Posted by Web Operations on June 30, 2011 in Site Issues, Website

We are experiencing some temporary site problems with our search functionality. We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause. Our development and web operations teams are working on the problem and we will have it resolved as quickly as possible.  Thank you for your patience.

UPDATE AS OF JUNE, 30, 2011 AT 5:00 PM MT/7:00 PM ET/12:00 AM BST

We are pleased to inform everyone that we have restored the majority of the search functionality.  Our teams are continuing to work toward ensuring that you’ll be able to use the site’s search functionality without any issues. Again, we apologize for any inconvenience this might have caused and truly appreciate your patience through this situation.

UPDATE AS OF JUNE, 30, 2011 AT 5:25 PM MT/7:25 PM ET/12:25 AM BST

The temporary site problem we experienced earlier has now been resolved.  Your patience was truly appreciated as we worked through this issue. Thank you and happy searching!


  1. Kevin Long

    It would be helpful if you added the time to all of your posts. That way we could know how recent the post was — in this case, about the outage today.

    In addition, it would be helpful if such outage posts could be shown on our home page and/or pop up whereever we are to let us know something is amiss.

    I did suspect that it was an ancestry problem but, none the less, I closed every app I had open and rebooted. I could have avoided this if I had received some message from you.

    Cheers, nonetheless, for a great product.

  2. Joni Rabena

    Date: June 30, 2011

    Time: 3:19 pm

    This is what I am showing right now:

    Oops! Internet Explorer could not connect to
    Other users are also experiencing difficulties connecting to this site, so you may have to wait a few minutes.

    Try reloading the page
    Go to ancestry.­com
    Search on Google:

  3. I agree with Kevin. I have spent the last 2 hours messing with my internet/firewalls/anti-virus programs. I work thru Family Tree Maker and did not think to go to to look at this blog for several hours.

  4. In addition to Kevin’s suggestions, it would also be helpful if temporary problems with the site would be posted through popular social media outlets, such as Twitter and Facebook, in a more timely manner. Further, answering tweets and Facebook updates concerning customer issues and outages would be nice.

    Caroline Pointer

  5. Jade

    #2 Kevin, I agree with your point about posting time. The blog post appeared more than 3 hours after onset of problems (the message boards, which are back up).

  6. Kim Adams-Plehal

    Ancestry, honey – don’t be thanking me… I ran out of patience with this about two hours ago! >:|

  7. Sharon Galvan

    I paid $166.00 on June 19th, 2011 and the system keeps telling me I have to order some other system to do searches. I called the 800-ancestry and that is not a phone number. What the heck is going on? I want an extension and some help here. NOW!!!!

  8. Bonnie

    After being frustrated, I jumped over to and found a handful of things I hadn’t found before. So thanks for the kick….

  9. James

    This is just not my day! First, I get an email from my genealogy software provider after requesting assistance on a problem I am having generating reports. Even after sending them a backup file, gedcom file, PDF files of my reports, and an extensive explanation which included jpeg files of my settings, they “can’t duplicate the problem”. (I’ve gotten this explanation before from them.) Then, I find out that the Ancestry site has gone bonkers again. FANTASTIC! I am now sitting here awaiting the asteroid to hit.

  10. Jerry Lee Taylor

    At aprox. 230 pm we attempted to do a tree search but could not be processed by domain connection.

    Again at 515 pm we attempted this again but was again refused.

    Everything else was functioning each time!

  11. Betty J Schmidt

    You have me locked out period. I have subscribed with you for years. I sure don’t intend on being off line all weekend. What is wrong?

  12. Betty J Schmidt

    You have me locked out period. I have subscribed with you for years. I sure don’t intend on being off line all weekend. What is wrong? I can’t even put in my name and get to my site.

  13. Susan

    My biggest frustration is the lack of information you are willing to share with us. What does “as soon as possible” mean? A few more hours? All night? All weekend? You must certainly have some idea about the extent of the problem and some estimate of how long it will take to fix it. If your estimate turns out to be incorrect, then just tell us that you had hoped to have the situation corrected, but now it appears that it will take longer. We pay for your services. I feel that you should respect us enough as customers to keep us informed. Your silence is frustrating.

  14. Just Me

    I’ve been unable to bring the page up in Internet Explorer for over 6 hours.

    Perhaps this has something to do with the Windows Update that Microsoft shoved down our throats today? Anyone else have the same symptoms?

    I am able able to bring the main page up using AOL… however, I can’t sign on to at all… it just keeps trying with no logon result.

