Posted by Ancestry Team on September 11, 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 the upcoming feature of photo cropping. This coming week we will roll out a new enhancement on LifeStory.

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.

Features we will introduce:

  • Show all events on LifeStory – this new feature will enable you to show all facts and events in theLifeStory view. Currently, we only show events like birth, death, residence, and etc. on LifeStory with auto-generated narratives. Very soon, you can easily view and create your own stories behind any facts or events for your ancestors on LifeStory.

By the way, now if you prefer showing a specific fact on LifeStory not already shown, there is an option to do so. Go to Facts View, and click on the fact/event you want to see on LifeStory. Under “LIFESTORY OPTIONS” you can create a story title, add your own narratives, and check “Show on LifeStory.” Voila, now that fact will also be reflected on LifeStory view.

Pick the fact/event you would like to show on LifeStory:


This is how it will show up on LifeStory:


If you don’t want to show it any more on the LifeStory you can hide that fact.


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 a status on the top issues surfacing from your feedback.

  • Inaccurate narrations in LifeStory and Facts view– We are looking at the language in the narrations and how to better generate narratives.
  • 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






  1. Martin

    Ancestry still not listening to its subscribers. Why are you persisting in trying to get square.rectangular pictures into round holes a feature which I and many others don’t want, l

    Inaccurate marathons in Life Story is an understatement, total mess would be more accurate. Please give to those who want it the option to remove Life Story from their tree settings, that is if you are truly listening to you customers.

    No mention in the update of fixing the incorrect date format on the site which again hardly rocket science to correct a date setting.

  2. John Atkins

    I REALLY am unhappy with the new layout. I DO NOT WANT the fluffy displays. You are trying to build a “pretty” page, not a useful page. You are trying to please your bosses and peers by making all this stuff so fancy, rather than trying to please your customers by using the KISS method. UNHAPPY!!!!

  3. John Atkins

    Continuation: As an internet user and intranet designer from the 1990s, I highly reccommend that your designers take time to check out Prof. Vincent Flanders’ site on good design: “” This is a serious web design site and you could benefit from his knowledge.

  4. frank

    You do not get it do you.It would appear that you just do as you please.Yes you read the feedback but ignore it totally.You still seem obsessed with these stupid round photos and the life story feature.I’m sure if you took notice of your feedback you would realize these are NOT WANTED!!!!. You are heading the same direction as FMP went. That was down down. Please take some notice of your subscribers.Remember WE are paying your wages to come up with this crap!!!!!

  5. Dave

    Sorry folks, I am outta here. I DO NOT LIKE the “NEW” Ancestry. I have copied all my info. to my Family Tree Maker and cancelled my Ancestry Membership, call me in a few years when you change back.


  6. ALP Thorpe

    All of the above. Incredible, really, that Ancestry persists in ignoring the complaints about circle cropping. No one in his right mind wants a gravestone in a circle, or a letter, or a family photo. I made my tree (6,000+ individuals) private earlier this summer. Once I have made sure I’ve saved everything elsewhere, I will pull the plug on my Ancestry membership. So sad and so terribly unnecessary.

  7. BEE

    I agree it definitely sounds like no one is listening to the hundreds of comments on these “updates”. I refuse to go near that “new” ancestry, but looking at what is shown above – STILL those ugly big purple circles? {among other things of course!}

  8. Karen

    With regard to LifeStory, the only thing I want is the option to turn it off. I really have NO interest in adding my information there when I was perfectly happy having it already on the timeline I created with my pictures attached. Since you have removed my pictures and stuffed them in a gallery, I certainly don’t want to go to LifeStory to visit them. Why would I want to spend my valuable time redoing all of that work, especially when LifeStory is filled with errors you created and I can’t remove them? Can I delete all your maps? No. Can I edit everything you have put on there? Just give me the option to turn LifeStory off and block others from seeing it.

    And by the way, I hate this trend of jamming two words together with a capital in the middle. Grow up.

  9. Elhura

    I am adding my comment of 09/11/2015 in the Sept 4 Blog to the current Sept 11, because I do feel our continued and persistent PHONE contacts ARE important. Please keep it up and maybe Classic Ancestry will live longer, or perhaps be added as a permanent “work” option (with its properties intact), incorporated into the new. This blog is one of our few resources for keeping our “teamwork” going:

    Just called the first number above provided (Sept 4 Blog) 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.

  10. Elhura

    Executive Office Number: 1-801-705-7000
    FAX: 1-801-705-7001

    Ancestry help line: 1-800-262-3787

    John Coyle:

    Tim Sullivan, CEO
    P. O. Box 990
    Orem, Utah 84059

    or at Ancestry Headquarters:
    360 West 4800 North
    Provo, Utah 84604

  11. Elhura

    This is the URL for Foresee, an analytical company that MAY BE doing research for (see my first post of 09/12/2015). You will be required to provide your name and email address and “other” data that can be generic:


  12. Mary Yetter

    I have been a happy member of since 2004. In no way would I consider leaving Ancestry because of le pictures or the other features of the new Ancestry. I understand the members who are frustrated. It is their right as paying members to voice their opinions. In my opinion, Ancestry in either form, old or new, is far superior to the other options I have tried. I feel I would be just hurting myself and my own enjoyment of genealogy by leaving. I have found Ancestry to be very responsive to my input. I appreciate the blog that provides information on updates. At first Idid not like the new Ancestry, but after a few days, there were many features that I liked better than the old, and at this point, I don’t even miss the old. With all the new reccords being uploaded to Ancestry every day, I am going to be a paying subscriber for as long as I have the means. Ancestry gives me hours of researching pleasure every week, and the value it has added to my family tree work cannot be expressed enough!

  13. RobinH

    Thanks, Elhura, for your persistence and your dedication and for sharing what you learn – and for the contact information. In case people would prefer to email Tim Sullivan, (according to customer service)they can do so by sending an email to and asking that the email be forwarded to him.

  14. john

    I like the Lifestory view and I welcome the changes you mentioned. I have never been interested in having just a name in my tree. I want to know my ancestors. I have spent many years writing bios for my ancestors and meticulously putting together timelines filled with important dates. Now, the Lifestory view does a lot of my work for me and that frees me up to do other types of genealogical work.

    I still think there should be an option for members with public trees to make their Lifestory and/or Media Gallery views private. Until we have had a chance to tweak our ancestors’ Life Stories, many members may feel uncomfortable with sharing the inaccurate information found in those stories.

  15. Rebecca Shrode

    Life Stories are a nuisance, present unwanted visual clutter, are completely unnecessary, almost totally unwanted. STOP USING THEM NOW! LISTEN TO US!

  16. Elhura

    Thanks, Robin, Will email too. I strongly feel this time is crucial and a bombardment of messages now is important! They seem to emphasize numbers, so we need to give them to them in a flurry. Thanks again!

  17. RobinH

    I have read the update three times now to try to figure out if anything actually got updated or changed during the last week – and I can’t figure out that there was any progress whatsoever. I’ll make this request again, realizing that it won’t make any difference whatsoever to Ancestry, but at least it will make me feel like I tried. Ancestry, please post a list of what you are actually working on – and what you have in mind to work on in the future – so that we will know what issues (that we have reported over and over and over again) have registered and what new things we might need to report if we don’t see them on that list. The way it is now is complete chaos. You ask us to let us know what we don’t like or what might not work and we do that, but we don’t get adequate feed back from you, which makes us think that we need to keep reporting the same old things over and over and over again. I am beginning to wonder if you have any programmers on your payroll (seriously).

  18. Mary Yetter

    John, I agree that it would be nice for the lifestory view to be an option. I enjoy Lifestory, but others do not want it on their pages for a various reasons.

  19. Elhura

    Thanks, too, John Paul! I see there are 3,133 names to-date, shooting for 3,500 (or more). Many of my Ancestry friends were not watching the blogs, so I have been emailing all I can to them as well and asking them to pass these contact sites along.

    Another good way to reach others is via our past Member Connects. If you go back and send these contact numbers and sites to those from our Member Connect messages, we may reach some who are not yet “aware”. You can send them a message simply by clicking on their user name. Copy and paste the same message to each one.

    I am also concerned that those who get “stuck” in the new and don’t know how to get out are being “counted” in the analysis as satisfied users. A reminder to go to the dropdown list signoff list or to call Ancestry at 1-800-262-3787 to go back to Classic could be helpful to some.

  20. Monika

    @John: Are you joking? You say “I have spent many years writing bios for my ancestors and meticulously putting together timelines” and then you want to convince us that the incorrect data that shows up on LifeStory “enhances” these meticulously put together stories. I would hate to see those bios you are so proud of if you can truly appreciate the LifeStories that New Ancestry creates. Hope you have lots of locusts in your tree.

  21. Kathy


  22. Mary Yetter

    The blog entry pretty clearly state what they are still working on:

    picture cropping
    member connect
    family group sheet

    working on improving the accuracy of narratives in lifestory

    considering adding back thumbnail photos to facts view

    As far as what is actually new, the entry explains how you can edit more of what appears in Lifestory. After reading the blog entry, I played around with the Lifestory view on some of my ancestor’s profiles. Ancestry is definitely providing members with more flexibility in how the Lifestory appears.

  23. I absolutely do not like the new website. It makes me feel like you think of me as a complete moron. I have spent hours and hours scanning and adding information to my website. I like the way it is in the old version. You are now attempting to write my story which only I can write. I think I have the brains and knowledge to do this on my own. We should be allowed to keep the version in which we have laboured for so long. Please do not presume to be capable of re-writing my story. I am frustrated and disappointed and this is turning me off genealogy. I wish I could find another website to host my data. Perhaps those of us who don’t like what you are doing should do just that.

  24. Mary Yetter

    Edith, I am busy this morning editing my dad’s story so it is just the way I want it. With the changes to Lifestory, you have control over how the story appears if you want to put in the time to work on it. Lifestory is just part of the new interface, but you are the one who determines what is in it. There might be a couple of things that you can’t edit on it now, but Ancestry has made it much more editable that it first was. The only problem with it is that if a person doesn’t want to spend time working on Lifestory, then they are stuck with what Ancestry has provided by default. It sounds like the option to turn off Lifestory might satisfy those who don’t want to spend time editing it. Speaking for myself, I want to spend some time playing with it!

  25. Mary Yetter

    Edith, Lifestory is just part of the interface of the new Ancestry, but Ancestry has made it much more editable. Since their updates, you aren’t stuck with their default version of the story, as long as you are willing to spend time working on Lifestory. I guess the problem comes in for those who don’t want to spend time working on Lifestory and are frustrated with Ancestry’s default. I agree that for this reason, they should be able to hide Lifestory to themselves and others, just like they can make other things private.

  26. Karen

    Edith there are lot of other places like Legacy, Roots Magic and TNG (The Next Generation).

    I assume this post will likely be deleted. If not, it probably means no one is reading the comments, lol.

  27. Walt

    Voila, indeed. There is absolutely no progress reported on any of the issues of concern that have been raised. Nothing whatsoever. Voila, the only thing offered is more nonsense added to LifeStory, a feature for which subscribers have overwhelming said they have little use. Ancestry, I really don’t understand how you can give subscribers the same sharp stick in the eye week aftet week. Do you really have that much disdain for people who are so passionate about your product?

  28. Diane

    I will continue to scream at the top of my lungs about the round porthole photo circle. NO! NO! NO! Many other things are wrong as stated by so many others, but that one thing is my absolute pet peeve and it’s in my face every time I change over. Until it is gone and we get square photos back I will continue to return to the classic and much more stylish and much better original site.

  29. The bottom line here is this,,,,ANCESTRY, you do NOT give a flying flip about your customers. So, stop TRYING to act like you do,,,it’s insulting. Thousands of UNHAPPY customers and you are still going about your business as of we do NOT exist. We have TOLD you over and over what we hate,,,and you honestly are not going to do one thing about it. Remember this,,,we are PAYING YOU to make US happy,,,,that seems to be lost on you.

  30. Elhura

    I am repeating these contact numbers throughout the day for those who may not see them in my early blogs and details of 09/12/2015. It is imperative that those of us who are dissatisfied with the new Ancestry make the contacts, however brief, right away. Their lines and message venues need to be saturated now. I have been told numbers – counted in the right places – count.

    Executive Office Number: 1-801-705-7000
    FAX: 1-801-705-7001

    Ancestry help line: 1-800-262-3787

    John Coyle:

    Tim Sullivan, CEO
    P. O. Box 990
    Orem, Utah 84059

    or at Ancestry Headquarters:
    360 West 4800 North
    Provo, Utah 84604

    This is the URL for Foresee, an analytical company that MAY BE doing research for (see my first post of 09/12/2015). You will be required to provide your name and email address and “other” data that can be generic:

    From John Paul re: petition:

    From Robin H. re: email to Tim Sullivan:

  31. mary

    Ancestry doesn’t even do a good job of dissembling. What I want: An “OFF” button for Lifestory, RECTANGULAR photos, and an uncluttered appearance that doesn’t offend and strain the eyes..

