RootsFinder

Discussion in 'Genealogy Software' started by TonyV, Apr 26, 2019.

  1. TonyV

    TonyV He who cleans up after his ancestors...

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    I was emailed by findmypast yesterday on the subject of privacy and in the course of reading through I came across their acquisition of this company who provide software and an eponymous website to upload your family tree to. I am interested to hear if anyone else has used this route to publish online.

    I have always steered clear of publishing my main tree online but being somewhat reassured by the privacy policies of FMP I decided to have a look. RF got some good reviews and it was claimed to be a fresh, well-designed product that would give Ancestry and other similar online family tree software a run for their money. It was also claimed to be highly intuitive to use. So I jumped right in and uploaded my gedcom. So far so easy.

    My tree contains some 1,600 names so is not particularly large and uploading was very quick. Eventually a conventional ancestor tree sprang into view. It didn't seem to like middle names however, which is a bit annoying when you consider how many people in families have the same first and last names. First alarm!

    Then I decided to open the tree to "Hints" i.e. sources that might match my ancestors from lots of different sites including FMP and FamilySearch- big mistake - I now have over 15,000 hints to wade through. Be very careful to uncheck boxes if you are pretty sure that your ancestors never went to the USA (I should say that I am from England and so are most of my rellies).

    So I then set about trying to remove hints that are wrong or that I already know about (about 99% of them at first sight) and it seems that you can only do so one at a time. Reading and removing about 15,000 hints which are mostly red herrings could occupy my remaining years! Second alarm!

    But what about the intuitive controls? One set of hints are actually slaps on my wrists relating to date formatting. When I started my tree about 15 years ago I entered dates as 01/01/2004. It worked for me at the time but years later I changed my software and was required to use a different standard format such as 01 Jan 2004 so from that time on I did but I couldn't be bothered to go back over several hundred names and change every date to the new format. Rootsfinder however didn't like them at all. So I assumed that you simply click on the offending date and re-type to suit RF - wrong. That doesn't work and after about an hour I gave up trying to find out how to do so. That means that I have offended RF and the date format hints will remain on view. Alarm three.

    At that point I concluded that the reviewer had meant to type the word "not" in front of the word "intuitive" but didn't proof read correctly.

    Am I just a grumpy old man, technically illiterate or just plain daft (or all of the above)? Has anyone else used this software and persevered because I'm in a mind to dump it?

    Tony
     
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  2. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    None of the above.
    I only have one small tree on line. I didn't bother adding any more to it a long while ago. I keep getting hints emailed to me but just ignore them because to accept them I have to upgrade to a sub. So far the one I have is free and its staying that way.
    As to the date format that you are having trouble with...do they require the American....mm/dd/yy which I find completely annoying.
     
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  3. AnnB

    AnnB Editor in Chief who is Hot off the Press!

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    No (only when it comes to vacuum cleaners, but we won't go into that) - your tale confirms why I've never put a tree on-line.....and from you experience, I never will :cool: I use Family Historian which has a link to FMP, thus throwing up hints for people on my trees. You can switch this off if you want. I've found it quite useful at times, but why it throws up hints suggesting someone who, on my tree, has been entered as being born, married and died in England, should suddenly appear somewhere in America at a random date, is totally beyond me :sceptical:
     
  4. TonyV

    TonyV He who cleans up after his ancestors...

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    Careful Ann - hoovy is sometimes looking over my shoulder!

    Thanks both. I should have unticked hints from US sites but I suspect that I would have got them anyway given that the software and its writers are from that colony (did someone just say that they got away?).

    It is a very disappointing experience especially as FMP is currently the only 'paid for' site I subscribe to. I may just scrap it and follow my earlier instincts not to publish online. I don't mind that this will leave most of the tree up there in the ether because, if I believe FMP' privacy policy, the only visible stuff will be dead ancestors and relatives and they are already out there somewhere.....you know what I mean:)
     
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  5. Dogsday

    Dogsday Well-Known Member

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    I think all these sites want our data, sources, & hard work for free, then they'll have other poor souls paying them subs for our hard work, just my opinion.
     
