Posted by Crista Cowan on June 8, 2015 in Site Features, Website

Have you seen the new Facts View on your Ancestry online tree?  If you haven’t let me tell you what you are missing.  Just like before, you will find the facts you’ve discovered and entered about the life of a person in your tree running down the page like a timeline.  You will also find that the parents, spouse and children of the person are on the right-hand side of the page just where they have always been.  The big change you will discover is that the sources that support those facts and relationships are now front and center.

Old Facts View [Left] New Facts View [Right]
Old Ancestor Profile [Left] New LifeStory and Facts View [Right]
All good genealogists know that you need to cite your sources.  The Genealogical Proof Standard states that we should do a reasonably exhaustive search into the records that will provide information about our ancestors’ lives.  We should then analyze and correlate that information and resolve any conflicts before coming to conclusions about who our ancestors may have been, what their relationship were to each other, and what events occurred in their lives.

I do this by looking at record hints, searching directly from my tree to see what bubbles up to the top of the search results, and then craft very specific searches, looking for any additional records I may have missed.  That’s my search process.  Each time I find a record that pertains to one of my ancestors, I save it to that person in my tree.  With all of those attached records in my tree, I can now see exactly what facts are supported by any one of those sources by clicking the source.

Facts View
Facts View

Isn’t that great?  It goes the other way, too.  I can click on any fact in the timeline and it will show me which sources support that specific fact.

Facts View
Facts View

We can also add sources for records that we find other places.  Web links, for things found on other websites, will soon be incorporated as sources.  We can scan documents that we order from archives and libraries and manually create sources for those as well.  All of our research is now front and center in the Facts View.

I am loving this!  Since using this new tool with my Ancestry Online Tree, I have become a better researcher.  I am careful to make sure that what I enter into my tree is backed up by sources.  I also make sure that I’m consulting the right sources and that if I come across conflicting evidence, I make good notes to explain why I chose one date over another or one particular spelling of a surname.  All of this is important to me because I want to make sure that I am climbing my own family tree, not someone else’s.

How is the new Facts View helping your research?

Crista Cowan

Crista has been doing genealogy since she was a child. She has been employed at Ancestry.com since 2004. Around here she's known as The Barefoot Genealogist. Google Twitter

136 Comments

  1. BEE

    OH, BROTHER! I HAVE NO INTEREST IN ALL THIS GOBBLEDY-GOOK! Working around those blasted sliders is bad enough! It doesn’t work with ethnic names, so I always have to go to “edit search”. I’ve hunted and searched for every document I’ve found, and have often been successful with my method. All this other “stuff” is useless as far as I’m concerned. I’ve worked so hard over the years researching family. I originally had individual trees for different people, but thanks to documents found in Europe, I have learned they are all connected, so there was a lot of duplication. I have been working to put everyone into one tree. I moved over 600 people to one tree, and am in the process of moving others from three different trees into another one. This is a very tedious process, but one I’m determined to do.
    I have no idea how it would be done with the “new”, and I don’t want to try! I suppose no one is doing anything with “errors” on the present {“old”} search. When I try to add a spouse from “spouse and children”, the function doesn’t’ work. When I try it from “add family member”, same thing. I have to go to “Overview” to “add spouse”.
    I don’t know what I would do without ancestry, but I’m very upset with all these changes.

  2. Steve

    Just starting to work with the new facts view, but am impressed so far. Definitely like having the source information readily available; makes it easier to note problems and address conflicting evidence. Can also see where I need additional sources to support interpretations. Have learned the hard way the necessity of following the Gen Proof Standards in order to get solid results, and I think this system will be particularly helpful. Thanks.

  3. pat

    I have working with the new version since it showed up last week. I had no idea this was being changed. After spending hours and hours trying to figure out how to do functions that took only seconds with the old version I am very disappointed. I am considering dropping my membership. I was very happy with the old version. There were great tools we could use to add/delete people, sources, images, correct errors in relationships, etc. I have not been able to figure out how to do several functions. There are no instructions. I did find a support page with tips which was a little helpful but some of the tips don’t work. I wish they had addressed and included the tools we all seem to like before launching the new version. Did anyone try this new version before sending it to all of us. Maybe having some video or written instructions before sending it to us would have been helpful. the video that is with the new site doesn’t help in learning how to work the site. i need to add images and stories to different people and can’t figure out how to do it. I would like to see the tools we had on the old version back in the new version. I spent hours last night trying to delete sources and add sources/images/stories to a different person and never could figure out how to do it. I tried the tip I found to go to edit and somehow delete from the citation but didn’t have that option. I wanted to print a lot ofstories so I could read them and add the iformation to different people but I couldn’t figure out how to do that on the new version. I need to correct some relationships that were wrong and there was no tool to help me do this. I am disappointed in how this was handled. We pay way too much money for a membership to be so frustrated. i don’t know why some things just couldn’t have been updated in the old version if that was really necessary. why did the whole thing have to be redone? Looking forward to Crista’s video on 6/9 to see how to use this new site. Why weren’t adjustments that you knew needed to be made done before sending it out? I think that would have been better. I have had to go back to the classic version to fix errors and do functions that I know I can do with just a couple of clicks because I can’t figure it out or it’s not available on the new site. That option won’t be available soon. Please get all of these issues corrected asap. i would prefer to see updates that address how to use the site rather than someone singing it’s praises.

  4. Betty Garber

    Another anoying thing about this new format is the gross errors in relationships. When I click on a relationship on a profile page to correct it, up pops the correct relationship but it is never corrected on the profile page. It does not allow me to change what is on the profile page! Too many things wrong with this new format. I want to be able to go back to the old format!!

  5. douggrf

    This sales pitch post really points out a huge issue with this change to New site. If you want your GUI and the LifeStory to look good, it forces you into a whole lot more tree management – yes, to get the facts right is part and parcel – BUT the driver is to get the tree to “look” good. Will many members be willing to undertake the extra stress and work steps to accomplish this?

  6. Crystal

    I’m very disappointed with the high-handed manner that Ancestry has rolled out its new version. Are you so big now, that you can use the “my way or the highway” attitude toward subscribers who have supported you for so many years? I loved the efficiency of the old Ancestry, as well as the speed with which I could view screens and accomplish my work. I’ll keep going to your new version, at least for now, to try to work through the numerous problems that my fellow subscribers have already brought to your attention. I hope that Ancestry will, in turn, show some consideration for its customers and slow down a bit on this conversion until the major issues (at least!) are resolved. By the way, you have a nice feature in the “life story,” but I’d trade that for speed and simplicity in a heartbeat.

  7. Marilyn

    I repeat myself but will not continue with Ancestry if my only choice is the new version. The facts in my new tree somehow become connected to “facts” that have no connection with my tree or family.
    I will not relinquish my authorship or authority of what is and is not included in my work.
    Please show the breakdown between those who like the new site and those who oppose. I would like to see an online vote for the site as a whole or for individual changes.

  8. Joni

    I just saw a post from Ancestry on my Facebook page and had to scoot over to check it out. I am totally wowed in a great way, this sort of system works great for me as all of the information is lined up in one spot. Thank you so much!

  9. mike

    after 12 years of happy experience, “New Search” force me to quit Ancestry.com

    It DOES NOT WORK, and Ancestry does not seem to care, they have your money already

    shame, real shame

  10. KIM KAYWOOD PETERSON

    LEAVE THINGS ALONE – JUST ABOUT THE TIME I HAVE THINGS GOING MY WAY – AND I DON’T ACCEPT INFO WITHOUT PROOF – ANCESTRY CHANGES. WHY NOT HAVE 2 VERSIONS? THE OLD WAY AND ONE YOU CHANGE TO PLEASE WHOEVER? PRICE THEM SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT, BECAUSE IF YOU AREN’T CONSTANTLY CHANGING – IT SHOULD BE 10-15% CHEAPER. THEN THOSE OF US THAT LIKE TRADITION CAN STAY IN THE DARK AGES AND THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE NOT REALLY INTERESTED IN GENEALOGY CAN GO RIGHT ON CHANGING INSTEAD OF DOING RESEARCH.

  11. Pat

    The “spin” you guys put on this is unbelievable. Does Ancestry pay any attention to it’s users, who happen to pay the bills? Seems to me that the majority of people really do not want the new “Pretty” fact page that wastes space but would rather have the condensed Old version.

