Ancestry has quite a mess on its hands right now, and genealogists are losing their collective minds. I have some information here to help.
You are always welcome to post links to my articles on other sites, but this article in particular may help many people – so please feel free to pass it on.
I’ve been trying to write an article on ThruLines, but the Ancestry site has been experiencing so many issues that I can’t manage to actually get through my ThruLines to evaluate them and write the article.
There are two different scenarios:
- You’ve never had ThruLines and you aren’t sure if they have been rolled out to your account yet. They will be rolled out to everyone through the month of March.
- You’ve had ThruLines, but now you don’t and your account has reverted back, meaning ThruLines no longer shows and the Circles placard has returned, or the Ancestry site simply doesn’t work and says the pages are no longer present.
Scenario 1 – Never Had ThruLines – Does My Account Even Have Them at All?
If you’re never had ThruLines yet, or aren’t sure, you need to do the following in order to qualify for ThruLines and to make sure they work.
For ThruLines to work, you must be sure:
- Your tree is connected to your DNA.
- Your tree is either public or a private searchable tree. Unsearchable trees won’t have ThruLines.
- Your tree is at least 3 or 4 generations deep.
- You only have one kit for any individual person connected to that person in the same tree. If you have multiple kits for the same person connected to one tree, only one kit will have ThruLines. If this is your situation, you can create a “twin” to yourself in your tree and attach the second kit to that person and both kits should get ThruLines. There aren’t many people like me who have tested twice with AncestryDNA, so this shouldn’t be a problem for most people.
You can have multiple kits attached to the same tree, but each kit must be connected to a different person in the tree
Do the following:
At the top of your Ancestry DNA Summary page, you’ll see “Extras.” Click there and then on Ancestry Lab.
To enable Ancestry’s new features, you’ll see the following screen.
I’m not positive you need to enable to active ThruLines, but if you want the other new features, you definitely do, so enable just to be sure.
If you see this next “we’re sorry” screen instead of the one above, you’ll need to move to the Scenario 2 and clear your cookies, but read the instructions all the way through, first, please – to save yourself a lot of grief.
Do You Have ThruLines on Your Account?
If you’ve already had access to ThruLines and now it’s not functioning correctly, move to the next section, Scenario 2. If you’ve never had ThruLines, read this.
If you don’t have access to ThruLines, you’ll see this screen with Circles showing to the far right:
If you have access to ThruLines, but you don’t have any ThruLines, you’ll see this placard, below:
You do have ThruLines if you see the next screen, with the green “Explore ThruLines” box at the bottom of the ThruLines box. Click on that green box to view your ThruLines.
Scenario 2 – You Had ThruLines But Don’t Now or They Don’t Work
I had ThruLines on one of my two accounts. They were present and I was working through them one at a time – right up until they stopped working a couple days ago. Initially, it was flakey, like the Ancestry site was having problems, but then, the old screen showing the Circles placard in place of ThruLines reappeared and ThruLines were entirely gone.
This, on top of the issues with the ThruLines themselves is proving incredibly frustrating. I’ve called ThruLines an array of not-very-complimentary names derived from Thru…but I’ll be the better person and not print those here:)
I waited, not so patiently I must admit, but today in the Genetic Genealogy Tips and Techniques group of Facebook, Paula Williams posted about how to clear specific cookies. Not ALL of your cookies and not your cache – just the Ancestry cookies. I was very skeptical, since “clear your cookies” is always the “go to” answer when the answer is unknown and it almost never works. It’s kind of the last resort and won’t hurt anything, but will make it so that no “memory” functions if you have sites that remember your preferences, for example.
However, Paula’s instructions tell you how to clear specific cookies for one site only, and they aren’t destructive to other cookies.
Best of all, this actually worked to correct the “disappeared” ThruLines issue.
I have no idea why Ancestry is having so many problems right now, but these suggestions should help you restore your ThruLines if they have disappeared or the Ancestry site is acting flakey.
Good luck and thanks to Paula. Instructions reproduced with permission, below.
Deleting Specific Site Cookies
Many of us have had issues with Ancestry in the last day or so. Deleting your Ancestry cookies should fix problems such as not being able to load pages. This particular issue is in the cookies, so you’ll need to delete your **cookies** and not your cache.
Here are some links that explain how to delete your cookies. Do note that many of these sites also explain how to delete cookies from just one site, so you can delete just your Ancestry cookies if you’re afraid to delete any others.
Chrome (note the Computer, Android, and iPhone/iPad tabs just above the words “Clear All Cookies”) :
Safari (iPhone / iPad):
If I’ve missed your browser, go to Google and search for “delete specific cookies” (without the quotation marks) and your browser or device – for example, delete specific cookies Samsung Galaxy.
I’ll still be writing about ThruLines as soon as I can actually finish the review.
With or without ThruLines working, there are other DNA comparison options you may want to consider.
Both GedMatch and FamilyTreeDNA, although they didn’t make any announcements of new products recently work just fine too. You can also compare your segments at all three sites which you can’t do at Ancestry.
Have fun, enjoy!
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