Posted by Ancestry Team on February 19, 2015 in News, Website

If you happened to be at RootsTech in Salt Lake City last week, you may have heard the buzz as we unveiled the beta version of a new and improved Ancestry website. If you weren’t at the conference, it’s not too late to learn about what’s coming and be a part of the Ancestry beta program.

A New and Improved Ancestry Website

Ancestry is continually working hard to improve our site and make it easier to discover, share, and preserve your family history. While we constantly make incremental improvements, it has been a few years since Ancestry has made a major update to the site. We are sensitive to the impact changes have on our members. However,  substantial research into the needs of our members and the experience they are having on the website have helped us to see new and innovative ways to reinvent the way we help you do family history. The improved website makes it easier for anyone to discover and tell the rich, unique story of their family, while also helping them to become better researchers.

A Fresh New Look

We wanted to make sure the new Ancestry website is a site our members love to use even more than the current experience. The new experience incorporates a new look and feel and simplified navigational elements to streamline key tasks – making your family story the focus. All of the changes are anchored in three underlying principles that are the driving force for our design team:

  • Make it beautiful
  • Make it usable
  • Make it delightful

Bonsai Tree

The Rich, Unique Story of Your Family

One of the greatest unmet needs of our members is the desire for story. We love to hear stories and share them. Unfortunately, we’re not all great storytellers, and we don’t always understand the story that our discoveries are trying to tell us. The new Ancestry website includes several new ways to help you discover the rich, unique stories of your family and help you share them too.

We’ve introduced a new LifeStory view for each ancestor in your family tree. The LifeStory uses cutting-edge technology to analyze all of the records and information you have discovered about an ancestor and then generates a narrative following a timeline of their life. It uses maps, historical records, and photos to enrich the story. You can then customize the LifeStory to make it even richer and more personalized.


The LifeStory also includes another exciting new feature, Historical Insights, to help you learn about important moments in history that your ancestors may have experienced. They are filled with historical images and descriptions of key historical events, acting like a time machine or a history teacher so you get a deeper understanding of your ancestors’ lives.

Historical Insight

The new Ancestry website also includes a completely new Media Gallery. The Media Gallery makes it easier for you to manage all your media – records, videos, photos, stories – in one place to enhance the story of your family.


Become a Better Researcher

The new Ancestry website makes it even easier to manage the information you discover about your ancestors. We’re introducing an updated Facts view for each ancestor that makes it easier to manage the facts, sources, media, and relationships associated with your ancestors. The Facts view also brings core genealogical concepts to the forefront, such as the relationship between sources and events in an ancestor’s life. We’ve also made it easier to use media and historical records to support the details of your ancestor’s life.


Many of our beta participants have discovered that it isn’t just the Facts view that helps them be more effective researchers. The LifeStory view helps them more easily see potential errors in their data, ask new questions about the life of an ancestor, and generate new theories about their ancestors’ lives.

Be a Part of the Beta

We’d like to invite you to become a part of the Ancestry beta. To join the beta, simply add your name to the waitlist at this link:

We will be inviting people on the waitlist to join the beta in batches over the next few months. When you are next, we will email you instructions for how to access the beta. You will be able to send feedback to the Ancestry team from directly within the beta site. We want to hear your feedback on what’s working well, what problems you  discover, and your suggestions for improvement. When you send us feedback, you are helping Ancestry to reinvent the way we do family history.

We look forward to seeing you in the beta!


  1. Carol Ramirez

    Hoping the new improvements include the ability to receive notifications to more than one email address.

  2. Peg Lary

    It sounds wonderful!! I love the story idea!! I just hope it goes smoothly in transition, Transitions always make me nervous, however, the experience I have had with the wonderful staff that I have dealt with when I have a problem, I am sure it will be minimal glitches! Just yesterday I had a question that Hannah, the lady I spoke to, could not answer and she went and asked someone who knew!! That is Customer Servce! Love you guys!!!

  3. KPalmer

    Don’t forget that Function is the first and foremost need of the customers. All the pretty bells and whistles in the world won’t make up for the issues that customers have been encountering for several years now (system instability, phantom hints, poor messaging system, duplicate databases, etc.) Make sure those things are fixed before ever rolling this out

  4. I have been a customer of for more than 10 years now. I have really enjoyed the site. However, I hope the new site will not come with a substantial increase in subscription price. I realize the changes will cost money, but the cost since I first became a member has more than doubled. We older people who like to work on their family trees and have more time to do it usually have less money. However, I am looking forward to the changes.

  5. Mary Abrams

    Strongly agree with KPalmer above. FUNCTION is the most important issue. Let’s not put lipstick on a pig.

  6. jo rodriguez

    I look forward to seeing this and the features described. Will these extend to Ancestry Library Edition? I am on a limited income and use the computers at my neighborhood library and Ancestry Library Edition and other genealogy sites they have. I have attended your online classes when offered there as well. You add joy to my life. Thank you.

  7. karen

    Please, FUNCTION first. Tired of work arounds for tree is unlinked, media files that disappear, notes that reproduce themselves magically & syncing problems. When continued problems are resolved maybe a bit of lipgloss on the pig so to speak….

  8. Laura Hawkins

    While I like the sound of this I agree with KPalmer & Juanita Miller. Function first and foremost ease of navigation, however I get 2nd and 3rd hints for records I have already added to my ancestor it’s very frustrating to see duplicates. Also, increased costs for us retirees is a defining issue every year, especially when we are on a fixed income.

  9. John

    Agree it looks like an exciting update, let’s hope the functionality and potential cost impact? make it worth it to the many long term customers.

  10. Eliz Hagwood

    I am not sure how well I will be able to see the colors and the leaves in those little boxes. I like the way it is now. Easy to read and fast.

  11. Mireta Woodward

    Function and ease of navigation. I love, but the price keeps going up and I cannot afford it on a fixed income.

  12. Leslie

    I agree with FUNCTION first. I clicked on the photos above to make them full screen, and the print seems smaller and fainter than the print currently used on Ancestry. I hope they are just poor quality screen shots. Not everyone has young eyes.

  13. Mk

    I agree with Laura Hawkins, KPalmer & others. Please do not make it more confusing and expensive for seniors. We are at a time when we can work on our histories, but the cost can be prohibitive.

  14. Nancy Chirco

    I know you think you need to improve things, but I am Fearful of change. I don’t want Historical Events included in my timeline or my tree. I do wish I had the opportunity to add as many words in the Description section for each event I add for my ancestor. And I haven’t liked the color scheme. So only two changes necessary that I would want.

  15. Danny Richter

    Do we have to purchase a new family tree or will this go into effect I have family tree maker 2014 I like he improvements

  16. Cheryl

    This sounds really great. Now maybe you’ll look into consolidating memberships of all your sites. It would be great if we had the option of joining Find-a-Grave, Fold3,, and others at the same time we join Ancestry for ONE price.

  17. Barbara

    Can all of the new features (or old ones) be optional so each user can incorporate them or not as they wish? Also, please fix this: I keep getting hints….from data that I have uploaded. Very annoying to think ancestry has located something new for me when it’s my stuff being rehashed. Thanks.

  18. lynda brown

    I’m on a fixed income. And can’t afford for it to go up. I agree with all the comments. Most of them said it all.

  19. Yolanda R

    Bells and whistles consume bandwidth and resources. The primary concern should be FUNCTION. It would be lovely if the messaging system worked reliably. How about giving us a receipt notification for messages since there is a tendency for them to disappear into the ether.

  20. Gloria Lucas

    I have been a member for 15 years. I am very happy with the way Ancestry is now with exception of syncing. Too many problems and have to keep uploading a new tree from my FTM 14. Customer service can’t help. Also can’t afford for price to increase do to limited income.

  21. MackTX

    I want to be able to run reports. Example: type in Houston County, Texas find out who us buried here, lived here, born here, died here, married here, etc. Make it easier to zero in family history.

  22. Debbie Miner

    It would be very helpful to see a 6 generation pedigree view instead of 5 generation. I also belief it’s important to work on function. For some reason….my member connect keeps disappearing.

  23. barb

    Please remember the age of your subscribers when making these changes– I’m willing to bet your most active users are seniors who are worried about cost, too many confusing bells & whistles, and easy to read pages. Until I buy a new computer you already have made the site harder to use, because my Vista cannot upgrade to Internet Explorer 11 and Chrome is too light to view on my computer.

  24. Sara Bradley

    I think that “Beta” means that changes are coming whether we like it or not. Beta is just the phase to test and work out the bugs in this new website. I’m sure Ancestry has all of our interests in mind and many of the changes are in response to suggestions users have made over the years. It is always difficult to make everyone happy. However I too am concerned about cost for all the reasons the other seniors have mentioned. Still I commend Ancestry for understanding that a product should be evolving and improving. I am in the greatest of hope that the new and improved version will be better for all of us.

  25. Constance

    Looks interesting but I am worried that it will take time away from researching in order to learn where everything is located. I don’t see any place where I could write research notes. Today when I am working on ancestry I will make notes in the timeline from the sources.

    • Dan Lawyer

      Thanks for expressing your concern about how changes to the site might take time away from research and your question about including research notes. We have been actively watching people use the beta site so that we can get a feel for the problem spots and try to correct them. I suppose no matter how much we try there will always be some tax with changes like this. The users that have used the beta site so far seem to feel that the increased function and value is worth the change. Specific to your question about notes, we are planning to continue to provide the ability to creates notes as you have described. We have not yet included that in the beta but it will come soon.

  26. Lea Mitchell

    When Ancestry started their current Search Method in March of 2014 I got so disgusted trying to get Decent results using it that I quit Ancestry after about 10 years and until you get a better search Method I will never return no matter how much you Pretty Up the site. If I can’t Find the people I Knew r there then I will not waste my good money. I Now spend that money on several other sites and have less frustration.

  27. LynnTG

    Function, function, function. YES. I don’t need my desktop looking like pretty pictures on a tablet. I use a notebook, with keys – I type. I don’t need touchscreen carp. I have been a subscriber for 15 years or so, and I still miss the OLD search function (which WORKED). Lipstick on a pig is a pretty good description. Your subscribers don’t need to pay for that. We want efficiency!

    • Dan Lawyer

      It is great to see so many people that feel passionate about Ancestry! One of the key themes in these comments has to do with the importance of function over form/beauty. I could not agree more. Form and beauty are meaningless if it is not usable/functional. If all we did was change the fonts, colors, and spacing of things it would very much be ‘lipstick’ on a pig. Those that have had a chance to use the beta have felt that it is more functional than the current site. They have even expressed a desire to use the new beta version rather than the current site. We’re anxious for each of you to get a chance to see this for yourselves and will be inviting more and more members that have signed up on the waitlist mentioned in the post.

  28. LynnTG

    One improvement you COULD make is to allow us to merge trees. Merge uploads into the old trees so that we don’t lose all the people we share with. Many times our new trees are corrected, and we can’t get rid of the old ones or we will lose the connections with all of those people. This is why I will NEVER make my full tree public on Ancestry. If I can’t put correct information online and keep my connections, why should I bother doing what Ancestry wants? Or don’t you care if what’s in your databases is correct?

