If you go to the FamilySearch Product Support page and ask a question such as "What is Ancestral File?" all you will get in the first fifty responses is Personal Ancestral File answers. Nor is there anything about Ancestral File on the Product Support navigaton bar. Since Product Support does not offer information about Ancestral File, the Research Wiki should be allowed to expand its coverage and do a better job of explaining the use of this important product. Diltsgd 16:01, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
It would be extremely useful to genealogical "newbies" to discuss in brief the evolution and timeline of the Ancestral File. When was it first deployed for use in the Family History Centers? When was it first published on CD-ROM? Which versions were made available when? What happened when the match/merge program was run in 1994 (bedlam, if I recall correctly)? First Internet deployment was May 1999 (and do I remember that day well! we crashed the site from our excitement to have it for home use!). When was the file officially closed? And, most significant for present proliferation of AF data throughout the genealogical community, when was it first possible to download a GEDCOM from AF? Genehisthome 22:13, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
It would also be very useful to newbies to know that the information in Ancestral File cannot be relied on to be accurate as it has been supplied by individuals with varying degrees of expertise in family history. As it is now closed, even if the original submitter discovers errors in the information, there appears to be no way of correcting these.