Posted by Ancestry Team on August 29, 2015 in Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, Website

Welcome to our weekly update on the new Ancestry. Last week we covered the location issues and the solution we put in place. This week we introduced some exciting enhancements on Family Events in the Facts view.

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

Feature update:

We have added a number of enhancements to Family Events, and we continue to add and refine new features based on your feedback.

We streamlined the content to focus on just the facts, and included a quick link to the family member referenced in the event.

What are Family Events?

Before we jump into the details let me give you some background on these events. Family Events are displayed on both the LifeStory and the Facts view to represent the events from immediate family members that are related to the person whose profile you are viewing.  So anyone referenced on the far right panel of the Facts view as Family – Parents, Spouse, Siblings, and Children – their events will now show in both the Facts view and LifeStory by default.  Family Events add important context to your research.


Viewing Family Events in the context of the person you are researching helps complete the picture of a person’s life and the events around them. Many users have found that viewing data in this way has helped to expose potential errors in their research and lead them to ask new questions about the lives of their ancestors.

New Enhancements and Tips on Family Events

This week you will see that we have removed the Ancestry-generated descriptions for these events on the Facts view and simply list the facts – event, name, place, and the name of the person. We also added a link to the immediate family member so you can quickly go to his/her profile. Once an event is updated on a family member it is automatically updated on all other profiles where the Family Event is listed.

There are times when you may want to hide Family Events or Historical Insights. This is easily done by clicking the configure icon (looks like a gear) above the facts and selecting HIDE FAMILY EVENTS or HIDE HISTORICAL INSIGHTS. When both of these are selected you will see just the information that you entered into this person’s profile.  To view Family Events and Historical insights again click on the configure icon and select SHOW FAIMLY EVENTS or SHOW HISTORICAL INSIGHTS.


Features that we are still working on:

  • Profile picture cropping – Edit/crop a profile photo to focus on an individual person in a photo
  • Member Connect – Find other members researching a similar ancestor and save info from their family trees
  • Family Group Sheet – A family view of the person and their family

Top Reported Issues This Week

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

  • A white font on a dark background is hard for some users to see
  • Some users dislike having a circle profile picture
  • Military pages are not available in the new Ancestry
  • Users want to see the ‘not you?’ link in the relationship calculator
  • Member connect is not available in the new Ancestry

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

More Resources on Ancestry

Help Links




  1. steve

    I sent a letter to the Utah BBB, and received a reply from Ancestry. They offered me a full refund for my subscription, and this statement.
    “We just want to make you aware that should you choose to continue with Ancestry it would be with the understanding that you would be utilizing the website on an “as is” basis and that the issues you have with the New Ancestry may not be prioritized by the developers in the foreseeable future.”
    I didn’t want a refund, I just want to keep, the old classic view, unless they can make major improvements, with the new format.

    • Kristie Wells

      Steve, the core functionality remains the same in the new Ancestry. If you let us know what specifically are you having an issue with, we would be happy to help you.

  2. Linda Scham

    I would like the search feature to have the same options when reviewing hints. Accepted, ignored or maybe. It would be nice to not to have wade through records that were previously reviewed.

  3. Walt

    So, nothing here for me. I’ve turned Family Events and Historical Insights off permanently. In studying my ancestors, I enter Family Events that I think are meaningful in understanding my ancestor’s LifeStory or guiding future research, e.g., “Husband died, leaving her with five minor children to support.” I simply don’t need every single event for every single family member cluttering up an ancestor’s storyline. At least we have an option to turn it off, but it’s disappointing to see so much resource expended on this issue that few subscribers seem to appreciate. I’ll leave it to others to decide if Ancestry abandoning the sophomoric language in which those events were being auto-generated is an improvement; I don’t want anything to do with it. Meanwhile, things like the round photo windows, which have been unanimously condemned, get no attention.

  4. Becky

    I like the New Ancestry a lot, and make constructive comments whenever I have to transition to Old Ancestry to do something non-functional in New. However, I agree with Walt about the circular photo window being “unanimously condemned.” Please stop wasting developers’ time on coming up with a way to crop our photos and turn them into circles. Just put in a square/rectangular window like Old Ancestry and be done with it.

  5. I see that a couple of important issues (to me anyway) have fallen off the to-do list, so I’m raising them here again.

    Please add photos back to the Fact View.

    Please investigate the compression issues impacting image upload quality. Documents that are uploaded in particular are looking pixelated.

  6. MaryM

    (1) Is there some reason older siblings are not listed on someone’s timeline? My grandfather had 10 siblings. The 11th child has no siblings on her timeline. The first child has all 10 siblings. (2) Are the Ancestry-generated narratives going to be deleted from the LIfeStories? This is where are the incorrect information shows up: incorrect relationships and locations (Louisiana “Counties”). (3) Why don’t you make all LifeStories private until they are “fixed.” My tree is private, but some of the same information is on public trees and it’s mostly wrong on LifeStory. As for adding my own photos and documents, I’ve just decided not to add anything else. And I’ve started deleting the introductory narrative parapraphs because of the poor wording and misuse of my researched information. Is that how I should spend my time on Ancestry?

  7. john

    I have to say that I am very impressed with the Facts view. If I could tweak it, I would definitely change the color scheme, and add the “Web Search” tool, but over all, I think ancestry has done a great job with this view. I choose to reserve judgment on the circular photos until I see how the cropping tool works. I do not believe as some do that the Facts view needs thumbnails for the images in the gallery view. (The Gallery view is only one click away from the Facts view.) However, it would be nice if the “Gallery view link” had a counter like the “Hints view link” has now.

  8. Mary M Zashin

    Just fix the graphic ugliness and I bet half the complaints would go away. “Some users” dislike the circles? More accurate: “MOST users” or “the vast majority of users” dislike the circles! Fix the depressing dead-and-rotting-alligator skin background on the overly large header and the dark grey background on the tree view. Since the dawn of printing–actually since the dawn of writing!–the standard, and for good reason, has been LIGHT background, DARK lettering. Lighten and soften up the whole color palette! Fix the big useless source document icons dominating the fact page–they’re totally unnecessary and look very messy. A simple list of source names with links to the actual documents is plenty, and you can keep your purple lines from the name of the source to the fact (especially since you have to click on the NAME of the source, not the icon, to see the lines!). Let media be attached to facts on the fact page, and make them as large as they are on the old site. Make the thumbnails for family members, which are now itty-bitty and squeezed to the side, bigger and more prominent. Take away the ugly black bars that cover almost half of each thumbnail in the media gallery. Fix the compression issues mentioned above. This is supposed to be a “display” program that gives us an opportunity to share our tree, and its attached media, with others in a visually appealing manner. At it is, it looks so bad I don’t want to share it. Unless the visuals improve, I’ll take my tree private. Give us back a “view all sources” button so we can see on one screen the entire list of source names, source details, and associated facts that apply to a given individual. Without that, reviewing and correcting the source information for a person is very difficult because each source has to be individually clicked, first on “edit,” then on “detail,” then on “associated facts,” and nowhere is all of the information available on one screen. Get a better archive for your “historical insights” photos for those who care to use them. The current source seems to be something like the “Children’s Giant Illustrated Book of American History (featuring grasshoppers!).” I made that up, but you get the idea.

  9. Crystals48

    I totally agree with Walt. Why is Ancestry trying to cram “Family Events” down our throats when the profile overview pages in the “Old” Ancestry give a perfectly acceptable basic view?
    One more thing . . . . just because you’re not barraged with the same issues over and over and over again in these blog comments, it doesn’t mean we’ve changed our minds and accept the “New” Ancestry any more than before. It’s because we’re exhausted from making suggestions that are completely ignored.
    Please, please listen to your long-time customers.

  10. Janice

    I don’t know if this issue is being addressed or not. But here it is. When I go to attach a photo, e.g., from the Library of Congress, to a person, I am unable to do this. Must accomplish the task by reverting back to the old Ancestry. After I do that, I switch back to the new. I also don’t know if you’re addressing print issues, e.g., if I just want a nice timeline view – it can’t be done. So printer-friendly option of chain of events would be very helpful to me. Also a way just to print up my list of sources for an individual. Any print options welcome. Well, some things to think about Ancestry.

  11. Martin

    Provide a home page customisation option to switch off Lifestory in its entirety so it doesn’t appear on your home page.

    I use Ancestry primarily for research and not tree creation, so this function to me is a total waste of space.

  12. I agree with Family Sleuther about media being added to the time line events & with Mary M Zashin about them being the same size as on the old site. I’ve spent years (literally) adding icons, pictures of places & buildings, newspaper cuttings, etc, to the Profile pages in classic ancestry. I had a clean and (I thought) interesting presentation illustrating all my facts. NOW all those items are invisible unless they somewhat randomly appear on the Life Story (in a variety of different sizes). Although, as John says, they are a click away, I really want them on the time line – I can see at a glance what I have & I just think it adds interest. I understand they CAN be added to the Life Story but having just tried to add events from my time line using the ‘add to Life Story’ function, I don’t think it’s worth the effort (Try adding a custom event direct from the time line – that item, which already has a title and narrative, has to be given a title and narrative before it will save. I had to type a couple of letters as ‘narrative’, save to Life Story then delete those additional letters. As the narrative already on the Facts page transfers with the event to the Life Story this seems more than a little pointless!!). But I digress .. I also agree with Mary M (same Mary?) about not adding more media. When I found a newspaper death notice the other night, I did what I normally do – set up custom event ‘Death Notice’, saved page, made snip, highlighted item using paint function on computer THEN thought, “I can’t be bothered to upload this to my Tree” – I can’t see it where I want it & I can just refer to it on the memory stick if I need to. I’ve NEVER felt like that before. Usually it all goes on the Tree & it’s all available for anyone else to use too // On another tack, I’ve printed all my direct line profile pages to keep in the old format. My grandfather took 6 sheets. On the new system, the facts page would take 18!! (and the Life Story, without any custom events added, would take 13). So, for me, ABILITY TO ADD MEDIA TO TIME LINE PLEASE

  13. With all due respect, the search functionality is NOT the same. There is no continuing search on New. You have to re-set the search parameters each time you attach a document to a profile. RIDICULOUS.

