Posted by Ancestry Team on November 13, 2015 in Australia, Canada, Germany, Mexico, Sweden, United Kingdom, Website

Welcome to our weekly update on the new Ancestry website. Last week we posted an article that covered media improvements and this week we are happy to announce that Member Connect and Military Pages have been introduced into the site.

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:

Member Connect – You can contact other members who are also researching your ancestors to share your research questions, findings, and more.

Click on Tools and go to Member Connect:



Show the Research Tool Bar and you can find Member Connect and Print.



Military Pages – We brought back view only version of Military Pages so you can continue to access the content you have created.

Click on the military badge icon to go to your ancestor’s military page



Features we are still working on

  • 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.

  • Users are sometimes getting a blank page when trying to view original record images
  • Merge duplicates feature is not working correctly
  • The auto-fill, type ahead locations are not appearing in some cases when adding or updating the locations in a tree
  • The relationship calculator randomly not appearing
  • Users would like options to change the color scheme in their tree to their preference

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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  1. gp_4hbc

    Wanda, why do you not save out the census to your computer and crop it as you see fit before printing it? I am assuming you mean you are using too much black in in the process.

  2. Vince

    Regarding the “The relationship calculator randomly not appearing” item in the “Issues reported this week” list of this blog: I have seen no random disappearance of the relationship link under the BIRTH and DEATH listing on the profile pages of New Ancestry. As I and others have repeatedly pointed out since last June, what is missing from the link is the “Not you?” option of Classic Ancestry. I’ll reiterate yet again:

    The “Not you?” option, available from the Profile pages of Classic Ancestry, has survived at least through 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 Profile 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. Then you can click on the actual All Hints link to show the beginning of the entire list. Then you type the name of the person whose Profile page you had been looking at and search the list for it. But this procedure fails entirely for individuals in the the tree who have no NEW hints — those individuals don’t show up 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. If the person is on the All Hints list, you can click the “View relationship to me” link below the person’s name, which changes to a link stating the relationship. Finally, when you click on that link you get the full “Relationship to me” view, familiar from Classic Ancestry, complete with the “(not you?)” link at the bottom.

    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 feature or have copied it from Classic Ancestry. Why not now just make a direct link to the applicable code segment from the “Relationship to me” pop-up view of the individual Profile page of New Ancestry?

  3. Susan Shirey


    Thanks for the improvements. The update never mentions that you are working on making it possible to attach stories to facts, which in my mind is crucial. I have submitted feedback on this a number of times. Could you let us know if you are working adding this feature from Old Ancestry to the new version?

  4. Cheryl

    So, ACOM, you have listed only two remaining items that you are still working on. Since there is no mention of
    1. horrid color scheme
    2. removal of census images from attic
    3. changes in facts page layout
    4. juvenile purple lines
    5. stories added to timeline
    6. tree owner “lock” for life story
    7. uploaded media to be visible ON the facts page
    8. “tree page” button with its dropdown menu put on facts page
    9. “find a person in this tree” button with its dropdown menu put on facts page
    100. …..,
    then guess you really have no intention of pleasing the genealogists that have used your site for years. YOU HAVE LOST YOUR WAY!

  5. Trisha

    @ Susan Shirey, What do you mean “Thanks for the improvements” WHAT IMPROVEMENTS??

  6. BEE

    “100. ….., then guess you really have no intention of pleasing the genealogists that have used your site for years. YOU HAVE LOST YOUR WAY!”
    LOL! this sums up what I was thinking as I read this post. Sometimes I feel like we are “communicating” in two different languages, and the translating software is as poor as what I have to deal with when I read emails from relatives written in their language!

  7. Ronnie Waller

    The new timeline feature is converting all my family dates to the american version so a relative born on 10.3.1880 is appearing as born on the third of October 1880 which throws all the events out of whack. I pay a lot of money for this and did not ask for this change. I updated automaticalky and is too frustrating as I have to keep trying to get back to the tree to view any correct info. Please sort this NOW. Very displeased with these supposed improvements.

  8. Arggggg!

    Users would like options to change the color scheme in their tree to their preference.

    Yeah!!! So, when is this going to happen?!

  9. Raul G.

    Week after week I read the same diatribes. Learn the new system people. Give constructive criticism in a meaningful way. Engineering the software for change isn’t going to happen overnight. Classic is going away and the updates to formats in the new Ancestry are there to conform to the GPS better. And I happen to like the “purple” lines. If you must change them due to people complaining about the color, please be my guest. But keep the lines. They are valuable to understanding how clean your tree is. And if anyone claims their tree doesn’t need that type of scrunity, feel free to through the top brick off your nearest brick wall.

  10. Henry

    Raul G.

    My trees need plenty of scrutiny and they get it. That’s why I spend hours searching for records and sources for the most accuracy I can achieve. It takes time and I don’t need a rat’s nest of lines to make it more difficult. Simplicity works for me.

    Use your spell checker for “scrutiny” and “throw,” not “through.”

  11. Carol

    I have spent a lot of time learning the new system and I don’t like it. I find the classic to be more efficient and faster. Less clutter, better layout and smooth operation. I won’t even bother with the ugly colors. I have made suggestions and I have seen a few changes.

    I know the new one is coming. Boy! Do I ever know it’s coming! The reminders are continuously in my face! That doesn’t mean I have to like it if I find it more cumbersome.

  12. Mary M Zashin

    Raul, many of us have learned the new system. But there are things missing and we have, many of us, offered repeated suggestions and asked for features to be restored. I, for one, don’t need the visual aid of the lines, which I find ugly and distracting, particularly if ACOM would restore “view all sources,” which allows me to see at a glance all the sources, all the source details, and all the facts connected to the sources for a given individual. There is nothing like this capacity in New. I do appreciate the ease with which, from an event, one can add that event to an already-added source. Have you tried to use “view all sources” in Old, and compared it to the lines? The lines allow you to see only the events to which a single source is connected, or, alternatively, the sources to which a single event is connected. There does not appear to be any way to see all of the source information for a profile at once. If anyone has discovered how to do so, I would very much appreciate being instructed. As for the terrible color scheme–I hope ACOM alters it. Meanwhile, after considerable trial and error, using Firefox and an add-on called “Color That Site,” I have managed to re-pigment ACOM to something more pleasing to my eyes–got entirely rid of the grey and black and replaced it with a light blue-green. I am very pleased, and recommend this add-on anyone who finds the current site colors hard to bear. But I just stumbled around until I got to something that pleased me and have no idea how to instruct anyone.

  13. stattointhailand

    I would be more than happy to learn ANY new system, PROVIDED it had at least been written/tested and had the stupid errors removed BEFORE I was forced to use it. It is now six months since I started to give “constructive criticism” to Ancestry on their 3 different formats (comments/log/facebook) and up to now virtually nothing has improved. “Engineering the software for change isn’t going to happen overnight” how very true, that is why it should have been done BEFORE the paying customers were subjected to it, not after. I couldn’t give the perverbial “rats ar*e” about what colours or what lines are used, all I want if the facts left alone, not altered and not added to by a computer that has been fed rough information and guesses by it’s programmers instead of accurate facts

  14. JM / UK

    To anyone new to this Update forum – it would be informative to review comments made in its predecessors – you can find them if you search.

    In all of these updates, numerous subscribers have given ‘constructive criticism in a meaningful way’. For example, my own constructive criticism of the colour scheme, fonts, lines etc was backed up in a meaningful way with evidence garnered ‘elsewhere’ [beware posting hyperlinks lest ye be deleted!] to show that after the age of 40, vision deteriorates in specified ways, such that the way New Ancestry is viewed would present problems for ageing eyes, thus seriously limiting functionality of the site for a large proportion of its users. This factor alone might prove the deciding factor for some when considering whether to continue subscribing.

    Also, remember that all ‘regular whiners’ began as polite requesters who responded to the exhortation issued above – ‘We appreciate your feedback and encourage you to keep submitting it’. After repeatedly giving ‘constructive criticism in a meaningful way’ which apparently went unheard, they resorted to a stronger human voice to challenge “the soothing, humourless monotone of the mission statement, marketing brochure, and your-call-is-important-to-us busy signal” [For context see my comments on previous update page of 7 Nov 2015 (preferred date format).

    May I draw to your attention an impassioned plea which I read ‘elsewhere’? It struck a chord with me, as I often get the impression of being viewed as ‘just another complaining older lady’:

    ~~~ “I went to the library to work on the new ancestry and it worked which means my old computer, my older style router, and hughesnet will not work with the new graphics. Is ancestry going to buy me a gaming computer with accelerated graphics, a gaming router, and access to unlimited internet just to be able to use their new site. This is discrimination. They are discriminating against the elderly on social security, the remote on limited internet, and the underprivileged who cannot afford an accelerated graphics computer. A good lawyer needs to get involved and sue them for discrimination for they are only targeting the youth and the wealthy. I feel terribly discriminated against because I cannot just work on ancestry the way I do at the library from my home. I shouldn’t have to invest in a gaming computer to handle any website. Ancestry, shame on you for targeting the youth, getting on the elderly don’t count bandwagon, and not caring about customers who have been loyal for years. We need no graphics and a simple media player for our older, limited budget computers otherwise we are discriminated against because we will not become young and invest in the toys of youth. Shame on you for targeting the younger generation and leaving out those who actually keep you up and running.” ~~~

    So how do you respond to that? – We’re sorry for any frustration caused….. or maybe – we value your feedback…… or perhaps – we will pass this along to the team concerned – choose your favourite.

  15. Martin

    This new improved Ancestry Website must be one of the worst run IT Projects I have ever come across, 6 months down the line and still numerous errors & missing features riddle the site and Ancestry are still economical with the truth when it comes to their weekly updates.

    I raised again the issue with the date format with Ancestry Support, was told it was fixed and when clearly it wasn’t, don’t appreciate being lied to.

  16. Walt

    I figured Ancestry would take the most expeditious, least useful approach to the military pages, i.e., pages that are view only and cannot be edited. How lazy and how genealogically unsound to make military pages forever fixed as of 14 Nov 2016. Today I deleted the military pages I had started for my father (World War II)’and my grandfather (Spanish American War).

  17. rv

    Ancestry – Thanks for the progress on (and keeping us informed – you are one of the only websites I frequent that does this) on New Ancestry.

    Many of the features I’ve requested have made it in the past few releases – thanks for that: Member Connect, Square Photos, Picture Cropping, Attach person to existing image.

    New features I like: The lines linking Facts to Events, the new color scheme, The “Tools” menu in tree and profile view, new Image viewer.

    Changes I don’t like: No hover on tree nodes for the preview. Read only Military page

    Things missing that I need: Image Transcriptions (that are readable – not the tiny “edit” box you currently have), “Create Citation” option for images and documents (but simpler than the one in Old Ancestry)

    Features I’d like to see: inline viewers for Word Documents and PDF’s (don’t launch external app to view)

  18. mary

    These issues, after being mentioned twice, seem to have disappeared. Is Ancestry just hoping they’ll go away?
    Oct 23rd: Some frustration with Historical Insights. Sometimes, insights are hinting when they shouldn’t be, dates are incorrect, locations are wrong, etc. They could be more accurate. –
    Oct 16th: Some frustration with Historical Insights. Sometimes, insights are hinting when they shouldn’t be, dates are incorrect, locations are wrong, etc. They could be more accurate
    PLEASE provide a kill switch for Lifestory and its idiotic “historical insight” hints. These are offensive intrusions to MY family tree. Almost 10,000 Lifestories were gratuitously inserted in MY work.

  19. Trish

    @ DannieB @ Raul G. We have been giving constructive criticism in a meaningful polite way for weeks, but still to no avail, so forgive us if we feel just a little bit annoyed by your comments! The pleasant approach to ancestry just does not seem to “cut it” So as we got more and more annoyed trying to work with this new toy, and things were not getting any better with it over the months, we became fighters for what we believe in, for what we regard to be the true and best way for researching our trees, yes we got tougher in our approach, of course we did, we had no choice, we are doing our very best to keep our beloved old classic ancestry, the format that has brought us such a lot of enjoyment over the years.The format that was perfect, that was user friendly, it was tidy, neat, and no scrolling required! It is not a case of us not being prepared to use the new. We would use the new if it served the purpose for our research. In it’s present state it does not do that! We are not whiners as you say, we are fighters!

  20. Sarah

    Some comments are best ignored, as they are just ignorant remarks from users who know nothing at all about genealogy. The users are paying customers and, for the most part, are NOT getting what they paid for. I am just glad I am not part of this site anymore and never will be in the future. I’m finished with Ancestry, I don’t need them! Best of luck to all you who have tried your best to retain the classic version but unfortunately, it will not happen unless Ancestry decides in the future that the new interface was a dismal failure. The new subscribers will get bored with all these fabricated stories about their so-called ancestors and will drop out. How long will the hangers-ons put up with the week-to-week “improvements” that never happen or just more of the same blundering mistakes and the invasion of private trees? Not me and I am not alone.

  21. douggrf

    To Kristie, Please respond to this comment with more definitive rationale and timelines so that the membership does not start leaving in droves.

    The NOTES function is a private recorded message with the tree owner. It is not viewed by guests. You can add only one long string of NOTES in the New Ancestry – actually not very long at all. The New Ancestry lacks a Notes indicator! In Classic the flag View Notes comes on only when Notes are present.

    Comments can be added many times and are publicly viewed by guests. Before May 27, 2015 Ancestry congregated the viewing of Comments on the Tree Overview page. Notes follow Gedcom export, Comments do not.

    Without that list on the overview page, I would have to search person by person for “comments”. To find and copy the comments into Notes or elsewhere would be more than tedious, .. there is no real way I can fine every “comment” in the current systems, Classic or New.

    The purpose of adding comments to trees is to let the work of community collaboration stand as a work in progress. Every tree in existence is never ever finished, and no tree is ever perfect.

    Hence Ancestry several years ago allowed for the comments mechanism (long-after Gedcom 5.5 standard was set- hence not involved in the criteria) to give members the ability to comment on each others works.

    — The value of the aggregate view of comments seen (before May 27, 2015) was to gauge the apparent “quality” of a tree before trusting it for further research by others. Hence when you read some tree’s comments summary of error after error – you can make a fair judgement call as to the nature of the work represented by the tree. Ancestry dropped this feature May 27 2015 to the apparent surprise and total chagrin of everyone in the genealogical research community. – sent to Help Support Center – October 19, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    “The Typical Response has been received October 24, 2015 as
    Incident: 151020-000668 – :
    Thank you for contacting Ancestry in regard to your feedback.

    We’re always sorry to learn that our members had a frustrating experience. Your comments mean a lot to us. We’ve forwarded your feedback on to the proper department for consideration.

    If you’d like to submit additional feedback, please review ..the Suggestion Box

    If you need additional assistance, please feel free to reply to this message or call us at 1-800-ANCESTRY (1-800-262-3787) between the hours of 9am to 11pm EST, seven days a week.


    Customer Solutions Associate-Ancestry”

    Other matters that need serious attention:
    1) Provide a real flag for alerting people to view notes if they are present in the profile – In Classic the flag was the word “View” – In New site there is presently no flag at all.
    2)Better .pdf print object design and handling for saving LifeStory
    3) Adding text and other story media to Facts, just as pics can be added. This was available in Classic and should be retained.

    Long ways to go yet it appears…

  22. Ruth

    The worst thing about new Ancestry for me is that some ancestors who were born in the UK and were correctly shown in previous Ancestry are now shown as born in Jamaica and Canada. A relative who was killed in WW1 in Flanders France at the battle of the Somme is now shown as dying in the USA. I reported this and was told ‘This error is something we’re aware off whereby information relating to location and dates is showing incorrectly, we are working to resolve as soon as possible. As we move forward with the new website format this will be resolved.’ These are just the ones I’ve found by accident, how many records have been corrupted? I’ve put a lot of time and effort into trying to create an accurate tree and this is very annoying to say the least.

  23. Thameslass

    I’ve just tried to post the URLS of all the blog posts about New Ancestry as I thought it might be useful, but my post was diverted to Admin as it looked like spam. Maybe it will appear, but maybe not – we shall see.

  24. mike

    Ruth, sorry to say but your tree is mostly likely corrupted. Is there any way for you to get into the classic interface? Do so and check those same erroneous records to see if they are indeed correct and then download your tree into some genealogical software or at least download a Gedcom of it in the classic view only or you will just be duplicating all the errors. If not then, be forewarned that your tree has been changed and not for the better. Sorry, but that is the way it is. Do not count on Ancestry correcting the mistakes.

  25. Stanley

    STORIES. What is the status of plans (or not) to attach stories to specific facts. (As photos are done.) I have over 600 stories (MS Word files) attached to individuals, one per fact. My understanding is that there are currently NO plans to have these attached in the New Ancestry. Is this true?

  26. JM / UK

    @Thameslass – As I said in my last comment above:
    ‘beware posting hyperlinks lest ye be deleted!’

    Cluetrain 1999 again:

    ~~~No. 7 Hyperlinks subvert hierarchy.

    I know which of my comments never made the grade – there will be plenty more from other subscribers which were ‘moderated’ out of existence.

    ~~~No. 18 Companies that don’t realize that their markets [i.e. subscribers] are now networked person-to-person, getting smarter as a result and deeply joined in conversation are missing their best opportunity.

    @Ruth and Mike – Re corrupted trees – from the New 2015 Cluetrain Manifesto:

    ~~~ No. 58 Quit fracking our lives [or trees in this instance] to extract data that’s none of your business and that your machines misinterpret. [LifeStory anyone?]

    @mary – as you said above – PLEASE provide a kill switch for Lifestory.

    Surely it would not be too difficult to have a ‘Never Show’ option for Lifestory?

  27. Susan Shirey

    Like Stanley above, I would really like to know if you are working on the ability to attach stories to facts. These stories enhance the facts. In the case of custom facts, the stories are often essential to understanding them. I have spend thousands of hours of time adding stories to facts in Old Ancestry, usually by copying them into the Ancestry story format, so that they are readable when the fact is opened. Now, not only are the media attached to a fact not readable when it is opened, stories cannot even be attached to facts. Please give us some feedback on whether you are working on adding this feature to New Ancestry. It is vitally important to me – and to many others.

  28. Susan Shirey

    Response to Trisha above. There have been improvements to New Ancestry. Does it come close to equaling Old Ancestry in appearance or functionality? No. But they have been trying. Hopefully, one day all of the functionality and usefulness of Old Ancestry will be available to us. I am becoming increasingly pessimistic about this, but have not given up hope entirely yet.

  29. Trisha

    @ Ruth. we all feel the same Ruth about the way ancestry have taken it upon themselves to re write our stories in such a ridiculous way. You will probably find your tree is perfectly correct in old ancestry, and it’s not your fault at all Ruth. Like I have said previously they had my ancestor as PASSING AWAY IN WARWICKSHIRE in 1915, when he had in fact been killed in 1915 WW1 in Ypres . (There was nothing on my tree to suggest Warwickshire in any way!) Another relative had according to ancestry – PASSED AWAY IN MANITOBA. She actually died in Manchester Royal Hospital Manchester Lancashire, having never left England!
    Again there was nothing wrong on my tree to warrant such a mistake on ancestry’s part!

