Posted by Ancestry Team on September 27, 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 location issues and the solution we put in place. This week we introduced some exciting enhancements on Family Events in the Facts view.

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

Feature update:

We have updated a number of enhancements on the Tree, LifeStory and Media Viewer, and we have continued to add and refine new features based on your feedback.

Features updated since last week:

  • Tree Viewer – You will need to now click to select a person on the tree. Hover effect has been removed due to incompatibility problems with touch-screen devices as the new Ancestry is about improving the experience across all device types. As you hover over a person in the tree, it will highlight and then open when you click. On a touch-screen device (phone or tablet) it will open with a single touch of the person.


  • Person Card on the tree viewer – Quick Edit has been moved forward to the main view of the card so users can more easily access it to update any information.


  • Show all events on LifeStory – All events now show on the LifeStory by default. This means that any facts that are added on the Facts view will be immediately available in the LifeStory.  Right now we show events like birth, death, residence, and etc. on LifeStory with auto-generated narratives. You can now easily view and create your own stories behind any facts or events for your ancestors on LifeStory.
  • When you add a new occupation event now for example, LifeStory will automatically feature that event together with any other event types added in the Facts View


  • Media viewer –The people that the photo is attached to has been brought to the main screen from behind edit. This also allows users to more easily select who they want the picture show as a profile picture or to unlink the picture.
  • You can now change the profile pictures or unlink the picture with one easy click.


Features that we are still working on:

  • Profile picture cropping – Edit/crop a profile photo to better fit the frame, or from multiple people to a single person
  • 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 Issues Reported

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

  • Circle profile picture – Some users dislike having a circle profile picture
  • “Continue searching” missing
  • Thumbnails of images you have attached to events on the Facts view
  • Dark background white font is hard to see
  • Members would like the option to disable LifeStory from showing to anyone else viewing his tree
  • Members frustrated by the constant pop ups to try the new ancestry

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

Help Links


Help Articles





  1. Patrick

    Circle profile picture – Some users dislike having a circle profile picture – Yes, more than just “some”. I am one of those people. It’s not that I dislike it… the fact is they don’t work for all profile photos, including documents and headstones. Why is this such a difficult decision for Ancestry to make or conclusion to reach? It’s such a simple problem which could so easily be resolved by returning to the traditional format that was available in classic Ancestry.

  2. Don

    “This week we introduced some exciting enhancements on Family Events in the Facts view.”

    Removing them is not an “exciting enhancement”.

  3. James

    Concerning the media gallery, I like that the people that the photo is attached to has been brought to the main screen from behind edit. But please don’t stop there making this feature more user friendly. Most people would rather see these as a list of users rather than a set of icons that you have to first click on to see the names of the users and their trees. If you have a lot of users that have attached the same image, that is a lot of mouse clicks to see the various user names and tree names.

  4. Walt

    Glad to see some progress on some issues. But, frankly, there’s not much here for me since I’m not interested in LifeStory and don’t use it. It’s discouraging that so many of the issues that are repeatedly mentioned by subscribers just sit in the lists of “features we are working on” or “top issues reported” with no apparent progress. For example, Patrick points above to the circle profile picture issue. That’s probably the single most often cited complaint. You should either fix it (it can’t be that big a programming chore) or just own up that it’s never going to be fixed.

  5. kk

    Removing the Hover function to accommodate the currently very small number of people using touch screen is a poor decision by the programmers. It’s a serious annoyance to the majority of us. I suspect the programmers just didn’t know how to make Hover compatible and therefore disabled the function.

  6. Cathy Kesseler

    Ancestry family events are no longer showing up in facts page or in the lifestory timeline in my trees. I have not elected to hide family events as I like them. They were there on Friday but are not there today.

  7. BEE

    In “old” ancestry, the “story view” button which I NEVER used, drives me crazy when I hit it by mistake and have to wait for it to “fade away” before I can continue. I assume “LifeStory” in “new” ancestry is the same idea, except “someone” at ancestry is writing the “story”, although they are now including information added by me. I hate doing it because I can’t stand the look of those ghastly colors, but I checked out LifeStory for my family. What a bunch of nonsense! Events no one could have known or cared about, and of which I obviously have no interest, besides the ridiculous “assumptions”! I for one {of many?} would like to see LifeStory GONE! Of course, I wouldn’t mind if the whole “new” ancestry was gone!! “phantom hints” – does anyone care?? I’m assuming that we will have to type or copy/paste a name to search it on the internet, since I don’t see that feature on “new”? Or am I missing something?

  8. douggrf

    Yes, the compromises to reach the mobile audience with the programming they choose is really going to affect the majority of the users, not the few. Poor poor decision making and planning by this company.

    As these updates continue, the choices for change appear to be getting more and more esoteric, and I don’t think they were asked for and in most cases they add so little value, one wonders why this is happening.
    Here is a good example:
    “Media viewer –The people that the photo is attached to has been brought to the main screen from behind edit. This also allows users to more easily select who they want the picture show as a profile picture or to unlink the picture. – ” Really?, of what real value is that? Chances are more likely than not that a given picture that is shared by more than two people’s profiles is not going to be the primary picture for more than two people (usually a couple?). Where is the common sense in this company? Where and what is the hands-on experience of these programmers in the real world of genealogy.

    Good Grief, this is not a change that members are clamoring for in the New Media viewer. On the other hand the fact that the links to other member’s trees is still broken from the link quality we have in Classic. If you share a pic in Classic, you can clik the share link and be taken right into the other member’s tree where the share is occurring. New site just takes you to the member profile. What is the purpose of that? Just proves that Classic is far more efficient and useful to everyone, the New site is awful step backwards!

  9. Vince

    To kk: I totally agree and commented on September 25, 2015 at 12:34 pm on the September 19th blog that “… the new interface has been changed for the worse (hard to do!) …” by the addition of that extra click. I still stumble every time I hover over a name block in the tree view, poised to right-click and choose “Open Link in New Tab” as I nearly always do so I can keep the tree view within easy reach (Alt-Tab with left hand) while viewing an individual profile.

    Ancestry: Your explanation that “Hover effect has been removed due to incompatibility problems with touch-screen devices as the new Ancestry is about improving the experience across all device types.” is lame. Why degrade the experience for one device type just to “improve” it for another device type? Why don’t you figure out how to present this useful feature of the Classic interface on both devices in the new interface instead of just removing it?

  10. arf

    So, you make yet another change to accommodate tablet users. Only Ancestry can look at these changes as progress. The original problems reported after the new improved website was implemented still remain. And, while having the Quick Edit more easily available is a great “change”, it was on old Ancestry all along. So the question is, why not replicate the features that work? Meager offerings to thousands of unhappy users. Is Ancestry even embarrassed by the continuing poor performance?

  11. Sarah

    This is absolutely appalling that this company keeps issuing updates for a program that is not workable and expect the PAYING public to point out more errors to correct. In any other business those so-called programmers would have been fired a long time ago. Why does Ancestry believe that the public will buy this utter nonsense? I just check the forums every now and then to see even more outrageous corrections than before and wonder how long this charade will continue.

  12. Jade

    “Last week we posted an article that covered the location issues and the solution we put in place.”

    Last week’s post (Sep. 19) did not mention location issues at all. The previous week’s post did mention a highly unsatisfactory approach to the way location texts were handled in LifeStory. Your approach needs to put in the location data exactly as put in by the tree user/owner.

  13. Deborah Strader

    I feel very stressed and visually overwhelmed by the new Ancestry view. It is most unwanted and frustrating. And I prefer to construct my own story from the records and family lore, which is the job of the genealogist making and personalizing his/her family tree. I not only find the new visually overwhelming, but an unwanted intrusion, imposing on my research and art. PLEASE preserve the ability of your members to choose between the classic and new tree views by keeping the button for members to select or toggle between–this was a good idea, and I hope your company is planning to make it permanent. I have been very satisfied, familiar, and confident with the classic and would be VERY unhappy if I were forced into the new Ancestry. Another idea would be for your company to keep the classic online and to produce the story version on DVD, as you have the Family Tree Maker DVD. Your members deserve to make the choice. Thank you for taking my comments.

  14. Alexandra

    I assume there are real people (not genealogists?) at Ancestry making decisions about this horrible thing called New Ancestry. Please listen; we do not like it. Your small changes do not help. What about the dark fields? What about the circular photos? What about stupid, inane “life story”; Serious genealogists need to permanently turn it off so NO ONE who sees our tree will ever see it. Keep Classic as a work option at the least.

    And; for all of you out there who hate new ancestry as much as I do; call, write, sign the petition, etc… Keep saying it; this “new” will not do!

  15. Mary

    I saw this review on the SITEJABBER site and thought “Linda” wouldn’t mind if I pasted it here: 9-26-2015. “New Ancestry has destroyed our private work: Every person on every family tree has had his information altered! From his or her portrait, which was cut from a rectangle into a circle; the place of birth and how birth and death dates were written; records have been distorted; the owner’s text has been overwritten by software full of errors; pages can not be printed; corrections disappear; millions of mistakes in all have been foisted on paying subscribers’ private work without their permission: without warning. The New site’s mechanics are so full of problems that a person can try for hours and get nowhere. The worst indignity of all is that mgmt of ignores all protests, pleas, and petitions. It glibly states that the New Ancestry is retelling everyones’ LifeStory in a fuller, richer way. Perhaps so we can feel like we’re on TV? Thousands of hours of work for thousands of people will soon go down the drain due to a few money-hungry, ignorant executives.”

  16. James

    @Cathy Kessler – You’re right, I just checked my Facts view and Lifestory view and family events are not showing up.

  17. Patricia

    I’m with Jade. What article from last week? The link goes to the last blog of the 19th, and no Location problems are mentioned. Is that ‘article’ hidden or was it written with invisible ink? Location place names are my biggest beef, but there are plenty other issues pointed out in the past four months which seem to have no solution, and getting the runaround. Why the heck not change the profile pics back to four corners?! My crops of signatures, when no photo is known, is very personal and important, but looks RIDICULOUS in a circle frame, scrunched-up.

  18. Monika

    @Mary – Linda made my point which is why I will be contacting an attorney who specializes in class action law suits and see what he has to say. NOBODY should have the right to destroy years of my work in such a manner. @Deborah Strader – I LOVE your idea of putting the story version on DVD. That way, the people who actually think that this is genealogy and they like this version, they can have it, and the rest of us who know what genealogy is do not have to have it imposed on us. @Jade. I noticed that too. What? Are they thinking that we are so stupid that we do not even notice that they did NOT have an article on this subject? Shame on their management style. It helps that they fixed a few things, but–in the big scheme of things–this is of no value if they do not fix the most important things–the things that deal with their INTRUSION into our work.

  19. MaryM

    Ancestry, go back to the drawing board and start all over or ditch this New Ancestry completely. 1) Taking away HOVER for the convenience of those who use phones or tablet tells those of us who use PC’s or laptops that we aren’t important to your business. I’m sick of the click. I’m not about to use my iPhone or tablet for serious work on a 20,000 person family tree. 2) When are you going to correct all the mistakes that I (and other users) have because the auto-generated software can’t interpret the researched facts that are posted to our trees? My New York City ancestors did not live in Allegany Co., NY. My Louisiana people did not live in counties. My great-grandfather did not have two wives. The list goes on, ad infinitum. 3) And those silly Hysterical Insights pictures, such as the one of Benjamin Franklin and his Saturday Evening Post that is attached to my 2nd great-grandfather’s timeline. You attached it to his 1823 birth date, but the caption gives a date of 1855 and says he was living in Ward, New York. He didn’t live in Ward. The Ward and District were on the 1855, 1860, and 1870 census reports for New York City, and that is what was picked up for the auto-generated narrative. I’m paying a lot of money for use of a website that makes garbage of my heavily-documented family story. “Reinvented” is the term these days. And then Ancestry tells me what I should do to correct their mistakes!!!