  12. bgiez

    I wish ancestry would put their resources into adding to the records rather than “prettying up” the online tree function. I have been recording all of my info and sources on my desktop FTM (ca. 2006 version, at least I got past DOS 🙂 ) and only put up a skeleton tree for the purposes of the DNA testing.

  13. Mary DeLara

    The new format doesn’t work well for large, heavily-documented trees. I like it better in the old format where all sources for an event are located inside one fact box on the profile page timeline. For example: I have 11 sources for my grandfather’s birth. In the old format, the Sources link in the Birth section brings up all 11 sources in one compact box. I can open any of those sources from that Birth section. In the new format, I have to scroll up and down the page following those purple lines in order to find those 11 source boxes. I don’t see that as improvement.

  14. Mary DeLara

    I meant to include this in my last post. Being able to add sources for records and documents by scanning them to a family tree will be a good thing as long as Ancestry members give the important details for the sources. Documents without source information can’t be used to verify an event.

  15. caith

    It is ain’t broke, don’ fix it. The old format was okay, it just needed some tweaking and embellishments. Building and improving a tree is laborious and time comsuming and frustrating, without the now added re-inventing the wheel and jumping through hoops with their new navigational tools which are more laborious with incessant clicks if you can find where to click. Ancestry’s major market is over 60 because we have fewer demands of the day to make, meaning some of us are retired. We like ease of use and comfort in anything we do or many of us will find another hobby, and turn this over to our grandchildren, who will hopefully work on it in a couple of decades when research and navigation will be user-friendly. I do not plan to renew my membership but will check back with them in another year or so. I will now do all the things I have neglected to do for the past 4 years, so I guess it is a win-win.

  16. Sheena

    I do not like map. I have found births and residence in the opposite side of world. Despite records and my input stating London England UK they stick a birth in London Ontario Ca. And there is no edit to correct. May as well not use map!

  17. Constance Pentzer

    I need compact and easy to read. I do not need to waste my time scrolling through a decorative format. I do not need to squint at the small print of the new facts page. Who thought the changes were necessary? What was really needed was a completely functioning website. Now I see that the features that have not been functioning correctly are again on the back burner as Ancestry focuses on making its site glitzy. Who are you trying to appeal to? The tourist who will come to your site to build a small tree before becoming bored and not renewing or the dedicated family historian who has been a subscriber for years? Stop sacrificing functionality for fluff. This “new” Ancestry has me checking out your competition and telling my friends not to subscribe.

  18. Brenda

    Dear Ancestry ~ It would be very helpful if you could put the three generations in the top banner box like it used to be (i.e. children, ancestor with spouse, parents). When you click on “Hints,” it’s very helpful to have that info in plain sight to make sure you are clicking on a hint that fits with who you are looking for. I have to keep going back and double-checking or else take the time to write it down, to make sure it’s the correct person I’m searching. This is one of the things I miss most in the new format! (The three generations do come up with the “Search” tab the way that I’m describing if you search for an already known person in your tree.)

    I also just discovered that I can choose “Records” instead of “Categories” in the Search tab and it lists info the old way, which I also preferred. Might be helpful for others to know that!

  19. Amy

    I quite like the new look of ancestry or what I’ve seen anyway I’m currently on ancestry.com.au and I haven’t got the upgraded version but I must admit I do like the old one but I can’t say anything bad about the new site as I haven’t got it yet

  20. — I, for one, love the new format! Having every event in an individuals life in chronological order, including children births and parents deaths puts everything in the correct perspective. Editing facts is simpler and quicker than ever. I also find the color scheme easier on the eye. What’s not to like!

    The addition of maps and historical events to the LifeStory brings everything to life.

    I only have one concern. How will this new format interface with Family Tree Maker once linked. I currently cannot link FTM & my online tree, because my computer’s OS is Windows XP. However, when I can afford a new computer and update FTM, will they still merge together properly? Or, will you be adding additional publishing features?

  21. — Bye-the-way, for those of you who want the old format back, you’ll find a link to the “Classic Site” in the drop down menu used to sign out… farthest right on the menu bar.

  22. Gloria

    I love it! I only wish ancestry would treat external sources and documents just like it treats docs that are part of ancestry’s many databases. 100% of my sources and documents cannot be found on ancestry so the workflow is different, i can’t see the media attached with one click, can’t add to other facts not pertinent to that specific individuals without re-uploading and re-doing the process for each source/media, and so on. Ancestry, I like you new look a lot, but you do not have all the documents, so be mindful of those researching by themselves.

  23. Michelle

    I have not tried the new website, but by looking at it I know that I’m not going to like it. I’m a creature of habit and prefer the original site. I’m not overly healthy and having to learn something new is not in the cards. I wish Ancestry would leave the old site alone.

  24. caith

    Dorothy, yes we can still access the Classic for the present time only. It would be good if they would keep it, and give us a choice of using the Classic or the New.

  25. toni

    I vote NO! Those of us who are dong real research are looking at alternatives right now. The kids you think you will attract won’t subscribe or at least not subscribe a second time. In the meantime those of us who want to build a researched documented tree will have found somewhere else to put our trees. You will loose more than you gain. I know I won’t be giving you any more money and I won’t be buying any more DNA kits.

  26. Marilyn_Kenyon

    When I first got the new version I had mixed feelings about it. At first I was frustrated because it made it a little more difficult in making changes. My first inclination was to go back to the old way. Then, I noticed something. I started reading down the timeline, which included when events happened, a son or daughter being born, or when a parent died, and historical events. I started seeing the events in each person’s life with fresh eyes. It helped to get me out of a rut and see things in a new way. This gave me new ideas, new questions, and new leads to track down. I’m loving this new format, even though there is a bit of adjustment from that old way that I had become accustomed to.

  27. Jade

    All the narratives including the new “Story” format need to include all of the user place-name: name of cemetery, County, Canadian Province, etc.

    Truncating the place-names makes it all genealogically incorrect and confusing.

  28. Nanci

    Too much scrolling! Honestly, I will adjust to most of the changes. However, I add a lot of facts and sources for people who are brick walls and I hate to scroll to refer back to them. You could leave the images but put back the drop down box.
    Adding Ancestry facts to the Life Story view is great. Adding them to the timeline that I created is not! I made choices based on my research needs. Scrolling through additional facts is cumbersome. Also gives incorrect information. One example: the death of a husband who abandoned his family and remarried. There was no divorce or annulment but it is misleading and incorrect to say they had been married for 46 years when he died.

  29. Bob Bortfeld

    Hate the new site … and cannot get back to the old one. Layout is terrible. When a fact is edited it takes a second or third click to get it to show up … always have to refresh the page. I am from Hawaii … TH for Hawaii means Territory of Hawaii (1899-1959) but the story line always interprets it as Thuringen Germany! Thus the story is unusable … even after I edit it it comes back. Colors make the page hard to read. Images that are attached to facts can only be seen in the story view … hard to edit when that is the case and see above! Lots more that i do not like. Bob

  30. KitSailor

    I have 3 trees I am doing. I own 2 and am editor on another that I’m working with my brother on. I would really like to do my own stories and add my own photos. I like the classic as it has everything in a concise, easy to use location. I was shocked when I saw on the new format that my twice great grandfather was living two places at once in different countries. I never put that information in and I couldn’t figure out how to remove the misinformation that Ancestry put in there. I am not going to repeat all the unhappy information that those before me wrote. I agree with most of it. We are all frustrated. I’m so surprised that Ancestry put in a new format that truly does not work. Just like FTM for the Mac, it still doesn’t work right and I threw my retirement money down the drain. How about letting us use the classic (as you call it) or the new format. Can Ancestry do both?

  31. Two questions (for the moment) – 1) when I upload a picture and attached it to multiple people (initially) it became the profile picture for all of the, which is not what I wanted. I finally found the checkbox for that but it would not allow me to uncheck it, and the only thing I could do was delete it from that person. Will you give us back the ability to choose whether or not to make a pic a profile pic — even if it’s the only media attached to the person?

    2) when I search records and attach one to a person, currently it always sends me to that person’s profile and I have to click through several steps to get back to records search — when I’ve found a bunch of relevant city directories, this was annoying. Is there a way to stay in the record search until I want to go back to the person profile?

