Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

RootsMagic 4 Releases Update with FamilySearch AutoMatch

With the newest update to RootsMagic 4, the program becomes the first software program to automatically match people with their counterparts on New FamilySearch. In an announcement dated March 26, 2009, the company;s news release stated:

As FamilySearch certified software, RootsMagic and RootsMagic Essentials both allow you to share information to and from new FamilySearch as well as find and reserve incomplete temple ordinances for ancestors. In order to do any of this for a person, you must first match the person in your own file with the same person in the new FamilySearch system. In the past, a user was required to find a match for each person one-at-a-time, person-by-person.

"Our users told us that this was one of the more time-consuming aspects of working with new FamilySearch," explained Bruce Buzbee, president of RootsMagic, Inc. "If you had an average-sized file with 6000 people, it may take you several days of repetitive work just to match each one up with new FamilySearch. People want to be able to jump in and actually work with new FamilySearch and matching by hand was always a tedious first step." Buzbee added, "The new AutoMatch feature does most of this grunt work for you so you can just begin sharing data about your ancestors."

RootsMagic developed the AutoMatch feature over weeks of experimentation and guidance from FamilySearch. The AutoMatch examines each person in your RootsMagic file, searches the FamilySearch database for the person, and after carefully comparing them, matches them together if they are the same; all without requiring user intervention. "What used to take days of manual work is now done automatically in only a few hours," said Buzbee. "You can start the AutoMatch, leave it running while you do something else, and return later to find most of the matches found." Although the match is made automatically, no actual data is transferred without the user requesting it.
I installed the update and used the Automatch function and found that the claims were correct, the program really does find nearly all the people in your file. Of course, when the data on New FamilySearch has generational errors such as listing a grandchild as a child and other such problems, there are issues with linking to these people. Also if the data is not complete enough to allow for identification, there is nothing much RootsMagic or any other program can do to help the situation, but it is a boon to finding an making the links. Also linking to an individual in New FamilySearch does not mean that you need to copy any information from New FamilySearch to your own file. Information should be used from New FamilySearch only when sources are available or you individually know the information is correct.

Video tutorials, demonstrating how to work with New FamilySearch using RootsMagic 4 are available at

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