Thursday, June 27, 2013

Flash Blog Mob

Earlier today I chatted with several other genealogy bloggers online about's decision to drop their "old search" for the "new search".   After venting our opinions together, we decided that perhaps we should share our opinions through our blogs.   We're calling this our "Flash Blog Mob".  Genealogy bloggers will be joining in all weekend, and I'll be adding their posts to the list down at the bottom of this page.  Before I wrote my post,  I first wrote to the Facebook page. And then I received this reply:

A message to me from via their Facebook page…

"Hello Heather, We are consolidating the two search experiences on the site and will be taking features from both our old and new search experiences and add a few new features into a single search experience. As we consolidate, our old search experience will no longer exist as a stand-alone or separate experience. Please feel free to share your thoughts with us regarding the old search here: As a side note, many of the tools you use and are comfortable with in our Old Search experience are currently available in the primary search experience. This article provides more information:"


This week I was stuck at home waiting for repair people.  Don’t you hate that chore?  Stuck at home, waiting for hours because the repair people won’t give you an exact appointment time.  Then, since of course the appliance is “unfixable”, you end up again waiting all day because the delivery people won’t give you an appointed time for  delivery of the new fridge.  Then the new appliance is a lemon, right out of the box (don’t ask- it’s a long story), so again we have a repair person waiting day, followed by another delivery day when they decide “You need a new fridge”.  Of course I need a new fridge!  I needed one a week ago!

Thus, I was stuck at home.  And I put this time towards learning what’ I’ve avoided for several years.  I learned the ins and outs of’s “new search”.  Of course, it’s been around for several years so it’s hardly a “new search”.  But I’m a creature of habit, and I like the old one.  I liked being able to search without even looking at what I was doing since I’d been searching this way for ten years (or maybe even more).  I liked the simplicity of not even thinking about it, just getting predictable results.

However, all good things must come to an end.  I was an early adopter of Facebook, using my husband’s MIT email address back in 2005 to see what it was all about.  If you could step back in time to see it then, you wouldn’t recognize it as what you see today as Facebook.  And how many times has it changed since then? It’s changed dozens of times, without any announcements most of the time, and with most of us screaming and complaining.  But we’re all still on Facebook (most of us) and we’ve figured out the ins and outs, and how to make it work for us…

And so, when many people got an email message this week (I still haven’t received mine), it was time to either complain, reflect, submit, or get to work learning the new system.  Things change.  Not just Facebook, and Ancestry, blog readers or genealogy data bases… how many iterations of Windows have you lived through? How many types of word processors have you learned since the 1980s? How many cell phones have you owned in your life? I remember when going online involved dialing the phone and then putting the phone receiver into a cradle and letting it connect with the computer.  ? How many versions of your internet browser have you had since then?

So I got to work.  I learned how to use “new search”.  I learned how to live with it.  As you can see from the message I received from Ancestry above, you can fill out the surveys, give your opinions, “share your thoughts”, but you still have to learn the “new search”.

In the meantime…    I’m not just learning's "new search",  I'm also seriously learning how to use MyHeritage, FindMyPast, Mocavo and FamilySearch and others.  I’ve bought some premium subscriptions to some of these.  Because if I’m going to be forced to change, it better be worth it.  My kitchen can hold only one fridge at a time, lemon or working model. My computer can hold multiple subscriptions to many databases online.  I can try them all, keep the good ones and drop the lemons. It might mean dropping for something better.

Disclaimer:  I was not compensated by Ancestry, MyHeritage, FindMyPast or FamilySearch in any way for this blog post. I have purchased my own subscriptions to some of these websites (excluding FamilySearch, which is FREE).  I was given a subscription to Mocavo last year to review, and I still have that gift subscription. I am not an affiliate or vendor for these products.

Other thoughts from the blogosphere…

Jan Brown at “Cow Hampshire”

Bill West “West in New England”

Thomas MacEntee “GeneaBloggers”

Valerie Craft  “Begin with Craft”

Randy Seaver "Geneamusings"  27 June
and also 28 June

John Newmark "Transylvanian Dutch"

Dick Eastman "Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter"
June 27
June 28
July 2

And some opinions posted earlier

Michael Hait  “Planting the Seeds” June 2012

Ancestry Insider  13 January 2013
and 7 June 2013

Dear Myrtle  23 April 2013

Manly/Manley Family Tree DNA Project 19 May 2013

and some who posted later....

Liz Loveland "My Adventures in Genealogy"  July 8

And just for fun...

Thomas MacEntee "50 Shades of Genealogy"

Randy Seaver "GeneaMusings"

UPDATE 28 JUNE 2013 by Thomas MacEntee at "Geneabloggers"
a reply from

Copyright 2013, Heather Wilkinson Rojo


  1. You might want to move my blog post to the "opinions posted earlier" section. The post was written in June _2012_ (and subsequently published in the _APG Quarterly_'s September 2012 issue).