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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
You’ll be shown a progress indicator to help you monitor the progress of your import.
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.”
Here you can view the status of your GEDCOM import.
When the initial GEDCOM import is complete, Geni will identify which branches have no matches, and automatically continue the import on those.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!