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My Family Tree

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My Family Tree

Postby meekhcs » Tue Sep 15, 2015 11:46 am

As the Regulars on here will have noted I have recently posted on the General Research thread "Beware the Dangers of the new Ancestry website"
I have decided I want FULL CONTROL of my Family Tree and I need some good basic help and advice as how to best achieve this. Ancestry is brilliant for research but I nolonger have confidence in their tree building function and I don't want to return to just pen and paper.
At the moment I have a private tree on Ancestry, full of personal Family data. I want to recreate that tree in a form that gives me the control I want.
Having done that I then want to pare the tree down to basic info, removing all the items that are personal to our Family, and possibly create a website that anybody can log onto and read, use, but not alter my research, to help further their own Trees.
I presume to do this I would need to download the tree from Ancestry in its present form to wherever. Remove the content from the Ancestry Tree I do not want in the public domain,and then download the tree again somewhere else.
Bearing in mind I am not very computer savvy (the website may be a step too far!!), and I have limited funds, how would I best achieve this without messing the whole thing up and losing my tree altogether!! ?
Grateful thanks
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Re: My Family Tree

Postby AdrianB38 » Tue Sep 15, 2015 6:16 pm

Sally - If you don't trust the provider and want full control, then I would support what you are thinking of doing. I run my "proper" data on my PC and keep a (not quite up to date) Ancestry tree as "cousin-bait".

So far as I know, there are just two ways of getting a copy of your data out of Ancestry.

1. Set up a genealogy program on your PC (I am assuming you run Windows), and then synchronise the data from your tree in Ancestry to the (new and empty) tree on your PC. Then switch off the synchronising.

2. Set up a genealogy program on your PC; export your data out of Ancestry in the form of what's called a GEDCOM file; use the GEDCOM import facility on the new software on your PC to get the data into the new tree on your PC.

Some points:
  • I have no certainty how many PC based genealogy programs will sync with Ancestry. I believe Family Tree Maker will do so (it's actually from Ancestry) but that may be the only one;
  • I have no experience of FTM so cannot confirm that sync will work in the "down to a PC" direction. (It ought to - isn't that what synchronise means?);
  • Many PC programs are a bit cranky when it comes to exporting and importing GEDCOM files. Programmers (I was one once) often find reading manuals to be boring so their GEDCOM files might not look like they should - you will need to double check what you've imported;
  • With that in mind, do not mess about now with doing two exports or syncs from Ancestry. Just get it all down once, fix the issues, and then, if you still want to do a cousin bait tree, you can take a copy and rip that down to the public data before (with a wave of a hand) loading it up somewhere on public view;
  • That cousin bait need not be a tree - it could be a series of reports out of your PC program (restricted to the public stuff) and loaded onto something like a free Wordpress site.

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Re: My Family Tree

Postby meekhcs » Tue Sep 15, 2015 7:43 pm

Thank you very much for your informative reply.
At the moment I am systematically checking all the data on my Ancestry Tree for accuracy as I haven't looked at parts of the tree for a long time!
I am sure I will have further questions before I attempt the transfer, and I will come back to you then if I may.
It would actually be sensible to leave the pared down version on Ancestry as a public tree, rather than try and be too cute. At the end of the day I am only concerned about keeping personal data out of public view. It will only contain data that is already widely available on the internet.
Regards Sally
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Re: My Family Tree

Postby coopernicola » Tue Sep 15, 2015 8:04 pm

Hi Sally, as a Mac user using a separate programme for my tree is rather problematic. I had previously used Mac Family Tree but it was quite glitchy when downloaded and amending Gedcom files. I've also more recently used Family Tree maker which is handy as it syncs with Ancestry. I've found the format of this not as user friendly as I would like so as this is now due for an expensive update I'm also looking for an alternative programme. I currently store my working tree on Ancestry but keep it 'Private' as I've had some problems with casual users who are not very robust in their research! I create a Gedcom each month which I store on a memory stick.
I'll be interested to find out what people recommend for you.
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