Recent Changes at

8/14/2006 P.S. to this message: Thanks to everyone for writing in. An update was posted to this message on 8/11/2006. Future updates will also be posted here as changes are made.


In an ongoing effort to help users locate relevant content for their family history, has made some significant changes to the site, particularly in the areas of searching and online trees.

Additional enhancements are also in the works, in the form of a new Advanced Search tool that will give more advanced users more search options, including the ability to specify birth/marriage/death information, parents’ names, spouses, relevant locations, and keywords. Each field will include the option to mark it as an exact match or fuzzy match.

Recent changes include:

• Creation of a new search form tailored to each type of content to make searches more effective. The information in databases is not homogenous. While most databases contain information that has been tagged as a name, date, or place, many databases do not have this information tagged or even contain names, dates or places at all. (A map, for example, typically doesn’t contain an ancestor’s name.) This makes it difficult to provide you with all of the information available for your family history. It’s also very difficult to rank these different types of matches against each other properly. That’s why we made a search interface tailored to find each type of content most effectively.

• Replaced the Exact Search tab with a checkbox option (“Exact matches only”) on the search form so that we could use tabs to display different types of content that you can search for on Ancestry (e.g., Stories & Publications, Photos & Maps, etc.)

• Added tabs to the search results, so you can easily switch between content types from the search results page.

• Added a Card Catalog so you can search all of the database titles on Ancestry

• Created new Member Trees, which provide a much better experience, allowing users to get smarter hints about matching source records and trees, and providing a tighter integration with the 4 billion plus collection of records. Other advantages of the Member Trees include the ability to easily attach records found at to the tree; attach photographs; share your tree publicly or with family members to collaborate with you online; and connect with other researchers anonymously through the Ancestry Connection Service or by email if you have chosen to make your tree public. (More on Member Trees can be found in the Library.) 

• Simplified the search forms for each tab by removing some advanced fields. (Enhanced advanced search capabilities will become available in a future update.)

• Added links to each of the members of the household on each census record page, so once you find one of them, you’ve found them all.

• People I’m Looking For (PILF) functionality has been moved to the Member Trees.  Existing PILFs can be moved to a Member Tree by visiting the My Ancestry page and following the instructions in the blue shaded box.

Some things that haven’t changed:

• Keyword searches are still available in many cases by searching databases directly. The new Card Catalog is very useful in locating databases of interest. You can also still browse a list of databases by location or record type through links found under the main search screen. (Click on Search in the buttons in the masthead.)

• Trees submitted through AWT or WorldConnect are still available and can be searched by clicking on the Family Trees button found at the top of the page in the Ancestry mast-head, and then selecting Search Ancestry World Tree from the box on the right of the page titled Family Tree Resources. They can also be searched through RootsWeb WorldConnect.

• Sometimes you find a record that might be the right one, but aren’t sure where to put it, or want more time to evaluate it. These records can still be saved to the Shoebox so you can easily come back to it later. The Shoebox can be found on the My Ancestry page.

• remains dedicated to improving the user experience. Your success is important to us and improvements will continue to be made in response to your needs. You can post your thoughts in the comments section for this post or through the feedback form that is available through the link at the bottom of the Ancestry Community page.

203 thoughts on “Recent Changes at

  1. I’ve been having problems with my searches (especially in the 1910 census)when I need to refine my search. When I refine my search parameters, I almost always get no results–even when I know there must be some records that match. But, when I go back to the original search screen with the new search parameters, I do get results. It gets rather bothersome to have to keep going back to the original search screen when I need to refine my search. I hope this can be fixed.

  2. I have had the same problem as Barb (above).

    Additionally, I have seen the new enhancements (breaking out searches to different types of material), and it just seems to add complexity to the results. Now to review results, we have to navigate through multiple tabs. This is not very user friendly. Finally, the AWT was having problems bringing back any search data last week on it’s individual tab.

  3. Something is messed up about the home page. At first I was getting the form with the four tabs as you described, but now at all I get is a list of census dates – no search form with blanks to fill out.

  4. I agree with comments 1, 2, & 3. When I have been searching recently, I get thoroughly disgusted. I end up having to enter the person’s information all over again. When I want to look at other family trees, most of the time I cannot find the path to them. Please clear up this new state of confusion that has occurred Ancestry. Remember most of us are not computer genius’.

  5. I think the changes make looking up family trees more difficult. I can’t seem to find the ones I did before unless I go to rootsweb.

  6. Donna and Gary (above) are having the same problem I did, that it looks like you have taken “ancestry world trees” off the site (the free trees shared with rootsweb). I finally figured out that they are still there via a tiny link on the side, but then you have to do a separate search filling out all the information again. This is NOT an improvement!

  7. The changes to the Ancestry search function are terrible amd require multiple re-entry of names and many changes to search criteria. Names appear in some results pages and not in others. I found this to be most unsatisfying and irritating. I used to use the site every day and felt my subscription was really worthwhile. I use it very little now and as a result my subscription is not worth the price. As well, I still haven’t received a reply to my four emails querying the absence of one Somerset village in the 1851 census.The site is no longer easy to use and the results are far too random.

  8. I am having extreme difficulty trying to navigate with the new setup. I see no option for searching for an adjacent match when searching for newspaper articles, etc. I don’t want to browse 300 articles for one or two possible matches.

  9. I too am finding it more difficult to find the people I seek. Under the heading above “Some things that haven’t changed:” — Keywords is listed. This is certainly not true. While Keywords is still available on selected databases, this powerful tool has been eliminated across all databases. I used this tool extensively to quickly hone in on a specific person. Much like a google search it allows one a quick way to target an individual. I have trouble imagining how eliminating this tool made it easier or better for even one customer. I also wonder why this new downgraded search was not offered as a preview before it replaced the tried and true? or why the now promised Advanced Search was not put online at the same time? While it is impossible to please everyone, I see very few comments anywhere from customers who think these changes enhanced their searching ability.

  10. I too am very disappointed and frustrated in the HUGE step backwards that Ancestry took with this “new” update. I can’t even get hits when I check the exact box, yet when I uncheck it, I get hits for that very name and spelling, and more spellings. Not at all user friendly changes. I hope there’s another game in town coming! Ancestry seems arrogant when they refuse to put a working homepage back online (like we used to have)! This update is useless to an experienced genealogist, what’s a newbie going to do with it? They won’t find any hits, and Ancestry won’t get any money! Seems to be a great way to drive off business. That can’t possibly be the goal.

  11. Don’t get me started. This is the letter that I just sent to ancestry:

    I cannot tell you how enraged I am that you have effectively ruined the privacy with which I used

    I do NOT choose to publish my family tree because of the absolute misinformation that several posters have posted in supposed “trees” that are so far off the mark it’s sickening. I do NOT wish to get caught up in the “drama” of trying to correct others’ mistakes. It’s not worth it.

    So now that I do not choose to publish my findings and put my information into your public domain when I go to ‘save’ something i.e. a census page etc., I have absolutely no way to get to EVERYTHING that I have previously saved.

    And to remove my access to the family tree function. Blackmail to get me to post?

    I’m ready to cancel. If you check your records, I have been a faithful customer of yours since practically the very beginning of

    You have ruined my experience with ancestry. I can assure you that when renewal comes up, I will used my close to TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS a year subscription somewhere else.

  12. I, too, the the commentors before me, am very disappointed in the “new” ancestry.
    I want to be able to save searches as I did before with out creating a family tree. My time is limited and when I’m searching I save a lot of pages to look at at a later dadte. I don’t want to spend time crating trees with each new name. I. too, am looking for other subscription sites to continue my genealogy reseach.

  13. I’m going to check back here more often than I have before. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find any subscription sources yet besides ancestry because up til now I’ve been very satisfied with my experience. I too would be interested if anyone has had success with other subscription services that do not force members to publicly publish. As I said before, there are a number of ‘trees’ on the website for my family and even when I’ve tried to contact the owner of the tree to help them correct their really bad mistakes (all my sources that I have are primary, and verified, sources that have taken me years to find) they don’t bother. I’ve emailed several more than once to provide them with the primary source materials but they don’t seem to want to correct the mistakes.

    Therefore, I’ve given up on that route. I’ve even emailed ancestry to see if they would make the corrections as well as have emailed them with mistakes I’ve found. Nothing happens.

    The way I’ve chosen to handle it is to NOT publish my materials and to thwart me from saving to ‘people I’m looking for’ by forcing me to publish a tree is unacceptable. I’m looking for a new subscription resource where I can spend my full access dollars elsewhere.

  14. I thought the problem was me! Everything said on this is right, the “improvements” are a step backward and then some.
    Like the rest I am looking for alternative site but know that most have been taken over by MyFamily and they didn’t incorporate the information into Ancestry but continued them and it isn’t cheap either!

    I am an older person so thought it was my resistance to change that was the problem and tried to understand it better but it makes it such a chore. By the time I waddle through the mess
    it has become I am frustrated and then they call about renewing and consolidating all my selections into one and it will be ‘only’ $$$$$………….The latest “improvement has just about done me in!

  15. I too am disappointed with new format. Especially the ‘save to’ feature. Since I have chosen NOT to make my family tree public at this time, I now have to save everything I find to the shoebox instead of an individual.

    This is so frustrating! And so they only way that I can save this information to an individual now is to post my family tree on Which I may do someday, but am not ready to do yet!!

    Also, as I stated in my email to, I am frustrated that they are forcing us to post a family tree. I put the information up for FREE and makes money off of it by charging others to see the information. And am I correct in believing they also use our family tree information to sell on disks? Therefore making more money.

    I am a fairly new user to and have found very valuable information here, but I do not like being, as one person above put it, blackmailed into putting up a family tree before I am ready.

    This is very very frustrating and I may not renew my subscription when it comes up in January.

    I’m a very dissappointed member. >:(

  16. Isn’t anyone besides me still aggravated with the fact that when you give all the info you have (and have found to be correct) for a search, you get back references that aren’t even alive in the timeframe. I.E. If you put a death date for someone in 1780 you get Census data for the 1880-1930. What is up with that and oh what a pain since they don’t have much of a ***** rating system.

  17. It wasn’t broke. Why did you feel you needed to “fix” it? This new set up is terrible! My research is taking longer than ever before. I suppose this is why I pay so much for my subscription!!!!!

  18. Ditto for all the comments above. has been my main source for researching. I am very disappointed with the changes and will be reconsidering spending over $200 each year if I cannot access information that I usually find.

  19. I have been having the same trouble as the other comments. Have been having to type in same information a lot of times. Then keep getting no results when I have found it before. It gets very frustrating. Plus I’m rather new at the hunting. It was a little easier before or I was not looking as deep as I am now. Used to get excited when it would give me infomation that I was looking for.

  20. I really like a lot of the changes at I prefer the new personal trees and the new search layout. It is very easy to attach sources that I find to my trees. I do not see how ancestry is forcing me to make my records public either. I see this as the default setting, but I have always been able to change it if I want to. Can you not attach records to a private tree? I must be using the site differently than most of those who have commented already.

    Despite my dissent from the common opinion, I do have some suggestions that, in my opinion, that would improve the current site:

    1. I agree with Joyce (post 16). I don’t want 1910 census when my person I am searching for has been dead since 1850, but from what I read about in the blog I would hope that the forthcoming advanced search will fix this.
    2. Doing a search I can narrow down results by picking specific databases, but I would like to narrow down searches by eliminating databases from my results one at a time. I may not know at search time what database to narrow down to, but when seeing the results I may know very quickly which ones I don’t want. This would help with issue #1 as well.

    1. I want to share and collaborate my personal tree, but I can only share with others under a read-only scenario. Am I missing something here? I want my brother to be able to edit my tree too, but he has to create his own. It turns out that he and I have the exact same ancestry, and we trust each other. 🙂
    2. I can upload my tree, but no download? I need to be able to download to GEDCOM, or storing my information on Ancestry is still duplicating my work (i.e. I have to still type it into Family Tree Maker or some other offline product so that I can export it for sharing it or mining it). This is my most painful point about the new Ancestry.

    Overall though, I like the new changes, and hopefully some of the next phase changes will address some of the opportunities I have listed.

  21. I have always been very pleased with the ease of searching on I have no idea why you have taken something so easy, fun and effective and screwed it up so badly. It is a total mess now. It’s like getting up in the middle of the night and someone has changed all the furniture around while you were sleeping. You can’t find your way to anywhere. I’m a retired executive of a large national corporation. We made periodical changes to our program also. A company must do that. However, they were done one or two at a time. The customer base was notified of the changes, they were explained in detail and an effective date given. If we had suddenly perpetrated such massive changes as you have, upon our customer base, it would have cost us major customer and profit loss as I believe it will you, and I and others would have lost our jobs, as I believe it should be for some at your company. THIS IS A TOTAL MESS. Maybe Casey and a FEW others can keep you profitable. I have spoken to twenty three other Ancestry users and I can assure you we will not.
    I am not a novice. I have just under 35,000 individual entries in my extended family tree. I was considering making it public. I won’t now, on Ancestry. I will not allow you to hold me hostage for a ransom.
    Best regards,
    John Porter.

  22. Hi Everyone!!

    Just want to share my bad experience about the new Ancestry!
    I have been a member since around 2002, off and on…
    Well, this past May, I started a tree under the old system and had worked back as far as the 1500s on my Husbands side. Believe me when I say that this took quite a while and many, many hours!!!!
    Any way I had spoken to one of his relatives and they ask if I could run a copy of my findings for them, I said yes. So in a couple of days I went to the site to copy and what did I find??? My Husbands Mothers info had been replaced with “LIVING KERR”!!!!!!!! What happened here???? I tried to return it by going in and editing it, but nothing!!! I was horrified!!!! and it still remains that way today and my Mother-in Law passed away in 2000!!!
    I have e-mailed Ancestry with no answers still as to why this happened. Now I started something under the new trees and I too have to hand add everything new!!!! And I have nearly 300 people lined up in my tree.

