Import Data

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The Import Data provides a potential Import Data Procedure. Not all steps may apply to your situation.


Create GEDCOM on your desktop program

Coordinate With Desktop Applications may have information on specific desktop programs.

You may want to consider not exporting Confidential Data. You may also want to set the Prefix for private notes in the TNG Import Settings, in case you forget to change your export not to include Confidential Data. If you consciously import Confidential Data, you may also want to consider using the Private Note Mod.

Save as UTF-8 or ANSI encoding depending on your database and your desktop software (if your desktop only supports ANSI, you should leave your database as ANSI or latin1_swedish_ci or an equivalent that can handle foreign accents)

FTP your GEDCOM to your hosting site

If your GEDCOM is an extremely small file, you might be able to use the Import from your Computer option, but the recommended approach is to transfer the .ged file to your hosting site.

FTP your ged file

Starting with TNG 11, you can import zip files. So you can create a zip file on your computer and use the Import from your Computer Option. TNG will extract the zip file and save the .ged file in your gedcom folder and delete the zip file

Starting with TNG 7.1, you can use the Import from your Computer Option. It will however be slower than using FTP.

Set Maintenance Mode On

Maintenance Mode#Setting_Maintenance_Mode_On

Optimize your database

Note that if this is your first import this step should be skipped and performed later before you turn off the Maintenance Mode.

You should optimize your database before doing an Import Data with replace All current data option.

  • Select Utilities in the Admin Menu
  • Click the Select All button
  • Click on the pull down list next to With Selected and select Optimize
  • Click the Go button.

Backup your database

Backup All Selected

You should backup your database before doing an Import Data with replace all option.

  • Click the Select All button
  • Select Backup from the With Selected pull down list
  • Click the Go button.

This is especially true when you just upgraded to a new version or release of TNG.


Backup your Living Flags

Backup Living
Living Count Difference
  • If the counts of Living flags in the database is different from that in the last backup in the launched window, you should create a new backup before doing an import.
  • Note the lower count in the database represents the Living Flag being turned off for deceased relatives

Import Data

Import Custom Event Types

The first time you Import Data, you should

  • Check the box in front of Import Custom Event Types only (no data is added, replaced or appended)
  • Import Data with Replace All option

In TNG 7.0, you can now set the Default Replace Option: in the Import Settings.

You may also want to set the following in Setup >> Configuration >> Import Settings

  • Prefix for private notes: ~ (tilde is used in PAF)
  • If no birth date, assume: Deceased and then manually set the Living flags or import Living flags from Legacy and other desktop software (in TNG 7.0)

Import Media

See Setup - Import Settings for setting local paths for media collections to be imported.

See Media_-_Import for tips on importing media from your local desktop genealogy program into TNG.

Import Geocode

To import the latitude and longitude for geocoded places into TNG, you need to check the box in front of the import the latitude and longitude option.

Import media latitude-longitude TNG71.jpg

See also Managing_Latitude_and_Longitude for tips on importing Latitude and Longitude from Legacy Family Tree 7 into TNG.

TNG 7.1

Starting with TNG 7.1, you can use the Import from your Computer Option for large files. It will however be slower than using FTP. Import from local computer.jpg

So if you have a large gedcom file, you may still want to FTP the file to your host and import from the server. Once the file is uploaded to your hosting site, it will automatically switch to importing your gedcom.

The Import in TNG 7.1 was changed to use the AJAX dialog box approach, which now shows a status bar and counts for People, Families, Notes, Sources, Media, and Places imported.

Gedcom import status bar.jpg


When the Import has completed, the modal dialog will show a check mark next to Finished Importing Gedcom. The screen will also provide you an option to delete the gedcom file the was imported.


Gedcom import completed.jpg

Note that the Track Lines is no longer shown at the bottom of the Import Completed screen. You will need to click on More Options to go to the TNG Secondary Processes and then select Track Lines to mark all children in a family who also have children.

Secondary Processes

Import Data Secondary Processes

Track Lines

You should Track Lines after the Data Import completes.

Sort Children

Sort Children is an optional secondary process and need not be performed if children are in the correct order from your desktop gedcom.

Sort Spouses

Sort Spouses is an optional secondary process and need not be performed if spouses are in the correct order from desktop gedcom.

Relabel Branches

If you have assigned Branch labels, you must Relabel Branches after a Data Import. Note that if new people were added to an existing branch, they will not be labeled by the Relabel Branches process but will need to be labeled manually.

Mod Secondary Processes

Modified Import Data Secondary Processes

Check Census Links

If you are using the Census Plus International mod and import a GEDCOM, you should run the Check Census Links secondary process for the tree that you imported. This will update the Census Event IDs in the CP Link records and identify where you did not define a Census Event in your desktop genealogy database.

Create Site Map

If you are installed the Create Site Map Mod, a Create Site Map button was also added to the Secondary Process that allows you to re-create you Google Site Map after doing a data import.

Restore Living Flags

Backup Living

Select the Backup Living option in Admin Header Mod to Backup_/_Restore_Living_Flag

Restore Living

Click the Restore Living Flags link in the launched window to then restore the Living Flags.

Uncheck Deceased person

Note that if new death dates were imported you should uncheck the box from the list of persons with changes before you click the Restore Checked to Living button, or you will need to manually remove the Living flag later

Double check import

You should double check your imported data, media links, etc., before turning off the Maintenance Mode.

Turn off Maintenance Mode

Set Maintenance Mode to Off

Create Gendex

Gendex - Creating

Post Gendex

Gendex - Posting

Import Gendex to TNG Network

Gendex - TNG Network (Importing)