Posted by Ancestry Team on September 4, 2015 in Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, Website

Welcome to our weekly update on the new Ancestry website. Last week we posted an article that covered new enhancements on Family Events. This week we rolled out some product fixes and we are working on photo cropping.

Another exciting update is that we developed an in-depth online course on the new Ancestry to introduce users to the new tools including LifeStory. You can access it for FREE on Ancestry Academy.

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.

Product fixes introduced since last week:

  • Minor Updates to UI
  • Updates to address issues reported by our members

Preview of upcoming features:

  • Photo Cropping – this new feature will enable you to upload a picture once and digitally crop the image for multiple people. Also, this will prevent you from cropping pictures and uploading multiple versions of a picture.

Sept 4 update_1 Sept 4 update_2

Features that we are still working on:

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

Top Reported Issues

Below is an update on some of the issues surfacing from your feedback.

  • Users find the new site difficult to navigate or can find an existing feature – A video on the new Ancestry is now available on Ancestry Academy to help with learning the site. We also are continuing to watch feedback on how to improve site.
  • Users can’t find how to set profile picture – This feature is available under EDIT in the Gallery Viewer by clicking on the name of the people that have the picture associated to them. We are looking at design changes to make the more easily found.
  • Photos added to events to appear as thumbnails in Facts view– Thank you for your feedback on this. We are evaluating whether to include this functionality in the new Ancestry site.

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.

Help Links


Help Articles



  • What’s New at Ancestry: June 2015 Edition 
  • Enhance Your Research with Ancestry’s New LifeStory


  1. Karen

    Why does Ancestry think we want to crop our pictures? They are already the way we want them. We know YOU want us to use head shots so they will fit your little circles. Why this fascination with uniform head shots? How about letting US design how WE want OUR trees to look?

  2. Pa

    In all seriousness. What makes you think we want to sit on end watching hours of videos, when we just want to be able to search the record collections and the databases. You have gone from bad to worse! Your went from being number #1, to being #2.

  3. Robin H

    I don’t know why Ancestry is insisting on editing our photos. They are our photos, not yours. We upload them after cropping them to look like we want them to. If I wanted a circle shot, I would upload one. I can’t imagine wanting to turn a document photo or a tombstone photo (which many of us have for our profile photos) into a circle.

  4. Susan Davis

    The relationship calculator is missing now on my profile pages. It was there a day or so ago and is now gone. Also, when I was switched to the new format but before this went away, I was not able to change the person being compared with (The “Not You” link was gone) and there was no “recalculate” button. Because I am building a genetic tree for my husband who was adopted and we still don’t know where he fits into this tree, I need to be able to compare different people on the tree associated with different genetic matches. I can no longer figure out how to do this. If I go all the way out and change the defined home person (which is tedious), it seems that is when the entire relationship line disappeared.

  5. Wrenda

    I’m not interested in a cropping tool; my photos are cropped to my preference when I add them. Will resizing load our galleries with more pixilated photos? No thank you.

  6. Margaret Ittel Helminska

    Does the circular shape of the photos have to remain? Is it possible to return the photos to a rectangular shape? I am slowly getting used to the new Ancestry format, and although I prefer the old format (coloring, spacing, etc.), what bothers me the most is the circular shape of the photos. Most photos are rectangular in shape. I don’t want to crop a circular head-shot from a rectangular photo. I attach/download the photo in the shape In which I want to see it on my page — which is always in the original – usually rectangular – shape. Thanks for reading my comments.

  7. John Paul

    At some point you people at Ancestry will get the message, Your paying customers are not interested in having portholes on this site. We do not want to change what has worked. Why are you so insistent on forcing this and the other changes?? I and many others have been putting the question to you since the start and the best you come up with is that it will be passed on to the team. The other day I canceled my subscription over the mess you have and are continuing to force thru. I have till February to download all media to PC. over 5000 people in my tree. Thanks for the upset. JP

  8. Peter

    Will there be a mass cropping tool, so the 100’s on my tree can be cropped to your circles and I don’t have to spend a weekend doing it for no darn good reason.

  9. Carmen

    I submitted the list below in the suggestions form but am also posting it here. Everyone, please continue to send in your suggested fixes and keep voicing your disapproval, for whatever it’s worth. I too, cancelled the renewal of my subscription. I just get frustrated and upset every time I come here now.

    1. Please add a link to access my “List of All People” from each person’s individual profile page (like in Old Ancestry) without having to go to the tree overview first.

    2. When viewing the “Suggested Records” shown in the document viewer we used to be able to right click and open a suggested record in a new tab without leaving the document viewer. That was extremely helpful. Please add this to the new site.

    3. Under the “Related” tab in the document viewer we used to be able to see the username and tree name of people who had saved a document. Now we must hover over each tiny profile circle to see who it is. Also, if we click one of the people who saved a document, it used to take us directly to the person they saved the document to. Now we are taken to an overview of the entire tree. This means more time clicking and searching through the list of people to find the person the document is saved to. Please fix this.

    3. Please add the ability to see the “View in Tree” link on the individual profile pages of the trees I visit. As of right now, I only see that link when viewing people in my own trees.

    4. Please reconsider all the extra clicks and scrolling now required that did not used to be. It is not appreciated by those of us with arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome.

    5. Please add the media items to the events in “Facts View.”

    6. The font in Tree View: Some of the names are sharper and blacker while others are a blurrier dark gray. This is all on the same page in tree view. Also, when zooming out in order to see more of my tree the font becomes illegible.

    7. Please hire more educated people to do transcriptions. Some of the mistakes are absolutely ludicrous and completely avoidable.

  10. Walt

    What were the “updates to address issues reported by our members”? Is this more smoke and mirrors for “once again we haven’t accomplished a thing”?

  11. Caz

    How do I crop a page from a family bible that I use for some family members as their profile picture as there is no way I can get a photo of them, ??? we don’t want circles, we don’t want to crop – we just want to research….

  12. Amy

    Where is the list of issues that members have been asked to submit for review? What is this fascination with the round portraits and dark backgrounds all about? Why are subscribers being forced to comply with some anonymous designer’s idea of what their ancestors photos should look like? Quality and customer service are taking a deep dive, while mediocrity flourishes.

  13. bliek5144

    Hope you are considering moving over the military page, I only have finished a few of my ancestors but it is a wonderful memorial for them.

  14. Is there any word on improving the photo/document upload process so that images aren’t compressed to such an extent that they appear blurry or pixelated?

    Also, can we explore the ability to arrange the photo gallery with drag and drop functionality (like Facebook photo galleries)?

  15. Karen

    Under “Top Reported Issues” you list, “Photos added to events to appear as thumbnails in Facts view” but yet you say, “We are evaluating whether to include this functionality in the new Ancestry.” I believe you have been “evaluating” this for many, many weeks. Why has a decision not yet been made and why is there any question about doing this when it is, by your own admission a top complaint?

    My additional question comes from your statement that, “We will be providing more updates over the next couple of weeks”. Am I reading too much into that if I am thinking that means New Ancestry will be finalized and become the only Ancestry in a few more weeks?

  16. Patricia

    I’m not the smartest bulb in the box but….

    “Product fixes introduced since last week:
    Minor Updates to UI
    Updates to address issues reported by our members”

    What is UI and what updates to addresses?! So you’re not calling them ‘Location’ place names. Must be in an attempt to thwart off that firestorm.


    I still cannot search for a record from the City of St Louis without using creative searches, and certainly the errors are wreaking havoc on my tree in the freakin’ LIFESTORYTIMEFAIRYTALES.


  17. Patricia

    haha…okay, now reading this CORRECTLY…
    “Updates to ADDRESS issues…”

    I must need coffee. Okay, but PLEASE fix the Location names! That still stands as my number 1.

    Cropping pictures…annoying but not so much on my top gripes.

  18. Deb

    Why should we have to spend hours watching videos to learn how to use a new UI? Why should we have to spend hours cropping perfectly good photos to fit Ancestry’s idea of what a photo should look like? Why should I crop an image into a size that causes pixelation and distortion when the original does not size well into a fixed-size round hole?

    Old Ancestry was easy to use and fairly self evident to be able to build out a tree. I very rarely had to use the help to find out how to do something. New Ancestry is an over-engineered UI that provides a lot of unwanted fluff (I originally wrote data, but it doesn’t qualify as data) that serious genealogy researchers do not want. Every time I switch to new Ancestry, I find that I have to do too many clicks and scrolls and have to spend time figuring out how to do things. More than anything, I resent the additional time I spend navigating through new Ancestry. I work for a living. My spare time is taken up with keeping a household running and finding a few hours each week to relax with genealogy research. It is no longer a relaxing pursuit when I am frustrated by this new UI.

    Ancestry continues to say they “appreciate our feedback”. I do not believe they are listening to what members are saying other than making minor tweaks to try to quiet down the dissent.

    This week’s fixes include “minor updates to the UI” and “updates to address issues reported by our members”. Well, the fixes must really be minor; I haven’t noticed any differences. It would be nice if more detail was provided on exactly what has changed.

    The top reported issue is “Users find the new site difficult to navigate or can [sic – can’t??] find an existing feature”. Rather than fix the navigation and make it as self-evident as old Ancestry is, the solution from Ancestry is another video. If the new interface is so difficult to navigate that Ancestry has to keep trying to indoctrinate us to use it and like it, something is wrong.

  19. MaryH

    Why is cropping pictures at the top of Ancestry’s priority list? Relationship box doesn’t work; list of all people needs to be accessible on every profile page; auto-generated narratives on LifeStory page should be deleted until/unless researched data shows correctly; map locations are inaccurate–that info. shows up in LifeStory narratives. Who is going to edit all the mistakes that show on my tree? AND WHEN IS LOUISIANA GOING TO HAVE PARISHES? TO SHOW COUNTIES IS TO SHOW FALSE INFORMATION.

  20. Carmen

    It seems like the transcriptions are getting worse! Are people graded on how many transcriptions they can finish in a certain time frame instead of accuracy? There are obviously a lot of computer glitches as well.

