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Uploading Gedcoms to new Ancestry site - Big Problem!

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#1 alaskalady

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Posted 30 July 2015 - 03:28 PM

I have used Roots Magic since the old days when it was Family Origins and have loved it all thru the years as it has only got better!   For those of you that feel the same, I need your help.   I have waited years for Ancestry.com to get to the point where it was worth putting my tree on their site, both for ease of getting it there and a nice display.  They are finally at that point, even with a few bugs to work out!

 

They have one major problem though and they may or may not be willing to correct it for $$ reasons.   The problem comes when you upload a gedcom.   The first upload works fine, so say you go in and find new source documents, photos, etc. and attach them - Your tree is looking nice.  A month later or so, after new info and corrections to your database on your computer, you decide to create a new gecom to add these changes to ancestry.  You upload it and even though it has the exact same name, now you have a 2nd family tree on ancestry and NOTHING is attched!   Major problem!   This is the way ancestry designed it - every time you upload a gedcom it assigns it a new database #  and ignores the filename.

 

Ancestry will then tell you that if you use Family Tree Maker you can sync your home tree and your online tree and when you upload corrections they automatically go to your tree!!   Those of us that use other software and prefer to use gedcoms are left out in left field with basically 3 options:

1. Every single correction or addition has to be done twice - once on our computer then again online

2. Buy FTM - export a gedcom to it from your gen program, then use FTM to sync with ancestry.

3. put your gedcom online, make it private, just use it for searches and save everything to your computer thru double steps.  When that database gets outdated, delete it and upload a new gedcom.

 

I don't know about you, but to me, ancestry is at the least using unethical methods to "force" people to buy and use FTM.   I have no objection to them having their online sync with FTM, what I object to is not giving those of us that prefer other programs a decent, comparible way to upload gedcoms and have our updates replace the original, not create multiple databases.   As someone that used to be a programmer it is a simple fix - just stop assigning a different database# and have it compare file names of the gedcom being uploaded, if they are identical - replace the earlier one.  This way any attachments will still be there unless you delete someone and additions and corrections are simple and not double work.

 

If you would like to help, please go to ancestry and send a report about the problem with the gedcom uploading.   Right now the tech said I was the only one to bring up the issue and most likely it would be years before it was looked at.  The more people report an issue the sooner it gets looked at.  Thanks so much for the help!



#2 Laura

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Posted 30 July 2015 - 03:47 PM

Ancestry wamts to sell you amd all the others that have Trees on their site their own genealogy program, FTM. What do you think the odds of Ancestry making those changes are?

#3 Ludlow Bay

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Posted 30 July 2015 - 04:06 PM

If it is by design, it isn't a problem.  



#4 kbens0n

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Posted 30 July 2015 - 04:51 PM

Ancestry will then tell you that if you use Family Tree Maker you can sync your home tree and your online tree and when you upload corrections they automatically go to your tree!!   Those of us that use other software and prefer to use gedcoms are left out in left field with basically 3 options:
1. Every single correction or addition has to be done twice - once on our computer then again online
2. Buy FTM - export a gedcom to it from your gen program, then use FTM to sync with ancestry.
3. put your gedcom online, make it private, just use it for searches and save everything to your computer thru double steps.  When that database gets outdated, delete it and upload a new gedcom.


4. Delete an entire Ancestry Member Tree

---
--- "GENEALOGY, n. An account of one's descent from an ancestor who did not particularly care to trace his own." - Ambrose Bierce
--- "The trouble ain't what people don't know, it's what they know that ain't so." - Josh Billings
---Ô¿Ô---
K e V i N


#5 alaskalady

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Posted 30 July 2015 - 05:19 PM

Ancestry wamts to sell you amd all the others that have Trees on their site their own genealogy program, FTM. What do you think the odds of Ancestry making those changes are?

I really don't know.   I can only hope that they will look at this from the consumer's point of view and the way it is now, is does make them look "small" to only offer a decent way to upload if you use their product.  I just want them to make it fair to those that don't use FTM.   Ancestry makes a fortune off everyone, look at all the other sites and products they own, surely they can let people upload gedcoms.  I am not a huge fan of ancestry trees, but I do like being able to attach photos and documents and when your tree is online, the search functions are sooooo much faster cause you don't have to type all the info in! *grin*



#6 alaskalady

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Posted 30 July 2015 - 05:22 PM

If it is by design, it isn't a problem.  