  23. When questioned about why the Ancestry World Tree funciton was removed from the boxed-in query page and put only on the top of the page, here is the response I received:
    “We appreciate your message.
    We removed it because the Personal Trees is functioning the same as the Ancestry World Tree. The Ancestry World Tree is still accessible on our site.”
    NOT SO TRUE. When info for an ancestor typed into this field, One World Tree comes back on response page. Checking this for the page I wish to view and I get the following tree dated:
    Entries: 7944 Updated: 2004-12-03 12:17:03 UTC (Fri)
    NOW I go the FAMILY TREES button on top of this home page, search for this same ancestor; up comes the page that makes one believe that you have to upload a tree of your own; searching on the right side of this page I find the link to search. Enter info, search for the same data poster and I find:
    Entries: 9332 Updated: 2006-07-31 02:29:04 UTC (Mon)
    NOTE: These pages are from the same patron, but pages are nearly two years apart in updates. Appears that maybe there are two databases at Ancestry? OWT is a subscription; and has old information in it that was posted on the Ancestry site free. How does this compute?

  24. Agree, agree, agree with all the unhappy campers! The powers-that-be at Ancestry don’t care what we think, though, you know… I was essentially told that Ancestry knows what is best with regard to the changes they’ve made. And, regarding the changes — if they worked as intended, they might not be quite so bad, but some don’t, as has been stated.

  25. What a mess! I just renewed my subscription and am extremely upset with the new format as well. Everything takes way longer. You have to go through several menus to get what you need, if you can find it at all! One of the reasons I loved was its user friendliness. Please, please, please get users back to where we can enjoy the genealogical experience. This subscriber will be looking for a new place to research unless some changes are made!

  26. I panicked last week when using What a mess their search engine is now. I put in a name and came up with no record even though I know my tree is on there. I got a msg back saying to use the Family Tree button at the top. Well that’s fine for me now but what about other people searching, they would never find it. Also we used to be able to put in a name and get a list of all records a person might show up in and search each now, you get a list with the census records all mixed up. I am so mad at them right now, I am just about ready to cancel my delux subscription.

  27. I have only started using and I got very frustrated when a simple filter didn’t work. I specified a search in the California census of 1860 and got people from every state in the country — a lot of irrelevant names. This kind of mistake should have been discovered in testing before the system was ever put on line.

  28. I AGREE w/ all but 2 of the 25 ‘comments’:: THIS NEWEST format is TERRIBLE… and has been going down hill since, YOU went off the daily column (I understand, that was hard to write every day)…BUT now, we must ‘see’ the full extent of cleaning YOUR house :: WHO CARES ! Using the heading: “Cleaning out – straightening up my house to US doing the same to our records & PC” = we’d catch on. I, also, am really ‘wondering’ if I will re-subscribe after 4 1/2 years = JUST durn glad I made copies right away, even if I wasn’t sure I would need them !! SOUNDEX unusable – wonder where you found this system !!I KNOW I will NOT be adding to subscrip. — hate to be “taken”…etc,etc. lmk

  29. I really resent that Ancestry World Tree is so hard to get at. I was told they are combining it with the additional paid site of One World Tree. Is this just a continued effect to raise more prices or what. The new set up is very time consuming and I miss the old “here is all the results” we used to get. Beginners will never get around this mess. Can’t we have our old screen back? I have been with you since day one and this is the worst thing you have ever come up with. Please send the bright eyed, apparently non genealogist programer, back to school. Or is it job security for them? Sylvia

  30. I don’t like the new system either. In particular I don’t like having to go to a second screen to use Ancestry World Tree. I thought AWT had been completely taken away until I poked around and finally found that TINY LINK on the Family Trees screen. I want the AWT results to show up on my main “hits list” when I do a search for my ancestors.

    NOT GOOD ANCESTRY!! Put the Ancestry World Tree hits back on the main search results screen where it belongs!!

  31. I’ve been using for a few years. I, too, am very frustrated with the “new improved” site. I find myself continually re-entering data and the navigation is terrible! , Someone remarked about doing an “exact” search and all sorts of unrelated info coming up – that is so frustrating. My time is valuable to me too and this new system is not good. My “shoebox” is getting full. PLEASE, take us back to where we were. It worked!

  32. I am new at searching for my ancesters. Everytime I put a name in the response comes back negative – no data available on that person. I am debating as to whether to look for another site or continue with Anc.Com.

  33. I’m also having problems with the new format. For example, I recently did a search for a male (gave full name), white, b. Dec 1880. Among the many 4-star matches was a black female b. aft. 1900. Neither this nor any of the other many “matches” was helpful.

  34. I must agree with all who feel the new Ancestry is a giant leap backwards. May I also warn you of the pitfalls of publishing your tree on any website. While a novice user, my sister sent her tree to Family Tree Maker – unwittingly including her notes. Family Tree Maker was eventually bought out by Ancestry, or should I say Inc, and the tree is now available here. The notes included some facts about my Mother which we do not keep hidden, but are distressing to be found on the internet for all the world to see. I spent a great deal of time speaking with various individuals trying to get the notes removed and was basically told there was nothing they could do about it. Email help resulted in form letters that didn’t apply to the situation. To remove the notes or tree, my sister has to join Ancestry. Aside from the fact that your tree will be used for profit by the corporation, you really have no control over where it will go from here or how it will be used. Once you share your tree it becomes the property of

  35. I have often wondered how many of the people who work for Ancestry actually use it for their own research. Or, are they busy updating and “fixing” it that they don’t research at all??!
    I, too, think the World Connect or Ancestry Word Tree should be part of the main page of results. The change is not efficient.

  36. I am not one bit interested in the One World Tree concept. Most of my experience with those entries reveals gross errors and unsubstantiated data. That is of no use to me and I will not participate in such a waste of time. Lately, I have found that well defined searches return irrelivant responses. Four star matches where the person died before the birth date entered in the search. That sort of thing. Exact searches usually return nothing when, in fact, qualified hits are out there to be discovered with ranked search. But with so much garbage in the ranked search results it is very cumbersome and time consuming to find quality information. Something is very wrong and needs to be fixed or subscriptions, mine included, will disappear.

  37. I like change, it makes life intersting. However, whomever made this change shouldn’t be in the position and should find a job that fits their limiations. Sadly, I do not plan on renewing my subscription.

  38. I just got back from a 2-week vacation and am sooo unhappy with Ancestry too. I can’t believe that they would take away the most used part of I have reverted back to using rootsweb for tree searches and ancestry for the other stuff. I won’t add my tree yet because there are too many living people in it and I accidently sent one of my first attempts to Family Tree Maker and now that information (with living people!!!!) shows up on One World Tree!!! I can see how this would have eliminated some of the many duplicate and erroneous trees that were posted but that will just happen again over time. I just hope that after reading all of these letters, ancestry will ‘fix’ this so that most of us will continue using

  39. I just finihed reading Juliann Smiths article. While her husband may “HAVE” to adapt to the changes in his basement room as she nicely stated. I don’t “HAVE” to live in her basement nor “HAVE” adapt when I pay for a service.

  40. I, too, agree with the majority of the posts, especially #30. Searching used to be so much easier with the old format. I depend alot on the Ancestry World Tree in my research. This feature has been incredibly helpful and have met many new cousins and clues on where to go to next. The old search allowed for a field were you could type in a spouse. That helped to filter down possible matches.
    Now when I do a search, I have to do it twice or more.
    Please, please listen to your subscribers, they are the experts on what works for them! If they don’t like it you won’t be in business.

  41. I have a couple of minor problems I expect are a result of the new changes, but would like to know if they’re general problems or just a local problem on my computer.

    1. When I get to the main search page, and click on the census years, two of them, 1880 & 1850 now take me directly to the search a state page instead of the page that lets me enter in a name to be searched for. I know the search function is still there, because if I do a search on Family Tree Maker and it includes one of those censuses, I can click on it and it will have the individual search function beneath the results as usual.

    2. Whenever I bring up IE either to begin with or as a new instance of it, the page doesn’t appear, it just cycles saying it is done and then trying to download it again. But if I hit stop and then refresh it brings up the page ok and the problem doesn’t recur with that particular instance of IE. (I haven’t tested to see if I get the same problem with Netscape or not.)

    Anyone else seen these problems? I can work around these, but it’d be nice to get them fixed one way or another.

  42. I wish to join the chorus of VERY unhappy long-term subscribers. I still haven’t figured out how to get back to Ancestry World Tree (the free trees), except once the first time I tried. I hope that the folks at Ancestry are paying attention to this blog and will make some changes soon.
    I DID start a personal tree, it is public BUT when I entered a name from my own tree on the search page, with father, mother, birthdates all I keep getting is “No such person”….so my question is What does Ancestry consider ‘public’ if by putting in a name for search you get no resulting matches in the personal trees. HOW do you search the personal trees? THAT has not been made clear and if they are not searchable why put all that time into creating the tree??? Somebody at Ancestry really messed up – It wasn’t broken – no need to ‘fix’ before, but now it is a disaster and needs some correction soon.

  43. When I called to cancel my membership (because it is so hard to search) the customer service person told me that Ancestry had taken over Genealogy. And they were not adding anymore information at that site. That pretty much makes Ancestry the only game in town. I have been with Ancestry since the beginning. Does anyone have a list of independent sites without Ancestry fingerprints? Thanks Ellen

  44. Juliana’s column this week is just a blatant attempt to justify Ancestry’s lack of proper planning in making its changes. Do you really think we don’t see through it?? The fact is that Ancestry implemented changes, but not improvements. You did so without notice to the paying customers, and without input from us as to what WE would like to see improved — and what DIDN’T need improving. We aren’t nearly as stupid as Ancestry would like to believe. Come on –we know that change is a part of the whole computer genealogy business. You don’t need to treat us like infants and point it out. We update our systems, and recognize Ancestry needs to keep pace as well. THAT is NOT the issue! The issue is that Ancestry made changes to the site which are not more helpful, but rather more complicated for users. Why don’t you just admit your mistake, apologize, and fix the problems FAST instead of trying to make excuses? You need to remember that WE PAY YOU to be able to search the site at our convenience, not at yours. Rearrangeing things is fine, but a search should still come up with the same possible hits as it did before (or more), not less. The ability to refine the search is still crucial, as all of the postings on Ancestry’s message boards and here should be making clear to you. Face it, Ancestry, you handled this all wrong.

  45. It is beyond me why Ancestry would trade a “Cadillac” search engine in for a “Model-T” and call it an improvement. Many of my ancestors have common surnames such as Williams and Webb and without the keyword feature searches are now a nightmare. There is no way to put the county in as before. Also gone is the “also lived in” feature that I used quite a bit in the ranked search. Letters to Ancestry are replied to with a canned answer that basically says “Deal with it”. If they are bound and determined to keep this new format even at the cost of alienating a loyal customer base, you have to wonder what is at work here. Were people getting finished with their research too quickly so they cold-bloodily decided to slow us down? If that was their goal they have certainly suceeded. If their goal is to KEEP their current customers’ goodwill then they should put a link on the home page to the “old” search engine. Call it Classic Ancestry. So Ancestry loses face by admitting they made a mistake, so what? It will be much better in the long run if they squared their corporate shoulders and made this right. I loved Ancestry so much that I had recommended it to several family members. As of today I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. I am “paid up” until February. If they haven’t addressed any of this by then I will be a FORMER customer when my membership comes up for renewal.

  46. Dear
    I hope you are listening to all this. I won’t take up space repeating the many VALID criticisms noted above. Having been a paying subscriber for many years now, though, I find these new, major changes to be an unnecesary step backwards.
    I am presently in the middle of my current one-year full-access “World” subscription, which, heretofore, I have used many times each week. If the site remains this difficult to use, and you remain unresponsive to your subscribers, I will cancel my subscription.

  47. Ancestry, I hope you’re listening to the complaints. AOL wouldn’t listen to the complaints of their subscribers, and look where they’re headed…..!!!!!

  48. I do not want to be forced to save family trees and am extremely disappointed with losing the “save” record feature. I agree with the many other comments about frustrations when doing searches. Adding features and content is great, removing favorite features and losing functionality is not.
    Sounds like many of us are reconsidering our memberships.

  49. I was shocked to discover I couldn’t perform a global search of all databases at once, like I did before. It listed every hit and let me, the user, choose what I wanted to take a look at. The Ancestry World Trees is a favorite. Now, the AWT link is buried somewhere else. Only the One World Tree Results showed up in a primary Family Tree search. I am most disgusted with the fact that not only my living parents show up in the One World Tree searches, but so do I and all of my children. This is a most distressful situation. I complained and was told that no dates were involved and we couldn’t be removed. With all that information, anyone can easily pull together all the facts from the public records and other databases and patch together an easily stealable identity — not to mention an invasion of my privacy.

    Please — put back the ability to perform a Global Search of all databases!

  50. If Ancestry decides that it would like to update a feature, why don’t you do a beta test using a cross-section of your subscribers. Perhaps in this way, you would find the problems before making the changes instead of afterwards. I agree with most of the previous comments and question my subscription renewal. Everyone in your firm must have alot of time and money waste unlike your subscribers.

    What I don’t see in your columns, is a general response to the concerns of your subscribers. Is there any plan in the works to show concern on your part.

  51. I can’t believe the problems I’m having with your web site since you made all of these “changes”. What happened? Did you hire some sort of consultant group to revamp your site? Well, it’s not working. I agree. You better listen to your customers. I, too, will bail if you don’t get these problems corrected.

  52. I’m also in the middle of my first and last rear subscription and to my regrets, have recomended it to other family members who share information. They will probably never speak to me again.