  29. Sabrina N.

    I also would like to see more useful updates and fixes first before adding all the color and extras. Example: The program should put up a flag if you are duplicating someone or have a report you can run to find those duplicated persons. Hints are all over the place at times. Not even the correct names/year. If Ancestry goes up in price, I will have to decide whether I can continue working with this program.

  30. Arrowyn

    If your main purpose is to make your design team happy and get more newbie members, then by all means introduce changes that are “beautiful” and “delightful”. But, if you want to make your current members happy, then correct your long-standing mistakes, improve functionality, and THEN make the site pretty. That being said, most of the changes you’ve described sound interesting, but I wonder what functions will be thrown out or made harder to use as you “simplify” the site.

  31. Stacey

    How long is Ancestry going to be unavail. I have a subscription for only 6months and if your going to be down I’m paying for months not used…..Yes I agree with having a flag or somehow have old trees or branches of your tree easy to share.

    • Dan Lawyer

      You asked how long Ancestry will be unavailable. Good news – none of the changes we are making will cause Ancestry to be unavailable. You will be able to continue enjoying your membership without any disruption due to these improvements.

  32. Betty Copeland

    I like several of the ideas put forth here, but I have to agree that function must come first. Having been a customer for a very long time and while the cost has gone up the problems have too. A small example, if I may. When searching for records on a specific individual who clearly was born and died in the US, nothing but English records come up. It makes me want to scream. Find a better way to organize the card catalog because if you don’t the exact name of the list you are looking for you have to look through them all. OR how about you know you have duplicates and yet when you want to merge the records it comes up zip. I know this because the two wives or on the profile and I can’t always merge them and if I do manage it then all of the children or duplicated and then I have to either merge each and every one of them or delete them one by one. There are actually several more examples but this should be a start.

  33. Nancy

    I don’t mind change as long as all my hard work is not lost. I hope that it only involves an update, rather than having to buy new software to work with the new website. I spend enough on this already!! Also, it would be awesome if you could offer a lifetime membership. I have been a member for many years and the price increases are killing me. If someone has been a member for 10 years, I would think you could afford to offer them a discount or a one time lifetime membership fee.

  34. Randi J.Loncle

    I like and use the family site not the pedigree site Will this be available? I agree that function should be better and I also had problems with duplicate hints that I put on my tree. It has messed up parts of my tree as I don’t know how to merge them yet and I don’t always have the time. So if this didn’t happen in the 1st place I wouldn’t have to worry about fixing it.
    I also am in the same position that a lot of people have expressed about the cost of this. I would not be able to afford an increase in cost. I do like the Life story, as I have tried to do this myself and it is very time consuming but it is rewarding to do it. Over all I love the site and have enjoyed working on my tree and feel Ancestry is great. Thanks

  35. Julianahelena

    Uh, no, particularly if it’s going to cost us another nickel more.
    Dear Dan Lawyer, I see your excellent tech creds, and they worry me. “…delivering solutions across social, web, mobile, SaaS, and traditional software environments in both business and consumer focused markets.”
    This is not a cloud computing, social media gobbling, tweeting, app-using hashtag crowd, and to be “consumer focused” we need you to mind the demographics and ask your gentle users what they really want. You are hearing from them here, and this could be the very last thing we have in mind. I beg you not to force change here, that a different demographic might think is cool. Yahoo did that not long ago with Flickr. They went all Instagram with it, and rendered it unusable for the serious photographers who use desktops and were on Flickr to share our work and swap feedback. It was nice and calm, just like is, and needs to remain. We want slow tech, Dan! We know you can make it good and fast for us electronically, but let us keep the living room feeling.
    The priorities are all wrong: how could you justify spending even a minute making things more complicated, when half of the hints here are still nonsensical? Have you ever looked at the sources of the hodge-podge Family Data, Passenger lists, Millennium File, etc.? Born in “Connecticut” in 1600, and then made three separate trips to America? Junk genealogy! And the poorly transcribed records that I spend SO much time correcting for you, pro bono?
    No, if you have extra money for redesigns, please divert the funds to hiring a fact checker or two! I can do it from home; please send me a job application, Tech Man Dan! I’ve made this suggestion and offer SO many times.
    No doubt the techies had fun playing around with this, but to me, it just looks tarted up and full of distractions. We’re compiling factual records, not scrapbooks. Perhaps creating a scrapbook could be offered as an option, at no extra charge, of course.
    I’ve been suspicious of the extremely annoying pop-up prompt to add a story version; it hangs around, begging to be clicked, will only go away of its own accord, and I always figure it’s only a matter of time before this gets forced on us. Now, who has time to mess around with stories, when we have to spend so much time foraging for facts in the mountains of malarkey?
    If you are going to encourage people to add stories, then PLEASE: if these ramblings are meant to be shared, there have to be some standards in place. I wish I never again had to run across another “story” that’s poorly written, ungrammatical, and is just another conglomeration of family lore, guesswork, assumptions, nonsense, and random tidbits gleaned from here and there, and sprinkled with a few actual facts. These ramblings invariably have no source citation, rendering them unusable.
    Higher QC standards, straightforward function, and fact checking, please! Don’t go all Facebook on us, and then charge us for something we don’t want or need. Please. And thank you for giving us the opportunity to rant. (Yahoo did that for Flickr members, too, and buried their heads in the sand while the masses raged.) Oh, and Dan? Remember not to raise the price. I thank you very sincerely for listening! Slow…Tech….

    • Dan Lawyer

      @julianahelena, @Dennis Fabian,
      Thanks for being so open with your concerns. I don’t blame you at all for being skeptical of the tech guy. I’m also an avid genealogist and have spent more than a decade studying the complexity and challenges genealogists face. Like our members, I get frustrated when tools and resources get in the way of doing the research. It probably is not appropriate for me go into detail, but I readily admit that I share many of the frustrations you have pointed out in your comments. I wish I could tell you that with this update we’re fixing all known issues. I can tell you that we are making a strong effort to address many of the most frequently expressed needs of our members in this new site. For example, one of the most common requests we receive is the ability to order media in the gallery. I’m happy to report that this feature (while not yet finished) is in the works for the new site. We’ve also invested a lot in making our new facts page focus more on core genealogical concepts like the relationship between life events and the sources that substantiate them and having the option to include family events in the timeline. Our hope is that these changes will improve the quality of the experience. Please signup for the beta waitlist. I would love to get your feedback after you’ve had a chance to use it. It will help us improve the new site before it is fully released to our members.

  36. Beverly

    Function must come first! I am also uneasy about the LifeStory View helping me spot errors in my data. I’m far more likely to spot errors in Ancestry’s data. Others have also mentioned concerns I share such as glitches, email problems and cost.

  37. Dennis Fabian

    As Julianahelena stated above:

    “Dear Dan Lawyer, I see your excellent tech creds, and they worry me. “…delivering solutions across social, web, mobile, SaaS, and traditional software environments in both business and consumer focused markets.” This is not a cloud computing, social media gobbling, tweeting, app-using hashtag crowd, and to be “consumer focused” we need you to mind the demographics and ask your gentle users what they really want. You are hearing from them here, and this could be the very last thing we have in mind. I beg you not to force change here, that a different demographic might think is cool…”

    Bravo, Juliana!

    Echoing many others: FUNCTIONALITY & RELIABILITY!
    1.) I am sick and tired of the error message advising me to “try using the basic viewer instead!”
    2.) Search tool & the results given. I seriously believe that that programming code is written to find and display the LEAST probable results. Your customers have been telling you for almost a year now that they are not happy with the ‘new’ search… are you listening?
    3.) Since genealogy is known as ‘Life’s largest, never-ending jigsaw puzzle,” have you listened to your customers and incorporated the ability to graft separate trees together? Or to prune them if major flaws are found?
    4.) I have suggested this over & over and I’ll suggest it again, here: Please add the feature “On this date in your family’s history…”

    I find it interesting (maybe saddening is a better word) that you good folks at Ancestry have spent the time and money to pretty-up the site, yet you continually fail to address the issues that many of your customers are alerting you to. Simply put, if you need to have webinars and blogs and posts to your Facebook page about how to make the search tool work best… maybe the search tool doesn’t work that well to begin with.

    There. My thoughts are now in Internetland. I wonder if anyone is listening.

  38. Maureen

    Functionality, speed, and compatibility first. Pretty last. I would prefer you spend less time on appearance and more on acquiring the records needed to further research. I need an informational/database/storage site, not an art wall.

    • Dan Lawyer

      I completely agree. Functionality, speed, and compatibility first. Pretty last. I also share your desire for getting more records available faster. We announced last week some really exciting records sets that will be coming on line this year. I’m particularly excited about the probate records. I love probate records!

  39. Carol Reppard

    I hope that Ancestry can come up with some kind of discounted price for seniors. I currently have the World package including Newspapers and the military site, but it is getting to the point that it is too expensive. I know that AARP offers a discount but it will not affect my subscription. Remember that seniors make up a large portion of your subscribers. Think about giving us a price break. Thank you.

  40. wanda

    i like ancestry, i wish they would let you pay by check or money order cense i dont have credit cards or bank cards

  41. I wonder about end user performance, especially in various browsers on older computers. Many of the latest website designs use many large javascript libraries, imported fonts, etc.

    Also am concerned that the default font sizes might be a bit too small, and a bit too grey, for our older eyes. More white space makes the “beautiful” bar but not necessarily enhance the usability.

    • Dan Lawyer

      Thanks for raising the concern about the default font sizes. Some of the images in the post of the new beta experience were intentional shrunk down to show more of the page in the blog post. The default fonts are larger than what you are seeing. We pay particular attention to things like font size and contrast that make it easier to read what is on the site. Once you get a chance to look at the beta, you’ll have to let us know if it still seems hard to read.

  42. john

    I wish for a support team that would respond to your inquiries promptly. Usually takes a month if at all. Even then they just say “delete you tree from FTM and download your copy from online”. You lose all links to your media. I have at least five problems that were reported two years ago and still have not been fixed.

    Given all that I welcome the new changes and have signed up for the beta. I performed beta testing in my career going back as far as 1972.

  43. David Smith

    Unfortunately, it looks like not only is the pig getting lipstick, it’s getting a makeover complete with a new wardrobe and a glamour shots photo session to help it’s self-esteem.

  44. Bruce Boyd

    What is the schedule for the rollout of the new site? Will it be a big bang for everyone, or will it be phased? Please help us to prepare for this.

    • Dan Lawyer

      @Bruce Boyd,
      Regarding the roll out schedule. We are still in an early beta where small numbers of our members are interacting with the new site. This gives us an opportunity to find not only ‘bugs’ in the system but to identify particular aspects of the new system that members don’t find intuitive or are not meeting our goals of making things more efficient for our members. We will continue to expand the audience of members that have access over time as we feel confident that it will meet member expectations around performance and function.

  45. Colleen McCloskey

    I wish to participate in the beta.
    I will be looking for these specific features.
    1. Searches by LOCATION
    I want to be able to look for all people born in, say, Ireland, and work only with them.
    It’s done brilliantly in FTM; I’d like to see this on the online site.

