RM8 TreeShare

Did you hear? There is an update to RootsMagic 8 that fixes the TreeShare issues with large trees. For those that are unfamiliar with RootsMagic’s TreeShare, it is a way to synchronize RootsMagic data with a tree on Ancestry. For many users this is fantastic news.

I was fortunate in that I somehow managed to get my file of about 17,000 individuals connected to my Ancestry tree using my desktop computer in mid-October. Thus, I was able to continue to use Ancestry Hints as I did with RootsMagic 7. I’m not sure I would have patiently waited for this update if I hadn’t been able to make the TreeShare connection. However, my previous experiences kept reminding me that I do not want to start over with a new tree. For me, the consequences of creating a new tree means

  • starting over accepting leaf hints
  • impacting DNA results including common ancestors and ThruLnes
  • waiting for tree to be indexed

For over a year, I blogged about struggling to get my tree indexed

I’m thankful that this recent update to RootsMagic 8 resolved the issue with large trees syncing with Ancestry. Unfortunately, I discovered a minor issue that will take major time to resolve. It seems that all of the people whom I had previously worked with and at some point clicked on the X to ‘Mark as Not Changed’ are now back in my list as ‘changed’.

Browsing thru the list of people in my file, I saw a lot of pink (meaning the information is different) for the sources. For example, one of my ancestors, Hannah, was married to a Smith. Her screen indicates that I need to update her name on Ancestry and that many of her sources are pink – i.e. different.

Clicking on one of those pink icons, I can compare the sources from RootsMagic to the sources on Ancestry. The only difference for the source attached to her birth fact is a comma.

Scrolling thru and looking at my ancestors, not only do I find a lot of pink sources but quite a few yellow places. Expanding the window to full screen allows me to see the difference in the places. My RootsMagic file has United States after the name of the state while Ancestry does not.

As I see it, I have the following options:

  • Mark items like Hannah’s name to upload to Ancestry and accept changes
  • Use the X to mark people like John Briles as ‘Not Changed’

OR — I can create a group for the Thompson families I’ve been working on recently and get them uploaded and then use the OPTION to ‘Clear Everyone From the Changed List’.

I think I’ll take the easy way and update my Thompson research and then clear everyone else.

NOTE: Yesterday, Randy Seaver posted a blog where he describes his TreeShare progress. Unlike Randy, I did NOT disconnect my tree. However, the steps Randy outlines in his blog to upload information from his RM file to Ancestry are the same steps I follow. See his post, RootsMagic 8 Version Progress in the Genealogy Cave.

RM8 Ancestry Source

Have you ever documented how you add data and/or sources to your genealogy file? I have to admit that I have not spent much effort documenting my process.

However, I’m previewing RootsMagic 8 and am trying to figure out how my way of doing things in RootsMagic 7 translates to RM8.

One of my typical tasks is to work with Ancestry hints to add sourcing information to my RM tree. That process starts by clicking on a yellow light bulb. In RM8, clicking on the light bulb opens a small window, where I click on PENDING.

That opens the WebHints window which is similar to the window in RootsMagic 7.

Clicking on the number for the pending hints opens the ‘Ancestry WebHints’ window.

On this window, I typically click on the ‘Show on Ancestry’ button to open the selected individual on my Ancestry tree.

On the Ancestry page, I switch to the hints page.

I typically open the suggested hints in a new tab to evaluate the data. One of the suggested hints for Henry Jones is a marriage record in the source, Maryland, U.S., Compiled Marriages, 1655-1850.

In this case, I believe the record is for my Henry Jones, Thus, I want to create a marriage fact and add this source to the fact. Thus, back in RootsMagic, I open the Edit window for Henry Jones.

To add the Marriage fact, I click on the large + sign above the FACT area of Henry Jones’ edit window. This opens the list of Fact Types.

Typing ‘Marriage’ into the Search window pulls up just the Fact Types that contain the word ‘marriage’.

Selecting the Marriage Fact Type and clicking OK opens the window to select the spouse. (This is similar to RM7.)

Selecting Catherine Bovey as the spouse adds the Marriage fact to the time line with Catherine Bovey in the details area. Toward the right of the screen, the fields such as date and place are shown and are blank.

The date and place from the Ancestry record are entered into the Date and Place fields for the marriage fact on RootsMagic.