  20. Jan Murphy

    In each new re-design, Ancestry drops features and hopes that no one will notice they are gone. The blog posts tell us to write in if features are missing or not working, but no one seems to listen. Probably some corporate bean-counter is planning to deprecate the features, with the excuse that “not enough people asked for us to bring it forward”, no matter what the numbers say. They’ve invested money in this stupid new redesign, so they have sunk costs, and they aren’t going to go back. Some corporate person has decided that circular profile pictures are “in” and it doesn’t matter what the existing customers think, because without them the site will look stale. “The new Ancestry is about improving the experience across all device types” is code for “if you don’t have a mobile device, it’s too bad Charlie”. Some of us liked the old tree profile the way it was, and used to open the different tabs in different browser windows so we could look at them all at once. Now when we want to pull up the comments, we have a slide-out which obscures the view of what’s underneath. No one cares that the user experience for desktop users has been degraded.

  21. douggrf

    So what’s the deal about this announcement of Sep 28, 2015??? ” Show all events on LifeStory – All events now show on the LifeStory by default. This means that any facts that are added on the Facts view will be immediately available in the LifeStory. Right now we show events like birth, death, residence, and etc. on LifeStory with auto-generated narratives. You can now easily view and create your own stories behind any facts or events for your ancestors on LifeStory. – ” THIS IS NOT TRUE!

    Is anyone able to keep up with these ragtag announcements that carry mis-information, mis-leading directions, and sometimes just plain wrong???? Huh?
    I checked the site in FireFox 40 Browser this date of Sep 28, 2015. And here is what I found. Prior to this date I could toggle family events on/off with the toggle switch in the individual profile. Today, Sep 28, that toggle does nothing, and the family events such as children being born or their deaths recorded before parents passing simply DO NOT DISPLAY – no matter the setting of the toggle, or the browser refresh. What is going on? The site manipulation back and forth by the programming team is a complete horror story!

  22. Monica

    New Ancestry strains my eyes, and I cannot stay on it for more than a couple of minutes. Visually it’s a MESS! and ugly to boot. Why are you “fixing” things that no one is complaining about? Why won’t you tell us when the big switch-over occurs? Whom are you trying to please? It sure ain’t the serious researcher. (please, imagine the abusive comments that would have followed had I not known you would remove them)

  23. RVandulek

    Here are the missing features that keeping me returning to the Old I like the new visual style, but these missing features make it almost unusable for me.

    The features that need to be implemented before Old Ancestry is phased out:

    – Circle Pictures on user profiles – should be square or rectangular.

    – Missing “Continue Searching”. I have to rebuild my search filter every time now – before I could build a filter, add a record, then click the “continue searching” and search for more records based on my search filters. This is a HUGE time saver.

    – Missing Image Transcriptions. How hard is it to add this in the right panel where image Title and links are shown?

    – Gallery/Media “Show” filter defaults to “All”. This should default to “Photos” and “Stories” to mimic the Old Ancestry behavior. I don’t want to see source record images 99% of the time. I can get to those easily enough on the Facts view.

    – Member Connect. I use this feature a lot if a have a question about someone in my tree – I can do a quick compare and see if some other tree has a person with sources that I need.

    – Alternate Names and Birth/Death dates. I can see them – but can’t edit them or add new ones.

  24. BEE

    I have entered the name of the village where my ancestors were born with correct spelling as it appears on maps. LifeStory has them born in the larger city 20 miles away.

  25. Elhura

    30 comments so far on this blog and nothing good about the new Ancestry! Among a top issue reported but still NOT being “worked on” is the “dark background white font is hard to see”.

    Ancestry, when you do get around to this, it doesn’t need to be “worked” on. Just simply return to the CLASSIC ANCESTRY COLORS, a proven combination of easy-to-see. Also get rid of the clutter and the silly purple “bleeding” all over the page. Then you may have a product with at least one issue resolved – your site can at least be seen and used for a length of time without causing migraines!

    While attending an event today, I saw a slogan that immediately brought to mind: “There is no job too simple for our staff to complicate!” Why make a “simple” thing “complicated”, Ancestry?

    While offering suggestions on improving the “new”, I also remain adamant in my request that CLASSIC ANCESTRY BE RETAINED (PROPERTIES INTACT) AS A WORKING OPTION. Another simple solution!

    Also, thanks Monika, for your comment in the prior blog. I keep encouraging everyone to make and remake the necessary contacts to keep our need for Classic Ancestry out there. If we let up now, we don’t stand a chance! If we let up and lose Classic, my genealogy days, as for many of you, will be over! How ironic that the foremost genealogy site becomes the site that discourages – even precludes – further research!

    The petition to keep Classic Ancestry steadily grows. Keep spreading the word:

    The number for the Ancestry Corporate Office is 1-801-705-7000 and FAX 1-801-705-7001.

    I still believe continued contacts there, although brief, are “countable” and will have an impact although you will be passed to the rep number 1-800-262-3787 to state your concerns. Call the reps. Encourage others who have not called to do the same.

    Some of you will remember a book some years ago “The Power of Positive Thinking”. While angry as I can be, I just keep hoping for the brightest and the best at to rise to the top!

  26. Kristie

    First, last week you did not ‘solve’ a location issue – the same issues still exist starting with your inaccurate map right on down to the location issues that endure throughout New Ancestry, but the fact that you think you did highlights the bumbling of this rollout, and the one thing your customers know for sure – no one at Ancestry really knows what is going on. Second, ‘show all the facts on LifeStory’ – doesn’t make sense and it isn’t true, but all customers want to hear is that LifeStory can be hidden forever, well maybe we would like to bring it back briefly for a laugh, but what an embarrassment for a company that is supposed to be about facts. Third, after making it nearly impossible, you now have gotten a way to select a profile photo kind of like it was in Classic, so I guess whoopee? Still so many things don’t work, from member connect to hard-to-read font and background colors, stupid round photos, a LifeStory that is so full of errors we are ashamed to show anyone, and many more written about each week. I used to brag about being a subscriber, but those days are over.

  27. Elhura

    @ Kristie. Like you, I used to tell anyone who was interested in genealogy about the wonderful thing that was I was planning to do a class on its use at a local learning center and a “fun” demonstration at a local event. Not so now!

    If one year ago you had told me the product called “new” Ancestry was to be offered in the format that it is, I would have laughed and thought you were kidding, that you were bordering on insanity, or that it was just a bad dream from which I would thankfully awaken. Not so again!

    Researchers want ease-of-use and logical progressions in order to research and store data. Not so with the new!

    Customers do want facts – even those who are just “lookers”. To push Life Story at them as “fact” can construed as false advertising!

    We should all be able to turn off Life Story, or at the very least, Ancestry should be required to add a disclaimer that “Certain events have been added and written by Ancestry, and that for factual data, the viewer should refer to the FACT page as researched and presented by the tree owner”.

  28. F

    wow the entitlement on SOME of these comments! From the outside it looks like you guys only know how to complain. I’m a bit sad to only read the same people over and over again write the same things every week. I bet if ancestry showed us their statistics for device usage the % of hits on their website coming from mobile devices would be big, if not bigger than traditional computers. People now use tablets and smartphones for everything, of course Ancestry needs to cater to them, they have business to do. The old website was really ugly, especially if viewed on a mobile, the colors were strange and pale and it looked as if designed in the 80s. I adore the new one, the colors are superb and everything looks much cleaner and easier (honestly!). Who cares if I need 1 more click to reach something, jeez, as long as it’s uniform in all places it’s fine. I like the lifestory view, although I prefer the facts one, but it’s nice and clear. (And I use it on a computer, just to be clear). Another thing, some of you keep saying that you are a paying customer and so you want this and that. A paying customer you may be, but you’re certainly not paying for using the website, I mean, you’re only paying to access the documents and collections, not the ability to create a tree, that is free. I am not paying a dollar and can create my tree and navigate it and sync it with FTM as you all, so I don’t think raising the “paying” issue is of value in this circumstance, as they are working on things that are the same for all customers (mostly, i’m sure there are a couple that maybe link to paying things, like linking to documents or something, but it seems really minor). I think it won’t work for you on a potential class action.

  29. MartinJ

    So they are acknowledging that some people want the ability to prevent life story view being viewed by others, about time, also need to provide an option for people to opt out entirely. Appears the only way to prevent Life Story being viewed by others is put tree to private mode.

    Given the amount of errors in life Story and if not corrected, then it will only lead to more errors being replicated across trees by people who click their ancestors rather than research them.
    I have a number if Ancestors who worked and lived in India with the East India company in 1600 & 1700s, on the maps every single location event is centred in the Middle of India, where in fact most of my ancestors lived on the coast. It would appear from this that no attempt has been made to even try and find the correct locations.

    Also wonder if Ancestry ever read the comments on the blogs other than to censor those they don’t like as they do on their Facebook pages.

  30. Marita

    I have a problem with the Hints viewer. I can ‘ignore’ hints, ‘attach photos’ but it won’t let me ‘review’ hints. Doesn’t matter if I click on the review button or on the record, nothing happens!!!

  31. mary

    Location, location, location!
    “The Americanization Movement

    William Pryde moved from 3252 to the United States at a time when immigrants were expected to quickly assimilate into American society.”

  32. Ken

    Sorry to throw cold water here, but a little math shows that the petition is not going to have an effect. The number of signers is around 4000 by now. That represents only about 1/5 of 1% of Ancestry’s subscribers. As a retired systems analyst/programmer, if I had that kind of a complaint rate about a new feature, I would consider it insignifcant.

    Much more meaningful to Ancestry is your actions while using the site. In particular, I’m sure they’re monitoring the number of times users click the link to go back to the Old layout. They may or may not be tracking how much time a user spends on the New interface before switching to Old, but if so they will probably give less weight to those users who switch immediately instead of spending some time trying the New.

    From my perspective New Ancestry is a non-issue. That’s because I keep my tree on my personal site, and use Ancestry only as a source of records. A tree is not a record (and the vast majority of Ancestry’s trees are of poor quality), so I almost never even look at a member tree. The only change I’ve noticed at Ancestry is now there’s a black banner at the top of the page instead of the putrid green that was there before, which is a slight improvement.

  33. BEE

    “LifeStory” – my parents “might” have arrived in my “home town” – ie the place where I was born – 15 years AFTER I was born! Clearly, they are here on census and city directories. I have a tablet, and there is no way I would use it for my research. That “putrid” green is what appears on just about everything related to ancestry {bookmarks, “most visited, etc} and is far better than the glaring, ugly colors on “new”! Will those “leaf” colors change when “new” is our only option?

