Because my SOURCES folder contains documents not related to the MasterFile, I set up a Syncback profile that only sends the relevant documents to the MasterFile SOURCES folder in our shared Dropbox folder.
Under “Choose sub-directories and files” in Syncback I un-ticked the files I don’t want sent to my cousin..
And so on through about 2,000 files.
My cousin links to this folder directly from her MasterFile and it gets updated every time I make a change on my side by running Syncback, which is several times a day. Same with the MasterFile Portraits folder and the MasterFile Places folder.
This is working fine. She set the file-paths in Legacy and all the pictures are linked up now.
Here’s where it could test my patience. My cousin is a searcher and a researcher. A bloodhound. I’m a techno-genie. After looking at it from every direction for a couple of hours, I understand how this works, I set it up so it can work and I want it done sometime in the next 5 minutes.
Day 1. My cousin gets onto split-screen view with her regular file and the MasterFile. She just wants the dual view; what she says in her file, what I say in my file. On one person. Out of 7,500 to merge into the MasterFile.
Then she starts thinking about the mystery surrounding the marriage of this person’s brother. This is the Mother of all our brick walls. Why is she going there NOW?
And she remembers she has some discs she bought from Ancestry.com a long time ago that might have something to contribute.
Then she finds out these discs can’t be viewed with her present copy of Family Tree Maker because it doesn’t have the viewer installed.
She could try this on her old computer with an older copy of FTM but for some reason hasn’t gotten around to booting it up all day.
She goes online to inquire about the disc-viewer and the web page tells her she doesn’t need it; it’s already in FTM.
She can’t find it.
She sends me an email telling me that she’s feeling overwhelmed today. Nothing else, just overwhelmed.
I get on the phone to help with the merge process because I think that’s what she’s having a problem with. I saw the MasterFile disappear from the Dropbox this morning.
Merge? No, nothing about merge, just the story about the disc-viewer. Oh, and another daughter she’s pretty sure existed because she found her in such-and-such place — she has more history filed in her head than I’ve seen on paper in my life, anywhere — and it all lines up with the dates for the other children but she probably died young. Damn! If she could only find that disc-viewer, mutter, mutter.
I have a memory like an elephant so in under 10 seconds I bring up a source document and read it to her out loud. It doesn’t prove anything; it was just a cousin inquiring about this matter (the mystery marriage) in a letter to another cousin about 100 year ago.
We meander around for another hour scraping the surface of IntelliShare and other things but she’s clearly distracted and irritated. I hate talking about computers on the telephone anyway unless I can also see what’s going on, so now I’m irritated.
She’s not listening. She’s online mumbling to herself finding a phone number for Ancestry support who can maybe tell her where to find the disc-viewer. It’s 9:45 PM EST. They’re open for another 15 minutes.
Good. We hang up so she can call them.
The purpose of this merge is for us to be able to see each others’ work so we can avoid doing the same things twice. She’s got my file now … and my source documents … and my photos … so she can see everything. I don’t have anything from her so I can’t see … um … anything.
(Next step: Request a copy of her family file. The Whole Thing.)
The upside of this is that if I can sit back and relax, eventually she is going to research our entire shared history down to the knuckles. Whether I ever hear about it and whether it, or any of it, gets merged into the MasterFile before I’m 90 and being spoon-fed applesauce for every meal is another question.