Posted by Ancestry Team on August 14, 2015 in Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, Website

Welcome to our weekly update on the new Ancestry website. Last week we showed the progress we made on printing and FamilySearch integration. This week we are focusing on a challenge you may have seen with the place names (locations) in the LifeStory.

Location, location, location:

In the new Ancestry website, we automatically generate descriptions for certain events that help enrich the family stories you have already written. Locations are part of the narration of the LifeStory and if the place name is not fully mapped, it can cause a wrong detail to be displayed. We are working to fix this.

The underlying issue has to do with one of the long-lived challenges of computerized genealogy – place names are often ambiguous. For example, if someone says their grandfather was born in Chester, what would you think? If you were from Pennsylvania, you might assume he was born in Chester, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, USA. On the other hand, if you are from England, you might assume he was born in Chester, England. This is the same underlying problem we see at times in the LifeStory. The computer needs a little more help to know which Chester your ancestor is from.

To try and overcome the ambiguity inherent to place names, systems have been created that attempt to ‘standardize’ or ‘normalize’ place names. Think of this as a system of rules that tries to map ambiguous place names like ‘Chester’ to a discreet place name like ‘Chester, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, USA.’ When this process goes wrong, computerized genealogy systems produce unexpected results (like suggesting that your grandpa from Pennsylvania is from England).

In a perfect world, computers would be smart enough to sort through this ambiguity and determine the place name based on other information in your tree that relates to your grandfather. Until then, it is important to enter as much information as possible when you input place names into your tree. For example, the best practice in the United States is to enter City, County, State, and Country. The computer seems to struggle the most when smaller jurisdiction names are entered without referencing the larger jurisdiction that contains them like in the example of Chester versus Chester, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, USA.

Now, the last thing we want is to have all of our members spending their time fixing every ambiguous place name in their tree (unless you really want to). So, we have decided to change the way we generate the LifeStory. When a place name is ambiguous, we will simply omit it from the narrative. And while it will not be included in the LifeStory narrative, it will remain in your tree exactly how you entered it.

For those of you who don’t want the additional narrative in your LifeStory (at all), here is a tip: you can hide these events completely by clicking on the gear icon on both the Facts view and LifeStory and then selecting the ‘Hide Family Event’s option.

Hide family events in LifeStory
Hide family events in Facts view

We understand when a location displays incorrectly in your tree, it can be more than a little annoying. We hope this adjustment to the information that is auto-generated makes for a better looking (and correct) LifeStory narrative for your family members.

Features that we are still working on:

  • Inaccurate narrations in LifeStory and Facts view – We are fixing this as noted above in the main section of this post.
  • 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.

  • 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.


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  1. douggrf

    This update appears to be the weakest yet announced. Was there a pronouncement that indeed any one (1) thing had been fixed in this week? Did I miss the point of this announcement?
    What about initiating a member control feature of the tree owner to be able to shutdown all LifeStory operation in a tree that he/she owns.
    The way it operates now is that anyone in the public view can simply turn the control back-on at any time and view the inane inaccurate stories that the owner surely does not want to perpetuate.
    The control to operate LifeStory should be with the tree owner – not the general public!

  2. BEE

    Please show us what this “new” ancestry looks like when you “hide” Family Events and Historical Insights – which I have no interest in. Also, there is nothing wrong with the present colors! Didn’t we go through all that a few years ago when we went through the last “change” where those horrible sliders were introduced??

  3. Monika

    YOU “help enrich the family stories” we have already written?????? Who are you to decide what enriches our family stories? My membership fee to does not employ you to do that. I pay my membership fee to so I can access your records. What I do with them or how I interpret them (“enrich my family history” with them) is my business not yours. If you must waste your time to rewrite my history, give me a button to press where I can access YOUR version of my family history if I ever want to look at that. Do not put ME in a situation where I have to press buttons to make your “enrichment” of my family history disappear.

  4. Tracey

    How about you generate the story using the INFORMATION WE SUPPLY for place names not alter or change. your program does not recognise ANY historical names & I refuse to change them to the current standardized name as that name did NOT exist then

  5. Walt

    Have to agree with douggrf that this update is a bust — no progress at all other than your claim that you will try to avoid inserting erroneous geographical based info in the Lifestory. How considerate of you. Are you not listening? Hardly anyone wants the Lifestory. All of the other major complaints — disasterous photo cropping, inadequate member connect, and the lack of a family sheet (shouldn’t this be the heart of a genealogy program?) — show no progress whatsoever. What about the widely cast search net that is almost useless? How about the mediocre image gallery sort function? What about getting images and photos on the facts page? For crying out loud, are you doing ANYTHING to fix this mess?

  6. steve

    No amount of edit/cropping a picture will make it fit a circular space correctly . Just go back to the rectangle shape, PROBLEM SOLVED.
    Take away the dark background, and white font, PROBLEM SOLVED.
    Bring back Family view, PROBLEM SOLVED.
    Add thumbnail pic’s back to fact page, PROBLEM SOLVED
    If you don’t like Life Story, .don’t look at it, PROBLEM SOLVED
    If Ancestry doesn’t want to give its members what we want, cancel your subscription, PROBLEM SOLVED

  7. I see nothing about implementing continuing search. Is that not even on the table? What about getting rid of those annoying empty boxes? Is anything going to be done to speed up page loading? It’s still NOT ready for prime time.

  8. John Paul

    Sorry Ancestry, if you product is so great then Why are there so many complaints from your customers. Have you missed something in your market research, it would seem so. One suggestion that should be quite obvious is do not mess with peoples photos. If they wanted fancy frames or portholes I am sure that they would have them in their home and not on their site. It is supposed to be ours is it not. It should be very easy to rectify that error in judgment. As for the overall colour pallet used, what was so wrong with what you had before? That also should be an easy fix for you to manage. It seems you can do it on my home page on the new version in the “Recent Member Connect Activity” box. That retains the original colour scheme. Is it necessary to have to have any type in blue? This “New Improved Ancestry” might look good on a smart phone not that I have one, but on twin 27cm monitors it is far far away from what I signed up for.
    Why is it necessary for the “Sources” section to be placed centre stage, as if making it the most important item on the page. You have mention in your video that the sources are important to Genealogists. I do agree. However, 99 % of your customers are not Genealogists, just ordinary folks trying to build their own family tree. Can this not be returned to where it once was below the Family member’s box, which seems to have been squashed into the far right of the page? I understand the idea of the fancy blue lines, but would not that also work if the sources block was shifted to below the Family Block as in the original.
    I feel sorry for those people in your customer service positions who have to deal with all these comments in the negative to the changes. JP.

  9. Robin Hanna

    Why go to all this time and expense to make New Ancestry more like Old Ancestry? Why not just use Old Ancestry? I understand wanting to cancel subscriptions, but where do we go to get a platform we want? To where do we migrate our current family trees? The problem is that there isn’t anywhere else for us to go. Ancestry won’t give us what we want and they know we are stuck. I hope the current owners will exert some pressure on Ancestry to respond to widespread customer dissatisfaction. I also wish that Family Search (an organization that cares about genealogy work) would offer to buy (or take over for free since Ancestry doesn’t seem to value the product) Old Ancestry and let us migrate our trees to that company.

  10. Vince

    Commenter douggrf (August 14, 2015 at 6:54 pm) raised a crucial matter that I have described elsewhere. In his words: “What about initiating a member control feature of the tree owner to be able to shutdown all LifeStory operation in a tree that he/she owns.” The Ancestry Team that originated this blog post went to great lengths to explain how to use the Hide Family Events option in New Ancestry for “… those of you who don’t want the additional narrative in your LifeStory (at all) …”. Excuse me, but that somewhat patronizing “tip” ignores the real point that users have been making over and over: We don’t want the “LIFESTORY” to appear in our trees at all unless we choose to have it available.

    I have certainly hidden the redundant “Family Events” and the useless and often misleading “Historical Insights” in my view of my trees. But anyone else who happens to view my trees could turn those options on or off at will. That’s why my trees are currently private and unsearchable. I do not want anyone to be able to view “the inane inaccurate stories”, as douggrf appropriately described the cutesy “LIFESTORY” gambit that Ancestry wants to force onto the profile page of every person in every tree. Each tree owner should be able to set a switch on the Tree Settings page that prevents the “LIFESTORY” tab from appearing at all in trees that he or she owns. Better yet, the system default should be that the “LIFESTORY” tab is never displayed to anyone unless the tree owner chooses to have it displayed in an option on the Tree Settings page. As long as such an option for control by tree owners remains not available, my trees will remain private and unsearchable.

  11. Vince

    Oh, and now I just realized that the “the inane inaccurate stories” are generated in any tree that has adopted the details I’ve provided for individuals in my trees. The mind boggles. The only solution is to scrap the “LIFESTORY” gambit entirely. Let’s just return to Classic Ancestry for everyone.

  12. Patricia

    I had been in bed for over three hours, trying to sleep. I could not, because I am absolutely sick over this. Incredible as it may sound, I had been tossing and turning, unable to get the Life Story issue out of my mind. I finally decided to get up and was going to post another impassioned plea, but then I decided to click on the blog. You are addressing the EXACT reason I cannot sleep.

    Ancestry, you are making MUCH too light of the problem of ‘location, location, location’. On Thursday, I was resigned to the fact that because MY tree copies over to the FTM as I had meticulously, carefully, thoughtfully, entered facts, dates, names, places for the past 7 years, that it shouldn’t matter how the LS appears. But, on Friday, I had what should have been a simple problem, but it completely brought to light the FAILURE of the Life Story, in my case, anyway. I am so angry right now, and feel utterly betrayed. EVEN when my place names are “correct” as is what I have shown in many examples over the past few days, they continue to bring up the County as places of birth, death, marriages, residences, etc., etc., etc. I heard back from ‘support’ Thursday morning of an issue of the State of Georgia showing as Iceland!! on my Dad’s Life Story. I heard what has been said over and over again…they will forward it to the ‘proper department’. Oh boy, that helps… Anyway, in this blog you say to write as City, County, State and Country. THAT DOESN’T WORK! St Louis City is NOT a County, yet most of YOUR databases have been transcribed either St Louis, St Louis City, Missouri, USA or St Louis (Independent City), Missouri, and the ONLY option in the dropdown menus in search, for the CITY of St Louis is St Louis, Independent CITIES, Mo blah, blah. Entirely changed from your databases!! I can’t even search without entering St Louis into the keyword (thank you Janet Carlson for the suggestion). I’ve explained this before, but for anyone hearing this for the first time, this is a fairly new transcription and is 100% absolutely incorrect. You know what? I shouldn’t have to rehash this incredible nonsense.

    This is what should happen. We should ALL demand that WE have control over our trees, and that if we want to put the Tiki-Room as a place of birth, then that person will have been born in the Tiki-Room. Why not reprogram HAL to allow the place name EXACTLY as written?!! These are OUR stories, not yours! I got even more upset today when I realized that all of my ancestors and relatives which I’d chosen to write their place of birth as exact, to the letter, of the Town in which they were born, the “LS” is completely ignoring the Town, and jumping right to a County or whatever. MAIKAMMER IS A LEGITIMATE CITY NAME and just because your map pin can’t find, does not mean it doesn’t exist. KILNASEER…google it…is also a Town. Place of birth of my direct G-Grandfather. Yet, his LS starts off in Tipperary…what the heck does that teach the casual viewer or researcher from whence he came? You are doing a HUGE disservice to the genealogy world and for the narratives of family histories, for decades to come, by overwriting what we have entered – what we PERSONALLY know – of our family members. The answer is not to reprogram the computer to learn, but to turn off that function entirely and have the place name entered in the LS, as how it was entered in the FACTS. What good are Facts when they are null and voided on the next page?! I could care less about a profile picture or the aesthetics of the overhauI, although I do think they look better, thank you for that, but the “location” names are the biggest issue for me.

    Either give us the option to keep the Life Story from ANYONE being able to view, or loosen the robots to allow our entries of place names to be copied to that page, as is. Absolutely sick that my entire tree is filled with errors – on every profile of nearly 4,000 people. You have sucked the fun and enthusiasm out of what I have always considered to be my life’s most important work. Incredibly disappointed in those running Acom.

  13. Patricia

    It was only after I wrote the above, that I read all the comments. I have to write when my mind is jumping, and indeed, it was after I read the blog post. I am very glad others have outlined some of the same issues. I also have to make a correction. Maikammer is now showing in some of my people, on the life story, but not all. But one thing I failed to mention is that I had deliberately left off Germany, but the program is automatically adding it to the Life Story. None of these people lived in ‘Germany’. Another thing which I demand to have the right to add as a footnote only on their facts page! Germany was not a Country until 1871. NONE of my ancestors lived in Germany! I don’t give one plug nickel if it is the ‘genealogy standard’ to enter the place, as it is today. What if Europe melts into one Country…anything could happen. But, for the next generations, who will see my work, will (should) see only the original places of birth, which would be absolute, undeniably factual history, no matter what ‘Country’ it may or may not be 150 years from now.

  14. Pat

    I haven’t seen this mentioned lately, but when are you going to fix the photo “sort” option. That option should be that we, the customers, can sort our photos in any order we want. Not just by date added or type. What you have given us is no option at all. And again, WHAT IS THE POINT OF LIFESTORY? Do you not see that it is simply a regurgitation of our fact/profile page? And apparently you can’t even get that right from the comments seen here (personally, I don’t even look at it). And again, what’s why are you so STUBBORN about the photos? Simply change the circle back to a square – why can you not see how ridiculous those pictures look in the circle frames. Explanation please.

  15. Wrenda

    Vivian: If you are a subscriber and have signed in, on the right top of the page, there should be a drop down menu that lists Old Ancestry. Clicking that should get you back where you’d like to be. I just tried it and it worked for me.

    My thoughts: While I was checking the old site for Vivian, I was reminded how clean the page looked and how easy it is to read. I hadn’t realized how much I’ve been struggling to read the new pages. Still waiting for a chronological or “your choice” option to sort the gallery. Arrows would work there, like FTM has. And, lastly, a square peg is never going to fit into a round (oval) hole, no matter the cropping.