  53. Simply put ‘It’s one big mess!’ Subscription is a luxury for me and I can’t afford to subscribe to something that is no longer useful.

  54. I, too, will think twice about renewing. Not only is this “change” a mess, but other things bother me. I found
    WFT by myself, but why did I have to search for it?

    Many families living in Columbia Co., GA on the 1820 census are
    listed instead in Bulloch Co., GA. Somehow ancestry has mixed up the records of the two counties. Are other counties like this?

    I reported a mistake in the 1920 census – my ancestor was listed as Neat Bennett instead of Isaac Bennett, which the record clearly states. However, this change has not made to date. Ancestry’s unwillingness to make corrections doesn’t sit right with me. Why would ancestry want to have bad data online?

    The War of 1812 records show no one named FARR, although I have papers on a man named Farr who served in the War of 1812.

    Paying for World Family Tree was my biggest mistake. Why are the email addresses of people adding to this site a secret? You cannot locate anyone working on your family and expect a response if your email address is not readily available.

  55. I have been with Ancestry for a long time and I can’t believe that you think I will pay you to tell me I have to adapt to this mess. I DO NOT have to live with this and if it doesn’t get better, I will not renew.

  56. Like all the other respondents I am totally disappointed with the changes. The list of English census returns no longer gives the ability to see all the family details of the same address. True the nmaes are listed at the bottom but you need togo into each one to see the relevant information. and who says the partner of the adults is the natural parent of the child it may be a second marriage.
    Don’t the people at Ancestry know that in genealogy you should never presume only deal with suppotable facts.

    A review of my subscription is on the cards.

  57. I also was very diasappointed in the new search results. Then i received my usual yearly call from Ancestry, to renew my subscription. A very informed young man, listened to my complaints on the new seach problems i was having, mainly the Soundex search which i could not find, and thought had been eliminated. He explained that you need to put a checkmark in the exact search box and then a search box pops up to the left where you can select soundex, and it works just like before. This eiminates the star search which just keeps pulling up too many names. I hope this helps the rest of the subscribers. I have yet to run across this being explained in any help for searching by Ancestry.

  58. It is time for Ancestry to listen to the membership that keeps them in business via the very expensive subscription rates!!!
    There was no warning of the changes that have taken place. It just so happened to have taken place AFTER I paid over $300 to renew my membership. The new site is a disaster and is taxing to one’s patience and good will. The new search engine is beyond faulty. There certainly is pressure to “publish” your family information. The “shoebox” feature is a joke…bring back the function that allows us to save various bits of information by individual person. If this is the future of, I will not suggest the site to anyone nor will I renew my subscription.

  59. I have been a member of for some years now on and off, some yearly some monthly. I think the site is an excellent help for research. But recently I allowed my membership go as at the time did not need to use it for a time.
    One day I needed to check a date on someone in my tree that I had saved on Family Trees. I was not allowed to view my own records in my own family tree without paying for renewal of my membership. I was so annoyed that I had painstakingly entered all of my family information plus all census results related to my family and had not been allowed to view my own research.
    I deleted as much information out of my tree as I could and will never download my family information on the site again.
    I am a yearly member now but will continue with searches due to the fact that it is a great site for family information.

  60. The “new” ancestry update is terrible!!!Who’s BIG idea was it? Do you think anyone in charge of the Ancestry site ever reads this blog if they did the update would be gone. Will also consider very careful before resubscribing next year!!!!

  61. What a Mess!!!!!! The new changes are horrible. I will not be renewing unless serious changes are made, hopefully back to the old global search.When something isn’t broke don’t try to fix it. Like so many of your customers I have been a user for years and I am furious. I have paid so much money over the years based on the old format and now you change it to something I don’t want

  62. I’m adding my name to the growing list of dissatisfied customers. What on earth possessed to make these so-called ‘improvements’??? I used to use as a break from work in the evenings, as a way to relax. I can tell you, relaxed was the furthest thing from my mind when I experienced the ‘new’ ancestry — no way to do a global search, searches on names that I KNOW are in there, but don’t show up, and worst of all, having to be the equivalent of a contortionist to get into Ancestry World Tree (I agree with others who said One World Tree is useless; I can’t imagine paying money for such a worthless piece of excrement).

    It is a shame I renewed my subscription in May — but you can bet if ancestry doesn’t respond to these LEGITIMATE complaints by me and all these others, that I will give up next year’s subscription in a heartbeat.

    What an incredibly stupid move. I am totally disgusted with this site.


  63. I hope Ancestry listens to the above complaints. I loved using it on a daily basis and now can’t stand it. Things that I know are there, just don’t show up. They have made everything so difficult. Juliana is wrong about this, it’s a mess and needs to be fixed. I also won’t put my family tree on the site, for reasons I don’t care to go into. I WILL NOT renew if they don’t make things right. They charge way too much, for me to make my blood pressure rise! Ancestry, PLEASE LISTEN TO YOUR CUSTOMERS or soon you won’t have any!!! You used to be wonderful!

  64. Please put all of the results back on a single page. It is very time consuming to hunt through all of the tabs when some yield no results and others are full. We have always had to go through a weeding process (narrowing the search to a particular geographic area after finding may more Johnstons than we needed) or expansion process (using John* when the census taker may have written Johnson instead of Johnston), but this is not a barrier to research. Hiding results is an impediment. I always do an exact search for the reasons mentioned above (even though the time period of the search never really worked well, i.e. the individual lived from 1800 to 1870 and the first option was someone with the same name in the 1930 census). Still. I agree with all of the others above. This change is not an improvement, but a hinderance to our research.

  65. I thought I was having trouble because this is my first year with Ancestry, but I must say that I agree with almost all of the preceding messages, particularly 14, 15, 16, 19, 32, 36, & the basement @ 39. Also 54. I’ve learned that it is not just me, so this is my first and probably last year to research on Ancestry! M. Laird

  66. I agree with everyone else about the changes making a mess of our research. I miss the save feature which allowed me to put an item with a spouse if the person was not on my list yet. I recently went back to work, so my time is limited and now all the things I found are on a tree that I did not want to make, but did before I realized that is what I did. One question when we do not renew our subscriptions what happens to our research records???????

    It was not broken why did Ancestry have to fix it!

    Mary Lou Gravatt

  67. I have been a long time subscriber to Ancestry and within the past year upgraded my subscription at a cost of more than $300/year. I find myself joining the chorus of dissatified subcribers over the changes that have been made. Recognizing that the site is sponsored by the Church of Latter Day Saints, it is evident that their monoply had gone to ripping off people, not listening to their custsomers and forgetting customer satisfaction. It is a tragedy to see Ancestry go this way. I trust that someone in their structure takes heed to our complaints and concerns and responds with POSITIVE changes.

  68. I want the “People I’m Looking For” feature back. This is my bookmark list of documents I’ve found that I need to go back to when I have more time. How can I tell just by looking at the tree which ones have documents to be followed up on?

    I followed the directions for converting those listings to a tree and the relationships are all messed up. My mother-in-law is now my father’s mother! There is no way to detach a relationship and re-attach it where it belongs. If I just delete the incorrect people and reload them by Gedcom, I’ll lose all the documents currently attached to those names. I sent an email help request on this matter, but have not had a reply yet.

    Remember that the Mormon Church has a religious agenda whereby they want to be sure all our ancestors are baptized and their marriages sealed in heaven. Having our trees facilitates that purpose in ways the previous “My Ancestry” could not.

    Is there ANYONE happy with ANY of the changes?

  69. I agree with every one above. This site is a terrible mess now and takes longer to find anything. My subscription is up next month and I was planning on getting the world delux but now I am not sure I will bother renewing at all.

  70. I really do not like the changes that were recently implemented at Ancestry. First of all, were we told this was going to happen ahead of time, or did I just miss that announcement? Secondly, you have eliminated two of the best things about Ancestry. It was always so useful to have a global search of all data with each entry. And I have to say that not having immediate access to the Ancestry World Tree is a total pain in the rear. PLEASE consider bringing back these two functions, and PLEASE consider polling your membership before making such major changes in the future. Oh, and I agree with the many others who have made the comments about the unreliability of One World Tree. I have found so many mistakes in One World Tree that I have just quit using it altogether.

  71. Wow! I’ve been wondering all week what was wrong with me not being able to access the familiar places on Ancestry. I too, have just gotten back from vacation and couldn’t beleive what was happening. I am a novice geneologist and was proud and grateful I could navigate around Ancestry, find information and put together my family tree. This my first year in Ancestry and my renewal is up this month. My gut instinct before reading this message board was to wait and explore a while but I still wasn’t sure. Now after reading all of this I KNOW NOW I will wait untill you get the changes worked out or go back to the way it was, but Thanks Anyway for a fun and productive year! Aug. 2005-Aug.2006

  72. In the August 7, 2006 “Ancestry Weekly Journal” Mr. Jeff Lewy contributed a useful tip — “Donate Research to Silent Auction.” He stated that he donates a fundraising auction item of 10 hours of genealogy research to charities who are able to raise $500 to $1000 for this service.

    This WAS a good idea and I’d like to do this to support my favorite charities. However, with the “changes” Ancestry has now made, I’m afraid 10 hours won’t get very much productive research.

  73. Ditto on the comment “AOL refused to listen to the customers now they are begging for same.” Our society is conducting a winter workshop mid January, 2007. One of the topics is and how to use it. If this had been a topic at the 2006 workshop, the presentation would have been of a positive note. As of the update, the presentation will be more negative. When teaching newbies, an extensive list of ‘work arounds’ makes their eyes glaze over and we can easily lose them. We depend on workshops to get/keep members.

  74. As is their want, the “techies” have overtaken, confused the entire site with their “improvements”, presuming to know what users “need” and “want”. As #75 states, AOL refused to listen to their users – perhaps a.c. will awaken when their users start leaving for greener, freer, pastures!

  75. I wrote early on about the new Total Mess Ancestry but I don’t know where my comments were hidden. It was good hearing “service” mentioned a couple of times. Where is the service to members now? Why pay high rates for something as useless as this site has become?

  76. After reading all the complaints I decided to check it out for myself as I’m a bit of a skeptic…two frustrating hours later…too many hits that don’t have any relavance to my search. What happened to the ‘ranked search’ feature? I tried the so called “tips” and got even more frustrated. Good grief! Don’t put your heads in the sand Ancestry, somebody better fix this fast.

  77. Ditto to all the astonishing complaints listed above!
    It’s enough to have my daily dose of Ancestry News
    shriveled to weekly, but research is now impossible!
    I regret my recent renewal of Ancestry.
    At least in Houston we are priveleged to have access to
    Clayton Library.

    Nothing was broken before!

  78. I am disappointed and may not renew my subscription. I have talked two people into subscribing in the near future. I am going to tell them not to. I still search the censuses, but I liked doing a search for a name and getting “hits” on census records; marriage, death, etc records; OneWorldTree; Family Trees, etc, etc. all at once. Now I have to search under Historical Records and then search again under Family Trees. That’s bunk! The way I found ancestry was by doing a google search and being led to a message board. Message boards were so simple to access. Now it takes a master’s degree and an act of congress to find one. It took me (and I do have a master’s degree plus!) a while to find them by going to Ancestry Community. But can I just put in a last name and find it’s board? oh, no! I must go to the letter of the last name. THEN, I get “Find A Board.” That’s too complicated! I predict that Ancestry’s sales will plummet–both renewals and new subscriptions! Oh, I was asked how to make it better and I told you about easier access to message boards. I can’t believe that people actually suggested the changes that were made! It was User Friendly, it is far from that now.

  79. I would have to agree with everyone on using this site. I came across a lot of mistakes in my families history, found no way to correct the mistakes. I will cancel my subscription which is due next month. I have used this site since the 70’s and it has become to difficult to use now.

  80. I don’t like the new set up at ancestry. Before everything came up in a search, now I have to waste time clicking around to find anything I want. I hope they change it back.
    No longer user friendly to me.
    What they should concentrate on is acquiring more records to add online. I called a few months ago and suggested they get the mine reports of Pennsylvania. Most immigrants pasted thru the coal region. I never heard anything back from them.


  81. I’m just starting to get into geneology and talk about frustrated. Is your new format the reason I’m having trouble accessing ancestry?

  82. horrible mess! it takes twice as much time to find absolutly nothing. if it aint broke, dont fix it!

  83. The only thing worse than the “new” site is the nusance telemarketing calls from Ancestry! My response to the next call will be even more negative …. and there will be no more checks headed to Ancesrey from my account!

  84. The recent changes in Ancestry search is so disappointing. They tried to fix something that wasn’t broken. It was fine the way it was, and now it’s awful. I wonder about the reason they decided to make these changes in the first place. If enough of us voice our complaints, maybe Ancestry will wake up and put it back the way it was. It’s for sure, the majority of us here feel it was a bad move.

  85. What can I say? All of the above apply to me also. I still can’t believe how Ancestry managed to ruin a good product. Ancestry is very expensive so with the horrible changes it will be subscription review time soon. Ancestry you had better pay attention because if you keep this up there won’t be anyone left for you to charge.

  86. A good place to search family trees, Gencircles,com. Free site, unless you choose to subscribe to the Smart-matching feature.
    If you use Family Tree Maker, try using the web-search button for the individual. It does a pretty good job of searching Ancestry.
    I don’t care much for the new set-up either!

  87. I was planning to resubscribe to Ancestry in the next month or so, after being off of it for a couple of years. I was looking forward to all the links I could look at. But after reading all these comments, I have changed my mind about it. This is so disappointing. I remember the way it was when I used it before, with great expectations. I’m so sad and frustrated that Ancestry felt the need to muck up a good system. Please change it back. I want to get back into research, and be able to find what I need.

