Posted by Ancestry Team on November 9, 2017 in Products and Services

We recently released a couple changes to the Fact and Lifestory pages and wanted to share how you can benefit from this update: 

Quick Edit Hover

Quickly edit via the Quick Edit without having to navigate to that family member’s page, edit, and return to your previously spot.

  1. Hover over the family members’ card and an Edit button will appear.

  1. Click the Edit hover button and the Quick Edit Modal will appear enabling for quick edits to be made without having to navigate to their page.


Teaser Historical Insights

We have reduced the size of unaccepted historical insights to decrease the scrolling of the timeline on Lifestory as well as to better identify new insights.

These insights can lead to a greater understanding of why your ancestor did what they did. Perhaps they experienced flooding and needed to move or the flooding destroyed all trace of them  and a historical insight reveals that many in that area contracted an illness or a natural disaster.

Now when a historical insight is recommended, the image will be a horizontal crop of the entire image.


None of the functionality regarding the saving of a historical insight to your person’s timeline has changed. To save a historical insight to your ancestor’s timeline:

  1. click the ‘Review’


  1. Once on the historical insight’s main page, scroll down to where your Ancestor’s name and image are displayed. Select ‘Keep’ to keep it on your ancestor’s page.


  1. Once you’ve kept it on your ancestor’s timeline, the full-sized image will display in their timeline.


Note and Comment Notification Icon

We have introduced the presence of the note and/or comment icon on the person card header on the person page.

When there is a note present on a person, the note icon (clipboard) will appear within the header informing you that a note is present. Notes remain private and only Editors and Owners can see them. It doesn’t matter if your tree is public or private.


When there is a comment or comments, the comment icon will appear as well as a comment count. And remember comments are always public. Other Ancestry Members can view them.


We hope you enjoy these quick updates, please provide feedback and questions below in the comments.











  1. Karen

    Some people add comments or give comments on a person in my private tree that are incorrect. How do I delete the comment.

    • Joyce

      I don’t think you can–I hide them but that only keeps me from seeing them I think…just put a response to the comment so others can see what is correct and that you have addressed the issue.

    • Madeleine

      Firstly I don’t understand how people can put comments in people’s profiles in a private tree because it shouldn’t be able to be accessed.
      I would contact the person who made the comment and ask them where they got their information from and ask them to delete the comment.

      • Joyce

        agree Madeleine—perhaps that person only thinks her tree is pvt—just as someone commented yesterday about DNA matches showing private trees—I went and checked my matches and it just is not so…

        People need to double check their setting through family view & settings when they have these problems as private is private…I have several private trees for “experimenting” & working things out as well as public ones. I never see comments on my pvt things…

        Rarely see comments at all LOL I document to death so if someone needs to know about something all they have to do is look at my tree.

        I do everyone I can cradle to grave, and make copious notes about things. Addresses, occupations, you name it…those things help you stay on track without having to refer to census’, directories etc over and over.

        • “Perhaps that person only thinks her tree is private.”

          Could be. Or, she may have, at one time, had her tree public and then changed it to private. The comments would still stay with the person the comments were left with.

    • Monika

      I refuse to believe that someone can put a comment on MY tree and that I should not be able to remove that omment. If that is true, better go back to the drawing board. You are welcome to put a comment on my tree, but I should have the right to add AND delete anything on my tree. would be giving someone else the right to “high jack” your tree if it allowed that to happen. But, yes, I used to have all my trees public at one time, but now all but two of them are private because of inappropriate use of my information by others.

  2. Joyce

    While the notes function is fine for some things, I use custom events to make notes easily visible to others–usually these notes are about conflicts I see or unresolved problems I am having.

    I WANT ppl to know when I am not sure of something, or if there are issues I have already noticed.

    It also helps when you are helping someone such as when you are an editor on a tree…leaving notes about above issues and also things you would recommend, or things pending (such as Birth Cert on order) let’s everyone know exactly what is going on.

    • Joyce

      One thing I WOULD like to see is more characters on events in facts page–it is far too limited–sometimes I just have far more things I want to see that are important, but cannot fit is all in those tiny boxes. I already use shorthand type notes for my comments on facts page BUT we need more room ancestry.

      It is REALLY a pain int he neck to have to review every attached source over and over to see important things that should be on the facts page to keep me on track.

      I understand you only have so much server space BUT what is the difference if you just give us more space to start with or make us add copies notes using custom events–better to have the info associated with the event, without have to add the source to each custom event entry…

      I have been on ancestry nearly 20 years. I did not care for many changes, but have learned to deal with “New Ancestry” But come on! You made things so much more difficult with “new” although there are some changes I like–but give us more room please!

      Same with descriptions on photo’s.

      You don’t ALWAYS need more space but when you need it you REALLY need it.

      • “I understand you only have so much server space BUT what is the difference if you just give us more space to start with or make us add copies notes using custom events–better to have the info associated with the event, without have to add the source to each custom event entry…”

        This is what Genealogy software AND research logs are for – OneNote or EverNote to name two . . . An online genealogy site isn’t for all this clutter.