  16. Amy

    The best way to resolve the location issue is to ditch the Lifestory page. As someone else pointed out, who has given Ancestry the right to meddle with our family history? Or our photos? Or documents? I think you have taken the Terms of Service a little too far, declaring yourselves OWNERS of all your subscribers information. Ancestry’s attitude towards the problems caused by this so called improvement has been appalling and arrogant. The issue with the photographs is totally out of control. I see people posting complaints about others who use their photos and documents without permission, and all the issue that come up about copyrights? At what point does manipulating our personal information to meet your arbitrary needs become THAT kind of issue. Hundreds of problems have been referred to you via different methods. There are SIX on your list? Your subscribers no longer have respect for your company, and this is pretty obvious by the anger demonstrated on this page and on the Facebook posts. Maybe someone in Provo needs to wake up and take some responsibility for this fiasco. But my guess is that they are too busy counting their money to even bother.

  17. Cheryl S.

    Patricia – Thank you so much for clearly laying out the issue of location in New Ancestry – this is exactly what I have been thinking, and you said it much better than I could. The key to successful family research is knowing WHERE to look for records, so it is critical to know the geographic location at the time the event occurred. Some of us have created detailed timelines in fact view for just this purpose – to guide our own research and to help others understand that geographic boundaries and place names have changed over time. The records we attach to our trees from the Ancestry databases state the location where the event occurred as it was known at that time (and may I point out the locations that have been indexed on those records often do not fit Ancestry’s standardized format). How are folks new to family research going to know that they need to figure out where that location actually is on a modern map? Story View has been available in Classic/Old Ancestry for some time, but after trying it out the first time I never used it. Had Ancestry bothered to ask their customers why it was not being used we would not be where we are now. The main problem was that most facts from the time line were not transferred to Story View. Pictures attached to facts in the time line were added to the time line in Story View based on the date of the photo. For example: a photo of a gravestone of an ancestor who died in 1835 was attached to the 1835 death event in facts view. However, because the date the photo was taken was entered as 1997, the photo is displayed as a 1997 event in the life of the ancestor in Story View. As Patricia points out, if Life Story was created by converting the Fact view information with the media that customers have taken the time to attach to each fact they would not be facing this current backlash. Promoting New Ancestry as “Reinventing” your family story shows just how out of touch this corporation has become with their core customers.

  18. Gene

    Ancestry is missing the bigger picture. Remember when the Personal Computer arrived on the scene and everyone used WordStar, Lotus 123 and dBase II? All gone. Tim Sullivan should maybe have a chat with their neighbor at WordPerfect who once owned the word processing/text editing market. But they released WordPerfect for Windows and it was a dismal failure. Where are they now? The same happened with another neighbor – Novell. Every business had NetWare but now try to find one that does. When you resist giving your customers what they want and need, you risk the same fate.

    New Ancestry is like an old car that you keep throwing bad money after. You just put a new oil pump so you have to put the new radiator or you lost all that money you spend on the oil pump. Only things keep getting worse and worse. The Upper Management knows that they have spent much time, effort and money and it has to work.

    If you gave a 4th Grader a test to look through all these updates and write the “Top Reported Issues” you would have to give them a failing grade if they did not list the circle pictures, the removal of Military pages, the color scheme, etc. Pretty much all the complaints that are repeated week after week are seemingly ignored.

    But they seem to believe they can do whatever they want. What if they next choose to enhance your family history by correcting that pesky ambiguity inherent to surnames like Brewer, Brouwer, Brower, Brougher. Maybe Ancestry believes they could ‘standardize’ or ‘normalize’ surnames where these will all be Brewer and that you will eventually submit.

  19. John

    I have four issues with the new media gallery

    1. I have not been able to use the scroll image arrows in the new media gallery for a full week. Is this just me? I know most of the comments are coming from those who use “Classic Ancestry” or is it “Old Ancestry”, but is this happening to anyone else???

    2. Some of my images do not display well in the new media gallery. I suggest a fix like FTM 2014 where the media gallery viewer gives you an option of displaying the image to fit window, or as a percentage of the size of the image.

    3. Images that are of documents do not show the transcription in the new individual’s media gallery. You need to add a link from the new individual’s media gallery to the image in the tree’s media gallery since the tree’s media gallery still shows the transcriptions.

    4. I would like to be able to view my images chronologically in the new media gallery.

    Also, I like the suggestion to allow a user to block the Life Story view. Giving users more options over what parts of their trees are seen is a good thing. An option to block viewing of some or all photos may get more private trees converted to public trees. This could help advance my DNA research. There are still a lot of ancestry DNA users with private trees.

  20. Karen

    Please just give up on the round pictures and your attempt to look trendy by following what every other web site is doing. Being a follower doesn’t make you trend setting. It just makes you look unimaginative. In the process you are really annoying your customers. We all know in a year the trendy shape is going to be hexagons or pentagons or maybe even *gasp* squares. Just do what is best for your customers.

  21. Roger

    Ehmm – Interesting!

    “Content which has been contributed to public areas of Ancestry sites listed above by users remains the property of the submitter or the original creator and we are a licensed distributor of such content. Occasionally, a person may feel that content submitted by another user is their property, or is covered by the copyright of someone other than the submitter. Please remember that we are only the distributor of user supplied content and the submitter, not Ancestry, is the one who has violated copyright if such a violation has occurred. However, we will respond to substantiated claims of violation. In such a case, the person who believes they have a claim under copyright should send a claim of copyright violation to:

    John-David Anderson
    Copyright Agent for Notice
    360 W 4800 N
    Provo, UT 84604

  22. Monika

    From all the comments I am reading and the insulting manner with which handles these complaints, I think that the only way we will get them to listen to us is if we go outside of the ancestry blog and let the world (potential new subscribers) know how dictatorial has become and how they try to control our trees. We have paid for the privilege of creating our trees but we are treated like they do not belong to us. This is unacceptable.

  23. caith

    So Ancestry now says we can hide the additional narrative they put in our trees by clicking on the gear icon. Since I have 15,000 ancestors and I am 72 years old, I would click and scroll myself to death before I finished……….. Why should I spend the rest of my potential life cleaning up your mess, when I could spend that time with family and grandchildren?

    BTW, what is the median/average age of the people at Ancestry who are making the decisions re the changes. And, how many of them have actually “worked” a tree……

  24. Robin Hanna

    I think you are right, Monika, about trying to let as many people know in as many places as we can that we think there are serious problems at Ancestry and that many of the formerly happy customers are now not so happy.

    It seems as though this is all about the money, not about genealogy. If it is true that Ancestry is being sold, it could be that these software “improvements” are being touted as a great new system that would help retain and attract new customers, when the reality is that these software “improvements” are turning out to be a disaster.

    I agree with Gene that Ancestry is failing to see the big picture – and that this could ruin what used to be a great product and a better company.

    I think we should post our concerns in as many places as we can on the internet – here, Facebook, the petition to save Old Ancestry ( – and with the current owners (who can be reached at so that any potential buyer cannot help but learn that we think there are very serious problems at If it’s all about the money, raising concerns about the value of the company (seemingly going down every day) might get some attention.

  25. douggrf

    Based on many of the comments I see posted in this thread and in deep thought, I am considering taking the following proposal to Kristie and the development team.

    For LifeStory pane – make that an optional page view for tree -owner or editors which would only be accessed from research tools dialogue. Hence the guest view would not be able to see the page function at all, unless the tree-owner had made his/her edits to their satisfaction and then used a code which creates an internal .pdf file print object.
    The concept of the print object is how the StoryView in Classic was previously implemented in its very basic form. Much can be done with this kind of tool, for example, create headers and footers, and page numbering just like a professional report.
    Once the print object is done in a public tree, the guest does have the option to download and view that story element just like any other story object.
    So in brief the tree owner has control of the origin process, the guest in a public tree has the ability to see the work of the “best” authority.

    Now this does not stop other members from creating their own story objects from data that they gather. But this same “free-form” principal applies to any currently shared media, story, or photo.
    I invite comments from those reading this blog.

  26. Carmen

    Monika and Robin, you are correct. So many people will never see these blog posts. These complaints need to be publicized as much as possible in as many places as possible. If anyone out there has news media contacts and could get this story in the news that would be great.

    I wonder how many people have yet to try the new site and are going to be completely blind-sided when D-Day comes.

    The anxiety over this whole mess is literally making me sick to my stomach.

  27. Vince

    To Dave (August 15, 2015 at 5:56 am): Thank you for showing the simple link ( that in fact allows return to Classic Ancestry (at least for now) and that two Ancestry Customer Solutions Associates, Syd and Sarah, refused to disclose to me last week when I specifically asked to have the option restored on my account after the “Old Ancestry” link disappeared from the drop-down box under my username at the upper right corner of the screen in New Ancestry. Sarah wrote: “Unfortunately, there is no way that we would be able to place you back onto the old ancestry interface. The web developers of the Ancestry site have been slowly removing the option to opt out from all Ancestry accounts. Eventually all members will be on the new interface.” Syd wrote: “We have moved forward with the new Ancestry and that is the only interface that is now available.” Wrong and wrong. . .

  28. Karen

    douggrf ^ that sounds like a great idea to me. We just want control over what is on our page and we want it to be accurate and tell OUR story.

  29. Roger

    It takes 20 years to build a business and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently
    . . . Warren Buffet

  30. Robin Hanna

    Well, I posted my comments from 9:56 above on Facebook, but Ancestry censored my post by removing it.

  31. Lynnanne

    Just to voice my opinion, I don’t like the new Ancestry either. It’s not what I’ve paid for. If you want to make changes in something, focus your efforts on the DNA arena. Thanks.

  32. Have been following these comments with growing trepidation. I am in UK where New Ancestry is just appearing and am somewhat terrified to try it in case I can’t get back to original ancestry!! Having seen all the negative comments, it’s weird that Trust Pilot is full of glowing reviews for posted in the last 30 hours. Also weird that they read like adverts!!

  33. Roger

    ” it’s weird that Trust Pilot is full of glowing reviews for posted in the last 30 hours. Also weird that they read like adverts!!”

    I agree! Very pat, word perfect and scripted. Nothing like the correspondence that is taking place in these multitude of blogs. Must try harder, Ancestry – and censoring Facebook? Well!

  34. Patricia

    Thank you Karen and Roger. I’d never heard of that site. Holy cow, I have to agree. There must be some ‘selecting’ going on 🙁 **Cheryl, thank you. I cringe at my misplaced commas, and could have made a few sentences more structured 🙂 but I appreciate the compliment, and that you felt compelled to mention. I certainly hope they are TRULY listening to our concerns, about the options. Thanks!

  35. Marilyn

    Have changed my billing cycle (after many years) from yearly to six months. If the decision is not made to keep the classic option within the next six months my subscription will expire immediately after changing my tree from public to private. And Family Tree Maker will have lost another long-time friend, also.

  36. Robin Hanna

    Thanks, Karen. I had never heard of Trust Pilot, either. The reviews do sound like ads. I’m glad to know about it so that alternate opinions might be posted. I feel like we are living in an episode of “The Emperor’s New Clothes”.

  37. DannieB

    There are those – and you know who you are – posting on this blog and pretending to have a direct pipeline to communicate with development staff.

  38. BEE

    I had full intentions of finally checking out “new ancestry” just to see what was done with my ethnic names and places, but I am truly scared out of my wits to think I might not get back to the “old” ancestry. How in the world can this be happening to something I’ve spent hours and hours working on just about every day for almost 10 years?

  39. douggrf

    Trust Pilot is a commercial business website, meant to make a profit. It exists among many websites – in fact there is an entire body of business known as the consumer “review” business. Want to know how well your local auto mechanic down the street fixes cars? Want to know what it feels like to work for WalMart for 10 years?

    These sites will all be willing to talk to you. It’s a business type like many that is filled with questionable connections and unstated goals.

    As for the “recent” reviews that you pick up on – note how not one will care to mention the Beta phase deployment that was started in February 2015. Note how not one would appear to say well, gee, there is a difference between Classic and New? That debate has been going strong on Twitter, Facebook, and even these blogs for nearly 8 months with some of the largest volume of feedback to Ancestry that has ever been recorded since the company began operations.
    Why would the Trust Pilot be such a different review entity? Who pays the bills at Trust Pilot?

  40. Patricia

    NO indication of a note, yet one exists. Comment shows (2). Every profile has a ‘View Note” but without an indicator, many will be forgotten, and missed. Please fix.
    View in tree View Notes View Comments2 Merge with Duplicate Save to Tree

  41. MaryM

    This new version of Ancestry is a DEFECTIVE PRODUCT and should be RECALLED. Major features still don’t work properly. Researched data has been turned into fictitious LifeStories. (Which we are told to HIDE if we don’t want to see them) Events are out of order. Relationships are inaccurate. Pictures aren’t sized correctly for the page they’re on. The user has lost control of what appears on the pages. Louisiana now has “Counties” instead of “Parishes.” I expect that if Ancestry continues to push the new format, it will eventually lose all credibility as a “genealogy resource.” Genealogy is more than making pretty stories. It’s about research, finding facts. Ancestry is giving software programs the power to make assumptions about REAL PEOPLE and events and to distort proven facts. That, my friends, is a new way of making history!

  42. Roger

    Seems there is no way to remove a credit card from one’s billing information in My Account so it is impossible to stop a payment going through at renewal time, unlike FindMyPast where you have the option to turn off automatic renewal payment. This smells of bad business practice so the only way, the only way, to prevent a renewal is to cancel. Seedy.

  43. Jade

    Your first LifeStory example omits the name of the Canadian Province in which the person died. Canadian Provinces’ names need to be given in every instance where they are supplied by the user, no exceptions.

  44. Ray Phillips

    “Think of this as a system of rules that tries to map ambiguous place names like ‘Chester’”. Why should you or your computer change the name I gave? I do NOT want your ‘enhancements’ of my recordings. I do NOT want my English forebears to have their home town ‘corrected’ computer enhanced or whatever. I pay a great deal of money for worldwide access to records, NOT for you to choose where my Ancestors lived. Also, if any ‘County’ is to come first on the system, it should be an English County town like Chester not some place in Pennsylvania.

  45. BEE

    Maybe it wasn’t the thing to do, but when I saw “USA” before there was a USA, I went through all my trees and removed it, which I continue to do. Therefore, none of my added document links have more than town/city, county/parish, state. I wonder how they are dealing with that??