  88. Well, I thought I was the only one who had issues with the changes at, but it seems it is not so.
    Ditto to all the comments above – I won’t bore you with a repeat of those. A new “rant” I’d like to add…when did Ancestry lose it’s zeal for adding new databases?!!! I have been a subscriber since 2000 and was very impressed at Ancestry’s committment to increasing daily the amount of data available on the internet. That seems to have been replaced by “bells and whistles” that neither ring or whistle! We are not getting enough updates to Vital Records – Births, deaths, marriages,wills, etc. Ancestry used to be a site of new discoveries with multiple and USEABLE dateabases added daily. I like the newspaper collection and the local histories, but don’t find it especially useful if I cannot find out where my ancestors were born, married, lived and died! I wonder each April at renewal time…does the Emperor wear any clothes?! I’ve read every one of these comments – I’d like to see a meaningful response to them before my next renewal.

  89. Thank you to John Porter who said it better than I did:

    I am not a novice. I have just under 35,000 individual entries in my extended family tree. I was considering making it public. I won’t now, on Ancestry. I will not allow you to hold me hostage for a ransom.
    Best regards,
    John Porter.

    That is EXACTLY what my earlier comment referenced. I’ve been thinking about this all day… realizing that I have been a member since 1995 and I cannot think of one single change that ancestry has made in these 11 years that has been a bad one. UNTIL NOW.

    So, I ask myself, why? Why have they done this… yes, the new ‘multi-searches’ are a pain in the butt however… I think that this all boils down to getting family trees to publish to make money from.

    As I said before, there are a number of family trees connected to my family research that appear on Ancestry that are horribly wrong. I shudder at those who take them as gospel. There is no way to fix them and I refuse to muddy the water even further with my own primary source research.

    I have spent the maximum for available information since 1995. My subscription runs out in a few months. Like many here, I will be dropping my subscription. If that means that I have to resort to snail mail and state libraries and county and city court records then so be it. I did it before the internet existed and I can do it again.

    Ancestry are you listening? I don’t think that we will ‘simmer down” and accept the changes. For me, it’s the principle of the thing and I’ve learned that good genealogists are usually pretty principled people because of our quest for primary sources and painstakingly correct information.

    And finally, like others, I have information about family members and relationships that may still be painful to relatives. For that reason alone, I will not post my tree.

    I’m paying for a subscription; I’m not a part of your research team.

  90. Thank you, thank you!!!! You’ve made me so happy that I didn’t renew and now I don’t have to decide whether to rejoin. You made my decision for me!

  91. I thought I was the only one unhappy with the current mess! It used to be fun to search; now it is too time consuming and frustrating. I find myself going to Rootsweb to search family trees.

  92. when searching in the death records in Conn. found 9 pages of identical information. the new system is not easy or user friendly. I to am reconsidering renewal. This was one of many problems as described above I had.

  93. I liked the old version of Ancestry with the home page and the global search results. I also liked having Ancestry World Trees more readibly available. I am not interested in renewing.

  94. I absolutly do not like the changes to your site. Everything was at my fingertips as far as searches go with one click. Now I have to constantly re-enter the same name and my god, the countries, over and over again to get to all sites. I have been a member for a long time but maybe not much longer. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it! Too late, now it’s broke. What are you going to do about it?

  95. I’m old….72 years….I have been working on my genealogy for over 50 years.
    Back in the “old days” when all research was by “snail mail”….SASE and $1.00
    could get you a copy of a marriage record….IF you could get the county clerk
    to look for it and you were patient enough to wait for weeks or months.
    EVERY scrap of info you found was a precious jewel, to be treasured.
    Then came the age of the computer, and FamilyTree Maker..remember the 3.5
    floppy? simple but what a wonderful tool!!..then genealogy went Internet!
    I will never forget the thrill when started. After using it and
    finally breaking through some of my “brick walls” and touting the praise of
    this WONDERFUL tool to everyone that would listen…I began my association
    with Ancestry. I have had a membership for almost as long as it has existed.
    Through heart attacks, deaths in the family and friends, Ancestry has been my
    best friend and “companion” my relaxation, a friend I could always depend on to
    be there for me.
    I was willing to budget for my membership, and even beg a few $$$ from my kids.
    I just came home from the hospital, after a week of missing my friend and thinking
    of all I would do as soon as I could “boot up” QuasiMoto…(my computer).
    While I was away, another “Young vs Old” battle was fought and sadly my old friend
    was the casualty. And now, I fear, I just don’t have the brain cells NOR the energy left
    to try and “learn” the new ways. You know….”old dog….new tricks” thing.
    And, I don’t have the time…(my ISP connection is limited), so, goodby dear friend
    you served me well……..once upon a time. I will miss you.

  96. So far so good. Okay it’s different but I haven’t run into any insurmountable problems yet, except for being unable to successfully upload my GEDCOM as a personal family tree yet (it might just be too big, or the server might just be too congested with everyone uplaoding at once, I’ll try again in a week or so!).

  97. I agree with everyone here. Ancestry used to be a wonderful place for researching. I have been in the process of preparing my family tree to post, but thankfully I have not posted it yet. I will not be posting it now or ever as I now see too many problems in the future. Problems that had not occurred to me. So thank you fellow complainers for enlightening me. I , too, am going to say good-bye to an old friend.

  98. I’ve been using since I started to work on my family history several years ago…it’s alway been my primary source of information and I was able to accomplish something every time I logged on. Since the changes are so frustrating, I’ll carefully consider renewing my subscription when it comes due. There are literally thousands of sites now available – often free – to genealogists which are looking better and better every day. I’ve also found it morally questionable that you charge your customers for access to the family trees that have been given to you freely…

  99. I thought my problem was just a remote and random one. I am now astonished to discover that Ancestry.Com “planned” all this! I use the searches of the Texas Birth Index for a majority of my research. It simply does not function correctly now. I just figured out how it works now though. If I want to find my children by searching the father, I must put my first name in the last name field for the father and my last name in the first name field for the mother. Nice..real nice!
    Technical support could give me no timeframe for when this problem could be resolved. I was told, “the programmer’s plates are pretty full right now”. HELLO…i’m pretty sure it is the programmers that screwed this up!
    So my subscription here is pretty much a waste. Until this is rectified, I will expect a day-for-day addition to my current subscription if you expect to earn my continued business. I have already notified my local genealogical society that prospective subscribers to your service might want to hold off until you folks get your acts together here. I just can’t knowingly let my friends go and waste their money too!

  100. I too am unhappy with the changes. I just renewed -with an upgrade – and answered a survey indicating I was happy with
    Ancestry. Then this happened. Why bother with a survey if you
    aren’t going to pay attention? Now I am paying a lot for nothing. Google is looking good.

  101. I certainly understand and sympathize with all the posts here. I have being doing genealogy for 11 years now and I have seen the search ability at ancestry just continue to degrade. I often can’t find census records for someone I found at ancestry and have to go to the state, then the county, etc. just to find someone I found originally!

    Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of genealogy websites out there, but one good portal that I have found is They don’t have a global search, but websites are categorized, accoring to states, etc. They do have several good newspaper sites that I have been impressed with. And–get this–all for $35 a year! That’s one website that I will certainly continue to subscribe to!

  102. I know the message must now be deafeningly loud, but I’d like to add my voice.
    The new Ancestry is terrible. Nobody warned us it was going to happen.
    I started to research my family tree seriously when I became ill with depression/anxiety, and found it a wonderful way to “switch off” and relax.
    It’s now a nightmare, and I can hardly bring myself to try to use it.
    I’ve also expressed my disappointment on the endless Ancestry customer survey boxes that pop up.
    I hope they’re listening~and more to the point, do something about it. There’s NO way I’d recommend it now, and I shall be cancelling my subscription unless things improve radically.
    The best improvement would be to go back to EXACTLY how it was before.
    I can’t see what was wrong with it~so why did they choose to mess it up?

  103. All of a sudden nothing was working – and it still is not. Thought it was me. Am so glad to find all my troubles with are not my stupidity and am not by myself. Can’t seem to find anything anymore – also – I do not want my family tree published on the net. Shared some info(with errors in it) and it was immediately put on the net. Never dreamed that would happen. Also – someone else got a copy of the info and posted it as “contact unknown.” – Ancestry says they can’t do anything about the unknown contact. It is time to renew my subscription but as it is right now – seems I am just wasting my money because I sure am wasting my time trying to find anything. I appears Ancestry has programmers that have no experience using the program and thus do not know how to use Ancestry. It is really depressing.

  104. Fellow subscribers, herein lies the test. At this writing there are 105 posts to this blog, the majority of which are negative. Will Ancestry listen? Customer satisfaction and customer service are the hallmarks of good business. Sadly, these qualities have gone by the wayside in this great country of ours. Perhaps we as consumers should begin to stand up for ourselves. Perhaps we should seek to patronize only those businesses based on integrity and a solid customer-oriented foundation. A business cannot survive without profits, but neither can it survive without customers.

  105. I am a former subscriber and had been seriously considering another subscription. With so many complaints about all the new changes at, I will not re-subscribe until I hear that it is, once again, user friendly.

  106. Since I only use Ancestry for source records (I gave up on their trees long ago), the change in searches is my main complaint. Did they split up record groups because some were getting too large? In any case, it’s a pain. And just wait… the “new and improved” Message Boards should arrive to drive us nuts soon. I accidentally got thrown into a beta test a few weeks ago, and it wasn’t pretty. I hope they’ve ironed out some of the problems. Judging by this roll out, probably not. When a company gets a monopoly, customer service gets less important.

  107. I have subscribed to Ancestry for years and I, too, used it as my primary tool for research. I was so excited when the World War I draft registrations began to appear. Unfortunately, the ones I most wanted to see were in Lawrence County, Kentucky, and none of them would load. I have sent at least 5 e-mails asking for these links to be fixed, and kept getting a form letter response saying that they would be repaired when maintenance was done on that database. It has been at least a year, and I’m still waiting. Now, since this grand “improvement” to the website, none of the WWI records will load. I sent an e-mail asking about it, and I have yet to get even a form letter response. In recent days I’ve had problems with Newspaper records, Family History records, and yesterday, Immigration records. None of these would load. It looks to me like another company getting too large, and forgetting what got them there in the first place… their customers. I’m with Ray in #102… Ancestry should be extending our subscriptions to cover all the time lost, otherwise, it’s time to say goodbye to Ancestry. How can they boast about all the databases available if we can’t access them? Isn’t that what we’re paying for? It’s bad enough that we now have to go through the aggravating process of trying to find what we’re looking for, only to have the darn things not load after wasting all the time to find them. And, as for Juliana’s attempt to placate us…. I hope she was forced to write that insulting article, because I’d be embarrassed otherwise. And she says, “more improvements are forthcoming?” As with the majority of the people who have written in, I’m wondering where the first improvement is supposed to be.

  108. With the new update I have found it easier to update the file I uploaded, but I wish that Ancestry would of left the option to subscribe to just the individual sets of files (example: Historical Records #1 ….Census #2) instead of only having 2 options. Money is extremely tight especially with fuel prices jumping like they have. Since I am recovering from major surgery access to this website has helped me cope with being required to rest. Now that option is no longer viable. The cost of your new subscriptions are to high!!!!!

  109. I was just considering a subscription, but after reading these comments, I will be looking elsewhere. Usually, changes like this bring a variety of responses, some for, some against, but the discontent with seems unanimous. Count me out.

  110. Like many of you, I was dismayed and horrified to discover the new changes at Ancestry. Especially considering the numerous common names in my family (ever tried searching for Smiths in PA or Davis in GA without a Keyword feature?) I ranted to my husband for a day or so then finally sent an opinionated email to Ancestry. Their reply-a bland “we appreciate your comments but make the changes we feel necessary” response. Prefaced with an “if we don’t hear from you, we’ll consider this resolved.” Let’s make sure they HEAR from US! I called Ancestry to tell a live person how I felt about the changes and verify when my subscription ran out. He asked me to verify that on the website so as not to tie up their phone lines. (Personally, I think calling a live rep to complain vociferously is a wonderful idea, folks, if it inconveniences them) The rep also provided a snail mail address for complaints: Ancestry Attn: Member Solutions PO Box 990 Orem, Utah 84059. As a Gen X-er I don’t generally write actual complaint letters but the moronic recent changes have fired me up and they’ve apparently bothered you too. We might be a small minority who dislike the changes, according to the company, but we can be a small vocal minority who also vote with the checkbooks and credit cards! I encourage you fellow posters to also make your voices heard with calls and letters.

  111. Ditto, ditto, ditto! I hope Ancestry is listening. Haven’t found one, “gee, this is great” comment and as others have said before me, I will not renew when it is my time. I find this extremely sad as I have been a member for some time. Please Ancestry, pay attention!!!

  112. I am SOOOOOOoooo glad I was on a month to month subscription when Ancestry decided to foist this change on its membership. I was so happy with the results I was getting and was contemplating full membership when suddenly things went askew. Slowing down ones research with all these tabs, and the now-necessary reentering of search info all the time, is not the way to make your clientele happy. So goodbye to you Ancestry ! I haved cancelled. Send me a email when you decide to discharge whoever orchestrated this boondoggle and streamline the site for easier use again.

  113. I was going to comment here but after reading ALL 113 posting, decided that my displeasure with the new need not be gone into. I agree with basically all of them.


  114. I too am very unhappy with…..Before the changes
    I could pull up copies and print them . Now I can’t even pull
    them up. I called and they said it was MY computer!
    I plan to CANCEL MY SUBSCRIPTION as soon as possible.

  115. Regarding comments made in posts 69 and 70 – I just want to correct the misconception that Ancestry is the LDS Church. It is not. Ancestry is not sponsored, owned, or operated by the LDS Church. The LDS Church’s family history site is Content posted on the Ancestry site is not available on the Familysearch site.

