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View Full Version : Re Ancestry old search v new search - please? UPDATE #38



Chrissie Smiff
06-03-13, 12:21
I am thinking of ringing Ancestry re new v old search shortly and wanted any suggestions please.

I am growing concerned that it won't be long before we lose the old search altogether. I have just discovered that even when you are on the old search page of births, marriages and deaths, when you click on whichever BMD you want it reverts to the new search anyway. Can I have a consensus of opinion please of how many hate the new search AND why? As I have no doubt they would ask what reason we hate it. I wanted to tell them that if they remove it altogether, or make it VERY hard by having to keep switching back all the time, they are likely to lose people to FMP. I didn't think it would work if I just said that I hated it. They wouldn't be concerned about losing one customer. If they thought that most OR many of the people on a genealogy web site hated it they might think again.

I wouldn't of course mention any names or web sites, just say that a genealogy web site that I belong to.

Richard
06-03-13, 12:25
Yes hate the new search and never use it. The old way works just fine for me, no complaints about it at all, so if it's not broke why fix it? They should keep both and give us the choice.

LaurenS1990
06-03-13, 12:39
I haven't noticed anything... maybe I've always been using the new search

Chrissie Smiff
06-03-13, 12:40
Thank you Richard:) Have you tried going today from the main BMD search page i.e.
http://search.ancestry.co.uk/oldsearch/rectype/vital/freebmd/bmd.aspx if you then choose your link it is taking me to the new search automatically. It has never done this before.

My old search links, including the census pages, have been reverting to the new link (which I understand from Ancestry is the default one) more and more often. Which has meant the usual plod to 'Search all records' when the link to the old search becomes visible. This has led me to think for some time that it will disappear altogether eventually. It now seems that it is likely to be sooner rather than later.

Can you tell me please why you hate the new search, as I'm sure they will ask me what people hate about it.

Chrissie Smiff
06-03-13, 12:41
As long as you are happy with the new search Lauren that's fine:)

margaretmarch
06-03-13, 12:55
I hate the new search because it doesn't generally give particularly relevant results. I find the old search is able to come up with more relevant stuff even if I put very little information for the search.
I haven't noticed it going by default to the new search recently but it does have periods when it does and that is irritating.
I guess the other reason I hate it is that I don't have the selection of where I want to look quite as readily available on new search as it is on old but that might just be a feature of familiarity to me rather than anything else.
I suppose it might be a nuisance to them having different pages to maintain and if they are monitoring the old search they may see that there are few people using it - even though we think we are a lot!
Good luck with getting them to keep it - if you want a petition signing let me know.
Margaret

Chrissie Smiff
06-03-13, 13:04
Thank you Margaret:) That is very useful amunition and more or less or what I have experienced. You have put it better than I could though:)
It may be of course that anyone joining since the new search began don't know any other way. So you could be right that there are many using it. I do know that there are many on GR who hate it as I remember seeing a thread on there.
I suppose it's worth a try anyway.

I have to go shortly and will leave it until I have had more opinions. I will be ringing them at some point though.

WendyPusey
06-03-13, 13:08
I never use the new search as I too don't think it gives me the relevant results. Often I only have a few pieces of information and it usually finds them much better than the new search does.

Chrissie Smiff
06-03-13, 13:11
Thank you Wendy:) That's what I find find too. It's good to hear that the problems others find with it are the same ones. It will give me something concrete to tell them.

angelina
06-03-13, 13:24
I use old search as the new search gives me too many irrelevant people and takes me ages to redefine the search parameters. old search is easy and quick. I prefer to choose which records i look at not have the computer do it for me especially as i know a bit now about how the names get mistranscribed.
why are they getting rid of it - surely cant be cost as its been there foryears.?
hope you succeed in keeping this old search facility going.

Val wish Id never started
06-03-13, 13:25
I did hate the new search too but now find I much prefer it, and only use the old one when trying to find a census by Reference, but I mostly use Ancestry records through my tree on there , and hardly ever for finding anybody else ,whether that makes a difference or not I dont know.
Be interested to see what they say Chrissie.

