Web Links in Ancestry not imported via Treeshare

Rightly or wrongly, I use Ancestry as my main application, and want to run a RM8 local install as insurance against Ancestry shutting down or imposing much higher fees to access. As part of my work-flow I use Ancestry’s Web Links to point to various documents, online or on my cloud accounts. I would have expected these web links to be imported into RM8 as Web Tags, but they aren’t. There seems to be no way to import them, even though they appear as _WLNK in GEDCOM exports from Ancestry. Is there any way to get these links into RM8 without retyping them?

I logged this as a problem with Support last year and got the answer - The web links on Acestry do not import into Rootsmagic

Thank you for your reply. By the wording of RM’s answer, I get the impression that this isn’t preceived as something worth coding for :wink:

I have been experimenting with directly editing the GEDCOM file and replacing the _WLNK custom tag with something acceptable to RM. No success so far… at some point it may become easier and more efficient of my time to just re-enter the links.(Especially since importing the GEDCOM will likely end in duplciate entries.) Sigh.

It may be something that RM cannot control. Treeshare is via the A* API which A* controls and A* may not allow the web links to traverse the API since they could be to A*'s property. GEDCOM is developed by a third party and has been adopted as a “standard” by the genealogical community for the exchange of genealogy data and can include web tags.

Depending on how annoying you find this you may want to consider doing what most people do–use a computer database program as the primary file with all media, data and web links with ancestry as a secondary file. You are currently trusting a 3rd party to hold your hard work safely.

ancestry is not customer centric and in 2015 dumped all their FTM customers with a month’s notice. That actually turned out well for the customers after MacKiev grabbed the software and spent the next year making it work for the first time.

What is strange is that if I create a web tag in RM, export it as a GEDCOM, import into a new RM file,
the web tag isn’t imported.

Maybe I’m doing something wrong, but I would expect if you support a feature on export, you’d likely support it on import.

Yes, I’m regretting my workflow decsion! I’m trying to find an efficient way to correct it!

No, it really isn’t strange at all. You have two different data models and they are not a perfect fit for each other. Even though they look the same, weblinks in Ancestry are not the same as weblinks is Rootsmagic. If you export from RM and import it back into RM and your GEDCOM doesn’t have any _WEBTAGs in it, that means that you did not have the box checked to export RM specific stuff.

When you did the import, there was an LST file generated with problems from the import. In that LST file there will be a line that looks something like:

Unknown info (line XXXXX)
1 _WLNK https://www.someweblink.here
2 TITL Link

This is RM’s way of telling you that it doesn’t understand something that it was given so it rejected it. RM is expecting weblinks with completely different tags than what Ancestry sends:

2 NAME MyWeblink
2 URL http://www.someweblink.com

RM’s focus on Ancestry is the transfer of data via TreeShare and it is likely that the Ancestry API does not include their weblinks as part of what they allow to be transferred. If you want to transfer via GED file, then what you see is what happens between any two genealogy programs when trying to figure out custom tags, information gets rejected. There really is no good way for any program to actively guess what they need to map custom tags to. This may change as the GED 7 standard gets more fully implements, but for now, it is the same battle genealogist have been losing since GED became a thing.


See the Magic Guide “FAQ: WebHints and TreeShare for Ancestry” for information on how WebTags are handled with the Ancestry API.

Thank you, I will investigate downloading my webtags as “Other Sources” as shown in the PDF you kindly linked to.


I think you seriously are misreading what Renee posted. You are NOT going to get Ancestry’s Web Links in a download. The problem is that you are confusing Web Links (Ancestry) with Web Tags (RootsMagic). Web Links are NOT “other sources”.

Your question also involved tranferring via GEDCOM and Renee’s document involves TreeShare. Two completely different systems.

What I meant by my reply was that even though I synced the trees via tree share, I could also import the same tree via Gedcom to get the “missing” information such as weblinks. I have been investigating editing the Gedcom file and changing the headings. Renee’s answer made me think that by editing the headings to one understood by RM I could at least get the weblinks into RM. As I say, I haven’t investigated this further. But to my limited knowledge, weblinks and webtags are the same information, just with a different name, aren’t they?


Sure, you can edit the GEDCOM but that is going to be long and tedious if you have more than a few Web Links, or unless you have the skill to write some type of script to convert the Web Link tags to Web Tag tags.

But…and there is always a but! If you intended to import the information from the GEDCOM into the version that you TreeShared, you are going to need to drag and drop one at a time or end up with a ton of duplicates to merge. If you go through all the work editing the GEDCOM file, I wouldn’t bother TreeSharing unless it is for source images.

Yes I was thinking of a PHP script to do the conversion since it appears the order of the tags/headings is different between RM and Ancestry (but I don’t know if that makes a difference, and I’d have to read up on GEDCOM) . And you are right, the Treeshare download would just be for images. I did some testing, and it appeared as though RM was able detect and merge duplicate entries, but I need to do more testing.


There may be a modicum of relevance in this article from nearly a decade ago…

I had seen that article, Tom, but was hoping to accomplish the task without having to resort to running an SQL query. The article referred to RM6, who knows the current schema of RM8. (I’m more familiar with MySQL than SQLite, but MySQL has evolved thru the years, I was unsure how much of the queries would actually still be valid in SQLite.)

Thank you for interest, Tom, but I fear this is my line in the sand, over which I’ll not go!