Why Should I Put My Family Tree in More Than One Place?

July 1, 2015  - by 
Family Tree

As a variety of family history websites develop limited and extensive partnerships with each other, people may ask why they should bother to put their family tree in more than one place. It’s a good question. After all, using multiple tools means that you have to learn how to use each new tool and how to make them all work together. There’s also the time that will be required to keep information updated in all those places. To some, it seems more complicated and time-consuming than helpful.

Let me be clear. You  are fine keeping your family tree in just one place if you prefer. As long as the site you use provides you with all the features you need to find, gather and record your family history information, then you can use any single site you want. It’s really up to you and what your family history goals are.

However, if you’re willing to spend a little more effort for more benefits and services, then let me give you a few reasons to keep your tree in more than one place:

  • More records. One of the main benefits you get from using partner accounts is an increased access to records. Ancestry.com, findmypast, and MyHeritage have records that most other sites don’t. These records can help you find the names of your ancestors and their descendants and the details that will help you extend your lines back and across generations. And, as I said before, you can choose to keep your tree in one place. You can search these sites for records about your ancestors and type in what you find. But if you keep a copy of your tree on these sites, the site can search the records for you. When the site finds records that might be about the people in your family tree, you’ll receive an alert. You can review the matches. And then, if you decide the record is about your ancestor, you can attach the record as a source and copy the pertinent details into your family tree without having to retype it.
  • More relatives. Each of our partners has a different set of users. Putting your family tree one more website can increases the visibility of your family tree dramatically. This, in turn, increases the chance that your tree will be found by a relative (distant or otherwise) who would like to work together to fill in the missing pieces.
  • More options. Different products have different features. For example, they may:
    • Offer unique ways of displaying your family tree. This can help you identify places in your family tree where ancestors and their descendants are missing.
    • Let you take your family history on the go, using your smartphone or tablet.
    • Create printouts and other reports that you like or find helpful.
    • Integrate and use multimedia in ways that help you preserve your history and teach your family about their heritage.
    • Help you to publish your family tree to your own personal website.
    • Calculate relationships between people in your family tree.
    • Support a specialized interest you have, such as medical history or DNA.

Here are some tips for succeeding, should you choose to try keeping your family tree in more than one place:

  1. Start simply with one tool. Don’t overwhelm yourself. As you gain experience, you’ll find a few things you wish your current tool did. That’s when you can consider integrating other tools into what you do. With your new base of experience, you’ll know what features are important to you.
  2. Choose products that will help you accomplish the specific goals you want.  That could mean that you use FamilySearch Family Tree or a product that is integrated with FamilySearch Family Tree and allows you to do exactly what you want to do. The following products provide a wide range of features that cover most of the tasks that genealogists do:
    • FamilySearch Family Tree
    • com
    • Ancestral Quest
    • Legacy Family Tree
    • RootsMagic
    • MagiKey
  1. Try before you buy. If a product or online service is not free, then it most likely has a trial membership or free version. Experiment with the products and see which ones you like. You may also be able to get free access through a family history center or public library near you.
  1. Seek out the help and support offerings. These companies want you to succeed, so they make a wealth of information available to you. Look for online help, FAQs, video tutorials, webinars, and manuals to help you.   You may also find classes taught at local family history centers and through continuing education programs. There may be a local users group, where you can tap into a wealth of experience.
  1. As you move forward and begin using other tree-recording tools, choose products that let you move data from one tree to another without retyping it. For example:
    • Use FamilySearch Family Tree with a FamilySearch-certified product that lets you keep an offline working copy. The currently certified products are RootsMagic, Ancestral Quest, Legacy Family Tree, Magi Tree, and Family Tree Heritage.
    • Use Ancestry.com with Family Tree Maker.
    • Use MyHeritage with Family Tree Building. MyHeritage is also planning to build a feature that lets you transfer information to FamilySearch Family Tree to use it in some unique ways.


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  1. That is useful information. I would dearly like to be able to copy from FSFT my entire family (including descendants of my ancestors). I have not yet found a program which can do that, without my making many separate requests about the descendants of many ancestors. Is there such a program available?

