How do I copy information from my GEDCOM file into Family Tree?

After you upload a GEDCOM file to the Pedigree Resource File, you can copy the information into Family Tree. When you copy this information, however, you could inadvertently create duplicate records. You could also add information to Family Tree that is incorrect, or erase information another user contributed. Rather than copy all the information into Family Tree at once, please consider transferring the information manually, entering only the dates and facts that you know are correct.

If you choose to proceed, keep in mind that notes, sources, multimedia links, and information about living people do not automatically copy to Family Tree.

    Before you start

    1. Most genealogical software allows you to export information into a GEDCOM file. GEDCOM files are the industry standard for transferring information between genealogy programs.
    2. Review the information in your GEDCOM file. Run any tools in your record manager that do the following:
      • Make sure that the names, dates, and places are entered in a standard way.
      • Make sure that your notes are ready to share publicly.
      • Check for possible problems.
      • Check for duplicate individuals.
      • Check for duplicate place-names.
      • Check for unattached individuals.
    3. Examine the information. Look for data that you do not want to publish. Delete it before you create your GEDCOM file or mark it confidential.
      • Look through the notes and other unstructured information.
      • Our processes scan your file to identify people in your tree who could be living. We do not publish a record of living people in the Pedigree Resource File.
    4. Create your GEDCOM file or files.
      • If you do not know how, see the instructions that come with your program. 
      • We recommend a small GEDCOM file. Files of 100 names make the compare and copy process easier to manage.
      • If you intend to simply preserve and share your file, it can contain up to 100 MB.

    Part 1. Upload and compare your file

    1. Upload your GEDCOM file to the Pedigree Resource File:
      1. Sign in to FamilySearch and click Search.
      2. Click Genealogies
      3. Scroll down to How is FamilySearch Genealogies different from FamilySearch Family Tree?
      4. Click Upload Your Individual Tree.
      5. Click Upload GEDCOM file.
      6. Click Choose File —> find the GEDCOM file on your computer.
      7. Enter a tree name.
      8. In the Description field, tell others about where this tree came from and anything significant about the research.
      9. Click Upload Your Individual Tree. The upload process begins.
    2. Wait for your file to be uploaded.
    3. Click Compare. The word Comparing... appears until the compare process is complete. When the compare process is done, the following things happen:
      • You receive a notification email from FamilySearch.
      • The word Ready appears in the Status column.
      • The View button appears.

    Part 2. View a summary of the results

    1. Click View. Your results are summarized as follows:
      • Potential Matches: The number of people that could already be in Family Tree. The records are close but not identical. You compare the records and decide whether they are matches.
      • Add to Family Tree: The number of people not in Family Tree. You can review each person and decide whether to add the record to Family Tree.
      • Already in Family Tree: The number of people already in Family Tree. Your file could have different details about the person. You can decide which details to move from your file into Family Tree.
      • Invalid and Living: The number of people in your file that the system identifies as living or invalid. You cannot add these people to Family Tree.
    2. To begin to transfer information to Family Tree, click Add to Family Tree

    Part 3. Review the Potential Matches list

    The Potential Matches list contains people who are in your GEDCOM file who could also have a record in Family Tree. Each name on this list has a yellow triangle with an exclamation point. 

    1. If the Potential Matches list is not displayed, click the Potential Matches option in the Filter box.
    2. For the first person on the list, compare the information on the left and right sides. Decide if the information on each side is about the same person.
      • Information from your GEDCOM file is on the left.
      • Information from Family Tree is on the right.
    3. If the information on both sides is about the same person, follow these steps:
      1. Click Yes. Blue boxes appear on each piece of information in your GEDCOM file that is different from what is in Family Tree.
      2. Review each blue box. If a blue box contains information that is more accurate or complete, click Replace. If you change your mind, click Undo. When you click Replace, the following changes occur on the screen:
        • The blue box moves to the right side of the screen.
        • The Save and Cancel buttons appear at the top of the screen.
        • A field in which you can enter a reason statement appears.
      3. If you moved information to the right side, enter a reason statement that explains how you know that your information is accurate. Click Save.
        • You can enter only one reason for all the information that you replace. If you want to add a different reason, you can do it from the Family Tree record. Go to Family Tree and update your reason statements.
      4. Click the next person in the list.
      5. If the list contains more than 10 people, move through the list with the Next and Prev buttons.
    4. If the information on the left side is about a different person, follow these steps:
      1. ​​​​Click Not a Match.
      2. If the system found more than one possible match in Family Tree, click Other Possible Matches. Click each name on the list to review it.
      3. If you want to add this person to the Family Tree, click Add. The information is copied into Family Tree. 
        • Important: Do not add people who are already in Family Tree. Your addition creates duplicate records. You or others would have to merge the duplicates later.
      4. Click the next person on the Potential Matches list.
      5. If the list contains more than 10 people, move through the list with the Next and Prev buttons.

    Part 4. Review the Add to Family Tree list

    The Add to Family Tree list contains the people who are in your GEDCOM file who are not in Family Tree. A "+" sign appears next to each name on this list. 

    1. If the Add to Family Tree list is not displayed, in the Filter box, click the Add to Family Tree option.
    2. Review the first person on the list. 
    3. If you want to add him or her to Family Tree, click Add. The information is copied into Family Tree. 
    4. Click the next person on the Add to Family Tree list.
    5. If the list contains more than 10 people, move through the list with the Next and Prev buttons. ​

    Part 5. Review the Already in Family Tree list

    Your GEDCOM file can contain people who are already in Family Tree. Your information can be more accurate than what is in Family Tree. You can transfer these details to that person's record in Family Tree without adding a duplicate record for that person.

    1. If the Already in Family Tree list is not displayed, in the Filter box, click the Already in Family Tree option.
    2. For the first person on the list, compare the information on the left and right sides. Blue boxes identify information in your GEDCOM file that is different from what is in Family Tree.
      • Information from your GEDCOM file is on the left.
      • Information from Family Tree is on the right.
    3. Review each blue box. If a blue box contains information that is more accurate or complete, click Replace. If you change your mind, click Undo. When you click Replace, the following changes occur on the screen:
      • The blue box moves to the right side of the screen.
      • The Save and Cancel buttons appear at the top of the screen.
      • A field in which you can enter a reason statement appears.
    4. If you moved at least one blue box from the left to the right side, enter a reason statement. Explain why the information from your GEDCOM file is more accurate than the information in Family Tree. Click Save.
      • You can enter only one reason for all the information that you replace. If you want to add a different reason for different pieces of information, make a note of the ID number of the Family Tree record. Then go to Family Tree and update your reason statements.
    5. Click the next person in the list.
    6. If the list contains more than 10 people, move through the list with the Next and Prev buttons. ​

    • If you do not want your GEDCOM file to remain in the Pedigree Resource File, delete it. If you delete your GEDCOM file from the Pedigree Resource File, all the information that you copied into Family Tree remains in Family Tree.
    • Review the information you added to Family Tree. Add any relevant sources, notes, and reason statements. Check for possible duplicates, and merge any that you find.
    • If you have photos, stories, or documents, upload them to FamilySearch Memories. Then tag them so that they appear on the person's record in Family Tree.
    • In order to update information that you have uploaded, delete the current GEDOM file, and then submit the updated version.

    How should I prepare my GEDCOM file? 
    What happens to information uploaded from a GEDCOM file?

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