Monday, July 18, 2016

Dear Randy: How Can I Import FamilySearch Family Tree Persons Into RootsMagic?

I received this question from Sergey over the weekend, who has all of his genealogy information in the FamilySearch Family Tree, and other researchers may have the same question.

I described downloading descendants of a FamilySearch Family Tree person in  RootsMagic 6 Software Updates - Post 2: Importing Descendants from FamilySearch (posted 1 May 2014), but I don't think I've written about importing ancestors of a person in FamilySearch Family Tree.

The process to do this is fairly easy if you have the RootsMagic genealogy software program.  

1)  I wanted to create a NEW RootsMagic file for this, so I clicked on the File > New and created a new RootsMagic database:



I named the new tree, checked the import boxes I wanted, and I was ready to Import the data for my ancestral families in FamilySearch Family Tree.  I had to go to Tools > File Options > FamilySearch and click on the "Enabl;e FamilySearch Support" item.

2)  In the File > FamilySearch Central menu, there is an "Import" button:



On the "Import a Tree from FamilySearch" screen, I picked "Me" as the "Start Person" (I was already signed into FamilySearch) and selected "4" generations of Ancestors and "1" generation of Descendants.

3)  I clicked on the "Import" button on the screen above.  The persons in the FamilySearch Family Tree were imported - the screen below shows the progress made during the import:


The red note on the screen above says "This import can take awhile if you have a large tree on FamilySearch."

It took less than 60 seconds to import 122 persons from FamilySearch Family Tree into the RootsMagic database file.  Here is the FamilySearch Central screen showing that 122 persons were matched:


I clicked the "Close" button on the screen above.

4)  I wanted to determine what had been imported.  I clicked on the "Pedigree" view and saw:


The import included my ancestral families back to my second great-grandparents because I requested 4 generations of ancestors.

I clicked on the "Family" View for my grandparents Seaver, and noted that the children of my grandparents, and their spouses, were included in the import:


However, the children of the other children of my grandparents were not included.  Also, the order of the children on the screen above is not in birth date order.  That's easy to fix but it will have to be fixed for every family.

What about the Facts imported for each person from FamilySearch Family Tree?  Here is the "Edit Person" screen for my grandfather:


Only the birth, marriage, death and burial Facts were imported into the RootsMagic database.

5)  I went back to the "Family" View and clicked on the "FamilySearch Person Tools" icon next to my grandfather's name.  The comparison of the RootsMagic data with the FamilySearch person shows the data available for this person:


6)  The actions that I will have to take in order to capture everything in the FamilySearch Family Tree person and add it to the RootsMagic person include:

*  I will have to transfer the other Facts from the FamilySearch (right-hand) side to the RootsMagic (left-hand) side for each person, one Fact at a time.  
*  I will have to open the "Notes" button (at the top of the screen) and transfer my Notes to the RootsMagic database.  
*  I will have to open the "Sources" button (at the top of the screen) and transfer the sources to the RootsMagic database.  
*  The Notes and Sources will have to be attached to Facts in RootsMagic.  
*  I don't see a way to bring Media items (photographs, documents, etc.) from Family Tree into RootsMagic in this process.
*  Additional persons (e.g., descendants of persons added to the RootsMagic database) can be added using the "FamilySearch Person Tools" screen one person at a time.

A user could add the other persons to the RootsMagic database by noting the Person ID Number of each end-of-line ancestor, and creating a Descendants file for each one using as many descendant generations as it takes.  That would not solve the Facts, Notes, Sources, and Media problem, but it would add all descendants to the database.  


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Copyright (c) 2016, Randall J. Seaver

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1 comment:

Marian Koalski said...

Thanks for your detailed demonstration and analysis of this feature, Randy. It looks as if there's quite a bit of work that would need to be done manually to "import" the kind of details that I need in my database to perform further research. And we know what they say about genealogy without documentation, right?

These are important issues that no one else has mentioned, Randy, and I appreciate the effort you've made to bring them to us.