  2. It would be Great to have the Corrected information posted on each site; BUT, that seems hard to do when People will NOT talk to each other on the Differences Posted!
    Did I open a Can of Worms? Let’s go fishing! – My Posted Trees – After ten years of Re-Documenting my “Biggs” Family – it is by Name ONLY! * I was given the “Biggs SKELETON” in 2005 and Could NOT prove it. I had Corrected my Direct Lineal Line from me to David Biggs {6 Generations} from a miss step ON connection! I documented my line comes through HARDY Biggs – NOT – William Biggs, BOTH being sons of David! * Distortions/Discrepancies have been passed down for two hundred Plus Years! * DNA Proved this out in 2010, 2013 and 2014! My David Biggs was BORN as: David MANNING. David Manning accepted/took/used/adopted his Stepfather’s Name of Biggs! * This David Biggs Line will bleed Manning Blood. * No one wants to talk or accept it! I had NOTHING to do with some 230 plus years back there; I was given the Biggs SKELETON and I made him DANCE to the Correct Tune.
    When I produce documentation for this family, no one wants to talk or Change their information; I can NOT force you to accept it, ONLY produce the Truth. Your choice. That is what I strive for – The Truth. We need to talk more amongst ourselves when it comes to documentation. Good Luck, Ralph Biggs

    1. Hey thanks – I couldn’t agree with you more though it sounds like you’ve had it worse than I have. But what happened to me is someone, I don’t know who, just added 3 generations into my tree which not only weren’t correct for my tree, but they put the grandparents as the parents of the next generation, so not only did I have these bizarre people in my tree that I didn’t even get a chance to discuss or be told, but there were big red alarms all over because of course the kids were born after the “father” i.e. grandfather died. the names were the same, so they just didn’t bother to look at the birth and death dates. when I called for help they said I had to clean it up! I didn’t even get a chance to refuse it or know it was coming. What made matters worse, when I wrote to them, I just got this long email about how we want to lovingly “share global information” etc etc. I couldn’t believe it. so anyone can just wreck my tree and not be made to fix it. It’s private information. I just don’t get it but I’m done with these idiots. anyone that thinks this is ok as information exchange has a screw loose somewhere. same thing happened about three weeks ago. I don’t know I”m probably preaching to the choir but I need to calm down before I contact her but I’ll just have to take my tree out of there. I am still shaking my head.

      1. It’s highly unlikely that your tree is only your tree. And it most definitely is NOT private information. If you want to control your own tree and manage it only yourself then FamilySearch is not the place your data should be. There are numerous software programs and online providers you can use to keep your data to yourself and nobody can edit it at all. I am not condoning what has happened but reminding you that FamilySearch’s mandate is to provide a system that anyone can edit. It’s like claiming ownership of Wikipedia entries you may have written…it just doesn’t work that way.

  3. For the second time in as many months, someone has accessed my individual family try and added information that is incorrect. The most recent one, they inserted grandparents where the parents should be, skipping a generation. Then a big red flag appears on my tree saying childs birth date is after parents death – well of course it is because you allowed someone to alter my tree. Why in the world would you not protect the privacy of and individuals family tree? No other genealogy site I am on allows this. To add insult to injury when I contacted chat help, I was told I had to fix it! The person that made the error should fix it, not me. And if Fam Search insists on continuing this privacy violation policy, they Fam Search should correct it when it is reported. I just cannot comprehend this. Now I have to spend all this time fixing someone else’s mistake. Please change this. Can I protect my tree from changes in some way as all the other sites do?

    1. Fred, thanks for brining this to our attention. I will forward your comment to my manager and see who I need to contact regarding this issue.

      1. Thanks Eric. But I got a long email from someone who is probably your manager and she just doesn’t get it. she talked about all this “global exchange of information” etc. but seriously, you can’t have a system where a persons tree is wrecked by someone else, you don’t even get a change to be warned or have it discussed, and then on top of it I’m supposed to fix their mistake? This is why there are so many errors and mistakes in this database. I mean she says “I looked at your tree and didn’t seen any grandparent substitutions or dates that don’t mesh”. Well of course she didn’t, I just spent an hour and a half fixing it. Maybe you can explain this to them but they don’t seem to understand the twisted logic and they definitely don’t understand privacy. We should have the option of putting a block on our tree, don’t you think? you know every other genealogy site does not allow this. that should tell her something. I’ll just have to take my tree out of there because this is the second time and I doubt they will change. but thanks for responding . fred lorey

        1. I’m sorry that you’ve been having this issue Fred. I will keep looking into it, and I’ll keep you posted if I find any way of fixing this.

