This is a public Announcement Board  public

Announcement

    CaraL
    Heads Up: Retiring Services
    Announcement posted June 5, 2014 by CaraLLevel 5, last edited June 5, 2014, tagged Announcement 
    12894 Views, 102 Comments
    Title:
    Heads Up: Retiring Services
    Announcement:

    Good Morning Folks -

    We will be focusing our efforts on our core offerings and will retire MyFamily, MyCanvas, Genealogy.com, Mundia and the Y-DNA and mtDNA tests effective September 5th.

    You can read more from our EVP of Product, Eric Shoup here

    Cheers, 

    CaraL
    Support Community Manager

    Comments Are Closed

    • Bill H

      Cara,

      Can you tell us what, if any, report/chart options will be provided in the absence of MyCanvas?

      I know there is the FTM product, but not everyone wants or can afford it, so it seems like Ancestry should provide at least some of the basic genealogical charts and reports functions.

      Bill

      • BethieG

        MyFamily was a lot less expensive. Genealogy.com had images of records that were of far better quality. I mentioned on another discussion that I found images of census records that have never appeared on Ancestry.com. It seems, like everything else, the higher the fees, the less you get.

        • Robert Goya LaCourse

          They are becoming money grabbers now That are the worst They bought up everything and now thet are shutting if all done

        • Marcia DeHaven

          I looked in the 1940 Census for the military and could not locate it.  I was able to find it at another site.  I called ancestry and they couldn't help me - but lo and behold I did find it myself and located my ancestor. 

    • CaraL

      Hi Bill - 

      Thanks for your question. I am not currently aware of plans to develop additional reporting or charting capabilities within Ancestry.com. A great suggestion for our feedback form at the moment, Bill. 

      Cheers, 
      CaraL
      Support Community Manager

    • Cheryl Dynan

      What will happen to all of the files/records/photos stored on the MyFamily sites?

    • CaraL

      Cheryl, 

      Great question. 

      You will be able to export most group content from your active group site on MyFamily. To safely and securely download your data, please log in to your MyFamily group site and request an export by clicking on the orange “Export Now” button located at the top of the page. Once the export has been requested, our export tool will create an electronic package of your content and email you a link that can be used to download the files to your personal computer.

      The content will be exported into .zip folders which contain files appropriate for the given content. For example, photos will be exported as .jpeg files, videos will be exported in the file format used to upload them, and discussion details will be exported as .txt files.

      Cheers, 

      CaraL
      Support Community Manager

      • Shirley Moore

        re: My family sites

        Is this a theory?  Or, have you actually seen this work as fact?

        The reason I ask is that the downloads, so far, have only given jpg's and videos, and not even with the actual file name attached! What a mess that is!

        There has been nothing provided, as yet, to get the files from the file cabinet, history, the comments, recipes, or news.   Do you have them coming?  Or, should we all have started a year ago pulling them down one piece at a time, and saving our comments into a word doc?

         

        • Bonita Hillmer

          Don't they give you a GEDCOM file?  A GEDCOM can be imported into a new program ... on your computer or uploaded to Ancestry.com ... I don't think they are killing them ... are they?

          • Shirley Moore

            Bonita, a "myfamily" site has pictures, documents, recipes, files, journals, wills, vital records, and ALL the comments about, explanations of, and identification of the previous.  Instead of constantly attaching several items to emails day in and out for people as they work on related genealogy, these items are posted to a "family" site, that is only accessible to people of ones choosing. 

            In my case, someone had to be able to show me the likelihood that they most likely shared an ancestor with me before I would invite them to see the information the site held.  We did this because we also shared information and photos of living persons. 

            The gedcom file pertains to data from a genealogy software program that is shared.

            • Susan Dowell

              I am with Shirley in are we going to see all these things. All our important History files, Cabinet files etc.?

              Pictures with long numbers attached to them, seriously Ancestry.

