The end of WorldConnect as we knew it..

+9 votes
I'm so sad that Ancestry has taken the original WorldConnect offline.  It had such great search capabilities.  I find the new version useless, and many of my bookmarks to really useful pages no longer work.

I have yet to even find my own database within the mess.

If anyone finds a secret way to get to the original, let me know!
in The Tree House by M Cole G2G6 Mach 4 (40.5k points)
I've been an Ancestry user for several years, but don't know what WorldConnect is or why people used it.  Please explain further.
WorldConnect was/is part of RootsWeb. Is RootsWeb part of now?
Yes, has been for sometime.
Such is the ephemeral nature of the internet.
Or American capitalism.
Julie - Worldconnect was one of the first widely available gedcom sharing tools on the internet.  It was part of RootsWeb and therefore free. Ancestry took over RootsWeb in 2000, I believe with the agreement they could incoporate the data into their products and marketing, but had to maintain free public access to the data.

 I really thought the design of worldconnect was simple but so useful.  The advanced search easily let you narrow down by spouse or parent name, the results let you see if a record had sources, notes, children and then gave you links to the spouses, and parents if they were attached.  You could view all the surnames in a database.  Get a full descendant report that was compact and linked.

No pictures, but for sharing facts and being able to search for something, and get a quick overview of the entire database it was great.  You can tell that Ancestry did use it as a model for there own searching, but internet design preferences changed...preferring style over substance (IMO).

In defense of Ancestry, the change may have something to do with security issues. And if they hadn't taken over Rootsweb, any access may have disappeared years ago. But since there is no direct income from use of Worldconnect, I doubt they'll put more effort into restoring its usefulness.   

I'd consider removing my database if I could find it!
If I seem overly critical of Ancestry, it's because it seems to me that time after time they prioritize making money over providing a useful service.  Two examples are their focus on DNA testing for ethnicity, and now (in my opinion) the big push to sell DNA testing for health information.

But I must say, having started reviewing my DNA matches for the first time lately, they really have made some improvements in the usefulness of the information (although even that comes at the expense of the loss of some features that I really liked).

(And, just to vent for a moment, I detest those non-optional blaring green boxes they've stuck on my profiles when birth, death, or marriage records are missing!  I get rid of them by putting in the fact with a description "unknown," but it seems silly to have to do that.)
https//  It is a very annoying format to deal with.
The new format is awful. I'm able to barely find what used to be fairly simple to find previously, and that's only through multiple searches and significant perseverance. If it's Ancestry's fault that this happened, then I'll just add that to my growing list of annoyances at them in general and say that I'm not surprised.

2 Answers

+3 votes
I have been using st. Croix valley roots web. As of 11-7-2019 I can no longer use it. What happened? It was a great site for my family tree.
by anonymous G2G Rookie (290 points)
+2 votes
WorldConnect was where I had initially posted (in great detail) a few branches of my family tree.  After Ancestry took over, it seemed the WorldConnect site was offline more often than not. And then I was locked out of my own databases and unable to update my research.  

It’s what eventually led me to WikiTree.

I manage numerous WikiTree profiles that have a “See also”  notation with links to a corresponding WorldConnect profile page... not just my own WorldConnect trees, but also those from a few notable other researchers (Michael Caldwell, for example). But as of this month, all of those links are bad.  

But perhaps the worst thing about this “update” is that the new World Connect profiles have absolutely no information concerning the author/contributor.  

Ancestry has wrecked so many fantastic Rootsweb hosted projects. Single biggest reason I loathe Ancestry and actively advise others to never provide them with more free user generated content.

I’d remove my WorldConnect GEDcoms in a heartbeat if I only could.
by Jana Shea G2G6 Mach 2 (29.0k points)
Ancestry has totally ruined the WorldConnect website. I find it hard to read, harder to access what I am looking for. Its just not worth the trouble. Family Search has provided me with a large amount of information, so that is where I go now. The only thing I can see is they deliberately ruined the website so they can get more paying customers. I would rather drive 500 miles to a courthouse in another state than pay to use the Ancestry website

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