* Syncronisation with popular genealogy sites (Ancestry; FMP)

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dbridge276
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Syncronisation with popular genealogy sites (Ancestry; FMP)

Post by dbridge276 » 26 Nov 2020 01:29

I couldn’t find this in the current list or the archived lists, hence the addition here.

I believe FH to be the best genealogy tool available today.

However, it would benefit from having the capability of synchronising with sites like Ancestry; Find my Pas and FamilySearch, to name the most popular sites.

My biggest fear is that asking for this is a utopian request as we all know that Ancestry tends to be quite gedcom non compliant in many ways (dates cited as 1801, 1803 and the likes).

But let’s ask and vote and see how it goes.
Researching Bridge, Renwick, Parsons, Child, Everett + my wife’s side of our tree Carney/Street, Curtis, Weight, Rush

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Re: Syncronisation with popular genealogy sites (Ancestry; FMP)

Post by Mark1834 » 26 Nov 2020 09:56

Back in the days when I used Family Tree Maker 2012 as my family history app, I appreciated the facility to have full and automatic sync with Ancestry. The two systems were compatible with each other (Ancestry owned FTM at the time, so it was really their desktop app) and it didn't matter that much that it wasn't fully GEDCOM compliant.

Now that I use FH, I would be nervous of full sync for just the reason you cite. I don't want anybody or anything other than me writing to my database. It would be technically possible for FH to have the same facility (RootsMagic syncs with Ancestry, but it is an individual record sync, not fully automatic). However, Calico Pie have presumably decided that this is not a priority, either technically or commercially (I'm sure they would have to pay to access the Ancestry API).

If you just want visibility of your tree, periodic exports from FH that you import into online sites would give you this, and it would also make searching Ancestry a little easier, as all the family details are already loaded. However, for me the biggest reason to sync is to exploit their hints system. It's not perfect, as it does miss some obvious records and make stupid suggestions (somebody marrying years before they were born, for example), but its "fuzzy logic" is very good at locating records where the match is not perfect. However, this doesn't work well with periodic updates, as every update is a new tree, and rejected hints come back.

There are options (see https://www.fhug.org.uk/forum/viewtopic ... 482#p88482 for example), but they are a bit of a home-brew mix of automatic and manual options so take a bit of getting used to.
Mark Draper

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Re: Syncronisation with popular genealogy sites (Ancestry; FMP)

Post by tatewise » 26 Nov 2020 10:20

The question is really why do you need synchronisation?
  1. Is it to publish your family tree on those online sites for friends and family to browse?
    The Export GEDCOM tools support that and deleting any earlier Family Tree and replacing it with a new one works OK.
  2. Is it to obtain 'hints' to find records that help with your research?
    There are already several FH tools that offer assistance in that area.
    Internet Data Matches obtains 'hints' from FindMyPast and MyHeritage.
    The plugins Lookup Missing Census Facts and Lookup Missing BMD Records offer focussed searches for Ancestry, FindMyPast, FamilySearch and MyHeritage.
I suspect the cost to Calico Pie to synchronise with all of Ancestry, FindMyPast, FamilySearch, etc, would be prohibitive.
Also, there would be a maintenance cost of keeping up with API changes.
Would FH users be prepared to cover that cost in a higher purchase price when only a minority want it?

BTW: The Wish List and KB are currently locked against changes until FH V7 is released as part of the migration process.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: Syncronisation with popular genealogy sites (Ancestry; FMP)

Post by victor » 27 Nov 2020 15:01

I use FH as my default file and all family details are posted on there. I never put any details directly on FTM

From time to time I copy the GEDCOM part to FTM so that I can get links to Ancestry. That is information that is available on there.
When I have names which are not directly related to me FTM provides links to mine and other persons names. Something like 3rd cousin of cousin of husband of 2nd cousin of victor markham. It would be great if FH could have something similar and better still with the names of the cousins. When I see the FTM link I have to spend time checking the relevant names

I don't subscribe to FMP and MH

Victor

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Re: Syncronisation with popular genealogy sites (Ancestry; FMP)

Post by AdrianBruce » 27 Nov 2020 20:42

tatewise wrote:
26 Nov 2020 10:20
... I suspect the cost to Calico Pie to synchronise with all of Ancestry, FindMyPast, FamilySearch, etc, would be prohibitive. ...
That's even assuming that there is such a facility. Certainly some software syncs with Ancestry. No idea about FMP. Several programs sync with FamilySearch FamilyTree but I thought (from zero personal experience I must add) that it simply synched with the 'Tree and there's no direct means of getting the hints down on your PC independently. You'd have to update the relevant individual profile in the 'Tree, then sync the updated person down. I believe. And remember(?) that the FamilySearch 'Tree is open access, one profile per human being, so potentially you get a sync of someone else's updates...

So synching is an immense field with all sorts of issues that simply saying "Sync!" slides over....
Adrian

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Re: Syncronisation with popular genealogy sites (Ancestry; FMP)

Post by mjashby » 28 Nov 2020 14:07

From casual monitoring of some user forums for software that links to Ancestry and FamilySearch, I would conclude that the major cost to software providers seems to come from handling constant 'grumbles' about loss of contact/login capability with those sites via the software. Users mostly place the 'blame' for such events on their desktop software, because that's where they see the problem arising, whereas in reality, in most cases the problem originates with either the data provider or the internet connection. The same already happens here with the FindMyPast/MyHeritage 'Hints Only' feature in Family Historian, so the cost and 'negative message traffic' could only increase with each new linkage provided.