    Yesterday, I saw a BUNCH of city directories that listed, instead of a person’s name, a portion of the advertisements that were printed on the directory! For instance, on one, in the space for “Name” it said, “Are recommended by the best physicians!” And to make matters comical, when you view this same directory, which is for Auburn, New York, in the document viewer, the heading reads, “Pennsylvania Death Certificates!” Here’s the link to view it yourself:

  21. Karen

    Carmen, I have no idea how those transcriptions were done, but I do remember this quote from an executive at Ancestry, in 2012 when the 1940 census was released:

    Several of you asked where Ancestry’s keying vendors are located. “We used four vendors to key the 1940 Census,” said Jensen. “Two were located in China and have been involved in Family History record transcription for many years. Another was located in Bangladesh and the fourth in the Philippines.”

  22. Robin H

    It might be helpful to publish a list of what is being worked on and what is going to be worked on so that people don’t feel like they always have to list every issue that have. That way people could also know if they have a new issue that needs to be reported.

  23. MyGrandmaAnne

    I happen to like the “New” Ancestry. But that is my opinion, maybe I like it because I do a large amount of genealogy everyday. I also like the time line because I can show family members and friends and they can understand better. I also am looking forward to being able to crop the photos. I never do upload all of my family photo, if there are no other family members who could see them. But for the sides of my family that is very large, it would add a nice touch.

  24. MyGrandmaAnne

    Also, I do agree that the transcriptions, are getting worse. A person should be tested if they really do look at the record and do not just rush thru.

  25. Diane

    I do a large amount of genealogy everyday, and have for the past 10 years, and I do not like the “New” Ancestry. This, combined with the “New Search” you implemented a while back, has slowed me down considerably. This issue of the round photos is not going to be an issue that sits well with most of us who have a lot of people and pictures in our trees. I am certainly not going to go back and crop photos to fit in that circle. I do not have time for that. My time is spent researching and documenting my lines. I do not need fancy bells and whistles to add to my research. I wanted a good, reliable place online that I could easily attach records to my tree. Now, you are wanting to add fluff, and to a true researcher, there is little value in fluff. Sadly, I know, we are going to be forced to accept the new changes. Time will tell how long we will be able to stick with it.

  26. Patricia

    Why can’t I add information in the boxes for Life events anymore (especially the censues and weddings) ? All I see now is only the age of the person on that page and I cannot add the rest of the family starting TODAY !!!!!!

  27. Cathy Kesseler

    The ability to continue searching needs to be added back. I’m not having trouble with new ancestry and have been using it for a month. I miss the continue search.

  28. Anne

    When exiting New Ancestry, I tried to leave the following feedback but it’s apparently too long for either that box or the one provided in Suggestions. I thought I’d try to leave it here.

    Please forgive my bluntness. I despise the New Ancestry. My carefully put together tree of 8,000 people (none copied) has been destroyed. Why should I be happy? As a serious customer/researcher I am appalled at the massive decline in functionality and loss of features. Customers should be able to intuitively navigate a system without having to watch hours of videos. The fact we’re being told to do so indicates what a massive fail this “update” is. Where are the thumbnails on the profile page? They’re gone because Ancestry now insists on adding the Sources as a third column so there’s no longer room for them. Please, return the sources to each entry in the Profile and ditch the Source column. Those purple lines drawn to the Source boxes look childish and amateurish. Also, why do I now have to click on an icon at the top of the page to open a box so I can search for someone? Before, the box was there and ready to go. Just one small example of the many extra clicks and scrolling now necessary for navigation, all part of that major loss in functionality. Ancestry, it’s painfully obvious the consultants you hired weren’t up to the job. Also, at the top of a search-results page, please bring back the family information previously there–it was very helpful to be able to look up and see spouse, parents, and children, for example, as a reference when searching through censuses. And for god’s sake, make the round frame optional. Why so stubborn and unyielding on this issue? I’m offended that I’m now expected to spend time cropping portraits, tombstones, documents, etc. that don’t fit in a round space. Yes, I know “round” is a fad right now on the web, but it’s mostly used in a marketing manner, not in the practical sense as needed in Ancestry. So, please stop chasing a fleeting fad and offer both the round and Old-Ancestry square as options. Throw your customers a bone and stop enraging us. Why do you want angry customers? Why seemingly shove our concerns away while projecting the attitude that we’ll simply acquiesce? Such arrogance. Watching a major company treat their customer base so is frightening. As for the colors, please offer the Old Ancestry colors as an option. In fact, offer more cheerful colors as additional options. I have come to believe whoever chose the colors is depressed or wants Ancestry’s customers to become depressed. The look of a website should be inviting and induce happiness, not make customers want to run away and never come back. For example, the extensive use throughout New Ancestry of the yellow-green color as seen on the feedback page is awful. It’s a color
    I find off-putting. And what about people with color blindness? Overuse of green, for example, should be avoided in website design. And the gray background is thoroughly depressing with text on it difficult to read for people with eyesight issues, which includes many others than just the older folks. The green and coral colors for male and female in the tree-view boxes are two of my least favorite colors. So you can see, I do NOT enjoy looking at the New Ancestry. Please, stop forcing such colors on your customers. Many have indicated they do not like this color palette. If you cannot give up these colors, then at least offer options, especially the Old-Ancestry colors. These are just a few of the many many issues I find distressing in the New Ancestry. Thank you for listening.

  29. JoyceF

    I have been doing family history for years and I like the New Ancestry. I agree with “MyGrandmaAnne” the transcriptions are not good. I understand that some things are hard to read, but there has been a lot of mis-transcriptions on items that are very easy to read.

  30. Good grief the response here seems almost overwhelming on rejection of the cropped and circle picture, with which I agree 100% I sure as hell don’t want my photos from the 1800’s cropped, the full image is significant for historical context and cropping removes the context from the photos. I want the full image displayed as is (and I too use tombstone from portrait pictures, and I can guarantee this is no portrait of these individuals, period – except idiots who copy photos from another century of someone else).

  31. Robin

    “We really do appreciate your feedback” I don’t think so, or at the very least, you want the feedback private. Did the old ancestry have a form to submit complaints, instead of them being public in the blog? You are trying to hide the firestorm, and being hidden, you can go on your merry way with this new idiotic, insulting ancestry. Did I have to take classes to use the old ancestry? No, I signed on one day and had a fascinating 6 year run (that is over, both the fascination and the run). SO SO SO SO SO many clicks to do something one click did before. Someone there said “let’s make a website as user unfriendly as we possible can, throw in some insulting drivel (and while we’re at it make it as inaccurate as possible) about their families…well that idiot and all the people that listened to him/her accomplished that in spades. What was wrong with the old ancestry?????? I would like to address the photo issue. I have a group family photo, serendipitously taken on 14 May 2006. My son is in that photo and it is the last photo of him as he died on 22 May 2006. Why are you telling me I can’t use this family group that includes him, as a portrait photo? That is what you are doing, because his placement in that photo makes it impossible to fit him into a circle. He is no longer part of my life, I resent the hell out of you telling me he can’t be part of a rectangular picture. You have lost my business.

  32. Martin

    Many people are not interested in the Life Story feature as it is an attempt to provide a one size fits all feature which is never going to work. Can I suggest that you provide an opt out function for those customers who do not wish to make use of this feature. As I can see the only current way to opt out is to delete your tree.

  33. Patricia Harris

    I would like to be able to EDIT Family Events on the Life Story page. Currently we have the option of displaying them, which is the default, or not showing them. I would like to be able to select which events I want to show. And I would like to be able to edit the ones I’m showing -adding additional information, etc. Thanks for your consideration.

  34. Patricia Harris

    I would like to be able to remove the map on the Life Story page. It’s not a detailed map and it is very misleading. For example, my aunt married in Tacoma, Washington which is in Pierce County. The “heart,” and the text bubble with it, indicate she was married in the tiny town of Carbonado, which is in the heart of Pierce County but no where near Tacoma. The map is not necessary because there are so many excellent maps and map apps available on-line that are much more detailed. I don’t want it showing up in my life stories or in the print version. How about a DELETE option so that those who want it can have it and those who do not can delete it.

  35. Patricia Harris

    How do you remove a photo from a Life Story but still keep it in the Gallery? I have included photos of hand-written genealogy work that my grandfather did. I want these as a part of his artifacts but they are not relevant to his life story as I want to tell it. How do you remove a photo from a Life Story but still keep it in the Gallery? I have included photos of hand-written genealogy work that my grandfather did. I want these as a part of his artifacts but they are not relevant to his life story as I want to tell it.

  36. Patricia Harris

    In rewriting the opening of my grandfather’s Life Story I found that the system will not save spaces between paragraphs. The several paragraphs that I wrote became one long paragraph. (My English teacher mother is turning over in her grave!) I did select SAVE. I tried it several times. Any suggestions? Thanks so much.

  37. Deb

    Martin, I like your idea to allow us to permanently opt out of Life Story. I never used Story View on old Ancestry and I will not use Life Story when I am forced to convert to new Ancestry. On old Ancestry, I always find it annoying when I accidentally mouse over Story View and the link box pops up. If I wanted to use it, I would click on it. I don’t need to be reminded that it is there.

  38. I used to be able to save a record to my computer. That option seems to be removed. I have tried printing, but get jumbled characters. Please put back the “save to my computer” option.
    I also do not like the photo circles; pointless

  39. Monika

    Last night I had a dream. I dreamed that–because of financial reasons–I had gone back to work. I got a job at and worked in the customer support section where I did my best to help customers. My supervisor, a very cold hearted woman, came to see me and told me that, the next time I tried to help someone I would be fired. That the only thing I was supposed to do is to respond to customers by saying: ” We appreciate your feedback and are sorry for your frustration. We are evaluating your complaint and will forward it to the appropriate person!” Then I woke up! Need I say more?

  40. Monika

    To suggest that someone has to take a “Webinar” to navigate through the New Ancestry is LUDICROUS. I have visited an enormous amount of genealogy websites both American sites and European sites. On NONE of them do you have to attend a webinar to create a tree. They are all self explanatory and easy to navigate which is why I am moving my trees to these sites.

  41. Thameslass

    Why has Ancestry such a fixation with having circular photos? All of the photos in my tree are rectangular, and I do not want them to be cropped in any way. Please concentrate on making the site work as well as it did with the Classic Ancestry – now I’m often having to click multiple times to do something that previously took just one click.
    Why is the search box sometimes on the right and sometimes on the left? Why does the left one not have the function to click on Home Person?
    Also please restore the ‘not you’ option in the Relationship Calculator – I often want to see quickly how to people are related to each other, rather than to me.
    There is still no consistency in the placename descriptions in Life Story – often the county is being omitted even though there are many places with the same name in different counties, so stating ‘England’ after the town is pointless.
    As for stating that my grandfather (in the Royal Navy in the 1911 census) was supposedly living in “Royal, Illinois when a devastating storm furiously slammed the Great Lakes” on 7 Nov 1913…I just despair.

