One of the difficulties of having your family tree in many places is keeping them all up to date.
When I give my presentation on why you should contribute your research to one of the one world collaborative trees, I usually suggest that you pick only one for just that reason. Personally I use all three, FamilySearch.org, GENI.com and WIKItree.com. So I need a few clever tools to keep them in synch.
Both FamilySearch and WIKItree accept GEDcom uploads so I often add a new family line on GENI, then download the gedcom and merge it to my private family tree, before uploading it to the other two. However sometimes the new branch is discovered on Ancestry or MyHeritage so …
How to Add a GEDCOM to GENI.com
No you cannot add a GEDCOM to GENI but you can add family groups one at a time from several other genealogy sites via a tool called SmartCopy, if you are a pro GENI user. So if you have a tree elsewhere this is a way to copy your tree over. If you do not have a tree online elsewhere then I suggest you import your GEDCOM to WIKItree and then use SmartCopy to bring over each family group that is not already on GENI. Still not as fast as importing a GEDCOM but way better than retyping or using cut and paste.
SmartCopy Chrome Addon
SmartCopy is an add-on for the Chrome browser which will copy information from record matches at MyHeritage (you need a paid subscription), Ancestry, or WIKItree. Although it will not copy from FamilySearch, it will copy from a MyHeritage record match page of a familysearch person.
Wikitree X Chrome Addon
WIKItree also has a Chrome add-on tool for copying a person over from other sites. It is called Wikitree X and it can copy from FamilySearch. So when you discover a new branch at that site you can copy to WIKItree with this tool and then use SmartCopy to copy it to GENI.
Most genealogists I know are very grateful to the LDS church for microfilming so many records around the world. Now we can express our thanks by assisting with their world indexing project this weekend. Details are on this page https://familysearch.org/indexing/get-started-indexer
You have to download their indexing software to participate. I found the video at the bottom left of the start page called Quick Start Video most helpful.
My first effort was indexing some 1880 Chicago mortality records …
Rootstech was held in conjunction with the FGS conference and was bigger than ever. Something like 25,000 people. The Expo Hall was twice as large as last year and full of a wide variety of interesting genealogical products in addition to the big companies.
And there was the temptation of the Family History Library just a block away. Many like me came a day or two early in order to enjoy research time in the library. And yes I did a happy dance when I found my new 3rd cousin’s grandfather’s farm entry showing his mother was indeed the expected sister of my gg-grandfather.
Judy Russell did a really good blog post on all the DNA news at the conference. I am very excited that Family Search will be partnering with Family Tree DNA to link from the FS tree to DNA results from ftDNA. Initially this will only be for Y and mtDNA. Plus testers at Family Tree DNA will have an icon that will link to their tree at FamilySearch when there is one.
A few of the Rootstech talks are available as videos at this url: https://rootstech.org/video/4050134760001 – I particularly recommend geneablogger Thomas MacEntee‘s talk of about his genealogy tool box on that page.
Fellow San Diegan blogger Randy Seaver did a comprehensive listing of Rootstech blog posts Continue reading
Well I think my one world tree talk was a success, although the web site I used for my presentation – slides.com – went down or was just inaccessible via the internet in the presentation room here at Rootstech. Perhaps it was the Amazon s3 site where the images are stored that was the problem.
Fortunately I had downloaded a PDF version as a backup so I used that. Maybe next time I will try the google presentation software instead.
I think my main point, that the most compelling reason to add your research to a one world tree is to keep it from ending up in the landfill the way my cousin’s did, came across well. My girlfriend Rochelle, who I am staying with, was convinced to add her research to one and even got herself a familysearch id today.
I have uploaded the rough draft of what I expected to say, much more wordy than what I actually said, to my downloads page under presentations. The URL for the slides which go with those words is
The side by side comparisons of the three one world trees start on slide 11
The comparison chart is kept up-to-date in my one world tree blog post.
And I will be doing this talk again for the Computer Genealogy Society of San Diego on the third Saturday in May.
Updated Chart February 18, 2017
The idea of a one world tree is to collaborate with other genealogists who are researching the same ancestors and so have just one copy of each person on the tree, rather than each of you having your own separate family trees. My plan is to compare the three online sites that I am using in this post.
The advantages of using a one world tree are:
- You are not constantly duplicating research that has already been done.
- It is online and searchable so distant cousins will find you.
- Other descendants of your ancestors may have pictures and documents to share that are already posted.
- You will find distant cousins to collaborate with on some of your family lines who may be able to read records you are having trouble with or otherwise work with you to solve questions you have.
- When you connect your line into the tree you may find new ancestors that you did not know about before.
- You can often figure out immediately how you are related to a new “DNA” cousin.
- It is easy to send family members and distant cousins links to the family tree.
- After you are dead and gone your research will live on.
The disadvantages of a one world tree can be that:
- Other people will change facts and information that you knew were correct.
- How can you be sure that another person’s research is reliable?
- You need to be sure that living people have their privacy protected.
Personally, I have my family tree on three different one world tree web sites: FamilySearch.org, Geni.com, and WikiTree.com and I like and use them all for different reasons.
WikiTree has really pretty online charts, widgets for your website and shows DNA connections. It is the easiest one to use for sending possible new “DNA” cousins your family tree. GENI has the most intuitive user interface and has the best way to add source information. It is the prettiest of them all, plus it matches records with its partner site MyHeritage.com. FamilySearch connects to its own enormous record repository and there is a wonderful third party web site for visualizing your familysearch tree: puzzilla.org.