  30. Mary R.

    I notice “Raul G.” mentions the GPS. Perhaps he’s working on this: “Your Family Tree Wherever You Go. With the Legacy Mobile App, take advantage of the newest technologies that allow you to: Synchronize your family data with FamilySearch. Add pictures to anyone in your family tree. View event data by GPS locations. [New’s Historical Insights?] Manage and synchronize source data. LegacyTec: Genealogy, Elevated. Revolutionary Patented technology that allows you to be face to face with your ancestors. Take a picture of any headstone, in any cemetery in the world to view the genealogy, family tree, and other memorials of the person buried there.”

  31. Kathy Lewis

    Hey to RAUL G.
    Don’t know how long you’ve been on this web site. Do me a favor if you visit this blog again.
    Go to your of your sites that has maybe more than one wife and more than two or three children. Print out your fact sheet under the new format. Then change to what is now called Classic and print out the same fact sheet and tell me what you see.
    I have a few famlies that have three wives and 18 children. What do you think that looks like under the New format. I am in my 70’s and it’s hard to take.
    So there.

  32. mike

    Some of these requests on here baffle my mind. So you want to put a story written on a word processor or create a PDF and attach it to an event? What on earth for? It would only be visible to you or invited guests to your tree and would not be downloaded in any genealogical software, so it becomes the property of Ancestry, essentially or for all those copy-cats out in Ancestryland to do with what they want. They are not even downloadable into genealogy software. I just don’t get it. Ancestry should concentrate on correcting what is wrong with their new interface and not add another fly into an already disastrous ointment.

  33. mike

    Mary R, Just shows you how little I know. I thought a GPS was a street guide on how to get from here to there. 🙂

  34. Deb

    Changes happen, get used to it. I actually like the new ancestry. Sure, you might have to take a few more steps than on the generic version, but it’s worth it. All computer programs change over time, that’s what you call technology.

  35. Alan P.

    I like some aspects of the new interface but special thanks to all those identifying bugs & poor site design. Bad design & bugs shouldn’t happen on this scale. Way to many cases of technology being introduced using the “80/20 rule” (80% working) and then relying on clients to identify fixes.

  36. JM / UK

    @Mike – like Stanley above, I have many Word documents attached to events which explain how, why or where about each event – I can’t keep these in Notes because I want them to be seen as they frequently explain anomalies in records etc. I can’t put them in the description box as they are often too large for the number of characters allowed. I now fight shy of putting them in Comments as I fear they might eventually disappear. I just want the option to retain them.

  37. Betty

    When the New Ancestry was begun, I noticed all the sources I have put in myself had lost their titles. The source titles had dropped off the list entirely. re: “Lancashire Parish Clerk Records” disappeared and all that remained was the next line in the source which is ‘LDS Film: ” Aside from that, when a researcher clicks on the source to read the info entered, they get one giant run-on sentence instead of the neatly listed facts as I wrote them! How is this an improvement. I have spent every day since the beginning trying to correct the damage done. I don’t think I will live long enough to correct it all!
    Other than that….When oh when will it be possible to insert a photo next to a particular fact in the timeline???

  38. RobinH

    @Ancestry, the request for stories to be attached to facts is not a new one. It was asked for many blogs ago by many people who have stories attached to facts/events in Old Ancestry. It would be helpful to know if that request made it to the list of things that are being worked on or will be worked on.

  39. Ed Schendel

    I spent a good amount of time developing my father’s military page. I don’t understand why it now is a read only. My subscription cost didn’t go down and most of that page contains items that I downloaded from my computer and not from Now I it seem that other people in my tree are not going to be able to have a page dedicated only to their time in the military. It seems to me that this improvement is much less than when my subscription started. In my opinion an improvement improves upon what is already in place. Not take steps backwards.

  40. Teressa

    @DEB … sure changes happen and we get used to it. What we DON’T get used to is that correct information that has taken years to accumulate, Ancestry has taken moments to corrupt and destroy. Perhaps you are new to genealogy and don’t have hundreds of entrys that now need to be proofread for introduced errors, or you are simply one of those folks who glom onto other peoples’ trees and let them do the work… whatever. But your snide comment is not constructive and once you do start actually doing serious work, you will understand what the complaint about the so-called improved Ancestry actually IS — it introduces errors into the data. That is unacceptable in any software program,and Ancestry seems to be taking this fact with a shrug of the shoulders. They don’t think it’s going to make a difference to their marketing because so many people come here and find a connection and think they can get an accurate tree easily off someone else’s work. Perhaps in the past that was somewhat true, but currently, because of data corruption it is no longer true and just adds to the issue of people with sloppy work. I have had my own sloppy work issues, both bad interpretations on my own as well as trusting others, and no doubt still have errors in my tree — but I certainly don’t need Ancestry screwing my tree up unexpectedly. As a result of the “new” ancestry, my tree is now private — ancestry will not profit from my work directly. I keep my tree and the research on standalone software as a backup and no, I don’t synch from Ancestry. At this point, Ancestry’s only function for me is as a record repository. And that’s sad, because it was, and could be, so much more.

  41. emam

    Mike, I’m not sure what you mean about the following:-

    “It would only be visible to you or invited guests to your tree and would not be downloaded in any genealogical software, so it becomes the property of Ancestry, essentially or for all those copy-cats out in Ancestryland to do with what they want.”

    I also have stories on my Ancestry tree and I have just looked and they are also in my FTM. Am I missing something.

  42. mike

    JM / UK What do you mean anormalities in records? If you mean records from Ancestry databases or elsewhere that do not agree; that is what the source and citation information is for. The rest belongs in the research note field. I don’t know about that much about the new Ancestry note field but in certain genealogical software there is more than one note field. That is mainly used for your research notes. I do not understand why you would have document for every discrepancy you find in your your events. It is not necessary. In the classic version your comments are not lost but instead will download into FTM at least as a link that will open in your browser, so you can copy it into the note field for a person but you can’t do that with every event. The location field does not agree with industry standards and in some genealogical programs the description will appear in the location field and will have to be edited. I assume that you save all your documents to your computer for your own information and later if you want to write a family history. You might want to make note in the description field with genealogy abbreviations that refer to some other sources; such as, “dissagrees with marriage record [GM;VII; 82:83]” and so forth. If you are having that much difficulty and find your sources do not agree then you are saving the wrong records. For example: I see too many public trees that save Family Data records and they do not ever agree as the records are selected randomly from other public trees and are of no value whatsoever. There are others that are not worth anything and certainly “Ancestry Trees” are no source at all. Well, this forum is not for a lengthy dissertation about it all. It is just of no value for Ancestry to add a provision for word documents or PDF’s. They are never used in genealogical software. I am assuming you are not limiting yourself to just having an online tree and nothing else.

  43. mike

    emam, They are not talking about the stories you put in they classic version but adding a Word document or PDF to the new Ancestry. Either way, it is not the same as the “stories” you wrote in Ancestry in the classic interface. For example: In the old classic I would see people upload a word document to their tree and you could not read it unless you downloaded it. Of what value is that? If you don’t have Word, the MS version they create you could not read it anyway. Of course Mac users could not either and would have to convert it to something they could “read.” Anyway, JK / UK is asking a completely different question in that he wants to be able to document each event where a discrepancy exists. That is just not feasible and is unnecessary. Hope that explains it all better.

  44. emam

    Talking about stories and adding them as documents has brought something I use all of the time to mind. To me the greatest invention they have brought out on computers that run Windows 7 or above (sorry for those that still use XP or Vista, I don’t think it is available on there) is the ‘snipping’ tool.

    I use it for everything. For instance on a birth or bmd record, I click on the print button and then use my snipping tool to draw a box around the information that I want to save. I then go to ‘save as’ and pick where on my computer I want to save the file, then the file is saved as a jpeg (photo). I can now upload the photo to the event in my tree.

    You can do this with any record or image that is on your computer screen. The only drawback that I have found is that you can only take a snip of the size of the screen, meaning you can’t scroll down if there is more writing further down the page. Maybe some of you might know how to do so.

    So if you write a story in Word or on a PDF and as long as the story is only on the size of the paper you can see, you can then add it as a photo to your tree. You can also reduce the size of your page to get more of the article on the snip.

    The snipping tool is invaluable to me and I recommend anyone who has not previously used it to give it a try.

  45. Sarah

    emam, I think you are referring to what is know as taking a screen shot. There are programs that will have an auto scrolling so you can get the whole story or whatever is on your screen. The drawback to putting too many of them on your tree is you would have a lot of media and it could cause issues if you have a large amount of people and other media besides in downloading to FTM software. The second reason for not doing that is no media is downloaded in a straight Gedcom file for use in other software. It is a good idea though for keeping records on your computer.

  46. JM / UK

    @Mike to clarify – Notes are not visible to guests. ‘Stories’, as Ancestry calls any written word document not authored by them, appear on my tree in Classic to explain anything that might be perceived as an anomaly.

    Here is just one example – I have a married couple whose surname is Reid. The wife’s maiden name is Reid – they are first cousins. Their fathers are also first cousins and both families used all the same first names for their children, so the cross-overs in relationships are complex. Some other trees have misinformation because the owners just don’t get the relationships. My ‘Story’ explains all this at length, person by person, and is attached to each individual mentioned. I want this to be visible so that others visiting my tree will recognize that I have done the research and that my conclusions are reliable. As Susan Shirey said above: These stories enhance the facts. In the case of custom facts, the stories are often essential to understanding them.

    Yes, I do keep my research notes elsewhere, and have everything and more on FTM, but I keep this particular tree public as Member Connect has proved invaluable in sorting out other family puzzles.

    As to Comments – I don’t know the status of this property in New – I haven’t been there lately – too busy consolidating in Classic while I still have the chance.

  47. Sarah

    Teressa, You are right on the money about everything but one thing…be forewarned as making you tree private will make absolutely no difference. Ancestry invaded mine with the new concoction and they had been private and unsearchable from day one. Remember also that your days will be numbered with the classic. I have since downloaded all my trees from Ancestry. You are doing the right thing in having a stand-alone program. Mine is Legacy and maybe you have something else. I will keep my subscription until it is up and will NEVER put any trees on any public site, including Ancestry ever again. I learned a lesson. I will not get my subscription money back. so I’ll just use whatever databases are useful to me until then.

  48. mike

    JM / UK, I know notes are not visible and they are not supposed to be. It is for your own personal research. As I suspected you are one to use other Ancestry trees, and therefore this conversation ends. If you cannot do your own research, then why bother? Other Ancestry fairy-tale trees do not matter in the world of real genealogy. Most of them do not even have real “evidence” of anything.

  49. Annoyed

    People. Ancestry is NOT changing your data. Period. How it is presented may change on some pages, such as the new “Lifestory” where they are trying to create a more interesting (not just dry facts) view of the people in your tree, but the data in the database IS THE SAME as you entered it via old ancestry. If you don’t like Lifestory – don’t click on it. But quit complaining that they are changing your data. All that shows is your ignorance of web technology.

  50. Pooh

    Previously, you have mentioned that you choose what updates you will work on based on number of submissions. Rather, I suggest that you institute a page specific to members making suggestions for updates. Allow others to upvote if they feel that is an update that is important to be worked on immediately. The top vote getters are the issues that we would expect that would be worked on that week.

    Let the issues ride each week so that they can continue to be voted on.

    Members would be able to see for themselves that their issues are being addressed in a fair manner.

  51. Jane

    I really wish you’d go back to sending the entire blog post via e-mail instead of forcing readers to click through to the website.

  52. john vitale

    I love the “What’s New” monthly videos, but it looks like the last one was June. Can you resume? Thanks

  53. mike

    JM / UK I reread your previous comment about your Reid family and if you have done the research and have come to the conclusion that your sources are reliable, why do you feel you have to tell others that have the same family the results in detail? It is up to them to find sources on their own and come to their own conclusions. I’m telling you from experience it does not matter how much you try to prove your “evidence,” that it will not be accepted in most cases. You set yourself up for nothing but frustration. What is important is what YOU can prove to yourself and anything you might publish. People are inherently lazy and want the work done for them for free and you’ll get no thanks for your efforts. As long as you have documents to back up your facts that is all you need. You do not have to put it online. Let people contact you for more information, if that is what you desire. Sorry if I misread your post wrong the last time. I just see red whenever I see a referral to Ancestry trees. Just forget about them as public trees are rarely accurate. Be sure to put in a source for every event or leave it out.

  54. Beverly Tinkler Jacobs

    Per your New Ancestry Update November 13 (2015) Feature Update: “Users would like options to change the color scheme in their tree to their preference.” Boy do I agree with that. I have written before regarding this and I will not use the “NEW” Ancestry until those God awful depressing colors have changed or you give me the option to change them. It’s almost time for me to renew and I am debating as to whether it will be worth it. I have been a customer for a number of years, but am seriously thinking of starting all over on another site. Your assistance is needed in a timely manner. TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE!!!

  55. Barbar

    Thanks for bringing Member Connect back. One of the best features for collaborating with fellow researches. Will you still be able to get email updates when your connections make changes to your connected individuals?

    BTW, I really liked the circle profile pictures and I was sorry to see them go. The look of the Ancestry site was getting stale, after many years of the same. The new look refreshes my searches and research.

  56. mike

    JM /UK, Every event should have a source or at least an explantion in the description field of why you came to the conclusion you did. For example: You might not have found a marriage record for some individual but know that the couple did have children. In that case you could put down the est. year of marriage based upon the birth date of the first child. Of course, that does not carry too much weight nowadays with couples that have children and did not even marry. This is based on the assumption we are talking previous centuries. Just make a note of it in the description field by saying something like [est. date based upon the birth of first child, John Doe].

  57. Sarah

    One ancestry member begets another to collaborate–how wonderful! Just what the site needs is more copy-cat trees. Bring back the circles; what on earth for? Users can do that on their own, if they wish and then upload the photos to Ancestry. Have you not heard of software that will do that for you? Guess you cannot be bothered as you want someone to do it for you. I think that was the most obvious complaint of everyone that posted previously about that atrocity. Many people edited and upload photos previously to the site and did not want their photos re-edited by Ancestry. Did you not read that heads were cut off and meticulously edited photos by members were altered so badly, they were unrecognizable? In fact, it is a copyright violation in my opinion to mess with anyone’s media or anything else for that matter.

  58. Barbar

    Sarah, HOW RUDE. I was not addressing my comment to you, but to customer feedback. This is not a forum for conversation. I was providing USEFUL feedback to the current update. I enjoy my research and Ancestry is but one tool to my success.

  59. CAH

    To Sarah:

    I didn’t see a response to the issue of a snipping tool in Windows 7. It is true. You can copy any size section of something by using the snipping tool, so you don’t have to have a huge document. A long time ago a friend got windows 7 and he used it to send me a small section of a newspaper article.

    A screen shot is a copy of the whole screen as you see it. You have to set your parameters manually by zooming in or out. Then press Control-Print Screen. Open a word processor program and Edit-Paste. You get everything that is on your screen, top to bottom. I have to use the Print Screen a lot because Ancestry’s new version won’t print for me on many occasions. Better than nothing. I don’t know what the problem is.

    Just a FYI. They are two different things.

  60. Carrie

    I think a lot of the problems we are having could be solved if Ancestry would give us more choice regarding whether want a particular part of some of the new site. Personally, I don’t want Life Story or historical stuff added to my tree. It isn’t accurate. It defaults to something I didn’t put in my tree at times. A toggle off switch would be a good option for me. And then I’d have more real estate on the screen.

    I have some very large families with more than one or two spouses and children from each marriage. The fact section is ridiculously huge, both for viewing and printing. All I want is a profile page like in Classic for a person.

    Also needed is choice for color schemes like in Windows. More people would be happier if they had choice. Many other programs have it, why not Ancestry, since they made so many drastic changes?

    I do resent being the online trouble shooter for Ancestry. My time is worth money just as their programmers’ time is worth money. An occasional glitch is one thing, but proofing a whole new design is unfair. Ancestry has pulled this stunt several times before. But then they practically own everything.

  61. Henry

    Life story is boring!!! No one can write your family history but you. One size does not fit all. It doesn’t even fit most. What a waste of time and our money!

  62. emam

    CAH, I am in England and so on a different timescale to you.
    Yes as Sarah said it is similar to a screenshot, but as you said you only save the part you want and not the whole screen, like your newspaper piece.
    I have also used it to copy an article from a newspaper. I then either open it with Paint and add the name of the newspaper and the date it was printed, or copy it onto a Word doc, then add the date underneath and take a new snip of the whole thing. It doesn’t take long to get used to using.

    Use it to take a snip of a the first page of a record that you open on Ancestry, a photo, Find a Grave page, newspaper article, webpage article, a Word or PDF doc, basically anything.
    If I want to copy a full A4 size doc in Word or suchlike, I go to print preview, then reduce the size to 50% or whatever size fits onto your screen, then take the snip.
    If you find that it is too small you can always open it with Paint and enlarge it. The same with Find a Grave, but if you are only copying small things you don’t need to do this.

  63. Carmen

    @Annoyed: Important information, such as birth and death locations, HAVE BEEN CHANGED in some trees! Sure, maybe the actual data hasn’t been changed but the way the computer interprets and displays it sure has! Just shows your ignorance of the New Ancestry. Having the correct state, country or continent displayed for the birth or death of an ancestor is kind of important in genealogy, at least to most of us.

    @Pooh: I LOVE your idea for allowing subscribers to vote on what changes should be deemed priority and implemented first! I wish they’d polled us before creating this mess.

  64. Adopted….. And having no answers, I thought that was the worst. If you’re getting leafs,,, BE VERY THANKFUL… I ONLY HAVE TRARS.

  65. Sarah

    Cah, for your info they are not “two different things” at all. You can take how much of the screen as you want to with any screen shot app that you chose to use. I was only suggesting another tool to use if you desire to use scrolling of the screen. It’s not really the place to discuss it anyway. I was only trying to help out the person who originally posed the question. Forget it and move on to discussing issues that pertain to Ancestry.

  66. Jeri

    Please, Please, Please, be nice everyone and stop making this a battle among us. It’s shouldn’t even be a battle between anyone. I know we’ve been doing this since day one of the announcement of the new ancestry and no I don’t work for Ancestry, I use it and fought it from day one. I’ve gotten used to some of the new ancestry and if I could put that in tiny tiny font for some I would! I also think berating the staff at ancestry is a waste of time. Come in here and keep listing the things you want and need, express your disappointment but don’t be hateful. This world is so full of anger and Friday’s events in Paris and the news everyday are a clear sign of what anger does. Please make it easier for the staff to read our needs without having to cipher through the anger. Please.
    These are my requests:

    1. Color scheme is terrible, give us a choice, offer several, let us vote, whatever, but it’s not a good color scheme.

    2. I have to click save several times when I add facts to my tree before it actually saves.

    3. It’s random that the sex is added to people when it randomly lets me add the whole family from example census records. That has become very hit/miss lately. Why is it not consistent to save a family from for example the census and sometimes it picks up the whole family and others it doesn’t? This is very time consuming and irritating!

