Posted by Ancestry Team on August 7, 2015 in Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, Website

Welcome to our weekly update on the new Ancestry website. Last week we posted an article that showed some of the progress we were making on the print function in the Facts View. Here is this week’s update on our progress.

We have also included links to articles and videos at the end of this post that will help answer your questions and provide more tips on the new site.

Features updated since last week:

  • Printing in LifeStory and Facts view – The print image is now formatted to fit the page while still reflecting the layout and benefits of the LifeStory and Facts view as well as removing the dark backgrounds to reduce unnecessary use of ink for printing. We will also be working on printing for MyCanvas publishing options.


  • FamilySearch integration – the new website is now available to LDS-Ancestry Membership Subscription holders.
  • Relationship Calculator – This should now display correctly on the profile page.
  • Photos – are consistently formatted between the tree viewer, hover card and profile page. Some of our members noted that their ancestors’ photos were inappropriately cropped and these fixes will solve this issue.


Features that we are still working on:

  • Profile picture cropping – Edit/crop a profile photo to fit in the circular photo space. If this does not solve the issue with the circle frame, we will consider an alternate route.
  • Member Connect – Find other members researching a similar ancestor and save the info from their family trees.
  • Family Group Sheet – A family view of the of the person and their family.

Top Reported Issues

Below is a status on the top issues surfacing from your feedback.

  • Inaccurate narrations in LifeStory and Facts view – We are looking at how to better represent non-standardized place names and dates. Handling these should help in how the narrative is represented.
  • Photos added to events to appear as thumbnails in Facts view – Thank you for your feedback on this. We are evaluating whether to include this functionality in the new site.
  • Light and dark color choices – We understand the white font on the darker background has presented some challenges. We will continue to adjust this as more feedback comes in.

We appreciate your feedback and encourage you to keep submitting it. What do you love about the new website? Did you find a bug? Something doesn’t quite work like you think it should? Please submit it via this form. Thank you. We will be providing more updates over the next couple of weeks.


More Resources on Ancestry

Help Links






  1. Sandy Q

    Thanks for the info. Please return to the square photo frame. In addition to wrecking all of my primary photos, the circular shape has more dead space… it’s Geometry 101 really. thanks a bunch! I know you’ll fix it!

  2. Michelle Kelly

    I do not like the new website at all!! It is horrible! The dark background makes the tree hard to read. I have second thoughts on a membership renewal. Why change a good thing…just like facebook frequently changing their site. this change makes the site less desirable.

  3. Wrenda

    Old format problem: Another subscriber reported they, like I, have received no story hints with the old format for months and months. That’s not credible.
    As for the new interface, I am extremely dissatisfied and hate the round profile page photos. That said, I am trying to work with it and have noticed these glitches as of 8/7/2015:
    1. Only some of the galley photos have the garbage can icon to remove them.
    2. The primary photo check-off box is missing.
    3. Also missing is the box to save the photo to other people in the tree.
    4. For several days there were quotations around the relationship description on the profile page, but that seems to have been resolved.

  4. karen

    hate the new interface- why is it that you have changed so much? I see no improvement in this so called new and improved. I have tried numerous times to make sense of what you have done. Honestly did second graders do this? You paid these people thousands for this? Its a disgrace.It is not user friendly at all, in fact rather cumbersome to use, confusing to use and that stupid sources column in the middle. I don’t want or need your little history bits thrown into MY TREE< NOT YOURS. YET YOU HAVE THE GALL TO GO IN AND CHANGE.

  5. Cathy Kesseler

    Ancestry, the relationship calculator is still glitch-. My husband’s second great grandfather is showing as “paternal grandfather of husband of 7th cousin 3x removed” on the profile page. When I click on the relationship it shows the correct relationship of “2nd great grandfather of husband”

    • Kristie Wells

      @Cathy: Will you do me a favor and send a link to your husband’s second great grandfather’s profile in your tree to and we can send on to the product team for review.

  6. Kathy

    Thanks for working on the photo issue. Sounds like functions better but asthetically you still have a square peg in a round hole. Since approx 99% of photos are rectangular you are always going to be chopping off part of the photo to fit into your lovely circle. I would rather have the practical rectangle back.

  7. Patricia

    STILL can’t place my photo’s in the order I want.
    SICK of seeing probably on the lifestories…and not way to edit it to reflect the truth of my relative…Peter probably was living in New York…NO…Peter was living in NY…WANT to edit this and be accurate.
    ANNOYED that Ellis Island LifeStories disappeared from my relatives. They came through Ellis Island…an important place…WHY are these missing from my tree?
    WANT picture thumbnails on facts page…You’ve added so many extra steps to so many processes. I do not like that you’ve hidden so many things and I have to take extra steps to accomplish tasks.
    Want delete this person added back to the quick edit on the tree view. Again…must now take extra steps…frustrating!

  8. Linda Shiles

    When in EDITING FACTS mode, please make the LOCATION field longer (there is definitely space on screen to do this). It is very annoying to have to stop and click the down arrow to see City, County, State, Country . . .and then you only see half of it (just one line at a time). I was doing some cleanup and continuity and it was extremely tedious with the clipped view and all the scrolling.

  9. trish

    pages still don’t print properly in fact view. they still split the information. Wondering why you tried to fix things that weren’t broken. I print out a lot of information but now printing with all the extra stuff just wastes ink.

