Monday, August 15, 2011

FamilySearch Affiliates Update - and Ancestor Split program

I like to look at the list of the different affiliates that are working with FamilySearch to help users of the New FamilySearch Family Tree.  The affiliates are listed on

The Helpful Products site ( says:

"Please click on the listed platform (Web, Windows, Mac, Mobile) on the left side to see the available products for that platform. Then click on the product name to see the detail information. is a non-profit organization. We provide genealogical resources and historical records free to the public. also opens our tools to software developers. We love to see the creative and helpful products they build. We want you to discover much more about your family history, so we’ve listed tools and services here that we think can bring you closer to your ancestors than ever before.

"Many of these products have a close relationship with We’ve noted where certain features are “certified” with a ✓ . This means the product is compatible with and has features that conforms to our strict standards of quality."

The certified affiliate that caught my eye was the first one listed on the Windows list - Ancestor Split, which I had not heard of previously. 

I clicked on the link and saw:

This screen says:

"More often than not your family tree has an ancestor that is incorrectly combined. It can be ominous looking through the 60 records with the mismatched birth date, as well as quite tedious. We make it easy! All you have to do is click on the arrow next to the birth date to separate all the records with that mismatched birth date.

"With Ancestor Split you will spend more time researching your ancestors and less time fixing other people's mistakes."

That description matches my experiences when working in the New FamilySearch Family Tree several months ago. 

I clicked the link to go to the Ancestor Split website (

This website indicates that Ancestor Split is part of the Sharing Time, a subsidiary of the Real Time Collaboration, Inc. company, which is also working on the AncestorSync program (to synchronize data between desktop software and online family trees).  and other software tools.  The Sharing Time page for Ancestor Split is ( - two screens:

When you click on the video tutorial to run it, a screen appears that says:

"We are pleased to present to you Ancestor Split.  Click here to download Ancestor Split for Microsoft Windows.  You may also download the Mac OS X version.

"AncestorSplit is the ultimate ancestor separation utility for New FamilySearch. AncestorSplit is free to all subscribers of SharingTime. If you have a paid subscription [$9.95 per year right now], download AncestorSplit today!"

The video that demonstrates Ancestor Split is 2:51 minutes long, and does not have sound.  I found the video somewhat confusing without sound, although the words on the screen describe the process.

It appears that Ancestor Split is embedded in the FamilyInsight genealogy program ($25 retail price) created and marketed by Ohana Software, Inc., which is also a subsidiary of Real Time Collaboration, Inc. 

All of this raises questions that I want answers for:

*  Will Ancestor Split only be available to use with FamilyInsight, or will there be versions that work from within other software programs, like RootsMagic, Family Tree Maker, Legacy, etc.?  If so, which ones, and when will they be available?  If not, it seems to me that FamilyInsight will quickly become the "gotta-have-it" genealogy program for researchers who want to use the New FamilySearch Family Tree online tree.

*  Will Ancestor Split be the only product on the market that will perform this task? 

*  Do I have to have a Sharing Time subscription in order to use Ancestor Split in FamilyInsight?

*  Once persons are split by one researcher, what's to keep another researcher from merging them again?  Perhaps this is when the "Discussion" feature in New FamilySearch will be used - hopefully, before the split so that there is not a merge battle between researchers. 

Of course, this product was developed because of the major problems in the New FamilySearch Family Tree online database - there are so many duplicate persons, duplicate facts, persons merged that should not have been, etc., in the New FamilySearch Family Tree.  An entrepreneurial company emerged to make the peg to fit in the hole to make fixing the online tree much easier.

I look forward to seeing how this all turns out.  It's an interesting time to be a genealogy software user , an online family tree user, and a genealogy blogger.

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