Jump to content

AlanWatson1958's Content

There have been 12 items by AlanWatson1958 (Search limited from 25-October 19)

By content type

See this member's

Sort by                Order  

#89305 Transfer Ancestry Weblinks To RootsMagic via Treeshare

Posted by AlanWatson1958 on 11 May 2018 - 08:52 PM in RootsMagic Wish List



I use a lot of Weblinks in Ancestry and would like the ability to transfer these to Rootsmagic via Treeshare. They are useful for things like Wikipedia pages on people in my tree containing general biographical information.


Ancestry's Weblinks are attached to the person rather than to an event, a media item or a source. I assume that they would appear in Rootsmagic as a WebTag similarly attached to the person.




#88408 Display the number of differences between RootsMagic and Ancestry

Posted by AlanWatson1958 on 03 March 2018 - 12:53 AM in RootsMagic Wish List

Just to be clear the filter that you can apply is to see people with changes, not people with differences, which is not the same thing. People often appear on the differences list because of changes that are not strictly relevant to Treeshare (ie there is no difference), and you can mark people from that list as not changed, so that they disappear, even though they have differences. Marriages can cause differences to occur even without marking someone to accept changes.


Showing people with differences in addition to the current list of people with changes would be very useful.




#86647 notes lost

Posted by AlanWatson1958 on 01 November 2017 - 07:46 PM in Issues

On the Ancestry notes being hidden, I like the idea of setting up a fact (biography, genealogy or whatever). I came up with a rather clumsier option. I want people invited to my Ancestry tree to see notes/queries that I have about a person, so I add them to the ancestry comments field. When I realised that these weren't being copied to Rootsmagic I started (a long job) copying them to the notes field too. It's a bit more maintenance, but just a copy/paste per person with a note.



#86610 Misc TreeShare Quirks / Bugs

Posted by AlanWatson1958 on 01 November 2017 - 12:04 AM in Issues

I often see entries like this where a person is apparently duplicated on both sides, but where in fact there is a duplicate in Rootsmagic only. Of course there may be other causes in your case, but when I get it, deleting the rootsmagic duplicate removes the duplicate line in treeshare.


I have today had different problems arising from a pair of manual merges that I carried out on both sides. The initial duplicates occurred because two brothers changed their names, and I had not realised that the two names were for the same person. I merged the two in both Ancestry and Rootsmagic, using the same main name and keeping the same alternate name on both sides. Treeshare then created endless problems, which I might have spotted if I had not been going through a large number of updates. It showed me an alternative view for each of the brothers in which they were not matched to their wives and children which I then duplicated. But the new wives did not link properly, so that each of the new children was created having separate relationships to a father and unknown mother and a mother an unknown father.


I have just spent a couple of hours sorting the mess out.



#85587 New Ancestry treeshare marriage functionality

Posted by AlanWatson1958 on 27 August 2017 - 04:34 AM in Issues



I have just used the new treeshare functionality that allows you to pick the relevant spouse for each marriage. (I was updating Rootsmagic from Ancestry.)


The first marriages I added were for a person with two spouses, both already in Ancestry and Rootsmagic. This worked like a dream, where in the previous version neither marriage would have been linked to a spouse.


However, subsequent and much more common marriages were less of a success. The most common case is where a spouse and a marriage are being added to an existing person at the same time. Here, when you try to add the marriage, you get the response 'This person has no partner to add this event to'  even if you have already 'added' the spouse in the treeshare dialogue. Instead you need to go through a two stage process, first adding the spouse and accepting changes (which removes the person and the new spouse from the list of people with changes), and then going back and then going back to the same person and adding the marriage.


This is obviously not ideal, especially when people including me have been commenting that treeshare is too labour intensive.


Personally, I think that the new function is an advance even so - you can only successfully automate things without causing problems if you can first get them to work without introducing errors - but it would obviously be good if a subsequent release could include spouses about to be added by treeshare as well as those already existing in Rootsmagic.