    4. It would be nice if there could be a drop down box to pick the sex of the person in the saving screen so at least if the software cannot decide on it’s own if they are male/female that we don’t have to go to the quick edit screen after the save and then change the sex. Shorten the steps, shorten wasted time. I research at least 7 hours or more a day, time is precious.

    5. Thank you for the new additions on the DNA pages which is giving hope that you will start making more information available in the future for serious DNA researchers.

    6. It would be so great to have a way to see all or user checked DNA test in a compare all test layout. Sort of like when you compare different plans with your cable company!! I hope that make sense! I have 11 completed family DNA test and 4 in process. It would be so helpful to be able to see them laid out across the screen to compare the percentages of ethnicity, etc. If that’s already possible someone please tell me how to do it!

    7. A way to keep the tree public but to make pictures/docs private directly in the online program so we can decide when we share if the person requesting those items is connecting them to the correct people in their tree. I want to keep my tree public but I’ve had so many users copy my pictures to wrong people! I love to share but there are so many trees that are wrong on here it’s ridiculous. Actually I would also like it if users couldn’t just click and copy whole trees because they are doing a bang up job of messing the system up by not doing real research, just copying and smile! I know now from going to the recent ancestry day here in Raleigh that I can make those items private in my Family Tree Maker software and I’m working on that but it would be nice to have a place on your actual site!

    Thanks, there are many other valid request that I like written previously by other users, but these are mine. I’m pretty sure we all want to love your site for the most part. Not everyone will always be happy with everything but I think we’d all be better spokes people for your company if your end result incorporates the needs of the masses!

  67. gp_4hbc

    to Carmen: You are right about data being changed, etc. but your answer to Pooh really should be modified. The choice should have been given to Ancestry users before this new was even launched on whether or not they wanted the classic interface vs. the new then all this discussion about “improving” the mess that has been created by Ancestry would not have needed any discussions. To all of you discussing this snipping tool on Windows, I think you have lost sight of the fact that not all users have the same operating system. There are many that have a Mac and use other applications for taking screen shots. It is a moot point anyway, as this forum is not designed for discussing those issues. There are many questions that still have gone unanswered by Ancestry including the most important one–WHEN is the new going to be finally implemented and many others. Users have a RIGHT to know as they are PAYING for a service!

  68. Trust Pilot again. Still giving 9.5/10
    A review from 4 days ago:
    “Excellent site #1. Very concise site, the family tree interface is just right, easy on the eyes, everything at a glance, and at your fingertips, searches are quick and thorough, love the amount of info, pics and documents that can be saved to each person. Other sites have bloated boxes with too much info crammed in, clumsy drawn trees that are too stretched out, or search results that have to be clicked and opened just to view info only to find it doesnt apply”
    Are we all wrong? Who is posting these reviews? On the update blog of Oct 8th we spoke about the customer feedback surveys. Eman said (Oct 12 -12.51am): “I have also had the questionnaire (in England) and answered favourably for the old Ancestry making sure I repeatedly said that I was referring to the classic. At the end I was taken to a review site because I had given a good report. I wrote out a review saying I would not recommend the new Ancestry but I had to create an account and I don’t want to do this”. My feedback was not overly positive and never got the personal review request. I wondered, to myself, at the time whether this might be for a site such as Trust Pilot, for which you do have to register to comment, and also wondered if my feedback was actually being considered or if this was just a gambit. Are Ancestry just using the surveys to get positive reviews posted? I sincerely hope this is not the case but I it all seems decidedly odd

  69. Mary R.

    @mike: I think you’re kidding about the GPS, but here’s how “GenDetective” explained the basic mapping of family locations: and For those upset that some place names are coming up wrong, it would seem the New software’s “location intelligence” is linked to “Standardized Place Names” from the “US Board on Geographic Names”: (The articles helped me see what the New format programmers must be trying to do with Historical Insights, but connecting the past to “geolocations” rather than the present. It looks complicated and time-consuming, and I think everyone should be given a free, three-months’ access to their family trees while the site is being made usable. Sorry to be pedantic, but I’ve deleted all but 200 ancestors on my family tree, will never look at those purple lines, etc., again, so have free time to learn new things. One company, “Banjo,” for example, “has divided the world up into a giant grid with 35 billion squares. Each of those squares are analyzed and described and watched so that when something unusual happens, the Banjo crystal ball can zoom in and start gathering data…”

  70. mike

    Of course, Mary…tongue and cheek so to speak. I really don’t give a rat’s _____about any of it at this point. I am not even on Ancestry anymore, so I don’t care about any of the “new” configuration. It is no longer a site for serious researchers or professional genealogists like myself. I am just here for all the merriment and wonder how it will turn out in the end.

  71. KarenM

    @Jeri – Re your comment: “Why is it not consistent to save a family from for example the census and sometimes it picks up the whole family and others it doesn’t?”

    The 1850 – 1870 US Censuses, while naming the individuals in the households, do not contain relationships. That is why you cannot work on an entire family the way you can from the 1880 census forward.

  72. Carmen

    @Jerri: Very well said. It’s just hard sometimes to be nice when people say things equivalent to “Suck it up whiners, you just don’t like change!”

    I agree with you that it would be really helpful and save time if there was a way to assign gender to people at the time we are saving them to our tree instead of having to go in and do it after the fact.

    To answer your question about why sometimes the whole family isn’t saved from censuses: On some census records the relationship to the head of household is not specified (it doesn’t say wife, son, dau. etc.) But it would be nice if there was a way to assign the relationship from a drop-down menu so we could save all of the people in the household at one time.

    An issue I’ve noticed that has starting happening in Classic (not sure if this is also happening in New) is sometimes when saving a family from the census (when the relationship to HH is specified) not all of the children will be saved. Some get left off.

  73. Elhura

    Please correct me if needed, but from what I can tell, military information will no longer be available to us after a certain time. This appears – to name a few – to include WWI and WII Draft Cards, Civil War Pension Papers, US Veteran’s Gravesites, Muster Rolls, etc. We are told we can still “view” what we have in our tree, but the records will no longer available to us in future searches. I also understand, however, these records will continue to be available to us via Fold3, another subscription acquisition!

    Does this mean we will still “see” the original images of documents already saved to our trees, or just the fact blocks and our references to them?

    Why, other than their issues with “monetization” as mentioned in last week’s posts, would Ancestry do such a thing? Just another way the once foremost online genealogy site is inch-by-inch slipping to the bottom. Who is making such decisions and why can’t finer minds prevail!

    No wonder Ancestry’s Howard Hochhauser indicated before the Deutsche Bank Leveraged Finance Conference in September that “the old site appealed to genealogists” but that the new is “more visually appealing”. Guess the military records just aren’t “pretty” or lucrative enough in their present place.

    A simple, yet case-in-point, of how direct access via Ancestry to a WWII US Army Enlistment Record is valuable even beyond the military data: The brief detail that the enlistee was “divorced, without dependents” gave further support that I am on the right track in identifying him as the individual of the same name and age who was married in an adjoining state in 1941. Until then, I had a 1946 marriage date inscribed on a tombstone, but nothing suggesting he could be the same man of the 1941 marriage. Those of you with “good” trees and research methods know this is just another bit of derived information that leads to further discovery and proper identification. It is also a loss to genealogy research if access to this type information is knowingly removed from a genealogy website to suit other more self-involved purposes.

    While the point may be moot one for those of us not able to visually see nor use the new website in the future, it is still a tragedy for the genealogy world.

  74. Mary R.

    I’ve been looking to understand why they’re changing things. From what I see, it’s about partnering with the other genealogical sites and having the latest tool in technology, something like that Legacy Mobile App: “Jan. 25, 2013, Similar to our relationship with Family Search, BillionGraves has also teamed up with Ancestry to make BillionGraves records available to be indexed and referenced on…” Feb. 2013: “FamilySearch is pleased to announce that and Legacy Mobile are the new certified Tree Access applications for February 2013. Legacy Mobile includes patented LegacyTec which let’s you find out more about a deceased ancestor by just taking a picture of that person’s gravestone. LegacyTec sends your GPS location and the image to BillionGraves to find a matching gravestone. When a match is found, information is sent back to your mobile device…”
    Sept. 2013: “ acquires Find A Grave, Inc., the leading online cemetery database.” Also Sept. 2013: “ announces exclusive agreement with FamilySearch to digitize 1 billion records from their mountain vault over the next five years.” Jan. 2014: “ expands groundbreaking agreement with FamilySearch to bring an additional 1 billion global records from 67 countries to its service.” (June 2015: Acom releases its New format, and many hate it. Unfortunately, rather than set forth to its Classic subscribers any explanation or any understandable plan of action, acom chose to act like a schoolyard bully, telling subscribers they had no choice. What a bad idea!)

  75. Elhura

    I believe the Wills and Probate Records are a part of the the agreement between companies. Photographed by Family Search, indexed and made available first by, they should someday be available for free via Family Search.

  76. mike

    KarenM, has the census exactly right. Carmen, the reason why some children might be left off is they were not even in the Federal census to begin with, so you would not save that record to them at all (providing you mean census beginning in 1880). Some of the older children may have left the household for various reasons, like marriage for example or have actually died before the census was taken.

    If you are referring to census before that only the surname will appear and the children are just numbered by sex and an age range. It is therefore, just an index of names and you should not even use that as a source. Ask yourself, “How do I know this is even the person I am looking for and what prove or evidence do I have that I have the correct individual?” Even though the name is the same, it doesn’t mean it’s a record of that actaul person. I can think of several examples and one is multiple people with the same name that are in the same family such as son, father and another son. Also, always be wary of transcription errors and look at the actual record itself and this applies to any records you find. I would never save any Federal Census records before 1880, as it is no proof or evidence. Look for more substantial evidence such as b, m and d records. Even beginning in 1880 you should always scrutinize the actual record itself for clues and remember even those are not always accurate. People lied on facts they presented to census takers and some individuals who tried to answer questions honestly were immigrants who might not have spoken the English language too well or not at all, so errors were made in translation. Also, people might have used a different spelling of the surname or on ad infinitum. Be especially careful of Ancestry transcriptions that might even have the enumeration district incorrect and look at the census record itself to be sure you have the town/city/county correct. I have in the past run across a lot of records that had Brooklyn, Kings, New York transcribed as Brooklyn, Bronx, New York; however, the microfilm copy was correct.

    To sum it all up, Ancestry is actually doing you a favor, in most cases, in not allowing you to attach a census records to every member of a particular family. Note: If you are already fully aware of all that is in this dissertation, then you are ahead of the game. I also notice the absence of any moderator’s comments since last Friday. It seems as though people are forced to talk to one another. Call that answering your questions? I don’t think so.

  77. Sarah

    Elura, a lot of them are now available on; some are free and others available for membership in NEHGS, Boston, Massachusetts. I’ll put in the link in hopes that Ancestry will not delete it. It is a non-profit organization and other databases on the site are free to browse. I use it all the time and am a member. You can also take some of their free courses online that are worth looking into.

  78. Janice

    Since I canceled my membership after having it from 1999, I have gotten greatly reduced prices to enroll again. Maybe there is an effect being felt in their pocket book.

  79. Sarah

    Elhura, you are more than welcome. I am sorry I left out the “h” in your name in my last post. Well, I don’t know where your are from and what families you are searching but it is great for NE history. They do have many other databases but they are limited. I think they do good work for the genealogy community and therefore your contribution is not only tax deductible in US but it goes to a worthwhile cause. If you join you will get a weekly newsletter that is very informative. The best by far is their complete Migration Series by Robert Charles Anderson that you can download if you have ancestors that were some of the original settlers. Ancestry does have some of them. I have found some of the wills and probates of some ancestors I was looking for on that site. I have many more sites that I use also that are free. For all you Find-A-Grave addicts do not forget that you can access the site w/o having to go through a search on Ancestry. Oh, Janice, they are doing everything to get you back and I cannot even turn on my computer w/o seeing some “enticing” ads to join. I’m sure it is a concern of theirs considering all the complaining about the “new” Ancestry. Thanks for the input.

  80. mike

    Ehura, if all this is true about those military records, then what will go next? As I said, the site is definitely not for genealogists of any level. The site will be turned into some mockery of the profession. Without proper evidence a family history is nothing but a farce. I am sorry to hear they would stoop so low. It is a disgrace and I know about that CEO, Hotch-a-call it, who is making a grave mistake. It is one of the reasons I got out when I did and will never trust such an organization ever again. Well, some day the truth will prevail. You cannot expect the paying public to endure such grief and not yourself pay for it in the end by lost revenue and possible law-suits.

  81. AnnL

    I read this article and switched over to New Ancestry to try it out. Picked and Ancester, went to Tools and Member Connect. There were 18 possible connections for men born the same year in other countries! Not in a nicer simple chart so I could skip over them. No, page after page, so I have to read them all. No thanks. In old ancestry I can easily spot who is picking up things I attach. Don’t need this.

  82. DeDe

    I am changing the name I am posting with from Deb to DeDe, since there is now another Deb who is posting and who likes new Ancestry. I despise it and do not want to be mistaken for someone who likes it. It is, as I have said over and over again, not ready for prime time, serious genealogical research and is a step backward. Ancestry took the worst, most annoying feature of classic Ancestry (Story view) and made it a centerpiece of new Ancestry.

    When I answered the periodic ForeSee surveys in the past, I always used to say I preferred keeping my trees online. My reasoning for this was that it made it easy to add new facts and do further research. I used FTM to sync with the trees that reside on my computer. The setup was clean and simple and worked well once I upgraded to FTM 2014. Having the tree online made it easy to see which census records, WWII records, etc., etc. had already been found and added as sources. It also gave a stub of a source record that could be modified to meet my standards. Without the online tree, one would constantly be switching back and forth between the local tree and the online search and have to enter all source information from scratch.

    I have since revised my thoughts and will now be using Ancestry only to find new fact records. I am searching for another computer-based software product that is easier to use than FTM. I will eventually convert my tree to whatever choice I make. All of my online trees are now marked private and unsearchable. My subscription runs until May, at which time I will delete any remaining tree data and leave Ancestry.

    All of this will take time that could have been better spent doing more research.

  83. Sarah

    DeDe, please be forewarned that you might not have until May to download your tree and making it private and unsearchable will make absolutely no difference in Ancestry invading your tree with the new interface. Sorry to have to tell you that. Unfortunately, you will find no software easier to use than FTM as it is made to match the online system of Ancestry. There are fields that do not meed industry standards in the genealogical community and those errors will have to be addressed in using other software. It is also the only software I know of that will download all your media. You may want to keep your tree on Ancestry until your subscription runs out but once the change-over happens (that is probably going to happen very soon), then you might be out of luck trying to download your tree into any software as the fields will not likely match. I would stick with your FTM as you can always export it later into other software but just be aware that it will not be like using FTM and a lot of editing lies ahead for you. I hear you when you say in your last sentence “time could have been better spent doing more research.” It is just tragic that Ancestry’s loyal customer base has been treated so badly. Well, it’s your money and good that you are just going to quit before May.

  84. Elhura

    I suppose the “military” issue will be for Ancestry’s blog monitor, Kristy Wells, to clarify and I hope that she will.

    Recent statements from the Oct 23rd and 31st Updates cite, Features we are still Working On:
    “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.”

    The current Nov 13th Update states: ” We brought back view only version of Military Pages so you can continue to access the content you have created. Click on the military badge icon to go to your ancestor’s military page.”

    Perhaps a prior rep, or I, had not fully understood when I was told Fold3 would be the source of future military data. The implication was that only what is already done could be viewed. A contact tonight netted a bit of research and the response that I was told I could quote with reference to the military,” Ancestry is going to try to replicate what is already available on the Old Ancestry site and add to what is available.”

  85. What I noticed was when they did all the updates and went “new” I no longer can view my hints using Mozilla, what is everyone else using, internet explorer is so slow, I would love to change but to what?

  86. Monika

    I made an interesting find today. Went to look at my private and unsearchable trees today for the first time in weeks and focused on the old story view and the new LifeStories. When I did so, I got the following warning on the bottom of the Story View and LifeStories pages from my antivirus program saying that their “web shield has blocked access to this page because the following certificate is invalid ss14927&” . Can anyone explain that one to me? I am spending all my time in Rootsmagic these days. It is a wonderful and very user friendly program. As good as the Classic Ancestry with some great additional features, e.g.,, you tell it how you want the date order to read and it remembers the order in which you want the date to read even if you introduce new data that does not list the date in that order that you told it to remember. It allows you to adjust the printing size, fonts, etc. etc. I just love it!

  87. Mary R.

    @Monika, Looks like one of those new IT things. See: “What is SSL?
    SSL (Secure Socket Layer) is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This secure link ensures that all data transferred remains private…CloudFlare makes enabling SSL one-click easy. You don’t have to worry about getting a certificate yourself, installing it on your server, or keeping it renewed — we take care of all that…CloudFlare is a caching and security-as-a-service that protects and accelerates on-line websites. ” I’m guessing you might have to enable “third-party cookies.” (PS, RootsMagic is part of RootsWeb, which is part of

  88. Bell

    I have a question:
    why is it that even if the genealogical standard is to attach images/media to SOURCES and not to facts (and then to link those sources to the facts) we can only see the preview/thumbnail of the images in the fact view when the images are attached to the facts? I’d like to see the media thumbnails/preview in the fact view under each fact that have the source with that media…
    I don’t attach media to facts, but to sources, as it should be.
    The thumbnail feature is useless like this, as nothing shows up.
    Am I missing something? (same goes for the android app, btw).

  89. mike

    Bell, I am not completely sure what you are trying to ask. Do you mean an image of a fact that has a source with it; such as an image of a census for example? An image is NEVER part of the source itself. It is just proof of a fact, so it always is attached to the fact. Same thing goes with copies of birth and death certs, for example. How could you possibly attach an image to a source? You are just re-forcing your source by attaching the image to a fact. I am assuming you have a complete source along with its citation. Say you have an image of a gravestone and have the source from where you got it, you want to attach that to the fact or event of a burial and NOT the source. Hope that explains it to you.

  90. mike

    Bell, sorry, typo correction: re-forcing should be “reinforcing.” I wish there were an edit field on this forum. It is something else Ancestry should fix. You should be able to edit or delete your comments.

  91. Sarah

    Heads up members! If you are one that does NOT want the new Ancestry; the official notification from them is Dec 15, 2015 that the new Ancestry will be the ONLY Ancestry. Make sure to get your tree/s ready for downloading by then, if you have not already done so. Then get ready to end your subscription before the due date. Sorry to be the bearer of this news for all you hangers-ons that hope the classic would somehow be retained. I out and many loyal customers will be too. What a crumby organization!

  92. Monikamws

    @Mary R. Thank you fore all that info.. Hhmm! If Rootsmagic is owned why would they not be able to integrate all the excellent software from this program into their New Ancestry program? I hope they do not tamper with that program (I mean Rootsmagic).. It is so good.

