Friday, April 27, 2012

Using RootsMagic 5 to Add to the FamilySearch Family Tree

In My First Look at FamilySearch Family Tree - Post 1 and Post 2 last month, I briefly described the content, navigation and look of the interconnected family tree on FamilySearch, plus the process of manually adding a source and adding a discussion item to a person in the tree. 

I had posted last year about using RootsMagic to access and add to the New FamilySearch tree in 

New FamilySearch Family Tree Compendium.  I was curious if:

*   Can RootsMagic 5 access the FamilySearch Family Tree (, accessed from the Family Tree menu item on the FamilySearch Home Page if a user is signed into FamilySearch) in the same manner as it accessed the New FamilySearch tree last year?

*  If so, how quickly was the information added or edited?

*  Do Place Details and Description field information get transferred to the FamilySearch Family Tree?

*  In the month since I last tested the FamilySearch Family Tree, have they added more source capability?

The short answers are YES, FAST, NO/YES and NO.  Here are the details:

1)  I accessed my great-great-grandfather, Edward Hildreth (1831-1899) in the FamilySearch Family Tree:

2)  After clicking on the "View Ancestor" link on Edward Hildreth's small window, his Person Page came up (two screens):

In the screens above, there are Facts for birth, marriage, death, and burial, and lists of his spouse and children, and his parents and siblings.

3)  In my RootsMagic 5 database, I have more Facts for Edward Hildreth (occupation, probate and census Facts).  Here is the Family page for Edward Hildreth in RootsMagic 5:

4)  I clicked on the FamilySearch icon on the line with his name, and the FamilySearch Person Tools screen came up for Edward Hildreth:

In the screen above, the RootsMagic information is in the left panel and the FamilySearch information is in the right panel.  As you can see, there are some Facts in both (colored green if they match exactly).  The Facts in RootsMagic with no counterpart in the FamilySearch Family Tree are not on the FamilySearch list.

5)  for each Fact I want to add to the FS Family Tree, I click on the check box to the left of the Fact on the RootsMagic list, and see a small window:

The small window asks "Add as a new event in FamilySearch?"  I clicked the "OK" button.  It took several seconds to add the Fact to the right-hand panel indicating that the Fact had been added to the FamilySearch database.

6)  After going through the list of Facts that I wanted to add from RootsMagic, the screen looked like this:

As you can see, I added nine Facts to the FamilySearch tree.

7)  Within one minute, I went back to the FamilySearch Family Tree and refreshed the Person Page for Edward Hildreth:

All nine Facts that I added were included in the Fact list on the FamilySearch Family Tree.  Interestingly, they are grouped by Fact Type rather than by Fact date.  

8)  What about sources for all of those Facts?  I have them in my RootsMagic database.  Do they transfer to the FamilySearch Family Tree?  Here's the bottom of Edward Hildreth's Person Page:

Evidently the Source Citations attached to a Fact (or a Media item) does not transfer to the FamilySearch Family Tree.  I don't know if this is a RootsMagic or FamilySearch issue, but this capability is absolutely necessary in order for FamilySearch to make the Family Tree as good as it can be.  Without this capability, very few persons will take the time to copy and paste source citations from their database, or take the time to type them in.  

One more thing I noticed:  the "Place Details" field for the Facts in RootsMagic 5 do not transfer to the FamilySearch Family Tree.  Therefore, addresses, cemetery names, ED numbers, etc. are not transferred for Facts.  The information in the "Description" field does get transferred.  I don't know if this is a RootsMagic issue or a FamilySearch issue, but I hope that the "Place Details" field gets added to the FamilySearch Family Tree in the near future.

I'm going to wait until FamilySearch Family Tree adds the capability to add a source (and a media item) from the genealogy management program before I add any more Facts in this manner.  When they do, then I'll have to go back and add the sources (and media) to the FamilySearch Family Tree for the 400+ persons I've already added or matched using RootsMagic.  

As far as I can tell, the addition of Facts using RootsMagic 5 to the FamilySearch Family Tree is nearly instantaneous.  

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

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