Friday, May 9, 2008

Where is Ancestry World Tree in the new Ancestry Search?

While comparing the "old Ancestry Search" and "new Ancestry Search" results and presentation, I noticed that there was at least one major difference.

On the old Ancestry search screen, I chose the "Family Trees" tab and entered a check in "Exact Search" and "Seaver" in the "Last Name" box. Here's the result:

As you can see, it found entries in Public Member Trees (3,799), Personal Member Trees (3,544), One World Tree (2,007) and Ancestry World Tree (11,646).

In the "new Ancestry Search," I checked "Exact matches" and put "Seaver" in the "Last Name" box. The Family Trees section is way down the results list, and I clicked on the link to See All Family Tree results. Here's what I see:

In this list are Public Member Trees (12,109), Personal Member Trees (8,662), and One World Tree (6,925), plus several others (which were in the Vital Records section previously, I believe).

However, Ancestry World Tree is not included in the "new Ancestry Search" list. I wonder why? Is it because it is associated with Rootsweb and is now accessible only through Rootsweb (well,

My other mystery is why there are more matches in "new Ancestry Search" than in "old Ancestry Search" for the Public, Personal and One World Trees? I get a different results list when I click on the two different search results. Hmmm, I wonder why?

The "old Ancestry" gave me only 3 matches (from 3 different databases) when I request "Isaac" in the "First Name" box and "Seaver" in the "Last Name" box - all for persons named "Isaac Seaver."

In the "new Ancestry," when I input "Isaac" in the "First Name" box and "Seaver" in the "Last Name" box it found 117 matches - including spouses, children and parents named Isaac. It did find 8 "Isaac Seaver" items from 8 different databases, but it found 109 records where there was no "Isaac Seaver" as the subject of the record. When I ask for a search for "Isaac" "Seaver," I expect to receive results for "Isaac Seaver."

So that seems to explain the differences in the two Search results!

I'm pretty sure that I don't like finding more people not named "Isaac Seaver" when I really want to find an "Isaac Seaver." The searches are hard enough without this help from the new Ancestry Search finding people I don't want to find.

Sometimes change is not always progress! Off my soapbox (and I don't mean to offend the Ancestry programmers - it's a hard job, I know, but I shared some of my concerns back in February and March).

1 comment:

Terry Thornton said...

RANDY, I'm a new subscriber to --- I paid for a deluxe membership ($155) last month and I have already canceled it so that it will not renew automatically in 2009.

I have two major issues with Ancestry: one of which you addressed. I can't imagine why the search feature when specified "exact" and given and surname and DOB and state and DOD and state provided, that I sometimes get hundreds of "hits" some of whom are not even remotely in the ball park.

The second issue, and the reason I wrote them a cancellation notice and ugly note was that they threw me off the other evening saying I had exceeded my membership limit or some such garbage. For $155 I think I should have unlimited access to their site to sort through all the extra hits they give me when I'm looking for a specific name, date, place, etc.

No, I will not renew my membership with --- and I'm sorry that I wasted $155 for such limited help.

Thanks for letting me vent on your space.

Terry Thornton
Fulton, Mississippi