  32. Mary Rawson

    I’ve been suggesting for weeks now, that everyone PRINT OUT all important profiles, family group pages, military pages, etc., in the Old format because you’re going to be stunned soon when you turn on the site and find the Old GONE! Save pictures and records to a memory stick, or to your hard drive, or print them out, because the original plan (I heard) was that the NEW be the ONLY on Aug. 1. We’re just getting a little more time to “adjust.” The people who run Ancestry DON’T CARE what we are saying here on FB. If you look at their pages, they’ve got hundreds of people extolling the virtues of New Ancestry, especially that horrible LifeStory. And they’re NOT going to put photos back in a square or rectangle. We have been thrown overboard: Save Your Ancestors while you can!

  33. Patricia...Patti



    How grossly incompetent to leave off an integral function of this site from your ‘working on’ list.

    St Louis is not a CITIES. I cannot search this City to find ANY reasonable results without having to enter words into the keyword. I know how this works, but there are thousands who must think their search results show 0 because there isn’t anything to find.

    You must not care at all. There is no concern here, unless it fits your agenda. I spit on the LifeStory for amending every single one of my St Louis entries to ‘reside’ ‘born’ ‘died’ ‘married’ in the County – including myself. My subscription to Ancestry should include a working search engine to find the proper databases, and the St Louis City people within. It does not. Thus, my subscription is compromised, and has been for many months. I am paying you to deliver a service, and that service is faulty and all you care about is how to enhance the LS. I’m disgusted with this company’s arrogance.

  34. MaryH

    LIFESTORY is a waste of space. Tired of seeing the second grade narratives. Tired of incorrect map locations. Tired of seeing names of counties my people never lived in. Tired of seeing Louisiana “counties.” Tired of inverted birth-death order. Tired of relationship mix-ups. I can’t correct all the mistakes. Tree is too big; I’m too old to start over. It was all correct the first time I did it. Searching has gotten much more difficult. Search boxes don’t work the way they used to. Profile pages are too wide AND too long. Was told Classic would be finished by end of this year.

  35. Jade

    Yes, definitely put uploaded-image thumbnails on the items in Facts page.

    And fix the omissions and garblings of place-names, use the user-submitted locations in their entirety.

  36. arf

    Yes, please, let’s seen enhancements to the Life Story view that most people dislike and don’t want. What is wrong with you people? Illiteracy? Hard of hearing? Arrogance? I personally vote for arrogance.

  37. Keep up the good work. Web development is difficult and lots of folks get frustrated when the root of many issues is user error. Looking forward to the continued roll-out of improvements.

  38. Jolene

    Things I like: The colors. Period.

    Things I don’t like:

    THE LAYOUT: Pretty but not practical – No longer minimalistic – MUCH wasted time in “eye candy” – Not for serious genealogists. LOTS of WASTED TIME trying to get to the actual research and compare search results to what I already have in my tree. Specifically:

    1- no longer a minimalistic one-page easy-to-read format [classic view emulated an 8.5×11 page view with margins on either side for easy viewing]

    2 – no longer able to see a whole family or an individual at a glance — now I have to scroll down the page to see data. I’ve tried reducing the size and then I can’t read the data…

    3- No longer able to see the “media” with the individual’s “profile” creates a disconnect [i.e. many of my media pieces are sources for the data on the profile]. I see that I can connect a piece of media to a fact but the process creates lots of extra steps and WASTES TIME.

    4- Completely redundant boxes for source, person and fact – eliminate the middle “source” column – it broadens the viewable page too much. Also splitting sources between “ANCESTRY” sources and non -ANCESTRY sources in this redundant middle column is an odd thing to do. The Classic timeline view was much better at organizing sources with its minimalistic “source” button for each event – consider reverting to that and ONLY that for source detail “hot links”.

    5- the life story doesn’t fit my family at all…. saying someone lived a and died is not a story and I don’t care to rewrite the basic story for each of the 7300+ people I have in my tree; it is one of many new features I will never use.
    6- the names of my family are too long to fit in the little box you’ve given them and with the “text wrap” the name gets cut in awkward places…visually unappealing

    7 – Can’t add sources/photos to multiple people – at best cumbersome work-around. When uploading photos if you wish to add them to more than one individual you must do so WHEN FIRST UPLOADING THE PHOTO. There appears to be no option WHEN YOU GO BACK TO THIS UPLOADED PHOTO to add to other individuals as there is in the classic view. Consider reverting this as well.

    8- Cropping of thumbnails in Gallery (on profiles) AND lack of thumbnails on profiles – I have photos added to timeline items in the classic view. That is ALL the “dolling-up” I need on my pages. I do not need doo-dads and gimmicks.

    9- No longer shows comments on profile page

    10 – the slider bar search is either “all or nothing” , doesn’t give us the control to create better searches especially with spelling

    I could go on. I think that Ancestry should listen to its loyal users. Upgrades are sometimes a good thing, but in this case it is trying to do too much and in doing so, takes away the control from the user in assuming that we all want “bells and whistles”, when some of us just want to enter the data and have a few stories and photos. I have taken 15+ years to build my 7300+ tree with Please consider leaving a toggle option for those of us who are serious genealogists.

  39. Jo

    While some folks do like the ‘life story’ being automatically generated, most of us long time researchers DO NOT like the life story section. One simple fix (in my opinion) would be to take off the ‘life story’ tab/section that is automatically generated and give us an optional report for a life story that one can generate and customize with facts/stories IF someone wants to see the their family info in that manner

  40. Mark

    How about sorting out the date issues? The UK version is different to the US version so the 9th August 1974 (09/08/74 in English) is showing as 8th September 1974. What about he sorting of dated facts as well? They are now correct in the lifestory feature, but still in the wrong order in the facts feature. Could the UK ancestry have a blog on the updates so we don’t have to move to the US portal?

  41. emam

    @ Elhura, do people from the UK email those names that you have posted, though the phone numbers will be no good for us. Or do you know if we should contact different people. The same with the petition.

  42. Cathy Kesseler

    I have been researching over 10 years and I don’t have a problem with LifeStory being automatically generated. LifStory presents the information in a different manner, which helps me find errors, inconsistencies, or gaps. I was doing the same thing with storyview. I do Facebook posts about events in family history and I find the LifeStory a great help in composing my ‘On this day in family history’ posts. If ancestry had a way to share the LifeStory on Facebook, I would use it. The bulk of the information in LifeStory comes from my research. I like being able to ignore a historical insight and I am happy that ancestry added the ability to edit historical insights.

  43. Anna

    I applaud the hard work but please listen to people i feel classic version had everything new does not. i like lifestory because it allows you to see why someone might have immigrated that could be added to classic. there are more people working on computer versus their phone because lets face it why would u want to spend hours looking at a tiny phone. military military cant say that word enough people worked along time and alot of hours creating these pages this should be a top priority bringing it back and make it where u can link fold3 to you military page please

  44. Elhura

    To emam. Thanks for your question! The Ancestry link providing international toll free numbers and times of accessiblity is:

    According to the site, the phone numbers are said to be toll free and are as follows:

    United Kingdom 0800-404-9723
    Ireland 1800-303-664
    Australia 1-800-251-838
    New Zeland 0-800-442-100
    Canada 1-800-958-9073
    Sweden 020-091-0203
    United States 1-800-262-3787

    There are also specific instructions for “Other Locations” and for TTY users. They do not mention toll free. The “other locations” are told to use the US code (which is 1) before the number. The website also gives days and hours of operation for each contact site.

    The email contact people should likely be the same for all of us. I have spoken with an Ancestry representative who thinks this would be correct.

    I am seeing UK and BC responses to the petition, so I suppose everyone can also respond to the same petition. John Paul, please advise if you know differently.

    Thanks again. We hope everyone concerned will take the time over the weekend and early next week to make their voices heard. If numbers do count, as one Ancestry representative told me, then it will be worth the effort.

    As I have said earlier today, this is not to create problems for Ancestry. It is to save a product we love and respect for a company that has previously served us well.

    I am personally asking that Classic Ancestry (properties intact) be continued as a “work option” along with the new. No one supposes the new will be abandoned, but the added feature of the Classic research and tree-building tool would be a plus for the new.

  45. i have an Event Label and Description for a Fact. Don’t make me type in a new Title/Narrative before i can click show on lifestory. Just let me add the Event Label/Description to the lifestory as i already have it typed on my Facts page.

  46. Margaret

    I’m another “hater” of the new format. The Lifestory is a big problem for me. Being able to add my own information to it is a plus. However, please take out the historical insights/hints. I would suggest that you also fix the columns on the profile page. I find it hard to believe that no one is listening about that problem. I hate going to the new format and seeing a name like Carter and have it displayed as Carte with the r on the next line. Forget about the stupid round photos. I will not waste my time redoing, cropping and editing. Sadly, I made my trees private. They aren’t unsearchable as of yet, but that could change, too.

    When pages are printable, I hope you give members a choice to print black on white.

    I would be very interested in how many members use mobile devices or pc’s for their research. I spend hours on my pc working on my tree. I can’t imagine looking at a screen smaller than my monitor for hours on end.

    Whenever I can no longer use the classic version, I will be cancelling my subscription and will only be back for a month every so often.

  47. RobinH

    For those of you not on Facebook, there was a post a few minutes ago from Teri, who said she was told by customer service that Old Ancestry would not be available after the end of September. Ancestry responded to her and did not deny that that was the case.

  48. Elhura

    Jolene’s comments hit the mark. I agree with all except one thing that, unless it is a personal problem, others might not consider. The colors are a problem – a serious one. For older users or those with eye difficulties, even beginning cataracts, the color scheme is pretty, but a poor choice. Someone has previously cited a scientific study that supports this. I, for one, cannot stay on the site of more than 15-30 minutes and then must quit when I begin to see “spots”. Unfortunately, it takes a while for the eye strain to clear up.

    For those for whom it does not present a problem, it is a moot point. For others, there should be an option to set your own backfground and font colors. Since the Classic version colors were eye-friendly, then “Classic Colors” should be an option.

    There should also be an option to “turn off the purple”. Again, the purple background highlighting a fact and the distracting purple lines snaking the page to sources are, as said to a rep earlier today, “mentally distracting and visually debilitating”. There should be an “opt out” button for those features as well. A simple dropdown list with sources and a click directly on the source to take you to edit are all that are needed to work efficiently.

    I also agree, the middle source column and splitting the sources between Ancestry-generated and non-Ancestry is confusing and cumbersome. It requires yet a second and even a third or fourth look sometimes before locating what you are looking for.

  49. Vince

    To Ancestry Developers: Among the “Top Reported Issues This Week” in the “The New Ancestry: August 29th Feature Update” blog the following item appeared: “Users want to see the ‘not you?’ link in the relationship calculator”. That reported issue does not appear among the “Top Reported Issues This Week” in the two subsequent Feature Update blogs, September 4th and 11th. But the “Not you?” link, available for years in Classic Ancestry on the Profile page of every individual, still is missing from New Ancestry. So I repeat here the gist of my post of September 4, 2015, at 12:34 am, to the August 29th blog:

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

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

    To Bill (post of September 12, 2015 at 12:45 pm in this blog): You commented, “… Web development is difficult and lots of folks get frustrated when the root of many issues is user error. …” Where exactly is the “user error” regarding the matter noted above? I submit that the error resides with the Ancestry website developers who have failed so far to transfer a useful and convenient function of Classic Ancestry into the new interface, despite specific acknowledgment that “users want to see” it. I also believe that fully 90% of the hundreds of complaints registered about the new interface in these blogs and elsewhere could have been avoided by more careful attention to preservation of Classic Ancestry features, in their most convenient form. When I was developing user software in the 1980s, I wrote an instruction as “Press any key to continue.” Some very intelligent people called in to ask, “Where is the ‘Any’ key?” I did not criticize them, instead I immediately changed the instruction to “Press a key to continue.” The problem with most of Ancestry’s new interface is not “user error”; it is instead programmer failure or management focus on what might sell rather than what is easiest for users to do what they want to do.

  50. Deb

    Please give us the option to turn off Life Story permanently from our trees. I never used Story View on Old Ancestry and was always annoyed when I inadvertently moused over the button, popping up a link which prevented me from moving on until I cleared the pop-up. I will never use Life Story on New Ancestry. I do not want computer generated canned text to tell the story of my family. All I want from Ancestry is to be able to research my ancestors.

    I would have to spend hours on each person in my tree to correct the drivel that Ancestry places in Life Story. Even if I just work on my and my husband’s direct lines for 5 generations, that is 128 “stories” that I will have to correct. Add in siblings and the amount of work becomes impossible to tackle. And that task would be just for my main tree. I also have a “work” tree with over 12,000 individuals which includes spouses of siblings, descendants and family lines for them. I keep that particular tree around for the insights and connections that it provides. I’ve made many contacts with distant cousins because of it and have broken down several brick walls through those contacts. It is definitely not as precise or well-sourced as my main tree. I use it for anything speculative. I certainly don’t want anyone to see what Life Story would do to that tree. I do not want to present unedited “stories” as my work.