    I can access the Ancestry Community bulletin boards for reading.

    I did a search from the main page and could see search results, but couldn’t look at the records because I’m not logged in.

    The rest of the Internet is fine… the problem I’m having is just with

  15. Parts are working. Not all info available comes up. Partialy still down for those of us working thru Family Treemaker2011. But they now have this notice whenever you try to add info thru up to show you it’s not working.

    ‘We are experiencing some temporary site problems with our search functionality. We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause. Our development and web operations teams are working on the problem and we will have it resolved as quickly as possible. Thank you for your patience.’

    This feature would have saved some of us hours trying to figure out wht our computers were not working right! Thanks! It;s what we asked for earlier today.

  16. beth

    Hi Just Me,
    It ain’t just you. I hate those darn updates from Windows! They always screw something up. They crash the computer, lose bookmarks, logons/passwords, etc.

    Additionally, the Ancestry site and IE are NOT COMPATIBLE. IE continually shuts down saying “there is a problem with this webpage and Windows is closing this tab”. That never happens on ANY website but

    I don’t know when todays problem started. I logged in okay but the search function in the upper right of a persons profile just spins and spins without any results. If there are no records for that person, it is still not to show spinning and spinning as if searching for something that never gets found!

    Well, there were several good months of research until this latest GLITCH came about.

    Maybe the Ancestry techies and those from IE should meet somewhere for a retreat.

  17. Cindy

    It is 8:30PM eastern time for me and I have not been able to get on the site at all from any computer. It really doesn’t do anything but go back to my homepage.

  18. Cindy

    Just tried again and got on from the link on this page. Hopefully will work again. Good luck to all.

  19. xandervan

    Jade #8 – curious if you actually tried during this problem with “search functionality”. If it was just the search scripting/programming that had the problem, the main site would have been up and downforeveryone would have reported a false positive. No?

  20. Daryl Johanson

    You guys rock, that’s all there is to it. I am thoroughly happy with all the behind the scenes work you do.

  21. lou brummitt

    I could not sign on ancestry because they say someone is logged on another computer. I only have one computer. Would my problem be, because of all the above?

  22. Diana

    Don’t know about the problems that have been exxperienced, but logged in today to see we’d have it free until the 4th of this month.. Is this just for paying customers? When I search a family member, it takes me right to the payment page. I haven’t been a paid subscriber in over a year, but it doesn’t mean I don’t do my share of the work AS THE SUBSCRIBERS DO, AND SHOULD ENJOY WHAT THE SUBSRIBERS GET AS WELL.. What would be the difference be if I were to sit at home to work on my tree, or to sit at my local library to find the same thing.I submit my family photos, and other family info on here just like the subscribers do, and I feel I should be rewarded the headaches the subscribers get, and enjoy when its free as well. I’m almost sure that I’m not the only Non Subscriber who would think it..

  23. Sue

    I am still having problems with searches….is anyone else? I get routed back to my home page or just get stuck and have to “end program”.

  24. Mary Runyon

    I have found many problems with Internet Explorer 8. If I really want to get anything done online I go to Firefox, much faster and rarely any problems. I did not experience much trouble when your site was having the problem.
    Enjoy the genie experience most every day.

  25. Jade

    #26 xandervan, there is no link to “search engine” to tell if it is working (at least for us customers). I tested a couple of database URLs (sites down) and was unable to search from tree.

    Whether the storing servers or the search engine(s) were the malfunction issues was more information than needed. Using the test site told me that it was a site malfunction rather than home computer malfunction.

    Earlier when the Message Boards server(s) were down I tried the URLs for a few with same ‘site down’ result for them – but search and databases were still available.

    Seldom has the whole site been down, but in that case the URL test showed when that has been true.

  26. I understand there will be problems from time to time. Users must accept that fact.

    I have not been able to download any of the Census pages for Tennessee, of which my research is centered. I have not received any notification that the actual census pages can not be downloaded. Is there a problem with your program or should I look further at my own system.

  27. momvera

    I like Apple computers because reporting hackers or site problems is so much easier. They have a drop down on the menu bar that report bugs which you can do after checking the source to see if matches the site. Our computers get hacked rather regularly. So many have no idea that trespass is against the law. if human law does not act on it, God promises he will. It is why humanity still exists. Don’t let hurdles stop you from enjoying this huge collection of our ancestors imprints on Earth.