Next, I add the source. In RM8, I click on the > by SOURCES.

This opens the SOURCES window on the right side of the Edit window.

Clicking on the Add Source Citation opens a window to select a source or add a new source. I will first search for the source to see if it is already in my file. If I don’t find it, then I will use the ADD NEW SOURCE option. To look for an existing source, I know that I would have used MARRIAGE in the source name and that it should have ‘Marriage-MD’ in the source abbreviation. Thus, I will look for that in my list of sources.

That pulls up several options with the 4th on the list looking like it should be the Ancestry source. To be sure, I click on that source to view the footnote.

Then, I click on the NEXT button that opens the screen to ADD CITATION.

This window allows me to enter details regarding the source. It is also where the citation will be named.

Scrolling down on the ‘Add Citation’ window reveals the place where I can add a ‘Research Note’. This is similar to the ‘Detail Text’ area in RM7. My typical practice is to copy the info from the Ancestry screen and paste it into RM. Clicking on Research Note opens the EDIT NOTE window where I can paste the information. Because pasting lumps the information together, I also insert carriage returns so the information will be legible on the screen. In addition, I add a space after the colons. (OR – I can copy the text from Ancestry into Notepad and then copy from Notepad into RM8. Using Notepad keeps the line breaks and spacing and actually takes less time that doing the manual corrections.)

Clicking OK at the bottom of the window saves this information and returns to the Edit screen for the individual with the Edit Citation on the right.

Clicking on the large < symbol to the left of Edit Citation (top of right side) closes the citation screen and returns to the Sources screen.

Clicking on the large < to the left of SOURCES closes that window and returns to the FACT info. This window shows the sentence for the fact, and indicates that there is one source attached to this fact.

Since I want the marriage sentence to show on a narrative report, I share the marriage fact with the groom and bride. To do this, I click on the > to the right of SHARED. This opens the Shared With Window.

Clicking on the +Share Fact opens a window to search for those who share this fact. Typing the name in the search box narrows down the list of people to those with this name.

I then change the role to that of Groom for Henry Jones. When sharing the event with his wife, she will be assigned the role of Bride.

Now two people are listed as sharing the fact.

Then, on ANCESTRY, I will click on YES to add the source to my Ancestry tree.

To finish the process, I use TreeShare to UPLOAD information from RootsMagic to Ancestry. In this case, the Marriage fact has a pink source that could be uploaded.

Clicking on the source icon opens a window to compare the sources.

Since the sources are the same I will IGNORE the pink differences and click on the X to ‘Mark as Not Changed’.

Thus, I have the fact in RootsMagic with a source attached and the same source attached in Ancestry.

Source Templates

This morning, I watched part of the Wacky Wednesday episode: The Source Is Gone and hope to finish it watching it later today. During this presentation, Cousin Russ discusses how he is rethinking how he cites memorials on Find A Grave.

During the presentation, Cousin Russ compared the suggested citation for a Find a Grave memorial to how he was citing the memorial in his software. This made me curious about my own citations and how they compare.

Below is the suggested citation for the memorial of my second great grandfather, Washington Marion Crawford.


When I looked at the footnote for the Find a Grave source in my software (RootsMagic), I found that the footnote was similar to the suggested footnote.


My footnote is ‘created’ using a template to enter the information.


The above template is a ‘custom’ template that I created. I often copy a built-in template and then customize the copy. I like using templates. They make it easy for me to remember to include the important elements in a citation. However, I had heard that templates don’t work well when data is exported – particularly via GedCom. This issue is discussed on the RootsMagic forum: ‘Templated Sources in GEDCOM and Data Exchange‘ and ‘Extreme Source Splitting and RM’s Source Templates‘.

To date, I have ignored the issue around how GEDCOM handles my sources created with the templates. Today, I decided to investigate what is happening to my sources when they are exported. One of the ways I export data on a regular basis is by uploading events and sources to Ancestry via RM’s TreeShare. Looking at the same citation on Ancestry, I discovered that whatever I put in Source Details is split from whatever is in the Master Source section of my template.


I also noticed that the words ‘created by’ or ‘photographed by’ were dropped. These words were not entered by me in the source details section of the template but part of the citation template.