  32. Patrick Sweeney

    You used to be able to identify a relationship to a person by clicking a link directly below their name – that no longer appears and is frustrating trying to identify the individual relationship to me.

  33. Patrick Sweeney

    When selecting a profile picture, it often now cuts off the photograph with a picture frame boarder, and as noted in a previous comment, I have also lost how to change a profile picture to something else.

  34. Patrick Sweeney

    If we go back to the “Classic Site” will it allow us to move back & forth between new & old views, or, are you then “stuck” in the “old” view?

  35. Tracey Jones

    Great s now our screen is over run with oversized sources which can’t all be seen at the same time iunless you scroll, would much prefer to just see the ones associated with the fact not every single source attached to one person at least make what sources are shown when optonal. the old way worked with a pop up showing however many sources for each fact

  36. Jan Murphy

    The new Facts view looks terrible unless you have a widescreen monitor. On the older 4:3 aspect monitors, the center column of Sources wrap around in a really ugly way and are difficult to read. Now maybe you’re thinking that monitors are cheap and there’s no reason I should be using this old crappy CRT. Guess what — not all of us can afford to subscribe to Ancestry AND buy the latest and greatest hardware. We have to pick one or the other. So I guess I made the wrong choice. I much prefer the two-column layout that the old Profile had. There were things about it that needed to be improved, but this new layout is not the way to go about it. I also don’t like the modern fetish to make backgrounds dark and to put light low-contrast text on it. It’s not as readable and makes the UI very unpleasant to look at.

  37. Joyce

    I love this new layout as once I got through the learning curve I found all the old functions are there and the lifestory and facts pages are FAB. So give it a a chance people and quit sniveling – No one is going to go back after they’ve invested the resources to establish and launch it. Get over it!

  38. Helen

    I don’t post a tree, just use ancestry for the documents. I find so many errors in trees already posted, facts copied from other trees with the same errors,that my trees will stay with me

  39. I have been suggesting in feedback like this, for YEARS, that Ancestry allow uploading of EXISTING audio and video to individual profiles. Many of us have interviews done in years past of people that are now dead. These are valuable resources that should be allowed to be uploaded and attached to records. Currently, you can only record new interviews from your computer. That doesn’t do any good for people that are dead and we already have media recorded that need to be attached to records. ARE YOU LISTENING, Ancestry???????

  40. Richard Werbin

    I love the new views.
    Yes, there are some missing features that I hope get added soon.

    Yes, you need instructional videos to explain how to use the new user interface and to remind people of the importance of sourcing every fact.

    Yes, people with small, low resolution monitors may be having extra problems. But, the entire internet and computing environment is going in that direction. More graphical and visual displays simply need bigger monitors. Information is complex and bigger displays are just needed.

    Personally, I bought a new bigger monitor when I first got seriously interested in genealogy research.

  41. Another problem I have, as a rural used that only has one choice for accessing the internet (satellite) is that the new version is resource-intensive (computer resources, i.e. memory, etc.) and thus slows down our computer considerably, to the point that sometimes pages freeze for a minute or more ‘loading’ or even refuse to finish loading, forcing reloads of pages, etc. It causes a very frustrating experience for those of us not on the faster broadband options. PLEASE KEEP CLASSIC ANCESTRY as an option for those of us who cannot use the new one, or we won’t be able to continue our memberships, which I would seriously miss. 🙁

  42. Brian J. Porter

    I appreciate Ancestry’s efforts to attract a wider audience (and I also use it as others do, as primarily a research site). Nonetheless, this latest update has me very concerned. The flaws are deep, particularly the auto-changes for locations in “story” text & map illustrations, which insert best-guess place names, despite historical inaccuracies. For example, in my situation, Bohemia of the mid-1800s was changed to Czech Republic, which didn’t exist until after 1945. The auto-substitution process needs to recognize both place and time-frame and be sensitive, at least, to major historical events. One wouldn’t expect a birth in Jamestown, circa 1650, to be listed as occurring in the United States, but this is the way Ancestry is rewriting personal histories. Ironic, no?

  43. Samantha E

    Anyone having trouble with either of the versions of Ancestry could really benefit by watching Crista Cowan’s video tutorials on using Ancestry features and tools. Available at Ancestry’s Learning Center or Youtube.

  44. jw NATION

    I just saw the NEW version. On a great-aunt, you have so many errors . It is like the lists you have when we are searching for an ancestor–too many variations of the name that are other people. Aunt Laura Theodosia Horrton Truesdale lived in South Carolina her entire life, yet on your fantastic new, unwanted version, she is living in many states, with a name change to make it even worse. FIRE THE PROGRAMMERS THAT DID SUCH A SCREWED UP JOB. There is nothing that Crista or any other staff member can say to make it better. Go back to what we had, the program that worked.

  45. douggrf

    The New Site view presents a new Facebook aka viewer tool for individual profile gallery- but GUI needs work – Content:
    1) Line up all the tree mentioned individual attachments – instead of a jumbled mess?

    A) Provide to attach same media to someone else in tree or another tree?

    2) Provide text entries instead of icons for the other member’s usage?

    3) Provide allowance to see comments made by all in this screen about this media?

    4) A clik point icon to take member viewing this profile media entry to the entire media gallery?

    5) For Photo media be sure to include the tree upload date for a shared media from someone else’s tree? Currently the only date showing is the upload date of the author tree – not the destination tree which would be very important to the chronology filter for the tree owner media gallery. This was perfected in Classic.

  46. douggrf

    New Ancestry site problem with LifeStory Creation and subsequent edit:
    I have example pics in .png format depicting the problem. When editing the LifeStory narrative from its automatically created wording, the text modification can be saved.

    1) However if an edit is then made later in one of the facts of the same individual LifeStory, the narrative changes are lost and returns to its simplified automatic form.

    2) The interaction between different saves of each and every part of the LifeStory facts and event details may cause all prior edits to be wasted. This interaction needs to be tested and vetted so that members can feel confident in the LifeStory feature set.

    3) Support office notified but maintains – ” there may be a conflict with the Firefox browser and our website regarding LifeStory editing” – “there is a setting in the browser you’re using (in this case, Firefox) that is preventing the LifeStory page to perform correctly” – what would that setting be?

  47. Pa

    This is a complete waste of money on tha part of ancestry.com and their developers. It is a lot of non-sense. You are turning ancestry.com into a sideshow circus with this life story non-sense. No-one asked for this! Instead of wasting money on this, why not spend money on a better way to get correct reselts when searching for someone in the United States, and getteing results for the UK. Fix the problems you already have, and quit dazzling us with the fancy stuff we don’t need.

  48. James Carroll

    Isn’t this a Beta version that is being discussed? I would think since one can go back to the Classic version, it is still in beta mode. That being said, I happen to love the beta version and have found it very useful. I don’t understand why everyone gets so bent out of shape because of changes. Even when I found problems, I’ve been able to find solutions. I feel that I’m now getting the hang of the Story View and I like how all three views work together. I’m looking forward to other changes that will allow linking to online sources. I am 68 and don’t feel threatened by change. Thanks to Ancestry.com for this wonderful software and databases that support all the research. I’m often amazed at how it all is coming together and making my tree come alive.

  49. Rick Bisker

    I have been using this beta version for over a month and most of the time I have had to go back to the original to be able to complete my work with all of the functions not available yet. The life story might be nice to see for some people, but it is too busy and too much scrolling is required to be helpful in a research mode. I have been trying to use the facts mode for my research, but there are many things missing in that mode. I have over 2000 photos and pictures of documents I have shared and linked to a fact in a profile and now you can not see them linked unless you select the edit icon to get a window that give you an icon for media. Then you select media and if there is a fact connected then it will show you and it shows you all of the other media connected to this profile. This fact mode shows the facts and the source for the facts, but not the links to the facts which happen to be very important to the fact. They are just like a source. Of course if the fact is a marriage, then they have the link to the spouse which is also shown on the profile page and you do not need the link. It has also deleted the age of the person for each fact as the original version had so you had an idea if this person was possible the correct person that a new source (per a hint) indicated was indeed the person in your profile. I think it was very clean in the older version where the sources and media were linked to the facts. There are many people that will continue to use a desktop computer and monitor to do their genealogy research, but this new version is made for the tablet crowd where you can use your fingers to touch the item or icon that you want to select. That is why there are large boxes for the sources and many more keystrokes to get where you want to go. I have to say that sometimes I sit in a chair and use my ipad with the original version and have had very little problems with the original version other than sometimes using the touch screen keypad to type in some words, where the keypad hides what I am writing. I can see this issue changing with the new look. I have sent my feedback to the beta team, but I am sure it has hit the electronic circular file.