    2. Shareable events – extend the shareable events beyond weddings and divorces. I want to use Address as a shareable event that I can use for all the people who lived in that location (townland) at the same time.
    How far do we extend this?
    I bet people would like to add witnesses and sponsors to events such as a baptism.
    3. In the Timeline view, I would like to see a child’s BIRTH show up on the PARENT’s timeline. Certainly for the mother, and likely for the father.
    You cannot deny that a child’s birth is an important event in the parent’s lives!

    Thank you.

  46. LMNixon

    I know change is inevitable BUT at what cost? The web site has been dealing with a number of “glitches” that haven’t been fixed for a long time now. I’d like to know and believe that what Ancestry plans to unveil is a STABLE, and well FUNCTIONING site. Sure it’s nice if it’s pretty to look at but I’ll give up pretty for something that works well. Please, PLEASE consider what your members are saying here and be sure that BEFORE the release you’ve checked and double-checked that you have a FUNCTIONING site across platforms and web browsers. Members are tired of “known issues” that have been “sent to the developers” that never progress past that, that are never fixed.

  47. barbara walker

    I cancelled my membership because it kept coming up with the Australuan collection.OK i live there but only want UK not USA or Australian.I dont like the card system.When i phoned the fellow was very unhelpful!It seens to me that when i pay for UK that is what i should get?All these new additions are ok but i just want what i pay for.Also why do Americans put USA cities down in BC dates???i am an experienced researcher not a novice.

  48. Jeri

    Maybe a survey could be emailed to all members and get a good overall feel of needs and wishes. I think DennisFabian and Juliannahelena really made some great points. After having the historical insights on my iPad I hope it at least comes with an option to turn it off online. It’s fun for about 15 minutes and for people that don’t know the truth about history I’m sure it’s entertaining but I’m not here to be entertained. I already pay for cable tv to get that when and if I have time for entertainment but I’d much rather be researching! I’m here to put together my families so that they aren’t forgotten after I leave and I only have so much time on this planet to get it as complete as I can. I’m sure creating the software for all of this is a massive job and far above my comprehension level but the more research capabilities there are to make that more successful the happier most of us will be. I don’t need pretty bells and whistles I need facts and proof so that I don’t have to spend all of my days in research facilities, just some of them! I tried to volunteer for transcribing records when it was offered but no one here can seem to figure out how to make it work on my mac and that’s all I have, Apple products. I don’t care about getting paid like I saw many people complain about, I want to help. I appreciate everything being offered and yep, I’d like more and yep, I don’t want to pay more but I know it will happen and I also don’t want to go through a huge learning process again like was said above, there’s not enough time in my life for that too! I bet most of the users here are very passionate about what we are doing. It’s not a “hobby” to me, it’s serious stuff that I love with all my heart. Ok, that’s my 2 cents worth! Thank you for all this company is trying to do!

  49. thomas gray

    Every time you change your web site it takes months to figure out how to find and retrieve the information. Make it simpler not more complicated. What is the advantage of putting more expanded information to try to get better results when you get the same information with just a name. Make it more user friendly.

  50. I’m looking forward to a change. I can only hope that Ancestry will finally give us a search design change that is not so darned frustrating to use!

  51. Eleanor Thomas

    The changes sound interesting. I would like to see the ability to amend locations in bulk. There is little more annoying to me than trying to manually amend addresses in search of the one somewhere that’s wrong. A similar function to FTM in that respect would be wonderful. Maintaining the privacy settings on photos throughout their spread in links to other trees would also be good.

  52. toni

    DennisFabian and Juliannahelena said it all. Of all the years I answered the ancestry survey asking for the ability to order my media, will it ever happen? I know I am not the only one who would like to be able to do this.

    Get rid of the family data and the other ancestry generated “files”. I’ve found my very own notes of questionable worth turned into a hint! When I say “might have been” or “probably died in” doesn’t make it true. I’ve let my subscription lapse because the brick walls I’m at are not solved on ancestry. If the price goes up, I won’t ever renew on the off chance that you finally have something useful for me.

    • Dan Lawyer

      We’ve had many customers express the need to be able to order their media. You’ll be pleased to know that as part of the changes we’re making to the media gallery, we are including features that allow you to sort the media in multiple ways, including a customer order.

  53. Narelle

    It would be helpful if Search results summary page showed a few more lines of info – the number of items I receive that I have to click into only to find its 100 years out, or in the wrong location etc.

  54. toni

    Try if you want a story generated from your facts and history happenings timeline. It’s in beta now but I’ve been messing for a couple of days and it’s sort of fun. There’s a feedback button on every page. The issues I’ve discovered have all been fixed within a few minutes or an answer to my question is emailed within minutes.

  55. Linda

    I want to know what the new and improved is going to cost us long time members? It already is getting extremely expensive and us long time members get no breaks

  56. Barbara

    I have been a subscriber to Ancestry for over 15 years and have only used it for searching. I find FMT much more user friendly. I am aware my trees are on Ancestry but prefer the format of Family Tree Maker.

  57. Paula Kelly

    I wish when you have to unlink a tree then add a new tree the tree you’ve unlinked would be removed rather than still floating out there.

  58. Vernon Ferguson-Johonson

    Including all the above that have never been fixed, I would like:
    Option for 6 generation pedigree – maybe just the names would fit.
    Only white or cream color for background on charts

    But the big question I would like an answer to is:::::
    Why did you make the background dark gray on the pedigree tree?

    I make word docs on all my dna matches and copy & paste their
    pedigree tree.
    If I print the doc with gray background, my printer will run out of black ink.
    Ink is too expensive to use this way.
    BTW- the bright blue and pink on tree jump out….make them pastel please.
    Thank you-

  59. Steven

    When phrases like “focus more on core genealogical concepts” are used it just makes me want to throw up. All over your beta keyboard.

  60. Suzanne Frantz

    I always get nervous when Ancestry announces another change. I’ll start with the positive – I love the accessibility of the original records – censuses and the like. That’s what I love about Ancestry. What I don’t like is the dumbing down of real research. Little leaves that promise to lead folks to their complete family tree back to Noah, but many times the “leaves” are completely irrelevant. Any many folks take them as truth. You will see the most astonishing “facts” on Public Trees! Another dislike is the automatic geographical location fill-ins. Real genealogists use the actual name of the location at the time of the event. One cannot be born in Algonac, Michigan, in 1790 because neither the city of Algonac or the state of Michigan existed at that date. In this same vein are similar place names: China Township, Michigan, is not the country of China. I have had to fight with these fill-ins and heartily dislike them.
    I’ll confess, I miss the Old Search. I miss being able to go to a specific issue of a newspaper and finding an obituary for a person whose name the digitalized function doesn’t pick up. This “story feature” absolutely scares the stuffing out of me! How can a computer tell my family’s story? Can a generic story give us the reasons behind our ancestors’ specific behaviors?
    Ancestry is in the business of making money, and tries to attract customers by making family research seem easy. It is not easy. It takes thought. It takes real research! Teach the newbies how to research! Don’t just give them little leaves! A person can never love something they haven’t worked to achieve.

  61. ejohnson

    The 3-generation view of an individual’s descendants looks good. I find that kind of view very useful. My prog here will also show 3 generations on the descendants side too though, plus the subject’s siblings. If Ancestry cound do that, this would be spectacular. Mine will also instantly calculate relationships between any two designated individuals, if there is one, even if it’s such a shirttail connection that these persons are several generations up/down and several steps sideways, or an in-law several steps up/down/sideways. I don’t know of another program that will do all of this, but that might only be confusing to all but the most specialist of subscribers.

    Mine will also make various types of reports… about the only thing it won’t do is to create the conventional FGSs that so many people have been trained to use, writing things down in pre-desiganated categories, usually with a pencil or a typewriter.

    I don’t see what some of the green leaves nailed to certain names but not others means. They have ancestors? We can see this anyway, and if we want to instantly traverse over 3 generations (bypassing the slow, click-one-name-at-a-time as before), there are also the clickable arrows.

    But this view is much better than having to crawl up and down the lines of ancestors or descendants, one child or parent at a time, in order to see how the larger family group is structured.

    The Facts View is kind of interesting, except it’s also kind of redundant –this info is also in the Timeline. It looks kind-of Pop-uppy.

    The LifeStory is probably overkill. It would drive me crazy if my program went out shopping for maps and for regional or national history, then created a timeline based on what It thinks should be important to me, AND wrote my narrative for me, for which I alone should be responsible. However, a feature such as one that describes what year any state, county, and township lines were created or changed would be useful. But over 50 states, that kind of project would be a monumental job. That’s never going to happen, and if anything, this capability should be accessible as an option to consult, but not tied to timelines of individuals. I can see if people might like a handy lookup for this, that had a simple clickable button or hover-link so that customers wouldn’t have to leave Ancestry in order to look this up.

    I think it’s probably partly okay and partly just a bunch of new gimmicks. Hopefully this won’t make any changes in the way it lets its subscribers search, or lets non-subscribers search through trees. Also hopefully, they won’t create another lockout that leads non-subscribers only to the Subscribe Now! page.

    This new presentation is really just a sales campaign, and a pretty slick one, too. Ancestry actually let me see this, when usually all it lets me see is a login-or-else-buy-subscription page. I always feel coerced when that’s the only thing I’m allowed to see, when all I’m trying to do is a bit of honest research. I really hope they keep the “public trees” available, as their owners had intended when they created these trees.

    One member’s concerns don’t seem trivial: “I have been a customer of for more than 10 years now. I have really enjoyed the site. However, I hope the new site will not come with a substantial increase in subscription price. I realize the changes will cost money, but the cost since I first became a member has more than doubled.”

    A lot of commenters are very concerned about whether or not this will actually work right, or cause worse proiblems.

    One commenter sounds really dangerous: “This sounds really great. Now maybe you’ll look into consolidating memberships of all your sites. It would be great if we had the option of joining Find-a-Grave, Fold3,, and others at the same time we join Ancestry for ONE price.”
    –Huh? Kind of like a cross between Facebook & Wal-Mart? Don’t give them any more brilliant marketing or acquisition ideas.
    — And this lady thinks Findagrave should be under a subscription that she can buy with one click? Fold3 used to be something else, and it was free (and very useful) before Ancestry hoovered it up and dropped it behind their paywall.

    And (in response to someone who complained about recent dysfunctionality), my favorite: “Strongly agree with KPalmer above. FUNCTION is the most important issue. Let’s not put lipstick on a pig.”

    Designer Ancestry. It’s pretty, and nifty, and will save certain people from having to write their own ancestors’ life stories. Hopefully they will have all the bugs worked out in this before they try to fly it with a full load of passengers.

  62. BobH

    I hope there is going to be some way of turning these “Historical Insights” off. I see something of this in the iPhone App. The Insights are completely irrelevant, Details of the American Civil War on the Time line of someone who lived in the UK, Dates of events that have no bearing on the lives of the people in the time line. This is so intrusive I stoped using the App (and indeed it was one of the factors in the decision not to extend my subscription to Ancestry).

  63. One feature I miss was being able to see a rundown of events for a person while still seeing their family tree in the family view of the tree. And I agree with what MackTX said about being able to run reports/search through our trees based on a location. I think being able to search for people born in a specific time span would be good too, especially when trying to find family who may have served during a war.