        2. The core problem here is that many people just don’t “get” FamilyTree. For example, when you say that you will have to pull your tree and take it somewhere else, does that mean that you are going to erase all information in the tree from your oldest living person back? Because you won’t be able to do that.

          In actual fact the only “tree” that anyone has on familytree that is “theirs” is the one that they created from their living links (parents, grandparent, etc.) to the first generation of deceased ancestors. After that the tree becomes “ours” in that it is shared with everyone.

          The only way you could take your tree out is to delete the records for the LIVING people that you have entered. After that I guess you would have to just cancel your registered account. I really hope that you don’t do that. I believe it would be a lose to both yourself and to us as a community.

          Did you try contacting the person that had edited your information? Sometimes that helps.

          It’s frustrating I know when people change the data and don’t source it or they have totally ignored the sources that are there. It’s downright irritating to have to deal with it, in fact. However, that is the very platform that allows you to correct information as well.

            1. While I have been anticipating such an improved communication system, I certainly have not seen any announcement of it being implemented. No email. Nothing on the FS Blog. Nothing in “What’s new” in FT Get Help. And it’s already 8 July here in Australia!

                1. Page no found at that link. I saw this too and it was under What’s New on Family Tree posted by Matt Wright July 6, 2015. I guess they took it back to work out some kinks.

                  1. Huh, it still works when I click on it, but that may just be because it is in my history. I emailed Matt, the author, to see if he has any updates on it.

                2. Thanks for that. But it responds “Page not found.” I’ll patiently wait for the system to arrive.

          1. Just another quick comment that contacting the person who had added incorrect or speculative information to a member of one’s family tree is only possible if you both speak the same language. The person who did so to members of my tree spoke Spanish. I do not.

        3. I know that this is an old comment but I had to add my voice to this very issue, because this has happened to me as well. In fact, seeing someone else barge into my extremely carefully curated tree and add unsubstantiated guesses and flat-out incorrect information to several members has caused me to give up from continuing my search entirely and back off of FS completely. I simply am shocked that apparently ANYONE can come in and vandalize or otherwise ruin (intentionally or not) several years worth of hard work with guessed-at births and deaths and entirely incorrect places of death that I know for a fact to be wrong, because I have spent hours and hours in the microfilm rolls.

          I also contacted someone at FS about this and was basically told “this doesn’t constitute abuse” by someone who also didn’t seem to realize that not protecting a tree that represents years of hard work from random incompetent vandalism pretty much invalidates the use of the tool.

          I’m sorry for my strong language, but I feel very strongly about this. Am I now forced to keep an eagle’s eye on every single individual on my tree? Was I one day going to log in and see who branches cut off or otherwise ruined?

          Basically, I’ve lost 100% of my confidence in this tool and its ability to allow me to curate my findings with any care or confidence.

          Like I said, I know that this is an old comment, and I apologize for replying so late to it. Please understand that I’ve been scared off of FS so thoroughly that I haven’t visited this site in MONTHS, despite making it an almost daily visit prior to discovering that someone with no research skills had been mucking around in my tree and randomly adding nonsense to it.

          I can’t communicate how disappointed I am in this, and what a slap in the face it was to realize that nothing about my family that I had curated with such care and attention to detail could be protected from being ruined. 🙁

    2. This discussion brings to mind the schizophrenic nature of Family Tree, where “important, rich, famous, or infamous” folks have Read-only records made by researchers using the best sources available. But most of us and our ancestors have records on an open edit- anyone-can-change-anything format. I think it would be a good idea if FamilySearch would consider that after all sources available for a person have been attached and data altered to match sources, where appropriate, and where photos, stories, docs, audio, etc, have been added to the person’s record, … why not have a Read-Only request for records like that? Then there could be an appeals process if by chance some new piece of evidence came to light years later, where the read-only could be amended. I do not have enough time or brain power to maintain more than one program. Let’s make one correct record for our ancestors, and after a record has been overwhelmed with sources and memories, let’s freeze it.

