Ah, the perils of messaging on Ancestry.com or elsewhere in our genealogical journey.
The fact of the matter is that for whatever reason, the notification system on Ancestry is subpar at best. When comments are left on media items, if you don’t look—you don’t see.
Such is the case that I painfully learned, recently. The saying ‘No good deed goes unpunished’ fits perfectly in this message mishap.
After spotting a comment that had apparently been hanging out on a picture of one of my ancestors’ profiles on Ancestry for a year without my knowing, I responded via message.
In my message I said sorry—just seeing your message. I went on to share the latest on what I had learned about the ancestor and detailed corrections for a previous error that I had made in their parentage. Further, I happily (and naively) told them that I was happy to learn and share more.
One day later I received their reply:
“Thanks for the rapid response.”
I like deadpan humor as much as the next guy, but this was tacky AF. There is no way that I would respond to someone like this, no matter how much time has elapsed. Given the wild course of events over the past few years or so, I definitely wouldn’t sarcastically drip over someone reaching out to me after any amount of time.
Interestingly enough, years ago, I sent an Ancestry message to a relative and received a response after more than two years. Two years! You know what, I told my cousin that we were meant to connect when we did. No apologies needed! Once again, it was the wackiness of the message delivery system at Ancestry. Turns out that this cousin ended up being one of the most important connections that I ever could have made in my family history search.
Imagine if I had been flippant and annoyed at his ‘rapid response’…
So, I suppose the point of my writing about this is to recommend patience above all in communicating with others about genealogy (shoot, about anything really). Today’s message could be tomorrow’s breakthrough or next year’s breakthrough.
Let’s not let a rapid response close the door on discovery when we are called to break down walls. That’s a scary thought.
This is our situation (and their issue)
The Genealogy Situation Room