RootsMagic and FamilySearch Family Tree - Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some questions we are frequently asked about the RootsMagic App:

What is FamilySearch Family Tree?

FamilySearch Family Tree is a new way to organize and record your genealogy online. It is free, is available to everyone, and provides an easy way to discover your place in history with free tools to help you preserve and share your family's story for generations to come.

In Family Tree you can:

  • See what the system already contains about your ancestors.
  • Work with others to fill in missing information and correct errors.
  • Add sources and explanations to show that information is accurate.
  • Find and merge records that are about the same person.
How is FamilySearch Family Tree different than new.FamilySearch.org?

Family Tree has most of the features that are available on new.FamilySearch.org. It has some new features including the ability to edit and delete most any information about a person, a detailed history of changes made to people, and the ability to add sources to back up your conclusions. While new.FamilySearch.org has primarily been available to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Family Tree is available to everyone.

What does it mean for RootsMagic to "share data" with FamilySearch Family Tree?

"Share data" means that you can search FamilySearch Family Tree for matches for people in your RootsMagic file. Once you have found a match, you can copy any data that FamilySearch has about that person into your own file. You can also copy any data that you have into the FamilySearch system. You have full control over what data is copied in each direction.

I previously used RootsMagic to work with new.FamilySearch.org. What has changed?

Great news! If you already know how to use RootsMagic with new.FamilySearch.org, you'll work with Family Tree in pretty much the same way. The biggest differences are:

  • The data on the FamilySearch side of things will be much cleaner (no more 10 different birth dates)
  • You will be able to edit and delete data on the FamilySearch side, even if you are not the one who initially put it there
  • You can now give reasoning for why you made a change on the FamilySearch side
  • You can now transfer sources and citations between FamilySearch and RootsMagic
  • You can now view a change history for each person and undo incorrect changes
  • More features such as notes, photos, and more will be coming as FamilySearch makes them available to RootsMagic
I already have RootsMagic 6. Will I need to get another version to work with FamilySearch Family Tree?

If you already have RootsMagic 6, you just need to download and install the update to switch over from new.FamilySearch.org to FamilySearch Family Tree.

I own a previous version of RootsMagic. Will I need to get RootsMagic 6 in order to work with FamilySearch Family Tree?

Previous versions of RootsMagic (4 and 5) were developed to work with new.FamilySearch.org- long before the FamilySearch Family Tree system was available. If you wish to work with FamilySearch Family Tree, you will need to upgrade to RootsMagic 6, or our free version RootsMagic 6 Essentials.

Hey, this looks the same as regular RootsMagic. How do I know my version of RootsMagic is working with FamilySearch Family Tree?

From the Main Menu, choose Help > About RootsMagic. If the version is 6.1 or greater, you're using the FamilySearch Family Tree version. Anything less than 6.1 works with new.FamilySearch.org.

Can I use the FamilySearch Family Tree features without purchasing the full RootsMagic software?

Yes. All of our FamilySearch Family Tree features are part of our free RootsMagic 6 Essentials software. If you're interested in all the additional features, you may purchase the full-version of RootsMagic 6 at any time.

What will happen to my older version of RootsMagic when I install RootsMagic 6?

When you install RootsMagic 6, the setup program detects any older versions of RootsMagic and will ask you if you wish to uninstall them. If you already have a previous version of RootsMagic 6 installed, this will simply update it to the latest release.

What will happen to my RootsMagic data files when I install the update?

Your RootsMagic 6 data files will be unaffected. All of your data will still be there. If you open up a RootsMagic file made with an earlier version of RootsMagic, it will be updated to the RootsMagic version 6 format.

Will I have to re-match the people in my file that were matched to new.FamilySearch.org?

Good news! Since the Person ID's from new.FamilySearch.org were carried over into FamilySearch Family Tree, any people in your RootsMagic file that you had previously matched up with new.FamilySearch.org will be matched up to the same people in FamilySearch Family Tree.

Why is helper login not available in the update?

While this feature was used and mature in new.FamilySearch.org, it is still being developed and tested in FamilySearch Family Tree. Once FamilySearch deems a feature ready, we will quickly add it to RootsMagic and make it available in an update.

When will FamilySearch notes, stories, photos, etc. be available in RootsMagic?

The amazing FamilySearch engineers are working around-the-clock to develop and polish all these new features in Family Tree. Many of these features are still considered by FamilySearch to be in "beta". Once FamilySearch deems a feature ready, we will quickly add it to RootsMagic and make it available in an update.

I found a problem. How do I report it?

If you are one of the lucky few that finds a bug or error, we'd love to hear from you. Please contact our online support with detailed information about the problem. Let us know what you were doing, any Person ID's involved in the problem, and any error messages that you received.