Maybe not for them, but it is for the consumer and it will be a huge problem for them when they have millions of duplicate trees with different info and no sources attached!   Look at what has happened to Roots Web World Connect.  It used to be a great site, now because of all the duplicate numbered trees when you seach you pull up thousands of hits, almost all with the same exact info - it is a pain to weed thru it!



#7 Ludlow Bay

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 12:38 AM

The more I think about your idea of demanding that Ancestry support their competitor's products, the more I like it.  As a matter of fact, tomorrow I'm going to stop at Burger King and demand that they start serving Mrs. Paul's fish sticks too.  Then I'm going to stop at the Ford dealer and tell  him I'm not buying one of his cars unless it comes with a Cadillac engine.    And to top off my day, I will demand that the local Baptist Church get themselves a pope.

 

All just for my convenience, of course.

 

And so none of them looks small.



#8 mjashby

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 02:56 AM

And that's how they can continue claim FTM to be the "Number 1 Selling Genealogy in the World", i.e. by effectively blocking any direct interaction with with Ancestry sites through a flat refusal to release any details of the application interface to software competitors!  Apart also, of course from:

 

 1) simply counting the running total of all sales/registrations of every version and every upgrade from the year dot; and

 2) ignoring the fact that many people have bought discounted copies of FTM over the years just to get the 6 month extensions to their membership at a significantly reduced cost, and never/rarely actually use the software.

 

I would guess that very shortly their sales of FTM may well significantly exceed the actual numbers of living family historians on the planet and maybe, after that, the future the volume of working PCs in existence. Then its onward to global domination, with the aid of DNA profiling of course.

 

Yours cynically,


MJA

"A Mac User with Windows Tendencies"


#9 RonB

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 05:13 AM

Using alaskalady's logic, I want to see Bruce make his servers available to anyone and everyone who wants to publish the database that they have created in a competitor's software package.   It's going to make RootsMagic look small if Bruce doesn't open his servers to accommodate anyone who wants to publish their research on line, regardless of who's genealogy software package that is being used.  After all, RootsMagic makes their money from selling their various software packages and books.  They obviously can afford to provide space to everyone who wants to publish their tree online.  Oh, and of course, regardless of what genealogy package an individual uses, they must be allowed to manipulate their data from their package - don't expect them to purchase RootsMagic. 



#10 gerwally

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 08:11 AM

Has anyone used FTM to upload a GEDCOM and then synced it with Ancestry.com.  Each time you want to update you could delete the old database in FTM and upload the new GEDCOM and then sync it with Ancestry.com.  I have a copy of FTM 12 that I've never used.  This may be worth a try.



#11 Laura

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 02:39 PM

Perhaps, you would have better luck getting an answer from a forum dedicated to FTM or Ancestry.com use.

#12 TomH

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 06:31 PM

The usual suggestion from RootsMagic Inc. is that you ask Ancestry.com to provide an API for third party products to sync with Ancestry Family Trees. There is the faint hope that the number of people asking for it might reach a tipping point...

Tom user of RM7550 FTM2017 Ancestry.ca FamilySearch.org FindMyPast.com
SQLite_Tools_For_Roots_Magic_in_PR_Celti wiki, exploiting the database in special ways >>> RMtrix-tiny.png app, a bundle of RootsMagic utilities.


#13 alaskalady

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Posted 01 August 2015 - 12:25 PM

Well, thank you so much for your well thought out responses and your seemingly great ability to criticize and berate someone for posing a thought - especially when you do not even understand the issue!!   Thanks so much for your kindness and thoughtfullness.  Uploading data corrections thru a gedcom has ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with SYNCING to the Ancestry tree!!!   Syncing is a feature that can ONLY be done thru FTM and it is a great feature and by all means they should charge for their program and make a profit!   I am NOT talking about syncing in any way, shape, or form!!!

 

What I am asking them to do ONLY affects your own data that you upload and the abiility to overwrite that data with corrections!  This processess does not affect anything you attach online, nor does it either give you the ability to sync or allow you to download your online tree back to your computer.  ALL it does is let you make all your corrections to your computer database over a period of time, a week, a month, etc., then upload a new gedcom and have it write over the online data ONLY  so you do not have to go onine for every single correction to the DATA and make it manually online.

 

With syncing you have the abllity to compare your computer database with the online database and make corrections on either  one automatically!!   This is a completely different process and feature!!   I do not care about syncing nor do I want to do it, but for many others it is a great feature!!

 

By uploading thru a gedcom I have the ability to put the data for 60,000 + individuals up on ancestry without entering each person manually!!   This is a blessing, but without the ability to correct the data or add other individuals it soon would become a nightmare.  I would have to make a correction, then go online immediately and make the correction before I forget who and what I corrected.  This is not feasible or even possible in terms of my time and my crap for an internet connection!    After my gedcom is up there I still have to manually add any documents, photos, etc.  which is fine and then I go back in and save that docutment to my computer just as I have done thru years with my ancestry sub when I used it to search with.    

 

I don't know how I can explain this any simpler, uploading corrections to data has absolutely nothing to do with syncing or infinging on Ancestry making a profit!!   All I a asking for is a reasonable way to share my family tree with others by having a reasonable way to get the data online and maintain the DATA!!  Since they already allow gedcom upload, I am only asking that they allow a person to update their data corrections the same way.  If a person can do this it prevents all these duplicate databases and will not affect any attachments that have been added manually either way!

 

If you still think this is unreasonable or infringing on Ancestry then I suggest you take some computer classes so you can understand the difference cause I speak not only as someone that had been into genealogy since the 1960's, but also someone that was a computer programmer/accountant, built many computers, provided tech help for others for 20+ years, and built a couple of websites.   I am still in no way an expert but I do have an understanding of how computers work.  

 

BTW, when I posted I never had any thought that this would start a "war" or that I would get such hateful responses from some of you.   It is fine to disagree with someone, but it is rude to do so in the manner several of you chose, but then I am elderly and was raised to have manners and respect the opinions of others, even if I disagree!  



#14 alaskalady

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Posted 01 August 2015 - 01:04 PM

And that's how they can continue claim FTM to be the "Number 1 Selling Genealogy in the World", i.e. by effectively blocking any direct interaction with with Ancestry sites through a flat refusal to release any details of the application interface to software competitors!  Apart also, of course from:

 

 1) simply counting the running total of all sales/registrations of every version and every upgrade from the year dot; and

 2) ignoring the fact that many people have bought discounted copies of FTM over the years just to get the 6 month extensions to their membership at a significantly reduced cost, and never/rarely actually use the software.

 

I would guess that very shortly their sales of FTM may well significantly exceed the actual numbers of living family historians on the planet and maybe, after that, the future the volume of working PCs in existence. Then its onward to global domination, with the aid of DNA profiling of course.

 

Yours cynically,

 

Thanks for your comment!  I feel about the same toward their "false" advertising.  Thur the years of all the thousands of researchers I have met only a handful actually use FTM, for most it provides only a way to accomplish something else.



#15 alaskalady

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Posted 01 August 2015 - 01:15 PM

Has anyone used FTM to upload a GEDCOM and then synced it with Ancestry.com.  Each time you want to update you could delete the old database in FTM and upload the new GEDCOM and then sync it with Ancestry.com.  I have a copy of FTM 12 that I've never used.  This may be worth a try.

That is what I had considered doing also, but I really do not want it syncing back to my computer because there are still bugs online in the data when you add sources..  For instance, when adding a census, if you don't edit the date is will list the year as proof of birth year when it shoud be posted as abt "year" to let people know this is an estimate, not proven.  On SSDI, it posts the place last benefit received as death place!  Sometimes, if you don't catch it, it will post a new person entirely cause it does not recognize an existing person as being the same and you don't tell it who the person is.   Anyway, for now, I just make my own corrections on my computer. *grin*   I have thought about just using FTM to update the data if I can find a way to turn the syncing off.



#16 Ludlow Bay

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Posted 01 August 2015 - 01:58 PM

Being able to upload a revised file and preserve links and attachments IS syncing.  At this point in time, either use FTM to sync with Ancestry or go find another online site that provides an open-source syncing tool.  



#17 alaskalady

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Posted 01 August 2015 - 05:18 PM

Being able to upload a revised file and preserve links and attachments IS syncing.  At this point in time, either use FTM to sync with Ancestry or go find another online site that provides an open-source syncing tool.  

 

Ok, maybe I can explain it like this, you are trying to compare apples (gedcom) with oranges (syncing) as if they are and do the same thing.  They do not!  A gedcom is a file that only holds data, syncing is a function/operation that allows data fields to be compared between 2 or more devices and the data within those fields to be transferred any direction.  The keywords here are "compare and transfer any direction"!

 

Gedcom files are not "open source" (open source only refers to a script/program that is coded and performs an operation), they are a file that was created years ago to allow family history data to be transferred between any genealogy program, hence they are a generic file.   A file in itself can "do" nothing, it only contains data.   If you "open" or "upload" a .ged file, one of two things will happen.  If there is another file with the exact same filename ie: family.ged  then that file will be overwritten, the unchanged data as well as adding the corrected data.  If there is not another file with the same filename then it just writes it as a new file.  A file has NO function and cannot perform any operation.