  93. RobinH

    Goodbye to Old Ancestry???

    I just saw part of an email a fellow genealogist just received from Ancestry. It announced that on December 15, New Ancestry will be the only Ancestry.

  94. Sarah

    It’s been over for me for quite awhile and I will never deal with this lousy corporation or any part of the Generations Network ever again. I’m sorry for all the people who hoped that the old classic would be retained. This ends any posts on this lousy website and the only thing left is to copy all my email through Ancestry that I have received over the many years I was a subscriber. My subscription isn’t over until next August but I will probably leave before then. It has been nice to meet some of you people on this forum and will miss our correspondence. I just do not want anything to do with this organization anymore, period. Good luck to all of you “classy” people and at least you know you tried. Just wait… the newness of the new will wear off quickly to new subscribers and will bite them in the end.

  95. Elhura

    Has anyone noticed the line at 1-800-262-3787 is does not work at all today or rings busy which is also unusual. No wonder in wake of the email mentioned above! Bad business all the way around Ancestry!

  96. Marilynn

    Are we all going to be forced to deal with this hideous dark background with varying shades of lighter colors for fonts and pix? If so, I’ll probably not be renewing my account. If I can’t read it, what’s the use?

  97. BEE

    I’ve been going through every name in my trees alphabetically to see if I had a “comment” to copy as a “note”.
    Now I’m wading through hundreds of “hints” to see if there is an actual document such as the Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007, besides the “ancestry member tree” which I check just to be sure there isn’t a name or date that I can confirm with what I have, but why in the world are there so many repeats of photos showing up? Did that person actually post 3 or 4 of the same photo?? I just “ignored” 20 photos! all with one person’s name and 3 different dates? crazy! besides wasting precious time!

  98. KRT

    If enough people mark their “Trees” as Private – Ancestry will be forced to keep the “old” Ancestry…..

  99. Kristy

    @Mary R. regarding RootsMagic – RootsMagic is NOT a part of ACOM. Bruce Buzbee is the owner and author of RootsMagic. He did have an earlier program, Family Origins, which was bought by another company which was eventually acquired by Ancestry. Bruce does still gives some support to that program which is no longer available. RootsMagic is a wonderfully supported, powerful GEDCOM. You can download your tree(s) from ACOM on to it, but like any GEDCOM, you will have to download all media. Only FTM syncs all media from an ACOM tree.

  100. Elhura

    @ KRT. I can promise you mine will go PRIVATE on Dec 15. I choose that date so there will be no doubt to Ancestry (should they even notice) that their callous and bad business move is the reason why. I also realize that a private tree does not remove the help still given to the Ancestry search engines, but it stops the immediate tree access that so few would actually request to have – so the “help” to Ancestry is ultimately minimal. Sadly, a private tree also effectively ends the wonderful Member Connect feature for which Ancestry was so long in actually realizing the need or even restoring.

  101. mike

    KRT, that is not true at all. I have said many times on this forum that it makes no difference if you have private, unsearchable trees as Ancestry has already invaded those with the new interface. You have been able to switch to the classic view but no more as of the deadline and probably before that. They do not want to keep the “old” Ancestry as you call it. Their CEO does not want the classic version of Ancestry at all and it will no longer be geared towards genealogy at all. That is their wish and sorry but it is what it is.

    I knew it would come to this months ago but the powers to be should have at least notified its customers about WHEN. Also, I might add that users were baited into a contract, in some cases for a year, thinking that maybe by chance they would retain the classic interface. It is not only a breach of contract but I see it as a “bait and switch” operation at the very least. Never trust an organization that does that sort of practice. It is by far the biggest fraud in the genealogy world and they will pay for it in the end by lost revenues. will be known as the worst scam ever.

  102. mike

    Elhura, same thing applies to your thought of making your tree private in hopes of avoiding the new. It won’t happen. Also, previously, Member Connect worked for private and unsearchable trees just as public trees but what do you want to retain a tree at all for on the new Ancestry. Do yourself a favor and just download your tree into genealogy software and unlink your tree on both ends and be done with Ancestry for good. You will still have access to their databases, if that is what you want until your subscription is up. Do not believe there is some magical way to get around the new Ancestry as there is not.

  103. Price Collins

    Having autosomal-DNA tested 10 close family members, I have invested about 3 year in tracing and validating 1,200+ surname matches from progenitors. Typically, such descents are about 12 generations. Each generation (descendant and spouse) requires 7 data strings (2 names, 2 births, 1 marriage, 2 deaths). Therefore, each descent needs 80+ data strings. So. for 1,000 surname matches, that’s 100,000+ data strings to be transferred to a spreadsheet. Your new white type format makes such text cioying very difficult — for most users, impossible. I’ve already used font colors throughout the many spreadsheets, so adding spreadsheet background colors to show white text strings is not an option.

  104. mike

    Mary is exactly right. In fact I would recommend everyone just stay away from any public websites; esp., any that have connections in any way to The best thing you all can do is use stand-alone software and do your research from that. There are many free websites you can go to to access databases for information. I do not have time to list them all here and they might get deleted anyway. I started back in the “olden” days where there were no computers and you just had to travel and write letters and so forth to even gather information. In some ways, it was a lot better than today’s fairy-tale trees that are copied over and over by those that know nothing about genealogy.

  105. Kristy

    @ Mary and mike – The RootsMagic I’m talking about IS a stand-alone software program. Anyone can go to their website and download a free version. No, I don’t work for them – just a satisfied Mac customer. I bought RootsMagic because I agree with you – we need to move off of all websites and the ‘click-o-matic genealogy on my phone’ nonsense this site is turning into.

  106. Elhura

    @ Mike. Thanks for the advice, but I never thought that making my tree private would accomplish anything except what I stated in my post – and certainly not as a way to avoid it’s being interfaced into the new.

    As for why my tree is staying on Ancestry is a personal choice, unique and dictated by each person’s individual tree. Mine, as of yesterday, – wait for it – has 34,182 profiles, 10,534 marriages and thousands of photographs as well as innumerable stories written by me directly into the Ancestry story format. The entire work is the result of years of study of the pioneer families of a specific geographic region. I cannot bring myself to destroy it, but I CAN stop it from being viewed by anyone who just happens to be perusing Ancestry from their cell phone in a grocery store line! Only those invited (i. e. local genealogical societies, heritage centers, libraries, family and friends) will be able to see it – and even then with a disclaimer that LIFE STORY should be viewed with a critical eye, comparing it with my actual research data and statements made on the FACT page. As I understand it, with or without my continued subscription to Ancestry, my tree is still available to me and to my invited guests.

    My tree has been saved to FTM 2012 as recently as yesterday. It is linked, but unsynced because an unlinking would cause another 15 1/2 hours of download to my computer + 3 more for the media should I ever want to return to Ancestry. The unsync protects me only a bit from the dangers of the new Ancestry. I will manually sync one last time, however, before Dec 15. My tree has also been saved twice to an external hard drive, so maybe I will be ready for whatever options in the future.

    As simplistic as it may sound, I have hopes even yet of Ancestry’s creating a fourth work page in the manner of Classic so those who desire and could not otherwise, can continue their work. The color scheme and purple lines alone are enough to stop me after only a few minutes of attempted use – not to mention all the other detestable features and “non-features” of the new.

    Only after a significant number of trees have gone private and subscriptions cancelled at renewal time (which may be almost a year for some) will Ancestry truly be able to judge the effect of their current decision. I do feel they will untimately feel it, that the blogs, other social media, and even conversations in the grocery store line will have an impact on their bottom line. I hate for that to happen to a once trusted “old friend” – but that was their decision and not ours!

  107. mike

    Elhura, Sorry if I misunderstood you as a lot of people think that making their tree private will avoid the “new” Ancestry or get around the fact that the old will not be available on Dec. 15 (or before). That is really too many profiles to have in one tree. You really should think about splitting it into more than one. I never have more than 6K individuals in one tree at any one time. For one thing, I am surprised your software will accept that much including all the media. It must take you forever to download but then again if you are syncing then you wouldn’t know.

    I would not chance it. Why would you want to keep your tree on Ancestry with the new interface puzzles me. At least you have it unsynced as heaven knows what you’d end up with on your software. Do you really want anyone to see your stories distorted by the new Ancestry? Why not just generate some reports from your software to show people that are interested? If you don’t not unsync your tree, then you are living in dangerous territory. I think you will come to regret that decision. Stop adding records and unsync your tree and considering splitting it into several small ones is the best advise I can give you as a professional.

    Of course, all this is up to you but Ancestry has no intention of coming back with the classic. That has already been stated by the CEO’s of the company. It will no longer be a site for serious genealogists. I would never put your work on any website at all. If you have done all that research and value your work, I would think twice about keeping your tree on Ancestry in hopes they will bring back the classic in some version. It will never happen in the short term and maybe never.
    Sorry, but it is what it is. Some people call that “progress.” I don’t think so.

  108. mike

    Elura, I should add something else. Do not forget if you unsync your tree you can always upload it again and give it a different name the next time if you ever decide to upload it again for some reason. So don’t worry about that aspect. Not that I would ever recommend doing that but there is that option and then you can sync it again.

  109. Elhura

    @ Mike. Thanks once again. Perhaps the point is still missed as to why I can see no way to divide my tree of more that 2,700 surnames into multiple trees. The Pre and Post Civil War family names, encompassing multiple states and counties, of the settlers of the rural region being studied, are so connected (not necessarily by blood) and intertwined until a dividing place would be next to impossible – at least not without duplicating a tremendous number of profiles. People married whom they knew and proximity was everything, especially when multiple families moved together to populate new territories.

    Actually, I have no idea how to separate families, nor any inclination to do so since any break among them would impede a search for the intricate connections they share. Interestingly, they ALL connect one way or the other (again, not necessarily by blood, but by a network of marriages) back to the focus person of my tree. This, once again, points out how unique some of our trees can be.

    Also, as I said before, I am not auto-synced, but am linked so as never (I hope) to have to download again.

    But enough of that when issues of greater concern are before us as we all prepare – or have prepared – for the demise of as we know it. It is a sad day for genealogy when we are forced to end our current levels of work or to search for other more trustworthy avenues to store it. It’s a sad day when the very once-champions of can no longer recommend it to others. It is a sad day when a company so blantantly ignores and treats with disdane those who have helped it grow. I fear for them that their sad day is monetarily and “reputationally” yet to come!

  110. Thameslass

    As suspected, my helpful post with links to all previous blogs about the feature updates in New Ancestry has been deleted forever.
    So the way to find them is by scrolling down

    Incidentally I use my internet name of ‘Thameslass’ here because not only does it give a hint to my heritage but it also identifies me as a different person from another with the same first name who sometimes also contributes to these threads (and has done so in this one).

  111. Lyn Hudson-Williamson

    so your going to shove the “new” ancestry down our throats whether we want it or not, I certainly do NOT after reading these blogs for nearly six months.
    The fact that I have to click on user name to open another screen and then click on another button to send an email means I lose track of what in heck I want to say in the first place.
    My comments are still missing and don’t even get me start on what you have done to my thousands of sources which you have corrupted.
    For those that really hate what is going on find the blog for the petition AND SIGN IT.

  112. Dede

    Well, it appears to me that they are already cutting some of the functionality of classic Ancestry. I use the family view of my tree quite a bit, but it now seems that I can only use the pedigree view. I also tried to find some facts on unlinking my tree and get 404 Not Found for any Help link I tried.

    Is anyone else having problems in Classic?

  113. DeDe

    I am also having issues with Continue Searching in Classic. When I click the continue button, I go to a mostly blank screen with a text description of the last records I saved.

  114. mike

    Elhura, sorry I cannot be of help to you. I can only suggest what you should do. As I said before, it is totally up to you. If you chose to stay with Ancestry, it is at your own risk. I have nothing more to say than good luck, you’ll need it.

  115. Elhura

    The marriage field in Classic has resumed an old, thought fixed problem, of downloading two marriage blocks. The problem is erratic, but it does happen.

    Also, I began to notice this weekend that when downloading a census record for multiple family members – one that included the children of both wife #1 and wife #2 – if the census wife was wife #2 and both wife #1 and #2 already had children identified in my tree, the download would only occur for the children of wife #2. It would not search for and find the children of the other mother, although they had the same father. Nor would it offer their names for the census download. Sort of a convoluted explanation, but, again, it happened!

    With reference to the petition. It has grown quite rapidly since the Canadian forced switch Nov 5. If not erased after this, check out #9 post above.

  116. Carol


    I too have noticed some problems in the classic for the last few months. That 404 message. I just keep going and restart if really necessary, but usually it works if I just go back a page. I do the bare minimum in my trees. No syncing or linking. Just the facs with sources. No media or pictures. I do all that off line.

    I will really miss the classic.

  117. gp_4hbc

    I cannot understand why users are still trying to access anything on Ancestry at all. It is in the transition phase of not only eliminating databases but it means some features you are used to will not be available. As far as the petition goes, it is a futile effort as Ancestry will make the change to the new interface on Dec. 15, if not before. Face the fact, the classic is a dead issue.

  118. gp_4hbc

    I might add that the only thing that Ancestry understands is the bottom line and that is $$’s. You are not helping the cause of protesting against the new Ancestry by clinging on to the hope of their returning to the classic interface. The only way is for you to start downloading your trees immediately and deleting them from the site. Do not be enticed by special offers from Ancestry either if you cancel your subscription. Lost revenue is the only thing they will understand.

  119. gp_4hbc

    Pa, I think I just answered that question in my follow-up. I should have added that previously. Good man Tim, never makes an appearance disguised or otherwise. He never even answers emails or anything including the petition that has been submitted to him at least three times. This Ancestry is nothing but a big scam and I just wish people would take heed and consider the consequences of staying on the site. Hope that makes it clearer.

  120. Elhura

    @gp-_4hbc and thanks to the Ancestry member who previously called attention to Ancestry’s Quarterly Form 10-Q filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, October 2015.

    While my concerns have never been aimed at harming Ancestry – just the opposite, encouraging the continuation of a good product – at least Ancestry’s Howard Hochhauser, COO, and Tim Sullivan, CEO, acknowledge the impact of such customer concerns. This particular section can be found on p. 49. I include a bit more here, because of other relevancy:

    “If we are unable to improve market recognition of and loyalty to our brands, or if our reputation were to be harmed, we could lose subscribers or fail to increase the number of subscribers, which could have a material adverse effect on our revenues, results of operations and financial condition.
    We believe that maintaining and enhancing our Ancestry brand and other brands is critical to our success. We believe that the importance of brand recognition and loyalty will only increase in light of increasing competition in our markets. We plan to continue to promote our brands, both domestically and internationally, but there is no guarantee that our selected strategies will increase the favorable recognition of our brands. Some of our existing and potential competitors, including search engines, media companies and government and religious institutions have well-established brands with greater brand recognition than we have.

    Additionally, from time to time, our subscribers express dissatisfaction with our service, including, among other things, dissatisfaction with our auto-renewal and other billing policies, our handling of personal data and the way our services operate. To the extent that dissatisfaction with our service is widespread or not adequately addressed, our brand may be adversely impacted. 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. In addition, even if our brand recognition and loyalty increase, this may not result in increased use of our products and services or higher revenues. 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.

    Acquisitions, if any, may not be completed within the expected timeframe or at all, and could prove difficult to integrate, disrupt our ongoing business or have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.
    As part of our business strategy, we have engaged and may in the future engage in acquisitions of businesses to augment our organic or internal growth. While we have engaged in acquisitions in the past, our experience with integrating and managing acquired businesses is still limited. Acquisitions involve challenges and risks in negotiation, execution, valuation and integration. Moreover, we may not be able to find suitable acquisition opportunities on terms that are acceptable to us or if we do, we may be delayed or unsuccessful in completing the transaction. We could assume the economic risks of such failed or unsuccessful acquisitions. Even if successfully negotiated, closed and integrated, certain acquisitions may not advance our business strategy, may fall short of expected return-on-investment targets or may fail. In addition, we may be exposed to unknown or unanticipated costs and liabilities, including litigation, against the companies we acquire. Any future acquisition could involve the aforementioned or numerous other risks and we may not be successful in addressing these risks or any other problems encountered in connection with any attempted acquisitions. Our failure to address these risks or other problems could cause us to fail to realize the anticipated benefits of such acquisitions and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

    Undetected product or service errors or defects could result in the loss of revenues, delayed market acceptance of our products or services or claims against us.
    We offer a variety of Internet-based services and software products, which are complex and frequently upgraded. Our Internet-based services and software products may contain undetected errors, defects, failures or viruses, especially when first introduced or when new versions or enhancements are released. Despite product testing, our products, or third-party products that we incorporate into our products, may contain undetected errors, defects or viruses that could, among other things:

    require us to make extensive changes to our subscription services or software products, which would increase our expenses;

    expose us to claims for damages;

    require us to incur additional technical support costs;

    cause a negative registered user reaction that could reduce future sales;

    generate negative publicity regarding us and our subscription services and software products; or

    result in subscribers delaying their subscription or software purchase or electing not to renew their subscriptions.

    Any of these occurrences could have a material adverse effect upon our business, financial condition and results of operations.”

    Also found on page 43 (the preceding p. 42 section and the section following this on p.43 are also telling):

    ” Our operating results fluctuate from period to period and may not immediately reflect downturns or upturns in subscriptions, which could make our operating results difficult to predict and affect future operating results.

    Our quarterly and annual operating results are tied to certain financial and operational metrics that have fluctuated in the past and may fluctuate significantly in the future. As a result, you should not rely upon our past operating results as indicators of future performance. Our operating results depend on numerous factors, many of which are outside of our control. For the reasons set forth in this Risk Factors section or other reasons, the results of any prior quarterly or annual periods should not be relied upon as indicators of our future performance, and our revenues and operating results in the future may differ materially from the expectations of management or investors.

    We recognize revenues from subscribers ratably over the term of their subscriptions. Since the majority of our subscription durations have historically been greater than six months, a large portion of our revenues for each quarter has reflected deferred revenues from subscriptions entered into during previous quarters. Consequently, a decline in new or renewed subscriptions in any one quarter will not necessarily be fully reflected in revenues in that quarter but will negatively affect our revenues in future quarters. Accordingly, the effect of significant downturns or upturns in subscriptions or market acceptance of our service, or changes in subscriber cancellation rates, may not fully impact our results of operations until future periods.

    In addition, the largely long-term commitments of our subscribers historically have enhanced our near-term visibility on our revenues, which we believe has enabled us to more effectively manage our business and provide working capital benefits. If the mix of our subscriptions were to change from longer to shorter durations, our near-term visibility on our revenues could decrease and it could become more difficult to manage our business and effectively budget future working capital requirements.”

  121. Monika

    Am typing with one hand–had surgery on the other. So bear with me. @Mary and Mike. Kristie is right, Rootsmagic is a stand alone software and an excellent program. I decided to get it from the horse’s mouth. Contacted their support line and asked them directly. Here is the answer: “Monika, Rootsmagic is a private company, we are not owned by any other institution or
    company. owns Family Tree Maker which is considered a competitor of Rootsmagic. Caitlin.”