  42. Sad Granny

    I have subscribed to Ancestry for a long, long time. I have endured all the countless changes, and “upgrades,” and EVERY SINGLE COTTON-PICKIN TIME there was a change or an “upgrade,” the website became worse than it was before, meaning it became more difficult to navigate, not easier. I’ve been through it all, including when the blue heads and the pink heads for men and women were added, and was astounded how gleeful Ancestry was at that ridiculous addition. GEESH. I cannot tell you how SICK AND TIRED I am of the CONSTANT CHANGES!!!! WHY???? There was nothing wrong with the website to begin with!! The only problem there has ever been, if you can call it a problem, is that a subscriber cannot darker or lighten a census report, which would be enormously helpful. Other than that, in terms of the data and the information, THERE IS NOTHING BROKEN THAT NEEDS FIXING!!! Grrr…And so now…we have this latest catastrophe, the worst “upgrade” yet. It is just a DUMBED-DOWN version of Ancestry. Oh Gee, look at the Timeline…WHO CARES!!! Some of the items on the timeline are missing or other items on it are flat out wrong. It’s as if the entire website is now being redesigned for someone with a 3rd grade education. What has happened to us, as a culture. Everything is going this way. As for the changes that they forced on us already, I hate how, when you pull up a census report, the name of the county and city are no longer at the top of the screen (which is helpful when you are doing research, and looking back and forth at the computer), and the Related Content button is now buried over at the side. And why in the world does that big blue National Archives button have to come up and block a large portion of the report all the time? HEY ANCESTRY…LISTEN UP…you are on the verge of losing a massive amount of your customers because of this latest “upgrade.” I, for one, am finishing up as much of my genealogy as I can, as quickly as I can. Because I know that, once this new “upgrade” is fully rammed down our throats, I will probably never be able to get as much out of the databases as I used to. I really hated writing all of this. I used to love Ancestry, and I have recommended it to so many people. I am so sad to see it get dumbed down into nothingness. Ancestry…if you are going to house all the records of our ancestors, and then charge us a huge amount of money to access them, the least you can do is make the website professional (like it used to be) instead of treating your customers like stupid children.

  43. Sad Granny

    Oh…instead of trying to dumb us all down all the time, why don’t you take a close look at your city Directories? Many of them simply cut off, around the letter “C” or “D”. The entire directory is not loaded. I have encountered this problem so many times that I have lost count. Ancestry, I wish for the good old days of your website. I really do.

  44. Martin

    so which bright spark came up with idea of trying to fit rectangular photos on a circular shape. Once again introducing something that I guess very few if any customers asked for.

    Would suggest you drop this and fix some of the faults that have been outstanding for some time before introducing more errors.

    Whilst on the subject of this update, perhaps it would be a idea to detail somewhere the faults and errors and report on progress with estimated fix time.

  45. JackiMex

    I like the New Ancestry for the most part. The column for Sources is FANTASTIC. So many trees have few or no sources except another tree. Mistakes get replicated that way. I like the ease in changing the associated facts for a source as you don’t always get all the facts connected to the source.

    You add alternate names when we link to a book, like a county history, even when the name is exactly the same as previously given. I can delete it, but that takes several clicks. You do not like the source with an alternate name, but we can do that through the Edit and Associated Facts for a source.

    In any case it is so much easier to work with Sources now. I am so glad that you are emphasizing them. Folks who complain that they just want to do research should be rejoicing that you make working with sources so much easier.

    Thank you.

  46. Mary M Zashin

    I keep trying to hope–I want to hope–that ACOM really IS listening to feedback and attempting to respond. But this latest update, for Sept. 4, is very discouraging. Please be specific about what “product fixes” you introduced last week. What exactly were these “minor updates” and “updates to address issues reported by our members”? I haven’t seen crowds of people beating down the doors wanting photo cropping, and yet–that seems to be the main ACOM preoccupation this week. I don’t think I’ve see anyone who wants to fit photos into circles. Again, those two features are listed prominently. It’s the ONLY “upcoming feature” described on this blog post, and it’s the number one “still working on” feature. I suppose it’s necessary to make videos with instructions, since so many tasks have become more difficult or more time-consuming. For example, it is no longer easy to add a media item from one person to another person in your tree. First, the media item “edit” menu, with a “Save” button on it, does not lead to an “attach to another person” choice. Second, once you realize that to save an item to another person you have to click “Saved” in the black bar across the top of the screen (which is not intuitively obvious for a “tense literal”–Saved vs. Save–person like myself), you then find that the dropdown menu to choose a person to whom to attach the item–doesn’t contain any dates for the people in the list! So, if, for example, you have eight “William Pruitts” in your tree, as I do, there is no way to tell from the dropdown which William Pruitt is the one you want, because none of them have their dates listed. You CAN find a dropdown list with dates if you go to the TREE gallery instead of to the media gallery for the individual person, BUT–there’s no way to search for the media item there that I can find. Confronted with 3000+ media items in the tree gallery–I then switch back to Old, where I can do this little job quickly and easily. So, I find the meager and vague list of fixes achieved and features upcoming or being “worked on” very discouraging. Even more discouraging is that the dislike of circular primary photos is now not even on the LIST of “top reported issues.” From the comments I’ve read for three months it’s a “top reported issue” if there ever was one. I keep being told that the tree feature on ACOM is “free” and that it’s the databases you pay for. OK, then why does ACOM even offer trees, given all the upset the changes have occasioned, much less spend so much money and time on revising the tree program? I think it’s because the trees, while “free,” are a prime marketing tool. I don’t know if I would have joined ACOM those many years ago if there hadn’t been a tree-building feature. I was going along OK with Rootsweb, the IGI, my computer program, and state and national archives. If you complicate the operation of the tree, and you uglify the graphics (I know some people like the new colors, etc., but not many compared to those who don’t), why would people want to construct/maintain trees, particularly to share with others? I think ACOM can’t just drop its tree capability because lots of people would leave, although perhaps it would reduce the discontent ACOM receives and the amount of customer service it has to provide. I just can’t understand why they’ve put so much effort into making changes to something that’s “free” unless it really is a core component of their marketing strategy, which it clearly is. ACOM wants people to think constructing a family tree is as easy as it look on WDYTYA, and they have to offer people a way to do so in order to attract new subscribers and probably to retain old ones as well. Since ACOM’s marketing now emphasizes “new ways to tell you family story” (or something like that, primarily through Lifestory, I guess), you would think ACOM would make every effort to simplify, streamline, and make more intuitive the tree building function. IMHO, ACOM’s done the opposite. Bottom line, the latest blog is very discouraging. Replacing the circles is off the “top reported” list entirely. So are the color changes to increase readability. So are more efforts to correct the location and mapping issues. We are cooked and finished, folks. I will reluctantly make all my trees private pretty soon. And when my subscription is up I will cancel.

  47. Mary M Zashin

    JackiMex, I’m glad you’re enjoying the New source processes. However, I don’t see how they’re easier than the processes under Old? I miss “View All Sources,” provided a comprehensive look at all the sources attached to an individual, along with the citation details. Click on details and edit, and there’s a checkbox list of facts to attach or detach–so easy. With New, I can’t find a way to see a list of all the sources AND citation details AND associated facts on one screen. Each source has to be accessed separately. The purple lines linking source to fact are available for only one source at a time (and no wonder, PLEASE ACOM, don’t try to make them all available at once, what a mess that would be!). If you want a complete overview for any given individual on one screen, I don’t think you can do it. This is a problem for me, as I’m trying to revise/edit/improve my sourcing, and if I can’t get a comprehensive picture I can’t easily see what needs fixing. I too like the ease in changing the associated facts that you mention, but that capacity was already available. It seems now much more time-consuming and clumsier because you can only see the facts associated with one source at a time.

  48. Sad to see that has dropped from the list of items they are working on the problems related to readability. The color and font choices are not good for those with poor eyesight. This is a usability problem that will deter some customers. I know I find I can’t work as quickly, or as long, with the current choices. Simply using the web browser to “zoom in” won’t work well in many cases because picture objects can get to be too large and items out of alignment.

  49. Kelly

    So, you’re focusing on photo cropping that no one wants and really fixed nothing again? Are people not complaining LOUDLY ENOUGH? Thanks for the videos – let’s see the ‘What’s New at Ancestry’ is from June (hello, it’s September), and the video where Crista shows how us to use New Ancestry – well the pages no longer look like that because of some of the tinkering you’ve since done. They’re both old news, but this update was done in a hurry with numerous typos that really didn’t say much anyway, sadly confirming suspicions that you’re unwilling or unable to fix the mess you created. In the video, Crista says one of the purposes of LifeStory is to share with family and friends. Are you crazy? People are making their trees private in droves due to embarrassing nonsense which can’t be removed. I know, you can hide it – only from yourself – but more importantly – most of it is wrong. Isn’t anyone at Ancestry embarrassed that you produced such an error-laden product?
    I’ve never commented on a blog before, and rarely read them. I was busy working on my tree and learning. I am part of the silent majority who you think is happily going along. I’m not. If you think this is ‘New Search – Old Search’ it’s not. This is different. It’s clear you aren’t listening to your customers, or round profiles would be square after all these months, the pages would use readable font against a strong enough contrast that didn’t give everyone headaches, and features from Old Ancestry would have been coded into this one with real completion dates. I really feel sorry for the shut-ins and elderly who found so much joy in this hobby, and no longer can. What you have done is a travesty. I can walk away, and will when my subscription is up. Until then, I will complain because the changes you made to this site are awful, and you are doing nothing to fix them. I don’t have to get specific because that’s been done over and over again; here, Facebook, the phones, e-mails, letters, etc. But just for kicks and giggles, where is the media sorting that was supposed to come with this ‘improved’ site? ………..Yeah, I thought so.

  50. Cheryl

    To Kelly above: Ditto everything you have written. Since we are going to get stuck with this ill-conceived piece of crap, I just wish that they would PUT THE THUMBNAILS BACK ON THE PROFILE PAGE AND LET US ADD THEM TO THE TIMELINE! I can’t SCREAM this enough.