  50. Rick Bisker

    I corrected this sentence from my original post. ” I can’t see this issue changing with the new look. “

  51. Jacquelyn Cotter

    PLEASE let us keep the older version too. This newer version is confusing, difficult to use and even more maddening to try and figure out. After belonging to Ancestry since 2002, I am so sorry I renewed my membership today.

  52. jeanvirginia

    I could echo many of the negative comments of previous writers in reference to various matters, but for now will focus on the matter of photos. First of all, you say you are planning on a way to “edit/crop a profile photo to fit in the circular photo space.” The fact is that many of us have already carefully edited and cropped our photos so that they appear exactly as we want them to appear. It is absolutely unacceptable to have to change them in any way in order to make them fit in the new circular photo space. The profile photo format on the Classic Version should be retained on the new version.
    Still on the matter of photos: What is the point of the large thumbnails on the individual galleries as they show only partial photos? On the Classic Version, the small thumbnails allow viewing the entire photo. Additionally, the large thumbnails open up to a very large photo. In the case of newer photos that is okay, but I have a number of photos that are nearly – or over – 100 years old and some of them, as might be realized, are not that sharp to begin with; however, after working to improve them they are reasonably clear when opened in the size used in the Classic Version. When opened in the very large size used in the new version, some of them are extremely ‘grainy’ and the clarity is lost. This is not at all the way I want them to appear.
    Also, some of my photos have somewhat longer titles and when opened in the large size, only part of the titles are shown – due to space limits, I suppose. Apparently, in general, titles can’t be more than four words. Further, I don’t find any boxes for Comments/Description along with the photos.
    I share the view that many others have expressed: The Classic Version needs to continue as an option; sadly, however, I doubt that it will be.

  53. I have been assured that the classic site will no longer be available in about 6 months (or sooner). My advice to others who do not like the “New Ancestry” is to print as much data as you can before the classic site closes. Ancestry might be doing us a favor, because when we discontinue our membership we will have time to get involved in other pursuits that are meaningful in our lives.
    It’s been fun, but all good things come to an end!

  54. Bev

    Here is part of Ancestry’s ad on my opening page: “…It’s your family story, reinvented.” Yes, it is my family story and yes, Ancestry has certainly taken the “Facts” and done a lot of reinvention of my ancestors. I am now having to go through every single one of my ancestor profiles, proofread each profile, and then edit out a significant number of errors that Ancestry has inserted into my ancestors’ Life Stories, especially in the Map view. Have to click on all the locations in Map view, find the document I have attached in my Fact view that is producing the location error on Map view, go back to Fact view and edit the location, and/or delete the attached document. I’m also having to do far more editing than I anticipated on the biographies in Story view to get them to conform to the “real Facts” and not what Ancestry has chosen to invent for me. Just don’t understand why Ancestry doesn’t like the real fact that one of my ancestral couples was married in Virginia, and wants to reinvent their marriage location as Alaska in 1823. Just finding the census record or marriage record in the Facts timeline turns into scrolling and scrolling and scrolling to find the “fact”. I have many ancestors who had anywhere from 10 to 18 children, so I have to scroll through all those children in the timeline to find the “fact” I’m looking for.

    I have many issues with the New Ancestry, but I will only mention one more and that has to do with printing individual profiles from the Facts or Story view. When I print a profile from Facts view, all it will print out is the Facts timeline that does not include the “easy view” of parents, siblings, spouse/s, and children from the right hand side of the Facts page. Story view will not print out at all. I refuse to go through the laborious process of doing screen captures, downloading, etc. I just want it to print the full Facts profile period.

    This is not “sniveling”. I am addressing real factual errors that Ancestry has reinvented for my family story. I am having to spend an enormous amount of time editing out these reinventions, and this is time New Ancestry is taking away from pursuing further research.

    My expensive subscription has quite a ways to go before expiring, and Classic view will be available for a while longer. Hopefully, New Ancestry’s functionality and “factuality” will improve before then.

  55. caith

    Yes, Ancestry is turning over a new leaf, literally. They are targeting a younger audience, but they do not have the resources (time or money) to pursue genealogy. Genealogy is an Old Folks (like me) game. What about that does Ancestry not understand? Does Ancesry think by building a new mousetrap, they will come? Well, no, the younger crowd does not have the time. They are too busy trying to get ahead in life. Basics……..

  56. Lynda

    Based on what I have read from the above comments, I am staying with the old format. I know how to use it and where to find my sources… I pay to be a member… please donʻt mess with my tree!

  57. Charles Meier

    I’m confused. I don’t have the new ancestry, and don’t even know how to get it. Help!!

  58. douggrf

    There are changed aspects as to how individual gallery photos are viewed compared to what they were in Classic. One aspect of concern, the individual photo is leaving off the date of upload to the tree owner if the photo originates in the owner’s tree. Of even greater concern, it does not show any information about the sharing of the photo that may take place in other trees. And yet if a photo is borrowed from some other tree – the date of the original owner’s tree upload appears and then again the sharing to other trees does not show! Please bring back all the information that was showing in Classic.

  59. S Tucker

    LOVE the Classic version, HATE the new version with sources dominating the profile page. It is like footnotes taking up most of a page in a book. HATE the colors on the family tree page- black/white so much clearer, cleaner which is why most websites do not colorize their pages. Hire more tech support to improve searches. Fire your website designers.

  60. Oweta

    I find printing in the new version very irritating. The classic version gave a crisp, easy to read printed page. The new version is very blurred. I also want to be able to print a page that includes the parents’ names–this no longer appears when I print a profile page.

  61. Joan Huot

    First of all I could not find that view and secondly- don’t think I want to, it looks like a mess.

  62. Jade

    For the user, splitting one page’s data into four pages only makes it harder and much more clicky to make necessary changes. I see no advantages to the new format.

  63. C. Gates

    The new version is driving me crazy. I am 72 and not really computer savvy and I am just really learning the classic version. Please leave in place.. Do not make us use the new one… There are many errors in the new stuff and I do not know how to fix it…

  64. M L

    I use Ancestry for researching and recording data and for corrobating and adding to the knowledge I have of the family members. I am opposed to the “time-line” insertion of “historical facts.” What occured in the world or in a particular place where an ancestor resided can be found elsewhere. Although these facts are often interesting, I prefer including only data relevant to specific people. Some of the changes make one wonder if this is related to the news that Ancestry.com is shopping for a buyer. Maybe they are “staging” the site like a house for sale.

  65. I’ve read through all of the comments which are very helpful. The Fact area of the new set up is the closest to the old tree. I find I am happier if I avoid the LifeStory area. I do notice that I could search much, much more quickly in the old format. I preferred being able to quickly put the tree into pedigree form to frequently check that dates lined up with
    various grands and grt. grands. Change should
    be applied slowly and not between the eyes with a big wallop.