  34. douggrf

    To the person Ken who wrote “Sorry to throw cold water here, but a little math shows that the petition is not going to have an effect. The number of signers is around 4000 by now. That represents only about 1/5 of 1% of Ancestry’s subscribers.”
    The stats you profess for number of subscribers is actually meaningless, because no one but corporate actually knows the effective numbers. In fact one of the reasons cited for this change in the overall website is because their numbers are running poor. Like any social media site, Ancestry runs very high inflated public numbers compared to what activity is actually occurring on a daily basis.
    The petition numbers represent the feelings and concerns of a sample as any such survey might be able to ascertain. It is not uncommon for complaint ratios to exceed 20 to 1 which means for every filed complaint, there is a population in the background 20 times larger.
    Considering that the petition could represent a potential membership of 100,000 people, it is not insignificant at all. It probably best represents the overall problems that this company actually faces. Recall that features have been taken away by ancestry in the past when they had less than 50% participation. This means that the company really needs to sweep its entire market or else it just doesn’t work for them to be a viable web entity!

  35. Martin

    Just reported a new issue to Ancestry and I await their excuse.

    I have an ancestor born in Madras India in 1712, Life Story makes no attempt to find right place & plonks here birth location in middle of India.

    However the mapping application on the iPad App gives the correct location, not only that it has realised that Madras is now Chennai.

    Seems Ancestry use a different mapping tool on the mobile/tablet app.

    Will explore to see what other locations the apple app deals with correctly.

  36. Connie Shilling

    I am very disappointed with the new Ancestry view. I agree with Deborah Strader above. Please give us a choice.

  37. Trisha

    (This is a message for F) notice you didn’t leave your name! So you feel sad do you to only read the same people leaving the same things every week. Wrong! new people are joining the blog every week the longer this mess goes on. We are not saying ditch the new format, we know they won’t do that. You say the old website was ugly, strange and pale, and looked like it was designed in the 80s, and that you adore the new one, because the colours are superb, oh really! Well F, a lot of us like pale! we don’t all want full in your face bright colours, we don’t want awful background colour that we can not look at for longer than five minutes, we don’t want someone messing about with OUR STORIES, and telling lies! Researching our ancestry is about the old isn’t it, so we should be able to put our info on a classic format, OLD ANCESTRY WAS THIS IT WAS CLASSY! not some joke of a format like the new ancestry is. You say ancestry are catering for the young who have smartphones and tablets, fair enough, let them cater for them, but also let them cater for us too, their very loyal customers who have worked hard on our trees and taken pride in how they are displayed. Frankly the only tablet I need are the blood pressure type every time I venture onto that so called improved ancestry!

  38. Vince

    To”F”: The “extra click” that now has replaced simply hovering over a name block in the tree view is but one small example of needless additional navigation imposed by the new interface for functions that are much simpler in Classic Ancestry. Here’s a more egregious example:

    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 has not appeared among the “Top Reported Issues This Week” in any subsequent Feature Update blog. 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 earlier posts on the subject.

    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. 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.

  39. Elhura

    Thank you douggrf for putting things into perspective. The steady growth of the petition also tells me more and more users are coming to find out the effects of the new:

    Also @ F. I am glad you are happy with your non-paid use of Ancestry via FTM on your mobile device and computer and would not criticize you for your choices. As you may know, FTM is said not to be affected by the new. FTM is also not the same product (tree format) as Ancestry has been and, while similar, your tree and data appear somewhat differently as best I can tell. Those of us who chose to pay and trust for the safe keeping of our longtime and in-depth work, and who do that work from a desk with a lap top or PC while using the Ancestry tree format (yes, that tree format is part of the cost), are deeply disappointed. Not to mention the numbers who simply, for whatever visual, physical or other reasons cannot maneuver the new site. From comments of the past months, I would venture to say a significant number of those reporting negatives about the new, have been longtime paying Ancestry users with significant size trees and detailed documentation. The new product precludes the ease-of-use for that level of work and for the safeguarded quality of our trees.

  40. douggrf

    In a Blog posting (Sep 28, 2015) above by Ken who at that point wrote ” In particular, I’m sure they’re monitoring the number of times users click the link to go back to the Classic site layout. ” – the comment makes an astute observation about what should be occurring. Problem is this whole entire IT project has apparently been handled by some of the most incompetent management that I have ever witnessed in my career. So I am not overly confident they are doing any such thing.

    Here is just a variety of stats they should be collecting:
    1) The number of members who call the support line and ask to re-create the link for them back to the Classic site – which was often broken by new memberships, or even renewal of lapsed memberships.
    2) The number of times that New site use is switched back to Classic. This is a simple number, irregardless of the point that Ken adds in the following: ” They may be tracking how much time a user spends on the New interface before switching back to Classic, and if so they will probably give less weight to those users who switch immediately instead of spending some time (?) trying the New. ” Ken’s point I feel is moot on that matter, because it just cannot account for how much ‘experimenting’ is actually taking place with members in general.
    3)Keeping track of how many LifeStory edits are occurring to master edit something other than the auto-generated narratives so that indeed there is confirmation of use of LifeStory for a benefit. This is quite important stat as it gives the best indication of whether there is real interaction by members with the New site. Most any other edit can occur somehow in Classic.

  41. What is your time frame (date) to restore the following functions?
    All of which. available in classic view are now broken in new ancestry:

    1. Continue Ability to attach non-photo media to a Fact? Want to read obituaries and stories attached in a text format. One-click add on the fact, NO searching the gallery to input or edit.

    2. Continue to Provide a link to Stories that were attached to Facts in Classic Ancestry? Searching the gallery to try and find a related story is a waste of time and my family finds it difficult to match stories with events.

    3. Return the photo icon to individual facts? Essential in letting the viewer know that is more to see for this profile. And to the researcher, to quickly see items have been attached.

    4. Return the one-click ability to see ALL media attached to an individual fact? We only want to see ALL (text included) attached to that single event. Viewer doesn’t care about all the other media. That is the purpose of the gallery, to view items that are not attached to a fact.

  42. Thameslass

    Is there a particular reason why the ‘Find a person in this tree’ box appears in different places depending on which screen is open?
    It’s in the ‘traditional’ place (top right) on the ‘View in tree’ page, but on all the others it’s on the left. The position is not immediately obvious to new users, especially as there is the *other* ‘search’ button on the top right (I feel sure that experienced users sometimes click on that by mistake as we’re used to the ‘find a person’ box being there).
    If there isn’t a good reason, why isn’t it in the same place all the time?

  43. Mike

    To ‘F’ – Yes, as paying customers we are entitled to complain about an poorly executed rollout of a poorly designed product. We too are sad that we must bring up the same faults – without correction! -as we approach month number five. I guess we just care that much. Successful companies have figured out how to cater to both mobile and laptop/traditional computers and to make the experience a good one regardless of the device used. I have no problem with a new design, but the old one wasn’t ‘ugly’ – the new one is difficult and unpleasant for many people to use. Thin white font on a dark background is a known problem to look at for any length of time – kind of the point of this website. So ‘F’, if you like everything to be in the same spot, then New Ancestry must drive you crazy – if you really use it. Often used tools like ‘Find a person in this tree’ are in different places depending on the page – and uses different words as well. On the pedigree or family view ‘Find a person in this tree’ is visible in the upper right corner, but on a person’s profile page, it’s hidden behind a magnifying glass in the upper LEFT corner, and labeled ‘Find person in tree’. This is a tell-tale sign of more than one development team working on different projects who didn’t coordinate with each other – kind of the story of the whole mess called New Ancestry project. To ACOM: your customers know what’s going on; we would have much more respect for you if you came clean and REALLY started to fix the issues. We aren’t staying forever.
    And then there’s the old ‘the trees are free’ nonsense. First, why is ACOM spending so much time and effort on something that doesn’t produce revenue? That’s no way to run a profitable business! The truth is they have no business model without ‘free’ trees – a site with just indexed records wouldn’t have been successful and we all know it. Without a tree building system that works for both dabblers and serious genies, the business is worthless. I hope ACOM figures that out before it’s too late. So yes, we explain what isn’t working. We care that much. It’s ACOM who should be thanking their customers for all the free web design advice.

  44. Bev

    @Mike…thank you so much for explaining many of the issues, and doing so far better than I could. I will add that for me personally the need for a way to hide Life Story completely from anyone viewing my tree is a priority. The heavy emphasis that Ancestry is placing on me to accept Life Story as the default view is totally unacceptable to me. My trees are short on photos and stories but heavy on FACTS.

  45. BEE

    It works like this. Create a tree by typing in the names of parents, grandparents, and maybe great-grandparent if you know them. Go to “search” but can’t find anyone with those ethnic {or not!} spellings! Or, find a name on a census the same as your father’s or grandfather’s, add it without looking at it! Oh boy, there’s one for 1920, 1930 and 1940! So what if the names of the husband and wife on these census don’t match your relatives who were living in Pennsylvania the whole time, and the people on these census are living in New Jersey {yes, I’ve actually seen it!} because you’ve lost interest, and you’ll never go back anyway, especially if you would have to pay what I’ve been paying for years! But it looked good on your “mobile device”!

  46. BobbyD

    My trees are private and I no longer subscribe to Ancestry mainly due to the the fiasco that is new Ancestry. It amazes me that they roll out this product and expect customers to put up with the constant aggravations. I am waiting for the day that Ancestry announces that trees will no longer be able to be made private unless you are a paying customer. Or worse, due to a rise in the privatization of trees that they just decide to make all trees public whether you want it or not. What a disappointment Ancestry has become.

  47. Mary M Zashin

    Thank you so much, Mike, for confronting the tired old “the trees are free” argument. Clearly, they are an important marketing tool for ACOM. I’m not sure I would have joined those many years ago if it were not for the ability to put up a family tree that other family members could view. I was doing OK with a desktop program, familysearch, the local LDS facility, other websites, and BOOKS (remember those?). But the possibility of creating something that could easily be shared was very attractive to me. Unfortunately, the New tree is so unattractive that I no longer want to use it, much less share it. There are many, many functional issues with the site as a whole today (just check the ACOM FB page), as well numerous missing features from New, but the sheer ugliness of New just disappoints me so. I have trouble working on New because it’s so hard to look at–the litany of complaints that people have made since at least July have NOT been addressed. I haven’t read ONE comment that favors the round primary photos and MANY comments expressing how inappropriate they are on any site that’s not displaying only headshots. The vast majority of comments also note that the grey background and white writing are difficult to view for long periods of time. I find the grey particularly gloomy and even depressing on both the tree and the fact views. Although one blog post claimed the color had been lightened, this isn’t evident to me. Really, if just these cosmetic issues were addressed, I think half the complaints would go away. I like the Old color scheme much better and really do want something similar on New. This site is not like, for example, Amazon, which can get away with a black header and white writing because people don’t typically spend a lot of time on it. They come, they search, they buy, they go. It’s quite otherwise with a site like ACOM that people often use for hours at a time. If the experience is visually repellent or difficult, many people just won’t use it. The site has to look attractive and be easy to use, and right now it’s neither. And ACOM has been stunningly unresponsive, so I don’t think there’s much hope for change. Unless things change drastically, I will be leaving once my subscription is up.

  48. Deborah

    It does seem that, if these changes to the visual and fact presentations are being made for the good of customers, than its customers should be able, as well as trusted, to decide just how enhancing the added features are to them. At least they should be assured by the company that they will continue to have a choice between the two views with the toggle button, based upon personal preference for any of the various reasons. It should not be imposed on longtime customers who have poured themselves into their work and want it represented in their own way. The story view is only helpful and enriching to those who welcome it.