  46. Vince

    Wonder of wonders: As of this afternoon, the link to return to Classic/Old Ancestry has been restored on the New Ancestry username drop-down menu of member accounts from which it had been deleted a few days ago (at least for three accounts I tested). Could it be that Ancestry is finally getting our loud messages?

  47. Cheryl

    For god’s sake, PUT THE THUMBNAILS back on the facts page!!! You’ve had enough time to “evaluate” the situation! This is a MAJOR issue that you have pushed off and pushed off! You have made the facts page layout so bad as to be indescribable! At least give us users something to make the facts page palatable!

  48. Guest


    First, I want to say, it has been a wonderful journey until now. I have enjoyed the past three plus years I have have been working on my tree on via live online live without having to buy any additional software. I chose because of the simplicity of the overall layout, and ease of use, the floating family tree in both the pedigree and the family view. This was especially helpful when building a tree, and seeing the overall layout online in the family view versus the pedigree view. I chose because of the records available, the layout of the tree, and not having to watch or read a lot of how to’s to get something done. Not having to buy any additional books to learn how to use your website was GREAT! Now, that classic is ending, you have taken the joy out of my research. You may still be adding records that are important, but having being FORCED to use a NEW improved product, I find that it is not improved in regards to the tree hosting portion of

    I find your new product to be slow, sluggish, and uses more steps to complete what was a simple task as 1-2-3 on classic. It is very unappealing, cumbersome, and has become a chore to use. I will only use ancestry to search records that become available of interest. I am sorry does not think keeping”classic” as an option is worthwhile venue. It was a very valuable tool for many serious researchers and older users who do not have time to waste watching videos or reading “How To’s” just to use your New Improved website. You will lose many once devoted customers as a result of your bad decisions. As for new subscriber’s being sold a roof without a house or foundation is ludicrous. I certainly wouldn’t be appreciative of the fact your selling folks an inferior product than what was intended. For the remainder of the length of time of time of Classic, I have changed all my trees to private, and unsearchable. I am trying to finish up as much work as I can before it’s untimely death and demise! I will have to go into mourning after you kill it.

    The tree hosting portion, and the NEW life story is irrelevant in regards to you including this into anyone’s family trees. There are the buttons to hide family events, alternate facts, historical insights. These buttons serve no purpose as they are only an illusion of hiding these events from the Life Story or the Facts page from the tree owner. Trying to recreate the original Timeline into the Facts page has created a lot of chaos! Users like myself have spent a great deal of time, and a lot of hours filling in valuable life stories written by us for our own families only to be reinterpreted by as garbage. The tree owner should have the right and the ability to permanently turn these on off, and not merely hiding them from one’s sight. The tree owner should have control of the content inserted into their tree. By the way, your tip about the HIDE buttons, is just a mere game of hide n’ seek for the users, and not the visitors to the tree. Anyone who visits, see the info inserted into someones trees.

    There should be an additional button added to both the Life Story, and the Facts Page to Permanently turn off these functions and make them unavailable to others viewers who may have access via public trees or invited to private trees. From the massive amounts of complaints here, online via facebook, and other websites. It it apparent has not been listening hard to customers complaints or valid issues of glossing over these facts.

    I tried BETA in its initial stages, and thought it was a joke then, and it still is. Then you introduce this as a NEW product which was not even finished, then you expect your customers to do your job to fix your website. That was wrong! To introduce this as a sneak peak has only disgusted and angered your users and subscribers. Then to tease people with just saying “soon” or any other comments on the discontinuation of classic is absurd. Post a definite date. You must truly feel that your NEW product is more valuable in the long run if you lose your more long devoted subscribers versus gaining short term users for game playing modes on phones and tablets. Yes, I am truly disgusted as to all the recent current events happening on your blogs, your customer support forums, and the messages boards. Yes, I have read it all. There are by far more NEGATIVE complaints then you would see on any pay review sites.

    As having stated all the above, you had the number#1 website for family history, genealogy, and research. Now, you have turned it into #2 (You know what I mean). It is truly a worthless website in trying to get anything done on the family tree portion in New Ancestry. All users should not have to change to various browsers or adjust settings on one’s own computer to make the current website functions work as they should. They should work and be available on all platforms as is without having to do all this. This is what I originally liked about versus other products such as MyHeritage. Now, with FamilySearch, and others websites trying to trend along with the use if round circles, and, and clunky platforms to develop a tree. You did not have to follow suit to be a follower when you where the leader! You had set the standard, were a leader. Now you joined the list of the top ten worst websites to use. No matter how much you polish it, it is still going to be #2!

    Now for the most common complaint. UGLY GRAY BACKGROUND SCREEN. Give up on this idea. You have only disgusted the realm of users trying to read the screen. This is difficult to read or look at this for extended periods of time.You must feel only little kids are going to be using your current product as it looks like a little child’s coloring book with the addition of little rectangular boxes with dotted lines. The choice of color of the current color palette does not transfer well when trying to read the forums or message boards on NEW ancestry. The peacock blue on the white background is almost nearly impossible to read. Please do NOT refer me to change the font colors on my computer as I shouldn’t have to. These problems should have been thought out clearly a long time ago. I should be able to view your website from any computer or device without altering my settings.

    Why not give up and admit defeat with the round circles, and the appearance of square photos in a round frame. This is on the top of my complaints when I was seeing headless photos for my grandparents and upwards. Then you only continue to gloss over any update as we are working on it. Can’t be working too hard. Now, if you wish to use the colors for hyperlinks for the name of a spouse on the Life Story or the Facts page, use blue hyperlinks for males, and pink hyperlinks for females. Using a blue hyperlink for a female makes it appear as if the the woman was a male in reference to using the colors blue for male, pink for female. I had to change from the New ancestry back to classic so I could read the blogs without eye strain from reading the blue text on the white background. Get it right or don’t use those colors at all.

    The Map. This is one of the atrocious problems. Location, Location, Location. It is only truly amazing how you have responded to others complaints on this issue. That’s it, blame the user for the mistakes! I have seen it it my own tree, complained, and feel as if it was that important to you to get it right. This is another reason the pages tend to load slow because of the time it takes for the map to load on the page. I would rather have a map I could place pins on if I wish. I know where my relatives live, doesn’t. Your GPS is broken and way off the mark. Get it right or don’t use it at all.

    Another issue I have seen, and this falls on the ancestry owned product find a grave. I complained then about the inclusion of cities that once were as they existed in the timeline of our ancestors, and was the name of the cities they died in. The reply I got from find a grave is that find a grave only uses current city names. This is absurd. Same with any name or place of location as when it existed in a timeline such as being whether it was then a city, town, or township before it was annexed. Many older parts of towns or cities may have been annexed by larger cities, these places and names once existed, please include those.

    Your NEW improved NEW Ancestry has only made it harder and more difficult if not at all impossible for someone to correctly build a family tree, and develop correct source citations for records outside of ancestry resources. You have already eliminated the thousands of hyperlinks from my other source citations which were originally listed in the the Sources included with ancestry’s leaf citations. Now they are listed listed under OTHER SOURCES. I tried once to explain this, and was blasted by others who did not understand this concept of hyperlinks. What you now refer to as web-links which I use for inclusion of other items to websites as a reference source, but is not a sourced citation.

    Photos, the Photo Gallery, and the Thumbnails on the Facts Page. I would love to be able to continue to add the photos to each fact as it appears as a thumbnail on the Timeline/Facts page. I would prefer to have more than one photo or thumbnail appear. I do not need to see all the enlarged photos of documents on the Life Story. One of the reasons I think the Life Story needs an “OFF” button. In the person’s profile, when I look at the photos, I would rather see the photos as they appeared as thumbnails, and not just portions of the photos in the rectangular view or shape. This is unsightly, and not very appealing from a visual standpoint. Why do you have to try to emulate other websites. Just because someone else does it does not mean you have to do it. As the old adage of asking “If he jumped off a bridge, would you?” Yours was perfect. It was fun to use. Now I hate to have to work on NEW ancestry. Seeing that this is your intended goal, I for one will stop work on my trees online. I will only use an offline program. Searching will be not be as fun or easy anymore. Once again; here is where, I have to say if you have subscribed and paid for the record and have attached that image to your tree, you should still be able to go back and view that same record for review at anytime without having to be re-directed to the subscriber page. This is just one of the many of the problems that does exists. That is why I advocate the downloading of all important records than re-uploading to your ancestors. Save it, or lose it after your subscription runs out.

    I believe you announced the introduction of your new product NEW ANCESTRY on June 1, 2015. Clearly, it was not finished. It was a flawed and failed product from the get go. Fire the person. Get rid of your problem. Hire someone who can do the job, knows what is needed, and will get the job done. It can’t be that hard. I think the major majority of hardcore followers who are reading, commenting, and talking about this on various groups are tired of hearing “We’re sorry”. Sorry just don’t cut it anymore when you are messing with our ancestors stories. I truly believe that the way this has also been handled by ancestry was very poorly. Various other pro-New Ancestry users were being hostile towards anyone who was involved in any discussions of Saving “Classic” and making any NEGATIVE comments. Now, you change and say that this was a Sneak Peek, which is more like a sneak attack. Whether this was considered a sneak peek or not. It still has too many bugs, and why should we fix your problems. Clearly, you don’t have the right people working for you.

    Now, it appears you have dropped the ball on the Military Tribute pages. You didn’t even mention it on this latest update. Geez, how you have honored our veterans by scraping the idea altogether. How appropriate. Our Veterans deserve better than that.

    I am baffled as how you continue to handle this situation with denial, refusal, and lack of any admission of guilt in this whole catastrophe. The apathy that you have shown in your lackluster responses and your comments to users and subscribers has been downright appalling in some respect, and it appears you do not have the respect of some who were involved in discussions about this. Listen to your customers, whether they are good reviews or negative complaints, you just may learn something!

    In a perfect world, you wouldn’t even mess with someone else’s family trees. It is their information to exchange between relatives, and distant cousins. It is not here for you to merely play games, and insert unnecessary photos, and comments regarding Sears Roebuck & Co., or any other comments, this is totally ridiculous in all aspects. I have seen and read enough comments regarding this. When I seen the photo of Hitler inserted into the life story of someone who was of Jewish descent, I felt offended by it for the many men and women who died as a result of his dictatorship.

    Lastly, when are you cancelling the use of “Classic”?

  49. BEE

    Vince,thanks to what you wrote, I decided to give “new” a try. Thankfully, all my ethnic spellings are intact, but the first thing I did was get rid of “family events” and “historical insights”, so all I saw were the blinding colors, the wide white boxes making the information on the right scrunched together with words split up into two lines, which I wrote as my reasons for going back to “old”, but there big as life at the top it says: “Soon the new Ancestry will be the only Ancestry” – so there folks – take it or leave it??

  50. Helmeted

    Where are my comments? The comments field was the only practical place I had found to make research notes available for others viewing. These notes are gone from the new ancestry. I also did not find a way to search the name directly to the web from the individual’s page, a feature I use frequently with great success. Overall very disappointing. I also can no longer see my relationship to the individuals in the hint list. I don’t find what long term serious users gain from the changes. It seems that we are only losing features.

  51. Don

    We the users should be able to make lifestory view private from others without having to make our entire tree private. Or at the very least have lifestory default to private with a button we can click to make certain lifestory profiles public. Until we have the ability to edit where pins are placed on the map, or can delete the map from a profile mine would all be private. I do a lot of descendancy research, when I find the names of the parents of someone that married into the family I add them. I have not and don’t want to do any more research on them, but you write stories for them based on incomplete information. It is embarrassing having my name attached to that garbage.
    For anyone wanting to build a tree following the Genealogical Proof Standard, putting the sources in the middle of the facts page is perfect. It is just that at this point it is still incomplete. I know you have a lot of items to work on at the moment, so put this suggestion on the wish list for down the road. The blue lines going out to the left to the supported facts is great, but they should also go to the right for the supported relationships. I know that will be a lot of work adding in the relationships to each source. Most people would never use this feature if they have large trees, or only use it for direct line ancestors. However, it would be great for people just starting out to have this ability.
    The last step of the Genealogical Proof Standard is that a conclusion has been soundly reasoned and coherently written. That is not possible on your site today. Comments have a size limit, and supporting images cannot be inserted. This could be done by uploading it as a story to the media gallery, but there is no way to identify that there is such a story on the facts page. The lifestory view just does not work for this with all that is wrong with the computer generated stories.
    I loved being able to place thumbnail images on the facts in classic ancestry, and would love for it to come back. However, if they are going to be round images, or the incomplete thumbnails you now have in the media gallery, then don’t bother. There is plenty of empty space that would look better filled in with thumbnails on the facts view page.

  52. Monika

    I too complained about distorting historical data by changing the names of the cities to current names (accurate names of a city at the time of birth of an ancestor). E.g., if an ancestor was born in a GERMAN community in Bohemia– Example: My grandmother was born in a village called DITTERSBACH in Bohemia. This village is today part of the Czech Republic and is called STASOV. Of all the ridiculous things to suggest that my grandmother was born in the Czech Republic when this village was a part of the German speaking community (and part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the time she was born and grew up). Why in the name of GOD do you have to be so intrusive in other people’s lives???

  53. Dual dating is another old problem that still needs resolution, even within your databases. (I have repeatedly requested help fixing this problem for literally years)

    First thing needed is an understanding of the Julian and Gregorian Calendars. In the old calendar the first day of the new year was the 24th of March. During this transition many records used “dual dating,” and I do mean the records were literally written with a date dual such are 5 Mar 1704/5.

    This is not a range between the years 5 Mar 1704 and 5 Mar 1705, both are the same day. If you are going to drop the dual date, then you need to use the current calendar year, which would be 1705.

    The above issue continually creates problems for people not knowledgeable with early calendar dates, resulting in people recording 5 Mar 1702/3 has 5 Jan 1702 or 5 Jan 1703 etc., (databases are bad, not original records).

    A related and more impotent issue is how to interpret a dual date when data basing. You must use the later year when sorting, not the earlier here.

    There are numerous problems that constantly occur when you use the first year instead of the last (current calendar year) in a database, such as infants being buried and then baptized, or wills being probated (which occurs after death) before they are written.

    I have numerous examples of this problem in my tree, which use the official records of baptism, burial, wills and probate. See any of the numerous error reports submitted in the past.

