FamilySearch sync: does it download ALL the people from the tree?

I was trying RM8 and the FS tree sync (basically, downloading from scratch what I already have on family search), and I’ve found that it didn’t download all the people that I have in there. This happened with people like 3rd grade cousins or similar (it worked fine with everyone on my direct ancestors lines)
Is that something that can be configured? or it just works like that?

As I understand how it works, it downloads the direct ancestors, and the descendants of the person you start with. You can configure how many generations in each direction to go from the starting person. It also gets siblings of your ancestors.


yeah, that’s what I thought. I configured 100 generations but it didn’t bring everyone (I have like 7 generations on the tree), so maybe in those cases, I have to begin a new sync with that person ID to get their relatives or that branch of the family, right?

For some reason I am thinking that it is 7 gens up and 4 down from the chosen person or vice versa. Given the shared tree nature of FS, can you imagine trying to download a 100 generations? That would be almost as bad as when I downloaded the internet and put it on my computer. :slight_smile:

No it’s not limited - I’ve just spent a few days trying to download my ancestors - at first I set it to 40 generations and it grabbed 25,000 people - my ancestors and their siblings. But looking at that it was clearly incomplete, so I tried a new tack - started with each of my great grandparents and downloaded 50 generations of their ancestors - for two of them that came to 20,000 people, and 27,000 people - and still not the end of it!

It just takes a LONG LONG time - as the red note on the dialogue box says it will - and it takes a lot of resources - near the end of the 20,000 person one, my MacBook Pro was using almost 8GB of memory (out of 16) for RootsMagic. That file took close to 20 hours, but it’s possible that the MacBook Pro went to sleep from time to time. The 27,000 file running on a Mac Pro with 96GB of RAM and 12x 3.3GHz cpu cores took about 18 hours.


You probably have more generations than you thought - according to the FamilySearch tree, 2 of my Scottish ancestors descended from Charlemagne and Robert the Bruce. I’m not sure I’m ready to try and prove all that - especially given that one of my ancestors - a person helpfully called “Duplicate” has something like 385 children!!


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I’ll bet that Duplicate fellow is related to the UNK family. Those folks are everywhere.


Probably - but it is a woman with all those kids.

I don’t have the mental energy to look through them all to see how many of those kids are duplicates too…


So, I’ve been digging on this for the last weeks and it seems that what’s missing when downloading from FS are the ancestors not in a direct line. Following your example: I can download ancestors and their siblings, but not the spouses and children of those siblings.
My tree is not that big (aprox 500 people) so I’m going over each one downloading the parts of the family I’m really interested in having on RM… but I’m still having to left some out.

Did you find a way to get around this? Or is there en option I’m missing?


You don’t have “ancestors” not in a direct line - by the very definition of the word “ancestors” they are your direct line - your parents and their parents and their parents etc. Your ancestor’s siblings are not your ancestors.

And the server load on FamilySearch is probably bad enough just doing what FamilySearch does provide, without trying to figure out how to get all of your ancestors’ siblings and then all of the thousands or tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of their spouses and descendants for hundreds or thousands of users at a time.


I cringed when I just read through this line of comments. Why would one want to download hundreds of persons at a time? FamilySearch can be really helpful and I do add information from it regularly, like one person or family as a time. That way I can check vital records and family histories to see if what I find in their database is likely correct.

FamilySearch like WorldConnect and other online collections contain so… many errors. One session of downloading large numbers of people could add many many errors to what might have previously been a well thought out and valuable database.

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Hey Karen,

do you know why I’m trying to sync those people?

do you know that all of them where created manually by me with no links to others?

do you know that FS works with CDN technology that makes working with 1000s of profiles a walk in the park?

I didn’t ask what people think about it… I asked if RM8 was able to do it.

Have a wonderful day