  49. RobinH

    Thanks to all of you for having taken the time (over and over and over again) to point out to Ancestry what doesn’t work or what could work better. Why they need us to do this is beyond my imagination. I am quite sure that there are many serious genealogists who work at Ancestry who could point out what we do (and more) easily – and save us the aggravation of having to think every day about what doesn’t work or what could work better and “complain”. Most companies I am familiar with would have undertaken a system design and development effort that would have included comparing functionality between the old and the new, and asking the various user groups what functions mattered to them (and honored their feedback), thoroughly tested the system and then rolled it out. This somehow seems backwards to me. It seems as though the system was rolled out before the complete design, development and test work was done. I used to work on my tree on most days – and loved doing so, but what makes me happy these days is knowing that I have my tree backed up. I no longer add anything to my tree on Ancestry and have no plans to do so unless and until I am confident that the system (new or old) functions for genealogists as well as for smart phone users – and operates in a controlled environment, which I am now beginning to wonder about. I miss Old Ancestry (and, yes, Elhura, I have signed the petition!) and I miss working on my tree – and I am puzzled about why Ancestry seems not to even care about the concerns of many of its long-time (formerly very happy) customers.

  50. douggrf

    To RobinH, your comments are SO right on! Ancestry has a league of experts in their barn and have had for years, just take a look at the contributions made every week on their behalf in the blogs, journals, and yes, FaceBook.
    They also so had a selected focus group in the early private Beta phase 1 period beginning Feb 2015 and continuing until it was abruptly cancelled in June 2015.
    There must be some other factors at work, that we as customer members, just have not been made aware of.
    This particular announcement of Sep 28, was released Sep 27, 2015, and by the evening of Sep 27 the site was already broken (Family Events Display) and so the intent of the Sep 28, 2015 feature set is not only premature it is currently wrong.
    I have never ever seen an IT project of this scale so badly managed in my 25 year career in IT project management.

  51. Roger

    “Thank you for contacting Ancestry in regards to the incorrect map.

    We’re sorry to hear that you’ve been experiencing issues using the Lifestory.

    As you are aware one element of the sites updated formatting will locate the place names which have been previously entered by you so that they can be plotted on a map. We are aware of the location issues and are currently working on making the place-naming functionality of the improved site a little smarter, so please do be patient. There isn’t an option to remove the Maps from the Lifestory at this time.

    However, in the meantime you can still change back to the old view of Ancestry by clicking the “old Ancestry” button in the top right hand corner of the page, in the drop-down menu beneath your name.”

    >> There isn’t any option to remove . . . . . AT THIS TIME.

    Well, don’t leave it too long, Ancestry. Better still, remove Life Story and allow us to decide our heritage content.

  52. Pat

    Re: LifeStory – I have one ancestor who moved two times in her life – born in Detroit, moved to Detroit in 1920, then moved to Detroit, in 1935. Idiots.

  53. F

    Maybe I wasn’t clear, I do use it, and I also show it to my relatives, via the app or via the browser, and those who’ve seen it (older than 80) have not complained, in fact they liked it. I had no troubles finding where buttons and options went right away, it all seemed to me very easy, buttons were where I expected them to be (which doesn’t mean they were in the same spot) relative to the general function of new design. Maybe I’m just so used to website changes, I’ve seen many I use completely rewritten, and I can quickly find and memorize buttons and options.. I don’t know! But I really am honest when I say I find navigating the website very pleasing now, while before I noticed I tended to use FTM only and just check the website to see if the sync and backup of images had worked. Perhaps I should add that I am not a paying customer simply because other than tree managing I don’t need ancestry for anything else, and so I can get that without paying. I am not american and the people in my tree never set foot there, even the (many) foreign collection that ancestry has have nothing for me as my area of research is a very specific limited region (FamilySearch does have some collections on it at least), so I do 99% of my research directly on the original documents in various church and state archives. I am fortunate I can do that, I know. There is not 1 document that I’ve linked to my tree from ancestry, instead it is always the other way around, me taking pictures/scans and uploading them on the site. I guess that may be one reason I don’t quite get all the fuss about this change. By all means, if you’re that unsatisfied with it, I do hope they listen to you all, as, for what it’s worth, another change wouldn’t bother me, I’d learn to use another version of the site and in a day all would be fine. What I don’t like is this virtual screaming and threatening attitude I read. People threatening to leave, to do a class action, to petition, and posting (sometimes) in caps (and I don’t just mean here in the comments, but also in the support forum). I find that a bit rude, to others reading but mostly to all those working on the site, those who are desperately doing their best to adjust stuff based on what they’re being ordered to do, and as a result only receive constant complaint. I think we should take the positive that comes out from these update posts every week and have patience, not just throw anger like this.

  54. caith

    Obviously, we can agree to disagree, but the bottom line is the past loyalty to a product that has gone beserk; and all of us have the right to express our displeasure. Still, trespassing and changing our trees with erroneous information is shocking.

  55. Trisha

    Ancestry latest blog is – It’s Not Too Early for Family History Projects. And there are some beautiful old photos posted by Denise May Levenick (note no circles!)

  56. Monika

    @ F. When people responded to you yesterday my first reaction was “Why are they taking the bait?” But I am responding to you today. You take great pride in using this website for free. Bully for you! I too am European born but living in the United States and MY trees on are a result of my traveling to Europe at least six times to visit Archives and churches all over Europe. The cost for that includes air fares and hotels, etc. Like you NONE of the data in MY trees can be found on, but I am a paying member because I also work on my husband’s trees whose ancestors arrived on the Mayflower. Whether you pay or I pay ACOM is not relevant to me. Whether a button is on the right side or a left side of the page is not relevant to me. What IS relevant to me is that I created quality trees that I am proud of and that I consider my personal property. Ancestry does NOT have the right to create a program that imposes inaccurate information on my trees and forces that information on me. All you need to do is read all the comments where people notice that ancestry has changed their birth year, their birth location, has their ancestors born in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, etc. etc. etc. So stop your sanctimoniousness because you clearly must be “misunderstanding” us just for the fun of stirring things up.

  57. Gene

    @F The difference is you have the option not to read these comments or not. Ancestry provided no such option to their “paying” customers to not use LifeStory. Ancestry did not just change the “Look & Feel” of their Web Site, they removed functionality that people paid for and used for many years and put a lot of hard work into.I am quite sure you have not uploaded documents or tombstone photos that now appear in circles on the Profile page. I am just as sure you did not create a Military page to honor an ancestor. And I guess as a non-paying user, you don’t care that things work one day and the next day they don’t.

    The problem is that after several months, Ancestry has not even thrown their customers a bone and offered something, for example, a way to make the circle pictures optional those that want it. That way if it is more modern and will attract younger customers or is preferred by those on tablets or smartphones, then they have the best of both worlds and make everyone happy. That is a company that believes eventually the customers will just give up and submit. But if you look from the June posts to now, the posts have increased as has the frustration and anger. They prefer Stepford Customers like F who will just take whatever they give them. It is a lot easier that way.

    Personally, I don’t think threatening to leave will change anything. Until people remove their trees (as well as on RootsWeb) and cancel their subscriptions, the status quo will remain. The approach has to be the opposite and be when you fix these things (disable LifeStory, option for rectangular pictures, Military pages, select Classic color scheme, etc.) then I would come back.

    People want to see progress. What would it take, a day’s effort for a skilled programmer to enable the option to not have circle pictures and to remove a big complaint and show your customers you are listening and make them happy? The only reason not to do this, is someone is taking a hard stance at Ancestry because it would look like they were acknowledging they made a mistake. I don’t know, the whole thing makes no business sense. This should be included in courses at Universities so the next generation of business managers can learn what not to do.

    As far as the petition, I think it should be sent off. If it reaches 3,500 it would be a shame to see the goal just increase to 4,000. Sure more people signing is better, but you have to get the message sent now.

  58. douggrf

    So after three days of being broken for Family Events display in Facts and LifeStory – we now have the revised formatting for these events. Check it out!

    Does everybody like it now?

  59. Robin

    @F The following is rude
    1. In not one place on my ggg grandfather’s profile was New York mentioned.
    2. In not one place on my ggg grandfather’s profile was a second wife/marriage mentioned.
    3. In not one place on my ggg grandfather’s profile was Florida mentioned.
    Ancestry has very RUDELY inserted as facts that my ggg grandfather married a seond wife in Parma, New York and was buried in Fish Florida. My tree is now littered with thousands of errors that I did not put there and cannot begin to fix and I seriously doubt Ancestry is going to pay me to fix. And to add insult to injury they haven’t yet listened to my complaints about the inaccurate kindergarten drivel they RUDELY put on my tree. Oh, and I now have a nice little circle showing part of the original surveyors drawing of his property.

  60. Mary

    Perhaps this is the man we should be flooding with emails and calls: KENDALL HULET –
    Senior Vice President of Product Management
    Kendall Hulet has served as our Senior Vice President of Product Management at Ancestry since March 2015. He joined the Company in 2003 has held a variety of roles in the product organization including Director of International Product Management and most recently Vice President of Product Management for AncestryDNA. During his tenure, he was deeply involved in some of the most popular innovations at Ancestry, including the “Shaky Leaf” hinting system that has delivered over five billion discoveries; the Ancestry Family Tree system that has led to the creation of over 70 million family trees containing six billion ancestors; and the creation of the award winning Ancestry mobile app, which has been downloaded more than 12 million times. Kendall most recently led the product efforts around AncestryDNA, including launching DNA Circles, and initiatives that aggregate and mine massive amounts of family history data to tell stories. Prior to joining Ancestry, Kendall worked in product marketing at Kendall holds an M.B.A. from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and graduated cum laude with university honors and a B.S. degree in Information Systems from Brigham Young University.

  61. Crystal

    Hey, Ancestry! Here I am, trying your “New” web site again. But I can’t stay long enough to get any work done.

    I don’t know if you’re really working on your color scheme or not. But it’s still hurting my eyes. And did you do something to the typeface in the “New” Ancestry? I had to keep increasing the view size of the current blog it was so hard to read. Why is it necessary to use such a thin (skinny?) typeface? And why can’t the type be in BLACK? I’m not blind yet, so I can tell that your “almost” black, or “close enough for you” black is really some kind of “let’s see how quickly we can destroy her eyesight” GRAY. Please have some mercy or at least some consideration for people who would really like to be able to spend some time on their family history without headaches and eye strain.

    And, here’s a new concept for your weekly update blog: It would really be helpful if you told us straight out EXACTLY what you’ve done during the past week instead of leaving us guessing. If you’ve made an improvement, or even a minor change, tell us please, so we can check it out. Maybe you’ve done something we could actually compliment you on. Or maybe there’s still an issue that you think you’ve resolved but really need to keep working on. Either way, wouldn’t you like to know?

    And PLEASE start telling us the truth about what’s not going to change. Don’t gloss over an issue by telling us you’re still “considering” something. No need for us to keep virtually “banging our heads against the wall” about issues you have no intention of correcting or improving. The only thing that the “banging” is doing is giving both you and your users a headache.

