Questions about upcoming Ancestry features? We’ve got answers!

TreeShare Questions

There’s a lot of interest in our upcoming update which will add Ancestry integration to RootsMagic. We’re getting many questions through all our support channels about this, and we’ve tried to share as many details as we could. But there are lots of spinning plates in the air, and there are many people from multiple companies working to make this happen. So we haven’t always been able to give answers as specific and detailed as some have wanted.

Now that we’re getting close to releasing these features, we’re able to share a little more information and answer some of the most frequently asked questions.

What are these Ancestry features?

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’s WebHints will automatically search Ancestry’s extensive collections of historical records from around the world. As possible matches are found, you may conveniently review them from within the software. RootsMagic then lets you add new information and media from matching records into your file.

When will these features be released?

As already mentioned, many people and companies are working hard to make sure the new features are fast, stable, secure, and valuable to you, our users. The features are currently being scrutinized by an ever-growing group of testers. As problems are found, we correct them and put out a new update for the testers. Things are looking very promising and, barring some unexpected problem, we anticipate releasing the Ancestry integration to the public before the end of April.

How will I connect my RootsMagic file with my Ancestry online tree?

At release, you’ll have two options: 1. Upload your RootsMagic file to a new Ancestry online tree, or 2: Download an existing Ancestry online tree into a new RootsMagic file.

Can I connect multiple RootsMagic files to a single Ancestry online tree?

Yes. This means that you can use TreeShare from different computers working with the same Ancestry tree. In fact, we chose the name “TreeShare” to highlight an important side-effect of this. You can invite family members to edit and add to your Ancestry online tree. Each family member can then connect their RootsMagic data with the central tree to collaborate with one another. RootsMagic will also give you complete control over what information you share with each other.

How will I keep my RootsMagic file and Ancestry online tree synchronized?

After the initial upload or download, everyone will be in sync between the RoothsMagic file and Ancestry tree. As changes are made to either RootsMagic or Ancestry, RootsMagic will let you know who and what has changed and will allow you to easily select what to move back and forth. Rather than force your RootsMagic file and Ancestry tree to always look exactly the same, you as a user will choose what to share. This is what allows two (or more) different people to be able to connect to the same tree without forcing each other’s data into the other’s file.

Can I use TreeShare to backup my data to Ancestry?

The best backup strategy is to have multiple backup strategies. Saving your data to an Ancestry online tree is a great additional option for preserving your work. All the essential information including people, events, notes, sources, and media which are common to both systems are kept in an Ancestry online tree. However, RootsMagic-only data such as To-Do lists and Research Logs won’t make the journey.

Will any of the Ancestry features be included in the free RootsMagic Essentials software?

Yes. RootsMagic Essentials is the free version of our software which has a limited set of features tailored towards beginners. RootsMagic Essentials will include the ability to upload your file to Ancestry, download an online tree from Ancestry, and search Ancestry’s collections for WebHints. More advanced users wishing to compare and transfer individual records between RootsMagic and Ancestry will want to use the full-featured RootsMagic software.

I have multiple computers and operating systems. How many RootsMagic licenses do I need to buy?

Just one. Our software license is for the household, so you are welcome to install it on all of your own computers. You can even use RootsMagic To-Go and install to flash drives to take with you. The license covers both our Windows and MacOS versions.

I already have RootsMagic 7. How will I get these new features?

TreeShare for Ancestry and WebHints will be in a free update to RootsMagic 7, expected to be released sometime before the end of April. When you run the software, it will check for any updates via the internet, download, and install them. We will also send out an announcement via blog, mailing list, and celebratory dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant.

Other Questions

If you have other questions, first check our previous list of frequently-asked questions and their answers. If you still can’t find your answer, feel free to contact us through one of our many support channels.

Thank you for your patience and understanding. Based on the feedback from our current testers, we think you’ll love these new features and find them worth the wait.

[Edited to clarify details about the synchronization process]

47 thoughts to “Questions about upcoming Ancestry features? We’ve got answers!”

  1. Tell me where your fave Mexican restaurant is & when the party will be, and I’ll be there! Thanks for all the hard work to make this happen!

  2. I already have a tree on Ancestry, two in fact, I was hoping that we would be able to link to an existing tree. Has this been considered and will it be at all possible?

