Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Dear Randy: How Do I Match My RootsMagic Person to a FamilySearch Family Tree Profile?

One of the attendees in a recent RootsMagic User's Group class asked this question, and I thought it might be helpful to review my response in a blog post.

My response:

1)  Check out the RootsMagic Help menu item, and click on the "Search" tab.  Then put in the Search box the words "finding matches on familysearch" and the first article should provide the directions you need to follow.

2)  The first task is to click on the "Family Search Support" article on the list on the left.  You must do this before you can match persons in FamilySearch Family Tree.

The Help article above tells you that gray FamilySearch icon on your RootsMagic screen (in the Family view) means that your RootsMagic tree person is not matched with a FamilySearch Family Tree profile.

There are videos on the RootsMagic TV YouTube channel for demonstrations of "Getting Started  with RootsMagic and FamilySearch Family Tree" and "Matching Records with RootsMagic and FamilySearch Family Tree."

3)  Here is a Family View in RootsMagic 7 for the Jonas and Sarah (Seaver) Kendall family.  Sarah is matched to a FamilySearch Family Tree profile, but Jonas, and their children, are not matched yet.  You may see that Jonas and his parents have a gray icon.  You can't see Sarah's icon, but it is blue, as are her parents, which means that they are matched to FamilySearch profiles.

4)  I clicked on the gray FamilySearch icon on the Jonas Kendall line on the screen above.  The "FamilySearch Person Tools" screen in RootsMagic opened, and I noted that there were two "Possible"matches on the screen below:

The first match on the screen above has a birth date and birth place, and parents names, that are the same as those items in my RootsMagic profile.  The second match has a different birth date and birth place, but the same death date and spouse's name as the RootsMagic profile.  My conclusion is that the two Matches are the same person as my RootsMagic profile and should be matched to my RootsMagic profile.

5)  I can select only one of them, so I picked the first match because it had more information, including the parents names.  I clicked the box to the left of the first "Possible matches", and the popup box appeared asking "Match with FamilySearch?"

I clicked the "Match with FamilySearch button" and now my RootsMagic person is connected to the FamilySearch Family Tree profile.

If there had been no "Possible matches" then I could  on the "Add to FamilySearch" button on the screen above and a new FamilySearch Family Tree profile would have been created.

After I clicked on the "Match with FamilySearch" button, the next screen appeared.  It showed that I had matched the first "Possible Match" but the second "Possible match" has disappeared.

6)  In hopes of finding the second possible match, I clicked on the "Search for more matches" button on the screen above and the search form appeared as in the screen below.

7)  I clicked "Search" and saw a list of possible matches for this Jonas Kendall:

None of the suggested matches appear to be for this Jonas Kendall in my RootsMagic tree.  Also, none of them were the second possible match from the third screen above.  This happens frequently for me, and I've learned to move on and hope that it appears later on.

So now I have matched my Jonas Kendall in RootsMagic with a Jonas Kendall profile in FamilySearch Family Tree.  I haven't done anything to either profile yet - I have only matched the profiles.

8)  When I click on the "Share data" button in the top of the "FamilySearch Person Tools" I can see a comparison of my RootsMagic profile on the left, and the FamilySearch person on the right:

The items in green (name, birth date) match, the items in yellow partially match.  The parents aren't matched, and Jonas on FamilySearch has no spouse or children.

I decided to use my RootsMagic information to improve the FamilySearch profile.  I clicked on the boxes next to Birth, Death and Burial and selected the option to "Replace in FamilySearch" for each of them:  The RootsMagic information for birth, death and burial was added to the FamilySearch profile.

In addition, since the names of Jonas's parents are the same in both RootsMagic and Familysearch, I clicked on the gray icon next to the Father name and clicked on the gray icon to match it to the Father in the RootsMagic profile, then I did the same thing for the Mother.  I always match from FamilySearch to RootsMagic for parents and children when there is an existing FamilySearch profile for them.

Lastly, I will click on the Spouse's blue icon on the RootsMagic side to add the spouse's name to the FamilySearch side.  That blue icon was previously matched to a FamilySearch profile (which was, fortuitously, in the second possible match for Jonas Kendall.  I also clicked on the box for marriage and selected "Add to FamilySearch" to add the marriage information to the FamilySearch profile.

9)  The resulting "FamilySearch Person Tools" screen in RootsMagic looks like this:

Later, I will add the children to this family in the same way - click on a RootsMagic child from this screen, check for an existing profile, select that profile if it appears to be the correct person, or add the child as a new person to the FamilySearch Family Tree profile for these parents.

10)  It turns out that when I clicked on the blue FamilySearch icon for Sarah Seaver (the wife of Jonas Kendall), that two families appeared on the FamilySearch side of the screen - one for the first match (which I added, but with no children) and one for the second match for Jonas Kerndall (which someone else added), and the second family has four children.

So I need to merge the two Jonas Kendall persons, and match the four FamilySearch children, and add the four additional RootsMagic children, and then check each profile to add or edit the information for those persons.  I can do the Merge from within RootsMagic also, but I won't do it in this post.

11)  The next step is to check my RootsMagic sources and notes and the sources and notes for the FamilySearch profiles, and create the best set of sources and notes as possible.  

12)  It becomes complicated sometimes, but it is all very logical.  The user can always click on the "Show on Family Tree" button to go online to the FamilySearch Family Tree profile for the person of interest.

These changes are instantaneous - I can go to the FamilySearch Family Tree profile and the changes I have made are there.  Likewise, a change made within the Family tree profile will show up in RootsMagic in the "Share Data" screen when I click the FamilySearch icon in RootsMagic.


Disclosure:  I have received no material considerations from either RootsMagic or FamilySearch in the past ten years, and I use them enthusiastically almost every day.

Copyright (c) 2019, Randall J. Seaver

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