  14. Martin

    Notice that you still put “passed away” in facts description, not a phrase used here in UK, please revert to died.

    Also not that not attempt has made to address the use of U.S. Date format for UK Customers both in The the new function, plus now has crept into the list of new or updated records. The standard accepted genealogical format is DD MMM YYYY.

  15. Cheryl

    I can’t believe that putting the thumbnails has fallen off the list of improvements. Come on everyone. Please request this on comments page when you exit Fricking New Ancestry. PUT THE THUMBNIALS ON THE FACTS PAGE AND ALLOW US TO PLACE THEM IN THE TIMELINE! Most serious users will NOT use Life Story.

  16. toni

    And it only costs a small fortune for US to beta test their site! What a deal! Subscribe for a year in hopes it will all get straightened out in that amount of time. Sorry ancestry. I’ve quit using the site for anything and now use my computer software and alternate sites which in the long run has saved me hundreds of dollars! I’m sort of glad you screwed everything up. If you wouldn’t have I still be forking over my Social Security check to you. On occasion I see a link to the ancestry comments so I go and read them. Same complaints over and over. People! Ancestry does not care!

  17. Gene

    Basically it seems like there are only two things people don’t like:

    1. All the new features of Ancestry (Historical Events, LifeStory, Filling up an individuals Facts Page with Family Events, Circle pictures, Light Font on Dark Background, standardized locations, etc.)

    2. All the things that were taken away (Images on Facts page, Member Connect, Military pages, date format, etc.)

    What I don’t understand is why Ancestry hasn’t stopped the bleeding. People aren’t saying “I kinda liked the old way better” or “Not so sure I really like this New Ancestry” they are saying I HATE THIS, and they are deleting trees or not renewing subscriptions.

    Most Companies claim their products are customer-driven but over the past three months the complaints aren’t dwindling like you would expect, but the are increasing. It’s like customer retention, and the customer is always right mentality is just a thing of the past. Maybe it will become a Historical Event – when Customer Loyalty became inconsequential.

    I always have to take a blood pressure pill before reading the weekly updates.

  18. It’s great that family events are getting linked to individual records for people… are there plans to allow us to link facts that WE add to a person’s record to family members? If I’ve got a change in residence for an entire family, I’d love to “add people” like I do with photos so that fact will be added to ALL the family members’ pages that were involved with the fact.

  19. Oh – and also, are you aware that the “Make profile photo” checkbox is now missing from photos in the media gallery? You still have that option when you upload a photo from scratch, but you can’t change a person’s profile photo from the assets in the existing media gallery.

  20. Robin H

    My husband called twice to ask customer service about whether or not media could be added tofacts in New Ancestry. He was told both times that it was being worked on as a priority (now). That doesn’t square with it not being on the list of prioroties being worked on. Since we don’t get answers to our questions here, I asked it on Facebook. It is obvious that it is important to the customers. Gene, I agree with you about the 2 things that are wrong.

  21. Cheryl R

    I am trying to get used to the new Ancestry, but it is slow going. The colors need to be changed, the gray background is depressing. Please give us a simple rectangle for our pictures. I really think that the “Web Search” feature needs to be brought back. I used that feature quite often in old Ancestry, and had quite a bit of success with it.

  22. Christy

    I actually like the new format. Change is hard for some, but I think it’s more attractive. Please please please get us a Chromosome browser. While the new shared matches is somewhat helpful, a chromosome browser would be hugely helpful. Then I wouldn’t have to hop back and forth between here and other free sites like gedmatch.

  23. Patricia Harris

    I like the color scheme and the overall design elements. But the computer generated “writing” (can we really call that writing?) of the Life Story lacks elegance and warmth. In fact, it’s depressing – “Mary was born, her parents were 23, she had two daughters, she died.” That’s what it amounts to. I’ll be rewriting. I would like to be able to EDIT the off-white boxes in the Life Story. They often read as impersonal and there is information I’d like to add and delete.

  24. Top Reported Issues (I presume these are just clicks rather than any actual discourse).

    1. Some users dislike having a circle profile picture. I really don’t care, but I’d say it sure was a lot of waisted effort.

    2. Military pages are not available in the new Ancestry. I’m not concerned about this, it’s in my basic family tree and it never worked well in the first place.

    3. Users want to see the ‘not you?’ link in the relationship calculator. I have absolutely no clue what this is or means. Probably petient to the GEDCOM collectors.

    4. Member connect is not available in the new Ancestry. I would like to see this as long as I have the option to put them in the ignore bin. One of the primary reasons I switch back to the old Ancestry is to put suggested connections in the ignore bin. If the suggested connection lacks original evidence I really have no use for the connection.

  25. Patricia

    “Last week we covered the location issues and the solution we put in place.”

    Ancestry are you DAFT? What solution!? I cannot even search for the City of St Louis, in any way, shape or form, of accuracy! The only way I get any results, with teeth, are if I add St Louis to the keyword. FIX THIS by removing the insane label of Cities, instead of City. Because of YOUR gross mistake in renaming this location, the LS insists on moving my relatives into the County, because it CAN’T COMPUTE the City. Lost in space.

    Again, what solution?! Please educate me on your latest adjustments for this location, because in reality, the solution has FAILED, in this regard, and for hundreds of Cities, Towns, Townships, Parishes, etc., across the world.

    I find it ironic that, in your sample graphic, the person was born, and had died in Ephraim…and Utah is not listed as being in the USA. Yet, in LifeStory, it copies over perfectly. That must be some kind of a miracle, especially when you put this location in the search, no such place pops up, without the USA attached. Totally jealous my St Louis is so corrupted….for absolutely no reason, other than sloppy programming, dictated by the uninformed suits. Disgraceful.

  26. Fix the Family Story database.

    If I enter qualifiers in a database such as was born abt (about) and died aft (after), and then made a declarative statement that they died at age specific, I would have received a D from my professor, if he was being generous.

    If I simply left out the declarative statement to age, I probably would have received a C.

    So, where do you think the programmers on the Ancestry life story should be graded? Do you evaluate them?

  27. Patricia, I feel your pain, but Ancestry is not marketing to people with intelligence, just the happy clickers, most of whom are daft.

    So, is Ancestry, daft? Probably not, they are only concerned with the marketing and bottom line, not the accuracy of anything they create.

  28. Steve, Bravo for contacting the BBB.

    I find the customer support on Ancestry ranks about a 2-3 on a scale of 10 (based on resolution of problems reported).

  29. Crystals48, You really bring up a great point.
    I’d wager almost all the blog comments are ignored, except the one by Steve, who took it outside the blog, and then got a response from Ancestry, probably the only one I’ve ever seen.

  30. Randi Yager

    I would like to see some way to identify the relatives with the direct line to the person doing the research and the home person. Sometimes the familytree is so large you loose site of who your direct relative is.

  31. I’ll be blunt, I’m weird, but my concerns are the accuracy of the information and the supporting evidence for the genealogy, geography and history.

    Two of my brother-in-laws wanted me to look at what their siblings or children had found using Some of it was good, much of it not so much.

    Honestly, I really could give less than two hoots to the colors, graphics, appearance etc.

    One caveat, I would be rather distressed if Ancestry decided to reduce the quality of the images I’ve uploaded and still frustrated that they keep truncating transcriptions of documents I’ve made within the images.

  32. I checked out on Facebook.

    It did not take but a day or two before it was clear this was nothing but a means to deflect people from Ancestry, an attempt to use others to answer questions they should be addressing, again, just another marketing gimmick (quite common, use someone else not connected to waist your time)

  33. John Brown

    It seems that the new Lifestory gimmick is flavoUr of the week with Ancestry (lord only knows why) perhaps most their staff are unable to look up the details and work the information out for themselves using the ACTUAL FACTS that are available. Anyway, I have just looked at one (of many) persons on my tree. Under “Life story” it rather less than amazes me by telling me that his brother was born when he was 2 years old ….. wow we, I don’t know how the excitement didn’t give him a heart attack ,,,yawn, when his mother died, where he was living etc etc, but it fails to mention little things that happened in his life like jumping overboard (on 3 occations) to save fellow sailors lives, for which he received medals, clasps and a “thank you” in the US House of Congress in 1876 (not bad for a British midshipman) He also attained the rank of Captain in the Royal Navy which appears under “facts” but does not warrant a mention in LIFESTORY. I’m sure most people would agree that the gallentry shown deserves to be part of his “LIFESTORY” far more than where a “Kelly’s directory” had him living when he was 80, so why does Ancestry think otherwise???

  34. Elhura

    I am not giving up asking, respectfully, to keep Classic as a working option for the serious researchers who find hype and color and navigation difficulties with the new Ancestry distracting and counterproductive. With that said, I am also offering specific input, as Ancestry says they want, on the new.

    Among the features that Ancestry is “still working on”, how about a serious effort at removing the purple lines, the purple background color highlighting a fact on the fact page and the “motion” caused by cursor movement across the page. A dropdown list is sufficient to see my sources when I am working. An option to “turn off the purple” would be most welcome. I have seen comments and know there are others who are equally bothered by this. I would encourage all who would like to see a “turn off the purple” option to speak up now.

    And, yes, I do like to see the thumbnail photos and stories somewhere on the Fact page. Otherwise, I have to look at each and every person’s media gallery to know if anything is even there – just as I would like to know at a glance – without having to look elsewhere – an alert that comments or a note have been made. This would save quite a bit of time and clicking, when a quick glance would tell you if something is there.

    Also, since several posts on the Aug 22 blogs are now missing, I reposted my questions on Family Tree Maker there again on 08/29/2015, and thanks to Robin for her earlier response.

  35. john

    @ Mary M Zashin: I agree with you, the facts view is very populated; removing the large source icons would buy back much needed real estate that would allow room for larger family thumbnails.

  36. Stanley

    A request PLEASE:

    Attach the media (all media – photos and stories) to the respective facts. I DO NOT mean attach the facts to the media. (As is done with the purple lines.)