    My Ancestry trees are linked to Family Tree Maker.

    Regards, Rob Jones

  3. The major question I have is this:

    Once I have uploaded my RootsMagic file to a new Ancestry Member Tree, will I be able to click on one button (or something) to update both my RootsMagic file and the AMT after making changes to one or both the RM file and the AMT?

    That is what TreeSync did in FTM and what FTM 2017 claims that FTM 2017 will do using their FamilySync. Will RootsMagic do the complete synchronization task after changes to a synced file are made?

  4. Thanks for the updated information! Like most people, I prefer software that has been thoroughly tested and I appreciate that you and your intrepid testers are taking the time to get it right!

  5. Randy, since you aren’t the only person to ask this today, I updated the article with that question and answer. While it’s not exactly “click on one button,” our testing shows that- in practice- it doesn’t take very long to compare and approve the changes between the two trees once they have been initially connected and are in sync. I’m sure we’ll continue to receive feedback from users and will make adjustments to best meet their needs.

  6. Marthy, our list of favorite Mexican restaurants could be a blog article in itself! Whenever we travel for classes and conferences, we find ourselves inexplicably drawn to the small, out-of-the-way, mom-and-pop Mexican restaurants. We’ve found some real gems that way and always return when we are in the area again.

  7. Can the same tree on Ancestry be linked to RootsMagic and FTM, with changes in any one of the 3 places synched to the other 2 places?

    Or must each application have its own tree on Ancestry?


    Reply: An Ancestry Member Tree won’t care if you are synced to RootsMagic, FTM, or a dozen other computers. Each database that is connected to the AMT will see what changes have been made. You can then decide if you want to move those changes into the database.
    Renee, RootsMagic

  8. Great news, I’m really happy that I switched from Family Tree Maker to Roots Magic. I have been very happy with the support.

  9. I bought this program over a year ago due to Ancestry discontinuing FTM. I have not been in love with the new program and am missing a lot of the features I used frequently in FTM. Right now I am just using for my trees feeling disappointed in my purchase of Roots Magic. I keep hearing soon on the sync etc but that will take another upgrade. Give me a reason to stay with Roots Magic.

    Reply: If you already have RootsMagic 7 it will be a free update for that version. You can try TreeShare for Ancestry when it is released and see if you like it.
    Renee, RootsMagic

  10. So a whole month of not syncing trees if I read the article right?

    FTM/Ancestry stops on 3/29 – have to have PURCHASED the new software in order to sync after that.

    You say that there will be a patch update for RM7 end of April.

    Still anxiously awaiting the promise lamd.

  11. Thank you for all of your hard work. I have used RM for almost 5 years and I am thrilled with your advancements and the upcoming release. And thank you to all of the testers. It is hard work for all of you. To the grumpies, just be patient. Another month is not a bad thing.

  12. Also wondering whether I will be able to sync with my CURRENT Ancestry Tree. Not sure how I would accomplish this otherwise, since my Ancestry Tree is much more vast than my RM Tree. THANK YOU SO MUCH for all your work in getting this developed and tested! I am excited for this wonderful functionality to a program I’ve LOVED for a long time ~ RootsMagic.

  13. Great news! I am glad that you took the time to get it right, and excited that it’s about to happen!

  14. When will the Windows-based Mac version be replaced by a native Mac version?

    Reply: Development will resume after the TreeShare for Ancestry update is released.
    Renee, RootsMagic

  15. Good questions and explanations. I like the control up and down feature between RootsMagic and my trees. Devil will be in the details, such as citations and notes I have made in RootsMagic.

  16. I checked the FAQ’s I still don’t see the ability to turn Ancestry off, I.E. block it, not just “ignore” it.

    But, I guess RootsMagic won’t be the first program I have stopped updating :o)

    Reply: In order to use TreeShare you must enter an Ancestry login, and be connected to an Ancestry tree, even to see the WebHints. So if you never login it is blocked from any connection.
    Renee, RootsMagic

  17. Will there be any conflict when using both Roots Magic 7 and FTM 2017 and syncing to both?

    Reply: No, the new Ancestry API was designed for true collaboration. You can connect as many databases to an Ancestry Member Tree as you wish. This would allow RootsMagic 7 and FTM 2017 users to collaborate together on the same Ancestry tree.
    Renee, RootsMagic.

