Home > Empty Ancestry Search Results and Missing Categories in FTM 2017 Web Search

Empty Ancestry Search Results and Missing Categories in FTM 2017 Web Search

UPDATE: The issues with missing categories and empty Ancestry search results have been fixed in FTM 2017 version 23.2.  For more information about the update click here.


Recently we have received reports from customers experiencing difficulties when using Web Search in FTM 2017 to search Ancestry collections.

Specifically, users have reported the following issues:

  • After searching Ancestry records using Web Search, you see a message stating that "your search returned zero matches” and suggesting that you try unchecking one or more “exact” boxes (even though they may all be unchecked already).
  • After searching Ancestry records using Web Search, the list of Categories you could use to filter records is missing from the lower-left side (next to the list of results).

For both of these issues, our engineers are working with Ancestry's to identify the cause and make a fix.  In the meantime, there is a simple workaround that will both let you see search results as you would normally expect, and also allow you to filter by Category.


  1. In Web Search, either click on New Search or Edit Search (if you already had a search in progress).
  2. Scroll down to the bottom of the Search criteria, and you will see four checkboxes corresponding to types of records.
  3. Uncheck the box for "Family Trees", then click Search.
  4. You should now be able to see search results as normal, as well as the list of categories.
  5. If you would like to see family tree records in search results, instead of unchecking the box for "Family Trees" in step 3, uncheck all of the other boxes, leaving only "Family Trees" checked.

Note: if you are seeing "your search returned zero matches" even after attempting the workaround, please make sure that the box for "Match all terms exactly" is unchecked, and consider unchecking any other boxes labeled "Exact" in your search terms to see if those settings are restricting your search results.

Couldn’t find the answer you needed? Click here for further assistance.