Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ancestry.com map feature lost

On November 13th Ancestry.com announced a new mapping feature for their Member Trees. The announcement, originally at http://blogs.ancestry.com/ancestry/2008/11/13/see-the-people-in-your-tree-on-a-map read in part,

See the people in your tree on a map

By Kenny Freestone on Uncategorized

fullmapAncestry.com now helps you visualize where important events occurred in the lives of your ancestors by placing their events on a map.

How to use it
We’ve updated the family tree so that just about anywhere we show a place, you can click on that place and see the link on the map.  ... In addition to viewing the important places in your family members’ lives, you can also find places to help you in your research efforts.  We have links to show local cemeteries and courthouses, and “Other Places” link displays a list of additional display options where you can find historical information—churches, historical sites, libraries and archives, and government buildings.

Then Wednesday afternoon website performance started to suffer. Messages started showing up online asking about the problem. By late afternoon, Ancestry.com was dead. I'm not certain how long it was down, but it was back up by evening. This "signature" is consistent will rolling a change to the website that destabilized operations. Did something new roll live? Was it fixed or did Ancestry.com "roll-back" the changes?

Queries to company spokespersons about the cause of the crash went unanswered. Then the announcement, above, went away. I looked around for the map feature and was not able to find it, so either the feature went away or I was looking for it in the wrong place.

Now the announcement is back, but this time it includes a bold warning that the software is in beta form. And several known bugs are noted. If you have feedback on this new feature or any other member tree problem, Kenny Freestone is in listening mode. Leave a comment on the announcement or send email to (kfreestone at tgn.com). If you don't want Kenny to see your complaint, attach your comment to this article.


  1. ancestry.com lost all my tree information and pictures i spent years creating and uploading. Customer service does not exist. Emails don't get answered. BEWARE don't waste your time.

  2. This is actually a big concern of mine as well. I can currently back up my GEDCOM file on their site, which is a start, however they don't offer the ability to backup media, or stories, so there is a lot of data my family has collected which is not getting backed up; it concerns me considering the amount of time we have spent gathering it all.


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