hints through Family Tree Maker is a known issue and has been reported to technical support.

    A possible temporary solution would be to clear the browser cache and cookies in Internet Explorer. The following link (from the Ancestry help section) explains how to do this:

    Be sure to do this in Internet Explorer and not another browser, as Family Tree Maker utilizes this specific program.

    Hope this helps!

  9. Ruby Coleman

    Last I looked at my calendar it’s Tuesday August 24th and has been down on my computer all morning. Frustrating, especially when they tell us Wednesday and it’s Tuesday.

    • Jen Hodnett

      We haven’t begun the maintenance, which is scheduled to begin late tonight/early tomorrow (depending on your time zone) so if you’re having an issue with the site you should contact our member services department by emailing

  10. thank you for the date/time/zone notice.
    hope you’ll be taking care of the mis-alignment of the Member Connect panel.
    g’day all~~

  11. Scott Kendall

    I am having the same “error message” as the other users. I am the administrator of several DNA studies and can not access the DNA portion of the website.

    Clearing the cache, history and cookies DOES NOT help.

  12. Kathleen Turner

    Help!! For some weird reason, after I entered my initial information (my info, my mother and my father) it saved me as Kati Buck – I do not know this person. Not sure how this happened but my info is no longer available to me. How can we fix this? Thanks!

  13. Steve Schneider

    Sure would be nice to have an announcement of scheduled maintenance in a prominent place, like the homepage, guys. I’ve been sitting here for the past half-hour reloading wondering when you were going to be done bouncing your servers or whatever. I should NOT have to come to your blog to find this information. I PAY FOR THIS SERVICE. This isn’t Google Maps or Twitter or Blogger or some brochureware site. People PAY to use the services you offer here.

    Sure, scheduled maintenance happens. But don’t just tell us ahead of time; tell us PROMINENTLY. I’m not impressed, at all.

  14. cweston57

    I was searching records on an ancestor & went to use the “return to ….” button & am getting the names put in there that are not in my tree. It does take me back to the person I’m researching, but the names (twice so far) are no one connected to any of my trees.

  15. Sean

    I am getting the “come back soon.” Error messages this morning, while trying to do searches from family tree maker 2010. I repeatedly got the same message yesterday morning, and finally gave up. I read about your “scheduled maintenance”. While you gave the starting time, you did not give the estimated time it would take. Are we still in the “scheduled maintenance” window at 9:17 AM? And yesterday, was that also within the “scheduled maintenance” time window?

  16. Ellen Dallton

    I am surprised that people are so rude. Sorry -Cusomer service you have always been there for me.I appreciate your hard work

  17. Mary Ruth Armfield Andrews

    YIKES!!!! I was still working on my tree when went off-line. Now I cannot find ALL of the work that I spent abt. 4 hours doing last night! Please help…is there anything that I or you can do to get my tree back???

  18. Kevin

    I have had NONE of the issues that everyone is complaining about. I have been accessing via FTM 2010 every evening for several hours (into the wee hours, sometimes) and everything has been working great!

    Thank you Ancestry


  19. Susan Black

    how would you look up a commemorative plaque that is like a monument at the side of the road, land marker or territory, dedicated to folks sometimes and describes certain events or people or what took place at that location. What would you call these informative mile markers and can we look them up, just browsing photos like cemetery photos does not show any. Thank you for your attention to this question. Susan

  20. Chris

    The site is up and running. If anyone is having an issue trying to access, clear your browser’s temporary internet files and cookies.

    The following link (from the Ancestry help section) explains how to do this:

    If you use Internet Explorer and you have set as one of your favorites (bookmarked), BE SURE to uncheck the box “Preserve favorites website data”, otherwise, when you clear the cache and cookies, it will leave unaffected.


  21. BEE

    Hi Chris, thank you for the good information which I always follow, but how about those of us who use Firefox?

