Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Checking Out the FamilySearch Central Feature in RootsMagic 7

I had not looked at the "FamilySearch Central" feature in RootsMagic 7 for months, so I was surprised a bit today when I checked it out.  I have been matching persons and events in my RootsMagic 7 with the FamilySearch Family Tree several times a week in an effort to add or correct entries in Family Tree, and perhaps to find useful information in the Family Tree to add to my RootsMagic file.

1)  The "FamilySearch Central" feature is accessed through the "File" dropdown menu in RootsMagic 7:

After clicking on the "FamilySearch Central" link, the window opened:

The "FamilySearch Central" window has four icons at the top - for "Find matches," "Share data," "Import" and "AutoMatch."

2)  I clicked on the "Find matches" icon and the index of my RootsMagic persons appears on the left. The ones that are already matched have a blue Match icon.  The ones that are not matched have no icon.  If I pick one of them, then I can see the information in my RootsMagic database and it finds possible matches in the FamilySearch Family Tree:

As you can see on the example above, I have an exact birth date and a spouse's name that could be added to the FamilySearch Family Tree.  All I have to do is click on the small box to the left of the Family Tree name to match these persons.

I did that, and the person in my RootsMagic database is matched to the person already in FamilySearch Family Tree.

3)  Back on the "FamilySearch Central" window, I clicked on "Share data" icon and found the same person on my RootsMagic person list:

Using the screen above, I can share my RootsMagic information with the Family Tree profile, or vice versa.

4)  The third icon on the "FamilySearch Central" window is the "Import" icon:

If I was starting a new RootsMagic database, I could populate it with information from the FamilySearch Family Tree.  If I am in the Family Tree, I could check the "Me" as a Start person.  If I wanted to add a branch from the Family Tree, I could check "The FamilySearch person with this ID," determine the profile ID number from Family Tree and insert it into the field.  I could select any number of ancestor or descendants generations.  I haven't done this, but it can be done if you trust the information in the Family Tree.  I don't know if Sources and Notes come across (my guess is that they don't), but I'm pretty sure that names, vital dates and places, and relationships come across.  I don't know how extensive the data is for siblings of ancestors.  I guess I could do this in another post.

Why would I want to do this?  If I were performing a One-Name study (say, finding all "Seaver" persons) I could go to the earliest Seaver ancestors in Family Tree, note the profile ID number, and add descendants of the earliest ancestors to my database.  If I was looking for distant cousins who might be DNA matches, or might hold useful family history records, I could easily add many descendants of an ancestor.  The problem with doing this is that the names, dates, places, notes (?), sources (?), and relationships may be inaccurate.  Downloader beware!!

5)  The "AutoMatch" icon on the "FamilySearch Central" window allows a user to set RootsMagic off to automatically find matches in the FamilySearch Family Tree:

The text in the AutoMatch window says:

"AutoMatch will try to find FamilySearch matches for each unmatched person in your RootsMagic file.

"RootsMagic will automatically match your person to FamilySearch, but no actual data will be transferred between your database and FamilySearch.

"AutoMatching can take awhile if you have a large RootsMagic file."

I didn't do this either, but I may try it out later in a separate RootsMagic file.

6)  The "FamilySearch Central" window also tells me, at the bottom, my "Status" - how many of my RootsMagic persons have been matched to profiles in the FamilySearch Family Tree:

Currently, I have 6,230 persons matched, and 38,532 not matched.   I don't know how many persons in my RootsMagic database are NOT in the Family Tree - I would have to AutoMatch the RootsMagic file to find out.

7)  I prefer to manually match my RootsMagic persons family by family rather than match them automatically or by typing data directly into the FamilySearch Family Tree.  This way I can add or edit information systematically one family at a time.  I started out matching my ancestral families, but have started doing some of my Seaver and Carringer one-name study families.

The FamilySearch features built into RootsMagic are the easiest way for me to match persons in my RootsMagic database with persons in the Family Tree, and to share content for a person between the two tree systems.  I can add Notes and Sources to the Family Tree or to RootsMagic in this system also.

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Louis Kessler said...


Not bad.

However, as you state, you'd like to add people one by one, and I agree with that idea.

Therefore it is logical that you'd want to see the information about the possible match together with your information. They do that in a limited way with the Share data tab. But you only see some data, no sources and it surely doesn't allow you to edit the data or add notes while you're on that page.

Much better would be an integrated data listing for the person, with different data from FamilySearch being highlighted with one color and data that agrees between your tree and family search highlighted with a second color. Then you can edit all the data right there and should be allowed to save it into your database and load it up to FamilySearch.

Hmmm. Sounds like a good thing to implement.


Justin said...

Louis, does the screen in #3 meet that criteria?

Louis Kessler said...


I was referring to #3 (the Share data tab) in my paragraph where I say they do it in a limited way.

Also their coloring in the Share data tab is green for matches, yellow for discrepancies and no color for differences. If the data is together as I feel it should be then each data item will only be shown once. The data items will then be color coded to indicate the source of the data: just your data; just FamilySearch; or both.

I don't think forms-based genealogy software is set up to be able to do this, which is why a report-based program will need to.