  10. douggrf

    It appears these non-sense announcements just continue to pontificate the most half-baked concepts of the ancestry interface that has ever been attempted.

    I really wish the management would get real, fire the entire development team, and just return to the Classic view at this time.

    Despite the crazy promotion, the new ancestry does absolutely nothing to improve on what was already in place. And what is more, it has destroyed many valuable elements of the former Classic, for example being able to review the total of all comments made on any public tree. That was one of the worst decisions in all of the history of Ancestry on the net. And what is taking so long to place a link to get Family Group sheet back. That doesn’t require any new code at all, anyone at all familiar with the html structure of your site interface can bring it forward at will. No decision yet by staff is preposterous.

  11. Roger

    @douggrf – Doug, they will not change. Sure they will tweak here and they will tweak there but the basic concept that is being fed back to them in all these blogs and petitions, that the Classic Ancestry is better than the New Ancestry will continue to be blinded from their sight.

    It’s all to do with money, giant corporations running roughshod over customers for the benefit of investors and we consumers have no say, and as much as we like to think they are listening, they aren’t really. We, serious researchers WILL lose the Classic Ancestry and they WILL probably lose serious researchers because they know we have no real alternative at the moment. That is grossly sad, but we really don’t have any influence.

  12. Gene

    Ancestry has the battle contained. They have a controlled forum that is more or less read by existing Ancestry users that they are willing to bet only a very few will speak with their wallets and cancel subscriptions. Use Google and Yahoo and Bing to search on complaints with the new and you will find nothing of substance. So, externally, the view of new is new, modern, exciting and that is what they are worried about – attracting new subscribers and younger subscribers. Cancel your subscription – it does not expire until your renewal date so you can still use – don’t threaten that you may cancel if they don’t allow you to continue with Classic (now called Old). You can always sign up again if they fix things. Mark your trees private and unsearchable.It takes away some of what they are offering their potential new subscribers. Voice your complaints on non-Ancestry Forums. If the 1130 signers of the petition would all do that, then you “MIGHT” see some movement. Your message to Ancestry should be the same as their message to all of us, “We really do appreciate all the work you have done on New but we are ignoring it.”

  13. caith


    And this giant international corporation does not support the latest advance in technology – Windows 10 and its Edge Browser??


  14. douggrf

    Several comments in recent previous posts apparently portray a failure to understand the principals of business and how the world works. I quote ” for the benefit of investors and we consumers have no say,” and “Use Google and Yahoo and Bing to search on complaints – for external publics, the view of new is new, modern and exciting “. While everyone has a right to say it as he/she thinks, these comments ignore the basics of business. Did you know the author of these Ancestry blog posts as just above nearly cost his/her position over the course of this summer 2015 due to ignoring customer complaints. That’s why you see so much “we are here to please you” rhetoric.

    The number one responsibility of a business is to keep loyal customers. Period. Sure for growth there can be new pursuits attempted, but no matter how well intentioned, you have to adhere to the basics.

    As for suggesting taking the “Keep Classic” campaign to the greater public – that is really impossible other than spreading petition signing, twitter, and other social media posting.

    Ancestry is spending millions of dollars on the rollout advertising, probably far more than it pays the developers to accomplish the tasks at hand. Countering such an offensive, reminds me of how small some of the Republican nominees currently feel in taking on Donald Trump’s well financed campaign.

    Keep in mind the number one principal of business running today, be it brick and mortar mom and pop, or giant mega investor owned corp like Ancestry. Keep loyal returning customers!

  15. Aneska

    @douggrf You also have a right to your opinion but you are ignoring that Ancestry is up for sale and looking to sell for $2.6 billion or more. Their number one goal is to make the company attractive externally for potential buyers.

    You said it yourself “we are here to please you” rhetoric. Rhetoric is defined as language designed to have a persuasive or impressive effect on its audience, but often regarded as lacking in sincerity or meaningful content. I think this is backed by the fact that the circle pictures is not listed on their top complaints and they even show a rectangular picture in a circle.

    The petition will have zero effect. after a month and a half there is only 1130 signers of reportedly 2.1 million subscribers – about 0.05%. Nothing for them to concerned about. Do you know why the petition signing is so low? Because, in this day and age of privacy and security, no one wants to provide their name, address and e-Mail address to some 3rd party site on the Internet that they could sell a database of or be hacked. That is the reality. But with the comments in these weekly blogs why do you need a petition for Tim Sullivan or anyone at Ancestry to respond to the concerns.

    I have worked at companies and have seen how quickly they can and will respond when they see criticism in trade papers read by their customers. Complaints that floundered move immediately to the top of the list, and public statements of reassurance were made.

    I have enjoyed reading this every week because I am interested to see who will blink first. Will the loyal customers say “Well they won’t give us what we want so let’s just make the best of it.” or will the powers to be say “Our customers have spoken and the ability to continue with Classic will remain.”

    I can’t wait for the episode of “Who Do You Think You Are” when some celebrity says “Wow that is so interesting, my Great-Grandfather probably read the Sears Catalog”.

  16. douggrf

    @Aneska., your comments about the relatively small voice we see in the blogs, petitions, etc. versus the reported subscription list of membership really doesn’t hold its own weight. Have you ever seen a statistic produced by anyone who says this number of active members likes New Ancestry and this number wants to keep Classic? Who do you think actually has those numbers? and with what accuracy was the poll taken?