              This simply will not do. We have "YEARS" of photo's and data that would take months just to apply all the photo description's and other details. I felt as if I had been punched in the stomach when I opened the files only to see nothing except 1 file with pictures and numbers...sad sad sad.

      • Robin Rokey

        Regarding the export of text and commentaries in .txt files, I just received this E-mail from Dan of Member Solutions:

        Thank you for contacting MyFamily.com in regard to exporting of the text information from your MyFamily site.
         
        The export of comments on the photos, text files, history, discussions, and news are not included with the export at this time.  This has been presented to our developers to look into, but we have not received any update on this yet.
         
        If you need additional assistance, please feel free to reply to this message or contact us by phone at 1-888-265-7491 from 9AM to 4PM MST, Monday through Friday.
         
        Dan
        Member Solutions
        MyFamily.com

        This contradictions what CaraL said on June 5, 2014 (see above). What next? These texts and commentaries contain a lot of precious memories, many of them written by relatives who are now deceased. We had between 30 and 40 family members die during the 11.5 years of our MyFamily.com site. This is starting to feel like our house has burned down, completely destroying all of our personal effects. How can you trivialize our lives like this? It's just one deception after another. I am heartbroken!

        You'd have to be extremely foolish to start any project or stick with ancestry.com after this mess. I'm sorry, but this is an outrage!

        • Susan Dowell

          At least the Name associated with the picture, date taken, description. With all the technology their must be something that can be done. We have hundreds of pictures on our site. There is just not enough time to go through each one needing to have two windows open to go back and forth to get all the pertinent information on to each one. It is very heartbreaking.

          • Bonita Hillmer

            Sure seems at the very least they could allow printing of the picture WITH the information you put on it.  I have not used MyFamily but I have scanned all my pictures and put the information regarding who, when, where on the front of each photo.  We put them all on a USB stick and loaded them into those pictureframes that scroll through all the pictures on the USB Stick ... a nice present for the elderly.

            Not ideal but pulling up each picture along with description and doing a screen print or print to PDF file would at least capture the data.  Screen prints do not have the dpi detail normally needed but it is better than nothing when you have lots of pictures.  Actually, why can't they Zip everything in your MyFamily and have it ready for download?  Seems like it would be less drag on the servers.

            I wonder if they would transfer the MyFamily information over to an Ancestry.com 'tree'.??   

             

            Bonita

    • Bonita Hillmer

      I am VERY upset with the retiring of the Y-DNA and mtDNA services.   I personally paid a lot of money to have my male relatives to do Y-DNA test to help in my research.  I also did the mtDNA test.  The Y-DNA has been extremely helpful ... the autosomal and mtDNA have been no help at all ... in fact, they have just sent me off on wild-goose chases with negative results.   I am part of a large Surname Y-DNA Study and over the last year several more have been located as they did the Y-DNA through you only to find they were a match to our Study.

      You bought up other services like Sorenson SMGF so we can no longer use them ... and their spinoff which did allow for matching.

      As a member of Ancestry.com since it's inception I have seen you absorb all your competition.  I felt comfortable doing all my VERY EXPENSIVE testing through you as I felt you would be around for a long time .... now to see you no longer staying with your implied promise to be able to search and find matches as part of the service when we paid ... up to $250 for testing.  I am sure places like FamilyTreeDNA will gladly accept us IF we pay to upgrade our testing ... or maybe not.   I can not believe you are actually doing this to your loyal customers!!!

      I am now questioning if I want to continue my 20+ year subscription to your World services.

       

      Bonita

    • Bill H

      Cara,

      It seems that further clarification is needed in regard to retiring y-DNA and mt-DNA. I don't have either on here so I'm not familiar with what tools and matching are available that differ from the Autosomal tests. So my question is, are you only discontinuing selling the tests or are you eliminating all maintenance and tools associated with the results already obtained?

