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Exporting Ged or PAF friendly Files from Family Search/Family Tree for import into a stand alone program such as PAF 5

I would like to be able to create a gedcom file from downloading a portion of my Family Tree in order to import it into with another genealogy program such as PAF 5 so I don't have to enter it all by hand manually.

I don't lots of time to imput by hand all the new data that is coming up in the Family Tree online program. I like to be able to create copies of our family pedigree tree and Family Group Sheets for all my kids. Being able to go into Family Tree and select a specific individual and download that person's pedigree chart for 3 or 4 generations would then permit me to check the information off line and submit corrections online at a later date.
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  • 2
    You will probably be able to do this when the 3rd Party Affiliate programs such as Legacy, Roots Magic, Ancestral Quest, etc. are allowed to sync with Family Tree. But I sincerely doubt that there will ever be a way to download anything to any PAF version. PAF is 25 year old technology, and just won't do what modern applications need to do. It has been said also that in a few years, the new computers won't even be able to load PAF. You would do well to upgrade to something else.
    However, if you really want to print a really neat 9 generation pedigree chart for your kids go to Createfan.com. They pull the info off the database used by FT and nFS when you enter your account name and password. It will be a colorful fan chart, very nice to frame. You will need to make sure the data showing on Family Tree is what you want to print. For example, if there are more than one spouse for a person, select the one you want to show by clicking on that person's name and then View Tree. That makes that spouse stick.
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  • Clifford,

    Cathy is right. Most well used online and desktop genealogy applications use the FamilySearch APIs (a way for two applications to talk to each other and share/sync data). We don't have plans to do a file download system. I would recommend that you go to https://familysearch.org/products and identify a modern genealogy application that will meet your needs and which makes use of the FamilySearch APIs (those listed do). Then your work will be much much simpler. Rather than going to the website and doing something to designate a portion of your tree to download, then downloading a file onto your desktop and then switching apps and figuring out how to do a file import and a lot of clean up and linking - all you have to do is work in your application as you normally would. Those changes you desire are automatically propagated up to the Family Tree and any changes you or anyone else makes in the Family Tree are presented for your approval to include in your desktop app.

    PAF as a product is end of life. It is very old, has not been updated in many years, and never will be. It lacks many features these newer apps have. I recognize there will be a small learning curve as you move to a newer more modern application, but once past that I sincerely doubt you will ever regret it.
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  • We must make LDS aware that PAF is old news. As a ward FH consultant I meet too many complacent folks who say they know PAF is old, but they like it. They refuse to even consider the new programs. They won't take my word for it that they will be sorry before too long when all those old computers in our FHCs with drives to accept floppy disks are hauled away. Can you make some sort of official announcement to folks that they need to upgrade and soon?
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  • We no longer teach PAF at the FH Library at all. We teach our patron classes not to use it. And also not to use new familysearch.
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  • 1
    I am not really interested in the politics of all the changes and upgrades, downgrades, switches, etc. I accept everything is changing therefore I need to know how do I transfer what I have in PAF over to Family tree or is that not possible.
    Mike.
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  • you can upload a gedcom to family search.org -- geneologies - once there it can be compared with family tree and new information moved to Family Tree.
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  • 1
    It takes a much longer time to upload a GECCOM to FT because the program looks carefully at each individual to see if he or she is already in the system. So some of the individuals will be added, some will not, and the user will have to review others to decide if the record that is similar is actually the same individual. So don't be in a hurry.
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  • I’m Frustrated
    I want to export a gedcom or other file from FamilySearch/ FamilyTree so that I can put it into RootsMagic 6. My friend has no other information on their family except what is in FamilyTree and it is way too much to retype. It will be much easier for her to correct the data once it is in RootsMagic and in her home. Then she can go back to correct the information on FT by shifting the corrections from RM to FT.

    I cannot find a way to export the information in FT. Please tell me how I can do this now. There use to be programs to do this for PAF. Is there anyway for RM6????

    Elaine
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  • Programs like Legacy, Ancestral Quest and the current RootsMagic can all download information from FT into a new file directly. You can then produce Gedcoms from those programs (or often other older file types for the same program) and then import the gedcom into your older program.

    how to download one of these is at https://familysearch.org/products
    • Ancestral Quest does not even download half siblings even if "Include Families" is activated. Not a very good option to download information from FT.
    • PAF files have the generations linked together into the tree structure.

