Research my Tree in Roots Magic

Just getting started in Roots Magic 8 on a Mac. I have used Ancestry for a couple years under a full membership. I have had success in building my tree with the extensive research tools there. I’d like to “Tree Share” my tree over to RM and continue researching in RM and be able to stop the $$ expense of Ancestry. But, I haven’t been able to find a way, or instructions in RM on how to access the tools Ancestry offers. Is this possible? I realize I could continue with the full membership and use “Tree Share” to synch my findings over to RM, but I’d prefer to research natively in the RM mode. Are the Ancestry tools still available without the expense? In this process, the back and forth with RM and Ancestry “Tree Share”, minus the expense would allow me to continue to search using Ancestry’s extensive tools.

RootsMagic is not a research tool. It is a database where you store the information that you have gleaned in other places - Ancestry being one such place. TreeShare enables you to keep very similar (not identical) trees on the web (Ancestry) and on your computer (RootsMagic). Personally I use about 20-30 different online providers on a daily basis including Ancestry but I don’t maintain a tree there. RootsMagic also enables you to produce a variety of reports and manipulate data with features such as Groups.

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Thanks, Terry. I too use multiple sources online, and pay some for the privilege. I’m many generations back so these research tools are valuable so I pay. My question is, in the case of Ancestry (maybe I need to ask them!) is if I cancel my “full” subscription, I know my tree is still there, but will I lose much of those research tools. I guess was looking for options to stop the expense, but keep the research capabilities somewhere. I’m now realizing that RM itself is not a research tool, and that one has to research elsewhere, at some expense depending upon where you go, and use RM as a “backup” and resource for charting, reports, family history booklets, scrapbooks, etc. I suppose you keep on with the online and synch to your RM tree frequently.

I do not regard RootsMagic as a “backup”. It is the primary residence of my genealogical research. I do not have an online tree. All my findings are entered manually along with sources and citations directly into RM.

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Ancestry does not supply research tools, just hints - many of which are available free on FamilySearch!
I’m not denying it’s very useful, but it’s no substitute for having your database on your desk/ or laptop, completely under your own control


With TreeShare and no paid subscription to Ancestry, you will see hints with basic information but you cannot drill down to see greater detail or images. If you accept the hint, Ancestry’s barebone citation will attach to the fact in RM. An image, if present, may or may not transfer with that citation. That is (likely) based on contracts held by Ancestry and whomever owns the image. This is true for any subscription service you use for your research. A subscription gives greater access to those details and images. Even in FamilySearch, which is free, I recently came across an image of marriage registry held by a local history center. FS had greyed out the download option to that image to comply with contract restrictions.

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If you stop paying, you will loose access to most sources, and other trees, except in those cases where you have an invitation to access those. So, if research tools mean sources, you loose some, but existing citations will still be there.

I thought that if you cancel access to ancestry all of your trees were removed. I also heard that if you build your tree online using ancestry that when you add a fact it only creates a link to the data and does not load the information to your database. AND if you download a GEDCOM the facts are dropped. I keep my data on my iMac and backup the the cloud.

I assume that trees are removed when you cancel, although it’s hard to be sure … because you can’t look inside their servers, or can you? It’s not something that I worry about much.

Can you explain what you mean about facts? I assume that when I add one, it is added to the database, but that source references are links. But even then, I can add unique information to the citation, so that must be part of my database. And this is also what I see when I download a GEDCOM, that my texts and all references are there, partly as links to the Ancestry site.

In other words, I don’t believe in anything being dropped, and I think that it’s quite easy to test too, like by making a new tree in RootsMagic that you download with TreeShare. When I do that, it looks like I get everything, and that includes all media that I saved, even when that is shared material on the site itself.

Ancestry Cancelled Membership

See this link, your trees will not disappear. You can still add to your trees. Ancestry maintains some databases that are free, and those are accessible to you etc.

The facts I am talking are birth, death, census, etc.
The one I heard about was someone that created their tree totally on the ancestry web site and then tried to download it. That is where I heard of a problem. I have uploaded my data onto both ancestry and familysearch and have NOT added any data through the site as in linking to one of their hints. I keep all of my data on my MAC.

I have no experience with creating a new tree on Ancestry, but today I added a few free hints to the tree that I put there with TreeShare, including one death, coming from Find-A-Grave, and when I ran TreeShare, it noticed all changes made on-line, which I couldn’t add to my database, because that is a paid feauture, and I’m using RM 8 Essentials.

Since my main database is in Gramps, not in RM, I also downloaded a GEDCOM from Ancestry, and I can tell you that the death is in it, and it includes a reference to Find a grave as its source. And this is with a free Ancestry account.

I stand corrected. Thank You.

I used to use Ancestry and when I downloaded my tree the facts and citations came with it.

Thanks to all for the valuable comments and advice! I have found in my case that research from subscriptions to Ancestry (my primary go-to) and MyHeritage have allowed a deep dive for my trees, though I’m careful to validate what I find, especially with FamilySearch. I organize and save media to my iMac and backup with Time Machine. It is expensive! My dilemma is the tradeoff of maintaining my tree(s) on RM while at the same time working to get my online research complete to a point that an Ancestry Tree Share is 99.5% and the subscriptions can end. I’m hoping I can use Personal Historian and Family Atlas to share with my family.

I use subscriptions to both MyHeritage and Ancestry as well as FamilySearch. My primary database is in RM. I do nearly all my maintenance in RM and move the data to Ancestry using TreeShare. I periodically refresh my MyHeritage with a new GEDCOM but I do no maintenance there. My Ancestry tree exists primarily for automation. Yes, it’s expensive, but the issue is nearly all the indexed data sources are expensive. You can search a lot of the places manually, but it’s orders of magnitude slower. For my workflow I need the speed so I pay the money.