The Return of GEDCOM Imports on Geni

Posted February 22, 2019 by Amanda | 18 Comments

Today we are pleased to announce the return of the GEDCOM Import feature to Geni! This has been one of the most requested features on Geni and we’re excited to finally make it available to everyone.

The Return of GEDCOM Imports on Geni

GEDCOM is a standard file format used to save, transfer, and transport family tree information. Long-time users may recall that Geni previously allowed users to start a tree using their GEDCOM files, however we disabled this feature in 2011 to avoid duplication of profiles in the World Family Tree. Our new and improved importer has been rewritten to import a few generations at a time, continuing only on branches where there are no matches to existing profiles on Geni.

What’s more, you can now import a GEDCOM file as a new tree, a new branch if you already have a tree, or onto any existing profile on which you have full permissions to edit and add onto.

No longer will you need to endure the slow process of adding each individual one at a time to the tree. Now anyone can quickly add trees which didn’t exist before on Geni, saving you valuable time and allowing you to focus instead on new research.

How to Import a GEDCOM

 
Before you begin, you will first need to decide how you will start your import. A GEDCOM import will construct a family tree focused on a particular person.

New users may create a new account by importing a GEDCOM file. While creating a new account on the homepage, simply check the box “Import a GEDCOM file” to import a new tree starting from yourself.

The Return of GEDCOM Imports on Geni

For those who already have a tree on Geni, there are two ways to import a GEDCOM – by creating a new family tree branch or by importing a GEDCOM from an existing Geni profile.

If you don’t yet know how the tree connects, you may use the “Create a Branch” tool to import the GEDCOM of an unconnected branch. Always do a quick search before adding a new branch to make sure the profiles have not already been added to Geni.

In the header at the top of the page, click “Research” and select “Create a Branch.”

The Return of GEDCOM Imports on Geni

Create a profile for one of the people represented in the GEDCOM file and select the box “Import a GEDCOM for this person” when saving the form.

The Return of GEDCOM Imports on Geni

To begin an import from an existing profile in the tree, first navigate to the person’s profile page. Next, click on the “Actions” button and select “Import GEDCOM.” You will only be able to import a GEDCOM on profiles in which you have full edit permissions to edit and add onto. Again, make sure the profiles you are about to import do not already exist on Geni. Failure to do so may result in the creation of dozens of duplicate profiles that must be merged before you will be able to continue with the import.

The Return of GEDCOM Imports on Geni

After selecting how to start your import, you’ll be prompted to upload the GEDCOM file. Simply drag and drop it onto the green box, or click the “Choose File” button to select the file.

The Return of GEDCOM Imports on Geni

Once the GEDCOM is uploaded, Geni will scan the file for person records (INDI records) and present you with a drop-down selection.  Choose the record that corresponds to the profile you’re importing (yourself if you are starting your tree, or the profile on whom you selected to import a GEDCOM, or the profile for whom you created a branch).

The Return of GEDCOM Imports on Geni

After selecting the appropriate individual in the GEDCOM file, click the “Start Import” button to begin importing the tree. Note the importer will initially bring in five generations of ancestors and their siblings, and three generations of spouses and children — you will be able to continue the import later, without having to re-upload the GEDCOM file.

The Return of GEDCOM Imports on Geni

You’ll be shown a progress indicator to help you monitor the progress of your import.

The Return of GEDCOM Imports on Geni

You can also monitor your import from the GEDCOM Dashboard. To view your GEDCOM dashboard, click “Research” at the top of the page and select “GEDCOM.”

The Return of GEDCOM Imports on Geni

Here you can view the status of your GEDCOM import.

The Return of GEDCOM Imports on Geni

When the initial GEDCOM import is complete, Geni will identify which branches have no matches, and automatically continue the import on those.

The Return of GEDCOM Imports on Geni

If you happen to locate these continuation points in the tree, you will notice an icon informing you that a GEDCOM import is pending, and suggesting that you NOT add onto that branch while the import is running.

The Return of GEDCOM Imports on Geni

If you should decide that you do not want to continue the import on this branch, you can click “Skip Import” on the tree or “skip” on the GEDCOM dashboard. Once you skip a branch, it will be removed from the list in your GEDCOM dashboard.

If a branch has additional profiles in the GEDCOM file but also appears to match profiles that already exist on Geni, the importer will pause and inform you (both on the GEDCOM dashboard and via email) that matches have been found. You must resolve these matches (either reject or merge them) before the importer will continue. To begin, click “resolve” to view the duplicate matches for the tree.

The Return of GEDCOM Imports on Geni

You will next see a list of Tree Matches that need to be resolved. If the matches are valid, then you may merge the duplicate profiles and no longer need to continue importing profiles beyond this point. Congratulations, this is how your imported tree will join the World Family Tree on Geni!

The Return of GEDCOM Imports on Geni

If the matches are incorrect, you may reject them. Once the matches are resolved, the importer will continue if it can do so without creating duplicate relatives.

The Return of GEDCOM Imports on Geni

When the import is complete, the GEDCOM dashboard will show you the initial import and all branches that were subsequently imported. You can undo the import on any branch, and you can delete your GEDCOM file if you wish.

The Return of GEDCOM Imports on Geni

Some important things to keep in mind when importing a GEDCOM:

  • Importing new profiles is free. Your first Tree Match that will connect you to the World Family Tree is also free, however, to resolve subsequent Tree Matches, you will need to upgrade to Geni Pro.
  • GEDCOMs focused on an individual born before 1800 is not allowed and will be rejected.
  • The importer will not continue on branches that go back to persons born in 1600 or before.
  • GEDCOMs containing 100,000 individuals or more will be rejected.