      Bill

      • Liz Crane

        There are links to FAQ's attached to the announcement Cara linked to--long story short sounds like it's totally going away, if you want to do anything with your y-DNA or mt-DNA data you will need to download your results before 9/5 otherwise you won't be able to access them anymore

        http://www.ancestry.com/cs/faq/legacy-dna-faq

        • CaraL

          Liz is, as usual, correct. 

          Cheers, 

          CaraL
          Support Community Manager

          • Bonita Hillmer

            FamilyTreeDNA is charging $19 to transfer the results to their site but they will not match with any of theirs unless you upgrade.  The problem with mine is that the 3 males who submitted the DNA samples are no longer available to do an upgrade.   I am not sure what the transfer will buy one if they are not going to provide matches.

            DNAAncestry.com has really put it to use ... they eliminated the competition (Relative Genetics, Sorenson, etc.) and now they are eliminating the Y-DNA which most of us would rather use for specific lines.   I did the Autosomal test but it was useless ... at least to me.   I get lots of people who say they are 'cousins' but I can not find anything in common ... names or locations.

            Bonita

            • Higgins162

              If you have your raw data you can upload it to GEDMATCH.com.  A free site that will find matches.  I don't know if Ancestry provides such data since I use a different service.

    • Mary Margret Pharis

      Concerning MyFamily

      Just downloaded the first MyFamily content export file and I'm very disappointed. In the email dated 6/5/2014, you advertised that the export would "keep the family memories you've gathered". Not only is the export just photos (no comments, no discussions, no calendar, etc.), but it is only 38% of the photos posted on the site; a very poor showing of all the content collected on my pages. What gives?

       

       

      • Francis Bill

        You need to have all the downloaded files in the same folder. If you have windows 7 then all files will be in the download folder. The next step is to run the zip file. thes also opens the z01 z02 ECT files. Once you have run the zip file then you need to unzip all files from within the zip file. 

    • rebecca wilson

      My exported files from myfamily.com seem nearly unusable. I was unable to open one at all (did not have a ZIP extension); a second would not allow files to be extracted; a third, for a different site, contained only photos and no text.  Any hope for better exports?

    • Bonita Hillmer

      Two items ... I don't have MyFamily but I wonder if you tried downloading each line separately ... if possible?

       

      2nd I am beginning to think we need to start a call and complain campaign ...

      • rebecca wilson

        Thanks -- I've tried downloading every which way possible and have used a few different softwares on both Mac and PC. Hope to get some response here or to the emails I've sent.  

         

    • Andrea Fisher

      Caral,

      I went to the link provided to download the Y-DNA information we have, but the link isn't functioning.  I noticed that there had been a problem earlier, and that the link was supposed to have been fixed, but it's not operational.  Any suggestions?

       

      Thanks,

      Andrea

      • RebeccaR

        Hi Andrea,

        If you go to your Y-DNA and mtDNA home page, directly below "My Tests" section, on the right hand side, there should be a "Download all Y results" button. Let me know if you have trouble finding it.

        Thanks,

        Rebecca R.

        Community Moderator

    • Mary Margret Pharis
      • Caral,

        I'm posting this again because it seems to have been ignored the first time. Please comment.

        Concerning MyFamily

        Just downloaded the first MyFamily content export file and I'm very disappointed. In the email dated 6/5/2014, you advertised that the export would "keep the family memories you've gathered". Not only is the export just photos (no comments, no discussions, no calendar, etc.), but it is only 38% of the photos posted on the site; a very poor showing of all the content collected on my pages. What gives?

       

      • Bonita Hillmer

        I would definitely contact them by telephone.  I do not use MyFamily but if the download is this incomplete then perhaps there are some settings or different procedure to get them all.

         

         

      • RebeccaR

        Hi Mary,

        It sounds like not all of the download items in the export were successfully downloaded. Because of the overwhelming response we've received in regards to exports, it may take longer than expected. Please make sure each of the exports has finished downloading and let me know if you continue to have issues.

