Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Ancestry.com Search Improvements

Last month Ancestry.com released improvements to the search results obtained when beginning a search from your tree.

“For the large group of users who search for an ancestor using the information in their tree, we have summarized their research to date by consolidating the records already attached to the ancestor at the top of the results,” said Matt Deighton, Ancestry.com spokesperson. “Previously, already-attached records were interspersed amongst results, making it challenging to see what was already attached and what was a potentially new result.” The list is sorted and can be closed to hide it from view.

Consolidated list of previously attached

Another new feature associated with the consolidated list is smart filtering. Since an ancestor is expected to be found in some record collections only once, once a record has been attached to an ancestor from a record collection, filtering removes all other results from that collection.

These features are being gradually launched over two or three weeks. If you don’t see these features right away, you should see them shortly.


  1. It is difficult to enjoy new features on Ancestry.com when the site crashes, fails to load completely, runs like molasses, and parts are simply not functioning correctly. Do you have any information on why in the world for the past few months Ancestry.com has not been consistently fully available to all subscribers?

    1. Since I renewed my subscription at the beginning of July, I have also had all of Karen's problems. The whole site crashing for many hours last Saturday a.m. was the last of many. A few of the others were: "We're experiencing intermittent issues with our messaging system that we're working to resolve. Thanks for your patience."
      "We're sorry. The Member Connect service is unavailable. Please try again later."
      "An error has occurred and we are looking into it. Please try again later."
      "Your information has failed to load."
      "Message system is experiencing problems, your message may not go through." (The last two are paraphrased, since I didn't copy them exactly.)
      I sign in at all hours of the day and night, but a tech support person said the error messages and terrible slowdown of the whole system weren't capacity problems. I have been a subscriber for many years and never saw any of this before. I nearly panicked the first time it said I had no Trees (I have 6) and my only choices were to upload a Gedcom or start a new tree.

  2. "filtering removes all other results from that collection." Just to clarify, I think Ancestry doesn't remove ALL OTHER results, only that singular hit. Notice John Pitcher's searches after having added his 1880 Census hit. It still lists other 1880 hits. Thank goodness they don't remove all other results because who knows?, maybe our ancestor is listed elsewhere in that collection and we might not know it.

    1. Once you receive the new feature, with filtering on it will remove ALL other results.

  3. I have been an ancestry.com member for roughly 7 years. Ancestry.com was recently purchased by a hedge fund which means the new ancestry.com will be all about cutting costs and increasing profits. Today it appears that ancestry.com has been eliminating their IT department. I have been attempting to log onto my account for the past several hours. IsItDown.com reports that ancestry.com is down for everyone. There seems to be more and more system errors and crashed every day. A few weeks ago, ancestry.com announced that they were abandoning many of their paying customers by shutting down My Canvas, their publishing division. Ancestry.com members had been able to take all their photos and documents and publish it in books or family tree posters. Ancestry,com is shutting My Canvas down and deleting all their customers publishing projects, including photos. Their explanation is that they want to focus on their core business. It looks to me like the new owners are cuttings costs and screwing their customers.


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