    Why does this matter? If one has many facts and media with a person it is critical to be able to click on a fact and bring up the attached media. For example one fact might be: Letter from Uncle Joe to Aunt Mary. This letter may consist of several jpg photos. If one wants to read the letter, one should be able to click on the fact and bring up all the pages. Hunting through the gallery is chaos.

  37. Mary M Zashin

    I thought I’d see if there’s anything to the rumor that the reason for the new site is that it works better on a tablet or pad. I don’t have one, but I looked at it on my phone. And, by golly, the Fact page DID look better on the tiny screen because the primary photo took up more space and there was less expanse of grey. But I would never use my phone for research just because of the tiny screen. Very inefficient. If anyone has a tablet and has experimented, it would be interesting to see what that is like. Nevertheless, if the aim is to please tablet users, and it looks better on a tablet, then it must be concluded that sees those users as more important than those who use desktop or maybe even laptop computers. From the point of view of a computer user, that’s sad.

  38. Monika

    I am working in classic ancestry and am trying to add photos from one of my trees to the other. Some of them transfer just fine. Others do not show up but say “You have successfully added a photo to…”, and immediately underneath it says “No photos, stories or audio have been added yet. These are all photos that belong to my family and have been on some of my other trees for ever! Does anyone have an idea what is going on?

  39. Mary M Zashin

    I tried to work in New today, but I couldn’t even edit a fact. I also noticed that the text boxes for family members’ names and for sources are too small, in spite of the fact that there’s an enormous amount of empty space on the page. The result is that names are arbitrarily broken onto two lines. That this flaw is still there after all this time is amazing to me. This is just an amateur job, it seems. And the site was very, very slow. To be sure it wasn’t just a time-of-day problem, I went back to Old. Everything moved snappily, I could edit facts and sources, and the spaces for names were much bigger.

  40. Joyce

    I am so tired of not being able to work–this NEW format is horrible and ancestry needs to let us keep the old version side by side…I want to see ALL info about MY folks on one page–it is the BEST way to see where you are at with your research. The NEW version is SO much more difficult and WHY should we have to go to 2 or 3 places to see what we used to be able to see on one page. SO many of us are upset that ancestry is NOT listening to us–the OLD version is 100 times better and serious genealogists don’t like the new version. There is a petition circulating and we need everyone to sign it if you are tired of this mess they have made—pass it on to all your freinds–ALL of them–maybe we can get enough signatures to make Ancestry pay attention and see that we SERIOUSLY do not like the NEW version and they cannot ADD to it enough to make ME happy as the basic premise of the sire is flawed. Let US have the choice to choose which version we want to use–over time ancestry wil see that none of their old customers who have been on ancestry forever like this NEW version…and if people who have been customers for 15 years leave–where will ancestry be?

  41. Joyce

    After reading you have “fixed this and fixed that” I decided to bounce over to NEW and see–NOTHING gas changed–every time I visit this NEW and not only NOT improved but made so made so much worse I find MORE things that are just NOT acceptable. I THOUGHT I could click on the Census on profile “facts” page only to find out I have to go to the gallery to see the Census–the gallery should be just that –a picture and story gallery. WHY do I have to click all over the place to see things I used to be able to see on ONE page. WHY does it take 2 or 3 clicks to do what I used to do in one? WHY can’t I see the transcription of the Census when I click on Census—whoever decided to link directly TO the Census was not a researcher–NOW instead of being able to click on the transcipt to get an idea of what it says abotu each person and about when they were born I have to struggle with reading the census–EVERYONE knows the Census docs are barely legible—WHY are you wasting all that space to show sources if you cannot even click on them and get to the source document. Whoever dreamed up this NEW version must have been taking SERIOUS DRUGS or not understoof ONE thing about research. I saw above where the fellow who complained to the BBB or atty Gen’l got offered a refund. That is such a JOKE…who is going to refund me 12 years of my life working hard to uncover facts, stories etc etc only to have you folks make a total mess of it—and nOW we have a platform that no only do we NOT like but makes us dread the thought of doing any more research? You keep telling us it is going to get better but it is NOT getting better–EVERY time I TRY to use the NEW version I cannot stomach it for more than a few minutes–JUST let us KEEP classic side by side if you insist on keeping this NEW version which is impossible to work iun and SO user unfriendly it is unbelievable. KEEP OLD for a year or 2 more and let EVERYONE be able to use both—then see how many people continue to work in the OLD version. The NEW version is horrible–and if those of us who have been around for many years cannot get around in it what do you think is going to happen with NEW USERS…they are going to do a trial, MAYBE sign on for a year and then decide this is just too much of a pain in the neck and be done with it…I am happy I am almost finished with my tree and have taken this opportunity to print off a LOT of information in the OLD version…because YOU have killed my love of research…I WANT to keep hunting since you get new sources all the time–but if I haev to put up with th frustration of this new version, I may just say good bye…download my Gedcom, copy my stories and photos and go start a tree somewhere else…Ancestry DOES have the best database there is–and I USED to recommend it alkl the time to people—I have actively TRIED to get people interested in genealogy and told then how easy it was to find things on ANCESTRY–well that is not true anymore–not only will I NOT recommend ancestry if you insist on ONLY the NEW version but I will actively advise people NOT to sign up for You took a GREAT site and you ruined it. You SHOULD just bite the bullet, admit you made a HUGE mistake and take it as a tax loss…the government doesn’t penalize businesses for making stupid mistakes–they only penalize you if you cheat…so admit your failiure, take a tax write off and let us get back to research which has been more difficult even in Classic and the programmers keep messing around with things making it more difficult too work in OLD whilethey are reprogramming…ADMIT you have messed up and KEEP the OLD version for serious reearchers to still be able to work…I will NOT work in the NEW version for another 15 years…I am a disabled vet and I do genealogy to pass the time–and I love it–but YOU have made it miserable with your NEW version…not only can I not see at a glance exactly where I am at, but I cannot even stand the thought of signing on to this mess…If you don’t keep OLD as an optional way to work-you will have taken away THE ONE joy I still have left…My body has taken away the rest!

  42. Joyce

    and WHAT in the world made you decide to take away military data? Do you realize that is one of the places we can find out a birth date, confirm where people were lving at the time, find out a spouse name and also see if there is some type of document we should order form NARA? Are you trying to steer everyone to FOLD3? I belonged to THAT site for a year and got SO frustrated with not being able to find the data I was looking for I canceled it. For $40 a year it is a great deal BUT if you cannot find info you want to find what good is it ??? Yes –I KNOW you have nought out Fold 3 and this seems to be an attempt to make people pay MORE money to join that site as well…Your military research should stay right here—once people realize how hard it is to find things on Fold3 the ONLY thing you will have accomplished is to deny people information that helps them find a LOT of info–as OLDIES like ME know, you get very little in the way of GOOD hints until you have an exact birth date–and that can often be found in military documentation…we KNOW you are in business to make $$$$ but do you not realize that we see WHY you have done this? You just want more and more and more…so you are trying to FORCE us tooo become members of Fold3 which will drive you just as crazy as the NEW ancestry does. Shame on you folks…you are NOT putting your customers first…you are putting them last…and if you DON’T change what you are doing you may find you are going to lose a very large portion of your customer base….NEXT STOP? Bankruptcy AND the loss of ALL of the data we have worked so hard for…Ancestry USED to be the best game in town…but you are writing your own death certificate with the changes you are making

  43. Patricia Harris

    Help! My profile pages that contain a lot of images will not load on New Ancestry on my iPad Air or iPad mini – both are only a year old and have the latest updates. I cleared the cache and cookies and that didn’t help. I’m talking about the Ancestry website, not the app. I do most of my genealogy work on my iPad. I really, really need it to work before Old Ancestry is taken away. I read a comment in June with the same problem and now it’s two months later. Is this issue being addressed. New Ancestry is working fine on my MacBook Air.

  44. Patricia

    For the first time, ever, in my 7 years as a World subscriber, and a member since 1999, the letters BBB are swirling in my head. I don’t give one ‘d’ about cosmetics. Give me perpendicular profile pics, black on deep purple graphics, with ’60s psychedelic colors – whatever. Way beyond cosmetics. This has to do with function, and paying $300 dollars a year, I should expect a functional site, at least HALF the time. Having to jump hoops to do what took 5 seconds, three months ago, is a terrible slap in the face to your customers. Some love it – hey, that’s great. More power to them. Step into my shoes, and you’d be screaming too. No one is listening, nor offering to fix my very SPECIFIC problem. The last nerve is on a tether.

  45. Ruth

    I can’t begin to tell you how much I despise this NEW ANCESTRY SITE. I have been an Ancestry user for many, many years and I can honestly say that this is the WORST change that I have ever seen to Ancestry. The screen is so cluttered with unnecessary stuff that every time I go to use Ancestry, I finally just shut it down, in frustration. I have a difficult time weeding through all of the fluff on the site.

    I do not want to read your version of my ancestors life. I have found many errors in you attempt to write my ancestors life story. You must take all of the fact from everyone who has a particular person and then write your version of their life, even though some of the facts that you have used are WRONG! And putting an ancestor’s time line is usless if you have used incorrect facts. I do not like the Time Line feature at all and think that it should be discarded.

    You have dumbed the site down to the point that it is usless to serious genealogists. I hope that you will reconsider and go back to the CLASSIC site.


  46. caith

    Since I am not a tech geek, someone please explain to me just what it would cost Ancestry in terms of dollars to keep the old classice Ancestry. Or is this just Ancestry’s way of flexing their muscle?

  47. Joyce

    I saw a post above, I am assuming that is some kid of ancestry person, saying they want specifics on what needs to be fixed—I have sent email after email to about things that don’t work or don’t work right BUT the MAIN problem is the ENTIRE New version is flawed from top to bottom…you cannot fix this mess other than to run OLD ancestry side by side–the NEW LOOKS awfulm the functionality is WORSE than awful—Give us assurances that you will continue to run OLD ancestry–THAT is what we want–

    The NEW version cannot be fixed as the entire concept is flawed…save yourselves the money-stop working on NEW and just get rid of it-you are just throwing good money after bad…If yiu insist on keeping NEW around then run it side by side with OLD AND give NEW ancestry customers the ability to work in either version.

