Thursday, February 23, 2012

Collaborative Research

With Family Tree Maker Version 2012 (FTM2012), the ability to do some collaborative research may have come a step further. With Ancestry Member Trees (AMT), we have had the capability to have others help us with our research.

Some users like to work on their Family Trees in the online format of the AMT that is offered by, others like to do their research within a genealogy database management system. Family Tree Maker being one of them, and the one that I have used for quite a while.

With FTM2012, we have the 'best of both worlds', in my opinion. I will illustrate what I mean in this blog posting.

A while ago, I posted a family file so share my research with a cousin, DearMYRTLE. I invited the cousin to be an Editor, meaning that the Editor could see everything that I had posted online. The invitation was sent and excepted. This was shown in this blog post:

FTM2012 - Invite to Online Tree

I continue to work on this tree within FTM2012 and use the TreeSync™ feature to update the AMT. As time goes one, I hope this family file and on the Plan Workspace I am greeted with an ICON telling me that something has changed in the AMT.


The Sync Arrow is lighter then normal pointing down. That is the indication of this change. I can also see by the Date / Time stamp as to when it was changed. This is where the TreeSync feature comes into play. I need to update my FTM2012 file, to match what is in the AMT.

It's my custom to first Compact my file, including Backing Up my file, before syncing the two trees. The Compact utility is in the Tools menu.


There are other blog posts about this, so it won't be repeated. Once the file is backed up and compacted, the Sync Now button is selected in the Plan Workspace. (I have the Sync Feature set to Manual)

Just for comparison, here are some statistics before the TreeSync was run. Not a large file, but is does contain 10 generations.

FTM2012 will now run the TreeSync feature. First some analysis is run and a brief report is provided.

This says that One Person was Changed, and One Media file as Added to the AMT.

Clicking on the View Details button shows the following:

What this tells me, that DearMYRTLE added an Image to Hiram Edmund Deats. I wonder what that image is? The image name sounds encouraging, like it might be a Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) application. From previous experience, there can be some good information in those applications.

The Sync process continues and the Media Download message is displayed. That would indicate that the AMT and FTM2012 files are in sync.

Now to see this image, clicking on the People Workspace, Person Tab the SAR image is shown in the Media Tab for Hiram Edmund Deats.

Going to the Media Workspace or double clicking on that media file we see the image a little close and have the ability to Zoom in and out to see the image clearer.

Details of this image was provided by DearMYRTLE (thank you) so I knew what I was looking at with some detail. This gives me an idea about what she did. Somehow, she found that Hiram was listed in a SAR Application.

It's obvious that I haven't worked on this file for a while, so I wonder if there are any Shaky Leaves for Hiram that might take me to the Web Search and Web Merge feature to gather more information from this record.

Going back to the Family View, for Hiram, there are 4 Hints for him.

Clicking on the 4 Ancestry hints found, I am taken to the Web Search workspace with some search results.

Not only is there ONE SAR Applications, but there are two others. For now, we'll just deal with one of them.

Before I proceed, I View the record, both the printer friendly version, but also the actual image, if there is one.

Clearly this is the Family I have in my file. There appears to be some new information and possible confirmation of other details for this family.

The Web Merge process is started, and the steps for accepting or rejecting information is reviewed. That process has been discussed before.

Going to the Citation for this Source we can see that 21 Facts were documented by this record.

There were some dates confirmed, at the Middle Name of Charles T Deats. This Record shows his middle name was Taylor. Didn't have that before, but it certainly makes sense as Taylor was his mothers maiden name.

As each of us handles or genealogy database management software differently, I may spend a little more time adding Facts and Citations to my file. But, Dear MYRTLE opened my eyes to this record group. I do know that the last time I worked on this file, that record group was not on Ancestry, or didn't show up as a hint in this file. I still have some more work to do, but the two Tree's are not in Sync.

The TreeSync process is repeated, so that the AMT and my FTM2012 file are the same.

It should be mentioned, that when I looked at the image on Ancestry. that SAR was actually two pages, so the Page 2 was also downloaded and added to the Citation, so it now has two pages.

Just as a comparison, the Statistics are shown here:

Not a lot of change between the two, yet, but thanks to my 'helper' we have some additional information to look into about the Revolutionary War hero in this tree. I hadn't seen that before.

Lesson Learned: Don't stop looking for additional information, and Collaborative Research works.


Copyright ©  2012 by H R Worthington

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