Posted by Ancestry Team on October 23, 2015 in United Kingdom

Welcome to our weekly update on the new Ancestry website. Last week we posted an article that highlighted some of your favorite features that will be coming into the new Ancestry in the coming weeks. These include Member Connect and Military Pages.

We are also close to having thumbnail images available in the timeline on the FACTS view as well as providing several print options for you. We hoped to release these two features this week, but need a few more days to complete the work and will advise when they are ready.

As always, we have also included links to articles and videos at the end of this post that will help answer your questions and provide more tips on the new site.

Features we currently working on:

  • Thumbnails of images you have attached to events on the Facts view
  • Print Options – is in development
  • Member Connect – We will bring back Member Connect under the Facts View tools.  You can contact other members who are also researching your ancestors to share your research questions, findings, and more.
  • Military PagesSome of you have done great research around your ancestors’ military background and stories. We will bring back view only version of Military Pages so you can continue to access the content you have created.
  • Family Group Sheet – A family view of the of the person and their family
  • Continue Search – option to keep searching from within your tree versus right clicking to open new records.

Top Issues Reported

Below is a status on the issues surfacing from your feedback.

  • Some frustration with Historical Insights. Sometimes, insights are hinting when they shouldn’t be, dates are incorrect, locations are wrong, etc. They could be more accurate.
  • Relationship calculator randomly not appearing on trees.
  • Dark background white font is hard to see

We appreciate your feedback and encourage you to keep submitting it. What do you love about the new website? Did you find a bug? Something doesn’t quite work like you think it should? Please submit it via this form. Thank you. We will be providing more updates over the next couple of weeks.

Help Links



Help Articles



  1. arf

    Who is working on the cookie, cache and browser issues. Just because they cannot be duplicated by CS does not mean the don’t exist. Ditto for slow response, no response, and buttons that don’t work.

  2. steve

    I will not come back to Ancestry, until they listen to us long time members……

  3. Kristie Wells

    @Steve: The team is working as quickly as possible on these items . We have also been curating member feedback from several places (blog, social communities, phone, email, etc) and using that to help build the product roadmap going forward. What specifically is causing you frustration as I will make sure to include it in our feedback report.

  4. Walt

    Thanks you very much for what is the most encouraging New Ancestry update in a while.
    Many of us — myself included — applaud such changes as the thumbnails on facts page and the print options. These have been requested for a long time. Please hurry.
    However, I do want to raise a caution about your plan for the Military Pages. I think it is a mistake to simply carry over existing military pages as view only with no option to edit or add to those pages. All of the member content on the site should be dynamic and editable; otherwise, we just risk institutionalizing errors.
    I was about to begin building some military pages when the New Ancestry was launched, but I held off when I found they were to be abandoned.
    Perhaps some of my fellow family historians who have already built military pages might disagree with my thinking, but I think military pages that are frozen and non-editable are a mistake.

  5. SO glad to see that Continue Search is on the list!! That’s my last and biggest problem with New Ancestry. Fix it, and I will go away a happy camper.

  6. Ephraim

    I agree with almost every complaint I have read. The new site is horribly cluttered with stuff no one needs. Put stuff like that elsewhere. Make it optional.

    You made these changes solely because you can and we all know that a change must be an improvement!

    Nonsense. Change is good if it adds value. Not all change is bad but change for the sake of change is a wretched thing to do. It’s just marketing.

    “Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if…?” Not when adding it messes up so many essential things that worked.

    You have Microsofted Ancestry with “features and enhancements” that no one needs at all and that simply complicate things.

    Nine months of beta-testing?

    My subscription ends in a month. I won’t be back.

  7. BEE

    I have spent the past week going through one of my smaller trees alphabetically, looking for “comments”. I then copy them into “notes”. I can’t imagine how long it’s going to take me to go through larger trees with many more “comments”!
    Totally ignored? The ugly look of “new” ancestry!

  8. Cathy

    Thank-you for adding continue search to the list. I have been using new ancestry for about 3 months. I have missed continue search and will be happy to see it return.

  9. Pa

    Return the full functionality of”OLD” into NEW ancestry.

    Only offering a partial functionality is sad that executives still refuse to listen to customers.

    Spend more money on fixing the “ISSUES” at hand.

    No mention of the “Quick Edit” card file feature from within a person’s profile, nor the return of the hyperlink to “Other Sources”.

    I agree with Walt on the Military Pages, not offering the “Edit” feature is a mistake.

  10. Anne Scott Frankland

    BEE – I did the same thing a few months ago. When I wasn’t sure that Comments and Notes would be in New — so, I copied and pasted them (from my 7000+ person tree) into Word.

  11. Karen

    Please allow people to hide the Famky Story. My tree will remain private until I can be assured the information on my tree has been created by me. A machine generated story will always be simplistic and contain errors.

  12. Pa

    Agree with Karen.

    # 1 Permanent Off Button/Cog for Life Story
    # 2 Permanent Off Button/Cog for Historical Insights

    Again, these were not even discussed in this blog.

  13. mary

    Agree with Pa and Karen: Pa Agree with Karen. # 1 Permanent Off Button/Cog for Life Story # 2 Permanent Off Button/Cog for Historical Insights Again, these were not even discussed in this blog.

  14. Sarah

    Comment: The only good new Ancestry is a dead new Ancestry. Ancestry has refused to listen to the majority of it’s users that complain over and over again that the only Ancestry they want is the classic Ancestry but Ancestry refuses to listen to its customers, the bread and butter of its profits. Goodbye and good riddance. It’s over and you will never regain the confidence your loyal customers’ confidence ever again no matter what you do in the future.

  15. Monika

    Yes, please PERMANENT OFF BUTTON FOR LIFESTORIES AND PERMANENT OFF BUTTON FOR “HISTERICAL INSIGHTS”. My membership expires in three months. If you plan to keep Classic Ancestry or you DRASTICALLY improve New Ancestry (and, yes, I already have submitted my suggestions repeatedly in writing and on the telephone), I may stay. Otherwise it is “Adios ACOM” and “Hello, RootsMagic” and EXCELLENT software program that I have transferred my trees to. I bought the software to make sure that I have control over my tree, should ACOM decide to buy and destroy that program too. Love RootsMagic. It is crisp, user friendly, and gives me so much control over how to structure my trees. All the advantages of ACOM and none of the disadvantages.

  16. rv

    In addition to the items listed, there are still some small but important items missing from the new experience:
    1) Image Transcriptions – clicking edit to view two pages or more of information in s small edit box is not the best experience.
    2). Attach person to Image or Story – maybe I’m missing it, but how do you attach someone to an existing image in New Ancestry?

  17. Mary R.

    With the “New” Ancestry, they say your family story will be Beautiful, Usable, and Delightful. We know the first two haven’t happened, and the last is a delusion. For example, my great-grandmothers’ lives were not “Delightful.” All born about 1870, each married at 20; my Slovak one lost her 49-yr-old husband to coal miners’ disease in PA, raised 6 children as an ironer in a laundry in CT; my 1st Irish one lost 9 of her 14 children to TB because they lived in a damp house near a dirty river in CT; my 2nd Irish one lost her husband to pneumonia when he was 40, leaving her with 5 children and running a boardinghouse in Worcester, MA; my English one in CT lost her husband when he choked on cornflakes and, three of her six infants had died from bacteria in baby bottle pram tubes. So I should submit to having crazy purple lines drawn around these facts to cheer things up? I should post dark photos of FDR and Hitler to add pizzazz? I should write names VERY LARGE and that will get a smile? No! New Ancestry is making a mockery of lives lived well despite pain and hardship. It’s a comedy of errors about ordinary people who should be respectfully remembered. I think the folks at are so out of touch with reality that they don’t even see they’ve caused unnecessary sorrow – not delight – for thousands of living people.

  18. caith

    In the past, about 50% of the trees in my DNA account were private. Now, about 70% are private. Not sure how to read that……., but interesting.

  19. Cheryl

    Working at “thumbnails of images you have attached to events on the Facts view”. This is one of the most requested corrections to Fricking New Ancestry, but most users want ALL THUMBNAILS VISIBLE ON THE FACTS PAGE AND NOT HIDDEN IN THE ATTIC!!!! ALL THUMBNAILS whether they have been attached to a timeline event or not should appear on the facts page. In addition MAKE THE STORIES VISIBLE ON THE FACTS PAGE and allow tree owners to attach them to timeline events. STOP HIDING THE PHOTOS AND STORIES IN THE ATTIC AND MAKE THEM VISIBLE AT ONCE PLAIN AS DAY ON THE FACTS PAGE! Do you understand?

  20. Sandra

    Is there an option to remove the colorful 4 block options at the top of the home page for individual users. It’s irritating to be asked if I want a free trial and what I want to do first. Give us the option to edit it as part of the home page edit. Thank you!

  21. Elhura

    I just heard an interesting comment, “You don’t want to lose the past. You want to celebrate it in the present and in the future.”

    It seems a site dedicated to genealogy and the preservation of family history would fit that description “to a T”. Not so new Ancestry.

    New Ancestry is not only losing data, losing extensive detail written into well-done citations, losing well-honed photo captions when transferred into other trees, but is losing the “real” past by its unpredictable fabrications in Life Story. It also does little for the process of “celebration” of the lives of our ancestors now or in the future.

    Why should I celebrate a “labor of love” that has just turned into “labor”? Why would I want future generations to view what I thought was my contribution toward preserving our ancestors’ legacy? Not when that contribution is distorted – or worse, made untrue – and my hard work and valuable data are lost? Who wants to celebrate wrong information or the arduous task of hunt and search via frustrating layers of click, click, click? And who can even do that when the visual elements of color and the distracting purple lines preclude lengthy use?

    Many share this view. So, Ancestry, keep working to try to bring your new “baby” up to better standards. Let me turn off Life Story for all who view my tree in that format. Make sure my detailed narratives and transcriptions added in story form are there and in the forefront (not lost in layers of goop). Keep my photo captions when photos are copied with a place for others’ comments – just show who did the caption with a link for contact, in case someone needs to know. Cut through the layers of doing even simple functions. Give me the Classic color choices and get rid of the purple lines – likely the most useless and adolescent thing of the whole affair. KEEP CLASSIC as a working option alongside your new and everybody should be happier with you and can then continue to “celebrate” what genealogy should be about!

  22. caith

    @Elhura – Yes, and “We are, who they were”. Isn’t that powerful and poignant? Brings tears to my eyes.

  23. Deb

    In reviewing the posts about Howard Hochhauser’s presentation on at the Deutsche Bank Leveraged Finance Conference posted on The Ancestry Insider ( and, the statistics on subscribers stood out. Mr. Hochhauser said that Ancestry has 2.2 million subscribers with more than half having subscriptions of 6 months or longer. Of the U.S. subscribers, more than 60% are female with an average age over 55.

    I definitely fit the majority of their current customer base. To me, it makes perfect sense that older women would have the time and interest in digging through their family connections. Younger people are busy raising families and building careers or spending time on social media. I would not expect them to have much interest in pouring through old records to find that elusive 4th great-grandmother’s maiden name. If they do have any interest, I would expect it to be fleeting as they exhaust the shaky leaves.

    It is obvious from the changes in New Ancestry and from Ancestry’s marketing campaigns that they do not care about appealing to their current customer base. I loved the comment “The old site appealed to genealogists” – implying that the new site will not (which it doesn’t). I totally disagree that “The new site is more visually appealing.” And “Using machine learning, the new site is essentially a story about an ancestor,” is intellectually insulting to think that a computer can build the story of your family. Ancestry is obviously abandoning their existing strength to attempt to expand into a younger market. I hope they have market research which shows that this expansion is possible because I can’t see them making much headway.

    To me as a 55+ person, the color scheme is glaring, the white on gray is difficult to look at, and the purple lines are garish. It is irritating just to look at a profile page.

    I have several trees which were always private, but I have now made them non-searchable. I have a working tree of over 14,000 people that will take some time to move. Unfortunately, my subscription expires at the end of October and I will not be able to get all of the information off of Ancestry by then. I stopped my automatic yearly renewal and will now be subscribing on a 6-month basis to finish downloading my trees. If things do not change within that six month period or New Ancestry is forced on me, I will not be renewing.