  51. Thameslass

    1) Why is Ancestry *still* pursuing the cropping profile photos to fit the circular space? No-one wants it.
    2) Why is Ancestry *still* ‘evaluating whether to include the functionality’ of images appearing as thumbnails in Facts view.? If we’ve specifically attached them to events in ‘classic’ Ancestry, we obviously want them to be displayed in ‘improved’ (such a misnomer) Ancestry.
    3) Why is the ‘not you?’ *still* missing at the bottom of the relationship calculation?
    4) Why is the search box *still* not in the same place on every screen?
    5) Does anyone from Ancestry actually read the comments written here?

  52. Alma Peterson

    I thoroughly enjoy the New Ancestry. The LifeStory function has helped reveal previously unseen errors in my tree and facts are easily edited. I like the flow, the presentation, the navigation features AND I know how to use CNTRL-P to print out a page until other printing options are available. I know Ancestry is working toward fixing the identified bugs; I’d never leave Ancestry over positive change. I have all faith that anything negative will be eventually FIXED. Not overnight. Ancestry did not evolve overnight and it will take time to work out the bugs. For everyone who likes squares, there are an equal amount of people who have no problem with circles. We’re just sitting back here slightly embarrassed by the outpouring hoopla about…..CHANGE. Critical comments are one thing; crucifixion, yet another. I have been an active member of ANCESTRY since its’ inception, and hear me now; it is my pleasure to remain a fully paying member of a site that does so much for me. Those who don’t like it, should cease humiliating yourselves and just leave.

  53. i am noticing a proliferation of “alternate” Events being created on my profiles. i have narrowed down what is causing – when i “Save Record to Tree” from Stories, it creates New events instead of using an Existing event. programmers need to FIX IT! i am having to spend time re-linking the source citation to the correct Event and then deleting the “alternate” Events.

  54. john

    @Alma Peterson – I agree with you. It is time for the comments regarding the “Feature Updates” to take on a more civil and constructive tone. Now where did I put my flak jacket? After posting this comment, I am sure I am going to need it!

  55. Helen

    As someone mentioned earlier, for those of us with visual disorders (I have Glaucoma) the new color scheme is problematic. It would be nice if you would come up with a way to accommodate us in this serious matter. I can put up with the rest. I think.

  56. Roger

    I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination – Jimmy Dean

  57. Elhura

    You can put your flack jacket away, John. No one expects to shoot at you for expressing your thoughts – just as others don’t expect to be shot at for stating our preferences and needs. The point is, it is now or never for those who will be unable to use the site to speak up. I’m sorry if it offends you – and I totally agree the comments should be constructive and civil – but there are many who will lose the opportuntity and the joy of their work if a Classic work option is not maintained.

    Some will lose the ability to continue because of the new site’s visual and physical difficulties. Some will lose it because they either can’t or do not want to change or find the site too frustrating to continue. Some will shift with the wind and make the adjustments, however hard, learning to like parts of the new and hoping for improvements in time. Some will go to Family Tree Maker and learn that.

    Painful for some, imperfect for all until improvements are made, I am glad of the opportunity to ask Ancestry to continue the Classic work option in conjunction with the new. I am glad to be able to offer suggestions that may help improve the new. Those suggestions are, for the most part, being sent to Ancestry via their recommended links and rep phone calls, since I am not sure how much attention they pay to the blogs.

  58. Patricia Harris

    I think people would be happier with Life Story if they had more control over it:

    ability to delete or hide the map, for yourself and others looking at your page,
    choices in header background color,
    ability to remove photos from Life Story that belong in the Gallery but don’t fit in the story narrative,
    ability to make paragraphs when rewriting the Life Story bubbles, *
    ability to EDIT all the bubbles, including the light gray ones

    * In rewriting the opening of my grandfather’s Life Story I found that the system will not save spaces between paragraphs. After hitting SAVE the paragraph breaks are still there, but once you go out of the page and then back into it your paragraph breaks are gone and you have one long, grammatically incorrect paragraph.

    Thanks for the Show All Events feature.

  59. i have figured out how to tweak New ancestry to accept Event Labels/Descriptions from Facts WITHOUT having to type any Title/Narrative. why doesn’t ancestry give us an explanation on how to do it instead of me groping around until i was able to do it. Here’s what i did: in one Fact, click Edit, click on lifestory options, in Title/Narrative i typed a dash, then clicked show on lifestory. go over to lifestory and locate the entry, click Edit, delete the dashes, save and my own Event Label/Description backfilled and is displayed just the way i want it without me having to retype or cut and paste. it works this way for now but if ancestry changes something then i suppose it may or may not function this way.

  60. Patricia Harris

    To protect my work I took screen shots of each individual’s Profile, Facts/Sources, and Media Gallery pages in the Old Ancestry version so that I have a reference to compare and find possible mistakes in New Ancestry. It’s faster and cheaper than printing out. Still time consuming tho! I used my iPad and the Old Ancestry website, not the App. That being said, my tree only has 278 people, 200 docs and 270 photos. As you get further out in the tree the screen shots go faster because there are few photos, etc. The process made me feel more secure.

  61. Patricia Harris

    I’ve read a few comments regarding the use of mobile devices for genealogy research. I’ve also read comments that New Ancestry is being optimized for those devices. I thought I address those issues.

    I’ve been a serious genealogist since 1994. I have a laptop and an iPad. I do more than 90 percent of my genealogy on my iPad. I use the Ancestry WEBSITE, not the APP. (The app is nice fluff, but not for serious research.) The website appears on your iPad exactly as it appears on your laptop. You have all the same functions and research options. But for me the iPad is more comfortable and visually easier for me to use. It’s also faster because tapping is faster than a mouse.

    I don’t think New Ancestry is being optimized for tablets. It has a major glitch when you use it on an iPad –if your ancestor has a lot of photos and documents the Life Story page will not load on the iPad. (My iPad is new with the most up-to-date software and plenty of space. I tested it on my husband’s iPad with the same unhappy result.) I’m not the only one having this problem on their tablet. I’ve read comments here and in other blogs of people having the same problem. I contacted Ancestry and heard back from them. They don’t know why it’s not working. I’m hoping they are working on a solution.

  62. john

    @Elhura – Thank you for your polite post and I agree with you on the majority of what you said. Please understand that just because I desire a more civil dialog in this blog doesn’t mean that I am offended by any of the posts. I am not. I wasn’t even offended when @Monika said she hopes I have lots of locusts in my trees. I know people are frustrated over this change.

    It may surprise people but I still flip between old ancestry and the new ancestry. I like the design of the new ancestry, but there are things that the old ancestry does better. I also know that there are a lot of “little things” that still need tweaking in the new ancestry that would make the user experience more enjoyable.

  63. 15YearSubscriber

    All that it would have taken to NOT disown Ancestry’s long-term customers would have been to make MIRROR web sites – one for “Mobile phone users”, and (keep) the “Old” version for desktop and portable labtop users. Choose which site you want with ONE CLICK when you sign in.
    Successful businesses don’t force their customers to scroll through miles of dreaded white space, or utilize a ridiculous number of mouse clicks to complete a single task. They do the opposite – they continue to make their website easier and faster to use. That’s what it takes to remain competitive. People who don’t like a particular web site go elsewhere.
    While Ancestry will attract young folks with the new mobile-friendly web site, most won’t go much further than leaving public trees full of mistakes in their wake when they find out what a subscription costs. They can barely afford their cell phone bills, rent and food, let alone an expensive Ancestry subscription.
    Ancestry was once the premiere site for serious genealogy researchers. Instead of fixing content databases, Ancestry listens only to their slick young advertising/marketing directors – who have convinced Ancestry to abandon the wants and needs of their serious researcher database. Today, Ancestry is a site full of ridiculous, unneeded fluff and silly little Life Stories that only a grade schooler can appreciate. A very poor strategy for long term growth.

  64. Today I looked at 3 websites with the idea of changing from Ancestry to another site. There were a few features that I wouldn’t mind having in Ancestry but I decided that Ancestry – Classical Version was still the best. However, I am still looking at alternatives. I have Family Tree Maker and I keep all my photos and documents in files and subfiles ijn genealogical order for each of my 8 trees. I do not want to leave ancestry but if we no longer are able to access that version I will not work with the NEW Version. I have also begun to do PRINT SCREENS of everyone. That is a tall order because I have close to 25,000 people with 12,000 photos and documents in my combined trees. I am begging these people who are in charge of this crazy exercise to leave the Classic Version in tact. I have been a member since 2002.

  65. Elhura

    @John – Thanks for your feedback. We are all in this together, trying to get the best product we can out of Ancestry. I like the ease and simplicity of the Classic format and the fact that I can focus on it for an extended time without problem. If we had color options, the option to turn off the purple lines and highlights and could do away with much of the layering, the new format would be a lot more palatable for me.

    I also fear for the content of my detailed source citations, often containing a narrative of their own. Until recently, I understand there was some question about even including our own self-added stories. Much of my own work has been either transcribed or written directly into the system and placed on my tree. I would hate to lose that – and hopefully now will not.

    I find it quite confusing that the Ancestry citation sources are separated in the central column from our self-added sources. In fact, I would like to see the central column gone altogether and returned to where it was, making visibility better.

    On the other hand, I hated Life Story at first. Still preferring to do my own writing, I do realize the appeal it will have to some – thus Ancestry’s need to “get it right”. My tree is huge. A product of several years work, it is a commentary on the pioneer families of a specific geographic region. There is no way I can “watchdog” all the profiles and manually make sufficient changes, so I do want Life Story to be correct.

    All is not well with Life Story yet. It does seem to be recognizing some locations better. I have found how to turn off the “historical highlights” and “family events” that, at least in my preference, are unneeded. As we know, some of the “lookers” will be printing Life Story from our trees and passing it along – correct or not. Thus the needed option to “turn it off” if we continue to spot serious problems – or make our public trees private which I hate to do should Member Connect eventually work again.

    I also do not like that Life Story prints out without acknowledging the name of the tree or the “author”. My narrative in the blocks from the Facts page transfer over to Life Story, which I like, but not if someone is going to print it without acknowledging my work.

    I do like that my photographs in the media gallery transfer over into the Life Story. I suppose it is an “ownership” issue that I have only seen my submissions carrying over to Life Story – not those downloaded from other trees. That is probably a good thing, since another submitter’s captions may or may not be acceptable to our trees.

    Many of these thoughts I have shared with Ancestry via the suggestion links. Since I fear changes will be slow even if some are accepted by Ancestry, I feel we need a system we can count on now and in the future.

    That is why I have encouraged others to make their contacts right away to the addresses and links I posted yesterday on this blog. That goes for likes and dislikes. As you know, I am requesting Classic be maintained as a “work option”, and until someone tells me that is a technological impossibility, I will continue to hope for the best – for all of us and for Ancestry.

  66. steve

    I have stated before, I hate the new format, but Life Story did bring up a question about how a place or location is written. I found out a long time ago, not to abbreviate a county name, auto correct changed it to a city.
    When I misplaced a comma in Boone, Co. Life Story changed it to Boone Colorado.
    Not all states have counties, Louisiana has Parishes, Alaska, has Boroughs.
    Most census use townships, ranges, or precincts county, state.
    Should we use abbreviations for states, some people think, MI is Mississippi, or Minnesota, but it is Michigan.
    Should we write twp. or Co. or MI, or spell it out?
    Do we put a space after the comma?
    How does all this get translated to a foreign language?
    Do you think some one in Paris, knows what MI means?
    Something to think about….

  67. Joyce

    The FAST way to Bankruptcy for a genealogy site

    #1 You don’t recognize who your target market is and design a website geared toward YOUNG customers who have no interest in genealogy-but they love worthless stories

    #2 You ignore your oldest and most faithful customers when they complain about you NEW innovations that not only RUIN their family trees, take all the information they used to be able to see with ONE click and turn it into 3 or 4 clicks

    #3 You make everyone hunt all over the place for information they used to be able to find easily

    #4 You CREATE errors in peoples research by trying to automate the names of towns and hamlets not in your database because your database does not and NEVER WILL be able to recognize the name of every hamlet, town, county or Province in the world

    #5 THIS creates a mess in that people who once lived in that town or hamlet that is NOT in your database are suddenly matched up by a computer with a place halfway around the world

    # 6 You ruin every photo people had ever added in a rectangular shape and try to make it a circle thereby cutting off their heads: the SUBJECT of the photo

    #7 You take away their ability to see a transcript of a Census and replace it with a link ONLY to the original Census where by they cannot add the other people in the census and they have to squint to see what that Census says

    # 8 You clutter up their photos and stories with copies of those Census documents

    #9 You take family view and make the background dark and the tiles so big you cannot see the family and you cannot read all the information in the rectangle they have use to replace a simple, readable tile with a mouse over to read the details.

