POLL: Good riddance or a sad farewell to Ancestry ‘Old Search’?


Ancestry.com has revealed that it is killing off its ‘old search’ tool.

Ancestry.com logo

Unexpectedly, this has caused quite a storm with those who favour the tool, with many taking to social media to vent their concerns.

American genealogist Randy Seaver swiftly carried out a comparative test of both ‘old’ and ‘new’ search and posted his results.

So, I thought I would do a quick poll, to see where you sit on the issue….

To be honest, I had been pretty oblivious to the switch from old to new until I saw a few tweets about it. ‘New Search’ arrived some time ago, and as I stare at so many sites that go under a re-design/upgrade, this would have just been another one that made a few design changes.

I remember the concerns regarding the changes that FamilySearch did to their site, and the anger every time Facebook ‘dares’ to change its site.

I can only assume that Ancestry made a change to its site because they felt they had a legitimate reason (remember, they are a business, and therefore have business reasons) to make the change, and I’m sure they believe that it will be an improvement, otherwise why spend the cash on doing it?

Whilst talking with the panel after last night’s What’s Up Genealogy? episode came off air, it was suggested that this change may well have been done to improve the notion of ‘connecting people’. Of course, connecting people is great for a genealogy site – doubt anyone would dispute that – and ‘connecting’ is a great way to get return visits, loyalty, and ultimately a subscription that means more developments and records can be added in future.

Take a look at the articles below which discuss the change, and let me know what you think in the poll and comments.

About Andrew Martin

+Andrew Martin is owner and lead writer for History Repeating and Family Tree UK. Genealogist, historian, writer, photographer and would-be archaeologist. He'd love a time machine, but worries that it might take all the fun out of it.
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5 Responses to POLL: Good riddance or a sad farewell to Ancestry ‘Old Search’?

  1. I belong in the camp that loves old search. I am not holding my breath over the change, but I am not a fan of the new search. I also say this with recent knowledge of recently using new search. While earning my genealogical research certificate at BU we were told to use only the Ancestry library version (access was provided through BU) which only uses new search. I found new search equally as frustrating now as I did when they first introduced it. My opinion is that new search has lots of “bells & whistles” for the casual genealogist, as you say, it works well for those wishing to make connections. It is just very difficult for those of us who aren’t interested in ratings and Ancestry’s match algorithms.

    • I guess they’ve got the hard task of trying to provide the data to the genealogists/family historians that they’ve grown up and developed with, whilst nurturing and luring the next wave of new-comer and curious users to become signed up members.

  2. Deborah Skillington says:

    I am not sure if I am on the old or new search how do I find out?

    • Hi Deborah, neither was i at first!

      To find out, visit your Ancestry.com/co.uk and click ‘Search’ in the site navigation. This will display a search form. Then look over to the far right of the screen, just underneath the navigation bar, and it’ll read ‘Go to ??? Search’. Whichever one it states, is the one you’re not currently using.

      Andrew

  3. Pingback: Poll shows 50% of respondents want Ancestry’s ‘old search’ to remain | History Repeating

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