  116. I also just renewed my subscription to full coverage. For the first time, I had access to Canadian records and had managed to push the brick wall back one generation. Then the change! Now I am having problems relocating the people I found in my two weeks of bliss! Please give us back the easy access we had. Or at least publish a list of instructions for the new system. And I agree, our subscriptions should be extended for the length of time the problem remains.

  117. It was not broke so why come out with a new program that will cost ancestry lost money. Does the main office read any of these responses, I suggest everyone who sent in a blog change it to an email to the help desk telling that they have 1-2 weeks to bring back the old system or we all cancel and request a refund asap. what do yall think

  118. My biggest frustration is finding my ancestor in the census, clicking on him, but finding the page blank when I get to the census. I’ve reported this several times and nothing is done about it. I have two ancestors on the same page in the 1880 census, but the page doesn’t exist on For the money I pay, I’d like to see it fixed ASAP.

  119. Oh my….I am so glad I am using the free subscription that came with FTM. I will be watching to see if Ancestry does something about all this. I will not be a paid subscriber until it is fixed.

  120. I finally broke down and bought Family Tree Maker 2006 (due to the telephone sales pitch) to replace the tried and true Ancestry Family Tree program which I received for free when I first subscribed to about eight years ago. FTM does not even have a cut and past feature!! I can’t paste information that I find from any other source. How basic is that? Ancestry seems to be blocking out information from the old Ancestry Family Tree to ensure that people will go to FTM. I haven’t found any new information in the last three months using either program and have wasted a lot of time going through rediculous “hits”. I am yet another disgruntled subscriber who will think long and hard about renewing my subscription. Sure hope someone wises up before that time comes around!!!!

  121. Ditto Ditto Ditto. Now I feel like a fool – I’ve recommended your site as “THE SITE” for years to friends and the genealogy groups. It’s sad when your form – asks you to enter the name of the website. After all – aren’t we all replying to the Ancestry site?? I doubt if anyone reads these – let alone the snail mail – delete key or file 13?

  122. I have been a steady subscriber since 2002 and cannot believe how much more difficult it is to use this site now & how many useless “matches” it returns! It is almost as bad as! Thankfully I have a subscription to NEGHS & access to census there. Ancestry will no longer be my homepage. Also, what’s with not being able to get a refund on the 6 months I have left?! Is that legal?! Argh!

  123. Ditto Ditto Ditto to all of the problems above – I was totally unaware of the changes when I logged in a few days ago and found myself going around in circles. This is one of the worst upgrades of anything that I have seen. I started using FTM when it was first released – roughly 20 years or so ago. I have shared my research with others and have since found a lot of my research posted by ones I’ve shared with even though I carefully pointed out to them where I was still trying to get the facts (not proven yet). They posted these as fact – some of these are brickwalls that I’ve been working on for 15-20 years and still butting my head against the wall. I have never posted my trees on Ancestry and will not. I also think my $200 can be better spent if we are required to upload a tree to be able to access records. Seems that Ancestry is kicking the “gift horse” in the mouth.

  124. The search engine has become worthless, One World Tree has always been worthless. Add me to the list of long-time subscribers who are extremely frustrated with these changes. I am unhappy that I recently renewed for a year, as it now seems a waste of money. I have used the site almost daily for years and the frustration level is now so high it is hardly worth it. Change in itself is not a bad thing, but change that hasn’t been thought through or tested is worse than bad. Obviously the programmers know nothing about genealogy or genealogists and management apparently cares nothing for their subscribers.

  125. DITTO DITTO DITTO I am amazed at all the comments. I too thought I was the only one having problems with this NEW ancestry site. Bring back the OLD. It was so much easier to maneuver. It is so frustrating and to think I had earlier this year renewed with the full package. What a waste. The My ancestry save site is a complete disaster. Can’t even use it unless I want to send it to a tree.I want to save to my ancestor information where I can check back later.. I want to be able to go to it and merge different saves to the same person. This shoebox is a joke. No, I don’t want to put saves into a tree. After hearing of the mixups created from this, don’t think I ever will want to. Don’t get me started on the census pages. either there is nothing there or they won’t print out. Oh, when they do print. it is three pages of nothing except only the Ancestry.Com name on top of first page, 2nd page and third page blank except for internet site listing on bottom. Oh, I reported this I was told it was my printer!!! Funny everything else prints fine. It is sad, this was such a fun site and really helped me get started in my quest of searching for my ancestors. Can anyone tell us if they actually read these complaints and if they are really concerned and interested in trying to correct this MESS!!!

  126. This new search form tailored to each type of content to make searches more effective is a lot of bull. Just to test it out I searched for 6 names in 4 different Census years. I KNOW that they were indexed in the OLD search form because that’s where I found them. I KNOW they are not indexed in the NEW search form because they don’t show up except for one using the New search form. I went directly to there page and there they did not show up using the new search form.

    When I am ready I will submit my family tree but now all I want to do is research with accurate results, just like I was able to do a few years back.

    Regards, Jack Novicki

  127. Please substitute the following sentence beginning with, “I went directly to their page and there they were but they did not show up using the new search form.

    Jack Novicki

  128. I also am very unhappy with the new changes. I tried to save info to a person on my list and ended up with the ancestor on there twice. Not too good. Searches are not easy anymore. I would like the changes rolled back. I agree with everyones comments. I too am sorry that my renewal was just before these changes and am considering cancelling my subscription to Ancestry. Without us – where will you be?????

  129. I just want to get on the bandwagon and state the same everyone else is saying, The new and improved search SUCKS. I like the old family trees that would pop up when searching the trees, not just One World Tree. The bad thing with One World Tree, I have not found a way to download the tree and you do not know the sources or who supplied it (not that i have found anyway).

  130. I retired recently thinking I would join Ancestry subscription to further refine my research. I had looked at it about 5 years ago and thought the monthly cost was a little high to pay if I could only use it once in a while when I was working. Now I find the cost EXTREMELY HIGH to pay for a product that no one is happy with. It has become a very unfriendly place. So you won’t be getting my subscription. I’m looking for another place.

  131. I emailed Ancestry about my disatisfaction with the new changes, and they emailed back that they are not going to change it back to the way it was. In July I subscribed for the 3rd year, and upgraded to be able to get everything. I won’t be a subscriber when my year runs out this time, unless they put it back the way it was. I suggest we all email Ancestry and ask them to read this blog page of comments.

  132. Please return to your old interface! I can’t stand the new one. I miss the keyword search. The new interface – dividing up all of the documents into 3 or 4 sections and erasing the keyword search – has made locating documents FAR more time consuming and tedious. I’m sure that wasn’t the intention but it was certainly the result. In some cases – because I now lack the keyword option – so many result have returned that it was just to difficult to sort through them all. Who has the time to look through 10,000 results? This never happened when I had the option of narrowing my searches via the keyword search.

  133. With all due respect, Ancestry, isn’t “bait & Switch” for $300-per- year-scheme actually unlawful? We all purchased a certain product. You were delivering it. Ancestry, with all due respect needs to provide the product that it sold!!!!!!!!! This is so sad.

  134. All I can say it, ditto to all the complaints and I am GLAD my subscription runs out in December.

  135. I agree with all the comments. I thought it was my new computer and wondered why I didn’t want to search anymore. I think I will just enter all I have found to date and forget about renewing my membership. It is a waste of money. There are lots of sites listed in the magazines that can be searched. I didn’t try them very often because Ancestry covered so much I didn’t think I needed anything else. Guess I was mistaken. I too would like more information added and fewer search changes. Maybe we won’t have to mortgage the house to continue my search for “dead people”.

  136. My apologies to Juliana for turning my disgust with Ancestry into what sounded like a personal attack, but due to the fact that Ancestry is not responding to this hailstorm they created, she was the one who caught the brunt of my anger and frustration.

    I too was having problems with some records coming up blank like those in #117 and #121, and after my nasty post here, I finally heard from technical support — apparently they have been quite busy of late — I was told to dump all my cookies in Internet Explorer. This worked for me, except for three that I have been begging to be fixed for over a year… “unfortunately, we do not have a time-frame when the issue….” When I asked why the cookie issue did not affect all the images I was trying to view, only some, and why this issue only appeared after “improvements” at Ancestry, I received no answer.

    They’re going to do whatever they want, and we either want the records enough to renew or not. I don’t think I do. What a waste.

  137. I truly hope that listens to these complaints and change things back. I also do not like these “improved” changes and will think hard before renewing my subscription.

  138. I have been busy catching up on finding census records for the people I’m interested in the past few weeks. I was going along fine, found another census showing my ancestor Henry in the late 1800’s, entered the info in my database, and went to bed. (That night Ancestry changed everything with no warning, or even a notice when you connected that they had changed interfaces and listed the changes. A “what’s new in this version” would really help.) In the morning, I wanted to check something from that entry in the census, and, giving his name exactly as it was listed the night before, poor Henry and his family had vanished. Fortunately, I had recorded his information in my database because then I knew which page to bring up to find him. But he and his family no longer exist when I search. Also, I have found several entries for which the wrong page displays. And ones where about 3 pages of census entries all show as members of the household that actually only had a regular sized family. These entries are the ones most likely to be linked to the wrong images. I am unable to find several people using the search screens, so I keep having to make my best guess as to where they were living in a particular year and browse all the pages for that place and year. For those who remember the days of going to the library, FHC or NARA and scanning microfilm for hours on end, this approach will sound familiar. Ancestry has taken us back in time. The only improvement is that I can look through all the pages at home instead of going somewhere with limited hours. But it was faster to read through the pages on film than it is to wait for each page to load (and we are on a radio link that is faster than DSL or cable).

    So while I haven’t attempted to use any of the other “features” in the past week, the census information is definitely in worse shape than before. AND, if you send a note to Ancestry, they don’t even bother to acknowledge that they received it before they ignore it. Big help.

    I too have been disturbed about the amount of information that shows up on Ancestry about living people. Folks, this isn’t just rude anymore. ID theft is a rapidly growing crime in this country and we ALL have an obligation to help make it more difficult, not easier, to find information concerning living people. And that includes information about their parents. Before I seriously considered posting my tree on a website, even my own site, I asked my mother for her permission to post information about her parents who died in 1956 and 1984. I will not even consider indicating publically how many children my grandparents raised because that helps narrow down which family I am. I know that anybody who wants to work at the genealogy can figure it out, especially if I list my four grandparents, but if someone is going to steal my identity, I want them to have to work hard to do so. I expect any website that I use will assist me in preventing crime, not make it easier for the criminals. Ancestry–what are you doing to remove information about people still living and their parents?

    As a software engineer with more than 20 years of experience, I would start by firing the project lead and project manager who oversaw these changes – they clearly do not understand what constitutes good software engineering practices. Next, work with a sample of users to figure out the requirements for your site. Then, put the changes out for review by a wider Ancestry audience, perhaps people who have used the sight for 3 years or more so they are familiar with the current product. After that, if you follow accepted engineering practices instead of those of hackers, including a beta test with real customers for a suitable length of time and document what the changes are going to be before installing the new code on the website, you will most likely have a product your customers can rave about instead of ranting about.

  139. Amen and amen to all comments. I cancelled my Anc. subscription several years ago due to lack of customer service. When I came back I thought I have missed some “secret” and didn’t know how to keep from getting results that show “living” people when I searched for someone who died in 1820 and other problems such as all states when I aked for KY specifically. Anyhow, after seeing all this, I guess I’ll be cancelling again and looking for something else. Perhaps if we hired one of Anc. researchers they could find the right results.

  140. Ditto to all the complaints. This site is a disaster mess.I’m so sorry I renewed my subscription. Will be the last if not changed. Joyce

  141. I wonder if myfamily CEO Tim Sullivan has tried finding his Grandpa Sullivan using the Old seach and now the New “Improved” search interface? I suspect NOT…. The buck stops at the top. It’s his job to keep customers happy and re-subscribing with REAL improvements, not the disaster we were inflicted with. They MUST have known these changes would anger customers otherwise they would have previewed them onsite first, like they are doing with the new upcoming (tomorrow) changes to the message boards.
    They assume we will not cancel when our subscriptions are up for renewal. Like many others I recently re-subscribed. They do not allow refunds so I am in a disgusted but wait and see mode. Unless the promised “advanced search” is quickly forthcoming and VERY GOOD… they can count me as one of their former customers.

    On the horizon: I can’t wait for the Family History Library ( to start posting the scans from their 2.5 million microfilms. We are talking about a massive database with an everyword index. From Arlene Eakle’s new blog,

  142. I’ve been and member for several years, now, and don’t like most of the newer stuff. Most recently, I was doing searches and the books you have used to take me directly to the name of who I entered. Now, I have to search the whole book – and maybe the name isn’t the same (let alone the person). Also, in the One World Tree I found my names removed and others entered that didn’t belong to my family. Before we could add alternatives, but these were taken out altogether. Not even close. I’ve never liked the newspapers, either. The name might be there and might not, but many times the results don’t match the searches and because it takes first OR last name, I get stuck searching page after page only to find my search not matched at all. Very few times have I found what I was looking for. Anthing else I may have said is covered in previous complaints – so – ditto on those.
    Fix it. Ceci

  143. HMMMM! Zeroing in on keywords:
    “Improving user experience: Your success: Improvements: Useful: Many Cases: Card Catalog: Browse: Shoebox.”

    “ remains dedicated to improving the user experience. Your success is important to us and improvements will continue to be made in response to your needs…”

    “Keyword searches are still available in many cases by searching databases directly. Those are “fluff words’and nattering!

    The new Card Catalog is very useful in locating databases of interest.

