Family Search Integration Part 1: Importing a FamilySearch Tree

1. Import your FamilySearch tree.

To import your tree from FamilySearch, start a new tree. (You’ll do this automatically when you sign up with AmericanAncesTREES for the first time. "Import from FamilySearch" will be one of the options for starting your tree.)

If you already have created a tree with AmericanAncesTREES, you’ll want to start a new tree by clicking the tree name at the top of the left-hand menu, then click “+ New Tree” at the bottom of the list of trees that comes up in a little box on the screen.

Sign in with FamilySearch, then select the root person you want to import. 
By default the start person will be you, since you logged in with your account, but you can change it by entering the FamilySearch ID number for another person, such as a grandparent or other relative. 
Select the number of ancestors and the number of descendants you want to import. We recommend starting with 4 generations back and one generation down.
Note: the more generations you select, the longer you will have to wait for the import. You can add more generations later, so we recommend starting with four generations of ancestors and one generation of descendants.  

To import more generations to your AmericanAncestors Tree from FamilySearch after the initial import is completed:

  • Go to the person page for an end-of-line ancestor. 
  • Click the FamilySearch icon in the toolbar under the header. 
  • Click “Download more generations.”
AmericanAncesTREES will download all the data, sources, and memories. 

I entered a FamilySearch ID but it won't import from FamilySearch. What do I do?

FamilySearch requires your login before each download. It’s just their policy. Entering your FSID manually doesn't authorize the import. You must log in when they ask you. After you log in, the "GO" button will turn blue. Press the blue "GO" button and your import will begin.

Why can't I download my whole FamilySearch tree at once?

You can import as many people from your FamilySearch tree as you like in small groups. You may import 4 generations of ancestors and 1 generation of descendants, or 2 generations of ancestors and 2 generations of descendants, or  up to 3 generations of descendants and no ancestors at one time. We make these limitations for the following reasons:

1. If an ancestor has 10 children, who has 10 children, who all have 10 children. Then 3 generations will download 1000 people into your tree. Multiply this scenario many people in the family, and suddenly there are a lot of people in the import that you now have to deal with. Many users don't realize they are connected to so many people in FamilySearch.

2.  FamilySearch has a lot of duplicates. In a very large tree you may be unaware that your FamilySearch tree contains many sets of duplicate parents with their duplicate families and duplicate descendants. So, in the example above, instead of importing 1000 persons, you could easily import many times that many. After import, all you can do is go through your tree, try to determine which persons to keep and which to manually delete. We highly recommend that you clean up the FamilySearch data before importing into your tree.

3. Every import is placed in a queue. FamilySearch can only download one at a time. Importing a huge tree slow down everyone else's import. This is not fair to other users.

I can't download from FamilySearch. What do I do if the "Import" button doesn't work.

This is usually because you have not logged into FamilySearch for this function. FamilySearch requires that you login before you can import people from FamilySearch, even if you are already logged. If the "import" button is not blue, please re-enter the name for your tree, choose whether it is public or private and select "Import people from FamilySearch." A FamilySearch login window will open. Log in. Your FamilySearch ID number should be displayed under the "Import from FamilySearch" title and the "Import" button should be blue. You may choose how many ancestors and descendants you wish to download before clicking on the "Import" button.