  6. GrannyBarb

    GrannyBarb Custodian of the Family Accounts

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    I got the email today from FMP to check my privacy settings and consider using RF. Umm, I don't think so (thanks, @TonyV ). I don't do online trees. It seems all the research sites have them now. :(
     
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  7. Solveig Quass

    Solveig Quass New Member

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    I do support for RootsFinder. Also, I use RF for my own genealogy. It has a lot of features you can't find anywhere else. We did a lot of usability studies and worked very hard to make it intuitive. I'm sorry you had difficulties but we do offer online support and usually get back to people in less than 24 hrs. I can't make it produce the errors you are complaining about.
    • If you want to use middle names, all you have to do is add a space after the first given name and enter the middle name. I imported my tree by gedcom from RootsMagic and from Ancestry. All the middle names were correctly entered on the pages.
    • I tried changing several dates to the numeric format, i.e. 29 April 1932 to 29/4/1932, it worked fine. No error messages. Perhaps you could tell me what you were doing and what happened when you got an error message regarding the date format.
    • If you want to eliminate the hints from a particular provider, such as FamilySearch, you have to turn them off. Click on "hints" in the left side menu, uncheck the FS boxes and save. All the FS hints will disappear.
    • And no, I didn't American hints if I didn't sign up for them.
    RootsFinder is free. Although it is owned by FMP, it is operated as a separate website. The FMP website has a different tree all together.
     
  8. Dogsday

    Dogsday Well-Known Member

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    Exactly so, it is owned by FMP, I subscribe to FMP, not a good site, in my opinion, shan't be renewing my subs, I think Rootsfinder is just a gimmick by FMP to get the unwary to upload their family trees & as I said before, to capitalise on the hard work of others.
     
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  9. TonyV

    TonyV He who cleans up after his ancestors...

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    Hi Solveig

    It was exactly the kind of endorsement in your opening remarks that tempted me to upload my gedcom to an online site for the first time. My software is MacFamilyTree 8 and it contains middle names for many of my relatives but the upload failed to import them. It is possible that the gedcom created by MFT is at fault or it may be RF - who knows? I know that I can add them later but life's too short to start doing that when I've already spent years doing typing them in in the first place.

    100% of the software I use where I can edit details allows me to click on the data to be edited and type the correction. RF is the only software I've ever come across where that doesn't seem to happen in an obvious way. In other words it is not intuitive. If I click on a person in my tree then on View Profile I get an orange warning triangle saying "Info - Ambiguous Date". This warning may be against a box marked "Birth". Intuition suggests that you click on the date in that box and change it. Wrong! By trial and error you have to go back to the main profile box and change it there (I've discovered that since my original post!).

    Actually being English I quite like the date convention whereby 1 May 2019 converts to 01/05/2019 (or 01/05/19) or vice versa rather than the weird Americanism where it coverts to 05/01/2019. I think that it is only ambiguous if you like to scramble your dates in that way. How do I get rid of the warning which clutters up the page and serves no useful purpose as far as I am concerned?

    I appreciate that RF is free and I can understand that it may not therefore be so well supported as the "pay for" trees on subscription sites but even so I would prefer to have a comprehensive set of online "how to" Qs and As rather than have to post questions and wait for answers. It is common knowledge that if you have to wait more than a few seconds for a new website to open you are very likely to cancel your search and look elsewhere. I have the same mindset. I want to sort things out now, not in 24 hours time. Better still I want my software to actually be intuitive not just claim to be.

    It should actually be easier to write an instruction manual than to write the software. If that is not so it tends to mean that the software writer does not understand what the users want. Free or not my tendency would be to give up or look elsewhere. I reserve my tenacity and perserverance for more important things in life.

    Tony
     

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