  4. Hello,
    While I agree with everything Lynne has written in this article I feel it necessary to remind individual’s that plan to use online services for research about the down side. The down side is that you turn over your research to everyone not the lest is the online web site/company. It is not yours anymore and in a lot of cases anyone can change the information how they think it should be. Making it hard for you to maintain your level of accuracy in the research.
    I am sure this works for many people. It would never work for me. When ever I visit one of those sites listed in the original text and reference primary last names in my tree I find someone has entered a line that has no business being in the tree.
    So I think a person should ask themselves whether they hope to maintain control of their data before engaging in multiple web sites.

    1. While I understand these posted concerns I think most of the reasons these things happen is because people do not document or check the documentation of others to determine if the information is correct. Even the most advanced researchers make mistakes and these need to be corrected as well. So I vote for one well documented entry.

      Correspondence between researchers is a must if these errors will ever be corrected, unfortunately many are unwilling to take the time to do so or are no longer around to correct the mistakes.

      While my situation is a little different than most because I am retired and spent 60 hours a week or more correcting mistakes others have made I see the need to some how correct posted tree errors. These things will continue to happen as long as there are 10 different versions of the same tree floating around the internet.

      Remember even well documented information can be incorrect, question everything (even your own research).

      This is why I have my tree on three different sites and check others trees to make sure I have not made a mistake.

      Let’s all make a commitment to work on this together.

      Happy Hunting,

      1. Ferman, you have your tree on three different sites. How do you keep them in agreement with each other? That was the point of my question at the top of this thread. How can I get a copy of ALL my ancestors and their descendants from FSFT onto another program (for safe keeping)? Can you or anyone else tell me?

        1. If you create an Ancestry.com account you can link to yourself on FamilySearch and it will pull all of your line’s data into it. Once you do that you can use Ancestry.com to create a gedcom and upload it to other online providers such as MyHeritage.

          Doing all of this once is easy. Keeping all of them synchronized later takes a lot of work.

          1. But I don’t think it copies the cousins (the hundreds of entered side-line descendants of my ancestors).

              1. And you have to re-enter all your sources and link all you pictures. A GED file only down loads the text not your facts.

          2. I should have been more clear about what you can extract from FamilySearch.

            You cannot currently retrieve every one of your ancestors and all of their descendants. If you do the math you may find that in many cases this could become many, many tens of thousands of people.

            FamilySearch is an aggregator of data. It takes input from multiple sources but only outputs you limited information. This is by design. It is also the best reason of all to support the philosophy of this blog entry to utilize multiple sources to store your family tree data.

            I use Ancestry as my primary system. Within my Ancestry account I created a gedcom from my data and used it to create a complete copy of my data on FindMyPast.

            FamilySearch simply doesn’t work that way and won’t ever. Can you imagine hundreds of thousands of users all downloading files with many tens of thousands of individuals? Talk about breaking the internet!

            1. Thanks for your comments, Garth. I’ll take it from your experience that it is not possible to download from FSFT all my ancestors and their descendants in one hit. Thanks for taking the trouble to answer my request. I’ve been seeking an answer to that question on several strands of the discussion board for quite a while. There was no way I could just assume it is impossible, based on the large number of names involved, because today we do many computer things which were impossible a few years ago.

              I’m happy to keep doing my FH research and recording work on FSFT and keeping my Watch on my many names. I just fix up people’s errors (and my own) as they arise each week.

              I can see that the number of new gross errors (mostly duplications and mixed families) is already reducing. I believe that we pioneers will clean up the results of the old days when we were using primitive methods and the future people will keep the records fairly clean, because of all the new tools in FSFT (cautions, hints, easy source entering, etc.).

              I don’t think I’d like to use ancestry.com as my primary program and continually transfer all new entries and changes to FSFT one by one.

              Many thanks. Kendall Davie (in Australia)

              1. No matter what system you use as your primary source of data entry (FS, Ancestry, Legacy, etc.), the adding of names is always going to be one at a time UNLESS you are able to upload existing data in bulk. (of course somewhere along the line that data was created one name at a time).

                The two primary methods for creating names in bulk are: 1) you receive a gedcom file from someone else with batch of names; or 2) the system you’re using does some type of auto-match to an existing name. Let’s talk about both.

                For number 1 you might be able to upload a batch of names and not have to do anything one by one IF you know absolutely that the data is correct. Of course all of those names in that batch were, at some point, entered one at a time into some system somewhere. Having someone else do it just means that you didn’t have to do it and thus you didn’t do the research either. So this method works only if you’re not doing your own research. If you don’t know the data is correct then you’ll have to do one at a time reviews to check.

