Posted by Ancestry Team on November 7, 2015 in Australia, Canada, Germany, Mexico, United Kingdom, Website

Welcome to our weekly update on the new Ancestry website. Last week we posted an article that covered Print and Profile Image improvements, and this week we introduced a few new improvements to the media viewer.

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

Features we introduced:

Easily add your ancestors to the media – For media items in your tree, an ADD button is now present so you can easily add more people from your tree to the media you are viewing. Additionally, if you are looking at media uploaded by another Ancestry member, a SAVE TO MY TREE option will appear so that you can save that media to your tree. We’ve made these options easier to access and clearer. We also made sure the only trees you have been invited to as an editor or contributor will appear in the list.

View from your tree
View from your tree
View from someone else’s tree
View from someone else’s tree

Click on the button and choose the person you want to link this photo. Type at least three letters of their names and select the individual you’d like to save the media to.

CSU_click

Besides fixing a few bugs, we hide the trees you don’t have permissions to save media to. We also explicitly group trees by those you own and those shared with you.

 

Remove or unlink from the person gallery completely – Now, you can easily remove the media item completely from the tree. When you click on the trashcan you will be able to choose from two options: remove the media item from the person (unlink), or delete it from the tree completely.

CSU_remove

 

Updates to places for LifeStory – An update was made on the backend to reflect the places in LifeStory more correctly. This update corrected some errors where a place name was incorrectly associated to a wrong location. For example, Cullintra, Lanesboro, Co Longford was showing up for some users as in some Colorado, USA.    Now with the fix, it shows as Longford, Ireland correctly.

 

Features we are still working on

  • Member Connect – We will bring back Member Connect under the Facts View tools. You can contact other members who are also researching your ancestors to share your research questions, findings, and more.
  • Military Pages – Some of you have done great research around your ancestors’ military background and stories. We will bring back view only version of Military Pages so you can continue to access the content you have created.
  • Family Group Sheet – A family view of the of the person and their family
  • Continue Search – option to keep searching from within your tree versus right clicking to open new records.

Issues reported this week

Below are some of the issues that surfaced from your feedback this week.

  • Relationship calculator randomly not appearing
  • Some pages and the image viewer appear to be loading more slowly
  • Users feel that the color scheme should be adjusted
  • Users would like to be able to access the List of All People

 

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

 

 

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85 Comments

  1. Kristie Wells

    @Roger: Apologies if I missed an earlier post as I have been on the road all week.

    The date issue is currently being reviewed by the team. That is all I know at the moment.

  2. douggrf

    The Media Gallery function in New site at the individual profile level has a remaining serious functionality problem.
    When looking at the (less than 10 icon limit) of the other member trees that a given media is saved to..clicking on the icon to get information of the member name or tree location – only takes you to the member profile – It Should take you into the member public tree where the same media item is attached for comparison. This is functionality taken away from the previous Classic site and needs to be restored.
    Oddly the New site continues to work properly in the tree level media gallery because it borrows entirely from the Classic site.
    This programming error points what kind of disconnect there is between those programming the New site features and what was working well previously in the Classic site.

  3. Mary M Zashin

    I’m encouraged! Keep improving this and MAYBE it will turn out OK. I posted the following over on the Oct. 31 blog right before this one came out, so I’m just repeating it here: “In addition to the sheer ugliness of the new site, what is unacceptable to me is the loss of functions that are individually minor but that cumulatively add up to a less efficient and less effective interface. For example, the loss of “view all sources” means that it is not now possible to see in one place all of the sources for an individual with their of their detail and all of their the associated facts. In “view note,” there is no longer a date attached to show when the note was written, nor are there options for typeface, color, or bullets. There is no “expander” button as on this form on the media description or on “edit” for media description. There is no longer a list of people/trees that have used one of your media items–only circular icons which recently didn’t even have active links. When those links were active, moreover, they took you, not to the individual to whom your media was attached, but to the tree as a whole (see douggrf’s comment right above this one). Were all of these “unimportant” things deliberately removed, were they mistakenly removed, or is their absence merely a series of bugs/glitches? Adding functionality is great. For example, I like the ease with which a previously-attached source can be connected to another event from the “source” button in the event. But taking away functions is the opposite of great!”

    The biggest issue for me at present remains, a always it seems, the unattractiveness of the site. Please change the color scheme either to that of Old or to something like the soft blue of FTM. . .just do away with grey and black. Take away the black bands over media items in the individual media gallery that cover half the thumbnail. Make them “hoverable” for the media item information, as media items are “hoverable” in the tree gallery. Take the large source icons away from the middle of the fact page–just use words–and increase the size of the icons for family members and, yes, for the gratefully-they-are-added event thumbnails. And, a new one for me: Make it possible to remove the tiny thumbnail of the spouse that ACOM now automatically attaches to the marriage event. . .when the primary photo of the spouse is a tombstone, it’s not very appropriate for the marriage fact. I know I could change the spouse’s primary photo, but sometimes the tombstone is all I have. . .please, please keep going with the improvements! They are much appreciated. And, although I continue to hope the aesthetic issues will eventually be addressed, it would be nice to know if you have any intention of doing so–or if I should stop hoping on that front. Thanks.

  4. mike

    Steve, even you can access it for a while, the ploy is to sell you that Fold3 which is another paying site that belongs to Ancestry.com.

  5. gp_4hbc

    To Emam: Regarding a question you asked on the last forum, ” gp_4hbc thanks for the tip on removing some of the media in FTM. I will give it a go on some of the bmd records. I would like to keep things like census and military records but don’t need those bmd ones.
    Can you help with another query. I had to unlink my tree and then download it again. Is it safe to delete all the files from the first tree from my computer and how do I know which ones to delete. Thanks”

    I would keep your unlinked trees for now until you are sure your download is right. That way you will always have a backup copy in case you are not happy in the removal of some of your media in FTM. I am sure you compress your tree but you do not have to back it up everytime unless you are adding records. You said you “had to unlink” your tree; may I ask why? The reason I am asking this is I had to link a tree I, formerly, had on Ancestry and the only way I could access it through FTM2014 was to link it. If I went to download a tree, I couldn’t due to a continuing problem with a script error. Oh, I went through the whole excercise of trouble-shooting that issue but to no avail. Anyway, the only way I could download my tree was to upload an old one to Ancestry and link it and then unlink both in order to download. I was glad I was able to do that part at least. I am using Legacy software but I did purchase versions of FTM in order to download my media. From there I export it as Ged 5.5 file and import into Legacy. Legacy has a work around for some issue with Ancestry files from FTM as Ancestry does not follow industry standards on several issues.