Ancestry remains close lipped about the 'business agreements' it has with software providers. It seems obvious that their was a binding agreement with MacKiev, as they would never have purchased the otherwise doomed FamilyTreeMaker software without some long term commitment over the maintenance of the existing Ancestry sync feature. RootsMagic's TreeSync feature clearly relies on a more limited API feature list to that which exists with FamilyTreeMaker (no automatic synchronisation or updating of family trees) and they have said nothing about extending access to their API to other software. However, given the relatively low cost of RootsMagic in comparison to many of its competitors, I personally doubt that they are making any significant financial payments to Ancestry beyond possible contributions to the cost of developing/implementing the 'new' API; Ancestry clearly stands to gain much more via increased User Subscriptions from a wider audience, plus a consequent growth of their online trees, as the only way one can use RootsMagic TreeSync is via linked Ancestry Trees. Other software suppliers could obviously enquire about possibility of Ancestry further opening access to their API, but Ancestry clearly holds all the cards when it comes to decision making.

As far as FamilySearch goes, again the software user has to register with FamilySearch and establish/maintain an online tree to use the interface and get hints effectively. There are no FamilySearch hints directly available without doing so, but many can also already be obtained via FindMyPast, Ancestry (and possibly MyHeritage) due to their agreements with FamilySearch. RootsMagic, as one example of a software developer that does have access to the FamilySearch API, has had to provide several updates to its users simply to reinstate lost connection after changes made by FamilySearch, so gaining that API linkage does not come without a potential ongoing cost to the software developer, who also has to open up to a tightly specified FamilySearch Certification/Software Audit procedure which has to be completed before they can obtain access to the API. Personally, I have a constant moral struggle over the provision of ancestral information to a religious organisation to which I do not subscribe; and to which none of my ancestors had any known affiliation to, but that's a completely different story.

Mervyn

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Re: Syncronisation with popular genealogy sites (Ancestry; FMP)

Post by Mark1834 » 28 Nov 2020 14:25

Good analysis. US-centric products may gain economy of scale benefits from any initial agreement, but it also brings more support issues. Personally, I’ve found the RM sync to be completely reliable, but I only use it once or twice a month, not open in every session.
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Re: Syncronisation with popular genealogy sites (Ancestry; FMP)

Post by AdrianBruce » 28 Nov 2020 20:05

mjashby wrote:
28 Nov 2020 14:07
... As far as FamilySearch goes, again the software user has to register with FamilySearch and establish/maintain an online tree to use the interface and get hints effectively. ...
Just to be clear, saying that "the software user has to register with FamilySearch and establish/maintain an online tree" is misleading.

There is only one "tree" in FamilySearch FamilyTree (the bit that the software API syncs to), albeit it's in lots of little pieces. That's because FS's aim is one global tree for all humanity, with one profile per person who ever lived. ("Aim" note, not objective...) So all profiles are open-edit (except for certain high value profiles like Popes and leaders of the Mormon Church, etc, etc) and if you create a profile for an ancestor of yours, someone else might link it to their ancestors and add further data - which will always be correct of course! :(
Adrian

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Re: Syncronisation with popular genealogy sites (Ancestry; FMP)

Post by dbridge276 » 17 Jan 2021 12:08

Thanks to all who have replied.

The main purpose of my original post was to make input to my tree easier.

For the past year I have been tying out FTM to improve the speed of capturing the sources into my tree.

This worked for a while, until Ancestry decided to remove all the DNA matches below 8 cM.

During this time I hit multiple sync errors, and stupidly did not roll back.

I now have around 5000 duplicated individuals that have the person name/title “ ~Blank from interrupted sync. Next FTM sync will remove it.”

Because they are integrated into the tree where they should fit I have decided to purge these one entry at a time as I work through my tree, double/triple checking the facts and sources.

I also have duplicated sources, however I think some of these originate from imports/merged into FH when I downloaded an updated tree from ancestry following hint/matches that I added into my online tree.

My conclusion is that building ones tree online is a very fast way of working, however it also comes with some risks.

I have read today of others using RM and parts of their tree to find matches or to build out their tree.
This sounds like a good approach that I a, going to have to try out.

As for those posts above that mention how users perceive the problem being the pc software application.
In reality it could be any one or a combination of:- pc software, network latency, the online host (Ancestry/FMP, MyHeritage etc)

There are some good points about the cost to FH to add syncing of some kind, all very valid points and with Ancestry’s new ownership who knows what the future holds.

We probably all know that Genetic Affairs and Genome Mate Pro authors/owners (and maybe more) received “cease and desist” notices regarding their products interfacing with the ancestry online DNA product. Yet Ancestry provides no chromosome browser or tools to validate DNA matches, other than their shared matches and thrulines, neither of which can actually genetically prove suggested matches.

I will have to try out some of the suggested proposals for researching new ancestors/family and get back to using FH as my master tree with the suggested proposals for building out sections of tree then importing to FH.

Thanks for everyone's input on this topic.
Researching Bridge, Renwick, Parsons, Child, Everett + my wife’s side of our tree Carney/Street, Curtis, Weight, Rush

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