    I know, I know, this is not a priority, and happy clickers won’t care.

  54. Family Trees are still not displaying correctly, individuals are overlapping or displayed twice, and others are not connected to a family, what you call ghosts.

    This is the same problem I’ve repeatedly sent error reports on for years and here is the Beta with the same issue. Please fix this. If you read the reports you will see all my connections are correct.

    Yes, I do have a small tree, thought it is rather complex, but it contains no duplicates, incorrect relationships, etc., I’ve been over this repeatedly with your help staff and they just keep submitting error reports without resolution to these problems.

    Don’t know why you deleted the old Bing map connection, I’d plotted the locations accurately, and then it was gone. A better solution would be google maps, which I’d occasionally use to find locations (still the old hardcopy best)

  55. Pictures are working fine, please keep them (if an individual imports a thumbnail then that’s what will show up).

    Thank you for restoring my comments.

  56. Location, Location, Location… as I previously mentioned, I had accurately plotted many, many of these locations on Bing maps using hardcopy maps and then the Bing Map was gone, too say I was irritated is to say the least.

    You need to start work mapping the census records, ca. 1790 and on (which I had done). Yes, this is not easy, but I had done it and then you wiped out my research because it lacked sufficient hits.

    Cities and villages are not townships and most of the records record only the township an individual lived and died in because they simply did not live in a city or village (see relevant deeds). The same issue of parishes also applies in England.

    Compounding this problem is that the life events need to be recorded in the historically accurate county and township of the time, both which evolve over the centuries. If someone was married in a particular county, then that’s where the record will be found, even if the geographical name for the location has changed.

    I won’t even get into mapping the Holy Roman, or Russian Empires on Bing Maps, which is essential if you want to provide historical context on my families prior to the 1900’s. You need to enlist a Historian and Genealogist for this.

    You will also run into significant problems data basing if all you rely on are the number of hits rather than historically relevant records. Again, hire a Historian and Genealogist for this research.

    Have you ever seen “‘Who Do You Think You Are?” on TLC? and compare what is here to what they find?

    And no, I do not claim to be a descendant of Kings and Queens. Mostly just peasants and yeoman.

  57. Monica, Wow. It’s nice to seen someone else does not like the distortion of historical and geographical records, and in particular your notation of the Austro-Hungarian Empire!! I love the historical accuracy, it adds so much color and detail to a “Life Story.”

  58. Don, brings up a terribly relevant point. He has done a lot of research and his research is being clouded by the life story by Ancestry Tree’s computer generated stories.

    I guess he and I are the losers, here… we’re not using the number of internet database hits, but genealogical standards, something not terribly relevant in the realm of Ancestry Tree marketing.

    Oh, well, it’s a losing battle.

  59. I was never keen on the “Military Page,” it never worked all that well and for some reason had different permissions. Some of the fields should be incorporated into the individual records, but no one should lose that sort of research.

  60. Gene, August 15, 2015,
    Brings up some great points about standardization. Why in the world what I want to standardize surname spelling for database coherence? A repulsive idea, it ameliorates the individual to a database entry (and obscures their actual origins), rather than the person they were.

    But I’m not on the cutting edge of marketing and using what’s trending is what the market now uses. Something about how many clicks you can get from a “smart phone,” really a phone for a dumbass is what pulls in the revenue. Intellect and research is now being overwhelmed by the machine. 10 seconds staring at your watch is now genealogy. Amazing, genealogy is now being reduced to how many clicks you can get on a wrist watch.

  61. John writes, August 15, 2015:

    3. Images that are of documents do not show the transcription (I concur, fix this, why would you not show the transcripts we’ve made of documents)

    4. I would like to be able to view my images chronologically (I concur and have repeatedly requested the same).

  62. You imported the NEHGR (1847-2011) over 4 years ago and I still can’t see or connect to anything after 1922. Why???? This is one of the best references you have, I reference it extensively in my file (from either hardcopy or at their website).

    Just not a money maker when someone is using their wrist watch for genealogy?

  63. Monika

    If you take it upon yourself to erase any of my comments in my trees, I swear I will find an attorney and sue you. I dare you! Your crap called Family History is junkology not genealogy which shows, in my opinion, the direction is going. The comments on my profile pages are written to elaborate on extensive research I have done over a period of years. How DARE YOU think that you have the right to erase the comments people put on their profile pages after charging them to establish trees on your site. To GLEN. Yes, actually I have written to ancestry years ago about the importance of being historically accurate. E.g., how it is inappropriate to refer to “Baden/Wuerttemberg, Germany in the early 1800s, etc. (The State Baden-Wuerttemberg was born in 1952.) To suggest that historical accuracy is not important to genealogy is to make a mockery out of genealogy. I have traveled to Austria, the Czech Republic, France and throughout the United States to find records not yet on and to get a feel for where my ancestors lived. THAT is what true genealogy is all about. I have paid for the World membership for several years now and noticed some embarrassing errors made by on and (the German and the French site). So, I thought that they would “really appreciate my feedback” and make the appropriate corrections. Instead they wrote back saying that they had fewer members on those sites and therefore could not give these sites priority, and now when you want to sign in e.g., on or the message pops up saying “We recommend that you sign in to instead of going on this site because we have more records there” (I am paraphrasing). In that case why pay for World Membership if you are “encouraged” to go to instead. Not all the ancestors we are researching immigrated to the United States! I feel like has lost all style and grace that it once had and that makes me very sad.

  64. O.K., looked at life story again.
    Why are the most basic and genealogically relevant records not included, i.e.; baptism, property/deeds, will/probate, burial, and for modern deaths (your help lines says really add color) obituaries?
    All these can be found in my facts with the images from the photo gallery attached.

  65. Monika, I agree 100%, membership in World Tree is a complete waist of money, as Ancestry clearly points out.

    Simmer down just a little. Apparently Ancestry has restored the comments in the Beta version. I was also angered by this initial exclusion of my research.

    Ancestry continues to rely on the number of database hits, with absolutely no research to relevance. So even if they won’t take our research at face value, then the least they could do would be to hire a couple genealogists and historians. But, here is another marketing tactic, instead of doing so, they want the ignorant to hire their “professionals” who I know would not be able to accomplish what you have.

    I’m not a business executive, so I’m not sure how they balance their books on investment and return.

    Since they went public, genealogy has never been their interest, only return on the dollar of investment. Hence they are now reducing their site to the number of clicks they can get from the current generation.

  66. Patricia

    I finally broke down to use the sync for my dna skeleton tree, which is public, to edit a place name which ANCESTRY has failed to correct, in the two months since I have reported. On every entry, the irritating Life Story… should be two words, by the way… translates my City of St Louis to read as the County. I took the time to create a St Louis City, Missouri, USA entry. I changed the place names (love the FTM) on each. This morning, they are back to showing the County!! SOOOO I have to fight fire with fire. If you are NOT going to correct the MOST incorrect transcription of St Louis, Independent CITIES, Missouri, USA to City, I’ve no other choice but to tell my dna matches via FACTS (nulls and voids place name in LS) to “*PLEASE see my profile for explanation. Thanks!” and in my profile, they shall find: “As an fyi: ALL my St Louis City ancestors/relatives show as born, married and/or died in the County – and other inconsistencies! Until ANCESTRY fixes the City name, I am moving/deleting all those place names. Sorry! I cannot stand the thought of anyone who may check the Life Story, and take the incorrect St Louis place name, at face value. (The error was made when they arbitrarily renamed the City of St Louis to ‘StL Independent CITIES, which is 100% incorrect. ALL databases are correctly labeled/transcribed as Independent City, thus causing their program to be completely flumbasted and to interpret the City, as the County! Driving me batty.) I apologize for the inconvenience.”

  67. CrystalS48

    Another sad day in Ancestry-land. Spent two hours watching the little “loading” circle spin around while trying to view the media gallery in my sister’s profile. Once again, no luck, no matter whose profile it is. Never had this problem with the original Ancestry.
    Here’s something “funny,” though. I visited two web sites (not genealogical sites) this past weekend and both had “upgraded” their photo displays to include circles instead of squares. So Ancestry is no longer unique in displaying only partial photos. I wonder . . . . is Ancestry using the same ad agency or graphic designers who have somehow convinced their clients that circles are the new squares?

  68. Kristie

    Another week – another we’re sorry, but the new site still is a mess. We’re working hard to bring back features from our old site – but we are determined to package it in an ugly wrapper. Thank you for using such a wonderful example of what many of us are complaining about – the dark background color combined with the thin white font makes just looking at your site a headache inducing, blurry exercise. The round porthole looks as awful as ever. You suggest we click on the gear icon to hide the stupid Hysterical Insights. Another nonsense suggestion because we are just hiding them from ourselves. Others can still see them. Remove them from all trees! Please use some common sense – nothing about your poorly written paragraphs of nonsense work on either page. No one wants this junkology on their trees. What about all the other issues you no longer address? Where is the media sorting? How about a media gallery that now contains everything actually loading? Relationship calculator functioning? Correct wording on the ‘Facts’ page? Member connect? Family Group sheet? This still is a genealogical site, right? To answer your question about what to love about this new site? Nothing except for the ongoing soap opera. Your blog post on June 5 is pretty entertaining with 450 negative comments – and still growing.

  69. Robin

    In response to a question I asked on Facebook about the timing of the mandated use of New Ancestry, I received this response today from Ancestry:
    “Hi Robin, while there are a few issues we are still working to resolve on the new website, we believe once you start using it you will see how it will help you create and showcase your family history. If you happen to find a bug or something doesn’t quite work like you think it should, please send us a private message and we would be happy to assist you, or you can submit it via this form Thank you.”

    BUG??? More like a plague of locusts.

  70. Patricia

    I’m loopy from the cicadas, and this very minute, they’re having a party in my yard. “Plague of locusts”. Seriously made me laugh, Robin. But, on the other hand, it is suggested you just haven’t used it enough, which I think is arrogant to assume. I’m in it more than not, and I’m sure many have tried to see the value of such a large overhaul, but secretly thanking the stars above, they can return to ease and encumbered appearances, to get some serious research, or other tasks, accomplished.

  71. Monika

    Robin, I had to laugh! You must have struck a nerve if they asked you to send them a “private message”. I guess they do not want others to know how bad it is and want to communicate with you privately. This is the true definition of arrogance to force something on us that we do not want as if to say “it’s for your own good”. They are not my mother! They are a service provider, providing me with a service for which I pay. The service that I pay for is to have a site where I can create a well researched ancestry tree with the data I find on For a fee, they provided me with something I loved and are now changing it to something I hate while still expecting me to pay for it as if they were not imposing an unwanted and unrequested change on me. I do not want the Life Stories imposed on a tree that I am creating and they should have NO RIGHT to force these pathetic Life Stories on me.

  72. Please stop using incorrect geographical terms in the life story and fix your mapping database. In the 1600’s, the county of Worcster, is abbrev. “co. Worchester.” See relevant maps and documents of the time, it was not known as or called Worchestershire and note, the English word “county” is not capitalized. The same applies to most of the other so called “Shires.”

  73. Marriage is not showing up in the life story for Cassandra Burnell and Laurence Southwick. (hint it is a dual date, and I will not corrupt accurate data). See link

  74. Location, location, location:
    If you can’t plot it accurately and we can (the minority), then give us back the ability to do so. This is a classic example. The map is close enough so you can accutally see why your database is failing (again – and agian I’d previouly plotted this and you deleted it)

    My repeated database entery: St. Saviour Parish, Jersey, Channel Islands


    Obviously the Jersey, Channel Island is not the Guernsey, Channel Island (and nowhere on Guernsey is there a place called St. Saviour). At least you aren’t placing this in Iceland anymore.

  75. Patricia

    Glen, as I said on facebook today, it’s not the map which needs the fix. The changed a large chunk of their place names, and I am beginning to think they can’t find the bread crumbs to change them back. So the map isn’t the problem. Restore the place names, and the pins will find their way home. (Enjoying your posts, and so many others. These issues must be corrected!)

  76. Search Functions: I’m please with this. You appear to have fixed a whole bunch of problems in this Beta. I can now narrow the dates of search and that seems to be working great, along with the ability to narrow the name, which is a bear when working with a family whose surname is Williams

  77. Citations: please be authentic and stop citing yourself as the author of a database created and imported from the U.S. Gov’t. I honestly doubt you are managing the records of the Social Security Administration and the Bureau of Veteran of Affairs.

  78. YOU NEED TO FIX THIS NOW, ASAP. Twice I’ve been contacted by individuals telling me they could see living persons, both me and others in my tree, Neither have permissions to my tree!!!!

  79. Patricia

    SO, this is Support? With such a response, I am not holding out much hope for the place names to be sufficiently corrected. Give me strength…not to break my fist when I punch something!!

    My email to ‘support’–

    SUBJECT: Well beyond angry. PLACE NAMES
    From: (me) Aug 10

    Tonight I checked my dad’s “Life Story” and find him listed on this ridiculous fluff (Life Story) of a page as living in ICELAND! I added his muster sheet(s) years ago and is still as transcribed by your crew. Because of a recent idiotic change to add USA as mandatory for all places in the U.S., the bot is interpreting “Georgia” to be in Iceland. What is even more disturbing is that “Georgia” would be in Russia or Siberia or somewhere FAR, FAR AWAY from the beautiful Southern STATE of Georgia. That’s one serious fumble by the programmers or whoever is running this circus.

    I am so angry because I have been screaming about place names for two months now, but that was in regards to St Louis. Another whole entire chapter. Tonight, seeing Iceland, I could no longer hold in my anger. Ancestry is on my last nerve.


    I beg you. Thank you, (Signed full name, user name and City)

    RESPONSE: Why this ONE email contains two responses, an hour apart, is very strange, especially with the sent time earlier than the 2nd message, within!!

    Subject: Well beyond angry. PLACE NAMES [Incident:(#)] Support
    Aug 13 at 6:41 PM
    To: (me)
    Recently you requested personal assistance from our on-line support center. Below is a summary of your request and our response. Please reply to this message if your issue has not been resolved.

    Thank you for allowing us to be of service to you.

    **followed just below, on SAME email……

    Subject: Well beyond angry. PLACE NAMES
    Discussion Thread
    Response Via Email (Dirk) 08/13/2015 07:41 PM

    Hello Patricia,
    Thank you for contacting Ancestry in regard to problems with place names on the Life Story page.

