Posted by Marissa Huntsman on June 11, 2018 in Products and Services

Customers have been able to conduct a search for a person within their own tree utilizing the information in their timeline. Now we have made it possible for customers to conduct a targeted search from a person in a Public Member Tree.


  1. Navigate in the person page of another customer’s tree.


  1. To search using the information in this tree, click either of the Search buttons.


  1. Ancestry will conduct a search with the information available in the timeline of the person. It will then return a list of search results.


  1. Click to review a search result. Save to the record to your tree.

Marissa Huntsman

Marissa Huntsman is a Family History Product Manager. She graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor’s of Science: Anthropology.


  1. Aaron

    Grammar: “Customers have been able to conducted”
    Cut and paste error?: “3 com will conduct a search….”

  2. Ernest

    Typo in first sentence: “Customers have been able to CONDUCTED….” Should be “conduct.”
    In #3 – “com will conduct a search….” What does that mean?

    • Ernest

      Because a manual refresh is necessary on these pages, I didn’t see Aaron’s comments until I made my own. Please fix the necessity to manually refresh pages, especially on the message boards. Thank you.

  3. Joann

    Husband and wives should have the option to use one email address verses trying to force them to two subscriptions because most couples will only have one administrator to do all the input…the new requirements are not fair; we should choose not Ancestry! Give us the right to say it’s ok to share personal info!!!?!!!!

    • sokolee

      you can share a subscription as long as you are willing to share the username and password. its the DNA where you need 2 separate emails…to get around that one of you should share the DNA results with the other and give them editor privileges. Now both can use subscription and work with DNA results.

  4. Judith Knight

    Is there a way to include a statement to people doing a search to remember the verify the information they receive prior to just attaching it to their files? There is so much mis-information in the trees because of people willy-nilly attaching information without verifying that the information is really valid for the individual[s] involved. Your efforts are appreciated and it will provide a lot of help BUT it will also ensure that more incorrect information is embedded in extant trees. YES, I can provide specifics in terms of users/trees. I always examine sources one by one when looking at the compilation of trees provided as hints when I am provided them by your service. It is amazing the number of records that simply do have any connection to the people to whom they are attached. I realize you cannot supervise your users but this service could just make a bad situation worse. I will say, personally, I would hope anyone looking at my trees would be aware there could be errors and caution should be exercised before taking my info as gospel. My trees are old in terms of having been compiled and some of the sources I added originally were added before I read database descriptions and realized the information was not primary source records but just information provided [unsourced] by individuals and the aggregate of the information was compiled into a database. As I have learned to examine each record I include [the source record if an image is available] and the actual source of the record I have made massive corrections to these old trees that I hope would correct any errors I may have made in the past but still cannot guarantee everything is valid

  5. caith

    One down, and 50 to go. When are you going to fix the Member Connect; it has not functioned in more than 3 months? What about the broken, very broken navigational system in our dna accounts? What about the page numbering feature in our dna accounts? I am being timed-out when working in my new matches. When are you going to fix all this. The promise was by May 31, 2018.

  6. Joyce

    To add to this list when is EXACT in search for surname going to work again…it has not been working correctly for a VERY long time. In order to find women under maiden name only or married name only, you need to delete all references to the name you are not searching for…even kids…so it is messing up searching a LOT and causing a lot of extra work because the exact feature when you edit searches does not work.

  7. caith

    My list of grievances is just the tip of the iceberg. I am 75, and do not have enough time in my life to enumerate ALL if them.

    This new feature you added is appreciated, but if one prioritized, fixing the Member Connect would have been more valuable.

    If you would fix the broken things before adding new features you would be more highly esteemed. Do you understand the time value of money? I, and others, would take out a 2-yr subscription if you would fix things properly. The difference in the interest on the money in a 1yr vs 2yr subscription would be astronomical times your millions of subscribers.

    We want to be LOYAL subscribers but we cannot reward Ancestry’s bad behavior as in thrusting onto us the mickey mouse navigational features et al. Ancestry is not earning our loyalty.

    So, you got a new IT team recently. If they cannot get the job done, clean house again. If at first you do not suceed………..