    To get back to your question; you asked which ones to delete. Well, if you hover over the files in your FTM folder, it will tell you what they are for or right-click to check “properites.” Your media file is just that. There should be a date in the file name for them as well. Why not create another folder and name it after your file name and then put all extraneous extra files in there for now and label it OLD or something after the name of your tree? That way your newer downloads and backups are less like to confuse you. If you think you have your tree in order and have backed up the new one, then you could safely delete that OLD folder from your computer. Remember to back up your new file to an external HD of some kind. Maybe others might have some ideas for you, other than mine. I no longer have any trees on Ancestry and have moved all from FTM to Legacy. Thanks for your question; hope this helps somewhat.

  6. Anne Scott Frankland

    Roger –Which date format do you want? Would you want Ancestry to make that format mandatory?

  7. gp_4hbc

    Roger, I don’t understand at all what you are getting at. It’s up to you to enter the date/s in correct format. I would be pretty angry if I had a tree on Ancestry and the date was formatted by them.

  8. Nancy

    My biggest complaint is and always has been the color scheme that causes me eyestrain. I can’t Stand to work in New Ancestry long enough to explore the functuality of the new site.

  9. Dave

    @MaryR The third-party cookies I am talking about appear to be a problem only when using New Ancestry.

    FOR EVERYONE: One of the third-party cookies go to the website pixel (dot) mathtag (dot) com. Based on comments on the Norton Security Community message board, it appears to be related to java scripting. There are many legitimate uses for java scripting, and there are also less than legitimate uses for it, such as advertisers installing adware without you knowing it.

    This is a good place to remind everyone that you need to have a good quality security program installed. If you have a good security program (such as Norton, McAfee, Kapersky or others) running in the background, there is no reason to be concerned about java scripting.

    I apologize for double posting this. I posted it to the 31 October Update not looking first for a new update.

    @KristieWells If you know who the “Derrick” is that I spoke with on the phone Friday, please pass this on to him to add to my feedback about third party cookies. Thank you!

  10. Elhura

    Agree with Nancy. Please restore the color scheme of Classic Ancestry – or allow that color option – in the new verision. Otherwise, many of your former customers will no longer be able to visually work from the new. Research cited in previous blogs suggests the current new color scheme is unfriendly to the eye and also especially difficult for older customers. As previously cited by your own Howard Hochhauser 70% are US females, average age 55.

  11. Trisha

    @ Nancy. I agree completely Nancy. They have had quite long enough now to sort out those dreadful colours. ANCESTRY, WE NEED THAT SORTED ASAP, so we can stay on the new ancestry long enough to try and sort out the dreadful mistakes on your ridiculous Storyline!

  12. Dave

    @AnneScottFrankland @gp_4hbc Maybe I can help with the date format question. Using the title date for this update, the preferred format would read as 7 November 2015. That lists the most important part of the date – the day – first, followed by the month, then the year. That format is also used by most military and many law enforcement and firefighting agencies. That format removed all confusion. Using only numbers separated by either a slash, period or a space is confusing. Americans read 11/7/2015 as November 7, 2015, while Europeans read it as the 11th of July, 2015. If you spell out the month, either using the full word *November”, or a standard abbreviation “Nov”, any possibility of confusion is gone. Over the years, the genealogy community has chosen to use the numerical date-spelled out month-numerical four digit year format.

  13. Anne Scott Frankland

    @Dave — Thank you. I was really just curious which format Roger wanted to use. I use dd mmm yyyy.

    Kristie Wells wrote in response to Roger’s post — “The date issue is currently being reviewed by the team.” Could a mandatory change be coming?

  14. gp_4hbc

    Dave, I do not need any help with the date format, thank you. I am a professional genealogist and Anne Scott Frankland is correct. It is dd mmm yyyy; no dashes, slashes or any other format is acceptable.

  15. Dale Freegard

    Please go back to the old Ancestry color scheme. It is too hard to work in the new one. There is so much to change in the New Ancestry – why not just please let us keep the Old Ancestry……………..

  16. Roger

    On the date issue. It is not the formatting of the date content per se, but the order of importance of the date content. Day, followed by month, followed by the year. This is the accepted genealogical convention. Life Story refers to the date in the order of month, day and then year which is contra to the content in the time line / facts which uses the date the correct way round genealogically . The two lots of data should agree.

  17. JW

    So many bad bad things about the new ancestry, that made the functionality less good. You have to click on people in the tree, to see their info – not just place the cursor there as you did before – thats not good. When you change between individuals, the new ancestry does not remember that you are in the pedigree view – and reverts back to family view. Thats not good. Overall, the steps for working in the family tree also includes more menues, clicking and so on – which makes it maybe, look and feel to the developers more “modern”. But you really tried to fix something that was not broken.

    The main problem for me also is the colour scheme, which is too dark, and to gloomy. The text in the family trees are not as clear as before, since it uses a fat greyish font that does not stand out good against the backdrop. That horrible grey tone is not good either.

    Its not a smart phone, so the flat design just makes it exhausting to look at on screen.

  18. BEE

    I just cleared all my “history”, cookies, etc as I do periodically, which means I have to sign in again. Of course, it brings up go to “new ancestry”, which I of course, click off! PLEASE, please, save us from those horrible purple lines!!

  19. Elhura

    Please opt out the purple lines and purple background fact highlights that pop up. Both, just as the poor, poor choice of color scheme, are an impediment to work for so many of us. Someone told me just yesterday that “change is progress”. This is not always so, as the many concerns dating back to the June 5 blog affirm. Change just moves you from one place to the other. That step can be forward or backward.

