Ancestry.com, FTM and Treesync Update (Continued)

Published September 17, 2013 by Steve Watts #

The journey Julie and I have been on has been one of the more frustrating I’ve encountered. This fact makes the anticlimactic nature of it’s conclusion different relative to many other similar situations. It seems like we SHOULD want to celebrate. While the Media files are still trickling in (complete now), FTM 2014 THINKS we have a synchronized copy of her tree on my PC. Yay. Why don’t I FEEL like saying YYYYYYAAAAAAAYYYYYYY!!!!!? I think mainly it’s just going to take a few days to sink in. I do feel pretty good about it, but if I’m going to feel really good about it I’m going to have to put the “journey” behind me and try to repress it. I usually find documenting goes a long way toward that end so here goes.

I believe where I left off on the story was that I had received a FTM Backup (.ftmb) of Julie’s tree back from Ancestry on the Thumb Drive I sent them per agreement. The next step was unclear, but I had suggested that I send the Thumb Drive yet again, and I was receiving inconsistent feedback from them on what and whether they were willing to support. I was digging in more deeply to see what I could figure out and had just sent the assigned support person more information to chew on. He sent me some hopeful signs that the developers were trying some new software and asked for patience. About a week later he reported too many errors, suggested we split our tree, and indicated he/they wouldn’t be able to help any more.

Yes, it was frustrating to be cut loose like that. I tried one more time on my Windows XP VM, and noticed/realized that the software wasn’t taking full advantage of my new MAC Mini (4 core hyperthreaded, 64 bit, 16 GB RAM), so I investigated and figured out Microsoft has a Windows 8.1 64-bit Pro evaluation on-going. I downloaded this software, and configured it to use 4 cores and 8 GB of memory, and tried downloading Julie’s tree without linking using FTM 2012. I think it worked first time, which seemed like a pretty major step forward.

At the time, I was considering a deep dive into GEDCOM as a method to get around the problems Ancestry had been causing us, so I then started attempting to Export portions on Julie’s tree with an eye toward splitting the tree as instructed, and toward extracting GEDCOMs to manipulate using Python. It wasn’t something I was looking forward to, but it is something I am able to do and was willing to attempt. FTM2012 was able to export some but not other portions of the tree.

Back-to-basics time - I decided to call the support line and ask what I do in such a case. The advice out of the chute was “have you updated Java on your system?” Well, no. That hardly seems like it would help. “Sir, that’s what we recommend for starters and it often resolves this type of issue.” Okay, I’ll bite. Short story - I did, and it did! Now I had a fairly recent tree on my system that I could work with. Do I GEDCOM Deep Dive or press my luck and see if by some stretch TreeSync might work?! She had also told me that FTM 2014 was currently available, and that one of the things they’ve done is enable 64-bit operation, and improved things broadly.

Back to “Okay, I’ll bite.” I downloaded FTM 2014, and started a TreeSync. The initial sync took about 18 hours if memory serves, and the media finished sync’ing after just under 3 days. So far, the only thing I’ve been unable to do is perform a full backup of the sync’ed tree. During that process the program crashes, but it doesn’t seem to mess anything up.

Do I feel like saying “YYYYYYAAAAAAAYYYYYYY!!!!!?” Hmmmm. Frustrations documented and mostly behind me. Tree fully sync’ed. Only 1 minor issue remaining.

Okay - YYYYYYAAAAAAAYYYYYYY!!!!!