        Thanks,

        Rebecca R.

        Community Moderator

        • Mary Margret Pharis

          All items were successfully downloaded... twice... with the same results. Time was not a problem. The actual download was not a problem. The minuscule amount of data is the problem.

          It sounds like Ancestry was totally unprepared when they made this announcement and needs to be realistic about how they are handling the shut down. They know how many myFamily sites are out there so there's no way they should be overwhelmed. Did they think we were going to just lose all the family data we worked so hard to compile?

    • Shirley Moore

      I have read several places, including Eric Shoup's article linked above, about Ancestry focusing on "core services".  But, I have not seen the definition of  "core services" , nor how ancestry hopes to improve them. 

      I do know from having full world access to ancestry for many years, that I cannot use the search engine anymore to consistently access information which I know to be on the site, and have previously accessed.  There are way too many steps involved to arrive at some of the most basic information, and this causes me increased angst.  For the past several years now, we are expecting to see "great improvements", only to find that none of our concerns have been addressed or resolved, but garble-de-gook is becoming more prevalent. 

      It is wise to realize, I would agree, that the up and coming researchers will not have the same abilities and focus which those of us over 45 might have, but I do think it would be worth the while to bring them into the "art" of research with proper "upbringing" and techniques.  Trying to make genealogy a social engagement,  and instant gratification is unnecessary...it will arrive, in time, on its own, if done properly.  This business of connecting to "leaves" looks to me to have created nothing more than lots of trees that are incorrect just so someone can say they have "done" their genealogty back to "whomever", "whenever". 

      The younger generation already has a problem with attention span, let's not be complicating something that should bring a great deal of satisfaction down to the level of worthless drivel !  The journey is the joy!

       

       

      • Bonita Hillmer

        I do agree about the search problems.  I have found that especially with state vital records, I have to go to Google, search for vital records for a specific state and suddenly there is a link back to Ancestry.com to search for the state records.  At first I thought I was not being clear on where to search so I put in all the information contained on the state result, even misspelling, and it did not find anything.

        I also complained that after selecting BIRTH and a tab to the next field takes you to the options for the given name rather than the date field.  In fact, I called about it and the customer service said that was not a problem and they would not fix it.   Needless to say, I was not too pleasant after that to her.

      • Clare

        Thank you, I agree completely.  It seems the "worthless drivel" often times out shines the "meaningful"  and correct data needed to research properly.  The search no longer seems to be top priority only the collection of information right or wrong seems to be relevant.

        Worthless streams of data is worse than no data at all. 

         

    • Elizabeth Martin

      Dear Ancestry.com,

       

      I have been a World member for the last 5 years and have been planning on renewing not only the world membership, but also the one for the American Civil War records at an additional cost.  I do understand where the money is going...to hire people to scan in and categorize the uploads.  However, being a World member, I am very disappointed that I must purchase a $40 program for publishing and working with my trees.  I have two masters degrees and I always believe on going to primary sites to obtain data.  I have been hearing some bad posts that not all the information in your trees are copied and placed into the Family Tree Maker program.  I believe that there should be some perks for those members who have been paying the $300 a year for a free program to work on publishing and sharing your trees.  It took me 4 years to get one of my branches complete and getting it ready to be published through my canvas.  I purchased the book for $120. Now, receiving the news about loosing MyCanvas, I am panicking because I am going to loose the book I worked on for the last 4 years.  What happens if after September someone wants a copy?  Is there anyway that we can download that file even to a pdf?  It is like writing two thesis and your hard drive crashing and you loose all your data.  

      I am not mad, I am just very disappointed with this change.  I understand that you have grown and that is a great thing.  However, people should be grandfathered in and have the Family Tree Maker software given to us for free.  It is a minor cost to you for all the money we give you for our support and loyalty to the company that is doing great work.  I would not have been able to update our family tree from 1986 when my grandfather did it, to now with the resources you provide without this website.  I believe that if you provide the program to your members who have been loyal and have spent a lot of money supporting you in your endeavors, providing the Family Tree Maker program for free will keep people here as members.  As the saying goes, if something is good, you never hear anything about it.  However, when you have one disappointed customer, that person tells another and another and another, etc.  Just something to think about.

