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June 5, 2014

Ancestry Retiring 5 Services

Ancestry Retiring 5 Services
Yesterday I was invited to participate in a Conference Call with about some recent decisions made that will affect many genealogists. This morning the official announcement was published on the blog and you can read details there. Basically here is what is happening

Ancestry has decided to retire some of their services: MyFamily, MyCanvas,, Mundia and the Y-DNA and mtDNA tests. It's important to note that AncestryDNA (autosomal)  will continue to be available for purchase.

Starting September 5, 2014, these services will no longer be available to access. Here are more details about each closure

Only the y-DNA and mtDNA tests will be retired. Customers can download their raw data on the Ancestry DNA website. Autosomal DNA tests (AncestryDNA) will be the focus

Refunds will be issued automatically to site owners of active MyFamily sites. These refunds are effective as of June 5, 2014 and will be pro-rated to this date.  will continue in a slightly different form. Certain portions of will still exist but will not be interactive. They will exist in read-only format
–GenForum message boards
–Family Tree Maker homepages
–The most popular articles

Between now and September 4th, customers can finish current projects or start and complete new ones. After September 4th, MyCanvas will no longer accept printing orders and all projects will be deleted

Members can  download the family trees they’ve created in their native language before September 5, 2014. Mundia trees can be accessed for free on Ancestry.

I can see the logic behind these closures. Any company has finite resources to commit to projects. With Ancestry focusing on their main goals, customers should see more data coming online as well as other new things.

With Autosomal DNA being the most complete DNA test that's the route to go and the test genealogists will want in order to make connections with other relatives. I'm sure some genealogists will be upset about MyCanvas closing but there are many good alternatives out there. Personally I love Shutterfly for creating Family History books.

Please take a few moments to read official blog post at the URL above and reach out on Social Media to Ancestry with questions or concerns you might have.


Tex said...

Guess I'm going to have to learn Shutterfly--I finally felt I'd mastered My Canvas and had some presents planned with it. Oh, well. . .

Now if they'd just fix their search engine.

char21401 said...

It's a shame abt GenForum as it was one of the earliest interactive genealogy information boards available and was helpful in establishing some connections for me.And, while I haven't used it much lately, it still is useful from time to time.
Perhaps it is just as well, though because some of the e-mail addresses are probably useless at this point.
I'm glad, though, it will be available for informational purposes.
Kind regards,
Charlotte Kerns

Olive Tree Genealogy said...

Tex, Shutterfly is great. Be sure to check out my video tutorials:

* Creating a Memory Book in Shutterfly (Tutorial 1)

*Creating a Memory Book in Shutterfly (Tutorial 2)

*Creating a Memory Book in Shutterfly (Tutorial 3)

Go here for direct links

clements said...

Oh No! Really can't afford a new test. Just chalk it up to, "Well, it was fun while it lasted".

Olive Tree Genealogy said...

Hi Charlotte - yes I often used GenForum but as you noted, many posts were over 10 years old and the emails no longer valid

Unknown said...

I'm most disappointed that won't be available for I have five years worth of scanning old photos into digital files and tagging them so the members of a private group could easily access them with the tags. The privacy was also useful for discussions about illnesses and recent deaths.
I may try a secret group on Facebook I'm interested in more suggestions than those suggested in their FAQs.

Anonymous said...

I just looked - the only service I am concerned about losing is the ProQuest search. The rest, as you noted, is either out of date or available elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

HeritageQuest (ProQuest)? that's the library edition for ancestry right? if that's the free library thing they are gonna piss off a lot of people

Anonymous said...

I was told by the director of our local Family History Center that Ancestry has offered to help digitize the holdings at Salt Lake.
I assume books and anything hard copy and perhaps films too.
These will be on the Ancestry site.
I asked the director if Ancestry subscribers would have access and she said only LDS members could access these with a special password.

I am wondering if all this has something to do with Ancestry's changes in subscriptions etc. as I got an email telling me that I would have to upgrade. I have had just the U.S. records for years.
at 79.00/yr. I will not be upgrading so will cancel.

Unknown said...

Personally, I like vistaprint books more than shutterfly options. I've gotten calendars done with them, and the printing is excellent. said...

There is also a note when searching on Ancestry through Family Tree Maker that old versions of FTM will not be able to search or upload after the end of July. My old computer won't handle the new FTM software (which I don't like as well anyway). So I am really gong to be stuck.
Must be nice to be a monopoly, so you don't have to care about your customers.

Olive Tree Genealogy said...

Domino, while I understand your frustration, surely you realize that Ancestry is a huge business.

They cannot possibly continue to support old software for a handful of customers who don't want to update.

As Ancestry grows and adapts new ideas and software, customers who don't follow will get left behind. But that is true of ANY company.

Kristin said...

Too bad they don't include the ydna and mtdna with their remaining dna test, as is done by 23 & me.

Also just realized that there was a big hike in membership fee. More than double if it was $79 last year. Now it's $189.

Ms. Aisha said...

Shutterfly is ok, but it's not designed for genealogy like MyCanvas was. Can some of the people saying there are "plenty of alternatives" post one that's as good as MyCanvas? A product meant for genealogy?

Olive Tree Genealogy said...

Aisha, I use Shutterfly for beautiful genealogy books. I include charts, census records, other documents, photos and my own text (stories)

There is no problem doing this as long as you use CUSTOM and you EDIT your pages to resize, reposition etc.

If you are not familiar with how to do this, please do have a look at my video tutorials and/or my blog posts on using Shutterfly.

Used to its fullest,Shutterfly is a more than adequate replacement for MyCanvas.

Anonymous said...

I was devastated when I received the email about Ancestry retiring MyCanvas. I've spent a lot of time on one side of my family tree trying to create a comprehensive and well-researched and documented book for my family but I'm no where near ready to publish. There are really no alternatives. I'll check out Shutterfly but I have doubts as to how well it will adapt to genealogy. I've exhausted what I can learn on ancestry about my family and will probably stop my subscription.

Val Payne said...

I too am devastated about MyCanvas closing. I've spent nearly 5 years researching and putting one of my books together and have another 3 currently working on. I can't believe there isn't away to at least send us a file with our books on when they close so that we can keep them.
Val Payne

Olive Tree Genealogy said...

Val, I'm not a MyCanvas user (they wouldn't ship to Canada) so can't help you but Randy Seaver has a blog post on how to save your books.


Unknown said...

We buy signed old photos where ever we travel, then try to locate the families in order to send the photos back to them. GenForum has been extremely helpful in the past to locate these families. Does anyone know of other websites with similar name forums where this would be of use to us? Thanks in advance for any help.

GeoffF said...

As someone who has used a number of the other self publishers like Shutterfly, Snapfish, and Blurb, I can testify to the fact that none offer the kind of capabilities that MyCanvas offers for family history books. The MyCanvas software for publishing genealogy related material is superb and the results outstanding. While the others have good print quality they are very limited in a variety of other ways. I am surprised that Ancestry has not negotiated a sale of the MyCanvas assets to one of these other publishers and I have communicated that suggestion to them.