    We’re always sorry to learn that our members had a frustrating experience. We’ve forwarded your feedback on to the proper department for consideration.

    If you’d like to submit additional feedback, please review the following Help article. It offers more options for submitting feedback: my id)

    If you need additional assistance, please feel free to reply to this message or call us at 1-800-ANCESTRY (1-800-262-3787) between the hours of 9am to 11pm EST, seven days a week.


    Customer Solutions Associate

    For more information regarding our products, please follow the links listed below.
    Online Help | Support Community | Facebook | YouTube | DNA


    Ancestry Member Services Survey for Inquiry (#)
    Ancestry Feedback
    Today at 3:50 AM
    To: (ME)

    This email is in reference to your recent inquiry with Ancestry Member Services, number (#).

    Thank you for giving us the opportunity to assist you. Now we’d like to know how we did, and what we can do better. Please take a moment to complete the following short survey about the support we provided.

    Click here to take this survey.

    Ancestry Member Services

    **Please do not respond to this auto-generated message, as we will not receive it. If you need additional assistance, please visit Online Help or contact Member Services at 800-262-378


  80. Roger

    Patricia – no joke. It’s their usual e-mail response full of the usual platitudes; banality; shibboleth; triviality; verbiage – choose your own adjective. To be honest, I feel beaten in to the ground by Ancestry and just about ready to give up. It’s all just copy and paste, not the high quality help we experience from worthy providers.

    They will win and we probably will all leave but that won’t matter to them in the scheme of things.

  81. steve

    I’m guessing Ancestry is coming out with a camera that takes round pictures, and sell them to their members, so they will fit their new format…..

  82. steve

    We should send Ancestry a full page, open letter, in the Provo Daily Herald. Telling Tim and top management, how we feel about the new format.

  83. Ron

    The Aug 7th update notes that FamilySearch integration works now …have have both a and FamilySearch account …but, I am unable to find a way to connect my Ancestry Member Tree and FamilySearch family tree.

  84. BEE

    “People with hints – 11”: “There are currently no People hints in the ******** Tree. Please try a different search.”
    “All hints – 2”: “There are currently no People hints in the ******** Tree. Please try a different search”.
    Another tree supposedly has 7 “hints”, but there isn’t even the message telling me there really aren’t any hints!
    And all these “ghost hints” are still in the “new and improved” ancestry!
    “same old” with those sliders. They are useless with ethnic names, poor spelling and worse transcribing. Colors? Horrible!! What has become of searching the internet? Is it gone or just hidden??

  85. Tarah

    One of my biggest pet peeves is how one views a record on the source list. There is the event column and then the source column next to it. If you click “edit” on an event in the event column, you get the option to the edit the event. Great. That is what one would expect. Now let us go over the source column. Let’s say I want to click on a source to view it. If I click on the thumbnail image, I get taken directly to that image. Awesome. Just as one would expect. But if I want to view the transcription of that record (say, the 1850 census and I want to view the transcription rather than the image of the census itself) then I have to click the edit button, which then takes me to a screen that says view image or view record. This make no sense and I had to have someone explain it to me to find it. I have two masters degrees and have had classes in information architecture and have built websites myself- and I needed someone to explain to me how to find that option! I am sure many other users have the same problem (in fact, from your facebook page, I know that they do). And the real kicker is there is not really anything to directly edit in on that pop up that you get when you click on the edit button button on a source. It would make sense to have that button say “View” (as it does if you are looking at sources on someone else’s family tree) and then once that window comes up, there can be the same options as there is now- view record, view image, and I believe there is an option to click on a button that allows you to edit, but there is not direct editing functionality right there on that page without making yet another selection. It makes no sense to me that that button says edit instead of view.

    Also, it is difficult to figure out how to set a photo as the primary photo for a person. Why not just add a check box as used to be, or at least an option that is more direct and easy to find?

  86. Robin

    I love your thought, Steve. I’m not sure how easy it would be to coordinate all of the thoughts of all of us. It might also work if we all wrote to the paper and asked them to do their own investigation/story. Our opinion doesn’t seem to matter much, but that of the paper might. (I already sent my letter). It seems as though the paper and Provo might actually care about

  87. BEE

    “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.” This is a VERY simple fix – stay with the colors in “old/classic” ancestry!

  88. Barbara

    Locations in the Great State of Texas drives me batty. While I realize there is a GIGO factor, any possibility you could explain why cities and counties don’t match up very often or very well for this one state? It’s the only one I can’t figure out. This is the only state I run into problems with. Is it because there are so many counties and people are guessing what county a city is in? Or possibly because the county lines experience a great deal of change? I do my place resolutions regularly through FTM — as well as de-duping.

  89. Barbara

    Thinking about the Life Story … I think that people who don’t like it, can just ignore it. All it is is a summary of what was going on in the world when this person was alive. I but might not use it very often but have referred to it several times to get historical context. Here is how it was recently helpful to me.

    I send out a family email blast every couple months with “Stories from the Tree.”

    This month was the 70th anniversary of the Atomic Bomb drop on Hiroshima & Nagasaki. My father was on a ship headed out of San Francisco Harbor as the bombs were dropped. So he didn’t have to go fight in Japan since the event ended the war. Also Dad would have been 100 years old in a few months.

    So, I printed the Life Story in a PDF format. On the PDF I took out the Texas oil wells photo provided by Ancestry, added a photo of the San Fernando Cathedral and added a bit of text telling an interesting family story and listed the siblings born before him. (Yes, I have editing tools to do this on a PDF–but most people don’t have the software or skills.)

    So, a couple of things came to mind. First, is that it would have been nice to be able to insert my own photo and story below the historical photo chosen by Ancestry.

    Second is that it would be nice if there was a very brief bit of information on any siblings born prior to the subject (names and dates of birth if known) — perhaps just below the summary paragraph.

  90. Location, location, location:
    O.K. here is one of the MAJOR problems with your challenges to standardizing your databases and one of the MAJOR reasons for continued failure.

    You write, “the best practice in the United States is to enter City, County, State, and Country.” Your best practice, is really a failure to understand geography and one of the reasons you are having so many problems. You are totally ignoring the existence of townships. So the best practice would be to enter, City, Township, County, State, and Country.

    Townships are the field you are missing, a fifth field, it’s one of the reasons you can’t map the census records.

    It’s also one of the reasons I will continue to use the abbreviation “Co.” for county and Twp for a Township. A City will fall within a township, but not all townships have a city, or if an individual was born within a township, he may well have lived outside any of the cities or villages within a township.

    See all the topographical maps and surveys of the Midwest in the 1800’s. Many of these townships exist today exactly as they were surveyed in the 1800’s, and if you were a farmer back then (something like 90% of the U.S. population was, you were not living in a city.

    The proper country field before 1776 is New England, the USA just plain simply did not exist earlier. It’s almost funny, but honestly a lot of people with a “smartphone” today really don’t know this most basic fact.

  91. I’ll add one more note, I will not enter “, , , New England” in a database when I’ve already plotted it on a map. And before 1776 New England was not found in North Dakota. If I say they were born in New England before 1776, it simply means I’ve not found records in any of the individual Colonies.

  92. Guess a possible solution might be to enter Colonial America, but New England narrows it to just a few Colonies (there was also New Netherlands and New Sweden prior to 1776)

  93. Glen Swartz

    Location, location, location: You really should finish indexing the following record from your card file: Great Britain, Atlas and Index of Parish Registers, it really is a great reference to locations in the U.K, but then again I realize it probably is not worth the resources.

  94. Glen Swartz

    Features that we are still working on:
    – Profile picture cropping – Edit/crop a profile photo to fit in the circular photo space.
    (I find nor see any problems here, except for people with a “smartphone” same issue as the thumbnail problem)
    – Member Connect – Find other members researching a similar ancestor and save the info from their family trees.
    (the absolute last thing I want/need, but probably very important to the happy clickers)
    – Family Group Sheet – A family view of the of the person and their family.
    (yes, I too would like to see this function)

  95. Patricia

    Barbara “Thinking about the Life Story … I think that people who don’t like it, can just ignore it.” No, this does not work – for me. MY place names are changed. Until Ancestry gets their act together and fix the gross inconsistencies, I will not sing the praises of the LS, while any casual looker or family member who may actually be doing research from that page, could copy the incorrect City/Town — and yes, even a Country, in my Dad’s case. It is infuriating that anyone can see these gross mistakes, which were created by Ancestry, when they narrowed down to almost NO CHOICE, hundreds, if not thousands of location names. No excuse! (Thank you Roger. It really is sad that they seem to not care when members leave. Probably because there are always the clickophiles who are waiting in the wings to join. Click, click, click, this is fun. Oh look, grasshoppers. How cute.)

  96. Ann Forster

    Is there a way to revert back to the old Ancestry interface? I find the new one extremely visually distracting, so much so, that I can’t get anything done. The taupe and black colors and all the flashing pop up’s anytime one moves one’s cursor, make it impossible to visually orientate on the page. Help please!

  97. Pat

    @ Ann Forster, that is an excellent point! Every time you move the cursor around, you get that pop-up. It’s again, another problem of having to click, click, click in order to get anywhere. You literally have to move the cursor out into the margin to start over.

  98. Patricia

    Ann, do you not see the dropdown menu, when clicking your user name at the top? You should see ‘Old Ancestry’. If not, call CS.

  99. F

    gee, thanks, ancestry…it’s official…you’ve done the have actually made cleaning my house more fun than using your site!!!!! so thankful there are other sites out there to use to research my family history, as I will no longer be using ancestry as my primary research tool.

  100. Monika

    Re: Your renaming the locations where people were born to portray what these cities are called today. You state that this is what is done in genealogy today. This may be true in the United States, but I can reassure you that this is not true in other countries like e.g., Europe. Europe respects its history too much to do something that idiotic. (You may recall my example in a previous message regarding where my grandmother was born.) You MUST respect history! If American genealogists believe in simplifying their lives by choosing the name of the location as it is named today (e.g., ancestor was born in 1715 in Massachusetts, USA!!!), they only exhibit what we all already know which is that the American school system has failed them. This is the greatest country on earth! I know that because I have lived all over the world. But I do not know another country that has thrown as much money at their school system as the United States with such poor results. If you perpetuate that by distorting history (which is what you are doing when you ignore the historical names of the location in which a person lived and died) you help perpetuate ignorance.

  101. Vince

    To Patricia regarding LifeStory: Thanks for pointing out again that Ancestry’s patronizing “tip” at the beginning of this blog post that tree owners “… can hide these events completely by … selecting the ‘Hide Family Events’ option …” in fact hides the troubling material only from the tree owner, not also from other people who view the tree and may be misled by the inaccurate material. As I’ve said before, that’s why my trees are now private and unsearchable and will remain so as long as Ancestry does not give tree owners full control over who may view the LifeStory material in their tree or just removes that useless feature entirely.

  102. I see now there are countless people as upset as I am…..I did send a full complaint to Ancestry following the phone call Sunday when I had them switch me back to the Original Ancestry….I was so mad that I really could not think straight. I sent anther comment to the email Ancestry Tree section. No I do not like the so called New Ancestry. After 8 years of hard work and hours , they put pictures that did not even pertain to my family. I want the original profile sheet. The STORY VIEW (green button) I have just started to work my tree, and it does do a great story with MY FACTS. This NEW needs to go…. the worst is looking at the profile and for children see one name plus a number… Please anyone let me know where any petition is being recorded…. I will say my word of mouth in public is helping… but I will post on every site I can find… I am a very unhappy paying customer.. The best rule for retail….THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT…….. you have to remember who pays your bills and pay check. SATISFIED CUSTOMERS GROW BUSINESS.

  103. Monika

    HELP, PLEASE HELP! I am freaking here. Just checked all my trees again. They are all private and unsearchable as of a month ago. All but one look fine and are still in classic ancestry. But one of them–my husband’s ancestry. Guess what–IT IS IN CLASSIC ANCESTRY UP TO HIS MATERNAL GREAT GRANDFATHER…..AND FROM HIS PATERNAL GREAT-GRANDFATHER ON THE PROFILE SHEETS ARE IN NEW ANCESTRY. but, when I go up the page to put these profile pages back into classic ancestry, it claims that I AM still in classic ancestry and gives me the option of changing to NEW ancestry. What is going on??? Have they started to change us over silently or what in the world is going on and how do I put these individual profile pages from great-grandpa on back into classic ancestry when the newer generations are still in classic ancestry? This is nuts, folks!

  104. Robin

    Monika, do you have access to Ancestry’s Facebook so you can make this post there? I can’t even imagine how or why this might have happened, but it seems like something that people should know about.

  105. For all of you that are as upset as I am about the NEW ANCESTRY…. the best option for all of us is to register a complaint with the BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU….. we have paid for a service for many years. A lot of us have paid for birth & death certificates for our research. We have traveled to other countries, states, libraries all over. We researched stories and pictures, then Ancestry decides to take the privilege of telling a LIFESTORY according to them. We paid, it is our right to OUR OWN STORY. It does not seem to matter to Ancestry if we the people are upset.. but there are ways to make us heard.. Even a call to TV or emails to the news. We have a voice..

  106. Monika

    Robin, Sorry, I do not do Facebook. Several reasons for it. Am wondering whether anyone else has the same situation. I can’t be the only one. I have not contacted yet because–knowing them–they are probably going to blame this on my browser or some other lame reason. Can never be their fault, can it??? Patricia – Good idea, I will do that first thing tomorrow morning.

  107. Elhura

    The word yesterday from a call to Ancestry was that “starting this week” all guest invites to our trees will have to view them in new Ancestry. New guests will not have the Classic option. Old guests prior to this week can continue to view in Classic – or so I am told.

    Good ideas about the BBB and news media. How about CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360”? I believe Ancestry did a special on him and he may feel he has a stake in promoting a product of continued quality.

    One of the blog site entries this week (this or another site) was that Ancestry is on the market for a new buyer. It seems if this is true, they would need as many satisfied customers as they can get – at least until they can sell. The most satisfying thing I can think of would be for the execs to put the word out now that CLASSIC WILL BE KEPT INDEFINITELY. That way, we could all have some measure of relief and perhaps the new owners and leadership will see the wisdom of retaining an already great product – perhaps scraping, or at the least slowing down the promotion of the disastrous new until it can be refined-refined-refined and made worthy (doubtful) of the Ancestry name.