    It won’t take long before you see that the majority of people prefer the OLD version…

    The story line is a joke, having to go to 3 or 4 different places to see what I used to be able to see in ONE place is awful…

    That is what is so nice about OLD ancestry–one glance and you could see what stories and photos you had, you could see every piece of data you had on a person–even if you walked away from working on them for a year, it would only take you a few minutes to refresh your memory and you could see everything on one page…

    NOW you don’t know anything about a person unless you hunt all over.

    The SPECIFIC thing we want fixed is to allow OLD ancestry to continue as an option…

    People are complaining all over the place, getting petitions together, why are you not listening–the FIX is quite simple…keep OLD ancestry for those of us who have been around forever-and proven that we are serious about our research.

    There is too much wrong with the NEW to get specific–what is wrong with it is EVERYTHING

  48. vonnie

    I don’t have the energy or the desire to cope with the new ancestry. I looked at it once and had enough especially since it was so hard to read.! I watched “Who Do You Think You Are” last night and was disappointed to see that they used the ugly new tree format. When the classic view goes, so will I.

  49. john

    Put the information for the number of media files an ancestor has in their large gray header. Example: Photos (5) Stories (3) Audio (3) Video (1). This information was on the profile pages in the “old ancestry” and was very useful.

  50. Jade

    In Lifestory you either omit a place-name entirely, omit the County name (but give a borough or town[ship] name) and omit names of cemeteries.

    You need to be consistent where the tree owner has been sensible, giving complete real place names.

    I realize that huge numbers of trees give mistaken versions of, or nonexistent, place names. Your practice should be to give whatever the tree owner has supplied.

  51. Mary M Zashin

    So, here are some additional poorly functioning things about New that I noticed today. I wanted to edit the information attached to a media item. In “edit mode,” only a tiny portion of the information is visible at one time. Scrolling up and down is possible, but the little expander thing (like on this note, bottom right as I type) wasn’t available, so I couldn’t see more than three of four lines of the note I wanted to edit at a time. Then I noticed that I could see more of, but still not all of, the information by opening the media item in the gallery for the individual. Still, no expander button, so I couldn’t see the whole comment I wanted to edit. Over on FB, the ACOM said that I could see the entire info section and edit it by going into the media gallery for the whole tree and working from there. However, there are over 3000 media items in my tree, and I see no way to search for a specific item or find it except by scrolling page by page through the media gallery. So a task–editing media information–that was simple and quick in Old is cumbersome and slow in New. You need to restore the ability to see all the information attached to a media item and to edit that information from MEDIA ATTACHED TO THE INDIVIDUAL, not just from the entire media gallery. Here’s another thing: although there is a lot of empty space on the fact page, the text boxes for names of both people and sources are too small, so the word is randomly broken into two lines; eg., someone with a long name, say Archibald Alexander MacGregor might appear as (1st line) Archibald Alexander M (2nd line) acGregor. Really makes the fact page look SO amateurish! Final note: there’s no list of the people who have used a media item from my tree. In Old, there’s a list of their login names and trees. In New, there are just icons (faces if the person has a photo up; grey avatar if not), and each one has to be clicked on individually to see what tree has used the item. Really, my main difficulty with New so far has been the ugliness of the round photos and the dreary color scheme–so much so that I would stay on New for only a short time, then go back to Old to work. Now, I’m finding more and more areas where functionality has been lost–these areas are sometimes rather trivial (as above) and sometimes crushingly major (location issues and search issues)–but altogether they add up to a conclusion that New is far inferior at this point to Old, and that tasks that were relatively simple on Old have become much more complex. Oh yes–another item is that there is no “list all people” choice on either the fact page or the lifestory page. You have to go into tree view to find that, adding an unnecessary step if you want to see all in one place everyone you have who, for example, has the last name of Johnson. . .there’s just mounting evidence that New is far from ready for prime time. Bad look, bad cosmetics, functional issues ranging from the inconvenient to the unworkable. It’s a mess.

  52. Stanley


    Attach the media (photos AND stories) to the respective facts. I have over 8000 people and 3000 media in my tree. Some of these people (close relatives) have dozens of “facts” (letters, passports, yearbooks, etc.) Each of these may have multiple media (e.g. photo copies of each letter page). It is near impossible to seach the gallery for the associated media for each fact.

  53. Jade

    In most new-version pages, the top-right links are missing: messages envelope, leaf, tiny avatar thumbnail, username, “upgrade” and “help” links.

  54. Jade

    Restore thumbnails of actually-uploaded media to events in Facts page. Having to go to the gallery page is extremely irritating, and I do not want to see in Gallery what I have not uploaded.

  55. Stanley

    JUST IN:

    Ancestry does not consider “stories” to be media and thus they are not attaching them to the respective facts. (I guess they just float in the gallery.) Ridiculous!!!

    They are “looking into the issue.”

  56. Robin H

    In Old Ancestry it is possible to attach a story to a fact, then click on it to read it. In New Ancestry, the fact is there, but the story has now been detached and sent to the gallery, with no link back to the fact. It will be chaos trying to find a particular story – and the fact won’t make much sense without the story. Please, Ancestry, fix this.

  57. john

    @Mary M Zashin: I agree with you. There are a lot of small issues with the new ancestry that need to be fixed. Thank you for pointing out a few more of them. I also would like to go back to seeing a list of users who have attached my media to their trees, instead of the small circle icons we now have in the new ancestry. I hope @Kristie Wells will share your post with the development team.

  58. debra

    I was very upset with your site!!! You took my money quick enough but every time I found someone I looking for I was told I had to pay a different site for that info!!! What a rip off !!!!

  59. Elhura

    As stated above by Stanley, “stories” are apparently not considered by Ancestry to be media and they are not attaching them to the related fact. Often, I transcribe data not found on Ancestry (i. e. from original marriage record, original death certificate, excerpts from family sketches in local Heritage books, or write my own account about an event, etc.) and submit them in “story” form, often associated with a specific fact. To detach them from the fact and hide them in the gallery is actually separating a “source” from that fact. This should be corrected. Also the thumbnails of stories and photos need to be returned to a gallery row on the fact page. Without something on the fact page to alert you to media, to comments of others, and even your own notes, you and others will invariably miss some of what Ancestry should be about.

  60. Pauline

    As soon as the NEW page shows I have to turn it off as it is too glaring. Why do you spend so much money on trying to ‘improve’ something, once again, instead of fixing the problems with OLD system? Too much glare and GOODBYE as of my expired membership in 4 days.

  61. John

    I’ve just been onto the website for the first time for a while and was immediately moved to the ‘NEW’ website. To be fair I haven’t spent too much time on my NEW tree yet, but my initial reaction is the logon page is a nightmare, it simply isn’t fit for purpose. The second point is, because I have spent some time putting a lot of detail on my pages and sometimes notes, the facts that have now been collated by the new system have numerous obvious errors, which I don’t want to spend time changing. Not wishing to be a Luddite, but my initial impression is I prefer the old system, at least I know where I am and I feel as if I’m in control. If I use the NEW pages, which I assume will be forced upon us at some point in the future, it will give me a lot of work to understand how to manipulate and validate all my data, that will be the time when I will decide if I want to be bothered with doing that anymore. Can I get to know when the NEW system will become mainstream, or more to the point when I won’t be able to access the old system anymore?

  62. CHrissy

    What is the point of a website which does not provide ACCURATE FH information? Do we want incorrect info being freely available to the unwary and distributed worldwide? This happened when my tree was hijacked by Ancestry from Rootsweb many years ago and it is only relatively recently that the Worldconnect tree which contained such glaring errors which were beyond my control was removed. I have only just decided to transfer my tree to Ancestry (in July 2015) after many years of mistrust, but if recent changes go ahed and we lose the old site, not only will I withdraw my tree again, but change my allegiance to Findmypast as a source of research info.

  63. Kristie

    So, here we are at the start of month four of the roll-out debacle called ‘New Ancestry’. It’s still a mess. I agree with every specific feature demanded by others on this blog, PLUS the one improvement that was supposed to come on New Ancestry (refer to June 5 blog): media indexing. All the issues you name, ugly color, circular photo, etc. are issues with MOST users across the globe, not some. FIX THEM.
    Long story short – people want all the functions of Classic Ancestry, with the look of Classic Ancestry. If you work hard, you might get back to what you had.
    LifeStory requires its own paragraph. Why would a company whose core business is FACTS maintain such made-up nonsense? The best defense your poor reps can give is, ‘don’t look at it’. Huh? Rather than ditch an inaccurate map, we are now told to ‘leave the location blank if you don’t know specifically to avoid map errors’. That goes against the whole philosophy of ‘enter what you know’. Why is it my fault if your ding-dong map puts New Jersey in the Atlantic Ocean or puts Russia in California? Ancestry is a tool – I pay to use it, but it works to serve me; I don’t figure out how to work around its silly errors.

  64. Robin H

    It must be that someone (with all good intentions) decided that would help Ancestry better be able to tell OUR stories if the locations were standardized – never mind that Ancestry could not possibly keep accurate track over history of every location on the globe, to know whether a location was a township or a city, or what province or territory or state or country it might be part of at any particular point in time. We are the ones who care most about that and have done much research to determine, to the best of our knowledge, just what that location was. Any errors that are made should be our errors. Given the examples of mapping errors that have been reported, I don’t have confidence that Ancestry can get this right – and we don’t need Ancestry to do this. Ancestry should, in my opinion, help us gather data about our families so that we can tell our own stories. We don’t need Ancestry to tell our Lifestory or draw us a map of where Ancestry thinks our ancestors were. If Ancestry must have mapping capabilities, let that be an option for us – to plot our own locations on a map that we could then use as we see fit, once we see that it might be accurate.

  65. john

    @Kristie writes “Long story short – people want all the functions of Classic Ancestry, with the look of Classic Ancestry” — Those are my feelings as well. I like the new design, but there are still so many “little things” that are missing or are not working properly, that it is creating a frustrating user experience. You need to expand the list of “Top Reported Issues” in your weekly blog to a list that has all known user reported issues.

