September 21, 2017

Family Tree independence is here! TreeShare™ for Ancestry by RootsMagic

Big News: TreeShare™ for Ancestry has launched, and Ancestry Hints are now part of RootsMagic’s WebHints™. Both are now available as a free update to RootsMagic 7. No more missing data or trying to remember if you added a new ancestor to your database and your online tree at Ancestry. TreeShare™ for Ancestry makes it possible to synchronize your RootsMagic computer database with your online Ancestry family tree for the first time.

RootsMagic FamilyTree for Ancestry

 

TreeShare for Ancestry

From the RootsMagic blog:

“RootsMagic’s TreeShare for Ancestry will let you move data between your RootsMagic files on your computers and your personal Ancestry online trees. You can transfer people, events, notes, source citations, and even pictures between the two systems.

RootsMagic users also gain the ability to easily share and collaborate with others by giving family members access to their Ancestry online tree. Using the new TreeShare feature, family members can then synchronize the latest changes and additions to both the online tree and their desktop computers.”

This means that if you are an Ancestry subscriber and you have RootsMagic 7, you will finally be able to synchronize your tree between the two! According to Ancestry’s blog:

“You can transfer people, events, notes, source citations, and even pictures between the two systems.”

“Integrating with Ancestry’s trees and records has been one of our most requested features,” said Bruce Buzbee, president of RootsMagic. “It’s exciting to work together with Ancestry to make this happen. The feedback that we’ve received from those who have tested TreeShare has been phenomenal.”

Ancestry Hints Integration

Works-With-Ancestry

The new Ancestry Hints integration means that RootsMagic users now have the convenience of reviewing their Ancestry Hints from within the software. New information and media from matching records can be added into your own genealogy file.

Available Now

The update is free for users of RootsMagic 7 and RootsMagic Essentials 7 and is available via direct download or through the “Check for Updates” feature within RootsMagic.

Learn More

 

Free RootsMagic Essentials Software

From RootsMagic:

“For those that are just starting their journey into the world of genealogy, RootsMagic offers “RootsMagic Essentials”- a free version of their software with a limited set of features tailored towards beginners.

If you have an account with Ancestry, RootsMagic Essentials includes the ability to upload your file to Ancestry or download your existing online trees from Ancestry.  If you are a subscriber to Ancestry, RootsMagic Essentials also allows you to search and view all of the content in your subscription.  Those wishing to compare and transfer individual records between RootsMagic and Ancestry will want to use the full-featured RootsMagic software.”

You Still Need to Backup Your Data

Even though you can synchronize the tree in your database with your online Ancestry tree, you still need to set up an automatic Cloud backup system for you entire computer hard drive. In the end, your tree is your responsibility to preserve for future generations. I use Backblaze, and they are the official backup of my free Genealogy Gems Podcast. No matter what service you decide to go with in the end, the most important thing is that you do indeed set up automatic Cloud backup for your computer hard drive which of course, includes your RootsMagic family tree.
Our blog posts contain affiliate links and we will be compensated if you use them. Thank you for supporting the free Genealogy Gems Podcast and blog!

Tackling Your Inherited Genealogy Files: Merging Duplicates

Merging duplicate records in your family tree is important. Perhaps you have inherited a giant genealogy file (GEDCOM) from a relative. What now? Follow along in our series on Inherited Genealogy Files as we talk about how to merge the duplicates in your family tree.

merging duplicate in your tree

Have you cleaned up your family tree lately? Whether you have inherited a genealogy file from a relative or have been an avid researcher yourself, clean-up is necessary from time to time, especially as your database grows.

Merging Duplicates from an Inherited Genealogy File with RootsMagic

When you sit down to do your genealogy research, the last thing you want to worry about are duplicate names. Duplicates can be distracting and confusing.

You may have inherited a genealogy file or files in the form of GEDCOMs. (Read more on what and how to use a GEDCOM file here.) While inheriting this family history is great, it can also be a lot of work to clean-up, confirm the data, and add source citations where needed.

If you use RootsMagic or other similar software, it can be quick and easy to clean up duplicate names in your database. Start by running a duplicate search by clicking on Tools, selecting Merge, and then clicking Duplicate search merge.

