RM and Ancestry Behaviour Change


I have been using Ancestry for the past year to build a tree and recently thought about how to take an offline copy to show family members what I have discovered without relying upon internet access.

I took a look at RM 9 and loaded up the free version to familiarise myself with the features and user interface before deciding whether to upgrade to full functionality. I synchronised a RM database with my Ancestry tree to see whether it would work ok and was pleased with the outcome. I then disconnected my RM database from my Ancestry account while I continue to work on the tree from my Ancestry account.

However, I have noticed a change in behaviour of the Ancestry web interface when it comes to Ancestry resource indexes. For example, looking at the England and Wales registers for births, marriages and deaths I can now only retrieve the first 50 items from the index for each page.

Searching for a person using Ancestry’s web interface will result in the record for the person being found and therefore proves the record is indexed correctly. Then clicking thought the thumbnail for the page to review that record (and is not listed in the first 50 entries indexed for the page) results in the Details tab stating that no record has been selected and to open the index.

I have used multiple browsers on multiple platforms and it’s the same everywhere, which suggests to me that it is an account setting on Ancestry’s side that is imposing this limit, but it’s not something that I have control over.

While I wait for Ancestry to answer my question I thought I’d ask here if anyone has seen a similar situation with RM affecting Ancestry resource indexes in this way? I ask because I’ve seen mention of limits of 50 imposed in various RM Essentials questions and I wonder if something has been flowed through when I synchronised my Ancestry tree with the free copy of RM 9. Is there anything set up by RM using the Ancestry API that might affect the amount of information returned which, in turn, has caused the Ancestry web interface to limit what it returns in the resource index?


I don’t see this connected to the use of TreeShare for Ancestry inside RM. It’s something specific to the Ancestry website. I’m not sure of what you are referring to as “limits of 50 imposed in various RM Essentials”. I know of know limitations in RM Essentials other than features that are disabled.

Hi Renee,

Thanks for your response - I too am sceptical about TreeShare being the problem, so I am looking for straws :grinning:

The comment about “limit of 50” seems to be mentioned a few times in forums (such as this one), which is invariably dismissed by responses as not being enforced. So, I am only wondering if during the Ancestry API sign-on something with a vaue of 50 is being passed for, say, WebSearch (a feature which I know is disabled in the free version of RM) or other features to limit the information returned to clients.

The reason I’m wondering this is because of my experience in developing distributed applications. It is often ‘good practice’ to limit the amount of information returned from a query on server-side data to restrict the volume of data passing over networks to the requestor. This feature usually results in a button to be pressed to request the next page of data or when scrolling past the last record displayed on screen.

I’m still waiting for Ancestry to respond… their web chat team couldn’t help so asked me to submit a support case through the website… I wonder how long that will take :thinking:


You probably saw messages then that were from older users quoting the wrong thing. In RM3 and earlier versions there were limits placed. That was done away with the rewrite of RM4. Now the essential version has no limits just features that are locked until the key is entered.

Nothing back from Ancestry support as of now, but…

While using Ancestry’s web interface researching Ancestry’s electoral records for a relative that I was experiencing this issue, I suddenly started to see the Details pane populated with the entry’s facts. A quick look around and it now seems that all the record indexes, not just the first 50, are being populated again.

I hadn’t made any changes to the client browsers and the change in behaviour is across all browsers and devices that I use. Clearly something has changed on Ancestry’s side to resolve this, but as of now I know of nothing that has been changed except that it wasn’t anything that I had altered, knowingly or otherwise.

Interestingly I recall something similar happening earlier this year when I asked about a missing spouse selector and all siblings assigned to one mother and not assigned appropriately. This behaviour was corrected before a support team member contacted me.

Not that I am complaining if Ancestry support resolves things quickly. Though it would be useful to know what had happened to trigger the issue in the first place and also know that someone acted upon the case :grinning:

I’ll keep you posted if there is anything of relevance to report… in the meantime, I’m enjoying the discussions about sharing family research using the features of RM, which is exactly why I started to look at RM in the first place.