By now you’ve probably heard about TreeSync. It’s the latest innovative tool available in Family Tree Maker 2012, which gives you the ability to sync one Family Tree Maker tree and one online Ancestry tree.
Now you can make changes to your tree anytime, anywhere. Maybe you’re at the library and you find your grandma’s birth record. Record this information in your online linked tree using your laptop or mobile app; then when you get home, open Family Tree Maker, click the Sync Now button, and your desktop tree will be updated with the new information. Or, add a bunch of family photos to your desktop tree, sync it, and friends and family all over the world can see them in your online tree.
Why Would I Want an Online and a Desktop Tree?
If you only have an online Ancestry tree or you’ve always used Family Tree Maker, you may be wondering why you would want both. Many people enjoy online trees because they can update and edit their tree anywhere they have Internet access. And they can invite friends and family to view the tree, which makes sharing family history quick and easy. Others prefer desktop software because they can quickly build a tree without worrying about Internet connections, refreshes, and upload times. And they can create a variety of beautiful charts and reports to help with their research. With TreeSync, you can enjoy the best of both worlds. You’ll have the mobility of an online tree with the advanced features of a desktop software program.
How Does TreeSync Work?
If your main tree is in Family Tree Maker, you can upload your tree to Ancestry by clicking the Upload and Link to Ancestry button on the Plan workspace. This will create a new linked online tree. (If you’ve already uploaded this tree to Ancestry, you will now have two duplicate online trees; you can simply delete the old one.)
If your main tree is on Ancestry.com, you can download it into Family Tree Maker by clicking Download from Ancestry on the Plan workspace. This will create a new linked desktop tree.
Once the trees are linked together, you can access and edit it online or on your desktop. You can even use our Ancestry iPhone and iPad apps to update your tree.
Can I download and sync my Ancestry tree to more than one computer?
You may download your Ancestry tree to any computer that has Family Tree Maker. However, you can only download and sync your tree to one computer—even if you have installed Family Tree Maker 2012 on two computers. Be aware that you cannot synchronize a tree between two computers either.
Can I exclude people when I upload my tree using TreeSync?
No. You must upload your entire tree if you want it to sync between Family Tree Maker and Ancestry. However, you can upload only part of your tree to Ancestry if you simply want to put your tree online and not sync it.
How long does it take to upload and sync a tree?
The first time you upload a tree to Ancestry.com it may take a while, especially if you have a lot of media items. However, after the initial upload, the syncing process takes much less time because only your changes are synced and not your entire tree. Due to the different Internet connection speeds that are available and various tree sizes we cannot estimate the length of your syncing time precisely.
What if I already have an online tree and a Family Tree Maker tree? How do I link them together?
You cannot simply link the two trees together. You would need to download your online tree and merge it with your Family Tree Maker tree. (Remember; make a backup of your tree before making any large changes like this.) Then, you’d re-upload the new “complete” tree back to Ancestry.com using the “upload and link” option.
Are there parts of my tree that won’t sync?
Although most tree content transfers easily, there are a few exceptions. For more information on potential differences between linked trees on Ancestry.com and Family Tree Maker, please read this article.
What About Privacy?
Whenever I mention online trees, I am generally met with one concern. Privacy. Some people feel like their tree is a work in progress and isn’t ready to be shared yet. Others have accumulated a lot of confidential information that they don’t want to share publicly. Fortunately, TreeSync provides with you several privacy options so you don’t have to sacrifice security for mobility.
When you upload your tree to Ancestry, you can make your tree public, which means that other Ancestry subscribers can view your tree (except information about living individuals and private notes), and your tree will be shown in search results on Ancestry.com. Or, you can make your tree private, which means that limited information about individuals in your tree (name, birth year, birthplace) will appear in Ancestry search results, but no one can view the contents of your tree unless you invite them to. Additionally, you can choose to exclude your tree from appearing even in search indexes on Ancestry. And, you can change your preference at any time, and as often as you like.
What If I Need Help?
I get an error message when I try to sync my desktop and online trees. What do I do?
Occasionally you may get an error message when you try to sync your linked trees. This can occur when your Internet connection is interrupted during the synchronization process. First, make sure your Internet access is enabled in Family Tree Maker. (Go to the File menu and select Go Online. If the menu option “Go Offline” appears, Internet access is already enabled.) Second, check your Internet connection. If you have a dial-up Internet connection, or you have disabled your broadband connection, establish your Internet connection before you open Family Tree Maker. Make sure you are able to get to other websites.
I cannot edit my online Ancestry tree. What happened?
If you cannot edit your synced online tree, it may be because the online tree is temporarily unavailable while the desktop and online trees are being synced. Please wait a few minutes and try again.
Can I delete my tree if I decide I don’t want it online?
Yes, you can delete your online tree at any time. Be aware that once it’s deleted or unlinked, it can’t be re-linked to your Family Tree Maker tree.
If you have questions about TreeSync that haven’t been answered in this post or you are having issues syncing your tree, please contact our Customer Support at 1-800-262-3787, Monday through Friday from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm (EST) and Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.