Special notice: GEDMatches was introduced in late December. Please be patient with any problems or delays and e-mail us with any comments or suggestions.
The basic process:
See the Q&A below for more details and feel free to ask a new question in our Q&A forum.
Desktop software may have a "File > Export" menu item. These external pages have some tips on exporting from family tree software and tips on exporting from Ancestry.com. You could also ask a question in our Q&A forum to see if anyone else is using the same system as you.
Some systems will offer you export options. If any of these are offered:
WikiTree cannot handle GEDCOM files with more than 5,000 individuals.
Practically speaking, you wouldn't want more than that on one GEDMatches report. It would become unwieldy. (The practical limit for managing profiles on WikiTree is much lower. Read this entire page before approving an import that would create thousands of new individuals.)
If your other system contains more than 5,000 people you will need break it into multiple GEDCOM exports. Your other family tree software should allow you to export a GEDCOM for just a certain family line, e.g. the family tree of one grandparent, or for a limited number of generations. Later you can do other family lines.
This is not a problem, but as you will discover, the GEDMatches report will require you to skip them. Since these individuals are so often duplicated we no longer allow new profiles of ancient people to be created through GEDCOM imports.
Anyone can upload a file and get a GEDMatches report with no obligation to continue. If you're not a WikiTree member, login as a temporary guest member.
GEDMatches is a brand new tool with two purposes:
If you're just using it for #1 you can ignore most of the following. Just upload your file and enjoy.
No. The matching tool is not very sophisticated yet. It only considers names and dates. It does not take into account locations and family relationships.
Moreover, if no dates are available, it won't show any matches. For example, Joe Schmoe with no birth date or death date will not have any matches. Joe Schmoe born in 1912 will only match those with a name similar to Joe Schmoe born around 1912. A lot of matches are therefore missed.
We are constantly working on improving our search engine. If you have suggestions for improvement please post them in G2G.
If you're just using GEDMatches as a search tool then you don't need to do anything.
If you want to have profiles created, then yes you need to evaluate all matches and reject or accept each one.
This could take hours if you have a large file. Although it may seem tedious, remember that each profile you create is an addition to our collaborative, worldwide family tree project. Thought and care needs to go into each addition.
Skipping a person in your file means excluding them from the import. It means that a new profile for them won't be created on WikiTree when your file is imported.
It does not mean that your data will automatically be combined with the existing profile. Our system is not that sophisticated yet. You will need to manually connect or add your new data to the existing profile.
After your file is imported you'll see a report with the list of people that were skipped.
GEDMatches has two "Multiskip" auto-select options. These make it easier to select the Skip checkboxes for all of a person's descendants and/or ancestors & siblings with a few clicks.
Use these when the descendants or ancestors of a match appear to exist on WikiTree but GEDMatches didn't find them. For example, Joe Schmoe was suggested as a match, but when comparing your Joe Schmoe to the Joe Schmoe on WikiTree, you see that they both have parents and children, but all these parents and children weren't suggested as matches. This is common because the search tool isn't perfect. It's best to skip the whole family line.
If you don't use the Multiskips, you may end up creating "orphan" profiles. Let's say you are skipping a person because they already exist on WikiTree, but you're not skipping the person's parents or children because they don't appear to already exist. When your GEDCOM is imported, the grandchildren's profiles will have no connection to their grandparents because the parent is missing. You can correct this later by editing the relationships of the existing profile of the person, but you may find it easier to either skip the entire family line, or intentionally create the duplicate of the person and merge it with the existing profile later.
If a person in your file is already on WikiTree more than once, i.e. there is already a duplicate, please help the WikiTree community by initiating a merge of the existing two profiles.
For the purposes of GEDMatches, match each one as appropriate.
If you can't tell whether a suggested match represents the same person or not, contact the Profile Manager and see if you can work it out.
In the meantime, if you want to proceed with GEDMatches, you will need to make your best guess.
It is safer to accept the match and skip the person. This way you won't risk creating a duplicate. You can always add the person later.
Some family tree systems encourage the use of placeholders when you don't know a person's name. WikiTree does not.
If you see anyone named "Unknown" (or "Unk", "NN", "?", "X", etc.) in your GEDMatches report, please skip them.
This is common with spouses. For example, you might know that a woman married someone named Jones but you don't know anything about the man. So your GEDCOM contains someone named "Unknown Jones" with no supporting information. Or a man married someone named Mary but you don't know her maiden name, so your GEDCOM contains someone named "Mary Unknown."