  51. lynn hall

    So let’s look to the future now. Please suggest a few places where I can download my Ancestry trees and explain how I should do it. I need to get out of here asap with my old, correct trees in tact. I don’t want to keep plowing information into Ancestry anymore. They have no intention of listening to current clients, and they don’t care what we want. They have a new audience in mind, but they hope that they’ve made it so hard to get our information out that we will be forced to stay (and pay)! I’m not interested in staying and you shouldn’t either.

  52. Mary Harris

    There are 2 interesting items on the Internet right now, besides this. One is a story that Ancestry is up for sale. No kidding. They are shopping i around for $3 billion. HERE IS THE WEBSITE––You can bet that a new owner won’t waste time or money trying to undo all the “updates” that Ancestry is making right now. Looks like Ancestry is destroying everything they can, including all the DNA samples, and then cash out for $3 billion. Also, there is a website with a petition to send to Tim Sullivan, president of Ancestry, to try to get him to stop this nonsense and keep the site the way it is–HERE IS THE WEBSITE–.–Please sign it!!! Of course, we all know that nothing we say will stop any of this, but maybe we can throw a monkey in the wrench to keep him from selling it. HA HA!! ONE LAST COMMENT–If you notice, every few comments, there will be a comment from someone saying how great the new site is. Can you spell TROLL???????

  53. Mary Harris

    Actual link to the story that Ancestry is up for sale for $3 billion–HERE IT IS–

  54. Carmen

    PLEASE put the thumbnails back on the profile page! I can’t tell you how many times I have added an obituary to a person’s profile page and then later forgotten about it only to “re-discover” it later. After re-reading it I found clues that didn’t stand out the first time because my research is further along now. That will never happen in the New Ancestry because those stories, obituaries, etc. that I add myself are HIDDEN in the media gallery! Before, I could see everything at a glance, now we’re expected to hunt and search and click, and click and click to find info in our own trees that was readily available and accessible before!


    Sad Granny: I completely agree with everything you said! Back when they were “upgrading” the document viewer I suggested the ability to adjust the brightness & contrast like the Fold 3 website’s document viewer. But, obviously, I was ignored.

    Apparently, useless modern-looking fluff and an interface that appeals to all the kids who do all their “research” from their smartphones and tablets are Ancestry’s biggest priorities.

    I shudder to think what will become of genealogy and our family histories in the years to come.


  55. Roger

    “Profile picture cropping – Edit/crop a profile photo to fit in the circular photo space”

    You just don’t get it do you, Ancestry?

    Photos, documents, census records, probate records, newspaper clippings, records downloaded from FindMyPast, FamilySearch, FreeBMD – all of them – all reside in Landscape, Square or Portrait! What is it you do not understand?

    Aren’t our words that have been saying the same thing since June, clear enough?

  56. Thameslass

    I really wish there was a way to add ‘Agree’ to posts here as so many of us are saying the same thing…the non-wanted circles, the inaccurate Life Story (which adds things that aren’t even in the Facts), the user-UNfriendly colour scheme, the repetitive clicking to do something that used require just one click, etc.
    Is anyone at Ancestry taking any notice of what we’re saying?
    Many of us here are experienced researchers and computer users, and we feel that New Ancestry should not have been launched with all these issues.
    I have one further question: Do the developers have *any* experience (btw, I’m using the word in its traditional meaning, rather than as in that awful expression ‘the new Ancestry experience’) in research, especially in researching their own family trees?

  57. Jade

    On all New Ancestry pages, the top right-hand links (message envelope, leaf, username/account access, tiny avatar, “upgrade” and help) are missing and I am having a lot of trouble finding any page having them.

  58. steve

    I have called, written letters to Ancestry, the BBB, the Provo Daily Herald, left feedback, this Blog, & facebook.
    I wish I could have a protest rally in front of Ancestry’s office building, in Provo.

  59. Gene

    The “If you don’t change it, I’ll leave” strategy will not work with You have to adopt a “If you change, I’ll come back” strategy and immediately remove your trees and cancel your subscription. They do not believe you will really take your trees and go home. No company would sit back for 4 months, listening to the same complaints over and over from their users if they had any intention on changing it.

  60. caz

    Snap to the above, same dislikes, it’s serious Ancestry – please listen….. Also, just us (the tree owner) being able to ‘hide’ Life Story isn’t enough, if we ‘hide’ it then it MUST be made to be hidden, by the tree owner, to everyone – whether invited (if private tree) or public (if public tree). It’s just not good enough to be made hidden so that the tree owner doesn’t see it, but others can…. it really makes no sense at all and is stopping us sharing our trees now because of all the mistakes that, for the majority of your customers, have trees that are much too big to correct individually. ‘Hidden’ may be generic, but it isn’t to others – a crazy situation and just not good….

  61. Robin H

    lynn hall, others may have additional suggestions, but one I would recommend is downloading your tree to Family Tree Maker 2014. There are online instructions for how to do that, but they are not correct, so I would recommend calling customer service and clicking on the Family Tree Maker help option when you are ready to download. If you have media, make sure you do the download instead of creating a GEDCOM file (which won’t include the media). Also, you will be asked to check whether you want your tree manually or automatically synced. Make sure to check the manual box since the sync function isn’t working well, according to the rep who so nicely helped me with my download.

  62. Kristie

    It’s obvious nothing anyone has said for over three months is making a difference, so as my subscription runs out, I’ll just say thank you for the joy you once provided. Maybe someday you’ll get your site useable and I’ll come back, but I’ve been shown many other interesting options, so this break-up probably is a blessing in disguise.

  63. i agree with the comments and criticisms. and i’ve provided several feedback comments in the text box while leaving New Ancestry. I also leave comments in the “Report Problems” text window. Every avenue i can see i will leave feedback.
    @JackiMex i’ve tried using Sources and Facts in the New, but still much prefer Old having been using and editing in it for a dozen years. I will continue to practice with the New, but so far to me not as good as the Old.

  64. Just to clarify, Gene means (sorry Gene – the ‘dot’ bit threw me). Just had a look. Shows 27 per cent satisfaction. Compare and contrast with Trust 9.5 out of 10 stars! I know I keep going on about this but these CANNOT be real reviews. Last post 3 mins ago, before that 2 hours ago. NOT A MENTION OF NEW ANCESTRY just lots of tips BY THE REVIEWERS on how to use Ancestry. Hey even give DNA a try!! Oh and a tip to have a look at the public trees to get you started!!!!!!!!!!!

  65. Mary M Zashin

    Alas, all the free (!) “in-depth online courses” in the world–a whole YouTube full of them–however “exciting” they may be–will not, not, NOT do anything to make the New ACOM neater, cleaner, more cheerful, and more eye-appealing. It remains an ugly, dark, depressing, porthole-infested mess. I don’t want to “privatize” my trees, but I think I will have to. I’ve enjoyed sharing–and I know I’ve frequently done so, because when I get “tree hints” and take a look, nine out of ten times, it’s my stuff that’s up there on the other person’s tree (I can tell because of certain OCD-ish idiosyncracies in how I format my material). I don’t mind. I’ve never minded. But I can’t bear anyone thinking my great grandparents “probably” lived in a certain city during the blizzard of 18–. They DID live there, as other information makes perfectly clear! I know I can edit, I know, I know–but really? I’m too old. I can’t edit 25,000 people. . .I literally don’t have time. I will go private so at least I won’t be passing on drivel or garbage.

  66. Elhura

    Has anyone noticed that when Life Story is viewed or printed, the name of the tree and the tree owner are nowhere to be seen? I provide a good bit of detail in the narrative blocks on the facts page – my own wording, not Ancestry’s. The sources I choose, whether Ancestry-generated or transcribed by me – are also my own choices. These things make each tree owner’s tree unique. It should never be viewed, printed or passed around without the “author’s” name and the name of the tree from which it came. I have sent this suggestion via the requested input link to Ancestry. If others are bothered by this, please say so.

  67. Elhura

    I want to add that I have just spent the most unenjoyable, frustrating 30 minutes of my precious research time trying to add data for one family. I was blinded by the constant flash of purple and lost in the maze of linking sources and finding edits. And what happened to OVERVIEW? You cannot return to an individual after adding a record without going back to the home page and staring over. Each time I work on the new Ancestry I see all over again what a piece of junk it is. It is NOT a research tool. It is a COLORINGBOOK!

  68. Crystals48

    Hey Ancestry! Can you PLEASE tell me when we’ll be able to print documents with a WHITE background instead of GRAY? I’m pretty sure my great-grandfather didn’t have his will printed on gray paper back in 1891. And I don’t have enough money to keep buying extra ink for my printer.

    And it’s not just the printing that’s a problem with your color scheme. Would you like me to have my ophthalmologist write a letter to confirm that my eye strain and headaches are a result of my trying to read white lettering on a gray—or any other color—background?

    And here are a few reminders of items mentioned before in case you’ve forgotten:
    1. Just because FamilySearch is now using circles for their photos, it doesn’t make it right. When was the last time you were able to buy a camera that took round photos?
    2. The Classic Ancestry profile / overview page is perfect for my paper files and for distribution to family members. Easy to read, includes photos with the facts, puts source information where it can be referred to as needed (and NOT as the primary focus of the page).
    3. And if we’re smart enough to research our family histories, I bet most of us are smart enough that we don’t need silly purple lines connecting our dots (aka “facts and sources”). Is that really necessary?

    There’s more, but my eyes hurt, so I have to move back to the Classic Ancestry now.

    Please, Ancestry, don’t take away our love of family history research. You had a great product that I used to recommend to friends and family. Please fix this stuff so we can all live happily in Ancestryland once more.

  69. Roger

    Robin H, above, suggested that we should d/l a copy of our tree to FTM. As I understand it, it does bring all of our media with it, unlike a GEDCOM file. This is the help section that seems to be quite comprehensive and I shall be dealing with this before I cancel my subscription later this year. (That is presupposing we are forced to use the New Ancestry.)

    Once I have my tree offline in Ancestry – it can stay there but be private and not searchable, I will continue my sourcing and research using the abundance of other services, some of which are free.

  70. steve

    Just saw one person in my tree, that died in Boone Co. Kentucky, but in Life Story, is says she died in Boone, Colorado, and has a push pin on the map????

