Thursday, December 20, 2007

Ancestry to close down outdated Online Family Tree:

Newer technology of "Ancestry World Tree" provides additional features.

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following announcement was made by our friends at late yesterday afternoon bypassing the radar of most genealogy bloggers. This requires the URGENT attention of those of us who created Online Family Trees at Ancestry many years ago using the old system which will be replaced "about March 2008" according to Ancestry's official blog. All inquiries should be made to .

Online Family Tree Announcement
Posted by kfreestone
December 19, 2007 (3:16pm)
Since 1999, our Online Family Tree system has helped almost 2 million people build family trees, upload GEDCOM files and add their trees to Ancestry World Tree. We’ve maintained this system for some time, but the it’s finally become outdated and will soon be replaced with the Ancestry Member Tree system introduced in July 2006. We realize this is a bitter disappointment for some of you who have worked in our Online Family Tree system for years.

This is an important step for us that lets us focus all our ability on creating one great system for everyone to use. At nearly 8 years old, Online Family Tree is an ancient product (in internet years anyway), and we feel it is important to move everyone to the new system while this one is still running. If we prolonged this, it would be much more difficult to do this while the OFT system is on life-support.

What does this mean for you?
For those that have a file in the old Online Family Tree system, you’ll be able to access your tree in that system through about March 2008. Between now and then you can easily transition your family tree file to the Ancestry Member Tree system and get used to it before the Online Family Tree system expires. [Color emphasis added.]

We know how much time and energy you’ve put into your tree and we’ve done our best to make sure you don’t lose a bit of it as you change systems. There are basically two phases to this transition period for Online Family Tree:

Phase 1 — Trial and transition.
Between now and March 2008 you can move your family tree file to the Ancestry Member Tree system and get familiar with it. Your file in the old Online Family Tree system will remain intact so you can double-check everything. However, once you’ve transitioned your tree to the Ancestry Member Tree system, any new information added or edits made will not be reflected in your Online Family Tree file. Do nothing during this timeframe and nothing will change in your Online Family Tree file. If you make changes to your Online Family Tree file after you’ve transitioned to Ancestry Member Trees, you’ll have the option to send the updated file to the new system once again.

Phase 2 — Tree expiration.
At the end of March 2008 we’ll send you another reminder to transition your tree. At this point, your tree will no longer be accessible in the Online Family Tree system, but the file itself WILL remain on our servers and in the system for as long as we can maintain it. When you come to view your Online Family Tree file, you’ll see only a link to move your family tree file to the Ancestry Member Tree system.

After March 2008 we plan to remove the old feature set surrounding your file. This means that all Online Family Tree files previously submitted to Ancestry World Tree will remain there permanently, unless you take steps to remove it.

About Ancestry Member Trees
The Ancestry Member Tree system will give you most of the same features as the Online Family Tree system. That includes integrated record search, the ability to invite family members to edit and contribute, GEDCOM import and export and much more. The Ancestry Member Tree system will also offer many new and exciting features.

[See the original Online Family Tree Announcement for a comparison chart to show which features from the Online Family Tree system are available in the Ancestry Member Trees system.]

We believe you will find much to enjoy about Ancestry Member Trees, and we hope to continue to add features and make you excited about the product. Already more than 3 million people have created trees using the Ancestry Member Tree system, and we’ve been amazed at the work that has been done:

  • 4.2 million family trees created
  • 378 million names added
  • 937,000 family members invited
  • 48 million Ancestry Hints™ accepted
  • 4 million photos uploaded

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