RootsWeb and USGenWeb Continue to Have Problems

This is a follow-up to my USGenWeb is Partially Down article published on February 26 at the RootsWeb abd USGenWeb problems still have not been resolved. The RootsWeb web site at now states:

We’re currently experiencing a temporary website outage due to RootsWeb hardware failure. Rest assured, our development and web operations teams are busy working to securely restore the site as quickly as possible.

Our initial expectation is to have the site back up and running on or around March 15, 2016.

We apologize for the disruption and thank-you for your patience. We will provide other updates here as we have them.


Thanks for the update. “Hardware failure” does not sound good at all.


Hardware failures should be relatively fast and inexpensive to fix. Especially for a company with the deep pockets of Ancestry. I would imagine that there are other issues at play here.


    A properly designed, configured and managed computing facility should be able to recover quickly from hardware failures, quickly enough that it is not even noticeable to the users. Likely the underlying problem is that they have not invested a dime in Rootsweb and are still running on the same hardware from the 90’s that was in place when they bought them.


Been expecting this ever since Ancestry took over Rootsweb!!


    Many of us whom were with Roots web in the Beginning, also made donations of time and money. The intent was to have a site that provided genealogy information. This hardware issue is very similar to what happened at Gen Forum about three years ago. After took over the site and when some failure occured, Ancestry finally scraped together enough of that data to get the site back up, But with great losses of information. Complete surname are missing!
    I haven’t seen Dick write any posts on the Gen Forum problem. I guess we need to consider the motivation of when it comes to taking over a site.


Ancestry does have deep pockets (but in recent years has had financial losses). Not much has ever been invested in RootsWeb infrastructure and staffing.


Blogs indicate Rootsweb employees are quite happy. Recent experience has brought their managerial and technical competence into question.

How could Ancestry be under financial stress? Most of what their customers pay for is information Ancestry acquired for free! How costly can it be to wire up and turn on web servers?


    —> Most of what their customers pay for is information Ancestry acquired for free! How costly can it be to wire up and turn on web servers?

    The collections are almost never free to Ancestry or to any other online genealogy database site. The various web sites typically have to pay for the collections. Then they spend a few hundred thousand dollars per collection getting them digitized, transcribed (requiring a few thousand manhours for each collection), and then matching the transcribed documents to the images, creating the databases, and, oh yes, paying a few thousand dollars for the disk drives and servers that contain the new collections. You might want to read my earlier article, I Have a Complaint Concerning Many Genealogists, that discusses some of these expenses at

    Liked by 1 person

Well said, Dick!


    All of what I provided to GenWeb and Rootsweb was provided free to those two, it doesn’t surprise me that Ancestry helped themselves to information that now is not easy to get back, everytime they acquire something a kink happens. They seem to think they own everything on these two and some other information they have offered, if it doesn’t make them enough money it is hard to get back or else deleted, moved somewhere else and therefore unavailable. Good thing I have quite a few back-ups and have decided a long time ago to ignore Ancestry and do my Genealogy exactly as I have always done, but regular mail or visit the Courthouses, Libraries, etc. across this Country myself. I simply will not provide Ancestry a dime, my money goes to the source I got the information from in the first place and always have done it that way.


One small piece of good news. The WorldConnect site seems to be working. I can view my site there and have uploaded a gedcom since these problems started. But, my freepages were still inaccessibile this morning.


    Walter G. Blenderman March 14, 2016 at 11:21 am

    Likewise, my one WorldConnect gedcom is still available, but new ones (since this problem) that seemed to upload OK are not showing up. Did you do anything special? Frustrating


I just checked WorldConnect and although the site comes up I cannot connect with any known names.


Can’t imagine all the info that has been lost…I’m hoping its not but how devastating if it is !


Checked WorldConnect minutes ago. Although I can access the site no genealogical data are available.


Failure after 18 years for me. They need to invest in something reliable.


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