  71. MyGrandmaAnne

    Steve, maybe that came up because “County” has the same abb. as “Colorado.”
    If you put in, “Boone, Ky,” it may solve your problem. Like, my whole family came from Chicago. Every time I type it in I write, “Chicago, Cook, IL, USA.” Since I enter it so much when I type the letter, “C” it is the first to come up. 🙂

  72. BEE

    I just check “hints” on my tree. It says there are 61!
    It shows 5 people with 6 hints! When I went to that ugly “new” ancestry, it had the same – “error”? How many years have we been writing about “phantom hints”?? I sure hope everyone who is writing on this blog is sending their comments to:

  73. Monika

    I just listened to an excellent interview of Charlie Rose who was interviewing Tim Cook, CEO of Apple. Tim Cooke said that “the hardest thing to know is what NOT to work on!” and that the most important thing to Apple has always been NOT to be the first, but to be the best. I wish could learn that lesson, as I keep being teased with phantom hints and pathetic life stories amongst many other things that should have fixed before investing this much time and energy into New Ancestry. And, yes, Mary Harris, I CAN say TROLL!!!

  74. Joyce

    RE Photos added to events to appear as thumbnails in Facts view– Thank you for your feedback on this. We are evaluating whether to include this functionality in the new Ancestry site. – -you are evaluating the functionality? It is VERY simple, when there is an important event be it a story OR a photo it is imperative we be able to add these supporting documents to the event they pertain to. STORIES also need to be able to be added as very often one has to do a story to include files found on that document births/marriage/deaths that are NOT on ancestry. I also add as photos or sometimes stories directory information that is found on OTHER sites and cannot be found on ancestry. This is a crucial part of PROPER documentation. Just because some of your subscribers to NOT document properly does NOT mean you should take away that function for those of us who DO properly document supporting information. THAT is what you people are not getting. You are not even allowing us to properly document files. NEW members can learn a LOT by looking at older more experienced members ways of documenting. In the OLD system I could tell in a few minutes EXACTLY everything I knew about a person–NOW I am hunting all over the place. We should be permitted to add ANY type of media to ANY event we deem fit. I don’t know HOW many times being able to document directories has helped me to ID other family members at the same address when I find something on those family members later on. THIS is why experienced researchers are griping so much–You are taking away IMPORTANT features that were added years ago for a very good reason. It seems clear to me you did NOT get any input from SEASONED researchers as to why certain features were NECESSARY–they are bot just “nice things to have” . They are NECESSARY for good documentation. AND while I am on the subject of documentation PLEASE get all those Census records OUT of my photos! They are cluttering up my photo pages! If I wanted them there I would have put them there. And make the SOURCES buttons WORK—they are a total waste of space and they don’t have ANY reasonable function. The OLD way of displaying sources was MUCH better AND when you printed off a profile page your list of resources was included. You have done SO much wrong with your NEW design I find it IMPOSSIBLE to find ONE good thing to say about it. It makes doing EVERYTHING harder, it takes more time, more clicks and has us looking for information ALL over the place when we used to be able to see it all on one page! NOW when we look at a page on a person it is like having to start all over to refresh your memory on where you are at—with new databases becoming available all the time (The ONE thing you are doing right) you have to review that persons file to make sure you are adding a document to the right person….What I used to be able to do in 3 minutes now take 20 or more–You are wasting OUR time with this nonsense–you are wrecking YEARS of research with the changes you have made and YOU are creating errors in trees when YOUR computer system does not recognize the name of a town that either currently exists or existed in the past. I had an example JUST the other day–a fellow was from Huntington, CT….and EVEN though I found an 1850 Census that SHOWED he lived in Huntington, CT Huntington CT was NOT in your database. If you have a Census for a name of a town it BETTER be in your database—I suggest you STOP that auto assignment in STORY view for places as you are creating errors in it. You cannot possibly have the names of EVERY town that ever existed all over the world. SO you need to get that feature GONE. It is creating too many errors. I have another one the other day–a fellow was born in Armenia, Turkey BUT your database does not HAVE Armenia, Turkey. You are not taking into account that names of towns change, borders change so your automated system for story view will NEVER work correctly unless you add EVERY single town that EVER existed to your database–and THAT is impossible. There are SO many things you have done with this that “seemed like a good idea at the time” but all the repercussions of these changes were not considered…NO ONE can take everything into account when they drastically change things as you have done–but NOW we have discovered issue after issue and you are NOT fixing them. You are trying to entice NEW customers BUT in doing so you have made not only OUR lives more difficult but your new customers lives more difficult. If WE cannot figure stuff out on the NEW site and we have decades (I do at least) of experience researching HOW do you think your NEW customers are going to be able to figure all your changes out. I suggest you let you NEW customers ALSO access OLD…and in time you will see that MOST people prefer to work in OLD. The NEW ancestry is simply too frustrating and makes it impossible to do GOOD and well documented research, You SHOULD have spent this money you wasted on the NEW site on improvements that were needed on the old site—-like better transcriptions and more options for advanced searching. Instead of doing some inexpensive fixes that would have made OLD even MORE useful, you decided to waste who knows how much money on a NEW site that is a total flop. If you are tired of hearing platitudes from ancestry while they try to CYA about a site they are ruining-sign this petition so we can put our money where our mouths are–they are NOT paying attention to ALL the things wrong with NEW version–so let’s send a message –WE–your OLDEST and MOST DEDICATED users want OLD Offered side by side and let US choose which version we want to work in…Even THINKING about having to work in NEW makes my blood pressure go up.

  75. steve

    Let’s see I have 20,000 names, and I’ve used Co. many times each, I don’t think I will live that long to change all of them….

  76. M

    I have Adam Engst’s permission to quote from his article on TidBITS, an Apple-oriented tech blog I subscribe to (I am not sure I am allowed to post the actual link). He’s writing about Apple updates, but what he says is very applicable to understanding why so many people have reacted negatively to the current ACOM update: “Every upgrade is touted as the next best thing, teasing us with hot new features and promising improved performance, reliability, and security. Unfortunately, these constant upgrades fill many people with dread, or. . .weary resignation. As the saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, but most changes foisted on us by technology companies are no longer aimed at fixing bugs or making everyday usage easier. . .Bugs are fixed, certainly. . .but those under-the-hood improvements are part and parcel with checklist features from the perky twenty-somethings in Marketing and whatever visual tweaks were deemed trendy by the hipsters in Design. . .this is the great chasm that separates Silicon Valley from the real world: different is not better. For many different is by definition worse. We are finite beings, living finite lives. We should never turn down an opportunity to learn–that’s the secret to eternal youth–but there’s a distinction between learning more about our role in the universe and figuring out where some previously obvious interface control has been hidden. [Music program] updates alone over the past few years may have cost society millions of wasted hours. Plus, we become attached to the things in our lives. We build relationships, not just with people, but with our environments. . .the emotion I most commonly see in response to changes forced on users by the tech industry is anger. How would you react if you got in your car one day and all the buttons were in a different layout, with dark grey on black labels? ‘That’s the new look,’ you’re told, ‘You’ll love it. . .Oh, and we’ve decided that the steering wheel should be polished aluminum and the brake pedal should move a few inches to the left so it lines up better visually. Really, you’ll love it.’ Sure, all that might happen if you buy a new car, but that’s your decision. When you have little or no choice but to accept unwanted changes, a bout of anger is entirely understandable. The reason all this is happening is that your opinions don’t matter once you’re a customer. . .”

  77. Tarah

    Can’t wait to try our the new photo cropping feature. Also glad you are looking into finding a better place for the profile picture option.

  78. Monika

    @ to M. What you said is SO deep and meaningful and so true. (One of the reasons I refuse to do Facebook.) What needs to consider is that it is a site that is accessed world wide. THEY are trying to achieve that goal and–when you go on e.g., or, is trying to cajole the foreign visitor who may speak limited English to do his/her research on instead of doing it on a site the language of which he is familiar with. In foreign countries neither the average teenager nor the average adult runs around with an I-Pad. For them a computer is a major investment. So why create a worldwide site to attract genealogists world over to come on the site and then expect them to watch a Webinar to learn how to navigate through the program. This is beyond ludicrous!

  79. caith

    M – And this change is not acceptable for most on multiple levels. Because this “work” is tedious and time consuming, and for me, rather frustrating, I will not accept the additional burden of poorly designed tech navigation……….and distortion of facts. Life is too short to have this silliness thrust upon us. So sad.

  80. Robin H

    Roger, I just rechecked the instructions online for downloading a tree to FTM 2014. The instructions haven’t been updated and they are not correct, so please remember to call customer service and select the FTM support option when you are ready to download. If you follow those instructions, you will end up with a GECOM file that doesn’t include media, even though the instructions suggest otherwise. The download is easy, but those instructions won’t get you what you want if you want media. Also, be sure to check the manual instead of the automatic sync feature. The customer service person suggested that to me, as the sync function doesn’t always seem to be working nowadays. I have suggested to ancestry on several occasions that they update the instructions, but it hasn’t happened yet.

  81. Vince

    To Roger & Robin H: I’ve routinely kept my main 8,100+ person tree and smaller ones synchronized through the TreeSync feature of Family Tree Maker 2014 on my PC in the US for more than year. Here are links to the current instructions from Ancestry for using the TreeSync feature to download an on-line tree at Ancestry, including media, to a Family Tree Maker 2014 tree:
    UK Version:
    US Version:

    Although both versions were most recently updated a day apart in November 2014, they show two different paths to starting a download. Do be sure to select manual syncing instead of the default automatic syncing in the “Download from Ancestry” window (not shown in either version of the instructions) that appears when you select a tree for downloading. Also be sure the “Download citation media from Ancestry” box in that same window is checked, which causes actual images of things like census pages to be copied to your FTM tree instead of just links. Keep in mind that several types of data held in the original on-line tree are lost during the TreeSync process:

    From Ancestry
    •Military pages
    •DNA Results
    •Photo tags

    From Family Tree Maker
    •Some types of notes (research, fact, citation, relationship, media)
    •Some types of media (relationship, source)
    •Media categories
    •Short place names
    •Place locations
    •Person and relationship ID facts
    •Saved charts & reports

    See more about what is and is not transferred during TreeSync at:

  82. You release a new database and fail to incorporate it in the new life story. I’ve been grumbling about this for years. Compare the following links.

    Census, Will, Burial, Probate:

    Why are none of the above listed life events shown.

    and the “Old Ancestry” facts, which show the Census, Will, Burial, Probate:

    “Old Ancestry” life story at least shows census:

    P.S. Portrait was scanned from a reference not found on, but is cited to original reference and page. Burials are exceptional as there are a number of cenotaphs for this couple.

