- By Jim Terry
- Technical Support, Millennia Corp.
Use the Import Wizard to Make Importing Easy • Customize Your Import • Exporting from FamilySearch • Exporting from Ancestral Quest • Exporting from Family Origins • Exporting from Family Tree Maker • Exporting from Ultimate Family Tree • Family Ties • Notes Formatting • GEDCOM Errors, Bad Dates and Family Tree Maker Icons
Before importing any kind of file (GEDCOM, etc.), it is strongly advised that you back up your family file before hand. It is also important to update your Legacy file because several GEDCOM problems have been fixed in recent Update files (patches). Please click here for more update information. It is also strongly advised that you import the file into a temporary family file first, then check the records in order to clean up any problems.
If there is an import problem, immediately select Undo Import of [Date and Time] and try importing again with different options selected, or delete the temporary family file are retry choosing different options. When satisfied with the result, then split the Family View and use the drag and drop method to copy just the individuals, families or lines you want to add to your primary family file. (Click HERE to find out how to split your Family View between two different family files.)
Tips and Tricks:
Did you know the easiest way to import a GEDCOM file is to simply drag and drop it onto the Legacy icon? When Legacy is closed this will automatically launch the program and start the import process! This also works with PAF and Legacy files.
Click Here to view a demonstration on importing a GEDCOM and select Import a GEDCOM from the Legacy for Beginners video menu.
Use the Import Wizard to Make Importing Easy
PAF 3/4/5 or Ancestral Quest 3 file
Any GEDCOM file
Another Legacy Family File
- If you import into an existing file:
The imported data will not automatically link itself to any existing data. To make a link, you will need to (A) merge any imported individuals that are the same as existing individuals, or (B) link an individual in the imported file to an individual in the existing file as a spouse, child, or parent.
In Family View, the individual with the lowest RIN in the imported database (not necessarily the person the import started with) will appear in the Husband or Wife position. You can look at the Name List to see if all the people you expected are in the file are there.
If you choose to add information to an existing file (the one you have opened) you will be prompted to make a backup file, which is strongly recommended. If you choose to make a new file, you will be prompted to give it a name.
Legacy now analyzes the import file to make sure it is valid. This analysis also shows you how many individuals and families are contained in the file. If Legacy finds information that it does not know what to do with, a message is displayed. You can then tell Legacy how to convert them by mapping them to equivalent Legacy tags or by creating new tags. See Customize below.
From the "GEDCOM Import into Family File" dialog box, select your options thoughtfully. Please study the following options descriptions:
Put unrecognized items into Notes
Check this box to have Legacy put any unrecognized information into the Notes of the individual being read at the time. For example, a line such as: "OCCUP Bricklayer" would be put into the Notes because it is not a standard GEDCOM tag. (If you want to map unrecognized tags to Legacy tags, or create new tags before you start the import, do not check this box.)
Re-wordwrap the Notes Fields
If notes you are importing have hard carriage returns at the end of each 79-character line -- such as notes from PAF 2.31 -- you can have them reformatted into wrapping lines by checking this option. Paragraphs formed by two consecutive carriage returns are left alone. (Do not check this option if you want to retain PAFs 79-character lines and hard returns or you have tables or lists with items that must stay in columns.)
Legacy uses consistent, logical formatting rules when it comes to dates. Other programs allow free-form dates that can include unrelated text, making the dates unusable for sorting and date arithmetic. During the import process, Legacy checks each date for a proper format and presents any unrecognized dates for you to correct or accept. If you would like to accept all dates, regardless of their format, uncheck this option.
In this way you can retain the information even if you go back and correct the date fields to acceptable formats. Using the search engine in Legacy, you can produce a list showing the names and record numbers of all individuals who have unrecognized dates. This list lets you quickly jump to each individual and make corrections later. For additional information, please click here.
Format Names and Places (Init. Caps, UPPER CASE, etc.)
When importing new records from a different Family File, you can have all the names and places formatted to the current format settings. This includes upper casing, initial caps or leaving alone surnames, initial caps on given names, and initial caps on locations.
Try to keep original ID numbers (RINs)
Most GEDCOM files are encoded with the record numbers (RINs) that were used by the program that created them. Often users come to identify particular individuals within their files as much with this number as with their names. Legacy looks for and tries to retain these numbers whenever possible. (About the only reason they can't be used is if there aren't any in the GEDCOM file, or if you are importing into a Family File that already uses some of the record numbers.) If this option is unchecked, Legacy will still try to use the same ID numbers, but if it can't, it won't notify you about it.
As you import new individuals into your Family File, you can assign a source to each of them. This is a good way to keep track of where the imported individuals came from. If you are importing your own records from another program, you don't need to assign an AutoSource.
8. When you are satisfied with your options choices, click the Start Import button.
9. When the import is complete, Legacy asks if you would like to go through the Merge process. This procedure compares all the individuals in the Family File to see if any of them are really the same person. Optionally, you can go right to Family/Pedigree View.
