Friday, May 27, 2011


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!


Sheri Fenley said...

Bill - Hey it's me Ms. Crankypants who hates the new search also. I know exactly what my problem is - I do not want to stop and take the time to learn a new way at ancestry. The way I use it and search it I can do with my eyes closed. I am so challenged when it comes to Unlearning my old ways.

Mike Bronner said...

I'll admit, I haven't used ancestry in some time, so I'm not familiar with the what now must be the new new new new search. :)

I'll give it a try over the next few days.

Linda McCauley said...

I have tried new search several times (I keep thinking I must be missing something) but I always switch back to old search. I can get to the same results much, much faster in old search and that is the bottom line for me. I can eventually find the same records using new search but I could put all that wasted time to much better use finding additional records through old search.

Greta Koehl said...

(OK, I'm finally catching up with my blog reading.) Couldn't agree more. I think that all of the tweaking you have to do to get New Search to be at all worthwhile takes way too much time. I know how to fiddle around with search parameters on Old Search just fine thanks - I want to define the search parameters myself rather than have them defined for me.

BDM said...

Agree. Agree. And from what I saw on FB, it's not just all fuds who dislike new "improved" changes. Rock on, duddy!
- Brenda

Heather Kuhn Roelker said...

I read your post and thought: I wonder if I will hate "new search"? Thinking that I had not used it yet. But I went to Ancestry and I had been using it for a long time without knowing it! What a nut. Anyway, I concur that it is a bit cumbersome. And I have to agree with Linda...I get the same search results no matter how I fiddle with it. I did find that hiding the advanced features does make it more similar to the "old search"...but not quite!

Carol said...

I see that Randy sorta likes the new search.

I however am with all you guys and gals, especially Linda and Ms. Crankpants. I don't want to spend the time to learn something new when what my old declining brain knows how to find what I want with the old one.

And, it this is part of the reason I no longer have a membership. That and THE Trip.

Here at the FHC SLC, I did take a lookie see, and yes, I believe they only allow the new version to be used. Thank goodness most of what I want to do here involves film, film, film and a few books.

(Side note, the new catalog at FHC does NOT function properly, and that comes right from the horses mouth, so, mmm, use the old one for a while yet. Better yet, try both, but you have been warned.)