Yes, I finally did it! I posted my GEDCOM files to FamilySearch!! I have been worrying about my kids throwing out all my good genealogical research data when I die, so it is a real relief to know that my personal database will be preserved forever. This has been quite a learning experience.
You’re probably shaking your head and saying, huh? What is that? Well GEDCOM is an acronym for Genealogical Data COMmunication. It is a program created originally by Personal Ancestral File to move genealogical data from one program to another, i.e., from Personal Ancestral File to Legacy Family Tree, Ancestral Quest or Roots Magic. It is a simple program to use and is built right into the File menu of most genealogy software programs. Now, you can share your personal database with FamilySearch for the whole world to see!
My first task was to find my Legacy Family Tree database file in Windows 10. (I haven’t heard many favorable comments from users of Windows 10, and having been away from computers for a couple of years, finding my data file was no small task.) I eventually found a mostly-current copy of my Legacy file in Drop-Box and moved a copy of it to my desktop computer. Then I opened the file and saved it as a GEDCOM file. (The process is something like creating a .pdf file in a word processor.)
Next, I opened FamilySearch (not Family Tree), clicked on the Search drop-down menu and then on Genealogies. I scrolled all the way to the bottom of the screen to “Contribute your research to the FamilySearch.org community” and clicked Submit Tree >Add > GEDCOM > Choose File > Upload and then waited while the file was transferred. Small files are uploaded rather quickly, but a GEDCOM of 35,644 people will take a little longer–about an hour or so!
When the upload was complete, the file status changed to READY. I could then click the blue View button, download the file, or delete it. FamilySearch then compared my file with Family Tree and displayed a report like the one below. This can save a lot of time checking each and every record against Family Tree. Name and data for living individuals is not displayed. You may even want to remove the living from your database before making and uploading your GEDCOM.
|Add to Family Tree||1,341|
|Already in Family Tree||19,296|
|Invalid and Living||8,276|
Click the red Review Results button to walk through the results one by one to decide whether there are matches or additions that should be added to Family Tree. No one else in the whole world can change your submission; but you can delete your GEDCOM file at any time and replace it with another updated copy.
My GEDCOM file was added to the Pedigree Resource File, so I can search only that collection to see what I already have in my database without having to open my personal database. How about downloading copies of your database for your siblings or cousins?
I found it is not necessary to be signed in to FamilySearch with a username and password to search 1) the Historical Records, 2) Genealogies, 3) the FamilySearch Catalog, 4) family history Books, and 5) the Family History Research Wiki; but you still need to have a username and password to use Family Tree. Why? Because FamilySearch wants to follow your tracks to make sure you are being nice. 😉