  22. Chris

    # 27 BEE

    The link I posted before also includes instructions for Firefox. To clear the browser cache and cookies, go to your TOOLS menu and select CLEAR RECENT HISTORY. In the window that comes up, change the time range to clear to EVERYTHING and then click CLEAR NOW. That should resolve most issues that come up when using

    Hope that helps! 🙂


  23. Roxy

    Since yesterday when I go from either the list of names or the femily tree and follow the hints I don’t see the “return to tree” button to get back and move on to the next name I end up having to go to the home page and start all over each time with each and every name. is this part of the “fix-it” time? Hope so cause it is annoying and very time consuming. Otherwise it’s been great

  24. Paul R

    In the past when you accessed the hints for a person and you review that hint and then save to your tree it took you back to where you were before the hint and there was a RETURN TO TREE button if you were working on trees. If you were in Family Tree you went back to it. If you were in Profile you then returned to Profile. With this new update, that is changed. Now when you save, it then takes you automatically to Profiles even if that is not where you were. This means that it can now take several minutes to get back to where you where working when you added the hint. What a waste of time!

    They took out the RETURN TO TREE button and now after each hint save you have to start over again and figure out where you were before the save.

    This is not a fix — it is a bad move!

    • Jen Hodnett

      We’ve been able to identify the bug that caused the flows to change and we’re fixing the issue as quickly as possible. The correct flow is to return you to your hints list page after reviewing a hint not to land on the person’s profile page.

  25. Paul R

    Another change: If you are working on several hints for a person the new update now directs you back to the person’s profile after each Hint Save. In the past it returned you to the list of hints that you were working on. The old way was much better. The new update merely slows you down if you are working on hints.

  26. Roxy

    Ok, buttons’ back-thank you I retract my complaint-glad it wasn’t a permanent change! I got hundreds to go thru and it just makes it so much easier.

  27. Carol

    I’m having the same problem as Paul R in comment 32. It’s such a waste of time to keep going back to the profile and having to “open” the hints section again and again. What’s up with that?

  28. BEE

    I put this on another post, but I think I’ll add it here, although it’s off topic.
    I’ve written about this on other blogs, and also corresponded directly to – “Thank you for your error reports. The problems have been reported to our developers and hopefully will be corrected “shortly”. Feedback from you, our valued customer, helps us correct errors and improve the website. Your patience and efforts to assist us in this matter are appreciated.”
    I just wish I remembered how many YEARS ago I first asked about the World War I Draft Registration Card on a roll from Pittsburgh PA where the image was blank. Since that time, I’ve found at least two others.
    This latest image would hopefully verify that later information I found for a man named “Andrew” was the same person who was originally named “Adolph”.
    THAT’S the kind of “maintenance” I’d like to see!

  29. Carol

    Unfortunately I have too much time and effort invested in to simply cancel my subscription in response to the repeated and useless “thank you for your error reports” responses. I have decided, however, to mark all of my trees “Private” unless and until the people at actually start to respond to these complaints (and by respond I mean give us back the functionality we once enjoyed with the program). Our public trees are of value to Maybe if we all deny them of that value, they’ll start to take notice of their existing customers instead of focusing so much energy on recruiting new ones, all the while messing up what was once a good search engine.

  30. I just noticed~~~ you took away PeopleWhoSavedThisRecord from the Member Connect panel when you’re looking at a record image.

    quoted from ancestry’s blog from a week or so ago, “We show you other members who have saved the record you’re viewing to their tree so that you can check out their research and contact them.” prior to this maintenance effort, there WAS a clickable link directly to the saved person’s Overview page.

    I realize you have now provided a section ResearchInterest, showing all the researchers, but the clickable link is gone and i would have to go thru several cumbersome steps via the researcher’s profile page tree and search for the person. And if a researcher has more than one tree, it’s practically impossible to target the correct tree to locate the person’s Overview page. Betcha your programmer’s didn’t think of this scenario.

    gee, and because it was working so well, you had to change it so it doesn’t work as well now ***sigh***

  31. Baker Re: #39

    I use Firefox 3.6.8 and still see the right sidebar that includes the “People who saved this record” info right below the “Leave a Comment Link”.

    What browser are you using?

    If you use this link what do you see?

    Are we talking about the same thing?

  32. Robert Sartor

    Jen Curry Hodnett: In answer to your plea for the Curry’s of Missouri, my mother was a Curry. I have access to a book “The Currys Since The Civil War”, if Iknew which Curry Branch you were looking for in particler Iwould be glad to help. Also look at Sguire Boone, father of Daniel Boone, one of his daughter’s married a Curry and lived in the St. Louis area where Daniel died.