  24. nadinemi21

    OK, Ancestry, you’ve made it clear that you sift through feedback and assign priorities for followup. You’ve had enough feedback now to warrant Mentioning an on/off function for an entire tree for both Life Story and Historical Insights in your feedback summaries and to make fixing them a priority. Ditto for the ugly gray site color.

  25. Elhura

    Thanks, Cheryl. I totally agree about the thumbnails. Stories and photos should be where they can be viewed at a glance, regardless if attached or not to an event on the facts page.

    To Deb. I wonder how many of that 60% female over age 55 customer base have taken time to express their thoughts to Ancestry about the new version – and what their thoughts might be. I had used Ancestry for several years before paying attention to the blogs, or I would not have known others’ sentiments about the new Ancestry.

    And, Caith. You are right and what you said is powerful! It brings to mind the “Remember Me” verse that sometimes appeared on New England headstones of the 1700’s, Southern US tombstones of the 1800’s and dates back, supposedly, in some variation or the other to perhaps earlier England and Scotland. The familiar version is something like:

    Remember me as you pass by,
    As you are now, so once was I,
    As I am now, so you must be,
    Prepare for death and follow me.

    In the “celebration” of our ancestors, we find the proof of hardships of other eras, just as we face our own challenges now; we see the finesse – and the sometimes not-so-finesse – with which they met those issues; we are reminded of the love and care they felt for their families and homeland; we see the courage it took to leave all behind in days of slow travel and communication, and gradually move westward in the quest for the good life; and we are inspired by their actions, just as we hope the next generations may be inspired by ours. We also find humor along the way.

    One that brings both a tear and a chuckle is the epitaph said almost worn away on an 1875 gravestone in a cemetery in Randolph County, Alabama, USA. The cemetery photo shows a small, reclaimed family burial ground, lightly fringed with background trees, with a few white marble headstones proudly rising among light brush. The young woman’s epitaph reads:

    Remember Friend
    As you pass by,
    As you are now
    So once was I,
    As I am now
    You soon will be,
    So prepare on earth
    And follow me.
    Sweep around
    My Grave
    Every fourth
    Saturday Evening.

    Don’t you wonder what prompted the admonition to sweep her grave on the fourth Saturday – and if her loved ones honored that request!

  26. Nini

    Please stop forcing your totally irrelevant historical insights & plastic lifestory on to our family trees. They offer no valid reflection of our ancestor’s lives.

  27. mike

    Deb, what stands out clearly in your first paragraph where you are quoting Hochhauser, there is no way they know the gender and age of their customers withought snooping into trees randomly to come up with a figure based upon the fact that you set up your tree so you are the as the main person. There is no way of knowing a person’s gender, only by given name when they sign up. Many people have names that are neutral in gender but the majority do have first names that you can decipher what gender they are. Age is something different. You sign up and are never asked your age so how can they even come up with that figure? It’s either all a pack of lies or an invasion of your privacy, period. Also, people set up trees where they, personally, are not even in them at all. All of what that guy said is a lot of BS anyway. I say get out as you are doing and never look back. One benefit is it will save you a lot of $$$$’s.

  28. douggrf

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    Customer Solutions Associate

  29. May Noble

    Elhura – Thank You, I totally agree with all your comments, and other folks as well. When Ancestry announced the addition of Wills and Probate Records, I was excited about this and when I opened the first one to view I was immediately “thrown” into “New Ancestry”. After over a week of trying to navigate and figure out all this mumbo jumbo, I thankfully was able to switch back to the Classic format. I have avoided the Wills and Probate records like the plague since for fear of being permanently dumped back into that new mess. Although I understand Ancestry will unfortunately force the new on everyone eventually. Also I now have turned all my trees to the private setting for now until Ancestry makes up their mind what they are going to do with the monster they created.

    My personal family history is very interesting, My father was born in 1896, he was 36 years older than my mother, and I am the oldest of their 7 children. My father passed away in 1978, he was the youngest of 9 children, I didn’t know much about his family growing up and unfortunately after his death became interested in “knowing” more, asking older family members questions and writing it all down – I became hooked on genealogy. My paternal grandfather was born in 1850 – I was born exactly 100 years later! Faithfully using group sheets since 1979 and since that time visited countless courthouses, Historical and Genealogy Societies, libraries, funeral homes, sending to States for death certificates, etc, the list is endless, I had copies made of every record found for the surname I was looking for. Enjoyed every minute of doing it and still do, nothing like having a copy of an original record to “prove” the data. Visiting cemeteries, helping clean many of the old ones, taking photos. With the advancement of technology, scanning in all these docs to my ancestors files. And oh my, I have been so Blessed all these years of all the relatives, both close and distant, who have so graciously assisted me with information by mail/email and personal interviews with such wonderful stories, not to mention allowing me to scan Family Bibles, documents, diaries/journals, etc, etc – AND literally hundreds of family photos old and new !! All of which I have been over the past few years been downloading to Ancestry, with still so much much more to add. I have been a member of Ancestry only since 2002. When I saw what you did with one of my trees I was working on when you dumped that New in my lap, I was mortified with what you had done with all my data. Life Story, what a joke, Ancestry you know nothing about my families life stories. Historical Insights, irrelevant for the most part.

    Ancestry once to force the New on all your subscribers, are you also going to take over doing ALL the research for each person, such as adding census records, birth/marriage/death, etc, etc, since you are adding all this other stuff – some of which is incorrect. Are you going to hire/have “professional genealogists” clean up all the errors you create? Yes, we are human, I know their are typos I must have made along the way, hopefully will be corrected by someone making a comment to me or I find them myself. I know I have made mistakes, perhaps adding someone that shouldn’t be there, but making notes to that fact until positive proof is found. I certainly do want all my information to be correct.

    Ancestry are you going to do all my research for me now once permanently forced to the New, or allow me to continue to enjoy doing it myself in a format that is tried and true, understandable and easy to read at a glance?

    What say you Ancestry – let your paying customers know your intentions ASAP.

  30. Don

    @mike I don’t know about you, but I have filled out the about section on my member profile. This includes gender and age range.

  31. No Ancestry person has addressed the reason why both the Classic and the New sites cannot remain online. New subscribers begin on the new site. Longtime subscribers can have a choice. SOMEONE PLEASE ADDRESS THIS!.

  32. Jade

    Thanks for intending to restore thumbnails of uploaded media to their associated events in the Facts timeline. There just was no reason to remove them in NewAncestry.

  33. Jade

    @subscribers, it makes no difference whether you cancel your subscription or not. If you have a tree on, public or private, NewAncestry will be implemented in the tree.

    It **was** an unnecessary dirty trick to make accessing the new (misnamed) Wills and Probates databases an implementer of NewAncestry in the customer’s tree.

  34. Mary M Zashin

    I applaud the restoration of thumbnails on the fact page. However, please MAKE THEM BIG ENOUGH TO SEE! Not like the itty-bitty thumbnails for children, etc., down the right side of the page. Make the photo thumbnails even LARGER than the objectionable ones for sources (you know, like on Old), which are uninteresting to look at yet dominate the middle of the page. Please don’t give us a half-baked response, as you have done with the restoration of the squares. Yes, you removed the horrible portholes, BUT some photos can’t be cropped into a square, leaving a choice between ugly black margins on top/bottom or sides OR cropping off information. This is particularly true with tombstones, but I have unhappily found that even some portraits can’t be cropped into a square without cutting off the chin or the top of the head. So, ACOM, although you’re clearly trying, please don’t do a minimal job and essentially disappoint us. We want to SEE the attached photos. . .not 1/4″ square thumbnails. While you’re at it, make the family thumbnails bigger and the source thumbnails smaller (who cares about seeing a copy of a census form? they can be 1/4″-ers, or better yet, entirely eliminated.) Make the background around primary photos the SAME COLOR as the header, which, please, should NOT BE GREY. I want the fact page to look attractive so I can happily share it with others, which in its current ugly, gloomy, confusing mess is not something I want to do. I’m hanging in there, but unless the DISPLAY features of the program continue to improve, and improve drastically, I will not renew when my subscription is up.

  35. mike

    Don, to reply your statement about info on profiles, let’s just say Ancestry cannot possibly “assume” anything about what people might put on their profiles and many do not put anything down at all. Some people might lie also about personal information, so this is no guage for Ancestry to go by.

    To Launa: Many have asked the same question a million times over and Ancestry refuses to answer. They are just stringing people along but you can bet your bottom dollar the new is to stay and there will be no choice. WHEN the change is to take effect is what most people want to know but there never is an answer to that question either.

    I sure don’t care at this point, as I’ll be long gone regardless of what they do. You cannot trust this organization with your personal information and the changes they make to their terms and conditions at will (in Ancestry’s favor). Even after you leave, should you, what will happen to your so-called deleted trees and possible DNA results? Who would trust an organization that has no scruples, invades private and public trees with their own garbage and the users that pay for something that they come along and change at will? They have everything sewn up in the terms and conditions in Ancestry’s favor and once you hand over your credit card you give up all rights on any trees you have on Ancestry.

  36. Jan Murphy

    Buyer beware: Ancestry has marketed their online trees as a platform by which users can ‘publish’ their family’s stories. It ought to be evident that Ancestry has no long-term interest in doing that. They dumped the MyFamily users and MyCanvas. Now it seemed they planned to dump the Military Pages and only have restored them to read-only status.
    If you want to publish your family’s story, keep copies of everything on your OWN computer and only consider your online Ancestry tree one disposable copy that you made for a cousin to look at. Don’t depend on Ancestry to hold the master copy of your work. Learn to make an ePub, or keep your own written narrative in your word processor, or publish your own story in whatever way suits you. Just remember that Ancestry is interested in taking in your data — it is not interested in giving us a clean take-out path for anything created here.

  37. Jan Murphy

    In response to the remarks by douggrf — I spent well over a month going through my trees and making sure I had copies of all the data on my old computer before I was switched over. My trees are not that big, so I can only image how long it would take for users who have over 10,000 names in theirs.

  38. Sarah

    Jan, Well, said. Everyone should heed that advice. I might further add that people who have over 10K people in one tree are just over the top anyway. Genealogy software designed for home computers is not able to handle that overload, let alone you trying to sort it all out. You don’t have to go back to ancient times to tell the story of your family or have branches that go to other branches who are not even remotely related. I agree that all documents, media and anything pertaining to your tree/s should also be on your computer (with backups to an external HD); plus paper trails to back up all your facts.

  39. Deb

    Mike, they probably get that information from the surveys they periodically run. Of course, when one is asked, the choice to participate in and the responses one chooses to give are self-selecting. Perhaps the majority of those who are inclined to participate in the surveys are females over 55. When the choice is up to the respondent, it is hardly a scientific survey.

    As Don said, a lot of folks have provided gender and age info in their profiles. Again, this is self-selecting, so it is not scientific. Ancestry may do other more scientific research on their customer base that they, of course, would not disclose.

    What the comments show is that what Ancestry considers to be its customer base is currently majority female and over 55. They are not marketing or programming to that base, but are attempting to broaden their appeal to a younger audience. They must think they will have success with this, but I doubt it.

    Genealogy is generally not a young person’s hobby. I did not get serious about it until I was in my 40’s. I dabbled here and there from my teens on, but back in the day when you had to travel all over, I had no money to visit all the places my ancestors had settled. talked to my relatives and that was about it. When World Family Tree first came out sometime in the 90’s, I bought Family Tree Maker (or whatever it was called then) and started a computerized tree on a Window 95 machine. When Ancestry got going, I did the free trial. I didn’t sign up for a subscription until about 5 years ago.

    I believe the growth in genealogy as a hobby is due to the ease of online access and to the baby boomer generation reaching the point where they have the time, interest and money to pursue it. I just cannot see millennials and younger folks signing on in any meaningful way.

  40. Dale Freegard

    I agree with everyone else’s complaints. Ancestry is taking too long for changes and do not appear to be listening to how unhappy they have made their customers. Surely getting rid of the terrible background colour would be a very simple task to achieve. I will not be renewing my membership once I can no longer view the Old Ancestry.

  41. G

    There are exceptions of course, I’m 31 and doing genealogy seriously for a while now, I’m even thinking of studying to become an archivist very soon (there are no classes to become a genealogist here).
    I’m one of those that like new ancestry and especially the colors.

