Friday, September 23, 2011

2 Problems with Trees noted today

Today won't keep me logged in. When I do a "magnifying glass" search of an ancestor on my tree, it returns a hit list without the green circle icons indicating the records I've already linked to the person. Also it does not give me the link to go back to that person on my tree, and my user name in the upper right of the Ancestry screen awaits my password and the click to log in. Tony Macklin, wonder if anyone else has this problem? When I log in at that point, I get a 404 error that the page is no longer available, and  I can go directly to my tree and go through the loop again. 

For one of my searches, I was looking at my younger Talburt Higgins and linking to his Missouri Marriage at 82 years of age. [Update: at the time of publishing this blog post, this problem is repeatable using Mr. Myrt's iPad 2, in case that is an issue.] Reference to Missouri Marriage Records, 1805-2002 for Tolbert Higgins and Mary F Brown, 8 July 1922 Jackson County Missouri.

To my Facebook posting above,'s Anne Gillespie Mitchell replied: "Pat, not quite sure what is going on with your account, but this does sound painful. I do not know of any issues we are having, so I am going to suggest that you call member services at 1-800-ANCESTRY and see if they can walk you through a solution. Let me know if if that can't help."

Rick Koelz said "I had a similar problem yesterday. "

YES! Repeatable on better than 50% of the ancestors I search and attempt to link documents. Also note it is a pain when searching using the magnifying glass, and drilling down to just the military hits that after linking one of the monthly returns (Army Infantry), I am taken back to the pedigree view, not to the military hit list. I've got ten to work through. You'd think a researcher would prefer to work through the last search' hit list before being returned to pedigree view. I do not think this iPad is the variable. I am using Safari, and did not go to my tree from the Ancestry app.[Update: at the time of publishing this blog post, this problem was not repeatable using my laptop/Safari.]

 Anne Gillespie Mitchell wrote on FB in reply: "Pat is this happening on the ipad or on your Mac? "

Ol' Myrt wrote: "iPad... don't have a Mac but could test it out on my daughter's Mac if that would help."

Ol' Myrt here documented the experience on Facebook since I was using my iPad, and doesn't work well with iPads.  Within two hours, I received private Facebook messages from two additional people who are experiencing the same problem.

TRYING IT ON THE DESKTOP COMPUTER keeps me logged in, but continues to fail to show me that some records are already linked to a specific ancestor. Oddly enough, this is with the U.S. Returns from Regular Army Infantry Regiments, 1821-1916, some of which I linked this morning.

NOTE: I was using my Windows 7 Professional Ultimate, I logged in to with Safari, went to my tree, clicked the magnifying glass (deep) search button as shown below:

The next screen is the initial hit list to compare with my tree:

A = Charles Switzer Weiser is the profile on my tree
B = the green circle with check mark icon indicating I've linked the item to my Ancestor. In this case that includes an Idaho Marriages, 1842-1996 25 July 1883, the 1920 United States Federal Census in Twin Falls, Idaho, and the 1900 United States Federal Census, location unspecified in this brief hit-list view.
C = that I may narrow my search by Category.

 I thought things were fine on my desktop until I clicked to narrow my search to MILITARY. There I get the military hit list, MINUS the indicator that shows which of the items on the hit list I've already linked to my ancestor Charles Switzer Weiser. NOTE: in the screen shot below there is no difference between linked and unlinked records on the hit list.

1 = I am logged in, and have remained logged in.
2 = the U.S. Army, Register of Enlistments, 1798-1914 for Chas S Weiser born about 1850 in Ohio, enlisting 26 January 1876 LINKED to my ancestor, but not so indicated on the hit list.
3 = The U.S. Returns from Regular Army Infantry Regiments, 1821-1916 not yet linked to my ancestor.

When Ol' Myrt clicks at #2 above, then explains I've already attached this record to Charles Switzer Weiser's profile in my tree, per screen shot below:

SUMMARY - 2 different problems.
#1 With my iPad this morning using Safari, I had trouble staying logged in at, a repeatable problem occurring 50% of the time.

#2 - With my Windows 7 laptop, using Firefox this afternoon, I had trouble with hit list items showing up as having been linked to an ancestor, causing me unnecessary duplication of effort.