  66. Marlys

    I started on ancestry a few months ago and was having trouble learning. Now it seems that all that I have worked so hard to learn is no longer useful. Think we should get refunds or extend our subscriptions for months to make up for this new ANCESTRY

  67. rlahistory

    “All good genealogists know that you need to cite your sources.” That statement contradicts the multitude of “trash” trees created by the over-rated shaking leaf. When Ancestry advertises its services they are not touting the accuracy and the available resources for RESEARCHERS, they are promoting other people’s trees for acquisition by dilettants.
    Many of us can personally attest to the fact that one wrong link by “novices” results in appropriated families for which no sources are cited. One erroneous link appropriates our entire tree. This would not be the case if people were interested in true research. Ancestry claims all you need to do is follow the shaking leaf and voila!, instant family. Nowhere do they mention, “Do the research, cite your sources!”
    Now we have Ancestry scrapbooking the format for a “look” that is not of interest to those of us who have spent decades building our trees. Ancestry operates Archives.com, Fold3.com, ProGenealogists, 1000memories.com, Newspapers.com, Genealogy.com, MyFamily.com, and Rootsweb.com. Latest acquisition was the Find a Grave site. Rather than provide all the features of these acquisitions to paying members, Ancestry chose to add an additional fee for some. It is all about the money.
    All of our trees, which we have personally researched, added personal photos to, have become a resource that Ancestry uses to acquire new users. In return we are now being forced to submit to changes that have nothing to do with legitimate research. Font changes, color changes, layout changes, anything graphic related has nothing to do with genealogy. Ancestry claims that they are interested in our opinion, but the train left the station long ago without us.
    Without our PUBLIC trees, what does Ancestry have to offer? If we all change to PRIVATE trees, we remove a primary resource. Serious researchers do not need the shaking leaf, we just need the resources for which we pay a great deal of money. Ancestry claims over 40 million trees containing 4 billion profiles. All of that built by individual members who had no say in the strictly cosmetic changes coming our way. These changes will make our experience more difficult so that new users can “app” their way through our genealogy. Until we can transition to a new provider, our only recourse is to PRIVATIZE our trees. Did I say I detest the changes?

  68. BEE

    used to be able to copy a complete obituary into comments. I now have to split it into two separate entries.
    I’m still dealing with “phantom” hints.
    I don’t need or want “cosmetic” changes!

  69. Denyea

    Taking into account that change is always challenging, in this case is is especially so. I agree with so many who preferred the previous “view”. I’ll just sigh and keep plugging along, but in the meantime, would someone somewhere PLEASE work on making the person page print friendly?

  70. VASMD

    I concur wholeheartedly with the above comments regarding a dislike of this new format. I’m having difficulty doing what I used to do so easily — and I don’t have TIME to play around and relearn things. PLEASE go back to the old format, otherwise I too may strongly consider not renewing my membership.

  71. Mary Leas

    TERRIBLE CHANGES!!!!!!!!!!! ANCESTRY.com only CARES ABOUT MAKING MONEY! I will let my membership go when it runs out. All this dumbing down is UNACCEPTABLE.

  72. I have found incorrect data put into my tree on the life story area. It does not allow me to make the correct changes. My great grandfather lived and died in Cambridge, Ma. But it now states that he died in Middlesex, England instead of Cambridge, Middlesex, Ma. Please give instructions on how to fix the incorrect facts that ancestry entered without an edit. I now have to go back and check each and every person.

  73. Pa

    I think NEW ancestry.com is pretty bad, point blank, end of story. There is no going back (in the minds of ancestry know it all execs who don’t actually don’t have a clue as to the tons of complaints, bad reviews, and endless rants over this).

    I have been a firm advocate of using ancestry.com for the past three years, but with the changes leaning towards NEW ancestry.com; they still have quite a few issues.

    1.Circles cut off heads on photos of ancestors. Most if not any photo appears as if the heads are cut off of people.

    2.Records that you once attached to an ancestor and you could previously view, you can no longer view if you are no longer a subscriber.

    3.If you paid for it once, you should still be able to view a record that you paid for when you were an ancestry subscriber and attached to an ancestor. (Just a thought, you don’t need ancestry.com to access all the census records!)

    4.Once a simple task of editing, now takes more clicks than necessary. (reminds me of the commercial of “How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop!”)

    5. Ancestry execs have no clue to the numerous complaints, bad reviews, and endless rants over this change to NEW ancestry.

    6. The color schematics are the worst with the gray backround.

    7. How is New Ancestry going to affect those with older versions of Family Tree Maker?

    These are just some fine examples of the mess that NEW ancestry has created.

    I am just being facetious in my contempt and dislike of the changes. End of story is that no matter how hard you try to explain to any ancestry exec. (including the owner or current owners) who apparently are not listening nor are they reading the endless complaints, bad reviews, or rants over this…). They don’t care. They just see the dollar signs.

    Just scroll through the endless postings from user’s to ancestry’s main page https://www.facebook.com/AncestryUS?fref=ts

    I have read days and days of bad comments, and all you see from ancestry.com is apologetic answers. No clue what so ever.

    I have tried NEW ancestry several times, and I keep switching back. Sorry, ancestry.com you lose. You should have just launched a new site and new name such as Ancestry II, and let people use the site they prefer to use. Just a bunch of dumb execs who probably don’t even use the program itself.

    “The other million users don’t comment because they are” NOT on facebook! And have no clues to any videos here or on YouTube!

  74. Pa

    I really don’t like how Ancestry.com added the phrase they
    RE-INVENTED MY FAMILY STORY!

    Sorry, but they don’t know anything about my family or yours.

    Who do they think they are kidding with this massive change, and funny business of telling everyone they know their life story when in fact unless you enter information they don’t know nothing. They might as well be Sgt Schultz from Hogan’s Heroes, “I no nothing!’

    That is why the ancestry tech developers keep trying to dazzle us, and all the new users with these fancy bells and whistles that you really don’t need.

    I am not one who is going to click the button “TRY the NEW ANCESTRY”
    I tried it, and I switched back to “Classic”.

    I think NEW ancestry.com is pretty bad, point blank, end of story. There is no going back (in the minds of ancestry know it all execs who don’t actually don’t have a clue as to the tons of complaints, bad reviews, and endless rants over this).

    I have been a firm advocate of using ancestry.com for the past three years, but with the changes leaning towards NEW ancestry.com; they still have quite a few issues.

    1.Circles cut off heads on photos of ancestors. Most if not any photo appears as if the heads are cut off of people.

    2.Records that you once attached to an ancestor and you could previously view, you can no longer view if you are no longer a subscriber.

    3.If you paid for it once, you should still be able to view a record that you paid for when you were an ancestry subscriber and attached to an ancestor. (Just a thought, you don’t need ancestry.com to access all the census records!)

    4.Once a simple task of editing, now takes more clicks than necessary. (reminds me of the commercial of “How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop!”) The quick edit pop-up is gone!!

    5. Ancestry execs have no clue to the numerous complaints, bad reviews, and endless rants over this change to NEW ancestry.

    6. The color schematics are the worst with the gray backround. Vision impaired users should not have to seek out add on extensions to be able to use the Ancestry program in question.

    7. How is New Ancestry going to affect those with older versions of Family Tree Maker? Example of using pre-212 Family Tree Maker.

    These are just some fine examples of the mess that NEW ancestry has created.

    I am just being facetious in my contempt and dislike of the changes. End of story is that no matter how hard you try to explain to any ancestry exec. (including the owner or current owners) who apparently are not listening nor are they reading the endless complaints, bad reviews, or rants over this…). They don’t care. They just see the dollar signs.

    Just scroll through the endless postings from user’s to ancestry’s main page https://www.facebook.com/AncestryUS?fref=ts

    I have read days and days of bad comments, and all you see from ancestry.com is apologetic answers. No clue what so ever.

    I have tried NEW ancestry several times, and I keep switching back. Sorry, ancestry.com you lose. You should have just launched a new site and new name such as Ancestry II, and let people use the site they prefer to use. Just a bunch of dumb execs who probably don’t even use the program itself.

    “The other million users don’t comment because they are” NOT on facebook! And have no clues to any videos here or on YouTube!

  75. Doris

    I don’t know how to access the “new” ancestry. The url – http://www.ancestry.com/NewAncestry – says this page is no longer available. Now I am in limbo with Ancestry – The features of the old site are gone and I can’t access the new site. I’ve paid for Ancestry for several years but am currently not getting the value. I research for other people – does the new site only work if one has their own family tree entered?? I wish someone would reply.

  76. Melanie

    As a younger person, I do genealogy when no one in my family does. I am very computer savvy and I find that there is no visible help on navigating the pages. I would appreciate more tutorials on navigating the new website. Some things I am finding to be easier, such as viewing individual records in a pop-up window. Others have mentioned the same problems that I am finding here, like not being able to update the relationship to you. I have people listed as stepsons of relatives when they are cousins. The only other annoyance I have found so far, and this is truly annoying, is that the photos are no longer able to be deleted from a person’s page, nor are you able to add another relative to link to that picture UNLESS you actually go back to your homepage and scroll through all of your pictures. For those of us who have many pictures of relatives, this is tedious and a complete time-waster. It has not improved my ancestry experience as of yet. Ancestry programmers, back to the drawing board before people start jumping ship.