  108. Karen

    Unfortunately the only thing that will make Ancestry (or any company) listen to their customers is a fear of reduced revenue. If people are actually not renewing their subscriptions and are telling the company it is because of their dislike for the new site they will see a trend and start to try to placate their customers. They don’t care how unhappy people are unless it starts affect their bottom line.

    This new system has been set up to entice new, younger members and make the company more attractive to buyers. I’m sure the company has experts who say the new design will be attractive to the new, short-term customers they are trying to reach. They’ll stick around for a few months, copy other trees and have a pretty Life Story to show friends without having to do much research. in the meantime more short-term members will join. I’m sure they knew long-term researchers might not be thrilled with the changes but they probably also figure they have no where else to go. If they cancel their subscription they lose access to the Ancestry records they have attached to their trees and many probably haven’t saved their records on their computer or on hard copy. Any wonder why it’s harder to find Print on the new Ancestry?

    It would be interesting to know if people really are canceling or just complaining. Honestly I think a large number of customers are just avoiding the new right now so the onslaught of complaints/cancellations might only come when people are forced into new. But honesty, except for a few minor fixes to what the company considers glitches, I don’t expect anything more from them unless they lose 10% or 20% of their customers. They have spent millions on this new system and more millions on advertising it. They aren’t going to backdown unless it becomes catastrophic to their company.

    Personally I’ve grabbed all my research and made my tree private and won’t be renewing unless I can control my tree.

  109. caith

    Has Ancestry factored in that LOYALTY is an important ingredient to their continued success. The younger generation has not yet learned its value and many do not under its concept.

    That are always on to the “next big thing”.

  110. BEE

    I have kept all my trees private from day one. Anything I’ve shared with family has been written out, or copied into a word document. I’m sure there would be more people signing that petition, but as someone mentioned, I think there are many like me who have no desire to put out a name and email address any more than necessary, which is why I don’t respond to surveys, polls, etc.

  111. Gene

    @Karen, I did cancel my subscription last month as well as deleted my tree. I can always come back if they ever come to their senses but I am not expecting it.

    Personally, I doubt this all was driven from inside Ancestry. My guess is they hired some outside “Consultant” that really doesn’t have a dog in the fight who showed them some flashy presentations, and some non-genealogy web sites where some things maybe make sense and overwhelmed them with a lot of analytic data that showed there was huge potential for growth opportunities and this is the future.

    When you read all the complaints and, even if New Ancestry was well-received, all the problems, you would expect there to be some very nervous people roaming the halls of their building. But based on their response, or lack thereof, I suspect their belief is that very few will actually cancel subscriptions and the resistance will fade not continue.

    Curious though why when the petition hit the target 2500 the goal just changed to 3000 instead of firing off the petition to Tim Sullivan.

  112. I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau today…. with the request for them to look on this site to see everyone’s feed back. Please file a complaint and ask for the ORIGINAL ANCESTRY TO REMAIN AS WE WROTE OUR STORY.

  113. elhur

    A flood of brief letters to the BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU OF UTAH, 3703 West 6200 South, Salt Lake City, Utah 84129, may get a bit of the right attention. You should include your name and address. Their phone # is (801)-892-6009, but a letter will likely be required. You should state the problem and end with “To fix this problem, I would like . . .”

    I personally am only requesting that Classic Ancestry be kept as one of Ancestry’s permanent usable options.

    Like most BBB’s, the letter will likely be shared with Ancestry and a certain amount of time allowed for response. A favorable resolvement allows the business in question to retain their BBB standing. While any number of outcomes might happen, Ancestry, per its display of the BBB logo, prides itself on its BBB membership. Maybe enough concerns to the BBB about unfairness to subscribers and lack of empathy for customer concerns will at least cause them to take pause and reconsider what they are doing.

    I don’t know what it will take for Ancestry to show they are really “listening”. They are a huge company and probably feel the customer is “a dime a dozen”, but I want to feel that someone there has the moral compassion and wisdom to care about what is going on. Ancestry needs to realize those of us who are concerned are concerned not just for ourselves and our work, but about Ancestry itself and its standing as the premier – at least in my opinion – of online genealogy. I hate to see the approaching demise of such a trusted and valued friend.

  114. Steve Bearden

    I just read a genealogy blog called Genealogy Gems. An article about the new website is urging everyone to switch over, because any work done in the Classic version from this time forward may not be saved when the transition is complete.

    What is even the point finding new information if it’s just going to go poof in a few days or weeks?

    I’m done until this thing is resolved. I’m disgusted and disappointed.

  115. Bev

    @Steve Bearden. You are absolutely correct about work done in Classic version not being saved to New Ancestry.
    Today, I worked in New Ancestry for a while, and on several ancestor profiles I kept getting this message: “We’re sorry, some of this person’s media items are not currently available. You can try to reload this page or come back later.”
    Each profile that I received this message on just happened to be a profile that I had recently added a new record to using Classic version. I check out New Ancestry about every two days and this message was not present two days ago.
    I too am disgusted, disappointed and fed up. I’m being penalized for continuing to use Classic view for my research work. I’m angry because Ancestry never informed us that this would happen if we continued to save records to profiles while using Classic.
    Poof…I’m the one who will be gone when my subscription expires.

  116. Patricia

    Bev, I am getting the same error, but clicking into different profiles, and many of the same, it comes and goes. I know I have not changed any data on some of these people. There is some kind of a big glitch going on. I told Ancestry (in PM) that you were also seeing this error.

  117. Dave

    Ancestry: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
    Count it as a loss and abandon this horrible “improvement”.

  118. Glen Swartz

    If you insist on making computer generated stories, then at least use the following qualifiers in your stories; About (abt), After (aft), Before (bef), instead of making explicit statements of fact regarding the date of life events and ages. None of the above parameters can be used to state exact dates (sure it’s easier for the programmers, but making statements of specific dates and ages based on these parameters are therefor false)

  119. computer generated stories: do not make statements of fact such as; “only had one child.” You could say I have only listed one child, but not that he “only had one child” I simply will not list other children until I have sufficient evidence.

  120. Pat

    @Glen Swartz, I have complained on their last update about the number of children listed in LifeStory. It’s ridiculous. There are so many instances where I, too, have only listed one or two children knowing there are more, but not enough info to show them as yet.

  121. Deborah

    I will try to be “respectful” to you, ancestry, but right now, my sarcasm is coming thru. If you really do appreciate our feedback, you will rethink this forced “upgrade”. Did you actually have people (real genealogists and researchers) test this “new” ancestry? If I were so lucky to have had ancestors born in Pompeii, and had proof and sources, what will you change the name to??!!
    YOU, ANCESTRY, CANNOT CHANGE HISTORY!!!! When the first pop-up came on my screen, inviting me to use the new system, the headline said “Your family story” REINVENTED! REALLY???? How can YOU possibly reinvent facts and history? It almost seems as if we are now going to be politically correct and ANCESTRY is going to change facts and history to suit a person or persons trying to change things that actually happened.
    AND, I have NEVER seen an oval document or picture of any kind, in their original format. Do not make me try to fit a square peg in a round hole. Didn’t work in kindergarten and doesn’t work now.
    My vent for the day, but I will be very surprised if ancestry actually changes anything in the new system. The decision has been made, system purchased with millions of subscriber’s money and the person that made the final decision will simply not back down and admit that he/she made a huge mistake. I guess the old adage stands, “It is easier to ask forgiveness than to ask permission.” Because, I truly don’t think you ever asked if this was something your members wanted.

  122. Sally

    Oh my. I have continued to use Classic and now read from @Steve Bearden above, that any work saved in Classic from here on in will NOT be saved when the transition is complete. That may be the nail in the coffin as far as my subscription goes. This is heartbreaking. I LOVED using this past year–it was intuitive and well functioning. The new version is not as useful to me.

  123. Gene

    Besides deleting my tree and cancelling my subscription, I also deleted my 75+ burial records entered on the Ancestry owned Find A Grave. None of my data will benefit

    Read the Fortune article ( on Dr. Cathy Petti, Chief Health Officer, on AncestryHealth where they hawk access to about 70 million family pedigrees in all. Anyone that signs up for AncestryDNA should understand.

  124. steve

    I called and cancelled my subscription when it expires. Told Ancestry it is because of the New format.
    Long time member

  125. Monika

    In addition to contacting the BBB in Salt Lake City, letters to the editors of ANY newspaper would be appropriate. Quite frankly a CLASS ACTION LAW SUIT would be appropriate in my opinion. I have spent too much money traveling to various countries to visit archives, so that can get away with changing my data and adding locusts and “re-invented” stories to my facts.

  126. Steve Bearden

    I have to report that the data that I saved in the Classic version seems to have been saved to the new website, at least for now. Of course, since I have no way to swich between the sites I had to call support and have them switch me to the new website just to check. Now I’m stuck there again.

    Even if our work is currently being saved, as far as I know, the Classic site is still going to be decommisioned.

  127. Vince

    To Steve Bearden: Have you tried the following link to switch back to Classic/Old Ancestry while you are in New Ancestry?

    That still works for me, and then I can re-activate New Ancestry from the drop-down menu under my username at the upper right corner of the screen to check how things look there as needed. I also still see the “Old Ancestry” option on the drop-down menu while in New Ancestry, which brings up the same dialog as the link shown above.

  128. Dee

    I have been building my family tree for 25+ years and have been on over half that time. It never ceases to amaze me that ancestry refuses to accept the wants of paid subscribers. Why would anyone (other than the owner of the family tree) want to alter the locations or “life” stories of someone else’s tree? I also have locations in my family trees that have been renamed over the last 200 years. I think the IT individuals who keep dreaming up “their” exciting new programs need to take basic, intermediary and advanced courses in genealogy. I am not a “professional” genealogist, but I sure can recognize some that have no hands-on knowledge of genealogy. IT professionals, mostly younger generations, find it exciting to change things just because they can; they don’t realize that the bulk of searchers are of the older generation and realize that the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” phrase applies here.

  129. Dee

    After having telephoned ancestry just a few moments ago, and having been a subscriber since 2000, I have decided to allow the lapse of subscription when being told that the “NEW ancestry” will be phased in and subscribers have no choice. Sorry,, but I do have a choice. Totally disappointed with higher subscription rates, less being offered, and updates being shoved down my throat. Old military records and other records were once part of the subscription. Ancestry charges more each year and offers less; and on top of that forces a format that is totally unrealistic for genealogists and researchers. Reminds me of Microsoft and Windows 8; they just didn’t listen, nor is

  130. Debbie

    Please look at what you are giving us. I want my info the way I imput it. The site does NOT look professional but very childish. Not a good over view!!! The history is good but that is all I can say I like. There is NO print button! I print up each person. Now it prints up SO LARGE that I won’t be able to afford the paper and ink! Source prints up beside the facts & their family prints at the end. I need to see family beside the facts. When you read a book, the resourses are at the end of the book not on each page. If this does not change I may give up ancestry. That is how strongly I hate the new site! My family says ancestry is my addiction and I would hate to stop but that is how terrible I believe the new site is!

  131. Steve Bearden

    Thanks, Vince, I’ll probably try that link. I have no links to or from the new website under the drop down menu, probably because I never visited it until I was switched over involuntarily.

    The absence of links on my page has been verified byat least three different support personnel. They apologize and offer to switch me through their system.

    If that link works, I’ll probably just stay in Classic and hope I don’t lose too much when we are involuntarily switched again.

    It was actually comical when I asked to be swithced from Classic to the new website, it took him fifteen minutes to find the right link. He said that no one had ever asked to be swithced from Classic to the new site before.

  132. Monika

    The new site was created with the junkologists in mind. Shame on for bringing their site to the lowest common denominator. Shame on you. I have already erased one of my trees. Am in the process of erasing another one. There are desktop programs where I can keep my genealogy.

  133. Steve Bearden

    Thanks, Vince, the link worked, and I was even able to leave feedback, for what it’s worth.

  134. BEE

    I couldn’t get on the blog last night – circle kept spinning! Wonder if there will be an update this week?

  135. Linda

    This is the worst you have ever come up with. I have to use the mouse to enter data on each line..and the curser is invisible. I used to be able to either tab or hit enter to go to the next line. VERY UNFRIENDLY program. I also hate having to go to view the tree to do a search with in the tree. I usually work from the FACTS / old overview pages. Give us back the old way please until you get the kinks out.

  136. Linda

    On adition note. Live stories..and using up all the space telling me siblings died etc is horrible. Talk about a place to generate WRONG information….You make the info look like official..and it may be as false as it can be.

