Thursday, June 27, 2013


((If you are an subscriber you have received an email today 
announcing several changes to how our searches will function. Among them is
the end of Old Search. I tried New Search a few years back and disliked it. It
was frustrating to use and seemed to me to violate the "Keep It Simple" ideal
that makes it easier for me to deal with the internet. At any rate, Ancestry claims
only 2% of researchers use Old Search, yet it seems that many of my genealogy
friends are among that minority. So I'm speaking out on my displeasure with this
change in hopes others will add their voices.

I know change is inevitable, but as people often say, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".

Here's my post from May 27th 2011 on the subject:))

It had been a really nice day, blessed with nice weather and a pleasant walk
in the woods. After I spent a few hours watching tv I settled in for sometime
working on a collateral line of my family, the Barrows. I was adding the
siblings of my 6x greatgrandfather Moses Barrows to my tree
with information from the book The Ancestors & Descendants of Asa
Freeman Ellingwood and Florilla (Dunham) Ellingwood
and then searching
Ancestry for records. I'd entered Samuel Barrows, then clicked on "search
rewcords"....and my pleasant day came to a screeching halt.

I was on the "new search" screen.

I don't like the "new search" screen. Not at all.

I looked in vain for the "use old search" link which I'd clicked on back when
"new search" was first introduced and continued using the "old search" right
up to this evening. Could Ancestry have decided to move everyone onto the
"new search" much in the same way Facebook handles such matters?

Speaking of which, I had Facebook up in another tab on Firefox. I made the
comment that "I hate  Ancestry "new search". Just saying" and several people
commented back that they agreed with me. A discussion started and Tina
Sansone helped me figure out how to get back to "old search". Phew! Thanks,

What surprised me was that at this late hour of the day(it was actually early in
the morning, after 1am)six of my fellow genealogists immediately agreed that
they didn't like "new search"either. I thought it was just me, grumpy old fart
that I am, who found it cumbersome and tedious to navigate but apparently that
is not the case.(and I haven't heard yet from my fellow East Coasters who were
still slumbering peacefully in bed at the time).

Now I know Ancestry and Family Search (who also is moving to a new "improved"
search engine) feel the need to  refine their sites, but  somebody has to say it:
not all change is good.  All the filters and search fields just clutter up things, make
it more confusing and more frustrating for users like myself.  The beauty of the
"old search" is its simplicity.  The most relevant items are right there at the top.
I still dig through the succeeding pages but I like having some of the answers
right there at the start of the search.

If this makes me a genealogical old fuddyduddy , well then, so be it, I'll just
happily fud and dud along in "old search" while you younger more hip folks
use "new search" and more power to you!

Just stay off my lawn, you dang kids!


  1. Anonymous9:26 PM

    Change for the sake of change is not good at all. Really their 3% of people who use the old engine is skewed, OR folks don't realize they can use the old one. A blind test of people using both would be a good proof.

  2. Well that UFO post is mine too LOL! A great story Bill, and leave it to you to be the first to post OPINION about the Ancestry search engine issue.