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New Family Tree / Family Search interface problem

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Because of the New Family Tree policies on sources this is a problem - and a feature request.




Many of us or looking for a place to save our research to in case none of our relatives want it. Our choices tend to be limited to Geni, Ancestry, and Family Tree. If we don't migrate - or have a migration plan written, our research is subject to the vagueries of a family member taking it over. Web sites we've built with our research will go away when the contract is up, causing the data to be lost.


The only solutions are

1) to plan on a transfer to a repository and hope the heirs will do it

2) to have a family member who will take it over

3) to identify a repository and synchronise to it


Because we don't like making other people pay someone else to see our hard-earned research, we've chosen the the LDS New Family Tree as our repository and would like to synchronize to it.


However, New Family Tree requires sources and if no sources are attached to a person, that person is not considered to be a "good" record. When a GEDCOM from TMG is uploaded, the TMG sources are treated as notes rather than sources. When other major Genealogy programs use their "direct" link, sources remain attached.


Basically, we'd love to stay with TMG as we like the program and know how to use it. But if there isn't plans to start doing what all the other major Genealogy programs are doing - synchronizing to The Family Tree - then rather than enter more data into a dead end program, we'll have to move to a program that is keeping up with the Jones'.


So will TMG be looking to do this soon, or should we bail now?





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As I understand the information on the FamilySearch site, this is not an issue with TMG, it is an issue with Family Tree importing GEDCOM created from any program. Quoting from the GEDCOM Family Tree import explanation page on FamilySearch here:


This GEDCOM upload process has many planned enhancements. Until they are complete, please be aware of the following issues:

    [*]You cannot currently add the notes, sources, and multimedia links that are in your GEDCOM file to Family Tree. [*]During the upload process, you compare what is in your GEDCOM file to what is already in Family Tree. If you stop before you finish comparing, simply make a note of which filter and person you left off on. [*]You can include records of living people in your GEDCOM file. However, they are not available for searching on FamilySearch.org. Nor can you add those records to Family Tree.


As I read this, any program which produces GEDCOM with sources currently will not have those sources imported into Family Tree. Since the LDS were the ones who designed the GEDCOM standard in the first place, I can only assume that they will complete their "planned enhancements" very soon and then accept sources imported from GEDCOM, since not accepting them prevents import from a lot of genealogy programs.

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You are 100% right. However, Family Tree Maker, Legacy, and Rootsmagic all have direct synchronization capabilities. They don't use a GEDCOM. Instead, once Synched, when you make changes and then start a new synch, only changes go into Family Tree.


And they get their sources placed as sources, not as notes.


Do note that the latest disclosures state that GEDCOM sources will be input into the Notes basket and you can then move them manually to the Sources section - but the actual citation is part of the note and has to be cut and pasted.


This means two things - you don't have to recreate the tree every time - or get very good at "cherry picking" only the changes out of a GEDCOM export. And you don't have to go edit the notes and move them to sources.


Note that if you aren't good at "cherry picking", you'll have to re-create all the sources every time. I'm approaching 600 direct Norwegian ancestors each with 3 to 8 sources for just one small side of my family. I haven't even started the Germans, Danes, Polish, and Dutch - just the Norwegians.


Basically, since I've spent the summer getting all these source documents, I have to make a choice - either hope that there will be a way to get them in Family Tree, or give up on TMG and use a program that will put them in Family Tree, or just use Family Tree directly.


One good reason not to use Family Tree directly is that they don't really support PDFs, and they don't like "active" PDFs. All of my Norwegian Documents from Arkivet are active PDFs - if you click anywhere on the PDF, it takes you to the real original image location. A nice touch and one that TMG handles very nicely. Too bad the Arkivet doesn't advertise it so other archives will start doing this..


So, is TMG interested in doing the Synch process? If not, I see an opportunity for someone. Otherwise, I'll have to make a decision.


But I'd rather stay on TMG.




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Hi Tony,


I cannot speak for either Wholly Genes or for Family Search. I am just a user like you who volunteers on this Forum. While I have not heard of any plans to "sync" as you call it, Wholly Genes has a policy of not announcing new features in advance but waiting until they are available and work. So who knows? We can only wish/hope. Further, Wholly Genes has openly published the structure of the TMG FoxPro database files. Thus, as you suggest, this would be both possible and an opportunity for someone to create a third-party utility to "sync". However, TMG has so many advanced features, such as witnesses, etc., that cannot be expressed in either GEDCOM or on Family Tree, that such a "sync" may be difficult, and will likely lose much information.


As for Family Search, I believe (hope?) that their current treatment of GEDCOM sources is a temporary "workaround". Family Tree is very new for them, and I suspect is still very much a work in progress. They clearly want people to import their genealogy with sources, so to retain this sources "hurdle" to using GEDCOM seems to me counter-productive at best. Your tree of 600 is very small compared to many trees I have seen imported or on-line. I find it very hard to believe Family Tree will not "fix" this issue. However, even if it is "fixed" you will still have the issue that much of your advanced TMG information and features will be lost when you export to GEDCOM and then import to Family Tree.


I empathize with your search for "a place to save our research to in case none of our relatives want it". This has often been discussed in the TMG community, more commonly on the TMG-L ListServ. I have probably heard as many solutions as there are users. I intend to stay with TMG regardless of what Family Tree does, and archive CDs of SecondSite generated web files plus printed reports, but that is my choice. You have to make your own choices.


Sorry I cannot give a definitive answer,

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