Sunday, November 14, 2010

Family Tree Maker for Mac: Merging Family Trees

Family Tree Maker for Mac: Merging Family Trees

Continuing the progress report on migration to the new Family Tree Maker (FTM) for Mac genealogy software...

I decided to move my "family tree" to it; actually, I have three family tree files. You may have a similar situation. I have my primary tree and two others based on much research but which I have not previously merged with the main tree. The larger of the two was originally created based on a branch of my maternal side, Kinnick, where we had not yet proven the relationship for certain (the NC-Indiana branch). The third, a smaller set, was from back in colonial times (Maryland - Brightwell line).

With the family relationship demonstrated on the larger set and the third, smaller set representing the earlier days of each, I decided to merge the three files in setting up the new software. Have you found it necessary to merge genealogy software files? In the past, this has been quite a challenge, in many cases. I was anxious to see how the new software handled this situation.

With each of three trees successfully loaded using Family Tree Maker for Mac on my Mac, I moved ahead to merge the smaller of the two files into my main tree. To my pleasant surprise, the very first questions the software asked was, "Do you want to backup your file." Excellent. In the past, I have lost my primary file sometimes in the process of doing a merge. Have you had that experience? Well, it immediately provided the click-click process to back up the file, and moved to the merge. I only needed to enter the information to access the file to be merged, answer some specific questions about what I wanted to include, and the merge occurred. Since the second file was only a few hundred individuals, it took little time. The merge identified 33 individuals that were possible "overlaps" or duplicates. The software provided a worksheet screen with multiple options to include and exclude proper information. It felt good working through these options. The merge was successful.

With a small success in hand, I felt confident to follow the same process with the larger file, merging it into the newly created merged file. The only difference was that with several thousand names, rather than a few hundred, the merge took much, much longer. There were only 33 individuals to be resolved, this time; so that was nice. With my newly integrated major file, I look forward to working with the many other features available on the Family Tree Maker for Mac.

Families are Forever!  ;-)


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Please forgive the previous "bungle". ;-)
    Here's the corrected comment:

    I faced a similar experience with merging family files after doing a GEDCOM transfer from my old/comfortable/familiar Family Tree Heritage Deluxe to the free basic download of Legacy 7.4.

    While the transfer went smoother than I had anticipated, I am a bit discouraged that none of the documentation followed along with it. The main reason I wanted to transfer to Legacy was a Census Finder (mentioned in a blog post) which tracks the Census documentation of each person in the tree. I had figured it would be much easier for my Co-Historian of our GEORGE Family Reunion Committee. . . but it seems at a little more effort than I had hoped.
    I am sure, though, that eventually I will get the census data added to the Legacy application in time for planning next year's reunion book.

    It was my experience that I had way more than 33 possible overlaps/duplicates since there are many repeat names in my husband's family.

  3. @Debra,

    I'm still discovering that what I would consider to be "duplicates" and what their programs does are quite different... I'll just work my way through the process. Thanks for the comments! ;-)