    You can also still browse a list of databases by location or record type through links found under the main search screen. (Click on Search in the buttons in the masthead.)
    Sometimes you find a record that might be the right one, but aren’t sure where to put it, or want more time to evaluate it. These records can still be saved to the Shoebox so you can easily come back to it later. The Shoebox can be found on the My Ancestry page.

    Regarding the Ancestry statements above.

    Useless. Discard it and come up with something useful to the genealogist!
    Useless. Discard it or improve it!
    Un-necessary step. Discard it or improve it!
    Useless. Discard it or improve it!

    To Whom It May Concern


    As genealogist we are used to roadblocks…but this ‘upgrade‘… and I use the word upgrade with tongue in cheek…. Why it is totally uncharacteristic of Ancestry, and deviates from what I‘ve come to expect from Ancestry this search engine is —bizarre.

    To the Powers That Be

    If you had wanted to destroy consumer confidence, and goodwill in one fell swoop! Congratulations, you certainly did. You could not have done a better job if you had planned this!

    I give you and “A” for Accomplishment if that was your intent!

    On the other hand I’ll give you and “F” for FAILURE! Which you did so admirably!

    You utterly failed in keeping >me>Fix The Problem polite>Historical Records Grouping

  144. I was unable to use Ancestry for several weeks & when I did a few days ago I got some ‘surprises’! I was able to find a few things I had been looking for, but when I wanted to save them to a person in my list of Ancestors I found that I had to “begin a tree” with them. I don’t want to ‘start a tree’ with them, I want to add the info to their names in my ancestors!! When other changes have happened, it was often hard to adjust to the way things were set up to work, but being the age that I am (77) & with a limited time I have each week to look for info, I am really disappointed in your changes. It would take me too long to get all I would have to do to connect info with my relatives. In reading all the above comments, it seems I am not the only one who is unhappy!! You have to keep in mind the fact that a good portion of your users are not “expert genealogists” but just people looking for their own particular families. I hope you are able to adjust things to be easier for all of us to use.
    I have appreciated many of the articles that have been in the previous way of the Newletter for Ancestry, & have been helped, so I Thank you for them.

  145. I do have an additional comment to Ancestry. There are many of us who vary in knowledge of computer usage. I am pretty knowledgeable – but this new upgrade?????? has made a prior search with same info obtained in a 10 minute period now takes much longer and is very frustrating. Most of us do other things than spend 100% of our time doing our genealogy and with the upgrade?????? now taking longer to find and weed thru the info takes much longer. Discouraging. I will not be renewing my subscription when it expires. Especially since there seem to be no concern or assistance or appropriate responses coming to us from Ancestry – who has no trouble taking our money BUT with the upgrade providing us with a definitely unpleasant expierience using their product. Oh for the days a few months back when it was actually fun to come to Ancestry and search for relatives. They can no longer be found here.

  146. My comments #146 were somewhat garbled by the editing. I had also commented:

    If you had wanted to destroy consumer confidence, and goodwill in one fell swoop! Congratulations, you certainly did. You could not have done a better job if you had planned this!

    I give you and “A” for Accomplishment if that was your intent!

    On the other hand I’ll give you and “F” for FAILURE! Which you did so admirably!

    Ancestry: You utterly failed in keeping me the “Consumer” confident in your product!

    Honestly, did you actually think that the Genealogist would like this bizarre change?

    Is this ‘simply a business decision’ and we can like it or lump it?

    The best way to regain consumer confidence is to immediately >>Fix The Problem polite

  147. I’m so glad a friend emailed me about this blog! I was out of town for a week and came back to find the mess Ancestry has made of searching. I’ve already complained to customer support, who were very nice but obviously not in a position to change anything. They did, however say they would forward my technical suggestions to the development team (I’m a computer systems analyst) for what that’s worth.

    Needless to say I totally hate what they’ve done to the search by removing the ‘keyword’ field. For my normal mode of searching the databases, the difference in an individual census year (for example) has been as much as 3500 results with the new search vs 68 results to view with the old search. They should AT LEAST replace the ‘keyword’ search field with a ‘County’ search field on all searches where State is allowed!! Grrr

    Anyway, since Ancestry and are owned by the same parent company, the two best subscription sites are pretty much ‘sewn up’ so to speak. I think the best thing for everyone to do is copy and paste their blog complaint into an email and send it directly to customer service. If they get bombarded enough, maybe they will see the negative impact they’ve had and reverse some of the changes

    Kim Wrenn

  148. I too want to add my coments and complaints about the changes to I use — or did — use it every day and always enjoyed the ease of finding information in the Global Search. Now it is gone. One World Tree has always been a total and complete failure. When you find your ancestor with the same child listed seven times then you know something is wrong. When the change first appeared on my computer, I thought it was me or my computer. I volunteer at a local library and the county has subscribed to I had the same trouble there. I have suggested to many people they subscribe to this (change that to WAS) great source, especially in the census. Today, I was helping a person who came in the library, and the 1850 census said that the name I had typed was not listed. I knew it was, so I went to a disk we have, and have used before there was even a mouse on the computer, brought up the census page and printed it while my helper was still trying to work through your changed program. Please, I paid for what I wanted to use, and you baited and switched the product. May I please have what I paid for back for the rest of the year.

  149. I quit Ancestry several months ago because I couldn’t get responses to problems I was having. Imagine my surprise when I recently tried the two-week free deal and found that things were even worse than before!

    I was surprised that when I quit, the person I talked to didn’t even seem to care. In fact, I decided later that she probably didn’t know a thing about genealogy. She just didn’t care about the company or about the hobby we all love so much!

    I wonder if someone will ask me to buy a paid subscription when the free one runs out in a few days. I doubt it, but if it happens, my answer will be NO THANKS!

    Messing with the web site is not the only change: whatever happened to customer service?

    Sharon Morrow

  150. This is just a **&&^* mess, I can’t find anything, I’ve been a member for at least 10 years, but don’t know if there will be an 11th. It is so frustrating, all I wanted was to look in the family/county histories in Iowa for a name, a name that needs soundex–and I’m getting search results for Canadian Jewry and Michigan— Apparently the “brains” at ancestry haven’t learned the KISS method –Keep It Simple Stupid
    I read this blog earlier, and thought okay, I’m an experienced genealogist–35 years; I’m very comfortable with computers and have been taking computer courses since the 1972, I can do this, 6 hours of poking and re-entering info, frustrated almost to tears, headachy and tired and still this set up is just as bad as it was this morning– would be nice if someone from Ancestry actually responded but don’t hold your breath

  151. I have been on the web since I was in school in the early 80’s.
    I have been doing my history at the Morman church since then and
    went into Ancestry the first time I saw it.
    My mother went back to all the cemeteries for her side….
    and churches, etc…..she has a full history on her fraternal
    side in hard copy….the things she has are unbelievable.
    So here I piddles and finally alas……!!!!!everything started
    coming together last year….I can only work on weekends and
    mostly in the evening….well, I just got started on my father’s
    side….names were popping up….the service is so expensive I
    had to try to gather money to purchase….I just logged onto
    ancestry, finally getting evertything ready….downloaded…..and poof….it is the most frustrating system
    I have ever encountered….with all these comments….you
    had better listen…..and keep it simple….and now I cannot
    log into….. I have to wait until you open…
    you are getting like our current administration…everything
    for the business…..nothing for the people……
    thanx for trying but please….get it straightened out,
    for gosh sakes…my great aunt might die before I can finish
    her history…..and she has been waiting 7 years for one of
    us to do it…..a very frustrated customer….
    P.S. Can you tell me if your company is having money problems?
    I can imagine with all the hike and hype noone wants to join again! Please tell us how we can help keep the costs down.

  152. Am I the only one who thinks it may be a good idea to divide historical records from family trees, so we remember that they are two classes of evidence?
    The searches I did yesterday turned out fine. I came up with about the same results that I did before. There were six good pieces of information in the historical records and I was able to get some good clues from the One World Tree. Some of the information there (OWT)I believe is incomplete, so I edited it as it allows me to do.
    When I did a general search before, there were always many hits which were not my person, but I usually found some that were and so what I have done in the past few days has these same results.
    Why not treat Ancestry the same way you would with any new site, such as the USGenWeb county sites, and explore and see how you can make it work for you.

  153. Look! Look! They put some of the site back in order! I was disappointed in the August Monthly newsletter in that they kept professing they were improving the site instead of saying, “we’re sorry that you have been so displeased with our mess and we’ll give you back what worked so well.”

  154. Must agree with much of what has been said in the negative posts in the sense that the changes made at this point have not made searching ancestry easier. I seem to be able to do the exact same things I did before except it takes longer and some of the more helpful search options have been removed.

    I stumbled on the changes right after they were implemented several days ago now (there were only three messages posted to this page), and have been playing with the site to see how the new layout worked. While much of the old system is still there in some form, it is far more cumbersome to get to the search results that interest you. I don’t like that the new interface returns the search in ranked form as the default. Your ranked search has never worked effectively (though I have used it many times in the hopes that it had improved). The ranked search returns far too many databases that are irrelevant to the search. If I enter a search for someone who died in 1850, 1870 and 1860 census entries should not outrank the earlier census entries. If the ancestor died in 1830 I should not get the SSDI returned as the first entry in a ranked search. This has always been a problem and apparently still is. The changes implemented seem to be intended to make better use of ranked searching but your ranked search feature doesn’t work properly (it is rank). Since ranked searching has been a feature for quite a period now, you should have worked to make it a truly useful feature before transitioning the site to focus on this feature.

    I am trying to keep an open mind but at the moment I am very disappointed with the changes. In the future you should consider doing a beta test when you make large changes. You should also consider creating a navigational tutorial to show people how to do the things that they used to do in the new format instead of telling them essentially to deal with it; Bad public relations on your part. I hope a much more useful ranked search feature is on the way or you’ve irritated your customers for no reason.

  155. I agree with the comment #147. I do not wish to start a”tree” whenever I find a record. I just want to “save” the record to PILF. This change has prohibited any saving of records unless you start a tree. I will go back to the way I did it before, copy, and put it in a notebook.

  156. Too bad you didn’t have a “beta” test for your new format. Even Microsoft has enough sense to do that. Like Microsoft, all you can say is “That ain’t a bug — that’s a feature you paid for”.

    I doubt if I will renew unless the site substantially improves. I would never have purchased a subscription to the site as it now.

  157. I think you really need to work out the bugs in thi program. I hate the fact I can’t download my tree to my ftm program. What a kick in the pants!

  158. SEARCH changes are not acceptable!
    I have used for many years!

    Under the old search page you could use KEYWORD to limit your results for a county. Now you have to search and entire state!!!
    This is BS and unless changes are made and made quick I can’t see using the service. Changes are supposed to be made to enhance and improve not to limit and to make more difficult! It doesn’t do you any good to have all the data if you can’t provide a clear and concise method for results!

    Boy whoever signed off on this one made a big mistake!

    There should be a congiguration for the search engine.
    1) for entry level users

    2) For power users who need better and more defined results
    We need to be able to drill down and target.

  159. I am upset. I have always asked that my information not be used in the One World Tree. Now I see it is there. I did not give you permission to do this and never will I share information with you again. I have never liked One World Tree as it contains many errors and except for giving names or dates for research is of extremely limited use.

    In a separate e-mail and letter I will ask you to remove all listing with reference with my name. If this is not done in a timely manner I will not renew my subscription to Ancestry. I did not authorize the use of my data in One World Tree and thus do not wish it to be used in Ancestry World Tree either(I have deleted the data base).


    Disgruntled Subscription Member

  160. Boy – I don’t know what to say! It seems like it has all been said before me. WHAT A MESS – unless there is something I’m missing, other than my money.

  161. My subscriptions came up for renewal in June. I was very upset to learn that the subscription structure had changed. Since my father, and on my mother’s side, great-grandparents, came from north of the border, I would need the “World” subscription to be of much use to me. I’m not at the point in my research where I need to search the “world.” The cost was too high and I was unable to subscribe. I consider myself lucky. What good is a research site if it can’t be easily and reliably searched?

  162. These are not changes . . . it’s a horrible, disfiguring, twisted, disease that spreads and gets worse with every mention of ‘upcoming improvments’ in your newsletter. First, the subscriptions are contaminated, now our privacy is all but gone! What next? I shudder to think. I will be watching for a cure or vaccine and I pray that it comes soon. I want my options and privacy back!!

  163. I was thrilled to find this blog area! I had emailed the support team about how disappointed I was in the new format…that fell on deaf ears. This “New” format is just “Lame”. I would have a better chance of finding my dead relatives with a glass ball and a shovel!! I am so glad to know that I am not the only one who hates this format. Maybe its time for all of us to call at their 800 number and start jamming up the phone system with our complaints.
    It is a shame something that used to work so well, now has gone to *ell.

  164. To Penny (#168) — No, don’t jam the phone circuits. There are far more effective ways of venting your frustration.

    G. Nolan (#115) asks if we think Ancestry will read the comments. In a word, “NO.” They’re obviously not focused on improving their customer service.

    Shelby Griffin (#113) gave the “snail mail address for for complaints: Ancestry Attn: Member Solutions PO Box 990 Orem, Utah 84059.”

    To all of the comments, but especially Shelby’s, i would add only that we, also, should be certain to send copies of our letters to the Utah Better Business Bureau and the Utah Division of Consumer Protection.

    BBB — To “report a scam” at the BBB, go to . To file a complaint with the BBB, go to and type in either
    >My You can print the data you type into the form but cannot save it, so print two copies and keep one. You must fax or snail-mail the final copy to:

    Utah Division of Consumer Protection
    Attention: Complaint Processor
    Heber M. Wells Building, Second Floor
    160 East 300 South, SM Box 146704
    Salt Lake City, UT 84114-6704
    (801) 530-6601 | (801) 530-6001 fax

    Hope this helps. Effective complaining helps remind corporations that customers have rights, too.