  77. I hate the new program. Unnecessary steps, hints coming up have no connection to who I am looking for but sometimes other people from my tree not related come up in search. Trying to correct a wrong relation is an ordeal, it used to be relatively easy. I have been unable to download DNA data, even when calling tech support; he was very nice but no resolution to the problem. I have been with Ancestry for many years, been able to adapt easily to most changes, loved the App for my ipad, but now it is really unbelievably tedious and time wasting when it used to be fairly easy to navigate the site. Sometimes newer isn’t better. All “bells and whistles” take away from the whole experience.

  78. Steve

    I have been with Ancestry sense 2000 and seen a lot of good changes, but this new look has so many problems, I have canceled my subscription, that is the only way we can show how much problems they have. I am hoping they can correct them, before it is too late.

  79. Mary

    The timeline is riduculus because if you don’t have a death date for the person, things keep on happening even if he is 125 years old. Too much info in that column, anyway. Go back to just the facts and leave out the connections. I can figure that out for myself. The previous program was much more efficient and quicker to use. The hints are bad enough, what with giving you hints about somebody born 50 years before your ancestor and in another country, just because the name is the same. And the DNA project that gives you too many potential cousins who do not have anything in common with yourself except an ancestor named Smith. Please, we can do better for ourselves with the last version. Change is not necessarily good. I consider myself to be very computer savvy and have been using everything from the old keypunch to the current systems over the last 40 years. The only reason I am not opting out of Ancestry.com is that is where I have all my family data stored for protection. Please, don’t give out a new program in dribbles. You ask for comments then ignore them, apparently.

  80. Kristie

    Classic ancestry is old and often unstable, and in need of an upgrade. People have been asking for features like media indexing, better DNA matching and others. When given the opportunity, I tried ‘new’ ancestry. Yuck. We got no improvements and in many ways it’s worse. It’s a meta-beta mess rolled out before it’s time, that was headed in the wrong direction anyway. I understand beta testers begged not to have it released, but someone at corporate had a hard date to meet…so, ready or not. NOT!

    Functions people use are gone or hidden (not intuitive AT ALL), the relationship calculator doesn’t work, the maps are wrong, the entire LifeStory page is worse than a joke, the media gallery doesn’t open, and the colors are awful. The good news with such hard-on-the-eyes contrasting colors – your servers will be able to handle the traffic. People won’t be searching for hours like they did before.

    Some of the ‘historical’ photos don’t even pertain, or are inaccurate. If I wanted large photos of storms, bugs and war in my tree, I’d put them there. The one of the kids in school, because ‘immigrants were expected to quickly assimilate’ are on ancestors who came over as adults and went to work in factories. They wished they could go to school. Yes, I could ignore this page, but I can’t control where family members I have invited look, or other subscribers who see such nonsense. How am I supposed to explain the inaccuracies – that I didn’t create and can’t change – to them? I could go through clicking away all the stupid bug photos (bigger than my family photos by the way), and rewrite the stupid stories on every single person, but I’m not going to. If this is the way Ancestry is now, then I will hit delete-this-tree before I spend hours trying to clean up YOUR mess.

    And last, get a new tag line – ‘Re-inventing your family story’ is insulting. We are not in the witness protection plan. We aren’t re-inventing our family stories, we’re searching for facts and documents to VERIFY our family. Someone in marketing really doesn’t get serious genealogists.
    If this mess isn’t resolved at my renewal, I’m gone. I’m not some old lady who can’t deal with change, I program in Python. I know garbage when I see it. Let some of us help you – you have our e-mail addresses.

  81. Kristie

    Hi Crista – In my last comment I told you many things that are wrong with ‘new’ ancestry, but I forgot to answer your question: How is the new facts view helping your research?
    Because the colors are so hard on the eyes, the screen is so cluttered and many functions just don’t work yet, looking at the facts view in my trees has made me look away from the screen and question why I’m spending time on this. What ELSE could I being doing?
    Oh, and by the way, the wrong source will still cite the wrong person, i.e. a census for John Smith from Alabama will still support the name for John Smith from Idaho. Putting them ‘front and center’ doesn’t make them right. Garbage in is still garbage out.

  82. leana rosentrater

    The quick edit buttons are missing for family members–we now have to click on each individual’s profile, scroll down to event, and edit from there. Also, I use media constantly to check facts from stories or obituaries or biographies that I have added–now I have to go to the media gallery and find one amidst all the clutter then open it, go back to profile page and check information, then open each family member and change if needed. My only option with the new ancestry is to have two ancestry windows open at once so I can see the media gallery on one while I am checking the person’s profile on the other.

  83. BEE

    Still moving people from one tree to another. A very tedious job, made all the more tedious by having to copy “comment” such as an obituary, into THREE separate “comments”! I can’t imagine dealing with what is being forced on us with this “new” and improved!! Give me a break!

  84. BEE

    can’t find a way to change “unknown gender” when adding someone “spouse Carl” – he’s a man! – without adding the name, then going to “edit” to change it! Why not leave the “male/female” alone, and if someone has a same-sex spouse, let them change it? or is that too simple?

  85. Eddie

    Ancestry has spent a lot of it’s customers’ money on producing a very poor upgrade that ruins the hard work put in by it’s customers by adding infuriating and inappropriate items to a person’s timeline. What a mess. They did it with the iOS app too, which is why I have stuck with v6.2.

  86. angela

    So far, there is nothing to like about the new Ancestry. I’ll continue to use the old one until I’m forced to use the new one. Every time Ancestry makes a change it’s cutesy and less functional – like the stupid slider bars in the search feature. I wish they would go back to being a real genealogy site, now they are just pandering to… wait, who are they pandering too? I have no clue.

  87. I am very upset that photos are no longer posted with the event. The only way to post photos with events is to go to the Lifestory, down load the event from the Fact section then download the photo from the Gallery section and what you got . . . is the timeline we have now. I have an extensive tree with thousands of photos posted to the event which has taken me many years and money to Ancestry to create. It would be a monumental tack for me to download facts and photos just so my family history can sit in Lifestory. Why can’t Ancestry return the ‘Add Media’ to the Fact section? The irony is that Lifestory added a Historical Events WITH photo included. If this new tree stays as it is Ancestry will have torn my photos away from my events

  88. Stan

    I have worked with computers and computer programs since the 1960s and have even helped develop a few. You had a pretty good program that was very easy to use. Now you have created a nightmare with all of your glitzy screens that are NOT easy to work with and I ask, “WHY?” If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! Give us back the old version or I will probably be saying “Goodbye” and removing all of my info I have so painstakingly researched. If you think this format is so good give us that don’t want it the option of using the old format of your screens and/of program..

  89. Janice

    I see lots of complaints here but I do like the way things look in the updated site. I agree there are a few issues regarding hints and searches – also with figuring out how to do some of the editing, picture associations, the loss of the family view, etc. – but I know Ancestry will do its best to address some of the valid issues here. Many folks don’t like change – ever – but I am enjoying the changes by and large. One always has to be careful about what to add to a tree but that issue applies to all genealogical websites and genealogists and not just Ancestry. Errors can proliferate online ~anywhere~ with genealogy – like anything else. We just need to take care. I have found so much through Ancestry and am a pretty happy subscriber.

  90. Jade

    Put spouses back in chronological order (first at top). It makes no sense at all to switch order so latest is shown first. In the majority of instances, most children are with first spouse.

    This is one of the most aggravating and silly changes, putting last spouse at top.

  91. Eddie

    In answer to the question posed: “How is the new Facts View helping your research?” – The answer is “Not at all!”

  92. John

    These changes don’t do anything for me. I think it looks childish and is counter-intuitive in function. All this useless garbage on the screen we have to navigate around and I especially dislike the ‘life story’ which is very poorly done. Who on earth are you trying to appeal to? Middle Schoolers? The old tree functions worked just fine. Have you ever heard the saying ‘if it aint broke don’t fix it’? Is all this to attract a new buyer?

  93. Judie

    Had no idea you were changing it. So far, I just cannot get used to it. I could zip through it before and now am just lost.

  94. BEE

    WHY do I have to keep clicking off the film strip every time I go to a census? Is this something new? I don’t find it “helpful”.