#85235 RM keeps freezing

Posted by AlanWatson1958 on 09 August 2017 - 02:38 AM in Issues

Hi Mpertuz,


You are certainly not the only one who has been having lots of technical problems.


These should never force you to reboot your computer. If you are using windows you need to go into the 'processes' in task manager, find the task 'rootsmagic.exe' and choose 'end process'. Rootsmagic will then shut down and you will be able to re-open it.


I have been getting numerous types of errors, all when Rootsmagic is interacting with Familysearch


  • Range check errors (eg when using rootsmagic to add one person already matched in to familysearch as parent of another person already matched to family search)
  • Time out errors (when querying FamilySearch)
  • No response to a query on family search (a blank frame in the screen) without freezing (when querying FamilySearch)
  • No response with freezing (when querying FamilySearch)
  • Other errors that I don't currently remember.

I have also been using the new interface to synchronise Rootsmagic with Ancestry, but these problems happen irrespective of whether I have logged in to ancestry.


Some of these errors (eg range check) are new; others are happening much more frequently than before.




#85175 Rootsmagic/Ancestry issues

Posted by AlanWatson1958 on 06 August 2017 - 08:25 AM in Issues

Hi again,


On treeshare, there is no way to delete in Rootsmagic a relationship which has been deleted in Ancestry.


I have had two examples today, one where I had mistakenly married a woman to the wrong brother and one where I had mistakenly added a child to a second rather than a first spouse. In both cases, I wanted to keep the person but delete the relationship. In the end I had to unlink both people manually in Rootsmagic. This is not very difficult but it is also not ideal as you have to make a note of the required manual changes while you are working through the list of changes on treeshare.



#85142 Rootsmagic/Ancestry issues

Posted by AlanWatson1958 on 03 August 2017 - 06:33 PM in Issues



I just randomly married two people in Ancestry. I have treeshare in front of me, although I am afraid that I can't see how to upload a screenprint of it here.


In the left panel the two people that I have just married both appear. When I select either of them, they appear in the right panel with a new spouse. The spouse has the usual square tickbox to his/her left. 


Selecting this shows one and only one option: 'add as new spouse'. There is no option to delete or link the new spouse.


When I add one of the couple, the spouse appears for the other, and I have a duplicate person in Rootsmagic. Interestingly, the duplicate person does not just appear as a new spouse, but also inherits the correct parents, so the duplicate is relatively easy to spot and merge (or in this case delete).


If this is now fixed in beta then very good. But this is the performance that I have seen many times in live.





PS. Having undone my spurious marriage, I just matched a person in Rootsmagic to one in FamilySearch and sure enough he appears on Treeshare for Ancestry as changed.

#85122 Rootsmagic/Ancestry issues

Posted by AlanWatson1958 on 03 August 2017 - 08:12 AM in Issues

Thanks for your comments. Here are some further replies.


I am completely certain that matching a person in Rootsmagic to one in FamilySearch causes him/her to appear on the list of changed people on the Ancestry interface. I am talking about a person who previously existed in both Ancestry and Rootsmagic, matched between those systems, but only recently matched to Rootsmagic


I have had to clear many hundreds of these from the interface and it is trivially easy to clear all the matched people from the Rootsmagic/Ancestry interface, then match a single person from Rootsmagic to FamilySearch and then reopen the Rootsmagic/Ancestry interface and there they are.


1. When you add a new person in rootsmagic or ancestry their family links do travel with them, but that's not the problem I am raising. When you link an existing person in either system as a new relative of another existing person, then the interface prompts you to create a duplicate person rather than to link the existing person. Try it and see. Of course one can work round this, but it is not a desirable state of affairs, so I am asking for it to be put on the bug list.


2. I understand that the Ancestry data model is different from (inferior to) that in Rootsmagic, but it does contain enough information to avoid this problem. Marriages can be entered in Ancestry with or without a spouse. When a spouse exists, it should be used to create a marriage event between the two people in Rootsmagic.


