RootsMagic 4 Unwrapped – New FamilySearch

And while we’re on the subject of web searches, it’s time to unwrap one of the features we get the most questions about… New FamilySearch support.  First, go read about New FamilySearch on Wikipedia (you have to scroll down the Wikipedia article a bit to find out about “New” FamilySearch) and then come back and we’ll continue.  I’ll wait…

Back already?  So FamilySearch is a huge online project, part of which is a collaborative family tree where you can add and edit people and information, as well as dispute information you don’t agree with.  Think of it as a giant online family tree where you and others can work together on your common ancestors / relatives. In the future it will also include access to millions of digitized records.

Currently New FamilySearch is being released in phases to members of the LDS Church, but eventually free access will also be available to the general public.  RootsMagic is a FamilySearch Affiliate, and RootsMagic 4 will be a FamilySearch Certified application when it is released later this year.

RootsMagic 4 will let you easily match up individuals in your database with the matching person out on New FamilySearch.  This way RootsMagic can notify you when someone else changes information on that person out on New FamilySearch.  It also makes it easy to copy information back and forth between RootsMagic and New FamilySearch.

It’s simple to start linking your people to New FamilySearch.  Just turn on the option and RootsMagic will display a light gray FamilySearch icon next to each person’s name on any of the main views.

Just click on a person’s FamilySearch icon and RootsMagic will display any matches from New FamilySearch.  Possible matches will be color coded to make it easy to decide how close of a match they are to your person.  Check any matches and click the link button and RootsMagic will automatically combine any duplicates and match your RootsMagic person to the person on FamilySearch.

Once you find a match on FamilySearch, the icon next to the person’s name will turn blue, and clicking it will also let you see your RootsMagic person and the matched person side by side.

It’s easy to copy data back and forth between RootsMagic and New FamilySearch.  Just click the checkbox next to any information you want to copy.  RootsMagic will display all the available options, including copying the information as a new event, replacing an existing event, or disputing the event.  You can also choose which notes and sources you want to copy as well.

If you prefer to link from a list rather than from the main screens, RootsMagic 4 provides a batch FamilySearch screen.  You can find matches and copy information all from a single screen.

FamilySearch Button

Several sharp-eyed readers spotted the New FamilySearch button on the toobar back in one of our earlier entries.  That button brings up FamilySearch Central, a dashboard which provides a detailed summary of how your RootsMagic data relates to FamilySearch.  FamilySearch Central will also display any ordinance information for LDS users.  All LDS information can be hidden or displayed depending on the user’s preference.

FamilySearch Central
FamilySearch Central

Whew.  This article barely touches the capabilities of RootsMagic 4’s New FamilySearch support, but writing this did remind me of something else I meant to mention.  When we release RootsMagic 4 we will be posting a set of video tutorials on our website.  We realize that with this many new features there will be a lot of questions that simple screen shots just can’t address.  I will also be doing follow up blog entries on some of these new features as well.

So that’s another big feature coming in RootsMagic 4, and there’s still a lot more to come.  Stay tuned.

29 thoughts to “RootsMagic 4 Unwrapped – New FamilySearch”

  1. I love it. Both Family Search and RootsMagic are great together. Now I can dispute the typo that was done many years ago on an ancestor.
    I wasn’t able to get this corrected.
    Surname was transposed.
    Also another opinion as to some ancestor data, but we all have these.
    Many will love it, but many will oppose its conflicts.

  2. Another big teaser, any word on a target date for making the New FamilySearch function available to non LDS church members? Any possibility that RM and the new search will become available at the same time!??

  3. This sounds very exciting. I use a dial up connection. Thus online videos are a problem. Will the videos be available to purchase or will there be other training information and materials that will be easier to use for those of us who are dependent on dial up connections.

  4. Do we have to be registered with Family Search to be able to use it?

    And for those of you complaining about how long it has taken for a new RM release – now do you see why?

  5. Great.
    Earlier responses about Family Search interface actually had me looking for alternative software. That was a gut wrenching thought, as I like Roots Magic so much.
    When questioned about Family Search interface possibilities if you had only said, “Boy, have we got that under control in RM4 and it’s going to be fantastic”, it would have save me a lot of nightmares about even thinking of leaving the RM family. (That would have been a HUGE mistake).
    I know it’s a massive task and really am thankful that you have disclosed some of what you will be providing.

