Findmypast’s customers uproar at new site

Findmypast’s customers seem to be telling them that they want to go back to the past website.


Findmypast logo

It is difficult to ignore perhaps the biggest story in the British isles family history world this week of a customer backlash being played out on social media and on the review websites such as and about’s new website.

It even spilled over on to my Nosey Genealogist YouTube channel where an interview I did with Debra Chatfield at Who Do You Think You Are? Live got comments posted about, what Findmypast’s customers think of the new site.

While it may not be all of their subscribers, venting this anger, it would be fair to say that many of their customers are not impressed with the new site’s functionality and these are demanding a return to the old site.


Comments indicate that customers do not like the “new and improved platform”, some find it very slow to use and difficult to search for records. It would seem that these customers of DC Thompson Family History’s Findmypast do not like it, preferring the previous interface.


The facility to search for an address was not working properly this week, as I found out myself, though Findmypast promised to fix that.

It would seem, from the head of steam being built up, that many of the subscribers are threatening to walk away from Findmypast to other genealogical providers.

As someone who uses more than one website for my searches my immediate solution was to look up my census address query on the rival website of TheGenealogist, which also offers an address search not to mention carries a very substantial suite of data sets including all the census records, parish records and the recently released and very interesting Tithe Apportionments that I find fascinating in my ancestor research.

I was also interested to see in an email that I received on Friday from the Society of Genealogists that they are running a training session for Members, staff and volunteers of the SoG.

They say that As the changes are quite significant the Society has arranged some special training in using the new style search functions etc. Paul Nixon, UK Data Strategy with DC Thompson Family History has agreed to come to the Society to make a training presentation and explain how it all works now.

I don’t really understand why Findmypast has let the situation get to this point.

As a fresher on a Business Studies course, way back in the 1980s, I remember being taught in the first few weeks of my undergraduate course that companies that are Customer led are the only ones that will survive. Those businesses that are product led or led by technology often try to push their customers to accept what they think is best for them, and that this is a recipe for disaster.

Surely a company such as DC Thompson Family History will have people within it that understand this customer focus? Lets hope so.

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5 Replies to “Findmypast’s customers uproar at new site”

  1. It would seem, from the head of steam being built up, that many of the subscribers are threatening to walk away from Findmypast to other genealogical providers.

    Where would they go? The new Ancestry search is almost as bad.

  2. I also use several sites for ancestry research, find my past was one of those. The information they have is very good. However since the ‘upgrade’ searching has been very slow. Sometimes impossible. I like the extra lists to search, but would prefer the old way of searcing, it worked so much better.

  3. The new FMP site is not working like the old one was, the old one was perfect, no complaints from anyone, it was easy to use, full of all the things required & could move around the site at ease & now!! Well, it’s like a bomb has dropped on it, can’t find anything you want, things missing, slower than a snail wanting to cross the road & the most unhelpful people i have ever known… They delete your posts when you complain & then block you for complaining & you are not able to make comments, i made a comment today 15/4/2014
    10.50 15/04/2014 Find My PAST – FACEBOOK PAGE.
    My 2 friends who made valid comments have been blocked for putting message on here, can you explain to me why this has been done?
    They have NOT used profanity and according to you ”Facebook’s own spam filter removes other abusive or overly repetitive posts.” Which they have NOT been Abusive or REPETITIVE Also according to you ”Of course we believe in letting people have their say. ” Then if you believe in letting people have their say why are they stopped from having their own say??? This post was then deleted 35 mins later, at 12:59 pm i asked why my post had been deleted? This was also deleted…….. It seems to me & over 1000 other members that they don’t want us to complain about the shoddy site, we pay good money & many people want refunds & have been told they can’t have their money back until as late as December, this is illegal & the company are breaking the law in with holding money that people have parted with for a site that worked well till they decided to change it all…….
    It seems if we suck up & be nice they will leave our posts on facebook, if we complain they delete & block, this seems to be a case of they don’t want our complaints to ruin their company, but as customers without us they won’t be in business very long…. All we ask if for the old site to be as it was, they tell us it’s impossible, which in fact is a fib, a whopper at that. FMP also told people that using I.E. will not work, why??? Well it’s simple all you have to do is take FMP out of compatibility & hey presto it works & they say they have I.T. Experts working there, if this is the case why didn’t they fix it???
    All we want as we are paying customers is the site back as it was it

  4. I am fed up of FMPs platitudes and empty promises. They call reinstatements of previously available features ‘improvements’ and they treat us as if we have all had lobotomies and can’t see beyond these comments and don’t know what we’re talking about.

    We keep being told they have had just as many positive comments but I’ve yet to see more than a handful.

    The whole exercise has been disastrous for FMP AND us, the customer.

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