    #10 You take away people’s ability to do a quick edit and make then jump through all kinds of hoops to fix something that used to take 10 seconds

    #11 You take AWAY crucial databases in order to make people buy a subscription to another database which you just bought and want to promote

    #12 You take away people’s ability to see everyone in a family at one time

    #13 You take away their ability to copy photos from other trees

    #14 You HIDE everything that used to be easily found

    #15 You make your NEW website so difficult to negotiate that people can no longer stand to even GO to the NEW website…


    If you are NOT happy with the NEW changes HERE is the man to call and write:

    Mr Tim Sullivan

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

    Since no one else is listening maybe it is time to talk to the “TOP DOG”

  68. netzband

    Ancestry, thank you for the Lifestory view. I have a lot of trees on Ancestry, including two “community” trees. Therefore I have a lot of people who are not genealogists looking at them for info on their families. They like the Lifestory view very much.
    I also especially like the ease with which I now see which record has what name, age, etc. (though I now should go back through thousands of entries and key them correctly).
    I’m very aware that all is not perfect, but have so appreciated the fact that many of the feedback items I gave to you have been fixed. I’m looking forward to seeing more tweaks.
    Becoming comfortable with change is sometimes very difficult, and some will continue to like the old way better.
    I like the new Ancestry, and will continue to subscribe as long as I have the means. AND, I have been a subscriber since the last century, back in the days when that little box rolled over each new database posted.

  69. Joyce

    MORE STEPS TO BANKRUPTCY–you give people 2 week free memberships and allow them to clutter up the database with information that us usually wrong and private.

    You allow anyone, anywhere anytime to be an editor on a tree that allows them FREE access to without having to pay for it.

    You allow people to continue access to their family tree even though they do not have a paid membership.

    If you want to know WHY ancestry is in so much financial trouble Mr Sullivan play CLOSE attention to the above.

    People do not have to pay to have access to information–as in anything they can find a way around things if there is a way and YOU have left the door wide open to allow people to get genealogical information at NO CHARGE while you are abusing the people who DO pay for their memberships by TOTALLY ignoring their complaints about your NEW site which they all hate.

    If you continue down this path you won’t have many customers left so I suggest you start carrying a flashlight because the people who keep the lights on in your office will have left…and you will need a flashlight to find your desk…BUT that won’t matter because there will be NOTHING on your desk to look at. I am sure you can write your resume from your home office.

    Keep your home office well supplied–it may be the only office you have to go to in a very short time if you persist on TOTALLY IGNORING your customer base…

    WE, the dedicated subscribers, who have kept memberships for 10 or 20 years now will be gone…you you’ll be left holding ……Fill in the blank

  70. Joyce

    Case in point with netzband post…people are getting FREE access to genealogical information compliments of ancestry,com without paying for it.

    WHO makes these decisions to give people free access , free info? People who don’t have PAID memberships should not be able to view ANYTHING from If they want to see things they can pay for it…

  71. Chris

    Wow!I have been reading through these supposed”comments”on this message board.I was hoping there was going to be something useful in searching for through my ancestry.This seems as if it were employees and profit making web designers bashing minor improvements to the sight?like maybe an idea of their own wasn’t applied.It just seems so internal and business like.Does anyone have any ideas towards research?On a personal level,not like research and development.Just some good tips on finding families prior to the 1500 era?

  72. William Miller

    The new ancestry is: A terrible waste of space controlled by a robot adding crap for historical idiots to read. Maybe that is what America wants now days especially the marketing department at Ancestry. Where is the button I can push to remove this crap globally on my trees, and you gave me a button to push on each of the individuals, a thousand buttons to push. I don’t want a lousy map, a picture of the Cuban Missile Crisis, a picture of the Civil War ruins, and a robot telling me about their birth etc. This is what I mean by a terrible waste of space. Management at Ancestry is made up of 2nd class people who hire 3rd class people. Your 1st class people must have gotten mad and left your company.

  73. Walt

    I just wanted to provide @Alma Peterson my reasons for objecting to the round profile photos insisted upon by the New Ancestry, and I do so with no feelings of humiliation:
    1. The current crops executed on our photos have created a sea of clumsily cropped, ugly photos with unsightly white or black margins.
    2. I am paying a substantial fee — and I do so gladly — but I do it for a fully mature website, not a beta site fully of these sorts of design flaws.
    3. The vast majority of our profile photos — especially for those of us with larger trees — are for ancestors who predate photography. Hence, we are likely to use documents or photos of houses, tombstones or other objects as a profile photo. Such widely used photos are simply not a fit for circular cropping.
    4. Assuming that the developers are able to develop a “cropping tool,” many of us are now stuck with hundreds or thousands of these clumsily cropped photos. How much time should we be expected to spend in redoing our trees to fit this retroactive design vision?
    5. Cropping an historic photo in the format of a modern day avatar loses all the rich detail and context that is such an important part of family history genealogy.

    I think these are legitimate reasons for asking that the existing profile photo design be retained. And while it may be true that “for everyone who likes squares, there are an equal amount of people who have no problem with circles,” that is not a sufficient reason for such a major design change. Many of us have asked repeatedly for what the rationale is behind the change and have gotten no answer whatsoever. Regretably, I have no confidence that “anything negative will be eventually FIXED.” Weeks go by with nothing on the Weekly Update lists getting fixed and items just quietly drop off the list with no fix and no explanation.

    @john, my comments are intended to be “civil and constructive” and not just noisy flak. However, we are now in the fourth month of dealing with the many bugs in the New Ancestry, including this issue of profile photo cropping. Surely a service claiming to be the pre-eminent genealogical website on the Internet can do better than this?

  74. Elhura

    Anyone wishing to contact Ancestry about their concerns or constructive input should do so now. Contact information can be found in my comment of 09/12/2015, 11:07 AM, and details of 7:38 AM, same date.

  75. Robin

    I suggest someone at Ancestry go to googlebooks advanced search and type in dating photographs genealogy. They will get several copies of Ancestry magazine. There are excellent articles written by a Colleen Fitzpatrick PH.D, apparently a forensic genealogist. She tells about dating a photograph by looking at the entire historic image. I was not able to find one place in any of these Ancestry magazine articles that suggested making a circular photo out of a photograph, chopping off all the historic detail was a fabulous idea. Now you have thousands of customers telling you the same thing. Ancestry, were you right when you published those articles, or are you correct now? Hint: Can’t have it both ways.

  76. Monika

    @John -I am glad that you were not offended by my reference to locusts in your trees. One of the trees I have created for my husband has around 160 people in it that lived in Iowa at a time where there was a locust infestation. Each one of these profile pages has a picture of humongous locusts in the LifeStory section. I, for one, AM offended to have this imposed on me on my tree. My response to you was merely because I was genuinely perplexed that someone who claims to have spent many years writing bios for his ancestors could appreciate the many inaccurate narratives ancestry is imposing on us. This forces us to go through well prepared quality trees page by page to crop pictures and review what incorrect information ancestry may have added, when THERE SHOULD BE NO NEED FOR US TO HAVE TO GO THROUGH EACH ONE OF OUR TREES AGAIN FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF DEALING WITH THE UNNECESSARY CHANGES IMPOSED ON US AFTER

  77. Monika

    @John -….and once again I am being bounced out in the middle of writing a message…why does not fix theses sort of things.

    As I was saying:There should be no need for us to have to go through each one of our trees again for the sole purpose of dealing with the unnecessary changes imposed on us AFTER we have created these trees. To me, some of the documents that I have found when going to Archives in Europe tell a much better LifeStory than the one that New Ancestry could ever tell. E.g., the original death record of a favorite ancestor of mine reads “She screamed herself to death while giving birth!” What a unique way of saying that she died giving life. Do you really want to add 160 pages of locusts to that??? What irritates me is the insensitivity that shows by forcing these changes on us AFTER the trees are already created. Many of us have our “plates full” if I may use this colloquialism. If you read the comments of members over the last few months regarding New Ancestry, the membership of Ancestry consists of many senior citizens , many of whom have visual problems (e.g., glaucoma, etc.), some are paraplegic and having to click four times to accomplish something that they used to be able to accomplish with one click is a real burden to them, some of us do not have the time to check every page on all of our trees because we have more pressing priorities but take pride in our trees and do not want someone else to impose changes on something that WE have created with love. I used to be an administrator and had to make many changes in many programs, but I have always known when to “grandfather” someone in. And, in this case, I think that “grandfathering” those of us in who have already created our trees seems appropriate. Hence, the desire to keep Old Ancestry.

  78. Annie

    Does anyone know why New Ancestry is highlighted so heavily and in such a distracting fashion that one’s eyes are drawn to the highlighting rather than to the actual written features one is trying to use? And why the letter box format was chosen to surround records so one sees for example very little of the census one is trying to view. I want to see as much of the record I am viewing not a one to two inch border of features I don’t need surrounding documents. The highlighted and cluttered areas are so blinding that I can’t focus and get anything done.

  79. Susan Shirey

    Jolene, Ancestry is always saying it wants specific feedback. I thought your posting was excellent. I especially agree with Items 1 and 4. Thank you for taking the time to post this information. I hope it receives the consideration it deserves.. Thanks again!

  80. Susan Shirey

    By the way, I had been looking for this update on the Community News and Updates Forum. Are you planning to post this update there as you have the others?

  81. arf

    How about this issue? Any prognosis?
    When will the comm. problems be corrected? This would be the problems where you instruct the user to clear cookies, clear cache, change browsers, optimize browsers, and (heaven forbid!) restart or reboot their computers!. The days of when in doubt, reboot are gone. How about having the brilliant developers fix this issue? NO other reputable website constantly asks the user to go thru these steps to clear a problem. Seems to me that we all have one website in common.
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    Ancestry Hi Amy and thank you for getting in touch. We appreciate your feedback and are sorry for any frustration caused. Browser issues are a common problem for many members and, the steps we often recommend to resolve these sorts of issues, are steps that hav…See More
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    Amy Fitzgerald Browser issues seem to be a VERY common problem on the Ancestry site. I am aware that these are the common starting point in the troubleshooting process. But why is this a common problem on YOUR website? Clearing the issue with those steps does not fix…See More
    Like · Reply · 1 · 12 mins

    Karen Ayers Weir I want to scream
    Like · Reply · 7 mins

    Amy Fitzgerald A real problem resolution team would have classified this issue as a chronic trouble and started handling it as a real problem. Not just glossed over it because there is a way to clear it. They would be looking for a cause.
    Like · Reply · 7 mins
    Amy Fitzgerald

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    Patrick Lombardi Amy: I use my computer everyday and visit the same sites regularly: Amazon, Fold3, Family Search, Google, Hotmail, Findagrave, Weather, Netflix, etc. Not one other website that I use asks me which browser I am using or asks me to clear my cookies or cache… that is an Ancestry exclusive solution. What is it about Ancestry that makes their website different from the others? I’d really like to know.

  82. Elhura

    @Annie – I share the same problem with the overall colors and the heavy highlights and lines that are not only distracting, but blinding. I am unable to use the site for any length of time. I hope you will be willing to call the reps at 1-800-262-3787 or email the link for suggestions found as “this form” under the Help Links on the Sept 4th Blog:

    I am simultaneously making similar input about the new, because no one expects it to be scrapped and it needs to be the best it can be, and by also continuing to request that Classic Ancestry be kept as a “work option”.

    Someone at Ancestry has said “numbers count” so now is the time our concerns need to be repeatedly heard. This is in no way demeans the sentiments of those who say they like parts or all of the new Ancestry. It does speak for a very significant number of us who may be willing to change, but find for whatever reasons the clutter, colors, layers and jumble of the new as insurmountable.

    A call to the corporate offices first at 1-801-705-7000 (FAX 1-801-705-7001) will net you a transfer to the 1-800-262-3787 line, but quickly nets you an additional voice right at the exec’s door. If enough calls go there first, that may become another avenue for being “counted”.

    Also make sure when talking to a rep at 1-800-262-3787, that you hear them entering your message directly into the system while talking to you. Let’s hope this is the week Ancestry begins to pay attention to the many we know are out there who have similar requests.

  83. BEE

    Some tree features are temporarily unavailable. “During this time you may not be able to add new information to your tree. Thanks for your patience while we resolve this issue. Go back Retry”

  84. Joyce

    This OLD news story gives some informative links and helps you to understand why the current owners of ancestry have NO interest in listening to their customers about the OLD version which they prefer. The SOLE purpose of the company that currently owns ancestry id to add some whistles and bells so that they can turn around a short time later and sell the company at a profit. While NO ONE can fault a company for trying to make a profit–companies NEED to make a profit to survive, THIS company is a private equity firm whose SOLE business model is buying and selling companies–The don’t give a HOOT what WE think as THEIR plan is to keep a short time (usually firms like this hold a company for about 3 years so THEIR time is almost up if they follow the “norm” for this type of company. THIS is why they are non-responsive to our complaints as they really don’t care…They are trying to put window dressing on the site so they can turn around and sell the site to someone else. They have NO desire to improve the functionality of the site –It is ALL window dressing to get the company “looking pretty and modern” so they can unload it and move on to their next acquisition. SEE this link which has other links that will enable you to get a glimpse of the business model and mentality of Wall Street Companies like this—It is ALL about the $$$ and they don’t care about anything BUT being able to make a profit on the sale of the company–I only hope they sell it soon and LEAVE THE KEYS for the OLD design…maybe if we are lucky a company that truly cares about its customers will buy it

  85. Joyce

    I DID manage to get a response from the executive office today by emailing and putting in subject line that I wanted my email forwarded to Tim Sullivan. While I did not care for the response, which essentially said they are moving on with their plans, it IS a way to get through to the executive offices. Perhaps enough emails to them will help. I have also added info to stories in my tree that a lot of folks have copied to their trees, about the changes, and contact info for the petition site and other avenues of contact to register complaints. I have also msg’d every person I have ever msg’d through in hopes of letting people know about the NEW version and the people I reached that way ALSO said they hated the NEW version and were refusing to switch to it, even temporarily, so they could see there have been NO improvements since we first started complaining. The problem in a nutshell is that is is very difficult to reach other researchers and get them to even try the NEW version so they will know exactly what THEY don’t like about it. People are afraid if they switch to NEW even for a short time, they will be unable to get back to the OLD version which they prefer to work in. In order to get them to listen to our complaints and take them seriously people need to get a LOT more proactive about getting people to complain to people who DO have the power to change this…the customer service techs cannot change anything…they are only repeating the “marching orders” they were given. Although registering complaints through customer service at LEAST gets your complaints on record, there is nothing the customer service reps can DO about changing this mess, ONLY Corporate makes these decisions. To call and register complaints the # is 1-800-262-3787. To write and register complaints the contact is You should try to make complaints as specific as possible. You should pass on the info to as many people as possible. The ONLY thing that might help them take our issues seriously is greatly increasing our complaining–and I don’t mean on this blog site. Make your complaining COUNT by doing it through the channels most likely to have an effect! This blog has shown me that complaining HERE is not doing any good at all.