    Here is the latest example of how “stuck” Ancestry executives are at the minute. The original plan by staff was to shut down Classic completely by August 1 2015. Yes, you read that right, the original goal has already been passed.

    Further, when Ancestry realized the goal date was already here, they engaged an outside polling company to take a yes/no survey on the feasiblity of customers accepting and adapting. The initial response to the survey initially conducted July 31, 2015 was so battering and negative that the contract for the company was pulled off.

    Comparing the registrations of all members to those actively pursuing endeavors on the site at this time is possibly a whopping 100 to 1, heck maybe a 1000 to 1 ratio. And you know the old adage for every complaining customer, there are maybe 50 that are of similar opinion but not vocal enough to speak.

    You can bet that the amount of complaint coming to the surface now is significant. It may not save the Classic view, but then again there is every possibility that the value of the company is falling steadily, and the future for this entire company does hang in the balance.

  17. Denise

    Add me to the list of the new website HATERS. I see no benefit and no improvement and plenty to dislike. Relearning where to find links to do something is not so difficult and I would be willing to do that IF we got a better overall experience. That is not the case. The appearance is HORRIBLE; the functionality is also horrible.
    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And if it works (as it did in the past), don’t break it with your new design as you have done. Make small incremental improvements, but only if they are actually improvements. Whoever designed the new website (both the appearance AND the function) needs to go back to school. Shame. It’s about time to admit that you made a mistake. A big mistake. Admit it and remedy it. Stop pretending everything is fine. Give us back the old website. NOW.

  18. Chloe

    As Sheldon Cooper (The Big Bang Theory) says, “All that’s left to do is to assign blame!” because New Ancestry is a bigger bomb than the new Fantastic Four movie this weekend.

    Genealogy is the study of your line of descent from your ancestors. Ancestry is a genealogy web site to help you trace those ancestors. So I am not quite sure how relating generic events in history to your genealogical study should or could be determined by some employees that probably didn’t work there 5 years ago and probably won’t 5 years from now (today’s generation particularly in Web-based services don’t work at the same place for 35 to 40 years any longer), but affects everyone that uses the site. They probably aren’t even that interested in genealogy. How will forcing people to put rectangular pictures in ovals help the users or

    @douggrf If Ancestry executives are stuck in a pickle, it is of their own doing and they have it within their power to fix. You have made a lot of statements that imply you either work at Ancestry or you are just assuming that to be the case (which is nonsense then). Because I have to question how would you know someone was almost lost their job over this blog, or the results of a survey just conducted about a week ago. Seems very odd because that kind of information rarely leaves a Company to the general public.

    But back to the question at hand. Why does their have to be two Ancestry’s? On Monday simply post a new update that shows the old color scheme will be available to those that want, the ability to select square profile pictures over circle profile pictures, turn off historical entries in your Lifestory’s and Facts about others in a persons facts page, and the other “real” top complaints.

    At the end of the day, Family History should be fun and interesting and rewarding. Never frustrating or cause people to use words like HATE and HORRIBLE. When you hear those words being used by your customers, it is time to say something is wrong. But then again, I don’t really know a lot about how businesses work, it is entirely possible that I have no clue. I don’t think a Company like Adobe would survive if they began changing the content in your PDF files. What I am hearing is that people don’t want Ancestry changing the content in their trees. Who owns my content and can present it and change it however/whenever they want, me or I would hope “never mess with content” is the number 1 rule of all Internet-based companies and Web-based applications. Because when does it stop? Can someone at Ancestry decide they could change all the locations not in the USA to be automatically changed to “Outside United States” because it would be better?

  19. LeftOverNewAncestry

    I left over the new Would I come back if they fixed all the problems – not the ones they list but the ones that are the real problems? Sure. I enjoy genealogy and, up to now, was very happy with and was a long time subscriber (~15 years).

    The first thing I did was change my payment to an old Visa gift card I had that has less than a dollar left on it because, sadly, I was deathly afraid they would still charge my account anyway and then it would be my problem to get my money back, because I have read all the horror stories. Then I deleted my tree altogether.

    But I can tell you that the longer they choose to ignore the complaints and the longer I just do without and use other sites, the harder it will be to get me back. For now, my mindset is “give them a second chance to right their wrong” but as the days go by I start to use those funds allocated for other things. And I start to think, maybe it is time to work old school again for a while and visit the Library, send off for some records or talk to some older relatives I haven’t for a while. So far, I have found some things not available on

    It’s not the end of the world and Football season will be starting shortly to help ease the pain. I don’t look at it as my choice but that I was forced to do it. I would prefer that I could go back to how it used to be but that is how it is when I go back to where I grew up – things change and are not the same. You don’t have the same great pizza parlor or bakery; your friends are gone, etc.

    New Ancestry is like sequels to movies where they rarely capture the original magic. You leave feeling they only made the movie to make a quick few bucks. That’s how I felt about Ancestry – they put together some Marketing spin on things that sounded good on paper but then the reviews came in.

    BTW, they no longer say, “Soon New Ancestry will be the only Ancestry” when you leave. They do, however say, “We’re excited about the new site and invite you to get started with all the features and enhancements now, ahead of the full transition in a few months. “ My fear is that they will try to just never make a statement and just let it continue indefinitely. But I won’t come back under those circumstances. I need a commitment that it will be around permanently. I am hopeful but I doubt that my $299 will make a difference to them.