  8. Mary M Zashin

    Boy, do I agree with caith!! Fix the stuff that doesn’t work, and you and we all know what that stuff is. Make the site more reliable and less glitchy…fix things! Stop wasting time on features that, even though they may be nice (and I’m not sure how valuable a feature that directs the user to a possibly erroneous tree instead of to a genuine source can be), and use your IT department (do you even have an IT department any more? I have read that you have outsourced everything) to clean up the mess that you have made of the site. I remember before the big change a couple of years ago that things were much less problematic, and perhaps you had big reasons for the overhaul, but you never stabilized it and now you’ve done another major shift that has caused massive problems for many people for several months now. You said you would get things fixed by June 1, but that date came and went. You claim without evidence that things work find for “most” people, but the complaints on the Facebook page keep rolling in. Meanwhile, you introduce marginal stuff like this search option without fixing the major issues with search that you know about…or you roll out idiot bait like those “baseball cards” last month. . .instead of working on core issues of stability and reliability. I know you are mostly interested in selling DNA kits and have really little interest in the minority of your customers who actually want to buy subscriptions and do research…I’m sure there’s much more money in appealing to people who just want to learn about their ethnicity…I know that tree builders are a “niche” group and much more high maintenance than the ethnicity customers, but still…the trees do add value to your site even though you pay little attention to the needs of their creators…really, even the DNA results pages are lacking in functionality, and only serve the ethnicity folks…I was hoping to see “enhancements” like improved searching options there, but instead we get this very minor thing….

  9. B. Gibson

    Mary M Zashin, I completely agree with you. You have assessed and expressed my own frustrations with Ancestry so very well.

  10. Bruce Gomes

    I found it very odd here that my most common need for this feature wasn’t mentioned. I often volunteer to help others with their trees, and the inability to search was something that severely limited our ability to do that. So this is indeed a feature I was most certainly looking to have on Ancestry!! Searching on other trees to aid in your own research will come in handy when you discover related trees where the owner has done a poor job documenting sources – usually a relatively worthless tree, but there are certainly scenarios where people are simply entering their own immediate family and close relatives so they have relatively accurate information. Being able to find sources to back that information then leads to real information you can add to your own tree.

  11. Christine Gaunt

    I agree with Mary M Zashin.
    I work in IT and have experience validating database changes in a laboratory information system, including webpages. Do you have a development website, and do you have testers who run through all aspects of the system once you have made changes? Do you fix what the testers find wrong, and then revalidate the system? And then once things work well, only then do you move it to the production server? My guess is you skimp on these steps, but us users would be so much happier and recommend the site more if it worked well consistently.

    I don’t think I would ever try to search on someone else’s tree. I have turned off hints from member trees as I do NOT consider them to be sources. They may be helpful in providing clues, but I have seen numerous trees that have other trees as “sources” but the source tree is no longer there.
    In your procedure above, I recommend you
    Modify Step 4: Click to review a search result.
    Add Step 5: View image and review data (include screen shot)
    Add Step 6: Decide if data in image is indexed correctly and fits your tree
    Add Step 7: Save record to tree (point out save button)

    I have been noticing a new feature that gives me the willies: Potential Living Descendants. How is this supposed to work? How many banks and financial institutions are still using Mother’s Maiden Name as a check on a person’s identity? How long before someone gets their identity stolen because of it?

    • caith

      Christine, as a very senior citizen, I do not pretend to understand IT, other than what I absolutely need in order to navigate in my everyday life.

      I only know three other users of Ancestry. Two of these people apparently do have have navigational and other issues (at least they do not complain); the third person has the same basically navigational issues I have. That breaks down to a 50% success and 50% failure rate. Not a good survey but……

      My common sense tells me there is NOT a fix for those of us with problems without an Ancestry IT person going in to each broken account to do a fix. We know THAT is impossible.

      The bottom line seems to be we have to live with our individual Ancestry problems.

      It is appalling we have to PAY for something that is broken and totally frustrating. They promised everything would be fixed by May 31, 2018. Why do they roll out things before they are ready for prime time?

      I have tested at FTDNA (atDna and mtDna), 23@Me and uploaded to MyHeritage. No problems there.

    • BarbP

      I agree with Christine. As a retired IT person, if I had made changes to a system and not tested them before launching them to the users I would have been fired. Ancestry used to be a valuable tool for genealogists, now it is more of a site for pretty pictures and “bells and whistles. It certainly isn’t easy to find valid information on ancestors. AND I agree with Caith “It is appalling we have to PAY for something that is broken and totally frustrating.”

  12. Beverly Wade

    My brother’s name is Ronald Gary Parks! Last I knew he @ his family lived in North Carolina! Don’t know where! I would dearly love to hear about him!

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