  18. For computer geek they love it but for the 1982 PC person it is not a good choice unless you are a programmer. Most web site use the language but when you try to print without special handlers it does not present well.

    The reports that are in RootsMagicc are very good. Printing and out put are good keep it that way.

    I just retired from 20 years in the software business people want to get their output is readable form and not some new language with no standard for printing.

    With my eyes the small view of the information is not acceptable.

    You have a great program I have been using it since the parson software days love it.

    William Vance
    Houston, Texas

  19. I find Roots Magic very good, I do not have an online FTM file but have kept all on my local cpu. When I upload this file will it do all that I have read about Roots Magic ?

  20. Re update to sync RM– I don’t want to sync to Ancestry, even tho I have a tree there. Will this late April update automatically sync it? I wouldn’t mind seeing “hints” via the person’s name in RM, but I don’t want any automatic syncing done From Ancestry OR To Ancestry. I want to add info all on my own, keeping control. Perhaps I should not download the update???

    Reply: To make TreeShare for Ancestry work you will need to login to the feature, and have a RootsMagic database connected to an Ancestry tree. If you do none of these, then nothing will ever happen. You can continue to work as you normally would.
    Renee, RootsMagic

  21. I am using Magic now for 9 months and my Ancestry version is quite different from my Magic version relating to the proofs such as the census and certificates.
    When I sync Ancestry to Magic how will the certificate and census be transferred to Magic.
    ALso I used for 15 yrs Town, Twp, Co. ST
    and now Magic uses and I notice Ancestry doesn’t recognize anything but:
    town, township, county, state, United States of America.
    When I Sync Magic toward Ancetry OR Ancestry toward Magic, how will all these spellings change? Which will be retained?

    I liked that I could go to PLACE and make all the same and now on Magic we can’t so is kind of a mess. Ancestry didn’t yet let us see a PLACE where a place that was different was Seen on a list in PLACE so we could make them all the same. Will that happen in Ancestry as use to be in FTM.
    Will that old feature of FTM be once again there and with Magic UPDATES?

  22. Will these new updates be included in your native MAC version when it comes out?


    Reply: Yes, the TreeShare for Ancestry feature will be available for RootsMagic for Mac users.
    Renee, RootsMagic

  23. I do have a question for your developers. Will the sync feature be able to eliminate duplicates? How will this sync feature work between Ancestry trees and my extensive Rootsmagic files? PS I have over 12000 names in my files! The ability to sync each person and add any information found in Ancestry would be a big boost in research.

  24. Will we still be able to see the Webhints if we don’t go to Tree Share?

    Reply: The Ancestry WebHints require you to be logged in under the TreeShare feature. You can select to remember your password and automatic login so you don’t have to login all the time. The other WebHints will appear as normal.
    Renee, RootsMagic

  25. I am very confused. I thought FTM was gone and would not be any more. Today I get an email about FTM 2017 telling me I have only 2 days to buy it at the special I liked their program and am still trying to learn Roots Magic. Now, I don’t know what to do!!

  26. I think what you are all doing is truly inspirational. I am looking forward to these marvelous changes and powerful additions.

    Oh, yes, where are the favorite Mexican restaurants. I suppose that is coming with the celebration announcement?

  27. I have several trees on Ancestry. I have used Family Tree maker for a number of years and that has synced nicely with Ancestry.
    Knowing that Ancestry was going to link with Roots I purchased the Mac system.
    I still use my old Family Tree Maker but they have now upgraded and asked for an update to be purchased.
    Do you have any idea when the link between Ancestry and Roots will be working?

  28. Being significantly old; I have watched media evolve along with my children and grandchildren. CD’s are gone and DVD’s fading with USB’s here the short term, notebooks, passports. I started with Parsons and Zip Drives, never more supported. My family is in the world of iphones and Facebook – I’m left in the world of computers, software and e-mail. Worlds apart. Just software incompatibilities and operating system updates alone will seal the fate .. i.e. Turbo Tax and Trend Micro both failed to download and install and neither could explain. (Win 10 interface, mobility, compatability) PhotoShop was a breeze. No way to preserve what I have to pass on to some one who speaks my language or to some one who maybe develops an interest in the year 2117. No “Keeper” available to carry on.

