My Genealogy Do-Over

Late last year, Thomas MacEntee announced his new genealogy journey for the year, a genealogy do-over, and I loved the idea! The Genealogy Do-Over is an opportunity to re-visit your research processes and work diligently to improve upon the foundation you’ve created. So, as I enter my 10th year of serious genealogical research, I too think it’s time for a genealogy do-over. However, I’m taking a very decided focus to my do-over. 

What is that focus you ask? Well, in my do-over, I am specifically interested in making sure that my work is preserved in FamilySearch Family Tree (FSFT). I’m a huge FSFT fan. The model of having one profile for each person is one find extremely appealing given the amount of genealogy research I do for others and for people I encounter in my volunteer work with the USGenWeb project. I’ve blogged about my rationale for why I like FSFT before and my philosophy remains the same.  

Last year, I ensured a few generations of my direct ancestors were represented in FSFT, but as I want to broaden that to all of my researched individuals, I realized I needed a more efficient approach for comparing my research against FSFT. To do this, I’ll be using RootsMagic (RM) to work in tandem with FSFT and taking advantage of the fact that RM has great options for matching and syncing individuals in your genealogy database to FSFT. While I’ve used RM off-an-on since I started doing genealogy, I’ve not steadily used it, nor had I ever learned how to use it with FSFT. Now I know. 🙂

Now, my primary genealogy database is a web-hosted one for which I use TNG: The Next Generation of Genealogy Site-Building and I’ll continue to have that be my primary database. My RM database will be used solely for syncing with FSFT.

Thus, my route for my genealogy do-over will consist of the following:

  • download my gedcoms from my TNG site for import into RM
  • use RM’s “groups” to tag everyone as “not reconciled” with my website
  • as I match & sync with FSFT, ensure that photos & documents I have for each person are added to FSFT, and then use RM groups to tag person as “reconciled with my website”
  • from this date forward, any research will be noted in my TNG database and additionally added to my RM database for syncing with FSFT

Undoubtedly, this new process will take awhile to complete, but I feel this is necessary step for ensuring the research I do is shared with others and preserved for long-term access. Plus, along the way, I get the added benefit of reviewing my research and making updates and corrections as needed. 

Thanks Thomas for the inspiration! 




Comments (9)

  1. Randy Clark

    I like your methodology. However before adding photos & docs I like to get rid of extraneous data that seems to be in FSFT.

  2. Peter Barbella

    I have looked at RM very casually and I decide it did not offer any advantage over FTM. Should I take another look?

  3. Spartan Roots

    Terrific plan! I am also uploading my research into FSFT where it will be preserved and available for future generations to access.

  4. Taneya Koonce (Post author)

    Hi Randy – yes, this is what I am doing as I sync my individuals to the tree – I am cleaning up both my information, as well as what is on FSFT. This way, I can start off fresh and then monitor for additional changes.

  5. Taneya Koonce (Post author)

    Hi Peter – Family Tree Maker does not sync with FamilySearch Family Tree. The ability to sync with FSFT is my top priority in this endeavor. Therefore, I chose to go with RM.

  6. Taneya Koonce (Post author)

    glad to hear it Carol! I hope more people choose to do this too.

  7. Magda

    Taneya, you approach sounds very sensible, especially the part about preserving your heritage ( and others ) on FSFT. I decided the exact route when I heard Ron Tanner at Roots Tech last year at the same time my hard drive froze. Plus, if something happens to me, I don’t know if my family can keep my TNG database on the server.

    I also do my One Name Study on FSFT and it has been extremely satisfying as most of my records ( Hungarian / Slovakian ) are on Family Search anyway so it’s a win-win.

    After I read your post, I have downloaded my TNG to Roots Magic as part of my Do-Over starting April 1st ( I guess Thomas is running it again ).

  8. Taneya Koonce (Post author)

    Cool Magda! I have really been enjoying RM in combination with FSFT this past week. I find it a powerful combination. We’ll have to make sure we stay in touch regarding our experiences 🙂

  9. Pingback: Genealogy Do-Over Update Video – Taneya’s Genealogy Blog

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