  64. Jane Snell

    I just hope that this will be very well tested before launch and not land up the fiasco and joke that Find My Past has become. There is now only really one worthy large genealogy site on the net which is Ancestry and I wouldn’t want to see that go the way Find My Past has when upgrading the site.

    • Dan Lawyer

      @Jane Snell,
      We also want to be sure the new site is very well tested. We are making a large effort to do just that. One way our members can help is to participate in the beta. We have already been receiving great feedback and suggestions from members that are using the beta. Their feedback is helping us to substantially improve the experience.

    • Dan Lawyer

      @Julia Cox,
      You’ll be happy to know that the beta includes an option on both the LifeStory and Facts view to show or hide Historical Insights. The majority of our members have responded very positively to the Historical Insights feature but we also recognize that at times members will want to hide them.

  65. Jade

    Add The County Names. This is one of the aggravating egregious mistakes in the old story view. County names are essential for research. Put them in all displays. I hate this dumbing-down that makes seeing the whole picture more difficult. Put County Names Back.

  66. Berniece Thornton

    I already seem to have pieces of this new format. My biggest complaints at this moment are:
    1. Poor search engine. Why do I get pages of records from England when I have specifically chosen United States? These errors take away from research time. I’ve researched for about 20 years and this error is not a help. Please improve that search engine.
    2. I am not interested in having the World History part on my Story page. It’s distracting. I don’t mind viewing it. Just want the option of not using it.
    I do like the idea of the Story since I’ve spent years and travelled to research stories instead of just birth, death, parents, siblings. My “notes” sections are full of terrific additional information in story form.

  67. Jenni Ibrahim

    the search function had better be in,proved. Few people like the current “new” one. I am am already so fed up with the U.S.-centric historical insights. Absolutely irrelevant to the many of us whose family history has no connection to the U.S. The world of genealogy does not revolve around the U.S.

  68. Sammie

    I do agree with many of the comments, but I have to say I really like the Lifetstory feature. I think it will be helpful in finding errors, like second and third spouses. I have been very grateful for this website!

  69. Beergut65

    Guess one can talk all they want but until the search function gets improve this site will stink..Example,I type in John Doe,New York,born 1930,after a very few close hints I start getting Jane Doe in California ..
    Kinda reminds me of typing in blue color and getting pink other then that I like Ancestry.

  70. Rachel L Rowell

    I’m not on Beta. I work and my time with Ancestry is not as much as I’d like at present. I’m all about advances BUT currently Ancestry doesn’t allow for even BASIC PRINTING functions of even a family data sheet, for example, that looks like anything you’d want to show to anyone and has tiny fonts and they are not even in the places they appear online. Printing is a huge soapbox issue for me. Also SEARCHES have boxes for a name for example and you can put in the first name but it won’t let you click into or tab into the last name box in some of them so that is useless. Same with some state fill-in and date fill-in boxes, can’t get into them. Also I may list “white” in the drop-down list and I get tons of results with black in them or vice versa. Also searching in Alabama and get pages and pages of results for other states and countries. I’m all about choosing my own colors so, in the NEW ANCESTRY, please don’t limit them to three choices…there should be many (read endless) options available. Also should be able to choose size and type of fonts from many choices, especially when and if you upgrade the report printing process to look like something you can at least put in your family binder without having to order from use the “publish” feature.We should also be able to print quality pages to hang on the wall if we want. Publish is great if you want to order something larger with add-on graphics but we should have choices about frames, fonts and other embellishments within the program to print on our own. You also need to be able to get help through EMAIL, NOT JUST BY PHONE. I have waited and waited on the phone. I work so don’t have time for this. Finally COST. I am paying the $198 a year. I just got put on a 20 hour work week. Thank goodness my 1/2 was just paid or I would have had to let my subscription lapse until my hours go back up or I get another job. I LOVE my ANCESTRY. PRICING: As you can see there are many seniors here who do now have the luxury of time to research but may have to stop because even the current prices are too steep for them. It would be nice if you could give a good break to seniors in price and please do NOT go up on ours either. When I am working I am barely able to pay the $198 a year myself!!! FINALLY, I am concerned that the prevalent issues mentioned since I joined in 2013 will still be present in the “new” verson. I hope these old problems will be fixed before the new and shiny rolls out. I hope for the survival of Ancestry and all our sanity, you are truly LISTENING and not just READING all these suggestions. THANX FOR A MOSTLY TERRIFIC SITE EXPERIENCE AND INFO ON MY ANCESTRY I WOULDN’T OTHERWISE HAVE. NOTHING IS PERFECT BUT IT’S THE BEST I’VE FOUND!!!! (and see, all caps isn’t always yelling : )

  71. Terri

    Yes, please add the ability to graft separate trees together? Or to prune them if major flaws are found? – That would be the most helpful think you can do. I manage pages for different people, some of them overlap. It would save so much time. And, please don’t add to the cost. $389./year is a chunk of change even with a salary. Also, please put a link on the site to go to all of the different sites that we are paying for. I have to go look up a different password and URL for each thing I’m paying for and then it sends me back to upgrade when I’m upgraded as far as I can go! Frustrating……

  72. Sharon Ruby

    I love Ancestry and though I agree with a lot of the comments here will only repeat one. I am a senior on a fixed income and the cost for me is a big chunk of my income. I have been a member since Ancestry came on line and before that visited your local sites for information. I have been paying over $300 a year for about 5 years now for your world membership and would love to have either a senior discount or life time membership available. We are good customers which you may lose if we cannot continue to pay these prices. I noticed you respond to a lot of the concerns but haven’t addressed this one.

  73. The blog: Filiopietism Prism ( has a great idea for you regarding the shaky green leaf hints: “once the only hints left are public member trees, why not have the little leaf change color from green to say, orange? This would let me — and many, many others like me — know instantly that there are only public tree hints for a particular person . . . and until the leaf turns green again we could go about looking at more substantive hints elsewhere.” Please consider this request.

  74. Diana

    When placing search data in the fields, you can tab from first name to last name but not to the birth info. Why? This ability would make filling in the search criteria much faster.

  75. The NERGC conference (New England Regional Genealogical Conference) is coming in April. I’ll be presenting a program on how to get the most out of various search sites, obviously an important site. Since I’m going to have to completely revamp the section of a presentation that I’ve already put together, I’d like to, I even NEED to get access to the beta version so that I can have time to learn the site and share the information to the attendees.

  76. Carole

    i would like to see the Historical facts removed as they are not applicable to have in most of my tree. Otherwise put more world facts on not just American. I don’t care to know American history and don’t want it inserted into my tree. I have used Ancestry for many years to help in my research and love it, but will agree with some other comments that when I put in a specific country I am looking in I don’t want all other ones first. If I want births first then that should be what comes up then I can change over to marriages or census etc. Frustrating.

  77. I honestly could care less about how “fancy” things look or any historical timeline. I want what I pay for….RECORDS. I want the records/books back that have now been changed to “index only” I want the source links I place in my trees that are for things from to work properly and for the link not to be broken or the image to be all covered up with garbage like I experienced today.

    I want to focus on teaching PROPER genealogy techniques instead of blindly merging mistakes from public trees.

  78. Monika

    Based on the extensive feedback you received to this blog, I sure hope that for once you hear us. I have been begging you for years for you to be more concerned with substance than display. “Life Story Views” does not fall into the category of “substance” for me. Note, for instance, the current “Story View” can create real fairy tales. E.g., if I add an individual who married into the family and I then add his parents, but I choose not to add all of the dozens of sisters and brothers that that individual that married into the family has, the current story view will say that his parents only had “one child”. Nobody who is serious about genealogy needs someone else to spin a yarn for him. Before you add anything, get rid of all that is incorrect. When you go onto European sites, like “ (the German website) or (the French website), there are so many things that need corrections. I have pointed them out years ago and keep being told that your focus has to be where you have the majority of customers. But if the European websites are going to be treated like step children because you have fewer customers on these sites you will never obtain more customers there because you have no credibility if you do not make these corrections. Life is full of priorities. Establish your priorities carefully. Smoke and mirrors work only for so long.

  79. Walter Haisler

    Historic Insights are worthless because they are generic and often not related to my family history. Make them an on/off “feature.”

  80. Annette

    well, I’m still not going to pay for information that has been freely contributed by others, and particularly when there are lots of errors with the information, and to correct it I have to sign up for a 14 day ‘free trial’ with a credit card……sorry, but it’s still going to be slow and steady for me………..

  81. Moira Fidler

    If this is based on Story View and Historical Facts as it appears, both of which I hate, then my bags are being packed as I speak after 11 years of being a member. What is wrong with simple, is what I want to know?. I don’t want bell’s and whistles or pretty colours….I want RECORDS and lots of them and somewhere easy but plain to store my findings.

  82. Jane Snell

    @Dan Lawyer i just hope you are right re being well tested. However, at least Ancestry do appear to respond to peoples issues and appear to be trying to get it right first time. Lets keep fingers and toes crossed that it works well when the final version is available. Thank you for your response.

  83. Kim

    I clicked on each sample page for a full view. The font size is too small! This is going to be very hard on the eyes. If I increase the size on my computer, I won’t be able to view the whole page without scrolling left to right. I don’t work in full screen mode as I am usually working with multiple windows. I won’t know until you release this new version whether this will work for me. Looks like some serious eyestrain. I hope the Beta testers feel the same as I do about the font size. I love the color changes though. It looks much nicer! How about the option of sorting or moving the position of media items within the gallery? I would like to display the media in chronological order or some sensible order not in the “as added” order. Also, I don’t like the change to viewing the sources. I prefer to be able to see all the sources (without duplicates) that I have found for an individual listed below the family members. The present two column format for the profile page is better than your newly planned three columns. I don’t want the sources between my timeline/facts and my family members. I can’t tell what the page will look like if I don’t click on a fact, perhaps I will only have two columns. I prefer the “search record” and “family tree” options to be located just above the facts as it is now. Move it to the lower left of the profile panel. I’m glad you are going Beta first and getting the opinions of other members before releasing this version. Bottom Line: Font Size is Horrible; Layout needs Improvement; Color Changes are Fantastic! Additional features would be nice.

  84. Beverly

    I truly do not want Ancestry to write my family history for me. I have dna tested at Ancestry and appear in many DNACircles, a new matching feature Ancestry provides. On Friday Ancestry began including mini-biographies of the ancestor for each of the DNACircles I’m in. If these mini-bios are any indication of what will appear in the family history section when the new website design rolls out, I am truly appalled at the falsehoods that will be endlessly propagated. For example, the mini-bio of one of my 3rd great grandfathers who was married once and once only, states that he was married twice, giving marriage dates of Sept. 29, 1843 and Oct. 5, 1843, same county, same state as evidence of two marriages. This would be hilarious if true, but it isn’t true. There were such things as a marriage bond application date and an actual marital ceremony date in existence at that time. Also, one of the people I dna match in this particular DNACircle and I are double third cousins on two separate couples. The green leaf match hint has mis-mated the husband in couple one with the wife in couple two. Another example: two of my 4th great grandfathers were brothers…I descend from one on my father’s side and from the other on my mother’s side. Ancestry has mis-mated my 4th great grandfather on my mother’s side with the wife of my 4th great grandfather on my paternal side. Just one more example of many: another of my 4th great grandfather’s is listed as married twice, once in 1796 and then 1845. NOPE! The 1845 date used in some of the trees of my matches is for a son of my 4th great grandfather who had a similar name. I have most definitely already sent feedback about these errors in the mini-bios in DNACircles, and use these examples to underscore my uneasiness about a computer writing my FamilyStory for me when the new website roll out occurs.
    Currently I cannot edit the mini-bios in DNACircles, however I am on the Beta trial wait list for the new web design, where I do hope to get a head start on editing out the errors that I feel sure are going to be present.

