Posted by Heather Erickson on September 16, 2010 in Website

We’re taking a short customer survey to get a better idea around your interested  in Irish roots and family history. Do you have Irish ancestry? If you have a keen interest in Irish family history then let us know your thoughts by completing our survey.

Click here to begin. It should only take up to 15 minutes to complete the survey.

Note: This survey has both multiple choice and fill in the blank questions that each need to be completed in order to go to the next question. On fill in the blank questions, you’ll need to click on the blue box to enter your answer before hitting the “Next” button.

Thanks for your input.


Please note that this survey is now closed. We appreciate everyone that took the time to take the survey and look forward to digging into the feedback you provided.

Heather Erickson

Heather Erickson is Head of Global Communications for and has been with the company since 2009.


  1. Jade

    Can’t take survey because never got the email link.

    Can’t restart survey because am redirected to so-called home page, which is a fairly rude way to shut out a respondent.

  2. Jeff Ford

    I can’t take the survey either. I tried with two different browsers, Safari v5.0.2 and Firefox v3.6.8, both for Mac. I got the same results as Jade did.

  3. Mary

    Can’t take the survey because there is no “Next” button to hit! I’ve tried several times. What a waste of my time – very frustrating.

  4. BobNY

    The most ironic part is that you have engaged a third party to administer this survey — a UK company called VALUED OPINIONS.

    I guess you don’t really value our opinions, since every attempt to reach the web survey is redirected to the home page.

    You guys are reaching new levels of incompetence. Do you ever test anything before you throw it against the wall to see what sticks?

  5. Ancestry has a tried and true way to do their own opinion surveys of their entire membership, yet for some reason refuse to use it.

    It is their Member Connect function!

    All they have to do is use it to send each member whatever survey they like- the member replies back thru the Member Connect and they have their results.

    Simple, quick, easy – and it is all done in-house with almost no expense. Where’s the down side?

  6. Jo

    Can’t take the survey, either.

    “We’re sorry but this survey is currently closed.

    If today’s date is later than the ‘available until’ date in your survey invitation then the survey is closed because it is no longer available.

    If today’s date is earlier than the ‘available until’ date in your survey invitation then the survey is closed for temporary maintenance. Please check back later by clicking on the link in the email.”

  7. Barbara

    I must be one of the few people who didn’t have any problem connecting to the survey and completing it. I’m using Internet Explorer. So many of the questions seem aimed toward the same kind of finding other people searching your tree and hints kind of approach that Ancestry seems so fond of currently. I only want real records.

  8. dannhill

    Your opening comment states it is a short survey, but only available for one day? How can you get a good response to base your next actions on?
    Just for the record, my grandparents came from the counties of Leitrim and Sligo and I would love to find out more.

  9. BobNY

    I don’t even think it was up for a day. Heather posted the notice at some unknown time on 16 September and by 9:36 pm Mystery Daylight Time, the survey was unreachable.

    I mean, really. The parent company of the research vendor, Research Now, Ltd, apparently takes its name seriously. If you don’t do it NOW, it’s gone forever.

    BTW, an update notice is a really user-unfriendly was to respond to 13 people who were prepared to take the survey and were summarily dismissed. If this is how Ms. Erickson manages social media, we are all going to be sorely disappointed.

  10. David Fox

    Heather if no one was able to get to your phantom survey what feed-back are you going to give us.

    I was looking forward to an Irish survey.

  11. Jade

    😉 Survey on Irish Ancestry Survey 😉

    1) Did you get to a page that said to continue the survey, click on the link in the email?

    2) Were you asked for an email address to send the link to?

    3) Were you logged in to or another Ancestry site at the time?

    4) Did you receive an email with link to continue the survey?

    5) If you received an email with link, how quickly was it in your mailbox after you landed on the page with the click-link-to-continue notification?

    6) Were there questions on the survey that you think got to the substance of the kind of research you would like to do?

    My responses:

    1) Yes
    2) No
    3) Yes
    4) No
    5) and 6) never got link or into actual survey

  12. Richard Hopkins

    I spent years searching for information on my G-G-Grandfather Robert McFarland because he was born in Ireland. But now, even though he was born in Ireland I find he is scottish..his mother and father were born in Scotland. And Scotland is not releasing records to aid in the search.

  13. Carol A. H.

    The blog was posted on Sep 16, closed on Sep 17.

    What ARE you doing!? The right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing!

  14. Bekko

    Like #1 Jade and others, this survey kept redirecting me to Ancestry’s homepage. However, if the questions were aimed towards hints and finding other people searching your tree, then my responses wouldn’t have pleased their PR/”user experience” people at all. Like #12 Barbara, I am only interested in the actual records.

    #18 Richard Hopkins

    “… and Scotland is not releasing records to aid in the search.”

    Releasing records to whom? Ancestry?

    Well, no, because Scotland’s BDMs, censuses, parish records, etc. have been released to an entirely different UK company.

