Monday, March 12, 2012

Monday Mailbox: The End of Printer Friendliness

Dear Ancestry Insider,

Enjoy your e-mails so very much.

My big gripe with the 'new' Family Search is that I now cannot print a record that is enlarged enough to read.  Looking through my paper files, back to 2009, I was able to do so.

I am finding the same is true for Ancestry.  They have taken a step backwards.  Both of those sites have taken the fun out of finding and printing my resource information.

Keep up the good work.  I enjoy your humor!


Dear Dee,

You are absolutely correct. Producing a good print of a pedigree or family group chart seems to be impossible on or

I think, however, I have found the cause of the problem.

Read on…

Dear Ancestry Insider,

Speaking of getting better results from, I have “one for the books.” It set me off in such giggles that I've forgotten exactly what search produced such silly results.

Ms. Marty Hiatt



  1. We are moving into the world of cloud storage; I don't see it as a step backward. Good Tech Tips on cloud terminology a couple of days ago. I realize it's hard for the older analog types, but it is the future of not only genealogy but information technology in general. People tend to see cloud storage as analogous to old floppy discs or CD's, liable to serial obsolescence; the cloud on the other hand is capable of virtually infinite growth and technological evolution. It's nice to be able print out a display of a family tree for reunions, etc. but I for one don't miss the banker's boxes of documents that used to be central to my work and are now, at most, a third line backup,,,, not that I don't have a few hundred pages needing scanning and those boxes dated and labeled out in the garage. Rootstech also provided some good information on cloud based digital storage and the last two NGS meetings have had many sessions on cloud concepts and it looks like the upcoming one will also.

  2. Seems like they should test some of these changes before putting them out there as the only options. I'm having search results for census records return the wrong images. When I click on the one I want, I get instead the record listed below it. And when I click to see the actual image, the msg tells me the URL is wrong.

    They have also removed the "See list of all persons" in the tree, profile view. I used that feature extensively. The work around I've found is that the drop down menu has an option to see hints and from there you can see the list of all persons tho it is not listed in the drop down menu.

    Last night I tried to add a census record to a person in my tree. But it gave me no choice as to which tree to add the record to. It went to the first tree in my list of trees and that is the only option I had. I used to be able to select which tree to add the record to, but not yesterday.

    I should be sounding off to ancestry and not to you but I figure you've got more influence with them than I do!!

  3. I've been an Ancestry subscriber almost from the beginning of that service and so I am no longer surprised by some of their shortcomings.

    Only recently tho have I been surprised and discomfited when incorrect images were returned by Ancestry. If I click on the search button again, the correct image is returned.

    I have also begun to receive a lot of error messages from Ancestry. After clicking on someone in a census index, for example, I will often get sent to an Ancestry page telling me that I have entered an incorrect db or the db is no longer valid. The correct image will be returned when I try again sometime later.

    If that is Ancestry's way of telling me the system is too busy to handle my request, I might suggest a better way: tell me the system is busy.

    Last week I searched without success for a family in the 1930 census index. I finally found them by scanning the entire ED I knew them to be in. After finding the family, I sent the link to Ancestry with a note that the family had not been included in the index!

    Ancestry tech support replied, telling me they had found the family and were including a link for me. It was the same link I had sent to them. But, the family had been included when I re-checked the index.

    Something I enjoy at FamilySearch is the system's ability to look at the given name I have entered and return results for people who have a name that sounds like the one I have entered. At Ancestry I have to try and guess and enter all of the different spellings a given name might have, either in the index or actual record.

  4. For all your genealogy printing needs, may I suggest trying Charting Companion? There is a version directly compatible with FamilySearch:

    Also for Family Tree Maker.

  5. Rather than rely on printing, if it can be displayed on screen I do a screen capture (I use Snagit)and now keep a digital research log (I'm still using WORD but thinking of switching to Evernote or OneNote.


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