  85. Rose Chafin Nartowicz

    I hope this is better than your DNA update. I lost a lot of matches, plus I don’t get in circles because of my privacy setting. There are also a lot of ads showing up. Isn’t that why we pay monthly, so we can do research without stopping all the time to figure out how to get back to our tree.

  86. Carol Sklinar

    You changed the website from the original to something that takes longer to do research. I have contacted Ancestry on many occasions and not so much as a simple reply – do you really pay attention to what, we who are paying the fees want! Family historians want information, and more information, plus an easy to use and research site. It seems that we are not going to get that in the future – if it ain’t broke why fix it? I do hope that one day I will get an email from someone at Ancestry, but I won’t hold my breath. BRING BACK THE OLD SEARCH, IT WAS BETTER THAN THE FIPPIN’ SLIDE BARS…………..I HATE THEM!!!

  87. Judyth Neuzil

    I share the same frustrations as those above. But a particularly annoying one for me is to be longed in to Ancestry (I have the full package) and be sent to a location for additional information and then am blocked by the Subscribe Now! ad which doesn’t allow me to go any further. Ancestry should be able to check my status from any point and recognize that I am a logged in subscriber.

  88. Carole

    I have been a subscriber for 15 years and now use on a rare basis. The new search is horrendous and I can’t find anything. Searches bring up useless material. New bells and whistles mean nothing to me. I prefer which is free. Your prices are becoming outrageous and unaffordable for many people today and are taking advantage of those who are participating in this genealogy craze. I am disgusted.

  89. and furthermore

    I found my U.S.A. Petition for Naturalization on This form, provided by the National Archives and Records Administration, includes information such as my name, my birth date, my birthplace, my address in the U.S., the name of my two (still) living witnesses, their address and their signatures. Last year my purse was stolen, which contained documents, money, as well as all my credit and ATM cards. When I reported the theft to the police, the police man told me that many of these thieves, after obtaining these items, go onto to see whether they can find an ancestry tree that has the name of the person whose ATM cards they stole. He said that they do so in order to obtain the maiden name of the mother of that individual because most people have a tendency to use their mother’s maiden name as a password for their ATM cards, etc. Since my trees are all private that is not an issue for me. And also I no longer use my mother’s maiden name as a password for anything. Some time ago, I was informed through the “member connect activity” feature that somebody had put my Petition for Naturalization onto her tree. (One of these people whose public tree has 40,000 names regardless of how very remotely she is related to these names by marriage). I went onto her tree only to notice that she had declared me dead, had found my mother in the process of finding me and had declared her dead as well, even though we are both still very much alive. She had my parents immigrate to the U.S. even though they never set foot in the U.S., etc. etc. I contacted her to tell her that my mother and I were still very much alive and made her aware of the other fairy tales she was telling about my parents. She responded by telling me “Mind your own business”. I can just see how your “Life Story View” would read on the profile pages of that tree owner and what they would be worth. In a day and age of identity theft I am not comfortable with people like that and/or purse snatchers having such detailed information about the living that includes names, birth dates, signatures of the living, addresses of the living, etc. I would much rather that you focus on ensuring that data of the living cannot be misused by identity thieves or people like that tree owner I mentioned, then that you spend sleepless nights wondering whether yellow or pink would look better on the displays of names. is not into display, they are into facts and their service is for free. Try to imitate them as much as you can. I do not mind paying for your services as long as you get your priorities straight.

  90. Phil Kellingley

    I stopped using Ancestry some years ago – because of monumental functional failure. This ‘update’ looks like a ‘prettying’ of the site. But the simple thing is – you should have asked your customers what they wanted – and you patently didn’t. Systems that don’t ask first generally fail. I see you losing lots more customers unless you improve what the Ancestry site should be about – tracing genealogies. Everything else – EVERYTHING – is pure fluff.

  91. Marc Ryan

    It would be nice to automatically be able to load all in the household in the 1850, 1860, and 1870 census

  92. Pat Javor

    “Delightful” would only be my description of Ancestry if long-standing functionality issues are improved. For example when I specify UK records to do a search on a specific individual who was born, lived and died in the UK, every time I edit my search terms for that specific individual, Ancestry defaults back to records from Canada. Yes, I live in Canada, but for the individual I’m interested in, I want to search only UK records. Very frustrating.

  93. Pat Javor

    I’m also much more interested in higher transcription accuracy than appearance and bells & whistles. Months ago when my subscription was still active, I submitted a correction for the 1935 Canada Voters List for one of my ancestors. Although the image is clearly legible, not one single person on the same page as my ancestor was searchable. I had to search for my ancestor using the “brute force” technique – page by page (and I wasn’t certain he would be there, so this exercise was potentially a complete waste of time). I also submitted a complaint about this by email and never received a response. I corrected the transcription for my ancestor, but I’m not prepared to do the entire page for you pro bono. This needs to be looked at before refreshing the “look and feel” of Ancestry.

  94. BEE

    It’s been a while since I’ve bothered with the “blog”. I used to read it every day and often commented, especially when “change” was coming. I read each post on this particular subject, and I agree with so much of what was already written. I copied the parts that I agreed with the most. I can’t believe we are in for all this “fancy-dancy” stuff!
    I’ve complained from day one about that darn “Story View” being where it is!!!! Now they are going to add more things? UGH!
    Yes, I signed up for an “invite” – we’ll see.
    Here are the comments I most agreed with, plus my own comments in CAPS: “Functionality and reliability! I am sick and tired of the error message advising me to “try using the basic viewer instead!” Your customers have been telling you for almost a year now that they are not happy with the ‘new’ search… are you listening?”
    “I would prefer you spend less time on appearance and more on acquiring the records needed to further research. I need an informational/database/storage site, not an art wall.” DEFINITELY!!
    “Members are tired of “known issues” that have been “sent to the developers” that never progress past that, that are never fixed.” PARTICULARLY “GHOST HINTS”!!
    “I’ll confess, I miss the Old Search.” I’M GLAD I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE!
    “What is wrong with simple, is what I want to know. I don’t want bell’s and whistles or pretty colours….I want RECORDS and lots of them.” YES!!!
    “Family historians want information, and more information, plus an easy to use research site. It seems that we are not going to get that in the future – if it ain’t broke why fix it?………bring back old search, it was better than the flippin slide bars……….I hate them!!!” I COULDN’T AGREE MORE! WHAT IS WORSE, ELLIS ISLAND WENT TO SLIDERS! IT’S HORRIBLE!!
    “I would much rather that you focus on ensuring that data of the living cannot be misused by identity thieves or people like that tree owner I mentioned, then that you spend sleepless nights wondering whether yellow or pink would look better on the displays of names.” THIS PARTICULAR POST ABOUT IDENTITY THEFT WAS SCARY INDEED!
    “I hope that Ancestry can come up with some kind of discounted price for seniors”. I HAVE “World Explorer”. I’M SURE A RECENT HOSPITAL STAY NOT COVERED BY INSURANCE IS GOING TO CAUSE ME FINANCIAL GRIEF!

  95. maryabrams

    Another functionality comment that I have brought up several times to no avail: The DNA birth locations function is going to continue to be useless until Ancestry finds a way to consolidate the 47 different possible configurations of a single birth location in the USA. If I’m looking for someone born in Boston, it might be under US, USA, United States, United States of America, Unspecified, etc. etc. These myriad configurations are mainly generated by the Ancestry hints when they are accepted.

  96. Pat Secord

    I’ve been holding off on commenting, and reading all the others’ comments. I could copy Bee’s post to the letter. ‘Nuff said.

  97. Eric Butcher

    I implore the boffins to find a dictionary and look up exact!! My dictionary has this,
    Marked by strict and particular and complete accordance with fact.
    Ancestry seem to think that exact doesn’t apply to searches,if i enter John as given name with exact,why show results for Anna,Jane and Spiro??Same applies for locations.

  98. Barbara Taylor

    It looks like you are finally adding a way to search media 🙂 That is much needed. I’d like to see the birth of children automatically added to the timeline. That is a nice feature on another site I use and it really helps to see what is happening and when. Maybe an option if others don’t want it added. The current story view has failed miserably on anyone I’ve tried, so hope you can find a way to do the new version without it interfering with the site functioning as it does now. I signed up for the beta (I’m a former software tester).

  99. One word ACCURACY! I don’t care a hoot about the family trees or all the bells and whistles that go with them. I want to be able to SEARCH and get results like we used to–results that really pertain to what we searched for. Seasoned users, I believe, are on ancestry for the search, not trees. I have my own database software for my family tree and I’m not putting one on ancestry–ever. And, on most of family trees I’ve visited it is obvious the users know nothing about genealogy–they have just bought into ancestry’s advertising–click a leaf!

  100. Strongly suggest you remove photos from the pedigree view. You could add a generation or two by so doing, and that would be enormously helpful in DNA research. Also, an option to expand the view to more generations by using full page view would add value.

    Function is so much more important than glamour! Please, focus….

  101. The one thing that would encourage me to keep my public tree updated on Ancestry is support for more of the GEDCOM standard. I keep my stories in the NOTES field in my genealogy software (not Family Tree Maker) so it is a big inhibiter to me that does not support a full-fledged GED file upload. I would prefer to see improvements in functionality like this rather than more froo froo cosmetics and features that only benefit those who use’s interface for entering and updating their data.

  102. Laura

    I’d love to see other facts as able from things like the censuses eg the occupation of people. It makes their lives so much more interesting and you can see the progression of their lives. Your hints can be great but there are loads of data points you have indexed which are not then saved to an individual. Looking forward to seeing the new functionality.

  103. JAS

    I use Ancestry for the records. I don’t use it for trees or shaky leaves or stories or any of the bells and whistles already there or being proposed. My main interest is that the search engine is functional and that more and more diverse record sets appear. The rest is far less important.

    I am concerned by the things I’ve been reading about the stories and bios that have error after error in them. I did genealogy pre-internet and welcomed the searches that have made paging through many documents not as necessary as it once was. But I don’t want to have to spend the time I’d like to spend researching trying to clean up sloppy genealogy in which people put someone with the same name as someone else in their tree because “the name’s the same.” I am grateful for the shortcuts to the records that Ancestry has provided. I just hope you don’t overdo the “friendliness” of the site to the point that accuracy suffers.

  104. Karelyn

    I look forward to seeing and using the new updated version of Ancestry. Being on a limited income I would be hopeful that there is no increase in the subscriptions.