Wondering how the citation would transfer using GEDCOM, I created a small GEDCOM file. I then imported that GEDCOM file into a different genealogy program: Legacy. Once I figured out how to view the source, I found that words ‘created by’ and ‘photographed by’ were also dropped.


After comparing the citation from the other software program to the citations from Find a Grave and from RootsMagic, I discovered that the order of the Source Details text in the Legacy footnote was in order entered in my template (top to bottom).

From this study of my citations and what happens during the export, I believe there are some things that I can do to improve the exported citations:

  • enter ‘created by’ and ‘photographed by’ in the Source Details instead of using the footnote template to add that text
  • change the order of the Source Details components in my Source Template to match the order that I would like the text to appear in a footnote

If I attempt either of the above changes, every individual in my RM program with a Find A Grave citation would be marked as ‘changed’ for TreeShare. Thus, I need to be willing to spend considerable time to make these changes and work thru the TreeShare list. At this point, I’m not going to make the changes to existing citations. However, I will likely create a new template to use for any new citations.



Yesterday, I stumbled on an Ancestry feature regarding sources. I was already aware that Ancestry places sources found on Ancestry at the top of the list of sources.



Sources that I have in RootsMagic and transfer via TreeShare to Ancestry are listed as Other Sources, below the Ancestry sources.


If I have added a lot of Ancestry sources to an individual, then I must scroll down to find these ‘Other Sources’.


What I didn’t know, was that by scrolling over the source and clicking on the ‘VIEW’ icon, it would open up the source showing the complete citation — and any details added to the citation. Since I have started transcribing documents into the ‘Detail text’ screen for a source, those transcriptions are being uploaded to Ancestry and viewable by clicking on that ‘VIEW’ icon.


So, when looking at someone else’s tree, SCROLL DOWN and see if they have any ‘OTHER SOURCES’ attached. If so, view the source to see if there is a transcription attached!

Relationships and TreeShare

I have slowly been working my way thru a ‘go-over’ of the descendants of my great-great grandparents. This process includes

  • Reviewing citations to make sure they are complete
  • Accepting Ancestry hints (often for sources I have already cited)
  • Adding new facts / citations as found

In the process of doing this review, I sometimes discover that I have a child with the wrong parents — particularly with a wrong mother. Yesterday, I made such a discovery. I had Effie Briles Flake as the mother of three sons: Leland, Clifford and August.


While working thru the shaky leaf hints for Effie’s husband, John L. Flake, I came across a 1900 census record that likely has a different mother for Leland and Clifford.


Unfortunately, I hadn’t paid attention to my own research when I indicated that the mother of J. Leland and Clifford was Effie Flake. I have a marriage record for J L Flake and Effie Briles dated 16 Jun 1905. By analyzing both the census record and the marriage record, it is obvious that Effie is not the mother of J. Leland and Clifford Flake.

Thus, I added Annie as a wife for John L Flake with a marriage date of around 1894. I then changed the parents for J. Leland and Clifford W to John and Annie Flake. I also added the daughter Lola to this family group.  This left Effie as the mother of August Flake.


Since all of the relationship changes were done in RootsMagic, I’m wondering how the relationships will get changed with TreeShare. When I looked at the TreeShare for Clifford, I discovered that I could add the new mother, Annie, and remove the incorrect mothe, Effie J Briles.


So I used TreeShare to add Annie to my Ancestry tree. After adding Annie to Ancestry, I discovered that Annie was listed as Clifford’s mother. Thus, I only need to delete Effie as his mother to correct the relationship.


Unfortunately, TreeShare only has the option to ‘Add as new mother’ on the Ancestry side. Thus, I can’t use TreeShare to remove Effie as the mother. I had to switch to the father, John Flake, to see both mothers and the children.


After switching to Effie J. Briles, I pulled down the Edit menu to access the Edit Relationships menu for Effie Briles Flake


After clicking the X to remove J Leland Flake and Clifford W Flake as children of Effie J Briles, the families now match between RM and Ancestry.


From this, I have learned that I have to edit relationships on both RootsMagic and Ancestry instead of relying on TreeShare.

NOTE: I only work from RootsMagic to Ancestry. Thus, it is possible that TreeShare would be able to update a relationship for someone that works from Ancestry to RootsMagic. I have not tested that scenario.