    Also, a reminder to Ancestry, to make sure the number of characters allowed in each Fact block and the Profile page are compatible and that they are also compitable with that entered in Classic. Otherwise, information will be lost.

  20. Elhura

    I meant “Life Story” rather than “Profie” page as stated above. The number of characters allowed should be the same between FACT and LIFE STORY in new Ancestry and remain compatible with the number allowed in the PROFILE page from CLASSIC.

  21. Glad for the changes that have been incorporated over the past few weeks. I’m especially glad to see thumbnails appearing again next to facts on the Facts View page.

    A couple of points, though:

    1) Can we increase the size of the thumbnails? They’re a bit difficult to see in the current format and were bigger in “Old Ancestry”.

    2) When do images, if ever, automatically appear as thumbnails? Some facts recently had images automatically beside them and others didn’t. I’ve added census records for a few folks, but the image didn’t appear beside the fact. Do I need to download and then upload the image and link it to the fact? Just trying to confirm the process. Thanks!

  22. Trisha

    ANCESTRY, WHY CAN’T YOU KEEP ALL YOUR CUSTOMERS HAPPY AND CONTENT? YOU HAVE THE OLD AND THE NEW RUNNING TOGETHER AT THE MOMENT, RIGHT!
    THE OBVIOUS SOLUTION IS SO VERY SIMPLE ANCESTRY. ONE THAT WILL KEEP ALL YOUR LOYAL OLD CUSTOMERS AND YOUR PROSPECTIVE NEW CUSTOMERS TO BE VERY CONTENT WITH YOUR SITE.
    KEEP OUR BELOVED CLASSIC OLD PROFILE PAGE RUNNING EXACTLY AS IT IS NOW, (PERFECT LAYOUT, PERFECT COLOURS, AND NO SCROLLING, EVERYTHING WE NEED TO SEE WITH JUST ONE NICE AND EASY GLANCE, JUST PERFECT)
    YOU ARE TELLING US YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO KEEP BOTH RUNNING. WHY IS THAT EXACTLY? IS IT BECAUSE OF ALL THE BELLS/ WHISTLES & THAT FANCY STORY PART YOU HAVE PUT INTO THE NEW, BECAUSE IF THAT IS THE REASON YOU CANNOT KEEP CLASSIC RUNNING ALONGSIDE, IT’S A PRETTY POOR EXCUSE ANCESTRY.
    ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS OFFLOAD SOME OF THE UN-NEEDED RUBBISH IN THE NEW, AND WE, YOUR LOYAL CUSTOMERS HAVE TOLD YOU OFTEN ENOUGH WHAT THOSE ARE!
    WORKING ON OUR FAMILY TREES IS ABOUT LOOKING AT THE PAST, RIGHT!
    AND THEREFORE SHOULD NOT BE REALLY BE DISPLAYED IN SOME “MODERN TRENDY” LOOKING FORMAT. I APPRECIATE THE YOUNG MAY LIKE THE TRENDY LOOK, SO KEEP THAT FOR THEM. BUT BY RIGHTS, AN ANCESTRY FORMAT SHOULD HAVE AN ANTIQUE LOOK TO IT, THIS WAS THE LOOK YOU HAD, MORE SO BACK WHEN I FIRST JOINED NEARLY FIVE YEARS AGO. THOSE GREEN LEAVES REALLY MADE A DIFFERENCE TO YOUR SITE.(green has a calming effect ancestry, but I guess your young programmers/developers are not interested in that, they wanted to produce some full in your face impact) BUT LET ME TELL YOU, MOST OF US DO NOT WANT THAT, WE WANT A RESTFUL EASY ON THE EYE FORMAT. OK, I HAVE BEEN WITH YOU ALMOST FIVE YEARS, NOT AS LONG AS SOME OF YOUR CUSTOMERS. BUT WHEN I FIRST TOOK A LOOK AT YOUR SITE BACK THEN, I JUST THOUGHT WOW! THIS FORMAT IS SO GOOD, I KNEW RIGHT AWAY I WOULD LOVE RESEARCHING MY TREES WITH YOU.
    IF I CAME NEW TO YOUR SITE TODAY, AND JUST SAW THE NEW ANCESTRY SETUP, IT WOULD BE A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT STORY, I WOULD NOT HAVE JOINED YOU. THE NEW FORMAT WOULD NOT HAVE SUITED ME ONE BIT! TOO FLASH, TOO MESSY, CERTAINLY NOT RIGHT FOR ANY SERIOUS RESEARCHING THAT’S FOR SURE! YOU MUST LET US KEEP CLASSIC ANCESTRY! DON’T YOU WANT TO KEEP YOUR VERY LOYAL CUSTOMERS HAPPY AND CONTENT? BECAUSE YOU SHOULD BE THINKING ABOUT THEM, THEY HAVE STUCK WITH YOU, MADE YOUR SITE WHAT IT IS TODAY WITH ALL THE MARVELLOUS INFORMATION THEY HAVE PUT ON THEIR TREES. ONE OF THE JOYS OF WORKING ON YOUR SITE HAS BEEN THE CONTACT WITH FELLOW RESEARCHERS AND SHARING OUR INFORMATION. BUT I FEAR SUCH A LOT OF MY FELLOW RESEARCHERS WILL NOW LEAVE IF YOU FORCE THEM ONTO THIS NEW ANCESTRY, AND SURELY THAT WILL BE A MAJOR LOSS (VERY MAJOR LOSS) TO YOUR COMPANY!

  23. Patricia Harris

    I appreciated that I can display birth and death dates the way that I want to. For me that is Apr 21 1847. I don’t want only want one standardized way, and I really don’t want the use of all numbers -that only creates confusion.

    I prefer the new color scheme to the old but it would be nice if we had color choices for the gray banner and purple lines, much like Flickr and other sites allow one to select their own style.

    Thanks for your continued work in improving New Ancestry.