  83. Roger

    Vince – thank you very much for the tips. I’ll be sure to go slowly! I have a copy of FTM 2012 but since a fresh install I have never permitted a sync. What I’m after doing is bringing what exists in Ancestry; all my on-line work, as far as is possible, into FTM and leave my tree and it’s contents dormant and private in Ancestry. I do not want to allow the two to sync. That won’t be possible anyway after I have concluded a relationship with Ancestry, if that time comes and depends on them. (I tried syncing a few years ago but it constantly glitched and so I abandoned the exercise.)

  84. Robin

    I THINK I speak for a lot of customers…I, at least, would really, really like someone at Ancestry to answer the following question… What was WRONG with the old ancestry?

  85. gp_4hbc

    Ancestry members who are thinking of making their trees private or who have already done so are just wasting their time. Just cancel or you’ll be even more frustrated with this “New” Ancestry. I have always had private, unsearchable trees but it make no difference whatsoever. Download your tree/s to good genealogical software and work from there. There’s many “free” websites for you to work from online.

  86. Alicja Morawiec

    I have tried the new system few times but I don’t like it at all. The main reason for me is the invisibility of the lines connecting members of the tree. Most of us who are doing genealogy are older people and visibility is the most important issue. Thank You.

  87. BEE

    THIS IS SO TIRING! “We’re sorry, an error occurred when you tried to add information to your tree. This error will be reported and reviewed. Thanks for your patience while we resolve this issue”

  88. Vince

    Roger: A lot of glitches in the TreeSync feature of FTM 2012 were fixed in FTM 2014, but I don’t remember what they were. FTM 2014 has given me no problems over the past year. Once you have downloaded your tree from Ancestry, carefully choosing the Manual sync option, you could unlink the FTM tree from the Ancestry tree to be sure there is no further interaction between the two, even while your Ancestry account is still active.

    While I’m still deciding whether to keep using Ancestry on-line trees at all, which I likely won’t do if the Classic interface is turned off entirely or the silly LifeStory gambit is not allowed to be killed entirely by tree owners so that no one can see it, I do still make changes to the on-line tree via the Classic interface and periodically initiate a sync from FTM 2014 to get the changes into my local tree. That even worked to get the image of a will from the new Wills & Probate database into the FTM tree. As long as I didn’t view the will in the on-line tree, I didn’t get thrown out of the Classic interface and into the new one. That new database is apparently set up to allow viewing of images only through the new interface. But after I got the document image into FTM 2014, I could view and read it normally. For the time being, I can also let the on-line system throw me into the new interface to view items retrieved in a search of the Wills & Probate database and then switch back to the Classic interface.

  89. Kristy

    I am pretty tech savy; I move from a Mac to Windows 7 – 10, program in Python…and I have immersed myself and compared Old and New. That’s why I sadly, have to be a critic of New. I appreciate that Old is held together in the background with spit and gum, so no begging for Old here – just the features and functionality from Old. I see the attempt at copying the ‘new’ Material Design for your site, and the failed attempt to achieve a depth effect with the gray sculpted background using the circular profile photos in hot colors – (a shape that was meant to be an avatar). Sorry, it’s a miss – and it’s gotten worse as you tinker with the Profile page, now with a strange variety of fonts/bolds used. Customers have repeatedly pointed out the features that are missing, yet, months later, very little has improved. That’s what is causing the frustration. Customers who point out deficiencies are not ‘resistant to change’, many are quite the opposite. We are the ones who have tried completing different tasks in each, and discovered the many deficiencies in New. Features that were promised like media sorting (the whole gallery – not by person) aren’t even on the to-do list any longer. All the features customers are requesting from Old have been listed over and over again in this blog, on Facebook, via e-mail, phone calls, etc. The dark gray background with thin Helvetica white font is not a matter of taste; it is scientifically proven to be hard to look at. Why not fix it? Here’s one small example of a design element flaw. ‘Find person in tree’ is in a box in the upper right hand screen, visible no matter where you are in the Old Ancestry. It never moves. In New, it’s there in pedigree or family view, but once you go to Profile, it’s behind a looking glass (takes a click to find it) on the upper LEFT hand side. Does that prevent me from searching and using the site? Of course not. Could I find it? Yes. Is it a design element flaw? Yes, big time. That’s a no-no in website design – and on New Ancestry, just one of many. Tools in our lives are placed in the same place over and over for a reason – functional usability. Builders can place light switches in the same place in every house, or they can make a video explaining where to find them – what you’re doing with New Ancestry instead of making a site that flows intuitively. Added with all the other missing features and design flaws, frustration with using the site is rampant, even if people can’t explain in detail what they don’t like – they intuitively get that something is off. The list of what’s being worked on changes from week to week on your blog update – some mysteriously drop off without being fixed or addressed. Naturally people are frustrated. Get some meaningful communication with your customers – you can e-mail me for something you want me to buy, why not an update about what you’ve fixed on New Ancestry? And one last important detail of effective customer relations, instead of having a few people (you know who they are) on your Facebook page tell people, “Get used to it”, or “Stop complaining”, you at Ancestry should be happy to hear from customers who are giving you website design advice for free.

  90. BEE

    “We’re sorry, an error occurred when you tried to add information to your tree. This error will be reported and reviewed. Thanks for your patience while we resolve this issue” – when I first copied that message earlier, I was in “old” ancestry. I decided to TRY “new”, because of a probate “hint”. So guess what! SAME message! The only way to return to the person was click “go back”, which gave me this message! “We’re sorry. The page you tried to access is no longer available.” This is ridiculous!!

  91. Robin H

    BEE, I just read the Facebook posts. Apparently it is a widespread problem. Someone asked if an alert could be sent out or how people could know what the status was. Ancestry replied that folks should keep looking at Facebook to find out. Not sure how those who aren’t on Facebook will be notified, either of the problem or of the fix.

  92. caith

    But, it is a GOOD time to do short trades with the stock (betting it will go down). Alas, then the FTC might come after us for “insider trading” since we know the real poop,. LOL But, wouldn’t it be ironic if some of the disgruntled customers got rich on betting Ancestry’s stock is going down.

  93. caz

    Can I ask, with my trees and all media now downloaded onto FTM 2014, not auto synched, and unlinked from my Ancestry trees, would anyone with experience advise whether to keep using FTM or is there any other as good as FTM software and if so how would I transfer all my media? Any advice gratefully received, many thanks.. Have written lots of feedback re ‘New’ – I feel the same as everyone else appears to feel about ‘New’ – FTM is an Ancestry product – I’m wondering whether to move away from Ancestry altogether but definately do not want to lose many years of hard work with lots of media & a number of trees.

  94. BEE

    Thanks Robin, I guess I’m just an old “dinosaur” – not that I haven’t learned a lot about computers, but no Facebook, no “twitter”.
    All I’ve done for the past 8yrs? is live on ancestry!
    When ellisisland first came online, I would spend as much time as allowed on that, but I think they ruined that site with their “upgrade” using “sliders”. It’s never been the same for me, so I rarely use it, depending instead on – ancestry!

  95. Clearly no one at Ancestry is reading these complaints.

    If you want to have any impact, pick up the phone and contact tech support, make them submit the error reports, as you really don’t make any difference on this blog.

  96. Mary M Zashin

    I did not know that the photos generated as “historical insights” are initially only “hints” (see the little leaf?). You are given two choices (should you care to accept the mission): “review” or “ignore.” If you choose “ignore” the item goes away and is not visible to anyone else who sees your LifeStory page either. In fact, NONE of these “hints” are visible to others. No one else will see your grasshoppers. To make the “hint” visible you have to “accept” the hint. How do you do that? By process of elimination, you click “review.” You scroll through the details there, and if you decide to accept the hint you do it by clicking “keep.” THEN it appears in all its glory for all to see on your LifeStory page. Well, I think this procedure is an illustration of the point that many have made–the New is far from “intuitive.” You are initially faced with the choice to “ignore” or “review.” You aren’t asked to “accept” or “keep.” There’s no indication that such an action is even possible. Only by wandering through, or by having someone knowledgeable (as I did) spell out the procedures, do you find out that an action is required to “keep” the hint. Otherwise–you don’t know because that choice is a level “down” in the program and it’s not clear (at least, it wasn’t to me) that there was any action to take other than ignore or review, and if I already didn’t want the hint why would I bother to review it (ie., the grasshoppers)? So, I think this is an example that New not crisp, not intuitive, and certainly not streamlined. (Plus, New is so darn UGLY! I would be more inclined to use my usual trial-and-error process for learning new tech–it works–kind of fun punching buttons on my remote or clicking things to see what happens) if New weren’t so gosh-darned depressing to look at. . . .something not cured by any instructional videos or helpfully-offered step-by-steps. . .) PS. I tried to leave this note on the exit interview, but I think it was too long. When it is (but there’s no “word count” notice on the exit questionnaire, so you don’t know you’re over the limit), all that happens is that the “leave” button is lightened and you can’t leave. Geez, programmer people! Are you all amateurs? (I hope Kristy above has put her feedback on the right link, which is NOT HERE, apparently!). Are you all just learning? Is this a class project or something?

  97. gp_4hbc

    Caz-I would be happy to address your questions, please write to me through Ancestry @gp_4hbc. You have an excellent question and I’d be please to advice you on what to do. You are very wise to move away from Ancestry by at least not syncing your trees and downloading to FTM. I have some questions about what version you are using and can sympathize with your not wanting to be stuck using the “new” Ancestry which will become a reality, like it or not. Glen, you are so right about Ancestry not listening to all the numerous complaints on here and elsewhere. All they care about is the bottom line which is $$$’s.

  98. galndixie

    A shining example of POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE!
    Nobody bothered to find out if we were satisfied with what we had. If we weren’t happy with it, we’d have gone someplace else. I’ve tried other sites, they were hard to navigate, hard to input data, hard to read, bad formats for viewing. Ancestry WAS great. Did you ever hear about “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”?
    Some of the new features are nice, some totally unnecessary, like that picture thing. These are MY family photos on MY family tree, and I will post them the way I want them to look. I have my own photo program that works extremely well, and I don’t need another one. The whole dang format did not need to be changed to add new features…if you guys have that much time on your hands, you’ve got too many employees. If you’ve got that much extra money to spend, you’re charging us too much. Nobody who pays for this was asked about it, it was just shoved on us. Most of us don’t have all day to sit and read and watch videos and go thru hours of trial and errors to learn how to work a totally different system. If we’d have wanted a different system, we would have left Ancestry and got one. We want to jump in and get started and not waste time. I absolutely hate the new screens, can’t find anything, it’s big and loud and right in your face. That facts page is going to cause a lot of trouble, because there are way too many people who are not serious about having a correct tree, they just grab and copy the first thing they see. Now you’ve got it all slammed into one page, with tons of misinformation put together that looks like it’s facts, and it’s going to be on all those lazy trees. They don’t have to look for it any more, you threw it right in their laps. That’s going to mess up DNA results, too, because they compare your DNA to the trees, you know. I’m already getting “Strong DNA Matches” to people who have not had DNA done! How does that work??
    God Help Us All.