When Legacy finds information that it does not know what to do with, a message is displayed. You can then tell Legacy how to convert them by mapping them to equivalent Legacy tags or by creating new tags. Simply click the Customize button. Here are some examples:
Unrecognized Tag Legacy Tag
BAP map to > BAPM (Baptism)
IDNO map to > REFN (Reference Number)
DIPL create an event > DIPL (Diploma)
By adding optional preceding text to unrecognized items put into Notes, it will be easier to search for them later. An example of this text might be UNRECOGNIZED:
How lines are broken
Notes in GEDCOM files can have their lines broken either in the middle of words or at the ends of words. This determined by the exporting program. See Notes lines are broken in the middle of words after importing below.
Try the export and check Notes. If lines are
broken in the middle of words, immediately click on Edit
and select Undo Import of [Date and Time] and try importing
again with a different option selected.
Try the export and check Notes. If lines are broken in the middle of words, immediately click on Edit and select Undo Import of [Date and Time] and try importing again with a different option selected.
- On the morning of 17 February, she sighted a convoy of two freighters, their escorts, and five smaller ships. The submarine tracked
- the convoy, plotted its course, and then prepared to attack. An escort suddenly appeared at a range
The solution is to re-flow the words into a note field by clicking the Wordwrap... button. If you highlight part of a note, the word wrapping is only applied to that portion, otherwise it is applied to the entire note.
If You Are Exporting a GEDCOM File From...
- Create a GEDCOM file for PAF 3.0. For help with other options press the "F1" key. Press "F12" (Okay) to continue.
- Confirm your selections by pressing Enter.
- Read the copyright information and press the "F12" key.
- Select the drive where the GEDCOM file will be saved. Insert a diskette to save to a floppy. For help with other options press the "F1" key. Press Enter.
- Assign a name to the GEDCOM file. For help with other options press the "F1" key. Press Enter.
- If you are working with Ancestral File, the FamilySearch computer will display a series of screens directing you to change the CD-ROMs in the CD drive. The program will build your GEDCOM file.
- Exit when finished.
- Select Export in the File menu or click the Export button in the Toolbar. The GEDCOM Export window will open.
- Select the Standard export type by clicking its radio button.
- Select version 5.5 and the ANSEL character set.
- Check the boxes for Regular Notes, Source Notes, Ctrl Notes, and Submitter information. If you are LDS (Mormon) also check the box for LDS Data (this option is available if you selected Use LDS Data in Tools, Preferences, General).
- Optionally, check the box for Confidential Data (notes beginning with a ~ and confidential events).
- Optionally, check the box for Full Info on Living. If you select this option, you will get all information on everyone selected for export. If you dont select this, you will get only relationship information and the name Living for people who qualify as living (anyone under 110 years old with no entry in the death date field).
- Click the SELECT button to open the Select Set of Individuals window. Use this window to specify exactly which individuals you would like to export.
- When you are satisfied with your selections, click the OK button to export the file. A directory dialog will open allowing you to select a file name and directory for the file. After you have settled on a name and location, click EXPORT and the export will begin.
- With the database containing the information you want to export open, choose GEDCOM from the File menu and then choose Export GEDCOM from the submenu that opens.
- In the GEDCOM File to create dialog that opens, indicate the path and choose a file name for the new GEDCOM file. The extension .GED will be added automatically. Click Save or OK when the file name and path are correct.
- Mark "General" as the destination of the GEDCOM file you are exporting.
- Indicate whether you want to export the entire database or only select individuals by marking the radio button.
- Check the following boxes preceding: export notes, export sources, export addresses, export correspondence log, export to-do items, export multimedia links, and preserve word wrapping in notes.
- Click OK to create the export file. The extension .GED is added automatically to the file, and it is saved in the specified location.
- From the File menu, select Copy/Export Family File.
- Click the Save as type drop-down list and select GEDCOM.
- In the File name field, type a name for the GEDCOM file. It must have the extension .GED.
- In the Save in fields, select the drive and folder where you want to place your file.
- Click Save and Family Tree Maker displays the Export to GEDCOM dialog box.
- Make your selections from the dialog box as follows -- Destination: FTW, Version: 5.5, Character set: ANSEL, check the Abbreviate tags box.
- Click the OK button and the GEDCOM file will be created.
- From the File menu, choose Save As.
- Select GEDCOM from the Save As File Type drop-down list.
- Enter a file name with a maximum of 8 characters in the Name field with the extension .GED.
- Change the Drive and Directory to the location you want to send the GEDCOM file.
- Choose OK. The Save As GEDCOM Options window opens, providing selections that determine the format and content of Ultimate Family Tree GEDCOM files.
- Use Grouping to create a GEDCOM export with only part of your project.
- Choose Family 5.5 as GEDCOM type.
- If saving to a floppy disk, select Erase Disk if you want to assure that the disk is empty before copying the GEDCOM file.
- Choose OK to start the GEDCOM export.
Family Ties users should visit www.xmission.com/~famties to get the free Family Ties GEDCOM export utility.
Jim Terry works for Millennia Corporation. He is a professional genealogist and public relations practitioner.