  66. Stanley


    I understand (perhaps) why Ancestry wants to change (standardize) our locations. HOWEVER, I do believe that the locations we (the paying customer) entered are just that — our desired locations. I really wonder how Ancestry thinks they have the wisdom (let alone the legal right) to change facts we have entered.

  67. Jade

    @RobinH — Ancestry can’t even figure out a logical way in search boxes to deal with the VA counties that became WV, and seriously messed up some of the place-designations in the Drouin Collection. Why should they be trusted to develop an overall standard place-names catalog?

  68. Cheryl S.

    To all who have commented on the issue of the detachment of story media (non image media) from facts in New Ancestry. The reason behind this is, in a word – LifeStory. Image media attached to a fact will transfer into LifeStory either automatically for standard facts (e.g. birth, marriage, death), or through enabling the fact transfer during edit in Facts view. Images will also transfer into LifeStory view automatically if there is an associated date (e.g. the date a photo was taken was entered by the submitter). Lifestory was not designed to display non image media, and there is no indication from Ancestry this is in the works for the future. So, don’t hold your breath while waiting for your non-image media to be re-attached. It has been impossible to adequately communicate to the depth of disappointment and anger those who spent years uploading and attaching source documentation experience when they first view New Ancestry. First you see your media is stripped from Facts view, then you see the mess that was made of the facts in LifeStory. Having spent a weekend trying to “fix” the profiles of a couple ancestors in LifeStory, and accomplishing virtually nothing due to constant glitches in the system…. well, I can only say there are not enough years left in my life to complete the task throughout my tree. The only thing that can offer to compensate at this point is to provide a setting that will allow us to prevent others from viewing our trees in LifeStory view.

    On the issue of LOCATION – I had to laugh this morning when I checked out the new record sets listed. One was the Maryland Calendar of Wills – has been available for some time, but not indexed for attachment to people in trees. I did a search for a specific individual, and up popped the record. When I went through the process of attaching it to a person, the following indexed info from the record auto transferred into the location field: “the head of Sassafras River, Kent, Maryland, British America”.

  69. Stanley


    I am still not truly believing that stories will not be attached to the respective facts in the New Ancestry. THIS IS A MUST HAVE. Many of us have hundreds of stories (e.g. transcribed family letters) that are attached to facts in the Classic Ancestry. These have taken years. How can Ancestry justify not attaching them???

  70. Robin H

    Cheryl, yesterday Ancestry said on Facebook that they were looking into implementing a feature that would link stories to facts. They also said that the connections between facts and stories that now exist on Old Ancestry would not be lost in New Ancestry. I appreciate your post, Cheryl, and I would ask ANCESTRY to clarify for us on this page what the current plan is. My only disagreement, Cheryl, is that I don’t think there is anything Ancestry can do to compensate for what has happened – short of offering Old Ancestry (as it was with a commitment to maintain and further develop it) to those of us who prefer it. I know that customers are being offered three-month subscription extensions and, in some cases, refunds of this year’s subscription, but I don’t think this is about money. I think it’s about wanting the great product we once had – and not degrading/destroying what we spent years lovingly creating.

  71. Paula Clements

    Well it seems it’s not only me who is frustrated with the new search methods and having to pay for everything extra to get the information I thought I paid Ancestry for. I have been a member for several years and find it very difficult to navigate the site recently. Very disappointed in how difficult it is to get the basic information I am searching for. You almost need a degree in how to research the site now and when you do get close to the info that used to be available I find now there are extra charges. I find ancestry very frustrating to search now. The time I used to spend researching is now spent trying to learn to navigate the system to get to the info I was looking for only to find out in many cases there are extra charges to get the info I used to get in a relatively easy search. Hmmm, what has happened?

  72. Mary M Zashin

    I’ve posted numerous specific deficiencies with New on this blog as well as on member boards, on Facebook, and on the exit feedback form. Every day I look and try to use New, and every day I find something that was EASY on Old that is now difficult or impossible to do on New. It is striking to me, also, just how negative the reactions of users to the New are. People don’t just dislike or feel confused about the New site, they “despise” it, “loathe” it, and “hate” it! They feel upset, angry, disrespected, and betrayed. They feel as if the effort they’ve invested for years has been wasted. has always insisted that the website is a “display” program, not a full-featured genealogy program. I’ve thought that was short-sighted in the past, because people DO use it as a genealogy program. Nevertheless, if it’s a “display”program and people don’t like the “display,” (never mind functional issues for the moment), then they will stop using it and gradually turn to other options for creating a display that they feel is more attractive and welcoming. I myself will probably take my tree private because it looks so bad that I wouldn’t want to invite other family members to see it. In the long run, I think the answer is to investigate ways to set up my own site, so that I can control how it looks. Right now, I’m investigating alternate sites to consider. When I realize that much of the data on is available through other sources, and that I often rely on books instead of the databases, I question how much I need to remain a member here. Particularly since the “display” program is now so ugly. I don’t know what suggestions to offer any more. But I think needs to take a page from the government here. When the health care website was such a disaster, the government fired the development company, brought in a crack team of website “fixers,” and relaunched the site successfully. I think needs to consider doing the same thing. If the company has hired an outside consultant to construct this thing, they need to rethink their contract and find a consultant who can fix their pretty-much-broken site. If the web designers are company employees. . .well, their incompetence is paraded before us on a daily basis.

  73. BEE

    Every time I check this blog, there are more posts I agree with everything that has been written. Compare the response to other articles that have posts in the single numbers. I was forced to use a tablet for the past week. I can’t imagine doing any serious “search” on this thing. I tried “new’ ancestry – it looks just as bad, and works even worse. Can’t wait to get my PC back, and of course, stay with ‘old” ancestry as long as it’s there.

  74. Walt

    All I can do is shake my head. What a travesty and tragedy the New Ancestry has become. Mary M. Zashin is right on in comparing this debacle to the Obamacare website mess. But at least that mess was fixed.

  75. Katharine

    It’s amazing. Ancestry has wasted an incredible amount of resources on changing everything they could think of changing, for no rational reason. The irrational reason seems to be trying to court newbie customers instead of retaining existing ones. Which is really dumb, since any business person will tell you that it’s cheaper to keep customers than to find new ones. Ancestry is obviously not listening. Here’s a novel idea — let those of us who are happy with the old Ancestry keep it!! Yes, many of us will get used to the new if we absolutely have to, but why should we have to? We paid for an existing product, but are now having to make do with something different. Very bad business practice!

  76. my Custom Events are not being included in the [worthless] Lifestory. And Lifestory doesn’t take into account when ppl are on their second marriage with step-children, referring to them as “children” omg! I switch between Old and New and back to Old just to see how they compare. I will continue to use the Old as long as it is available, hopefully until ALL the deficiencies are fixed!

  77. Alyson Angus

    I truly dislike the new Ancestry. What a shame to have done this to a good program. No interest in wasting my time working around all the fluff. I use Ancestry for its strong research tools, not fluff. I’ll write my own story and if I want all of those extra notes, I’ll add them myself, please don’t do it for me. Instead of enhancing the program, some things very important to my research are missing and other things take 2 steps when they once took only 1. I’d love to understand the point of this change because, as far as I can tell, it isn’t useful for serious researchers.

  78. Monika

    In February 2013, I wrote to I did so because, upon visiting their German ancestry site and their French ancestry site, I noticed that they were “prompting” their customers with grammatically incorrect language. E.g,, referring to the location where somebody was born or where somebody died, in English you would say “born in Paris, France” or “died in Paris, France”.. In French, there are numerous words for “in”. chose to use “dans”.to prompt for the location of birth and death. This is grammatically incorrect. “Dans” is only used when you refer to something that is inside of something. E.g., “in the tomb” “dans la tombe”, but you are born “en France” or “a Paris”. Just one example of the inaccuracies I found on these two websites. Fist, I cannot believe that they would not have someone proofread their forms before starting these programs. But what can I say. I thought that they would appreciate my feedback. So on February 22, 2013, I got an e-mail response from a very nice support employee who actually spoke French. The response reads “Thank you for bringing this to our attention. I can see how using the preposition “dans” in this instance would make sense to someone who did not speak French and who was translating directly from English, but you are right! Feedback like yours helps us correct errors and improve the website. Your patience and efforts to assist us in this matter are appreciated. …..Due to the volume of error submissions, fixes to errors on ancestry are posted firstly in the order of those which affect the greatest number of users, and, thereafter in the order in which they are reported; For this reason there is no foreseeable time frame as to when these changes will be made.”. It took them more than a year to deal with that even though the way they dealt with THAT specific “in” issue, is by simply removing the word “dans” and not replacing it with another option (which was the smartest thing to do). My point is, if it took them more than one year to remove one word from a form, how soon do you think that we are going to see the appropriate changes and corrections on New Ancestry?? Assuming we will ever see any changes!! (I sure hope that they will not attempt to write any “Life Stories” in French or German or they will become a European laughing stock if they do not have better control over a foreign language.. To suggest that “the core functionality remains the same” as Kristie Wells suggest is a joke…no, actually it is an insult.. I agree with STANLEY–I question the legality of changing facts that we have entered and that are important to us.

  79. Roger

    That’s interesting, Monika. I too have experienced extreme tardy fixes. But what is also interesting, since I just logged in to my account via dot fr, is that they do not have a drop down item in one’s account to switch to New Ancestry. The site loads in Classic and there is no option to swap so far as I can see. I’m not word perfect by any means but it seems dot fr is not even being offered the ‘New’. How lucky they are!!

  80. Monika

    Roger–You had to open your mouth, did you!! 🙂 🙂 I was afraid of pointing that out on this blog, because knowing they will probably mess things up for us. But I have started to transfer all my trees onto and because I noticed that same thing as you and I am hoping that they will keep the Old Ancestry on those sites. As I said, if they have as little control over the French and German language as they showed on the preprinted text on the individual profile pages they cannot possibly dare to write “life stories” in French or German….but we shall see.

  81. Judi

    PLEASE let those of us who prefer Classic continue to use it. Ancestry should spend their resources improving and obtaining original source material. That is what I am paying for and what I expect from

  82. Don

    Why would you remove the navigation from the images in the Acadia, Canada, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1670-1946 collection. That collection is so badly indexed, you can only ever find anything by navigating the images. Now we have to go back the collection page to change the parish we are looking at instead of being able to do it from the images.