PeteW1959
06-03-13, 13:37
Some months ago I did a comparison between the two methods. I searched for 20 census records I knew were mistranscribed and hadn't had corrections attached. Of the 20, only 4 returned broadly similar results. 10 did not return the target record at all with the new search, although it was within the top few results of the old search, and the remaining 6 did return the target record, but it was several pages down.

I have even had a search with full name, year and place of birth, place of residence and spouse name bring up the record at the bottom of the 2nd page with 1 1/2 stars, with people with wrong first names, wrong year of birth and wrong spouse considered more relevant with 4 or more stars! Unfortunately I cant remember who I searched for so can't repeat it.

This new search seems to be 'dumbed down' and is aimed mainly at new researchers who don't really know their way around, and are likely to give up after 2 or 3 failed searches. More experienced researchers searching for hard to find records aren't going to gain anything from the new search; in fact we are losing functionality.

I would prefer to continue with Ancestry as they have the better record set, and I have made some very useful contacts, but what use is a record set you can't search properly!

Elaine ..Spain
06-03-13, 13:46
New search - hate it! I think it is particularly bad when you want to do a vague search, for example looking for someone on a census and want to use very minimal info. It just doesn't seem to work with the new search, far better with the old one.


I have just discovered that even when you are on the old search page of births, marriages and deaths, when you click on whichever BMD you want it reverts to the new search anyway.

Just tested that Chrissie and it's not happening for me. If I am on the old search I still get the old search boxes appear.



My old search links, including the census pages, have been reverting to the new link (which I understand from Ancestry is the default one) more and more often.
You've been helping Julie too much! :rotfl:

If someone - like Julie :) - uses the new search and provides a link to Ancestry is automatically goes to "new search mode". So if a member has posted a census image that you look at, unless you go through the process of changing back to the old search method then your next search, even if its a recovery of one of your own links, will come up using the new search. It's a pain.

Elaine ..Spain
06-03-13, 13:54
Interesting ... particularly some of the comments.

http://ancestryinsider.blogspot.com.es/2013/01/ancestrycom-rethinking-new-search.html

PeteW1959
06-03-13, 14:37
Interesting ... particularly some of the comments.

http://ancestryinsider.blogspot.com.es/2013/01/ancestrycom-rethinking-new-search.html

"The [new] search is also more resilient against mistakes in records, such as indexing errors or mistakes by record creators. A name can be misspelled. A birthplace can be misreported. New Search could often find these records."

No, it doesn't!

Personally I don't see what is wrong with the traditional wild card when performing fuzzy searches; most other search tools still use them to great effect, and it puts the researcher in control of how broad the search is, not some algorithm drawn up by a programmer with no experience of family history research. (I am not knocking programmers by the way; I am both a programmer and family history researcher).

I would still like to see the '?' in a search to replace a single character, so enabling a search for common mis-spellings. This would be particularily useful when the second or third character is often different and you can't use the '*' at the end.

Darksecretz
06-03-13, 14:49
eye eye.. someone rattling me chains!.. :Wink:

yes, I do use the new search and have done for as long as I can remember, I figured that if it was 'new' then at some point they will get rid of the 'old' search, so I might as well get used to it.. tbh I don't have much of a gripe about it, except like Val using it to do census ref searches, though I have had some limited success by going to the specific census ie: 1891 for England page and typing in the details there.

Janet in Yorkshire
06-03-13, 14:49
I don't like the new search. I've been researching for many years and so most of my queries are for "problem" people, often individuals where there is some degree of mis-information and so I want to use as wide parameters as possible and to enter as little information as possible.
Also, I want to be able to pull up a census image by its reference number - this is the mode I use when sharing information with fellow researchers.
If they start to remove the old search facility, then I shall probably not renew; I shall stick solely with FMP, to which I also subscribe and always use for BMD anyway. I shall store up any requests I have for the other aspects of Ancestry, and go to the public library, which is almost next door to the supermarket I use.

Jay

Jay

Helen Henderson
06-03-13, 15:06
I only ever use the old search - the new one seems far too vague and difficult to pin down an individual. As for the star ratings, don't get me started - when I did use it I never seemed to be able to find what I was looking for. I much prefer the old systems way of listing results which lets me decide the most relevant ones.

herky
06-03-13, 15:27
I agree with all those who hate the new search and for the same reasons.
I just get far too many irrelevant results and it is more time consuming.
I can get a much better focus into exactly what I am looking with the old search and feel I have more control.
Fingers crossed we will not use the old search. If they value their customers they will respect our opinions!!!

