20 August 2013

Can Ancestry.com Tell Us What the Changes Are?

Is it too much to ask Ancestry.com to indicate what is "new" about a database on their search page for that database?

This image is a screen shot of the "New records on Ancestry.com" that appeared on their main website at approximately 9:00 a.m. central time today. The underlined database is the one I searched.

It would be nice if the search page for these "updated" databases had a list of when updates had been made and briefly what those updates were (enhanced images, index improvements, additional records, etc.). It is a waste of time to be told a database is "new" or "updated" and then have no way to easily determine what is "new" or "updated" about this database.

I know this database is not completely new because when I searched it for my grandfather's brother the record indicated I had already linked it to his entry in my online tree at Ancestry.com. Here is the screen shot.

Readers will have to take my word that I didn't link the record two seconds before creating this post, but I assure you that I did not. I've not actually linked records to my tree in ages and only did it in preparation for a presentation. I don't usually bother with any linking of records to my "online tree."

It would make it easier for me to use the Ancestry.com site if the search page contained a brief description of what's been changed to a database when it's listed as "new" or "updated." This database is not new as I've used it before today. The changes do not need to be veiled in mystery or buried in a blog post on their website.

Of course, Ancestry.com knows I'll keep subscribing whether they make these changes or not.

And maybe that's part of the problem.


Andrew Hatchett said...

Ancestry has received many complaints about this over the years. Ancestry staff have, on more than one occasion, promised to try and do better... but they *NEVER* follow-thru on their promise.

If you check the Ancestry card catalog you will see this is merely an updated file- as is the Maryland file lower on the list.

If Ancestry updates a file then they should also update the "About This Database" section on that database's search page...

Note I said they SHOULD...but trust me, they won't

AncestralManor said...

The demographics of databases in general, and updates in particular, as a real hole in the Ancestry fabric.

AncestralManor said...

I am not a robot :)

Sharon Sergeant

Nancy said...

I'm in agreement with the plea for greater explanatory text re: Ancestry.com records update. I have an ancillary pet peeve which is the many " records" that have as a source the accumulated records of some other repository. There is no helpful info , no images of orig" docs. Nothing that I consider real evidence.