      Elizabeth

      • Mary Hamley

        Elizabeth, I hope this will help you some way.  I posted it on Facebook.

        I posted the following on the blog page at Ancestry, but am copying it here, in case it helps other people try to find another way to proceed:

        I am still stunned that you are only giving us 3 months to find another way to try to recover (and RECREATE)
        all of our projects! Just one book alone that we made took almost a year, and we’ve created 4 books (with another 2 on order from a customer) which has resulted in almost 50 copies being ordered by family members over the last 3 years.

        So, that being said, I hope some of these ideas I’ve jotted down will help other people “find another way”:

        Emergency ideas on how to save your book projects from MyCanvas.

        These are just some quick ideas on what we will be doing in the next 3 months, so we don’t loose all the work we’ve done! The ultimate solution would be for Ancestry NOT to discontinue our access to our own projects; or for them to offer the printing service to competitors and let them continue using Ancestry’s software and access to our projects; or even for them to sell the MyCanvas software to us like they do with Family Tree Maker, which would allow us to save our projects on our own computers!

        Other printing companies can print your projects (but you’ll have to start from scratch), and we are currently investigating some of them. One of them, Mixbook, was rated the highest at the following site, but a standard 250 page 11×8.5 book would cost about $270.00, roughly $100 more than the books created by MyCanvas. See these reviews: http://photo-book-review.toptenreviews.com/

        You should begin by printing the pages of your MyCanvas book(s) to your computer to use as a reference, and to prevent loss of your original layout ideas. You can print 5 pages at a time. You need to be able to print to a PDF creator software (like the free download of “doPDF7″) and set it up as your default printer. Go into that printers preferences and set it up to be the default, print letter size, landscape oriented, or however you’ve set up your project in MyCanvas, and select the dpi high.

        If you print at “Normal Quality”, regardless of the dpi setting you choose for your printer preferences, the images will come out blurry. The biggest issue with NOT stopping right here (and using those PDFs to print your book) is that the PDFs are VERY poor quality compared to the pages printed by MyCanvas in their final book format. See the blog about printing quality here: http://help.mycanvas.com/?p=81

        If you print at “Higher Quality”, you will end up will all the text box margins displayed, but no embellishments. However, the biggest asset to doing this will allow you to save the whole page as a clearer PDF which can be converted to a JPG, that can then be uploaded to new software.

        Now start saving your project page by page by creating folders on your computer. Each project should have its own folder (ie: Smith Family History Book; Handerly Famly Poster); each page (or each chapter) could have its own sub-folder, for example if you title a folder “Page 1″, you can place all the photos and text for all the items you’ve uploaded (for that page in your current MyCanvas project) into that folder.

        All text can be copy/pasted by using the following steps: click on element; highlight all; right click; select “copy”; open Word (or other editor); right click; select “paste”

        All photos (including Ancestry.com images of original documents) you’ve uploaded to your project should already be on your computer, or uploaded to Ancestry, or downloaded to Family Tree Maker. You can not copy and save the photos from the MyCanvas ‘editor mode’, so you will need to find where you originally got them, and reorganize them into folders as described above.

        Basic charts and reports can be created in Family Tree Maker. Those charts can be saved as JPGs, which can be uploaded to the new printer software, and photos/embellishments can then be added.

        Again, this is NOT the ideal way to handle this issue, but if the big-wigs at Ancestry continue this path of not keeping the customer in mind, as well as, focusing on the bottom line and higher profitability (I believe they called it focusing on “core offerings”), then this might be our only chance at saving all the MONTHS AND MONTHS of hard work!