  165. 2nd try — HAH, they don’t even have a preview here. So much for programming smarts.

    To Penny (#168) — No, don’t jam the phone circuits. There are far more effective ways of venting your frustration.

    G. Nolan (#115) asks if we think Ancestry will read the comments. In a word, “NO.” They’re obviously not focused on improving their customer service.

    Shelby Griffin (#113) gave the “snail mail address for for complaints: Ancestry Attn: Member Solutions PO Box 990 Orem, Utah 84059.”

    To all of the comments, but especially Shelby’s, i would add only that we, also, should be certain to send copies of our letters to the Utah Better Business Bureau and the Utah Division of Consumer Protection.

    BBB — To “report a scam” at the BBB, go to []. To file a complaint with the BBB, go to [] and type in either
    [My Inc.]
    []. It gives the local phone number and several local addresses. Click on the company name to file a complaint. I’ll print a copy of whichever form i use, so i have a time-stamped record of the filing.

    UDCP — File a complaint by typing, or cutting and pasting, from the letter you’re sending to Ancestry, into an Acrobat file form . You can print the data you type into the form but cannot save it, so print two copies and keep one. You must fax or snail-mail the final copy to:

    Utah Division of Consumer Protection
    Attention: Complaint Processor
    Heber M. Wells Building, Second Floor
    160 East 300 South, SM Box 146704
    Salt Lake City, UT 84114-6704
    (801) 530-6601 | (801) 530-6001 fax

    Hope this helps. Effective complaining helps remind corporations that customers have rights, too.

  166. I am a member of and have had my ancestry database file on rootsweb for the last two years. Recently, I discovered’s new Family Tree, which I think is a nice feature. So I spent all last week downloading my GED to the Family Tree making it public. I have been busy adding source info daily when I can find the time. Since I have over 6100 names, it can be quite time consuming but it’s a hobby I enjoy. However, when I logon to and go to “search Family Trees & One World Tree, my files do not appear!! Have I spent all this time for nothing?? I put it there to share with the public in order to obtain more info on our family as well as to help others in their research. I registered it as a public tree so WHY IS IT NOT APPEARING??? I e-mailed them but have not heard back yet.

  167. Juliana, I appologize for my last post (the one that was removed).. It was not meant to be personal in any way and I hope it was not taken in that light.

    # 169 – If I read their “terms of use” agreement correctly. Our sole remedy is to quit using their service. No refunds unless they kick us off.

    We can of course complain but they have our money so they just laugh all the way to the bank. One of the more annoying aspects of all this is their lack of direct communictions to their “valued subscribers” via email. No direct announcements or warnings or even platitudes, just in the dark of the night they rip away “keyword” (the heart of their search engine) plus bury the remaining searches under layers of tabs and re-entering of search terms. We are 2 weeks into these ahem “improvements” and it’s encouraging that people are not “simmering down” and still not liking these changes. Ancestry is arrogant and thinks that we will continue to pay them money for data we can’t find using a search engine that is lame. Through this portal we are hearing the promises but seeing precious little activity to fix what they have crippled. On a positive note. I have been spending less and less time at ancestry and finding some other really great sites out there. They are effectively weaning me from their site. Thanks ancestry…

  168. Dear Judy,

    I did not remove intentionally remove any of your comments from the blog. I do see four posts of yours including the above #171 (also #s 9, 49, and 144). If one is missing, I apologize as it was done in error. (I do have to wade through a hundred or so spam entries that go to a file for moderation every day so I may have inadvertantly deleted it there.)

    I typically refrain from screening comments, and have only deleted one comment from this post. That comment was from someone else and was deleted because it berated another reader. That’s where I draw the line in the sand. You can berate me or the company, but I feel strongly that all of our readers should have a place here to speak their mind without fear of being insulted.

    Also, some of the concerns here have been addressed on the site. I posted an update to this post at:
    I hope to have more positive news later this week.

    Have a good day!

  169. Juliana,
    Thanks, No biggy but that post is indeed gone, and no, I did not, nor would I berate you personally. I love reading your articles and your blog is about the only place we hear anything from those who are holding our search engine hostage. The changes you’ve been posting are encouraging but respectfully, there really isn’t much “meat” there yet. It would also be nice if the “powers that be” would at least acknowledge that that they boobooed. From the subscriber level there is only frustration and the sense that they couldn’t care less.

    re: Personal Member Trees – I was not familiar with this new feature and upon examining, it appears that the uploaded content becomes the property of to do with as they please. If I’m wrong I hope someone corrects me. I can only guess that they are using this feature to gain more “names” essentially for free. Ancestry should prominently post the “terms of use” for this feature so subscribers know up front that they are giving the product of their research to for whatever use or profit they desire. Again, please tell me if I am in error.

  170. With the exception of #20, I agree with everything posted so far; particularly #s 105, 109,110 & 167.

    The underlying feeling goes back to the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” adage. Well, IT IS NOW BROKE, BADLY. Lets see if they can not only fix it, but restore it in less than the usual year or two that it takes them to correct errors. (Took ’em two years and three e-mails to fix a bad link to a census image).

    I worked on the low, low end of the corporate structure and have seen too many people trying to justify their position on the payroll by fixing things that aren’t broke. Since the census’ have all been indexed, maybe there are too many people who fit the above catagory.

    Why they didn’t give the U.S. subscribers the Canadian data bases is a mystery. So much of our later genealogy wandered back and forth across the border. But I guess I just answered my own question – CORPORATE GREED. The oil companies have been demonstrating it for so long, why not

    I have a list of census indexing errors, but hesitate to submit them because either they will take forever to correct them or I won’t be a member to know if they ever do get corrected.

    One final thing and it’s been mentioned above a couple of times. Communication with them is ridiculous. All they seem to be able to do is send a ‘canned reply’ telling me how stupid I am or that it’s a problem with
    my browser.

    Well, ’nuff of this. I could go on and on, but I’d just be repeating what 170 others have already said.

    B R Buckingham

  171. This is really long and mostly just letting off steam after calling Please, someone use some good old ingenuity and entrepreneurship skills and get something els available.

    I am very unhappy with the changes at The censuses are now all indexed (thanks to people in Bangladesh according to the person I just finished talking to). I do not have any problem with the people of Bangladesh. I do have problems that the indices are full of errors that were not proofed by I also wonder why this job was exported when so many people in our country need work.

    Searching the censuses is an exercise in voodoo. Each census has it’s quirks. It seems that there should be a page explaining the quirks to each data set. The sad thing is, it would be soooo easy to make a good database out of the census data instead of the poorly constructed, difficult to search, unsortable results.

    I have created a few databases and find that this is one of the most inflexible, poorly constructed, difficult to search databases that I have ever encountered.

    I am not an expert genealogist by any means, but I was offended when the person who was helping me said that the website is being geared to people just starting out in family history. The whole website is being made more AOLish-I just want the raw data and not all the fluff. The trees aren’t that good, but I resent the time it takes to scroll down the page to get the tree search. If and when I want to publish a tree I will do so. I do not like being forced to bypass that each time. The tab thing is annoying and being forced to do a broad search before narrowing things down is again adding more time to my searching.

    The person I spoke to actually wanted to help. She tried ways to show me the new features were better, but I just don’t agree.

    My last pet peeve is that everywhere I look on the web for genealogy, is lurking right below the surface. I will read about something that sounds so good and the next thing I know, I am looking at the same old ancestry stuff. That is infuriating. Now, even the LDS folks have sold out to I used to feel comforted going to their website, even though I have “outgrown” a lot of it-I was horrified when I found that has gotten it’s tentacles there and will soon choke the quality out of that site. I wish they at least warnned us that they are now utilizing It seems like a panopticon-you can’t go anywhere in the genealogy world without being under the ever present eye of

    Well, I feel a little better-but am still sad that there such a monopoly has been created.
    I guess I am number 175. Probably not enough to matter to, but it’s nice to know that I am not alone in my frustration.

  172. As a result of the new sowtware update I have discovered that I can no longer access all of the data that I entered in Oneworld Tree. This means that most of my work done through their service for the past year is no longer editable so I can’t add data, correct dates or continue to add ancestor data to an extensive family tree even though I have a membership with full access!

    The only answer I have received from the Ancestry Team is that I can no longer get to the data – No other details!

    This is very bad news and I will not be renewing my membership with them.

    This software “update” smells of a Marketing play. What were they thinking????

    Is this how the Church of the Latter Day Saints operates?

  173. #177 – as has been previously stated. The LDS Church does not own or have any financial interest in aka I am not LDS but their Family History Library is 2nd to none. Once the 2.5 million microfilms of data are online it WILL rival, big time.

    Here is a link to the vision of CEO Tim Sullivan for

    Tim Sullivan
    A Small World, After All
    By Janine S Creager, 1/18/2006 04:10:10 PM MT

    “Our goal is to make the hobby more accessible and understandable, to bring more history in touch with the context of people’s family history,” Sullivan says. “People need to have a product experience that is easy, accessible, that gives them that ‘Aha!’ moment the first time they see their ancestor’s name on a census form.”

    “We are in the process of digitizing the family history collection of the Shanghai library in China, and have aggressive plans to establish a presence in Asia and in the key European markets,” says Sullivan. “This can satisfy what we believe to be a universal interest. Whatever we do internationally will come back to benefit the United States, to ultimately connect with people with a common interest, a common heritage.”

    From a subscriber’s perspective I have to assume this means more $s spent on foreign records and less on US? I have to admit that the Chinese market is pretty huge, maybe they don’t want us anymore?

    So how many of you are have “Aha” moments now?

  174. Wow.


    I haven’t logged on to Ancestry in about a month, and I was totally surprised by the changes.

    Surprise quickly turned to frustration as I tried to do a very simple search on one of my ancestors with a unique name and came up with nothing. Not even the tree I had personally entered a couple years ago.

    The global search — perhaps Ancestry’s best feature — is gone. To search for information on one person, you have to enter the same name over and over and over again and do several searches through several pages.

    The quality of the searches is almost useless, too. It returns results with inappropriate time frames, places, incorrect names, etc. And this “Onetree” nonsense has to go.

    My god. The more I played with the new changes, the worse it got.

    This is a disaster — I’ll try to figure it all out, but it may be hopeless. The previous interface was pretty good — very simple, very straightforward. This newfangled thing seems like it was designed by committee, some bloated mess that is nearly useless.

    I’ll give it a try, but I may finally have to cancel my Ancestry subscription (I’ve been a subscriber for many years). The only problem is…there’s no comparable other website for genealogy info.

    Ancestry — please rethink your changes. Please! You’ve “improved” the website so much it’s useless!

    More than anything, please bring back some sort of global search option — where you enter one name and it searches everything at once, and displays all those results on one simple page. If you did that, I could live with just about everything else.

    Signed, Another Dissatisfied customer

  175. Re: #157 – Ancestry switched back to an almost tolerable search for a few days and then whammy, it’s back to the garbage. Geared to the beginner??? They’ll lose them even faster than us old folks. And speaking of beginners versus advanced genealogist – when did we become unimportant?

  176. I. too, like many others am not happy with the inability to Save to “Peolple I’m looking for”. It now has to go to a tree or the Shoebox. I feel as though you’re trying to force us to make our trees public. I know the check option is there not to make it public, but I still feel as though you’re pressuring users to do so.
    I like the ability to save info I find and was hoping you’d eventually improve it by making it easier to access saved info without having to go through the entire list, page by page. I would like to see the “people I’m lookinf for” feature put back with an easier way to search for an individual record.
    I have been a member for years also, but may be forced to reconsider a further subscription in the future.
    Ancestry has done a great job making so many records available in the comfort of one’s home, but from the sounds of the above comments, it would appear that you need to reconsider some of those changes.It’s becoming a very expensive subscription and not something to be taken lightly.

  177. What is not made clear on the query page is that if you check the “Exact matches only” box, choose “Family Trees”, Ancestry World Trees links is NOW one of the response choices. If this is unchecked the only return is OWT, which is, in my humble opinion, useless as now presented. Now when using “Historical Records” search (again with the “Exact matches only” checked) the response looks more like a global search return again, where I can pick and choose which group of records I want to peruse. Included at the bottom of this resonse page is AWT’s.

  178. Heads would roll at any “real” software company that rolled out such a major change in their premier product without thorough beta testing, customer focus groups, and related market research — at least any software “upgrade” that fell as flat as this one. I should not say “flat” — that does not reflect the extreme dislike that many of us have with the new method(s) of search. Reduce functionality with the initial roll-out and ask people to wait for the advanced search to just be able to do some of what was available before?? Incredibly arrogant! Not discover that new searches find less information than the old searches or only after much more effort? Overconfident, with little experience or priority given to a quality product. The only way to interpret all of this is that does not feel like their customers have any alternatives — the short-lived belief of many monopolies.

    If wants to find out how bad this is, they could do it without statistical significance by just setting up a place for all members to rate how we feel about the changes. [It would not be scientific because the most pleased or frustrated would be more likely to “vote” and they could also do it more than once.] If wants to really learn how much money they are about to lose by current subscribers who refuse to renew, they should hire a PROFESSIONAL polling group (obviously not the inside people who designed these changes). It would be easy enough to send the survey out to every subscriber, but if those numbers are too daunting, the polling people have the statisticians to design a meaningful survey.

    Really, we would all like to know whether those of us responding here are (it is hard to believe) perhaps in the minority. Or maybe a properly designed survey could show whether newbies might happen to like the changes whereas experienced users hate it — a hypothetical finding, which I do not expect to prove true. But if it did happen to prove true, marketing gurus could then decide whether they would lose more or less money by the departure of long-term subscribers compared to garnering new members.