  62. Monika

    Something occurred to me after I just left a comment on the “Hints” blog. When I was an independent contractor my income was very much dependent on how satisfied my clients were with me. It never occurred to me for ME to be the one who would tell the world how terrific I am. Telling your customers how great you are is not what makes satisfied customers. Bringing about the results your customers expect from you is what makes you great in their eyes. The last ten years that I was in business I did not even need to advertise myself anymore. ALL of my business was repeat business or referral business from satisfied clients. Ancestry, don’t spend so much money telling the world how great you are. Focus on satisfying your clients and the word of mouth response you will get will save you a lot of advertising money. Classic Ancestry was something I recommended to all my friends, acquaintances and others as the best thing since apple pie. Not that it was flawless–I never expected perfection, just good customer service. Please hear us and hear our needs. We used to be your best advertisers.

  63. Joyce

    Sigh, I pop into this blog about once a week to see if anything has gotten better–it hasn’t. Ancestry is not listening to its customers.

    Someone mentioned the small numbers of people signing the petition–that is simply because MOST people who have accounts at don’t even know about it so word is slowly spreading.

    I am POSITIVE many of the 1.2 million customers ancestry boasts are NOT active members. More often than not when I click on a profile to see if it is worth messaging someone I find they have not signed in in a year or more.

    AND how many of those 1.2 mill “customers” are the people who do a free 2 week trial, throw up a few names and leave.

    Long time ancestry members are complaining over and over about KEY features in OLD that are gone. Many Print features are gone. Crucial Print features such as being able to print off a profile page in a succinct manner in a few pages that give all family members and list sources.

    It is clear to me that ancestry is not listening at all…The only thing that will make an impression is when they lose a lot of customers due to this NEW abomination that is slow, NOT user friendly and so much more difficult to use and view.

    Ancestry does not want to admit they made a HUGE mistake, they have created a LOT of problems in NEW they cannot seem to fix, and they wasted a lot of money doing it.

    I am staying in Classic for as long as I possibly can. I have tried and tried the NEW version and cannot stand to be in it more than a few minutes.

    I am REALLY getting tired of all the pop ups trying to get me to switch to NEW. If I could FUNCTION in NEW I would go there.

    I find the NEW version completely horrible on so many levels, from the features we no longer have to the awful colors on display to all the wasted space on the FACTS page.

    I think the ONLY thing ancestry is going to understand is when thousands walk away.

    BUT they know those of us who have large trees and have worked on them 15+ years cannot do that…I cannot possibly review every single person in my tree too see what kind of errors ancestry has created.

    I have lodged specific complaints every way possible and only get platitudes. “We are sorry for your frustration”–

    This is beyond frustration–this is maddening to have 15 years of work destroyed and to see a company I have paid thousands of dollars over the years not even care.

  64. Cheryl

    Can’t get the survey on New Fricking Ancestry to work! That’s the thumbs up/thumbs down survey. Needless to say I am thumbs down, BUT SURVEY WON’T ACCEPT IT! What gives?

  65. RobinH

    @Cheryl, I had the same trouble. I could get everything to work except the thumbs up/thumbs down selection. I think someone just posted on Facebook that they are having the same problem. Anyway, I got it to work by (I think) clicking just outside the thumb but still in theat box if that makes any sense. For those of you who haven’t seen the survey, it’s at https:/

  66. Bev

    Family Group Sheet is back, but hidden under layers of clicks. Click your tree view, click Tree Pages, then choose All Hints, then click a name from the list of names, then click on Tree Pages again, and Family Group Sheet is at the top of the drop down for this Tree pages. Good grief….

  67. Karen

    Wow Bev. Not only is that a huge number of clicks but there is absolutely no logic to those steps. Pretty soon Ancestry will be saying again that people had no interest in Family Group Sheets because no one is using them.

  68. Walt

    Bev, thanks for the steps to the Family Group Sheet. I agree with others that the illogical, multiple steps to get there are quite bizarre. Why not just one click from somewhere on the ancestor’s profile page?

  69. Mary R

    It appears that Ancestry’s “New” programmers haven’t even mastered the English language yet. I cut and pasted this unchanged from their Sept. 28 Update: “Media viewer –The people that the photo is attached to has been brought to the main screen from behind edit. This also allows users to more easily select who they want the picture show as a profile picture or to unlink the picture. – See more at:” .”

  70. douggrf

    Earlier I asked if anyone was noticing the new format display of family events in the LifeStory auto generated this week…very few answered which leads me to believe no one is really watching? Is that the case?

    Family event narratives STILL have the same flaw as other generic narratives – the system does not recognize qualification of dates – about, before, after. To fix this, and to add additional relevant information for the event, we need the ability to edit.

    I generally keep the family events turned off. I add them to the timeline myself when they are relevant, for example when the place a child was born shows where the parents were living at the time. LifeStory narratives only work for ancestors whose lives are well documented in the tree – definite birth, death, marriage dates, all siblings and children known, etc. Since this is usually not the case, we end up with a garbage of a story. We should be able to turn this display off so that it does not detract from the quality and purposes of the tree.

  71. Mary R

    To douggrf: I, for one, have never gone back to the New Ancestry (and I never will). Maybe others are doing the same? I certainly wouldn’t go look at LifeStories of any of my 2300 people. Too, too dismaying.

  72. Bev

    Thanks for the feedback, but I missed listing a step. So here are the steps again that I successfully used to get Family Group Sheet to work:
    Pull up your tree
    Click on Tree Pages
    Click on All Hints
    Choose a name from the list
    The profile of this person loads
    Back out of the profile
    Click on the Tree Pages on the All Hints page
    Click on Family Group Sheet
    Then the Family Group Sheet loads for the profile you have selected
    The Family Group sheet is printable using your normal printer set up

    No wonder they’re still working on Family Group Sheet. There is absolutely nothing easy or intuitive about finding it. I just happened to stumble upon it. If anyone finds an easier way to find and use Family Group Sheet, please share it with us!

    @douggrf…I definitely noticed Facts are now in the Life Story view.

    My biggest want right now is to be able to hide Life Story from anyone viewing my tree. Second biggest want is color and font changes. Glare and eyestrain are still a big problem for me when I work for any length of time with this ugly mess.

  73. Monika

    @douggrf. I am with Mary R. The last time I went on New Ancestry, I looked at the profile pages of my husband’s maternal grandfather and great-grandfather and I saw the garbage that ancestry had written into their life stories and the historical “facts” ancestry had created for these two. When I got back to Classic Ancestry, these two profile pages looked like distorted sausages instead of looking the way they were before I ventured into New Ancestry. I had to delete these two profile pages and then add these two people back onto my husband’s tree. When I did so and I added e.g., five pictures back to the great-grandfather’s profile page, I was able to download four pictures and every time that I tried to download the fifth picture it told me “you have successfully downloaded the picture”, but the picture was nowhere in sight. I looked EVERYWHERE for it and it is not there. So, I do not want to damage my Classic Ancestry tree any further and will not go near New Ancestry until all the problems are fixed.

  74. Crystal

    BEV!!! You are amazing! With all those clicks, it makes me wonder if Ancestry even knows the Family Group Sheet is there. Thanks so much!

  75. Vince

    Yes, Bev, congratulations on ferreting out the tortuous path to a Family Group Sheet view in the new interface. The available procedure is not only ridiculous but also fails entirely for individuals in the the tree who have no NEW hints — those individuals don’t show up in the in the “All Hints” or “People with Hints” lists even after an explicit search and even if they do have accepted, ignored or undecided hints. This phenomenon is similar to the obscure availability of the “Not you?” option via the All Hints route, about which I have previously commented. Here it is again:

    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. 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 and the Family Group Sheet via the “All Hints” list does show is that the New Ancestry programmers have already built the basic code needed to provide both those features (or copied it from Classic Ancestry). Now they just need to make direct links to the respective code segments from the “Relationship to me” pop-up view on the individual profile page for the “Not You?” option and on the individual profile page itself to display the Family Group Sheet.

    Ancestry: Please just do that!

  76. Barbara

    You have an extremely annoying popup that comes along whenever something has been changed, added, deleted, etc. Please make this go away! It is extremely annoying after 20 or 30 or 40 popups! I think that most people actually realize that they have made some sort of change. To continually remind us of it assumes we are not very smart.

  77. Mary M Zashin

    So, I’ve found out that you can’t totally remove the verbiage from LifeStory. If you erase it, it just reappears. You CAN, however, replace it all with just a . (period) in the text field. (I have sometimes done this for citation “detail” when I don’t have any “detail” to add but I want to edit the events the source is attached to–neither Old nor New will let you do that if “detail” is absent.) As long as we don’t have a toggle to switch LifeStory completely off (and given ACOM’s advertising, that’s not likely!), does anyone have any other ideas that are better for doing away with all the LifeStory repetition? Because replacing each event with a . for 1000s of people is not very practical. . .

  78. JudyD

    How and to whom do I send an image of something that obviously isn’t working correctly? The so-called Customer Service people say they “cannot view” a jpg and then tell me to clear cache/change browsers, etc. to fix it–none of which works.

    The problem: When I want to save an image from one person to another–from another tree or my own–I start typing a name, but the drop-down selection appears WITHOUT dates. If there are several persons/generations with the same name, I can’t tell which one to select.

    Is it possible to actually get some help with this? If an image would help, what format should it be, and where do I send it?

  79. Robin

    @Monika..THANK YOU. I thought I was the only one this happened to. After I was forced onto new ancestry and went back to old, my entire tree is messed up. I am missing people, missing images (one of them an irrereplaceble image of 3rd gg), facts are repeated up to 4 times in the timeline, untrue facts are added, sources from other people are in the source lists, it is a totally completely messed up tree now. Somehow switching from new to old messed everything up. Spitting mad because there is really no way to fix. Ten years down the drain.

  80. Bev

    Vince, thanks so much for pointing out that Family Group Sheet only works for those who have hints. The profiles I tried still had hints available.
    Thanks MaryMZashin for the head’s up, albeit discouraging current way to deal with LifeStory. The simplest “fix” for LifeStory is to be able to toggle it off so that it can’t be seen by anyone viewing my tree except for me, but nobody is listening to how important this is to many of us.

  81. RobinH

    @JudyD The problem you mentioned above is one we all have. It has been mentioned to Ancestry many times. Where it is in the list of things that have to get fixed is something we don’t know. The customer service folks should have known that this is a problem for which there now is nothing we can do. One work-around I have seen mentioned is adding some suffix (and later removing it) to the person you know you want to attach the photo to – so that when the list pops up without dates, you will see that suffix and know that is the person you are looking for.

  82. Joyce

    Funny–I did not get ANY emails from ancestry about the survey-did anyone else? If people don’t know about it then ancestry seems to be TRYING to stack the deck “oh we did not get complaints on our survey.

    In case you missed link above here is it again. It is short—-and for me it was simple ZERO, ZERO, ZERO and a BIG thumbs down.

    https:/ –

  83. RobinH

    @Joyce. I didn’t get an email, either. I just noticed on Facebook that someone had posted the link. When another Facebook poster mentioned that he was having a hard time submitting his survey, Ancestry in their reply said that they were taking a survey of users of New Ancestry (they didn’t say all users of New Ancestry, so I don’t know who all might have been sent the link to the survey).

