Monday, June 3, 2013

Do You Have Issues/Suggestions/Questions for Ancestry.com?

I like to visit the Exhibit Hall at genealogy conferences, and I like to ask questions, make suggestions, or raise issues, with the exhibitors and suppliers.  I'm on my way to the Southern California Genealogical Society Genealogy Jamboree in Burbank on Thursday, so I want to give my readers an opportunity to think of the issues they have with, suggestions for, or questions they have for, Ancestry.com.

I have several:

*  The sources for Ancestry.com record summaries and images are non-standard, they aren't Chicago, Turabian, MLA, APA or Evidence! Explained format.  Will ANY effort be expended to upgrade the source citations that are listed on a record summary or attached to a person or event in an Ancestry Member Tree?

*  Will "Old" Search be continued, or will it be retired?  If it will be retired, when?  If it is retired, what features will be integrated into "New" Search?

*  "New" Search is very complex with the Name and Location filters feature (which are very useful if you know how to use them!).  Can the filters be made more user friendly, and/or can short video tutorials be provided on the Search page so more users can learn how to use them effectively?

*  Many users complain about getting results from searches that are outside of the life span of the individual sought in the search, or outside of a specified locality.  Is there a way to restrict search results to a specific year range?  Or to a specific set of states (say one central state, and the surrounding states)?

I'm sure that my readers have many more issues, suggestions and questions for Ancestry.com - what are they?  Please offer them in comments to this blog post, or in email to me (rjseaver@cox.net) if you cannot defeat the Captcha.

The URL for this post is:  http://www.geneamusings.com/2013/06/do-you-have-issuessuggestionsquestions.html

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

21 comments:

Doug Williams said...

Ask Ancestry to allow user changes to more fields in their indexes. I find no way to add a person who was missed on a census enumeration - and no easy way to alert Ancestry to the missing person. Nor is there any way to change an age which is incorrect in the index, which means an incorrect year of birth is present. Oh, and while you're asking, see if you can't get them to lower the annual subscription price!

Tessa said...

Please make the shoebox more useful by allowing us to file and tag items (would be great to group family documents). I want to be able to search it easily and I know the technology exists.

Monique Riley said...

I don't care for the new document viewer in regards to seeing the source of the document now. Before you could click on an expandable arrow and it would expand out the source info on the right of the document. Now you have to click on "more" then "view source" then the source info pops up in the middle of your document covering it up. I liked it better when I I could view both at the same time.

Russ Worthington said...

Randy,

Your first item (Source and Citation format).

In addition, please expand your comments to the Web Merge feature within Family Tree Maker. When I use the Web Merge feature in FTM2012, I MUST edit / reformat the Source, then edit the Citation.

New vs Old Search: There is no way to set which search I want on the new Home (customized home page for each user). The "default" is Old. I want to set the "default" to New. Yes, there is a quick way to get to the new, but I don't want that extra click. Your 2nd and 3rd bullet points are very valid, I just wanted to through in the Customized Home Page feature in that discussion.

"New Search": IF I make changes in the Name (first or last), Years (+ / -), or Place, to one of the Options. There should be a "reset" or clear the options, on the New Search Screen, NOT have to click on Exact two or three times. I have had a couple of times where an option was not reset.

Thank you,

Russ

Larry Davies said...

Randy,

I have 2 suggestions that I previously sent directly to Ancestry, both for Ancestry Family Trees.

1. Have an option within the List of All People to include alternate names and married names.

2. Provide some means of identifying different lines. I have my lines, my wife's lines and my ex-wife's lines in the same tree as they are all our children's lines. Color coding (background and/or foreground) the names would do it and could be carried over to all displays and reports.

Regards,
Larry Davies

Barbara Snow said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Barbara Snow said...

This problem applies to those of us who have the international subscription.

My default collection priority is "United States" AND I have checked the box that says "Show only records from these collections." If I search from the home page, I check the box "Only Records from U.S. Collections"

Yet my results include many other countries, which makes it cumbersome to navigate them.

I would like to have these restrictions work the way their names suggest they will. If I ask for results only from U.S. Collections, give me results only from U.S. collections.

Anonymous said...