Are any of my DearREADERS encountering similar problems? If so:
  • Describe your computer, iPad, cell phone.
  • What browser are you using?
  • Name the ancestor for whom you are doing the "magnifying glass, deep-search"?
  • Do you get logged out of when viewing the hit list?
  • Do you have trouble with not indicating what records you've previously linked to an ancestor when doing a new search, and working through the hit list?
THANKS to Anne Gillespie Mitchell's prompt responses. I cannot imagine wishes these two documented problems to persist. Tony, do we need to reboot some servers?
Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     :)
Your friend in genealogy.


  1. I have had the same problem. I was thinking it could be Foxfire. I quit using that, and started cleaning the duplicates. However Google Chrome is challenging with Ancestrydotcom as well as Explorer 7. But refuse to upgrade to 8 because of problems related to FamilySearch there. I am beginning to think it is a no win.

  2. I've had the problem in the past of a record not having the check-mark making me think I had not linked it to my ancestor only to discover when I click on the record that I do have it linked. I just looked at one of my ancestors (Aaron Brown) to see if the same problem happens that you are currently experiencing, but everything seems ok. I use a Toshiba Satellite laptop and Firefox. I did notice that ancestry seems really slooooowwww right now (or maybe it's my internet).

  3. I have had the same experience where I am searching along and then I am logged out and shown the 404 screen -- intermittently for months. It doesn't seem related to which person I'm searching. I'm using Safari on a MacBookPro with the latest updates.
    So far the only advice I could find was to clear my browser cache.

  4. From my private email:
    re: Problems with Ancestry

    Today, 23 September 2011, I am having problems with Ancestry. Specifically, unable to edit attached stories. Ancestry is very slow--"gummy." In addition, the "Tree Settings" page does not accurately reflect the people that I have recently attached to my private tree.

    Requested Specifics:

    Computer: HP 1TB computer
    Browser: Firefox
    Ancestor: Alice Lucinda Priest
    I do get "logged out."
    I do have trouble with Ancestry not indicating what records have been previously linked.

    Thanks for the "heads up" concerning the problems.

  5. Hi Myrt

    Thank you for your feedback, and sorry to hear you're still having problems.

    As well as replying to you, Anne kicked off a series of internal investigations as to what might be causing this, and we're looking into it right now - I'll let you know as soon as we know more.


    Tony Macklin
    VP Search,

  6. Having the same problems as described using MacBook Pro and Safari browser, all appropriately updated.

  7. OK, I am getting the same type of log out things going on. I have contacted several times and they told me it is because I am using Safari (on a MacBook Pro), but that apparently is not the problem as many are using PC's and FireFox. I actually tried FireFox and got the same problems, but did not re-contact Ancresty because I was so worn out by the whole process by that time. They really do need to support Safari as that is what comes on any Apple computer, iPad or other items by Apple. They should not expect you to download a different browser than what comes with a major product line.
    Thanks, Kay :-)

  8. Hi, I just set a message to as I am having similar problems. When I go to use the old search it will keep me there for a few minutes then suddenly jumps to new search and I lose what I was looking at - it then requires me to sign in again - this has happened to me quite regularly over the last several weeks so I finally decided to ask ancestry whats up? I don't expect a reply from them for a couple of days because it is the weekend but hope they have some good answers as it really makes searching difficult. I am required to sign in over and over again during each daily session so very frustrating.

  9. I am a Mac user also and several months ago Ancestry started kicking me out every time I logged on. Tech service told me that they do not support Safari so I switched to Firefox just for Ancestry and have not had any problems since.

  10. I find it odd that a major genealogy website has tech support state there is no support for the very web browser that is installed by default on Macs.

  11. You have to remember that Ancestry has never really been a Mac friendly enviroment.

    A Mac version of FTM was introduces in 1997 but was discontinued in December of 2000.

