Monday, December 19, 2011

Ancestry Member Trees, Family Tree Maker 2012, and the iPhone Ancestry App

I shared last week that I received my early Christmas present - an iPhone 4.  I synced a 7,000 person database from Family Tree Maker 2012 to a new Ancestry Member Tree.  Then I accessed that Ancestry Member Tree with the Ancestry App on my iPhone.  That worked fine.

I wanted to add the images of the historical records to the Ancestry Member Tree, and then be able to download them to my FTM 2012 database.  Using the iPhone, I went methodically through most of the hints for many of my recent ancestral families, and attached the records to the persons.  The historical record images opened on the iPhone after I had attached them. 

Note that other Ancestry Member Trees are not included in the Hints that show up on the iPhone Ancestry App.

Then I thought - "well, since I added the historical record links to my Ancestry Member Tree, I should be able to sync the modified AMT to FTM 2012 and the historical record images sgould be in the FTM 2012 database." 

Not exactly.

Here's the Ancestry Member Tree overview for David Auble:

The iPhone work added the 1850 U.S. Census record to a Residence Fact, and if I click on the Fact I can get to the historical record summary:

Above the record summary, the system told me that "You have attached this record to ... David Auble in your tree Seaver-Leland Family."  So far so good.

Then I synced my FTM 2012 database with the modified Ancestry Member Tree, and opened FTM 2012 to see if the historical record image is present.  Here is the David Auble Person page which shows the Residence Fact for the 1850 U.S. Census:

There is no Media icon on the Fact list, and there is no Media item in the Media tab for the Fact.

The Source tab on the "Edit source ..." screen for the 1850 Residence Fact shows this:

The Reference note for this source is:, 1850 United States Federal Census (Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.Original data - Seventh Census of the United States, 1850; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M432, 1009 rolls); Records of the Bureau of the), iPhone Tree, http://www.iPhone Tree, 1850 United States Federal Census. residence date: 1850
residence place: Newark West Ward, Essex, New Jersey
birth date: 1817
birth place: Stillwater, Sussex, New Jersey, United States.

While I'm not doing this post to examine the source citation, I can't resist critiquing it:

*  The first parenthesis does not have a closing parenthesis (it should be after "2009" I think). 
*  A space is needed between "FamilySearch." and "Original"
*  The source citation does not include the census place, the page number or the NARA microfilm Roll number for the specific record.
*  The phrase "Records of the Bureau of the" needs closure - perhaps the word "Census?"
*  The URL given for the iPhone repository is http://www.iPhone without any file type.  Is a website?  Nope.  Nor is or something similar. 
*  Three different Facts are provided by this historical record - the Residence, the Birth Date and the Birth Place.  The birth date on the census record summary is "about 1818," the Fact says "1817." While the birthplace on the census record image and record summary is "New Jersey" the birth place in the record above is "Stillwater, Sussex, New Jersey, United States."  Apparently, the Birth Date and Birth Place for this source citation pick up the Birth Fact data and not the data on the historical record summary.

Back to the Family Tree Maker 2012 database...  A click on the "Media" tab on the source citation does not show the historical record image attached to this Residence Fact. 

I'm really confused by all of this.  I thought that if a historical record was attached to a Fact on an Ancestry Member Tree that it would download the Fact, the Source and the Media item to a Family Tree Maker 2012 database through the synchronization feature.  It doesn't seem to do that.  The Fact is there, the Source is there, but the Media is not there.  I had really hoped that I'd be able to do it all in the iPhone Ancestry App but apparently I cannot. 

So what I'm going to do now is attach the 1850 U.S. Census record image to the Residence Fact in the Ancestry Member Tree and see if that synchronizes with FTM 2012 and shows up in the iPhone Ancestry App.  I'll report on that effort next time.

I am disappointed that the Source citations don't reflect the information on the historical record, and that there are text and punctuation errors for the iPhone generated Facts.

Does anyone have any experience using the iPhone Ancestry App and having the record image synced to their Family Tree Maker 2012 tree?  If so, please let me know how you did it!  I have lots more to do. 


Cousin Russ said...


Citation without Media file.

First, did you wait until the Media Complete message was displayed on the Plan Workspace?

On the Citation screen that you posted, did you click on the View Online link? Was there an image there?

Please go to the Media Workspace and do a CTRL+F5.


Cousin Russ said...


I am duplicating your example with my iPad. Will reply again, when I get a chance to sync my file.


Dave Lynch said...

I have had troubles with Ctrl+F5. If you open the citation to edit there should be a link to download missing media. If you click it the media should show up.

Duff Wilson (Ancestry) said...


In my testing of the scenario you outlined, the record image did sync to Family Tree Maker after adding it from my iPhone. I'll look into this some more, since I'm not sure why the image didn't download in your case.

Cousin Russ said...


I was unable to duplicate what you saw. I will blog about it.

What I did notice, on the Change Log Details, that the iOS Repository was listed.

I will document what I did on my Blog.

The only difference, iPhone, and iPad2.


Cousin Russ said...


I just posted my findings.


AAB College said...

I agree with your findings.