You can search for duplicates by surname or given name. You might consider running a duplicate search for sounds alike, as well. This is particularly important if you have merged two databases in which you and the other contributor may have used different surname spellings.

When you are ready, click Search for duplicates at the bottom of the box. The system will tell you how many duplicates it finds and allow you to compare them one-by-one.

If you find a duplicate, the primary person will be on the left and the matching record on the right. Whichever record/person is most correct, use the Swap button to move that record to the primary position on the left.

If you feel these are a match, click Merge duplicate into primary at the bottom left corner. You have now merged these two individuals. It should be noted that you do not actually lose any of the data of the duplicate person. If I find Dean Howard Lockwood in my index and double click on his name, a pop-up window appears and I see he now has two birth and death entries, however. To fix this, click on the duplicate fact to highlight it, then click Delete fact at the top.

Cleaning Up Duplicate Places

You may not have considered cleaning up the duplicate places that exist in your file. For example, perhaps Great-aunt Susie liked to use the old format for place names. [i.e. , Ross County, Ohio] Notice the comma before the county name Ross. This was the way in which genealogists used to indicate Ross was the name of the county. Now, we use the more recent accepted format and change that to: Ross county, Ohio, United States. You can quickly merge these two places into one by clicking Lists at the top left, and choosing Place List.

Now, choose the place you would like to fix and double click it. In the pop-up window that appears, simply type in the place name as you desire it to appear in your database.

In the example above, we have changed , , Kentucky to Kentucky, United States and clicked OK. But wait, there’s one more step! You may notice your list now shows duplicates of Kentucky, United States or some variation. To fix that problem, click on the merge button at the top of the Place List pop-up window. A new window will pop-up and you can choose all the places you wish to merge together. Then, click Merge selected places.

More on RootsMagic Software

RootsMagic is the genealogy software used and recommended by Lisa Louise Cooke and The Genealogy Gems Podcast. You can purchase this amazing software from the Products We Love tab in our store or by clicking on the RootsMagic 7 image link. When you use our affiliate links, you are helping to support the free Genealogy Gems Podcast. Thank you!

GEDCOM File (What is It & How to Use This Genealogy File)

A GEDCOM file is a universal type of file that genealogists use to move data from one genealogy software program to another. Using these helpful tips below, you can open genealogy files your family members send to youor share your data with others.

When and Why You Would Need to Open a GEDCOM File

A Genealogy Gems reader recently wrote:

I recently signed up for [the Genealogy Gems] newsletter. I received a CD from a relative with family history information that was set up through Family Tree Maker. I am currently not subscribed to any of the genealogy sites. My question is, how can I retrieve this information [from the CD.] Can you help?

The answer to the question is: Use another program to open the GEDCOM file from the CD. Let me show you how easy it is to open and create GEDCOM files.

GEDCOM Basics

GEDCOM is an acronym standing for Genealogical Data Communication. It is a universal genealogy file that allows you to exchange genealogical data between different genealogy software programs.

Because it is “universal” in nature, a GEDCOM file can be read by many different types of genealogy software. That means, if you are using RootsMagic, you can still share all the data you have collected with your cousin who uses Family Tree Maker, and she will not have to type in all the names, dates, and places manually.

Occasionally, not all the information included in a GEDCOM file will transfer perfectly. There are differences in how that information is interpreted and some things, like notes and sources, may be affected. However, for the most part, much of it will transfer correctly.

How to Open a GEDCOM File

Our reader needs to open a GEDCOM file contained on the CD he was sent. To do this, he must have a program on his computer that will read a GEDCOM file. There is an option I would like to share with you.

RootsMagic is a downloadable software for both Mac and PC users. (And, it is the one we here at The Genealogy Gems Podcast use! That’s why we accepted them as a sponsor of the podcast.)

Once you have downloaded  RootsMagic to your computer, open it. At the top left corner, click on File and from the pull-down menu, choose Import.

import GEDCOM file

Now, a new pop-up window will open and ask from what source you would like to import from. You will notice several options, but for our reader’s question, he will choose the GEDCOM option.

