Thursday, June 19, 2014 Giveth, and Taketh Away

Now that is back online, seemingly whole, I discovered that the Side Panel in the Ancestry Member Trees is gone.  I described the Side Panel, and showed it, in Member Tree Changes (11 August 2013) last year. 

Today, when I ventured into my Ancestry Member Tree again, I was on the Pedigree Chart screen and saw:

On the screen above, with the blue background, is the message:

"The side panel is no longer available.  Please hover over the person in your family tree to view and edit the profile."

What's up with that?  Is this a product improvement, or a fallout from the unfortunate DDoS attack?  I don't know - maybe Ancestry will tell us in a future press release.

OK, I can live without it, although it was a fairly easy way to see the Hints without a lot of clicking.

If I hover over a person, then I can see the information about a person, as shown below:

From that person profile, I can click on my choice of a number of links for:

*  The name to go to the profile
*  The "Ancestry hints" link to see just the Unreviewed Hints.
*  The "View profile" link to view the profile
*  The "Quick edit" link to edit the person's vital information
*  The "Search records" link to search information about the person
*  The "View his family tree" to see his ancestry
*  The "Add relative" link to add a sibling, spouse or child to the tree.

All of those links are very useful and do exactly what they claim to do.

I clicked on the "Ancestry hints" link because I wanted to see what records have been associated with Isaac Seaver since the last time I checked.

The Ancestry Hints" page opened and showed me the six "Unreviewed Hints" for Isaac:

I do attach these records to my persons, but I also download them to my computer hard drive, since I also attach them as Media to my family tree genealogy software program.

I clicked on the first one on the list, and saw:

I reviewed the new information on the left of the screen, compared it to what I have in my tree on the right of the screen above, and clicked on the orange "Save to your tree" button.

Then I clicked on the record image thumbnail (it's in the left-hand side of the screen above) and saw the record:

I could then click on the orange "Save" button to save the record image to my computer hard drive.  
Once on my hard drive, I can rename it (I use a naming convention like "IsaacSeaver-1901-DeathRecord-LeominsterMA-MassVR1841to1915-1901-image1724of2724.jpg") and move it to my Seaver surname file folder and Isaac's family file folder.  

After I Saved the Hint, my Unreviewed Hints list was reduced by one, and my Accepted Hints list was increased by one.  

Why do I save the record to my computer files?  Well, one reason is that may go down more often.  Another reason is that I may choose to not renew my subscription with them, and would not be able to see the record in my tree.  I always say "Hints are great, but don't rely on a website to always be there when you need it."

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Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver


  1. Good post Randy. I agree on the importance of saving images and documents etc to my own computer and linking it to my Legacy software.
    I honestly never work from the pedigree view. As soon as it comes up I hover and click on the "view profile." Guess I won't miss that area they changed.

    As always thanks for sharing,

  2. The side panel was removed prior to the DDoS attack. I personally don't miss it, I found it made the pedigree view too cluttered.


  3. Do you have a screen shot of the missing panel? I don't remember ever seeing it.

  4. T, click on the link in his first paragraph, it'll take you to the article showing the side panel.

  5. Thanks for the update. I liked the side panel as it did not cover parts of the family tree. I have many ancestors with the same Christian names so being able to see their relationship to other family members helps me make sure I am not updating the wrong person. Perhaps it is just something a more skilled genealogist that knows their tree well does not require it however for beginners and infrequent users there is an advantage in having the side panel. An on /off button might have been a kinder option.

  6. Crikey! I don't remember ever SEEING that Side Panel before (although I visit at least 2-3 times a week)! Guess I won't miss it, will I? Grin.