  83. Crystals48

    Well my blog, petition, and BBB friends, here’s the latest surprise. Ancestry’s new Wills and Probate records can only be viewed on the New Ancestry. Just tried it this morning. You can’t search it on Classic Ancestry. In fact, you’re immediately moved to the New Ancestry if you try to search. And the view screen looks amazingly similar to the one on Fold3.

    Hey Ancestry! If you won’t listen to our fears, concerns and suggestions, will you at least give us some time to prepare our current files so we lose as little as possible of decades-long research? This might take a while.

  84. Robin H

    Really good question, Crystals48. I have been asking for notice, too, so people will have adequate time to back up ther trees on FTM or print them off or do whatever they might want to do before The Great Migration, but I have never gotten a response. I think that adequate notice is at least 30-60 days and that customers should have to acknowledge that they understand this is happening to them BEFORE it happens. It is one (bad) thing for those of us who know this is coming. It is another (bad) thing for those who don’t access their tree regularly and don’t even know about this. Some of us are more elderly than others – and might need time to get FTM, learn to use it and download the tree, if that is what they choose to do. I feel sorry for us, but maybe sorrier for those who might one day open their tree and find that what they were expecting isn’t there or available to them.

  85. Joyce

    So for those who have missed it we are ALSO losing military data—so does this mean that all the military info attached to people will disappear as well? WHY should we have to madly go through our trees and try to find folks who’s military data we have used to support birth dates and places, death dates, widow Pensions and the list goes on and on…I have 10,000 people in my tree and if you think I remember every single person that I have military data attached to so I can copy the picture and add it to my files, I have a bridge to sell you.

    The petition that has been started in order to show ancestry how many people HATE the new version, because it is NOT functional…is growing day by day…and the ONLY reason it is growing so slowly is that there is no central place for researchers to find out about it…we now have nearly 3,000 signers and evidently need a lot more for ancestry to listen.

    SO many people are going to drop their membership if they DON’T listen it is incredible…and this is only the people who have found out one way or another about the petition on the Care2 petition site.

    I have been watching this blog ever since this mess started… There are SO many people complaining and Ancestry is turning a deaf ear…

    One would think with such an outpouring of disgust over the NEW site Ancestry would think twice about what they are doing and give us permanent access to the OLD version.

    There is too much wrong with the NEW version to fix, and EVEN if you got some of the specific issues fixed, I don’t think you could fix it enough to please us.

    The entire FACTS page is horrible…you are taking up so much space JUST to put a name of a source and that box doesn’t even link to the source? That is crazy.

    Wake up and smell the coffee ancestry–we don’t like the NEW version–and it has nothing to do with looks (although the new family tree view is horrendous and blurry so that you cannot even make out the names unless you blow it up too large to see an entire family at one time.

    This new site is NOT fixable…You have destroyed the functionality—The NEW site is only worthwhile to people who don’t have a serious interest in genealogy…

    The OLD customers are dropping off like flies…are you going to wait until EVERYONE leaves to get the picture?

    If you continue to insist this NEW ancestry is going to be the ONLY option, you are going to find yourself running out of customers…

    and THEN we will ALL lose out trees because YOU will go out of business.

    A SMART Board of Directors and CEO would be monitoring THIS blog and the petition site and face the music…

    This NEW version is a dismal failure! You have taken what used to be a reasonably functional site that needed some minor improvements and turned into something that reminds me of a trip to the dentist for a root canal.

    I keep TRYING to use it–I keep TRYING to give it a chance, hoping it will get better as we keep hearing BUT I don’t see anything getting better.

    All we hear about is more and more functions and databases you are taking away in addition to the fact that we now have website that we hate the thought of using.

    I think I WOULD rather have a root canal than have to work in the NEW version…it is THAT bad

  86. Count me as one of those who find the “new” experience very difficult. So many long standing and understood interface design issues for human computer interfaces appear to have to be learned anew by the Ancestry team. The color and font choices I find very difficult to read, and it is not just me but a large fraction of the user base as well will have this problem. is not the first company to make a major project into a disaster, but I still find it hard to believe they could have spent so much of their resources on a design that will fail for so many people when their own staff supposedly use their own product.

  87. Elhura

    Count me in once again on asking that those who prefer Classic to be “grandfathered” in for its continued use. I don’t expect Ancestry to scrap a new product they have obviously spent so much time and resources on. I don’t expect Ancestry to admit their horrendous mistake. I don’t expect Ancestry will quit TRYING to fix the numerous and serious issues of the new product – not until much time has passed and “without too much egg on their faces” they can return bit-by-bit to the streamlined and work-friendly features of the Classic. Unfortunately, by that time, without the option to continue Classic now, many of us will have left behind and many new users will have opted out after a brief time.

    I implore to hear and heed the requests of longtime users who have praised and recommended over and over. We have been BETRAYED. No company, no matter how large, should want betrayal of it customers on its record.

  88. Jeff

    I do not like the new format. It is nice if you want to show someone the family history but for actual research, I am not a fan. Should be an option to switch back and forth. Would have preferred they spent money on additional records rather than “improving” my user experience.

  89. Maryann

    OH NO. I goofed. Can I undo the new version of ancestry? I don’t know what I did, but somehow I changed it, and I don’t care for it, particularly things like a wedding photo does not appear with the listing for “marriage” on the profile, the new baby picture no longer appears as media next to the word “birth,” etc. What a job I had trying to find the photos and then I find them and, and, for example, I look at the photos and no where does it say the date of the event shown in the photo. Granted if someone in my family looked at my photos, they’d see a wedding photo which has no date—see, in the older version the wedding photo actually appears on the profile and it contains the date of the wedding, place, etc so it is all there together. Eventually I got to the point of the names of my photos are the file names which means nothing to ancestry but they mean everything to me in the way I name them in the oodles of folders of family groupings on my hard drive so that I can find them. Others will see the photo names, often weird abbreviations, and won’t have a clue what life event it went with. And now I look at my wedding photo and it say “people in this photo” and it names me and my husband. But what about the other four people in the photo, if I was someone else looking at my tree to decide if my tree was the one they wanted, they’d be confused. What if someone gets married twice and has two wedding photos, since the photo is not attached to the event in that profile, someone else looking at a given wedding photo wouldn’t know which wedding photo went with which wedding. GRRRRRR

  90. Maryann

    P.S. to my other post. I found in very very very tiny print which was written in very pale color, the word “media attached” to life’s events. Hardly something people can see. Please go back to the old way so the media is seen WITH the event and the print is pleasing to the eye in different sizes

  91. Cyrone

    I was very excited to see the addition of the wills today, only for my excitement to turn to extreme disappointment upon seeing the new look of the individual pages. I much preferred the classic design. I have been a subscriber for about 8 years now but may have to reconsider. I am scared to actually go through each of my ancestors pages as there appears now to be dozens of useless pictures (life story) and I’m not even sure where things I have contributed are. You should not have fixed something that was not broken. I am terribly disappointed!

  92. Gabriele

    There is just way too much wrong with the new version than I can list in a day. I have not used it much because after a while I run screaming from this version. I need functional, accurate and swift. Certainly not a “Life Storey” tab that no real genealogist will ever use. And some of mine a full of errors. Buried in Oakland Cemetery , Russellville, Pope County, Arkansas – with records and sources attached, becomes died in Arkansas, buried in Oakland County, MI. Totally unacceptable. The tree presentations are clumsy and amateurish, at best. Where is my family list, my images, the whole family -husband/wife – children. I do not want to click here, then there, then somewhere else to see what there is. I think all the bugs that the updates cite are being worked on should have been worked out in BETA, not now. This is, without a doubt, not ready to be released, unless it is a page for a learning exercise in 7th grade. Even the writing screams Jr. High. Get it together folks, you should be ashamed.

  93. vonnie

    Ancestry, you’re too much! I paid a fair price for services. As long as you have the classic site available, all of the records including the new wills collection should be available on that site. I question if what you are doing is legal???? Putting them on the new site only shows your lack of responsible business.ethics.

  94. Deb

    Gabriele, I agree totally. The new version is horrible. The old Ancestry was classy; the new one is very amateurish. I was very sorry to see Ancestry try to hook us into the new version with the new wills collection. I looked up one ancestor and found some interesting index items that I noted for further research at the court house and then ran screaming from new Ancestry AGAIN.

  95. Roger

    Now you can’t zoom a document – census, say – with the mouse wheel as we used to be able to do. Now, we have to zoom with the slider bar. Another retro step. And this is in Classic Ancestry.

  96. Kristie

    OK, here’s an issue that has been brought up multiple times before, still not fixed, but not even on the ‘List’ above. I was valiantly trying to use New Ancestry when I found a ship manifest for a family of six. Yeah! I’m going to attach it to all six members of the family in New – of course that takes an advanced degree to figure where that feature is hidden, but I did – only to have the dropdown list of names to have NO dates. Families who used the same name repeatedly (everyone) just have the names to choose from – no dates. How can you decide which one to attach the record to? Well, you have to switch back to Classic, type in the names, review the dates and select. It takes about a minute in Classic. There is NO way to figure it out in New. Don’t tell me the ‘core functionality’ is the same when you ignore, and refuse to fix, basic usage features like this.

  97. Matt L

    Access to the primary profile picture checkbox could be improved. IMO, you should add a checkbox exposed right on the gallery page, bottom left opposite the trash can icon, with a green checkmark for the image that’s currently primary. A roll-over text box can explain what the checkbox is for. Currently, it’s hidden pretty deep – you have to click into the picture (which takes a few seconds to do a complete refresh of the page and load the image), click on the edit icon, click on the person the image is saved to, and then click on Use as Profile Image. Very cumbersome.

  98. I have sent letters, surveys, signed the petition to save Old Ancestry, and a complaint to the Better Business Bureau. The reply from Ancestry really general but did offer the Family Tree Maker to download my tree. But as all know, not all attachments download and with over 7000 people on my tree, it is another nightmare. My next reply to BBB is to address the color background and lettering. They should at least be able to give a straight answer about the colors, to help us with looking at the pages. We would never by a book to read with white letters and dark pages…..