                For number 2 many systems, FS included, have the ability to start with a specific name and search records for that person. If a record is found for that one person and it happens to include other people, the auto-matching routine can create the new person and add their relationship plus any other data found in the new record. This is great IF all of the new people’s data is found at one time, which it seldom is. This means you still have more one at a time data entry to do. Also, this auto-matching capability is limited to the data that the system has to check against. For example, FS might find some records that include people that match to people in your line and they may get auto-created. However, the record that FS found had to be from a database that FS has access to which means it can only search records that are on FamilySearch in the first place. As I’ve written in other entries, sites like Ancestry, FindMyPast, MyHeritage, etc. each have tens of millions of records that the others do not. If you only use FS for your data entry you may miss out on hundreds of matches from records that FS simply doesn’t have.

                This is the whole point of the this particular blog topic. You definitely want your data on other sites to take advantage of the unique data that they have to compare against.

                1. You’ve certainly given a good description of the processes, Garth. I regret putting you to that trouble, with my unclear statement: “I don’t think I’d like to use ancestry.com as my primary program and continually transfer all new entries and changes to FSFT one by one.”

                  I already use ancestry.com and other programs, including FS, for my research. All I meant previously was that as I find new information on my ancestors, I am choosing to enter it in FS immediately. That way, I don’t have to copy it, name by name, from where I have first entered it in some other program, thus reducing my work time and perhaps preventing some copying errors.

                  By the way, it’s enjoyable reading your skilfully written entries. it is obvious that you’ve used them for a lifetime.

                  1. I tried to explain that ‘them’ in my last paragraph should say ‘those skills’. However, when I tried to post the comment, I received an ‘error message’ – “You are posting comments too quickly. Slow down.” I don’t really understand these discussion boards.

                    1. Kendall, that is an erroneous notification that shows up randomly to certain people. Sorry about that, you should be good to keep posting!

                    2. Kendall,

                      It has been a little while since my last response so I hope you get this. I’ve learned that the Legacy software and the Ancestral Quest software both have the capability to download all descendents from FamilySearch. In fact, I’m using Legacy and doing a second test right now as I write this and so far over 300 names have been downloaded. You can pick any ancestor and select the number of generations up or down you want to go. For the test I’m doing I chose 10 generations of ancestors and 35 generations of descendents for the individual I chose. You won’t get every ancestor and every descendent with just one pass though.

                      If you pick yourself and then choose 20 generations back it will get your direct line ancestors. To get the descendants you would have to pick one of your ancestors to start with and then it will get everyone on the way down. This means you’ll need to do the process a few times, selecting multiple ancestors to do the descendents for, in order to get everyone. Then, you’ll need to do a duplication search because you’re bound to have individuals with shared ancestors.

                      Hope this helps.


        2. I forgot to mention…Ancestry.com and Legacy software, amongst others, have features that allow you to compare a person’s data to the FamilySearch record for the same person. This way you can synchronize data easily…at least easier than typing everything two or more times. I still find it tedious but it’s better than nothing.

          1. those systems are excellent. allow the two parties to evaluate the proposed match and decide for themselves. FS doesn’t do that. there is no communication or warning.

            1. I’m not sure what you mean about FS not doing this. Both Ancestry and Legacy allow users to compare their data to the corresponding FamilySearch record and make corrections. You can move information both ways so FamilySearch can both receive the information from your system AND send its data to your system.

              The tedious part is that you have to do this one at a time for each person. I use Ancestry for my main research and data gathering venue. I then update FamilySearch with the results of my research. Being able to do a bulk upload of all changes from Ancestry to FamilySearch would be a HUGE timesaver. It would literally cut my data entry time in half since I currently do EVERYTHING twice including the uploading of pictures and documents.

              I have no idea what you mean by FS having no communication or warning. If you’re stating that you are not warned if someone is making a change to the FamilySearch data that is not quite correct. You can set watches on any individual within FamilySearch and be informed of changes.

  5. Is it possible to upload a gedcom from ancestry.com to the family tree on familysearch? I can’t find where that may be possible so I thought I would ask.

  6. The more I read this – the more I do NOT see the REAL problems being talked about! I wrote a two page blog – ITS TOO BIG! NO, that is not the problem; it is how you PICKED what you wanted Others to see from what I stated! I stated Problems with the Change Over that have created more Problems than I had when I first started trying to correct the Wrong information in my Tree Ten years ago!