  84. Vince

    To Anne: Your link with my own numbers plugged in works like a charm to display the Family Group Sheet even for a person who has no new hints. Thanks! The Family Group Sheet view that comes up seems identical to the one displayed in the Classic interface, with one big difference. The new interface version has an ad for the Ancestry App appended to the bottom of the view. That makes me think they will keep it even if they kill the Classic interface. But why they don’t just make it easily available right now instead of just saying they are working on it, especially given the loud and repeated requests for it in these blogs, is beyond my comprehension.

    By the way, regarding your further comment at 7:21 pm, it sounds like you saw your earlier comment disappear. You must have seen by now that it came back. I’ve had the same experience several times while posting to these blogs. It doesn’t happen every time, so some moderator must be wanting to give some posts closer consideration before letting them be visible again. As you may have noticed, leaving out the beginning of a link, through the forward slashes, sometimes helps.

  85. Vince

    To Joyce and RobinH: Yesterday, I also used the link that Robin posted to put my three cents in on the survey (cents that did not add up to more than 0). Then, early today, while looking at the new interface, the survey popped up of its own accord. So I got to register my thoughts again.

  86. Anne Scott Frankland

    Vince — Thank you for the tip to shorten a link. It’s hard to understand why Ancestry can’t or won’t add a link to the Family Group Sheet on the Person page.

    Now, for starters, if they would just add a link to “List of all people” to the Person/Facts page.

  87. Carrie

    Ok, folks. Here’s my opinion. Ancestry does what it wants regardless of what folks want. Bottom line: MONEY! They have to do something to keep the programmers employed and the money coming in. It’s a natural fact. No business can stay in business unless money is coming in. Think about it. There are not many businesses that can survive without continuing customers.

    The interesting thing about family history research is for the researcher; it’s a strong draw to learn where we came from. We have asked that question since we could think beyond getting food and having offspring. Ancestry capitalizes on this. I’m one of those who want to know and Ancestry has lots of records, although I don’t see many new records of use to me.

    Over the years I have seen tools, features, layout styles, colors, fonts, text sizes, and general functions come and go, and come back and be dropped again. One thing I have not seen is the ability to really customize my own personal experience with the site. One thing has been consistent: mouse clicks to do anything keep increasing!

    One thing that really makes me crazy is on a person/profile page, all the births and deaths of all the children are in the fact column. I don’t need this. They are already listed on the far right in the family column. Am I the only one with this problem? The person/profile page become horrendously long if that person is a parent of 10 children!!! Extremely messy to deal with.

    I have seen so many “new” Ancestry sites, it makes my head spin. This is the worse one yet!!!

  88. Carrie

    I just realized I forgot to mention something that bugs me. In the blogs, the comment column shows a dark circle with a image that is neither male or female. Please drop these images and use a number only, like you used to do some time ago.

  89. Mary R

    “Ancestry to Divulge Genetic & Tree Info.
    …On Tuesday [July 21, 2015], Calico, the medical research company Google incubated in 2013, announced it had cut a deal for access to genetic information from Ancestry, the largest family tree website. It’s among the first public moves from Calico, the secretive division born to extend human life. With its new DNA data — properly anonymized — Calico will look for genetic patterns in people who have lived exceptionally long lives, then make drugs to help more of us do that. The deal also marks another step in the next chapter of tech’s ambitious experiments with biology: After collating medical data, it’s marching the research to market. In Jan. 2015, “23andMe” — the competitor run by Anne Wojcicki,..— inked a similar deal with Genentech to parse the genomes of Parkinson’s disease patients. Genentech is the former company of Arthur Levinson, the CEO of Calico… Tim Sullivan, Ancestry’s CEO, said his privately held company has fielded requests from multiple medical research firms. It has spent over 20 years amassing its databank. He toldRe/code: “We have been looking at, and frankly responding to, inquiries from a number of parties about ways that we can collaborate to take the data that we’ve aggregated historically, and that we’re starting to aggregate now, and get some real scale.” Sullivan’s company had some scale from the get-go. Its subsidiary that partnered with Calico, AncestryDNA, has genotyped the DNA sequence of over one million customers. Two weeks ago, the company launched AncestryHealth, a portal for its customers to track personal health and wellness, and marry that with their genetic data.

    But its treasure trove — and what Calico really wants — is the extensive, detailed genealogical data. claims to have more than two million paying subscribers, who have created some seven million historical family trees. It’s a rich well for tracking longevity trends… July 26, 2015. LINK:…/the-long-game-google-partners-with…/

  90. Monika

    @Robin. Yes, I shared this experience with you all several weeks ago when I ventured into New Ancestry. Went through all the blogs of the last few months to direct you to that specific blog but am unable to find it now. Have no idea what happened to it. Or maybe I just missed it as I reread all the blogs of the last few months regarding the subject of New Ancestry. I cannot believe how much time and effort I have invested these last few months trying to keep from imposing inaccurate data onto my tree. As if I had nothing better to do with my life! Shame on you ancestry!

  91. caz

    Off topic – sorry – but the last post I can see on Ancestry (UK) facebook page is 30 Sept. Anyone know if there’s anything wrong, or is it me? Thank you..

  92. RobinH

    @caz There was also a problem with Ancestry (US) yesterday. No posts for many hours. I think it was identified as a Facebook problem (one of the posters indicated that she had also had problems with other Facebook accounts yesterday) and not an Ancestry problem. Last night many delayed posts showed up, so the problem must have been fixed.

  93. To Caz. Have just posted on UK Facebook page asking where everybody is as there have been no posts since 30 Sept and asking if the page is broken. My post appeared on the Visitor Posts ok but in the time it’s taken to write this, it’s disappeared!!

  94. gp_4hbc

    Yes, Anne they do. In fact you are lucky to have part of your comment remain posted. Mine have pretty much disappeared entirely. I’ll see how long this one lasts.

  95. denise

    Like another poster, as an experienced user of several years, I was recently asked to work with a small local group showing them how to use I cancelled the class because of the New Ancestry. I dislike using it so much that I only allow it for the new wills/probates in NC and VA. Most were already on FamilySearch but some are new additions of records. This is what Ancestry should be spending time on – getting more records scanned and searchable – not “fixing” the classic view which no one asked to be fixed. Sure it needed some updating but an overhaul was unnecessary. The storyline is ridiculous and full of errors. As soon as I’ve saved the will/probate, I switch back to classic and check all the boxes. My main tree has over 10,000 people, over 20,000 records, and 30 invited family members. I own 3 other large trees. I am an editor for 5 more and a guest on 22 more. I am editor with a small group of researchers on another tree – a huge one. This tree is one of the largest and most active trees on Ancestry. It has over 28,600 people and over 115,000 original records/photos. The large tree has 98 ancestry participants. I work almost daily on Ancestry trees. People like me and others posting here are the roots of Ancestry’s success. When I watch those TV ads saying ‘ I looked up my gr-grandfather and there was his photo’, I know that one of us put it there – not Ancestry. I have enjoyed sharing the thousands of documents that I have gathered, scanned, and uploaded to Ancestry. I like digging in courthouses, photographing in cemeteries, and when cousins thank me for records. BUT my own 4 trees will become PRIVATE the minute I can no longer use classic Ancestry. I will no longer share. I am so sad about the New Ancestry and know that I will have to find another site or else a new hobby. Only plus is that my spouse will be glad to not see me on the computer so much. Ancestry, we are your lifeblood and you are not listening to us.

  96. gp_4hbc

    Denise, please do not give up your “passion” because of Ancestry’s blunder of the “new” Ancestry. Get yourself some good genealogical software and work from that. There are many sites (some are free) where you can find records.

    As a professional genealogist, that is what I do. I would say that you have so much information gathered over the years that it would be a shame to leave this “hobby” as you call it. At least download a GEDCOM file of your work as you do not want to loose it. You didn’t state if you have any genealogical software but at least you will have the meat of your records and sources. Unfortunately, a straight GED file will not have media attached to it. I hope you have stored all that somewhere on your computer. Note: Make sure you are in the Classic interface when downloading your trees as you don’t want any garbage associated with your records. Ancestry is certainly not listening to its paying customers, at least not yet.

    Best of luck on your endeavors.

  97. Elhura

    @ denise. I agree with all you have said. I, too, was preparing to do a local class on the use of and suspect it would have garnered Ancestry a few more enthusiastic subscribers. I also had hoped to do a “fun look-up” at a local event, again gaining support for Not so now. Not ever, unless Classic Ancestry is retained. Few in the target groups would have the slightest interest in the mush of new Ancestry. Nor do I. I also cannot see it due to colors, clutter and font and would be unable to use the new version for any length of time.

    My tree that began with my family some years ago has become something of a commentary on pioneer families of a certain geographic region and reveals a migration pattern that now encompasses numerous eastern and western states. It contains 33,000+ individuals, 7,000 photographs and media, and countless records. I, too, have multiple guest invitees, including historical and genealogical groups. While the invitees will continue to be able to see my tree, I will have no recourse but to make my tree private in view of the gross errors that still occur in Life Story. In so doing, I will totally lose the Member Connect that has been so helpful during my work. The irony is, although very capable of writing my own narrative, I wouldn’t mind Life Story as an added feature for those who don’t like to write – IF the Life Story infomation were reliable. Life Story also needs to carry the name of the tree and tree owner when printed. Last time I looked, the printed version did not. A disclaimer that certain additions have been made by might also be nice, with a reference back to the FACT page for a tree owner’s actual research.

    It is time for to get back to business as one of the once foremost geneology sites and make a commitment to saving Classic Ancestry as a continuing component.

    Don’t forget – those who have not signed it or sent it to someone who needs to know – to respond to the still continuing petition to save Classic

    Also continue to write the various addresses scattered throughout the last month of dated blogs – and call the reps at 1-800-262-3787 to register your concerns. I still think the calls “count”.

  98. gp_4hbc

    Denise, I forgot to add that making your tree/s private will make absolutely no difference. You will still be stuck with the “new” interface when, and if, it becomes a reality. Sorry, but that is the way it is set up at the present.

  99. Jolene

    Testing to see if I can post yet. Been blocked since Sept 13 and am working with Ancestry Customer Service to see if this works now.

  100. mike

    this is all they care about $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ Im like Joyce I try to steer people away….a few more people to finish up on and I can be done with this monster of a company,……. who can care less about you and who’s paying their bills.

  101. Monika

    @Mike. I can’t believe that this is true, because they will loose a lot of long time customers…for what??? For those who come in for a two week trial period and then leave again? It just does not make sense. They can’t possibly believe that their turning our genealogy into junkology is going to make them some money…unless they disrespect the majority of their clients so much that they believe that the majority of their members ARE junkologists and, therefore, will stay with them.

  102. M. Wagner

    I am not happy with the Ancestry I now face. Every time I want to check something, I am asked up grade! I shall be looking for other avenues

  103. joyce

    re Monika

    @Mike. They seem to be willing to risk it all it appears…if WE cannot find stuff, don’t have the functions we need, I don’t imagine NEW customers are going to be with what they see… was once a website that you could pretty well hit the ground running…easy to find things. easy to print off important things, easy to add documents to profile page

    It would have been ONE thing to improve the old story view which was always JUNK…but to totally make the site difficult to find your way around was just dumb.

    They will see how long new customers hang around. Many folks had trouble before when it was easy…NOW nobody can figure it out, old and new customers.

    People keep signing petition every day and MORE would sign if they knew it existed.