  15. Jeanette Re: #21

    I seriously doubt the results will be made public since it was practically impossible to submit anything to the survey. Thus the answers would have been few and far between- not enough to be even remotely useful in any meaningful way.

  16. Jade

    Jeannette, #21 — is very unlikely to report results of such a survey. Barbara in #12 reports that it was mainly about tree stuff (that is, for marketing purposes). In the past they have stated that site users want this or that, based on surveys whose results they never report. Take it all with a bushel or two of salt.

  17. Ann J

    What was the point of having a survey that was open only one day? I didn’t find out about it until the 20th. But then it seems that many had problems even taking it — what a waste of resources for everyone.

  18. Virginia Dunham

    Hi Heather…

    Considering the number of comments posted here regarding your survey, I would have thought by now you would have offered an explanation…maybe even an apology for what appears to be a goof: a one-day survey??? and no warning of just how little time one had to participate???


  19. Laura Callero

    tried to take the survey several times …CLOSED! So,,,, what good does that do anyone? I have many comments about Irish and Scottish ancestry – yes, want documents to be available. More so with Scotland- there is nothing to see – they charge you “pay per view” and there are hardly any records on line because Scotland holds them all. The same for Ireland. I would love to see any records! Seems there are many of us in the same boat.

  20. Mary

    #28 “More so with Scotland- there is nothing to see – they charge you “pay per view” and there are hardly any records on line because Scotland holds them all.”

    Pay per view it might be, but at least you can actually see and download actual BMD, Wills and Census documents, etc.

    It’s a wonderful resource for Scottish research.

  21. Carol Watkins

    WHAT THE!!!!Is going on?????
    I never got an email about this either, would have loved to have been able to fill in the survey.
    OH yeah…..& I do have Irish roots,but not able to find much info!!!
    Would LOVE to see more records…..please.

  22. Helen

    I live in a country other than Ireland. I migrated from Ireland in 1972. The majority of my family and ancestors come from and live in Ireland. This is the area I am researching. I find it extremely difficult to source Irish records, information, historical references using Ancestry. Although I have the top Ancestry package the information for Ireland is extremely limited and what is available if difficult to find. I hope that Ancestry will improve dramatically in the area.

  23. Gil Aguirre

    I’m not Irish but my roots are also from a country that would have very little information on. As such, I dont see a lot of value signing up and paying $25 a month for the service.

    Personally, i think ancestry should re-think its pricing strategy and follow the facebook model. I dont mean give it for free but make it cheap enough to allow people from all over the world to jump into the band wagon if only to broaden its database. For like family trees and roots which could come from any country, there should be no boundaries to joining

  24. There is nothing stopping anyone anywhere from either doing a family tree and attaching scans of documents to it or posting to the surname message boards and attaching scans of documents. Either would help increase the amount of documents available to other researchers… and all that can be done for free.

    Genealogy, as the old timers will tell you, has never been a particularly cheap hobby

  25. Steve Jones

    I would have loved to have had a chance to take this survey as I have Irish Ancestors – Why were we not told about it before it closed?

  26. Jade

    Steve #35, “Why were we not told about it before it closed?”

    Well the survey obviously was open for some period of time after announcement on the blog. Whether for 30 minutes, 2 hours or a bit longer I could not guess.

    Was it announced on Facebook? Or to tweet followers?

  27. cts166

    If you are really interested in getting good feedback from people, you need to:

    1. Make the survey available with working links.
    2. Make it available for a reasonable period of time.
    3. Give people notice that it is available.

    This seems more like you are trying to determine which of your teasers people are reading rather than based on a real interest of what they have to input about Irish genealogy.

  28. Jade

    cts166, your #39, what you say is common sense that the folks who wanted the survey results would be well aware of.

    It appears that there was at least a problem with the survey code as posted, and possibly some problem with the questions asked. The present blog announcement initiator probably had no control over either.

  29. BobNY

    RE: #40

    Even if the blog announcement initiator had no control over these assumed events, she still owed the community a response — even if it was only to say she had no control over the events. According to her bio blurb, she “enjoys providing updates around the many things happening at the company.” Well, we are waiting

    Someone decided to hire a UK company to do this survey and then have a US person put out the announcement — dumb. Very typical of ACOM that not only does the left hand not know what the right hand is doing, but sometimes is stepping on the left hand in an attempt to get out of the line of fire.

    There are still issues with the search and content people working in their little silos and continually passing off a problem as belonging to the other.

  30. Virginia Dunham

    This blog will close September 30th…so Heather still has an opportunity to sign in and address the issues raised in the various comments posted above.

    My kudos to those Ancestry employees who follow up on their blogs…especially those who have often stepped up to the plate to acknowledge errors.

    Guess I find it very difficult for a “Sr. PR Manager” ignoring an obivous survey problem. Maybe I am wrong…but I am assuming “PR” refers to Public Relations???? Oh, well…explains a lot regarding how Ancestry often disregards customer complaints, etc.


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