Chrissie Smiff
06-03-13, 18:01
You've been helping Julie too much! :rotfl:

If someone - like Julie :) - uses the new search and provides a link to Ancestry is automatically goes to "new search mode". So if a member has posted a census image that you look at, unless you go through the process of changing back to the old search method then your next search, even if its a recovery of one of your own links, will come up using the new search. It's a pain.

That settles it Elaine - no more looking at other peoples links for me then lol:rotfl: No, actually it's happening from my favourites list.

Thanks everyone for your replies. It gives me some armour to tackle them with. It seems I'm not alone:)

Prairie Chicken
06-03-13, 19:46
I'm confused. I haven't noticed any difference in the searches. How 'old' is the 'new' search? I don't recall any major differences in the approximately four years I've been using Ancestry extensively. I did look at the link Chrissy posted in #4 and have never seen that page before. I've seen some minor changes but they appeared to be mostly cosmetic, and I noted the advent of the "Advanced Image Viewer". Most recently I see the "View Relationship to Me" has moved to directly below the individual's name above "edit this person" from a drop-down menu. For several months, when reviewing new information from a document to save to an individual, I've had an option of the look of the page. Recently I've gotten the message "Coming in March 2013 - Over the past few months we’ve been working on simplifying the way you add new discoveries to your tree. After getting your feedback and suggestions, we’re now ready to make these changes available to everyone. Be aware that in March 2013, these changes will be permanent." I strongly suspect your 'new' search will eventually and completely replace the 'old' one.

Are the searches you're talking about from the Search Records under the individuals name, or from the Search menu right at the top of the page?

Perhaps it's because I'm primarily using Ancestry.ca? Occasionally I will go to the .uk or .com sites if I'm following a link and see some minor differences but no major ones. Someone might want to check & see if you can circumvent their 'new' search by going to .ca or elsewhere.

I'd hate to think I missed something important all this time--either a better way to search OR that I was so dense I didn't notice a change. :(

PeteW1959
06-03-13, 20:49
The 'new' search is at least 5 years old now!

Chrissie Smiff
06-03-13, 21:15
Looking at Prairie Chicken's post it would seem that I'm probably too late:( IT would be nice if they had warned us though too.

Prairie Chicken
06-03-13, 21:22
Thanks Pete. At least I'm not THAT dense.

OC posted a link to another site that told me where to look for the Old Search. Now I'm having a look around it, and liking what I see, but I'm so familiar with the New Search I suspect I'll default to that one. Old may have it's uses though.

So, 'Old' Search is my 'New' Search. Oh dear ....

Prairie Chicken
06-03-13, 21:28
Chrissy, that warning pertains to the look of the page when adding info from a search--it's the new data from the search result vs what you already have for an individual. So don't give up hope yet! As far as I could see it's the look of that page only. It isn't the search screen/process.

I would have thought the Old Search would be long gone after five years, but if it's lasted this long, perhaps there's hope--especially if customers demand it.

Chrissie Smiff
06-03-13, 21:49
Thanlks again P C:) We'll see how I get on:)

grumpy
06-03-13, 22:13
I don't like new search either. Ask for a name and you get half a dozen or so of the correct name and hundreds of optional (but certainly half the time not relevant) names as well,

they just clutter up the screen.

Rainy
07-03-13, 03:53
Iv not seen the old search before this thread it seems to me to be more accurate eventhough your putting the same information.

Is there a way to use the old search all of the time ' like set it as a preferance or something' as mine automaticly goes to new search each time.

jenoco
07-03-13, 04:50
I no longer subscribe to Ancestry but use the Library Edition, with no access to the "old" search. I don't like the new search at all - it always produces too many options and often the record I'm looking for appears on the third page or later, even if I put in a specific year. I now use Ancestry as little as possible, but do have a subscription to FMP.