  99. Stanley

    DOWNLOAD YOUR TREE: My experience.

    Several days ago a knowledgeable (and candid) Ancestry tech rep told me, during a discussion of the New Ancestry, to back up my current tree via a download to FTM. She repeated this advice about every 20 seconds.

    So, . . . I did. My tree has 8600 people, 3400 media images and 600 stories. I have a 6 MBS DSL connection.

    My first try failed. It stopped for some (unknown) reason after about 3 hours.

    My second try (this morning) did complete. It took about 6 hours. For some reason the 3400 images and 600 stories turned into 5600 images on FTM. My guess is that photos that are attached to multiple people in downloaded multiple times. (Just a guess.)

    A few notes. The written instructions are not correct. I had to call. The process is simple. Do not try to sync your trees; unlink them. I don’t know the resolution of the downloaded images. Given the process was completed in 6 hours, they can’t be that great. However, if you are worried about the New Ancestry, this will at least preserve years of work.

  100. Patricia T

    Please, please, please let those of us who prefer Classic continue to use it and have access to whatever new records you’ve added. Isn’t acquiring new records part of what we pay for when we subscribe to your site? We are able to write our own stories, if that is what we want. Personally, I feel the timeline is story enough, especially when I’ve added records, comments and pictures to it. It shows the facts and anyone who views my tree should be able to figure it out by looking at the timeline. Over the years I’ve shared with many how happy I was creating my family tree on Ancestry. If you insist on making us hostage to this new version, I will have to look elsewhere, especially when I’ve learned that you’ve taken away access to some of the sources that we had previously. Please do the right thing for those of us who have invested much money and time with you over the years.

  101. Peggy Ash

    I really like the new look of Ancestry and have enjoyed the new features as they become available. What I am missing are simple things: The leaves that SHAKE and the Title for the Family Search icon. It is a little hard to recognize if you are not familiar with the icon. The shaky leaves were just FUN! I like the FUN woven in. Now when I teach about the Shaky Leaves no one knows what I am talking about! I hope that feature is soon to be added. Thanks for all the hard work!

  102. Brent

    I very much dislike the new version. One of the great problems with Ancestry has always been that family trees were filled with undocumented, often incorrect information. This new version overlays two new layers of useless information that must be cut through to find reference docs in trees. It slows research considerably. Novice users may be impressed with all the words that pop up, but most will eventually realize it is all copy/paste boiler plate. It there any way to go back to the old version?

  103. Cathy

    My tree is just that…my tree. I don’t need Ancestry to add content. I’ve been researching for years and did just fine without the New Ancestry.

    I have been a member for 14 years. Today I canceled my subscription. Once it runs out my tree and DNA will be removed from the Ancestry site.

    I don’t understand why companies can’t leave something that’s working alone.

    Ancestry you just lost a 14 customer.

  104. Mary M Zashin

    Oh. . .be still, my heart! I hope–DARE I hope?–that they have FIXED the test boxes! Please, please let that be true! A journey of 1000 miles, etc. . .

  105. Mary M Zashin

    You know, if you could just replace all the grey on the fact pages and tree pages with something less dead-looking. . .I suggest the soft blue-grey that backs up the tree view in FTM. . .and go back to square/rectangular primary photos. . .these seem like easy things to change to me. Why not try? I think you will get a LOT of positive feedback instead of all this negativity if you do.

  106. Monika

    The fact that we are removing our trees does not bother All the information that I added by going to libraries and Historical Societies throughout the United States and all the data that I collected by traveling to Europe to visit archives is now available in “Search”. tells you upfront when you join that your research will end up on the “search site”. That is where I see the things that I know solely I contributed and that they would not have if I had not created a tree on Once they have that they do not give a darn whether I leave.

  107. Brent

    Many of the unfortunate design decisions in the new layout is because Ancestry, like Google, seems to have jumped on the “Flat Design” bandwagon — pictures in circles are all the rage now.

  108. Vince

    I see that my post of August 25, 2015 at 4:19 pm to the New Ancestry: Feature Update blog of June 5 has disappeared from that blog since that time, and I wonder why. I responded to Maggie’s post of August 25, 2015 at 10:58 am as follows and am now re-posting here, because posting to the June 5 blog is apparently closed:

    To Maggie: Thanks for mentioning that the “Not you?” option, which I also use all the time from the Profile pages of Classic Ancestry, has survived at least on the “All Hints” list — I for one would never have thought to look there.

    But the option’s presence via the “All Hints” list is of little solace in practice. I’ve posted elsewhere that in Classic Ancestry it takes just seven (7) clicks and two data entries from a given Profile page to see the relationship to someone other than “Who you are in this tree” and return to the original setting by using the “Not you?” option that appears right on the Profile page in Classic Ancestry. New Ancestry requires seventeen clicks (17) and two data entries to do the same thing by going into Tree Settings and changing “Who you are in this tree” back and forth. To do the same thing via the “All Hints” list in New Ancestry from a given Facts page, you still have to bring up the Tree View separately and select “All Hints” from “Tree Pages”, which gets you to “People With Hints” instead of to “All Hints” (why, for crying out loud?!). Then you can click on the actual “All Hints” link to show the beginning of the entire list that appears in some unspecified order. Then you type the name of the person whose Facts page you had been looking at and search the list for it. But wait, if that person currently has no hints, guess what — he or she is not on the list. So you might as well have gone the route of changing the “Who you are in this tree” in the first place.

    What the presence of the “Not you?” option via the “All Hints” list does show is that the New Ancestry programmers have already built the basic code needed to provide that option (or copied it from Classic Ancestry). Now they just need to make a link to it from the “Relationship to me” view currently available in each Facts page, as in the view of the relationship path shown on Profile pages in Classic Ancestry. Ancestry: Please do add the “Not you?” option directly to the “Relationship to me” view.
    August 25, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    September 4 Update: I do see that Ancestry has acknowledged this matter in the following statement regarding “Top Reported Issues This Week”: “Users want to see the ‘not you?’ link in the relationship calculator”. Yes, we do. I’ll be looking for this simple fix to be available by the next “update” from Ancestry.

  109. emam

    I see that there is comments about Military no longer being available, can anyone expand on this. One of my trees is for the sole purpose of researching Military records.
    Have you also noted that you can only comment up to the 12th September 2015.
    I also hate the new site and at present have four trees and will be starting to move them from here.
    One thing about FTM, which I believe is part of Ancestry and media/stories. When you open the media on the program it has All media, Photos, Stories and New. So that means they are classing stories as Media, so why have they changed it on the main site.

  110. John

    Yes… I see my transcriptions to my document images. Someone buy that s/w geek who added that feature a cup of coffee and doughnut. COS… I love the Probate Records that was recently added to the card catalog. Hopefully the pendulum is swinging in the right direction now!

  111. chickeewi

    I was in the middle of doing some research today, and when I hit the back button to go to the person, Ancestry put me into “New” Ancestry. This version SUCKS. When I switched back to Old Ancestry, got a pop up to ask why. After filling that in, I got a Thank You and a “warning” – that SOON only the New Ancestry will be used by all. I plan to start now to get my data out of Ancestry and then cancel.

  112. Monika

    I just looked at the article about probate records and notice that when people on that site ask questions from they immediately get a reply on that very site. This does not seem to happen on this site. So, apparently someone on reads all our blogs and that shrugs his/her shoulders and says “Let them let off some steam an then we proceed as we darn well please anyway.”

  113. Steve Owen

    I echo the previous complaints. Are you listening? When I retired from the Army after 30 years as a personnel specialist I learned one thing worth repeating here: “If it is not broke, don’t fix it!” For the last 5 years, I have been a member and have worked nearly everyday on Ancestry classic to have a product that was an effective presentation of a family member’s “history”. I have a BA – History degree, I don’t need a fancy lesson generated that clutters the history I have created. I don’t want my last five years of hard work destroyed because you need to entice a young generation to your website. I have already called and complained to customer service, and I will continue to call to express my disgust of the “New” Ancestry that is terrible in nearly every aspect. The military recently gave up an effort to combine to one system instead of 5 separate for each branch of service and found it was unworkable after 20 years and millions of tax dollars wasted. Don’t make the same mistake. I will leave Ancestry if you don’t keep the classic system, and others will follow. Can you afford a mass exodus? What will you have gained?

  114. Steve Owen

    I have just spoken with one of the customer service folks and expressed for the second time our issues with the New Ancestry. My complaint was “filed”, but there is no guarantee they will note my complaint, so I asked her if the developers read the blog. I did not get a good feeling that they do. She said I should contact the developers at to register problem areas. I am somewhat perplexed that they do not have this information on the help page. Many of you have already explained in much better terms than I the problems of the New Ancestry, so I am asking you to forward those suggestions to the developers at Maybe we can get these problems fixed before our history is totally destroyed.

  115. Deanna

    Please go back to the old format of the way the site was. It is VERY hard to follow things on this new ancestry. I do not like it at all. The old ancestry was very easy to follow and the timeline was easy to see. Again, PLEASE go back to the old way!!!!

  116. Joyce

    Dream on STeve Owen–I have emailed over and over and over…they plain don’t give a hoot–they will pay attention plenty when they lose their customer base BUT by then they will have totally messed up ALL out trees. The OLD version was fine…I could see EVERYTHING on ONE page–now they have me hunting all over–AND they have added Census pages to MY photo pages–IF I WANTED THEM THERE I WOULD HAVE PUT THEM THERE…the story view is insulting to our ancestors…total nonsense…

    SO many people are screaming like crazy we WE only want to hear ONE thing…CLASSIC ancestry will still be available–NEW is a nightmare and makes you not even want to turn on your computer…

  117. Mary M Zashin

    Email to John Coyle at I think its probably unimportant to you, but the redesigned site at is almost universally disliked by long time subscribers. The comments on the blogs, community boards, and Facebook page are overwhelmingly negative, People don’t just dislike the new site, they “despise” it, they “loathe” it, they “hate” it. Hundreds of complaints have been posted, I am sure many thousands of phone call have been logged by customer support, and thousands of people (so far, almost 3000) have signed a petition to retain the old format even though refuses to allow the link to the petition site to be posted. People are not just threatening to quit when their subscription ends, they ARE quitting. They’re downloading all their data to their home computers, and if they haven’t yet quit, they’re at the very least making their family trees “private” so that their information is no longer included in searches conducted by other users.