  95. Kristie

    Sorry to post again, but the more we look at the ‘Facts’ page, the more we discover what we don’t like. The narrative portion of ‘Facts’ (the part of that is about another person, child, spouse, etc.) is written in direct violation of Genealogy Proof Standards which you talk about. First the dates are written out fully, i.e. January 23, 1867, rather than 23 JAN 1867. These dates are in places on OUR family trees that we cannot edit. (Also on the LifeStory page, but this forum is not about that – have you heard – we hate it?) Second, terms such as ‘passed away’ are used on the ‘Facts’ page. Genealogists use B-M-D. Period. Thank you for returning the ages to the Facts page, however, the font is so light it’s still worthless. Hey, but I can see purple lines, and that’s what is really important – FLASHY.

  96. My guess is that at least some of this change has to do with “responsive design” – the new trend in websites whereby the designers build sites that can be viewed on tablets and phones as well as computer monitors. Usually the design is fairly different for the different devices and the website detects what kind of screen is being used and serves up the most appropriate design. I can’t be sure that this is part of the motivation, but it looks a lot like other sites that I have seen that have gone down this road for the specific purpose of trying to coordinate design for the various devices. I have the same frustration with Adobe Acrobat (cloud version) – but it is because more and more web traffic is coming from mobile devices. If this is the case, I think it is fool-hardy to be catering to a lowest common denominator in terms of screens. I agree with everyone else and feel a little panicked as this is the first time in many years that unsubscribing even entered my mind as something I might possibly want to do – but it certainly has entered my mind now!

  97. I think there is more going on here than meets the eye. I thought I was going to relax today and print documents in my tree from the classic site. Again when I try to print documents I keep getting the page to go to the new site. There is no way to exit the annoying page—I even cleaned out my cache and cookies as advised by Ancestry. Consider this: On the other side of the world there is a religious ideology that is literally destroying historical sites. Genealogy research has flourished under an American religious ideology. Ancestry.com is erasing the histories we have compiled and “reinventing” their own ideology. Instead of saying “God bless America” they are saying “To hell with America.”

  98. BEE

    Why in the world do I have to practically stand on my head to add a spouse, error messages, “phantom hints” for years! PLEASE stop this nonsense and pay attention to the “classic” site and get it working properly instead of all this “fancy-dancy” stuff!

  99. BEE

    I hate to tell you how many “trees” I find with 2, 4, 6 names entered “over a year” from people with ethnic names, probably thinking they could type in Grandma and Grampa’s name and find documents. Unfortunately, those ethnic names were badly spelled from the minute they boarded that boat, until their dying day, and the transcribing of those names made it even worse.
    Some census records had surnames written that bore no resemblance to the actual name, so it is next to impossible to find, unless you are a persistent person and know a few “tricks”. FORGET those stupid sliders. I’ve hated them since the last “improvement”. I refuse to look at the “new and improved” site, and I dread the day I have to use it. I don’t need “STORIES” – I need documents!
    STOP THIS MADNESS!

  100. Suzanne

    When my subscription is up I am canceling after 15 years. What a mess. Way too much information on one page, it’s boring to look and you lose interest. We pay for it give us a choice. AND NOW tracking your health? Are you kidding me? The only persons that is going to help, at some point, is the insurance companies

  101. BEE

    I find it interesting that there are blogs with one or two “comments” compared to this particular one, and even one that got “off subject”, as people preferred to discuss the “changes”. Most of them were negative!

  102. mary rawson

    I am amazed at the number of people who don’t know they can cancel their Ancestry.com subscription TODAY, get a refund for the balance paid, and still have complete access to their Tree, whether to edit, delete, add info, or invite people. And still see other Trees on which one is a Guest. You also will still be able to see the list of “Hints,” just not be able to click on them for info. THAT’s THE ONLY DIFFERENCE. But with the “hint’s” info, one can then go to free FamilySeach.org, and there’s a good chance the info will be there. Cancel today to show you hate the new Ancestry and the way they’ve dissed our hard work, our ancestors, and our dollars!

  103. Dora

    You guys are amazing. I can’t believe that you host free family tree space and then add so many features. What a robust online software. I love the streamlined way to add sources. The LifeStory seems a bit disjointed, but it’s giving me a new perspective on some of the events that may have impacted the lives of my ancestors. The integration of the family events is great to see in the timeline. I hope we will be seeing some more tools to organize the media. Thanks Ancestry.

  104. What happened to the controls you use in the media view to zoom in and out? I cannot read the census records at all in New Ancestry, but when I switch back to Classic, everything is just fine. What is going on? This makes New Ancestry USELESS to me because I cannot read the records. Does no one know about this problem? I have a touchscreen laptop. The Customer Service rep had no idea why I was having this problem. Don’t take away Classic until you can make New legible!!!!!!

  105. Kenmaag

    Ancestry hasn’t told us if this new version is going to screw up our FTM with linked Trees to Ancestry. I plan on “unlinking” my tree to FTM to avoid possible problems.

  106. Vince

    As of today, the drop-down menu item under the user name at the top right corner of most screens in the new interface for switching back to the old interface has changed from “Classic Site” to “Old Ancestry”. Ancestry administrators: Please tell us that means you have decided to keep the Classic/Old site available permanently, as requested by hundreds of your long-time subscribers.

  107. Paul B

    Is it just me or do other people now have difficulty seeing the new tree graphics, the text just isn’t clear when in tree view mode zooming in/out makes no difference, going back to classic style before my eyesite fails!!

  108. Eric

    I love the new upgrades to the Ancestry site. A much cleaner look and easier to use sources now. Well done. Thanks to all the hard-working UX designers and engineers! Don’t let all the people complaining about fonts and colors get you down. You can’t let everyone vote on whether to sue Comic Sans or Times New Roman!

  109. charlotteharrell

    Like the majority of comments above. I do not want fancy and glitzy. I like a similar layout where I can find things and choose the order in which I put them. This new Ancestry reminds me of New Coke and Classic Coke. Most people preferred Classic. I suspect this has something to do with Windows 10. I do not want my page to look like a picture or full of icons. I like words that look more like an outline and still have room for adding facts and comments and editing. I looked at the New and went back to Classic until I have to move over.

  110. Carmen

    Like almost all of the other commenters I prefer the old Ancestry.

    I don’t like how everything is so spaced out now on the profile page. Everything used to be more condensed and easier to view. Having separate boxes for every name, etc. just spreads things out and causes unnecessary scrolling and makes the page look cluttered. Having a box at the top of the timeline for “Name” and another one below for “Gender” just seems so unnecessary. I don’t like how the family of the person I’m viewing is separated by the new column of sources. Also, it was nice when the birth years for the list of children all lined up perfectly so you could easily glance at it and see how the children’s births were spaced over time. Now the birth years are either beside or under the name, depending on the length of the child’s name, making the dates zig-zag in the column.

    I can’t access my “list of all people” from the profile page either. I have to go to “tree view” in order to do that, another unnecessary step.

    I do like the gray background in tree view and the way the basic info on an individual pops up when you hover over them but I don’t like the extra line at the bottom of the page showing recently viewed people. This takes up valuable space. When it was at the top you could scroll it out of view to have more room to view the tree. That’s not possible in the new version.

    As a business owner myself, changing the appearance of the site while ignoring long-standing issues that users have begged you to address is just beyond my ability to comprehend.

    We NEED a better way to search and filter our DNA matches. We still can’t even search for a match by username. We NEED ways to filter and sort the people in our “list of all people” e.g. by birth state, death date, etc. And when searching records we should be able to click the column heading in the search results to sort the results by birth date, state, etc.

    Finally, Ancestry needs to understand that the majority of people do not like changes that are primarily for aesthetic purposes. We only want change that improves our research capabilities. All this new fluff is just frustrating for us serious researchers.

  111. magickbetty

    I put at a conservative estimate that I have invested well over 120,000 hours into two trees I maintain on ancestry.com. Why so much time? Because I add tons of researched stories and photos to connect to events of my ancestors. My two trees receive worldwide attention for how well researched and documented they are. Now I understand that ancestry is going to change the format in how they present my research. I’m almost hysterical reading all these complaints and the utter lack of interest on ancestry responding to them. I am currently researching ways to switch to some other site and cancel my subscription. One reason I have enjoyed my love affair with ancestry is that it worked with my research style and my attention to detail. Once that is removed In the new format, I will have no reason to continue. I spend so much time attempting to find the largest photos at national public galleries for the pleasure of my viewers and hate thumbnails and cropped versions. I spend lots of time adding descriptions to the photos which are educational. Now all this effort and work will vanish. How do you think I feel? This is my quilt, this is my art that I am leaving for future generations so that this rich history is preserved. And now, you are ripping my soul away. Shame on you ancestry!