      However when you export a gedcom from PAF (and presumably from other programs) the gedcom is just list of individuals with no tree structure - no notes or photos etc are included either.

      If you have a gedcom of say 200 people, you typically have to compare each one of them against between 1-30 people that are already in Family Tree and then designate Match / Not a Match in each case. After doing that you then have to add each individual to FTree. So it can be a long tedious process.

      Even after you have added your gedcom people to FTree, they are not automatically linked to YOUR tree in FTree - you have to search for the people you have added using the Find function (not Search) and then link them to your tree.

      Even so - it is a good thing to upload your gedcoms to the FS site - even if you dont go through the compare-match-add process. They are saved on the site for all time. At any time you can download them, edit and then upload them again - or just delete them.
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  • Yes, they download information, piece by piece, but I want to download several generations back from an individual all at once.
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  • You can download several generations at a time with Legacy. It just takes some time. Im sure the others do similar.
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  • Found a FREE program called "Get My Family" from Family Insight. It will download however many generations you chose, back from yourself, from "new.familysearch" and put it into PAF. PAF can then be imported directly into RootsMagic6. Is there information in "FamilyTree" that would not be in new.familysearch?

    Individual will have to edit information from book he has in his possession, so he can update information from FamilyTree as well.

    Thanks for your help! I am glad that Legacy has a feature to download several generations. I am still waiting to hear back from RootsMagic.
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  • 1
    Elaine, Start up RootsMagic
    If you haven't already done so, update to the latest release (6.3.0.3).
    Click Help in RootsMagic
    Search for "Importing from FamilySearch"
    There you will find instructions for importing a tree from FamilySearch.
    You can specify who to start with, and how many generations to import.
    I recommend importing between 4 and 6 generations into a new, empty database so you can see how long it takes, and then examine the data that you get without adding it all to your primary database.
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  • I’m happy
    1
    Thank-you. RootsMagic called me back with the same information. Appreciate everyone's help with this problem.
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  • 2
    Importing from FamilySearch into RootsMagic --- (direct from help Menue)
    There may be times when you wish to import a tree from FamilySearch Family Tree to populate a RootsMagic database or to add to your existing RootsMagic file.
    To import a tree from FamilySearch Family Tree, do File > FamilySearch > FamilySearch Import from the menu. You can choose the starting person for the tree; either "Me" or any person that you know the FamilySearch ID for. You can also choose how many generations of ancestors and descendants you want to import. Keep in mind that depending on how big your tree is out on FamilySearch, this could take a long time to finish importing. You can click Cancel at any time during the import and RootsMagic will keep any records that it has already imported up to that point. If you do cancel the import it will start from the beginning the next time you do an import (it doesn't start where you left off).
    When you import a tree from FamilySearch, RootsMagic will import basic (birth, christening, death, burial) information for each person, as well as any LDS ordinance information. RootsMagic will also match each imported person to the corresponding person on FamilySearch. You can then open the FamilySearch Person Tools for any imported people to copy any additional information you are interested in.
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  • Just make sure you don't use Roots Magic or any other 3rd party affiliate program exclusively, never comparing and referring to Family Tree. Family Tree is where the best of your finished work should be done, ie. best sourcing, discussions, relationship fixing, merging, etc.

    If you are still researching or working with living people, 3rd party programs are fine.
    But in the past, like only two months ago, we have had great messes created in Family Tree by folks using only 3rd party programs, never referring to what was already done in Family Tree. So be careful please!
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  • I’m VERY MAD!
    Yes, 3rd party apps allow, others don't, I Wish they would do this it would make it easier on all
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  • The problem that I have with having to use the third party programs (and not getting a GEDCOM direct from Family Tree, is that *so far* none of the programs will download source information from Family Tree. I also don't think they will download stories and pictures.

    There is a LOT of basic functionality that the Family Search folks have not included, and I think they have produced a substandard product!
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  • 1
    Just curious. Why do you need to download your information from Family Tree? Why not just use it as is? Are you afraid it is going to go away or not work? There are multiple copies of it, and archived older copies.

    For research, you may want to get organized in a different way. But otherwise, I wouldn't worry about downloading.
    • One reason some may wish to copy FS-FT data to import via GEDCOM file to a home genealogy program is that FS-FT's built-in structure does not facilitate cluster research (family groups; friends-associates-neighbors), such as in using these to track migrations and help with spouse identifications.