  24. Trisha

    ANCESTRY. LISTEN UP AND FEEL ASHAMED OF YOURSELVES!
    TODAY, HERE IN ENGLAND IT’S REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY.
    I have just taken a very quick look in new ancestry at a relative in my tree whose husband was killed in WW1.
    THIS IS YOUR VERSION OF EVENTS IN YOUR STORYTIME (ARE YOU SITTING COMFORTABLY, THEN I’LL BEGIN!)
    Mary Waterhouse 1883-1956
    Mary Waterhouse was born in 1883 in Glossop Derbyshire. She married Frederick Hibbert and they had two children together, she then married Joseph Young and they had one child together. She died in 1956.
    scroll down, scroll down, scroll down etc
    1912 Death of daughter Ruth, aged under one year
    1912 Birth of daughter Ruth
    (I cannot edit the above, nor can I edit the following)
    1915 Death of husband
    Her husband Frederick passed away on May 25th 1915 in Warwickshire (YES, YOU HAVE PUT WARWICKSHIRE!)
    Then just underneath this is my version in aswell, THE PROPER VERSION, THE ONLY VERSION THAT SHOULD BE THERE, THE ONLY VERSION I HAVE ON MY ORIGINAL TREE. AND YOU WILL SEE THAT FRED DID NOT PASS AWAY IN WARWICKSHIRE! (You should feel very ashamed indeed for these shocking mistakes!)
    1915 Death of Husband
    Fred was killed in action when subjected to heavy shell fire while advancing on enemy trenches from midnight May 24th, he was killed in the early hours of the 25th May (War Diaries, Ypres WW1)

  25. Laura Nygaard

    I use firefox as my browser and for some reason last week, when I click on the search ancestry box, I am jumping from the new ancestry to the old ancestry. I am not able to view documents and when I click on help I get an error message. Not sure what they did last week, but it needs to be fixed! Please advise.

  26. emam

    To gp-4hbc I think the reason I had to unlink my tree was also because of a script error. I have deleted all of the bmd records (about 3,000) from the folder of the tree I had to unlink but I haven’t had a chance to check over that tree yet. I haven’t been compressing my trees I thought FTM did that, as when the program has been shut down wrong it usually tells me to do it then.
    Thanks for the advice.

  27. Jo

    I totally agree with Trisha above. So why not just add the old ancestry page to the new pages. Make it page 5. Lifestory, Facts, Gallery, HInts, Old Ancestry….You can call it Research or something like that if you like. I think research is a good name as it’s easy to do research from that page and VERY DIFFICULT to do it from the new pages….. Sounds like a win win situation. Please consider this. Please don’t take away our beloved old ancestry page!

  28. emam

    Trisha that is terrible I hope you have sent that to them in lots of different ways, i.e. phone call, the feedback form on here and email.
    Kirstie, Trisha’s post on the fact of Ancestry trivialising a man who gave his life for his country warrants a response from Ancestry. As she said you should be ashamed. How can you say the New Ancestry and life story is a “true biography of your ancestor” when you change information like that. That is what we would call false advertising.

    The following is from Gov.uk website

    Advertising to consumers
    The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations mean you can’t mislead or harass consumers by, for example:

    including false or deceptive messages
    leaving out important information
    using aggressive sales techniques.

    Describing your product
    You must describe your product accurately. This means if you make a claim about your product, you must be able to prove what you say.

    Ancestry you have failed miserably on describing your product accurately. Take a look at the Gov.uk website and think again about what you are advertising.

  29. Brian

    Jade “Now with the fix, it shows as Longford, Ireland correctly.

    ” No, it is **County** Longford, Ireland. ”

    That is incorrect. Both County Longford and Longford are accaptable and ‘Longford, Ireland’ is the preferred one by Irish genealogists.

  30. JM / UK

    @Dave – Thanks for the link – very relevant. Random browsing this morning led me to a blog whose owner wrote the following:

    ~~~~~ The Ancestry Insider wrote an interesting summary of a presentation given by Ancestry.com at the RootsTech Innovator’s Summit. You can read that post here:

    http://www.ancestryinsider.org/2015/02/inside-look-at-ancestrycoms-product.html

    Three things stood out to me:

    1) They “noticed that new users came to Ancestry.com and typed in their own names, then left when they found nothing.”

    Tech Department – meet Marketing Department. You two might want to chat occasionally.

    2) It’s pretty standard to use stats to tout the site. . .

    Apparently – “They now have
    ~ 60 million trees created
    ~ 7 billion profiles created
    ~ 5 billion hints accepted
    ~ 3 billion records attached”

    …but the numbers are not all that impressive once you take a look behind the curtain. The 60 million trees include junk trees and trees created by users who click, click, click and are never heard from again once their free trial is over. A single tree back to Adam & Eve requires hundreds of unsourced, completely made up profiles. Hints accepted include clip art (ships, flags, coats of arms, etc.), images of fruit, urinals, and who knows what else. Urinals? Seriously? Even the number of records attached is worthless because it includes these collections, redundant Find A Grave collections, and tree owners who will attach absolutely anything and everything.

    3) Of course I saved the best for last. This is the next to last paragraph:

    “In the question and answer segment, someone asked that if Ancestry.com was so interested in learning from their customers, why wasn’t there a feedback link somewhere on their site. They explained that Ancestry.com has millions of customer interactions and that if they had a feedback link, they would not be able to review all the submissions. It’s a bad idea to ask for input that you don’t actually read.”

    If they don’t want feedback it’s a good thing there’s no feedback link on their site. Oh wait. . . ~~~~~

  31. Marilyn

    I’ve avoided adding to my tree as I wait to hear classic will be available. (My trees will be deleted if classic is not an option.) Ancestry, com, however, is continuing to sync with my FTM. “The changes in this sync update are related to general tree structure and are not specific to data for people, media or sources. These changers are needed to bring the trees into sync.” Oh my, are the powers that be preparing my tree for New without my knowledge? Am sure this is just a conspiracy theory. Am trusting Ancestry will let us know the date of the change.

  32. Cheryl

    NO MENTION OF THE CHILDISH PURPLE LINES. THAT HAVE BEEN REPORTED OVER AND OVER AGAIN! THEY ARE TOTALLY DISTRACTING, UNPROFESSIONAL, AND POINTLESS! ACOM, REMOVAL OF THESE LINES SHOULD HAVE HIGH PRIORITY! GET AT IT!

