Monday, July 7, 2014

How to Put a Family Tree on Ancestry Member Tree With Media Items

I have several Ancestry Member Trees, all with a somewhat different purpose.  Some are for current or past client research, and those are usually private and not searchable.  One is my "cousin bait trees" wherein I'm trying to attract cousins with whom to correspond and collaborate.  Another is my "ancestral family" tree to help me find Hints for my ancestral families in a logical and time-efficient way.  I use the latter tree for my mobile app tree so that I know what I have downloaded to my computer when I'm at a repository.

I had last updated my "cousin-bait tree" back in August 2012, but I have added over 1,600 persons, about 22,000 source citations and about 800 media items to my RootsMagic database.  It was time to put a new "cousin bait tree" on

But how to upload it to and have all of the Media items included?

There are two ways to do it (and to do it with any other software program except for Family Tree Maker 2014):

1)  Export a GEDCOM File and Import it directly into as a New Ancestry Member Tree.  In this case, the Media items do not transfer.  The user has to import them one media item at a time and attach them to persons and Facts in the Ancestry Member Tree.  

2)  Export a GEDCOM File and Import it into Family Tree Maker 2014, as a New Tree and then Sync that tree to a New Ancestry Member Tree.  This process imports all of the content of the original database including the Media items.  

I did the second option so that the Media items were imported.  I exported a GEDCOM file from RootsMagic that included the Media items.  I then imported that into Family Tree Maker 2014.

Here are some screen shots showing the upload to Ancestry process:

1)  Here is the Family Tree Maker 2014 "Plan" workspace before importing the GEDCOM file:

After clicking on the orange "Continue" button the import started.  After it imported, I checked that the media, sources, and notes had imported correctly, and they had.  The one additional task I did was to identify the head shot media pictures as the "profile picture."

2)  After it was completed, then the "Plan" workspace view enables me to "Sync" the database to a new Ancestry Member Tree.

Before I clicked on the "Upload and Link to Ancestry" link, I clicked on the buttons to "Allow others to see your tree as a public member tree" and to enable "Manual" synchronization rather than "Automatic" synchronization with the Ancestry Member Tree.

3) I clicked on the "Upload and Link to Ancestry" link on the screen above, and the tree uploaded.  It did not take very long, even with almost 43,000 persons, for the person information to upload, but it took about 10 hours for 2395 media items to upload.  I just kept FTM 2014 open during that time and it eventually finished.

4)  The next day, I looked at the new Tree in the Pedigree View.  Ancestry immediately started finding Record Hints for the persons on the pedigree chart:

On the "Tree Pages" link I selected "Tree Settings" and selected myself as home person and who I was in the tree.  I also added a "Tree Description" in the field provided:

 On the "Tree Pages" link I selected the "Tree Overview" link and saw the Tree Summary and Hints lists, and the top of the Media Gallery:

5)  I wanted to look at a person profile, so I clicked on the Tree name on the screen above, and saw the Pedigree View, and then hovered the mouse over my grandfather, Frank Walton Seaver:

To see his Profile, I clicked on the "View profile" link at the bottom of the Profile Card on the screen above, and saw his profile:

6)  From there, I could look at the 15 Hints that were found for him by Ancestry while I slept overnight, if I chose.  And the Hints for the other 42,900 persons in my database, if I chose.

However, I usually don't accept Hints on this "cousin bait tree" because I've already found them and saved them to my computer, and attached them to person and Facts in my RootsMagic database, on the "ancestral family tree."

7)  Some caveats:

*  In order to upload Media items to from a "master" genealogy database in a program other than Family Tree Maker, the user has to purchase Family Tree Maker 2014.  So there is a cost.

*  A tree uploaded in this manner can only be synced from the Family Tree Maker 2014 database, and not from the other genealogy software application, like RootsMagic. The user will have to add any updated information from Family Tree Maker/ by hand into the other program, or export the updated GEDCOM file from FTM 2014 to the other program.  There are problems with that process.

*  Obviously, someone who uses Family Tree Maker 2014 for their "master" genealogy database program don't have the updating problem - they can just click on the "Sync" button in the "Plan" workspace in Family Tree Maker 2014.

*  Ancestry Member Trees are FREE to upload, but users need to have a subscription in order to see record Hints.

So why two trees?  I'll discuss that in a separate post later this week.

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Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver


Kim Mills said...

Great post Randy! I update my Ancestry tree in the same way. I try to keep it fairly updated so when I add new info to a family group I export a gedcom from RootsMagic and import it into FTM. I merge the people on import, then sync it to Ancestry. It works pretty good.

Diane Hall said...

Great post Randy. I have FTM 2012. Will it work with that version? I'd love to get all my media items onto Ancestry. I currently have a private tree with hundreds of items I've added manually. But, it's not even close to the same number in my Legacy database.

Sandy Scott said...

Randy, what about using FTM 2009? I bought that because I had a GEDCOM done in FTM and couldn't get to the info. I prefer to use my RootsMagic so I want to do what you did.

Randy Seaver said...

Diane, I think that it will work with FTM 2012. Try it out with a small GEDCOM test file.

Sandy, no it won't work with FTM 2009, only with FTM 2012 and 2014. Sorry!

Unknown said...

Randy, although I don't yet have an Ancestry tree, I've just recently tried the process you've outlined. I run into a glitch. When I export my RootsMagic 6 into FTM via GEDCOM, the Media workspace in FTM shows mutiple thumbnails of the same media. Most of my media are attached to citations. I wondered if you saw a similar problem. And/or perhaps it didn't matter once you sync'd to your Ancestry tree.

Nancy said...

I have a Mac FTM version 2012 and I have Windows Legacy. Will it work with that version? I'd like to get all my media items onto Ancestry. I have a current FTM but I don't have all my media in there that is in my Legacy database.