Question about day to day managing of tree information

+10 votes
Howdy :)

So I'm sort of new at genealogy and the family tree stuff. I've already asked, and had answered, a few questions here in The Tree House. As you know, questions beget questions.

Besides wikitree, I have free accounts with geni, myheritage, and ancestry. My wife has on her computer FamilyTreeMaker 2008, and she's been using FTM for something like a decade.

We each also have dozens of files on our computers with data, as well as images of census and Ellis Island Manifests, and so on. Then there are the hundreds of paper notes that have accumulated from the printing of the tree over the years to discuss it with various family members.

To me, it's all a mess.

What I really want to do is move all the info into a single place online. Once complete, then I want to have ALL the info printed and put away. This will enable us to get rid of all the current note files, all the paper scraps that have accumulated over twenty years. Right now, with her having it in FTM, only she has access to it and it isn't even complete as she hasn't has the opportunity to input all the stuff we've recently learned.

What I don't know is how to **effectively** go about doing the compiling and **where** to do it. Our combines trees are less two hundred people, so I'm thinking that wherever we move the tree to, to start fresh and manually type all the stuff in, fact by fact, person by person, source by source.

So, would you do it differently?
Where would you put your tree online?

As always, thanks for your input!
in The Tree House by Paul Bender G2G2 (2.4k points)
I'm in the same boat. I have trees on and Myheritage, and they include thousands of people. As well, they are connected with many thousands of other trees, so I am reluctant to abandon them (although the thought has crossed my mind!). One tree I am connected to is from Germany, with multiple researchers, and includes over 300 000 people. It is very well resourced, and the managers of that tree have put a ton of effort into making it a spectacular tree. I am slowly adding bits of other trees to my tree, and then adding it all here to wikitree. I'm taking my time, as I want to keep things within the wikitree guidelines, and keep it all as well sourced as possible. Unfortunately, that means that there is no way to do it quickly. I've accepted that this not going to be a fast process.  

This is the way I look at it: When transferring one or more big trees into wikitree, you want the information to be large, quick, and accurate. You can have any two of those, but not all three! :)

3 Answers

+7 votes
I would keep my tree here, and I do. My full tree is on Ancestry as a public member tree and also on RootsWeb. I have portions of my tree on FamilySearch whose premise is the same as WikiTree in that there is just one big tree. My master tree is kept in Family Tree Maker 2014 and changes made here are synnchronised with my Ancestry tree.

Now, all your documentation, scraps of paper, backs of envelopes that have accumulated I would scan and add to Evernote or OneNote.
by Rosemary Jones G2G6 Pilot (244k points)

"My full tree is on Ancestry ... I have portions of my tree on FamilySearch"

Can you explain "full tree" vs "portions"?

Full tree is everybody - 5000+ for my tree & 3000+ for my husband's tree.

Portions are the profiles I've manually added to WikiTree and FamilySearch. I added a small GEDCOM of 50 people to WikiTree and regretted it because of the clean-up required after a GEDCOM load. I'm also just concentrating on our direct lines on these; just not enough time to do the whole thing.

Between myself & my husband I manage ~500 people on WikiTree.
Nine thousand people? I cannot even imagine. Seriously. I cannot. After years of searching we have just surpassed three hundred and fifty people, even with seven generations back.


Ok, so at Ancestry you have the "full tree". What does that include? Is it just birth and death dates and locations? Where do you store all the trivia and stories that you must have about people? Is that what you refer to as "profiles"?

As for the scraps of paper that we have written, or were to us, we intend to enter all that into stuff into the profiles of the individual the info is about. All that remains (I would think) would be official documents and photos.
It's as much as I can find out about someone w/o travelling to England and Australia. Trivia and stories are from the newspapers. My husband's family is from Colonial Virginia - there is a lot out there for them. Mine, however, are convicts, ag labs, miners, assisted immigrants, generally illiterate w/o any property. They are scattered by oceans & distance, even within the same country, they signed their name with difficulty and the richness is, no doubt missing. (I get a lot of good data on these from prison records, military records (where they survive) and newspapers.
+13 votes
Hi Paul.  FWIW, about five years ago I was walking in your shoes, and I had the same issues and same motivation for migrating all my data to a single online repository.  After considerable looking around, I picked this site, and I have not regretted it.  I was a believer in the concept of a single, worldwide tree from day one (after finding about 25 profiles of one of my great grandfathers on rootsweb that were all a little different).  And I'm not sure what the advantage there is to having trees on multiple sites.

I think I am better organized and doing a better job than I did in the beginning.  But as fate would have it, that pile of paper notes has not diminished in size substantially after five years (new notes keep replacing the stuff I discard), and I have abandoned the notion that at some point this project will be finished!  (Hope that's not too discouraging,)  Finally, I would agree that it's much better to start fresh and enter you data manually if the size of your tree supports that.  I experimented a bit with gedcom's and was never happy with the result.  Good luck!
by Dennis Barton G2G6 Pilot (459k points)

The only reason I have built trees on other sites is to use their DNA matches, which are all different. I originally started building my tree here, and would be absolutely happy to remain, but the other sites offer different tools which I need. smiley

+1 vote
Some 4 years later, I'm having the same issues the original poster had. My trees on multiple sites are getting out of sync. However the only reason I need them is for DNA matches. So I have two questions that the wisdom of g2g may be able to answer.
1. If I upload a large gedcom here, and only go through the process for say, 10 people, so I can verify each person appropriately, can I just abandon the rest of the people in the gedcom, will it break Wikitree or will the data I add just be accepted, and the rest time out?
2. As an alternative is there software that I can edit my Ancestry gedcom to reduce it to a group of 10 people, and so keep the gedcom more manageable.
by Brian Stynes G2G6 (6.5k points)
For your point #2, I believe there is, but I can't explain the how-to.  I'll see if I can find the last thread I saw discussing it - - unless someone beats me to it with an explanation!

1. You can delete your uploaded GEDCOM file any time you choose. You can delete a GEDCOM from its related page, which will be listed in the GEDCOMpare Reports section of your GEDCOM page.

You can work as few or as many profiles from your GEDCOM as you choose.

The presence of your GEDCOM file does not affect the tree until you edit or create a profile from it.

2. You probably will want to use an offline tree program to split your GEDCOM into smaller groups for uploading to WikiTree: .

edit: You should start a new thread to get updated advice on using the GEDCOMpare process. Advice in this thread may be outdated, since it was posted before the GEDCOMpare process was adopted (which was in 2017, according to comments on another [also outdated] post).

I'd suggest the easiest way to add those ten specific people to WikiTree is manually unless you find that program to break up your large GEDCOM. In my opinion, adding manually is just as fast as using a GEDCOM because of the length of time it takes to process a GEDCOMpare report (especially if it is a large one) and the length of time it takes to "clean" and re-format the sources for a profile which results from a GEDCOM.

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