      There is no way in FS-FT to *tag-link* these as associated persons and retrieve associated-persons via a search. For example, baptismal sponsorships so often provide strong family clues.

      There also is no way in FS-FT to retrieve geographic locations for specified family groups.

      These drawbacks are typical of strictly lineage-based trees, while home genealogy programs usually provide ways to retrieve associates and locations, albeit not necessarily in the most research-helpful ways (for which narratives can be more overview-helpful).

      Trees really are limited and simplistic ways to display some genealogical material, even if providing ways to add graphics and narratives. Allowing tagging of persons in these two types of items still does not link persons by relationships (though some may already be lineage-linked in the tree).
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  • A few of the reasons-just from the top of my head:
    1. The Family Search people are telling us to keep a copy outside of their records.
    2. Other people can make changes to what I have struggled to find and document. While it keeps records of the changes, if the person is really out in left field, they could really screw things up and it would be easier to figure out what needs to be fixed by having a "stable" copy.
    3. I would like to export the things that I have found in Family Search (which I have placed in Family Tree) and import it into Ancestry (and possibly other sites). There is a way to import directly Family Tree data into Ancestry from the Ancestry website, but it is currently nearly useless.
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  • I would also point out, that the Family Search website won't IMPORT sources and notes either. Importing ALL of the data that people have spent years gathering should have been the FIRST thing that they had figured out!

    I talked with Family Search engineers a few times last fall and every time I was told that they will get to them. So far I haven't seen any of the changes.
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  • They did move sources (Legacy sources) from new FamilySearch to Family Tree, but they are only as good as what was put in by the contributor.

    I would not move any data, that is not currently proven with reliable sources, from other on-line databases, which are notoriously flawed. Copying other folks stuff has led to a lot of junk

    Jade, you always make so much sense. I wish I knew as much as you do. The research ideas make sense and others have wanted more from Family Tree regarding that. We'll see what happens. Thanks.
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  • I’m happy
    @cej if you are comfortable using command line tools, I have written a python script to download genealogy information in GEDCOM file format from FamilySearch Tree: https://github.com/freeseek/getmyance...
    It is quite primitive right now and only downloads basic information, but I would be willing to expand it if there is interest. I use it to extract my data from FamilySearch Tree and upload it back into Ancestry.com, 23andMe.com, and FamilyTreeDNA.com.
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  • @freeseek I am very comfortable with command line tools. I will give this a try in a couple of days. Thanks for letting me know.
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  • I would like to be able to create a gedcom file from familysearch. Not for PAF....but so I can upload it to myheritage.com which has wonderful search tools and now can search your family names in other languages. I really hope this becomes available.
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  • I’m happy
    @Mary the python script at https://github.com/freeseek/getmyance... would be able to do that. Furthermore it is also the case that myheritage automatically takes data from familysearch to provide hints.
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  • yes, but I don't want to re-enter all my tree information into myheritage......

    I'm not sure I'll understand how to do the python script thing.
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  • I’m happy
    @Mary They recently added a feature to search records directly into MyHeritage from FamilySearch. It is not a substitute for what you need but a bit of a compromise. I deal with a situation similar to yours. I put my data in FamilySearch and every six months I download it and upload it back into Ancestry through the python script. Not ideal, but it is the best compromise for me. I still think including information in FamilySearch is the best thing you can do as it is freely available to anyone, it is available to people using MyHeritage, and in the long run it should become available also to users of Ancestry. It is the right model in my view. The information we provide should not be silo-ed into one system only.
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  • The pc software product Ancestral Quest allows you to download either the ancestry or descendants of an individual on Family Tree - from which you could create a gedcom file.

    Some restrictions exist - mainly on the descendants of siblings of direct ancestors - and that downloading any associated sources can only be done individual by individual.

    But it does all the names/dates/places basics.
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    @Stewart the Ancestral Quest software does not allow to download the ancestors of multiple people. Also, their method is buggy. If you try to download all the ancestors of a given individual and let's say your family tree already contains the grandparent of this individual, then the software will fail to download the ancestors' branch corresponding to that grandparent. Somehow the software assumes that if you have an individual in your family tree then you don't need to go after his ancestors as well. My two cents: not reliable. The python script at https://github.com/freeseek/getmyance... has a lot more flexibility and reliability and I am happy to add more features if there is demand.
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  • But nobody answered the man's question from Leon Clifford.
    He basically asked how to create a GEDCOM inside of FamilySearch for his computer to be used later with any program. Never mind many can download data directly, but although many told him how, it didn't answer his first question.
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  • This is a very old discussion and outdated.

