Posted by Ancestry Team on August 3, 2016 in Website

Professional genealogist Crista Cowan shares this month’s new collections and product enhancements across Ancestry. Tune in below:

Tune in to more of Crista’s weekly desktop education on YouTube here.


  1. John Davis

    Daughters gifted me a sub a couple of years ago. I have found Ancestry frustrating, challenging, confusing, mesmerizing, exhilarating, educational, addicting, and of course, fun!
    Not a computer whiz; some of my tree still contains duplicates, mistakes etc. However the first big surprise was when I was way off track and was helped out by a lady half way across the country that turned out to be a second cousin!!! I do communicate with her and a few others on a regular basis now.
    The wildest connection in my tree which seems to be a genuine one, is Pocahontas!!!!
    Yes, that Pocahontas from 1595! Also known as Princess Rebecca P M Powhatan,(1595) daughter of Chief Powhatan!!! I am also a proud Son of the American Revolution, having family that fought with George Washington’s Continental Army!
    I have learned that all Census Takers are NOT Geniuses. Took me forever to realize that a GGF named Alexander was actually recorded in the Census by a nickname “Sandy”. Following his wife’s tree finally solved that one!
    Additionally, if someone else makes an error in their tree and you follow it–well–you know!
    Anyway, Ancestry has given me many hours of enjoyment along with fascinating information about my heritage.
    John R Davis
    Coral Gables, Florida 33134

  2. Paula

    John, let’s be kind to the census takers, who are trying to record what they are being told. Sure, the census taker didn’t use the name “Alexander,” but you now have learned that he had a nickname–his family called him “Sandy”! Doesn’t that help him become more real to you? I just love the little tidbits that come out of the census records!

    Congratulations to your daughter for giving you such a terrific gift! Genealogy is a terrific hobby. ~Paula

  3. Cathie Tinston

    My roots are all over the map. English, Irish, German,Polish back to the infant America. and all big families, lots of Catholics, Germans, English Irish, French, protestant, Catholic, etc.

  4. Jane

    I’d really rather not have to click on a link and listen to/watch a video to find out what’s new. Why can’t you just post the details in written form? For that matter, why can’t you blog posts be e-mailed in their entirety instead of my having to click through from the short e-mail I receive.

  5. M.S.

    Ditto to what Jane said. I am hard of hearing so listening to podcasts, etc. are not acceptable to me. I cannot hear what is being said. Why can’t it be in readable form?

  6. ALAN

    Agree with Jane’s comments. FYI – I always just “click through” your teasers that link me to a video. We each have our own preferred method of assessing and analyzing new genealogical information. For me, I want to see the words in print… that way I can quickly decide whether to spend time with the post, or bypass it as not relevant for my situation. When I am forced to watch a video, I refuse… my genealogy research time is precious and limited, and I will not wade through a video (or audio) message without being certain that it may have benefit for my particular situation. Perhaps I am showing my age… 65. Just telling it like it is.

  7. Mary D. Taffet

    Like Jane, M.S. and Alan, I would much prefer reading about any new collections in written form. I not only don’t like having to watch/listen to videos, I quite literally can’t — I have no speakers at all on my computer because it is my firm belief that computers should be very quiet, making no noise whatsoever.

  8. Lanie

    I’m in agreement with Jane,Allan, Mary and MS. It would be nice to have a choice of written or oral. I do like to watch video for learning certain things but a choice would be great.

  9. mhorgen

    I’d like to add my vote to Lanie’s and all the previous comments—having a choice about whether to watch a video or get it in written form is the better way to go! Thanks to all!!

  10. Kristie

    Hi, I agree with the above: a choice of listening or written would be nice, and I prefer written. As an example, when Crista talks about events coming up, she notes that ‘some’ exhibition halls are free. A lovely customer service step from ACOM would be to find out which are and provide that information. Really thoughtful customer service would be to have a web link to each event! If this had been a written blog post, I could have scanned it in 2 minutes or less to see that nothing applied to me and moved on, rather than the endless talking of 11 minutes while I worked in another tab. Thank you!

  11. SomeGuy

    About 6 months ago, you gave me a preview of the updated ethnicity estimates. Is that due to come out soon?

  12. jeanvirginia

    Please add me to the growing list of those who much prefer to learn about what’s new by reading it, not by having to listen to a lot of info, much of which is of no interest to me. Thanks.

  13. Bob

    I also dislike having to watch videos … in fact I do not watch them and while I might be missing something, that’s OK with me. Put it in print, some of us actually prefer to READ! You can still have the video for those who want it (are there many out there that prefer video???) and include a transcript or better yet a written version designed for reading.

  14. Michael

    Reading is faster than listening. Putting new product information in video-only form is disrespectful of your customers’ time. Besides, don’t you want us spending more time on your site and less time on YouTube?

  15. Barbara

    I agree with 10 of the above comments about not having to view a video to gather information and about the shortened blog posts. I don’t click on any of those, it is a waste of my time. Genealogy research takes enough of a persons time to waste it viewing a video when you can scan an article and get what you need from a printed text of the video presentation.

  16. Ken

    Add me to the list of those who dislike videos. Reading is much faster than watching. I can skip over parts that don’t apply to me, or spend extra time thinking about parts that do apply. Reading is also better for your brain, since it’s active — you have to think about the material instead of just passively letting it flow by. Videos are for entertainment. Text is for learning.

  17. Pat

    YES! I agree with the others about having to watch a video! I notice this happening more and more on news articles on the web as well. You can read as time allows, and if there’s a distraction, you can easily come back to it. I frankly, just don’t watch the videos at all.

  18. Cathy

    You don’t have to watch a video, isn’t this the same information as on the main page when you go to ancestry called “What’s Happening at Ancestry”?

  19. Ron

    Product enhancements – how about fixing all the problems? Oh, wait, that would be a CUSTOMER SERVICE enhancement.

  20. Judy 1366

    I agree to reading the info instead of see a video…….ancestry has completely forgotten the people in rural areas of any country they are in . We out in the rural areas even with satellites get very bad and slow service & can’t get most of the new tech stuff that ancestry has but still pay the price.

  21. Debbie

    I also prefer to read about new products and enhancements instead of a watching a video. My computer is old and the videos keep stopping to “buffer” or load. Very annoying.

  22. Martin

    Videos can be expensive for those on data limited packages or viewing on a mobile device. If you are truely supporting your customers you would also provide the information in written format.

    Also remember you also probably have deaf or partially sighted subscribers, not providing alternative solutions for these subscribers would in my view be a breach of the UKs Disabilty Discrimination Act.

    • Member Services Social Support Team

      @martin: If you click on the “cc” icon on the video it will bring up subtitles but we’ve passed on your feedback in relation to this and thank you for addressing this.

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