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

After you upload a GEDCOM file to the Pedigree Resource File, you have the option to copy the information into Family Tree. Be aware, however, that doing so can create duplicate records in Family Tree, add information that is incorrect, or even erase information that another user has contributed. In many cases, it may be more appropriate to leave the information in the Pedigree Resource File where it can be read and referred to as necessary. 

To transfer the information to Family Tree, you must be working from the FamilySearch website—as opposed to the Family Tree mobile app or Family Tree Lite. Please note that you cannot transfer the following information from your GEDCOM file into Family Tree, though it can of course be entered manually:

  • Notes, sources, and multimedia links.
  • Living people. (If your GEDCOM file contains living people, you can see it in the Pedigree Resource File, but no one else will.)

 

Before you start

  1. The genealogical software you are using is likely to have the capability to export information into what's known as 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 Examine the information you want to submit for anything that should not be published:
    • Look through the notes and other unstructured information. If you find information that should not be published, either mark it as confidential, or delete it before creating your GEDCOM file.
    • Our processes scan your file to identify people in your tree who may still be living. They will not be published in the Pedigree Resource File.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. 
    • If you think you will copy the information to Family Tree, we recommend submitting small GEDCOM files of 100 names to 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. While signed in to FamilySearch, click Search.
    2. Click Genealogies
    3. Scroll down past the search fields to the sentence "Contribute your research to the FamilySearch.org community."
    4. Click Submit Tree.
    5. Click Add GEDCOM.
    6. Click Choose File, and 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 about the research behind it.
    9. Click Upload. 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 FamlySearch.
    • 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 transferring information to Family Tree, click Review Results

 

Part 3. Review the Potential Matches list

The Potential Matches list contains people who are in your GEDCOM file who may 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, and 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 at least one blue box from the left to the right side, enter a reason statement that explains how you know the information from your GEDCOM file is more accurate than the information in Family Tree, and click Save.
      • You can enter only one reason for all of the information that you replace. If you need 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.
    4. Click the next person in the list.
    5. If the list contains more than 10 people, use the Next and the Prev (Previous) buttons to move through the list 10 people at a time. ​
  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, and then 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 re-add people who are already in Family Tree. This creates duplicate records that need to be merged later.
    4. Click the next person on the Potential Matches list.
    5. If the list contains more than 10 people, use the Next and the Prev (Previous) buttons to move through the list 10 people at a time. ​

 

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, use the Next and the Prev (Previous) buttons to move through the list 10 people at a time. ​

 

Part 5. ​Review the Already in Family Tree list

Your GEDCOM file may contain people who are already in Family Tree. You may, however, have information that is more complete or 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 that explains how you know the information from your GEDCOM file is more accurate than the information in Family Tree, and click Save.
    • You can enter only one reason for all of the information that you replace. If you need 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, use the Next and the Prev (Previous) buttons to move through the list 10 people at a time. ​

 

Recommended next steps

  • 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 of 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.

 

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