  42. Elhura

    To G. That’s great that the new version, along with its colors, pleases you and I am truly glad for you. For many of us, however, the very color scheme does not permit our using the site for long at a time. There is something about the color combination, the glaring purple lines and, perhaps, older eyes, that the mix totally ruins the use of the program after a few minutes. With such a simple fix as background and font color and dropping the lines, considering the many times this has been reported by concerned users, it seems this would be one of the first areas Ancestry would change. They should drop the lines and either return to the Classic color scheme (yes, I know its is not “scrapbook” pretty), or offer the option to users to set their own choices. Perhaps that option would be CLASSIC COLOR and “SANS” LINES. While color alone won’t fix the many problems that many serious users do find with the format, it is at least a start. By far, the best option for Ancestry, would be to KEEP CLASSIC as a working option along side the new . The failure to assure us of that is why there is so much distress now. We see our carefully done work of many years being damaged each time we view the new version. We also see a cumbsersome and repetitive process of data search and entry that, until now, was done with relative ease. As I have said before, that turns a “labor of love” into just “labor”.

  43. Ed Yeutson

    Something I would like to see changed on the New Ancestry is that Sync more than one computer to my Tree on Ancestry. I do most of my work on my PC but when I go to a cousins home I am on a lap top and this makes it , I have to write it in twice and enter photos in twice. I did a change the SYNC to Lap top once, not going to do that ever again! because I lost everything on my laptop and on my PC had to go to my tree on ancestry and down load my tree from ancestry. the only thing that got lost was what I had just done. I work on family tree maker most of the time. but when I go on a family history vacation or to a cousins home, I want the most up to date information that I have put on my PC.
    (HELP) ED

  44. C

    @ G Remember that ACOM’s own COO Howard Hochhauser stated that Classic Ancestry was for GENEAOLOGISTS while New would appeal to all others. You must fall into the “all others” bunch.

  45. caith

    If Hochhauser stated that Classic Ancestry is for Genealogists, and he plans to get rid of Classic, is the logical conclusion that he plans to also get rid of Genealogists. Well, duh……..What else could his comment mean?

    Maybe, he needs to hire someone for damage control….

  46. mike

    Ed, are you on a network with both of your computers? If you are than just copy the FTM file onto the laptop and open it with FTM. Either that or just copy the file on to some external storge device and plug that into your laptop and just open the file with FTM. Everything will still be there.

    Also, I assume you know to compact the file after you have added more information and create a backup file before you compact, as well. You also did not say if you are working in the classic or new Ancestry. Note: Your files will be found in the FTM folder and be sure to copy both the file and its media file as well. You other choice would be just to create some reports from your tree and save those to your laptop unless you mean you want to work additionally on it when you go to a cousin’s home. If you have unlinked your file from Ancestry, you cannot link it again and if you try to upload your file again to Ancestry you will find your media has been altetered and not visible.

    Unless, I do not fully understand what you are asking for help with.

  47. G

    I did just say there are no genealogists in my country, the best one can hope is historian or archivist. I am very set on becoming one, please don’t belittle that, I work very hard daily on my tree following the standards. As I said, I like the colors but I am sure I’d be ok if they changed them to accomodate those that don’t, I don’t really care about colors either way, as long as the site is usable (which to me is already, but it’s fine) I’m ok. One thing I want to complain about is the app (android in my case) which I find it’s buggy.

  48. Monika

    @G. We do not mean to “beat up” on you. I think it is great that you are interested in genealogy this early in your life. I wish I had been! But, if you really want to become an archivist you better get used to a lot of drab colors and old hand writings. That’s what old records are all about for the most part.
    If you want to become an archivist when you grow up, bright colors should not be as important to you as the accuracy of the data. If you like New Ancestry you may not have noticed the triviality of the LifeStories yet or the inaccuracy in the Historical “facts” that New Ancestry creates. Because if you had already noticed these you would not embarrass yourself by claiming that you like that. I doubt that I will still be around in a decade from now and, quite frankly, I am glad that I won’t be. I fear for the new generation and its shallowness. Sometimes I hear on the television how interviewers ask college students on their campuses who the current Vice President is and they cannot come up with the correct answer. We are entering a frightening stage where people rely on computers to do their thinking and believe that all of life is one big reality show.

  49. gp_4hbc

    To G: If you want to become a family historian, genealogist or “archivist,” then they important thing to do is start off right and that is NOT with the new Ancestry. You have to learn to find records to back up your facts and the new Ancestry is full of crap that will do you know good. If you are looking for pretty colors and other such nonsense, you will find yourself on the outside of becoming what you want to be. You might as well look at information on Wikipedia than be on the new Ancestry. Take some of the free courses that the Family History Library provides in the basics of genealogy and go on from there.

  50. gp_4hbc

    To G, Another suggestion for you is to change to the classic interface if it is at all possible. I do not know if that is offered to newer users at all. Go to your profile where you sign out and see if there is an option there to opt out of the new. I also want to correct a spelling error I made in my last post: “that will do you no good; instead of “know” good. Sorry about that.

  51. Elhura

    @G. I, too, applaud you for your interest in genealogy and desire to become one. As with Monika, I wish I had shown a more active interest at a younger age.

    I collected for years before trying to organize beyond charts and self-done spreadsheets. When I discovered some years ago, I thought I had found a treasure! I found a place to see the original records of my ancestors; a search engine to help me find them; a repository for my own documents; a forum for exchanging information with other searchers; and an opportunity to work with others in finding actual facts – not similarity in names or things that “seem to be” (a real danger if you are relying on anyone’s tree without assessing their documentations and information for yourself). And I found a way to store that information in an orderly, easy to view, reliable manner that I, foolishly, thought would remain unchanged unless I changed it and would always be available to me. I made my tree public so it could be seen by others and I could have opportunity for their input and collaboration. My tree has become a study, not only of my immediate family, but one of a geographical area. I have been proud of my work and had hoped to add to and refine it for the rest of my life.

    Not to repeat the other difficulties and problems with use of the new version, but to address Life Story. While delightful in some ways, it – in its present inefficiencies – is a danger to real genealogy. It has the potential to damage, distort and destroy an otherwise correct and well-researched work. I do not know if you have found such in relation to your work yet, but it has happened to many. You can read the dated blogs back for several weeks for many, many examples.

    Unable to read locations inconsistent or unknown in Ancestry’s data base, my Georgia, USA-born relatives (several) became born in Bavaria, Germany. Photos of the era, but irrelevant to my family, have been inserted at Ancestry’s whim. Others tell of American ancestors born abroad to affluent families, to be written up as part of the “huddled masses” escaping political and economic hardships of their “native” country while immigrating to America, with an “Ellis Island” photo inserted as proof. These are just some examples, but ways I would be ashamed for anyone viewing an otherwise well-done tree to see. Unfortunately, those who are less discerning can print those pages and even distribute them to others, praising what they have found on! I know I can turn off the photos and historical highlights in Life Story from my view. I am not too sure what others can see. So, beware, the next time you look at a Life Story page that is pretty to the eye. Look at the tree owner’s FACT page to see what is really there.

    Again to G, good luck in your endeavors and I hope you have as many years of accomplishments and pleasure that I have had with the old!

  52. G

    Thanks for your encouraging replies! I have always loved history and I’m doing this for me first, to learn how to (for the future) while enriching my tree and meeting new cousins, and also for my grandmothers, while they’re still here.
    I’m not new to ancestry, I was using the old one too, I didn’t mind the change mostly because I work/ed with FTM which I find is a more powerful tool for handling facts and sources and has always been.
    I actually have gone as far back as the 1560s for now, using original old church documents, with gloves and magnifying lens and all that (including the nervousness you get when you see those pages crumble before you when you barely touch them). So i’m not really “new” to this. I get eye strain after 3h on those old dusty books, but I don’t mind the colors here. But I also don’t stay 3h on the website in one sitting, I have glasses with the “blue light coating” that help a lot with the fatigue of looking at a screen for a long time, and a mac with a retina display that is superb. Maybe it’s all this put together, or maybe it’s just my own sensibility to colors, either way, I’m cool with them changing them again for you guys. I do hope in the end they listen to you all and implement your suggestions, even if maybe it takes time. If they’re not listening to those who’ve used the site for years and are professionals, then what is it for…

  53. Charles

    Please. Please. PLEASE … give me the option to have the old Ancestry back.

    If people REALLY LIKE the new version, you will see them use it.

    But if they don’t, you will see them use the old version.

    I do not like this never version AT ALL. I have been doing genealogy for 4 decades. This new ancestry is dismal. Aside from being unattractive, it is so hard to put information in and to keep notes and find things.

    It is just awful.

    And I KNOW You have seen countless similar complaints about this.

    Why are you ignoring your customers?

    I don’t want to leave ancestry. I have been a member for ages now. And I was thinking of upgrading. But I am now thinking of quitting. I certainly would NOT recommend it.

  54. Crystal

    Hey, Ancestry! It seems that you require us to keep telling you the same thing over and over and over again. If we don’t, it appears that you take that as an indication the issue has been resolved. So . . . . to make sure you don’t think everything is simply wonderful in Ancestryland:

    1. The profile page just seems to be getting worse. Nice that you finally got rid of the port-hole photo (thank-you!), but now with the darker background and the black border around the photo, everything in the heading is disappearing into nothingness. Do you people even look at this stuff? Why don’t you take a good look at some of our profile pages?

    2. You’re still not getting it about the GIGANTIC name on the profile page. It’s not necessary. The wider type is lovely (thanks for that!), but you don’t have to make the person’s name so HUGE!! If you try to print a profile page, the whole thing just looks ridiculous. Where did you find these “designers?” I’m no graphic artist, but there must be someone out there you can hire to design an attractive, legible, and useful profile page. Isn’t there?

    3. Speaking of useful, when are you going to get rid of those AWFUL purple lines connecting facts with sources? We all have noticed that you seem to be “dumbing-down” the entire Ancestry system with this “New” Ancestry. But if someone can’t connect a fact with a source without those horrible purple lines, maybe that person shouldn’t be subscribing to Ancestry in the first place. Or do you just think we’re all stupid? The Classic Ancestry’s profile page has such a clean and uncluttered look. I just don’t understand what possibly could have been your thought process to change it like you have.

    These are only a few comments about just the profile page. Probably superficial in light of the many, many really significant system and coding issues that my blog colleagues continue to bring to your attention every week.

    Can you feel my frustration? Can you understand why we think no one is listening to us even though you tell us to give you our feedback? I used to spend hours and hours researching my family history. Now I find other things to do because what once was an exciting part of my life that I loved, is now just work that hurts my eyes, gives me headaches, and causes unending frustration. Put yourself in my shoes why don’t you? Or is it true? That you really don’t care?

  55. BobbyD

    As some others have stated, it doesn’t matter what Ancestry does from here on out. I no longer have confidence in this company. Too many disappointments and too few answers to so many questions that we have asked of them. I no longer subscribe and my trees have been made private. They get nothing more from me in the way of personal documents and photographs. They get no more help from me by way of corrections submitted to their on-line documents. They get no more of my hard earned money. When the 1950 census are made available to the public then I will see if Ancestry is still around and if they cleaned up their nonsense. As for the rest of you, keep enjoying the endless slow-downs, loss of functions, beta-testing and non-responses from Ancestry. I wish you luck.

  56. mofid421

    I’m very glad to read that continued searching is coming back but what about the ability to attach stories to the appropriate fact? I have dozens of stories for some people on my tree which are now floating about in the gallery unattached to anything.

  57. gp_4hbc

    G reminds me of myself at only age 15 when I first became interested my family’s history. My grandfather was a professional genealogist and when he passed away, I inherited all his wonderful notes and facts he gathered all the years he was researching our family history, I treasure all his wonderful notes and those were back in the old days way before computers. It meant actually going to places to look for records, searching in cemeteries and writing letters all over the world in quest to find his roots. It took off from there and I never looked back. Wish you well in your endeavors and hope you achieve your dreams one day like I did.

    He would have liked the old classic Ancestry but I know he’d hate the New one and would voice his opinion about it as almost everyone else had. I am afraid it all falls on deaf ears and next thing you know, they will be another update on this forum and on it will go with the same old baloney.

