Saturday, September 23, 2023

Now you See Them, Then you Don't


To every favorite online resource there will eventually come a glitch. I hold my breath and hope nothing serious ever happens to the websites which hold years of my genealogy research (and make sure to back up my work to desktop-resident programs), but cannot help feeling annoyance when programs don't work as promised. Today was one of those days.

Two of the people in our family-owned company (one of them being me) happened to be on the road for business this morning. As sometimes happens, though, a break in the work flow meant I could take a peek at my progress online with my DNA-matching prowess. I pulled out my laptop, fired up my phone's hotspot and took a break to work on that Broyles ThruLines backlog. After all, fifty-something matches will take some time to whip into shape.

Imagine my surprise when I pulled up the ThruLines readout for my fourth great-grandfather Aaron Broyles to see someone else had whittled those fifty-plus matches down to a mere eleven or so. What happened to the other forty? Poof! They were gone, reminding me of that old saying: now you see them, now you don't.

I wasn't sure what to do with a problem like that. Fervently hoping it was some sort of glitch, either at or on my end, I simply moved on to another part of the Broyles project, attaching marriage announcements and obituaries from my subscription.

Funny, but that function was acting a bit strange, as well. Was it the fact that my phone was choking on the graphics? Running out of time, I set the whole project aside to await my arrival back home.

I assure you I was relieved to see, upon checking at home, that my Broyles ThruLines readout was restored to its original fifty two matches. And, on my home's own wifi connection, showed up without any hesitation. While it's nice to have connectivity on the road, when it comes to online work with my family trees, there is no place like home.

Still, I looked online for any reports of connectivity problems, or any sightings of glitches at Ancestry. Though I couldn't find any such reports from recent days, I did stumble across Ancestry's own Support page article on Fixing Display or Download Problems. Right at the top of their list was one of the most common reasons for display issues: Internet connection problems.

The Ancestry Support page article included several clickable links providing more information on specific download problems, making this a useful page to add to my bookmarked items. If I have to have a problem with a website, the only thing worse is not being able to locate any instructions on how to fix the problem. I'll keep that in mind if I ever try working on my family tree while using my phone hotspot in a cell phone hole again, sure, but I plan to be prepared for more than just one issue. Never know when an unexpected opportunity might arise to work on that family tree.    

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