Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Comments About GEDCOM Files, Family Tree Maker, and Ancestry Member Trees

On my blog post How to Put a Family Tree on Ancestry Member Tree With Media Items (posted 6 July 2014), there were several comments that many of my readers may be interested in and deserve a response:

1)  Diane Hall noted:  "I have FTM 2012. Will it work with that version? I'd love to get all my media items onto Ancestry. I currently have a private tree with hundreds of items I've added manually. But, it's not even close to the same number in my Legacy database."

My comment:  FTM 2012 can import a GEDCOM file that includes Media links.  And FTM 2012 is able to sync with an Ancestry Member Tree.  If your Legacy database includes all of those that you've added manually to your private Ancestry Member Tree, then you could import a GEDCOM into FTM 2012, then Sync it to a new Ancestry Member Tree and have your updated tree on Ancestry.  You probably should delete the older Ancestry tree after you've determined that your new tree includes everything you want.  

2)  Sandy Scott asked:  "Randy, what about using FTM 2009? I bought that because I had a GEDCOM done in FTM and couldn't get to the info. I prefer to use my RootsMagic so I want to do what you did."

My comment:  You cannot use FTM 2009 to sync to an Ancestry Member Tree.  To do what I did, you will have to purchase FTM 2014 so that you have Sync capability to an Ancestry Member Tree.  Then you could create a GEDCOM in RootsMagic (including Medial inks), import it to FTM 2014, and sync that to a new Ancestry Member Tree.  If you don't buy FTM 2014, then you could import your GEDCOM file nto a new Ancestry Member Tree, but the Media items would not be included in the new AMT.

3)  Jeff commented:  "... Although I don't yet have an Ancestry tree, I've just recently tried the process you've outlined. I run into a glitch. When I export my RootsMagic 6 into FTM via GEDCOM, the Media workspace in FTM shows multiple thumbnails of the same media. Most of my media are attached to citations. I wondered if you saw a similar problem. And/or perhaps it didn't matter once you sync'd to your Ancestry tree. "

My response:   You probably have Media items in RootsMagic that are tagged to more than one Person and/or Events.  When you create the GEDCOM, the Media link points at a file on your computer.  When you import the GEDCOM file into FTM 2014, the program doesn't know that some are the same, so it adds a Media item for each specific link given.  As an example, I have 887 Multimedia links in my RootsMagic database, and 2449 links to the multimedia items.  I've added some since I created the GEDCOM.  There were 2395 Media items in my Media Workspace in FTM 2014, and in the Ancestry Member Tree, after my GEDCOM import.

So what you astutely noticed is the usual practice.  There are multiple copies of the same media file in the FTM 2014 database and the Ancestry Member Tree.

4)  Kim Mills offered:  "I update my Ancestry tree in the same way. I try to keep it fairly updated so when I add new info to a family group I export a GEDCOM from RootsMagic and import it into FTM. I merge the people on import, then sync it to Ancestry. It works pretty good."

My response:  I haven't done that - create a GEDCOM, import it to an existing and synced FTM 2014 file, and then sync the merged file to Ancestry. Clever! That's a great idea, and I'm guessing that others have done it too.  The benefit is that any files attached to the Ancestry Member Tree are included in the synced and merged file.  

I'm always hesitant to Merge files.  Do you do an automatic Merge?  Do you make a copy of the FTM database before you do a Merge?  Do you ever end up with duplicate persons?  Or duplicate media items?  Put your answers (if you read this!) in comments and I'll add them below.

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Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver



Diane Gould Hall said...

Thanks for answering my comment Randy. And all the others too, as I found them helpful.


Robbhaas said...

#4: I would also be interested to know if anyone has done the same thing with creating a GEDCOM in RM-6 and then importing it into Family Tree Builder and merging with the MyHeritage Online Tree.

If the merges work well enough this would be a great way of keeping all three databases and trees in sync.

Unknown said...

Hi Randy, in answer to your questions yes I always back up my tree before I do any major changes. After that in FTM 2012 I go to the File menu and select "Merge". Then select the file I want to merge. A window comes up that asks if you want to include all the individuals or only the ones you select.
Since I'm doing this with small groups at a time I use the first option.
The FTM asks if you want to add the individuals or merge them, I select merge.
When the merge wizard opens it gives you 3 options the first is merge as indicated and that is what I use.

FTM compares all the individuals in the import file to who is in your FTM database. In the window on the left side is a list of names. This gets divided into 3 sections. People FTM think are new, people FTM is sure is the same and people who match closely and are suggested for review.

When you click on their name it shows you side by side the person in the import file and FTM file. You can select what facts you want to be the primary etc. if you want to change anything. You also have the option to mark this person as not a merge or to merge to another person. You can view a mini pedigree at the top of the window that is helpful if you have many common names!
Once your done checking the individuals click on merge and FTM will combine the records.
This process normally only takes me a few minutes to review everyone.

I normally have no problems at all doing this. The only time I ended up with multiple image copies was when I changed computers. When I went to import the gedcom the file paths to the images were different so FTM thought they were new. As long as the file path is the same and the image name has not been changed I don't end up with multiple copies of the same image.

As for having double people, this did happen to me once when FTM crashed trying to sync to Ancestry. But it wasn't hard to re merge people because I only do these updates with smaller family groups at a time. This is still much faster then trying to keep multiple trees updated by hand.

Hope it helps!