Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Ancestry Brings Back RootsWeb WorldConnect, Sort Of

I noticed when I went to RootsWeb to view my WorldConnect tree, which I use as a quick way to look up my information when I'm not at home, I noticed that there is a new link on the Family Trees page. It says "The new Worldconnect Beta is available!"

Well over a year ago, when Ancestry discovered the security breach in RootsWeb, they took down RootsWeb completely and have been slowly bringing things back online. Way.....Too....Slowly.... This shouldn't have taken more than a few weeks at worst. Regardless, last year, they brought the old WorldConnect family trees back but they could not be changed. Any changes since the security breach would have to wait. They have now given us the ability to upload new GEDCOM files to our family trees.

In order to do so, you must first create a new RootsWeb account. Once created and the email address is verified, you can view and change your family trees which have been moved to the new account. This is good! At least they're making progress! There is a flaw though. I had my family trees set to completely remove living individuals. When I export my GEDCOM files for upload, I export the full tree. Removing the living while leaving those that do not have listed death dates that are definitely deceased is extremely tedious. It takes a very long time to accomplish this. However, RootsWeb has always had a setting to remove anyone with no death date that was born after a given date yet leave anyone born previous to that date that do not have a death date. With the trees that have been migrated to the new WorldConnect, living people are shown as "Person Not Viewable".

RootsWeb's help file gives you steps on how you can modify this setting but the first step is to edit your tree. They only give you the ability to view or delete your tree and upload a new GEDCOM. You are not given the option to edit your tree or its settings. I tried to upload a new GEDCOM file and while it appeared that the upload completed, I was given no options. It just told me the upload completed. None of my trees were updated and it didn't create a new tree.
I opened a ticket with their support desk a few days ago but have not received a response.

Another problem I'm seeing is that you don't have a way to go directly to the family tree you uploaded. It appears you need to browse their list in order to find the tree you want to view.

I sincerely hope that Ancestry can figure out how to put RootsWeb back to close to the functionality it had previously. All I want is the ability to upload a GEDCOM file that results in a browsable, text-based tree that automatically has living people removed.

***Edit - June 11, 2019***
I received a response from Ancestry. They say RootsWeb does not have the functionality to remove living people completely. My only option is to upload a GEDCOM file that does not contain living people at all. Sadly, this is what customer service is these days. It's the big company's way or the highway.


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for bringing this to my attention, Matt. I've only checked it out quickly, but first thing I've noticed after a search is that the "owner" of the tree is not noted unless that's just when not logged in. I tried to create a "new" account, but don't find where to do that. I'll have to try again later.