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554New Site Synchronizes Genealogical Databases

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  • Max Heffler
    Nov 11 12:56 PM
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      New Site Synchronizes Genealogical Databases
      The concept of many computers wanting to share data is not new. The earliest
      solution was networking computers, that is, hooking them all up to each
      other with each having the ability to access the others' data files. A more
      recent solution is Dropbox, which allows a user to create a special folder
      that is synchronized through the Internet with identical folders on other
      computers within the group. I use Dropbox heavily between my office and home
      computer. It allows me, for example, to work on the next issue of AVOTAYNU
      on either computer providing access to the latest version of the files.
      Prior to Dropbox, I would copy updated files onto a flash drive and download
      them to the other computer. This was very error prone. The latest concept is
      Cloud computing, where the data is on none of the computers, but instead is
      "up in the clouds" for all to use who are authorized to have access.

      Now there is a genealogy package called AncestorSync that claims to have
      taken Dropbox/Cloud computing one step further. Different computers can
      share/update a common genealogical database but each need not be using the
      same software. One can be using Family Tree Maker, another RootsMagic, a
      third using Reunion on a Mac. It currently supports 11 of the more popular
      software systems, plus GEDCOM. The authors of the system state,
      "AncestorSync syncs your pedigree, sources, notes, media and everything else
      you expect between multiple computers. Edit on both computers and we'll
      merge the changes from both back together."

      AncestorSync also allows creation of "groups." In this environment changes
      by one member of the group are not automatically updated in your version of
      the database. Instead the change is presented to you, and you decide whether
      to incorporate it.

      The system is now in Beta test. Additional information can be found at