  112. Tina Sanderson

    This is pure insanity! I’ve really tried for 3 days now to adapt to the new format. I’m beyond frustrated. Where are my thumbnails? Why do I now have to dig for parents & children when they were compact & factual right there on page 1 before? This new site is geared towards the fluff user – one who wants to view a story, not a researcher building their tree. This site was built by the users – those of us that have spent countless hours building our trees with research – and now its cumbersome & beyond frustrating to try & find the work we did! Also circle pictures – are you kidding me? 75% of the 4000 pics I have on my tree are now cut off. And where are all my pics at once as thumbnails? This is just beyond frustrating. EPIC. FAIL!

  113. Sandra

    I appreciate the new format very much. As a Registrar for my local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, I help prospective members research their blood link to a Revolutionary War Patriot. You absolutely need this new information. I notice so many wrong family links when Ancestry members are not paying attention to birth dates. Many have a parent’s birth after child births…that is one critical thing to watch. Ancestry provides vast amounts of new info daily..look for crucial census links as well as gravesites with a picture of the gravestone if available.

  114. Jan Murphy

    If you don’t like the look of the new Facts pages because of the way the center columns of sources look, there’s a simple fix: go through your trees, capture all the information about each source and download all your images, and then unattach the sources from your trees. That will show Ancestry that their new attempt to “put sources front and center” was a complete flop.

  115. me burch

    My tree has a set of twins stillborn, gender unknown. All was well with the factual format and view before “lifestory” now life story lies about her saying they are SONS when clearly marked unknown gender and I can not edit it and use non-gender words. Ancestry apparently doesn’t know words like child, fetus, baby, stillborn, if gender is unknown, ancestry life STORY is going to falsely state SON. Many things change that are not factual, just “fancy”. The old view is for TRUE researchers that want family facts, not computer generated fancy STORY. Folks, why bother complaining? The scrapbook mentally instead of fact mentality of ancestry is only listening to itself, not paying customers. We will only hear about “new features rolling out” and how “pretty” it can be made, yada, yada, yada. Additionally, if ancestry truly was interested in facts and accuracy they’d only have folks that speak, read and write the language of text they are deciphering, when it is so evident by transcript errors that ancestry is ‘outsourcing’ English language documents to countries barely able to read/understand the language. If I tried to transcribe GERMAN documents I’d create more errors that accuracy, wish ancestry would learn that lesson too.

  116. Have you ever heard of deeds and wills? These are some of the most basic records which establish ancestry and are woefully lacking on ancestry (along with baptismal records). Without these basic records none of the databases are worth two hoots. You will find the research on the NEHGS far superior. (Ancestry imported the NEHGR, but have done a miserable job of sharing the images)

  117. Diana McGlone

    If I can’t keep the old style layout I will be cancelling my subscription and deleting all trees with some 10 thousand individuals. This new layout is terrible a huge header with little or no worth – turning facts into a story… I don’t want a story I want a convenient compact way to store facts. I have been researching since before the computer became king and years of research is being corrupted because it does not fit into your idea of what a tree should look like. Pathetic

  118. This new format is very distracting and confusing. I don’t think I’ll be able to work with this. I’ll probably be downloading what I have and cancel until you change the site again into something less cluttered and confusing. i’m sure it will be changed, I can’t be the only person who is finding this format impossible.

  119. Alyson

    In search some parish register entries show the names of the parents and the child but no dates or places whatsoever until you click to load onto the relevant person. I find this incredibly frustrating when you have uncommon names but when the names are common it is an almost impossible search tool as you have to go into each one individually to see if it is relevant – most tend not to be as the dates are usually completely impossible or the places totally random!

  120. Elhura

    A simple fix. Grandfather in all the “old” users. Yes, you think and have said (to me this week) that we are old and resistant to change which is a long way from the actual truth. But think what you want, Ancestry. Besides, if we are that old, we’ll all be gone in a few years anyway, and it won’t matter what those of us who seriously use the site every day have to say. Leave us in the meantime with an accessible and workable product that truly gets the job done. And in the process, while trying to fix the new, get rid of those childish and distracting purple lines. Anyone with any ancestry sense knows to document! Otherwise, they shouldn’t be creating a tree. The distracting lines are from a kindergarten story book and, at least, should be left for users to “opt” out.

  121. Ancestry has decided to do what it wants to do rather than what will help the subscribers. It has completely dropped the comments and it just took me twelve screens to see what would have been on one screen before. Will someone suggest another genealogy site?

  122. Phil Campbell

    I knew there was a new page format afoot, but have avoided it until today, when it was dropped on me without warning. I can’t say strongly enough how ridiculous the new layout is. The ancestor’s name on their respective page is in a 2 1/2″ high box, with very little other information (birth, death) in the same space. In a word the layout is grossly inflated … full of wasted space that forces me to page down 2-page lengths to see what was formally visible in half a page. There is also a ridiculous amount of wasted space along the ridiculously wide margins. Its all as if somebody in management said “make it look bigger!!” The inefficiencies for the user are breathtaking. I’m really upset and may have to drop membership its that annoying. I’m not kidding: I can see zero benefit in this redo. Fire the guy who came up with the idea and the guy (or gal) who approved it. The thing makes me think Ancestry.com is now run by greedy, nit wits. Please return to old format until a much more thoughtful page layout is achieved (or simply leave it alone!! It’s still ok in the world to just leave things alone, especially for the types of people who are interested in the past. Please: no tattoos and eyebrow piercings needed or desired!

  123. Audrey Aucott Meyers

    I really hate the way the new personal pages for each person in my tree print out. The names are broken into bits, the format is ugly and it uses twice as much paper. I want to be able to use the old format again. Give us all a choice or give us a refund. Kindly send me information as to how to return to the old format. I found it once but it seems to have vanished. Don’t bully your customers. That’s bad business.

  124. Mary Marshall

    I am puzzled by the comment from Phil Campbell about wide margins. I am using Windows Vista and the margins are actually wider on the old version than the new. Using Facts View (without showing Family Events and Historial Insights), I don’t have to scroll any further than before to reach the bottom of the page. If you haven’t discovered how to show/hide Family Events, click on the wheel next to Add Facts. I have opened Ancestry in two windows, and am looking at old and new versions to compare them. I am worried about problems other people have found that I have not yet encountered, as I have only just started looking into it. I agree Life Story is laughable and won’t be using it at all.

  125. Suzette Frederick

    I understand that the “new ancestry” becomes mandatory on Sept 9. I won’t be using it nor will I link my trees any longer. I’ll leave them up but they won’t be current. Even right now if you do a new merge if you want to keep alternate facts you have to make a choice to select as the default is to “delete”. I like to keep the alternative ‘facts’ to use in research and confirmation. I also want to keep control of my tree, and write my own stories. I am not sure what I will use for my trees instead of ancestry yet. Ancestry appears to be moving toward “Genealogy Light”. Not happy about the change.

  126. Elhura

    Is it true Ancestry? Is September 9th “D” Day? There is no way I can finish the things I have been trying to do to save my tree in its best form and take many families to “completion” by then. Please let us keep Classic as a working option by at least grandfathering in the current users who desire to remain – or give the clear choice to ALL Ancestry users. That may be your very best way of knowing who really prefers and needs Classic. Ancestry, you have been the greatest. Please don’t fail us now.

  127. Valarie

    I’ve been a member of Ancestry for over 12 years and I absolutely hate this new program. You can’t edit or make corrections to individuals in your tree such as their name spelling, change, birthdays, birth places, death, burials, race, or delete a person like a 1st cousin 4 X removed. I think many long standing members like myself will leave Ancestry since their customers weren’t even given a choice or considered so it looks like I’ve wasted 15 years of research and time and payed for it! Doesn’t seem fair or right that someone else controls your tree and writes a story, but the damage is done because the new program sadly changed today!. I can’t even save or print all my ancestors now. Just heart broken!

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