RootsMagic brings Ancestry Features to their Desktop Software

The producers of RootsMagic genealogy software previously have announced a plan to allow subscribers to connect their Ancestry accounts to the RootsMagic software. Since that time, Ancestry has developed a new technology to integrate Ancestry Hints® and Ancestry’s records and online trees with RootsMagic products.

Today, RootsMagic announced the product is now available. The free update to RootsMagic 7 is called TreeShare™ for Ancestry.

From within RootsMagic 7, as an existing Ancestry subscriber, you have access to your Ancestry Hints and the ability to share and synchronize data with your Ancestry online trees.

“Integrating with Ancestry’s trees and records has been one of our most requested features,” said Bruce Buzbee, president of RootsMagic. “It’s exciting to work together with Ancestry to make this happen. The feedback that we’ve received from those who have tested TreeShare has been phenomenal.”

You can read the full announcement on the RootsMagic web site at:

Comment by Dick Eastman:

Even the FREE RootsMagic Essentials software will include functionality to interface with As stated in the announcement:

“If you have an account with Ancestry, RootsMagic Essentials includes the ability to upload your file to Ancestry or download your existing online trees from Ancestry. If you are a subscriber to Ancestry, RootsMagic Essentials also allows you to search and view all of the content in your subscription. Those wishing to compare and transfer individual records between RootsMagic and Ancestry will want to use the full-featured RootsMagic software.”

This new announcement should appeal to many frustrated users of Family Tree Maker software who have been waiting for a long, long time for the new version of that product that has been promised to exchange data with The promised Family Tree Maker upgrade is not yet available. Users of and Family Tree Maker users may wish to switch to RootsMagic in order to gain the functionality they seek.


What are some of the features that desktop software offers that I don’t get from the web?

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    —> What are some of the features that desktop software offers that I don’t get from the web?

    1. Much better printed reports, including a variety of different reports available.

    2. Much faster operation

    3. Create a personal web page showing your genealogy (the web version does this partially but the desktop software has more options)

    4. Print a genealogy book, complete with an an index and table of contents

    5. Print wall charts

    6. Make shareable CDs and/or flash drives

    7. View your family’s homes and migrations on maps

    Probably other things too but that is all I can think of at the moment.

    Liked by 1 person

    In addition to Dick’s list, I would also add that many desktop programs allow you to:
    1. standardize places more easily (or globally) – e.g., do you want to abbreviate states or not?
    2. run error checking algorithms (e.g., identify people who were less than 10 years old when a child was born, etc.)
    3. run statistics on all people or groups of people – e.g., what is the average number of children per family for the people in your database?
    4. prepare gedcom files for only selected people in your database (rather than the entire database) which you can then share with others.
    5. some programs permit you to “flag” people so that you can, for example, easily identify all of your “end of line ancestors” or people who never married (so you don’t keep looking for a spouse) or people who served in the military, etc.

    I own virtually all of the desktop programs and use some of them just for one or two fairly small arcane features, although I do ALL of my input on ancestry (it’s just too easy to add facts, census info, and the like online). But I then either sync with FTM and create a gedcom (or use the ancestry-generated gedcom) to put my tree in other programs to create the extra charts Dick mentions or do the tasks above. I then take what I see in those other programs and make appropriate modifications to my online tree. (For example, iFamily for Mac will tell me which people in my database have an unknown gender; I’ll then fix those on my online tree.)


    There is some personal information I have that I don’t want online so a desktop program is more practical for me. I don’t sync with Ancestry but keep a tree on my desktop and a slightly smaller one on Ancestry to get the hints.


How many of the Family Tree Maker poblems have been caused by Ancestry and thee continual changes? One majo change at a time instead of many.


    I doubt we will ever know for sure. And Mackiev (makers of FTM probably won’t say since they need to play nice with

    But my “guess” is that there were issues on both sides. In Mackiev’s defense, they couldn’t really test the new sync function until turned off the old sync (which happened at the end of March 2017) so I don’t think it’s been interminably long to get sync working since then. I have a large tree on and I’ve been VERY PLEASED with the progress that MacKiev has made (limited on what I can say here due to an NDA that I signed and intend to abide by).

    And, it’s my belief that is having some growing pains right now. I’ve been online at an average of 3 hours a day for the past two years. The last two months performance has deteriorated. And, the DNA hints are having lots of problems right now; they appear and then disappear for a few days and then partially reappear. I’ve called and the telephone operators have acknowledged the issues and said they “are being worked on”. I suspect these stem from the enormous number of new DNA tests that has sold. I have faith that – eventually – will get its act back together and we’ll all be better off since there are many more DNA tests in the system. But the poor performance of late has been a little frustrating. (Some of the recent poor performance may be related to ancestry’s move to the Amazon data center, but I don’t know if that’s the case or not.)

    Obviously I would like for FTM 2017 to be finished, but data security is very important and I can wait for them to get it right – especially now that I can download my tree to RootsMagic while waiting for FTM to finish its version.

    I am now a happy camper (especially given how upset I was when ancestry announced in late 2015 that they were terminating support for FTM). And I do believe that soon MacKiev will finish its FTM 2017 and I will be an even happy camper in the near future.


    With the limited number of people I know who have files on Ancestry and the problems they have had, Ancestry needs MacKiev more than the other way around, Ancestry needs all of the uploaded files they can get to make the DNA work.


still waiting for this to be available to Ancestral Quest owners.