GEDCOM transfer

Then, choose I know where the file is, and the file explorer window will appear. In this case, our reader would click on the CD that he has loaded into his computer’s disk drive, and follow the prompts to open the GEDCOM file. All that information his relative sent him will be slurped into RootsMagic and he can easily look through the pedigree of his family.

Family tree using GEDCOM

Creating a GEDCOM to Share with Others

RootsMagic also allows you to create a GEDCOM file. This is what you would send to your relatives when they would like to have a copy of the family tree.

To do this, open RootsMagic. Click on File, as we did before, and this time choose Export from the pull-down options.

The export box will pop-up. You can choose what you wish to have included in this export. I typically choose Everyone, but you can do yours by family names by clicking on the down arrow next to Everyone and choosing Select from list.

GEDCOM export

Once you have clicked OK, the GEDCOM file is ready to be saved to your computer. Save the file on your desktop or somewhere you will be able to locate it again. Remember to name the file and pay attention to where you are saving it!

Creating a GEDCOM from Ancestry.com

If you have stored your genealogy data at Ancestry.com, you may be interested to know that you can create a GEDCOM file for your family tree there as well. It’s just a matter of signing into your Ancestry account, locating the Tree Settings, and then clicking Export. I found a nice article outlining the steps on how to do that here.

Protecting Your GEDCOM Files

Creating a GEDCOM is also a great way to save or backup your hours and hours of family history research. One of the saddest tales of genealogists everywhere is losing their computer or printed family files with all that work!

GEDCOM files can be saved to a hard drive, saved to an external unit, emailed, put on a thumb drive, or uploaded to the Cloud. You can also invest in a company like Backblaze, the official backup of The Genealogy Gems Podcast,  that will automatically backup all your files. (Read more about Backblaze, here.) All of these methods protect you and your genealogy.

More on Protecting Your Genealogical Data

Learn more about Backblaze, The Genealogy Gems Podcast’s first choice when it comes to backing up precious genealogy research and personal files. Read the article’s below and determine if Backblaze is the answer you’ve been looking for. Get total backup protection for $5 a month or less – save more when you buy a 1 or 2 year subscription. Click here to get started today!

How to Download Backblaze in 4 Easy Steps

Backing Up Your Genealogy with Backblaze – Q & A

Write Your Family History Book with RootsMagic

Writing a family history book is a daunting task. Check out this quick tip that will help you write your family history book with RootsMagic with just a few clicks!

rootsmagic_famhisbook_feature

Credit: Freepik.com

I love the many reports that can be generated from RootsMagic. RootsMagic is a genealogy software program that allows you to organize all your family history in one place. The software offers many types of printable reports like pedigree charts and family group sheets, but my favorite is the narrative report.

Write Your Family History Book with RootsMagic Using the Narrative Report

The purpose of a genealogy software program is to organize and analyze all of your genealogical data. The good news is that while you are popping in names, dates, and places in your RootsMagic database, behind-the-scenes, your book is actually being written.

Take a look at what I mean. Open your RootsMagic database and look at your family pedigree. Highlight yourself and then click Reports at the top.

Write Your Family History Book Using Narrative Reports

Choose Narrative Reports from the pull-down menu. A pop-up window will appear asking you to choose whether your report will include all the children or just spouses, how many generations to include, and some other format options.

I typically prefer to include as many generations as I can and I like to include the children. When you add the children of each couple to your report, it may be significantly longer so be aware of that.

When you have finished, click Generate Report.

family history with RootsMagic settings

RootsMagic slurps all your raw data into sentence form. Where you once recorded “Georgia Ann Smith, born 11 Nov 1913, Allen County, Ohio,” now reads, “Georgia Ann Smith was born on 11 Nov 1913 in Allen County, Ohio.” A sentence was created using your data.

RootsMagic_FamilyHistoryBook_5

Additionally, the narrative report allows you to:

  • Change the settings to influence how the sentences are structured,
  • Add notes to the appropriate section allowing a story to develop in chronological order,
  • Add pictures to enhance your story,
  • Alter the appearance and formatting of your printed report, and
  • Save in Rich Text format and work with it in a familiar program like Word.