  20. caith

    Yes, the magic is leaving with the old Ancestry. The cappuccino and Ancestry in the morning was my comfort zone and fuzzy feeling and kid’s moment of “what will I find today.” I danced around the old site navigating to and from like a kid on roller skates, enjoying every moment with delight.

    No, I will not use the new Ancestry, re-inventing the wheel every time I log in and try to navigate, terribly upset with the invasion of my person space, my tree, with erroneous information, and the “pin the tail on the donkey” approach to their new design.

    I had always planned to maintain my membership whether or not I used the site, because I was loyal and felt I wanted to give back to them for providing me with so much pleasure.

    “I have lost that loving feeling”. And, I feel betrayed on many levels. I will visit them a couple of times a year with a monthly subscription.

    My grandchildren can light the flame later and work on our tree if they are so inclined. I will now do things that bring me Joy.

  21. Vince

    I just got this message after trying to post a comment to this blog: “Sorry, but your comment has been flagged by the spam filter running on this blog: this might be an error, in which case all apologies. Your comment will be presented to the blog admin who will be able to restore it immediately. You may want to contact the blog admin via e-mail to notify him.” Please consider this my request to restore my recent post. I did refer to a non-Ancestry website, suggesting that posters here might want to post there as well. Is that not allowed here??

  22. Vince

    Here’s my post of earlier this afternoon, without explicit website references (they are not hard to find by Google):
    Regarding Gene’s comment, August 9, 2015 at 7:14 am:
    Here’s something concerned long-time Ancestry members can do outside of the “controlled forum” of Ancestry blogs. I came across the site “ reviews” ( review of, which for some reason presents glowing praise for Ancestry — “Excellent 9.5 from 0 – 10”. Part of the 0.5 is my 1-star (“0” is not available) review posted on July 27, quoting the heart-felt comments of Ancestry member Martha on June 24 on the “Announcing the New Ancestry Website” blog (started on June 1, 2015, by Maybe if more people post reviews on that independent(??) site, Ancestry will take more notice. . . (but not holding my breath).

  23. Mary Rawson

    I’ve been made to see by Ancestry what a fool I was to waste so many thousands of hours trying to find my parents’ ancestors after my parents died. It gave me comfort, peace, and then, delight to daily find more names and records. Relatives sent me photos and documents to add and, making a comprehensive family tree for my children helped me feel grounded. To one day suddenly see all my work lampooned with foolish pictures; surrounded by paisley curliques: edited by people who lack geographical knowledge; manipulated by software that does not recognize duplications; designed by writers who think the first page of facts should consist of numerous name misspellings; and basically destroyed by endless errors regarding relationships, dates, and locales was overwhelming. – And all for the “almighty dollar,” as my Dad used to say. Well, Ancestry, you took my money but not my memories. May all you lazy plotters be replaced soon by robots! MQR

  24. Roger

    Oh dear! Looks like the site at is preparing for the apocalypse as they now have included a menu item from your account name called ‘Improved Ancestry’. I see the US site still calls it ‘New Ancestry’ which is more truthful than ‘Improved Ancestry’, I guess . . . . .

  25. BEE

    I’ve read all the blogs, all the postings, all the things “they” keep saying “they” are doing “for us”, and I have to wonder who in the world are “they” listening to? Certainly not the hundreds who have taken the time to post their views of this “new and improved” website. I DO NOT want a “life story”! I don’t want anyone else to write my “history”. I can’t imagine what “they” will do with the many ethnic names and town in my trees. PLEASE stop trying to put “square pegs” into round holes! If there ever was a definition of “turning a deaf ear”, this is it! I agree with something written above. While I support the petition, I’m very reluctant to sign anything online, or answer surveys where I would have to put my email address and other information.
    I will repeat what I’ve written on other posts. I do NOT want someone writing my “history”! I want documents and nothing more! I also use ethnic spelling so I can’t imagine what “they” will do with those names and places.

  26. steve

    The only thing what will get there attention is to cancel your subscription. You can still work on your tree, but just can’t search.

  27. G

    I seem to be in the minority in the comments here (and remember, those that are satisfied don’t complain, obviously we only see those who don’t like it) but I love the new design. I adore the round photos. I am glad the colors are better now, it’s easy to read and navigate, easy to understand, I find things much faster and all in all find myself using the site more since it changed. Thank you.

  28. Respondent

    to “G” – So you must be one of those ancestry caters to. One of those who likes square pictures in a round setting and lots of junkology in their family history.

  29. Bev

    I don’t like the new design at all. I can work in new Ancestry for only about 10 minutes at a time because of the extreme glare and eyestrain produced by the garish colors and by the small font size on Facts page. Ancestry’s choice of round for photos does not work for pictures of headstones and document images. Life Story is just not working out for me at all because of errors Ancestry has introduced into my tree. Navigation requires far more clicks.
    I currently have a World Explorer subscription which I truly doubt I will renew if the color scheme and readability issues don’t improve for new Ancestry.

  30. Cheryl S.

    It appears that a real disconnect has developed between Ancestry and its core customers over the past several years. Contrast the nature of changes made to the family tree layout back in 2009, and Ancestry’s method of implementing those changes, with the current experience (from the Ancestry Blog Archives):

    June 4, 2009 : Today we launched in a “preview” mode several enhancements (with more coming soon) designed to make your family tree experience faster and easier. These changes will remain in preview for the next several weeks before they become permanent. The family tree pages will load faster and we’ve introduced some key navigation improvements to help you find what you’re looking for quickly and navigate your tree with fewer clicks.