  86. I’ve been to Ancestry Insider as linked by Joyce. Had a look at the 20 (negative) comments on the update (search for ‘new ancestry’. I then read the Insider’s article ‘ Revamping Website’ dated 10 Feb 2015, [] at the bottom of which is:

    “Come by the booth at the RootsTech Expo Hall to see the new website design in action. And to be considered to participate in the beta, visit Speaking of listening, they issued an appeal to RootsTech attendees, concluding with an e-mail address for those not attending: Ancestry depends on user input to help mold the future generation of [our] offerings. A range of opportunities are being planned here at RootsTech for participants to share their impressions of upcoming Ancestry features across multiple products. These will include both focus groups and individual interviews during the conference. [We] are looking for subscribers of all levels of expertise, membership tenure, and tree size. To be considered, please fill out the following online questionnaire and members of Ancestry’s User Research team will reach out to you for scheduling. Incentives will include a 6 month subscription extension to your membership, or a $50 Amazon gift card for an hour of your time. Research sessions will take place Thursday through Saturday in the Hilton across from the conference center. Please access the [questionnaire] here:
    Please reach out to Ancestry directly if you have any concerns:“.

    I hadn’t heard of it before but you may be more aware of Rootstech in America [Wikipedia: “RootsTech is a family history and technology conference and trade show held annually in the Salt Palace Convention Center, Salt Lake City, Utah”]. Does anyone know if the beta-testing was only done by people who volunteered via Rootstech? It makes it sound as if techie-people reviewed the work of other techie-people AND as if it was only undertaken SINCE FEBRUARY. Can that be correct? Does anyone know an Ancestry subscriber who did the beta-testing? I’m not about to take them to task but I’m really curious to know HOW this beta-testing was actually done & their experience of it. Certainly no-body asked me or anyone else posting to these blog updates!

    (By the way, if you’re wondering why UK users are posting on these updates, the blog hasn’t been working since July & new posts only re-appeared on 9 Sep with NOTHING about New Ancestry. I get redirected to these updates when I search on topics for ‘new ancestry’)

  87. douggrf

    If anyone cares about the announcement of Sept 11, 2015… it is about the ability to add about 290 characters, or about 3 average length sentences unformatted style in the narrative section of a fact. Very pathetic! How about the ability to directly link stories in formatted text or .pdf format to the facts just as you can photos?

  88. Mary M Zashin

    Huh? I don’t understand your example. Line 1: Andrew is a baker. Line 2: At 17 he was able to get a job in the local bakery. Line 3: Baker. You say, “This is how it will show up on LifeStory.” Why would anyone want it to show up like that? Why Line 3???

  89. Mary M Zashin

    It is also very dismaying that you are still working on how to “Edit/crop a profile photo to fit in the circular photo space.” The MOST UNANIMOUS complaint I have read on any of your update blogs has been that the circular primary photo is disliked. . .intensely! Next are repeated complaints about the dreary or unreadable color scheme. You haven’t mentioned that for several weeks. I take it from this blog that there is no intention of abandoning the circular format no matter how many people dislike it, and no matter how often it is posted that it is simply inappropriate for a site that is not almost exclusively head shots. I also take it that you have no intention of making the color scheme more attractive.

  90. John Brown

    15/9/15 (or is that 9/15/15?) and the last chance to get your 3 months free access to New (not improved) Ancestry.
    I for one will not be taking up the offer (even if it were 11 months free and pay for 1 month), it would still not be worth it anymore.
    I have spent 15,000 hours producing a family tree that is as far as possible “error free” ie; statements are backed up with factual evidence (as ALL genealogy work should be). Along comes New Ancestry and at the flick of a switch they manage to add thousands of errors/inexactitudes and down right lies to my work, they then tell me that I can ignore their errors, but everyone else will still see their lies on my tree. Then they say that I should GUESS when someone died because it suits their computer programme, I should ignore hundreds of years history where paintings, glass negs and paper pictures have all been in rectangular frames, and instead I should squash them into a nice round frame, and that they are “working” on a problem with their computer having zero geographical knowledge. Why has it taken over a month for someone to click the “UNDO” button on New Ancestry, go back to the drawing board, employ some staff with a knowledge of the subject and try again. Send me an e-mail when you have corrected all YOUR errors and returned MY tree to a valid, historically correct record that we can both be proud of, and then I may consider re subscribing to Ancestry

  91. Dave

    Jolene nailed it. And thank you to Elhura for compiling all of the contact info. I will make some phone calls and write some emails to those addresses.

    In my opinion, what we are being force-fed is obviously the work of a person that has spent a ridiculous amount of money on an overpriced college education in “Marketing” and whom has absolutely zero practical experience in genealogy. This person has probably contracted a third-party web design company and instructed them to make the web site look, feel and act like the most recent episode of “Who Do You Think You Are” so that they can sell more suscription through their sponsorship of that television program (a program that I really like).

    Unfortunately, Ancestry is owned by Permira, a Limited Liability Partnership that is whit is called a “capitol investment firm” instead of being owned by someone who has a lifetime of experience as a genealogist. (For the record, Wikipedia defines an investment firm as “An investment company is a company whose main business is holding securities of other companies purely for investment purposes.”) Not listening to the comments of the subscribers who pay for the company’s services also seems to me to be typical of an investment firm. All they want to do is buy a company, make it look diffenent, then sell it for a huge profit, and let the next owner figure out how to fix it.

    I honestly hope that someone at Permira sees, reads, and follows up on the complaints before that person with the expensive but appently useless college education Detroit Ancestry and causes them to lose the part of their anatomy that touches the chair first!!!

  92. Dave Marshall

    I forgot to mention that Permira is headquartered in England, not the United States of America. They also apparently do not care enough about Ancestry to include it on their list of products on their Internet home page at

  93. Dave Marshall

    I forgot to mention that Permira is headquartered in England, not the United States of America. I hope that someone at Permira sees, reads and acts on all of these complaints before that person with the expensive but apparently useless college education destroys Ancestry preventing them from losing the part of their anatomy that touches the chair first!

  94. Elhura

    Thanks, Dave. Here are all the numbers again for everyone’s quick referral: I, for one, am requesting Classic Ancestry be kept as a “work option”. Am also offering input into the new, asking for several things, but particularly an option for our own color choices – of course “Classic Ancestry” should be one – and an ‘opt out” for the distracting and blinding purple lines and background highlight. If you CAN’T SEE IT, YOU CAN’T USE IT!

    Executive Office Number: 1-801-705-7000
    FAX: 1-801-705-7001
    A call here nets you a quick referral to the usual rep line, but still may get you in the “numbers” right at the exec’s door.

    Ancestry help (rep) line: 1-800-262-3787
    Holding for a time may just mean other complaints are coming in. Be patient.

    John Coyle:
    Head of holding company who currently owns Ancestry.

    Tim Sullivan, CEO
    P. O. Box 990
    Orem, Utah 84059

    or at Ancestry Headquarters:
    360 West 4800 North
    Provo, Utah 84604

    Email to Tim Sullivan – be sure to ask that it be forwarded to him:

    This is the URL for Foresee, an analytical company that MAY BE doing research for You will be required to provide your name and email address and “other” data that can be generic:


    International Contact Numbers:

    Make your contacts now before it is too late!

  95. caith

    @Dave – We are a very small fish in their international conglomerate, but we have a Voice. Wall Street also has a Voice, and they hear.

    In time, the roosters will come home to roost.

  96. Thameslass

    Why does the ‘find a person in this tree’ box appear in two different places depending on which screen is open?
    The traditional position is in the *top right* and works perfectly (especially as it includes the options to go straight to the Home Person or to the List of all people), but now it is there only in tree view.
    If I’m in the Facts screen, the box appears in the top left, doesn’t have the other options (and doesn’t work as reliably either). The fact that it also has a slight variation in the wording makes me wonder whether it was set up by a completely different programming department not in contact with the other.
    Just ONE position for the box (with the options for Home Person and List of all people in the drop down menu) is necessary.

  97. Thameslass

    I understand why photos and other images would be added to a ‘Gallery’, but it is just not intuitive to add a Story there. (It was fine in classic Ancestry when that was called ‘Media Gallery’.)
    Also, why are there *two* ways for adding photos? Clicking on ‘Upload Photos’ is excellent and quick (you see that not all my comments are negative), so why is that option also under the ‘Add’ arrow on the right? I feel that it would much better to keep that solely for the two ways to add a story, and change that arrow description to ‘Add Story’.

  98. Thameslass

    I use the ‘Notes’ function daily for information that needs to be included in a forthcoming book.
    In classic Ancestry, it was easy to tell whether a Note had already been added, but now ‘View Notes’ is displayed whether or not there is content already there.
    Also, there used to be options to format the content – where has that gone?. I know I can use Ctrl+B, Ctrl+I, Ctrl+U for Bold, italic and Underline, but how can I do bullet points?
    Having spent the past two years getting the book ready for publication, the lack of bullet points is going to make the content of the recent Notes look completely different from the earlier ones, and this lack of consistency will just give an impression of unprofessionalism.
    I was advised to add this as a Suggestion for the Development Team at (and have done so) but I do wonder why something that was a standard function should now have to be suggested again as if it were something completely new.

  99. Monika

    @Elhura: The e-mail I wrote to John Coyle came back as undeliverable saying “envelope blocked”!! I agree with those that say that Permira does not give a hoot! My point is that we the customers should not find ourselves in a situation where we have to take our valuable and limited time to check every profile page of every tree we have created on to catch all the errors and changes that ancestry IMPOSED on our trees AFTER we have already created these trees. If they were only making changes that do not change the quality of our trees I would not mind so much. But my time is limited and I take great pride in the quality of my trees. should not have the right to turn my genealogy into junkology and simply respond by saying “don’t look at it”!

  100. Elhura

    @Thameslass. I can appreciate your comment, but wonder where do you propose the Story go, if not to the media gallery?

    I have written and added countless stories on family, analytical narrative, etc. that often apply to more than just one person. I think Ancestry is working on saving the Story to the Fact block it pertains to, but – if the capability is retained to be able to add the Story to multiple people at one time – then it would NOT be on the extra individuals’ Fact block – thus no place to go.

  101. Elhura

    @ Monica: Interesting, three days ago the messages (I sent two) were going through! I agree the changes should NOT change the quality of our trees. I also cannot go back and “watchdog” all my 32,000 + people to see my tree is quality again. I also cannot do a thing if I cannot SEE the tree for any length of time due to the colors, clutter and crazy purple.

  102. Thameslass

    Elhura, I think that calling it just ‘Gallery’ is confusing as that would imply images – most people wouldn’t think of adding documents/stories to a Gallery, even though we know they’re there .
    So ‘Media Gallery’ is a more more accurate description as that covers the written word (as well as audio and video which seem to have been removed – I wonder how/if they’re now showing in trees that had them in classic ancestry).

  103. Jolene

    The New Ancestry profile page remains too broad and bright for the eyes – migraines. The Classic Ancestry profile view emulated a 8.5×11 page with light brown margins on either side for easy viewing. The New Ancestry has a redundant “source column” in the middle of its profile pages which broadens the page. The “source” hotlinks have been restored to the events in the timeline in profile view and now that “middle source column” can be removed or at least “toggled” so the user can switch it off if you don’t want to view such a broad page. The bottom 3/4ths of the profile page has a glaring white backgorund – causes migraines.
    It seems that New Ancestry is targeting mobile devices and is not very user friendly to PCs and laptops. Have you ever tried entering days and days of data via a smart phone? Most of my 7350+ tree data entry is done by 98% PC, followed by 2% laptop. I find a tablet/smartphone lacking in keyboard ability for large volumes of data entry. Please consider AT LEAST a permanent “toggle”
    between Old and New Ancestry for the PC/keyboard users.

  104. Thameslass

    I am well used to spending a whole day using classic Ancestry, but yesterday was the first time I did all my work in New Ancestry – after a few hours I had a nasty headache which I feel sure was caused by the ill-conceived colour scheme and the various font-colours (with poor contrast) in tree view.

