Back in 2015, I started the Genealogy Do-Over process. It was an opportune time to revisit my research & documentation procedures as it had been about 10 years since I’d started doing genealogy. At this time, I used it as a way to begin ensuring that I recorded my family tree info in FamilySearch Family Tree. In that blog post, I describe how I would use a combination of TNG: The Next Generation of Genealogy Site-Building, RootsMagic, and FamilySearch Family Tree.
That process has gone well! About 18 months ago, I created a video update to share specifics of how I use the 3 platforms in tandem and to give insight into my process. And, it is a process I continue to use. But, I’ve recently made a change.
For years I had trees on Ancestry but I did not spend time caring for them or updating them with any regularity. Now that RootsMagic has the ability to sync with Ancestry Member Trees, I will be updating those trees on a regular basis too. With the recent release of RootsMagic’s Ancestry Tree Share, I am now integrating Ancestry Member Trees into my documentation & sharing process and over the past couple of weeks, I’ve taken some time to consider what processes to be most efficient. It’s funny because last year while giving a presentation about online collaborative family trees, an audience member stopped me and asked: “So you do everything in triplicate?” To which I answered “Yes.” – Wait ’til I tell him I now do everything in quadruplicate! 🙂 Because yes, now that RootsMagic has the sync with Ancestry, edits I make on my family tree are done 4 times over.
I thus decided to do this blog post to document what I do and why I do it, in the case that others find it helpful! So, here is a graphic representation of my genealogy software workflow.
Quick Overview: My online TNG-based website is my primary software, then I also edit my RootsMagic database. Then I sync from RootsMagic to FamilySearch Family Tree and then sync to Ancestry Member Trees. This is now what I do for any person on which I am working. Here are some highlights of what I do with each/why I use each.
TNG: The Next Generation of Genealogy SiteBuilding
- This is my primary database. I make all edits here first.
- TNG offers some unique features and the fact that it is online is advantageous for easy sharing with my family and for cousin bait.
- My TNG records have links to the corresponding FamilySearch Family Tree profile.
- I use this primarily because I can sync to FamilySearch Family Tree
- My RootsMagic databases are stored in my Google Drive account, which means I can update my databases from any computer on which I have RootsMagic installed
- I usually tend not to link media to my RootsMagic databases as this is one part of the software that I find a bit cumbersome.
FamilySearch Family Tree
- I use because I am a believer in the shared collaborative model for genealogy research, so the open edit model is one that I gladly welcome.
- I use FamilySearch Tree formatting for sources; I enter my sources here then copy and paste the citation into my TNG database and sync that citation to my RootsMagic database
- I love the apps!
- I do not sync living people yet; I’m waiting for FamilySearch Family Tree to develop better collaborative tools for profiles of living people.
Ancestry Member Trees
- Because of Ancestry’s market share, having my family tree here gives it lots of exposure and opportunities to establish connections with others
- I do not sync sources & media from RootsMagic; I do it natively in Ancestry Member Trees
- I sync both living and deceased people because living people do stay private.
So, you can see – even though I use all 4, my most “complete” record is my online TNG database as it has my facts, events, media, and sources. But, syncing with FamilySearch Family Tree and Ancestry Member Trees, allows me to get my research and findings more broadly disseminated. To make another note, because I do work in quadruplicate, I do not do genealogy “on the go.” I only work on my family tree when I have access to my laptop/desktop and can spend dedicated time and ensure I can make my updates in all 4 places. This means I can be purposeful and careful as I analyze what I am finding. I should plan another video update to show my process again 🙂