I am still a beginner, but I get very frustrated with Ancestry's searches. I research ONLY in France and I filter on that country, but still I get "zillions" of irrelevant hits from other countries. Could Ancestry respect the filters they have themselves established??? Also what's the use of Ancestry offering restricted searches like location and name spelling, if Ancestry's returned results ignore them?
Thanks Randy as always,
Annick

Genealjean said...

Looking up my great grandfather I found tree postings from several family members that are accurate or partially so. But - the default tree is from someone or composits that show him with a middle name - a picture not his, 4 wives and over 30 children being born from marriages at the same time. There are death places wrong. I posted copmments that this was completely wrong - but surely there should be a way to contact the pooster to have them remove all the bogus garbage material. I click on the submitters name but get no where Only the listed 3rd wife (his only) is correct.
Jean
Jean

Sven-Ove Westberg said...

When will Ancestry publish an open API so other programs then the Familytreemaker can use the site.

Rosemary said...

I totally agree with Monique Riley on the source data covering up the image. With the source data on the right I could copy and paste that data while in the middle of saving the record. As it is, I have to save the source data elsewhere and then remember to delete it when I have finished saving the record to my PC.

Anonymous said...

My comment is in regards to the new Story View. Currently, if an item appears in multiple SVs. you are forced to edit that item multiple times. Ask them if they make it an single edit.

Debbie Blanton McCoy said...

In addition to what Monique and Rosemary have said, when using the new viewer there is no list on the right showing users who have posted that document to their trees. I used that feature often.

Sandra Steele DeFord said...

* Many users complain about getting results from searches that are outside of the life span of the individual sought in the search, or outside of a specified locality. Is there a way to restrict search results to a specific year range? Or to a specific set of states (say one central state, and the surrounding states)?

I TOTALLY agree with your statement. A search now produces more and more names, dates and locations that are far from what is asked for.

FranD said...

FTM Mac 2 linked to Ancestry.
Last night while viewing notes for an individual on Ancestry I added notes for the same person via FTM. Then I tried to synch the two. That was the only change because I was testing another suspicious action.
FTM would not synch saying there were no changes.
I immediately did screen captures of both and have them saved in a document.
This morning, I added a few names then did the synch to see if it needed to find another "valid" change or something.
The notes have not been ported over to Ancestry!!
Now, that's quite frightening. What else is missing?
Worse yet, I've had to unlink then download from Ancestry a couple of times due to FTM faulty merge of two individuals. What a mess that made. When I compacted the file to see if it could possibly repair itself, it then changed the names to ""!!!!
When I called Ancestry/FTM, the first guy was quite sympathetic but had no answer. I think they avoid discussing the faulty programming.

FranD said...

Last post: the less than and greater than signs did not come through. It substituted No Name for the names that it "merged".

FranD said...

About the notes FTM Mac 2 and Ancestry.
I was looking at the Family then Person tabs in FTM to see where the military information I saved on Ancestry was put in FTM. Just cannot find it. I don't like the idea of a link to the images rather than really "saving" the actual images on Ancestry.

Anyway, in the Family view I can see all of my notes. In the Person vie I cannot!!!! The NOTES tab shows only the first note!!

At the moment, since I work in both simultaneously, which by the way the representative said I could do, I am not sure if I put the original note in via Ancestry or not. I suspect so, but am not sure.
Calling Ancestry right now.
This just is not right.

FranD said...

Ooops...last post. Looking at Family vs Person tabs in FTM.

FranD said...

Response from Ancestry:
All notes should have been transferred. Must be file corruption. How? Blah, blah, blah
Compact file
Export from Charts
Use that one to upload to another tree on Ancestry
Download that one from Ancestry
Then see if the new tree has been fixed.
Can't help me if I won't follow these steps.

Sounds like hours of work to me and I just don't have the time.

Rosemary said...

@FranD: Were these person notes or Fact Notes? Fact notes in FTM are not sync'd up to Ancestry, only person notes.

Jereme Guenther said...

I would sure love it if ancestry.com would give me some way of backing up my media. I've spent a lot of work tracking down all the files in collaboration with other relatives, and ancestry.com is the only place where it all exists together. I want to be able to download it all like I can my GEDCOM.

Also, It would sure be nice if they had a way of viewing and manipulating sources en mass like other programs can do. Similar to the Media page where I can view all sources for my entire tree, and hopefully pick a source and apply it to multiple events across multiple records in my tree.