        • Joyce

          I have FTM 2005, I got FTM 2104? when they said they were discontinuing…the replacement programs do not meet the grade yet…I am waiting until they do–regardless MOST folks don’t have software programs–and MY notes on Facts pages lets MOST ppl know all about my lines.

          I rarely pay attention to trees that are not well documented and forget about trees that are merely copied from other trees…

          I will continue GOOD visible notes thank you…the problem I see with many trees is that they are NOT well documented…YOUR software and YOUR filing cabinet does not do any good for the ancestry community. YOUR ancestors are not just yours…they belong to every person who descends from them…so any time I can make my thorough research available I will…I don’t care for poorly documented trees–we ALL owe to the genealogy community to share info…

          I get MANY messages of thanks re how well documented my folks are…do you?

          I have traced lineage back to 1560 in Italy, back to Pilgrims and all kind of things–all very well documented…People appreciate it and many are lost until they find my tree–with many stories, and many documents that prove what is on my tree is correct.

      • Pamela

        I fully agree with you. We need more space! If I am doing a Census record I like to show as much info I can in that one space. It helps to keep from going all over the place to see a doc. It also allows you see everything in one space. Custom Events? Not enough room. Please a bit more space.

  3. Ruth

    I noticed the new “notes icon” this week….I love it! I sometimes forget I have notes on a person so this really helps. I use “custom events” feature when I want something important to actually show on a persons profile. I also love the new “quick edit”….I always hated that you had to go out of one profile and into another to update something…so both of these are great features for me.

    • “I sometimes forget I have notes on a person so this really helps. ”

      While I can certainly see how this could happen. Really, how hard is it to be in the practice when viewing a person’s profile, that you click on “view notes” and review your notes, if you made any.

      To me, these icons are nothing more than redundant and unnecessary clutter. I personally dislike them.

  4. Mark

    I have never used the Notes and Comments features but since this change, a number of people in my trees have started displaying these icons. When I check them out the Notes are not anything I added. How do I find out where they came from and most importantly how do I search my trees to find which people have notes and comments so I can check them out?

    • “When I check them out the Notes are not anything I added. How do I find out where they came from?”

      Notes could have only been added by 1) you, the tree owner or 2)someone that you given editor permissions

      To find how who, look to see who you’ve invited to your tree and have given editor permissions.

  5. Jill Kolin Castagna

    I know there are others that belong on my tree. I do not know how to go about finding them. One is Louis Barroway. another is Jimmie Donald Waters. Thank You

    • Joyce

      This is not the arena for individual research. Suggest you visit chat boards if you cannot figure folks out…lots of info there. Get BMD’s, search other trees…use familysearch and also DNA…

      While you can hit brick walls, many times the info is out there if you know how/where to look.

      Use other sites such as, hathitrust, card catalog, google books, rootsweb, wikitree, familysearch, historical societies.

      Ancestry does not have everything. That would be impossible. I suspect you need to expand your horizons. Do not limit yourself to

  6. Denise G

    I use the Notes and Comments features (it was established years ago) on any public family – most people did not know where it is located. I put a notes to update information and or add information of the person in their tree. Most people appreciate the information that I add and if they have a question – they just leave me a message. It is a great feature to communicate – love it.

    • Joyce

      I agree, when we don’t share info we don’t get info WE need. SOME ppl do not understand the genealogical community…it is about sharing info to everyone’s benefit. MY ancestors and yours do NOT belong to you and I alone. I have collaborated with several 3rd and 4th cousins–going in on costs when something is expensive…we ALL gain from sharing info.

      I know of ppl who keep their tree pvt because there are cousins they do not like and don’t want them to have info…

      IMO that is selfish and does not benefit the community…unless we all she info and help each other, we will ALL lose.

      I have spent about $3K on genealogy records BUT I share it it ALL–I would rather people get the correct info than messing up trees and databases…

      I have made a lot of “geni” friends along the way…even ones who have turned out not to be related.

      I can always ask one of them to look up something in a book they have, or ask a 2nd opinion about some handwriting, ask for help with “can you find this town in this record” when I cannot…

      We NEED to remember this is a COMMUNITY…we are ALL in this together and we should help each other as much as possible. Putting stuff in your software or your paper files helps no one but you…it does not progress the genealogical process.

      • Denise G

        Thanks Joyce – I totally agree with you. If we do not share then we cannot find our relatives. is about finding generations of relatives and helping each and everyone.

      • Patricia

        Dear Joyce,
        Amen, amen, you are so right! Why hide our research? collaberating is very helpful.I have no problem sharing my research, I feel the same about getting our research down right (garbage in=garbage out) and I love learning from others who are willing to share or comment. It’s very hard for me to understand why some hide their research? Keep searching & sharing.