We do not want these placeholders on WikiTree. They waste limited resources and make searches and indexes less useful for the community. For example, the Jones surname index would become useless if every other person was named "Unknown Jones" and had no dates.
If a person doesn't have either a first name or a last name, definitely skip them.
If a person has only a first name or a last name, skip them unless they also have a date and/or more than one relationship.
Similarly, as a privacy measure, some systems export files with all the personal details on living people removed and their first names changed to "Living." Skip these individuals. If WikiTree's privacy controls won't be enough it's better not to add the people at all.
If your file is very large and not many individuals are being excluded, you may not want to approve the file for import.
The upload limit is 5,000. That's for GEDMatches. The practical limit for how many profiles you can easily manage on WikiTree is much lower. Managing a profile means leading the collaboration. It could involve quite a bit of interaction and communication with other members. We never recommend managing more than 5,000 profiles at a time, and that is only for very experienced WikiTreers who spend a lot of time here. A brand new member should not be managing more than a few hundred.
Therefore, after considering the GEDMatches report, you may want to delete the file and upload a smaller file. Or you could go through GEDMatches very carefully and skip every family line except one.
Processing a file is resource-intensive. It involves many steps. In order to avoid creating too much of a load on the server we process one file at a time and try to do them without interrupting what other WikiTree members are doing.
Your GEDCOM page will have updates as they become available. You can also contact email@example.com.
The first thing you should do (following the instructions in the e-mail you receive) will be to evaluate the Privacy Levels to make sure that modern people are protected.
The second thing you'll want to do is evaluate any errors or warnings that are shown on the GEDCOM report page. No export-import process is perfect.
You'll eventually want to go through all the profiles that were created and make improvements. The biographies will have a very machine-generated feel to them and will need your human touch.
Collaboration is what WikiTree is all about. If you don't want to collaborate, you're welcome to use GEDMatches but you can't import your GEDCOM.
GEDMatches invites you to compare suggested matches and either accept or reject the match. If you accept the match, the default is to skip the person so that a duplicate is not created on WikiTree.
You can choose not to skip a match. After the import, the new profile will be connected to the existing profile as an Unmerged Match.
We offer this option in case you want to intentionally create a few duplicates to merge later. This might be necessary to keep family lines together in a convenient way.
For example, your GEDCOM may start with you. You already exist on WikiTree. Importing your GEDCOM would create a duplicate profile that would match your account profile. You could choose to exclude yourself from the import, so the duplicate isn't created, or you could choose to include yourself but create an Unmerged Match.
If you skip yourself you'll need to recreate the relationships between your existing account profile and the GEDCOM-created profiles of your parents, siblings, spouse, and/or children. If you create the duplicate, you can instead merge the GEDCOM-created profile of yourself into your account profile and the relationships with your family members and other data in your GEDCOM will automatically be connected.
Creating Unmerged Matches and merging them later may sound ideal but there is a trade-off. You are creating future merging work for yourself and the manager of the existing profile. Moreover, every duplicate, even after it's merged, consumes a small amount of resources on WikiTree's server. To fulfill our mission to always be free for everyone we need to minimize these.
No. This is very important to understand. See the Deletion FAQ.
If your GEDCOM import malfunctions we may be able to clear out new profiles if we can get to it immediately. E-mail us right away.
No. You can add additional individuals with new GEDCOM imports, but you can never update existing profiles this way.
There is no way to automatically "sync" WikiTree with other systems.
Our community is working on one set of profiles in one worldwide family tree. Automatically overwriting shared profiles would be unfair to other members of the community who may have been seeing these profiles in indexes and trees and making their own contributions.
We do not automatically merge or connect any GEDCOM-created profiles with your existing account profile.
If you created a duplicate profile of yourself in the GEDCOM import, merge it into your account profile.
If you skipped yourself but created profiles of your parents in the GEDCOM import, find their WikiTree IDs, go to the edit page of your profile, and add them as your parents.
Click here to export a GEDCOM. If will include everyone in your Watchlist. If this is a small number of people the file will be ready for download immediately. If you have a large Watchlist the file will be prepared tonight and you will receive an e-mail when it's ready.
If you have any other questions ask in the Q&A forum.
This page was last modified 12:24, 13 February 2013. This page has been accessed 14,145 times.