  58. Elhura

    The Petition to Save Classic Ancestry reached 3,501 signees today. The message was that at 3,500, it would be printed, along with emails, and sent to Ancestry CEO Tim Sullivan. Emails were encouraged. The petition continues to grow with a new goal of 3,750 signees. Someone previously cited (source unknown) that for every signee, there could be expected to be at least 20 others who would have signed:

  59. Martin

    For months now people have been reporting errors on New Ancestry yet very little if any progress appears to be being made. You continually ask for our feedback and say you are passing it back to developers, yet we see no evidence of this, weeks go by and still the site is riddled with errors & misinformation which have been reported multiple times.

    Of all the errors & suggested I reported almost 2 months ago only one has been partially fixed.

    When are we going to see some progress, or better still abandoning of new Ancestry.

  60. I find the (again) revised target for the Petition a bit worrying. At this rate, Classic will have been well and truly ‘retired’ before the petition has been sent to the CEO. I would think it should go to him NOW. (Elhura – I know you are not responsible for the petition so no criticism is aimed at you. Your efforts have been sterling)

  61. Sarah

    According to “Save the Old Classic Ancestry” monitor the goal was 3500 signatures and that was reached yesterday, so it will be sent to Tim Sullivan, CEO of If you would like to hear your voices heard, then by old means send him a personal email with your complaints about the New Ancestry and want the Classic version retained. Continue to post on the petition as the ultimate goal is not yet realized.

  62. Cheryl

    I have tried the new beta and do not like it. Too much decoration meaning that one has to scroll down all the time. Keep getting scripting errors and having to switch to the basic viewer all the time. Turning on basic viewer does not stick and EVERY TIME I have to scroll down and switch it on. Very frustrating. Keep the old stem.

  63. Mary R.

    Besides the mass disappointment in “New” Ancestry, I’d say the emotion shared by all against it is outrage. –Justifiable anger at the invasion and near-destruction of private property, at the new limitations on personal freedom and at the cavalier attitude of the offenders. I suggest a compromise, from those in charge to us, the providers of the “families” in the “family” trees. Merge the New Millennial features into Old’s Classic format. Where “Story View” is on each Classic profile, put “LifeStory” with its Historical Insights: thus, an Opt-In feature for those who want it. Minimize the purple lines; less is more. Delete “Gender” because it’s no longer either-or. Admit the dark gray is a disaster and return to whiter, tighter, printable pages. Putting New into Old would be easier than the months-long failures occurring as programmers try to put Old features into the New. Profiles, Media, Facts, Member Connect, Military, Comments, Relationships, Text-box size, etc., will be where they belong, and the new year can begin positively.

  64. sarah

    The petition also was sent previously at other goals achieved and CEO, Tim Sullivan, did not even have the courtesy to reply to them. I wonder if the latest will get a response; keep up the good work, Elhura. Notice that the monitor of this group hasn’t responded of late. Probably all the protest comments have left that person with nothing else to say. A good way to keep Acom’s
    customer base even more angry than they were before. Frankly, we do not want to hear anymore about the new Ancestry anyway, as it would be the SOS.

  65. mike

    Mary R: No such thing as compromising anything. Users want what they paid for! I agree with the first part of you statement, “shared by all against it is outrage. –Justifiable anger at the invasion and near-destruction of private property, at the new limitations on personal freedom and at the cavalier attitude of the offenders.” However, users just want the old classic interface and NONE of the rest of an part of the new Ancestry. People are angry and are leaving the site because of it.

  66. To Sarah. Sorry, I misunderstood. I thought it meant more signatures were to be collected before the petition would be sent. I hadn’t realized that it has been sent as each target has been achieved. Very poor that Mr Sullivan hasn’t even acknowleged receipt. Sadly not unexpected // To Mary R. I like your approach. Apart from wondering why Life Story was developed when Story View was apparently so little used, I’ve been thinking that if we must have it, it would have been fine tucked away in Story View’s ‘slot’ as an option for those who want to use it whilst allowing those of us happy with Classic to STILL be happy by retaining the display format of the old Profile pages. Would have saved a lot of work for acom & avoided the misery of the last months for the rest of us!! // Ps. I still can’t believe a year & a half was spent ‘developing’ the ‘new improved Ancestry’. You’d have thought the ‘project roadmap’ might have included a final, fully functional, destination!!

  67. Trisha

    @ Elhura, I think of you as our spokesperson. You are a fighter, we know you will never give up, we are behind you all the way with your words of wisdom.
    @ Mary R, Excellent comment Mary, especially what you said about putting new into old being easier than the months long failures occurring as programmers try to put old into new. The programmers are young, they are not about to give up on their new toy unfortunately, plus the fact they have spent too much brass on it! But your idea is excellent.
    @ Crystal, love your comments too

  68. mike

    Trisha: I wouldn’t blame the programmers too much as they are doing what they are told to do by lousy management who has no clue about what genealogy means. The same thing applies to anyone who works for this money-grubbing monopoly. I actually feel a bit sorry for the monitor of this forum.

  69. Elhura

    Thanks, Trisha. I appreciate yours and the others’ comments and the encouragement to keep going. I am, interestingly, not a fighter. I just know as I have grown older – as the commercial says, “just in my sixties” – I realize how important it is to speak up for what you think and know is right. And I know that if Classic Ancestry is not retained as a working option that genealogy as we know it, especially in this day of technology, will suffer. I know that many years of our hard work can be compromised and the pleasure and opportunity for future work for many of us can be lost.

    I also know that it is way too soon for people like Ancestry’s Howard Hochauser to judge the number that have come and stayed or the real number of downloads that are not related to a frantic last effort to find and save items to our trees. Subscriptions expire and “bill-throughs” can and do come to an end. Holiday weekends are not a fair time to judge the acquisition of new customers – ten thousand, he says. The retention of that same ten thousand after six months or even a year would be more telling. And what of the half of Ancestry’s subscribers who have been members for six months or longer? That number can be much less in another year. What of “refusals” to view new Ancestry again and the number who exit after a short session? What is the length of time anyone stays on the new in comparison to the old? And how many trees have recently gone “private” to prevent others viewing the distortions of Life Story or to no longer be a part of Ancestry’s “sharing” community from now on? I will trust numbers objectively studied over a significant period of time long before I will believe “spin” at a tradeshow. If a formerly foremost online genealogy site has lost its “appeal” to genealogists, who and what are left?

  70. MKath

    I would like to have a “List of All People” search link on EVERY profile page. Kill the fictional LifeStories. Don’t even bother having a feature to turn them on or off. They’re genealogical and historical nightmares created by non-thinking auto-generating software. Ancestry is giving genealogy a bad name. It’s time to make things better.

  71. John Brown

    Can one assume, as there appears to be no mention of it, that New Ancestry has now done away with the idea that Locations will ever be in anything other than dozens of different formats, and as such, done away with the guesses as to where we might mean, and instead just ADD it to the tree in the format we tell you to do it? Have you also now managed to get your computer generated maps to IGNORE locations that it doesn’t understand instead of making guesses? If I put a map of the world in front of a class of 5 year olds with 10 things marked as happening in London England, and then ask them where they thought that person got married, I’m pretty sure more of them would choose somewhere in England rather than Louisiana America, British Virgin Isles, Jamaica, or Andorra, but then again I suppose they have more common sense than the management at Ancestrty

  72. Monika

    Mary Noble et al. I just saw a TV advertisement of Ancestry.Com encouraging viewers to become members of ACOM featuring LifeStory as a sales feature. Telling the potential members how great LifeStories is. So, if you think that ACOM has any intentions of getting rid of LifeStories, think again. This is never going to happen! The best we can hope for is a permanent “off” button for those who don’t want to see this garbage.

    And, yes, I have one tree on ACOM that has lots of leaves waiting for me. So, I look at all of those hints to see whether I am interested in any of them. If so I add them to my tree. Since I have paid for my membership through January 2016 I will keep looking in on what is happening. But I can only repeat, folks, take a good look at RootsMagic. It is a fantastic program that allows you to a certain degree to tailor-make your tree. You can add pictures, you can add comments, you can adjust the size of the print when you print things out, etc etc etc. I just love it!

  73. John Brown

    Monika. having misguidedly spent a fortune in developing the unwanted piece of cartoon network drivel, they were hardly going to give up on it without at least conning a few million quid out of people, who did not know it was about as close to Genealogy as the Flintstones were to a real stone age life story …. when BamBam was born Barney was 32 years old and Betty was 15 (naughty Barney !!) They lived in Bethnal Greenrock Middlesex Louisiana America etc etc

  74. “A machine generated story will always be simplistic and contain errors.” Lucky real people can’t write tosh and bunk then.

  75. BEE

    and what EXACTLY was the reason for moving the arrows from the box BELOW a document to the sides??????? games of “hide and seek” as I slide the document to read behind the arrow, shrink the document so they don’t show when I copy?

  76. Karen

    Wanda I believe you were quoting me so let me respond. Yes people certainly write “tosh and bunk” but I won’t and it won’t be on my tree.

  77. Mary R.

    As of yesterday, customer was told that New Ancestry will be permanent in November: “Question posted Yesterday by Garth F.. 167 Views, 3 Comments. Title:Thanks for what you’ve provided Ancestry but, so long. Summary: I am leaving Ancestry based on the new changes. Content: I have no idea if Ancestry management will get this but I thought I’d try. I just left a similar comment when I switched from new to old Ancestry. You have made significant changes to the GUI and I received your e-mail today stating that the new Ancestry will be permanent in November… I have spent the better part of two years methodically adding media images to the events. My research shows that this comment has been made many times in forums and blog comments. A typical response has been that the media is still available on the individual’s page but I am sorry, that just doesn’t cut it. I want the ability to attach media to the event. I am very disappointed, and it may seem a small thing, but I will be leaving Ancestry because of this…”

  78. Sarah

    Mary R, thanks for your post and the link. I also am leaving for good when my subscription is up if not sooner. I will NOT be back along with many other people who want genealogical records and not a bunch of crap. I would never in a million years trust such an unscrupulous web site ever again. I am DONE. I am in the process right now of making screen shots of pedigrees on the old Ancestry. I will be downloading my trees shortly and it is over and finished with. I can’t say I’m disappointed; let’s say very angry is more like it. Ancestry had absolutely no right to invade my private, unsearchable tree in the new Ancestry with nothing but garbage. I’m done and finished with you.

  79. Cheryl

    I am not going to thank ACOM for putting the thumbnails back on the facts page timeline in New. They shouldn’t have been removed in the first place! But surely, ACOM, you are not done? PUT ALL THE THUMBNAILS AND STORIES BACK ON THE FACTS PAGE SO THEY ARE IN PLAIN SIGHT AND NOT HIDDEN FROM VIEW. I can’t SCREAM this loud enough!

  80. Monika

    As everyone has probably heard today, Apple sold 48 MILLION I-phones. That is a far better explanation for why ACOM has created New Ancestry than ACOM has ever given us. That explains their arrogance of repeatedly telling us how they appreciate our feedback and then how little they are doing with that feedback that they are getting. They must be laughing their heads off at each one of our messages on this blog and they are laughing all the way to the bank.

  81. May Noble

    Thank You Monika and others for all your comments. I will be checking into other genealogical websites such as Roots Magic, etc. Over the years I have recommended Ancestry to many friends and relatives either just starting or have been working on their family history. Until I see what the out come will be with ANC., I will no longer recommend it. I have always been an annual subscriber to ANC, with full access to everything they offer, and as soon as anything new was available, subscribed to those as well such as Fold3, Archives and Newspapers.Com. Membership not what one would call “cheap”, but for me well worth the money to not only obtain records, but making contact with so many others with whom we can share data with. —- Having said that, I am hesitant about not renewing my subscription (due in April 2016), simply because I still want access to the records ANC offers, (and they’re always adding new databases), and still be able to have member contacts/connections, even if it means exchanging emails addresses, doing it that away instead of wading thru the gobbly gook of the misinformation ANC has stuck on to trees with the “new” format. I probably won’t be adding any new records to any of my trees once ANC has permanently forced everyone over with no option of still being able to use the classic format, but I still want those records.

