Thousands of folks who have uploaded their family tree data to Ancestry.com's Rootsweb pages or have shared further information on their Freepages may be unaware that these pages are currently “unavailable”. Since Ancestry.com has not directly notified most users of this problem and their site merely shows the following message with no further information this is just a heads up for users of those sites, follow the links below for a full explanation.
We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but protecting our users’ personal information is our top priority. During this down time, we are working to preserve all data saved to Rootsweb, and hope to have an update within a few weeks.
If you would like to learn more, please visit our blog post.
Where it says in part
We have temporarily taken RootsWeb offline, and are working to ensure that all data is saved and preserved to the best of our ability. As RootsWeb is a free and open community that has been largely built by its users, we may not be able to salvage everything as we work to resolve this issue and enhance the RootsWeb infrastructure.
Whilst all us who use Freepages / Rootsweb hope that this gets resolved and the pages get reinstated Ancestry.com does not seem to have a good track record on backing up or protecting the data on their freepages, something I am sure they do do on their highly advertised and user pay sites. Its hardly surprising that they pay less attention to these long standing non commercial sites that they inherited when purchasing Ancestry.com but given that the data posted by individuals on the feepages leads users to try the commercial Ancestry site it is almost certainly an asset to them. In the past several portions of the freepages have been discontinues, we can but hope that the personal databases and pages are reinstated soon and better protected in the future. Given the high volume of advertising they do on national TV they certainly have the assets to do so.
Bottom line here folks is to ALWAYS keep your files in more than one place, back up those files regularly and remember that no matter how secure you think your data is “Shit Happens” !
For a further discussion on this along with some realty good suggestions on these issues go to the recent post at https://lisalouisecooke.com/2017/12/30/rootsweb-is-down/