    Since I have been on site since 2003 I have met a LOT of researchers and because I don’t delete msgs I still am able to contact many of them…I have YET to talk to ONE of them that likes the new site…

    Many of these folks have been around a long time and we go back to the Pilgrims…so they all have large trees…

    Not ONE is happy with new site

    The problem with the petition is that word is slowly getting around–but it is—numbers growing daily

    When SO many people are unhappy ancestry SHOULD pay attention.

    Not all the folks I talk to are older folks either so it is NOT a matter of change—young or old–we don’t like the fact that we HAD a site that was easy to negotiate–and we no longer do.

    Is it behind door # 1, door # 2, door # 3 OR does it simply not exist anymore…

    MANY times the things we used are simply not there…

    I STILL want to be able to print off a profile page with family and sources…you cannot do that.

    MANY print functions are gone–Genealogists keep paper records also…and now for many of those records we no longer can…

  104. Mary R

    Mike put in a lot of dollar signs but, in my opinion, each only represents the $20 a month Sullivan’s company can get from us to keep working on our Trees. That’s not much compared to the millions going to be made based on the information we’ve already provided them. In my previous quote re Calico, the medical research company, Google, and AncestryHealth, it implies that they’ll take the data they’ve aggregated (“spent 20 years amassing” “a databank from seven million family trees”) and sell it to the highest bidder. Sullivan doesn’t need us. I think he wants his New family tree website to be just a fun site for all newcomers who don’t descend from Pilgrims. And it will probably BE a “fun” site once all the improvements suggested by present subscribers are implemented.

  105. Carol

    I cannot work with the profile pages. In the fact column, it shows all the births and deaths of all the children, siblings and parents. That is information overload. I just want to check to see if I missed a record like a census. I can’t print the profile because it is much too long.

    Definitely not “green.”

    Of course the colors are bad. When I see stuff that ugly grayish-brown, its usually going down the toilet.

    There are too many clicks and too much scrolling to the site. And it is is much slower to do anything.

  106. Carol

    Here’s more about the newest Ancestry. (They have had so many “new” sites!) I’m still going to use the classic but if I’m going to complain about the newest site, I should cite examples.

    Life story is a waste on this site. Unless you have every detail it gives inaccurate information. In the case of folks who get divorced, it assumes they stayed married if you don’t have a divorce record. Now if ancestry had ALL marriage and divorce records which we could access, the story might be more accurate. Life story is useless until you “finish” and most folks never finish. This is a life time work in progress.

    As it is right now, life story is a boring list of drivel; vitals with no real personal stories. Most of my people were ordinary working folks, but I do have some who made definite achievements and were not ordinary. Even for the ordinary folks I could make the story more interesting. Life story is not my writing style!

    And what is this obsession with circles? Not pretty!!!

  107. Elhura

    Call them. Call them. Call them. 1-800–262-3787. Thanks to all who have done this and more. Thanks to each of you who tell others who need to know and to all who will continue to call, email and write to make our concerns known. If we stand a chance at all for Classic Ancestry to be retained, our message has to stay in the forefront of Ancestry’s collective minds. It is subscribers like us who fully understand the need for a continued functionally efficient program. Longtime researchers and treebuilders know, beyond a doubt, that serious users will move away from using the new site.

    Also continue to pass along the URL for the petition:

    Thanks to all!

  108. Cheryl

    I noticed that the thumbs up/thumbs down survey about Fricking New Ancestry states a scale of one (least agee) to ten (most agree), yet there is a rating of zero. I wonder if that is ACOM’s method of not counting those who believe that New deserves a minus score, By marking zero, maybe those scores won’t count at all and will be passed over when rating New. Any thoughts?

  109. douggrf

    To Cheryl, I don’t see any reason for the “0” rating not to be correctly counted in the survey. But once again the incompetence of the entire management team of Ancestry seems to rear its ugly head.
    It is very typical of a survey to have a zero slot for a rating system, but not typical at all to set it at a special meaning other than least favorable point. You notice the middle scale is meant to be the indifferent point – be that 4.5 to 5.5.
    It is not quite accurate to just say it is JUST ten point scale, because when the points are averaged say with ratings of 10 – that would be the high-end.
    When points are averaged with zero included, say with combination ratings of 1 and 0 – the average is rating computes at .5 –

  110. Jolene

    Haven’t been able to post for a while – technical issues. In trying out New Ancestry this week, I still find that the profile view page is too broad and cluttered. One has to keep moving his eyes back and forth repeatedly to encompass the entire set of data balloons on the profile view pages. This leads to eye strain and migraines. The solution would be to give us a choice to switch off the middle source column from view on the profile page and in turn, this action would shrink the viewable page to a similar view as in the Classic Ancestry. (Less is more)
    In the Classic Ancestry profile page view, things were more streamline and easier to view as a whole. No back and forth eye motion was needed to see the individual, his timeline and his immediate relatives. In Classic Ancestry, the profile page emulates an 8.5×11 or 14” page with soft pastel margins on either side for a composite view. The New Ancestry profile view, which I have now tried on my tablet in addition to my laptop and PC, seems to be targeting the tablet or smart phone user with its broad screen. I find I am using Ancestry less now due to the eye fatigue and headaches I experience when in the New Ancestry mode..
    Data entry in New Ancestry on a small screen is okay for one or two instances where you are researching on the fly – (i.e. data entry of one or two sentences while standing in a graveyard or at a physical archive. HOWEVER, for volumes of data entry and research, a dedicated, regular-sized keyboard is a necessity and is most likely used in conjunction with a PC or laptop application and NOT a small screen.
    I would like to see re-configure the view of the profile page on New Ancestry to be a more concise view, so that you can view the individual, his timeline and his immediate relatives in one streamline pane WITHOUT sideways eye back and forth movement to capture the current view – this can cause migraines. I would also like to see Old and New Ancestry to continue to be a toggle so that one can switch between views for those who prefer a streamline view (Classic) instead of a broad and embellished view (New).

  111. Dave

    Can someone explain why Ancestry can’t always leave us the choice of the old or new? I understand each time a feature is changed or added it will require a little more programming to make it compatible with both formats, but for such a large company, that really shouldn’t be an issue. Take a hint from Microsoft and the disaster/fiasco Windows 8 was – implemented because there are “so many touchscreen tablet and phone users”. It was a complete failure, for all the same reasons the new Ancestry will be a failure if it is the only format they offer. Well, what does Microsoft do? They come out with Windows 10, where users have a CHOICE. They can use the ‘new 10’ or choose to use what is about identical to the ‘old 7’. I know Microsoft has much better programmers than Ancestry, but the ‘old Ancestry’ is already built, and even their programmers should be able to make new features and changes compatible with both formats. So why can’t Ancestry at least ALWAYS leave the option to toggle between the old and the new? Any answers?

  112. caith

    @Dave, it appears they are doing what they think they need to do to build their base of subscribers in order to use as a selling point to sell Ancestry. The net-net for them may end up being they will lose more old and loyal customers, than have a gain of new and flighty young customers who are here today, and gone tomorrow for the next “big thing/toy” to play with.

    Ancestry has yet to learn about the value of loyalty. Ancestry has yet to learn that the customer is always right……….

  113. douggrf

    to Dave, re your concern for the programming keep up Classic and New at the same time. There have been considerable implications about that positioning in the market. Early on, Kristie Wells, who is the public relations during the transition from private Beta (Feb-May 2015) to public Beta (begin June 1, 2015 and continuing on) that the company position was not going to ‘tolerate’ a dual web site system. Obviously she was honored by management for posting that public position, but no one has been answering the why of that statement.
    Your position is considerably correct in that it would not be that difficult to maintain two (computer and mobile sites).
    However, there may be really a better positioning for the company regarding LifeStory if they really move it into Classic with a linkset for authoring the way that My Canvas publishing trees currently works. This position for the benefit of all, in my opinion is the best option. Will Ancestry see the light?

  114. Janice

    I’m a life member of our local historical society. I deal with ages from grade school to retirees and use the KISS concept when dealing with new researchers. Ancestry has been my primary resource since 1999 so I’ve been through many changes and usually cancel my membership when they roll out new formats and rejoin when the “bugs” have been worked out. I do not intend to renew my membership and have canceled and made my tree private. The complicated many clicks format along with the errors in the so called “life story” plus the inability to look at the horrible color scheme for very long make the site a joke, never mind the printing problems. I will be using other sites. Now I am rewriting my instruction sheets for the “newbies” and using Ancestry as an alternate without instructions on how to use it. I know other instructors and historical societies doing the same thing. Ancestry will still be available but with “inter on your own” recommendation once the Classic is discontinued.

  115. Elizabeth

    It’s a while since I read the posts and can see today that nothing much has changed. Such a pity – the new ancestry just makes me feel tired. I, like many others, am a serious researcher and find the new look totally intrusive and distracting. I can see that it’s probably here to stay so will not be starting any more family trees using it. However, I have taken the precaution of downloading all my trees from ancestry and importing them to two other genealogy software programmes. I might even use a third for insurance as I no longer trust genealogy companies to leave me with what I paid for. You’d think ancestry would have learned something from watching (I’m sure they would have) the FindMyPast ‘improvement’ flak a while back. The crowning insult is the price has risen as well for a product I will just not be able to use as much.

  116. Carol

    If you are downloading a GEDCOM file of your tree/trees, be sure to keep that file with the .GED extension intact. Don’t modify it. It’s safe to upload it into other programs but remember unless there is a comparable field in other programs, not all of your information will import. Each bit of information need a corresponding place to go.

  117. gp_4hbc

    Elizabeth, good for you! It’s what everyone should do anyway on a regular basis regardless of what on line service they use. Frankly, I think it’s best to work from the software itself and do your research from the many free as well “some” paid sites. The latter is a subject for another day. I hope you made sure when you downloaded your file/s that you were in the “classic” interface.

    Carol, you are correct in your analysis of GEDCOM files as media will not be included in a straight GED file. However, if you have FTM software then it will be included to some extent. Warning: FTM2014 will NOT included any descriptions you put with your media; only the title you gave your photo, so you will have to enter all that again into your software. For example, if you went to all the trouble of inserting all information about a headstone that will NOT appear in media reports or anywhere else. If you happen to have FTM2011, it will be included but not formatted very well as every line is centered under the picture of a photo or document. Of course, FTM is a product of the Ancestry conglomerate, so who knows what they will do regarding updates. You might find your work inaccesible in FTM unless you do the update but probably will not affect older versions of the product; I have no idea on that score. Maybe some else in these forums does.

    Also, you will note in FTM that there will be some links to stories, etc. that you may have added. Click on the link to bring up your browser and copy and paste the information into the notes field for each individual and format every one as Ancestry does not have any real word processing; the same applies to any research notes that you have added. I could go on more but it really is not the subject here in this forum.

    Also, you are correct about compatibility from a GED file from Ancestry to genealogy software. It does not follow genealogical guidelines in some categories. If you happen to have Legacy software and FTM as well, what you can do is download your tree/s to FTM and there is a workaround in Legacy to compensate for some of those issues. Only FTM2014 will give you media and then you can export a file to Legacy that will include your media. You will need to do some tweaking in both software to make things as you imported them into your file/s in Ancestry. For people that have zillions of individuals, it will be an overwhelming task. It is why I do not recommend online tree/s to anyone who is serious about genealogy. That said, Ancestry did provide a valuable service for budding genealogists with the “classic” version but the “new” interface is not suitable for serious researchers, no matter what their level.