  33. CAH

    Quote from Ancestry Insider:

    “Hulet noticed that experienced users came to Ancestry.com day after day and reentered the same searches time after time. Plus, they wouldn’t enter enough information for Ancestry.com’s search engine to find many of the matching records. At the same time, Penrod noticed that new users came to Ancestry.com and typed in their own names, then left when they found nothing.”

    It seems to me those are two stupid statements. If experienced users used the same searches time after time, they wouldn’t get far, and they wouldn’t be “experienced.”

    People entering their own names and getting nothing don’t know what genealogy is or how to do it. That may be because Ancestry advertised: “You don’t have to know anything, just enter a name.”

    My great-great grandmother hired a professional genealogist to research her ancestry so she could join the DAR and the Society of Mayflower Descendants. So trees have been around a long time. Computer genealogy is relatively new. My first program was by Banner Blue, the original FTM, which ran on MS Dos. The program came on 5.25 diskettes.

  34. Pa

    @Elhura: It appears one of your comments has been deleted. We already know what it said. The comment what not abusive nor was it disrespectful in content.

  35. Kat

    I have tried the new ancestry, and I am sorry to say that I do not like it one bit. I have been a paying member since 1998. I only like the old version. Why fix it if it ain’t broke?

  36. Susan Shirey

    It’s good to know progress is being made. Thanks for an informative update.

    It bothers me that one item never seems to be mentioned in the updates – the inability to attach stories to facts. There are times the story is essential to expain the fact, especially if it is a custom one. Please, please bring back this capability – or at least let us know you are working on it!

    I appreciate Ancestry’s hard work modifying the new site. When it contains almost all of the functionality of Old Ancestry and (hopefully) it has a different color scheme, it will again be a useful, well-regarded genealogy site.

  37. Susan Shirey

    Also, thanks to Mary M Zashin for her very well-stated summary of the remaining problems with New Ancestry. They bear repeating (copied below):

    “In addition to the sheer ugliness of the new site, what is unacceptable to me is the loss of functions that are individually minor but that cumulatively add up to a less efficient and less effective interface. For example, the loss of “view all sources” means that it is not now possible to see in one place all of the sources for an individual with their of their detail and all of their the associated facts. In “view note,” there is no longer a date attached to show when the note was written, nor are there options for typeface, color, or bullets. There is no “expander” button as on this form on the media description or on “edit” for media description. There is no longer a list of people/trees that have used one of your media items–only circular icons which recently didn’t even have active links. When those links were active, moreover, they took you, not to the individual to whom your media was attached, but to the tree as a whole (see douggrf’s comment right above this one). Were all of these “unimportant” things deliberately removed, were they mistakenly removed, or is their absence merely a series of bugs/glitches? Adding functionality is great. For example, I like the ease with which a previously-attached source can be connected to another event from the “source” button in the event. But taking away functions is the opposite of great!”

    The biggest issue for me at present remains, as always it seems, the unattractiveness of the site. Please change the color scheme either to that of Old or to something like the soft blue of FTM. . .just do away with grey and black. Take away the black bands over media items in the individual media gallery that cover half the thumbnail. Make them “hoverable” for the media item information, as media items are “hoverable” in the tree gallery. Take the large source icons away from the middle of the fact page–just use words–and increase the size of the icons for family members and, yes, for the gratefully-they-are-added event thumbnails. And, a new one for me: Make it possible to remove the tiny thumbnail of the spouse that ACOM now automatically attaches to the marriage event. . .when the primary photo of the spouse is a tombstone, it’s not very appropriate for the marriage fact. I know I could change the spouse’s primary photo, but sometimes the tombstone is all I have. . .please, please keep going with the improvements! They are much appreciated. And, although I continue to hope the aesthetic issues will eventually be addressed, it would be nice to know if you have any intention of doing so.”

    Thank you again, Mary!

  38. Pa

    @James: It should have been there from day 1 on Jun 1, 2015; not restored five months later.

    Hint: New Ancestry isn’t what it is cracked up to be.

  39. Vince

    I see Member Connect now on the profile pages of individuals in New Ancestry, and it looks similar to Member Connect that is available in the Classic view of individual profile pages. Be sure to select “Show Research Tools” in the TOOLS drop-down menu if the tool icons are not visible just under the relationship title on the profile page.

    But is the HELP > Community > Member Connect page of New Ancestry supposed to do something useful? All I see there is a bunch of instructions about “Introducing Member Connect”. In Classic Ancestry, the Community > Recent Member Connect Activity page provides useful information and links about any or all of the member trees that the tree owner has created.

  40. Crystal

    I really have tried to work with your new system. I want to believe that you really do listen to our requests for corrections and improvements. But every time I sign in to the “New” Ancestry, it seems like there’s something that proves you’re not listening at all.

    Have any of you tried to print someone’s profile page? My father’s just took up 6 pages and looks ridiculous. Your “print-friendly” feature isn’t friendly at all. Okay, so you fixed things so we can print with a white background. Thank you. But why can’t you use a layout that is “viewer and reader friendly” like our Classic Ancestry? I am so disappointed and frustrated with Ancestry right now, I just want to cry. All my hard work, all the money I spent on Ancestry fees, all the years I’ve spent doing research, and now I’m left with six pages of my father’s history that is embarrassing to show anyone. I can’t believe your company cares so little. Obviously genealogy is not your priority. All I can see is a company going out of its way to make people miserable.

    And this is just a tiny piece of your new puzzle. So many important functions just don’t work. All you have to do is read the comments that my colleagues are forced to repeat continuously just to get your attention. It’s so sad. I used to spend hours and hours every day on Ancestry. Now it’s such a chore I find myself avoiding the computer and, instead, starting to pack up my family history files. What a shame.