  6. Actually this scares me. Another way for people to add “unsourced” & “unproven” information to their files. I’m sure in the hands of those who take the time to actually source & document their information this will be a great resource but for those who are into “click & claim” genealogy this just makes it all the more easy for that to happen. Just my two cents worth!

  7. Type your comment here.
    I have mixed feelings. I want the new Roots Magic to come on out; but how hard is it going to be to learn all the new toots and whistles.

  8. Hi Alton,
    It may be a bit of a learning curve for all of us, new and old users alike.

    But video tutorials and the blog should help.

    Also we can help each other with questions on the RM message board and Rootsweb RM mailing list.

    I’m ready for RM4. LOL

    I changed the folder and database name for my “Play” database to Play RM3 and made a blank folder for Play RM4.

    I expect the first thing I will do is convert my RM3 main database to RM4 and then drag and drop a few people into a new Play RM4 database and start checking out the new features before making any changes in my main database.

  9. I’ve been excited about the Family Search records including the Ohio Death Records and have been cutting and pasting that information into Roots Magic for weeks now. Especially, since the Ohio Historical Center has cut back their hours. Sounds like a really neat feature for Roots Magic in our research for family trees.

  10. Hi Bruce,

    I know the great joke once was that Clipper would be released in September but we’re not saying which year! Have you got a release date yet for RM4 because I’ve got to let my husband know what I want for my birthday and Christmas. If you can manage it RM4 would be ideal and save him a lot of hassle!

  11. Long time coming but at least that time has definately not been wasted, this version of RM is way beyond any previous RM or FO.

    Very much looking forward to getting my hands on this and I take my hat off to Bruce and team.

  12. I can’t wait to see the finished product. May I request a feature added to convert/display Julian, Georgian calendar dates?

  13. I attended a class a couple of weeks ago in Ogden,Utah, when Bruce presented a class on the subject of this blog. He said that RM4 would be out before the end of THIS year!

    PS Bruce and Michael Booth were sporting bright green Roots Magic ties!

  14. It looks great but ARE we going to receive version 4.0 before December 1, 2008? My time period is about to expire.

  15. This is awesome… New familysearch integration is very cool! I hope you’ll allow the use of multiple familysearch logins. My wife and I each have a login in part because we can’t see each other’s lines due to living ancestors.

  16. It will support multiple logins. Actually, FamilySearch has requested that we do not store login information. As a result, you will need to enter your username and password each time you start RootsMagic and first access FamilySearch. It’s pretty straightforward to enter either your own or your wife’s login information.

  17. How do I go about getting a sign-on name and password for Family Search. It sounds great and I would like to use it while I am using the RM4 Beta– which is just super — can’t wait for the full version. Hurry!

  18. Hi Bruce, thanks for all of your hard work. It looks like we will have plenty of work ahead of us. Am looking forward to using the #4 program and will probably purchase it.

  19. Love it and look forward to leaping forward with research and editing.
    However, at the moment tutorials are
    difficult because of “buffering” on
    use – hopefully this will be resolved.

  20. After I learned about RM4 I am confinced it will work out good for me and will buy it. This is such a great program and will make my job easier. It will take a short time to get to know it but then it’s the perfect tool for your Genealogy.
    Thanks Bruce for such a wonderful tool.

  21. When will the Family Search feature be enabled for those who purchased the whole package (RM4+) earlier this summer?

  22. Lorna,

    That feature is fully working in RootsMagic 4 for those who have access to New FamilySearch. I have no idea when New FamilySearch itself will be opened to the general public. It is still in a phased rollout and they are working out a number of issues with it before they open it to everyone. Whenever it is made available to the general public, the copy of RM you have now will already work with it.

  23. I have switched all my data to RootsMagic and am ready to work with the new family serch program. I have about a thousand names to clear for temple work.

    I live in Draper Ut and work at the temple two days a week as an ordinance worker.

    How soon do you the we will be able to register with the New Family search

  24. Gary, I don’t know. They don’t tell us the schedule. RootsMagic has a helper mode though, where someone who *does* have access can log in through RootsMagic, and then sign up to help you so that any work you do will be in your name. There is a video tutorial about this at:

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