  118. gp_4hbc

    One more thing, I said this before in a previous forum on this subject, DO NOT make your tree Private or even unsearchable, as it will make no difference if you think you will escape the “new” Ancestry. You will still have the new interface when, and if it takes place.

  119. Monika

    @Elisabeth et al. When storing in FTM do not forget to “unsync” yourself from ancestry. Also, when choosing other sites to store your data, do not “reward” ACOM by choosing sites owned by them. They need to get the message! And, no, I am still private and unsearchable until and unless the problems get fixed. The fact that this does not help me “escape” from New Ancestry is secondary. I will not share a tree that ancestry tampered with without my consent.

  120. Tammy Lander

    Member since 2007. I feel we as customers are being forced to beta test this supposed “new and improved site” at our expense. This is not what I signed up for. I just don’t understand why Ancestry didn’t just create a mirror site, ask its users to log into it, try it out, offer suggestions and comments and pay them. Beta testing is a difficult job and Ancestry is forcing us as users to do it for free!! Not acceptable!! PLUS….what we paid for is not available to us when we want it. Yes, this makes me angry!! I take my genealogy research serious as I’m sure everyone who has paid the high premium does as well. As soon as the “new” site becomes permanent, I will be looking for alternatives. I also have to add, the interaction with FTM and your web site is breaking down. It causes FTM to not respond, freezes and crashes. It would be nice to hear once in awhile if the latest FTM will be windows 10 compatible. Someone in this company is seriously falling down on the job……

  121. Maureen

    I am constantly amazed by the vitriol of users who post negative blog comments. is a business, right? Sure they want to satisfy customers (who all have differing opinions on the look and feel and function of the site) as well as the needs of displaying and making searchable all the new databases that are coming online daily and of saving space on the ancestry servers for all of us to post our family photos, etc. Change happens. Many of the comments above come from folks who have not done their due diligence in finding out how the new ancestry really works. Is it perfect? Of course not. But with civil, thoughtful, helpful, detailed comments about what does or does not work and why, maybe ancestry will be able to tweak some of the new functionality. I personally like the new ancestry, the look, the facts displayed in one place. And I frequently use the ancestry app on my tablet and smartphone, too…it is nice that now the functionality and look is similar between and the apps. Plus I use FTM 2012…no issues with synching to the new ancestry. Thanks!

  122. Monika

    @Maureen. Think before you spew your self-righteousness. “Ancestry is a business, right?” does not give them the right to add incorrect information to my tree (like incorrect birth date, birth places, unwanted trivia, etc.). As a matter of fact, it would not give then the right to add accurate information to my tree without my consent. The trees I worked on are MY trees, not theirs. Don’t you get that? They have gotten more than enough CONSTRUCTIVE criticism for months and have done nothing with it. If you don’t understand the point that we are trying to make, just take your smart phone and take another selfie!

  123. caz

    Monika – absolutely agree with you, OUR ANCESTORS, OUR TREES, OUR FAMILY HISTORY should be displayed in the way WE WANT. Maureen, ”Many of the comments above come from folks who have not done their due diligence in finding out how the new ancestry really works” – way off track, condescending and a flipping cheek!!!…………

  124. Sarah

    Monika, yes you are right to sound off about Ancestry being a business and, unfortunately, if you read their terms and conditions, they essentially “own” your tree/s and nothing much you can do about it other than quit them altogether. You are right they are your tree/s but once you sign up for the site you have lost your rights to all your information. It makes one wonder what they will do with that once you have or intend to delete your tree/s.

    Also, they can change the terms and conditions at whim and it is posted in some obscure place on the site. By the way, they never inform you of that by EM or notification on your home page. Ancestry, however, will bombard you with ads on TV for their service and even send EM saying you can have your “story” on TV. They can do anything they please and that is what they are doing. If the “new” ancestry goes into effect, it doesn’t matter as it will become the only Ancestry no matter whether you have public tree/s or private ones. Look at it this way, Maureen is by far in the minority of people, only because she is not a serious researcher and want things automatically done for her. She is probably one of those that wants instant gratification of finding someone “famous.” It is a sign of certain doom for a once popular site for genealogist of almost every level. Another point here…you will not get your money back even though you may have months to go on your subscription. They have everything sewed up once they get your credit card number.

  125. gp_4hbc

    Tablets and smarphones were never used in good old fashioned research before technology started to ruin it. Maureen is so far off base, it is not worth commenting on. Also, everyone knows that FTM2012 was a complete disaster from the get-go just like the new Ancestry. I know people tried to sync their trees and ended up with duplication of media and a mess of their sources to name a few.

  126. Finally got round to installing FTM2012 last month to give a back up to my Ancestry Tree. Bit worried to see gp_4hbc say “everyone knows that FTM2012 was a complete disaster from the get-go”. Was it? What problems should I be looking out for? It looks ok to me (in as far as I’ve looked at it) but don’t want to be thinking I’m doing the right thing (downloading) but using the wrong software!! PS. I got a free 6 mth extension to my Ancestry sub so I don’t have to seriously consider cancelling yet so here’s hoping Classic stays around until April (just wishful thinking on my part)

  127. gp_4hbc

    Karen, I wouldn’t worry about it as long as you do NOT use the sync function. Be sure to UNCHECK the box at the top that says, “Link to Ancestry.” If you have any more questions regarding your downloads, please write to me through ancestry at gp_4hbc. It is the syncing feature you have to worry about. Just be sure you are signed on to Ancestry when you load your program and only from the “classic” interface.

  128. To gp_4hbc. I’ve been working in Ancestry Classic then doing the sync to FTM2012. I was intending to keep doing this until Classic goes, then unsync and add to FTM manually. That was the point at which I intended to get to grips with FTM. I’m afraid I do everything you advise NOT to do!! I’ve only ever had/used my Tree on Ancestry; never thought to make a back up (although I do save all documents, etc, to computer/memory stick); and have never uploaded from FTM 🙁 Will improve my practices forthwith!! By the way, I thought I was pretty good at this genealogy thing (having been at it for 8 years) but having been following these blogs I realize what an amateur I actually am!! I am so in AWE of all the knowledge the contributors here have and the way they express it 🙂 Regards to all!

  129. Vince

    To karen in england: I strongly recommend that you get a copy of FTM 2014 to use instead of FTM 2012. FTM 2014 fixed many problems with FTM 2012. I’ve been using FTM 2014 routinely to sync on-line and local trees since late 2013 when it was finalized and have had no significant problems.

  130. Vince

    To gp_4hbc: I don’t understand this part of your post at 8:43 am above:

    “Warning: FTM2014 will NOT include any descriptions you put with your media; only the title you gave your photo, so you will have to enter all that again into your software. For example, if you went to all the trouble of inserting all information about a headstone that will NOT appear in media reports or anywhere else.”

    Numerous photos and other media in my on-line trees at Ancestry have data in the Description and Date fields as well as in the required Picture Name field. After the on-line tree is synchronized with FTM 2014 via the TreeSync function, the FTM version does show all those data in its respective Description, Date and Caption fields for the media item. The material that I notice is missing from the FTM version is that of the Location field of the on-line tree, for which FTM apparently does not have an associated field.

  131. gp_4hbc

    Hi Karen, Glad you responded. What I would do is check both your Ancestry and FTM file for errors. Are there duplications on your media and how do your sources look in both Ancestry and FTM. You can spot check your media and sources but it would be quite a job to navigate through all your individuals if you happen to have a lot of them. Run reports from the software to check that out. It is always good to have your files of documents on your computer and even have paper trails of everything. I use small USB flash drives and also external HD’s on both my computers to back up my files on a regular basis when I add additional records in my software or to my computer. Remember we were all “amateurs” at one time, so just keep at it and you learn by doing and reading as much as you can on the subject. Take as many free courses as you can and learn where to find records on your own that are available for free. I do not know much about England and whether or not they have much on the subject.

    Personally, I would not chance it and unlink your tree from Ancestry ASAP. All of a sudden you could be stuck with the new Ancestry and there is no turning back. In fact, I would unlink your tree and put it in another folder as an “OLD” file and start with a fresh download (be sure to uncheck the box that says “Link to Ancestry” when you do a new download. I know it’s a pain to constantly have to do this over and over as you add new information to your tree. That is why the syncing feature was added in the first place. If you can afford it before the new Ancestry comes into play, I’d at least invest in FTM2014 as that version (do not sync that either with Ancestry) will include media that can be exported to other genealogy software (at least Legacy that I know of). Of course you have to make sure that the version of FTM2014 has not been changed to reflect the new Ancestry. Maybe someone else would know that better than I do. You can also try out a free version of Legacy by going to Legacy software on your computer and also check out the free video they offer. Maybe other people have experiences to share with you on other software. The site for Legacy is:

    When you refer to “never uploaded from FTM,” I am assuming you mean export from FTM to another genealogy program? I do not know what OS you have but if it is Windows 7 or 8 and you wish to upgrade to Win 10, then I read that is not yet compatible with Ancestry at least the last that I know of.

  132. gp_4hbc

    Vince, that must be true if you are using the syncing function but it is not if you do not use it. That is a serious programming error. Also, do you mean the description in the Location field for an event? It is far from the ideal program to say the least as it does not follow genealogical industry standards.

  133. Vince

    gp_4hbc: I’m talking about the Description and Location fields of media items, such as photos, not of events.

  134. Monika

    @Karen in England. I, for one, have already “unsync’d” my most important trees rather than to wait for a “heads up” from because you have no way of knowing when will make the switch to New Ancestry. You may wake up one morning and whoop, there it is! The fact that we do not yet have a weekly update since September 28 has me concerned!

  135. gp_4hbc

    Vince, yes that is exactly what I meant in my first post was the descripttion and location field of the media items; however, in the FTM2011 version they do appear correctly. For some reason as you say, in the 2014 version it does not have an associated field to accommodate the entries in the fields mentioned from Ancestry; so we are on the same page in that regard.

  136. Sarah

    Monika: You got it right! Well, this forum does not close until 11 Oct so we’ll just have to see what happens. Of course Ancestry makes no comment on here, other than still pushing their “new” version. The public is never told “what goes on behind closed doors,” to coin a phrase.

  137. Sarah

    Mary, thank you for that post. You should put that on Facebook, if you already have not. How about that rv’s comments? Pretty bad.

  138. Warren McLaughlin

    I saw above where someone was able to save their tree and saving to another place or site. My tree is very extensive with over 50,000 people. Is there a way to save your tree from and move this information to another tree site? I absolutely hate this new ancestry. Looking at this background makes me ill. I thought that was a family and about families. Apparently someone decided to make these changes without taking the “family” into consideration? Very rude and unprofessional on the part of There should have been more thought with including the people that using this site. I would love to be able to cancel my membership if I can move all the years of hard work I dedicated to this site to another site.

  139. Warren McLaughlin

    I’m trying to navigate that which was forced upon me, where are the stories located at? I go to the gallery and find the pictures, but I cannot find the stories! Whew, this going to be a mess!!!

  140. J Espo

    I kept putting off using the new view of Ancestry, now that I no longer can, I do not enjoy using this. very disappointing and will most likely not renew membership.

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