  28. Donald Gryniewski

    When ever I have attempted to log on your website,I get redirected throught about 5 or 6 websites,then get connected to something that is labeled Ancestry,just now recieved a message that someone else was logged on my tree,from a different computer,and that I would have to wait 30min to log on to Ancestry. I’ve been having a great difficulty uploading documents,and in fact,some of the information that I have on my site has dissapeared completely,or has been replaced. Is it me or what.This thing,I think,rides on the back of the redirected log on attempts. Your website provides a huge amount of detailed information that is perfect for someone who want’s to creat a false identity,names,dates,pictures,identifications,military information. This is very frustrating,and time consuming. I have a logon password for your site,but connecting hasn’t required it,why? are these sites safe?

  29. I used Firefox as my browser,the first time,then switched to windows explorer,just now and the same redirect occured,went to website called dancing,then a website with various accounts including I redirect to ancestry by hitting the page back arrow repidly,then try again until I’m able to get to your site,however,when I tried to log in with my logon,and my password,recieved a message that my passwrd or user name wasn’t recognized,tried 3x, Recieved message the someone was logged unto my account from a different computer,No one else has my account information,it has not been shared with anyone.

  30. Chareen Valentine

    I have been having the searches come up with Information going to the wrong person. Such info for “John Smith” will be directed as info for his parents. Does this make sense? Is there a problem with the program that anyone knows about? Maybe it will fix itself but in the meantime I know and the green leaf is wrong. All of them have done this. Thanks in advance for any comments or help

  31. pamela18335

    I have not experienced any of the problems I’ve seen mentioned in the above comments. Perhaps it’s because I’ve bookmarked my family tree page and go there directly from the bookmark, rather than logging in through ancestry? The other thing is that I use Firefox and almost never have a problem with that browser.

  32. Perryman

    family tree will not let me start it ,ie. can not add any information to start it at all.:(

  33. jeannie

    I have been having similar problems in that I have to repeatedly login before I can actually start work. I am taken to the new member page where I click onto “my account”. When it recognizes I have the whole package, only then can I begin.

    Also, is it my imagination, or are we back to the “old” search method from years ago?

  34. S. Halvorson

    I have tried several times to work on my tree to no avail. My problems started with your last system’s improvement and the fact that after accessing my hints, reveiwing them they never went away. The trees went off line 3 days ago, and still I can’t work with my tree. I paid a year in advance, and I want 3 days credit for the lack of service, as I should have with each time you crash. Maybe you are just doing too much, with your site, and need to have 24 hr/7 day a week maintence. I find that Sunday evening it is near impossible to work on the trees.Tell me why I should have to work in the dead of night to get my service,11pm to 9am Alaska time. It just boggs to a crawl most of the time.

  35. Jack Totah

    Search is still not working right. I put in a name to search on and the males with that name show up but the females don’t. That is put in “Lee Crane” but if Lee Crane is a female then her children in the TX Birth Index whose last name is Watson don’t show up like they should.

  36. Elvira

    I haven’t been able to print using “My Canvas” for a certain image, though I was able to print another record. I have tried for a week now (since June 29th). I don’t like paying $30 a month and not getting results. Please fix this problem with “My Canvas”.

  37. Jack Re: #46

    Using NewSearch global I used:
    Surname: Watson
    Mother: Lee Crane

    On the results page the top three are:
    Leellyn Gayle-1936
    LLewellyn Dale-1936 (twins)
    Harland Andrew-1939

    OldSearch gave the exact same results.

    Exactly how are you searching?

  38. Susan Williams

    I prefer the old style search – how can I get it back? There used to be a place to click to go to old search but this seems to have disappeared

  39. Susan Re: # 50

    Click the Search tab in the main menu bar and in the top right hand corner in small print is a link that says “Go to Old Search”.

  40. Carolyn Haas

    Why do I have to upgrade (pay more) to see sites in Europe? I think I’m paying enough already!

  41. stephanie wilson

    I am having trouble downloading items to a particular family tree. I have 3 trees here and seem to only be able to download into one. All three come up, I click on the name of the tree I want, and the wrong one comes up, only one, the same one. None of the other two. Help….

  42. Carolyn Re: # 52

    That is the way Ancestry has structured their fee schedules. Your choice or not as to what records you pay to see.

    Why should I pay for a world subscription if I only want US Records? That is exactly what I would be doing if your system were in place.

  43. Nels Christopherson

    Free over 4th of July weekend. HA HA

    I filled out things in good faith.

    Then suddenly I needed to “JOIN FOR FREE TRIAL….”

