Import from Ancestry website
Importing from Ancestry can be awkward, especially if Media images are required, so if you have a synchronised FTM database, then an Import from Family Tree Maker (FTM) is usually a better option. Also check the Media Images section below for further advice.
fh V6.2 offers significantly enhanced features for FTM migrants, many of which also benefit Ancestry migrants, so be sure to upgrade to V6.2 if you aren't already using it. V6.2 is a free upgrade for V6 users. Click Check for Updates on the Help menu of fh if you want to confirm that you have the latest version, but beware that the Upgrade Now auto-installation process may fail, and the Family Historian Version 6.2.7 Upgrade process is more reliable. Users of the fh 30 Day Free Trial should be aware that it supports all features of fh except Family Historian Plugins.
Exporting Your GEDCOM
There are alternative Ancestry commands to reach the export a GEDCOM option.
- From most screens click TREES > Create & Manage Trees and then click Manage tree against the tree to be exported.
- Otherwise, if the tree is already open, click the tree name top left and click View Tree Settings.
Either way, the Tree Settings ~ Tree Info page should be displayed for the chosen tree.
- On the right side of the page there is a button to click labelled *↓ Export tree*.
- Ancestry will now go ahead and process the tree, eventually presenting a button to click labelled *↓ Download your GEDCOM file*.
- Choose Save File to download the GEDCOM file to your computer.
- See Understanding Projects for more information on creating Projects from GEDCOM files using the File > Project Window.
Downloading the GEDCOM file does NOT download any linked Media images, but does include Media records.
Family Tree Maker
RootsMagic offers a TreeShare for Ancestry capability that downloads most Media images. Those image files can be linked into the Ancestry project Media records after importing to fh, or the Import from RootsMagic (RM) process can migrate the entire project including Media. Note that the RootsMagic Essentials version is free.
In the latest fh V6.2 many of the problems below have been resolved as described in What’s New in Version 6.1 without the need for Quick Fix Plugins. A special custom Fact Set named Extended Set has been added to support the extended Ancestry facts.
The Comments tab is for communicating with other users when you make your tree public and cannot be exported. Use the Notes tab in each person's record for details you wish to appear in the GEDCOM file and in the local Note of each Individual within fh.
The Cause of Death is appended to the DEAT event tag, and when imported to fh is automatically moved to the Death event local Note, but any existing Note becomes hidden; only visible on the All tab. Thereafter, the Note can be manually moved to the Death event Cause field, and deleted. A similar problem may affect other facts with an Ancestry Description. Alternatively, use Quick Fix Plugins method below.
If a Source Citation has both an Entry Date and Text From Source then an extra 3 DATA tag is produced. fh automatically converts these to 3 _DATA Uncategorised Data Fields. To correct the problem, use a plain text editor on the exported Gedcom file to find and delete the redundant 3 DATA tag lines, or use Quick Fix Plugins below.
Some fact tags might be treated as Uncategorised Data Fields and may include:
- 1 ADDR Address
- 1 EMAIL Email
- 1 PHON Phone
- 1 _ELEC Elected
- 1 _FUN Funeral
- 1 _MDCL Medical
- 1 _MILT Military
A fix for these in fh V6.2 is to use the Work with Fact Sets/Fact Types Extended Set. Alternatively, use Quick Fix Plugins below, then the Change Any Fact Tag Plugin if you wish to alter the facts chosen by default.
Census Source Citations are typically recorded against Residence facts rather than Census Events, making all the fh Census support tools useless. See the Import Discussions below for a method of converting such facts.
Quick Fix Plugins
The problems identified above, and several others, can be fixed as explained below:
- Before importing the GEDCOM file, use File > Project Window to open say the Family Historian Sample Project and use the fh command Tools > Preferences > File Load/Save and untick Move invalid data into note fields where possible to allow Death Cause and other event descriptions to be easily detected and adjusted.
- Import the GEDCOM file via the fh command File > Project Window > New Project > Import a GEDCOM file. The dialogue is uncomplicated, but in the Check for word-wrapping errors window, select Each row contains 1 word with a hyphen in the middle.
- Use the fh command Window > Log Files to view a log of the problems mentioned above, but do NOT Delete the log file.
- Install the Import From Ancestry or FTM Plugin into the Tools > Plugins window.
- Run this Plugin to produce a Result Set of changed Fields. Click any Field Value and choose Locate in Property Box or Locate in All Tab to open its Property Box for review. To cancel the Plugin changes, use Edit > Undo Plugin Updates before closing fh.
If this Plugin hits problems, they may need resolving in Ancestry or by Handling Uncategorised Data Fields (UDF) for just the problem fields.
- Follow the advice in Handling Uncategorised Data Fields (UDF) if necessary.
- Follow the advice in Fixing Dates and Date Phrases to correct invalid Date formats.
- When satisfied with the results, use the fh command Tools > Preferences > File Load/Save and tick Move invalid data into note fields where possible to restore default setting.
- Often Note Records are used instead of local Notes on Facts, and can be fixed using the Clean Up Notes Plugin.
See the Forum threads:
- Lookup Missing Census Facts: Determining Factors February 2017 ~ Residence to Census fact conversion
- Custom Fact does not fully process November 2015
- FH6 GEDCOM CONC lines not processed in FH6 application November 2015
Downloading a GEDCOM from Ancestry.co.uk online Help page
Downloading a GEDCOM from Ancestry.com online Help page