I would suggest that you used MirrorSync from 360Works instead. It is almost impossible to handle all errors that could occur if you lose connection when you do synd between your databases.
I have used it for several of my projects with great result
Thanks for the suggestion, Johan. I've considered using a third-party solution, with MirrorSync at the top of the list. I may start a free trial to see what's involved and how it works. The sync I need to do, though, is extremely simple and small, and it is a learning experience, so I thought doing it myself might be a good option. I'm still curious to know why what I tried works the way it does and if there is a solution.
Always good with a trail and error approach.
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I reported this as a possible support issue, and I received this reply from TSGal
"Working with another Support Technician, we were unable to replicate the issue using local file created with FileMaker Pro 15.0.3 under Windows 7 and the hosted file on FileMaker Cloud. However, we did manage to replicate the issue only when the Extended Privilege "Access via FileMaker Network (fmapp)" was unchecked in both files for the "regular" account. Check to see if this is the case."
And indeed it was the case.