Adding Enriching Details to Your Family History Book

Most people would agree, the best family history books are the ones that have fun, memorable stories and pictures. You can easily do this with RootsMagic.

I have a fun story about when Grandma was born. I want to add it to my family history book. If I double click on her name from my pedigree chart, her “edit person” window will pop-up. Then, I can click the Notes column (see the green notebook icon) in the birth line, and add a note specifically about when she was born.

Write Your Family History Book with Stories

After I have finished writing the story about her birth, I simply click Save note.

Now, when I generate my narrative report, the story about her only weighing about 1 1/2 pounds at birth appears right after her name, birth date, and location.

Add special stories to family history book

Adding Pictures to Your Narrative Report

Along with the stories, adding pictures offers another level of depth to your family history story.

RootsMagic’s narrative report will currently only print one image for each person. For example, if I wanted a picture of Grandma to appear in the narrative report, I would need to add the image to her “person.”

Let me show you how simple it is to link an image. In the example below, I have double clicked on Grandma and opened her “edit person” window. Then, I clicked on the media column where the little camera icon is. Notice that the camera icon I choose was in the “person” line. This is the only place you can add an image that will then appear in the narrative report. If you were to add a photo anywhere else, the image would appear in the scrapbook report, but not in the narrative report. When you have clicked the camera icon, follow the prompts to add the image you have already scanned onto your hard drive or disk.

newimage

Now, when you run the narrative report, Grandma’s picture shows up next to her name.

Write Your Family History Book with Images

One Last Quick Tip to Write Your Family History Book with RootsMagic

If you don’t like the way your narrative report is formatted or if you want to enlarge a picture or even add additional images, here’s one last tip! Saving your narrative report in a rich-text file format will allow you to edit the report from Word or another word processing program you are more familiar with.

To save in a rich-text file format, first create your narrative report as written above. When you reach the view screen, click Save at the top left. Then, choose Rich-Text File from the pop-up window options. The program will open your narrative report in your word processor for easy editing.

rootsmagic_famhisbook_1

rootsmagic_famhisbook_2

If you have already been using the software for your family history, you have already started writing your family history book with RootsMagic without even knowing it! Why not print your report today and make it a special gift to yourself. It’s always a good thing to have your family history in written words! What are your favorite reports to create in RootsMagic? We would love to hear from you in the comment section below.

More Gems on Using RootsMagic

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Free RootsMagic Guides to Download and Share

RootsMagic Review: Why I Use It

Free RootsMagic Guides to Download and Share

Free RootsMagic Guides to Download and ShareFree RootsMagic guides, called Magic Guides, are easy to download and share. This is just another reason why we love and recommend RootsMagic as the go-to genealogy software.

RootsMagic is downloadable genealogy database software that keeps all your family tree data nice and organized. It allows you to source your information, and create charts and reports. You can link to FamilySearch Family Tree and even access automated record hints at MyHeritage.com and Findmypast. Ancestry.com integration is coming soon; you can already import Family Tree Maker files easily.)

RootsMagic 7.0 can be downloaded for $29.95 by clicking here or you can try out the free version called RootsMagic Essentials.

Free Magic Guides

RootsMagic has many wonderful features you will want to try. Don’t learn by trial and error which can be frustrating. Download these free RootsMagic guides which make it easy to utilize the program to its fullest. These free guides are called Magic Guides. Each Magic Guide covers a single RootsMagic topic and includes step-by-step instructions with illustrations and tips. The guides can also be copied and distributed (but not sold) as handouts in groups when you teach others in RootsMagic classes, making them a perfect resource for genealogy societies.

You can find a list of all the Magic Guides available by going to the RootsMagic website and clicking on Learn at the top of the screen. Then, choose Magic Guides (handouts).

RootsMagic downloadable guides

From installing to importing and everything in between, Magic Guides are a helpful addition to your using RootsMagic.

How to Get Your Free RootsMagic Guides

To download a guide to your computer, click the Download button under the title you want. Some devices are already set up to open the guide in PDF format. Other devices may require you to click Save Link As. If you are required to save the link, remember to save it somewhere you will remember. I suggest saving it to your desktop where it is easily accessible.