  105. Alice

    Has anyone else had difficulty using the Shoebox? It’s a great place to put that record that I feel I need to look at more closely but don’t have time right then; or not sure that it is the same family. It’s usually something that I stumble across when looking for something else.

    My Shoebox has 115 pages, with 10 names each = 1,150 items. And the only way to find something is to read thru each and every page – one at a time.

    It would be extremely helpful if the contents of the Shoebox could be SORTED … like the sort used in the List of all People inside a tree. You click on a letter, and it brings up all entries that begin with that letter.

    Please consider simplifying contents of the Shoebox.

  106. Julie

    I hope the new website allows researches to sort record hints. I would love to be able to choose which records I’m working with. For example, I would be able to get through a batch of SSDI records much faster than Find A Grave records, so I’d like to be able to look at just the SSDI records instead of scrolling through thousands of hints to find them…

  107. PW

    Well, well, well, more changes; PLEASE NOTE: “Change for change sake does not always result in progress.”

    Does anyone remember all the negative blogs posted after Kenny Freestone announced ” A New Look for Ancestry Members” back in July 2009?

    Did Ancestry listen to us then? At first NO, but gradually the ‘New Look’ was altered possibly due to the health aspects for members with eyesight complications.

    Will they listen to our comments now? I predict: NO; and I fear there will be no going back this time due to the expense that they have incurred developing what they believe to be an improvement which customers want. I have no use for this “Fresh New Look”

    With reference to the following statement in the article by Dan Lawyer: “However, substantial research into the needs of our members and the experience they are having on the website have helped us to see new and innovative ways to reinvent the way we help you do family history.”, I HAVE NOT BEEN ASKED IF I WANT THIS NEW LOOK.

    I also object to the substantial increase in my membership fee that is obviously going towards paying for the “New Website” – that I do not require.

    Do I want to add “Life Stories” to my family – NO

    Do I need “Historical Insights” whilst researching records – NO.

    Is Dan Lawyer going to respond to my comments – ?


    Does the Sliding Bar work as efficiently as “Old Search” – NO

    I am liking the phrase that is being used in the comments: “Let’s not put lipstick on a pig” and “Function is so much more important than glamour! Please, focus….

    My phrase is: “If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It”

  108. Stephanie

    I many people have concerns about the update. I am looking forward to the new look. I suffer from migraines and staring at a mostly white screen is a challenge.

    I have signed up to be on the beta wait list and was wondering if you could tell us how long it will take to receive an invite to the beta?

    Thanks again!!

  109. Nick

    Its funny how so many people are afraid of change. change is a good thing it sprouts new ideas and helps people move on. If things were never to change nothing would happen so i welcome this change i am excited to get beta access. people stop complaining if things dont change then things dont change its not a scary thing let it happen and see what happens.

  110. Monika

    Nick, Nobody is “afraid” of change! I do not know whether you are new to ancestry or what. What people here are complaining about is “change for changes sake”. “Change is good” is an accurate statement when what is done has value. It is also a nice slogan for a fortune cookie. The people who have taken the time to elaborate on what should be changed and what they believe does not need to be changed have been with ancestry for a while and are tired of seeing more lipstick put on a pig. The bells and whistles are far more likely to be enjoyed by the junkologists (which make up a large percentage of the membership on The serious genealogist , who is mainly interested in vital records and facts does not need more than the ability to obtain these as easily as possible.

  111. Oma2004

    Daniel, I know that changes are inevitable, but please correct some bad errors in indexing before making another move. I have sent at least 3 messages on this but never a response from Customer Service. I would be willing to bet that most Newbies never go to the original record to verify information on a person profile before they SAVE. You have provided the alternative information option on name and age which is what should apply to the other important fields especially Race.

  112. Launa

    I have many MORE ABOUT notes for individuals that are for historical embellishment. I cannot lose them! Do I need to download Gedcoms for various online trees I have made?

    • Dan Lawyer

      We will keep all of your notes. The beta of the new site doesn’t yet have this feature built but it is coming shortly and you will see all of your notes on the new site.

  113. Missy

    I have dabbled with the free options on Ancestry for years, but recently began paying for a membership. I have found a lot of valuable information on this site since joining, and for that I am very appreciative. I have read some of the comments. The one recurring theme seems to be useless search results, and I have experienced this on most of the searches that I have done. I must say it is very frustrating to find nothing useful on a search that should yield results, and it is even worse to get nothing at all when narrowing down the search terms.

    My 3 biggest wishes for any changes made:

    1. the ability to split apart my one large tree (newbie mistake for making one tree rather than separate trees for each branch of the family). I have looked and see no way to split my tree (which contains my ancestors as well as my husband’s ancestors) into two trees.

    2. the ability to import people and their saved information from my tree into a new tree I want to make.

    3. improved search results.

    I will add that the reason I had not joined Ancestry before now was cost. I am really hoping that the cost won’t increase because I want to continue researching my family tree.

  114. Kathleen

    I really want to thank you for the new feature that is now on my Tree on your site. Being able to save information from Ancestry to Familysearch is wonderful. Thank you so very much.

  115. S

    I hope the new database is better at replicating the data from the other countries ancestry websites which are currently missing from the US site

  116. everyone is correct function over prettiness. I have completed a few surveys, why I do not know they do not listen. We need more information like, obituaries, birth notices, marriage articles. The biggest mistake they made is eliminating one world tree. Ancestry should make available all information from all the other websites they own. What they should eliminate is the ridiculous hints and keep it to the close possibilities, and they say they eliminated one world tree because it was not completely accurate. what documents on here are 100% accurate? A lot of information you find here is donated. Ancestry should realize that it takes money to make money. Start investing to what will benefit us in order to become number one, which would attract all kinds of customers without becoming greedy. It is best to try and make 30% per transaction opposed to 80% of nothing. After awhile greed kills all business. Please listen to your present customers, help them out and you will be very happy at your profits and wonderful feed back. Thank you very much from a hopeful happy member.

  117. BEE

    Can’t get rid of “ghost hints”, now I’m getting “email error”! grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! If I shut down my computer and go to log on, my user name and password doesn’t work, so I have to go to “history” and click on a name I was working on. If I “clear all history”, I have to go back to square one and hope everything works!!

  118. Monika Schaefer

    I just experienced the identical problems that Bee has. Very frustrating. So much for “user friendly”! So, stop working on your pretty designs and start concerning yourself with functionality.

  119. mark

    I loved ancestry and used it for many years. Great data and easy to tailor searches to get exactly what I needed. Then they got rid of “Old Search” and put in slider bars to dumb down the process of searching, and in the process they took away the ability to deep dive for data and get the most out of the great data they had. The new search function only superficially touches the data, and it is hard to clean out the searches to obtain the fine point data needed. So I quit Ancestry; when I saw the blog post, I thought they were listening and would bring back functionality to their searches. But it appears they are going in the opposite direction. I don’t want a website that manages information about my ancestors — I want Ancestry to give me the information in the best way possible. Please bring back the Old Search functionality somehow.

  120. Angela

    I used to use my moms and I just started my own account and I got the beta. I HATE the new look. Any way I can change to the other version??

  121. Ann Lamb

    It is interesting reading the comments of people and their resistance to new formats, I think this is just human nature but you have to adjust constantly to change. I find that once you get used to the new search it is very good. I too was upset when it was introduced and didn’t want to use it and actually for a very long time used the old version until it was removed otherwise nothing would improve. The new one is different but once you get the hang of it it is very good. I also have a sub with Findyourpast and have to say I find the Ancestry search much easier to use. For a while I was thinking of changing to that site but after using it, although I did find some info I could not find on Ancestry I think Ancestry is better and easier to navigate. One thing though I have for several years written to Ancestry and asked why some of the emails I receive from them are blank [for eg the hints ] I have had no response which I find rather disappointing as I even sent a captured page so they could see what I was receiving. As I receive some emails from them with all the news etc on it I wonder why some are blank??

  122. Fay Farmer

    Improve the FUNCTION and FACT-FINDING, especially poorly/incorrectly transcribed records which you expect your paying users to correct for you, before you tart up anything else.

  123. Jenni

    Here we go again, more changes, just give us Seniors who have been with Ancestry for a long time a good discount. I would love to have Worldwide Membership but you are way too expensive. Cut down TV advertising and give us a fair go!

  124. Graham Crawford

    Improvements I’d like to see:
    Tree merging (flagging duplicates)
    Global flagging of duplicates
    in the “List of all people”, having time, location and name sorting
    When doing a search “update”,. it also changes the default collection (currently you have to “edit” the search to change the default collection).
    A fix to the problem with the “leaf” showing hints that don’t exist (there’s a number, but when selected there’s a “You have no hints in your tree” message)

  125. Gavin spicer

    I have many video’s that I would love to load onto my Ancestry tree which would be loved by all who are related. When will you add this to the program so that people can add just as one can add a photo? I believe this is much more important than a pretty looking new designed website.

  126. Lorne Schieren

    I hope the historical facts will give foreign users, there own time lines, eg: British, New Zealand and Australian, NOT just USA time lines.

  127. Helen Caroln Turner

    Sounds like some good ideas have been put forth however please do not price us out of membership. As an older Australian I am on a set income and would find it difficult to afford if whenever a change occurs the price goes up I would no longer be able to continue on with my family history. Thank you for a great site.

  128. Judith Rowe

    Hi Dan Lawyer
    As I am in Australia just a concern that the area that show historical information will be all USA related and nothing to do with our families in Australia Can you confirm how this will work for people other than in USA please

  129. Irene Geels

    Don’t know if you will get this but I just got this email–Australia 8 March 2015–now I read comments for this finish on the 5th–what a joke

  130. Dan Lawyer:- Can you please explain why I am paying $449.95 for a year and yet there are others are paying $389./year World.. And can you explain why Australian’s are paying far more for our subscriptions than other country’s . Being a Pensioner this is getting be way to much to pay , give us a senior discount or life time membership , that we all can afford.
    I am not looking forward to another change on Ancestry Website as there are still a lot of flaws on your last up date on our pages, We are here to do research not to make our pages pretty .How can you put make up stories on our pages, This is not right, I am not for this new change

  131. Graham Crawford

    Some more points:
    At the moment, adding a branch from one tree to another is a painstaking “copy to another tree” ONE PERSON AT A TIME!!.
    Could a single person/plus descendants selection be added?
    You’re not going to like this.
    My current method of adding tree members into an Ancestry tree is to search FamilySearch and FreeREG – if they’re there, add them.
    THEN I look at leaf or do an Ancestry search
    I take it this fancy dressing update comes from your (not promoted on Ancestry, or acknowledged as) genealogical site called

  132. Lester Hamilton

    After some time of use there is a need to edit ones locations file, as mistakes made in the past just keep coming up as prompts.

  133. Graham Crawford

    Is it possible to have a “pairing” facility?
    for example, there are several “James C..” in my tree, all born within a few years.
    When selected from the “list of all people”, it would be nice to see who is married to who in the list, as this makes it a lot easier to choose the correct “James C..”

