Thursday, February 12, 2004

Posting One (and only one) GEDCOM file at Rootsweb WC, AWT, and Ancestry OFT

Posting One (and only one) GEDCOM file at Rootsweb WorldConnect, Ancestry World Tree, and Ancestry Online Family Tree

(I am not the author of this article.)

Unlike at WorldConnect, uploading your file on Ancestry Online Family Tree (OFT) or Ancestry World Tree (AWT) does not replace or update an existing file. Uploading a file there creates an additional file. Not realizing this and thinking they are replacing outdated files, many eager-to-share genealogists have posted multiple copies of their trees.

A major reason why there are so many duplicates of the same trees is due to assuming that your "new" (updated) file overrides the "old" (original) file at Ancestry. It does not. You might be surprised to discover that your "trees" have created a forest of duplications.

Unsure whether you might have duplicate files on WorldConnect, Ancestry World Tree (AWT) and/or Online Family Tree (OFT)? Do a search for a unique name that can be found in your database from the main WorldConnect page. Search results should display any duplicate files or duplicate names within a single file.

Although family tree files submitted through both Ancestry and RootsWeb sides are searched and browsed (viewed) as one huge database, the submission, updating and removal processes work differently from the two sides. To add to the confusion there are three names involved: WorldConnect (at RootsWeb), and at there's Online Family Tree (OFT) and Ancestry World Tree (AWT).

If you do not remember whether you submitted the original file through Ancestry or RootsWeb, the user code will tell you. A user code that starts with a colon ":" indicates that the file was submitted through Ancestry's Online Family Tree (OFT). User codes that start with a colon PLUS the letter a ":a" were submitted via Ancestry World Tree (AWT). WorldConnect user codes are submitter-selected and comprised of letters, numbers, hyphens, and underscores.

To have an Ancestry World Tree (AWT) file removed -- where your user code starts with ":a" (that's a colon and the letter "a") or where the
user code starts with a colon plus FIVE or FEWER numbers, contact Ancestry Customer Support:

To remove an Online Family Tree (OFT) where the user code starts with a COLON and SIX or SEVEN numbers, go to: and click on the FAMILY TREES tab. If you do not see a chart headed SELECT AN ONLINE FAMILY TREE, you will need to click the LOGIN TO VIEW EXISTING FAMILY TREES link. All trees in your account will be displayed here -- including any private MyFamily Trees over which you hold owner or editor rights. Be careful not to delete the latter in error.

Icons to the far right of each listed tree here indicate the current status of that tree. If you do not see graphical icons (such as world globe or trashcan), click the ADVANCED OPTIONS link just above the chart outline. You must click on the WORLD GLOBE WITH RED X icon to remove the file from Ancestry World Tree/WorldConnect.

If you also wish to delete the tree entirely from Online Family Tree click the TRASH CAN icon AFTER you have also clicked on the WORLD GLOBE WITH RED X icon. Caution: You can not recover a file after doing this.

If you cannot find the family tree you wish to remove that was originally submitted through the Ancestry side following the above procedure, you may have additional usernames (accounts). To obtain all account information for your current e-mail addresses, log out, click on LOGIN, and then click on the FORGOT YOUR PASSWORD link. An e-mail will be sent to you with all account information.

You must login under each account to check for additional trees at Ancestry. Questions about possible accounts under obsolete e-mail addresses? You need to contact Ancestry Customer Support for assistance.

You cannot remove/override a family tree submitted through Ancestry by uploading a revised file using RootsWeb's WorldConnect's Set-up page to do so.

If it has been some time since you uploaded your GEDCOM to RootsWeb's WorldConnect and you have added new and corrected information to your genealogy file and you wish to update your WorldConnect file to reflect this new information, here's what to do.

Create a new GEDCOM which includes your updated information. You want to be sure that the new file you are about to upload to WorldConnect replaces the old file and doesn't merely create a new file leaving the outdated information in place beside the new file.

Start on the main WorldConnect page: and click on the link that says: "Also, go here to update or correct your existing Family Tree."

Type in your original user code and password -- the ones you used when you first created your WorldConnect family tree. If you have forgotten
either your user code or password you can retrieve them both from Password Central: Mark the bottom box under OTHER to retrieve this information.

Next select either the standard or advanced set-up page to update your existing WorldConnect GEDCOM. When updating your GEDCOM, remember you must indicate on the set-up page the path or location of the new GEDCOM on your computer in the appropriate box on the set-up page so that WorldConnect can find the new file you wish to upload.

You can do that through the use of the BROWSE button or by typing in the path to the new file in this box. When you have selected all of the items applicable to your new file on the set-up page, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on UPLOAD/UPDATE option and wait for your new file to be uploaded and to replace the existing file -- automatically.

But, remember that, in order for the file to REPLACE the existing file, at WorldConnect, you must have used your original user code and password that you selected when creating the file you now wish to replace. When you are looking at the set-up page you should be seeing the information relating to your (original) file and not a new set-up page that says you are about to create a new file --- you do not want to create a new file -- you want to replace the existing one.

This is a good time to check the forest of family trees you might have planted on AWT, OFT and/or WorldConnect and do some appropriate pruning.
Previously published in RootsWeb Review: Vol. 7, No. 6, 11 February 2004.

A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world. - Oscar Wilde