Ancestry has released its “new website.” The changes Ancestry is singling out are all on the person page of a member tree, although the rest of the site enjoys a new header and a new color scheme.
It’s not quite true, but it feels like Ancestry and FamilySearch are dancing around each other’s color schemes. It wasn’t long ago that FamilySearch adopted Ancestry Green as its logo color and moved from pastel website colors to black, white, and shades of gray. Now Ancestry has moved its website color from green to black and blue and shades of gray.
Like I said, the most significant advances to the new website are on the person page. The person page is organized into four tabs: LifeStory, Facts View, Gallery, and hints.
I’ve previously written about LifeStory. See “Ancestry.com Revamping Website.” LifeStory includes Historical Insights, which you can display or turn off. I gave the feature a positive review when it was launched on the Ancestry App back in December 2014. See “Ancestry.com Releases Historical Insights.”
The timeline in Facts View displays a timeline of facts in the left column and a list of sources in the middle column. (See the illustration, above.) Click on a fact and lines show which sources are attached to it. Click on a source and lines show which facts are associated with it (as shown in the illustration, above). Options allow display of family events, which I really love. On the old person page there has been a time or two when I have manually added births, marriages, and death facts of other family members. These help place on ancestor geographically in between their own vital events. They shed insight on motivations and what records might possibly have been created about an ancestor. Options allow display of alternate facts. The Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) calls for accounting for and resolving conflicting evidence. FamilySearch doesn’t support alternative vitals in its tree; Ancestry now surfaces them.
I must be missing something when it comes to the media gallery. When I had heard that Ancestry was fixing the media gallery, I was excited because the old one was almost completely worthless. I couldn’t tag. I couldn’t sort by title, description, file date, event date, date of upload, name of person, attachment status (attached or not), tag, or media type. I couldn’t search by any of those criteria. I couldn’t filter by any of those criteria. I couldn’t display any of those criteria. I couldn’t vary thumbnail size or switch the detail mode. I couldn’t rearrange the photos. Like I say, almost completely worthless. Ancestry said that the new gallery was entirely new. With it you could “organize and sort your photos, videos, and historical records quickly and easily so you can explore and rediscover the lives of your ancestors in a whole new way.” It does none of those things.
For more information, see “Announcing the New Ancestry Website” on the Ancestry Blog.
UPDATE: Since writing the above article, Ancestry has issued a clarification notice about the new website. They say,
We also sincerely thank you for all your feedback. As we transition from the classic site to the new Ancestry over the next couple of months, we are still working on a few final missing features, as well as making continued improvements to new features based on your feedback.
The list of missing features explains why I didn’t find anything new in the new gallery. The advertised advancements are still coming.
For more information, see “New Ancestry: Feature Update” on the Ancestry Blog.