    I DO WANT TO POINT SOMETHING TO EVERYONE, I don’t know if this just happened to only me when ANC switched me over to the horrible “new” when I accessed the Will and Probate database. I added a few descendants to one of my trees, example, one born in 1862 and died in 1929, even after adding the full death date, ANC default setting still had that person as LIVING! As we know, others can not view any profile stats on living people if you are looking at someone’s tree. Generally once you have added a death date, automatic default switched the person to Deceased. This did not happen with the people I added. Thank goodness I noticed this after switching back to the classic format, and I had to go in and manually check mark these as deceased, at least 2 dozen people. BEWARE of this, you may have deceased family members marked as still living that no one can view. Just another huge error on the part of the “new” version !

  82. Walt

    Thanks, Ancestry, for being responsive to the frequently requested change to return thumbnails to the Facts page. Agree with others that this should never have been dropped in the transition from Old to New. But thankful that the photos are at least back. But that’s only half the story. We still need the stories that we’ve posted in support of facts to be attached to the appropriate facts. Again, thank you for listening.

  83. Sarah

    Monika, I for one are well aware of that little dirty trick of Ancesty in that, if you are in the old Ancestry and click on the “wills and probate” database to access it, you are thrown in auto to the new interface. It’s underhanded and should be available to everyone. Users pay for it and it’s a sly way of getting people to accept the new Ancestry.

    For everyone’s information, you can go to which is the online database of New England Historic Genealogical Society and find some of them on their site for free. Not all of them are but you might want to investigate it for that and other databasesa. You can join for a nominal fee and be able to access all their databases, which is tax deductible. At least this organization had been around for a long time and you are contributing to a very worthwhile cause. Check it out at: You will find other databases on the site and they also offer free online courses and books besides. I have been a member for years.

  84. Sarah

    May Noble, you are more than welcome. There are a lot of sites that you might want to look at also that are free where you can look up records. Let’s so that Ancestry is not the only fish in the sea. By all means check out Cyndi’s list if you haven’t already where the is an extensive list of free and paid sites where you can search databases. The URL is:

  85. Karen

    I just saw a screenshot from yesterday taken on Ancestry .ca (Canada). It says “On November 5, the new Ancestry will be the only Ancestry”. I have no idea if that only applies to Canada or not. I guess they think 10 days notice is plenty.

  86. I get so frustrated when I carnt get things to work on the new site,l ask for help and I get completely ignored. I have spent a lot of time getting absolutely
    No where,My mother was ( no relationship found) unbelievable my tree is in a right mess now compared to the old site

  87. Karen

    Ancestry clarifying on FB:

    “we are actively migrating our customers into the new Ancestry and we expect the old website will be completely retired before the end of the year. Canada’s migration will happen on November 5, as the message said, but other regions will migrate at later dates. Additional details will be provided over the next couple of weeks.”

  88. Susan Shirey

    Thank you, thank you for adding thumbnails to facts (hopefully, big enough to see), for providing printer-friendly options, and for restoring Member Connect.

    Having said that, I hope the comments that New Ancestry will become permanent Nov 5th are wrong! I

    New Ancestry still has many, many problems:

    * New color scheme – unpleasant, hard to read. I have been known to work on Ancestry 8 hours at at time, but I could never do that in the new color scheme – too much eye strain.

    Also, too many features still missing:
    * When adding something to a person in my tree, if the right name doesn’t pop up, I no longer have the option of going to the list of people in my tree to select the right person. I have many people in my tree with the same name (or slight variations). Not having the ability to select from the list is almost a deal-breaker to me!
    * Still cannot add stories to facts. Without the stories, some facts, especially custom ones, are incomprehensible.
    * When adding an image in someone else’s tree to mine, the names pop up without birth/death dates. Not feasible to select the right one (without difficult workarounds) with these dates.
    * Many other lost functions – see above comments.

    So little is added in New Ancestry and so much is lost, I thought someone had a good idea – just add the new features into Old Ancestry. Will make a better site and should be much easier for the programmers! Please consider this.

  89. Fran

    Please explain to me why, when my tree is marked “PRIVATE”, someone who has NOT been invited to view my tree is able to comment on a picture of an ancestor that I uploaded to my tree?? And to top it off, the person suggested a name edit for the ancestor, using a middle name that I have not been able to verify in my 8+ years of research. How can someone not invited to my tree see my PRIVATE tree? Not a happy customer here…

  90. Mary R.

    HEADS UP, EVERYBODY! It’s possible they formatted New Ancestry to default to PUBLIC and that it’s up to the members to catch it and change their trees back to Private. This trick will allow many newcomers to get much information for months. BE SURE to delete living people, if not your whole tree. They don’t need your money nor your subscription. They need the names and dates on your trees. This was from Kathy Feese‎ to FB Save Old Ancestry, Oct 25 at 8:17pm· “–Alert to Private Tree owners—-Both my trees are marked to be private. After switching to New Ancestry for a moment to check “Wills” my trees come up as “Public” when doing a search in “Old Ancestry.” Yet under my tree preferences they are still listed as private. This is a MAJOR SECURITY problem…”

  91. Shannon

    I called Customer service this afternoon and ask about the date Classic ancestry would be gone in Nov. They refused to give a date just saying everyone would be cycled into new ancestry in Nov. Ancestry owes us the courtesy of a firm date. I will be spending my weekend trying to save as much of my family’s story as I can. Next week I will download my trees change my trees to private and cancel my subscription. To bad customers are no longer important at Ancestry.

  92. steve

    For those who don’t know, you can still add to, edit, or modify your family tree, with out being a paid member. You just can’t search.

  93. Elhura

    @ Fran. It is possible the person who submitted the comment was notified of your download because they, too, have the same downloaded photo in their tree. They, in turn commented on the photo as viewed from their tree, to which you were then notified. As I understand it, some time back Ancestry started allowing comments made by one to be viewed by all if a common download was shared, which has been very helpful. Correct me, someone, if this is wrong.

    Otherwise, it would be despicable for Ancesty to default our private trees to public or to fail to block anyone – other than invitees who have been allowed by the tree owner to do so – to view living people. I would think there would be tremendous liability for Ancesty if they failed to block “living” views. But then again, a company that treats its living customers as it is currently doing should certainly have no fear nor scruples about the dead.

  94. Sarah

    Steve, what on earth would people want to leave their tree on Ancestry for if they cannot search for records? I am in the process of deleting my trees and I will never use Acom ever again once my subscription is up. The new Ancestry is useless to anyone serious about genealogy.

    Fran and Mary R, I heard the same thing about this “privacy” breech. It is absolutely an invasion of one’s privacy and thanks for posting it for others to see. There is no excuse for it and I’m getting out ASAP, never to return again. My subscription will not be up until later next year but I will use it only to access “some” of their databases for records and nothing more. I’m done with them as I’m sure many others will be too. All my trees will be on Legacy software where I will have complete control over them and not rely upon any online tree service. My thanks go to all the subscribers that have tried their best to get Ancestry to retain the classic version but this greedy organization has not listened to our complaints. Time to move on.

  95. Elhura

    @ Sarah and others. I appreciate the warning about the privacy breech! Can you elaborate more on the features of and if – and what – from our current trees on Ancestry might automatically transfer over. Or will I most likely need to recreate my tree person-by person? Can photos and stories download if I have saved them to my computer? Can URL links to other sources be saved and readily viewed? Can I add by own notes and detailed citations and write stories directly into the tree? What is the ease of saving such infomation among multiple people in one general move? Does Legacy provide a quick view index to find individuals in the tree? Are media readily viewable from a person’s page?

    As you can see, the features that have been so well-received and used on Classic Ancestry and are now so difficult to view and use are esentiallly the features I am looking for – far away from anything called!

  96. John Brown

    Should be interesting how they let their UK customers know. If you click on Blog you currently get “Due to the larger capacity of the Newcastle venue, we still have some spaces available for Wednesday 24 September 2014 at the Discovery Museum. As such, the deadline for registration to this event has been extended until Friday 22 August 2014.” There will also be free access to Uk records on 6 – 8 Feb. There is no mention that there ever has been or even will be a “NEW ANCESTRY”. If you add NEW ANCESTRY UPDATE in the search box on the blog, it takes you to Image viewer updates Aug 2012

  97. John Brown

    I doubt it will make much difference deleting your tree from Ancestry, with their recent record of underhanded skullduggery you can bet your bottom doller they have backed all the trees up, and will have to use the backed up copy at some time in the future, thus putting all your info back in place for their paying customers to access

  98. Sarah

    Elhura, thanks for your questions regarding Legacy. It is not a genealogical site for you to put your trees on but is a stand-alone genealogical software program that affords you complete control over it on your computer.

    You might want to check out the free version and look at the free video that is on the site. It requires a bit of a learning curve to use and as Ancestry does not follow industry standards, some information is not transferred.

    However, if you happen to have FTM you can export your trees into Legacy and there is a work-around for solving some issues. Your note field in FTM will be loaded into the note field in Legacy and you you can write anything you want to. In fact there are reports generated by the software that will give you stories about your ancestors, etc.

    You asked about an index and it is too bad I cannot upload a screen shot for you to see. The index of your individuals are in alpha order by name and even then you can select a sort order should you chose. You can also even change the colors on the interface to suit your fancy.

    Unfortunately, a downloaded GED file will not include your media, so you will have to add them again to your trees. I favor Legacy but there are other software programs that you might want to look at. You might want to check out the Legacy group on Facebook also.

    There is a source writer in Legacy that is very easy to use and you can even format your citations and sources should you choose. For example, say you took your citation from a book and the book title itself should be italicized and the software provides you the opportunity to do that. In fact, there are more than one note field in Legacy as there are actually three. One is for general comments, a second for research notes and a third for medical notes. When you download a GED file from Ancestry you will find your note field put into the general note field. From there you can cut and paste which one you wish to put your note field in. There is many other features, no numerous to mention here. I hesitate to recommend FTM as it is a product developed by a group affiliated with and also who knows what will happen with that considering this “new” Ancestry. However, it is the only software I know of that will include your media from downloading from Ancestry.

    Check the reviews on the Internet on genealogical software and try out free versions on what is offered before deciding. I have the full paid version of Legacy and I love it. There are also free webinars you can take and they send out an email about once a week where there are tons more information for you to read. Geoff Rassauman is tops when it comes to his free webinars and there is also a store where you can buy books and other software. The website for Legacy and the free version and free video is: Be sure to check out the group on Facebook if you have an account with them.

    Hope that answers a few of your questions. Do you mean URL links you might put into your citations? I wasn’t sure what you meant. There are many reports also including a link to have your lineage on your tree printed in large format should you want to do that. No, I am not paid by Legacy, if you are thinking that. 🙂

  99. Jason Perry

    I seem to be in the minority from a lot of the comments that I have read, but I do like the new Ancestry. It has helped me being more consistent in siting my sources and I love the life story view. It has definitely helped me to see my family members from a larger view. Plus I have shared this view with family members who are not that into genealogy and they loved it. Just need it tweaked to a more printer friendly version.

  100. Mary R.

    Hi, Elhura. Per their July 26, 2015 Privacy Statement, there’s nothing promising to keep our tree information confidential. In part, “…By using any of the Websites you consent to the collection, processing, use, storage, transfer and disclosure of the personal information you provide by Operations Inc… by registering with any of the Websites you are becoming part of the “Ancestry Community” a collaborative resource in which the users of the Websites (“Users”) and other websites and platforms owned or operated by Ancestry and its Group Companies (including such sites as,,,,, can communicate and exchange family history related information with each other. Please be aware that some sites may have some additional specific policies or different functionality and you should read and understand these before using the relevant services…etc., etc…”

  101. mike

    Well, Jason if you like stories fabricated about your family by Ancestry, then the new interface is for you. Also, maybe you just had a typo but “siting my sources” should be spelled “citing my sources.” Also, Ancestry is not designed for printing anything; that is what genealogy software is for. If you want to print something out from this horrible new site, then I suggest you take some screen shots of what you want and print that out. The new Ancestry is not for genealogists that it what it was originally designed for and that is what we are all complaining about with very few exceptions. Users are NOT getting what they PAID for and that is why they want to end their subscriptions.

