Monday, July 8, 2013

Checking How Sources From RootsMagic 6 Transfer to FamilySearch Family Tree

I posted about how source citations in the latest version of RootsMagic 6 transferred to the FamilySearch Family Tree in Sources Can Now Be Interchanged Between RootsMagic 6 and FamilySearch Family Tree, posted 20 June 2013.

What do the sources look like in FamilySearch Family Tree?  Are they exactly what was input in RootsMagic 6?  Did formatting in the RootsMagic 6 sources transfer to the Family Tree?

I have 17 sources in the FamilySearch Family Tree for my grandfather, Frederick Walton Seaver (KL8K-54D).  Here is the top of his "Person" Profile on the Family Tree:

The "sources" section of his profile (before expansion, not all sources shown):

On thel ist of "sources" above, there are icons to the left of each one listed.  The "World" icon indicates that the source citation came from outside of FamilySearch, while the "Tree" icon indicates that it was created by adding a record to the Tree by using the "Source Box" on FamilySearch Record Collections.

After I clicked on each source listed above, the actual citations were shown (there are 7 screens, first screen only shown here):

For the longer ones, I had to click on the "More" link to see the entirety of the source citation.

Here are the last two source citations, both of them were obtained from the "Source Box" feature:

Some conclusions:

1)  For the source citations I attached using RootsMagic 6, the source title and the source citation (reference footnote format) were added to the FamilySearch Family Tree Person Profile.

2)  The source formatting in RootsMagic (italics, bold, underline, etc.) did not transfer to the Family Tree

3)  Some RootsMagic Source features, such as the Source Text, Source Comments, Detail Text, Detail Comments, Source Quality, or Repository did not transfer.

4)  I attached the Find A Grave link using Tree Connect several months ago, and it is signified with a "world" icon.  When it transferred to the Source box, the source Title, source URL, source citation (created by FamilySearch? I don't know!) and a Note were transferred.

5)  There are significant differences between a source citation created to Evidence! Explained standards in RootsMagic 6 and what the FamilySearch "Source Box" creates.  I uploaded my census source citations and also had the citations created by FamilySearch.  Here are source citations (Reference Footnote) for one census year as an example

From RootsMagic 6:  
1900 United States Federal Census, Population Schedule, Worcester County, Massachusetts; Leominster: Enumeration District 1645, sheet 16, line 44, Frank W. Seaver household; online database, (, citing National Archives Microfilm Publication T623, Roll 692.

From FamilySearch "Source Box:"

"United States Census, 1900," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 08 Jul 2013), Fred W Seaver in entry for Frank W Seaver, 1900.

The link in the FamilySearch source citation is to the Record Summary web page on FamilySearch, which is supposed to be a permanent link.  The Record Summary web page provides more information about the state, county, city, ED, page number, etc.  From that web page, the user can click to see the image of the record (if it's available).

6)  I had a problem when I tried to transfer a source that contained more than one Fact type (i.e., Leominster Vital Certificates, which I used for birth, marriage and death certificates).  When I transferred them, I connected them to more than one event type, and on FamilySearch Family Tree only the first source citation was picked up by the Family Tree.  for example, I had a birth and death certificate for Frederick Seaver.  The citation in the Death Event said it was for the Birth - it didn't pick up the second Citation Detail in that case.  The fix was to separate the Master Sources - one for Birth, Marriage and Death.

7)  I find it much easier to add source citations from RootsMagic to the Family Tree than to go back into the FamilySearch Record Collections and find specific records and put them in "My source box" and then attaching them to a Person Profile.

8)  A user can edit any source citation in the FamilySearch Family Tree, but it's easier to get it right in the software program first.

Users of the software and FamilySearch Family Tree need to be aware of these capabilities and limitations.

The URL for this post is:

copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver


Geolover said...

You said, "8) A user can edit any source citation in the FamilySearch Family Tree"

Not so, if the citation was added to Source Box by clicking on the FS-HistoricalRecords extract-page citation. It can only be edited if one first makes a copy to add to the Source Box. The copy can then be edited to show such niceties as identity of the actual record (such as X County, Ohio, Probate Court Marriage Licenses Vol. XX p. yy).

You noted that repository data was not transferred by RM6 into the source citation in FS-FT. FS-FT does not have a field for "Repository" and is not set up to establish a source hierarchy such as exists in full-feature home genealogy programs. For such things as each member of an 1880 US Census household, FS-FT wants you to have 8 separate citations derived from the index/extract page for each individual.

On the other hand, there is no present plan to completely index complex documents, such as an application for estate administration that lists 20-odd heirs of different sorts. There is no 'tagging' system in FS-FT for a person's being "grandchild of" or "niece of".

So the organization's stated intention to have all the uploaded documents attached to an indexed individual is quite limited in scope.

Anonymous said...

I don't suppose you would do this same experiment for Legacy Family Tree :) I uploaded a small portion of my file to NewFamilySearch and at that time sources wouldn't transfer at all, you had to hand type them in. I might try uploading one person with sources just to see how Legacy transfers the info. If the sources don't transfer correctly that would be very disappointing to me.