3. You can change relationship types on the user interfaces in both systems so I don't see why it would be impossible to change them via the interface.


4. Thanks,


5. It seems to me that this problem occurs because the interface is joining the events between Rootsmagic and Ancestry using an SQL join on person, event type and date. If it finds two events in one system and one in the other, the SQL produces two rows of output. This is neither inevitable nor desirable. If there are other attributes that differ between the two events (eg spouse on a marriage - it is easy to produce duplicates in Ancestry one with and one without a spouse) then the interface should like the identical events and show the unmatched event as such, so that it can be added or deleted as required. In any event, one can check that there are the same number of events on the two sides.


Thanks for looking into these things.



Alan Watson

#85035 Rootsmagic/Ancestry issues

Posted by AlanWatson1958 on 30 July 2017 - 07:52 PM in Issues

I am very grateful to the Rootsmagic team for developing this function and for rolling out a quick improvement to it. It seems generally to be stable and well-designed. It will allow me to make use of the two systems more effectively. I have two groups of issues:


The amount of work involved

The system is too labour intensive to be viable in the long term. The main points to be fixed here are

1. Being able to approve all the changes in one direction or the other by person, or even for all people, while retaining options to review individual changes (as many others have suggested)

2. The need to re-write the way that Rootsmagic holds sources at the person level (as the Rootsmagic team has noted)


However, there are other things. For example matching a Rootsmagic person to one in FamilySearch causes it to come up on the list of changes for comparison with Ancestry, even though nothing relevant to Ancestry has changed in Rootsmagic. This can cause lots of work to review.


Problems involving the integrity of data

1. When an existing Ancestry (or Rootsmagic) person is added as parent, child or spouse of another person, the interface prompts you to create a duplicate in the other system and does not give you any option to link the new parent, child or spouse to the already existing person. There is a way of working round this by duplicating the linkages on both sides, but this means remembering to handle each one individually.

2. When a person has more than one spouse, the interface does not handle marriages properly. Both husband and wife have a marriage added, but the neither marriage includes the spouse. To fix this manually, you need to go into Rootsmagic, delete and then re-add the marriages.

3. The initial download of trees transfers the status of children (biological, adopted, step, unknown etc), but the interface does not pick up changes and let you pass them through.

4. I deleted a surname in Rootsmagic, but was not given the option of deleting the same surname from Ancestry.

5, As others have noted, there are problems dealing with duplicate events. For example, I had a duplicated marriage in Rootsmagic, one copy with a husband, one without, but the details otherwise the same. These both linked to the same single marriage event in Ancestry, suggesting that there was a duplicate there too when there was not, and not giving me the option to delete the duplicate in Rootsmagic.


Thanks again for developing this excellent function. I do hope that you will be able to continue to work on improving it.



Alan Watson


PS Now that Rootsmagic has a working relationship with Ancestry, it would be great if you could persuade them to make some basic changes to their system too - adding prefix and nickname fields to Ancestry would be fantastic.

#83992 TreeShare for Ancestry Spontaneous unlink.

Posted by AlanWatson1958 on 03 July 2017 - 02:39 AM in Discussion

Apologies, my mistake.


When I closed and re-opened Rootsmagic it took me back to the previous version of my tree. The downloaded version is still linked.





#83990 TreeShare for Ancestry Spontaneous unlink.

Posted by AlanWatson1958 on 03 July 2017 - 12:56 AM in Discussion

I think that the same thing has happened to me. I downloaded my main tree from Ancestry, made some changes and used the linking function to keep the two versions of the tree in line.


Now when I opened Rootsmagic today and logged back on to Ancestry through the 'Tree share' option, I am asked to start again by uploading or downloading a tree. There does not seem to be any option to have Rootsmagic/Ancestry recognise that the two trees should be linked.


I have been doing this on Windows 7, always on the same PC.