 

Syncing is completely different - it is NOT a file - it is a function/operation that does what it is coded to do by a programer.  In this case, it is a script/program that runs in the background and when activated by telling the site or your computer to "sync" it starts its pre-programmed actions.   On ancestry, very basically it will compare data fields (ie; name, place, bd, dd, marriage, etc) to see if the data matches.  It does not know what the data is, but it recognizes for instance that a field on the site contains data, but the same field on your computer does not - so it transfers the data to your computer and visa versa.  This is extremely simplified and it is a much more complex operation.  It also does the same with photos, source documents, etc.  comparing file names and then making the 2 or more devices "match".  Keyword is "match" or make identical!   A gedcom can only overwrite, an only then with another file of the exact same name!

 

Since a gedcom is only a file and can "do" nothing the two terms cannot be compared.   I think you are assuming because the things you have added ie: photos, documents, etc. will stay attached to the person that it is because of the gedcom, but that is incorrect. The things you have attached online stay with that person because that database is assigned a unique number when it is added and each person is assigned a unique number also, hence the attachments are attached to that number.   They will stay there unless you delete either the document  or the person from the database.  There are ONLY 2 ways to do that:

1. Go online and delete them

2. ONLY if you use FTM, you can delete them on your computer, then "sync" with Ancestry and they will be deleted online

 

You CANNOT do this thru a gedcom, all you can do with a gedcom is overwrite your actual data and possibly source information (but not documents) if the fields were identical.   Hope this makes it clearer.

 

If anyone out there can explain this better, please feel free to jump in.  

 

I am not trying or intending to infringe on Ancestry or their products in any way.  But they put the tree section up there as a freebie, not as a for sale product.  All I am asking is for a reasonable way for those of us that prefer to use a gedcom be able to make corrections to our own data without having to spend hours online doing it.  Many take advantage of the "sync"  feature and that is their choice.  I am NOT asking Ancestry to give away thier product or allow free access to anything they sell, am only asking for a more reasonable way to make corrections via gedcom.



#18 alaskalady

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Posted 01 August 2015 - 05:21 PM

The usual suggestion from RootsMagic Inc. is that you ask Ancestry.com to provide an API for third party products to sync with Ancestry Family Trees. There is the faint hope that the number of people asking for it might reach a tipping point...

 

Yes, I agree and have done that and was hoping by posting here I would find other folks that wanted to use gedcom also to update their tree.  I was hoping those folks might request it from Ancestry too. 



#19 Ludlow Bay

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Posted 01 August 2015 - 06:26 PM

Everything you want to happen is done through syncing.  What you want to have happen is not possible without syncing.    A newer GEDCOM file could be synced to an older GEDCOM file, but the links and attachments CANNOT be synced via GEDCOM because they are not part of the GEDCOM.     The links and attachments are stored on Ancestry servers, away from your control.   

 

You are asking for a tool to allow you to update your current GEDCOM file and preserve the links and attachments.  FamilyTreeMaker is that tool.  It is presumptuous of you to ask for anything more, and even more presumptuous to expect to get it for free.  



#20 alaskalady

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Posted 01 August 2015 - 06:47 PM

 

Yes, I agree and have done that and was hoping by posting here I would find other folks that wanted to use gedcom also to update their tree.  I was hoping those folks might request it from Ancestry too. 

Folks like me are probably in the minority, cause many use the sync features, and I may want to do that in the future, but for now I do not want to sync anything to my computer, I only want an easier quicker way to update my actual data.   The syncing feature is really neat, but right now there are still too many bugs on the site that I do not want those errors transferred down to my computer. 

 

For instance when a census attaches it posts the year as if it were the actual year of birth!  The year should be prefaced by "abt" because it is only and estimate, not a proven fact.   In my experience, census year are many times off a year either way because of when the census is done and the persons birthday falls.

 

Another example is the SSDI, when it posts it posts the place last benefit received as the actual death place.  This may or may not be true so it should post as what it is.

 

I know you can edit and change all of this, but sometimes we all work on our genealogy when we are not as "alert" as other times and things slip by us.   Also, if you don't catch it when posting family members it will sometimes post another person to a family because it did not recognize the original as being a match.

 

These are all minor fixes and everything has bugs to work out, but for now it is enough for me and my own screw ups without having try to catch more that get there because I did not catch them at the time. *grin*   Ancestry does have the nicest site now to display your tree on and I sure hope this will get worked out so I can use it also.







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