One the first questions that arises when I get into a discussion about the free availability of MyHeritage.com, Ancestry.com and findmypast.com to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints through FamilySearch.org's Family Tree program, is the challenge of having four separate online family trees. Most genealogists question the ability of the user to maintain these separate family trees. There are distinct advantages to having online trees (and some obvious disadvantages) but this is a special case. Three of the four programs work best when you have your family tree as part of the program. findmypast.com is presently developing the features of its user family tree and it is too early to tell how that program will work with FamilySearch.
As you log into Ancestry.com with an LDS Account, you will find that the program has a provision for linking your ancestors directly with the same individual on FamilySearch.org's Family Tree. Linking the individual is accompanied by a notice that it may soon be possible to exchange information between Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org Family Tree. It appears from statements made by FamilySearch, that the same functionality will exist with the other two online programs. What remains to be seen is the format of the information obtained from the programs and imported into FamilySearch Family Tree.
Let's suppose that I have a family tree on Ancestry.com (which I actually do have) and I research one of my ancestors or add sources from the "shaking green leaf." What happens when I go to exchange data with FamilySearch? Do I end up with a formatted source citation for each of my Ancestry.com sources? How much of the source information is copied over? Do I simply get some kind of notation that the source was Ancestry.com or do I get each of the Ancestry.com sources I have accumulated? What if I have already cited the same sources from FamilySearch Family Tree? Will I have to search for and eliminate duplicate sources from the other programs?
I am certain that many, if not all of these issues will have been addressed by FamilySearch as this process progresses. I think we live in an interesting and exciting time. This interconnectivity between these large genealogical database programs is going to effect major changes in the way genealogy is done at certain levels. I look forward to the changes, especially with my thousands of Ancestry.com and MyHeritage.com sources sitting there waiting to be transferred to FamilySearch Family Tree.