Monday, October 12, 2015

Monday Mailbox: Adding Media as a Source

The Ancestry Insider's Monday MailboxDear Ancestry Insider,

I'm puzzled by your comment [in “News Ketchup for 8 October 2015”] that New Ancestry doesn't support non-Ancestry media items to be attached to source citations in the Facts Timeline. I attach a JPEG version of a non-Ancestry media item within FTM for Mac and then sync it with my online tree and I can see the non-Ancestry media item associated with a fact on the Facts Timeline view. But, perhaps I misunderstood your comment?


Dear CSK,

This past week I listened to one of Crista Cowan’s videos (couldn’t watch while driving) and it sounded like maybe it is possible online, but I wasn’t getting it by just listening. Guess I’ll have to go back and watch it. Regardless, here’s the workflow that doesn’t work. Perhaps Ancestry can fix it.

1. I upload a scan of a source.

2. Enter a fact.


(Hmmm. I can’t remember for sure which order I did 1 and 2.)

3. Associate the fact with the media.

4. Click Edit on the Fact.


5. Click Source Citations.


There is no option to create a non-Ancestry source here, with or without a media object attached. The only choices are Ancestry’s own records.

I can do it on FamilySearch’s Family Tree and I find it a very natural workflow. Ancestry, consider this an official feature request.

The Ancestry Insider


  1. I have been able to create a non-ancestry source separate from a fact and then associate the two. Haven't found a way to add a new source from the edit fact screen.

  2. In order to add the photo to the associated event in the time line you have to create a source citation. That is the correct way to do it but very few people do it that way--the NEW ancestry forces you to--which is good for accuracy when downloading your GEDCOM data BUT a real pain in the neck for those who don't care to be "technically correct" and abide the genealogical "Proof Standards". Although I was vaguely aware of source citations before I did not really understand them or the need for them until NEW came out.

    I have written them suggesting they allow us to continue to add sources to events the way we used to, as some people really don't care if the meet the "Genealogical Proof Standard".

    What used to be fun and easy has now become complicated as Ancestry tries to force us to neet the requirements set for Genealogy Professionals.

    Some folks don't care if they meet those standards.

    I will probably eventually go back and do source citations on my folks BUT uit is a real pain in the neck.

    I hope ancestry considers my request to be able to just add the photos as we have always done, as some folks really don't care to jump through all the hoops to create a source citation.


  3. Hhm I am still using OLD amd have no trouble there creating source citations BUT my tree is so big and I have tons of non ancestry documents that it will take me years to get them all done. Regarding adding source citations in the NEW version, I have not even tried. I try to stay away from the NEW version because I hate it so. It has made everything a lot more difficult.

    I do hope ancestry listens to the thousands of people complaining about the NEW version which I don't like for too many reasons to go into here...BUT I do think if ancestry doesn't listen to its customers and retain the ability to use either OLD or NEW they are going to lose a lot of customers.

    I talk to a lot of other researchers and don't know anyone who likes the NEW version.

    My BIGGEST gripe is you can no longer print the FACTS page in a succint manner as you could the old profile page and get all family members as well as all sources in 2-3 pages. IF you use ctrl + P you can print the page but you hardly get any info at all and it comes out to be 10-12 pages long--MOSTLY blank space.

    There are many things you cannot print that you used to be able to.

    Another MAJOR Gripe of mine is you used to be able to see if you had media, and you used to be able to see everything about a person on ONE page---now you have to go all over the place to see what you used to be able to see at a glance.

    Unfortunately I am "STUCK" with ancestry as I have too much stuff on my tree to move it all--BUT if they cut off OLD they will have robbed me of my favorite enjoyable hobby as I hate working in the NEW version...and I will stay in OLD as long as I am able.

  4. You can easily add a source, by clicking "ADD" at the top of the source column. You can attach the associated media to the new source. I disagree with not conforming to genealogical proof standards. All the work is useless if you can't prove the information. Now, if you want to maintain a tree that does not meet the standard, maybe Ancestry should offer that option and flag your tree and all references to it so that it doesn't perpetuate the unsubstantiated information.

