We have a few bugs with the transition from Online Family Tree that we want you to be aware of. We have fixes for some of these issues, but we won’t deploy them until early January (we won’t be making new site changes during the holiday break). In the meantime there work-arounds for many of the issues or you can wait until after we update the website, and then try again.
12.26.2007 note: I notice some concern about the safety of this migration process. The transfer is safe, because it is non-destructive, meaning your existing Online Family Tree file remains unchanged and unmoved and essentially untouched in this process.
When you request the transfer, our system triggers an “export GEDCOM” request on the Online Family Tree file. The original file is untouched, and a separate, new copy of your file is created in GEDCOM format. We then take this new GEDCOM file and import it into the Ancesty Member Trees system.
When this is complete, you now have two files. Your original Online Family Tree file remains exactly as it was. And you also have a new Ancestry Member Tree file.
GEDCOM is the standard format for transferring family tree data. If for some reason your tree contains information that doesn’t work with this standard, we may have difficulty transitioning your tree. However, that would be a rare situation. We’ll also transfer your list of invited guests into the new Ancestry Member Tree system.
Here are the known issues:
1. Online Family Tree files with single quote character (‘) in the title can’t transition
If you have a tree name that contains a single quote character (‘), it will not move to the new system correctly. To work around this issue, click on the info icon ( ) on the My Ancestry page and change your tree name to remove the single quote. Click “Change Name” to save. Then do the “Move to the Ancestry Member Tree system”. In the “Move your Online Family Tree to Ancestry Member Trees” dialog, you can specify the name of the tree in the new system to be the original name with the single quote if you so desire. (01.04.08 update: This issue has been fixed. If you were affected by it, you should be able to migrate now and not experience this error.)
2. Making additional changes to your file during the transition causes the transition to fail
If you modify the tree in Online Family Tree while you are waiting for it to move to the new system, the move will fail. To work around this issue, do not make any changes to the OFT tree while the move is in progress. (01.23.08 update: This issue has been fixed. If you were affected by it, you should be able to migrate now and not experience this error.)
3. Having lots of people invited to your Online Family Tree file may cause the transition to fail
If there are more than 15 invitees to your tree, the move may fail. To work around this issue, in the dialog “Move your Online Family Tree to Ancestry Member Trees”, un-check the box that says, “Re-invite those I’ve invited to my tree.” Then after the tree has moved to the new system, click on the tree in the new system, click “Manage Tree”, and click on (invite others to see your tree). You can then manually invite people to your new tree. (01.04.08 update: This issue has been fixed. If you were affected by it, you should be able to migrate now and not experience this error.)
4. Some transitioned files have missing connections or people (added 12.26.2007)
We’ve just recently been able to replicate this issue, and identify what causes it to occur. It is an unusual thing, but not as rare as we would hope. Our thanks to those who have sent us information to help us reproduce the issue.
So, it is a bug we’re working to address. The bug is that in a minority (appears to be up to 30%) of Online Family Tree GEDCOM exports, the GEDCOM data is not formatted correctly. We did not see this in our testing. We do have a solution in mind, but expect it will take several days to fix and test.
So, if your tree is one that appears to have missing family information, please be patient while we fix this bug. I’ll post to the blog when we have it corrected. You will be able to re-initiate a migration. I recommend that you do not manually delete your Online Family Tree file after transitioning to the new Ancestry Member Tree system. The transition process itself does NOT delete the file. (01.02.08 update: This issue has been fixed. If you were affected by it, your original Online Family Tree file can be migrated again this time without the error)
5. When an Online Family Tree file has notes on a person AND also on a citation for that person, the two notes are combined in the Ancestry Member Tree file in the citation field. (added 01.04.2008)
We’re working on a fix for this, and hope to have it fixed shortly. (01.23.08 update: This issue has been fixed. If you were affected by it, you should be able to migrate now and not experience this error.)
As more known issues are discovered, I’ll add them to this list.
If you come across errors with your file transitioning, please help us investigate by sending an e-mail to me (kfreestone at tgn.com) with the OFT tree name, your Ancestry user name, and a detailed description of the problem.
Please note that we have NO known cases of data being permanently lost in any transition for any customer. If you feel you have lost data, please let me know. We absolutely realize that holding your many years worth of genealogy research in our system is a sacred trust, and are fully committed to preserving your data safely and securely.