Elaine ..Spain
07-03-13, 08:55
Iv not seen the old search before this thread it seems to me to be more accurate eventhough your putting the same information.

Is there a way to use the old search all of the time ' like set it as a preferance or something' as mine automaticly goes to new search each time.

Once you go over to the old search it will remain there as default until you decide to change it, or until you look at a link which was created with the new search, in which case it will toggle to new. The secret is to create any saved favourites using the old search - so at least you have a better chance of staying with that!

Rainy
07-03-13, 09:05
Thanks Elain, ill re do my saved links in the old search :good:

Janet in Yorkshire
07-03-13, 10:05
I no longer subscribe to Ancestry but use the Library Edition, with no access to the "old" search. I don't like the new search at all - it always produces too many options and often the record I'm looking for appears on the third page or later, even if I put in a specific year. I now use Ancestry as little as possible, but do have a subscription to FMP.

I hadn't twigged that - just thought it was because it was the "library"edition with its own designated format! Well, I definitely get screwed up with frustration when I'm researching at the library - ALL those names ??? It's certainly a prime example of MORE is NOT good; LESS is BEST.

Jay

Chrissie Smiff
07-03-13, 10:57
Once you go over to the old search it will remain there as default until you decide to change it, or until you look at a link which was created with the new search, in which case it will toggle to new. The secret is to create any saved favourites using the old search - so at least you have a better chance of staying with that!

It doesn't quite work like that Elaine, not for me anyway.
I have had two links saved in my favourites of BMD's and census pages on the old search for as long as I can remember. However, every now and again, even going from my favourite links, it will go back to new. This has been happening more and more often lately. Could it affect my favourites link if I have looked at a link on here that was found with the new search?

This morning, when I got into a census page, it was telling you all about the new viewer as usual. But this time it said -
We’ve redesigned the image viewer and included interactive tools to help you understand the record you’re looking at. The current viewer will no longer be available after May 31st. Learn more (http://blogs.ancestry.com/uk/2013/01/29/interactive-image-viewer-coming-soon-to-more-collections/)

I wonder if the old search will also come under that deadline.

Elaine ..Spain
07-03-13, 11:30
It doesn't quite work like that Elaine, not for me anyway.
I have had two links saved in my favourites of BMD's and census pages on the old search for as long as I can remember. However, every now and again, even going from my favourite links, it will go back to new. This has been happening more and more often lately. Could it affect my favourites link if I have looked at a link on here that was found with the new search?

How strange because that's not happening for me. Looking at a link on here that has been found with the new search should not directly affect your favourite list - what it will do is to set your search method at the time to new and you will need to change it back.



This morning, when I got into a census page, it was telling you all about the new viewer as usual. But this time it said -
We’ve redesigned the image viewer and included interactive tools to help you understand the record you’re looking at. The current viewer will no longer be available after May 31st. Learn more (http://blogs.ancestry.com/uk/2013/01/29/interactive-image-viewer-coming-soon-to-more-collections/)

Haven't seen that yet - will take a look!

WendyPusey
07-03-13, 12:22
Seems we no longer have choices!!! I do not use the Advanced viewer, always switch back to the standard, and now I won't be able to do that!!:(

Chrissie Smiff
07-03-13, 12:30
I do too Wendy:) Mainly because, when I have looked at the new viewer on 1911, you have to download it before you can save it to your computer. With the old search you just click and save. Otherwise I don't mind it.

PeteW1959
07-03-13, 12:43
The new viewer is another example of a 'dumbed down' application, along with the 'suggestions' as you start filling in the search form. I get really annoyed when things start popping up all over the place, suggesting matches to my tree, or links to other records that may be the same person. Invariably they are wrong; just because they have a similar name doesn't mean they are related. I suppose this is why there are so many tress popping up with my ancestors in them who are not even remotely related to the root person, they have no more connection than a common name.

But I suppose Ancestry has to keep growing to make the business model work. There can't be many more 'proper' researchers out there for them to attract, so they have to shift the demograph of their client base and try to attract those who really can't be bothered with the hard work; they just want a tree and accuracy doesn't count for much.