Sure would save some time.


It will be interesting to see if RootsMagic has better luck than MacKiev. Although, I suspect many of the problems MacKiev has run into with the new TreeShare protocol were shared by RootsMagic, it’s just that RootsMagic didn’t announce the new software until the bugs were shaken out.


    Rootsmagic won’t have the same issue cause they use Tree Share, not Sync. Tree Sync is what is causing the delay of Family Tree Maker. Read their support section or facebook and it seems all their issues are with Tree Sync whether it is deleting trees or people from trees or rearranging people etc, and it is only cause it automatically syncs changes to each tree, where Tree Share you choose what to change.


    Actually, RootsMagic announced their intention to implement TreeShare with Ancestry back in February 2016 and said it would be ready by December 2016. So I am not sure about announcing the software before the bugs were ironed out is a valid comment! I think the main difference is that FTM users had a sync facility that was supposed to be off air for a few days then back on again with the new FTM 2017 and that has been delayed with problems. Whereas RootsMagic users were waiting for a feature they didn’t have or depend on, so the delay didn’t impact them as much.


I use both RootsMagic and FTM. It is fantastic that RootsMagic now has this capability.

But it should be noted that RootsMagic and FTM approach the Ancestry relationship very differently. Some users will prefer the RootsMagic approach; others (like myself) will strongly prefer the FTM approach (once FTM is finalized). Let me explain.

I do almost all of my research and database modification on my online tree at FTM (once it is final) will allow me to sync ALL of those changes at one time to my FTM tree. RootsMagic will require that I do them one at a time (and by one at a time I do not mean one person at a time, I mean one event, or one fact, or one media at a time). The names actually hint at this – RootsMagic is calling its capability “TreeSHARE” (not TreeSync) and FTM is calling it FamilySYNC). Stated differently, RootsMagic allows you to share (one-by-one) changes; FTM allows a true synchronization of all changes.

The RootsMagic update is welcome and I’m glad it is here. For many (especially those whose work flow has them making most of their changes in RootsMagic) it will be a welcome addition. And it will allow many to upload trees easily to

But, depending on your own particular work flow, others (myself included) will prefer the FTM approach.

Still, all in all, it is great that genealogists will soon have more options than before.


    Interesting info Walter. Like you, I do my tree modification/building online as it’s super convenient and I can do so from any device with an internet connection. I’ve primarily used FTM in the past to sync so I have a local backup of my online tree and all of its records/images.

    I’ll probably give Roots Magic a go just to try things out (they didn’t go 100% well when importing a FTM tree a year ago) and see how things work, but it sounds like I’ll want to go with the Sync solution.

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    Exactly ~B.

    I plan to – periodically – download my entire ancestry online tree to RootsMagic. I did so last evening (took a long time but that’s because I have more than 70,000 people and more than 75,000 media items so the total downloaded was more than 50GB!). I’m not sure how long it took since it finished while I was in bed.

    Everything works fine. I wish there was an option where you didn’t have to download media but there’s not. So, say I were to add 1,000 people to my online tree over the next two months. To get those people in to RootsMagic, I’d need to download the entire tree again and also re-download the same 75,000 media items (and 50+GB) which seems inefficient. But I can live with it. [I could of course add those people/events to RM one by one, but that seems really inefficient to me.]

    For me, downloading my oneline tree to RootsMagic will be my safety backup in case anything ever goes wonky with my online tree once I start syncing again with FTM 2017 (when it comes out).

    I continually worry about the integrity of my online tree. I presumably am now even better protected against losing data (because I can now have both an RM and an FTM backup) which is the most important thing. But if I were to have to upload one of those trees to ancestry (because my online tree were somehow corrupted), I fear that I would lose all the work that I did on “ancestry hints”. More specifically, I worry that all of the 1000s of “incorrect hints” that I’ve chosen to ignore over the past 5 years (because the hint was for a different person) would re-appear, forcing me to ignore them again. I don’t want to have to re-do that analysis. And that’s why I’m careful not to do anything that would cause me to have to upload a new tree to ancestry.

    This concern makes me reluctant to make changes at the FTM level and have those synchronized up. Which is a problem because I really would like to use FTM to standardize my places and to eliminate duplicate media items. But I worry that the process of trying to sync those changes up could corrupt my online tree destroying my “ignore hint” history. So, for now, until I am sure the sync is 100% solid going up, I think the best way to protect my online tree is to make changes to it and only have those changes synchronized down.

    Everyone is of course different and what works for me may not work for others.


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Hmmm…I still cannot download my tree from Ancestry to Roots Magic. Seems that might be a glitch but am not sure on which end. I am running OS10.12.5. Sent a request for help with this and am still waiting for a reply. Roots Magic was a PC based program and still has a bit of the feeling about it, especially in their error messages. Hope they can sort this out…sooner then later.


As you pointed out when dropped FTM a year and a half ago, the Mac version of RootsMagic 7 is not written in “native code”, thus it does not run as well as it would otherwise. But we should not give up hope; on the current RootsMagic 7 for the Mac website they say that they are still working on it!
I quote – “So while we are busily working on an actual native Mac version of RootsMagic, RootsMagic 7 for Mac gives you the ability to work on a Mac today.”


RootsMagic has just released a 36 minute YouTube video that answers a lot of questions about TreeShare. I highly recommend watching it.


Do we have an option in either Roots Magic or FTM 2017 to NOT upload a tree to ancestry?


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