Downloading GEDCOM from FamilySearch Family Tree

This question is about downloading GEDCOM from FamilySearch Family Tree, but it does have an RM connection. And the question is a little more complicated than it sounds.

Is there a way to download GEDCOM from FS/FT? Years ago, there was a way to download GEDCOM from FS. You just sort of did it and it just worked. My understanding which I hope is incorrect is that FS/FT no longer supports downloading GEDCOM. Instead, the recommendation is that if you wish to download GEDCOM from FS/FT you can use third party software such as RM (and probably several others) to download the the data and then you can create GEDCOM from the third party software.

My interest in downloading FS/FT GEDCOM is simply to investigate data models. How is the data in FS/FT mapped to the GEDCOM data model. I’m particularly interested in how sources in FS/FT show up in GEDCOM. But if I use RM to download FS/FT and then make a GEDCOM from RM, then what I am really seeing is how sources in RM show up in GEDCOM when what I really want to see is how sources in FS/FT show up in GEDCOM.

An additional complication is that RM doesn’t seem to support downloading sources from FS/FT automatically. Instead, I have to direct the sources in FS/FT to where I want them to go in RM. That’s not what I want. I want to know how the FS/FT data model maps directly to GEDCOM, and especially how sources in FS/FT map directly to sources in GEDCOM. Is there any way to do that?

I know that I can still download GEDCOM directly from Ancestry to GEDCOM without the mediation of any third party software such as RM. So I’m looking for the same sort of thing from FS/FT. And as an alternative, is there any way to get sources from FS/FT downloaded to RM without me having to intervene to direct where the sources are stored in RM?

The option to download people with their sources and notes on FamilySearch is not available in the FT API. They need to be done separately. I believe this helps by not putting to much demand on the FamilySearch servers.

Only gedcom you can get from FS is to download a gedcom that you initially uploaded yourself. These are not part of FSFT, but the “genealogies” section if the site.

There is another way

On GitHub there’s a python app getmyancestors that will dump a gedcom file containing n generations of ancestors and m generations of descendants of a family search persona.

It works, it can be slow if you are downloading 8 generations of a fat tree. The only problem I have with it is that the gedcoms are very fat because of the citation/source data. If the tree has more than say 30k people I will have to faff around in RM getting rid of the citations. If I don’t and have an RM DB with over 400k people I start hitting weird RM floating point exceptions.

Hope this helps

Thanks. I’ll give it a try.