    I couldn’t understand why the company was so stubbornly adhering to a redesign that is so widely disliked. The adjectives uses to describe the new look are amazingly inaccurate: “sleek, streamlined, modern”. . .none of them applicable. The new look is cluttered, confusing, muddled, muddy, dark, and ugly. It isn’t “flat design,” which some supposed. . .it’s not user-friendly, not intuitive, not minimalist in appearance, has LESS features than the old site, has complicated many tasks that used to be simple, and is visually repellent. I am not even speaking here of many of the functional issues that plague the site. If you are interested, you should look at the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of repetitive complaints since the roll-out began in June–posted on, posted on Facebook, given as feedback when leaving the new site for the old one, or telephoned to your customer service representatives.

    I said I couldn’t understand, but now I think I do. The company just released a new database of Wills and Probates, which apparently has been in the works for some time, and which is ONLY compatible with the new interface. So, I think I understand why there is, from the company’s point of view, no going back. . .but it really is a big mistake. It’s a digital “New Coke” disaster, in fact. I am only hoping that, like Coke, will back gradually away from this bad design and start modifying the appearance and functionality to be more like the former site–never acknowledging, of course, that that is what is being done. But, the needs of the new Wills database don’t dictate the cosmetic aspects of the site, do they? Although important functional issues are still unresolved, my guess is that many, many of the negative comments you can read if you are willing to do so would stop if the look were improved.

    I understand, perhaps incorrectly, that the design consultants who developed the new site were only involved until June. At this time, who is responsible? Does anyone in your firm care at all about the user experience or about retaining customers? Do you really think you will have such an influx of new subscribers that it won’t matter if others quit? “Who Do You Think You Are?” may bring people in initially, but they won’t stay once they begin to realize that developing their genealogy is not nearly as easy as it’s made to look on the TV show. You will lose old customers, and few of those that you gain will stick with you for long. I think you need to take a page from the government’s experience here when the health care site roll-out was such a disaster: Fire the consultants who designed it if they’re still under contract, hire a bunch of “fixers” who can mitigate the damage, and relaunch the site with great fanfare. You know, like Domino’s: “We heard and we listened and we changed.” So far, in three months, a few problems have been corrected, but not the bad aesthetics or the ease-of-use issues. I think it is time to start reaching out to others who might be interested, like CNet or other IT websites that write reviews of software and web-based services. Right now, as far as I can tell, the publicity receives will most definitely not be favorable.

  118. Robin H

    Mary, thanks for writing to John Coyle and for sharing the contents of your message. It has seemed to me for some time that the more we get the word out and the more we express our concerns to the owners and the newspapers, the better our chances might be for making a difference.

  119. Elhura

    Please post the email for John Coyle again. There are so many blog sites now, it is difficult to weed through and find his email address again. Well said, Mary M. Zashin!

  120. James Curtiss

    My primary reason for using Ancestry is to organize hundreds of genealogy documents, mostly pdfs. Old Ancestry allowed them to be attached to specific facts. New Ancestry just groups them all into a the media gallery for the person, Good luck finding which fact is supported by which pdf. I agree completely with Stanley and Cheryl S. Aesthetics aside there is a major loss of genealogical functionality in New Ancestry,

  121. Irving Blabon

    I am not pleased at all with the “New” Ancestry. It is a mess. I don’t like all of the added junk, If this is the only system you are offering, I will have to find some other place to put my information. Please offer both the classic and the “New” Ancestry to your customers. I don’t understand why you thought you had to change what has been working so well for a system that is clumsy and UGLY.

  122. Annie

    New Ancestry is vastly substandard to the former product. I find the overly wide two inch space gobbling borders on the tops of pages infuriating. The letter boxing effect they creates when viewing records on a laptop leaves only about a 4″ by 5″ area to actually view a census forms and documents. One need to be able to urn that border off, and the Census question indexes off and page number/individual/filmstrip bar things at the bottom of the page off as well, so one can see the full Census. It’s only in seeing the full census record that one notices patterns in a Census recorder’s poor penmanship, or notices other families on the same form that might be related. Having that letter box graphic design imposed negates function. Although, the current improvements to the Profile Overview pages are better than the launch version. They are still over cluttered. I would like it better if you put the family member list directly to the right and next to the life event list and put the sources to the far right or even better, below the family member list the way they used to be. There’s no need for a two inch border saying who the individual is, we already know who we’re looking for, why do we have to scroll over that wide border? Everything takes twice as long to view due to the poor graphic design features like that. It adds seconds to every thing one does just orientating and moving around design features that don’t add to the experience like these.The stress in the design is all on the appearance, rather than the actual usability of the product. Professional users and serious users spend countless hours on Ancestry, the new graphic design and colors are incredibly hard on the eye. Everything in the design and it’s stress on overly highlighted elements is distracting and draws the eye away from where it should be focused on the information one is assessing, and instead draws the eye to the darkly highlighted areas on the page. The above design for example draws one’s eyes onto the heavy taupe border and to the brown highlighted add buttons rather than onto the records. I could notice far more interesting things in looking at individual’s profile pages under the old system than in your highlighting of them, and creating that barbell number line design next to dates, and the highlighting inside each life event. Having the event titles highlighted in green makes it visually disappear into the page, As does the turquoise high lighted in the life events. I would make all of that a solid standard type color, get rid of the barbell number line, move the family list to the middle if you have to have something there and the source list to the far right, or return it to what it was and stick it under the family individual list. I always adored that system. Now I loose track of the individuals visually as my eyes has to jump over the source list. which I rarely need. But I do look at the individualsl list when looking at other people’s individual’s life events that I am not familiar with. Can someone from Ancestry please explain the reason for these big thick heavy borders above everything like the one that appears above this Over view page and Census records as well. I don’t understand why they need to be there. They just take up page room and take more more time to scroll over. We all know who’s Census form we are looking at and the year we’re looking at, we don’t need a 2″ inch border above the census to tell us. If you need a reminder of the year you just scroll up on the census form and the old design system stated the individual’s name perfectly well. It was unobtrusive and took up only a tiny bit of room. I want to be able to turn indexes off at will the way they uses to. I rarely access them now as after a while one knows what the questions are on each year’s census form. Why make experienced users be inundated them with an index to questions and individuals they can’t turn off. One should be able to shut those features off quickly if you must impose them on us. The only thing I like about New Ancestry is that individuals in the census are high lighted, that I love, but really everything else is non conductive to spending large amounts of time on the site. There are close to 3K’s worth of users who have signed the CARE2 PETITION FOR OLD ANCESTRY all saying basically the same thing about New Ancestry. It really would be nice if you listened to what users are consistently saying about the stress on appearance vs. usability. How difficult would it be to scrap that dreadfully colored tree page design. Why not just mute down all the glaring garish colors so that people can go back to viewing events rather than being distracted by overly heavy design elements. These are not major things people are requesting. I think the designers were more concerned with creating a bold looking product, that they thought looked pretty than actually making things easy on the eye and brain and functional for people spending a great deal of time on the site at one sitting. I wish more stress had been placed on experienced users and what it’s like to spend 15 minutes looking at a family tree with colors that are that bright and distracting.I doubt you would like to read 90% of what you view on your computer each day via that hideous color way. You would have a headache too, after 15+ minutes doing it. Or imagine taking your Collage Boards if the exam was colored and high lighted in the way you have colored and high lighted pages under this new design. The eye and brain really doesn’t take in interspersed high lighting and text mixed together well when it is t actually trying to process information. There are a billion un asked for features under the new design and they create a cluttered messy format. Every time I look at those tree pages I feel like my brain is having a tun of war between looking at the colors and taking in information. Please do something about the coloring. The former colors of the site were grand, professional, elegant and most important functional and highly user friendly. This new design concept looks like a department store shopping bag, rather than something one has to take in complex information from.

  123. Barb Third

    Once upon a time, there were thousands of cubicle dwellers. Contentedly in their spare time, many worked for years personalizing their space with family photos, framed documents, tales of true adventures,…in short, they made a house a home. One day, each person entered his home to find complete chaos. Unfamiliar, mass-produced and plastic furniture was anchored where antiques had stood. Carefully tended bookshelves were in disarray. Ancestral photo frames had been torn off, leaving beloved bodies to appear beheaded. Generic pictures from children’s encyclopedias hung like giant posters on the walls. The walls themselves were covered gray and black, and purple arrows pointing to maps that led to nowhere had been spray-painted throughout. Family treasures were later found crammed in closets. The bank that held the mortgages proclaimed, “the times, they are a’changing,” saying newcomers who had few furnishings, records, or history lessons needed more. Hundreds of people wrote and wailed for months, to no avail. Final reactions varied: Pack up and move. Lock up and leave. Stay and accept. A few liked the Instant Family feel. This is what the executives of did to millions of Family Trees they’d been paid to preserve. Inexperienced and unintelligent computer programmers were allowed to turn a decent genealogical website into a disappointing, flaw-filled waste of time. What a travesty!

  124. Mary

    I will probably not renew my subscription. The interface is congested with bells and bows – frankly garbage. I want an interface for researching NOT sentimentalizing my family tree.

  125. Janet Hutchins

    At least I am not alone. Hate the new site, and won’t renew unless major changes are made. The whole look is a mess and confusing, definitely hate the story line thing. The colour is terrible, keep it as it was. I have sent two feed backs and received a survey to tell them how the did with my complaint, the answer was nothing. Lots of things need to be done on the old site, and gradual improvements would have been the way to go. I thought at least with editing the photos etc I may have been on a winner, but found when I tried it all I could do was put them in alphabetical order. I find things that weren’t previously available and add to the tree, so often have a marriage photo after their headstone, would be great to be able to drag and drop into order as I can do with my own system, but seems unless I go and rename them all in the order I want it stays the same. Looking at alternative site now, about 6 months left to see if they can come up with some sensible decisions for the users. Janet

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