Posted by Jeanie Croasmun on November 13, 2012 in Website

“Seeking Search Tips.” That one simple request sums up all that is wonderful about the just-launched Support Community. Ask a question. Get an answer.

The Support Community is just that: a place where community members can get answers from other members of the community about how to use the site for research. And it’s all very public so anyone can read the questions and benefit from the answers.

Currently, questions range from how to order DNA to researching in the New York State Census and so many other topics in between. Search through the questions via the Get Help link at the top of any page. Then select Ask the Community to go to the Community homepage .

You’ll need a login to ask a question or post a comment (note this login is separate from your member login). If it’s your first time responding, select Sign Up and you’ll be prompted to create a Community-specific login. Once you’re logged in, you can ask questions or post responses to assist other users.

So, about those search tips … if you’re as interested as I was in them, you’ll want to read the answers in the Getting Started section of the Support Community. And maybe, like I did, post your own (remember, if you’re posting, login to the Support Community first).

Jeanie Croasmun

Jeanie Croasmun has been working at while futilely attempting to prove the horse thief story in her family history for over seven years. During that time, she learned enough about her family to determine that the story is likely a great work of fiction. But the search continues ...


  1. I have a few questions about this new ‘thing’.

    1). Just what is the difference between this and the Ancestry Message Boards?

    2). If the search has to do with a surname or locality, should those message boards be used instead?

    3). Will actual PAID Ancestry Staff be actively monitoring this ‘community’ and answering questions?

    4) If the answer to #3 is no, then why not? That would, in effect, make it nothing more than one more non-monitored message board!

  2. Betty Dahlstedt

    I agree with Andy Hatchett. If the “thing” only is another means to get advice from other members ….we already have some wonderful people answering questions and offering help that SHOULD be included in the price we pay for membership at Ancestry. Sometimes I wonder if Ancestry really has paid staff.

  3. Jeff B

    I totally agree with the comments.

    1) If the paid staff are not monitoring this and actively answering, why use it?

    Message boards that are in place today, are sufficient for ours needs. Why are you creating an additional system to make it more complicated?

    But if #1 is true, then this could help us see already solved customer support issues.

  4. David

    I would like to sign in, but since the email address I want to use, is also to my Ancestry subscription, the system will not allow me to log in or create a new user with the same email address.

    What good is this going to be to those that have ONLY one email account?

  5. I signed up for a free two week subscription.i canceled the sub. One week later. Our bank account keeps being charged. What do i do? How do we get or money back? Someone please help we are going into debt.

    • Trevor Thacker

      Gayla, Please contact our member services team toll free at 1-800-262-3787; we’d be happy to look into this for you.

  6. Ken Hinds

    What is the rationale behind requiring a separate account for this new thing?
    Why would using this new feature be completely distinct from one’s normal
    experience of searching for records? Why do I need to remember yet another
    logon and password when I’m already on the site?

    And I agree with Andy Hatchett: What exactly is the difference between this
    and an unfocused message board? Or the Wiki? And since there apparently will
    be no focus to the subjects discussed on this new thing, how would a user
    find any information among the flood of unrelated questions? You would have
    to organize the new Community page(s) by subject, which leads us right back
    to the existing Message Boards.

    For that matter, would not the kind of information likely to appear in this
    new feature make more sense under the Learning Center menu? “Next Steps”,
    “Help — FAQ”, “Webinars”. Wouldn’t one of those be a logical place to look
    if one has general questions?

    I don’t want to think this, but it’s hard to see this as anything but an
    attempt to get your paying customers to create your content for you.

    It amazes me that your programmers have time to create something like this,
    but they don’t have time to fix real problems, like searches that return
    results that don’t match the specified criteria, or the lack of a Notes
    section on the Person Overview tree page, or the inability to put line-
    feeds in tree comments, making everything comes out as hard-to-read

  7. Vera McHale

    I have been doing family research most of my life by asking so many questions as a kid. Now as I near the end of the story I feel for younger people trying to find their way through a maze they don’t understand. I do agree that no one should have to adjust to new rules just because it is a new idea or even a new owner or another country. Whatever! This shows signs of trying to get subscribers to learn the system you have by publicly teaching each other. Ho Ho Ho ! I guess you could call it a cheap shot. You need employees with a good sense of organizing material. And the programming skills to do it. And good employee salaries will get you that. If you want someone’s work, there or in subscribers, honesty requires you pay them. If you have a misunderstood intent you need to be clearer about what you goal is and who it is designed to benefit. Are you Americans?

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