Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Dear Randy: Three Questions about Ancestry Member Trees

I had three questions today in reader email about Ancestry Member Trees, GEDCOM files and Media.  These readers do not use Family Tree Maker 2012, and therefore cannot Sync their software database with their Ancestry Family Tree.

My Answers (I believe, I'm sure someone will tell me if I'm wrong!), assuming a person is not using Family Tree Maker 2012 but some other software program (like RootsMagic, Legacy Family Tree, Reunion, etc.) are below each Question:

1)  Question: Can I combine my current Ancestry Member Tree with the tree in my current software?

Answer:  The only way to combine your current Ancestry Member Tree with your current software tree is to download the Ancestry Member Tree using a GEDCOM export in Ancestry.com (in your tree, click on "Tree pages" and then "Tree settings" and select "Export tree.).  Then open your genealogy software, figure out how to "Combine" or "Merge" two trees, and combine or merge the Ancestry Member tree GEDCOM file into your existing genealogy software tree.  This is "dangerous, so make a copy and/or a backup of your genealogy software tree just in case you mess it up.  In any case, any Media items that you have attached to Persons or Facts in your Ancestry Member Tree will not be downloaded with the GEDCOM file.

2)  Question:  Do I have to use a GEDCOM file to upload my tree to Ancestry Member Tree?

Answer: Unless you use Family Tree Maker 2012 to download your Ancestry Member Tree, you will have to use a GEDCOM file to upload your family tree into a NEW Ancestry Member Tree.  That NEW AMT cannot be combined or merged with an existing Ancestry Member Tree.

3)  Question: If I have linked Media to persons and facts in my software tree, will it be attached in the Ancestry Member Tree?

Answer:  Any Media items attached or linked to persons or facts in your genealogy software tree will not be uploaded into a NEW Ancestry Member Tree.  The source citations will be uploaded, but not the Media that support the Facts or source citations.

Unasked, but low hanging fruit, is:

4.  Question:  Can I sync, using the Family Tree Maker 2012 TreeSync feature, an existing Ancestry Member Tree with an existing Family Tree Maker 2012 file?  

Answer:  The short answer is YES - but only if you download an existing Ancestry Member Tree file to a NEW FTM 2012 database file, and then combine or merge that file with an existing FTM 2012 file to create one FTM 2012 file.  The combined file can then be synced with the existing Ancestry Member Tree.  Again, you should make a backup of your FTM 2012 tree before you do this just to be safe if something goes wrong.  

That's how it is, folks.  I know that many readers understand this, but not everyone is aware of all of these details, so I wanted to spell it out for them.

Frankly, this is why Family Tree Maker 2012, whether on a Windows machine or a Mac machine is so popular.  The synchronization (TreeSync) feature works pretty well (um, except for relatively large trees, more on that later) and permits up load and download of Media between an Ancestry Member Tree and a Family Tree Maker 2012 software database, in addition to providing access to the tree using many mobile devices.

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Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

1 comment:

Russ Worthington said...

Randy,

A couple of the questions are also on the Ancestry.com Knowledge Base website (HELP menu)

Question 1: Can I combine my current Ancestry Member Tree with the tree in my current software?

Please go to the Knowledge Base website:

http://ancestry.custhelp.com/

and enter 4576 in the Search Support field and click on the Search Button. That will take you to an article that should help you with this. That is a Knowledge Based Article


Question 3: If I have linked Media to persons and facts in my software tree, will it be attached in the Ancestry Member Tree?

Knowledge Based article 5122


Russ