  7. Sorry, this recommendation is simply untenable. What we really need is for familysearch, using its partnership links with ancestry.com and other partners to develop compare/contrast capabilities to see where differences lie in existent trees to sync them all up based on clearly articulated evidence. No one, even novices who blindly copy want to have bad data in their tree, they just lack feedback and bad data is copied ad nauseam. Creating another duplicate tree just exacerbates the problem of many divergent duplicate trees. I thought the whole goal here was to develop a single authoritative tree and we really need to head in that direction. Let’s focus on collaborating on correcting existent trees (by building the collaborative and analysis tools) rather than recommend duplicating with subjective data. We really are all one family here.

    1. My desire is to duplicate (monthly), not highly subjective data but my hard-achieved, corrected, sourced and reasoned data – from FSFT to a program which can store it unchanged by others.

      I wish to have the copy available to assist me if someone makes very complicated changes in FT.

      However, no program seems capable of copying all the descendants of my ancestors (mainly cousins) unless I direct the program to copy each line of descendants, while I repeatedly start it off at each and every distant ancestor. Is my understanding correct about there being no such program available?

      In the meantime, I love and admire FSFT, even when I am spending hours untangling each mess that I discover.

      I really believe that, as time passes, we will not find many such messes occurring. The worst ones that I find are mainly the result of inputs made in the 1960s, 70s and 80s when conscientious users had no way of preventing duplications.

      With today’s system of Watch lists and inbuilt prompts and requirements, users are unable to do much damage before we catch it happening. Perhaps I don’t really need the external copy of my tree that I have expressed hope to obtain.

      1. I totally agree with Kendall. July 24th is coming up soon, and we will be honoring our Pioneer ancestors who sacrificed so much to make the true Church happen and flourish. I think we are today’s Pioneers, working diligently to straighten out our FSFT lines, source each one, clean up data issues, merge duplicates, respect the 110 year folks, teach others how to do things properly, reserve ancestors to our temple files and then promptly complete their work, and keep on doing the same thing over again. Rob Kehrer’s Source Linker group has literally changed the way we do family history work now, with very little scrolling through microfilm, etc. Each group of engineers are working diligently to make enhancements in various ways, creating an elegant and usable program. We need to work hand-in-hand with them, and clean up our own family records bringing the best of computer programming together with the Spirit of Elijah passion and intelligent use of FT together. This is a sacred work on both sides. We need to be of one heart and mind in this process, and work together to honor the policy changes made by the Brethren. Yep, the Brethren. The FS guys don’t make decisions all on their own. So come on! Embrace change, and bring your hearts and minds into alignment with the policies.

    2. Actually, I find your suggestion untenable. Whether you like it or not many online providers of family history data are businesses. They are in it to make money and make profit. This means that they are in competition with each other and, in fact, bid against each other to win the rights to film records and host data that the others do not have, FamilySearch included.

      A quick for example, Ancestry.com has the 1921 Canada census and many years of Canadian voters lists that no other provider can give. MyHeritage has unique items. FindMyPast has unique items. FamilySearch does too.

      This situation is NEVER going away. Family history for profit will always be here because if it is was gone…who would do all of the record filming that those companies do now? The LDS Church is rich but even it doesn’t have the technological, financial, staff or volunteer resources to take over everything that the other providers do.

      And regarding your one comment…who is going to be elected or appointed chief arbiter deciding the rightness or wrongness of your clearly articulated evidence? You? Do you get to decide what is right for your line? If you want your own data and your own lines where you can be overseer of your personal history, then there are numerous other options for you.

      I hate too break it to many of the readers here but guess what…your data, guesses, assumptions and research may be wrong. I know I have made some whoppers of errors in the past and had to go make lots of corrections after new data became available. That person with the same name and the same birth in the same small area DID end up being a different person than my relative.

      FamilySearch provides a service that is editable by all users. That’s the mandate of what they do. Those who complain about somebody else making changes in “my data” on “my line” need to give their head a shake because they simply don’t understand the purpose of FamilySearch Family Tree.

      And this is the value that having your data on multiple sites provides. You get to play in your own sandbox where your research is viewable to the world but only editable by you. You get to use those multiple sites to automatically or manually search the data that is unique to them and expand your search horizon.