  105. Thameslass

    It’s just coincidental that there are two consecutive posts about headaches and migraines as I hadn’t seen Jolene’s comment when I wrote mine. However, the fact that several people have commented on the nauseous effects of the new display should really make Ancestry do something about it as a priority.

  106. douggrf

    The import of the Sep 11 2015 blog update announcement is severely lost in the translation for members as to what has been changed. In fact the actual change to the site is not mentioned at all. So to clarify again for those who are interested – go the following public forum post for an exhibit and demo of the change. Copy and paste the following link to your browser: – note the end of link is at the x.

  107. douggrf – I’ve copied and pasted the link. It took me to Ancestry – Support Center but I got Authentication Failed. “The link you clicked contained an authentication parameter that failed to authenticate”. Am I doing something wrong?

  108. i made edits and saved changes to a photo in the Media Experience. i go back to my person’s page, click View Fact where the media is attached, and then look at the thumnail of the media, the edits are NOT reflected in this view. I went back to the Media Experience and the changes weren’t saved. i went back and forth several times and am just giving up. so here i am telling ancestry, this is a PROBLEM.

  109. Vince

    To douggf: I can see your posting at the link you gave (the short one) comparing edits in the Facts view to those in the LifeStory view, but I’m not sure I see your point. Assuming you are talking about the Description field in a Residence fact, I can enter exactly 256 characters into that field in the Facts view of a test fact. When I move to the LifeStory view, I see the same 256 characters, but I cannot add to them. In fact, while in the LifeStory view, I can get only 255 characters to stay in the field. If I do make some changes there, within the 255 characters, the changes appear in the Facts view of the test fact. And vice-versa, back and forth, as many times as as I try, changes do transfer between the two views. The only curiosity I see is that the Facts view lets you enter 256 characters, and the LifeStory view shows all of them but lets you keep only 255 if you make changes while in that view. I tested this by entering multiple sets of “123456789 ” without the quote marks. The last set in the Facts view has just “123456”. If any change is made while in the LifeStory view, only “12345” remains in the last set.

    By the way, I pursued this exercise only out of intellectual curiosity. I have no intention of every actually using the silly LifeStory feature and ask again here as I have elsewhere that trees owners be allowed to turn it off entirely in their trees so that no one can see it at all.

  110. Monika

    Hhhmm! Geneanet, a privately owned genealogy site must be reading our blogs! 🙂 See . On September 14, 2015 they refer to tools that they are adding for uploading family pictures, adding “this will NOT impact on your image files. All your pictures and information will be preserved and the display of pictures will not change” and they are into SQUARE pictures!!! They invite people to download their ancestry trees via gedcom. Their article caused me to try and find out who owns them. So I went on where I discovered how many other genealogy sites owns under a different name. So if you switch to another site be certain that that site is not owned by or you might just go from the frying pan into the fire.

  111. Roger

    @Egbert Bottomlick – there’s really no need for this type of trolling – moderators, please remove the above post.

  112. douggrf

    For Vince and others who explore my post above – please note the exhibit that is on the link is not actually a residence fact, but the creation of a custom fact/event in the New site. It is labeled residence but it was not my intention to display the editing of a residence fact built by the system.
    Note the following findings about New versus Classic usage:
    After spending a good part of the day yesterday going back and forth between Facts and LifeStory for a particular ancestor who has a lot of supporting media, I went back into Old/Classic last night. First, it always feels like such a relief to the eyes when I go back. It’s difficult to describe except to say it’s like everything comes into focus again, so much color distraction and strain to my eyes with the visual display in New. Going back to Classic it really stood out that the work that I had done in New had garbled up my profile time line for this ancestor. While in LIfeStory I had edited the info in the fact description field so it did not appear just a duplication of the narrative. When I view the profile/fact time in Classic, those notes stand out much more, and make little sense since the descriptive part is missing (i.e. this did not stand out as much when I was looking at the timeline in Facts view of New.) Also, I had created several custom facts in New that did not transfer well into the profile view of Old/Classic. There was no associated fact label to click on to do any edits – only the location name and fact description transferred back into Old/Classic. Then I clicked on the fact labels for facts that remained intact, and it was so nice to see the associated stories and image media displayed along side the fact info (I generally write my stories rather than upload as files).

    So, I plan to undo the fact editing and custom facts I did for this ancestor in New, and then go back to Old/Classic to work there for as long as it lasts. Lots less eyestrain, plus I may be wasting my time trying to work in LifeStory while things are in flux. The one thing I’ve found that I like about New is the ability to attach/delete sources while in fact edit.

  113. Sharon Scott

    #1 – I’d really like to see the comments back on the main page like they used to be. I hate digging for them.
    #2 – I’d like the option of turning off things in the main timeline, such as birth of his 8 siblings. I do want to see death of parents, but I hate scrolling past all the siblings births to get to his important documentation.
    #3 – Please make the death date and place a discriminator in searches. The guy died in 1872 in New York, I don’t need to see 1900 and 1920 census records for Pennsylvania.
    Other than that, I’m a pretty happy camper.

  114. John

    I notice others have mentioned the American/European Date issue, but since Family Trees entered from one is visible on the other, it isn’t limited to one site.

    Also…it’s not like the Lifestory is consistently the wrong date. If the figure in the American months column is higher than 12, Ancestry realizes that it is a European date, and makes the correction. Suggesting whoever coded it made the very strange decision to only assume European dates if the American numbers didn’t compute.

    There really needs to be a setting for the person creating the tree to indicate which system of dates they are using. That would solve everything, and should be relatively straight forward to code. The software wouldn’t have to make any guesses about the system, as the user would tell it.

    An example of this in action can be seen here:

    If you scroll down to the Marriage date, you will see it is entered as 04.09.1702

    If you switch to the Lifestory tab, you will see it says April 9th, 1702.

    The mistake is made again with the death of a brother on June 7, 1719, recorded in the Lifestory as July 6.

    I’m sure the mistake is made with the date of birth as well, but since it was April 4th, it’s not noticeable.

    (It also is irrelevant that the user used periods instead of the traditional /s. I have tested the slashes, and Ancestry makes the same mistake.)

    Note: This isn’t my personal online family tree, and I haven’t been in contact with the creator of the tree.
    Though the profiled individual is a relative.

  115. Vince

    To douggf: Thanks for correcting my understanding of the point you made about being able to enter more data in the LifeStory version of a custom fact/event compared to the Facts version. I do see that the Narrative field of the LifeStory version allows entry of some large amount of data — much more than the 256 characters allowed in the Description field that is shared between the Facts view and the LifeStory view. I stopped trying to fill up the Narrative field after two full screens of test data. Those data are not displayed in the Facts view, apparently because the Narrative field is not shared between the LifeStory and Facts views. The Title field in the Life Story view also is not shared with the Facts view. As nearly as I can tell, the only fields that are shared between the two views are the three fields labeled “Date”, “Location” and “Description” in the Facts view. But there is some unfortunate interaction between the Facts and LifeStory views regarding the “Fact Label” field that is displayed only in the Facts view. Although the text of that field is not displayed in the LifeStory view, in favor of the “Title” field of that view, if any change is made in any of the three fully shared fields while in LifeStory, the “Fact Label” field of the Facts view has been obliterated when you return to that view. When you then edit the fact/event in the Facts view, you are reminded “You must enter a title for this event.”, even though you had already done so when the fact/event was created.

    Again, I share your frustration with the whole LifeStory gambit and the new interface in general and ask yet again, as both of us and others have, that Ancestry provide a way for the tree owner to prevent LifeStory from appearing at all in trees that he or she owns, so that no one can see it unless the tree owner chooses to display it, and to allow the Classic/Old view to remain permanently as a working option for those who prefer it.

  116. Roger

    The date convention for genealogical sites and reporting is, and always has been, in ascending order of time, ie day – month – year, whatever separator may be used.

    The convention is NOT, with all due respect, month – day – year. It is well documented and Ancestry should bide by the genealogical conventions extant for many years. All confusion would thus be eliminated. But reporting this gets the usual glib answer that it “will be passed up to the department concerned”.

  117. Shirley

    No one I work with on my families likes the “new.” We’ve discussed it looking for anything that would make our fact-finding easier and clearer without clogging up the page. Comments range from too much wasted space around the edges, I like having everyone in a family on one page, have to scroll too much, hard to navigate, worthless facts I don’t care about and would never put that a COMPUTER is writing in into my tree, looks like a 6th grader’s graphics project, if I want a LifeStory I’ll write it correctly, I don’t need all that fluff, not for a serious researcher–maybe for the click-and-save people, etc.

    I’m also concerned that the uneducated think that all Green Leaf Hints are actual records or documents and are just click click clicking away to get as many people into their trees as they can in their free 2 weeks. They leave after 2 weeks and we’re stuck with thousands of trees that are wrong.

    The following locations/databases are either old indexes or were compiled by a programmed computer sweep through submittals, or are a subjective submittal that may or may not have anything to do with any actual historical document or record or even any person who ever lived.

    The entire Family Data Collections Series (- Individual, – Births, -Marriages, – Deaths);
    the Millennium File,
    Mayflower Births & Deaths, Vol 1/2,
    U.S., New England Marriages Prior to 1700,
    the profile part at “Profiles & Historical Records”,
    U.S. and International Marriage Records 1560-1900,
    Passenger and Immigration Lists Index 1500s – 1900s.

    What good is it to make a fancy delivery system for viewing information if doesn’t even relate to the person with the goofy LifeStory. I would think the object would be to inform customers that U.S. and International Marriage Records 1560-1900 isn’t an actual marriage record especially when there are 7 different versions for the same couple who never existed.

    We don’t like “new” and would prefer “fact” if given the option, but it looks like we don’t have any say in the matter.

  118. Re other people seeing H.I.s, Here’s a response from Ancestry on the Facebook page. QUESTION (not put by me): “..can you tell me if a visitor to my tree using just a Guest Registration will see all the un-rejected Historical Insights on my tree even if I have switched the Insights off entirely myself (using the cog settings menu) .. ” RESPONSE (my capitals): “The owner of a tree NEEDS TO ACCEPT THE HISTORICAL INSIGHTS IN ORDER FOR THEM TO BE VISIBLE TO PEOPLE VIEWING THEIR TREE. If you never accept any of the Hints THEY WILL NOT BE VISIBLE TO ANYONE BUT YOU with the exception of people you have invited as an Editor. Invited Guests and Contributors however cannot see them. We hope that clarifies things ..”. Looking at an H.I. then, if you click the Review button on the Insight, you find the phrase “Keep this historical insight in [name]’s profile?” with buttons for ‘Keep’ or ‘Ignore’, so it appears you have to actively agree for it to appear. Is this an update? I’ve been wailing about anyone seeing H.I.s on my Tree and not had this reponse. Additionally, someone on USA Facebook has asked people to check her Tree and they are reporting that the H.I.s are not visible. Maybe things are (slightly) looking up

  119. Just clicked ‘Ignore’ on the Keep/Ignore page on one of the H.I.s and got the message that it has been removed from x’s profile. And voila (as Ancestry might say) it’s disappeared!!

  120. Roger

    Life Story (Two Words)

    Why do spouses and parents ‘pass away’ and siblings ‘die’?

    Wrong date format in Life Story View:-

    “When Mary Ann Miles was born on September 14, 1838, in East Dereham, Norfolk, her father, Richard, was 33 and her mother, Hannah, was 24. She married Richard Adcock on October 10, 1864. They had eight children in 17 years. She died in 1908 in Norfolk, at the age of 70.”

    She was born 14th September 1838 and she married 10th October 1864. [day-month-year]

  121. Elhura

    Keep letting Ancestry know if you would like to keep Classic as a “work option”. I have reason to think they are beginning to note our message, but suspect it will take continued and repeated requests to finally be heard. Call the rep line again at 1-800-262-3787. A call first to the corporate office receptionist 1-801-705-7000 (or FAX at 1-801-705-7001) also won’t hurt.

    If you have not signed the growing petition to “Save Classic” you can do so at:

  122. Monika

    The fact that Kristie Wells answered Roger within two hours a couple of days ago tells us that they DO read our blogs just do not care what we think. @Roger: Making LifeStory TWO words would give it credibility. By leaving it ONE word at least it signals the nonsense that it is.

  123. Kristie

    So you tinker with the very page people are asking to go away – or at least hide completely. Even your paid supporters say, “Don’t look at it.” Yet Life Story remains with all its errors, and New Ancestry remains with all its clicking, scrolling and ugly colors. What a mess! You are correct in assuming that complainers will go away soon – just one problem – we take our $$$ with us.

  124. Vince

    Ancestry: Please provide a way for the tree owner to prevent the entire LifeStory view from appearing at all in trees that he or she owns, so that no one can see it unless the tree owner or an invited editor for the tree chooses to display it. This choice could be provided as an extension of the way the system currently refrains from showing the Historical Insights generated for the LifeStory view to anyone other than the tree owner and members invited as editors for a tree, unless a given Historical Insight is “accepted” for display to other members by the tree owner or an editor.

