Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Ancestry Updates Handling of Media

Ancestry.com has enhanced the photo upload experienceAncestry.com has updated their media upload experience. You can drag and drop files to upload or select them explicitly. While the upload takes place, you can add additional metadata about each file: title, media type (photo, document, etc.), place, and description. And you can link the file to persons in your trees.

I prefer selecting files, myself. And I’m glad they’ve updated the upload code. I suffered a horrendous problem with it several years ago. I dragged a handful of files onto the uploader and Ancestry uploaded a hundred or more photographs, many with living people in them. I had to go through, one by one, and delete the errant photographs.

I know Life Story is a favorite topic for all of you, so I hesitate to bring it up. (You need to let the anger go before it consumes you.) Anyway, Ancestry has changed media display for multiple media attached to a single event. Photographs now flow horizontally in addition to the previous vertical layout.

Ancestry.com Life Story photographs use a vertical layout

For more information, see “Ancestry Product Update: Media Enhancements” on the Ancestry Blog.


  1. The Ancestry Insider wrote: "I know Life Story is a favorite topic for all of you ..."

    Right, and I'd like to point out an impressive new feature in Ancestry I discovered just yesterday (9 May 2016) that makes the LIFESTORY pages much more palatable:

    From the Pedigree or Family views of the on-line member tree, choose "View Tree Settings" in the drop-down box under the name of the tree. (In the profile page of an individual, the drop-down choice under the tree name is just "Settings" for some unknown reason). That brings up the "Tree Settings" page, and in the "Tree Info" view on that page, there is a new check box titled "Automatically build stories for this tree". The explanation under the box says, "Ancestry will automatically create stories for events shown in a person's LifeStory." I don't know how long the check box has been available, but yesterday I found that clearing the check mark and then clicking on "SAVE CHANGES" removes the computer-generated narratives from the beginning of the LIFESTORY pages and from all the facts shown on those pages, leaving just whatever text the tree owner has entered on the associated FACTS pages. The change affects not just the one individual that may be in view but also the LIFESTORY view on the profile pages for ALL individuals in the tree.

    I regard this development (if it remains in effect) as a significant and very welcome response from Ancestry to the thousands of complaints voiced since last June about misleading or inaccurate text automatically added to the LIFESTORY views. With the new option deselected (it seems to be selected by default), those views show only what users have have entered, instead of trying to regurgitate and embellish the user-entered data from the FACTS view. I see that invited guests can still choose to view or not view Family Events and/or Historical Insights via the SHOW drop-down menu at the upper right of the LIFESTORY pages. But, as before, no Historical Insights will appear for invited guests or other Ancestry members unless the tree owner or a designated editor has activated them. Hoorah!

    The map presentation of the LIFESTORY view that many people have criticized as sometimes being wildly inaccurate still appears even with the new option deselected, so that criticism will probably continue. But I personally don’t mind just skipping past that feature. Overall, this option to turn off the computer-generated narratives across an entire tree goes a very long way toward convincing me to return my trees to public view from the private settings I put in place last summer to prevent dissemination of the redundant and sometimes misleading or often downright false data displayed on the LIFESTORY pages by Ancestry’s automatic computer algorithms. I will keep checking to see whether this option remains available to tree owners.

  2. Thank you. That works. The map is still wildly inaccurate for UK. Even when you give them the correct county, they still throw a dart at the wall.


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