Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Ancestry.com Opens and FamilySearch Closes

FamilySearch announced it is closing its forumsIn separate announcements Ancestry.com announced it is opening a public forum and FamilySearch announced it is closing theirs.

“While the Ancestry Message Boards are for finding people and places,” said Ancestry spokesperson, Matthew Deighton, “our new Support Communities is the place to go to get answers to product questions, and to find tips and solutions submitted by community members.”

The top three issues on the Ancestry Community Forum thus far are:

  1. My subscription will end—what will happen to my tree?
  2. Problems with sign in
  3. Received DNA results…confused

Meanwhile, FamilySearch’s Janell Vasquez announced that “due to user feedback, we are discontinuing these forums as of December 31, 2012… We apologize for the inconvenience that this will cause for those of you who have come to enjoy your collaboration with each other on these forums.” Vasquez suggested users join FamilySearch Facebook groups or contact FamilySearch support. Several users posted comments that they didn’t trust Facebook. A couple of users announced that they will probably stop indexing because of the change.

FamilySearch said it is “transitioning our Forums into a new question and answer tool.” Information will be posted this week with instructions on how to help test potential replacement software.

The idea behind a community forum is that ordinary people like you and I answer questions that others have. In my mind there is some question if the genealogical community is large enough or interested enough in helping vendors support their products.

Stay tuned…


  1. Given how many clicks it took me to find the announcement, I'm not surprised. Of all the forums, FamilySearch manage to hide theirs down and deep. Fine if you're a FS Jedi with your links to hand. Useless (to the newcomer) if not.

    Adrian B

  2. I didn't even know the FamilySearch Forums even existed, and I've been doing indexing and arbitrating (non-LDS). What is the connection between indexing and the forums? Were they only or primarily for indexers?

  3. The list of groups in the Forums where you can do searches is

  4. Elfy, to answer your question about indexing and FSI forums, many indexers relied on them as a place where they could go to ask fellow indexers and arbitrators questions about various projects they were indexing/arbitrating, to use the share batch feature so that others could take a look at a batch they may have been struggling with the handwriting on, and to run some of the more confusing/contradictory project instructions by each other and so on. I found them to be an invaluable tool when I first began indexing for FamilySearch and continued to frequent them until recently. Many indexers where quite disappointed at the news of FS taking down their forums.

    Luckily an indexer has kindly established a new forum (free of charge) that indexers and arbitrators can visit, using it the same way they were on the FSI forums. It has all the various projects and their instructions listed in it and areas for project updates and much more. I'll include the link here if you, or anyone else would like to visit or join. Some indexers are LDS many are not (including myself) and it is not on Facebook, so none of the privacy issues that many people were concerned about exist here.


  5. A good place to go now for Genealogy Questions and Answers is the Genealogy and Family History stackexcahnge site at genealogy.stackexchange.com


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