  12. You may not be aware That Family Tree Maker is indeed available for the Mac platform.

  13. Yes, I know; seems eleven years later they have seen the error of their ways but it will take them time to catch up. *GRIN*

  14. I have had problems lately viewing the picks on the screen after I click on the green leaf in Family Tree Maker program. Ancestry has admittied to having problems with tree retrieval. Many tree files when selected just grind and grind and never show on the screen. I call that "denial of service" that I am paying for. I also get the 404 error message a lot. My other gripe is the people who choose to keep trees private. We have the "Living" individual function for that. Contacting the tree manager just slows everything down.

  15. Having the same problem with the login, sent an email to ancestry... no reply! I guess they feel satisfied with their 1.3 million subscribers...

  16. I am having the same problem. When I use my iPad to search on, I keep getting kick out and have to sign back in repeatedly. It is extremely frustrating. It appears this has been a problem for sometime and it continues to occur.

  17. I have also been having all the above mentioned problems for the last month. Their site is so slow and errors all the time. It has progressed to the point of my being logged out almost continuously. I have a Mac with Firefox installed, and using it has not helped. I had found also, that I had to go to Safari in order to print the correct printer friendly "overview" of a person. Ancestry may be getting "too big for their britches!"

  18. My mom is having problems with the program. She can only type one or two letters and then everything on the screen freezes up. Do you know of a fix for this or anything that will help her to get it to work correctly>

  19. Having the same problem on my iPad2 using safari.

  20. Same problem with repeated log ins. Really detracts from my pleasant experience on May consider letting my membership end.

  21. Having the same problem on a MacBook Pro with both Safari and Firefox browsers. I tried downloading Google Chrome and it seems to be working better. :(

  22. I had the same repeated problems with logging me off on my MAC desktop. I called the tech staff at and was told that Safari is not compatible and I now use Firefox with no issues. But..... I now have an IPad and safari causes the same problems. I have the ancestry app but need to log on to the website to do searches etc. there is no Firefox for IPad so I have tried Icab after going online to get some ideas. It does not work either, it keeps logging me out every couple of pages which is very irritating. Does anyone have any ideas?

  23. I also have been having this same problem for over six months with my new iMac desktop. I have tried in both Safari and Firefox to no avail, and now I can't seem to do any searches before getting sent to the sign up page. I called Ancestry support, and their only advice is to clean out the cookies and browser history. Odd thing though, I have NO problems searching on my older MacBook Pro using either Safari or Firefox. Unfortunately my Family Tree Program in on the iMac. Ancestry just doesn't seem to upgrade and support the newer browsers.

  24. I constantly experience the same thing on my ipad using both safari and google. Ancestry tells you to call them directly, but Im thinking that they just cant explain the problem. Ive cleared the cache and removed NO AVAIL. Ive paid for a full Ancestry membership for years and expect them to keep up with mainstream technologies. Not sure that I will be renewing if this is not corrected.

  25. I cant even add a person or type the name of a person without it logging me out, it automatically puts me at home person, family, then when I click pedigree it logs me out. Please tell me theres a way to fix the problem, I use a macbook pro, it's the only computer I'm able to use, I don't have access to another computer.

    1. What web browser are you using? If Safari, try downloading the Chrome browser as a work around.

  26. I have had this problem for several years, and it has become much worse in the past week. The bottom line is that Ancestry refuses to support Safari (read Apple). These 2 companies need to get past whatever political spat they are having with each other and grow up. We are consumers and they need to remember that we are their "bread and butter." I recommend writing and e-mailing the CEO's of both companies to express your displeasure. Oh, and the advice of the customer service representative today? "Switch to Firefox."

  27. I am constantly logged out all day long on When I called for support, I was told to switch to Firefox as well and I still get logged out. Not to mention, Firefox has it's own issues of freezing up. I have used IE, Google Chrome, and Firefox and I get logged out on everyone.

    The next call to support ended up with them telling me it was an issue with my computer, so I get out my old computer and guess what...same problem.

    Now comes the third call to support and this time I'm told it is an issue with my internet service. So I log off of my satellite internet and connect through my cell phone. Same issue....logged off every few minutes. So I go to a place in town that has free wifi and try it from there...same thing! Logged of at least once an hour!

    So I've completely given up on calling about the issue since they continually want to blame something other than their own website when it is clearly NOT any of the things they have told me.

    I've basically been watching and using more and more records from other sources.