Did you see that rootsweb is down for a few weeks?

+19 votes
In case you've been busy enjoying the holiday, you might notice this if you use rootsweb:

Rootsweb is currently unavailable. We have been in the process of improving the site throughout 2017, and as a result of an issue we recently became aware of, we have taken the site offline while we work to resolve it.
We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but protecting our users’ personal information is our top priority. During this down time, we are working to preserve all data saved to Rootsweb, and hope to have an update within a few weeks.
If you would like to learn more, please visit our blog post.(https://blogs.ancestry.com/ancestry/2017/12/23/rootsweb-security-update/)

So, if you have an account at rootsweb as well as one at ancestry.com, you will have to update your password at ancestry, according to their blog post.
asked in The Tree House by Natalie Trott G2G6 Pilot (344k points)
edited by Natalie Trott
We can't afford to lose any genealogy resource. Hopefully they will resolve this issue and get the site back online.

Rootsweb apparently is down while they fix

But Natalie's post is not exactly what the Ancestry blog said. I quote:

What You Should Do

If you are a customer whose account was impacted, you will receive an email telling you that you need to change your password. In that case, you will be required to create a new password the next time you visit Ancestry.

For the vast majority of customers who are not impacted by this, there is nothing you need to do as a result of this incident.



Assuming you haven't used the same password on another site.

They seem to think the only danger is that RootsWeb passwords might be used to break into Ancestry accounts.  I can promise them, Ancestry accounts aren't top of the bad guys' target list.
Marj, yes, but if you have both an ancestry and a rootsweb account and you use the same password, it would be in your best interest to update the ancestry password, no matter what their blog post states.

Like RJ said, ancestry accounts aren't at the top of the bad guy list, but many people still use the same password for everything. (and many people still use "password" as their password. How dumb!)

3 Answers

+10 votes
Best answer

Some of the rootsweb pages have been archived at the Internet Archive Wayback Machine (https://web.archive.org/)

Worth a try.  You might get lucky, if you have the url saved somewhere (the edit page on a profile?).

Pop the url in the "Enter the url ..." line, and then click on one of the calendar's blue dots.

answered by Cynthia B G2G6 Pilot (124k points)
selected by Jillaine Smith
Thanks for the tip. This did work for me.
And if it was a Google search that returned a hit at RootsWeb, sometimes you'll see a small inverted triangle icon to the right of the URL (directly under the title of the returned hit). If you click on that, it will pop-up the word "Cached." Click on it, and Google will send you to a cached version of the page that it still has on file in its cloud system. Not all results will have this option to view a cached version; I believe Google let's older ones roll-off after a certain amount of time. But a random, unscientific test searching for a pre-1500 ancestor with "RootsWeb" included in the search strings results in a bit over 50% of the results containing the option to view the cached page.
+12 votes
Sound like they are in no hurry to get back online! It does say for the security of the users.
answered by David Selman G2G6 Pilot (513k points)
Someone was taking all the email addresses that were on the Surname List and sending out spam.
They could take the compromised data offline and still make the site available read-only.

Sounds like they're in a much worse mess than that.  I suspect it has something to do with the improvements they mentioned.

But the longer they delay, the more people will upload their gedcoms to the Ancestry servers.
That could very well be the case.
And then Ancestry can deal with gedcom messes! Hahaha! Glad we filter our gedcoms now! Does Ancestry even bother to require sources???
It seems to be only us old-ish timers who know about RootsWeb. The FaceBook Users generally haven't heard of it.
RootsWeb is where I built my first online tree, and I still have my trees there. When Ancestry took over RW, I uploaded my trees there, too.

Whenever I can't find a census record that I know I had seen before, I check my RootsWeb trees to see if I noted it there.

Ah, the "good old days!"
+7 votes
I have been able to continue using it.  One of the things it does is that you have to open the links in a separate page to get the complete information.  Maybe I am really special??  LOL, NOT!  Maybe my computer refuses to accept no for an answer?  Just tried it again & it is working for me.  <Shrug> have no idea why.

Giggle, Lucky Cindy
answered by Cindy Lesure G2G6 Mach 7 (73.7k points)
Hi Cindy

You say you can still get information there at RootsWeb - are you an Ancestry.com member or have you a Tree already on RootsWeb ?  I am interested as I do use that site a lot for Research (one must be careful as errors can lurk in the shadows... but sometimes the Notes people have added to profiles are God-sent) and I wonder if it is how you log on that is the key?  If you prefer to answer me privately, I am at Snow-2128 here.  Thanks!
After I posted that, I realized I am referencing something entirely different from what everyone else is talking about.  I apologize for that!  I was actually thinking about RootsSearch rather than RootsWeb.  Sorry about that Chet!  Thanks for waking me up now.  LOL  :-)

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