Importing Data into Family Historian

How can you import data into Family Historian?

Create a new project in the Project Window. If the Project Window is not already open, click Project Window (or just Close Project) on the File menu. The Project Window will be displayed. Click the New Project button to create a new project. In the window that appears, there are options to import a GEDCOM file, or “Import from other family tree file”. Use the latter option to import directly from certain other genealogy programs. In each case, you will need to select the file to import from.

When importing from another program’s database file, it is usually recommended to close the other program during the import.

There is also extensive advice about importing from a wide variety of different sources in the Family Historian User Group Knowledgebase.

Is it better to use a GEDCOM file or to import directly?

If you have the choice, it is usually better to import directly if you can.

Which genealogy programs can Family Historian import from directly?

You can import directly from:

  • Family Historian (all versions)
  • Genbox (most versions up to and include the latest)
  • Legacy (most versions up to and include the latest)
  • RootsMagic (most versions, up to and including version 7 and also the preview of version 8)
  • The Master Genealogist (most versions up to and including the latest – version 9 recommended)

Why is there no direct import from Family Tree Maker?

We understand that Family Tree Maker encrypts its file data. We have heard it suggested that this is to secure the data. It is not clear to us in what way this secures the data since anyone can view the data if they have a copy of the file and a copy of Family Tree Maker. It does however prevent programs like Family Historian from providing a direct import. We know of no other genealogy programs that encrypt their data in this way. See this discussion of the issue: https://www.beholdgenealogy.com/blog/?p=1692.

How can I import data from Ancestry?

To import your data from Ancestry, you need to first export your data from Ancestry as a GEDCOM file. Then start Family Historian, open the Project Window if not already open (it’s the first command on the File menu), and click ‘New Project’ to create a new project. Choose the option to import a GEDCOM file, and select the file you exported from Ancestry.

To export your data from Ancestry, open a web browser and go to the Ancestry website. Usually you just click on the ‘TREES’ menu, then ‘Create & Manage Trees’, and then click the ‘Manage tree’ link for the tree to be exported. If the tree was already open, click the tree name in the top left corner, and click ‘View Tree Settings’. Either way the Tree Settings page should be displayed showing the ‘Tree Info’ tab for the chosen tree, and there should be a button on the right side labelled ‘Export Tree’. If you click this button, Ancestry will export your data as a GEDCOM file.

How do I import directly into an existing Family Historian project?

First, create a new Family Historian project and import into that. Then open the project you wish to import into, and use the Merge/Compare File option on the File menu, to merge in (or append without merging) the project you just created.

For more advice about merging project files, see this article in the Family Historian User Group Knowledgebase.

Any more details about importing?

For full details about the RootsMagic import, please see Importing from RootsMagic.

For more details about importing from The Master Genealogist, please see TMG Import: Post-import Checks for Best Results.