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Importing Files into Legacy

Importing Files Into Legacy

By Jim Terry 

Technical Support, Millennia Corp. 

Before importing any kind of file (GEDCOM, etc.), it is strongly advised that you back up your family file before hand. 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 you mess up the import, immediately select Undo Import of [Date and Time] and try importing again with a different option 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.)

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.

Use the Import Wizard to Make Importing Easy 
From the File tab on the Ribbon bar choose "Import From" and click "Use Import Wizard to Help with any Import." 
From the "Import Wizard" dialog box, indicate the type of file to import by selecting one of the following options: 
PAF 2.31 or Ancestral Quest 2.x File
PAF 3/4 or Ancestral Quest 3 file
Any GEDCOM file
Another Legacy Family File
Click the Next button.
Legacy Family Tree will then automatically search your drives for all files of the selected type and return a list. 
Click once on the appropriate file to highlight it, then click the Next button. 
You will next be prompted to either to (A) add the information in the file to an existing Legacy family file, or (B) to create a new family file and add the file information to it. 
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.
If you import into a new file: 
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 PAF's 79-character lines and hard returns or you have tables or lists with items that must stay in columns.)
Check for Valid Date Formats during this import
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.
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)
Optional Text
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.
Why Bad Things Happen to Good Notes 
Notes lines are broken in the middle of words after importing. From the main GEDCOM Import screen click the Customize button and the Items to Import screen will open. In the lower right section of the screen called Note Options select one of the following: 
Let Legacy decide how lines are broken (Check this option if you are unsure of how your GEDCOM was created.) 
Lines are broken in the middle of words 
Lines are broken between words 
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.
Notes , Sources and Events are missing after importing into Legacy. Redo the GEDCOM file, making certain that the options to export these items are selected in the exporting program. Legacy cannot import what is not put into the GEDCOM file. 
Carriage returns break a line in its middle, instead of continuing to the edge of the screen. For example: 
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.
The notes that were entered in columns are now run together. Notes with data organized in columns or tables in the original program loose their format when imported into Legacy. For example, if the original notes appeared like this: 
Time Line 
12 Jan 1851 - Born to Thomas M. Thraxton and Jane Marsh in Chippenham, Wiltshire, England 
30 May 1875 - Married Alice Whitherby in Devizes, Wiltshire, England 
17 Apr 1876 - Son Thomas S. Thraxton born in Devizes, Wiltshire, England 
But ended up looking like this:
Time Line 12 Jan 1851 - Born to Thomas M. Thraxton and Jane Marsh in Chippenham, Wiltshire, England 30 May 1875 - Married Alice Whitherby in Devizes, Wiltshire, England 17 Apr 1876 - Son Thomas S. Thraxton born in Devizes, Wiltshire, England 
The option to re-wordwrap was selected when importing into Legacy. Re-import into a new Legacy family file with the Re-wordwrap box unchecked.

If You Are Exporting a GEDCOM File From...
FamilySearch (Ancestral File, International Genealogical Index, Social Security Death Index, Military Death Index, Scottish Church Records) 
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. 
Ancestral Quest 3.0 Export (for family file with .aq extension) 
Select Export on 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 don't 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 dialog box will open allowing you to select a file name and folder for the file. After you have settled on a name and location, click EXPORT and the export will begin. 
Family Origins 8.0 
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 folder 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 media 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. 
Family Tree Maker 
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. 
Generations Easy Tree 
From the menu bar select File and choose GEDCOM File from the File Menu. The GEDCOM Export dialog box will appear. 
Accept the defaults except for Destination, which should be marked for Other. 
Click the Export button and the Save GEDCOM File dialog box will appear. 
Give your GEDCOM file a name and select the destination drive. Next click the Export button. 
Ultimate Family Tree 
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.