    So comes the GREAT SYNC.

    First; I can not keep up multiple systems. I have no Ancestry tree but do have an account.

    Thinking that Ancestry will survive beyond my departure and will survive rampant changes in our Tech World with software and platform migrations ……. So my first thought is this;

    1) Upload current RM7 tree to Ancestry account – maybe media records go too like my PowerPoint, JPG (both scanned documents and photos), Excel, Doc, PDF, MPG. Maybe also person facts and notes and sources go too.
    2) Continue to work in only the RM tree (10,000 people, 6,000 media). Then “periodically” initiate a “total update” from RM7 to the Ancestry tree (no changes made directly in Ancestry in the interim), SYNC knows all differences or changes made or additions. SYNC transfers only charges. I will NEVER make changes directly within the Ancestry tree. No requirement to verify 2,000 changes. I press the old “update button”, then one push of the “approve all” button and presto …………. I have two identical trees again. Ya, is another backup also and will be available in total in the future, say 2117, for anyone who subscribes.

    Am I dreaming? Sorry for all the words.

    best wishes all

  29. I only have online trees in but am at the point of wanting the additional functionality of a software program. Will I be able to sync my existing trees and all the data to RootsMagic or will it only work vice versa? If not, could I import my data to RM as a Gedcom and then sync so that all the media syncs too?

  30. I’m in a quandary.
    I have used Legacy, FTM, and Rootsmagic over the years.
    Now that Mackiev are modifying FTM to provide similar linking and synchronisation functions to Rootsmagic with Ancestry, when do you expect reasonable comparisons to be available?
    I’m desperately keen to have a single software program, linking to Ancestry and Familysearch, and wondering how to compare?

  31. Is the Ancestry sync ever going to happen? It is getting a little past ridiculous.

  32. Like many people, I am a long time user of FTM. I also have synced with an online tree at pulled the plug on tree syncing last week, which I was not aware was about to happen.
    Consequently, I have some differences between my FTM (2012) and online tree.
    Once RM has sync capabilities, will I be able to (1) import my FTM 2012 database to RM 7, AND (2) sync my existing online tree with the new RM 7 database?

  33. Ancestry and Mackiev Software are making changes to the old FTM software to the point that the FTM 2014 version of the software no longer syncs with online trees which is currently requiring an upgrade to FTM 2017 supposedly to be released any day now. I was hoping that Roots Magic would be ready and I would not longer need to purchase both softwares to maintain sync to online trees. That no longer seems possible. Originally I thought FTM was going away but apparently Mackiev bought the rights from Ancestry. Comments please.

  34. Thank you for all your hard work to make this functionality a reality. You guys rock 🙂

  35. So looking forward to this 🙂 And I’m so glad that you have waited till it’s been tested, tested, and retested. Better software that works a little later than expected than a buggy programme delivered “on schedule”.

    Your software is amazing! Using it for my do-over as well!

  36. Thank you. The changes have long been dreamed about. It sounds almost like science fiction. Thank you.

  37. This all sounds good for most people. I want to know if I will be forced to add my tree to Ancestry. Thanks

  38. Ancestry originally offered a free international version of FTM, called FTM Express (light version) I never liked it, just used it to exchange dates with American relatives (I’m German) I use a German version of Legacy at the moment, but will switch to RootsMagic (with similar functions) because of the Ancestry synchronization function. There are many non English speaking users of Ancestry, that are unable to synchronize there trees, because FTM Express synchronization is off since a few days. FTM doesn’t offer a international version So, are there any plans for other language versions of RootsMagic, at least for German, French, Italian and Swedish (all with own Ancestry Sites)?

  39. If I understand this correctly, I will no longer have to work back and forth between my photos in my gallery and my RootsMagic Gallery. None of my photos on my desktop would transfer from Ancestry to my RM database. Will I be able to actually do that in a few weeks?
    That’s Great! I was about to start reloading all my media into RootsMagic one at a time.

  40. I am happy with Roots Magic and I wamt to Use it in my own way for notes to keep track of information, etc. I don’t want any automatic information entered into it from Ancestry ir anyone else. Will this new update interfere witj my current use of Roots Magic? It loaded amd transfered from FTM in a little differemt wau but all the info came over fine. Don’t make amu changes automatic please, Thank You!

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