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Importing a GEDCOM File in PAF*
*Personal Ancestral File

GEDCOM

"The abbreviation for GEnealogical Data COMmunications. GEDCOM is a computer format that permits one type of software program to read genealogical records created in another program. GEDCOM created by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to make it possible for people with different brands of software and computers to share their information. You can recognize a GEDCOM file on your computer because its file name ends with ".GED."

From FamilySearch.org's Glossary:  1999-2000 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. 

 

DearREADERS,
BEFORE IMPORTING! Anytime you receive a GEDCOM file from a web site or through the mail from a cousin you MUST decide:

  1. Have you made a backup of your existing database? (Do this in case something happens during the import process.)
  2. Do you want to view this file SEPARATELY from your existing data? (I recommend this unless you are confident of the quality of the compiled genealogy and plan to match/merge it with your existing data.)

Then follow our guidelines for:

IMPORTING A GEDCOM FILE in PAF 
... if you plan to view the data SEPARATELY.  
1. Click FILE on the PAF menu bar. You cannot click on IMPORT, without getting the message "You can only import to an existing file, so the next dialog will allow you to create a new file."


2. So cut out the extra step and merely click FILE and select NEW, since we'll create a new database to receive our GEDCOM file.

3. You'll then be prompted to provide a FILE NAME and specify the folder to save it in. I try to use the date as part of the name, in this case "HITE 001009", for October 9th, 2000.

4. You'll be prompted to complete the "Prepared By" info with your name, address e-mail address.  I elected not to put my telephone number on the form, because I probably will share some of the data with others, and I don't want my private line tied up.

5. You'll then be taken to a BLANK family page in PAF. You do NOT need to type in a name.

6. Click FILE on the PAF menu bar, then select IMPORT.

7. You'll then be asked to specify the name and location of the GEDCOM file you wish to import.  This might be in:

  • your AOL download subdirectory, perhaps C:\AmericaOnline 5.0\download
  • my documents, perhaps C:\mydocuments 
  • your Family Tree Maker Folder, perhaps C:\FTW
  • on a floppy disk in drive A

If you need help locating your GEDCOM file, you might ask someone from your local genealogy computer users group to assist in this process.

8. Click the IMPORT button to begin the process.

9. You'll be asked to specify whether to import notes, include listing file data in notes, and to reuse deleted records.  The first and third option are already checked for use.  You'll also want to put a check mark by the second option, since listing file data includes any error messages on that person's data during the import process. LOGIC: if there was a problem because the place name was too large to fit in the new version of PAF, wouldn't you want a message about the problem appearing in NOTES under that person?  That's just what this option will do for you, so we MUST HAVE it! Once all three options are selected, click the OK button.

10. Depending on the size of the GEDCOM file, the process make take a few seconds to a few minutes. I used a sample data file on ISAAC HITE which I had found at the FamilySearch.org web site.  When the import was completed, I noticed a Windows Notepad window had opened up with the following information:

GEDCOM Import Log - 06 Oct 2000

File: C:\My Documents\isaachite.GED (13 MAR 2000)
Created by: ANSTFILE Ancestral File 4.19
Submitted by: Created by FamilySearch Internet Genealogy Service
Individuals: 18
Marriages: 3
Sources: 1
Repositories: 1
Errors: 0

11. I don't need the notification anymore, so I click the X in the upper right corner of Notepad window to close it.  The screen in the background has a family page with Isaac Hite, born 1786, Shenandoah, Page, Virginia, with his wife and parents. From here, I am able to view the GEDCOM file data and check the sources provided in the original.  The unfortunate thing is that there is no submitter information, other than that provided by me when I created the blank database to receive the file. I wish that the submitter information from FamilySearch.org would be inserted here.

 

IMPORTING A GEDCOM File in PAF
... if you plan to MATCH/MERGE with your data.
1. Open your existing PAF database.  Be sure to make a BACKUP of your existing data. (Click FILE, then BACKUP, and follow the screen prompts.)

2. Click FILE on the PAF menu bar, then select IMPORT.

3. You'll then be asked to specify the name and location of the GEDCOM file you wish to import.  This might be in:

  • your AOL download subdirectory, perhaps C:\AmericaOnline 5.0\download
  • my documents, perhaps C:\mydocuments 
  • your Family Tree Maker Folder, perhaps C:\FTW
  • on a floppy disk in drive A

If you need help locating your GEDCOM file, you might ask someone from your local genealogy computer users group to assist in this process.

4. Click the IMPORT button to begin the process.

5. You'll be asked to specify whether to import notes, include listing file data in notes, and to reuse deleted records. Be sure all are checked, as illustrated above.

6. Click the IMPORT button to begin the process.

7. Click to close Notepad's "GEDCOM Import Log"

8. You are then given the opportunity to view instructions on how to link the data you imported.  I recommend that you click YES, and then click OPTIONS and PRINT the help screen. 

You'll find links to specialized topics such as: adding individuals to families, changing surnames to mixed case letters, adding and linking individuals, merging duplicate records, importing information

9. Now you'll need to MATCH/MERGE those duplicate individuals you discover in the newly added portion of the database.  


Myrt     :)
DearMYRTLE,
Daily Genealogy Columnist
America Online Keyword: roots or myrtle
www.DearMYRTLE.com  

To post a message on this topic, go to Myrt's Message Board 

 

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