    Why do I feel I was scammed into something when the offer said “Free over 4th of July weekend.” But you first have to now sign up for a membership.

    Why not just let us literally try it out

  44. Julie

    Nels: #56

    The same thing happened to me.
    So then I paid the subcription price, deluxe membership and find myself still not being able to access the things I want. Sons of the Revolution link, I click that and put in family name, it takes me back to front page, I have to relog in and/or JOIN FOR FREE TRIAL.
    I have tried since Thursday and keep getting kicked off.
    Very frustrated since I even bought the membership.

  45. tracy

    I, too was suckered in to looking for ancesters, but alas I was asked to subscribe, this is neither free nor nice!! I dont have time to play your games. I can go to the library and look for free.

  46. Pat Secord

    In looking back at some of these comments (which have nothing to do with the original blog), I’m wondering what in the world makes some of you think that everything should be for free? You’re right #58 – you can go look up a lot of stuff for free. But that’s the point; has already done most of the work for you. I know isn’t perfect, but the volumns of documents and info I’ve found (without haveing to leave my house) far outweigh the occasional problems.

  47. BEE

    I know the topic of old search/new search has been discussed many times, but since it was mentioned above, I have to once more voice my opinion.
    The other day, I was searching for an early census – 1870 or 1880. The surname could be written many ways, so luckily, one of the many children had an unusual given name. I tried “new search”, but to me, it’s so cluttered, and needs so much extra work – change this, change that, or the list brings up information from England!
    With “old search”, I searched by just the given name, place and date of birth. Luckily the family was still living in the same state. A list of that census year brought up everyone in the state by that name – a nice neat list on a white background.
    I quickly found what I was looking for, even though the given name was spelled incorrectly – the surname had a letter missing, and the “wild card” doesn’t always work for me.
    This was an important find for this family, as the ages on the next census were off for the parents and older children by as much as 5 years, as often happened.
    I’m not saying this works every time – if a document isn’t there, nothing you do will find it, but why in the world “they” ever went with that new search is beyond me.
    I avoid it as much as possible.

  48. Brenda F. Wahlig

    The problem I had was not in logging on, but in adding information to my trees. I found several family members I had been searching for but could not update my personal tree with their information.

  49. jett

    I was trying to sign up for the free trial using my paypal acct & it says to click on “place order” but there is no link that says “place order”. There is a button that says “start free trial” but when i click on it, it changes color, but does nothing….

  50. willbenow

    I have been having a problem for a couple years with a pink box that comes up near the bottom of the search page(after results) that states ****DUE TO CURRENT TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES ONLY PARTIAL SEARCH RESULTS ARE SHOWN ABOVE. PLEASE TRY YOUR SEARCH AGAIN LATER!!!!!!! DURING MY LAST CALL I ASKED HOW I WOULD TELL WHICH OF THE TOUSANDS OF THE RESULTS CAME UP AND WHICH DID NOT????? AFTER A COUPLE YEARS OF THIS and now all the new issues I am having, I AM CONSIDERING NOT REPAYING MY MEMBERSHIP WHEN IT IS UP AND JUST USING (fantastic free information) over 10 year member.

  51. Greg

    When can we expect an Android version of the Ancestry App? We’ve been waiting for months now! 🙂

  52. Pat Davies

    Is anyone else having trouble searching the 1861 UK census for York St George? I have been trying for weeks now to view the original image of a York St George resident but continue to get the image for St Dennis. I reported the problem to Ancestry and was told that they had other problems which affected a very large number of people, and would get around to fixing this problem eventually. Just wondering if others were experiencing the same problem.

  53. Caroline Watt

    Guess there is another problem as have to type in my user name and password for nearly every search. Have given up for tonight/ morning and hope maybe later the problem may be solved:(

  54. Becky Warren

    I’m having trouble with words writing on top of one another as well as not being able to select which matches I want to keep when reviewing a hint. There are no blocks to the left of the name of the genealogy group so I can place a check. In addition, the “Save” button is not blocked in color,which makes it difficult to know for sure if the selected items can be saved. I am also having to log in A LOT. Previously, my log-in was saved as long as I was using the same computer. In general I have always been able to depend on this website to run smoothly, have images load quickly, and be a real pleasure to research. These little aggravating problems make me reconsider renewing. Too much money to be paid and not getting the service I expect.

  55. Lester Hale

    I have not been able to search for days.
    I log in, go to search Census or other and the whole site closes. Will Ancestry give members a couple of Free weeks to make up for lost time?

