Modify source type


I downloaded my tree from Ancestry. The sources uploaded to my rootsmagic tree are all listed as “ancestry records.” I’d like to change them to be more specific to the source (i.e. census). Am i able to do this? If so, how?

Thank you,


Are you intending to continue usiing TreeShare?
Or is this a one-off download that you now want to work on soley in RootsMagic?
Although I don’t use TreeShare other than to keep an occasionall snapshot of an Ancestry tree, I suspect that any changes you make to the sources will complicate, and probably not survive (others will have to advise you on that) the future matchiing/updating between your Ancestry and RootsMagic tree.

I plan on it being a 'one-off download." As of now, i am unable to do any editing on the source.

By “source type”, I believe you mean “source template”. A template is designed for a “type” of source. All Ancestry source records downloaded through TreeShare are delivered and imported using the “Ancestry Record” template. That template is very close to the standard Book template which corresponds to the structure defined for sources and citations in GEDCOM 5.5.x and below. The RM Census templates are designed for manual entry and are structured very differently in order to produce citations (footnotes or endnotes) that correspond in style and content to guidelines defined by experts. Most of them are based on that of Elizabeth Shown Mills, author of Evidence Explained et al.

Because the structure of the Census Template is different from that of the Ancestry Record Template, there is no practical way to programmatically transform sources and citations from the ART few fields to the CT’s many fields. There might be in the other direction. So the only way to do so is to create replacement sources and citations under the CT and copying selected data from the ART source|citation into the appropriate fields. Once completed, delete the ART source|citation.

Given the great amount of effort involved in doing so, why would you want to convert them?

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As TomH says, to change the existing, depending on how many, will probably be a lot of work.
Given you intend to continue just on RM from now, personally, I’d recommend a good read of
and create your own template from each appropriate one supplied with RM that will be of most use to you.
and use your version of each eg census / bdm / … templates you’ve created from now on.
(You cannot alter the supplied templates but you can copy any of them to use your own editable template to tweak ongoing.

Thanks for getting back to me. It looks like i won’t be able to change it.

My reasoning for changing it was due to how it’s cited. I didn’t want my citation to say ‘ancestry image’, but to say ‘census.’ To me, it sounds more accurate.