Import from The Master Genealogist (TMG)


Importing from The Master Genealogist (TMG) to Family Historian (fh) is often quite straight forward. The fh website Frequently Asked Questions – for TMG Users gives an overview.

The two methods for migrating from TMG to fh are Import TMG Project and Import GEDCOM File. However, Import TMG Project does not support TMG V7 or earlier, so install the TMG V9 for US or UK below. See also posting Import TMG project failure.

TMG Tips

Apply these tips to your TMG Project before migration to fh.

If details such as Memos are not imported to fh then in TMG run all File > Maintenance options and try again (e.g. Reindex, Optimise, Validate File Integrity).

If some Citations are not imported to fh (other than as noted below) then this technique may help. Create a blank TMG Project and merge it with your main TMG Project, then all expected Citations should be imported.

TMG backups have a SQZ extension and can't be used directly, but if you copy the file to a name with a .zip extension you can use the Windows option to extract the files to a folder and then follow the instructions below to import the data to fh

FIXME Add details about TMG data sets, projects, and merging, plus how to copy TMG Projects for Direct Import to fh on another PC. See Forum postings Merging 2 trees.

Import TMG Project

Ensure TMG is not running.

Use File > Project Window and the New Project button, select Import from other family tree file and browse to the TMG (.tmg or .pjc) Project file. In fh Version 6.0 click Next> and review the TMG Import Options using the Help button to obtain advice. Click Next> to complete the dialogue.

This works well with most TMG versions and includes Witness details, BUT please ensure you are using the Family Historian Version 5.0.11 Upgrade or Family Historian Version 6.2.7 Upgrade. You can check this by selecting Help > About Family Historian on the menu.

Calico Pie Limited recommend using the TMG direct import as this includes Witnesses. fh Version 6.0 imports them as Fact Witnesses. fh Version 5.0.11 imports them in a Note against the Fact, allowing them to be processed later using Plugins in fh Version 6.0 if required. They ask that any problems are reported to them directly via the if possible including a small sample database showing the problem.

Import Guide

The TMG items are imported as the following fh items by the Family Historian Version 6.2.7 Upgrade. The import is similar using fh Version 5.0.11, but not so comprehensive as explained later.

  • Every Person becomes an Individual Record
  • Every Relationship Tag becomes a Family Record link between parent & child
  • Every Source becomes a Source Record with Title, Short Title & Type but other fields in labelled Notes
  • Every Repository becomes a Repository Record with Name, Address & Note fields (but not Name-Other)
  • Every Exhibit becomes a Media Record
  • Every Name Tag becomes an Individual Name instance
  • Every Tag with 1 Principal Person becomes an Individual Fact (Event/Attribute) e.g. Birth & Death
  • Every Tag with 2 Principal Persons as spouses/partners becomes a Family Fact (Event/Attribute)
  • Every Tag with 2 Principal Persons not spouses/partners becomes an Individual Fact of 1st with 2nd as Witness
  • Every Witness becomes a Witness of the associated Fact
  • Every Citation on every item above becomes a Citation except :
    • Every Citation on a Relationship Tag is omitted
    • Every Citation linking a Source to a Source is omitted
    • The lowest of the five Surety values becomes just one Assessment value :
      • 3Primary evidence
      • 2Secondary evidence
      • 1Questionable
      • 0Unreliable
      • Unreliable (TMG Negative Surety)
    • The Reference field is omitted
  • Every Flag is handled according to whether Standard or Custom and its Value:
    • Standard Flags :
      • Sex becomes the Individual ~ Sex field
      • Multiple Birth with value > 1 imports as a Multibirth Flag
      • Ancestor/Descendant Interest with value > 0 import as a similarly named Flag
      • Living and Adopted import the same as a Custom Flag
    • Custom Flags :
      • For values N or ? or blank the Flag is NOT imported
      • For value Y a Flag with a similar Name is imported
      • For other values a Flag with a similar Name suffixed by its Value is imported
      • Generally the Name will be similar, but the underlying Tag will be all upper-case, with punctuation symbols discarded, each space replaced by underscore, and truncated to 13 characters after the leading double underscore
        e.g. Is Related-by with value C becomes Is Related-by_C and __IS_RELATEDBYC respectively
  • The Sort Date for every Fact is omitted, but see Import GEDCOM File below.
  • The Repository of the first Source Record is omitted
  • Every link from a Place, Citation, or Repository to its Media is omitted
  • All Bookmarks are omitted.
  • The sentence definitions associated with Tags are omitted.

Known FH V5+ Problems

It seems that the fh V5 TMG direct import may not be working on Windows XP and Vista. If no data is imported on these OS please ensure you are running with an Administrator level user, this is not needed for normal operation, but may be needed when importing the TMG Foxpro database. The fh V6 TMG direct import is believed to be OK.

All the following cases exist in the sample database of the TMG Trial V9 at least for the [Record Id] listed.

  • In fh V5, the Witnesses are in Notes, so Citations only exist for the Fact of the Principal Person(s), which is similar to TMG, and mostly just affects:
    • [Census ] ] Tag Types where [ (w); ] appears in Name/Place with the Principal Person. [I1]
    • [Witness ] Tag Types where [ Marriage: ] is in Name/Place with two Principal Persons. [I1] in [F23]
  • Any TMG Note Tag becomes a Record Note but its Date & Citations are omitted. [I32] & [I33]
  • Any TMG Tag with 2 Principal Persons who are not parents becomes a Fact for both Principal Persons, but any Citations are omitted for Principal Person 2. Occupation of [I10]
  • All Citations linking a Source to a Source are omitted. [S27] to [S11]
  • The Repository of the first Source Record is omitted. [S1] & [R1]
  • In fh V5, the E-mail Message and Electronic Web Site URL are omitted from Source Records.
  • All links from any Place or Citation or Repository to their Multimedia are omitted.