    Also, please allow the Classic/Old view to remain permanently as a working option for those who prefer it. The new interface has way too much forcibly added fluff that is unnecessary, misleading, and often downright inaccurate, making it unacceptable for regular use by serious genealogical researchers.

  125. I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, Ancestry replied with a general “for the time being” she can sign back on to Old Ancestry.. When I sent the request for a direct answer to my questions, Ancestry has not replied to the BBB and my family. I addressed the facts of the color background, the loss of our family facts being replaced with Automatic Generated events to fit that time, and the loss of the professional clear profile. I also made it clear that we have a petition being signed to save Old Ancestry. Please everyone, sign the petition at…. Also file a complaint with the BBB, they are listening to us. We have worked too many years on our trees, built their business for them with our research, and paid dearly for the time.

  126. douggrf

    Here is yet another problem discovered in the New site.:
    I uploaded an image of a document to a person in my tree, changed my mind about the way I wanted it cropped, and wanted to delete it.
    In Old Ancestry it is easy to delete a photo or other media from either a person or the entire tree – open up the media and see all the options for that media listed, including delete/remove or designation as primary photo. If you chose delete, you were given the option of deleting from just that person or deleting it from the tree.
    1. Open the photo in the person’s gallery, click on the edit pencil to open the edit window, then click on the name of the person the photo is saved to open the drop down menu for deleting photo from that person (also includes primary photo option tool). Unlike Old Ancestry, there is no option here for deleting the photo from your tree, you are only deleting it from the person.

    Something else I discovered by experimenting is that when I click on the edit pencil for a photo of a headstone (category “headstone” selected during upload process) the edit display does not include the name of the person(s) to which its attached, so it appears there is no option for either removal or primary photo.

    2. Open the media gallery for the person, click on the trash can icon on the media in the display that you want to delete. This option also only removes the media from the gallery of the individual, it does not remove the media from the tree. When I go to my tree media gallery I find the media is still there. If I then open up that media in the tree gallery I am given the option of deleting it from the tree.

    The New Ancestry is a complicated process to delete media from a tree, pointing out that people will not likely realize that deleting media from a person does not delete that media from their tree.

  127. BEE

    “Who’s on first?” – lol! Sorry, that’s what comes to mind sometimes when I read about these complicated {convoluted?} things that are now required to use “new” ancestry!

  128. Charmaine Getz

    I am a journalist, a tech-savvy longtime Ancestry customer with two university degrees and a good deal of proficiency in research. I do not like “New” Ancestry, it is overly complicated, has chronic glitches, and the LifeStory feature is simply an abomination. It is quite obvious that Ancestry management does not care one iota that it’s redesign is seriously flawed, to say the least, and overwhelmingly unpopular. It has become a monopoly instrument of online research and thus, in the eyes of its owners, nothing more than a moneymaker. I will proceed with my membership accordingly.

  129. emam

    Here is a copy of the email that I sent to Tim Sullivan.
    Dear Mr Sullivan,

    I am writing to you from England as I am very upset and concerned about the new Ancestry layout.

    There is so many things wrong with the new version that it is a website that has lost it’s appeal for many people.
    My main concerns are the layout of the new version, it looks so cluttered and when you look at the page your eyes are drawn to the right side of the page instead of the left where you information is. In the original now known as classic version, I had added lots of information and photos to my timeline facts which showed me at a glance information about that particular person , like where they lived, photos of the people, places they have been, military information, pictures of their houses and records about them. The overall look was clean and easy to read (this is the main reason that I would previously have recommend Ancestry to other people, but that no longer applies).

    The profile photo has been changed to a round frame which does not fit most of the photos. As you go further back in your family there isn’t any photos available and so photos of things like their residence are used, these do not fit into the round photo shape.

    The printer friendly button has gone, making it that if you want to print a page out, it only prints on one side of the page and takes lots and lots of pages to do so.

    The places on the maps do not correspond with the places on my tree, often showing up as in a different country, as a result this make the life stories wrong. Your advert is “CREATING A TRUE STORY” of you family. Surely this is illegal to state this as it is not true.

    The feature of showing how a person is related to you have gone, along with the find home person and the search all names.The search all names can be found but you have to go through different ways to get to it. When you click on a another researchers name it no longer comes up if you have had previous contact with them.

    Not all documents can now be downloaded. I am researching WW1 soldiers of where I live and I am trying to create a booklet for each of them with the information in. The records are a part of his history and are needed to be printed out to go into his booklet.

    Why do you need a line going down the page with the dates on when they are in the fact next to them. The purple lines that link a source to a fact are distracting.

    Going back to the life story, I wrongly added a fact and then deleted it but this is still showing in the story. Generalised stories of events that mostly weren’t anywhere near where people in my family lived are not stories about them. For instance the following is on a story more than one of my people:-

    Phyllis Cowey lived in England during the bombing raids by German Zeppelins in the Great War.

    Yes that might be so, but it was nowhere near where she lived. It doesn’t really have any bearing on her life.
    I understand that events can be deleted from a story, but honestly do you really expect me to go over 1000’s of people to see if the information that you HAVE CHANGED illegally from my tree is correct. Actually on looking at the fact that was deleted for being wrong but still remains in the life
    story, you can’t actually delete it just hide it.

    Where is the delete fact button.

    I know that technology is changing along with the world and that progress is what is needed, but the new version of Ancestry is not progress. It will probably appeal to the younger generation (not that I am old) who just want a quick look at their family tree. Most young people will not pay or can’t afford the fees that Ancestry ask. Also when they realise how much work it takes to do a family tree they will lose interest.

    Consideration should be given to the people who are serious researchers and have been spending hours perfecting their trees the way that they want them on Ancestry.

    PLEASE, PLEASE keep the old version to run alongside the new version of Ancestry for those that prefer to use it. People are not asking you to scrap the new version just to be able to continue with the old. Some people would possibly even use both versions.

  130. mary_rawson

    As I said in other posts, I spent years on my tree only to see that ancestry is destroying it. I printed out important pages in the old format, made my tree private, and stopped paying. It’s wonderful to be away from the insanity, looking at life as a living human, and not dedicating the short amount of time I have here to listing dead people and trying to get a company to care. It’s depressing to read these blogs; I know what you’re feeling. I just want to say without any glibness at all that there is life after ancestry. Your dead ancestors would want you to enjoy life for them. Sorry to sound like an old biddy, but we only get about 7 decades to breathe fresh air , feel the sun shine, touch another person’s hand, and share a smile.

  131. Jan

    @mary-rawson I did exactly the same thing and agree with you. If everyone made their tree private, then there would be no leaves to click for user generated data available. That is Ancestry’s main advertising focus. The Life Story is obnoxious and a slap in the face for a serious researcher with all the errors and redundancy. I have created my own program to compensate for Ancestry’s tendency to change things at some unexplained whim.

  132. Bill

    Please give me a button on New Ancestry to turn off your maps that are being added to life stories on my family trees. They are worthless to a serious researcher like myself, and for a novice they are inaccurate as to the time period. The New Ancestry if being filled with “fluff” so that those using a touch screen can flip the page every 2 seconds and say Wow look at all this stuff. Well, what’s being added is pure rubbish. Your complete sentences being added just get in the way of the facts. Leave our trees alone and you will have better quality. Where is the Old Ancestry button for me to click? It’s no longer on my user name pulldown in the upper right corner of the screen. I no longer want to use Ancestry as my genealogy work place.

  133. Mary

    What are the alternatives to Ancestry if they take away access to the “Old” version? Because I can’t get the new browser on my iPad, & the app just plain stinks. It’s impossible to do any work on this site any more unless they keep the “Old” version up AND supported, which I doubt they will do. Years of work on multiple trees, for relatives & friends, and I won’t be able to work on them, & looking at them on the app is terrible, what an ugly dark annoying thing it is.

  134. Vince

    To Bill: 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.

  135. Bill

    Thanks Vince. Your suggestion worked for me, I’m back to work on “Old Ancestry” now. The New Ancestry is obviously created for users of mobile devices with a small screen (hence the bold fonts), and they just love touchscreen scrolling. Ancestry has bumbled for weeks now, telling Windows 10 users to use a mouse or the New Ancestry won’t work! Anyway, I can’t imagine anyone being happy doing research and building their tree using a small screen mobile device. Microsoft made this same mistake on their Windows 8, and on Windows 10 Microsoft had to restore their old “look” for their loyal desktop user community. Windows 8 was such a failure that a Windows 9 name would have been a marketing blunder, hence Windows 10 implying a big fix providing both a desktop interface and a separate mobile interface. should take a lesson from big brother Microsoft. Too bad has put their head in the sand.

  136. Elhura

    A weekend is here again. For those of you who have not called or written Ancestry about the serious problems in the new – and those who have- it’s time to continue to let Ancestry know from every avenue how the new version negatively and seriously affects our trees and precludes the opportunity – or desire – for continued work.

    The petition to “Keep Classic” is growing every day. Sign it if you have not – and send the link to others who need to know:

    Call the Ancestry reps at 1-800-262-3787 and make sure they pass your concerns along. Call the corporate line during the work week at 1-801-705-7000 or FAX now to 1-801-705-7001. A call will quickly pass you on the reps, but may still “register” there.

    Interestingly, someone has blogged that the email to John Coyle, head of the holding company that owns Ancestry has been blocked.

    I, among so many of you, strongly believe that Classic Ancestry should be kept as a “work option”. No one expects that the new will be scrapped, but it is clearly a long way from meeting the needs of huge numbers of serious researchers. We have to be sure we continue to be heard and that the Classic work option continues to be offered to subscribers who so choose.

    Also bravo! for those of you who have written the BBB and Tim Sullivan, Ancestry CEO.

    Better Business Bureau of Utah
    3703 West 6200 South
    Salt Lake City, Utah 84129

    Tim Sullivan, CEO
    P. O. Box 990
    Orme, Utah 84059

  137. Jolene

    Today I tried New Ancestry again for the 20+ time (and am switching back AGAIN). As New Ancestry stands, I am UNABLE to edit ANY “sources” (Ancestry or otherwise)or add detail to saved sources in any way to fit my individual tree. BIG PROBLEM. I tried to link a saved “1860’s census record” to a hand-entered, related event on the profile page of one of the individuals in my 7350+ tree (as I have done thousands of times over the past 12 years on Classic), when I encountered this VITAL MISSING FEATURE. There is no EDIT BUTTON/EDIT FEATURE in “source column”. IT IS MISSING!!

    This is a CRITICAL MISSING FEATURE: In Ancestry Classic I could go to “Facts and Sources” tab on the profile page, find the “source” I wished to edit, and add further details and/or LINK each “source” to other relevant events by hand that were NOT ALREADY automatically/intuitively linked by the program. For example, a) I have linked MANY parents’ U.S. Census records from 1790-1840 to their children (who are ONLY listed as tally marks and thus not readily identifiable) to establish their residency and birth, etc; b) I have linked military records to individuals and was able to edit these “source” links to added events such as marriages, etc. And there are many, many other examples of source records that need to be hand linked. This is a huge loss of control over data for the individual user.

    In New Ancestry the “sources” are “as is” no editing parameters or EDIT BUTTON/FEATURE in “source column”. Period. A fatal flaw. Temp fix would be to leave the “toggle” between Old and New Ancestry to allow old source editing features. Please fix this. Please DO NOT wipe out Classic Ancestry UNTIL this grave programming omission is rectified.

  138. Patricia Harris

    Hi Mary, I was not able to get New Ancestry to work correctly on my iPad until I downloaded the latest update from Apple – 9.0. Now the New Ancestry website works, although it is very glitchy. I agree, the app is useless. The look of New Ancestry is awfully bold and hard on your eyes when working on the iPad – there is nothing subtle about the font used in the bubbles! I continue to go back and forth between Old and New, trying to get used to New but I feel that so much control in telling my ancestors Life Story has been taken away from me. I see hours and hours of rewriting those clumsy bubbles so that my ancestors lives appear as accomplished as they were, rather than “she was born, she married, she had kids, she died.” It seems so disrespectful.

  139. couldn’t find the 9/19/15 blog. in the Old ancestry, from the person’s page, i was able to quick view any of their family members; that is, parents, siblings, spouse children. in the new ancestry i have to wait for a new tab to open to see birth/death/location of their family members; i hope this is something that can added back to New ancestry platform.

  140. Alexandra

    Thank you kind people…. especially, Elhura, for giving us all clear info on where to write to complain about new ancestry. I’ve followed thorough and written my emails & letters and signed the petition. Hope corporate listens. New Ancestry is a complete bummer.

  141. Mary M Zashin

    Jolene, I think you can do this, if I understand what you’re working on. Click on the name of the source, then “View Record,” then there’s a green “Save” button with a dropdown menu for “save to someone in your tree.” You can also do it by again clicking on the source, then “View Image,” then the black “Saved” button and the dropdown menu. You can also click on the source, then “associated facts,” then choose more facts to link to the source. All of this is more cumbersome than Old (click source, then “save,” then dropdown menu to select another person in your tree). But it can be done, if I understand your issue correctly. BUT my complaint is that there is no “View All Sources” button as there is on Old. Without that, I can’t see at a glance ALL my sources at once, with the citation details and the facts each source is connected to. The citation details and associated facts can only be seen for one source at a time. . .very difficult when what I want to do is check ALL the sources for a given individual to see if its details are complete and to check that it’s linked to all the the relevant events. . .