RootsMagic downloadable guides

As an example, I downloaded the Magic Guide to Create a Shareable CD. I always enjoy sharing my new findings with the family and RootsMagic makes it so easy to do. The guide to creating a shareable CD is four pages long. It offers instructions on how to burn it now or burn it later, which is really nice in case I get distracted!

Here’s What I Learned from Free RootsMagic Guides

One thing I really love about these guides are the tips. In this guide, I learned that when creating a CD, you are making an exact copy of your database. That means all your private facts and notes that you may not want to share with the entire family, will be visible. With a few quick steps, the guide walks you through how to exclude these private facts and only share what you want to. Isn’t that great!

Share this Free Resource

If you have a friend who is new to using RootsMagic, be sure to share with them how they can use the free RootsMagic guides to enhance their experience. Share this article on Facebook or tweet about it! After all, everyone loves good news!

More Gems on RootsMagicBe_A_Dear_Please_Share

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RootsMagic Update for FamilySearch Compatibility

 

How and Why to Create an Alternate Family Tree

alternate family treeUse an “alternate family tree” to emphasize unique or interesting patterns in your family history, such as eye or hair color, birthplace, age at death, or adoption. Here’s how to do it–and WHY.

Alternate family trees are popping up all over social media and genealogy blogs. Have you seen them? Some trees emphasize the age at death, cause of death, or birthplace for each individual.

There can be tremendous value to creating trees like these. Recognizing patterns can help tear down brick walls. Imagine a pedigree chart with birth places instead of names. It’s a new way to see migration patterns. I also love the a-ha moments I have! For example, the time I realized my hair and eye coloring likely came from my maternal great-grandmother who I have a special connection with.

I can share these quick “did you know” revelations with my relatives on social media (totally shareable images!) or at family reunions. Images are often more powerful than words because they are easy to glance over. Your family won’t be able to resist taking a look, and most importantly, sharing your tree images with other family members. Shared images can generate new information when shared with the right relative. Hey, here’s an idea: you could even blow up your alternate family tree to poster size for the next family reunion!

Take a look at these examples of my own alternate family trees for age at death (left) and birthplace (right).

Alternate_Trees_1 alternate family tree Alternate_Trees_2 alternate family tree

 

Other alternate family trees may focus on occupations, schooling, or color of eyes or hair.

I was inspired to create an alternate family tree that had significance to my own immediate family. We have a lot of adoption in our family tree. My three children are adopted, my husband is adopted, and several of my great-grandparents were raised by other family members. This is a unique perspective. Blood lines are important, but even more important are those people who influenced my family the most as caregivers.

I created a pedigree that indicates who, if anyone, the father and mother figures were. Take a look:

Alternate Family Tree

Did you notice that every set of my great-grandparents had one or more parent die or abandon them? I was shocked to see this significant ancestral dynamic. I had never considered the likely effect of such a family tree. It was fascinating!

How to Create an Alternate Family Tree

The easiest way to create an alternate family tree is to use a genealogy software program. I use RootsMagic. RootsMagic is a genealogy software program for PC and Mac computers. (Note: To use RootsMagic on your Mac computer, you will need to use the MacBridge add-on.) You can purchase the full version of RootsMagic for $29.95 or you can use the RootsMagic Essentials for free!

There are two ways to make an alternate family tree using RootsMagic. You can start from scratch or use the wall chart report.

Starting from Scratch

To start a new pedigree, click the “blank sheet of paper” icon at the top left. Name your tree with a title that will indicate its purpose. (Example: Age-at-Death Tree)

Alternate Family Tree

Instead of using the names of your ancestors, use whatever alternate pieces of information you wish in the name fields.

Now, you simply click “Reports” across the top and choose “Pedigree.” You can generate the report and print out your new alternate tree.

Using an Existing Tree

If you already have your tree on RootsMagic, you can use the Wall Chart feature to create trees with unique data.