  41. RobinH

    From page 42 of Ancestry’s October 31 10Q filing to the SEC: “Despite our efforts to date, we have not been able to meaningfully monetize mobile users of our services, and we may not be able to monetize the engagement of our mobile users in the future.” This is not a complete surprise to those of us who have been doing genealogy work for many years. Serious genealogists are not going to do their work on smart phones in line at the grocery store – and we are your customers, who work at home on our personal computers. It seems to me that Ancestry is more like Quicken than it is to Facebook and, as such, it needs to be functional, accurate and reliable – not just seemingly slick-looking. Dare we hope that Ancestry might refocus its efforts towards those of us who have been (and would love to continue to be ) long-time loyal customers?

  42. “Monetize”? I had to google it. It came up as what I assume to be a company, viz: “Monetize delivers leading Video SSP advertising technology, enabling premium publishers to enhance monetization programmatically on mobile & desktop”; or as: “Monetization is the process of converting or establishing something into legal tender. It usually refers to the coining of currency or the printing of banknotes by central banks”. I assume in Ancestry’s usage it can only mean money money money. Where is the understanding of the love of genealogy, and of the hours of work, unpaid for by them, that we have PAID to do (fools that we were) that has ‘enhanced’ their ‘product’ – or should that be ‘enhanced their site experience’. Everything has become a mess of jargon and slogans. Like Crystal, I see all my work turned into a mess of their making that I would be embarrassed to show to anyone. I have just returned from a month away and will now continue to print off as many Profile pages as I can in the ‘old’ format before time runs out. Then I think it might well be the end of my 8 year ‘engagement’ with Ancestry. I don’t think I want to be ‘monetized’ any further

  43. CAH

    Karen in England: Atta’ girl! Right on! I do believe when Ancestry gets in a corner, they try to dazzle us with the footwork (read: use words we don’t use or maybe don’t even know the meaning)!

    Of course Ancestry is a business and they need to make money. Alienating your customers is NOT the way to do it.

  44. Pam

    Hello, I have been a long time member and I have to say this new ancestry is TERRIBLE!!! It used to be fun, now it is a pain to use. I really would like to to who thought this new stuff up-apparently someone who NEVER does genealogy! It is really a shame! Shame on you
    Ancestry dot com!!!!

  45. Elhura

    Thanks, Pa! The petition is growing faster than usual in recent days and, as I said before, that is very interesting! I sincerely hope Ancestry will rethink the wisdom of their move to destroy Classic and either maintain the website or offer it as a work page (all features intact) as a fourth page of the new. They would also need to retain the viewing and print capacity for that work page since printing in the colors and background from the new FACTS page uses a considerable amount of ink – just another way the premature new Ancestry made “pretty” triumph over “usefulness”.

    It is very disconcerting that Ancestry’s Howard Hochhauser was quoted as saying in September that “the old site appealed to genealogists”, when that is what I believe the originators of Ancestry.com thought it should be about.

  46. Trisha

    @ Elhura, Well said as always. A lot of people are only just finding out there is even a petition going!
    Like Elhura, I also find it quite disconcerting that Howard Hochhauser was quoted as saying in September that “THE OLD ANCESTRY APPEALED TO GENEALOGISTS”
    As Elhura says, surely that is what the originators of Ancestry.com intended to do wasn’t it??
    Of COURSE THEY DID, THEY WERE NOT FOOLS, THEY WANTED TO MAKE THEIR SITE SO APPEALING THAT IT WOULD ATTRACT PEOPLE TO ENJOY RESEARCHING THEIR FAMILY TREES, AND MR HOCHHAUSER, YOUR SITE HAS SUCCEEDED ON THAT SCORE UP TO NOW!
    BUT NOT IF YOU PERSIST ON INFLICTING NEW ANCESTRY ON US WITHOUT KEEPING THE CLASSIC OLD PROFILE PAGE RUNNING ASWELL.

  47. Trisha

    @ MR HOCHHAUSER.
    DEAR SIR, PLEASE ALSO LOOK AT AN EARLIER POST OF MINE ON NOVEMBER 8th @ 1.43pm
    MR HOCHHAUSER, YOU MAY BE AWARE THAT NOVEMBER 8th WAS REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY HERE IN ENGLAND. SIR, PLEASE TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT A MESS YOU MADE OF MY HUSBAND’S GRANDFATHER, FREDERICK HIBBERT IN YOUR “SO CALLED TRUE BIOLOGY” IN LIFESTORY. FRED WAS KILLED IN WW1 AT THE AGE OF 28 WHILE FIGHTING FOR HIS COUNTRY! (HE DID NOT PASS AWAY IN WARWICKSHIRE LIKE YOU SAY HE DID) GOODNESS KNOWS WHERE THAT FALSE INFO OF YOURS CAME FROM, CERTAINLY NOT FROM MY TREE THAT’S FOR SURE).
    TROUBLE IS I CAN ONLY STAY ON YOUR NEW ANCESTRY FOR NO LONGER THAN 20 MINUTES TO CHECK ON WHAT OTHER APPALLING MISTAKES ARE ON THERE IN STORYTIME. BUT BELIEVE ME I HAVE CERTAINLY FOUND MORE THAN ENOUGH ALREADY MR HOCHHAUSER! WHAT A MESS YOU ARE MAKING, FEEL ASHAMED OF YOURSELVES FOR RUINING OUR HARD WORK!

  48. Jeffrey Adkisson

    Since the upgrade (which I refused to take until two days ago it gave me no choice and switched without warning) I’ve experienced bad problems: lack of features, windows saying we can’t process this right now try going back, malfunction of the merging people feature (won’t let me merge unless I change both names to the exact same name). Please fix this Ancestry!

  49. Cheryl S.

    “We’re sorry, this person’s narrative information is temporarily unavailable…” message continues to appear for certain ancestors in LifeStory view. This problem has been reported by other members via two different posts made over the past 2 weeks to the Community/Member Support forum. A call was made to Customer Support by me a week ago Monday, the customer report representative observed the same issue during testing of my tree, and said that she entered an error report into the system – #10929. Have had no response to this report as yet, narrative is still “temporarily unavailable” for that ancestor, and has now become “temporarily unavailable” for several more ancestors. These happen to be ancestors where the auto-generated narrative was extensively edited in each time line event to create an actual story. This revised narrative for these ancestors was “available” and viewable in LifeStory view for days, in some cases weeks after creation, so there is no question it saved to the system when created. I know folks who post on this blog generally have no use for LifeStory, but word of warning to those who may be trying to work with it: If you are spending a lot of time creating custom narrative in LifeStory, make sure you save a backup copy.