  137. rlahistory

    D-Day appears to be looming with all the recent down time in Ancestry. I have been a member for over a decade and my largest tree, 47,000 and counting, documents many of the families out of Yuma AZ. Needless to say, I have always been inundated with inquiries asking for additional information or documents. So, I absolutely know that my information was a resource for Ancestry, and my time responding to inquiries was also a resource for Ancestry.
    Ancestry subscribers have weathered changes before, but none that have taken control of our trees and re-written our histories to make them more marketable. This is tantamount to my purchasing Windows XP and then having Microsoft switching me to Vista without my permission. If I want an upgrade, I will pay for an upgrade.
    These changes only benefit Ancestry. I have been notifying Ancestry for years now that their transcription of “Arizona to Arkansas” and “Mexico to Maine” needs to be corrected. I’ve been told that the software people will fit it into their schedule. Yet, they have time to destroy the current format with their silly bells and whistle. Obviously credibility is not on the table for Ancestry. Since when did design trump facts?
    I spend a great deal of time cropping and processing my photos and documents. The very last thing I need is for someone to present them in circular fashion. When cameras begin taking photos in circle format, perhaps that will be the time to offer this option. This has got to be one of the most ridiculous decisions ever foisted on subscribers.
    I have also been a contributor to Find A Grave, long before Ancestry purchased the site. As a researcher I processed information conjointly to update Find a Grave whenever I walked a cemetery to photograph. I never understood why contributors were adamant about not allowing headstone photos to be used on Ancestry–until now. Find a Grave was entirely built by volunteers. Many of these would object to their photos being owned by Ancestry and would basically destroy the site by removing their contributions. Ancestry wisely made a few good decisions, but left the site as is. If it can recognize the contributions in Find a Grave and leave well enough alone, then they can certainly offer the option of old versus new Ancestry to “volunteer” subscribers.
    Having recently converted my tree to “private” I now see that my photos in Ancestry have not been removed if copied by another member. Only my username has been removed indicating I was the original submission. Is this a ploy by Ancestry to retain my 9600 photos and documents? Every time I have changed from deluxe back to basic Ancestry, I have lost my sources, so if they can do that they can certainly pull my photos from all the trees that have copied them. All of the birth, death, baptism records researched, photocopied and uploaded by me have been usurped by Ancestry. I have spent considerable time searching, processing obituaries and newspaper articles from Newspaper Archives, chroniclingamerica, FamilySearch and various sources to crop and upload to my Ancestry tree. Ancestry had no hand in providing this information to members.
    And even though I withdrew my tree in protest of Ancestry’s changes, I am still receiving inquiries from members. This has always been a big selling point with Ancestry. To market the trees and photos of long-time researchers to “newbies” who do not want or haven’t the experience to research for themselves. How many of us can afford to walk away from decades worth of research? But that doesn’t mean I have to share my research and photos, and my time answering inquiries. Every individual who is unsatisfied with the changes needs to convert their trees to private. I pay a subscription to research, and this “bait and switch” tactic by Ancestry should have consequences. If you remove your tree as a resource, then that’s a response to all the garbage they are spewing with this scrapbook approach to genealogy.
    I have “Legacy” trees which have been kept in sync with my trees in Ancestry, so any time someone produces a better venue, I am gone. In the meantime, a reminder to Ancestry, I pay a subscription to enter my information in trees that I have created and researched for over a decade. My trees are now private so I give no permission for anyone to alter or subvert that information for their own purpose. These trees were marketed to me for my personal use. Nothing was said about allowing Ancestry to change or add any information I chose to suit their purpose. Has it occurred to anyone that perhaps Ancestry’s true purpose is to have long-time subscribers cancel their subscription leaving extensive trees to the sole, exclusive use of Ancestry? Even if one deletes their tree, Ancestry is retaining all the uploaded documents and photos. Have we missed their true purpose? We are now bombarded with “offers” to try the New Ancestry, but having “viewed” the site may well give consent to the changes.

  138. Dee

    TO DEBBIE: To the Debbie having problems printing, email me at dbrett1188@hotmail, I have additional information for you.

    TO rlahistory: rlahistory, though it took half a day to ready your post (haha), you are on target. I have been a member of ancestry for 15 years and have finally decided to dump them. I was told on the telephone that the NEW ancestry is definite and we do not have a choice. I have also been a member of Find a Grave for 19 years, and though I have not donated even a fraction of other volunteers, Ancestry is stealing the information from Find a Grave (FAG) and putting it on Ancestry.

    They are obviously all about dollars, and that is fine; but facts and integrity should be their priority. They will not receive another dollar from me. Already deleting my trees on Ancestry.

  139. Cathy

    I am frustrated with the NEW format and understand everyone’s frustration. I still use FTM 2012 because of all the horror stories of 2014. I am in the process of removing all of my data from my online tree at so should I cancel and leave, my tree goes with me. I will not leave my many years of research in the hands of a company I have supported for 15 years who will not even try to please its customers. I am not interested in writing my story for me. The newest website version seems to be geared for amateurs who want instant results with no effort. If anyone has a suggestion for an alternative online family tree site that is worth my effort, kindly advise. In the meantime, I continue to remove photo and documents and download a gedcom file regularly.

    To everyone else, I feel your pain. I agree 100% with rlahistory.


  140. Cathy

    Suggestion: If everyone wrote an actual letter and mailed it to Ancestry, it might make more of an impact than just making noise on their blog….Imagine a truck load of letters with negative feedback expressing our concerns. If this sounds like a good idea….here is the address:

    Ancestry Inc. Corporate Headquarters
    360 West 4800 North
    Provo, UT 84604
    Ph 801-705-7000
    Fx 801-705-7001

    Or email directly:

    Perhaps together we can get someone’s attention.

  141. Monika

    @rlahistory. You are making the same point I have now made repeatedly. I have not experienced this much arrogance and control from an organization in my entire life, as the manner in which they are trying to shove their new format down our throats. And I am 75 years old now. So that is saying a lot! I cannot believe that we could not file a class action law suit against for basically taking over and controlling our trees without our permission, by deleting information we want on OUR trees and adding information that we do NOT want on OUR trees without our permission. Writing to ancestry to complain would be totally useless. They have shown clearly that they will do exactly as they damn well please showing us the utmost disrespect with their responses. I too am making GEDCOM files of all of my trees and the day my subscription expires my trees will no longer be on unless they stop trying to take over control of our trees. “Google” “” and see how many negative reviews are coming up of this website. If I were the buyer, I would stay a mile away from this purchase until starts respecting the members’ right to have on their tree what they want to put on their tree…that is assuming of course that most people put accurate data into their trees, which the “re-invented history of” clearly does not do!

  142. Roger

    I agree, we should use all and every means to make them understand how unhappy we are. I have sent a number of queries to and, always the usual pat answer but I thought this was telling:-

    “Thank you for contacting Ancestry in regards to the icon for ordering a certificate on the Ancestry website.

    I would firstly like to start off by apologising for the delay in my reply. We have received an unexpected increase in the number of emails we have been receiving lately. Your patience is very much appreciated in this matter.

    Ancestry are always sorry to learn that our members had a frustrating experience. I have forwarded your feedback on to the proper department for consideration.”

    Middle paragraph says a lot.

  143. Robin

    Maybe outside interest and attention to this story would be helpful. I would guess there is some chance the Provo Daily Herald would be interested.

    Publisher Bob Williams
    Provo Daily Herald
    PO Box 717
    Provo, UT 84603-0717

  144. Roger

    And now this type of response:-

    “Thank you for contacting Ancestry in regards to the Facts view.

    I am sorry to hear that you are having a frustrating experience on the improved site.

    The system read the information that are provided to it. In this case, even though there is a Burial event, it does not seems that any Death event was recorded on the facts. For this reason the system is displaying family events even after the death of this person. I could also see that you have already fixed this by adding a death event.

    Checking your account I could see that you have already reversed your system to the old Ancestry.

    Unfortunately, this is only temporary as the Old system will be removed in the future.”

    Sigh – then my continued membership and payment will only be temporary and I will remove myself in the future . . . . . .

  145. Elhura

    I agree with all that’s been said about the different avenues to get our message across. We CANNOT STOP? Classic will be gone by fall, if not before. I, too think a great external pressure is needed. But some more internal messages may help too.

    If it can be believed, the Ancestry telephone representatives are supposedly passing along each request to KEEP CLASSIC, and the numbers supposedly mean something. If true, we should make our request LOUD AND CLEAR in a brief call to Ancestry at 1-800-262-3787. You may have to wait a few minutes to reach a representative, but the call itself can be brief and the message plain – KEEP CLASSIC. Keep it brief and courteous (even though I’m so mad I could spit nails). Tell everyone you know who may not be seeing the blog sites. OUR NUMBERS ARE NEEDED NOW! Don’t be tempted to delay. I’ve made my call today – have you?

  146. Monika

    This is very interesting. I just communicated with someone who has 41,000 people in his tree and who works on his tree daily. He had NO IDEA that there is such a thing as “New Ancestry”. He says that he never signs out and that, apparently, when you never sign out of ancestry you do not get this green message that suggests to you to “Try New Ancestry”. (And he is right. I never sign out on my lap top and never got the green message there, but I sign in and out of ancestry on my main computer and there, the moment I sign in, it suggests to me to try New Ancestry. So, it came as complete news to him that there are changes coming. (Not everyone takes the time to check the blog and not every one signs out, so who knows how many people still do not know about this!) Very interesting! I just sent an e-mail to Bob Williams at the Provo Daily Herald.

  147. Jayne

    I CAN’T BELIEVE WE’RE BEING PUT THROUGH THIS YET AGAIN!!! It was bad enough when Ancestry changed the OLD SEARCH – which was IMHO infinitely better than the search at FMP. The new search slowed research CONSIDERABLY not only for me but for other super-experienced users – a 20 minute video was provided to explain it (which I think that says it all). The new search has only been improved because of adding features of the OLD SEARCH due to many complaints. When I ‘invited’ my 2nd cousin to view our family tree he was VERY IMPRESSED with Ancestry even though he favours Findmypast. I DOUBT HE WOULD BE IMPRESSED WITH THE NEW, so called ‘improved’ ANCESTRY TREE. I hate the way it’s formatted – it’s totally UNDERWHELMING – the OLD, CLASSIC VIEW IS FAR MORE IMPRESSIVE. I’ve already got a timeline for certain ancestors thank you very much – I DON’T NEED ANYONE TO DO THIS FOR ME! SADLY, the information I’ve carefully spent many HOURS, DAYS, WEEKS & YEARS (I subscribed for over 9yrs) researching, collecting and uploading, is no longer displayed as it was – if at all. I already unsubscribed over a year ago after you introduced New Search – this is doing nothing to tempt me back and I would no longer recommend this site to others. If it ain’t broke – WHY FIX IT??? I apologize for the use of capital letters, but we feel that no one is listening! I find it hard to believe that you “really do appreciate” our feedback 🙁

  148. Jayne

    Totally agree with everyone … I CAN’T BELIEVE WE’RE BEING PUT THROUGH THIS YET AGAIN!!! It was bad enough when Ancestry changed the OLD SEARCH – which was IMHO infinitely better than the search at FMP. The new search slowed research CONSIDERABLY not only for me but for other super-experienced users – a 20 minute video was provided to explain it (which I think that says it all). The new search has only been improved because of adding features of the OLD SEARCH due to many complaints. When I ‘invited’ my 2nd cousin to view our family tree he was VERY IMPRESSED with Ancestry even though he favours Findmypast. I DOUBT HE WOULD BE IMPRESSED WITH THE NEW, so called ‘improved’ ANCESTRY TREE. I hate the way it’s formatted – it’s totally UNDERWHELMING – the OLD, CLASSIC VIEW IS FAR MORE IMPRESSIVE. I’ve already got a timeline for certain ancestors thank you very much – I DON’T NEED ANYONE TO DO THIS FOR ME! SADLY, the information I’ve carefully spent many HOURS, DAYS, WEEKS & YEARS (I subscribed for over 9yrs) researching, collecting and uploading, is no longer displayed as it was – if at all. I already unsubscribed over a year ago after you introduced New Search – this is doing nothing to tempt me back and I would no longer recommend this site to others. If it ain’t broke – WHY FIX IT??? I apologize for the use of capital letters, but we feel that no one is listening! I find it hard to believe that you “really do appreciate” our feedback 🙁

  149. Roger

    Thirteen minutes on the phone – do make that 0800 phone call! It might help.

    UK – 0800 404 9723

    US – (800) 262-3787

  150. Jayne

    Thanks Roger, I’ve linked this page to the Pharos forum, so people have some ideas on how to get through to Ancestry 🙂 I’ll add your phone numbers too – very helpful! 😉

  151. Diana McGlone

    Totally agree with Commenter douggrf (August 14, 2015 at 6:54 pm) : “What about initiating a member control feature of the tree owner to be able to shutdown all LifeStory operation in a tree that he/she owns.” The Ancestry Team that originated this blog post went to great lengths to explain how to use the Hide Family Events option in New Ancestry for “… those of you who don’t want the additional narrative in your LifeStory (at all) …”. Excuse me, but that somewhat patronizing “tip” ignores the real point that users have been making over and over: We don’t want the “LIFESTORY” to appear in our trees at all unless we choose to have it available.
    I have certainly hidden the redundant “Family Events” and the useless and often misleading “Historical Insights” in my view of my trees. But anyone else who happens to view my trees could turn those options on or off at will. That’s why my trees are currently private and unsearchable. I do not want anyone to be able to view “the inane inaccurate stories”, as douggrf appropriately described the cutesy “LIFESTORY” gambit that Ancestry wants to force onto the profile page of every person in every tree. Each tree owner should be able to set a switch on the Tree Settings page that prevents the “LIFESTORY” tab from appearing at all in trees that he or she owns. Better yet, the system default should be that the “LIFESTORY” tab is never displayed to anyone unless the tree owner chooses to have it displayed in an option on the Tree Settings page. As long as such an option for control by tree owners remains not available, my trees will remain private and unsearchable.

  152. Peter Hudson

    I received Ancestry feedback telling me that hiding Family events and Historical insights in the ‘Lifestory’ and ‘Facts’ views doesn’t hide them from visitors to your tree. I have to wonder why including Family events and Historical insights in both the ‘Lifestory’ and ‘Facts’ views is a redundant error!

    Another point I made to Ancestry that they didn’t respond to was: If a couple had eleven children and their respective parents also had eleven children each, there could be Family Events shown in the ‘Facts’ view totalling 66, for all births, marriages and deaths for all the couples children and each of the couples siblings. Seriously clogging up the few facts you may have for the the individual featured in the Profile! It would be a difficult task scrolling up and down to try to find the, maybe 3 facts in the list of 70 events!!!

  153. Jayne

    For me, switching off LifeStory isn’t enough – as someone said, the old family tree is far more clean, easy to read and use than the new format. The new format is ugly, and I don’t think anyone whose ‘invited’ to my trees will be as impressed as they were before, nor can they see the story of someone’s life as easily – a story that I was in control of with images and media attacked – nope, it really doesn’t tempt me to renew my subscription.

    ALL of us who have linked hundreds of records to our family trees are contributors to Ancestry, and to it’s success – the more connections we’ve made, the more we’ve contributed, and the easier we’ve made it for others to find those records through helpful hints. Sadly Ancestry just doesn’t appreciate this.

    I agree with rlahistory;s comment on this.

  154. How do we contact you with regards to mistakes in life story . one of my relatives life story you say he was married on a date and at place then you say he married again to his 2nd wife on the same date and same place when I know that he stayed a widow until he died.
    I could not find a section where I could contact you about the mistake

  155. Roger

    Dear Ancestry, the convention for date format in genealogy is clearly referenced here:-

    Please make sure that ALL your respective databases sing from the same hymn sheet and that you follow this convention across the board. (At the moment you use one convention in some displays and another convention in other pages.) With due respect to our US users, the convention is not Month/Day/Year but Day/Month/Year and as detailed in the above link.

