Genealogy from the perspective of a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

RootsTech 2014 Official Blogger

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

What happened to the Instructions? Linking FamilySearch Family Tree to other online databases

I got the following comment to a recent post about the agreement allowing members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to obtain free account from Ancestry.com, MyHeritage.com and findmypast.com.
I just got my free access today (yay!) and I've got lots of questions about this same thing. I see that if you go to the "family trees" tab at the top of Ancestry, you can click on "import tree from FamilySearch" and it will automatically import your 4 generations. But is there a way to get other people from FamilySearch too without having to type them each individually? It doesn't show my husband or any of his family (he doesn't have access yet). And if new info is entered, is it automatically transferred between my Ancestry tree and FamilySearch Family Tree? Are there instructions anywhere beyond just how to sign up?
The comment highlights exactly some of the issues I have been discussing for the past few months in my blog posts. First, to answer some of the questions.

When you sign in to Ancestry.com with an LDS account, the program gives you the option of importing four generations of your family from FamilySearch.org Family Tree if you do not already have an Ancestry.com family tree. If you already have an Ancestry.com account and a family tree, the current information in Ancestry.com will transfer over to the new account.

I am getting mixed reports about this import process. Some people seem to have seamless success and others do not.

Once individuals are in a family tree on Ancestry.com, if you are signed in with an LDS account, there is a link to connect the person to FamilySearch. See the following screenshot:


Clicking on the link will give you the option of linking the person to FamilySearch.org Family Tree after signing into FamilySearch.org. Here is a screenshot of the option to select a match for the individual:


In this case, you might note that there are two selections for the individual. This may indicate that there are duplicates in FamilySearch.org. I suggest that the issue of the duplicates be resolved before attaching the person from Ancestry.com to the person in FamilySearch.org. You may wish to write down the personal identifier numbers of the two or more individuals shown as duplicates as the FamilySearch.org Family Tree program may not find the duplicates. In fact, they may be people of the same name rather than actually duplicate individuals. It is also possible, that the two individuals cannot be merged because of issues with FamilySearch.org Family Tree which have yet to be resolved. See the following screenshot:


In this case, you could choose to wait until the issue is resolved by FamilySearch.org or you could simply choose the individual with the same identifier number as the one showing in your family tree.

Once you have decided on which person is the one you wish to connect, you select them in the screen from Ancestry.com as follows:


Again you have the opportunity of comparing the two individuals to make sure you have the right person from each of the two different family trees. If you are satisfied, you can click on the link connecting the two individuals. The link on the Ancestry.com family tree will then show that the link is "completed." This completed link gives you several options, one of which is grayed out and will be implemented in the future when it is possible to synchronize information between the individuals in the two family trees. The link from Ancestry.com will presently allow you to view the status of the Temple ordinance work for the individual. There is also a link directly to the individual in FamilySearch Family Tree.

The next question posed above was whether or not it is possible to get additional people out of the FamilySearch.org Family Tree without typing them into Ancestry.com. Presently, the only way to do this is to have your own database in your own program and export a GEDCOM file and upload it to Ancestry.com. You could also allow Ancestry.com to search for sources for the individuals shown in your family tree and allow the program to suggest additional people to add to your family tree on Ancestry.com. This would be a way to find sources which could be later added to FamilySearch.org Family Tree and also verify that the information in FamilySearch.org Family Tree was correct.

Another way to get information out of the FamilySearch.org Family Tree program is to use a third-party Certified program such as RootsMagic, Ancestral Quest, or Legacy Family Tree.You would then still have to export a GEDCOM file and then upload the file to Ancestry.com.

The reason why the four generation information imported from FamilySearch.org Family Tree does not show a spouse is because most people are not related to their spouse. Family Tree shows only your relatives. There are exceptions to this rule for family trees that were incorporated from information where the spouses information was previously shown. But essentially, your spouse needs to create their own FamilySearch.org Family Tree. You could certainly add in your spouse to the Ancestry.com family tree and allow the program to assist you in finding your spouse's ancestors.

Information is not presently transferred between Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org Family Tree but that feature is going to be implemented in the near future.

The last question in the comment above is the most problematic. Presently there is virtually no documentation on this entire project. I would expect some documentation to be forthcoming from FamilySearch and possibly from Ancestry.com. The Mesa FamilySearch Library will be creating a series of webcasts on their website addressing the issues. So far, I have done to webcasts explaining what is going on with the agreements between FamilySearch and the other large database programs. Presently, the only webcast I have done so far is for MyHeritage.com. There is another webcast on Ancestry.com that was posted recently by Kathy Percy. Please refer to the following link for further information:

Mesa FamilySearch Library Webcasts

2 comments:

  1. Thank you so much! This answers all of my questions! I had been searching for the link button but didn't know exactly where to look, so the screen shot helped a ton. This needs to be posted there on the familysearch website!

    As I've been playing around with it, I also discovered a few other things that might be helpful to others struggling with this process. You can't link people who are set to "living". Also, you can't link from other ancestry trees that have been shared with you, even if you are set to "editor" status; you must be the original owner of the tree (I was trying to link people in a tree I had made earlier using my dad's account, but instead I just downloaded and uploaded the tree again). Once you get all of that figured out, linking is actually really easy! I'm excited to see what else they are working on adding in the future :)

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