How do I merge two family trees?

It is possible to merge two family tree projects using our Family Tree Builder software, but we do not recommend merging large family trees, as duplicate information has to be deleted manually and inconsistencies within the family tree might occur.

Trees will be merged during Import GEDCOM process (
click here to learn what a GEDCOM file is) in Family Tree Builder. The first tree will be used as a basis for merge, and the second tree will be merged with the basic project.

You will have to take different actions depending on where you originally created the family trees that you would like to merge.

If both projects were created online:

**If you don’t have Family Tree Builder on your computer, download it for free here.

1.     Export each of two projects to GEDCOM file from your online family site(s):  Can I export a GEDCOM file of my family tree on my family site?

2.     Import first file to Family Tree Builder program: How do I import a GEDCOM in Family Tree Builder?

3.     Then make sure to open it in Family Tree Builder, and start importing the second project as GEDCOM file.

4.     In one of the steps of the wizard you will be faced with the question of whether to import the GEDCOM as a new project, or merge it with the one that is currently open. Chose ‘Merge into project XXXX’, and they will be merged.

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If both projects were created in Family Tree Builder software:

1.     Decide on what project will be used as a basis for merge.

2.     Open the second project, and export it to GEDCOM file: How do I export a GEDCOM in Family Tree Builder?

3.     Open the first project in Family Tree Builder that will be used as a basis for merge. 

4.     Start importing the second project as GEDCOM file and merge it with the first one as described above.

**Before merging your trees, please backup both of your so that if the merging isn’t to your liking, you can always revert back to your previous trees. To back up your projects, please use ‘File’ menu in the upper menu bar and select ‘Backup project’.

If one of the projects was created in Family Tree Builder, and the second one was started online: 

1.     Export the online tree to the GEDCOM file: Can I export a GEDCOM file of my family tree on my family site?

2.     Open first project in Family Tree Builder that will be used as a basis for merge. 

3.     Start importing second project as GEDCOM file and merge it with the first one as described above.

**Before merging your trees, please backup both of your so that if the merging isn’t to your liking, you can always revert back to your previous trees. To back up your projects, please use ‘File’ menu in the upper menu bar and select ‘Backup project’.

Find and delete duplicates in the merged tree:

Merging the two trees will not automatically merge people who appear in both trees. This means that you will need to detect duplicates manually. This can be done by sorting alphabetically, and then deleting them: How do I merge duplicates in my Family Tree Builder project?

You can also click on ‘Tools’ in the upper menu bar and select ‘Check for duplicates’ option to find duplicated people in your tree.

Connect people in the merged tree:

Please note, what this merge process actually does is to put both family trees in the same project. It doesn’t create a connection between people in the different trees. To create connections between people in the trees, please see this FAQ post:  How can I attach / detach existing people in Family Tree Builder?

If there are similar people in the two GEDCOM files, they will remain duplicates and will not be consolidated; you will need to delete the duplicates manually.

Because of this, we don’t recommend using the merge feature if the family trees are very similar and include many of the same people. If this is the case with your family trees, you should open the most updated tree and manually add the missing records from the second tree.