  33. BEE

    What in the world is going on? I’m again searching for one of those families with a name that is mispronounced, misspelled, and always difficult to find, even with all the things on “new search” – I went to “old search”, and the box and return to button keeps showing strange names totally unrelated to my tree! I cleared all my history, etc but it persists!

  34. BEE

    World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 Record for Pittsburgh, Allegheny County – names and documents are not matching!

  35. 40 thank you Andy! i use Firefox on a Mac
    before i posted last i double-checked ev’thing couldn’t locate the dropdown arrow to expand.
    so i powered off last night, and today i was able to view the segment “People who saved this record” now i’m clicking the drop-down and watching it expand and collapse yaaay
    so sorry for false alarm i’m usually on top of things but that got past me somehow.
    yaaay i’m a happy camper again 😉

    42 & 43 Bee, the difficulties you are explaining–
    we’ve all had those situations. just keep plowing thru research and decipher data as it is uncovered.
    Some ppl i have located by searching without using a last name at all. Most records have a link it doesn’t hurt to click on ReportProblem. best wishes~~

  36. Barb

    I just found out you’ve completed maintenance on the site. There are so many things wrong, I probably won’t remember all of them! I previous saved several relations WWII draft cards…you know the “ACTUAL” card. Now, my father’s card is gone. It is no longer attached to his record and does not come up when I search. I have done several searches in that portion of the database and it looks like most of them are gone. I see that what you now have posted regarding this database is “This database is an indexed collection of the draft cards from the Fourth Registration, the only registration currently available to the public (the other registrations are not available due to privacy laws). The Fourth Registration, often referred to as the “old man’s registration”, was conducted on 27 April 1942. The records include name of registrant, age, birth date, birthplace, residence, employer information, and physical description.” Why didn’t you inform your customers of this change?

    I also noticed that the “Alabama Marriage Records” have a problem. It says they are “Marriage” records and the little thumbnail looks like a marriage book scan…then you click on it and death records come up…

    Also, I went into my profile to update it. I tried several times to update it….I tried a couple of different ways to update it….IT WILL NOT UPDATE.

    I am sure that the more time your customer’s have to check out the changes after this latest “MAINTENANCE” you will have more complaints and more things to fix than those I just mentioned.

  37. Deanna

    It is now Aug. 30th and I am still unable to connect to through my Family Tree Maker 2010. Whenever I click on a leaf in Family Tree Maker, all I get is ‘check back soon’ scheduled maintenance go on. I thought it was only suppose to be on Aug. 25th for 3 hours. Please fix, as this is very frustrating. Thanks.

  38. Barb Re: # 45

    Although it won’t help you much in the present circumstances, I’d suggest to anyone that anytime they find a record or image that they are going to attach to their tree they also download and save that record or image to their hard drive.

    Yes, it takes a bit more time.
    Yes, it takes up room on your hard drive- unless transferred to a Cd/DVR or external hard drive.

    The advantage is that you always have a copy- no matter what happens to Ancestry or any of the databases.

    Do not depend on saving anything to your shoebox as that does *not* save the record or image- it only saves a link to it and is worthless if Ancestry removes the database because then the link goes nowhere.

  39. BEE

    Baker #44 – thanks for the advice. Hopefully, that “bug” has been exterminated?
    Too bad it didn’t cure the issues with other Pennsylvania documents that have had a problem for years!
    Yes, sometimes the only way to find someone is with just a first name, but at the moment, I’m searching a whole Ward in Pittsburgh, PA, because even searching for each name in the family hasn’t turned up a thing.
    Unfortunately, the districts in that Ward jump from 584 to 586, so they were probably living in District 585? Of course!

  40. Roxy

    So many strange things happening since your last”maintenance”. For the last couple days I have not been able to get the photos and stories hints for my tree. It says they are there but they do not show up on my hints list hope this “bug gets worked out soon things disappearing and such really makes me feel like I’m wasting my time and this is too important to me.

  41. Phyllis Figarelle

    I have been trying to add people to my son’s fathers side of the family as I came across quite a few of them, but nothing happens when I add them. It says the addition has been successful, but it isn’t. I hope this is just a temporary glitch.

  42. Denice Richeson

    Same problem as #51. I have tried to “edit” profiles without success – will not proceed past the “save” screen. Also tried to start a “new” family tree and it didn’t show up/save. Tried to add census info to an individual and although it said the addition was successful – not there when you check the person’s profile.

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