  102. Elhura

    @ Sarah. Thank you so very much for taking the time to share such good information! I will certainly check it out. I saved my tree as it was on Ancestry some weeks ago to FTM 2012 and have it on my computer, in addition to a base copy to keep on an external harddrive. I did not save a GEDCOM since it is text only and my media would be lost. It sounds as if my copy from FTM 2012 is a start for me to export into Legacy.

    My FTM tree is not auto synced with Ancestry since I chose manual sync to give them time to get the bugs out. Looks as if I need to manually sync FTM now to update the tremendous number of additions and refinements I have made via Classic. I fear a sync post-Classic will likely carry the location errors that Life Story now shows in the new Ancestry version of my tree.

    By referring to the URL, I use it two ways – placing it directly into self-done citations so I may find a quick link – but also to the link block in the lower right corner of Classic Ancestry. I use that spot to repeat URL’s from citations, and also for a quick reference to other people in my tree or any source to which I may want a quick link. Thanks again!

    A word to Jason Perry. Hopefully you will be okay if you are printing Life Story from your own work and don’t spot errors between what Life Story is able to pick up and what you have actually entered on the Fact page. Also, you perhaps don’t show American citizen ancestors born abroad – because Life Story will absolutely not record their American arrival correctly and treats them as immigrants escaping hardship. So beware as you build your tree not to let the inaccuracies and distortions of Life Story creep in. Otherwise it is very pretty to view.

  103. Kristie Wells

    @Launa and @Mike: Unfortunately, Ancestry is not able to maintain two websites due to the resources required to do so. We continue to ask for specific feedback as to what about the new Ancestry does not appeal to you as a member and we are reviewing the feedback that other members have provided and have made specific changes accordingly. The team is actively iterating on the website to make it a great place for all to build their family history and we hope that you will give it a chance.

  104. Cheryl

    @Kristie Wells. You are so very wrong about Fricking New Ancestry!! Fricking’s facts page view actually slows down research. It is not compact like Classic. Fricking’s fact page lacks “tree pages” drop down menu and “find a person in this tree” drop down menu. In Fricking, you have to constantly fight those %$#*& purple lines that are so distracting. So much is hidden, not convenient…so many thing wrong with Fricking that I’d be ashamed and embarrassed to be a mouthpiece for ACOM! How do you stand it.

  105. mike

    All of a sudden our moderator comes out of the woodwork when someone posts something positive about the new **** site. Shame on you! I agree with Cheryl; how can anyone work for such an abominable site it has turned into!

  106. Sarah

    Elhura, thank you so much for your nice comments. Legacy is not for everyone and I’m still learning the ins and outs of this powerful program. There are some inconsistencies you will have to deal with in exporting your tree to Legacy and one is the event place field. You will find that anything you put in the description field will appear in the location field and you will have to edit it to make it more readable. Ah, too bad you didn’t have FTM2014 as you would be able to access your media. I happen to have FTM2010, FTM2011, FTM2012 and FTM2014. I used them for backups and reports and same with Legacy. Did you notice in your version of FTM2012 that you find your caption is listed and you have the date you entered but nothing else? I gave up using it right away and I had nothing but issues with the sync feature and never used it again. If you put in a description of any kind that it is lost? Well, not true in FTM2011 as it is all there. Why they dropped that field in FTM2014 is beyond me.

    Ancestry, as I said, previously, does not follow industry standards but at least all your information will be there. To tell you the truth about URL’s in the citation field in Legacy, I assume that transfers but I’d have to check that out myself. I used to do that but read that it is not good genealogical methodology to do that as website can change or just be deleted. I did it for my own reference, in some cases, so I could refer to it later but over a year ago I dropped adding them. Let me check some of my own trees in Legacy to see if the URL’s are there. I’ll just have to recall what individuals I might have done that and will let you know.

    When you export your tree into Legacy some information might not be accepted and will then appear in your general note field. If you synced your tree to the new Ancestry, unfortunately, I do not know what you’ll end up with. I would suggest that you unlink your tree and download a fresh copy of it in the classic view before it’s too late. Remember that you, however, will not be able to link it again but who cares at this point if you are not going to rely upon Ancestry anymore. The link block on Ancestry will not be exported at all, so if you have them on the citations, it might, but I am not sure. I’ll check it out and let you know. I am assuming you put it in that field on Ancestry citations that says: “URL.” Anyway you look at it, you’ll have a lot of work ahead of you but it will be worth it in the end.

    I just got through watching one of the live free Webinars in Legacy. It was excellent; esp. for more advanced genealogists but anyone can learn a lot by watching it. It will be available free for a week should anyone be interested. It was on “Complex Evidence” URL:

    I want to add a thank you to all that have tried their best to retain the classic as we all knew it. We are abandoning ship as our voices have been ignored. Goodbye to the great site for genealogy as we knew it. It will never be the same. NO, Christie we will NOT try your new Ancestry every again. Your company has made a mockery out of genealogy. Good riddance!

  107. arf

    I wonder if the admins or upper management have figured out that ancestry has no credibility. It seems pretty clear that they are satisfied with the fiasco they created. So, instead of making improvements, they are out selling, selling, selling. All about the money.

  108. Mary R.

    Oct. 28, 2015. “Ancestry Mexico Launches… Ancestry, the world’s leading family history brand, today announced the launch of new online services that will help Mexicans and the estimated 34 million Mexican Americans* research their family history… These records will help Mexican Americans build and explore their family tree and unveil key events, places, and relationships in the lives of their ancestors, including the names of family and friends involved as witnesses or godparents… In celebration of Dia de los Muertos, Ancestry will provide FREE access to these new records from October 26th through November 2…”

  109. Trisha


  110. mike

    Well said, Trisha. You and many others share the same feelings. Well, wait until the ax falls and they start realizing their mistake of making paying customers nothing but guinea pigs and drop their subscriptions. Revenues will drop off dramatically and think of all the money they wasted on advertising. The truth will reveal itself, eventually, when they find out that nobody will ever put trust in such a money-grubbing site that has no ethics at all.

  111. gp_4hbc

    Give the new Ancestry a chance, Kristie; are you kidding? You made a mess out of members trees and thing you can mend all that? We are through with your lousy company and want nothing to do with your new Ancestry. As mike said, we have no trust in such an organization and are leaving for good.

  112. Anne Scott Frankland

    Kristie Wells – Have you not gotten enough feedback to know what is missing, what is not working and what is just stupid! You are getting a lot more feedback than the functions you are giving us back.

    Everything missing from New – that we have and USE in Classic – is what I want.

    New Ancestry is ugly. Anything new should be an improvement over the old. New is not an improvement. With its Purple lines, giant billboard size Profile name, sources in the middle, etc.… – New is pathetic. When the new, ugly, atrocious site takes effect – you need to have put back all the functions, links and tools we have now – and on the same pages they were on in Classic. At least make New more functional than it is now.

    The “List of all People”, the “Tree Pages” dropdown, a link to the “Family Group Sheet” and the person “Last Viewed” are all on the Tree page and need to be on the Facts page as well. The Tree page is a starting point. I don’t keep that page open while I work. The Facts page is where I work – those 4 things need to be on the Facts page. Heaven knows you have plenty of room on that awful dark gray section at the top of the page to work with.

    I know there are plenty of very complicated things that you have to fix on New that I won’t go into, since they have been addressed – extremely well – by many others. I couldn’t explain them if I tried. You can’t even fix the simple, so I don’ know how you will ever fix the complicated.

    I was going to say that New could be tolerable if…, but I couldn’t bring myself to finish the sentence. It would be a waste of my time – since Ancestry doesn’t care. You have all the feedback – you know what we want.

    • Kristie Wells

      @Anne Scott Frankland: We have been collecting member feedback from these blog comments, Facebook, Twitter, our online surveys, our Online Support Community, and in our Member Services Call Center (phone/email). We curate it all and then prioritize items based on the number of requests. The weekly blog posts we provide encapsulate this feedback. If you are experiencing an issue that is not being shown in our posts, then I encourage you to let us know what it is. Otherwise, the product team is reviewing it all and acting on a lot of it and then sharing those updates here.

  113. John Brown

    @Kristie Wells (can one assume that you are an Ancestry employee?, probably based in that global hub of Andorra and 142 years old no doubt), why, if you are perfectly able to put the link to the Ancestry UK Blog on here, are you not able to put it on the Ancestry, site WHERE IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE?

  114. John Brown

    @Kristy Wells, we have been giving New “a chance” for the last xx months ………. it has failed miserably to deliver anything. My family still b*gger off to the British Virgin Isles every time they want to go to hospital, to America to get killed during the first world war, or to Andorra if they want to get married.
    I still have a load of incorrect guesses about where people “were” when the 1st world war started, when England cricketers visited Australia etc etc How the hell do you KNOW where they were?, it’s a blatent GUESS based on other information which has no place on my tree or anyone else’s. How long does it take to 1) get “New” to use the locations that people add without guessing what they might have meant.
    2) only plot locations on the map that match your computer systems locations ….. if it doesn’t conform to your idea IGNORE IT don’t guess.
    3) Give everyone the option to set how their tree is viewed by everyone else ,,, ie: No Historical gobbledegook added and no stupid paragraph at the top of lifestory with guesses (just coz I only record 4 children on my tree does Not mean that they only had 4 children as you state).
    4) Remove the dross about person “A” being 136 years old when person “B” died. Just because I have not added a death date does NOT mean that person is still alive. etc etc etc

  115. John Brown

    @Kristy Wells, I trust I will be receiving an e-mail informing me that each of the above problems has been fixed BEFORE I receive the one telling me that NEW is now the only Ancestry available in my area

  116. Kristie Wells

    @John Brown: Confirming I have read your posts, I am an Ancestry employee, and I am sharing your feedback with the product team. Completely understand the frustration around the locations issue for those outside the U.S. – we are working to standardize this globally to ensure the format works in every single region.

  117. FHC Librarian

    Re: Kristie Wells, 28 Oct 2015

    I am really disgusted with the new Ancestry. You suggest “ if you spent more time in the new website you would see features like the Facts view can actually aid your family history”

    Actually, I have spent a great deal of time with the new, trying to like it. But when I start to get sick of the ugly depressing colors, the slow operation, the information overload of the Facts view, the big purple circles with light text and the purple lines and boxes, the repetition of dates, then I go back to the classic so I can get some work done. I have for years begged and pleaded, when these new roll-outs hit us, that you give us choice. It has never happened.

    I started my subscription in 2002, and up until recently I was pleased with it. Sure, Ancestry went through several versions of “old and new” over the years, but never have the changes been so drastic and looked so bad. It wouldn’t be so bad if it really did help in my research. It does NOT!!!

    I will not recommend your site to any patrons of our local FHC without letting them know what they will have, and to ONLY try it for one month before paying for a long term subscription. We only have the institutional version at our FHC…so far. Of course it is extremely limited but at least it isn’t so ugly.

  118. Deb

    @Kristy Wells I have given the new Ancestry many chances and cannot stand the extra clicking, the extra scrolling, the extra time it takes to do or find things that were easily done and easily accessible on classic, the features that are missing that existed on classic (continue searching, easy access to the list of people, dates on names, etc., etc. – see many comments above and on other update posts), the faux family “story”, the distracting purple lines, the inverted light text on dark background, and the ugly colors. It is incredible to me that a company would roll out a software product with so many missing features that is SO not ready for prime time and then ask its customers to stand by while they “work” on fixing issues that should have been included from the beginning before the product was rolled out.

    When I first started using Ancestry, I was up and running in no time. There was no learning curve, no need to watch endless videos on how to do things. Everything was self-evident and intuitive. I find new Ancestry clumsy and anything but intuitive. And yes while I am in the 55+ female category, I have worked in IT for over 30 years on everything from mainframe, mid-range and mini-computers, Unix systems, OS/2, all flavors of Windows, etc. I built websites back when the only tool was straight html. I am not intimidated by new software; I deal with it every day on my job. I’ve been around software long enough to know when it is well designed and easy to use. New Ancestry doesn’t qualify.

    As Howard Hochhauser said, classic appealed to genealogists. Ancestry is going after a different market now, and no longer trying to create a product that can be used to do serious genealogical research. I guess it will keep those who are interested only in clicking on shaky leaves happy, and so, it really is ready for the prime-time market being targeted.

  119. Anne Scott Frankland

    Kristie Wells – I know you have been “curating”, collecting” and “prioritizing”! Who doesn’t know that? I didn’t just sign up yesterday.

    Your quote – “Otherwise, the product team is reviewing it all and acting on a lot of it”. A lot of it? You need to act on all of it! This statement seems to infer that you have no intention of putting all the Classic functions, tools and links back into New. And even when you do give us another feature – you act like you’re doing us a favor.

    I have sent feedback numerous times – it seems like hundreds! I could be working on my tree instead of sending feedback about the crappy, flawed New. No change – that I remember – has caused so many problems and – yes, Ancestry’s favorite word — frustration.

    Working on my trees is just not eyjoyable anymore. You already have my money – so, what’s it to you.

  120. Mary M Zashin

    Please change the color scheme. Please restore all the missing functions. I want to stay, I really do, but I can’t if it’s so ugly I don’t want to work on it. . .

  121. emam

    Sarah, you asked why people would want to leave their trees on Ancestry if they can’t search for records. The reason would be so that family members can also see the tree. If you have your tree on something like FTM or Legacy only you can see that tree.

    I have been working in the Classic and am torn between trying to get as much information as I can before it is no longer available and thinking why bother adding any more.

    Kirstie, some information about privacy and people’s trees being made public would be appreciated.

  122. Chris

    Is anyone else having problems with certain buttons not working in the new (horrendously flawed) Ancestry? Specifically the ADD buttons at the top of each profile. ADD fact does not work for me…if I choose something from the dropdown list it just sits there and never goes to the input page. ADD family member does not work. If I click Spouse, it’s just dead. Nothing happens. This happens in both Internet Explorer and Chrome. It does not happen in Safari (which I rarely use). This leads me to believe that it is some kind of browser incompatibility issue, and may be linked to Java which is no longer supported in Chrome. That’s just speculation. Anybody else having this kind of issue? I’ve sent in a bug report but have not received any response from Ancestry.

  123. Pa

    &Chris: There is a compatibility issue with both I.E. and Google Chrome in which all buttons/functions do NOT work whil;;e using New Ancestry.

    However, the basic response is a link to show you how to optimize your browser because they can not duplicate the problem. Problem is they are not using your computer. They are using their computer (most likely something NEW provided for by the company).

    Therefore they cannot replicate the problem.

    It is there, they just want to ignore the fact that New Ancestry does not function on all platforms, and/or all computer systems.

    It leaves grandma in the dust, and her ancestry world spinning out of control.

    Not all users go out and buy brand new systems just to do genealogy. That’s a fact. Jack

  124. Pa

    @Chris: sorry for the typo [whil;;e]. Keyboard is sticking.

    Ancestry, please correct, then delete this message.

  125. Robin

    To Ancestry:
    In ten years on Ancestry I have been fascinated, frustrated, joyful. Ancestry let me prove a first cousin 2x removed was a bigamist —we had NO idea!! Ancestry let me find over 1000 people related to my Mom…I had 2 names when I started. Ancestry let me prove that my grand aunt murdered her first 3 husbands and her child….we had no idea!! Ancestry let me find the death certificate of a cousin who died in 1882…her occupation(s) housewife and prostitute…we had no idea!! Ancestry gave me the capability of finding these relatives and so many more heartbreaking, fascinating, eccentric, and just plain normal characters. THANK YOU.
    Also THANK YOU for letting me do all that without undue eyestrain and having to look at UGLY DEPRESSING colors., THANK YOU for letting me do all that with not one purple nursery school squiggle. THANK YOU for letting me do all that without having to view webinars and help articles. THANK YOU for letting me do all that without one excessive mouse click. THANK YOU for letting me attach stories, pictures, events to a clear, concise timeline. THANK YOU for having all the stories and pictures I added logically available to me. And THANK YOU for never once, until August, making me..#1 feel like you think I’m an idiot. #2 cry.

  126. 50-something

    Ancestry Insider’s explanation of Ancestry’s goal of replacing their customer demographics is logical. But in looking for customers who want instant gratification, not ones who are real researchers, they may shoot themselves in the foot. They may wind up with a lot of junk genealogy which gets abandoned. Then Ancestry will have come full circle.

    Most twenty-somethings and maybe thirty-somethings don’t have the time or dedication to do real research. They may be still in school and that is enough intense stuff in their lives. They want to have fun after that. Lots of those in their thirties are busy with young families. If you don’t have three little kids under 6 or 7, you will have no idea what I’m writing about. The forty-somethings are still working on careers and families. So it will be up to the fifty plus year olds to hold the fort, and we all know where they stand.

    One of the big problems with the new ancestry is we, as users, have no control of what we get. I’d love it if I could customize it myself. But we have no options.

    Read Ancestry Insider’s blog for Monday, Oct 26. Then read the 19 comments. Also Deb’s post is excellent, and right on.

  127. John Brown

    @Kristy Wells, thank you so much for replying, I was beginning to think that all my comments on here/feedback/facebook were all being read by a computer who sent the appropriate “we are sorry for the frustration” letter. There does however still seem to be a little bit of a problem …… yet again you state “we are working to standardize this globally to ensure the format works in every single region.” ….. This A) will never work as every region has several different formats used over the last three or four hundred years (let alone before), and
    B) is not what your customers are telling you they want. We want the locations correctly transcribed as they appear in the various documents over the centuries. We are perfectly able to add our own note to explain it if this is required and do not need your computer to confuse itself by trying to do something it cannot and will never be able to do.

  128. douggrf

    Kristie, your posts and status updates are generally ignoring the following issues which have been a problem with the New Site for a very long long time, fix for us please:

    1) Site color schema – yuk
    2) Dropping overview of all tree comments since May 27, 2015 – please restore
    3) Family Group sheet printout option – bring back
    4) Better .pdf print object design and handling for saving LifeStory
    5) Adding text and other story media to Facts, just as pics can be added. This was available in Classic and should be retained.
    6) Better site manipulation for deleting and choosing which people to add media too. Interface issues with this are inconsistent, missing data, and causing confusion on how to delete media not only from a given person profile, but the entire tree.
    7) Provide Global switch in the Tree settings page for owner/editor to set the general tree LifeStory pages to be turned off to casual browse by guests. Then in tree owner/editor view of individual profiles within tree – provide a local switch to be turned-on by owner/editor so that guest may view an individual selected Lifestory at the will of the owner.

  129. Elhura

    Okay, so the Insider points out the inevitable once again – the new is coming whether we like it or not. Well, some businesses have upgraded their products without such drastic debacle. The product Ancestry is offering in replacement is like the dysfunctional committee that put together a horse and got a camel. It is clearly NOT ready to be foisted upon users as the only option!

    So fix incompatibility with web browsers and the sticking keys. Fix the horrible colors. If they don’t change – users will have no choice whether they want to labor over the new Ancestry or not. Get rid of the distracting and blinding purple lines. The teenager who designed that should go back to their scrapbooks and take with them those who gave permission for that “delightful” feature to creep in.

    Put ALL the photos and stories back on the Fact page so they can be seen and used by those who are trying to do work. It’s great those attached to a Fact have been returned after loud outcry!

    Get rid of the census images on the Gallery page. A quick way to see the images again via sources is sufficient and takes less space.

    Make sources readily available from each Fact block. Get rid of the sudden pop-up purple background highlight that distract your vision and your work.

    Fix Life Story so that whatever I type in as location will be recognized verbatim. Don’t think for me. Just copy what I have. I did the work.

    Make the function icons large enough to see. Place them in the same area of the Life Story and Facts page. Make them the same and call them the same from page to page – the “camel” only needs one look one way and have one name.

    Return Member Connect to functionality. If the new Ancestry is about sharing as Hochhauser says – it starts there (and our not being ashamed to leave our trees public since a rush to private deprives the researcher AND

    Return “Find a Person in this Tree” to its full functionality from both the Facts page and Life Story. Put it in the same place on each page so I can find it and don’t hide it.

    Return the “Relationship to Me” to full functionality. The gobbledygook of the “1st, 3rds of the 5 g grandfather” is okay – but leave the drop down list of names intact so I can see the connection person-by-person back to the main person in my tree.

    Return the printability from all pages and make the font and background color compatible with ink use and readability.

    Return the photo captions in-full to photos that have been downloaded from other trees. The submitter might know something I need to know. Leave the opportunity for comments on photos in case corrections or additions need to be shared.

    Leave comments placed on any tree page easily spotted and accessible.

    Make sure my citations so carefully penned, often with transcribed excerpts, remain readable and not paragraphs not run together. Make sure not only the identifiers are there – but my transcribed lines as well.

    Make sure stories written into or downloaded from other trees remain readable – not every line and every paragraph run together – and narratives can continue to be written directly into the tree. While I have learned it is best to have such on your computer – I had “trusted” Ancestry to be my repository of these.

    Maintain the quick URL link on the Facts page. A quick link to a web site or someone else in my tree makes work easier. Even if the web site’s URL has later changed, at least I can see that and know to look for it again.

    Options should be given for CLASSIC COLOR – NO PURPLE LINES -TURN OFF LIFE STORY. Retain the option to turn off Historical Highlights and Family Events from mine and other’s view.

    Place a disclaimer above every Life Story page that it may be distorted in the technical process and the viewer should rely on the tree owner’s Facts page for an accuracy check.

    Make sure the tree name and owner’s name appear on any Life Story or Fact Page that is printed from the owner’s tree. While I may be ashamed of what Ancestry is doing, a disclaimer or cut off button can remedy some of that. Anyone who has done the work needs the credit – not who is piggy backing on our work!

    Fix these and other issues with the new BEFORE you cut off Classic and then you might have a product that would live up to your commercials. If the old site “appealed to genealogists” as your Hochhauser says, then something is terribly wrong with a new product from a “genealogy” site that does not.

  130. As always Elhura you say it all so well. I shall miss you and everyone who has tried so hard to explain to Ancestry exactly how misguided and inept the inception and execution of ‘New Ancestry’ has been. I can only thank you for all your efforts and just wait, despondent, for the axe to fall on the UK site. Best regards to all on here. Karen

  131. Kristie

    @Kristie Wells – You said in an earlier post that if customers ‘spent more time in the new website you would see features like the Facts view can actually aid your family history research’. See, that’s the problem. We DID try it and found all the deficiencies outlined so well by Elhura above. Those are just what’s left of the many functions we had to beg to get back over the past few months. Just yesterday the relationship calculator was there, then it wasn’t, then it was on one person, but not another….and it STILL doesn’t work right, but you’re rolling out this ugly, buggy site anyway! Really?
    You ask what we want. We don’t care about the new code or servers, that’s your job to make sure it all works. We want an updated site (since we understand it’s needed) that looks and works like Classic.
    The new site colors and radical font size, color and shape deviations are not a matter of taste – they are headache inducing for many. I know the ad people tell you the page looks good in your TV ads (news alert – it doesn’t), but real people USE your site AND IT DOESN’T FUNCTION. Well, we used to use a site that brought joy to many, but everything can be replaced.

  132. Chris

    @Kristie Wells, please address my earlier post re: ADD buttons not working in the new Ancestry. I can’t be the only one experiencing this issue. This is a total dealbreaker for me. If I can’t add a spouse/child/brother/sister or a fact, what am I to do? Is this issue being investigated by the programmers?

    I have so many problems with the new interface (most listed in the comments above) that it just exhausts me thinking about it. I cannot understand why a large, respected company would roll out a program with so many flaws, and then admonish paying customers to be patient as “we deal with these issues” They should have been tested and dealt with BEFORE rollout. Ancestry should be ashamed. The new Ancestry seems geared to those who dabble – all flash and dash and no substance. Those of us who consider Genealogy a serious endeavor are appalled by the lack of consideration given to us. The loss of so much intuitiveness and functionality from Classic to New is a slap in the face to your bread and butter customers who have stood by you for many years.

    My advice to you at Ancestry would be to take this New (abomination) down and go back to the drawing board. Many of us here in these comments would be glad to be beta testers. I have been an FTM beta tester before and it was a very good experience. We were LISTENED to. I find it hard to believe that the beta testers you used before this rollout were serious genealogists.

    If this program were an actual product on a shelf, which I paid hundreds of dollars for in a store, I would take it home and try it and run back to the store immediately for a refund. It’s that useless.

    I have been a member since 2001 and have never once considered cancelling my membership, but I am now.

    P.S. @Pa thank you for your answer. It’s certainly more than I have gotten from Ancestry.

  133. emam

    Have you seen that Find my Past is releasing the English 1939 register in a few days. They seem to have some good records on their site. Maybe it’s worth trying, has anyone used it before.

  134. To Emam. I was a subscriber to FMP for several years (in tandem with Ancestry as my first choice & where my Tree is built) before they introduced ‘New Find My Past’ – an Exciting New Search Experience to which all users were ‘migrated’ (last year I think it was) with much outpouring of opposition. Sound familiar? If anyone thinks Ancestry are being high-handed they should have seen FMP – censorship of Facebook with banning of contributors (yes really) plus whole blogs with 100s of comments simply removed as being ‘non constructive criticism’. I found their behaviour so appalling that I refuse to ever subscribe again. Additionally, I found the ‘enhanced’ search function nigh on impossible to use – much ‘drilling down’ to find correct record sets & lots of click click clicking. Records that I’d previously found became impossible to find again. Others may have better experiences but I wouldn’t go near FMP. They were recently offering a month subscription for £1. Possibly a reflection of how bad things are on there? By the way, FMP facebook is currently awash with complaints that the charges for the 1939 Register (£6.95 to view one household) are ADDITIONAL to the normal subscription (another surprise for subscribers). Another money grubbing exercise it seems!

  135. Trisha

    Like Karen in England said :-
    ELHURA AS ALWAYS YOU SAY IT ALL SO WELL. I applaud you and all the other people who are fighting so hard to keep our beloved classic ancestry. And just like Karen I also will miss everyone. “But the show ain’t over til the fat lady sings! Come on, let’s carry on fighting to the end guys. keep pounding em!
    (That’s my 4th great grandfather talking, he was a 3rd foot guard at Hougoumont, Battle of Waterloo, he was badly wounded in his right side and then a cannon shot took off his hand, he lay on the battlefield all night, but he survived Waterloo 200 years ago)
    I would love to hear some of your stories. One of the best parts of ancestry was the sharing in member connect, I was always thrilled to get a message from a fellow researcher.

  136. Vince

    OK, Trisha, here you go: A story about my maternal great-grandfather, William Clement Gillihan (1841-1923), in America’s Civil War fought between Union and Confederate troops, written in 1922 by his son-in-law and my family historian hero, Rollin John Britton:

    “The town of Pleasanton [Kansas] was named for the Union general commanding
    that fight. There were perhaps 30,000 men engaged in the battle of the
    Big Blue, and it was a sanguinary battle, more than a thousand men lay
    dead on the ground at its close. At Mine Creek Generals Marmaduke and
    Cabell and one thousand men were captured but General Price got away
    and escaped with a remnant of his army south. It was just before the
    charge at Mine Creek that Jode Critten was shot from his horse. A ball
    passed through the back part of his head below the ears. Mr. Gillihan dismounted
    and tied his bandanna handkerchief around Critten’s head in
    hopes of stanching the blood that was spurting out of both sides of the
    wound. He never expected to see his friend Critten again, as he mounted
    his horse and entered the charge, but some three years afterward Mr. Critten
    showed up at a celebration in Gallatin [Missouri] and kindly returned Mr. Gillihan’s
    handkerchief that had saved his life.”

  137. Robin

    @Trisha…was the info you have about your 4th gg handed down, or did you find it written down somewhere? My 4th gg Angus MacDonald was also at Waterloo and the sum total of my knowledge is this sentence :A MacDonald Rank Paymaster 2nd Battalion 95th Regiment of Foot. Did you find a site with good genealogical info on Waterloo? Thank you.

  138. Elhura

    Thanks to each of your for your kind feedback and for what all of you have done to further the cause of Classic Ancestry. As Trisha says, “it ain’t over” . . .

    With that in mind, I have sent the following email to Ancestry via the form near the top of this blog. Hope someone hears and has a mind-opening revelation! My email was as follows:

    “OK, so we see that on 10/26/2015, Kristie Wells said, “Unfortunately, Ancestry is not able to maintain two web sites due to the resources required to do so.”

    Perhaps those of us who have been pleading for the continuance of Classic Ancestry have been asking for the wrong thing. Perhaps a better approach would have been to ask you to design a page in the colors, layout and functionality of the Classic Profile Page and place it side-by-side with Life Story – Facts – Gallery – ?. Call it what you will, but “Data Entry”, “Research Mode”, “Tree Builder” or “Classic Mode” might be nice.

    You have the design, colors and features already intact with no wheel to “reinvent”. You just have to figure out how to add the layout as a working page.

    Such addition won’t solve the problems you say you are still working on with the new. But, let’s face it, the new will never provide the crisp and efficient work medium as that provided by Classic. Even your Howard Hauchhauser said in September that “the old site appealed to genealogists” and that “the new site is more visually appealing”.

    It would be a favor to genealogy if the once foremost online genealogy site continued to “appeal to genealogists”. Your “visually appealing” new product may provide gratification for those who are visually “looking”. The tree-building features such as those found in Classic are for “doing”. Those same features have produced trees that, in conjucntion with your transcriptions, are the life-blood of the real”

  139. mike

    Personally, I’m done with Ancestry completely. All the protests in the world are not going to change their thinking. I would never trust a website that hasn’t even informed it’s users when the new was going to be the only Ancestry and even what date that was going to take effect. People are scrambing to get their trees download before the inevible. I was a member for the sake of genealogy to look up records and nothing more. They had no right to invade private, unsearchable trees and even public ones with all this garbage and I am not about to be a “programmer” for their frickin new site. I was paying a lot annually for a genealogical SERVICE not some made up bunch of bunk. You are wasting your precious time writing letters and making comments of suggestions to improve the new Ancestry on this forum, as all they care about it $$’s and doing things the way the sit fit. The only thing Ancestry will care about in the future is lost revenue by serious genealogists who will leave or have already left the site and I am one of many.

  140. Mary R.

    @Mike, I agree with you up to your last line. The money they lose on a few American subscribers who don’t renew is peanuts compared to what they’ll gain from their “estimated 34 million Mexican-Americans” (even at charging them only $10-$12 US dollars per month). All they need from us is to leave our trees up and, if anyone thinks there’s a guarantee of confidentiality regarding Private trees, I urge them to look at’s updated Privacy Statement of July 26, 2015: Thanks for trying so hard, Mike! PS: Looks like they messed up, also, when they synced New with it in mid-August:

  141. JM / UK

    Comments from Gordon Smith on Ancestry Facebook UK at

    Ancestry’s TV advertisement continues to give the impression that all a subscriber needs to do is ‘enter a name’ and immediately all the hard work is done for us as ‘ancestors’ tumble out of the ether. Definitely selling the idea genealogy is simple, easy, no skill required fun. Can imagine some dumb cluck getting really upset when he/she discovers the ad doesn’t work – but he/she would have paid by then. Cynical!! Me? Perish the thought.

    I can’t recall a company being panned like this and not responding to complaints. Positive comments are acknowledged but we “poor miserable sinners” are ignored complaining into the ether. Agree entirely with Brian’s remark about “techies” – smart-arses who have ‘zombied’ the management with their ‘cleverness’ but who have completely ruined what was a perfectly good site. Noticed that ‘they’ are even rewriting customers’ copy – in my own case references to the British free “Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers” (BMD). Where appropriate I have been entering “BMD Reg Ref: …………” The “smart-arses” have removed “BMD” no doubt because, not being genealogists, they don’t know what the British BMD Registers are. Add the garbling of place names and we have a really ‘sub’ service.

  142. Janice

    Just got this picture in my mind. Huge figure dressed in gray with ACOM written in white over one pocket holding a large orange bottle and spoon. The bottle has NEW on one line and XXX below it in purple letters. The figure is saying, “Now children, I know it tastes bad but it’s good for you”.

  143. Pa

    Are we NOT due an update from the blog for NEW Ancestry?

    Or are you trying to figure out what you are going to say ancestry will be working on, and or have not restored the use of?

  144. CAH

    For years Ancestry’s ads have always sounded the same. All a newbie had to do was enter a name and 4 or 5 generations would pop up.

    Result: a bunch of trees by name gatherers that are unreliable.

  145. Martin

    I have just checked the list of faults & missing features I reported to Ancestry on 10 August 2015, around 75% of those issues have not yet been fixed, yet they are talking about forcing members onto New Ancestry which is still not fit for purpose.

  146. Trisha

    @ Vince. A marvellous story Vince regarding your gt grandfather in the American civil war. You must feel so proud of your ancestor. I do hope ancestry did not mess about with YOUR STORY and and turn it into a mockery, like they did with my Waterloo ancestor, and many more of my ancestors!

  147. Trisha

    @ Robin. It was only just over two years ago that I found out my 4th gt grandfather was at Waterloo. The info initially came from a 2nd cousin I didn’t know I had! She had found the discharge papers for him dated Nov 1815. I thought wow, this is fascinating stuff, and it made me determined to find out all I could about my 4th gt grandfather. (where he was actually situated during the battle etc) My first port of call was to get in touch with Forces War records, and they put me in touch with an Waterloo historian, who was able to tell me that John was sent down from the ridge to defend the orchard area of Hougoumont. So then I started reading quite a number of books on Waterloo, watched the film over and over, I was completely fascinated by it all, so much so that I wrote a full page about my ancestor, and the article appeared in my local newspaper on 18th June this year exactly 200 years to the day. In September, my 2nd cousin just by chance found online a bit more about John from an old 1828, and that was so amazing to see, although it was just a couple of months too late to include in my article. It would seem that John was not wounded until around 5pm, by which time a large number of his battalion had been killed or wounded, it was then that an officer of another battalion of the guard on seeing him almost standing alone, desired him to join his, and take to the right if his regiment as a grenadier. Until this time John had remained unhurt, but after firing a few more rounds, a shot struck John below the ribs and passed through his body, bringing him to the ground, faint from loss of blood and anguish, he turned himself over and in so doing, raised his arm, when a cannon shot struck his arm above the wrist and took it completely away. he lay bleeding on the battlefield all night, and when the wounded were collected the next day, he was found still living, and finally recovered. he was just 20 years old. He returned home, married Elizabeth, and they had a large number of children. He died at the age of 75.
    Robin, you may also like to take a look at the online descendants Waterloo 200 book. Hope this will be of some help to you, happy researching!

  148. Cheryl


  149. Mary

    I am not that proficient with Ancestry even though I have been using it for a while. I am not entirely happy w/the new look but I can work w/it. I don’t think permanent off/cog buttons should be added unless temporary off buttons are listed as well. Some of us are not sure of our choices until we make them and then it’s too late.

  150. dorothy carter

    I will cancel my subscription to and will ask for a refund if I have to go to the new format. It is not as easy to organize, and the worst part is that will take charge of my narrative story, which belongs to me and which I want under my own control. This is just wretched. I don’t see any need to mess up the system with “newer features” like these. Most of the people who use the service are older; we appreciate the system as it is, and we don’t appreciate having it changed just for the sake of change. Please drop this whole miserable idea.

  151. I don’t think the new format is bad. The old format was new at one point…just have to put in the time to learn the new format and all the new features.

  152. I cannot find Member Connect and my tree comments have all disappeared. I strongly believe that comments should be on the main page and not have to click on something to get at them. In fact, how would someone looking at your tree even be aware that there are comments existing to be viewed in the first place if there is nothing to indicate that there are indeed comments. At this time when I click on Comments, they have totally disappeared! When I look in my Family Tree Maker database there are not any comments there either that I could refer back to recover them from. Please bring the comments back. This just isn’t right. Did anybody else’s comments disappear or is this just a temporary bug that is being worked on?

  153. Although I see a few features of interest overall I hate the new format. For all the same reasons as have been shared already. Why would you release this without a market test, and before the.bugs were fixed.I liked the clean, simple, easy to see format of tge old version. Allot of the events you have added are not even relevant. I am so heartbroken.

  154. Pa

    Two weeks later from the date of the Oct 23 Blog, and still no response of a permanent off button for:

    # 1 Permanent Off Button/Cog for Life Story
    # 2 Permanent Off Button/Cog for Historical Insights

    Again, these were not even discussed in this blog and/or its following updates.

Comments are closed.