Thursday, June 12, 2014

Recently announced that it will be retiring five of its products including

Aside from being disappointment that Ancestry is giving up on; I wish they would have at least tried to sell the site, however this whole process is a learning opportunity. I have learned not to take for granted sites like these. What I mean by this, is I have learned that I needed to be saving all the goodies that all my distant genealogy cousins had been submitting to the website. I took for granted that I could always go to this website and find what I wanted when I wanted it.

Now, states that you can export the data and yes it can take a few days to generate that download, but do you know what you get? A total mess. You end up with a zip folder of all your photos, or in my case, 417 photos with useless names like 000a0d3a-0033-0000-0000-000000000000. Plus it did not do anything with all the documents that are stored in the file cabinet. There is a lot of important information there too!

So after I download and extracted the zip folder, I decided I would go through the Photos from MyFamily and rename all the ones in my extracted folder. Then I created an Excel spreadsheet to record all the valuable information such as file name, who submitted it, date it was submitted, date of photo, description and such. I must admit that the extracted file folder is easier to handle than me trying to save each photo individually through MyFamily. I have the open on the left of the screen and my extracted folder open on the right. I rename the file and then open my excel file on the right and key in the file name and all the fields from that belong to the picture. This is taking me a little while, but when I am done, I will know who the people are in the photos and who submitted the photo to the website.

Lesson learned, I should have been doing this from the very beginning and I would not have had to spend the last three days going through all these photos. I probably have at least two more days of photo renaming and then I need to go through the file cabinet (all 48 pages) and see what I want to save. I just have to right click and it saves the document. Again, many days of work.  Finally I will need to save the list members of the website, so I don't lose contact with all these valuable people. Many haven't been on the site in months and I hope they also know that MyFamily is going away.

My personal family haven't decided what they plan to use instead of MyFamily and I don't know if they will use anything to replace this. I know the main administrator has put in a lot of work into this website. I was even thinking of letting everyone know that I have renamed all the files and created this excel spreadsheet and I could send it to them as a zip folder. I will see how big the folder gets, otherwise I might have to make CD's and send them via snail mail. I hope to be able to send the documents too.



  1. Hi Charlene,

    I finally got my export file and was also severely disappointed when I looked inside.

    Once I burnt off my frustration and overwhelm, I set to work looking up various services (Big Tent, Yahoo Groups, Family Crossings) to transfer the news, recipes, reviews, history and etc. For my family group, the descriptions and comments on the photo were critical, so as I've been porting my 1000+ photos to Flickr, and scraping and transferring the descriptions and comments with their tools.

    If necessary, I may even code a small portal page to connect my users to the services that handle each task best.

    Now that I'm chipping away at my own content, the realization hit me that others might want to do the same, but may not be in a position to do so.

    Could you please let others know that if they're swamped and do not have the time, patience or tech savvy to move data and content to their new online homes, they can put me to work by outsourcing their pain and frustration?

    I'd be happy to help for a flat fee and referral. They choose the sites and service providers, I'll do the copy and paste work. It would be a win-win situation-- they preserve their digitial family treasures, and I have a way to feed mine.

    Emails are very much welcome. :)

    ~^..^~ Cherise

  2. FYI - I am not endorsing Cherise, since I don't know her personally. But she did mention some other websites and options besides her services that my followers may want to try.


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