My Genealogy Software Workflow

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 🙂



Comments (9)

  1. Randy Seaver

    Hi Taneya,

    Thank you for sharing this. Love the graphic! My workflow is a little simpler since I don’t use TNG. I wenter all data into RootsMagic, then refresh FSFT and the AMT.

  2. Taneya Koonce (Post author)

    Glad you like it! I am truly loving the syncing options between RM, FSFT,and AMT. Makes the process so smooth indeed for having multiple trees online. 🙂

  3. Randolph Clark

    Thorough but hard for older brains (OK, mine) to manage. Plus I seem to recall that when I had TNG I received a lot of spam. That was a few years ago.

  4. Taneya Koonce (Post author)

    Hi Randolph – I concur it is a lot of work, but I use each for specific reasons and advantages they offer. We all have processes that work for us. What platform so you use? With regard to TNG, I’ve not had spam issues. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Mavis

    Thanks for this post. I currently use Legacy and Ancestry. I’ll admit that I don’t keep the Legacy up. Maybe I should switch back to Roots Magic for the syncing purposes. Now wondering if Legacy may have this syncing ability. Guess I should do some research to determine this.

  6. Marian

    Thank you for sharing this, Taneya, and so clearly, too. Like you, I feel that I need to make my updates at home, where I can be sure to do it with adequate time and a clear mind. I especially want to be sure that I save an image of the source on my own disk and get it linked to the source citation and abstract on Reunion. I don’t try to keep my online trees completely synced with my Reunion database at home, because my Reunion database has a lot of “possibles” and “maybes” that I don’t want to reproduce until I’m more certain.

  7. Taneya Koonce (Post author)

    Hi Mavis – Legacy syncs with FamilySearch Family Tree but it does not sync with Ancestry. I like RootsMagic for the convenience of being able to manage it from one software :-). Thanks for reading!

  8. Taneya Koonce (Post author)

    Thanks for reading Marian! Good point about possibilities and maybes. Not a bad idea to keep those within your own records until you are more sure 🙂

  9. Pingback: Koonce Genealogy Database Statistics – Koonce Genealogy

Comments are closed.