Syncing RootsMagic8 with Ancestry

I think i want my Ancestry tree to be my working tree, and RootsMagic 8 to be my ‘gold standard’. I downloaded the Ancestry tree to a.ged file, then uploaded to RM8. It uploaded with numerous duplicate entries . Would this reflect innacuracies in Ancestry? I’ve found no way to discern dups in Ancestry.
Should I try to manually correct my RM file? Would, then, any additions or updates created in Ancestry need to be manually added to RM8, rather than downloaded to a .ged file and uploaded?
If i could work in Ancestry and then upload updates to RM8, would i need to create a new RM8 file every time?
It is probably obvious, but I am not technologically proficient…

It sounds like you want to use ancestry for research and have RM be your master database. That’s a common approach. RM’s vision of Ancestry integration is to utilize a RM feature called “Treeshare”. You start by connecting an Ancestry Tree to a RM database file. One of the two needs to be blank initially. You either upload your entire RM database to a new Ancestry tree or download your entire ancestry tree into a new RM file. You only need to connect Ancestry and RM once and then RM’s Treeshare feature will help you keep track of changes. (Ongoing updates are managed on a change by change basis, not in bulk.) There are multiple strategies on how to manage keeping ancestry and RM in synch if that’s your goal, but you cannot get around the initial connection.

It also sounds like you already have both a RM file and an Ancestry tree and that they are not connected via treeshare. So you have some decisions to make because there’s no simple way to merge an existing rm file into an existing ancestry tree without creating duplicates and having to do manual cleanup. One way is to pick the “best” one and use that as the source of your initial treeshare connection. (Also, I think you’ll want to make that initial connection with treeshare and not with a gedcom because importing a gedcom will create duplicates and keep your two trees unlinked. )

There may be factors that would cause you to want to merge rather than abandoning one of your db’s. In this case, you could Treeshare your research Ancestry tree into a new RM database and then compare that new Db with your “Gold” RM database using the database compare feature. (RM8 - File, Tools) Then you’d need to selectively copy over records from your Gold RM db to your new RM db (drag and drop) and manage merging duplicates. This will end up establishing a new Gold RM db that is connected to your ancestry tree via treeshare. Lots of database backups are your friend if you choose the “merge” path.

Finally, a good place to start is to watch this video on treeshare. It provides an overview of treeshare, though it shows RM7 screens. This RM8 wiki page might also help.


Kevin, I cannot thank you enough for taking the time to respond to my rather garbled question. This was perfect.

Because I’ve only recently begun working with RM8, I have little invested in the single file I uploaded there. Would I be ill advised to simply delete that file, and begin again with a new upload of my Ancestry tree using TreeShare?

The only other question I have is whether other topics helpful to a new RootsMagic8 user are covered as concisely as this video covers the use of TreeShare? For instance, I am clueless about backups…how and where they are stored, accessed and appropriately named. I am guessing the information is out there!


Backups are stored in the location chosen in Settings. You need to go through each setting tab and make appropriate choices. However, RM7/8 “backups” are just copies on your computer and will die with it. Real backup requires multiple copies of all your files and folders in multiple locations (external drives; cloud service; flash drives)

Understanding RM8: RM7 paper and pdf 2015 manual is available and would give you an overview of how Bruce thinks. His RM8 wiki can also help but like RM8 is still a work-in-progress.

Yes, if the majority of your work is reflected in your ancestry tree, then the simplest way forward is to create a new rootsmagic file and download your ancestry tree (File, Create New, Download from an Online Tree). That will get you going.

I recommend viewing the RM8 videos on the [RootsMagic YouTube channel. ] (
You might want to view them in the order they are in the RM8 menu -People, Places, Sources, then Media.

People tend to get passionate about backup strategies so I’ll keep it simple to explain my comment above. RM is a database and there is no “undo” with databases; it’s not like Microsoft Word or other programs where there is an “undo” option. So it’s wise to backup the database frequently in case you accidentally import or delete the wrong thing. Backing up the db is easy and the backups are small so you don’t need to worry about filling up your computer’s hard drive. (For this type of backup, only backup the database, do not select the option to “include media”.) I believe the default program setting is to prompt you to backup when exiting. It’s good to have that setting turned on. I have a folder (RM/Backups) and backup when exiting, almost every time I use the program (anytime I’ve made changes that I wouldn’t want to have to retype). If you ever do delete something accidentally, you can just restore your database from the latest backup. Then there’s another kind of backup that you’ll want to do periodically in case your computer dies or is stolen, or your house burns down, etc. As @Rooty noted, that type of backup should be stored outside of your computer and should also include a copy of all of your media files. You can get more elaborate from there. If you start with those two types of backups you’ll be in a pretty good place.


Hello Kevin. I hope I am not asking questions, the answers to which are easily discoverable in the Roots Magic tutorials…but I can’t find them if they are there.

I am impressed with the way these two programs share data.

However, here are a few issues:

Line 2 – I cannot get the pink record indicator to move from ancestry to RootsMagic

Line 3 - This is the same info as line 2. Why on different lines? Also cannot get them to share/merge.

Line 4 – Birth seems to be dtated differently in different records. Does this screen allow me to select one as Preferred and the other as Alternate?

Line 5 – Roots Magic has New England USA. There was no USA in 1643, but I can’t find a workable option to make these two lines match.

Thank you for any info you can provide.

~ Melanie

Treeshare provides a comparison of your RM Tree with Ancestry. The presence of a “>” or “<” indicates that you can download or upload changes. Some changes need to be manually edited and there is a button to open the RM and/or ancestry record. For example, line 3 indicates there appears to be a secondary or alternate name in your RM db. It is the same as the persons name. Treeshare is presenting you the option to upload that additional name to Ancestry but you’ll need to edit it manually if you want to remove it from RM.

The different country labels can be problematic. Different platforms have different standards. I believe RM standard is the label “United States” whereas Ancestry is “USA”. I don’t recall Family Search. Anyway, you probably created or accepted “New England, USA” at some point and RM remembers it as a Place. It’s easy to accidentally select it if it’s in your place list There are tools (such as PlaceClean and Merge Places) that can help you clean up Place names that you don’t want. I think the Places video may help with that.

Also you may want to post additional questions as a new forum post . More people will see a new post and you’ll likely get more comments that way.