  50. Mary R.

    This is a small part of their “Form 10-Q Quarterly Report Filed Oct 30, 2015”: “If our efforts to promote and maintain our brand are not successful, our operating results and our ability to attract and retain subscribers may be adversely affected… Many individuals are passionate about family history research and participate in blogs and social media on this topic both on our websites and elsewhere. If actions we take or changes we make to our products, services or performance, such as redesigning our website, upset these individuals, their blogging and contributions to social media could negatively affect our brand and reputation, which could have a material adverse effect on our revenues, results of operations and financial condition.”[p.49] http://ir.ancestry.com/secfiling.cfm?filingID=1575319-15-10&CIK=1575319

  51. Sarah

    Mary R, That is the best post ever on the subject of Acom! How on earth did you ever find it? I started reading more than page 49 and will save that out to my computer in order to read more of it. Great find! Put that on Facebook, if you haven’t already.

  52. Sarah

    Thanks, Mary. I know about the group and I am Sarah Ann who posts on there often. I just missed the link but thanks again for posting it here. The more the merrier! 🙂

  53. Kristie

    @Mary R. – Thank you for digging through and finding that gem! That hits home as to exactly what has happened already. I used to tell people how much I enjoyed ACOM, and how to subscribe. No more. Just because the ‘noise’ about New Ancestry has quieted down on the message boards and Facebook, don’t assume people are getting ‘used’ to it. We are just tired of screaming and not being heard, or, on Facebook, being told to shut up by one of the trolls your employees don’t monitor. We’ve just stopped posting and being told we are a ‘minority’ who doesn’t like New. NOT TRUE. We have cancelled our subscriptions, but they don’t all end at the same time, so no, you won’t see a mass exodus.
    LifeStory still is a joke. It is the cause of embarrassment and the making of private trees. The map doesn’t work. When I put the death location as ‘Unknown Concentration Camp’, I expect the map to NOT show a location in Mexico. I am NOT going to fudge facts to work with your wildly inaccurate map and ignorant page called LifeStory. Since you are determined to keep the stupid cartoon called LifeStory, at least make an off switch so no one can see it for those of us with enough pride to be embarrassed by it.
    The colors and fonts are a mess. It goes from billboard size white font, to a mess of tools in smaller font in the ugly gray profile section, to teeny-tiny different font on the rest of the profile page. Even free web sites are more professionally done. In the store I saw an eye shadow for sale called ‘Nightworks’ featuring black, gray and purple. So, if you are going for a cheap drugstore eye makeup color scheme for your website – you nailed it!
    Most of your customers are mature, sitting at home searching for records. Why aren’t you listening to them? They want the look of Classic. I don’t know why you think mobile users are such a good market. They will stand in line at the grocery store, click away at green leaves until they get to Adam and Eve and proclaim they are done. They aren’t going to look for one more war record, one more will or probate record, or newly found death records. Look at your own financials. Subscriptions are your major source of revenue. Why are you putting that important source of revenue in such jeopardy?

  54. JM / UK

    Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose – time to roll out the old Cluetrain again! Way back in 1999, the Cluetrain Manifesto set out a list of 95 theses predicting a “conversation” between markets (consumers) and companies, contrasting the power of the human voice online, through feedback, blogs, social media etc. and “the soothing, humourless monotone of the mission statement, marketing brochure, and your-call-is-important-to-us busy signal.” Here are 2 of my favourites:

    ~~~No. 77 You’re too busy “doing business” to answer our emails, message board posts and comments on your blog? Oh gosh, sorry, gee, we’ll come back later. Maybe.

    ~~~No. 78 You want us to pay? We want you to pay attention.

    At the head of the list is this statement:

    ~~~If you only have time for one clue this year, this is the one to get…
    We are not seats or eyeballs or end users or consumers. We are human beings – and our reach exceeds your grasp. DEAL WITH IT. ~~~

    Curiously, the Ancestry Insider posted a set of 4 articles about this as long ago as 2007, in which he comments: “. . .if I could change just one thing at Ancestry, I would abolish their culture of unresponsiveness.”

    In the words of someone who commented in 2007: “Come on Ancestry you have our money – now give us some answers to all the above comments and complaints!”

    http://www.cluetrain.com/#manifesto
    http://www.ancestryinsider.org/2007/09/don-miss-train-part-2.html

  55. JM / UK

    @MaryR ~ Thank you for the quote from page 49 of the Q-10 Report above. The document makes disturbing reading. I was struck by a sentence on page 50:

    ~~~Our possession and use of personal information presents risks that could harm our business. Unauthorized disclosure or use of such data, whether through breach of our network security or otherwise, could expose us to significant liability and damage our reputation. ~~~

    @Kristie ~~~ I wonder if ‘unauthorized use of personal information’ would describe some of the abominations of Life Story?

  56. Kristie

    Your customers have offered you a reasonable, viable option of keeping the Classic page as the ‘Research’ page, or whatever you want to call it. If you have room for complete nonsense like LifeStory on your genealogy website, then you have room for a REAL research page (and no, the ugly fact page doesn’t cut it). Listen to your customers – while you still have them.

  57. Caith

    The caviar has not yet fully hit the fan……..It will be interesting to see how this all sorts out; and the lessons that are learned.

  58. Trisha

    @ Kristie, Well said girl! ( a couple of posts above)
    I also dislike the ugly fact page, find it just as annoying as the cartoon strip, and what a complete joke that is!
    ANCESTRY, ALL WE WANT FROM YOU IS THE CLASSIC PROFILE PAGE SO WE CAN CONTINUE DOING REAL RESEARCH. THAT REALLY IS NOT TOO MUCH TO ASK OF YOU. GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER NOW AND DO THAT FOR US. WE WILL FORGIVE YOU, AND YOU WILL KEEP YOUR LOYAL CUSTOMERS.

