Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Dear Randy: I Moved My Tree to RootsMagic, How Do I Keep Adding to my Ancestry Member Tree?

I received this question in email today from Marty: "I worked in an Ancestry.com Member Tree until I moved my tree to RootsMagic. Now, how do I continue to add stuff on the Ancestry Member Tree?"

My answer is pretty simple:  

1)  There is no automagical synchronization at this time between Ancestry.com and RootsMagic software.  You can continue to add names, dates, places, notes, sources, and attached records to your Ancestry Member Tree.  But you need to also add the information, by hand, to your RootsMagic family tree.  In other words, you will be keeping two trees up to date.  



I recommend that you Save (download) the record images that you find on Ancestry.com, and other websites, to your computer system and then attach the images as media to your RootsMagic database, tagging the image to the appropriate Fact (e.g., birth, census, military, etc.).  



2)  An alternative is what I do:  I don't keep my Ancestry Member Tree up-to-date.  I capture the information (name, relationship, date, place, note, source, media) from Ancestry.com (or other resources) for a specific person in my RootsMagic family tree, often using the Hints beautifully provided by Ancestry.com (or from a search on FamilySearch, MyHeritage, Findmypast, AmericanAncestors, Mocavo, etc.).  I create a Fact for the information, fill in the date, place and description fields, craft a source citation, download the image to my computer, and add the media to the person, and tag it to the Fact.

After some time, usually a year or two, I create a GEDCOM file in RootsMagic and upload it as a NEW Ancestry Member Tree.  Unfortunately, the media items don't transfer in this case because I'm using a GEDCOM file.  If I import the GEDCOM file into Family Tree Maker 2014, then the Media items transfer to Family Tree Maker 2014, and I can then create a new Ancestry Member Tree by synchronizing with the Family Tree Maker file;  that Ancestry Member Tree does include my Media items.  However, the minute I add something to either the Ancestry Member Tree or the RootsMagic file, the other one is out of date and I cannot synchronize them.

3)  My wish is that Ancestry.com will find a way to synchronize with RootsMagic and other genealogy software programs.  However, I doubt that that will happen because RootsMagic is a competitor to Ancestry's Family Tree Maker.  I note that there seem to be significant problems with consistent synchronization of Family Tree Maker with an Ancestry Member Tree.  So maybe I need to be careful what I wish for.

4)  To summarize: I do all of my data input in the RootsMagic genealogy software program, and don't enter anything by hand in the Ancestry Member Tree.  I use the Hints at Ancestry.com, the Record Hints at FamilySearch, the Record Matches at MyHeritage, the Record Hints at Findmypast, and information I find anywhere else (even at a library or archive) to enrich my RootsMagic family tree  database.  

All of the above applies to any other genealogy software program that a user may have - the exception is Family Tree Maker 2014 will synchronize to Ancestry.com Member Tree without a GEDCOM upload.

The URL for this post is:  http://www.geneamusings.com/2015/10/dear-randy-i-moved-my-tree-to.html

Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver


Please comment on this post on the website by clicking the URL above and then the "Comments" link at the bottom of each post.  Or contact me by email at randy.seaver@gmail.com. 


3 comments:

Russ Worthington said...

Randy,

There is a flip side of all of this. Oh, I totally get what you are saying, so please don't get be wrong.

The FlipSide is the use of the other websites you mentioned. I my trees on MyHeritage, some on FamilySearch, get hints from MyHeritage, Geni.com, and Mocavo but really have to work at them. So, I have the reverse for you.

RootsMagic brings those other hints to you, from MyHeritage and FamilySearch and you can merge them into RootsMagic very easily. I can only Manually Search those records that have been indexed on FamilySearch, one person at a time. The SmartMatchs and RecordMatchs from MyHeritage are awesome, but I have to manually, with a lot of work, get the information from those sites into FTM2014.

At least you can see the specific Hints from your Ancestry Member Tree (AMT) and can merge that information into your AMT, it's keeping it updated is the issue.

IF I were in your situation, I would get into the Double Entry Mode. Let RootsMagic find you Hints from those two websites, but when I would enter into RootsMagic, I would have on my other screen my AMT and double enter there AND keep an eye on the Hints from Ancestry.

In fact, I am trying to figure out how best to do the reverse, use RootsMagic for the Hints and it's features and double enter between RootsMagic and FTM2014.

Oh, I am not disagreeing with you about Ancestry syncing with RootsMagic. In fact, I think that Ancestry.com (the record repository) might have a lot of new subscribers of that interface were available, between the Ancestry Website and RootsMagic (or any other vendor). I am sure that the Roots Magician could do his thing to make his part work. I am in awe of the work that he has done for RootsMagic.

If I weren't so tied to working on a PC or a Mac, I would use RootsMagic. I do not like working with the Ancestry Member Tree. Case in point, was teaching a class on that very topic (working on the AMT) and had a serious issue with it, in class.

I do have and use RootsMagic for what it does best, but I can't walk away from the FTM2014 TreeSync™ feature.

I have been working on some 17th century project, and before I could complete the data entry for some of these folks, I was getting hints for them. Children who died very, very young, but their baptismal record was showing up as a hint, mostly because I had their parents listed. They were good hints and records. The same thing when teaching a class, enter a couple of names (FAN club) and Hints appear, in class.

Just wanted your readers to know that there is a flipside to your story AND that I totally understand what you are saying.

Russ

Michigan Girl said...

Hi Randy,
I'll chime in as a Legacy user. I have trees on Ancestry. A couple of bare bones public ones (which I periodically update by deleting and loading a new GEDCOM) and my private one. The private one I consider my work in progress tree. I will have it open on one monitor and a Legacy open on the other. Much like Russ said. When I see hints (I'm talking about record hints, not other people's trees) on the Ancestry tree I'm able to check them out, decide if they are actually applicable to my ancestor and then proceed. I save the record to the Ancestry tree, download an image of the item (if an image exists) and add and source all the data into Legacy.
So, most of the time I'm editing two trees at once. It isn't cumbersome because of the two monitors and it takes very little time. I, for one, don't want Legacy to team with Ancestry, as I'm aware of the problems that exist with the FTM sync. Although I know many people use and like it and that's wonderful.
Seems we all have a work flow that gets the job done.

Drew Smith said...

Randy, you write: "My wish is that Ancestry.com will find a way to synchronize with RootsMagic and other genealogy software programs. However, I doubt that that will happen because RootsMagic is a competitor to Ancestry's Family Tree Maker." And Russ responds: "Oh, I am not disagreeing with you about Ancestry syncing with RootsMagic. In fact, I think that Ancestry.com (the record repository) might have a lot of new subscribers of that interface were available, between the Ancestry Website and RootsMagic (or any other vendor). I am sure that the Roots Magician could do his thing to make his part work. I am in awe of the work that he has done for RootsMagic."

It can't happen, and it's not even because RootsMagic is a competitor to FTM (although it's related). It's because the Ancestry trees and RootsMagic use *different* underlying data structures. Therefore, they cannot sync without the loss of data, not to mention decision-making that would no doubt please some and upset others.

And yes, I have had this conversation with Bruce any number of times, so I doubt that he would disagree.