    1. While I am going to try to bring MY tree up to standard, the proof standard does not mean anything unless the documents add are truly the correct people. I am sure you see all the time trees that are not correct, and simply looking at Census data etc will tell you that--so insisting on people adding source citations is not going to make sure that people are adding correct info anyway

      I often find errors in trees, and when they are people I have in MY tree wiht the correct info I msg them and let them know...MOST the time they no longer have accounts and sometimes are very indignant that ou have the nerve to show them their research is not the right person for their tree.

      Demanding tbat people create source citations is not going to fix that problem.

      I wish there WAS some way to be sure people were adding correct info but there is not...and there are a ton of trees out there that are incorrect.

      Making people do source citations is not going to fix that problem unfortunately. I suggested to ancestry that when adding a document that a msg pops up asking if you want to add a source citation so that people will know such a thing exists.

      Most don't and are only frustrated that now they cannot add documents to the FACTS page...

      I will be fixing MY source citations as MY tree is very well documented-but too many trees IU see are not documented at all...It is frustrating for those of us who try to actually PROVE things, while other just fnid anyone with the same name, and have them bouncing alll over the country when they have indeed picked up on someone else with the same name.

      Doing source citations is not going to help this...People who are not gong to botgher getting BMD's are not going to do it...source citation or not.

      That is why in a way I hate the hint system on ancestry as due to the commercials saying how easy it all is, people are out there adding info all over the place that are not theri folks.

      I just convinced a fellow the other day who had his folks all confused and other people were copying his tree to take his tree private until he had time to fix it...he said this was a lot harder than he thought...and he could not spare the time to fix one person...and he only had t change his middle initial and take out 2 incorrect Census and put the right ones in which I had foubd for him.

      Requiring source citations is NOT going to fix the problem of alll the incorrect trees--I wish it would--I see a LOT of incorrect info on ancestry.con trees which is corrupting the database.


    2. With more than 46,000 profiles, in my extensive family history, there is not enough time in my lifetime to go back and create citations for all the text obituaries, family stories, research notes, and so many other items, that I have already attached to events in the timelines on classic ancestry and need to have them left as attached in new ancestry!

      In my opinion, the new ancestry is a complete downgrade of previously provided services. When one is paying the hefty monthly fee, one expects the level of service to at least remain the same as supposed enhancements are made.

      It is still easy to attach an image to a fact, no citation needed. So it makes no sense to me at all that, when I have an image of an obituary, I attach it to the fact with no problem and no citation. BUT, if I re-type that very same obituary and add it as text, it cannot be attached to the fact without creating a citation. Really stupid!

      Citations have their place, and definitely are very important to us as researchers. At the same time, I want my family contributors to enjoy adding childhood stories and memories to our family history for the rest of us to enjoy. That does not need a citation. How on earth would you create a valid citation for my mom's childhood story: Tweet-Tweet, my bird flew away! I don't know if the story is true, but it sure is a wonderful story to share.

      I know how frustrating it can be to see incorrect information all over the place when we are striving for accuracy in our own trees, since I am not the ancestry police over all family trees and only really care that MY tree is correct, who cares about those other trees. If you are really a researcher and not just a casual user, what others do is of no consequence. Sure, if I see something really out there, I send a quick message to that tree, but there is rarely a response.

      As a real researcher, I welcome and encourage corrections from anyone to my tree! If I find information on other trees that I would like to use, I validate any and all of those vital facts before I add them to my tree. I try my best to stay out of other people's business and only take care of my own. Take you tree private, if you don't want it shared.

      The incorrect information in trees, is NOT corrupting the ancestry database, it is corrupting the tree that has the incorrect information.

      I completely AGREE, requiring source citations is NOT going to fix the problem of all the incorrect trees. Who cares? As long as I know MY information is correct, I don't need a citation on non-vital items.

  5. I too hate the NEW Ancestry. One thing that is causing problems for me is that I usually download the image of a source (death certificate, census form, etc.) to my computer, clean up the image, cut off all that black space around it from the microfilm and then upload it to my Ancestry Tree in the Gallery. However, with the NEW Ancestry, I now have two images of the source because Ancestry attaches the microfilmed image (the messed up, hard to read one) along with the source citation. These images are sloppy, faded, hard to read and have lots of black space around them and I don't want them on my tree. Is there a way to delete the image that Ancestry uploads and to replace it with my cleaned up version. I am so frustrated with all this!!!


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