  134. Graham Crawford

    Would it be a legal barrier to having an automatic “find and add to tree” facility like Family Tree (in FamilySearch) has, where, as you add a person, the site database search finds an exact match (not a partial!!) and adds it (and all other matching members up the line) to a tree?
    I have found the current Ancestry site has a better presentation and “feel” to it that no other gene site can match, even though I’ve submitted suggestions and criticisms in this forum. Please don’t wreck it.

  135. Diane Dwyer

    I agree with the others. FUNCTION & COST. The price is prohibitive and should not be limited to certain countries. It should include world search. Syncing needs work – all my trees are duplicated, a slow process to sort out. Filters need work – I am from Australia and tired of having to go through page after page of American info to find anything relevant. Also, access to new data. Most of the new data added takes you to the American ancestry site and if you’re not a member of that, you can’t access it. I tend to just give up and go to other search engines which are more research friendly.

  136. Rosalind Bailey

    It is frustrating when trying to find records for a female prior to her marriage and the results list the options for the married name first. Please change it so the maiden name options are listed first.

  137. Ruth Dunlap

    Concentrate instead on more images of actual records so mistakes in your indexing can be discovered by us. I add my own stories, charts, and historical events. Skip the colors, tabs, boxes, pictures. (I don’t use FTM, either.)

  138. Karen

    I have been with Ancestry off and on for years and I still get tired of searching and getting adverts that pop-up and redirect my searches that only delay searching. I will not pay for these costs. I also get tired of the Sync not working properly, the program closing down on its own accord and having to go through other countries lists before getting to Australia or New Zealand. Even Selecting the specific country and selecting update dos not work properly. Also there is viruses that seem to be connected to Ancestry .com, you need to put anti-virus system into your program. settings. You do have a good programme but it still needs a lot of Bugs fixed yet.

  139. Penelope Shadbolt

    I am a fifth generation New Zealander. My ancestors came from England, Ireland and Germany in the early 1800s. Historical insights I can get from Google, Papers Past or the Library. I am not interested in USA history. Like many others I am retired and on a small fixed income. The new format for looks pretty – but I have sight problems and find black on white to be easier for me – also size is important.

  140. EShadlow

    I am reasonably competent in my computer use but I am not a tech head – I struggle with Ancestry the way it is so please don’t assume that we all know “technology speak” – bells and whistles mean nothing to me if I don’t know how to use them and I don’t want them in any case, I just want a simple way of recording my family history, I don’t plan to conquer the world with my research! Also like many other comments I have read from people in a similar income bracket to myself, price will be a big factor plus I have no American history in my family so please don’t insert it into my trees. Just keep it as simple as possible PLEASE.

  141. Ian Granland

    Hello. Good work. Can you make family trees default to pedigree rather than a family format when opening or at least make it an option?
    ALSO, after adding a hint, can you get it to return to the person’s profile or at least provide an option to return to the person’s profile, please. Otherwise, very good changes.

  142. PLEASE if you could just reduce the number of rubbish results on searches I’d be willing to put up with anything else, pretty or not. It’s a worry when 2 of your 3 ‘primary directives’ are for good looks, not good function, results, or ease of operation. I do not understand a match with my mother born UK 1930 with a lady of a totally different name (with same husband name} born and died 200 years earlier on the other side of the world.) ie. your highly overused US centric results.

  143. I am just getting use to this Ancestry I hope it is’t going to be too difficult and not cost more money it is dear as it is. As most of my Ancestors re from Ireland and the UK I would like to see more research for Ireland as it is very limited as to what you can research.

  144. Steve Hogan

    I dont mind sharing information but I do object to people copying our information only to find out that their own pages are flagged as private. If people are private they should not be allowed to copy items from others.

  145. Tess Robson

    I think I am going to love the new look ancestry, however, I too, have some concerns, I have been with Ancestry since around 2006 and have purchased the family tree maker so I can write and print my family history more easily, will this new change affect the way Tree Maker works? and I too, am also concerned with the costs particularly with the automatic withdrawals each month, I would like notifications of when my membership monthly is due,One problem I also have is other members contacting me because they think I have information on their relatives and when I check my trees (I have several) there is no such relative however Ancestry mismatches are a common occurrence in this field. I find it is time consuming and time wasting for me to go chasing their queries. Most of my Ancestors are from Scotland Ireland and England with immigrants to Australia and America arising from those Ancestors. Functionality is very important to me, I want to be able to use the site easily as in the past.

  146. BEE

    “hint” English Select Essex Parish Registers 1538-1900 Name Charles – no surname given
    Spouse Ann
    Children Elizabeth Carter
    What has this to do with a Charles born in New York and died in Massachusetts, except they are both named Charles with a wife Ann and daughter Elizabeth!
    Another one just popped up from same register for a woman born in Pennsylvania!
    Still have “ghost hints”, but the email “error” message is gone! ‘ray!!

  147. Graham

    Its very colourful, hope its easy to go through for us computer dummies
    Just a suggestion is it possible to join, find a to your site. This will help with us with photos of headstone
    I love tracing my family

  148. Graham

    I have just deleted over 100 people from my site one by one. some how double it in my family tree. is it possible to delete all no known relation without going through it one by one.
    I too search a family name in England and up pops stuff no related from USA , this makes me so mad as I only wants stuff from England. I have no family in USA. hope you can help with this problems

  149. David

    I use a lot of custom facts in FTM and I would like to see them fully utilise din Ancestry and not cut out of any displays or matching of data.

  150. BEE

    I love searching for documents. I have no photos or “stories” on any of my trees. Years ago, I copied names and information from ship manifests on dozens of people from my grandfather’s village.
    I’ve been slowly adding this information to two different trees. Thanks to death certificates, obituaries, etc. I’m finding some these people, as well as their descendants, married here, connecting two different families. I recently “manually” remove a whole “branch” from one tree and put it on the other, transferring all the documents. Today I found another marriage, but it would be next to impossible to copy all that information into the other tree, as in involves the “home person”! So now, I have a woman on one tree with her first name (wife of), and the same woman on the other tree with with her maiden name! Of course, if I add her husband to the other tree, I now have duplicate information! As others have written, it would be great if we could somehow “merge” two trees. Forget all the “fancy-dancy” stuff!!

  151. EHill

    I agree with the other comments thus far that stress FUNCTION and COST above all else. Making the site look fabulous isn’t going to help anyone if the functionality is lacking. I do hope that Ancestry respects and keeps its core customer base (retired seniors) in mind when determining costs. The price of ancestry is expensive enough as is and quite honestly I’m not sure I can continue to afford it. I love using the website, but I also must live on a fixed income. I understand that for profit companies are fixated on profits and roi for investors, but that doesn’t mean the customers have to be robbed blind. Hopefully, Ancestry will learn from another company’s mistake and NOT REPEAT the mistakes of TurboTax (who basically screwed over their loyal customer base). Ancestry may find itself in the same situation if the costs become too prohibitive….folks will vote with their wallets.

  152. Keith

    To MISSY: I tried to find a way to split my tree (mine and my wife’s) on another programme, until I realised that from our children’s point of view it was the one tree anyway, so I left it as it is.

  153. BEE

    I agree about the “core customer base (retired seniors)”. There are so many “trees” started by someone over a year ago and seem to be abandoned. They enter a few names, and especially if it’s an ethnic name, nothing comes up for them, so they drop their {probably trial} membership. If I’m lucky, they might have added a date, name of parent or spouse that can further my “search”, which is what I love to do!

  154. BEE

    transferring another “branch” from one tree to the other. At this rate, I will probably, very tediously, transfer all 600 people rather than have the duplication, but why – when a census “hint” comes through and I add the whole family, I then have to “ignore” that hint for all the children on that tree, because l’ve already added the information! btw, is there any doubt that Walter is a “male”? Why should I have to go to “edit” and change from “unknown”!!

  155. Vickie

    I agree we’ll probably be stuck with the new site. Improving function would have been much more useful. Here’s what I found The colors, which might work on another type of site are unsuitable for this one. Eyes will tire more easily. In profile view, took away the Comments and the Web Links. Took away the Merge Duplicates. Can only upload Photos to Media – .jpg .jpeg .png .gif .tiff .bmp. No more pdfs, no more stories. I use both comments and stories to explain why I’m following a specific “speculative” line. Cannot view Ancestry Family Trees as sources, either in profile view on your own tree or on other trees. Took away the find individuals in this tree search box from profile view. Took away the option to add (private) research notes in profile view. Took away a hell of a lot. In general more time consuming to navigate. Oh, it also comes up larger. had to use my browser View to zoom out a couple of times to make it more comfortable. To say I’m not impressed is an understatement

  156. Vickie

    One more comment. The site not “beautiful” and certainly not a “delightful” experience. The life story is as accurate as the information entered, useless. An earlier commenter said it right, the site is being dummied down. Personally, I don’t care for that type of insult.

  157. Ellen Anderson

    I agree with the rubbish results on searches. If I am search for a person who was born, say, in Washington County Maryland, why do 20,000 results come up with none of them having a person born in Washington County Virginia? Also, so of these public trees have ridiculous errors in them. How can someone who died in 1790 have three children born in 1867? I’ll bet some of these people have abandoned their trees or, like me, can’t figure out a reliable way to make changes. To me the search function and the ability to revise is critical.

  158. graham

    I have payed for information in England Ireland, and Australia. Yet 80% of my hints state America.
    When you press Ireland why does countries that are not Ireland pop up. Anyway I am hoping someone out there can help me with Michael Finlay place of burial in NSW Australia
    Guys enjoy your searching

  159. Vickie

    I will assume most of the things now missing will be put back in, with the help of customer feedback.

    Something to keep in mind though is that all of the things I mentioned above should have already been in place before starting to work on the new life story and historical insights and I believe it will be only with customer feedback that they’ll be returned. In addition, although I’m not crazy about it, I will give the programmers credit. It does takes some doing from a programming view to come up with what they have.

  160. BEE

    I’ve been adding names of those who emigrated from my grandfather’s village to Pgh and other places into a tree. Not an easy job with ethnic names. I’m just glad I found them all years ago on the ellisisland site before they went to the stupid sliders! I hate that site now. If that “story view” is in the same spot in the “new and improved” ancestry site, I’ll scream!!

  161. Monika

    Yes, Bee, you have to press “male” for Walter. If I have to press “deceased” for someone who was born in 1624, it is only fair that you should have to do that. 🙂 On European sites like and you cannot have the “relationship to me” line. For some reason, ancestry claims that they have not had a chance to add this feature to these sites even though that subject was brought up years ago . Don’t know why that should be so difficult to do…I guess that’s because they are too busy trying to add features that tell the story of our ancestors for us!

  162. BEE

    Monika, if you know where your ancestor is born and enter that, it automatically checks “deceased” – at least for me – whoopee!! Oh darn, I can’t copy and paste your “smiley”!

  163. Randy Borkowski

    I am going to second the comment made by KPalmer. While I look forward to the new look and almost always appreciate the constant improvements being made by ancestry, I do hope the technical issues are improved at least as much as the look and feel improvements. A big part of my reaction will be based on whether the long term persistent problem with phantoms hints is resolved.