  99. Deb

    I filled out several of the Foresee surveys on Ancestry in the past. I always used to give them fairly good marks, nothing below a 6, lots of 8’s. I used to be happy with the site. I just got another survey and I don’t think I rated anything above a 5. When asked for what was my biggest issue, I used to put sorting records in the search, filtering the search, etc. Now I just said New Ancestry.

  100. RobinH

    Ancestry, are the people that Kristy refers to (and we and you know who they are) compensated in any way by Ancestry or any of its affiliates for making their comments on Facebook?

  101. Tracy

    I am not liking the total overhaul of Ancestry at all. Why are we being forced to use it and not use the Old Ancestry option? I was using that and yesterday it is just gone with no warning. I will be cancelling my subscription if Ancestry doesn’t make immediate improvements. My web pages don’t look right at all.

  102. Tracy

    I do not like the complete overhaul of Ancestry. My pages don’t seem to be loading correctly & if they are they are unusable. I would like the option left to use Old Ancestry if I choose. As of yesterday this is not available to me. I will be cancelling my subscription if improvements are not made immediately. I am not going to pay for a website I cannot use.

  103. Deb

    Get ready for the point of no return – this was on Facebook yesterday at 9:38 pm in response to someone asking how to get back to old Ancestry:
    “As we are migrating some of our members over to the new site, you may no longer have the option to revert back to the old version.”

  104. Glen_Swartz

    Just got a hint on “Old Ancestry” about the great new sorting features on the Beta Ancestry.

    Your new Beta Media Gallery sort, stinks, its nothing but the “Old Ancestry” with a new GUI.

    One, the sorts do not stick, once you leave the media, every time you go back in you have to resort.

    Two, and I’ve submitted repeated error reports; photos are of four types (selected when uploading): Portraits, Documents, Headstones, and Places. I still can not sort on this criteria – sure the happy clickers are probably clueless, but some of are not.

    Fix this, the code is already there, implement it.

  105. Vince

    To Mary M Zashin: Thanks so much for pointing out that the Historical Insights are only Hints. I’m very glad to learn that invitees to my tree will not see them at all (I’ve already turned them off for my view of my trees). Now, if Ancestry would just make the whole LifeStory “feature” just a Hint itself so that no one sees it unless I “Accept” it (no chance), I’ll be really happy!

  106. Greg

    I’m sure I’m not the only person that does not like this new Ancestry at all. I’m a novice and was very comfortable with the old Ancestry. This new site is more complex and I’m not finding the information I use to find. Ancestry needs to remember the many of its customers are older and not as tech savvy as the younger generations. We should have the option of the old or new Ancestry so we can continue to do our work. If it is not reversed, I will have no choice but to drop my membership as the new system is all but useless to me.

  107. RobinH

    Deb, thanks for sharing that Ancestry post. I called customer service this morning and asked about it. She told me that yes, peole are being migrated to New Ancestry now. I asked how we would know that. She said we would know that if we went to New Ancestry and couldn’t get back. My husband just called and asked the same question. He was also told that this happening, but you could get back to Old Ancestry if you called to ask them to do that for you.

  108. R.King

    I’m asking for suggestions from other people who are abandoning Ancestry rather than being forced to endure the “upgrade” to the unspeakable New Ancestry. I want to download the material from my family tree before I have to choose between deleting it or letting the folks at Ancestry transmogrify it. Where do you suggest we go for a better medium for public sharing?

  109. Joyce

    WHAT?????????? Ancestry is migrating people to NEW version when it is not even functional? Has Tim Sullivan even been bothering to read these blogs? Has anybody been reading these blogs? Looking at the petition site? The petition site is growing slowly ONLY because we do not have a central way of finding other researchers—But little by little more folks are finding out about the site and signing it. Ancestry has taken a GOOD (OLD) website that had many GOOD features and flushed it down the toilet! People are complaining like crazy, canceling their subscriptions, threatening to cancel their subscriptions and ANCESTRY is saying “we don’t give a rip” by moving forward with this disaster and IGNORING their PRIME customers–ones who have been on ANCESTRY for many years! Time to start writing and calling TIM SULLIVAN Ancestry Inc. Corporate Headquarters
    360 West 4800 North
    Provo, UT 84604
    Ph 801-705-7000
    Fx 801-705-7001

    and anyone else you can find @ corporate contact us site. Somebody keeps posting the contact email for the financial officer-THAT is a waste of time–He has NOTHING to do with, not does he have any power to change any of this–the CEO DOES–I noticed on the corporate “contact us” page that ancestry recently bought–that explains why NOW IT doesn’t work worth a hoot anymore either. How many websites are you people going to ruin ???? IF NI am switched over to NEW everyone in Continental US will be able to hear me SCREAM. This NEW site is awful, and there is TOO much broken to MAKE people go to NEW version. It will NEVER be ready because you BROKE IT too badly—If you don’t keep Classic as an option ANCESTRY’s next stop is going to be bankruptcy court–You cannot IGNORE all of your long time customers and expect them to stick around while you have made a total mess of this entire project. Whoever dreamed up this FIASCO did not understand the 1st thing about the demographics of who your customer base is, the 1st thing about genealogy research, or the first thing about making the site user friendly. Nobody can figure out how to use the mess you have made of things…and we should NOT have to take tutorials to figure it out–In the OLD ancestry you could hit the ground running as it was simple to get around in…NOW you don’t even have a link to the home page on your pages…HUH? that is rule # 1 in a website–you ALWAYS put a way to get back to the home page on every page…There is SO much wrong with the NEW version it cannot be fixed!!! Figure it out folks! Do you think we are all taking time out of our days to complain because we have nothing else to do? This whole project was a BIG waste of money–there WERE some things that needed improvement on the OLD site like more options on advanced search and better transcriptions–other than that is worked fine—You have broken what was NOT broken to start with–and why? NOBODY likes this new site!!! I have net a LOT of genealogists on ancestry since 2003 and I have YET to find ONE person who likes the NEW version. Ancestry will be signing it’s own death certificate if they pull the plug on OLD

  110. Robin

    My 6 month subscription was up 3 weeks ago. With regret, I signed on for another month, just to clean up my tree. When I re-subscribed for the extra month I was forced into the new ancestry, there was no longer a switch back button. In a sense they did provide a ‘switch’ button, I am in the process of moving all my information to a site not in any way connected with ancestry. When that laborious task is done, my tree will be erased from ancestry and ancestry will be erased from my mind. Maybe they will get it if I use capital letters…THE NEW ANCESTRY IS INACCURATE, INSULTING, DREARY, EXTREMELY CUSTOMER UNFRIENDLY, 10 EXTRA CLICKS TO DO SOMETHING INSTEAD OF ONE, LOAD OF NON GENEALOGICAL FLUFF.

  111. Penny

    I also despise the new ancestry. Is there anything being done to answer the zillions of complaints that customers have with it? I see people complaining all over the internet, via this blog and many other places. Are we just talking to ourselves? I also remember that the old ancestry always had a thing that said “we welcome your feedback” or a place to go if we found errors in the information. But I’ll be darned if I can find any of that now. I am tryng to report a problem with how you all make the US Wills and Probate records attach to our profiles by putting them in the “Probate” fact category, when the majority of the time, it is supposed to go in the “Will” fact. I have looked at hundreds already that are incorrect and it takes a lot of my time trying to fix ancestry’s mistakes!!!!!! Also about 1 out of every five wills have been transcribed with incorrect surname spelling and we are not allowed to correct the names so unless we read every page of every will that we think we may need, we may never find our ancestor’s wills!! HELP!!!!!

  112. Penny

    (Joyce –WHAT?????????? Ancestry is migrating people to NEW version when it is not even functional? Has Tim Sullivan even been bothering to read these blogs? Has anybody been reading these blogs? Looking at the petition site? The petition site is growing slowly ONLY because we do not have a central way of finding other researchers—But little by little more folks are finding out about the site and signing it. Ancestry has taken a GOOD (OLD) website that had many GOOD features and flushed it down the toilet! People are complaining like crazy, canceling their subscriptions, threatening to cancel their subscriptions and ANCESTRY is saying “we don’t give a rip” by moving forward with this disaster and IGNORING their PRIME customers–ones who have been on ANCESTRY for many years! Time to start writing and calling TIM SULLIVAN Ancestry Inc. Corporate Headquarters
    360 West 4800 North
    Provo, UT 84604
    Ph 801-705-7000
    Fx 801-705-7001
    and anyone else you can find @ corporate contact us site. Somebody keeps posting the contact email for the financial officer-THAT is a waste of time–He has NOTHING to do with, not does he have any power to change any of this–the CEO DOES–)

  113. gp_4hbc

    To Joyce, Well versed comment. I couldn’t have said it better myself. Ditto to all your comments here! Great job! Unfortunately, it falls on deaf ears. will go down the toilet if they do not listen to their customers. You’d think we were all a bunch of idiots to go along with this “new” format that is just a disastrous concoction dreamed up by morons that have no clue about genealogy.

  114. Vince

    To Robin: Even if you no longer see “Old Ancestry” in the drop-down box under your username, you can probably still get back to the Classic/Old interface by entering “” (no quotes) into your browser address bar while connected to New Ancestry.

  115. In the Old ancestry i was able to Quick Edit a person’s parents, or siblings, or spouse, or children, any family member visible on their profile page, click on the icon and Quick Edit type in the change and Save. In the New it seems i have to go to each person’s individual page and make the edit. The Quick Edit in New ancestry is not quick at all, definitely not an improvement! please ask the programmers to compare this feature and program a true Quick Edit feature into the New ancestry. TIA.

  116. Elhura

    Just called the first number above provided by Penny. Was told “Absolutely, someone would talk with me”. They passed me back to the same old – same old customer assistance representative menu. After the usual hold time and being tempted to hang up, I received what I feel for the first time was helpful information and I want to pass it along.