    The requirement is for the currently certified family tree management programs to be able to download into a new database both ancestors and descendants from Family Tree.

    I have checked and the big three -- Ancestral Quest, Legacy, and Roots Magic, all have free versions that have this ability. Each of those programs can then produce a GEDCOM file that can be imported into other programs that have that import feature.

    The bugs have been worked out mentioned three years ago and the resulting GEDCOMs are very usable.
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    • Tsk, tsk. Someone's been spamming on the Familysearch wiki as well haven't they. I wonder if Flominator on the wiki and freeseek are the same person? What are the chances of that?

      Stop being wedded to such an antiquated format. Stop spamming. Get your script certified for communication with FSFT. That is the way to do things. If you won't get your script certified then frankly I hope that your it is blocked from accessing FSFT at all if that is possible.
    • Wendy Walz less than a minute ago
      Help please!!! Years ago in had a geneologist assist me with uploading generations of my ancestors dating back to Mary Queen of Scotland.. however, it is on floppy disk, paf/GEDCOM files. Or however it is now. Newer computer/laptops do not have floppy disk drives. I purchased an external floppy drive for this purpose. Can anyone please guide me how to transfer data to a cd? Please....
      Thanks,
      Wendy
      hugaladybugg@gmail.com
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  • Help please!!! Years ago in had a geneologist assist me with uploading generations of my ancestors dating back to Mary Queen of Scotland.. however, it is on floppy disk, paf/GEDCOM files. Or however it is now. Newer computer/laptops do not have floppy disk drives. I purchased an external floppy drive for this purpose. Can anyone please guide me how to transfer data to a cd? Please....
    Thanks,
    Wendy
    hugaladybugg@gmail.com
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  • If you have a CD that is writeable you can format it as a Data CD and then just cut and paste or drag and drop to the CD. Basically, it formats it to look like a folder. If it's in PAF format you will have to have PAF or you can use Ancetrail Quest to read the data and then export as a GEDCOM. I personally wouldn't use a CD. I use a flash drive as it's more portable and easier to use.
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  • In the Solutions Gallery, download the free version of Ancestral Quest from the AQ site (https://www.ancquest.com/index.htm), which is called Ancestral Quest Basics. The AQ program is written and supported by the same person who wrote the earlier versions of PAF. I don't know where the break came from him being the sole author and when the Church used its own team to add to the program. However, the author maintained a certain compatibility with PAF, regardless of its version and the later PAF versions are compatible with AQ.

    Connect your external floppy drive via a USB port. If you have a newer computer, it may have a USB C port. That is an oval-shaped connector. There should also be a normal USB port (likely 3.0), so you'll use that and it should be active. It should recognize the external floppy drive as drive A or B.

    I recommend the following, although it is possible for AQ to use the floppy drive directly.

    Put the floppy disc in the drive and copy the contents to a temporary folder on your computer. If the data cannot be copied, then it is likely that the disc has become corrupted. Since these things are magnetic in nature, there isn't much you can do to recover the data.

    Once copied to a temporary folder on your computer, look to see what the file extensions are. File names included for version 2 include INDIV2.dat, MARR2.dat, NAME2.dat, NOTES2.dat, REPTITL2.dat, etc. PAF software versions 3-5 used a single .PAF file to store data. A file extension with .ged is a GEDCOM file.

    Incline Software, the owner of Ancestral Quest, has a very good FAQ on the subject of PAF files. It is toward the bottom of this page https://www.ancquest.com/faqs.htm#PAF... -- Be sure to read through all of the material. I have personally not tried to use AQ to convert version 2 files, but according to the information, it can be done.

    Note that the difference between the free version of AQ and the paid version deals with advanced features. There is a comparison chart at https://www.ancquest.com/CompareAQVer... -- The chart is long (which will require you to use the scroll bar at the right side of the chart), and can include or hide a comparison with PAF. You can download a pdf file of either the Basics/Full comparison or the PAF/Basics/Full comparison.

    If you cannot plug your external floppy drive into a newer computer, you may need to obtain a conversion cable that will convert the floppy drive's USB cable to a USB-C cable.
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