  164. BEE

    Randy, I couldn’t agree with you more. I’ve been dealing with these “ghost hints” for at least three years, including phone calls and emails on the subject.

  165. Monika

    Bee, Yes, eight times out of ten it does check off “deceased” automatically for me as well. But not on I was inputting some European born ancestors on the German website who were born in the 16th century and about half of the time it did not check “deceased” automatically even though I had the birth date of the ancestor which was a “dead give away” (pardon the pun 🙂 ) . At times I may not have known the village (s)he was born in, but I always add the State (Country). I wonder whether that has something to do with it. Hhhmmm! Nonetheless, whether you know where somebody was born or not…if he was born in 1625, the odds are pretty good that he is dead regardless. 🙂

  166. Kara

    I am having trouble with some of the colors and layout of pages in the beta version triggering my vertigo and migraines. Also I believe that some of the colors are not the best choice from an accessibility stand point for people with low vision. Not sure if this is the correct forum for this comment, but wanted someone to know. Sometimes a pretty design is not always the best choice from a usability / accessibility perspective.

  167. Richard


  168. Brian

    I actually made suggestions to Ancestry about a year ago that the addition of historical events , historical of transportation & roads, natural disasters, the spread of gas, lighting & indoor plumbing would be interesting attributes to include in a tree.
    While I find the work of tracing my families roots interesting, getting family to take the time to look at the results has been disappointing. Adding these historical events makes the tree more entertaining to an observer. To know that your ancestor lived just blocks away from the inaugural ride of the Pony Express, that the death of Jesse James was the talk of the day in St. JO or to think you GG-GM witnessed the Solar storm of 1859 –

    These things help to make your tree a History of your family. My two cents.

  169. Nancy

    Vickie: they took away Comments and Web Links? I use those fields constantly. I have tons of information in them. If they’re going to disappear I hope they’ll give me time to move the information to somewhere on my own computer.

    I’m tired of getting hundreds of English records when I’ve specified US. I’m frustrated with having to call CSRs instead of having an email option. I would like to have a printable Family Group Sheet. The phantom hints are an annoyance. I enjoy Ancestry, I’ve found tons of information here I might not have found elsewhere, but I really wish time and effort had gone into making fixes that people have been pleading for instead of changing the format around.

    I’m already writing life stories for my ancestors. I keep them on family pages so that I’m compiling a history of each part of the family, including where they were born, if they were orphaned early, and adding anything interesting they did. There’s already a Story section, why did it need to be expanded?

    There was a question above regarding the listing of all the Sources for each ancestor. Is that going to disappear? (Of course it’s going to disappear. I use it, so it will vanish. That’s the story of my life). 😉

    Please. Make the fixes and improve the functionality we’ve lost. Then start on the changes.

  170. BEE

    You would think since this particular subject always generates the most “comments”, someone would pay attention to what people are saying?
    I have complained about “phantom hints” for years. I find the placement of “story view” very annoying! If you click on it by mistake, it takes forever to get rid of it to do what I was in the midst of doing with “edit”. I have no idea what the “new look” looks like, so I can’t comment, but it doesn’t sound good.

  171. Joseph

    Can someone please add the View relationship to me back to a person profile page. It will be nice if the relationship to the home person is displayed by default. It will also be nice that we can access the source from the Facts page instead of going to the gallery. The comments I made about people in my tree are missing from the profile page.

  172. Tom Bryant

    I have been a customer for so many years I don’t remember when I joined. From reding all of the comments, it appears that the new version is a complete bust. I don’t know who they talk to before making their changes, but it’s certainly not the more experienced user. It seems that in the past, every change required more key strokes to add info, making it more tedious and time consuming. I can’t imagine what genius decided to remove “comments,” “links,” and “stories.” I use the addition of stories to add Obits and court proceedings that confirm info that otherwise don’t appear in Ancestry’s databases.

  173. Tom Bryant

    How do I get on the list to see the beta format. Yesterday there was a place to sign up(couldn’t because Ancestry was experiencing problems and I could not sign in) but I don’t see it today.

  174. BEE

    As far as I can see, “comments” is still there. That is where I add obituaries and other information I find.

  175. BEE

    ok, something new just popped up.
    A “hint” – historical records (1) shows up for a person, but when you click on it, nothing is there.
    “cleaned” everything! restarted computer, but nothing helps!! It keeps coming back and won’t go away!

  176. Lemba

    Do you guys plan on updating the Ethnicity Estimates in these updates? There was a rumor of improving the Ethnicity estimate by the end of 2014 but looks like DNA circle made the priority, any news on that?

  177. Yvonne

    Hoping you will have folders within media to better organize contents. Also need this in FTM. Waiting for ability to sync to more than one computer, i.e. desktop and laptop.

  178. BEE

    Do you think anyone is checking this blog anymore?
    If so, guess what, people! I just got an email telling me “you have 1 new hint in” – one of my trees.
    It’s the one I wrote about earlier – “hint” – historical records (1) shows up for a person, but when you click on it, nothing is there.
    I “cleaned” everything! restarted computer, but nothing helps!! It keeps coming back and won’t go away!” – now ancestry is telling me “something” is there – when “nothing” is there?

  179. BEE

    Don’t know if anyone is paying attention to these old posts. This one was supposed to close a month ago, so maybe it’s only good for “venting”!
    I added a comment to the very first post I came across this morning because I was so upset – doubt if anyone will respond, because it was so “off topic”. Since I’ve made so many comments here, I’ll add it. I must add that I did send an email about the subject of “ghost hints” and did get a response. Supposedly, things clear up when the do something or other quarterly? We’ll see. I know it has been done, but they continue to come back.
    My comment: “Where in the world did the page go to where you could enter the name of a ship when doing a search for a ship manifest? It was “hidden”, but when I found it, I used it all the time. It has now disappeared! They have “updated” the form, but I can’t find it on the old or new form!!”

  180. BEE

    A follow-up to my previous comment: the space to type in a ship name has reappeared where I originally found it! For some strange reason, it’s not on the “Immigration & Travel” form. You have to go the the list on the right and click on “New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957″, and the place to type in the ship name has magically reappeared! ‘ray!

  181. Rebecca

    It’s extremely and painfully slow to load the pages. I’m trying to figure out how to get back to the old view. I’m not happy at all.

  182. BEE

    Wow! this post is still open, and people are still posting! I will continue my “rant” – PLEASE move that #*#%# “Story View” – I don’t know how many times I hit that thing and have to wait until it “fades” before I can continue!

  183. BEE

    I guess my “rant” continues. Why oh why, do I have to keep going to basic viewer, and even then, I it doesn’t always work??

  184. Bill

    I have been a Beta participant from the beginning but can no longer use it on a regular basis. There are still far too many missing functions and functions not performing correctly. For some odd reason ther are “extra” clicks required to do a number of functions that weren’t there before. These are a waste of our time and an extra drain on computer resources. Changes in appearance are not what we need or want. Gives us improved functionality!

  185. BEE

    It all goes back to “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!!
    PLEASE fix existing problems! I’m still waiting for the “ghosts” to disappear! from email 4/2: “These phantom hints appear because of periodic delays in indexing site content and should be resolved during the next indexing cycle, which occurs every few weeks.” – it’s been going on for months!! Yes, I do all the “stand on my head” things recommended.

  186. Annie

    Function is first on my list too. Right now your ad for 14 Day Free Trial is so annoying. When I click Review or Death Notice, every time the ad comes up. There is no way to make it go away other than the back arrow but then you try to review the new information and up comes the darn ad AGAIN. That is bad function and makes one wanting to go to other sites that are much less costly. Fix this please.

  187. Jeri

    So for the past 24+ hours the profile part of the old version is incredibly slow. Nothing else, just the profile part and I’m not the only one having the problem. I placed a post on the Facebook page and Ancestry says they are working on it. I’m trying to prepare for a family reunion in one week and this is killing me!! So I thought I’ll check the new Beta version and see if it has the same problem and nope it’s all running smoothly except I feel the same as I did when I first tested the Beta version, I just don’t like it, yet! I say yet because I have great hopes that when it’s all said and done the issues I totally dislike will be better. I like the clean look of it and it’s very similar to what I’m used to on my iPad but the learning curve is just more than I have time for when I’d just rather be researching. My main complaint today is that when I click on a source I’ve already added like Find A Grave it won’t take me to the actual source. Why? Is it the user (me, which is normally the case) All it does is drawn pretty little animated lines to the source but nope I can’t click on the source and go to it. Another example is sources I’ve added. Can’t click on them and go look at them. Please help answer this if someone has an answer so I can get my packets prepared and printed. Or fix the issue on the old version. I really wish we could just use the old version if we want. I don’t need some cute little history hints or Oh John and Mary had a baby! I know they had kids, that’s why I’m here today! I did figure out I can turn that part off thank goodness but if you’re going for a more simplified look then keep the ability to search and use simple like it always has been! Keep working on it Ancestry, don’t let us flounder!

  188. Lindsay

    I DO NOT LIKE THE FONT!! The facts page is confusing and I do not like it, and I do not like the page all spaced out. Really hard to research

  189. Don

    Re: Beta Version. I would miss the ability to search within my own tree from the profile. It looks like I would have to go to the Tree View. Am I missing something?

    • Dan Lawyer

      @Don – thanks for the question about searching your tree from the profile of an ancestor. There is a small search icon in the upper left hand corner just to the right of the name of the tree that will allow you to search for someone within the tree without going back to the Tree Viewer. Hopefully that will help you out. Thanks for using the beta version.

  190. Roger Engelken

    It is all about FUNCTIONALITY. Nothing more nor nothing less. While the existing site is no worse than most sites of any kind out there, I still have sync problems on average every four months that require breaking the link and uploading and re-syncing again. I have 40,967 people and 2,853 media files in the tree, so it is not the biggest, nor the smallest out there. Make it beautiful? Never, ever at the expense of functionality and work ability. Beauty is only skin deep.

  191. Lila Guenther

    I don’t want pretty over function either. I don’t want compiled records that don’t have sources. I don’t want index records without original source images. I don’t want records that span 100 years that don’t give a date. I don’t want member trees with no sources (not Ancestry’s fault). I don’t like the search function – bringing up every record on the planet, having nothing to do with a person, place, time. I don’t like not having tabs on the top of the browser – I have to use two monitors in order to do partially efficient searches. I don’t like having additional search suggestions on the page where I have found a record, but they are not in the original search. I have to keep going back and forth in order to check out these suggestions. While I have found many of the first ones to be accurate, the layout is not useful. I don’t want the history story page either. I would like to be able to sync my tree from two different computers. It just keeps uploading a new tree to ancestry. I have lost data through trying to do this and had to start over on my research. I really feel the worst thing about Ancestry is the horrible search engine that presently exists. It is pretty much useless unless the first three records are for your ancestor. I am paying a lot of money, and don’t even have the military or newspaper or World subscriptions. Don’t make it prettier before making it functional. If you aren’t going to make it functional, why offer a product at all? Are you trying to reach the most people but not have it be a serious research site? How can you have any pride in your work? If you do a job, do it right. I found the puzzle of genealogy fascinating but want to have accurate info. It is my family after all.

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