Ancestry Announces Two Improved Features #general

Jan Meisels Allen

IAJGS was invited to participate in an invitation-only conference call with
Ancestry staff and other genealogical reporters where they introduced two
improved features: new member profile and new messenger. While both are in
Beta they are 100 percent available to users.

New Profile

As with the "old" profile to access it go where it says account (upper
right) and on the drop box click on profile. Under your name is a green BETA
sign. If it is gray then it is off, and switch it to on. Make certain it
is on. On the same "ribbon" it will say "You're viewing the new profile". On
the left it will say "personal profile".

Similar to the "old" profile it will have your name, location, websites,
language(s) spoken, research interests. There is a place for a photo.
Ancestry has researched and found any photo and location filled in will
result in an increase three-fold your responses. It can be a photo of you,
your pet or anything, as long as there is a photo there the response rate is
higher. Crista Cowen , the Barefoot Genealogist, uses a photo of her feet!

On the new profile are also your DNA estimates along with matches. These
only appear in on your private profile not your public profile. Displaying
the name of private searchable trees, people, records one still has to grant
permission for others to access this on your profile. There is also the
opportunity to add a link to a personal website that you would like to share
with others-see the paper clip just below it lists the date you have been an
Ancestry member.

On your public tree the personal profile is on the upper left. The public
profile does not contain your ethnicity estimates. However, if you want
your ethnicity matches on your public profile you can chose everyone on
Ancestry or only you on your personal profile. The public profile has your
photograph, name, location, since you were a member, the last time you
logged in, the language(s) you speak, and your research interests. If you
have a family tree uploaded it will also display your family tree if you
have designated it as a public tree.

For privacy concerns "new DNA Matches" cannot be shown to anyone.


For those of us who have been wondering if someone actually received our
emails through Ancestry this is a big improvement. This has been rolled out
as a Beta and not all subscribers and guests will get it immediately-but
will in a short period of time. Worldwide it will be available by June. What
is a big positive is that it is in real time! This will tell us if our
messages were read and more.

We were advised that the "folders' capability will not be migrated over and
there was some discussion among the invited guests about this. Whether
Ancestry will reconsider this at a later date was not discussed.

Another enhancement is one can send attachments or copy a link in the new
messaging system.

One can search the body and content of the message.

At the time of writing this posting there is nothing on the Ancestry website
about these new changes. Watch for them I am certain they will be

Their most recent blog post is about the new features they introduced at
RootsTech last month on ThruLines , MyTreeTags and improved DNA Matching

I have no relationship with Ancestry and am posting this solely for the
information of the reader.

Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

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