    To access the preview, navigate to any person in your family tree and select the link at the top of the person page “Check out the new look of family trees and give us your feedback.”

    To return to the current family tree look, click the “exit the family tree preview” link at the top of any page in the preview. Also in this same area you’ll find links to learn more about the changes, and a tool to send us your thoughts on the updates (which we welcome!).

    Ancestor Profile Page
    We’ve changed the look and navigation of the profile page to make it easier to use and to help you keep your information organized. Tabs across the top of the page make it easier to access sources, photos, stories, comments, hints and more. General information about the person you are viewing will remain consistent at the top of the page making is easier to always know exactly where you are.

    Show me the sources
    The new “Facts & Sources” tab makes it easy to see what facts and events a person has, and what evidence supports those facts.

    Family is always a click away
    We’ve made the “Show immediate family” link available on most pages so you can always put the person you’re viewing in context of his or her immediate family members.

    Photos, front and center
    You spoke up, we listened. You let us know that you prefer photos above the timeline. That’s where they are now — back on top. In addition to showing photos, the media gallery shows all of the media items you’ve added.

    Built for speed
    We’ve completely rebuilt many pages from the ground up. It’s faster than ever to load and navigate around your tree. So this is more than simply a new color & layout change—moving to this new design helped us achieve substantial improvements in performance. The new design has major technical improvements (requiring 65% fewer object requests, and 90% fewer server requests), so your pages will load faster than ever. In addition we’re loading the most important parts of pages first, so you can get on with your research sooner.

    The new tree navigation is designed to make it both easier and faster to access key tools for your family tree…In addition, the new tree navigation has persistent links to the home person, the list of all people, and a quick search box which lets you type in a name to quickly navigate to a person.

    What’s a “preview”?

    A “Preview” enables members to see upcoming enhancements in their own family trees with their own family data. Many members appreciate (and have requested) a chance to learn more about and comment on significant changes before they are finalized. The preview model provides an opportunity to do that.

    Why are you making these changes?
    We’ve approached these changes with a great deal of caution—why mess up a good thing? We have two key reasons for these changes—first we’ve studied how members use the family tree product and found several areas where the current design hampers navigation and requires too many clicks.The new navigation model will make it easier to move to different people in your tree, with fewer clicks, and easier to review the information and sources you have for each person. To minimize the amount of change, we’ve done our best to add these key navigation improvements in the most low-impact way possible.

    The second key reason for the change is to improve site performance. The ancestor profile page has become the single-most viewed page on Improving its performance will minimize wait times so you can focus on getting your research done.

    How do you know this is better?
    Our confidence comes primarily from working with members and watching how they do their family history work. We visit members in their homes to observe how they work, we invite members to our office to see our new design ideas and try them out, and we get a lot of suggestions online and by email. We’re launching this as a ‘preview’ to make sure everybody gets a chance to see what we’re changing and give feedback. The feedback tool sends each message straight to the team responsible for these changes to the tree system. We will be reading and considering each feedback item we receive. If you find things that don’t work as well for you as you’d like, please let us know.

    July 2, 2009: A new look for Ancestry Member Trees is now live on We’ve updated the design and navigation to help you find what you’re looking for quickly and rebuilt the pages so they load faster. In early June, we launched a preview of these enhancements to the family tree. Our goal was to help you become familiar with the changes before they were incorporated on the site, as well as give us your opinion of the new design. We received over 8,000 responses, the large majority of them very much excited to see the preview features implemented. We are very grateful for the time and care you put in to providing such insightful feedback, and made several changes to the preview as a direct result of your feedback. Since the new look launched (yesterday morning) we have received nearly 4,000 feedback responses. We’re taking notes and making plans for additional improvements as people get used to the new look and we learn better how to optimize it. We encourage you to continue sending us your feedback through the feedback link in your family tree.

  31. Douglas Myers

    I sorry but I hate the New and better Ancestry it is bad, its all but impossible to link anything or read and research anything! You need to take it back the old Ancestry or I am sure many will leave your system I have had it and tried it for 3 or 4 days now and it is horrible to work with! If anyone at Ancestry cares they need to fix this Please go back to the OLD style so we can continue our research with out this crappy new system! I for one will not stay on Ancestry if it remains like this. I have been an annual subscriber for over 10 years but I will not continue with Ancestry like it is now! Distressed Customer and unhappy…Douglas Myers
    Sign in name ….DOUGLASMYERS5

  32. Peggy Deras

    I was an early BETA tester for the new Ancestry and retreated back to the old, or Classic, Ancestry in pretty short order. I haven’t been back and am shocked to see here that all of the criticisms I sent them months ago are still being debated here and now. I’m really sad to see that all of the commenters seem to be stuck with the new version while I stubbornly and happily continue to use the old. Please, please don’t make me join them, or I will be on my way out the door. I have important work to do on Ancestry and don’t have time for this utter nonsense. Give everyone the choice to go back to old ancestry, and publicize it. Then we’ll see what percentage of your customers are serious users and what percentage are dabblers who could care less about the work to be done.

  33. Deb

    Really??!! please listen to the loyal subscribers. So many problems with the NEW (and NOT improved in my opinion) system. Square and rectangle pictures DO NOT fit in an oval. AND, please DO NOT write my family history. That is why I am researching, and getting proof and sources. So many people have already stated the obvious on posts above mine. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” and “Change, for the sake of change is NOT an improvement.” Leave it alone, and keep the tried and true system. PLEASE!!!