Sorry folks, rant over, I'll shut up now :shut-mouth:

Chrissie Smiff
07-03-13, 13:08
Right - UPDATE - the deed is done:D
I spoke to a lovely lady with an Irish accent. Did everyone else know that the base was in Dublin now? I didn't.

Anyway, she was just as helpful as the Ancestry ones always are. She is passing our concerns to the technical department and they will e-mail me. I told her to tell them that I don't want one of those standard type replies that you often get from web sites asking what server you are using etc as we all used different servers etc and got the same results.
She said that she would make it quite clear that a large majority of us are concerned about whether we shall lose the old search facility and that we shall be very unhappy if we do.
She said that their technical department were very good and were always keen to know what people liked or disliked to help them in their decision making.

Well, I've done my best, let's hope it works. I shall come back and let you know the outcome when I get an e-mail from the technical department.

Janet in Yorkshire
07-03-13, 13:23
Chrissie, Thankyou so much for speaking out on our behalf, whatever the outcome.

Jay

herky
07-03-13, 13:31
Yes, thanks from me too - well done for taking the initiative.
Good luck.

Chrissie Smiff
07-03-13, 13:39
You're both very welcome:) Let's hope it does some good:)

Elaine ..Spain
07-03-13, 15:29
Well having said earlier that I wasn't really having a problem with things going to the new search, I have now found a link which only appears to be available in the "new search" format.

I am putting some notes together for something and was looking for a general link for the newly updated Lancashire parish records which have been recently added. Sometimes you find an introduction page which contains links and details of what is in the collection.

The only one I can find for the new Lancashire records is this one -
http://collections.ancestry.co.uk/search/UK/LancashireArchives?o_xid=51584&o_lid=51584&o_sch=Email
.. and that is most definitely in "new search" format! :(

Can anyone get to a similar general link which is in the "old search" format?

Val wish Id never started
07-03-13, 17:08
http://www.ancestry.co.uk/cs/reccol/default
think you will find this is it Elaine

If you click on the Lancashire records you are interested in you should get the old search

Chrissie Smiff
07-03-13, 17:17
Oh thank you Val:) That's another for my favourites:)

Val wish Id never started
07-03-13, 17:26
seems you have to go to new collections to find the old search ?

Elaine ..Spain
07-03-13, 18:22
http://www.ancestry.co.uk/cs/reccol/default
think you will find this is it Elaine

If you click on the Lancashire records you are interested in you should get the old search

Thanks Val, not what I am looking for I am afraid.
In the past when they have introduced a new dataset they have created an introductory page which has the links to all collections in the set

-a bit like this one for Dorset
http://www.ancestry.co.uk/dynamic/dorset

- and this one for Liverpool
http://www.ancestry.co.uk/liverpool

- and this one for London
http://www.ancestry.co.uk/uklma?o_xid=51256&o_lid=51256&o_sch=Email#furtherresearch

- and this one for Warwickshire
http://www.ancestry.co.uk/warwickshire

I want one for Lancashire! :D

Val wish Id never started
07-03-13, 20:04
http://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?rank=0&f2=lancashire&gskw=&f21=&f30=&f11=&rg_f10__date=&rs_f10__date=0&f26=&ctx=%2FMercury%2FPages%2FCardCatListBoolean.aspx&ccType=search&db=dbatitles&ti=5538&ti.si=0&gl=&gss=mp-dbatitles&gst=&so=3&_F0003A49-int=1
would this be better then Elaine ?

Elaine ..Spain
07-03-13, 20:19
Not really Val! :D

Please don't waste your time looking because I don't think pages like the ones I gave the links to in post 46 are available now.

What they seem to be doing is something like this ..

Lancashire
http://collections.ancestry.co.uk/search/UK/LancashireArchives?o_xid=51584&o_lid=51584&o_sch=Email

Manchester
http://collections.ancestry.co.uk/search/UK/ManchesterArchives

- but I don't like them because they have the "new search" look about them! :rotfl:

Val wish Id never started
07-03-13, 20:36
could get Chrissie to ask them ?:rotfl:

Elaine ..Spain
07-03-13, 20:40
could get Chrissie to ask them ?:rotfl:
Good idea Val! :)

Chrissie Smiff
07-03-13, 21:00
If I get chance to reply to the e-mail I will ask :)