Geni’s World Family Tree can grow faster than ever before with the new GEDCOM importer and safeguards are in place to prevent the creation of abundant duplicates to keep the World Family Tree clean and accurate.

We hope our new and improved GEDCOM importer will make it easier than ever for you to bring your family history research to Geni!

Post written by Amanda

Amanda is the Marketing Communications Manager at Geni. If you need any assistance, she will be happy to help!

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  • Jim Henderson

    Amanda, thanks for this clear description of how the new GEDCOM import feature works. Before it was available, I was promoting a way of using SmartCopy to achieve the same effect, by uploading a GEDCOM file to a free account at a site like MyHeritage, and copying the people a family at a time until your new branch joins the Whole World Tree. My procedure is outlined at
    https://www.geni.com/projects/Connecting-to-the-Big-Tree/17983#Why-can-t-I-just-upload-my-GEDCOM-file
    You might like to check it, and see if it meshes with the new GEDCOM upload facility appropriately.
    Jim Henderson

    • geniblog

      Thanks, Jim!

  • geniblog

    Hi Steve, we understand your concern. The new importer is designed minimize duplication by pausing the import once a match is found. The import will not continue on a branch until matches are resolved and will proceed only if it can do so without creating more duplicates.

  • Carola Murray-Seegert

    Amanda, I uploaded my Gedcom four days ago, but do not yet see the new information that should have been added. For example, no parents or grandparents are shown for my paternal grandmother, and my father’s siblings and their children are not shown. Shouldn’t this new information appear on my tree by now? If something is blocking the process, how do I locate the problem and correct it? Please advise!

    • geniblog

      Hi Carola, your GEDCOM dashboard shows that you uploaded the file but didn’t complete the import process. You may visit the import page (https://www.geni.com/gedcom/import ) and in step 2, select your GEDCOM file in the drop down. Next you will be asked to choose which individual in the GEDCOM file corresponds to the Geni profile in step 1. Once the individual is selected, you will be able to click the button to start the import.

      • Carola Murray-Seegert

        Amanda, thanks for the suggestion. Despite deleting the ‘incomplete’ Gedcom, uploading a fresh copy and following the instructions, I am still stuck. I was able to identify myself as the home person, started the import, but then got a message saying that certain “tree matches were blocking the import”. I then went through all the tree matches shown and confirmed / denied them. But something continues to stop me from completing the import. Could you take a look at my dashboard again and see if you can identify the problem? Any help would be appreciated!

        • geniblog

          We fixed a bug that wasn’t showing all the tree matches. Can you please try again?

          • Carola Murray-Seegert

            Thanks again, Amanda, but the problem continues. I just repeated the process again (deleting the Gedcom on Geni, uploading a new Gedcom, identifying myself as the home person, starting the import). I again got a screen with a message in red across the top saying “You must either confirm or reject these matches before you can import your GEDCOM”. But below it, under the heading “Tree Matches Blockng GEDCOM import for Carola” the boxes are marked ‘Matches (0), Requested matches (0), Tree Conflicts (0), Data Conflicts (0). And below that, in big black letters, “You don’t have any Tree Matches at this time”. (I have a screenshot showing the URL if that would be helpful to you). So something is still ‘buggy’. Surely the program should be able to add the ancestors and siblings of my paternal grandmother, Mary Ellen Sullivan! Please advise.

          • geniblog

            You need to go back to your list of Tree Matches to resolve: https://www.geni.com/gedcom/resolve_matches/6000000016801113354?doc_id=6000000089179552067&anc=5 . Once you are done with these, you should be able to begin your import. Note that you don’t need to delete and reupload the GEDCOM file. In Step 2, you can simply choose your uploaded GEDCOM file from the drop down.

          • Carola Murray-Seegert

            Hooray! it worked. Thank you so much for your patience and good advice!

  • http://nature.xyvy.info/ Adam Cherson

    I applaud this initiative. Yes, there will be work involved, but ultimately it should bring in a major influx of data into GENI, which is a good thing. I do have one suggestion to be implemented ASAP: it seems that Source data from the GEDCOM files is not being picked up by the upload (unless I am doing something wrong). This is super important because Source data makes a profile much more valuable to other researchers. G’luck y’all.

    • geniblog

      Hi Adam, many thanks for your comments! GEDCOM sources will appear in the About section of a profile.

      • http://nature.xyvy.info/ Adam Cherson

        Thanks geniblog. I’ve been doing some experimenting and it seems that some Sources do appear in the About section while other do not. For example: this code does produce Source information in the About section:

        1 DEAT
        2 DATE 1941
        2 SOUR @S56@
        3 PAGE http://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=8207130&

        but this code does not:

        1 NAME David /Blyakher/
        2 SOUR @S56@
        3 PAGE http://yvng.yadvashem.org/nameDetails.html?language=en&itemId=8207131&

        Any idea why this might be?

        Thanks,
        Adam

        • geniblog

          Can you provide the link to the profile?

          • http://nature.xyvy.info/ Adam Cherson

            Thanks for the feedback. The profile is below. Keep in mind that this profile is made from a GEDCOM showing only the bottom code in the example above. When I attach the same Source to the death date (top example) then the source does appear in the ‘About’ section. The problem I am raising is that the GENI uploading parser doesn’t recognize ‘NAME’ Sources and include them in the ‘About’ section. For me this is a headache because I have over 10,000 profiles where the source is attached to the ‘NAME’ and I cannot go into each one and change the source to another fact that the GENI parser does recognize.

            https://www.geni.com/people/David/6000000092320791883

          • geniblog

            Thanks! We’re forwarded this to our engineer to look into it further.

          • geniblog

            Adam, this should now be fixed.

      • http://nature.xyvy.info/ Adam Cherson

        Not all the sources appear there. Sources for Names do not appear.