Friday, May 31, 2013

First Look at's Story View

I heard about the new "Story View" on about a week ago on Facebook, learned that about 10% of users were able to use it, and was disappointed that I was not one the first persons asked to use it.  I checked again last night, and noticed that I was now invited to use it.  So I wanted to test it, and describe it to my readers.

The invitation occurred as a popup message when I accessed one of my Ancestry Member Trees.  I accepted the invitation, and found that it applied to all of my AMTs.  Here is how you access it (after you've accepted the invitation) and use it:

1)  On a Person page in my Ancestry Member Tree, I navigated to the Person Profile of my grandfather, Frederick Walton Seaver (1876-1942).

The green "Story View" button is next to the "Edit This Person" button below the person's name and birth/death information.

2)  I couldn't resist clicking on the green "Story View" button and, after 10 to 30 seconds, saw:

The screen above has a preferred picture, and a vital records and other events summary, probably gleaned from the birth, marriage and death events in the AMT, plus some of the other events.  Following the summary, images with a short description (if provided) are presented in chronological order.  For instance, I used the World War I Draft Registration for Fred Seaver as a birth source, and attached it to the Birth record, as indicated above.

The next screen shows the next two images, for the 1876 birth registry entry and the 1880 U.S. Census.

The Birth Registry entry has no comment - if I click on the date box, I can edit it.  If I run my mouse over the line below the date, I can add a caption or description to the image.

I only had one image in my Media Gallery in the Ancestry Member Tree (with a date of 1900 in the Date field), and it was also shown:

There were 10 items in the list of images (one photo, 9 attached images from databases), ending with a City Directory entry for 1940.

3)  I realized that I had not uploaded the death certificate to the AMT, and so I did that from within the AMT.  I then went to the "Story View" to see if it was added.  I had to click on the "Update" button at the top of the "Story view" page just below the life summary of the person.  When I did, there was the Death Certificate I uploaded into the AMT:

4)  Then I realized that I didn't have the photograph of the gravestone for Fred Seaver, so I uploaded that to Family Tree Maker 2012, and then synced the FTM 2012 database to the Ancestry Member Tree.

5)  I then went back into the Ancestry Member Tree, updated the "Story view" and saw the gravestone photo below the Death Certificate:

I now have 12 items (2 uploaded images, and 10 attached records) I need to edit the date and add a description to the gravestone photo that is more accurate - he died in 1942!

Users can move the images up and down the "Story View" by clicking the image and the image can be then be moved up, moved down, resized or deleted:

I edited the World War I draft registration to reflect the 1918 date, and moved it down between the 1910 and 1920 census records.

6)  What about the Family Tree Maker 2012 database?  Here is the Person page for Frederick Walton Seaver (1876-1942):

The screen above shows two media items uploaded from my files, and the nine attached items in the Sources and Media tabs on the right side of the screen.  The gravestone photo, which I uploaded and attached to the Burial Fact in FTM 2012, is in that Fact's media list.

Those 12 items are what is currently in the Ancestry Member Tree "Story View."

7)  This "Story View" feature works pretty well, but it is dependent on the images that are uploaded by the user to the Ancestry Member Tree, or are attached to persons in the Ancestry Member Tree using Ancestry's "Save to someone in your tree" or using the "Review Hints" system on the website or on your mobile device using the Ancestry App.  For some of the images, the date may not be exactly correct, and it may be necessary to edit the image title and the image description.

My edited "Story" for Frederick Walton Seaver can be viewed (if you are an Ancestry subscriber) at

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver


Anonymous said...

I would prefer more meat -- wife #1name & where married, marriage dissolution (if available), name of wife #2 & where married.

Also - cemetery info. Gravestone spelling boo-boo. My Ancestry hasn't caught up to this feature. Wonder if all will have this?

Anonymous said...

Randy - so we will all one day get the little pop- up and be able to see the story view ?

I guess I don't understand how this is being made available.

Thanks for walking us through it.


Cormac said...

If a picture (of someone) shows up in a multiple Story Views, you must edit that picture multiple times

Anonymous said...

I wonder whether this feature will be rolled out to & subscribers and when it might happen. Do you know?