  34. BEE

    This is the only topic that generates hundreds of “comments”. And yet as I read each and every “feedback”, we sound like broken records! How many times and ways can we say it!! DON’T take away “classic” ancestry, even with those ridiculous sliders! I do not want “life story”. I do not want all the other things people are complaining about! I’m so glad I don’t have any photos attached to my trees, because I would certainly not want them cropped to fit into round holes! Over, and over, and over again: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

  35. Mary M Zashin

    So, the dislike of round primary photos is overwhelming. This is a “display” program, not a genealogy program, as you have long insisted. Therefore, display elements are important. Many times I don’t have a photo or picture of the person–but I do have a headstone photo, a church, a building, a document–sometimes that evokes the person. These can’t be placed in a circle! Even photos often lose a lot of detail when they’re cropped into circles. . .and, yes, I know the photo is still available, but THIS IS THE DISPLAY! Not to mention the ugly dead-and-rotting-alligator-skin grey color that predominates. Please do not leave us with no alternative but this new format. Stop trying to “fix” the unfixable–the round format. Do more than “consider an alternate route”–just take it! Back to squares/rectangles!

  36. douggrf

    The circle photo display shown in profile, is really the same source that is developed for traditional square view in tree pane. Always has been, folks. Now that really is putting the square peg in the round space, and the only party to blame is the immature programming staff controlled by corporate marketing managers.

  37. 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 and unnecessary.

  38. The “New Ancestry” takes 7 pages to print an individual. On the “Classic Ancestry” it takes 1 page to print. Guess which one most if not all people want when they need to print out an individual. The “Classic Ancestry” has everything condensed and easily accessible.

  39. Gene

    @Etta, HP probably likes it – you buy more ink and paper. I like how they print out “Click EDIT to tell the story of your ancestor” on the LifeStory pages. It’s not part of the story and you can’t click the paper.

  40. Ross

    I have been an Ancestry member since 2002 and am astounded and dismayed that 13 years of work, involving maybe thousands of hours of work, at considerable expense, has been ruined. I don’t want to see the life story view with facts inserted which have nothing to do with my family. Places in my tree have been changed, both in the life story view and the facts view. I was born here in Australia as well as my father but now according to Ancestry my father was born in Stanley County, South Dakota and I was born in Montana. I haven’t looked too closely but I can guess that there will also now be ridiculous errors with hundreds of other people in my family tree. Ancestry hopefully can fix this up because I certainly don’t intend to go through and edit them. It also concerns me that with all the errors that Ancestry has created, searches will now become far less productive because so many individuals will have wrong locations associated with them.
    In the old version I spent a lot of time attaching photos or media to as many facts as possible in my tree. These were then visible in the overview which I think added hugely to the presentation of my tree. This feature has now gone, all the facts don’t even appear in the so called “life story” and in the facts view no images are visible.

    Hopefully something can be done, if not I will definitely be reconsidering my subscription.

  41. Monika

    @Ross – Oh, my God, Ross! I did not realize that ancestry has gone to the extreme of changing the places people were born in. How DARE THEY tamper with our trees to such degree. I feel like we should hire an attorney to set them straight on what their rights are.

  42. BEE

    Would anyone like to take a guess what will become of these places of birth {and all the other foreign places in my trees} with the “new and improved” ancestry?
    Brizglie-Osada Weiz, Suwalki, Russia Poland
    Łyse, Mazowieckie, Poland
    Ptaki, Podlaskie, Poland
    Baginice, Płock, Russia
    Zyrardów, Mazowieckie, Poland
    Mężenin Dolny, Poland
    Stanisław, Małopolskie, Galicia, Austria Poland

  43. Robin

    Ancestry seems committed to making us use New Ancestry regardless of whether or not we want to. They are not listening to their customer base. They seem to have had a product developed by young folks for young folks when it is not young folks who are their customers. We were told that we who are complaining don’t like change. I don’t like change, but some change is not good and this change is terrible. We have been told that the changes are bing made for tablet and phone users. What serious genealogist is going to do his/her work on their phone while standing in line at the grocery store? Rumor has it that is on the market. Since Ancestry isn’t listening to us, maybe the owners will. At a minimum, the potential buyers should be told that there is deep and widespread unhappiness in what used to be a happy group of customers. The owners are:

    Permira Advisers
    320 Park Avenue
    New York, NY 10022

    Emails can be sent to the appropriate person there by:

  44. BEE

    A woman born in CT 1908, died 1970 in CT.
    “hint” a woman with same first name died in NJ in 1991 – huh? Continued “ghost hints” – “hints” but nothing there! It’s been going on for years! Why aren’t these things being addressed instead of fancying up how we view our trees?

  45. Roger

    I’m amazed at how the Petition Site has been garnering signatures these last couple of days! Word must getting around exponentially and fellow researchers’ disgust at these changes being forced on us is beginning to gather pace. Do not treat us like kiddies, Ancestry; we are serious genealogists and deserve better for our few hundred pounds/dollars a year – don’t forget that.

  46. Lori

    Thank you Ancestry, for taking years of serious research and creating a mockery of it. Obviously you are trying to add flash and not substance, this may bring in a few dabblers, but they will not stick with you over the long haul. Unlike the majority of us, that have been loyal customers for years and years. My guess is that not a one of you are a true genealogist, resources not oval pictures are what we need.