    First of all, I was told that calling the executive number was good and that I was passed back to the representative line only because the receptionist is not the one to take our concerns. The representative took my concerns about keeping Classic as a working option and my serious concerns about the New Ancestry, including the extreme visual limitations it poses. I could hear keyboarding in the background and the representative assured me my message would be seen by those who needed to see it. The representative assured me many calls ARE coming in registering concerns about new Ancestry, and that ENOUGH of the same calls WILL BE HEARD. My own impression is that even though I was passed back to a representative, that it was still good to have first reached the executive level. Perhaps if enough phone calls are received there, surely someone will be affected enough to tell others about the numbers. So, let me encourage you to make the call. The Executive Offices are open until 5:00 PM, Rocky Mountain Time. The number again (Thanks, Penney) is 801-705-7000. I am no “pollyanna”, but it can’t hurt and just might help.

    I inquired about the groups that are being “switched” to the new Ancestry and was told this IS happening – the representative did not know the selection process for this. I was told, however, that as long as Classic Ancestry continues, that anyone switched can go back to Classic in the usual way from the signoff dropdown box and – if this does not work – to call them at 1-800-262-3787 and you can be switched back.

    This may sound pretty trusting on my part, but I do want to believe this was my first glimmer of hope that someone may be listening. We MUST REMAIN LOUD AND IN GREAT NUMBER, so please don’t give up!

    I have also done my part previously by sending a certified letter to CEO Tim Sullivan a few weeks ago. It netted a most cordial call back, but not one at the time that gave me much hope. I have twice emailed John Coyle who is head of the holding company who owns Ancestry right now. No feedback has come from that.

    Another thought is to email via their communication link a company called “Foresee”. I understand this company does analysis for Ancestry and periodically queries some of Ancestry’s members regarding how it is doing. Someone recently blogged they had given the company negative feedback about the new Ancestry. In contrast, another Ancestry representative had bluntly stated to me that the analytical companies used by Ancestry are getting very positive feedback about the new.

    I emailed Foresee, asking them to be fair and to be sure to include Ancestry users with membership longevity and sizable trees in their samples. Since I had been told by an outsider that the extreme “layering” in the new format is because of mobile device “clicking” and likely not very compatible with PC and lap top users, I mentioned the need to query those using PC’s and lap tops in addition to mobile devices. I also suggested – if they are not already asking – to inquire about visual effects and functionality issues of the new. I have no idea if this contact is relevant or will help, but again, it can’t hurt.

    I doubt any of us are in this to cause problems for Ancestry. Just the opposite, we are trying to save a product we love, and respect for a company that, until now, has served us well! Let your voices be heard this weekend and when the executive offices open again next week.

  117. ALP Thorpe

    All of the above, as usual. I am in the process of making sure everything is moved to FTM and will then cancel membership. I am shocked at Ancestry’s persistent deafness to complaints and suggestions. It really is perverse, because the members who have been writing these tomes of criticism are the very ones who use Ancestry the most and care the most about it. If Ancestry had set out to antagonize its loyal base, it’s hard to think of a more successful effort than the way they’ve been handling our unhappiness.

  118. I could cry a lot of my people are gone that were on the profiles and a few are just wrong. Looks like someone elses tree mixed with mine, I loved the old site and love the colors but hours n hours of my work is missing.

  119. gp_4hbc

    To ALP Thorpe, Good you moved your tree/s to FTM and I hope they are not synced to Some tips: You may want to go through your file after downloading to check for errors. For example: maiden names that do not have a surname and just the given name will end up in the surname field. Another thing to watch out for is your media descriptions. If you have FTM2014, they will not have your descriptions; only the title of the media, such as photos of people, places and documents. However, if you have FTM2011, then your descriptions will be included. Also, there only only links to comments, etc. so you may want to download pertinent information by clicking on the links to get them before you end your membership and delete your tree/s. It is a lot of work to do all this and Ancestry sure has screwed up everyone who does not want this “new” platform. You may want to consider other software also as FTM is an Ancestry creation. I hope that you have saved out most of your information and media to your computer.

  120. douggrf

    The September 11th update is even more anemic than all of the previous updates combined. The arrogance of the staff appears entrenched and getting worse by the day.

  121. Barbara

    Dear Ancestry: This is my very first complaint about the site. While you may think it’s a helpful notification, the horribly annoying popups after I’ve changed or added something to my tree are horribly annoying. Frankly, I know when I’ve changed or updated something — why do I need to be told about what I’ve already done? I don’t. For those of us who work quickly, especially adding ancestors & descendants from DNA matches it’s an awful experience. totally unnecessary to have a popup.

  122. caith

    I could probably live with the changes, BUT I cannot live with Ancestry coming into my home which is my personal property, without my permission, and re-arranging my furniture, and actually adding their personal obnoxious furniture which does not go with my décor. Almost anywhere in the world, that is trespassing, and unlawful, and accountable. I still cannot get my head around this……….

    It is so painful reading these post..

  123. gp_4hbc

    Marjorie, To download your tree go to FTM, launch and sign on to Ancestry with your S/N and passsword. On the home page you should see “new tree” on the tab and then click on “download a tree from Ancestry.” Next you will see your tree listed and be sure not to link your tree to Ancestry by clicking on the appropriate box. Select the tree you want to download and then when it’s finished be sure to name your tree. Click save and your tree should open. When you are finished be sure to click on “compact file” before exiting FTM. This is found on the “tools” tab and by clicking on that you will then see a drop-down box to select “compact file.” Now you can safely exit the program. Hope that helps. If you have further questions, please contact me through @gp_4hbc.

  124. gp_4hbc

    Caith, Loved your analogy! It’s one of the better ones I have read here and everywhere about this invasion of privacy. Unfortunately, if you read the terms and conditions, everything is in their favor. Customers are at their mercy.

  125. 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!

  126. marilyn platnick glass

    Please change search records back for married women the way it was previously. It’s very frustrating to find out that it includes both the married name and the maiden name. It’s easier for birth records to just search for the maiden name. If I want to include the married name I am capable of doing it myself. Please return to the original program. Leave well enough alone.

  127. Dale Freegard

    To be blunt – I hate the New Ancestry. Strange how I started using the old Ancestry 6 years ago, I never once had to go to a link to learn how to use it. I just worked with it and figured it all out. Ancestry seems to think our problem is that we just don’t know how to use the New Ancestry. As researchers we are all usually pretty savy with working multiple websites. Ancestry constantly want to just refer us to links on how to use the new site – none of us want to do that. Our issue is about the New Ancestry and how it completely lets us down. My photos are already cropped or just how I want them – the answer to round pictures is not to provide a cropping tool and think that is going to make us all happy about how our photos are being presented. Too many clicks, chunky and like someone had designed the website and never done a family tree in their life. When is Ancestry going to stop putting up the big front that we are going to just learn out to use it. Leave the Old Ancestry as it is please.

  128. Mary Rawson

    It’s not just an App problem. The New Ancestry has done that to EVERYONE on all hardware. Public Trees, Private Trees, Unsearchable Trees: they’ve all been ruined. My Dad had 13 siblings. His father had 15. All Timelines that I’d worked painstakingly on for years (as thousands of you have done) were so trashed that I just deleted aunts, uncles, my parents, and my grandparents. I haven’t even been able to look at any of the other 2300. I’m printing out important profiles in the Old format, putting them in plastic pages in binders and including all the jpg records and photos I’d saved previously to my hard drive. I think my children and grandchildren will look at these before they’ll ever try to navigate the New format. You can’t get rid of the births and deaths of siblings/parents in LifeStories and, if you look at one of the last two updates, you’ll see that they say they’ve enabled LifeStories to add even more “facts,” even though we’ve all been asking them to let us hide LifeStory permanently. There seems to be some complicated way to get rid of historical insights, but when is everyone going to say, “Enough is enough!” Their turning deaf ears to subscribers borders on the sadistic. Why doesn’t everyone just cancel his or her subscription? You STILL will be able to go into your “New” trees and spend countless hours trying to “fix” them, but you won’t be paying for the torture. You can always get back on and begin paying them should you ever want. Really, it’s going to take months for most people to “fix” their trees, so it’s not like you’ll be using time wisely to search for new records or make any progress. And should you find anything new? The software will just insert wrong relationships and wrong towns anyway!

  129. Karen

    How about keeping the old ancestry for those of us who think that it is far superior to the ‘new ancestry’ garbage? Old ancestry had some flaws, but it actually worked.
    Let the people who say they like/love the new travesty have it – start a different site for them.

  130. Ron Wencer

    I’ve repeatedly tried to “opt out” of the New Ancestry, but I cannot. I click my reason, type in comments to explain, hit the button, and NOTHING HAPPENS. I keep seeing the new screens.

    There are serious issues facing researchers who want to scan Family Trees, which the new Profile format impedes.

    Worse, I’m on a PC with a horizontal display, and I now get to what look like Smartphone layouts — vertical displays with oversized type; everything has to be scrolled.

    The New Ancestry is terrible for my needs. How can I escape from it? Please advise,

  131. Julie Moore

    Obviously the port hole head shots have one purpose and one purpose only. Re: part of the spy system, facial recognition.

  132. Vince

    To Ron Wencer: I had the same problem last week trying to get back to Classic Ancestry from the new interface while using Firefox. Then I tried the switch through Internet Explorer, and it worked. Since then, I’ve been able to switch back and forth as needed from within either browser.

  133. Barbara

    I spoke to a customer service rep and he said the only reason there is an overwhelming number of negative comments online regarding the New Ancestry is because only the upset people are vocal. He said the people who are happy with the site are not vocal online. Maybe. I believe there is a huge silent majority who may never speak their mind and will simply drift away from Ancestry because it is no longer pleasant to use. In the end, if the New Ancestry is implemented and the Classic Ancestry is removed the membership will speak. If Ancestry does not loose customers they will go forward. If they are loosing enough customers they may reconsider. I encourage everyone to “vote with their feet”. Renew or don’t renew based on your view of the service Ancestry is providing. It is your only position of strength. It will be interesting to see if Ancestry’s reputation among professional genealogists will suffer because of these changes. The site went from being very concise & factual to being “pop history”.

  134. Patricia

    am I the only one who can’t upload a pdf? What gives? I’ve been a user since inception and find this “improved” site very difficult to use.

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