        Mary

        • Elizabeth Martin

          thank you.  I will try this.  I am so disappointed, I cannot even express it in words.  I guess I will have to find a "template" I like and use that which will be compatible with another publishing company that I can control.  All that work, all that time.  4 years of my life doing just one book and I was just going to start my father's maternal side next.  Just feel defeated by ancestry.com's decision to discontinue MyCanvas.  I bought My Family software to see on how much info interfaces with ancestry.com since they created the software.  If it doesn't work, I don't know what I am going to do.  I don't have another few months to do all the work of saving the document like you said, but guess what..... I certainly will have to make time.

          Again, thank you for the advice.

          Elizabeth

        • Kim Buchanan

          thank you so much, Mary!!!

           

    • Wilma Lepore

      How can I find out which DNA test I took?

      Thanks!

      Wilma

      • Liz Crane

        Most likely you took the autosomal test which is the one that's not going anywhere.  If you took the test fairly recently (last year or two) and it came with both ethnicity results and a list of matches that's the autosomal test so you have nothing to worry about.

    • Bonita Hillmer

      after you login, click on DNA, then select Y-DNA and mtDNA Tests, it will then show the name of the person on the test.  If you have more than one test, click on "MY TESTS" in the upper right.  To download, click on the name of the person on each test, then click on DOWNLOAD

      • Leslie Moore

         Sorry to be so dense - but please indulge me :-)  If I click on DNA and it doesn't list either of those two specific tests, but just says "View your DNA Results" - it means I have the autosomal test... correct?  Thank you.

        • Liz Crane

          Yes, you should have the autosomal test.  Just to verify--do you see two buttons on the page, one to view ethnicity and one to view matches?  If so that's definitely the autosomal test.  It's the one Ancestry's been marketing the most heavily for the last year or two so if you took the test recently that's quite likely what you took anyway (they did offer the other two up until recently, but you typically had to go hunting around to find out where to order, etc)

          • Leslie Moore

             Yes - on the left I see "See Full Ethnicity Estimate" and on the right I see "See Matches" - it's been a couple of years since I did the test, so wasn't quite sure.  Thank you again.

    • Clare

      I am extremely dissappointed by the announcement that My Canvas is going away.  I have spent numerous hours, days, weeks, years working on a family history thru My Canvas.  There is no way for me to finish the project by September.  I have tried using the Family Tree software to produce a family history story, but it is very poor substitute.  I was looking forward to providing the special gift of family history to others in the family.  Now that will not happen.  My project was/is a total waste of time and effort.

      I have been researching family history long before there was an Ancestry website.  My major reason for continuing with an Ancestry membership was the My Canvas product.  I think it will be more satisfying to return to tried and true manual research using other means than Ancestry.

    • Clare

      My Canvas cannot be used from a mobile device, and my guess is that's the reason it is going to be trashed.  

      Ancestry's focus has changed to garner the fun social aspect of the marketplace today.  Good solid research resulting in quality data has gone by the wayside in favor of lots of info as quickly as possible without any thought or effort.  What a shame when the hunt and ferreting out long forgotten tidbits makes for a much more satisfying journey into the past.  

      Too bad, that the great resources of MyFamily and Genealogy.com will be silenced.  Fewer resources mean less valuable data and even fewer ways to vet that data.  Greatly disappointed, worried about what's next on the chopping block.  I plan to be more circumspect about what I make available to Ancestry in the future.

      • Shirley Moore

        Clare Reyn wrote- "Ancestry's focus has changed to garner the fun social aspect of the marketplace today."

        I think you have the most likely answer, Clare!  We all should have known when they were working on the Beta MyFamily sites, and  introducing the "leaves".  These were the social sites, quick solutions, and the beginning of the "transformation" of how we do, and ultimately lose our family history. 

        And, perhaps they have additionally crawled into bed with something even worse. Whatever..... quality research and quality time spent on it, will most likely no longer be the focus of their company, otherwise we would have seen improvements in the searches instead of a constant decline in the quality of results provided.

        Would be nice if someone who had some idea of what genealogy encompassed would buy it !

    • Robin Rokey

      Hi! I'm Rob. I've been the administrator of a large family website on MyFamily.com for the entire 11.5 years of our site’s existence. We had 180+ members, 5,000+ photos, and 250,000+ words of commentary, history, etc. O.K., that last figure is just a guess, but trust me, there’s a lot.

       

      There have been many problems over the years at MyFam, the worst being the chronically busted new-content E-mail notifications, which were unreliable from Day 1. Most of our fam’s site members are getting up there in age, so their computer literacy isn’t exactly stellar. As a result, they became very dependent on the E-mail notifications when they were working. Clicking on E-mail links was their preferred way of accessing the site. When those links weren’t being delivered, and they often weren’t, most of these members simply stayed away from the site.

       

      But log-in problems weren’t all that much fun either. Even when members wrote down their passwords or when I gave them new ones, they often could NOT access the site. After so many years, I stopped fretting over it. But our site traffic steadily plummeted as a result of these two problems.

       

      You can imagine how much I wanted to divorce MyFam, as I watched family traffic diminish year by year, but our site was simply too large to contemplate recreating the entire thing elsewhere. That was unthinkable! Now, as it turns out, we’re faced with doing that anyway.

       

      I share the sadness and frustration many of you have expressed regarding this news of MyFam’s retirement. I thought we were creating family scrapbooks with some degree of permanence---something that would last at least until I “shuffle off this mortal coil.” I should have known better. Hundreds (seems more like thousands) of hours of creating graphics and a welcoming atmosphere down the drain!

       

      I’m trying now to preserve the site as much as possible. I could not get HTTrack Website Copier to work because MyFamily.com is a password-protected site. Evidently, changing my browser’s proxy (or something like that) is required. Too complicated and too risky. If someone out there could recommend some other web-copying software that works easily, please let us know.

       

      The problem is that immediately after the June 5, 2014, notice of MyFam’s retirement, our family website went blooey. Fonts are all different crazy sizes, graphics all screwed up. I’m scrambling to preserve as much as possible page by page (using Google Chrome’s “save as .html” feature), but the 3-month grace period MyFam’s notice promised turned out to be only a few hours or so.

       

      I clicked on the “Export” button, of course. So far, I have received 5,399 photos, so that sounds about right. None have their original file names, however; rather, MyFam simply numbered the files, making the photo archive an unsearchable mess. No worries, I archived them as I went anyway.

       

      But I’m still waiting for the text they promised to export. It’s been more than 48 hours since I clicked on the “Export” button. Way more. Plus no one responds to my E-mails. I called them, but the agent merely talked, didn’t listen. I wasn’t complaining either. My main goal right now is not to complain, believe it or not. It is to preserve the site, IF POSSIBLE.

       

      If MyFam fulfills its promise to send me all text and commentaries from our site, it will immediately become searchable in a word processor or in Windows Explorer (or any other file manager). That’s a good thing, because only the photo and article titles were searchable on the website itself. I’ve often wanted to retrieve some “gem” of a comment I made under some photo but cannot remember the exact photo, and with over 5,000 photos to search through---well, you get the picture. I tried to make sure all first names of photo subjects were in the photo titles for that reason. I created albums for each family in our large extended family. That imparted some order and searchability to the site. But, like I said, I’m still waiting for MyFam to export the text and commentaries to me. Surely, they’re not going to foul that up too, are they?

       

      What we need is some sort of interactive family scrapbooking software that is created, stored, and permanently backed up on our own hard drives but that simultaneously can be stored, displayed and shared on the cloud as we add to it on a daily basis. If our domain host goes under, then we can simply move the entire site (as is!) to another domain. Or buy our own domain. Is there such software out there?