    I will try to last long enough (before my renewal date at the end of the year) to decide if any fixes to this disaster by get us back to where we were happily working away without any hint of what was about to fall upon us. A formal response to every subscriber from a senior corporate manager (not the overworked public spokesperson trying to field our complaints) who takes responsibility and commits to quick resolution (without asking customers to “be patient”) might give us a little bit of hope.

    – Jim S.

  179. A good expression of anger is sometimes a positive thing. I’ve blogged this before. But again after another frustrating day of messing with the boondoggle. I’m posting my comments again.

    Somewhat restrained from what I’m sure would not be posted.
    I speak Again!

    To the Powers That Be @

    I submit to you my brief commentary regarding August 2006 “Improved User Experience“

    Falderal – Terra-diddle – Twaddle – Blatherskite!!!
    Those improvements are useless.

    Go back to the design board and design something more user friendly to the hobbyist-Genealogist.

    The best way to regain consumer confidence? Fix THE Problem. However at this time I am not hopeful.

    The Upgrade? is totally uncharacteristic of Ancestry.Com. It drastically deviates from the quality product I‘ve previously enjoyed using.

    The August 2006 Upgrade totally failed in keeping my confidence in

    Forget the Historical Records Grouping…it’s a boondoggle and hard to manage. Dump it — or re-design it. This is not user friendly!

    After reading the above comments at the www. 24/7 Family History Circle website it appears [by a large margin] that mine is not the lone complaint.

    Confidence, faith and goodwill is fading. Was this your intent?

    My following questions beg for satisfying answers.

    Is this simply ‘a business decision‘ and the consumer can like it; live with it; cancel or; not renew the subscription being the customers options?

    Did the Computer Whiz Team that designed the “upgrade” use only answers given in reply to the Pre-formed questions from the Customer Survey? [Where the customer is allowed to write only two extremely brief comments?]

    Can I expect to speak publicly to the consumer-at-large on this matter?

    Silence [now] is not golden.

    There is no better time than NOW for the company Spokesperson to come forward with a public statement regarding the negative commentary. A “thoughtful” response quickly given regarding the negativity is simply good business.

    While I may not agree with the statement at least I will feel that my complaint was heard. Hopefully by someone with authority over the matter.

    Last year… six months ago… and July 2006 I could more easily locate a family surname in the census. Yesterday, I searched it again as a test of the August 2006 changes. After a half hour Census Search I re-found the surname. Based on my ease of finding it.

    I created my own customer satisfaction scale.
    I have given an “A” indicating my complete Annoyance in using this upgrade. I also gave an “F” for destroying my faith in a previously well thought of company.

    Before proceeding forward…fix this giant leap backward. Please.

    I enjoy working on my family history. Doing online genealogy; working day, night; weekends in the comfort of my home, using my own computer; sitting in my own comfortable office chair; in my jammies, with my coffee and supplies near at hand. That
    ladies and gentlemen was unqualified fun!

    Today, doing online genealogy has turned into a four letter word. Work.

    Bigger is not always better if I can’t find one name in the four billion so proudly boasted.
    r m

  180. I have put off for days leaving a comment. I have decided it’s time to vent. The “new and improved” does me no good. I need DATA, not a messed up search site. Every time I use Ancestry any more, I find less and less information. Put your time, effort and money into getting us DATA. Also,I too signed up for the World Delux package, only because I needed Canada (which makes no sense to me why it’s not grouped with USA). I had hoped there would be new data on Canada that I had not already seen. But low and behold, nothing new. So I am now paying $300 a year for UK, which I don’t need yet, Canada, which has nothing new, and the newspapers that are worthless as far as I can see. I had a subscription to the newspapers for a year. I discovered you cannot search for a name because it comes back with the first name in one column and the last name some where else on the page. What good does that do me? It just wastes my time. Also you have no newspapers any where near where my ancestors lived. I need papers for Illinois, Ohio, and believe it or not, not everyone in Kansas lived in Leavenworth. I grew up in Oklahoma and the only newspaper you have for the entire state is Ada, OK. You need small town newspapers and to cover a larger area of the states. Also that One World Tree is a waste of time and taking up space. Do us all a favor and hit the delete button on OWT. At least I see you were smart enough to put back the AWT’s. Right now I do not feel I’m getting my $300 worth of genealogy.

  181. I’ve visited this website often in the last few days.

    A big Thank You for those 180+ comments. Your powerful words have brought me no end of comfort! To the kind submitter who thoughtfully supplied a name and a snail mail address. Extra Blessings! I searched in vain to find a mail address.

  182. This new and improved site is a mess. I don’t appreciate someone using my money on something that is too time consuming and useless.

  183. I agree with all the above who complained about the recent “improvements” on I have called,
    e-mailed, and mailed a postal letter informing that I will not be renewing my $300+ Annual World Deluxe Membership subscription when it comes due. I, also, posted a complaint on comments and improvements message boards, asking for the old search engine to be restored. That was met with a few people agreeing that the new search engine was a problem and, also, some rude responses, that I probably did not know how to, properly, research online after using the old system since 1999.

    I realize that a few subscription cancellations may not do any good. But, my current subscription is not doing me any good, the way site is now.

    Most of my recent use was to use their main search engine to find my ancestors names as new lists were added to the site, each weekday. There had been, a very few days since 1999, when I did not find many useful census or death records or many other facts, under the old system. I used it daily since 1999 until the recent changes.

    From the comments I am reading here, it is good that, I did not post my family trees. I, rarely, visited that part of the site.

    It was so much easier when you could do one search. If the name came up in a list you were not interested in, you could just not open that list. Now, you have to enter the same search, several times, to make sure you covered every possible location where the information may have been put plus exact match, soundex, etc. Even then, some names that appeared in a search on the old search engine are not coming up on the current search engine.
    If the old search engine is not restored or this one fixed, I will not be renewing. I am aware there are few or maybe no options for other sites that have this amount of information.

    Previously, except for a very few poorly microfilmed census forms or an occasional item that was not indexed corrected, I had never had a complaint about, until the current situation.
    I am sorry this comment is so long.

  184. What a mess. Never fixed the problems with the census before you total messed the whole site up. My money is up shortly and you will not, after many years, have it back. DO NOT BREAK WHAT WORKS AND THE OLD WAY WORKED. Now all is hard to search. Wonder if that could be because you shipped it out to countries outside of North America. PLEASE PUT IT BACK!!! I only do this for fun and it is no longer FUN!!!! Can spend the money having fun someplace else like the LDS Church just now the road.

  185. GRRRRRRR. I’m so angry I could chew nails. What a nightmare!!!
    I hope that power greater than myself will convince to put back the search engine as existed before August upgrade. It is impossible to find anything with ease anymore. All the fun in researching has flown by the wayside. I would love to get hold of the engineer and the person who signed off on the final build! They would both be singing soprano.

  186. After 191 posts, I wonder if this organization REALLY knows what it’s doing. I just went to Illinois Genealogy Records and lo! what do I find? Vital Records for NY,VA,NC,TN,OH,AL,CT,VT & GA.Wouldn’t be too bad if they were listed by state, but they are all mixed in with IL records.

    Hey, you delibertly trying to make it difficult for us or maybe that ex Microsoft exec you hired brought their fouled-up system to Provo. Yes, genealogy is work, but work can also be fun, as it was under your old search system. Now it’s just plain work, and as we all know, ‘work’ is a four letter word ending in ‘k’.

    I hope this isn’t too strong for you, Juliana.

    B R Buckingham

  187. Tuesday, September 12, 2006

    Regarding the upgrade of August 2006.

    Does this Corporation listen to the validity of our complaints,and our recommendations?

    I’m not a novice user of Ancestry. Com. I’m a daily user. If our needs and success is important to Ancestry.Com then give us the improvements that we need in order for us to do our own job easily and quickly. markets a quality product. Though this current product is simply not easily used either by novice or experienced user in its current metamorphosis.

    Are we, the consumer to be left without any hope? Does any hope remain that a re-consideration might be made in bringing back the search option — where you enter one name and it searches everything at once, and displays all those results on one simple page.

    And that the Keyword function would be put back where it was? [I’m wondering why that option was removed. It was such a valuable tool.]

    Everyone knows Ancestry.COM now holds the monopoly in the area of online researching.

    The Ancestry.Com monopoly leaves both the hobbyist and the professional genealogist fearfully perched on the precarious tree branch wondering what the future holds regarding your product.

    Achieving a monopoly to the businessman may indicate that business is wonderful. It can only mean one thing for the consumer; limited options and/or no other comparable choice.

    And realizing there is no other comparable online website for genealogy information; I am not going to cut off my nose to despite my face by canceling my subscription, nor opt for not renewing it.

    In my mind that is a defeatist attitude. That would only hurt me, and it would not help the entire genealogical research community.

    I will however, remain a continual thorn in your side urging for a positive consumer-friendly resolution.

    Since the August “upgrade” I’ve not had the pleasure of experiencing an Ancestry.Com “Aha” moment, because finding needed records simply is not easily done!

    Searching for records at Ancestry.Com certainly isn’t fun anymore. Some of the results are just so bizarre. [I think I’m researching in the land of OZ.]

    Genuine consumer complaints should drive a company to produce what the consumer needs. This consumer feels that the global search engine now online points to a direct step >backward

  188. Regarding The historical records grouping. Bah Humbug! A monster that needs help. A mule to work with. I can only hope this is only a temporary metamorphosis. The search engine is such and drastic change. Why? The Keyword function as it was placed was a valuable tool! It is next-to-useless in its current position. Why was this not placed in the historical records group? I’m still waiting for the “Aha” moment. On a scale of High=10-1=low my overall rating level rank is 1. I am very unhappy with your current product. But…since holds the monopoly regarding online genealogy services… I am left with two options. Continue with Ancestry.Com or quit my research.

  189. It seems the next lot of changes have hit the site. The place of birth section on the English census results has disappeared and now each person’s place of birth is given as the county not the village. If the name of the village is given in the place of birth section on the search page a list of residents with that place of birth are given but their place of birth is listed again as just the county. OK perhpas but if I want to use just the surname in the search page I can’t tell which are “mine” in the search results because no village, town etc is given. I have to open many, many pages to make sure I have the correct person. What could possibly be the reason for such a backward step? Has anyone else noticed this change which has surfaced in the last few days?

  190. I purchased Family Tree Maker 2006 Collectors Edition which contained an order form for a “Free Official User Guide” to be sent to Customer Solutions, Book Order19486, P.O. Box 990, Provo Utah, 84057. My letter was returned stamped “Not at the address” “No forwarding address”. Has anyone had a similar problem?

  191. What ever the new system is it steals our work then publishes the work with out removal of identifying data.I have had my files lifted wholesale and entered on the ancestry site. Happy not I.

  192. I have tried every way posible to get rid of your spam, you could at least provide a link to unscribe. I have never requested your mail. Once I made the mistake of having a DNA serch done by you,every thing went well but please don’t make me regret it. Take my name and adress from your list. It’s like a bad penny, it keeps turning up on my screne

  193. I paid for membersip with some 6 months ago when my email address was [email protected]. As my harddrive failed Ihad anew one put in but alas,I could not save many of my programmes. Are you able to restore my membership? I would be grateful for your help. I am: Mr. Charles Hawkins of 67,Saxonbury Close Mitcham.CR4 3QN.
    tHANK YOU.

  194. I wholeheartedly agree with all of the above comments. However, the problem that’s making me CRAZY at this time is the fact that I’m a paid subscriber and can’t use the site. I am unable to log in. When I e-mail ancestry, I receive a message that they’ll e-mail me a new log-in and password. Usually they don’t. When they do, the log-in and password don’t work, so I’m back where I started from and just writing e-mails to someone who doesn’t exist and that I’m sending off into neverneverland somewhere that nobody reads. When I have e-mail them about problems I’m having, I receive the same “canned” e-mail the rest of you folks receive, saying they believe the problem to be fixed now and that I can comment “between the lines” on their e-mail to me. When I attempt to do so, I cannot enter anything between those lines. Not only am I frustrated with the “improvements”, I find what they’re doing now (keeping me from using a service I’m paying for) to be out-and-out theft of my hard-earned dollars, and I AM NOT PLEASED ABOUT THAT! I was delighted to find the suggestion about contacting the BBB and consumer protection. I hadn’t thought that could be done with an Internet business. I will spend the next hour composing my complaints to those folks. Perhaps they’ll receive enough mail from disgruntled Ancestry subscribers to look into the matter.

    I failed to mention that when I called Ancestry about some of the problems, their reply was that I have the option of canceling my subscription. Nice way to do business with people whose checking accounts you’re tapping on a monthly basis, huh? I told them that had I not made a commitment to my family to put the history together for a reunion, they wouldn’t be taking money out of my account every month any longer. I have also told Ancestry that I believe it’s just a matter of time before a bigger and better one comes along and all their subscribers will jump ship, along with me (if I’m still a subscriber at that point). My hope? That the LDS Church gets hot on getting on-line. I am not a member of the LDS Church, but I have believed since my first visit to a FHC that they’re honest people who are not charging enough for the use of their resources. I’d be happy to pay twice as much to them as I’m paying Ancestry to have an honest group of people to deal with.

    I also hope potential Ancestry subscribers are reading these comments and make the decision not to subscribe until they see more positive comments for those of us who do subscribe.

  195. Pingback: GenealogyLocator Blog » Changes at

  196. I have spent about 3 hours every day in an attempt to research my family tree. The only thing that i’ve discovered is that you have to know the unknown to find the other unknowns about your family. I’ve also discovered that the .org sites are not in fact FREE. Nice try, but I have NO intrest in giving up my personal information for thugs to steal or my time to get coupons and answer endless questions. My goal is simple, tell me something I don’t know about my ancestry already please. So far, the only thing I have learned is that you all suck as a service. Thanks for nothing.

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