  59. Sarah

    Yep, ‘fraid so but people are not stupid, Elhura like Ancestry assume we are. With social media news gets around no matter how much they delete our posts on here. “Seek and ye shall find.”

  60. Deb

    Thank you, Ancestry for allowing Classic users to access the new Pennsylvania WWI Veterans Service and Compensation Files without having to switch to New Ancestry. THIS is exactly why I have been a loyal Ancestry user for years and why I hate what has been done with New Ancestry because I really would like to stay. Through this database, I finally have proof of my grandfather’s WWI service. My grandmother told me he was in the Army Medical Department and trained as an ambulance driver, but never went overseas and that he was discharged from Fort Dix. I could not find a draft record for him, my grandmother was not sure whether he enlisted or was drafted and all his papers were lost. I now have his service number, where he went through training and the key to further research. It confirms what my grandmother told me and more.

    Oh my, it burns me up to lose this kind of access, but I cannot work in New Ancestry and will be leaving when my subscription expires in May.

  61. CAH

    I signed the petition to keep Classsic Ancestry, although I don’t think they will. After 13 years, I think I know what they will do, and I don’t like it. I’d sign it 10 times but I think 9 of those times might be voided.

  62. nadinemi

    Ancestry, please pay attention to Trisha’s post of 8 Nov to this blog and her subsequent posts. Her post speaks for me better than I can, but describes my sentiments exactly. As do many other posts herein. I love Classic Ancestry and you will lose me and my trees if New becomes the only option. I know I’m only one person, but you’ve had enough feedback from enough people that I think you understand where we’re coming from and your Risk statements in your SEC Filing of 31 Oct 2015 demonstrate that you understand where Ancestry is likely headed due to negative reaction to New Ancestry. I think all of us who provide negative feedback about New Ancestry really care–that’s why we bother–and I think there’s a general consensus that we’re feeling our feedback is ignored, notwithstanding that you occasionally tell us you’re absorbing it, and often tell us you’ve forwarded it “for consideration.” Thank you.

  63. Pa

    @Elhura, @Sarah, @JM / UK, and others: Does Ancestry really think deleting the mention of the petition is going to stop people from signing it?

  64. Mary R.

    @JM/UK, Thanks for your catch! I was struck by what follows the heading you quoted. It would apply to reports of some Private Trees in the Old format showing up as Public Trees in the New format: “…Maintaining the security of our information… is of critical importance because we handle confidential subscriber… personal information. In addition, our online systems include the content that our registered users upload onto our websites, such as family records and photos. This content is often personally meaningful, and our registered users may rely on our online system to store digital copies of such content. If we were to lose such content, if our users’ private content were to become publicly available or if third parties were able to gain unauthorized access to such content, we may face liability and harm to our brand and reputation…” http://ir.ancestry.com/secfiling.cfm?filingID=1575319-15-10&CIK=1575319#sthash.hscHxoNM.dpuf

  65. RKK

    Is Ancestry.com sabotaging the site for all of us who continue to use the Old Ancestry format? The constant interruptions by pop up ads urging us to try New Ancestry were bad enough, but lately when I click on DNA matches, the screen freezes and I get a message that Ancestry.com is not responding! No kidding! “Not responding” is what Ancestry is best at. When I called to try to switch from automatic renewal for a year, I was told that it couldn’t be done, that I would have to cancel my subscription and then do a new one for a month or 6 months or whatever — and a new subscriber is stuck in New Ancestry! Most genealogists are older, and Ancestry’s web designers may see us as dinosaurs… but beware of poking a sharp stick at us dinosaurs!

  66. Kristie

    @RKK – They TELL new subscribers they are stuck with New, but that’s not true. You can always get back with http://home.ancestry.com/newancestry/leave
    If that doesn’t work, call and complain. They will replace Old in your dropdown menu.
    And yes, something in New doesn’t work every single day – without a corporate acknowledgement or apology. What is going on? Telling people they can’t renew – who runs a company like that?

  67. Mary R.

    This could be why the “New” format is aimed at mobile app users and how it will use “locations” to link -in the future- to GPS technology. [Reminder: Acom teamed up with BillionGvs & FmlySrch in Jan 2013.] “LegacyTec gives you access to all the information connected to a certain headstone based on a picture. All you do is take a picture of a headstone, and this technology will bring up information about that headstone from ‘BillionGraves’, ‘Family Search’, ‘My Legacy Memorial’ and other sites… With the click of a single button, access to pictures, videos, stories and actual genealogy information about the person buried there will be easily accessible, making researching your family history new and engaging!…” [YouTube video included.] http://blog.billiongraves.com/2013/02/otter-creek-holdings-announces-groundbreaking-technology-legacytec/

  68. Sarah

    How long is this charade going to continue? Notice the absence of the montior’s comments until this new update; SOS. I am glad I no longer have stake at all in this new Ancestry, as all my trees have been deleted from this awful site and will be cancelling my long-standing subscription when it is up in Aug of 2016. Still no answer to WHEN the classic will be no longer available to Ancestry users; just more of the same old BS. So many unanswered questions of posters have been ignored in his forum! It is just deplorable the way your loyal customers have been treated. Don’t forget that this will come back to bite you in the end and it could be sooner than you think.

  69. Gigi

    If it ain’t broke, why fix it? Busywork, busywork for the programmers. It’s funny that after 25 years people who make and program computers have never understood the meaning of USER FRIENDLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  70. The inability to link stories to Facts recorded in the timeline is a major negative. I have spent thousands of hours linking stories, such as press reports, birth and death certificates to facts in my timeline. The new Ancestry deletes of these links!

    My complaints to Ancestry are answered promptly and politely. It now appears the change was intentional, Ancestry is aware of it and their developers will look into it. But It is ridiculous to say that I should manually “relink” thousands of stories to events in the timeline. That is what computer programs are for.

    There is no suggestion they are going to amend the New Ancestry or even better continue the ability to use Old Ancestry.. Very dissatisfied.

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