  47. Vickie Carter Tallent

    Instead of spending resources on a “new” site why not repair the issues with the old site and then incorporate them in a new site. Sync to FTM 2014 is still an issue, if your internet connection hiccups (never an issue with their servers!) then you have to unlink your tree and once again download your entire tree from ancestry. I’ve had to do this 14 times since December of 2014 and tech support just rattles off the same canned answers. I even sent my tree to the programmers, they said they looked at it, found nothing wrong with it, but wanted me to redownload it from Dropbox. They were having issues with their Dropbox account so I waited two weeks, then just redownloaded it again. I am done now, Took my tree off their site. Don’t like being threatened with “Get used to the New site because soon this is all we will offer”. What type of customer service is that? Obviously they are not interested in keeping customers they have had for years.
    Reputable programs have code built in that knows where to start up again after an interruption in communications.
    Marriage sources still duplicate when syncing in FTM 2014 from the 1900 census and with the new site, many marriages are entered twice from a source with only one record being sourced. But when you delete the unsourced record from the “bride” the grooms record is deleted. Why do their programmers not see that a marriage is a shared source. It works perfectly in FTM but not on their site.
    Also, a document can not be downloaded to your computer until after you have saved it to a person. I like to be looking at the document on one screen while saving it to the person because the transcriptions are not always accurate. With the new site I now have to save it to the person, then download it, then make corrections to their information. I don’t believe they even read the comments you leave when you switch from new back to old. I am afraid to put my tree back up on their site as I can make enough errors on their own with out ancestry’s programmers adding more.

  48. Char

    While I don’t really care about the circle frames, it is very clear that many do not like it. In this latest update it ended with a comment saying that if cropping a photo does not fix the problem, then another option may be created.

    No one should have to try to crop all their primary photos. Some of mine are documents, not photos.

    I suggest you seriously consider either offering the circle as an option or doing away with it entirely.

  49. Robin Hanna

    I think it might be helpful to also express concerns to the owners of

    John Coyle
    Head of New York
    Permira Advisers
    320 Park Avenue
    New York, NY 10022

    I have also been thinking that Ancestry should sell (or give since they don’t seem to think the product has value) the Old Ancestry to Family Search and let us have a choice about what system we would like to use.

  50. Dave Thomson

    Just want to say I like the new site design. There are issues but they seem to be getting fixed. The weekly updates are very helpful.

  51. Roger

    Like so many people discussing the negative aspects of your New Ancestry, I want to tell you that one of the useful features I used a lot has disappeared. If this has been wilfully removed then that is a big issue.

    When I find a document and use the image viewer to inspect it – (I see the UK is being forced to use this now even though I am using the Classic Ancestry) – I am not able to download the image to my computer because the option does not exist in your ‘Save’ drop-down box for the image. I often want to inspect these images as hard copy before I accept them to an individual in my tree. Do you really expect me to accept them to my tree before validation, to be able to save them to my computer? And then what, if I don’t want them or they are incorrect? Jump through hoops to remove them from my records? Please.

    This facility needs to be returned immediately along with all of the messed up features you claim are improved. This may to some extent stem the flow of account cancellations. I’ll not rant on any more but I am grossly unhappy with the turn of events that have taken place over the last few months.

  52. Roger

    Correction – seems to work for some collections but not others – not, for instance with the new UK, City, Town and Village Photos, 1857-2005 that you have introduced.

  53. schrollgen5

    I returned to “old” Ancestry where I will continue to expand my tree for as long as I can still access information in this format. When you finally declare “New or None” .. I’m outta here!

  54. Elhura

    Thanks to Cindy Olive with for responding promptly to my letter sent to Ancestry CEO Tim Sullivan regarding the serious concerns and lack of usability of the new Ancestry. She stressed that Ancestry is “listening”, that this input is “part of the overall plan” and that the product is “not done yet”. I am encouraged somewhat by this and by her urging that Ancestry users continue to be specific when they voice their concerns so that the issues can be specifically addressed. I was told a sure way for your concerns to be viewed was by scrolling to the bottom of the home page of your tree, clicking on ANCESTRY BLOG and opening the update about the new Ancestry that carries user comments at the bottom.

    I am still discouraged in that Ancestry seems to me to be forging ahead (my words only) with the new product and can give no feedback on whether or not Classic/Old Ancestry will even be kept as a viable option.

    In my letter, after specifying the visual problems, page clutter, distracting purple lines, layered moves for once simple functions, loss of data, including photo detail in the oval cropping, etc. I simply asked that Ancestry Classic/Old be kept as an option. I am still hoping for that, although I am aware others may be viewing my tree in the new format in which data may still be compromised. A “pretty” product is not necessarily a “usable” one.

    I personally believe the problems with the new product are so extensive that they will be unable to bring it up to the ease-of-use level of the Old. It is a totally new product with a few recognizable parts of the old well-hidden in its layers. This is more than just our adapting to change. It is losing a valued tool and being offered a less-than-adequate replacement. Thus the need to keep Classic/Old as a permanent option at least for serious working purposes.

