Monday, January 13, 2020

Where Are My Online Family Trees?

The Genealogy Guys blog has a post today "Day 13: Organize Your Online Trees"  by Drew Smith suggesting we organize our online family trees.  But first, we need to identify where we have our online trees.

I've had an online family tree for about 20 years or more, probably starting with  At that time, I was using the current version of Family Tree Maker, created a GEDCOM file, and uploaded it to Ancestry.  Over 20 years, I uploaded a GEDCOM file to almost every online family tree system that I could to be used as cousin bait.  Frankly, I can't remember every site where I've uploaded an online tree.  Some online tree sites have disappeared and some are dormant.

At present, and since 2006, I am using the RootsMagic desktop family tree program as my "master" program.  Today, my RootsMagic tree has 55,799 profiles.

Here is a list of the online family trees that I can recall and find still in operation.  How complete are they?  Many are not up-to-date, so perhaps this will be helpful - I could add a new tree and delete the old one(s) at some sites.

1)  Ancestry Member Trees (an isolated tree) -- My main research tree on is synchronized weekly with my RootsMagic tree using the TreeShare feature.  I last updated my Ancestry Member Tree on 12 January 2020, and it has 56,059 profiles.  It has more profiles than my RootsMagic tree because I make mistakes during the synchronization process.  I have not tried hard to correct the mistakes because, in the future, I will upload a new tree in place of this tree.

I use this Ancestry Member Tree to obtain and evaluate Record Hints for each person profile, and often search for more records on a specific person profile.  I receive Web Hints on RootsMagic from this Ancestry tree, which I use to add content to my RootsMagic tree.  I have my autosomal AncestryDNA results attached to me on this Ancestry Member Tree.

I have several other Ancestry Trees for friends and clients which I have created over the years.

2)  MyHeritage Family Tree (an isolated tree) -- I have two trees online at MyHeritage - one for a friend, and one for my research tree uploaded in October 2018 with 50,883 profiles.  This tree is attached to my MyHeritageDNA results, along with my wife's and my cousin's DNA results.  With this tree, I receive Web Hints on RootsMagic, which I use to add content to both my RootsMagic tree and the MyHeritage tree.

I uploaded a new GEDCOM file to MyHeritage on 11 January 2020, but it has not been posted yet.  When it is, I will connect the MyHeritageDNA test results to this new tree and delete the present tree.   I frequently use the Record Matches using specific MyHeritage record collections.

3) Findmypast Family Tree (an isolated tree) -- I have two trees online at Findmypast - one for a friend and one for my research tree uploaded in October 2016 with 46,066 profiles.  This tree is attached to my LivingDNA autosomal test results, but there are no matches to date.  With this tree, I receive Web Hints on RootsMagic, which I use to add content to my RootsMagic tree. I need to upload a new GEDCOM file to Findmypast to make this tree more current.

4)  RootsFinder (an isolated tree) -- I uploaded a limited GEDCOM file to this site in February 2018.  It has 5 generations with 1,091 profiles.

5)  FamilySearch Genealogies (an isolated tree) -- I uploaded a GEDCOM file as a Pedigree Resource File in the Genealogies section several years ago, but cannot find a reference to it on the website..  This site does have my RootsFinder tree.

6)  GeneaNet (an isolated tree) -- I uploaded a limited GEDCOM to this site in December 2019.  It has 646 profiles.

7)  FamilySearch Family Tree (a collaborative tree) -- I have created, or matched, over 34,000 profiles to FamilySearch Family Tree over the past 7 years.  I use RootsMagic to do this, but occasionally have to add or edit a profile in the Family Tree.  I add events, notes and sources for selected profiles and try to make the Family Tree profile as similar as possible to the RootsMagic profile.

8)  Geni Family Tree (a collaborative tree) -- I have added about 3,800 profiles to this online tree, and many of them are connected to the Geni World Family Tree.  Geni tells me that I have over 60,000 ancestors in the World Family Tree (I think many of them are from before 1600).  I uploaded most of them back in 2011 when GEDCOM files could be uploaded.  Subsequently, Geni did not permit GEDCOM uploads, but have recently permitted a GEDCOM upload of a group of profiles that need to be matched to existing Geni profiles.

9)  WikiTree (a collaborative tree) -- I added 6,769 profiles to the WikiTree using GEDCOM uploads, and occasionally added profiles by hand, over the past decade.

10)  WeRelate (a collaborative tree) -- I added 12,586 profiles to this site in 2007.

11)  I also have an ancestor tree at FamilyTreeDNA and several other sites.  

12)  I just realized that I don't have a family tree on AmericanAncestors, which uses the RootsFinder program.  I uploaded my GEDCOM just a few minutes ago.


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Diane Gould Hall said...

Wow! Your trees are certainly out there. That’s a good thing. I have mine on Ancestry, MyHeritage and a small one on Family Search. I also have Gedcom’s attached to all my DNA on all the major sites. Here’s to a great 2020 and lots of new discoveries.

Bill said...


This is so impressive and a great way to have your work survive over the long haul. Two questions:

You mention uploading "limited GEDCOM file" How do you create that? Is there a way to create a direct ancestors and siblings GEDCOM in RootsFinder?

Do you "watch" any of your ancestors on FamilySearch? If so how do you handle mistakes that creep in? I watch my direct ancestral lines and get several notifications every week. Some result from others adding records and refinements to the profiles, a good thing. But many of the changes make a mess of the individuals, their spouses, children and/or siblings as a result of tree shares/merges gone horribly wrong. I'm spending an hour or sometimes more every week fixing the issues that arise. The recent FamilySearch announcement indicated that they are introducing improvements to the merge process - hopefully that will greatly reduce these problems.

Bill Greggs

DiAnn Iamarino Ohama said...

I don't like and wish I could delete my entire unmaintained tree…but I can't. If anyone knows how, please tell me. I don't want to close my account and leave my tree there.

Marian B. Wood said...

Just about anywhere I have DNA results, I have a tree--doesn't have to be complete, but a good solid tree with my main ancestral lines. Wouldn't it be great if someday a DNA match looked at my tree and contacted me to say we're cousins, related through our MRCA of XYZ? Thanks for the reminder to keep a list of trees AND when each was updated most recently.