        • Denise G

          Patricia as you already know I agree with Joyce and with your comment 100%. Have a nice thanksgiving holiday. Keep sharing.

      • Pamela

        I agree with you about sharing but I will keep my trees private. If someone is interested, I will be glad to open it to them. I, too, have been working with Ancestry for about 20 years and too much money spent to offer a tree to a new person free of charge. It’s sad to see your tree under another name.

  7. rock5025

    I like the changes. I happily discovered the notes icon some days ago. I find it useful in reminding me that I have made notes on an individual. I like the quick edit features recently added as well. Efficient, as I try to tidy up profiles and maintain uniformity and standards in my tree.

  8. Steven

    Last week I had 73 DNA circles. Today I have 16. WTF?? Where my DNA circle matches with my documented greatgrand parents, 2ggp, 3ggp, 4ggp etc???

    • Cheril

      My shared ancestor hints keep getting smaller and I have lost some circles as well. I read some where that Ancestry is working to resolve the issue. With the biggest DNA database they should also work on giving us a Chromosome browser!

  9. The quick edit feature USED to be available a couple of years ago and with the “New” it was taken away. So for those of us who have used Ancestry for years, it’s nothing new but I’m glad they brought it back.

    For those mentioning comments made on your private tree. Be sure to check and make sure your tree is private. I’ve had mine actually changed in the past. And of course, when I called to complain, I was told that I must have made the change myself because there was NO way anything could go wrong with But you also have to be aware that if those comments are being made on photos….even in a private tree….your photos are NOT private. When you sign up, there is some small print that no one ever reads that basically when you post a photo, you give Ancestry the right to use it how they wish. In other words, they can make that photo public.

    And for those commenting about Family Tree Maker. Family Tree Maker NEVER actually ended even though the original email went out saying it would be discontinued. People got upset but they evidently did not keep up to date about the situation. Shortly after that announcement, FTM was bought out by another company and never actually ended. It has been upgraded to a 2017 version and performs MUCH better than it ever did. (Except on days that the website doesn’t work right) The sync function is no longer controlled by Ancestry and the new company will actually block you from syncing if the site is unstable. This prevents all the corruption that used to happen in the past. Also, with FTM, you can mark parts of a profile as being private and it will not show in the online tree when synced. This is a good feature is you share your tree with family or if your tree is public but you don’t want everything in it shared.

    As far as tree privacy, there are many reasons for not sharing with the public and most are not nearly as selfish as one poster made it seem. There are those who have sensitive info in their trees that they don’t want made public. This can be anything from adoptions, to non-parental events, to health info, and much more. In my particular case, ALL my trees are private. That is because as a professional genealogist, I am paid to create those trees for my client. The information in those trees belongs to that client. And it is up to them if they want to share. It’s not my right to post another person’s genealogy online to the public even if I am the one who researched it. And with that being said, I also do not provide information when people message me about those trees without having the client’s permission to do so. It’s protecting my client’s privacy.

    • Pamela

      Thank you for your post and mentioning that once we post photos even in a private tree, the photos are no longer ours. It has been so long ago that I had forgotten that we lose control over the photos. I put a lot of photos in with certain people as a way to keep them but now will consider removal. Only need to leave one or two. I’m okay with sharing but will keep my trees private. I will share, just not give away a tree. Thanks again for the reminder.

  10. BEE

    I’m confused. My trees have always been private. I mainly copied obituaries to “comments”, or names of parents and/or children if I didn’t want the on the actual tree. I later went through all my trees and put them in “notes” when ancestry did some changes to the site, but didn’t delete them from “comments”. If “comments” can be seen, I will go back and remove anything I have written, just because I want my information “private”.
    Are you saying anything I have in “comments”, even though they are on my “Private” trees can be seen?

    • Janice

      I think it has always been the case that comments are viewable by anyone who can see your tree and that notes have always been for your private use.

  11. Carol

    What is the point of upgrading to Fold3 when the Canadian government will not release any records of soldiers unless they died. If a soldier was maimed no information is released. I believe we need to keep the “Remembrance” feeling alive by knowing all the soldiers and their sacrifice they made, whether dead or alive, that fought for our country.

  12. John marble

    Thank you for continuing to send me reports of how you will expand my family tree data. The trouble with this is that I’m the reason you have so much information. I submitted volumes of material and you dropped me from the legacy membership. Guess you forgot. To bad

  13. Barbara

    Thank you for the new Edit feature – much appreciated. Would like to see that come up from the Hints page also 🙂 Would also love to see a link to the Family Group Sheet page. I used that as my primary view with the old design and still miss it. I know I can construct a special URL to get there, which is a lot of extra work. Would like to see a l ink to it easily available. Thank you 🙂

  14. Sokolee

    Why do you have 2 comment icons an inch and a half apart? Utterly ridiculous! Another example of fixing that which wasn’t broken.

  15. The new changes you have mentioned are good and those changes help to me in the notes and the comments and thanks for informative info

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