Monday, July 13, 2009

Uploading a FTM 2009 Database with Attached Media to

I was unaware, or completely forgot, that Family Tree Maker 2008 and 2009 will permit the user to upload a FTM 2008 or 2009 database to from within the genealogy software. In other words, without a GEDCOM file. I don't know how this slipped past me, but it did. I corrected my post Family Tree Maker 2010 software - what? when? today to reflect this reality.

Michelle Pfister from sent an email that corrected my statement in that post about how FTM 2010 will interact with - the user will be able to download an Ancestry Member Tree into Family Tree Maker 2010 with the attached media. However, the "attached media" is the media that the member attached, not the historical record images attached from (although sources and source citations will be included for the Facts, although the image will not be included). Confused yet?

It is important to note that only the owner of the Ancestry Member Tree can download the Ancestry tree GEDCOM file. The owner can share information with guests, collaborators and editors, but they cannot download the tree.

I wanted to prove to myself that FTM 2009 would upload a whole genealogy database with attached media to Here is how I did it:

1) I attached 24 family photographs, including some thumbnail images to use on charts and reports, as media images in FTM 2009, and hunted for how to send the file off to I finally resorted to the Help menu, and it told me to use the "Share" button in the upper right hand corner of the Person workspace (or the Places, Sources, Media or Publish workspaces), as shown below:

When I clicked the "Share" button, a drop-down list appeared, and "Upload to Ancestry" was the first item, as shown above.

2) I clicked on it and this small window opened to let me choose either the Entire file or Selected individuals, and check boxes for Privatize living people, Include private facts, Include private notes, and Include media files:

3) I clicked on the "OK" box and the file creation began. Here is a screen shot taken near the end of the file creation (not the actual upload):

4) When the file creation was completed, my Internet browser opened and the "Upload Your Family Tree" page appeared. I filled in the blanks, and accepted the Submission agreement:

The uploading of the created file to an Ancestry Member Tree began. This took several minutes for my file with 23,000 persons in it. When it was completed, I opened the Member Tree and had to connect myself (as an Ancestry member) with my entry in the Member Tree. After that, it opened in the Family Tree view and busily started creating green leaf "Ancestry Hints" for me. I noted that my attached "thumbnail" media items showed up on the tree:

I clicked on my father's name, then on the "View Profile" link on the dropdown menu, and his Person Page in my Ancestry Member Tree appeared:

There are the 9 media items for him that I uploaded to my FTM 2009 database today. The others were all in the right places too.

This process works pretty fast, even with my large database (I know, Tamura Jones would say that it is only a "medium-sized" database).

I could go further and attach all of my census and other downloaded images to my database, or use the Web Search feature to capture them from, and then upload those to also. I think I'll wait, though. I don't want to have to do this over again. I want to do it once more in a semi-final way, but I need to get my sources fixed, merge some of my other collateral databases, and attach as many images as possible. I still have much work to do in my databases! This may not happen until FTM 2012 is available!

Besides, I haven't chosen a "final" genealogy software program yet. I waver back and forth between Family Tree Maker, Legacy Family Tree and RootsMagic. I'm currently working in all three of them, knowing that I can GEDCOM information back and forth as long as I don't attach media to them. I still add to and edit my "master" database, and many other collateral and client databases, in Family Tree Maker 16 because I am very comfortable with it.


Genealogy TidBits said...

Hi Randy,

One thing I have come across in uploading a FTM file to online family tree ...there is a size limit to the upload. Per an email from tech support the limit is 75 Mb. If you try uploading a large FTM file with allot of attachments, it will fail when it reaches the size limit. Hopefully will increase this size limit as it does limit your uploads of large size family trees with attachments. The only work around for this is to select individuals rather than the entire file, and/or not uploading your media with your FTM data.

Keep up the great work ...look forward to reading your blog each morning when I turn my computer on!

Anonymous said...

Hi Randy,

I searched all through the message boards and the help files on the site to find a way to upload my tree with the media attached. Everyone said there was no way to do this. You have proven them all wrong. I am adding your blog to my bookmarks and will read daily from now on.

Thank you!