Wednesday, January 08, 2014

PAF5 holdout has trouble with Gedcom import

Yes, there are still some PAF (Personal Ancestral File) users out there, who haven't yet switched to a more robust genealogy management programs. Read on:
I am an amateur family history freak who uses PAF 5.  Recently, a distant family member sent me a Gedcom file containing information I did not have. I followed the instructions for uploading to PAF5 which it did but now I have a problem.
When I open PAF5 I only see the information that was on the Gedcom file and none of the other individuals I already had on PAF.  Could you advise me on what went wrong?  Have I lost all other information of other ancestors or if I am luckily can you tell me where they are hiding?
Thank you so much Myrt for you time.
Two 'tracks' diverged in the 'snowy' woods, and  Ol' Myrt here is not entirely sure which one you've taken. So to get you back on track, let's think about this.

IMAGE: Courtesy of

IF you merely "uploaded" (an irregular use of the word here) your cousin's Gedcom file into a PAF database, it could be you've got a new database with only your cousin's data. (Uploading and downloading implies to and from the Internet or the cloud.)

IF you "imported" the Gedcom file into your original database (after backing it up, of course!) then you've got two trees in your single PAF database. You now need to match/merge the duplicates. You'll also need to set your home person to "you" in the database. (You would have used the FILE>Import option in PAF5 to begin your Gedcom import.)

Since PAF is pretty good about keeping the home person in place, I think you took the first track, and will need to take the second. Follow the PAF directions for importing the Gedcom file.

Are you aware there are easier ways to do things? You are struggling with in PAF, a program which is no longer being supported by FamilySearch! Yikes, girl! No wonder you are freaking out! See:Personal Ancestral File (PAF) Is Discontinued posted June 21, 2013 by David Pugmire.

In fact FamilySearch hasn't updated PAF for over a decade.

In the mean time, other software programs have emerged that are compatible with PAF, pulling your data in directly with no problems. Choose programs that are FamilySearch Certified. See: Of these, Ol' Myrt recommends the following for currently having the most FamilySearch compatability options available:
Both programs are available for free, and have upgrade options at minimal cost. Ditch PAF, and watch your genealogy "come alive" using easy-to-learn, fun software programs such as those I've recommended above. Would Ol' Myrt steer you wrong?

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
Your friend in genealogy.

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