  122. Mary R.

    @Monika, Thank you for your reply. I had downloaded RootsMagic, LegacyFamilyTree and Gramps (all free and stand-alone) to my new [empty] Dell desktop, so I could compare programs. After ten years of research, I’m satisfied I have all the records I need, so I just wanted to work offline to redo my Tree to share with relatives. (Although I myself prefer black & white, Legacy has a wide choice of colors.) After researching Acom’s history of acquisitions, however, and seeing that they already have the LegacyTec App, and that they allow advertising on their RootsWeb site by RootsMagic, I doubt that I’ll bother. They might already have plans to acquire these companies, and they wouldn’t be letting their support people know. I don’t ever want to see their logo again. For anyone thinking they’ll wait until Dec. 15 to make their tree private and unsearchable, I know for myself it took almost a month for mine to change, and that was last year when things were calmer. By the way, Acom is seeking a “Marketing Manager in Conversion Testing & Optimization to be part of the Conversion Marketing team responsible for improving and optimizing the user experience at each step in the conversion funnel with the end goal of maximizing revenue from Non Member visitors, etc…”

  123. caith

    Elhura – You will be disappointed in the “invite” system. I have used it often in the last 3 years to invite people to my private tree because I have 6 dna accounts. The invitation only works 50% of the time. Very frustrating. When I cannot access the invitation link with my IE browser, if I switch to my Chrome browser, I can oft times access the link. Hope this helps. Have not tried any of the other browsers.

  124. DeDe

    @Sarah – thanks for the advice. I think I will be using FTM now that we have no choice with online trees. I never used FTM as a gateway to Ancestry because the online trees worked so well. Now I am starting to look at using FTM as a portal. I am thinking about doing a final sync, unlinking my current trees, and saving a static copies before converting to new Ancestry and then linking my new Ancestry tree to a brand new FTM tree. Is there anyone who is using FTM linked to a tree on new Ancestry? Does it change anything in FTM?

    I got a big message in FTM when I clicked on a leaf: The new ancestry – On December 15, the new Ancestry will be the only Ancestry. Millions of people are now using the new Ancestry site. Make the switch today to see your family story in imaginative new ways. Make the switch now. All the research and information you have now will be on the new Ancestry. HAHA – see your family story in “imaginative” new ways – imaginative all right – more like imaginary, made up drivel!

    Wonder when Ancestry will get around to messing up the user interface in FTM?

  125. gp_4hbc

    Finally, now the last three posts make a lot of sense. DeDe, I cannot tell you if at the present time how FTM would work with the new Ancestry but logic tells me the fields would not match up and I have no idea what you’d end up with. FTM was made for the classic version of Ancestry and I would say be careful. The makers of FTM are not employees of Ancestry per se but maybe in the future they will design a program to fit the new awful interface. On the other hand, they might just update FTM to conform to the New Ancestry and then your program would not be useable unless you do a required update. I just do not know. I would recommend getting another backup software. You should definitely unlink your tree if you do not want the new interface and only add records you find into your FTM program. Be sure to compact your file and also make backups.

    Besides doing that consider also downloading a straight Gedcom from Ancestry as further backup for your data. It will not include media but I am assuming you have that stored on your computer somewhere so you have access to it. So many people have used Ancestry for many years and just assumed it would continue as a genealogy site you could trust. It should be a lesson to anyone thinking their data is safe to put online. It is not. It is best to have a stand-alone program that you have complete control of independent of any site.

    There are plenty of sites you can access for free and do not forget there is Googlebooks, GoogleScholar ( and American libraries ( where you can download PDF books for researching your ancestors. Of course there is the Family History Library’s online free service. Do not forget your public library and Hertitage Quest which you can access from home if you have a library card. There are many other sites available; too numerous to mention here.

    Make a habit of bookmarking sites you go to for easy access. Be sure to check out Cyndi’s list ( for a complete list of all genealogical sites but be wary of paying ones that might be ripoffs. This is just a sample of something I was looking up in the Barbour Collection of CT Town Vital Records; this collection happens not to be downloadable but it gives you an idea of what you can look up on GoogleBooks. ( You could do a search in the box provided on the left side of the page. If it were downloadable you would click on the star at the top right of the screen where you would see PDF and you could download the entire book to your computer. I have found many vital records this way. These are just some tips for you to pursue if you have not already.

  126. gp_4hbc

    I might add that you will not find it easy at first as you are so used to just clicking and saving information from Ancestry’s databases and all the source and citation is done automatically for you. I suggest you have a copy of Elizabeth Mills book “Evidence!” so you completely understand how to put your sources and citations in your tree. No matter what your level of expertise is, this book is invaluable and should be on everyone’s genealogical bookshelf.

  127. JM / UK

    As a quick access check-list of some of the free sites, look at:

    At the same site, as a diversion from these dark days before we are all assimilated by The Borg, try the quiz ‘ What’s Your Genealogy Know-How Score?’ at:

    The site has many interesting articles and helpful ‘Comments’ sections. If you are overwhelmed by irrelevant results on Google searches, be sure to look at:

  128. caz

    Mike – can I ask if you are UK? If so what stand alone software would you recommend? I know it’s personal choice, but recommendations are always good. I have large trees, lots of media, and have been using FTM up until now but am thinking of getting rid…. advice greatly appreciated, thanks

  129. Drew Smith

    Although RootsWeb is owned by Ancestry, RootsWeb hosts over 30,000 different genealogy mailing lists on a wide variety of topics. One of those topics happens to be RootsMagic. (And I know this because I have been the administrator of the ROOTSMAGIC-USERS mailing list on RootsWeb for several years.) The ROOTSMAGIC-USERS list is a volunteer-run list, and is *not* an official communication tool of the RootsMagic company. So please let’s stop this nonsense about RootsMagic being part of Ancestry’s RootsWeb. It isn’t. There’s just a list there for RootsMagic users so that they can discuss the software.

  130. DeDe

    @gp_4hbc and JM/UK. Thanks for the links. I’ve used Cyndi’s List for years, probably back to 1995 when I first got on the web. Google Scholar is new to me. I’ve used Google Books a lot. I have many ancestors from Western PA and have found a lot of the histories from the late 1800’s there. Family Search has also been a great resource, especially for PA marriages. JM- familyhistorydaily is also new to me – I will definitely check it out.

    I realized a couple of years ago that the citations from Ancestry were not adequate and stopped accepting them as is. I am gradually going through my older ones to improve them. I got a copy of “Evidence!” about six months ago – great resouce, but a lot to absorb.

    I am not satisfied with FTM – there are many things that I would like to do, but cannot with the limitations of the software. I wish there was a product that ran on an industry standard relational database that would be accessible through SQL queries. With my background in IT, I could easily key up queries to find the information I am looking for and to be able to standardize everything a lot quicker and easier.

    Oh well, life goes on and we will move on as well.

  131. mike

    Caz, No, I am not from the UK if that is your question. I am based in the northeast part of the USA. As to your inquiry about recommending software, I personally use the full version of Legacy but that does require a learning curve. However, the Legacy software site does provide a free trial version and a free video for you to watch. I think it depends upon your level of expertise in choosing software so the best I can recommend is for you to check these reviews for yourself and then it’s up to you. Others may have different opinions on what they use. FTM is limited as DeDe mentioned and you also have to see what reports you would like also. It depends upon your use of the software. Check out this site first for reviews:!3987!3!77945959826!e!!g!!genealogy%20software%20reviews&pkw=Genealogy%20Software%20Reviews&ef_id=VQs0LQAABcB83tJ3:20151117182750:s.

    There are others you might want to check out also by just doing a search for genealogy software reviews. The Legacy site is:

    DeDe, that is interesting about your IT background. I do not believe there is such a thing where you could write your own SQL queries but you might consider the possibility of writing a program yourself to suit your needs. 🙂 I think you would be a good candidate for Legacy. At least try it out. Unfortunately, the free version does not have all the extras that come along with the paid version. I don’t want to sell anyone on what I happen to like as everyone’s skill levels are different. You might want to check out the Legacy Group on Facebook as well.

    It is also good you got that book, “Evidence!” I think more people should read that and as you found out that the Ancestry sources and their citations are not the greatest. Good for you for taking the time to correct them. That is another thing about Legacy in that you can put a book title for example, in italics just by clicking on a certain place in the software to have that done auto. I do not believe FTM does that. There are so many ins and outs and possiblities with Legacy which includes linking to, it takes some doing to figure it all out. They also offer a weekly email newsletter and online webinars as well that are very good no matter what your level. Now I sound like I’m trying to sell the idea to you and I didn’t mean to. 🙂

  132. JM / UK

    Posted by Cheryl Sanderson 1 hour ago on Ancestry Facebook UK visitors’ posts:

    ~~~ “Just received this after querying when the permanent changeover to the new format will be for the UK…
    Hello Cheryl,
    Thank you for contacting Ancestry through one of our social media channels.
    We apologize for any confusion. Currently the notice for the new site switch over is for the US on 15 Dec 2015 and Australia on 14 Dec 2015. We have yet to receive any information for the UK site. However, please note that the information that you have on your tree in the old site will still be on the new site.
    If you need additional assistance, please feel free to reply to this message. Sincerely,
    Ancestry Social Support Team” ~~~


  133. gp_4hbc

    JM / UK, I saw that and also the comments by the moderator who uses the UK site for research. He will be informing people when the next ax will fall.

    Also thanks to Drew for straightening out the RootsMagic mystery. He must know as it’s from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. I never could quite figure it out as I have used neither of them.

  134. DeDe

    Mike, thanks for the info on Legacy. I downloaded it back when new Ancestry first came out, but I was waiting to see what was going to happen before I invested a lot of time in it. I loaded my largest tree to it and it loaded fine. It needs to be refreshed, since that was months ago. I also downloaded the trial version of RootsMagic. I use a PC, not a Mac. With a career in corporate America, Macs just weren’t in the picture.

    I have a background in databases going back into the 80’s and spent years working with DB2, SQL Server, Oracle and many flavors of pre-relational network databases. I often thought about writing my own software with something like MySQL, but knowing what I now know about genealogical data elements, the database design phase would take a long time to get it right. I was hoping to find something to purchase because I would rather spend time researching than writing software (or redoing year’s of work). 🙂

  135. Barbara

    I use and pay for as I am English as is my whole family. Yet I live in America and got the much dreaded email. Wonder how I’ll be affected. Hope for a respite after December.

  136. mike

    DeDe, Well, sound like you are ahead of the game. You might want to invest in the paid version of Legacy as it has many more features than the free download. I agree that writing your own would take a lot of time and if you are that much into genealogy, why waste time with that and I agree it would be better spent on researching and getting you tree/s in order. It’s really nice to have met you through, of all things, this forum. I wish we could talk further about your background and other things. I guess this is not really the place for that and we should give other people a chance to air their feelings about Ancestry. I fear that I have been hogging to much space on here. Just drop a note when you can, if you are able, to let us know how you are doing with your genealogy quest. Frankly, I am surprised that the moderator has not deleted a lot of posts on this forum.

  137. mfarmer194

    You say our records are retained in the New Ancestry… They are not! Some are altered, some are left off, some are blatant lies! This is not the contract I agreed to and I wonder what your attempted future buyers think of this stupidity. Are the “Clickers” that stupid? Thanks for ruining 10 years worth of work…I no longer trust what is on your tree…I have to remove it and use a personal program…and if my records aren’t transferred, then you have broken your agreement. Pitiful, just pitiful! Going elsewhere…

  138. emam

    I have three trees linked to FTM and in my document folder I have lots of acorn icons for each one. Surely I don’t need to keep everything that is there. Some I know are the files for the trees, but some seem to be duplicated.

    Acorn folders:-
    Family Tree.ftm

    syncbackup (I have 3 files for one tree, different dates, can I delete the oldest ones)
    .import.log (text document which I can’t open)
    .sync (shows as a white blank icon)

    What is the difference between Familytree.ftm and Family Tree.ftmb.

    Correct me if I am wrong but I would think the only files I need to keep are the
    familytree.ftm and the
    Family tree backup.

    There is also the folders which contain my tree media, backgrounds, embellishments and templates (I know I have to keep these)

  139. stattointhailand

    Thinking that perhaps many old time users were feeling a bit like Marvin the robot from Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy…… “I think you ought to know, I’m feeling very depressed”
    “I’ve been making suggestions but you won’t listen….. no one ever does”
    “I’ve been talking to the main computer …. it hates me”
    Here I am, brain the size of a human and they have got me correcting thousands of locations back to the right continent, deleting residence information from before a person was born or after he died, removing childish 1st grade history comments from people who probably had no idea they happened, even if they were actually still living there and alive at the time which isn’t proven. Not that anyone cares what I say but my relative used the restaurant at the OTHER end of the Universe.

    It helps if you can visualize the charicter

  140. DeDe

    I have one request for new Ancestry now that we have a deadline to be forced into it:

    Ability to turn off LifeStory completely

    LifeStory is an insult to anyone serious about genealogy. I would never allow anyone to look at it. From the beginning, it has been the biggest issue I have with new Ancestry. It is NOT the story of my ancestors. As others have pointed out over and over again, it is an affront to them in many cases and does not enhance their histories, but distorts them.

    I will repeat this request in every forum I can find.

    I can live with the extra clicking and scrolling that wastes time, the missing features, the ugly colors and the annoying purple lines, because I will be using FTM as a front end for the remainder of my subscription.

  141. JM /UK

    @sttattointhailand ~~~ Thank you so much for the Hitchhiker reference – it has made my day. As Marvin said when he tried to take in the Hyperspace Horror that is New Ancestry:

    ~~~”no one consulted me or considered my feelings in the matter. I don’t think it even occurred to them that I might have feelings.”~~~

    However, you may just have nudged us all in the right direction – what we need to navigate our way through this wondrous new galaxy with its ‘enhanced storytelling features’ is an INFINITE IMPROBABILITY DRIVE !! No doubt this will soon be available for just a few small green pieces of paper from the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation (Ancestry’s latest acquisition).

  142. stattointhailand

    @JM /UK I’m still searching my relatives to find out which one was living, and where, when the bowl of petunias was thinking “oh no not again”
    That has to be one of the most used phrases by Ancestry users in the last 6 months.

  143. Don

    Why would you remove the thumbnail image from the burial fact. That is the place for a headstone image (not the profile image). Removing the thumbnails from the name and gender facts is great, but please put it back on the burial facts.

  144. Bailey

    Sadly, the military page as read only is a complete insult to loved ones who served our country and may have paid the ultimate price in serving. Ancestry should know the importance of that function, after all, are they not in the business of family history? I’m appalled to say the least. And, as I have stated many times over, why invest the $$ in this rubbish known as “New Ancestry” and invest the hard earned $$ of subscribers in better search engine (why do I get men when I check female for the search with a name of Sarah? Clearly Mike is not Sarah), obtaining more documents (how often do you get an index only hit when searching?). Maybe the management of Ancestry needs to find another job as they have no intent of paying attention to subscribers. I know change is never easy, but change for the sake of change is not always beneficial. I am trying to find my family roots – perhaps Ancestry should go back to theirs.

  145. mike

    Bailey, sorry to inform you that Ancestry is no longer in the business of family history. The CEO’s made that decision months ago that it will no longer be a site for genealogy. That is perfectly correct they will not listen to subscribers and many are leaving the site because of it. It is over as you once knew it.

  146. Bailey

    @Mike – so true. I have begun my internet search for a different site to move my tree to. Paying $300 of my hard earned money for such nonsense as the “New Ancestry” is not something I care to do. Ancestry was built on helping people find their roots / Ancestors. Clearly they have no intention of continuing down that path. I wonder what their mission statement says (never looked it up) and how it compares to what they are doing.

  147. MKath

    Ancestry is dumping New format on paying subscribers without fixing major problems. Bad news. Bad business. In the long run, keeping LifeStory will do serious damage to genealogy. It’s frustrating enough to see so many online trees that have bad information. Now Ancestry is corrupting much of the researched and documented information that PAYING subscribers posted to their trees. Make LIfeStory go away!!! Stop the FALSE advertising!!This company has no principles.

  148. mike

    To the moderator: Thanks for deleting the scam post. I was afriad that someone might be curious as to what is was and click on the link.

    To emam:

    Family Tree.ftm The executing file * (keep, of course)
    Familytree.ftmb The backup file * (keep at least for at least two backups and then start deleting the oldest. Make sure to backup all the latest on an external HD and make sure to include the media file and the latest excuting file; FTM.ftm)
    Familytree.sync The file to sync your tree (do not need once you have uncynced your tree)
    Familytree_autobackup.ftmb – Auto backup (this is an autobackup you really do not need but keep only the latest version; if you have occasion to ever have to back up your tree then use only the latest FTM.ftmb file)

    None of these files are very big but the media files always take up a lot of space on your computer. Of course it depends upon who much media and how many individuals you have residing on your tree.

    On all of these you can always right click on them to find properties if you do not know which they are. There is no need to keep all the media files as they are updated. I would retain a few until you update again and then start deleting the oldest.

  149. mike

    Bailey, do you really want to move your tree to some other site after what you have experienced using Ancestry? Why not start using a stand-alone genealogy software program? A cost of $300/yr, is of course outrageous; esp. with the new interface that is no long genealogy anyway. There are plenty of free sites available if you work with software to look for records elsewhere and put in your own sources. I listed some of them above in another post; as well as, some other posters did.

  150. Elhura

    What is it with the generic photo of the same white-spired church that pops up now as an image with every marriage record or Find-a-Grave hint? Redundant, unnecessary and something added to have to stop and think about before selecting a record for download. This is another example of how someone there thinks “pretty” is more valuable than thought processes or streamlined search and save. PLEASE ANCESTRY PEOPLE, REMEMBER SOMETIMES THAT “LESS IS MORE”.

    And, yes, I am continuing to work on my tree because what I have on Dec 15 is probably what I will have! No comment necessary.

  151. William

    Just received the email forcing me to go to the new Ancestry on December 15th; I’ve already been there and bailed out! The new version is too much, I don’t need or want the historical timeline option or the connective lines between events and sources…it’s just too much. I’m pretty sure most people use Ancestry to conduct and organize/store their research so attempts at making it look pretty are unwanted, at least by be. Tone it down a notch (or two or three).

  152. mike

    emam; your are most welcome. I have a question to Ancestry: what databases will still be available or which will be eliminated to users that have a CONTRACT with you even though they do not have trees on Ancestry?

  153. RobinH

    Just a quick shout out of thanks to those of you (some of whom I feel as though I have come to know a bit over the past few months) who have worked so hard to lobby in support of Old Ancestry and to let Ancestry know (as they have requested) over and over and over again what many of us would like to have fixed on New Ancestry. A special thank you to Elhura and to Monika. December 15 will be a sad day for those of us who used to be so happy working on our Classic Ancestry trees.

  154. Elhura

    @ RobinH, Monika, Pa, Sarah and so many others to whom I, too, want to say thanks for your repeated efforts, your ideas, and your encouragment to each of us to do what we could to save Classic. I will miss sharing with each of you!

  155. douggrf

    Not only is December 15, 2015 a real sad day after 10 happy fun-filled years with Ancestry – my work there represents over 50 years of active research. But indeed the sadness started much earlier in February 2015 when a select few were allowed to the private Beta phase of the New site development. Very early on it was clear that New site developers were not predisposed to listening to Beta participant comments and suggestions. Whatever caused that riff is unknown to me, but the signs of early trouble with the management of the development team was very evident.
    It has also been clear ever since that the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing. Support team was caught completely off-guard by the public Beta release. Support team as regular staff are not allowed to directly communicate with development team. Director of public relations admittedly spoke at first only on Facebook as if that was the only customer they were speaking to. Continual problems and a very sad sad day coming soon.

  156. Anne Scott Frankland

    My trees will probably stay where they are, since I have no idea where I should move them or how that would be done.

    If I download my trees — are they removed or gone from Ancestry?

  157. DeDe

    @Elhura – the white church is even on U.S. Social Security Applications and Claims Index records. I guess every BMD index that has no records will now have the church picture. Just WOW! No relationship to a church in government records, but they put a church picture on the index. No separation of church and state here :).

  158. Susan Shirey

    Pooh – I think your suggestion about having an objective site showing users’ preferences in changing New Ancestry is excellent. Seeing the results would help everyone understand the basis for Ancestry’s priorities in making fixes. The fact that objective data on users’ feedback is not visible makes me question whether or not they are actually setting priorities in line with user feedback. Ancestry also says that users prefer the New Ancestry, again do not provide actual survey results, which makes me question the truth of its statements.

  159. mike

    Anne: No, you should be downloading your trees regularly anyway as a backup just in case. The are not removed from Ancestry until you do so yourself. I think you should investigate genealogical software to be able not to only download but upload (if you want to do that) to another site. You can download a straight Gedcom file but I warn you that will not include media, and upload the Gedcom file to another site. The only download software that will include your media is FTM (Family Tree Maker). If you need further instructions on how to download a Gedcom file let us know.

  160. Susan Shirey

    Mike – I have copied your post below. Maybe you never add media to sources in Old Ancestry, which is an option. When you do, a thumbnail of the media shows up on all facts supported by the source. In New Ancestry, although the option to add media to a source is still there, no thumbnail of the media shows up in the facts supported by that source. The media must be added separately to each fact. I like having the thumbnail of the media on each fact supported by a source. It helps me know how well each is documented. It also saves me from the trouble of adding media to each individual fact. I really miss this feature in New Ancestry.

    MIKE’S ORIGINAL COMMENT: Bell, I am not completely sure what you are trying to ask. Do you mean an image of a fact that has a source with it; such as an image of a census for example? An image is NEVER part of the source itself. It is just proof of a fact, so it always is attached to the fact. Same thing goes with copies of birth and death certs, for example. How could you possibly attach an image to a source? You are just re-forcing your source by attaching the image to a fact. I am assuming you have a complete source along with its citation. Say you have an image of a gravestone and have the source from where you got it, you want to attach that to the fact or event of a burial and NOT the source. Hope that explains it to you.

  161. mike

    Susan, I am not sure what you are really asking. In the old classic interface you added media to a fact and it was not automatically added to every fact that had the same source. Your explanation of the new Ancestry is just like the former in that a thumbnail version of the media would show up if YOU added media to every fact or event. Also, adding media to a source is not an option; you add it to a fact or event. In the old classic version it would ask if you had media to add to a fact; not the source itself; maybe that is what you mean. In other words, if you have a photo of a gravestone you would add that where it says something like, “includes media” and you check off the box for a burial event not to the actual source or citation itself. If you wanted that same photo attached to the death event, you would have to “add media” to that event. I have no idea how the new interface addresses the issue, as I do not work with it at all and never will.

  162. Elhura

    @ DeDe. I sent Ancestry a message via the suggested THIS FORM about the white church, but don’t expect them to listen. Slowly, but surely “things” are creeping into Classic. Maybe with enough of that “seepage”, they will be able to copy the original Classic page into a work page on the new!

  163. Susan Shirey

    Mike: Respectfully, adding media to a source IS an option in both Old Ancestry and New Ancestry. In Old Ancestry, you can get to the Source Citations a couple of ways. (1) On an individual’s profile page, under Source Information, click on “View All Sources”. (2) On the Facts & Events tab, click “Source Citations”. You will then see a list of sources. Each source gives you several options. You do NOT want to click “View Image” or “View Record”. Instead, underneath these, go to “Detail” and click on the clickable link beside it. You are taken to a page which has an option for adding media to the source. Once you do that, in Old Ancestry, you can normally see a thumbnail of the media on every fact supported by the source.

  164. Anne Scott Frankland

    Mike – Thank you for the answer. I’m just not sure what I want to do – but I will look into the various genealogical software offerings.

  165. mike

    Susan, I don’t need a primer on how to get to sources and citations from the old classic. I have no information further to post on the subject. Do it the way you want and ask Ancestry about the New and what you want to do. If you want to load up your tree with unnecessary duplicate media, it’s up to you.

  166. mike

    Anne, you are welcome. I posted this in a previous post and you might want to check it out. It’s a review of various software products. I suggest you might want to look into FTM to start off with as it will include your media; some of them are for the more advanced and might be difficult for you as Ancestry does not follow industry standards, as far as certain fields go but it is totally up to you to decide. Others might have other suggestions for you.!3987!3!77945959826!e!!g!!genealogy%20software%20reviews&pkw=Genealogy%20Software%20Reviews&ef_id=VQs0LQAABcB83tJ3:20151117182750:s.

  167. stattointhailand

    “Posted by Ancestry Team on November 13, 2015 in Site, Australia, Canada, Germany, Mexico, Sweden, United Kingdom”
    And now removed from UK who are back to the Tony Robinson blog asking you to join him at an event held 15 months ago …… someone there corrected this problem a few weeks ago, now someone else has “uncorrected?” it again …. please let your customers know when your left hand finally knows what you right hand is doing Ancestry, there again, you will only need one hand to switch the Ancestry lights out

  168. Carrie

    I also noticed the picture of a little white church on the Find-a-grave hints and Social Security hints. Also, there is another icon when you click FAG to go view the memorial. At first glance, I thought it was a skunk, then I saw that is a “hustle” icon to get folks to add stuff to FAG.

    Geez, it is almost like Ancestry can’t stand to have any plain spaces except the ones they put in. They have to keep adding stuff to fill it all up. Messy!

    They definitely are trying to out-think the newbies! Dumbing it all down!

  169. Martin

    Well have my web space set up, so now to start the process of moving my tree from Ancestry. I won’t be using dull grey back grounds, purple lines or indeed Life Story!

  170. Mary R.

    @Mike and others: There are folks asking on the FB petition page HOW to go about moving their trees to a different program. I refer them here, so they can see our discussions about LegacyFamilyTree, RootsMagic and FamilyTreeMaker, but it’s possible they’re overwhelmed. Could someone please give a “Leaving Acom 101” tutorial? I think it will be needed by hundreds of subscribers between now and Dec. 15. Thanks!

  171. mike

    Mary R., I certainly can understand why newbies would be “overwhelmed” about moving their program on Ancestry to any genealogy software. Sad to say but anyone doing genealogy should have thought of that process a long time ago. You should always have a back up of any online tree/s. In some cases, you will run into difficulties, as I have said in this forum before, as fact/event fields will not match up in some software as Ancestry does not follow industry standards and I am taking about the old classic interface. I do not recommend anyone even think about trying to download either a GEDCOM file or a file from Ancestry in the new interface.

    I would not recommend any software over another for the beginner but they might be better served to go with FTM2014, as it will emulate Ancestry’s old interface. But the downside is I do not know what Ancestry will do in the future about updates. They could at least download a GEDCOM file for safe keeping until they decide what to purchase (keeping in mind that will NOT include media). I would recommend doing that anyway. I cannot really give a “tutorial” on how to download your tree, as every software is different. I would really need the ability to do screen shots and upload them to this forum in order to do it properly for FTM. There might be a video on YouTube that could assist in that process.

    I do not recommend Legacy (top software) to beginners as their downloads might be difficult to understand why certain facts/events did not transfer correctly. The best way to use Legacy and maybe other software would be to download into FTM and then export your tree from there. Legacy has a work-around for FTM users but it is rather complicated and should not be attempted by beginners. For reviews on all genealogy software available you can check the link I provided Anne Scott Franklin in the above post. I am sure there will be others with experience in other software that can help out. I am familiar with FTM (all versions) but use Legacy exclusively. You question is very good, as I am sure users that are unfamiliar with genealogical software need help. Meanwhile, when I get a chance, I will check to see what tutorial videos might be available on YouTube. As they say, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” and it is true, especially in this case. Also, remember that today Ancestry will be doing another update of this forum and what I have to say might not be visible.

  172. mike

    Note: I meant to say that Ancestry will be doing another update tomorrow. I’m ahead of myself as it is only Thursday. 🙂

  173. Elhura

    @Anne Scott Frankland. I should have included you, too, in my previous thanks for sharing your thoughts and efforts to save a good genealogy product!

    In response to your question of yesterday, My tree is staying put as well, for the reason you stated. With detailed citations, lots of “stories” and other media, I can identify no site that will capture all that without a lot of re-entry which is impossible to do. Am still exploring the suggestions found across this blog, however. A GEDCOM file does not appeal to me because, as Mike had said, it captures text only and does not keep your media. I do plan to make my tree private – ceremonially on Dec 15 – not because it will protect it from the new, but it will stop others from viewing the distortions of LIFE STORY. I also do not think I will be able to work much from it after the 15th due the color scheme – but perhaps I can tolerate working from FTM and can update my tree on Ancestry from FTM, if I so choose. I can also drop my subscription and forget the whole thing!

    FTM 2012 was installed on my computer some time ago. Recently I downloaded my tree of 34,000 profiles, including media. Its very nature precludes division of the tree. It took 15+ hours, and another 3+ hours for the media download. You must disable your screen sleep mode during this time since an interruption will require a reload. As added safekeeping, my tree has been downloaded twice (named twice), directly from the FTM now on my computer to an external hard drive. That download was quick – about 30 minutes the first time. The FTM reps at Ancestry will walk you through the download into FTM, but not to the hard drive. Make sure your download to FTM is set to save your media.

    Since FTM is an Ancestry product, it has accepted all my data from the original tree. Other products (won’t somebody create one!) apparently will not. I cannot stop what Ancestry is doing to my tree in the new format, but I don’t think your data in FTM will change – as long as they don’t tamper with the FTM format later. Nothing, I know, is for certain! As least, for now, that is where my tree is.

    My tree is linked, but I refused the auto sync feature, opting for the manual. I am working feverishly to polish up a few things before a final CLASSIC sync near the 15th. Again, am hoping nothing will be too distorted by then. Who can say!!! Against the advice of others, I am keeping my tree linked for now – an unlinking simply “freezes” your tree as it is on FTM and requires a repeated total download if you want to sync again. I could unlink it later.

    Your tree will stay on Ancestry, unless you delete it, whether or not you download it elsewhere – or even stop your subscription (so Ancestry says). Even after dropping your subscription, you and your invited guests will still be able to see the tree. You just can’t work on it

    I wish you well in your decisions as to what to do. It is a shame and disgrace any of us are having to have this conversation. Not a newbie to genealogy, but once a newbie to, I thought I had found the treasure of a lifetime! But, as they say, “Nothing is sure but death and taxes” and, I add, “changes at”!

  174. mike

    For those interested who are considering downloading your tree, here are some videos for you to check out. I recommend that you at least download a GEDCOM file for safe keeping of all your data. It will not include media but at least you will have all your facts/events and sources along with their citations.

    How to downoad a GEDCOM file from Ancestry

    Genealogy – Working with GEDCOM Files Made Easy – Part 1

    Splitting or Combining Family Trees (Good idea to split large trees–Consider doing this if you have a lot of individuals in one tree–Anything over 20K with lots of media is NOT a good idea; I never keep more than 6K in mine but you can do more but it takes a lot of time to download such humongous data and media)

    Family Tree Maker 2014 FREE Download (I’d recommend purchasing the paid version but you might try this; I have no idea what the results would be)

    There are many more helpful videos on genealogy that might be of help so do a search on YouTube for what you are interested in.

  175. Don

    @Susan Shirey adding an image to the source does put the thumbnail on each fact supported by that source in new Ancestry. Of course that is only when adding the image when the source is first created. If you are adding images to old sources from a while back you do have to manually add the thumbnail to each fact yourself.

  176. Karen

    FTM 2014 pulls from the data not from the layout/display. Both Old and New pull from the same pool of data for their individual displays. So FTM will download the same information regardless of whether you use old or new. You will not see any dramatic changes in FTM 2014 to go along with new ancestry. No guarantees what the next version of FTM will look like when it finally comes out but if you use FTM today or want to start using it it won’t change when old goes away on Dec 15.

  177. Nora

    All that I can say, after reading many comments, is that I have lived through mergers, take overs and many new software changes in my working career. This new change in Ancestry is nothing to me, and I think there are lots that think the same way. I’m totally shocked at some of the comments. Change is hard, it was annoying to me also, but I don’t even remember the old version. Bugs, you bet, but they take time to work them out. That is ALWAYS the way it works when changing to new software. Oh my…like I said, yes there have been bugs, but I’m giving it time, I don’t have any plans on getting my tree finish any time soon 🙂

  178. Vince

    My experience with FTM 2014 confirms everything that Karen said about it at 6:35 am. Downloading an tree to FTM 2014 tree while using either the Classic interface or the New interface produced identical results for me when I checked separate versions of FTM 2014 tree, one from Classic, the other from New earlier this week.

  179. mike

    Thanks, Mary but that will be probably my last post on this forum. Some people just don’t get that the new Ancestry is not for genealogists.

  180. Sarah

    Nora, people are PAYING FOR A PRODUCT and expect the company to deliver what they paid for. Also, Mike is right–it is no longer a site for genealogists and management wants it that way.

  181. Jade

    I really dislike Ancestry’s locational and historical/chronological mistakes. Overall, I hate the new format. They should have fixed the obvious stuff before releasing for public use and comment.

  182. Alexandra

    Like Elhura, I have spent the past month trying to download my tree successfully into FTM. I live in a remote area with a non-conventional internet service (describing it would take three paragraphs, it’s pretty much a miracle we have anything here) and I cannot complete the download for my large tree in the nighttime hours after 9 pm and before 7 as required to keep our shared service running for everyone out here. I’ve tried. So. For the time being I also am stuck. I am slowly working on transferring my tree person by person, but *sigh* what a lot of work!

    I also called and called again and again to complain, to suggest, to implore, but as all have said this business is changing it appears that it isn’t really about us or or family trees but about collecting data, and our DNA for information purposes, so corporate can market it to who knows who.

    The biggest issue for me is that new ancestry makes genealogy a task and not a pleasure.

    What a sad day the 15th will be.

  183. caz

    ‘The biggest issue for me is that new ancestry makes genealogy a task and not a pleasure’. Alexandra, that sums it all up, I totally agree 🙁

  184. Elhura

    Exactly, Alexandra and caz. A “labor of love” has become just “labor”!

    Something is so very wrong when even the COO of Ancestry says (in a Sept 2015 presentation) that “the old site appealed to genealogists”, and that “the new site is more visually appealing”.

    The last statement is misleading. You can’t work from what you can’t see! About 15 minutes of poor color scheme, pop up purple lines and page clutter is about all some of us can absorb at one time. I remind Ancestry once more that ‘less is more”.

  185. Wayne Welch

    The “new” format is difficult if not impossible to use, and looks and operates as if it were designed by amateurs. THE “OLD” ANCESTRY.COM FORMAT WAS THE BEST, BAR NONE. If you continue with your WRONG-HEADED DECISION of offering the “new” format only, you will lose what should be of your utmost priority and that is of keeping of your long-time subscribers! If nothing else, IF YOU DO VALUE YOUR LONG-TERM SUBSCRIBERS (IT, SO FAR, DOESN’T LOOK LIKE YOU DO), PLEASE KEEP THE “OLD” ANCESTRY.COM FORMAT. If you refuse to keep the option for those of us that would rather use the “old” format, you will be making a VERY BIG MISTAKE. ONCE WE, AS SUBSCRIBERS, ARE GONE, WE WILL NOT RETURN! Keep that in mind!

  186. Anne Scott Frankland

    Elhura – Thank you. I appreciate your kind words and all the information about Family Tree Maker. It seems obvious now that we never stood a chance of keeping Classic.

  187. RMau

    I’ve been using the new web format for sometime now. It isn’t perfect at all, but it isn’t terrible either. I have more issues with search results not accounting for known information and giving useless data points that need to be paged through. But that is a discussion for a different Forum.

    The changes ancestry has undertaken are much like another site I use frequently. Both sites changed things up recently with a new design. In both cases, the intent was, in my opinion, to make the sites more user friendly for tablet and smartphone users. Neither of which I am.

    The screens at the new ancestry are designed for touch, swipe and all of that other touch screen gesture stuff. There is no mouse hover because touch screens don’t have that concept. The image advance buttons are on the middle edges of the image window to make them easier to poke with a finger. There are big sections of white space because selections on a touch screen cannot be too close together or the wrong ‘thing’ gets touched. And so on.

    Ancestry is not going to continue to maintain and develop two different web designs. It simply would cost them too much and I, for one, don’t want to see an increase in my subscription rates.

    Each of us has to decide if the value we get from ancestry is worth the cost. Cost includes more than just the money for a subscription. It includes what we are able to add to our family histories, the people we form connections with, the ease of use of the tools Ancestry provides, and so forth.

    Ping Ancestry for the underlying issues that can be improved, or fixed, as I’ve done for my search frustrations, but as So, Anne Scott Franklin said above, there was never a chance to keep ‘Classic’. It was always going away as part of the plan for the ‘new’

  188. DeDe

    I know the world is moving to phones and tablets, but one can only do so much with the limited screen size. Can you see anyone using a phone or tablet to blow up a census image to decipher the handwriting of a name? To puzzle over a poorly scanned passenger list searching for a name?

    New Ancestry is designed to capture a casual market. It has been obvious from the start that it is all about the glitz and not about serious genealogical research.

  189. Mary R.

    @RMau: Today’s “Motley Fool” article, “Alphabet Inc Killing Chrome:..Alphabet signaling its intention to bring Android onto the desktop,..” confirms why made the change from the Old format to New. The article says, “Several weeks ago, word surfaced that Alphabet plans to combine its relatively unknown Chrome desktop computer operating system into its dominant Android mobile OS, according to people familiar with the company’s thinking. Although this news might sound small-scale at first glance, the news represents the culmination of two years of private engineering efforts on the part of Google’s engineering teams… The strategy appears to involve having Alphabet “back-door” or leverage its utter dominance of its Android mobile operating system as a channel to create an equally formidable presence in desktop computing… This fusing of operating systems will take some time, though. Alphabet has said Google will bring the first Android desktop computers to market in 2017, although demos should begin at some point next year. Either way, this news should pique the interest of Apple and Microsoft shareholders… For Apple, watching Alphabet create a seamlessly integrated smartphone-to-desktop experience adds to its chief rival’s value proposition in both consumer electronics markets…”

  190. Vince

    Classic Ancestry may soon be “all over but for the shouting”, as the old saying goes. An article by Don Norman and Bruce Tognazzini about another company may explain why. It is titled, “How Apple Is Giving Design A Bad Name”, with subtitle, “For years, Apple followed user-centered design principles. Then something went wrong.” The article ( is long but very instructive about the process that seems similar to what Ancestry has applied to its tried and true Classic web interface. Substituting “Ancestry” for “Apple” in the article gives insights recalling the experiences expressed by hundreds of posters to these blogs about New Ancestry. Some examples are:

    “… Apple [Ancestry] has, in striving for beauty [but not reaching it in the opinions of thousands of Ancestry’s customers], created fonts that are so small or thin, coupled with low contrast, that they are difficult or impossible for many people with normal vision to read.

    “Apple [Ancestry] is reinforcing the old, discredited idea that the designer’s sole job is to make things beautiful, even at the expense of providing the right functions, aiding understandability, and ensuring ease of use.

    “Unfortunately, visually simple appearance does not result in ease of use, as the vast literature in academic journals on human-computer interaction and human factors demonstrates.

    “The original principles for Apple’s [Ancestry’s] design stressed the importance of making systems understandable, easy to learn without manuals, and functional. Somewhere along the line, Apple [Ancestry] lost track of the key principles that it used to follow.

  191. Carol

    I sent a email to Ancestry listing all the things I don’t like about new Ancestry and what changes I’d like to see. Pretty much what we all are unhappy with. I didn’t even ask them to keep the classic.

    They sent me a list of “how to this and how to do that.” I forwarded the whole email with an added, “Don’t you get it?! I know how it works. I just don’t like the way it works!”

    I never believed they would keep the classic. Past history showed me that. But I really feel they just blew me off. They will never admit the bottom line is the almighty dollar.

    Some of today’s post have been very interesting. A different point of view. I can’t do a decent job of research on a phone or a tablet. I need both hands to type and a mouse to point and click. My eyes are never going to be better than they are today.

  192. Monika

    @Pa. You got exactly the point I was trying to make. Thank you! I love intelligent people!
    @Elhura. Thank you for all your efforts. I have already deleted about half a dozen of my trees on and will look in on New Ancestry now and then until my membership expires.

  193. Robin

    To Ancestry:
    First, I have a very specific question. I scanned the Terms and Conditions and didn’t find the answer to the following two part question….a) If I delete one person from my tree, is that person and the information/media with that person permanently deleted from ANCESTRY (I know it is no longer visible to me or other users but does ANCESTRY still have the use of it in any way?) also? b) if I delete an entire tree at one time, is that tree with all its information/media permanently deleted from ANCESTRY also? (same thing.. I know it is no longer visible to me or other users, but does ANCESTRY still have the use of that information in any way? ) I would really appreciate someone from ancestry answering this.
    Now, so you will have no doubt when trying to compute your bottom line, my subscription to ACOM is up and it will not be renewed. The very specific reason is the New Ancestry. You had a streamlined, user friendly, research friendly (if you discount your search engine actually slowed people down), visually appealing site. You turned it into a juvenile insulting mess that I have no intention of trying to work with. I had been a paying customer for 9 years and probably would have been for another nine years. I do appreciate the heads up as the Dec 15th date. It’s not often you get advanced notice to get off a sinking ship.

  194. Mary R.

    @Robin: Ancestry’s Terms and Conditions: “By submitting User Provided Content on any of the Websites, you grant Ancestry and its Group Companies a perpetual, transferable, sublicenseable, worldwide, royalty-free, license to host, store, copy, publish, distribute, provide access to create derivative works of, and otherwise use User Provided Content submitted by you to the Websites, to the extent and in the form or context we deem appropriate on or through any media or medium and with any technology or devices now known or hereafter developed or discovered. You hereby release Ancestry and its Group Companies from any and all claims, liens, demands, actions or suits in connection with the User Provided Content you submit, including, without limitation, any and all liability for any use or non-use of your User Provided Content, claims for defamation, invasion of privacy, right of publicity, emotional distress or economic loss. This license continues even if you stop using the Websites or the Services. Ancestry may scan, image and/or create an index from the User Provided Content you submit…”
    See also:
    Family Data Collection: “A unique database containing 5 million genealogical records (20 million names) that were saved from destruction after being rejected from scientific studies…Millions of individual records were created from birth, marriage and death records; obituaries; probate records; books of remembrance; family histories; genealogies; family group sheets; pedigree charts; and other sources…”

  195. Mary R.

    “…6. Modifications to this Agreement. Ancestry has the right, at its sole discretion, to modify this Agreement, as well as the Websites, Content, and the Services, at any time. Changes will be posted on the pertinent Website(s) and/or sent via email, and by changing the date of last revision on this Agreement. If any portion of this Agreement or any change to the Websites, Content, or the Services is unacceptable to you or will cause you to no longer be in compliance with the Agreement, you may cancel your subscription by following the instructions in this Agreement. Continued use of the Websites or the Services now or following posted notices of changes to this Agreement means that you have accepted and agree to be bound by the changes…”

  196. Mary R.

    Ancestry’s DNA Terms & Conditions: “…iv) Your opinions and comments: If you post any comments on the Website or participate in community discussions, blogs, chats, communications between us or between you and other Users, in disputes and while communicating with member services, AncestryDNA and/or Ancestry will capture that information. You should be aware that any information you provide in these areas may be read, collected, and used by others who access them. To request removal of personal information from our blog or community forum, contact us by the contact information below and we will consider it for removal…. Please note: in the event that you or we delete Results, copies of that information may remain viewable elsewhere to the extent any such copy has been shared with others and copied and stored. Additionally, we may retain certain information to prevent identity theft and other misconduct even if deletion has been requested… Information that is removed or deleted may also persist in backup copies for a reasonable time for our internal business purposes but will not be available to you or others…”

  197. caith

    @Robin – I recently called the help desk because I wanted to be assured that Ancestry had never had a problem and “lost” someone’s tree permanently since mine is not backed up in any manner.

    She said not to worry, they have it backed up and my tree would never be lost at Ancestry.

    Which says to me that even if we delete our tree from Ancestry, they still have a copy…………

  198. gp_4hbc

    Caith, once you put your tree/s on any public website, that is the price you pay. You bet your bottom $ they have it in more ways than one. Where do you think they get those so-called “sources” Family Data files?

  199. gp_4hbc

    Robin, “Advance notice!” Users have been asking Ancestry to answer that question for months and there was never an answer to it in all this time. Advance notice…I don’t think so.

  200. gp_4hbc

    Mary R., Good you posted all that info for users to read as most do not know what they are really signing up for as they do not actually READ it. One thing has stood out for me when I read it a long time ago…”or our internal business purposes,”

  201. TY

    gp_4hbc The first information about New Ancestry came out in Feburary. They told you then old was going away before the end of the year. That has been a consistant message for 10 months. You’ve been given a months notice of the specific date. How much bloody notice do you need before you get the message?

  202. Mary R.

    @Ty, No, the first information didn’t come out in February [2015]. The first information came out in December 2014: “Introducing Historical Insights..You can see insights for your own family using your iPhone or iPad, if you’re using the latest version of our mobile app. In coming months, Historical Insights will be added to the website…” It shows a smartphone screen, dates, lines, event photo. The problem is, WE DIDN’T GET this blog directed at us. We should have been better notified. We didn’t have time to read the inane, “praise-ourself” blogs on Acom pages. We were too busy researching facts and sources for the family trees that Acom’s made its millions from. We DIDN’T get a “consistent message,” NO “specific date,” and NO idea how the site was supposed to work when complete. We got canned answers if we phoned and canned answers in the Updates. When we were finally hit with the product in June, we got numerous non-functioning functions. You’ve probably been working on it for a year and are familiar with it, but we aren’t. Suppose Sullivan took away your Porsche and handed you a tricycle? That’s what it feels like, and the New format is being received as poorly as Windows 8 was: “The interface of Windows 8 has been the subject of mixed reaction. [Reviewer Peter] Bright wrote that its system of hot corners and edge swiping “wasn’t very obvious” due to the lack of instructions provided by the operating system on the functions accessed through the user interface, even by the video tutorial added on the RTM release (which only instructed users to point at corners of the screen or swipe from its sides). Despite this “stumbling block,” Bright said that Windows 8’s interface worked well in some places, but began to feel incoherent when switching between the “Metro” and desktop environments, sometimes through inconsistent means.[160].” WIKIPEDIA. “Incoherent.” Yes. Perfect word for New Ancestry.

  203. nadinemi

    @Mary. Thank you for your well-stated reply. I was busy happily using Classic Ancestry to work on my family tree. I don’t have time to do everything. I never consulted the blogs and I didn’t even know Ancestry had a Facebook Page. New Ancestry pop-ups started appearing during my work in July. I never realized it was anything other than an alternative until 11 Sep when I clicked on a probate record offered as a hint and dumped into “New.” When I exited a pop-up appeared advising “Soon New Ancestry will be the Only Ancestry.”

  204. gp_4hbc

    Thank you Mary. I was just going to ignore that previous comment, as I believe the language was out of order. You summed it up very well. Exactly, right, nadinemi! Thanks.

  205. Chuck Crannell

    I am happy to provide more feedback to the “new” site as suggested.
    Some suggestions and comments:
    Have a preference for making the “Facts” page the default view for a profile (or choosing Lifestory, Gallery, Hints).
    Even though I have a 27” iMac, the amount of headspace and whitespace is enormously inefficient.
    The Facts page header takes up a ton of space, please compress it.
    The list of facts uses white boxes with enormous amounts of whitespace around it.
    The amount of whitespace between lines within the white fact boxes reduces the amount of visible information over the prior version. The text is generally quite large as well. Using a modest laptop screen is nearly impossible to make effective workflow of the current design. You should make your website designers test against common, smaller screen sizes.
    I rather like the new color scheme. It is more neutral and less sickly green.
    Continuing on the whitespace theme – the hints suffers from the same whitespace bloat. The older format was much more readable and efficient.
    In the Facts view, I do like seeing some of the alternate names, but again, enormous space is wasted by making big white bubbles, when the information could likely be made in a single one. Seriously – does Gender really need a separate bubble when the default picture is the blue male silhouette?
    The prior form version of making edits to basic facts was far more efficient that now which requires clicking on more giant white bubbles.
    Search: the heading gotten so huge! All the other text has gotten bigger too. With a smaller laptop screen, it gets really challenging.
    I find it ironic that the new layout spreads all the facts out in a long list, yet the Family column (also space-consuming in format) chooses to hide siblings (something that the old format did, too.
    Maybe it’s the purple box/line thing that is driving the whitespace issue? I’d rather get the space back and give up the purple box/lines.
    Gallery: I rather like it over the old one for quickly accessing documents. I haven’t uploaded anything new yet, so can’t comment on that part.
    Hints: I rather like the new format except for the enormous waste of space with giant white boxes.
    Lifestory: not my thing, but the mini-pedigree is nice. The huge type and waste of whitespace is very annoying.
    Tools: Show Research Tools – this should just be on by default (although with so much banner space empty, they could go in unused space instead of pushing the facts, etc., downward). Screens are generally wider than they are tall.

    Thanks for listening.
    Kenneth C Crannell, Jr.
    Customer since 2008 and serious subscriber

  206. Chuck Crannell

    I echo some of Jeri’s comments:

    3, It’s random that the sex is added to people when it randomly lets me add the whole family from example census records. That has become very hit/miss lately. Why is it not consistent to save a family from for example the census and sometimes it picks up the whole family and others it doesn’t? This is very time consuming and irritating!

    [I thought it was just me experiencing this!]

    4. It would be nice if there could be a drop down box to pick the sex of the person in the saving screen so at least if the software cannot decide on it’s own if they are male/female that we don’t have to go to the quick edit screen after the save and then change the sex. Shorten the steps, shorten wasted time. I research at least 7 hours or more a day, time is precious.

    5. Thank you for the new additions on the DNA pages which is giving hope that you will start making more information available in the future for serious DNA researchers.

    [The addition of seeing how many cM and segments there are in a match is nice, but PLEASE add a chromosome browser!]

    7. A way to keep the tree public but to make pictures/docs private directly in the online program so we can decide when we share if the person requesting those items is connecting them to the correct people in their tree. I want to keep my tree public but I’ve had so many users copy my pictures to wrong people! I love to share but there are so many trees that are wrong on here it’s ridiculous. Actually I would also like it if users couldn’t just click and copy whole trees because they are doing a bang up job of messing the system up by not doing real research, just copying and smile!

    [Yes, I have a bunch of pictures I added that eventually get hinted back to me.. This is crazy – I was the source! Some kind of toggle on the media (probably global for the tree) would be great. Doing it for each entry would be tedious (unless the option used the global tree default and let you change the privacy option specifically for that entry).]

  207. Susan Shirey

    Vince – your comments about the changes on Apple and Ancestry (and in my opinion a lot other sites) are right on point. I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who has noticed many sites’ improvements being anything but. I especially like the quote: “Unfortunately, visually simple appearance does not result in ease of use, as the vast literature in academic journals on human-computer interaction and human factors demonstrates.” I plant to share these points with my company.

  208. BEE

    I am getting a giant headache trying to “search” with “old ancestry” – for heaven’s sake, couldn’t they at least left things as they were until “doomsday”?

  209. Ty

    Records cannot assume information not provided in the record itself. Therefore if sex is not specifically noted it will not be added. For example Find a Grave does not specify sex on the website entries, the transcription, nor the entry. Census records prior to 1880 do not include familial relationships. Both of these items are due to record type and occur in old ancestry as well. New persons should always be added to the tree manually anyway. Merging them from records is where you get dupes, incorrect parents or other family relationships, other intry errors such as missing the sex identifier.
    Maty R and gp_4hbc at mimimum you have known via pop ups. banner ads, and e-mails since June that old was going away. If you chose to hide your head and not believe it was going to happen you only have yourself to blame. The information has been out there. They’ve given you a month’s warning of the specific date of the complete transition. That should be more than enough time to do what ever you think you need to do.

  210. Elhura

    @Ty. Can’t resist responding that a month is never enough time to do what was to be a lifetime’s work. Too bad and so sad for those of us who did notice the warning in or about July and have offered input, as well as have pleaded since then for a continued Classic format from which to work. Each person has their own reasons for liking or disliking the new version, starting with the serious visual issues that will preclude use by some users. The new site is certainly not streamlined for the PC or laptop user and makes for cumbersome use. The ease and joy of research and tree building is no longer there for more than just a few.

    I love a couple of the quotes that have appeared across this blog. The first was some weeks ago when someone – so sorry I can’t reall whom – stated something to the effect that they had “not seen anyone working on their tree lately from a cell phone while standing in a grocery store line!”

    The other was so astutely put by Mary R. today when she said, “Suppose Sullivan took away your Porsche and handed you a tricycle?”

    I just sum it up by saying, “What was once a labor of love has become just labor”.

  211. Mary R.

    @Ty. No flies on me! As soon as I saw what the New format looked like, I deleted 2300 people from my tree, leaving 100 of no importance. My subscription expired that week and I did not renew it. I’m happy with my decision and have used my research time since then trying to find out what the change is all about. Few others have the time to do this. Many haven’t even had time to sign into their account to see what’s going on and may still have end-of-year holidays to focus on. Many have no clue that their favorite hobby is going to sabotaged with a flick of a switch on Dec. 15. Many who do know what’s happening feel devastated. YOU may find “pop ups and banners” adequate erudition, but WE don’t.

  212. gp_4hbc

    Furthermore, I do not even have a tree on Ancestry and I was speaking in behalf of many other people. I resent some of your crass comments.

  213. Dave

    @Ty: So, do you think the hundreds of thousands who have not received any email notice, or do not read the forums, or this blog have their head up their *__? Such kind bashing…..

  214. Mary R.

    @mike, I’m guessing he’s a burned-out programmer who was in charge of pop-ups, banners, and emails and just read the updates to find we hate the pop-ups and banners and didn’t receive the emails.

  215. EK

    Is it just me or is the functionality to add a person from another persons tree through Family Tree Maker and click on the next person (e.g. spouse, child) and add that person, so on and so on, gone? Seems I have to do a separate search for each person that I find in another tree, which requires me to have another page open or write down the person’s name to type in the new search. I am beside myself with frustration that such a very important feature is not there. This is ridiculously time consuming!

    I called in and the help person said we shouldn’t be adding people through FTM anyway but doing it with trees online. That is the most ludicrous answer I could have imagined!!!

    Even when adding a person from another tree to my tree online, why can’t I simply add the person as a spouse, child etc etc of someone versus adding them as an unrelated individual and then going back to add connect them to the right family. There must be something that I am missing. It adds a completely unnecessary step. The colors, lines, and other issues are not as important to me as efficiency, accuracy and user friendly interfacing.

  216. mike

    Trisha: At least I’m good for something. 🙂

    EK: to Ancestry’s reply OTP, “I called in and the help person said we shouldn’t be adding people through FTM anyway but doing it with trees online. That is the most ludicrous answer I could have imagined!!!” Maybe that was the “burned out programmer” that Mary R. referred to in her previous post who took your complaint call.

  217. mike

    EK: Seriously, if you cannot do things you want to do in the New can you just switch to the classic and then sync your tree to Ancestry, if you have not done so already? You have until Dec 15 (in USA) or before to add more data before you’ll be stuck with the new. Then you just unsync your tree in the program and on Ancestry before then. You could delete your tree and work within the program to add records, unless you prefer using the new interface. Just a suggestion.

  218. mike

    EK: I just had one of my after-thoughts. Maybe they told you that because within the new interface the fields will not match the fields in FTM. All the more reason to go back to the classic, if you are able to do so. I do not know if that option is still open to you, maybe someone else can give you info on that. Good luck w/it all.

  219. Name

    Mike: Thanks for your message. I can use classic and an doing so. But when the switch occurs I will basically have to do a new search for a person that is on my ancestry page, that I found in another persons tree because the FTM software does not sync the merge preview screen that allows merging the record with the information that is on the ancestry page. I hope that makes sense.

    I can’t believe that I am the only person that has discovered this major flaw!!!

  220. JM / UK

    This very disturbing ‘visitor post’ appeared on 12 hours ago:

    ~~~Julie Prentis Watts‎ to Ancestry.
    I reported a serious issue with my shared settings on a huge tree of mine on Oct 31 (Ancestry error report #17332). Somehow the people I’ve shared with and their privileges for viewing living and how they are allowed to contribute were all jumbled up so that none of the usernames match the nicknames and privileges originally assigned. This is a major issue since there are about 125 invitees to this tree. So, on Oct 31 when I noticed this, I removed all editorial privileges and made everyone a guest since I could no longer tell who was an editor. I assumed that would at least protect my tree from unwanted edits, however, today I received the following message from someone I’d invited to the tree but hadn’t assigned as an editor (full names removed): “I added Allen ____ ____ to your tree. Please forgive me!! It was wrong for me to do so. I think you have me listed as editor, possibly an accidental click somewhere along the way. I found an article where ____.’s son got married to _____. I will send the article. Again, I’m sorry, I will never do that again!!!” YOU’VE GOT TO FIX THIS. I was told I would hear back when it was resolved, but having random people able to edit my tree when all are assigned as guests is totally unacceptable. I may not have the only tree where this has happened. This is as bad as a hack attack on your site.

    Comment to Ancestry from Steve Watts:
    I recommend you send a security advisory to all of your customers informing them of a self inflicted sharing security issue and advise them to discontinue sharing their trees until you can get to the bottom of this issue. You don’t actually know if the issue is isolated to Julie Prentis Watts’ account, and, frankly, you don’t seem to be taking the issue seriously.

    Comment to Ancestry from Ruth Ann Roberts-Coker: The same thing has happened to the tree of a friend of mine. I am a co-editor of her tree and have added a great deal of information to it over the years. However, I am now a ‘guest’ and cannot add anything. And, my e-mail address is now assigned to the male participant listed below me on the ‘People Participating’ list and I have been assigned the e-mail address of the person listed above me. My friend is not on Facebook. She was going to call about this when I alerted her to it several weeks ago, but when I checked her tree just now, I see that the problem still exists. She has close to 60 people invited to view her tree. ~~~

    I will be checking my ‘tree guests’ today. More extra work.

  221. JM / UK

    The same person also posted this 17 hours ago:

    ~~~Julie Prentis Watts‎ to Ancestry:
    I used to be able to delete comments from others on profiles in my public tree that were unwanted because they were not correct, or no longer needed once a correction the commenter offered was made, but now I am only able to hide them from myself while they are still visible to others — and there is also no option to unhide them from myself either after I’ve hidden them and clicked the x which looks like it would delete the comment, but only hides it from me and no one else. I’m not sure how long this has been happening, but this is not a good change. Shouldn’t we be able to control what is visible to others on our own trees and not just what is visible to ourselves? I can delete comments I make myself, but can no longer delete unwanted comments from others to my tree.
    I know that comments on photos have been this way for a while, too, but now it seems it applies to comments everywhere in the tree. The photo comments can get confusing when someone adds a submitted photo to a wrong person and then someone else attempts to tell them they’ve added it to a wrong person. Since that comment to correct the error also appears on everyone’s copy who has it attached correctly, it potentially leaves others wondering if their copy is also added incorrectly. ~~~

  222. mike

    Name: I assume you left off your name when subitting this post and I am guess you are EK. Well, I’m not here to do a primer on correct genealogy and the new interface is no longer for serious genealogists anyway. I really cannot speak for the new Ancestry and I have no “trees” on Ancestry to begin with, as I just use a stand-alone program and my use of Ancestry is just for some of their databases for sources but I will be cancelling my subsription soon, as I will have no use for Ancestry at all; esp., the way they have treated their customers regarding this whole mess called the New Ancestry. I have plenty of other places to look for sources and other important info. It just seems logical to me that until the makers of FTM come up with a new release or update of their product that the fields on both Ancestry and FTM will not match, so that is why I think you would not be able to do such a thing. You’ll just have to ask Ancestry regarding your question and heaven knows, if and when, you’ll ever get an answer.

    JM / UK: It may be disturbing but that is the price you pay for ever putting any kind of personal information, including genealogical information, on the Internet or in any public place. Security breeches happen all the time and who knows if your credit card information might be vulnerable as well; esp, now with all that is going on in the world.

  223. emam

    I have just logged onto in the Classic and got the following message

    The improved Ancestry is ready for everyone
    After 14th December, everyone who logs in will see our new look and feel. We’ve continued to work on the improved Ancestry since we first introduced it back in August, based on the feedback we’ve received, and we believe that it represents the most effective way to enjoy the Ancestry site.

    So in the UK we are moving over the day before the US with less warning given before the move. This is the first notice I have seen.

  224. Elhura

    @ JM / UK Your post of earlier today greatly concerns me, as well. About two dozen people have been invited to my tree as a GUEST over time. I would be appalled should any of them – great researchers as some of them are – should they inadvertently be granted editor or contributor priviledge. Each of us have worked too hard on our trees from someone else to change anything without our knowledge or consent.

    The examples that have already been reported are way TOO many! It should never happen! I also wonder what effect the changes are having on viewing living people – both with invitees and others at large?

    I have spoken with a most helpful young rep at Ancestry who asked a supervisor to view the post and immediately respond. We will see if they do.

    In the meantime, I feel compelled to begin to “uninvite” all but the most trusted friends who have been invited to view my tree. Unfortunately, Ancestry provides no way to provide a message as to why they have been uninvited. I also do not know if the uninvited person is notified by Ancestry of the change, but think that they are. A message block for me to explain, if I so choose, would be most helpful. In the meantime, I have printed a list of my invitees and am notifying them via Member Connect (from Classic – not available in new) with a generic message that changes with the new version necessitate the removal of invitees at this time. I will offer those who would like to be returned to let me know, so I can consider this at a future date. THIS IS ALL I KNOW TO DO and it is taking valuable time between now and Dec 15!

  225. Mary R.

    @Elhura, Why not set your tree as private and unsearchable from now until you can see for sure what it looks like in the New, and who is able to edit then? Any of the invited guests you have left would still be able to view your tree. As for HOW your dropped guests will know they’ve been “uninvited,” Acom doesn’t notify them. Your tree’s name will just be no longer listed under “Family Trees” on the Old “Home” page. I doubt any supervisor has any control over what programmers are doing and what their priorities are with Dec. 14 and 15 so close and existing problems so numerous. Just a suggestion; I’m sure you thought of it already. Good luck!

  226. caith

    Business 101: The customer is always right and likes choices. We as consumers are accustomed to this philosophy. This is almost the year 2016. FGS!

    My Windows 7 crashed and it was necessary for me to purchase a Windows 10, I was elated that they gave me a choice and I was able to use their Classic Shell set-up, meaning when I open up and use my W10, it is not any different than using my W7. Only the OS is different.

    BTW, I read from a guru, and have experienced that W10 is not compatible with FTM 2014.

    I actually purchased a W8, but the tech updated it to W10 without my knowledge and permission.

    For genealogy, I highly recommend the 19″ laptop.

  227. mike

    Elhura: I sure can understand your concerns. However, if you think that Ancestry will respond other than the usual canned comment of “we will review the matter and get back to you” or something to that effect you will wait forever. I would suggest you send all your invitees a personal message either through Ancestry’s messaging system or by email (if you have it) to explain your plight. You may have talked to a “helpful young rep” at Ancestry but what is he/she going to do about it? Probably nothing as his/her hands are tied due to management; if you want to call it that. Ancestry will not notify them of your change to un-invite them, so it is up to you to contact them some way. Sorry to say, it is what it is and time to just move on. I understand, not that it helps much, but a lot of users are in the same position.

  228. mike

    Mary R.: To make your tree private is OK (Ancestry will still invade those) but making them unsearchable takes about six weeks or longer for Ancestry to implement. I am wondering, now that you mention it, if Elhura as her settings right for her guest to be either “editor,” “contributor” or “guest”. That can always be changed anytime by the user. In the old format an “editor” status could edit anything in the tree or even add media, a “contributor” could add comments and view the tree and a “guest” could only view the tree and do nothing else. I say it’s just over for the old Interface and it’s of no use to hang on anymore. The deadline is fast approaching and scrooge will be here sooner than you think, as you alluded to, so take precautions now.

  229. mike

    caith, you said your Win 7 crashed and you had to get Win 10. Too bad you could not have just installed it over again from a backup you had on an external HD drive. A lot of programs are not ready for Win 10 and I believe that does include all versions of FTM. Technology is not keeping up with other new technology so we are left with a mess of unusable programs we paid money for. Don’t forget that even though FTM is compatible with; it was not made by Ancestry itself but an independent company.

  230. Vince

    To caith: For what it’s worth, I have FTM 2014 installed on my Windows 10 Pro 32-bit laptop computer, and it works normally and identically to FTM 2014 on my Windows 7 64-bit desktop computer, including the TreeSync function to capture media items, as well as the basic (i.e., GEDCOM type) data of an on-line Ancestry member tree to a local FTM version of the tree.

  231. Vince

    To JM / UK & Elhura:
    FYI, I have 49 active invitations to my main on-line Ancestry (now private) member tree, ten for people who have not responded to the invitation, one designated as Editor and the rest as Guests. I’ve seen no change in that lineup on the Tree Settings / Manage invitees page for the on-line tree nor in the synchronized FTM 2014 version, which also shows the status of invitees in the lower left corner of the Plan view.

  232. Elhura

    @MaryR. and Mike. Thanks to both of you for the feedback. I do plan to make my tree private and had planned to do so – ceremoniously on Dec 15. I hadn’t thought about the turnaround time before Ancestry might actually implement it, so probably should go ahead and do that now. I’m also glad to know Ancestry doesn’t notify anyone of their dropped status and that they only find out if they ever try to view the tree again. Will save me a lot of time notifiying the “marginal” acquaintances who had requested an invite! The others I am continuing to notify, as a courtesy, via Member Connect or via email if I have their email address.

    It is my understanding that whether or not I make my tree private, that anyone with invited GUEST or greater status can continue to see my tree – thus the problem will persist if I don’t uninvite them.

    On another note, I know should I drop my Ancestry membership that I and invited guests CAN continue to view my tree. I was also told today that I could also continue to WORK on my tree and pull from Ancestry’s “free” databases. There is a list somewhere of what databases are “free”.

    As we all are aware, contributor and editor status give varying levels of freedom to add or make changes to our trees. I have never offered anything but a GUEST invite to anyone and certainly don’t want anyone with guest-only viewing priviledges to have anything more. I do wonder if the glitches that have been reported so far are happening only after a tree has been forced into the new format. If so, we may still have a little time (very little) to do our “uninvites”.

    As a guest myself on many trees, I have checked my dropdown list today and see that I remain a GUEST so far on all of those. That tells me, at least for now, those tree owners’ security has not yet been breeched.

    Mike, as you said, a lot of us are in the same position. We all share in trying to do what is best for our trees.

  233. mike

    Well, good luck to you Elhura, Mary R. and others on what you decide to do. I hope things work out for you no matter what you decide to do. Elhura. I for one, as I have said many times on this forum, do not have trees on Ancestry or any public website and never will. I just hope that I have answered some of your questions in the past. This will be the last post I make on any Ancestry forum. Good luck to all of you in your genealogical efforts. As the saying goes…just time to move on.

  234. Elhura

    @Vince. Thanks as well! Just saw your post. All my invitees continue to appear as a “guest” or as a “not responded” on my Manage Invites page. They are the same in FTM.

    A problem I have encountered once before (and confirmed today) is a “not responded” told me they have responded and are viewing my tree – as a guest. I just assumed the “not responded” was a glitch, but wonder now what information we can trust.

  235. The delinking of 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 on old Ancestry. The new Ancestry deletes all 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.”

  236. Chuck Crannell

    Is it my imagination that the list of facts in the original timeline view now has more whitespace in it (like the bloated “improvement”)?

  237. Chuck Crannell

    I took screen shots of the same person’s record with the legacy and new versions on a 27″ iMac. The old version was about 990 pixels wide and included EVERTHING – all the site menus, thumbnail gallery, his 14 children, a bunch of actual facts. The new version is about 200 pixels wider (from the edge of the timeline fact bubbles to the list of family). Only 7 of the 14 children fit, fewer fact boxes (and half are related to other family member dates), the thumbnail gallery is gone, etc. It is way less efficient. And I swear the the legacy version has swelled the fact boxes in the timeline, too.

  238. Carrie

    Chuck: You are correct. Ancestry needs to take some diuretics! Everything is more bloated. Too much white space.

  239. Roger

    It’s all because they are only interested in and considering use by people with fat stubby fingers using smartphones and tablets. Totally inappropriate for what was a serious research site. They don’t know what they have done. They just do not get it.

  240. Mary M Zashin

    I am sure ACOM must be disappointed at the very negative reaction of users to the new site design. From a user’s point of view, it is clumsy to use and missing a number of minor, yet ultimately important, features that Old offered (for example, “expander” buttons as on the bottom of this form on various edit pages, date added and formatting choices on notes, stories attached to events, “view all sources”). It is also very ugly and visually unappealing. The color scheme is simultaneously drab and dreary, and flashy and gaudy. Thumbnails for sources are too big and in any case entirely unnecessary – we don’t need to see a tiny grey census form image – while thumbnails for family members are way too small. Black bands on items in the gallery are depressing. The site is unstable even despite ACOM’s apparent efforts to “containerize” it and bugs abound (for example, the cursor when writing a note shifts at the slightest pause to the top of the note instead of remaining where the writer left off; the names of custom facts/events aren’t “sticky” so they must be retyped each time they’re used). The Lifestory is robotic and the historical “insights,” when not grossly inappropriate, and almost always banal. What can ACOM do to repair the reputation and trust it has so badly mismanaged? People feel strongly and personally about the trees they have made. Perhaps the things that are more functional in New, such as increased ease adding events to sources, would be better appreciated if the cosmetics had not changed so drastically. Only by discovering that I can manipulate the color scheme by using a Firefox add-on, Color That Site, have I felt able to use New. . .replacing all that grey is doing wonders for me! But, it’s not a perfect solution by any means. . .it would be better if ACOM offered some customizing “skins” specifically adapted to the site.

  241. Elhura

    @ Mary M. Zashin. Well said! My question is very elementary, but will changing the colors via Firefox change my overall computer settings, or can the color changes just be applied to Without such color change, I will be unable to continue work on my tree after the switch to the new. I am also hoping the purple lines can be opted out and will go away!

  242. Pa

    @Elhura: You shouldn’t have to change any of your computer settings just to use a website you have paid to use. This is one of the most absurd things I have encountered. No, I do not need to optimize my browser or clear my cache, cookies, and temporary internet files. This is the only web-site I have used that prompts you to do so. Your opinions please.

  243. Elhura

    @Pa. How many times have I been told to clear my cache and cookies, etc. – or “I will send you an email how”! And why can’t Ancestry do like other sites as I understand and give the option to change the color from the site? How hard (really?) is that? How I wish they cared about those of us who have helped give them good trees that have made them look good when the “lookers” do their thing. I think I read trees and their “links” to identified records are now about 30% of what Ancesry has to offer in a search, and the other 70% their transcriptions.

  244. Amy Connolly

    I hate your New Ancestry. Too many things require extra clicks. I liked being able to do everything from a person’s profile page. Now if I want to add a picture, I must go to the gallery first. Also it is harder to find and view records that we have already added. You have turned a really great site into a nightmare! As soon as my subscription runs out I will be taking my trees somewhere!

  245. Roger

    No update? Nothing to tell us for 10 days? Kristie conspicuous by her absence? This must be the worst web site ‘update’ and the worst PR exercise in the history of the Internet.

    • Kristie Wells

      Roger, I have been on the road for most of the last two weeks and have not been able to respond in the comments. Other team members have been curating feedback and passing it along to the product team in my absence. I am going through the comments now and will respond as needed.

      The latest blog post will also be up in a few minutes. It was my fault it did not publish on Friday.

  246. Mary M Zashin

    Elhura, Color That Site is very flexible. You can apply it to a single page on an entire site or domain. I’ve used it to change ACOM only. It’s not an easy tool to figure out (at least for me) and the directions, even the video, are not as clear as I wish they were. Nevertheless, by fumbling around, I managed to replace the grey on both the facts page and the tree page with a soft green. How I did it I don’t know because with computers I really have no conceptual framework within which to operate–I just keep randomly doing things until something I want happens, but then of course I can’t tell anyone how I did it and there’s no guarantee I can do it again! Color That Site puts a little icon on the left of the whatever-you-call-it bar at the top of the Firefox page and you can enable or disable it with one click. CTS is what they call a “non-destructive” (maybe that’s not the right term) app in that it does not change the underlying code, it’s just a “skin.” It can have some unexpected effects–but they’re easily deleted or disabled. I think you could make any number of color schemes and save them and apply whichever one you wanted at the moment, and I think you can change only those elements of a page/site you want to change, but I’m not familiar with all its features. My current set-up is OK for now, but I’m sure I will play with it some more. One thing my current “look” does that I don’t want is blank out all the images in the gallery–it leaves the descriptions, but the thumbnails are gone. Click on the thumbnail frame, however, and the image is there. But CTS doesn’t change the thumbnails on the fact page or Lifestory. Anyway, if you look for me on ACOM (Pruitt-Johnson-Hooe-Wanstall) and message me with your email I can send you a screen shot if you would like. . .well, actually, I am very “on the grid” so my email is

  247. emam

    I went to look at the invited people on my FTM and my trees are showing but say they aren’t linked to a tree on Ancestry. When I go to the settings in Ancestry it shows that the tree is linked to FTM. It’s all very strange.

  248. Pa


    From the facebook Ancestry Product * Merchandise page: Ancestry “We’re sorry for the delay —-. The new blog post will be published sometime today and we’ll continue to update our members via our blog.”

  249. emam

    From the Find a Grave weekend blog.

    About Kristie Wells
    Kristie is Ancestry’s Head of Global Social Media and Online Support Community and is responsible for developing and managing the company’s social media and social business offerings worldwide. She works with a team of community managers, genealogists and social content developers to help educate Ancestry’s existing customers, inspire new family historians and expand awareness into new social audiences and communities. She has a deep love of family history and is currently trying to break through the brick wall of her Christophier line (that was supposedly French and Catalan, but it seems was really the Christopher’s from Iowa) and to one day prove where the heck William Wells of Southhold, NY (b. 1608) was really born.

  250. Vince

    To caith: Regarding your comment about a GEDCOM file not opening in Windows 10, I don’t often use GEDCOM file downloads to create FTM trees, favoring instead the TreeSync function that gets all the GEDCOM data as well as all media items from the on-line Ancestry member tree. But I did run a test today by downloading to my Windows 10 laptop a GEDCOM file of my main on-line tree with 8,307 individuals that I generated in the New Ancestry interface. I used the file to create a new FTM 2014 local tree on the laptop. Then I used the same GEDCOM file to make a new FTM 2014 tree on my Windows 7 desktop computer. In both cases, FTM 2014 opened the GEDCOM file immediately and created identical local trees in Windows 10 and Windows 7. I can’t explain why your GEDCOM file won’t open in Windows 10.

  251. emam

    @ Kirstie Wells. With your deep love of family history, I can’t understand why you aren’t pushing to get the issues with new Ancestry resolved. You must have worked in the old and know how user friendly it is. The simple clean look that showed off your tree has been replaced by an off putting cluttered look in New. I am not going to go over all of the other things that have been constantly reported on here.
    Ancestry has spoiled the life’s work and enjoyment for the people that has built the company up.
    We all know that technology moves on, but it is supposed to be for the better.

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