  56. Cheryl

    I use AOL and cannot sign in using my username and password, it just returns me to the sign in sheet. Ancestry told me to clear out my history, cookies etc. which I did but nothing works, this has been two weeks now, does anyone else have any ideas please

  57. Courtnee Mulroy

    Search is still messed up. I type in Mulroy and get Miller results which isnt even close, maybe a few other variations like Mulrey and if I am lucky what I actually searched for may show up at the end of all that.

  58. Madeleine LaRose

    Your posting states that “all” problems have been resolved as of June 30th. Well, I have to report that from my perspective they still aren’t resolved. I start a search and then cannot move to the next page. I had one search going and had spent weeks reviewing entries from the Drouin collection, 1,991 pages!, and now I can’t get back to that page!!!!!!! Grrrrrrrrrrr! I still had many more pages to go through. I started a new search, back to square one, and tonight I again am unable to move forward to the next page. Really, I think at least you could post a message on the login page that lets us know that there are problems and how soon we can expect them to be resolved.

  59. Madeleine LaRose

    Oh, and by the way,I have the same problem that Courtney Mulroy has. And my final comment: 72 POSTS ON THIS TOPIC!!!!!!! IS ANYONE LISTENING?

  60. BEE

    Madeleine, believe it or not, someone does read our comments and “complaints”, as I have actually received a personal email now and then with helpful suggestions, especially encouraging me to use “new search”.
    I keep trying, but I still like “old search” better, although some strange things have been happening with it this past week. When I clicked on “Census and Voter Lists” a whole bunch of unrelated things came up, and “See More” was even worse.
    Looks like “they” are paying less and less attention to “old search” no matter how much some of us prefer it.
    Hopefully, all these other “weird” things mentioned above have been corrected!

  61. David H. Calk

    I have for many years used the OLD SEARCH function
    and have found recently that the search is no longer complete. When I search for births by name only that actual birth shows up. Previously that
    search would display even if that person searched were one of the parents rather than the actual birth person. Not near as valuable a tool as it once was. Will it remain this way or return to the more complete search ?????????
    Even the NEW SEARCH function does not display the information as it once was.

  62. For those who missed it…

    This thread link below will explain what is happening with NewSearch.

    Ancestry is engaging in a system wide test and it seems all who use NewSearch are part of that test.

    Please read the entire thread to understand exactly what is happening and what ramifications it has on your searches. If you have questions please post them to that thread.

  63. BEE

    David, it’s my understanding that “old search” is no longer being supported – not quite sure exactly what that means, but it seems to be a dirty word with “them” – as “they” try to wean us away from it to “new search” so that it can eventually be dropped?
    I just read through the 47 posts on the board Andy posted the link to – my head is spinning!
    I sometimes feel like I’ve been tossed into a foreign country, and everyone is speaking a language that I’ll never learn, because it keeps changing!
    I’m just glad I started all my trees during the past 8 years and worked diligently on them to find as much information as possible, and not a “senior” just starting out!

  64. Marilyn

    It would be nice it the problem would be stated in the web dashboard. I called 3 times yesterday about an internet explorer script error. The third time I was told it was a problem on their end and is being worked on. It would have saved me a lot of time if they would have just taken the time to post a message.

  65. Denise

    Well, that particular problem may (or may not, judging by the recent comments) have been fixed, but it’s managed to break basic functionality that was perviously working. I can no longer do anything, because every time I run a search and go to click on the link for one of the results, my login information is apparently lost — not passed through to the next page — and I get redirected to the login screen.

    As a long time full access paid subscriber, I find the tech support response that it’s *my* problem because I’m using Safari as my browser to be totally unacceptable. You guys are pushing Apple products. See the links on your own website for the new iPad app, etc. So how can you consider any update that doesn’t work with Safari to be anything less than a major failure?

    Very frustrated. Waiting for a real fix — one that doesn’t require me to adopt another browser.

  66. Marilyn

    Denise, my first call to ancestry I was told I was using the wrong internet explorer. They told me I was using version 9 and that it doesn’t work with 9 and that I need to go back to 8. I wasn’t sure how to check this and the person I was talking to said he couldn’t help with that. So I was going to wait till my son got home but I got online and found out how to check. Sure enough I was using 8 not 9 as they told me. So I called back and was then told I needed to update java but I had done that the day before. So I thought maybe I didn’t get a good download so I checked it and it was fine. The third call I was finally told it was a problem on their end. Why couldn’t they just say that to begin with. I am doing research almost every day. Why can’t they get people who can fix the problem?

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