       

      Despite all my grousing, I’m trying to maintain a positive perspective on this frustrating development and see it as an opportunity. One thing I’ve learned: I will never re-create the family website on another host’s domain unless I have assurances that it will be movable to another domain and will stay intact when it lands there. Rather, our family intends now to stay in contact via E-mail, YouTube, Facebook, etc. There will no longer be one central hub. So I hope our chronic access problems are OVER. If they are, that would be another extremely positive development. Also, this looser structure will take some of the administrative burden off of me.

       

      Finally, I do believe MyFam owes us more than a mere pro rata discount for 2014. My family spent well over $1,000 during the last 11.5 years paying annual dues because we were under the delusion we were creating a family scrapbook that would be permanent. If we end up losing all of our text too, then what were those 11.5 years worth? Not a plug nickel, I would say.

      • Elizabeth Martin

        I feel for you.  I have only been working on ancestry.com and in the last four years of my membership, I have spent $1200 and now mycanvas.com is going away.  I had to buy the My Family Tree software from ancestry.com and I certainly hope it "syncs" like it says it does.  If not, I will cry.  I planned on doing this with my family for the rest of my life as well as the technology and documents came available.  What to do?  Hang on in there....you are not the only one disappointed about things changing and given a short amount of time to figure out how to get your information saved.  Seems like our pleas are going unnoticed and ignored unfortunately.

    • trent wessling

      at the present time what are your core offerings so that we may know if it is worth continuing with ancestry

    • Shirley Rankin

      MyCanvas is an excellent product that works perfectly well with Ancestry.com. Why you would want to discontinue this service is a mystery to me.

      I have used MyCanvas to create books and posters. It's an easy-to-use program and I don't see any reason to discontinue it. If you are not interested in it's use, why not outsource it to another company to manage? I have looked at other online book publishing services and none of them are as easy to use as MyCanvas. I have been in contact with others in the genealogy community, and many agree that this program should remain until there is something comparable to replace it.

      The idea of using "Story View" as a substitute is ridiculous. There is no comparison between the quality of a MyCanvas book and "Story View." And what about people that don't use computers? If you are paying more attention to the "bean counters" than your loyal customer base, then you are way off the mark. I have heard discussions just today that many are wondering what other heavy-handed  moves you will be making, and some have suggested that maybe Ancestry is not a company that cares about it's clientele.

      I sincerely hope that you will give this issue a second look and consider the input of the genealogical community.

      Thank you.

      • Sandi Gieson

        I agree "Story View" is not a substitute. When I have opened it on some of my people, it puts wrong information in the story.  I have had instances where it pulls the information for a different person into this person's story.  

        I certainly hope that by dropping support for some features they will improve others, notably the search features and the ability to copy sources and citations from one person or tree to another.

         

         

         

        • Peggy Spencer

          I received two eamils that my export was ready to download on 6-10-14.  I was on vacation at the time.  Came home on 6-15-14 and cannot download.  Get " This web page not available".  Also have not been able to pull up the myfamily site at all.  Get "Oops! Google Chrome could not connect to www.myfamily.com"

          What's up with that?  The message I received initially stated that the site would be available till Sep?  Can anyone else get on their site?  

           

        • Inez Calley

          I agree with Sandi, why don't you give up on "Story View" and concentrate  your efforts on MY Canvas.  Why would I want to continue my Searches if I don't have a method to pass on my content, i.e. docs, family stories, old family pictures etc if we just hand pieces here and pieces there it will end up in family trunks... maybe. frown

      • Rebecca Buck

        I completely agree, Shirley.  For all of the faithful customers who have invested hundreds of hours into our trees and our projects on mycanvas deserve a replacement or more time to complete our projects.  Three months is unacceptable and unrealistic for the scope of work these projects involve.

        I hope the executives at Ancestry look at the many comments of frustration from their loyal customers and change the poor decision they have made and give us more time with mycanvas, or at least the opportunity to purchase the service.