As an example, if I wanted to create an occupation family tree, I would first need to enter that data for each person by clicking on the individual and then “Add a Fact.” From the drop-down list, choose “occupation.” Type in the occupation in the description field at the right and click “Save.”

Alternate Family Tree

Add the occupation to each individual and when you are ready to print your alternate family tree, simply take the following steps in the image below.

Alternate Family Tree

After taking these six steps, it is time to “Generate Report.” You will be taken to a new screen where you will see your creation.

Alternate Family Tree

Once you have completed your alternate tree, it’s a great idea to print it and lay it out in front of you. You might ask yourself, “What does this information tell me?” The interpretation of the data will be unique for everyone. Maybe your “Cause of Death Tree” will make you think, “Oh no! I should really be watching my heart health!”

I hope that you will take the opportunity to create an alternate family tree or two today. Genealogy Gems Premium website members who like this idea will also want to listen to Genealogy Gems Podcast #136, due out later this month. In that episode, Your DNA Guide Diahan Southard goes in depth on the value of gathering family health history.

shareHow does this view of your family tree make you feel?
We love to hear from you so leave your feelings or comments below,
and please feel free to share your alternate family tree on our Facebook page!
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Here’s an Exclusive Discount on NEW Mastering RootsMagic Class

Check out this exclusive discount on a new Mastering RootsMagic class. You’ve invested in the choosing the right software–now make the most of your investment.

OK, all you RootsMagic users: Last week I heard that Family Tree University is offering a brand new course on Mastering RootsMagic. That caught my attention. I use RootsMagic software to retain control of my master family tree (click here to see why) and I know many Gems listeners and readers do, too. And of course we want to be masters of the most important tools we use for our genealogy.

The FTU class is NOT on sale to the public: it’s brand new and being offered at full price. I got in touch with Family Tree University and asked them if they would extend a special discount to you since we’ve been talking so much lately about the importance of databases.

buy now

 

 

So here’s the scoop about the class:

Mastering RootsMagic Class

In this 4-week, no-pressure, self-pace online course, you’ll find ways to make the most of all RootsMagic has to offer. For example, you’ll learn:

  • How to get started using RootsMagic
  • Step-by-step processes for creating your family tree and uploading a gedcom
  • How to develop your family tree
  • Add source citations, edit information, attach pictures and other media, and more
  • Organization tips and tools, like creating timelines, charts, reports, and research logs
  • Making the most of RootsMagic to create a family website or write your family history

RootsMagic expert and FTU instructor Diana Smith will be available throughout to answer your questions personally.

More RootsMagic Gems

RootsMagic Review: Why I Use It

RootsMagic 7 Can Now Import Family Tree Maker Files Directly

Better RootsMagic for Mac Options Now Available

RootsMagic 7 Update Can Now Import Family Tree Maker Files Directly

FTM files to RootsMagicFamily Tree Maker users can now directly import their trees into an update of RootsMagic 7.

RootsMagic family history software just announced the release of RootsMagic 7.1.0.1. This new version that allows users to directly import any Family Tree Maker file.

According to a RootsMagic press release, importing Family Tree Maker files was “mostly effective” when users imported them as GEDCOMs. However, files were “often lacking data and details only found in the original file” and added an extra step in the conversion process.

Now RootsMagic 7 can actually import a bigger variety of Family Tree Maker files (more past versions) than the current software itself can do. These include Family Tree Maker 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2014 for Windows; Family Tree Maker 3 for Mac; Family Tree Maker 2010 and 2012 for Mac; and Classic Family Tree Maker files ending with the file extension .ftw.

This is a free update for RootsMagic 7 users (look for the “Update available” indicator in the lower right corner of your RootsMagic 7 program screen and click on it). Click here to purchase RootsMagic 7 (for new customers and those who have previous versions of RootsMagic). For specific instructions on importing Family Tree Maker files directly into RootsMagic 7, visit the RootsMagic blog.

More RootsMagic 7 and Family History Software Gems

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How and Why To Back Up Your Ancestry.com Tree (Our most popular blog post EVER)

Family History Software for Mac: Recommendations from YOU

Genealogy Gems Premium Podcast Episode 132 Published

genealogy gems premium podcast episode 132Genealogy Gems Premium Podcast episode 132 is ready for Genealogy Gems Premium members. There’s something for everyone, from how family history can make families happier to how to use mtDNA tests for genealogy.

