Two weeks ago at Boston Ancestry Day, I was asked a lot of questions about how to download an Ancestry Member Tree into Family Tree Maker. I think there are many of us who have a main “working” Family Tree Maker database but also have trees on Ancestry.com that we use for sharing and gathering information. And if you’re like me, you’re not very diligent about making sure that all your trees contain the same information. Fortunately, in Family Tree Maker 2010 and 2011, you can quickly download your Ancestry tree into Family Tree Maker and either keep it as a separate tree or merge it with one of your existing files.
Obviously, I can’t mention Ancestry Member Trees without raising the synchronization issue. As someone who uses Family Tree Maker on a daily basis and also has multiple Ancestry Member Trees, I understand everyone’s desire for this feature–and the urgency behind it. As I am sure many of you have questions about Ancestry.com is handling this issue, I am including this official statement, which I hope clarifies the company’s position. “Our customers frequently ask for more ability to synchronize and transfer data between Family Tree Maker and Ancestry Member Trees, and we want to assure you that we are listening. This is a complex issue and while we cannot say for certain when it will be resolved, it is an important priority that we are actively working on.”
Now, back to downloading trees. When you download your Ancestry tree, it will include all the facts, sources, and images you have manually attached to individuals. If you have linked Ancestry.com records to your tree, the downloaded tree will include only the information and sources associated with the records, not the actual record images (I’ll show you how to reattach these records below).
- Go to the New Tree tab on the Plan workspace.
- Make sure you are logged in to your Ancestry.com account. If you aren’t, you can log in by clicking the Login link on the Web Dashboard.
- Click Download a tree from Ancestry then click the Export button next to the tree you want to download.
- Click Import to save the file as a new tree; click Merge to merge the file with the tree you currently have open.
If you choose to import the tree, you will be prompted to enter a name for the tree and save it; if you choose to merge the file with an existing tree, the Merge Wizard will open and guide you through merging the trees. A message tells you when the process is complete.
Now to reattach a record image, go to the Sources workspace. Double-click a source citation. The Edit Source Citation window opens. Click the Media tab then click the Download Image if Available button. The image will download to your Media Collection and be linked to the selected citation.