    Already reported via Support but ignored . . . . .

    Thank you.

  156. Roger

    Oh, and a reminder from the same source above:-

    When recording a place name for an event, you should always record the locality as it was situated at the time of the event.

  157. sumcewen

    Months ago after taking a good look at the New Ancestry, I was shocked at many of the missing features and clumsiness of it. I won’t list my compaints because hundreds of comments have covered all the problems. I went back to the old version and basically put it out of my mind. The older version should stay available for those who want it but if the older verson doesn’t stay available, I will cancel my membership and remove my tree as I’m sure many users will.

  158. Susan

    Months ago after taking a good look at the New Ancestry, I was shocked at many of the missing features and clumsiness of it. I won’t list my compaints because hundreds of comments have covered all the problems. I went back to the old version and basically put it out of my mind. The older version should stay available for those who want it but if the older verson doesn’t stay available, I will cancel my membership and remove my tree as I’m sure many users will.

  159. Roger

    What is the Ancestry tactic now? Ignore us, wear us down and we’ll just cave in and go away. Ignore us Ancestry. That’s all we’re worth to you?

  160. I love the new programme You have done a great job. Always going to get moans from people because they don’t like change. I welcome it

  161. Roger

    Uhmm, interesting! Even a Customer Solutions Associate concurred that the Old Ancestry was far better and more user friendly than the New Ancestry being pushed down our throats. Says something to me, does that.

    @Diane = I love change but not for the sake of it.

    Not for the sake of destroying something that works.

    They have NOT done a great job; they have done an abysmal job so stop kidding yourself and others reading this blog. Nothing in New is better than in Old; particularly the intrusion of extraneous and irrelevant content in to Life Story. Content I didn’t choose and content that is inappropriate to my family. It still is MY family.

    Graphics are impaired and not visually better; serious research is not better; Family Group Sheet is gone; Member Connect is gone . . . . . . . so many things.

  162. Robin H

    I agree, Roger. Change is hard, but not all change is good. This seems like a classic case of a company losing sight of its mission and losing touch with its customers. I thought that the mission of Ancestry was to help us gather data to create our family trees so that we could tell our family stories. Ancestry seems to be thinking that it is their mission to tell our stories – and it’s not and they can’t. I don’t need them to tell me my life story. I need them to help me find the data and save it on my tree. Then, I’ll tell my own family story. They seem to have started treating us as if they were doing a story about each of us on “Who Do You Think You Are” – and making the website look like the TV show. I don’t think that is what we wanted or what we need.

  163. Robin H

    The messages from the last couple of days have disappeared, as they also have from the August 22 feature update blog.

  164. Roger

    This is my last message which I recovered using Lazarus. I’m sure it is not selective censoring as I have not been abusive or disrespctful:-

    Uhmm, interesting! Even a Customer Solutions Associate concurred that the Old Ancestry was far better and more user friendly than the New Ancestry being pushed down our throats. Says something to me, does that.

    @Diane = I love change but not for the sake of it.

    Not for the sake of destroying something that works.

    They have NOT done a great job; they have done an abysmal job so stop kidding yourself and others reading this blog. Nothing in New is better than in Old; particularly the intrusion of extraneous and irrelevant content in to Life Story. Content I didn’t choose and content that is inappropriate to my family. It still is MY family.

    Graphics are impaired and not visually better; serious research is not better; Family Group Sheet is gone; Member Connect is gone . . . . . . . so many things.

  165. Roger

    So – it is selective censoring – I won’t be shut up! I just made a repost five minutes ago. The post appeared and has now been removed. I repeat, it was not abusive or disrespectful. Says it all. If this gets removed I SHALL be straight on the phone. This is disgusting that Ancestry should gag us.

  166. Rizwan Haider

    This is my last message which I recovered using Lazarus. I’m sure it is not selective censoring as I have not been abusive or disrespctful:-
    Uhmm, interesting! Even a Customer Solutions Associate concurred that the Old Ancestry was far better and more user friendly than the New Ancestry being pushed down our throats. Says something to me, does that.
    @Diane = I love change but not for the sake of it.
    Not for the sake of destroying something that works.
    They have NOT done a great job; they have done an abysmal job so stop kidding yourself and others reading this blog. Nothing in New is better than in Old; particularly the intrusion of extraneous and irrelevant content in to Life Story. Content I didn’t choose and content that is inappropriate to my family. It still is MY family.
    Graphics are impaired and not visually better; serious research is not better; Family Group Sheet is gone; Member Connect is gone . . . . . . . so many things.

  167. Paula Healey

    I am really disappointed with the inaccuracies thrown up in my tree by the standardisation of place names. For example someone in the UK , Darlington would naturally be Durham not some place I’ve never heard of in the US which is what has been added to my tree. I have tried really hard to put up an accurate and fully sourced tree for others to use (I have my own software at home for personal use) and I feel all my hard work has been destroyed, not to mention been rendered inaccurate for other researchers.

  168. Clare Smith Wenger

    I felt I should at least give the new system a go. But I admit that I have found it very disappointing. I have written up the life stories of each of the people in my tree (as I go along) and save them in a separate file. So far I have been unable to add anything you have told me in life stories. The greatest loss has been the apparent loss of the app. to find out the relationship to people for whom I receive hints. En passant, I have encountered several of the other problems mentioned by others researchers.

    Can it be arranged that we can go back to the previous style and back and forth between the two?

  169. Dale

    I feel so stressed out about this new Ancestry. I have breathed and lived Ancestry for the last 6 years working my trees with so much passion and writing my own ancestors life stories with a huge amount of detail and facts. Even when you turn off the life story feature – there is nothing appealing about the New Ancestry. Not having member connect feature is just so upsetting as I connect with others daily and constantly searching for members that might know about my family. The colours are terrible, the fonts, the circular pictures……all of which Ancestry keep saying they will address but it just seems that there is so much to address and change – WHY NOT JUST KEEP THE OLD ANCESTRY AND IF SO KEEN JUST ADD THE LIFE STORY TO THAT PROGRAM WITH THE OPTION TO TURN IT OFF IF MEMBERS WISH.PLEASE CAN WE KEEP OLD ANCESTRY?

  170. bob

    I use ancestry mainly as a data entry tool – because it does that job quite well. I don’t use ancestry hints preferring to depend on primary sources or compilations of primary sources like census records, immigration records, La France/Drouin, PRDH, etc.

    New graphics and colors are fine with me just so long as they don’t interfere with my primary goal of data entry and the creation of citations to support my research. However, the new design destroys that value.

    Most beginners playing with their family tree will probably like the new and improved because it is pretty and makes it easy to copy doubtful information from others’ trees.

    I think it would be a good compromise to provide two web interfaces to ancestry – the “classic” website for researchers, and the “new and improved” website for those “newbies” just beginning to explore their family tree.

    I will certainly NOT RENEW my ancestry membership if the classic interface disappears.

  171. Victor Engel

    Wow, it looks like a lot of people have issues with this, as do I. I’m afraid my voice won’t be heard over the din of everyone else complaining.

    The information recommending that all larger information be given to avoid ambiguity, unfortunately, doesn’t work. For example, I have a record whose location is Myklebust, Kvinnherad, Hordaland, Norway, which is how I have it entered. The software insists on stating it’s in Sogn og Fjordane, which is a completely different county. My inclusion of Hordaland should have prevented that.

    Here’s a suggestion, for location information. Allow us to enter coordinates. That will take a whopping two numbers of data storage to implement. Of course, we would like a nice UI to be able to select coordinates.

    Standardized place names, by the way, in my opinion, are not a good solution, unless they are date-specific. For genealogical purposes, it makes most sense to use the names of the places at the time they were recorded. That is what I do. When it differs from the current name, I add the current name in the notes. Sometimes there is no modern equivalent. For example, one of my ancestors lived in an apartment in New Jersey that is now a bank. What standardized place name would work in that instance? The city is the same, but the address no longer exists.

  172. pawcards

    I recently invited an elderly relative to view the tree I was working on for her. When I got to see her computer I was disappointed that the tree was displayed in the new format which is so confusing. For example, one of her aunts died aged 12 – I had not found that information and therefore I only had data up to her 3rd birthday, however with the timeline it showed events occurring right up to the death of her mother some 33 years later which gives a very false impression that someone is still alive and so confusing as one may assume that this is true & not continue to look for events relating to that person. I could not see a way to turn off the timeline for a guest, though whether this will make it any easier, who knows. I am dreading the day I am forced to switch to the new version. I may well leave ancestry.

  173. Angela

    I have played with it for the last several days and I do not like it at all! Let us take a look at some of the newly enhanced features:
    Features of the NEW ANCESTRY

    1) We have dark colors which hard on the eyes

    2)We have circles around our ancestors photos which distract from the original features. I want my photos the way that I placed them online not with some circle cutting them off.

    3) We have historical facts and photos which clutter up the page (they maybe fun but if you don’t want them you have to remove them – I have 30,000 ancestors!)

    4) Every time I add a new record or change something the timeline highlights and a pop up telling me it is saved, before I can continue. Valuable time wasted.

    5) The new Life Story is comprised of multiple trees who share the same ancestor. I painstakingly take the time to provide evidence for the facts I have and I get a life story with inaccurate information such as multiple marriages or wrong dates. Oh wait I do have the option to edit it but I have already done that and you want ME to take my time to undo the damage of this feature?

    6) New feature for when you find a new cousin and explore their tree. You have an added click to find out whose tree you have arrived at. I cannot find their index! Valuable time wasted with extra steps.

    7) Now you save a record and a feature asks “Does this record match the person in your tree? YES NO MAYBE. why would I add it if it doesn’t? WASTE!!!

    8) New version when I add a will it gives me a new death date and if I add it to those mentioned in the will they all have that same death date. Be cautious!

    9)The name, date, place of birth death are all separated so now so it takes longer because you have to go to name separate from date separate from place to add that information.

    10)This is my tree and I am not presenting it to the board for approval so why do ” I ” need the records to be highlighted on a timeline every time I add something, etc. In fact I now have layers which I have to click click click is to get anywhere, and also go in search for my own notes. It’s annoying and extremely time consuming.

    What would be functional are things that are simple and time saving

    1) when I find a misspelled surname on the census an option to change all the names at once instead of individually

    2) Index the 1850, 1860 & 1870 census so that we can add everyone at one time.

    3) When a parent dies and the next census comes with added children, make it so that they can be added to deceased parent rather than just UNKNOWN or the new step parent. Not to have to go back and attach them or add them individually.

    4) A feature like the old FTM to change all the formatting of the dates in one click to be uniform. I like to enter my dates like 11 Nov 1885, but some records are 11/11/1885 or 1920-02-27 and I have to go back and change what I originally had entered.

    5) What about clicking on the “Collections” Option only when needed. most of my research is USA and I have to click on the collections each time I search to avoid getting world records for someone who never lived around the world.

    6) I want to add records to multiple people in one step not everyone and every record separate.

    7) Bright crisp pages uncluttered pages

  174. Harlow

    It appears as though negative customer feedback is not considered. As long as the customer agrees with changes, their opinion counts. I went online yesterday for the first time and was greeted by a new look that I found to cause eye strain and because I’m prone to migraines I closed the site. I was told by Ancestry Customer Service that there is “no option to correct this look.” I found a program online that works with Mozilla Firefox that allows the user to make changes on websites themselves. It’s called “Color That Site” It allows you to make changes on the websites that you view online. You can save the change and it is there when you return to it. The fact that someone is able to do this for most websites makes me wonder about the programmers at Ancestry, you’d think they could offer a color option for their paying customers…

  175. Beth

    Please tell when you are going to reinstate the old colour scheme. The New one discriminates against people with learning disabilities, like me. I am dyslexic.
    1) ◦Avoid light text on a dark background.
    ◦Use coloured paper instead of white. Cream or off-white provides a good alternative
    2) 3. Website design.
    Website design must consider all the above factors together with the following points. Research shows that readers access text at a 25% slower rate on a computer. This should be taken into account when putting information on the web. When a website is completed, check the site and information for accessibility by carrying out these simple checks.
    • Navigation should be easy. A site map is helpful.
    • Use graphics, images, and pictures to break up text, while bearing in mind that graphics and tables may take a long time to download.
    • Very large graphics make pages harder to read.
    • Offer alternate download pages in a text reader friendly style.
    • Where possible design web pages which can be downloaded and read off-line.
    • Moving text creates problems for people with visual difficulties. Text reading software is unable to read moving text.
    • Contents links should show which pages have been accessed.
    • Most users prefer dark print on a pale background. Colour preferences vary.
    • Some websites offer a choice of background colours.
    • Encourage the use of hyperlinks at the end of sentences.
    • Avoid green and red/pink as these are difficult for colour-blind individuals.
    • Make sure that it is possible for users to set their own choice of font style and size, background and print colours.
    3) •Avoid light text on a dark background.
    4) Things to Avoid: •white text on black backgrounds, or at least not for the main body of text

    The least you could have done is give us some sort of reasonable notice you would be violating us soon. You have reduced me to feeling like a child again who is being punished for something I have no control over. You have taken away my one vise and made me feel totally helpless. The thing I find amazing is that with the overwhelmingly bad reviews, you still adopted this very poorly laid out format. The persons responsible for creating it should be fired! The bigger problem is the number of closeted dyslexics out there who are over 50. We were all taught to pretend to be normal. Your old ancestry gave us an environment in which we could do what we do best, think outside the box, and solve problems, and make family connections. For once we could be proud of our accomplishments. The new ancestry makes me feel like I am in a graveyard. I am still alive!
    Please help us by either giving us back our old ancestry and creating a new entity of your New “IMPROVED” Ancestry, which we do not have to deal with, or fix your New “IMPROVED” Ancestry so we can see it.

  176. Beth

    Might I also add, your New Ancestry has wiped out all
    my “story” data. Someone asked me tonight if I could help him and all I could say was sorry, my data has been wiped out and I can’t see my tree.

  177. Pa

    No matter how hard ancestry tries to alleviate users reactions, the common complaint is the computer cannot perform what we as humans do. Therefore your locations will keep developing inaccuracies in people’s trees.

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