    While I sincerely hope that Classic/Old will be kept permanently as a distinct option for old and new users alike, at the very least I would encourage Ancestry developers to keep the Profile Fact Page from Classic as a fourth working page (to find its place beside the tabs for Life Story, Fact and Gallery) for those of us who know we need it in order to continue our work. Perhaps it could be called “Work Profile” or “Profile Classic”. Of course, we will also need to continue to see our stories and photos as now arranged on the Classic/Old Profile Page. I do not want to switch to Family Tree Maker just because a once wonderful is gone.

    Thanks again to Cindy Olive for caring to take the time to call and to all the Ancestry ears that I hope are listening. I will continue to try to evaluate the new for as long as I can visually stay on the site or can contain my frustration, and I do feel welcome to provide specific feedback. We should all continue to provide feedback whether specific or general. The specific helps with issues. The general reminds Ancestry a wide user population still has voluminous concerns. If we fail to keep our concerns out there, we can definitely lose all hope of keeping some form of a workable Ancestry that can still be used.

  55. Tracie

    So, it look like we have lost the ability to share ancestor profiles (Like on social media) like you could in the old version.

  56. Robin Hanna

    Thanks, Elhura, for your informative post. I have written to Tim Sullivan more than once, but have not received a reply. One of my biggest concerns is over the ownership of the tree. It seems to me that my tree is composed of information I download from Ancestry and information I add myself. In New Ancestry, it also consists of information that Ancestry adds in the timelines (without my permission). I’m sure it was done with the best of intentions, but I didn’t ask for it, I don’t want it and I don’t know how they have the right to add to a tree that they are “hosting” (their words), not owning.I wonder what a property rights attorney would have to say about it. I have asked Tim Sullivan to share the legal advice he relied on when making the decision to add this information to all of our trees, but I haven’t had a response yet.

    I agree with your assessment of the new product and I look forward to hearing that we will have Old Ancestry as an option in the future. If they don’t plan to let us have the option of using Old Ancestry, I would think consideration ought to be given to selling (giving, since Ancestry doesn’t seem to see the value of Old Ancestry) Old Ancestry to Family Search so that we have a choice to make about which platform we want to do our work. As it is, we have no choice.

    I don’t know any user of who likes the new system. I know many users who are distraught, depressed, discouraged and mad – and, unfortunately, not all of them have taken the time to express their concerns. And I am quite sure there are many who haven’t yet checked out the New Ancestry, so my guess is that the population of unhappy customers is only going to grow.

    Many of us have spent many years developing a tree that we had hoped would be there for our families to enjoy for years to come. I, as I know others have as well, even mentioned in my will who I would like to have be the owner of my tree. If we are forced to use New Ancestry, it will feel as if all those years of work, were for naught. I would have loved to have seen enhancements made to Old Ancestry. New Ancestry is not those enhancements. It is a far inferior product, in my opinion.

  57. Mary

    I have to admit I don’t know how well the new Ancestry works. I’ve tried the looking at the trees – I think it bounced me into new when I signed in one day. I couldn’t believe the color scheme. I thought there was something wrong with my computer and it had chopped off the top of Ancestry. It is not just hideous to look at, it causes eye strain. I leave as soon as I can and write a comment. We’ll see what happens.

  58. douggrf

    @Robin Hanna, you pose several interesting questions about tree development and ownership of tree objects. I have never read the fine print, don’t even know what exists on the matter.
    When you come down to it, the Internet apps are still a bit of the wild west. Take for example who owns the images you upload to Facebook, what happens to those Facebook pages after you pass. Well, of course Facebook has been faced with barrage of legal maneuvering on these topics. Perhaps you realize that after several years of wrangling, they do now have formal policies in place.
    So did you know you gave up ownership of Facebook uploaded images? Facebook ties into Ancestry. Do you know how the ownership transfers? Did you know that FindAGrave has been acquired as a business entity by Ancestry. Who owns the memorials and images on FindAGrave? There is just a lot to think about and parcel out on these matters, and so far is just still the wild west frontier at this time.

  59. Elhura

    Thanks Robin Hanna. I know you have stressed writing and emailing as welI. I actually sent my letter directly to Mr. Sullivan via certified mail last weekend, but have no idea if he actually saw it.

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  61. Carol

    I’m still using the old Ancestry because the new one is too cluttered. I was trying to attach a 1930 census to a man named Charles and I saw he was really NOT on the page of the census. He was actually a couple of pages later. The scan didn’t match the index or summary. So I thought I would try the new to see if would work. I couldn’t even open the hints with the new ancestry. I noticed in Charles’ profile his siblings births and deaths were also listed in Charles’ profile. What a mess! Information overload! I went back to the old Ancestry and by looking at all the scanned pages, I found Charles and his family. But I couldn’t attach because I was on the wrong page. After reading all the complaints, and I agree with them, I certainly will not add pictures. I like the style of the OLD Ancestry profiles and trees and I wish I could find a program that would give me only what I want. I wish I could really customized the pages. I use the program to do the research my self and the story tool is such a waste. I would never write my family history like that. There is absolutely nothing useful about the new Ancestry! In the last 4 or 5 years the site has gone down hill. The first 7 or 8 years were ok. Not now.

  62. Dorothy Pettit

    Missing information on my tree, missing ancestors.. Wrong addresses,parents., how can this ever be fixed. This is heart breaking. I have went back to 1600 on some relatiives it is gone help please

  63. Dorothy Pettit

    My tress have wrong info , some have all there families removed. Cannot find anything it is embarrassing sharing my trees when info is gone, not one but all. help this took trees of work.

    What took years of work has been destroyed. Please help restore my trees.

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