  142. Vince

    To Jolene: I share your frustration over how numerous functions of Classic/Old Ancestry appear to be missing in New Ancestry, including editing of source citations and their attachment to multiple facts. But those functions do exist in New Ancestry, although in a different place than in the Classic interface. In the Facts view on an individual in New Ancestry, when you hover the cursor over any source in the Sources column, such as a census record, a “VIEW” button appears. When you click that button, a new window appears showing Ancestry’s transcription of the record. That view has buttons for CITATION DETAILS and ASSOCIATED FACTS, which do allow editing of the citation text and attachment of the citation to other existing facts.

    Nonetheless, I still request that Ancestry allow the Classic/Old view to remain permanently as a working option for those who prefer it. The new interface has way too much forcibly added fluff that is unnecessary, misleading, and often downright inaccurate, making it unacceptable for regular use by serious genealogical researchers. Tree owners should be allowed to prevent the entire LifeStory view from appearing at all in trees that he or she owns, so that no one can see it unless the tree owner or an invited editor for the tree chooses to display it.

  143. Mary M Zashin

    There doesn’t seem to be an update blog for 9/18-19. This is ominous. Does it mean we have been “finalized?” That’s there’s no, even faint, hope of a better color scheme or an end to portholes?

  144. Mary M Zashin

    I still see no reason for having the ugly source icons dominating the middle of the page. EVERYTHING doesn’t need a “visual aid.” All you need is the name of the source to access it, not an intrusive icon. We are all literate, here, and can READ. In contrast, the much more interesting icons for the family members are TINY and pushed to the side. The facts page is just awkward and unappealing, with the funereal grey, the porthole primary pictures, and the ugly source icons dominating it. I really have very little hope that these visual elements will be altered despite so many complaints! Part of the pleasure of ACOM for me was creating attractive profile pages that I liked looking at and sharing. . .the New facts page is the opposite of engaging and appealing. If it remains as it is, I will not renew my subscription. I don’t get it. I don’t use a tablet myself, but people who do have also posted negative remarks, so if the aim was to make the site better for tablets, it may have failed there as well. And, they STILL haven’t made the text boxes for family members’ names on the facts page large enough to contain the name without arbitrarily breaking words apart! New ACOM still looks like an amateur job. . .

  145. Mary M Zashin

    The media gallery for individuals (accessed on the facts page) is still very, very ugly, with black identification bands covering up to half of each thumbnail. What kind of “gallery” is that? Not one I like looking at. Strangely, the media gallery for the TREE doesn’t have this. It has a few words UNDER, not on top of, each thumbnail and by hovering over the thumbnail you can see the information.

  146. douggrf

    There has not been a post for an update entry of Sep 18 2015 – for what reasons, no one seems to know or say. One thing that is remarkable about the update notices that have appeared is that they started out with a long list addressing what the staff thought were concerns of members.
    That list gradually shrunk thru late August and early Sep as the staff seems to have simply tabled one concern or another.
    Further the weekly updates value in each successive post became weaker as they either addressed issues that were just planned on – yet still not fixed -or in the case of the Sep 11, 2015 – the post information was completely obscure and actually overlooked what the development team had changed between Sep 4 and Sep 11.
    Appears the disconnect between the public relations and the development team has grown over the last month. Why?

  147. Mary M Zashin

    I want to edit information added to a media item. This is difficult to do, because when I go to “edit,” I can see only three lines of the information I want to edit. Sometimes I have a lengthy description of a media item, and to edit it I need to be able to see the entire description. In Old, there was an “expander” dragger in the lower right corner (as there is on this page). There doesn’t seem to be a way in edit IN AN INDIVIDUAL’S gallery to expand, and thus edit, media item information with the efficiency of Old. There IS an expander button for item descriptions in the TREE gallery, but without a way to search the tree gallery (that I can find) it is not helpful.

  148. Deborah

    PLEASE allow us to KEEP the CLASSIC/OLD version of Ancestry.
    #1 I truly can’t believe anyone likes the purple lines, the confusing arrangement, and the horrible colors on the new site.
    #2 Do YOU (Ancestry) REALLY EXPECT ME TO PUT BIRTH CERTIFICATES, MARRIAGE LICENSES, DEATH CERTIFICATES AND PHOTOS INTO A ROUND CIRCLE??!!!?? This is a practice that was popular and still is in scrapbooking for casual photos. NOT for OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS!!
    You ask for us to be respectful, but I don’t feel like your serious researchers are being respected.
    I dare you (Ancestry)…. take one of your birth certificates and crop it into a circle.
    And, since we were promised WEEKLY updates about the new site… where is the update for this week?
    I am so disappointed in the lack of response or any actual information on previous updates, that a new update probably won’t directly address any of the issues that we have been posting over the last several months.

  149. Jolene

    Vince: Thanks for your response.
    I wound up calling and got a “wry” response with walk through instructions how to find the (now in the background) editing functions. I explained to the woman at Customer Service that the New Ancestry now has SO MANY more steps involved in what used to be a simple operation AND for the SERIOUS genealogist, there is a lot of wasted time now with all of these extra navigational steps. [This is when her tone became ever so slightly negative/annoyed.]
    I told her that even though I could see where they are going with the New Ancestry [tablets and smart phones], that except for a handful of entries on the fly [think graveyard or actual church records room], that serious genealogists with large trees and a lot of data entry will be using the traditional keyboards, which means PCs laptops and the like. My tree is 7350+ and for me to try and do any serious data entry on a small handheld device is just counter-productive.
    Too much glitz and glamour…not enough thought to existing users and time spent building/maintaining trees on I am still fixing [program generated] citation errors caused by the last revamp Ancestry did several years ago…

    They should at least keep a “toggle” between the Old and New Formats.

  150. 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!

  151. douggrf

    The Sep 19 2015 update is even more anemic in content than the Sep 11 update, and that is really saying something. Development appears to be at a complete standstill. Checking the site carefully today, finding even more problems from incompetent programming of the user interface. Try going into media gallery and selecting a picture attached to multiple people within one tree. Then goto edit mode of this gallery screen. Suddenly the scroll window cuts-off editing view for attachment to any more than two people in one tree. What ?

  152. Wrenda

    BarbThird: That’s a great analogy for what’s been happening with the Ancestry site! Please repost it on the 19 Sep 2015 blog comments since others might miss it here.

  153. Jolene

    I agree with Barb Third. Our trees have been seriously violated. So frustrated with the bulky new format and unwanted “tweaks”. Not only has the Ancestry Team messed with our media, but they have inserted details that are unnecessary in order for timelines to look fuller and they have done so to ALL of us WITHOUT our permission. This is what I sent to the “leave the new experience” survey today:

    #1 – How dare you insert extra details into my 7360+ person tree individual timelines. I have spent the past 12+ years building this tree and entering data into EACH and EVERY one of these individuals and have EACH and EVERY one of their timelines in OLD ANCESTRY as I [the author and OWNER of this tree] have seen fit. Your New Ancestry program has made grave assumptions that all of us would like to have our trees and timelines “padded” with extraneous details so that it “looks fuller”?????? Really???? LESS is MORE. If I had wanted all that extra stuff in each individual’s page/timeline, I would have put it there MYSELF. Please remove the extra details OR minimally – Give us a “toggle/choice” to turn the extra detail feature OFF. Period.

    #2 – the “relationship to me” status is no longer an option either. We are now forced to view ALL relationships in our trees whether we want to or not.
    I have been a longstanding customer of 12+ years and am seriously considering removing my tree from both and FamilyTreemaker 2011 and purchasing INDEPENDENT genealogy software so that I can maintain control over MY TREE.

    Bottom line: are these changes really worth losing long-time, loyal customers?

  154. Jolene

    p.s. my tree has over 7360 people in it and it took over a decade to get it just the way I wanted it and it is still a work in progress. This loss of control is really upsetting…

  155. Linda

    My initial reaction to the New Ancestry was not favorable, but then I settled in and spent some time exploring. (Also, viewed the videos in the Ancestry Academy.) Now, I LOVE IT!! I’m a former user of The Master Genealogist and gave up a lot of the control and superior means of documenting sources when I stopped using that and began to use your online tree/Family Tree Maker. Yes, the Ancestry version was quicker and easier to add information (which is what finally sucked me in), but I felt the documentation and tracking of my research suffered greatly. The New Ancestry gives much of that back to me. THANK YOU!! Change can be difficult, but from my point of view, you are on the right track of making this a more superior product.

  156. Joyce

    I have finally figured out the convoluted way of adding documents to the FACTS page and associating it with an event. Ancestry is FORCING all users to conform the “genealogical proof standard” by forcing us to create source citations for everything you want to put on facts page…what ancestry doesn’t get is that not everyone cares about maintaining the “genealogical proof standard” (if you are interested in what this means has several inexpensive books on the subject. Because I DO want to be able to upload my GEDCOM to some day, I am going through every one of my 10,000 ppl, taking out incorrect info ancestry has added over the years such as alt birth dates and alt names every time you added a Census (I don’t think this is a problem with more recent trees, but they USED to automatically add ALT BIRTHS and ALT Names EVERY time you added a Census–which I did not realize until I viewed my tree in NEW version—I hate working in NEW as it is more complicated and as slow as a slug, so I am trying to get these things fixed in OLD where it is MUCH easier. BUT ancestry continues to automatically add census data incorrectly. You may not notice this in many towns but in NYC all Census data has a Ward and sometimes an ED (Election district) in the info they are adding. I am having to go through all my NYC people (a lot of the folks in my tree) and taking OUT the Ward and ED info, adding that as a comment, and inserting ONLY the city, county and state info. While the current management is not to fault for what previous management did, it is a nightmare getting this stuff straight. Since MOST ancestry members are NOT professional genealogists it should be up to the tree owners whether they want to add a source citation for every BMD document…and to find this mess after I have been working in ancestry since 2003 is mind boggling. It is going to take me 10 years to get all this info straight and a LOT of it is problems that created–and YES they are picking and choosing what comments they let through here. I had one last week that never showed up—you know if you get a message that your comment is “awaiting moderation” that your message is being individually looked at.

  157. Mary Rawson

    Anyone who thinks their Trees are safe, either on the Old or the New Ancestry, must read the recent (April 2015) fiasco regarding how Ancestry carelessly lost peoples’ invaluable family information:

  158. DrF

    I find these changes very frustrating and prefer to keep things the way they are as it has taken me hours of time to put the entries into place and have them the way I like them. If it is not broke-DONT FIX IT!!!!

  159. Joyce

    YUP Mary Rawson I heard about them buying companies that were in competition, shutting them down on a dime with NO warning…that us why I advise folks to be very careful re where they put their trees if they leave ancestry….they cannot buy ALL companies, that would be violation of the law–but you never know who they are going to buy and shut them down….should have been a survey on ETHICS LOL This is people’s history and hard work they are messing with…I have also seen ppl report that after they fix something in NEW pp vanish, pics vanish etc ..I stay the heck out of NEW–too unstable

  160. Yvonne

    I HATE THE NEW ANCESTRY – I am beyond angry I am furious – a box came up a few weeks ago inviting me to ‘go in and have a look at the new version’ I clicked on it to have a look and it has changed it permanently. It is not user friendly – I have to click and look and re-learn everything – the ‘Life Stories’ are mostly made up lies, my information is my information, I have been researching for years and was happy with what I was paying for in Ancestry – again as a lot are saying – ‘If it aint broke – don’t fix it!!!!!’ I have 9380 people in my tree, going back to 740, I have many many photographs (some my own private ones) I have put stories on which are my own work about my family, I have spent many hours, days, months, years on this site and WAS enjoying it. I liked the old version – I hate the new one – I am about to give up, I have lost all heart and there is no enjoyment for me anymore in using this site. I am in my 60’s and have medical problems which have curtailed many of my physical activities and so researching my family tree has been a great hobby for my – now I feel I am losing the will to live if I have to put up with this rediculous force feed. I pay for this every year, the full premium and it stinks – Ancestry please do something about this before I delete all my information from your site and go somewhere else – I would rather start all over again with another provider than put up with this debacle. At least let us have the option to go back to the previous version – the one that I have done all my research on, we should be able to look at the new version and decide for ourselves and not be forced to use what is a poor and very unhelpful version.

  161. Joyce

    Yvonne you ARE able to go back to OLD at least for now–go to upper R corner and hover your mouse over your member name there and click on OLD…if you have trouble CALL ancestry and make them help you—after you leave comments it will still look like you are in NEW–CLOSE that window after you leave your comments (and you cannot leave too many or it will get hung up) and open a new window for ancestry and you should be back in the old version….BUT you will get constant pop ups to go to NEW again–be careful not to click on them, X them out in the upper R corner…MANY things are starting not to work as well in OLD–such as you cannot see if a document is already attached and there is no way to remove a document now–you have to go to NEW to do that. You also may have trouble attaching things–sometimes I have to try 5 times or more before it will work—the wonder of programming–NOW they have 2 sites that are not working well–GOOD JOB ANCESTRY!!!!

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