      1. I’m replying to Garth’s 29 July comment about programs which can download the descendants of our ancestors. Thanks, Garth, I have successfully tried that process also with Roots Magic.

        My concern with that idea has been that it is too time-consuming. I would have to re-do the downloading process more than 70 times to cover the descendants of the ancestors just half a dozen generations back.

        I’ve decided that my wish for such a program is unreasonable. I’m content in not having a fall-back copy of all my ancestors and cousins. I’ve decided I don’t really need it. I rely on my huge Watch List to alert me weekly of any changes made by others, so that I can keep things in reasonable order.

        And my exciting discovery is that the number of problematic changes being made by users is decreasing greatly. Most of them were quite old changes, merges and duplications. I’m confident that the quality of genealogical data in FSFT is going to improve dramatically, because of all the cautions, tips, Watch Lists and other aids being provided for every user..

        1. I totally agree. With the advent of sources being attached easily, people don’t seem to be as bent on having old, unreliable info from family group sheets, etc. on Family Tree as well. It is hard to fight sources.

      2. Garth,
        You very effectively dismantled a position that I am not taking. My “untenable” recommendation said nothing about businesses merging/going away. I said nothing about arbitration – but could it be that we are capable of working together with objective minds open to other opinions and evidence and come to agreement more often than arguing and end up with reduced errors by collaborating on evidence (we all are working toward the same objective in having accurate trees). Arbitration should work in a similar manner to wikipedia – we’ll get a lot further by leveraging the wisdom of crowds than having dueling “experts” resyncing their conflicting opinions without talking to each other over and over again. Your accusations also require me to address an unstated assertion that I or others have a 100% accurate data while I said quite the opposite – we need to collaborate so we can improve accuracy. Didn’t say anything about somebody else making changes to “my data” – I appreciate evidence based updates to “my data” by others. As much as you want to argue with me about my suggestion for FamilySearch to develop better comparison and collaboration capabilities for the other business players here, it appears we are mostly in agreement and you’re arguing with someone else’s points, not mine so I really can’t defend them. If you have any feedback about the actual suggestions/comments I make in the future, look forward to hearing them.

  8. To “113 years later”:
    You have had a tough time repairing the damage. I can easily empathize with you, as I have been through the same, many times. Some of the complicated situations which have arisen for our thousands of names have taken days to repair.

    However, as I have repaired them I have felt I’ve been learning skills. I’ve also felt great satisfaction when finished.
    I have also hoped that whoever caused the complications has learnt something by studying my corrections and explanations.

    Best of all, I find fewer and fewer of these events occurring. The FSFT system of cautions, training, watch lists, hints, source attachers and other helps is actually working. The database and its users are steadily improving.

    A few times, another user has found errors or omissions made by myself and I’ve been grateful that they were able to do so and to make reasoned, substantiated changes.

    I’ll happily keep employing my extensive Watch List. Each week I find fewer bad changes – in fact almost none these days.

  9. Here’s my struggle:
    I’ve relatively recently joined the LDS Church. I’m excited about and looking forward to doing Temple Work.

    My (non-LDS) parents had done a great deal of work (over 10k names) that is currently primarily in FamilyTreeMaker. Mom has synched her FTM file with (non-LDS) Ancestry trees (one for her lines, another for Dad’s), yielding instant updates between those locations. She’s granted me editor privilege on those trees.

    However, her non-LDS Ancestry trees won’t let me sync with FamilySearch, directly or indirectly, so I can reserve ordinances. If I copy her Ancestry trees into my member Ancestry account, it helps get the info into FSFT, but loses the connection with any work my mom may do.

    Does anyone have best recommendations so 1) we can work together, 2) I can start helping my ancestors with ordinances? Other thoughts and suggestions?

  10. For a greater chance of receiving good replies, copy your question into Get Satisfaction. The simplest way is to open GS by selecting “Feedback” at the foot of a FamilySearch Family Tree page.

  11. hello,
    I am trying to find a way to preserve the family history that our family already had in the old Paf 5 program. My computer went down and I could no longer access my data with that program since it no longer is a working program I have the data my computer programmer says, put no program to put the info. into. Which one of these geneology programs would allow me to transfer and have access to the info. so then I can compare and have the resources to then use. familysearch.org more effectively?