Thus there will often be a different set of Facts and far fewer Citations in fh than in TMG. The above Tag Types are listed in TMG Tools > Master Events List and Tools > Master Tag Type List.

The Import from TMG - Missing Some Citations Forum thread has prototype Plugins that fix some problems.

Import GEDCOM File

First use the TMG File > Export > Gedcom (*.ged) option to export its database in a GEDCOM file format.

In the Wizard dialogue at Step 5: Option screen 1 set Version: to GEDCOM 5.5 from drop-list.

TMG does NOT appear to export any Witness associations into the GEDCOM file.

TMG does NOT export any sentence definitions associated with fact Tags.

The Utility ~ TMG to FH Gedcom Converter will help convert this GEDCOM file before importing into fh. This may correctly report PAGE text too long in SOUR for record I99 but can be ignored because fh tolerates such over long text.

Use File > Project Window and the New Project button, and select 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.

Check for word-wrapping errors

Import Fact Sort Dates

Perform this step immediately after the New Project was created by the direct Import TMG Project method above in order to migrate all TMG Sort Dates into the fh Project. This process assumes that when creating the New Project you Use Default TMG Import Options.

In TMG use Tools > Master Tag Type List and for certain facts click the View button, and on its Other tab ensure GEDCOM export as: has Tag: set to EVEN. This applies to tags such as Address, Misc, New Para, Note, Research Notes & Telephone, but the Order Facts by Sort Date Plugin will identify those that need changing. This allows such TMG facts to be matched against fh facts.

Then in TMG use File > Export > Gedcom (*.ged) to export its database in a GEDCOM file format.

In the Wizard dialogue at Step 5: Option screen 1 set Version: to GEDCOM 5.5, tick the Enhanced GEDCOM tag export option, and untick Suppress details for living people to include everyone. Then at Step 7: Option screen 3 ensure Place Levels has every item ticked that your project uses, such as Addressee, Detail, Postal Code & Phone, but NOT Commas When Missing. It may be necessary to create a new customised Export. DO NOT IMPORT this GEDCOM into fh.

Run the Order Facts by Sort Date Plugin and choose the exported GEDCOM File to import its _SDATE Sort Dates into LMO Sort Dates for each fact.

Correcting Problems

Many of these issues only apply to a GEDCOM import, but some also apply to a direct import.

If Uncategorised Data Fields are reported then follow the advice for Handling Uncategorised Data Fields (UDF).

Any Multimedia record file Format fields with trailing space characters are treated as Other Multimedia that prevents images being displayed. These fields can be globally changed using the Search and Replace Plugin and its Multimedia Format & Linked File fields option.

If a married Individual has no link to their Family, then in TMG ensure that the Marriage tag is ticked as Primary.

The UK variant of TMG offers special event tags such as Census 1841, Census 1851, etc, which when exported become GEDCOM Custom Events. To change these in TMG use Tools > Master Tag Type List, select the event tag name, click Edit and on the Other tab set GEDCOM export as Tag: CENS or whatever standard GEDCOM tag is appropriate. Alternatively, the Change Any Fact Tag Plugin can be used in fh.

TMG formatting codes within Template Sentences and Memos will appear in fh Notes as plain text such as [BOLD:], [:BOLD], [UND:], [:UND], [ITAL:], [:ITAL], etc. They may be removed using the Search and Replace Plugin in LUA Pattern Mode with Search string %[.-%] on Note fields only.

In Citations the five TMG Surety values become just one Assessment value. In TMG the five values relate to Principal-1, Principal-2, Date, Place, and Memo fields. To get nearer to those TMG values for different fields, the same Citation can be added to Fact Witnesses, and the Place and Note field of each Fact, and each Assessment can take a different value.

Quick Fix Plugins

The following Plugins have been found beneficial by users importing from TMG. They usually produce a Result Set of changed items, and double-clicking any item should open its Property Box for review. To cancel the Plugin changes, use Edit > Undo Plugin Updates before closing fh.

Move Death Event local Note to Cause field

copy_death_note_to_cause.fh_lua Copy Death Note to Cause Plugin used in Forum thread TMG Import - Cause of Death​ Feb 2015.

If any Death local Note has more than one paragraph, then only the first is copied, and the whole Note retained.

Move Lat,Long in Place Name to Lat/Long field

copy_latlong_in_name_to_latlong.fh_lua Copy LatLong in Name to LatLong used in Forum thread TMG import following 6.0.2​ Feb 2015.

If after moving the Lat,Long value to the Lat/Long field, the Place name clashes with another Place record, then the Plugin attempts to Merge them. If unsuccessful, the Lat,Long value is retained in the Place name as listed in the Result Set, and the two records must be Merged by hand.

Import Relationship Citations

The Import from TMG - Missing Some Citations Forum thread has prototype Plugins that help with parent-child relationship citations not imported to fh.

Give Witnesses Their Own Facts

Give Witnesses Their Own Facts

The Witnesses when entering Census data Forum thread discusses techniques for recording Census Events that are summarised in Recording Census Records. TMG typically uses one Census Event or one Census (family) Event with multiple Witnesses, whereas fh offers better support for multiple Census Events with a common Source Citation.

The Plugin Give Witnesses Their Own Facts offers to convert multiple Census Witnesses to multiple Census Events.

Then Plugin Migrate Census Family to Individual Events splits each Census (family) Event into two Census Events.

Ensure you have a recovery backup, just in case the results are not as expected!

Import Discussions

See the Forum threads: