FamilySearch Will Be Down Monday, June 27th

The FamilySearch website will be undergoing a technical upgrade Monday, June 27th starting at 12 midnight MDT (6am UTC), and may be down for up to 24 hours as they test the system.

The entire FamilySearch system will be down, including the API that RootsMagic uses to interface with it, so during that time you will be unable to:

  1. receive or view WebHints from FamilySearch
  2. access FamilySearch to find matches, share data, or otherwise work with FamilySearch from inside RootsMagic.

This is a major upgrade to the FamilySearch back end, but once complete you should not experience any adverse effects in RootsMagic from the change.  We will, however, be closely monitoring the interaction between RootsMagic and FamilySearch once they have completed the upgrade to make sure there are no issues that creep in.

If you do encounter problems with FamilySearch after they have completed the upgrade, give it a couple of days to “shake out”.  If the issues continue after that please let us know the specific details at

Working with FamilySearch Family Tree

As the only software certified to add and share data with FamilySearch Family Tree, we have received a lot of questions about “what is FamilySearch Family Tree”, “who can access FamilySearch Family Tree”, etc.

FamilySearch Family Tree

What Do the Different Certifications Mean?

There seems to be a lot of confusion about what the different levels of FamilySearch certification mean.  When a program is designed to work with FamilySearch, it must receive “certification” in order to have permission to perform various functions.

There are 3 different levels of certification, as listed on this “Partner Products” page at FamilySearch:

  1. Tree Access Tree Access means that the program can only read data from the FamilySearch Family Tree.  Tree Access does not allow writing to the Family Tree.
  2. icon-TreeConnectGray Tree Connect means that the program can read data from the Family Tree, and can also read artifacts like media or sources.  Tree Connect does not allow writing to the Family Tree.
  3. Tree Share+ Tree Share+ means that the program can read and write data to the Family Tree.  For a program to be Tree Share+ certified, it must protect the integrity of the FamilySearch Family Tree by also implementing all the collaborative features (sources, change history, reasons, discussions).  This is important, because a program should not allow a user to make changes to the Family Tree without showing them the full consequences of the change.

RootsMagic is currently the only software with the Tree Share+ certification, so you can easily share your data back and forth with Family Tree (if you want).

Who Can Use FamilySearch Family Tree?

FamilySearch Family Tree is a free website, available to anyone who wants to set up a free account.  If you don’t already have a FamilySearch account, you can go here to sign up:

You can use FamilySearch Family Tree directly from their website, or you can use the Tree Share+ integration built into RootsMagic to view your own data side by side with the data available on FamilySearch.

If you use the FamilySearch integration built into RootsMagic, you don’t have to copy any data from RootsMagic to FamilySearch (or vice versa) unless you want to.  You can still look for matches without transferring your data back and forth.

Where Can I Learn More About Using RootsMagic with FamilySearch Family Tree?

We have created a number of short videos showing how to access FamilySearch Family Tree from inside RootsMagic.  To view these short videos, click here.

Sharing Sources Between RootsMagic and FamilySearch Family Tree

As the only TreeShare+ certified program, RootsMagic is the only software certified to share sources with FamilySearch Family Tree.  We’ve gotten a lot of questions about this great feature, so we’ve created a short (12 min) video that shows exactly how to do this.  But let’s start with a quick overview first.

Sharing Sources with FamilySearch

Once a RootsMagic person has been matched to a person on FamilySearch, you may wish to compare and exchange sources between RootsMagic and FamilySearch. The source tab will display the sources attached to the RootsMagic person on the left and the sources attached to the FamilySearch person on the right.  You can view more details about a particular source by clicking the blue information icon to the right of the source name.

Click to embiggen the image

Clicking the checkbox in front of a source will bring up a screen with one or more options available for the source. You can copy a source from RootsMagic to FamilySearch, or from FamilySearch into RootsMagic, and you can also detach, tag or untag a source on FamilySearch. Choose what you want to do with the source and then select the options for that comand. Some options (like copying a source from RootsMagic to FamilySearch) will also ask you to enter a reason why you are making that change.

Click to embiggen the image

If your RootsMagic source has a WebTag, the URL for that WebTag will be included when you copy the source to FamilySearch. When moving a source from FamilySearch to RootsMagic, the URL (if any) will be added as a WebTag attached to the source when it is brought over.

A Short Video

And here is that short video I promised, which goes into more detail about how to share sources between RootsMagic and FamilySearch Family Tree.

Remember, to use RootsMagic with FamilySearch Family Tree, you’ll need to be using the latest version of RootsMagic 6 (  If you already own version 6, select Help > Check for Updates from the main menu.  If you are using an older version, you’ll need to upgrade to v6.

In our next blog article, we’ll show you another FamilySearch feature unique to RootsMagic, the Change History List with the ability to restore incorrect changes to Family Tree.