Step 5 Update your FTM data using Ancestry hints

← Back to: Exchanging Data with Ancestry and FTM

Some general observations and advice:

  1. So your data is now in FTM and synchronised with Ancestry. Note that media (images) take considerably longer than data to upload to Ancestry (days even). In the meantime they display as grey icons.
  2. Use Ancestry not FTM for matches and updates. Ancestry helps says "Records you’ve found on Ancestry and merged into Family Tree Maker won’t be re-uploaded to Ancestry.".
  3. It is probably better initially to switch off Ancestry's option to match against the trees of other members and to focus on matching vital records and others.
  4. If you rename your tree the change works correctly on Ancestry and your local file name changes. However, the media folder does not appear to get renamed (needs checking) therefore media becomes unlinked. This can be corrected in bulk using the Find Missing Media routine. Select all, select a folder and select LINK rather than copy.
  5. FTM overwrites RESI Description from a census hint. RESI is an exception in FH as it never has a value exported (it is an attribute for which no value is allowed by Gedcom specification) so we need to consider how FTM data will be imported to FH.

Tidying up your data (generally and periodically after matching hints)

  1. Tidy up place names by using the facility "Resolve all place names" and by reviewing Places as a flat list (not a hierarchy) to merge similarly named places using "Replace with Other Name". Note that resolving place names appears to cause Ancestry to seek more hints. It appears that Ancestry generates hints not on upload, but on modification or when viewing a tree chart. Don't be surprised if after clearing all of your hints you suddenly end up with a few hundred more!
  2. Entering approximate birth dates making assumptions from spouse and parent dates will also result in more hints being generated some of which will lead to correct data and more people.
  3. In the course of matching it is likely you will create data anomalies such as duplicate names and other events. Under Person Reports use the Data Errors Report to identify many issues (you can select individual errors to look for). In particular, select "All Individuals" and configure the report to identify selective errors types gradually including duplicate facts. Note that there is sometimes difficulty editing when a person has no sex (the field tends to revert automatically). If this happens edit sex on the ancestry web instead. Another matter is when a Person has no preferred Spouse set. To set a preferred spouse (caused sometimes when there is no spouse at all!) create two spouse to enable a right-click feature Set Spouse Order - set the correct one and delete the other.
  4. Check all individuals are connected. The Data Errors Report can show individuals with no connections but the Relationship Report is also useful when set to include "unrelated" and sorting into kinship order.
  5. Check for the No Spouse Record anomaly. During matching it is possible for children to be created with one spouse missing and the other spouse has no "Preferred Spouse". Use the Marriages Report (twice, sorting both normally then by wife) to identify relationships with one partner missing and create one with a fake name like "Ω". Then use the Data Errors Report to identify individuals with No Preferred Spouse. To correct these, make sure there is more than one spouse (a temporary fake if necessary) then in tree view, click on the "select spouse" box and "Set Spouse Order".
  6. Find media with references in FTM but missing from your media folder using Find Missing Media facility on the Media menu. This allows your to locate the file and copy it to your folder.