The new Genealogy Gems Premium podcast episode 132 has been published and is ready for Premium website members to enjoy. Premium members can sign in and then click here to enjoy the show.

Here’s a list of highlights for this episode:

  • The latest on RootsMagic: syncing with Ancestry.com
  • 3 more “Where I’m From” poems from listeners
  • Who should be looking at U.S. special census schedules–and a detailed handout for finding and using them
  • A conversation with New York Times columnist Bruce Feiler, author of The Secrets of Happy Families
  • An excerpt from Genealogy Gems Book Club title Orchard House by Tara Austen Weaver
  • 3 scenarios for mtDNA testing from Your DNA Guide Diahan Southard
  • The first naturalized citizen in the U.S.

One of my favorite gems in this episode is Diahan Southard’s spotlight on mtDNA for genealogy. It’s the least-used type of DNA testing, in part because it’s expensive and because its uses are limited. However, mtDNA can be extremely useful in specific situations–and Diahan tells us about those.

Ultimate Evernote Education abbreviatedAre you getting the most out of your Genealogy Gems Premium website membership? Remember, membership gives you access to the entire archive of back episodes of the Premium podcast. You can also watch all of Lisa’s online video classes on-demand, including her Ultimate Evernote Education for genealogists, with tutorials for beginners to advanced users. (Not a member? Click here for more info!)

RootsMagic, FTM and the Holy Grail of Family History Software

rootsmagic holy grail family history softwareAre we getting closer to the “holy grail” of family history software: one that will sync with all the major genealogy websites?

Ancestry.com’s unpopular announcement that it would be retiring its Family Tree Maker software was followed by a loud “never mind!” Software MacKiev has acquired Family Tree Maker software for both Mac and Windows and will continue the software’s production. According to Ancestry.com, “This new agreement means you will receive software updates and new versions from Software MacKiev, and have the ability to purchase new versions of Family Tree Maker from Software MacKiev as they are released.“

More interesting to me is the news that RootsMagic software and Ancestry.com will be connected by the end of 2016. According to a RootsMagic press release, this means RootsMagic users will “be able to display Ancestry hints, search for Ancestry records, and share data between [their] RootsMagic file and [their] Ancestry tree, all from within RootsMagic itself.” (This will be an optional function that can be enabled or disabled at will.)

Dedicated Family Tree Maker users may be relieved that their software will continue to be supported. But as someone who regularly works with different genealogy websites, I continue to prefer RootsMagic. RootsMagic 7 is already known as the software “easiest to sync with FamilySearch.” For some time, it’s been culling web hints from MyHeritage.com and it will soon start integrating hints from FindMyPast. RootsMagic even backs up directly to Dropbox and Google Drive, which is also handy for those who want to share their tree files with others.

Is RootsMagic becoming that “holy grail” of family tree softwares: the one that will sync with every major genealogy website platform? So far it’s just FamilySearch.org and Ancestry.com with current or planned syncing. But I find it so encouraging to see hinting/record searching partnerships with MyHeritage.com and FindMyPast.com, too. Of course I wonder whether tree-syncing will follow. I hope so, even though the complications of syncing (and sharing records!) across competing brands and platforms must be enormous. Of course, MyHeritage already has its own family tree software: in fact, they just released a new version, Family Tree Builder 8. FindMyPast does not have their own option (but their tree system itself is still evolving–it’s not even publicly searchable yet).

RootsMagic is a sponsor of my free Genealogy Gems podcast, but that’s not why I’m talking about it so glowingly (and I don’t receive a commission on sales of RootsMagic). I use RootsMagic family history software because it continues to stay at the forefront of providing cutting-edge features, and RootsMagic provides quality service and free tutorials. Click here to read more about why I recommend RootsMagic. Research it for yourself, and try the free version, RootsMagic Essentials (you can always upgrade later). It’s not yet the Holy Grail for family history software that syncs to every site, but it seems closer than any other option out there.

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