Merging databases

How do I merge two RM8 databases? I accidentally deleted the link to Ancestry and did a “download” to a new RM8 file from Ancestry. I now want to merge the downloaded file to my current RM8 to make sure things are the same (I know they are not).

To avoid destroying either one of you existing databases, create a third database where the merge will take place. Create the third database in two steps. Step 1 is make a copy of your database that is still linked to Ancestry. Step 2 is to drag and drop all the individuals from the other database into the new database.

At this point, you will have gazillions of duplicate people, one copy of the person from one of the databases and another copy of the person from the other database. Then run three merges. The first first will be an automatic merge. In your case, this may take care of a lot of your duplicate people. The second merge will be a duplicate search merge. This will be a manual merge, but the duplicate search part of duplicate search merge will help to find duplicate individuals. This process can possibly require many hours of you sitting at the keyboard. The third merge will be a full manual merge. It’s only needed to take care of any merges that weren’t taken care of in step 1 and 2. It’s fully manual in the sense that you have to manually search and you have to manually merge. You are unlikely to have very many people that need to be merged in this manner, and there is no good general way even to find them.

Any time you merge two individuals, be sure the person you are keeping is on the left side of the merge and that the person is the one from the database that is still linked to ancestry. If you follow the steps I described, that will usually be the case.

There are several ways to find the merge tools, but I think the easiest is to go to the Command Palette in the upper right hand corner of the screen an search on “merge” without the quotes.

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How do I grab everyone to do the merge?

Do citations, media, sources all come with the people? I already made backups of both databases in case I have problems.

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I assume you are asking about the Drag and Drop operation. Get the database you are going to drag from and the database you are going to drag to open at the same time. They will be in separate windows and you will have to make both windows small enough to fit on the screen at the same time. In the database you are dragging from, click a person and hold the mouse down, drag the mouse to the database you are dragging to, and let go the mouse. It should ask you if you want to drag and drop just that person but there is an option for everybody that you should choose instead. For the first person, it may ask you if you wish to merge that person with the person where it is being dropped. If so, say no. Do all your merging later.


For the first database you, are making a copy and that copy will include everything.

For the drag and drop for the second database, it will include citations, media, sources, etc. for each person. There are some potential problems. For example, source templates will not merge but that should not have any adverse impact on what you are trying to accomplish. And if you have turned off any fact types for GEDCOM export they will not come across, but I’m betting you have not done that for any of your fact types. Citations, media, and sources will definitely be included.

It’s not letting me drag and drop from one to the other. I have tried it from various places in the database. I am very familiar with click and drag, so I’m not sure what is happening.

I rebooted my PC and the drag and drop worked. Thanks for your help.

I see that you got it working already by rebooting. My experience is that it is a little finicky sometimes and you have to move the mouse around the target window a little bit until you find a place it’s happy with. Unless you are dropping exactly on top of an existing person you intend to merge, it seems be less finicky if you can find some “empty” space to drop in - like some of the gray space between people in Pedigree View, for example. I have not found any one thing that always works, so I just play with it until it does.

Going back to your original problem… If you have a recent backup from before you deleted the treeshare link, you can restore that backup to re-establish the link to your ancestry tree. Depending upon how recent your latest backup was, it may be less work than dealing with merging dbs.

That’s the problem. I didn’t have a recent backup.
:grinning: :grinning:

Ask Ancestry for help. They can remake the link, I am sure.

Thanks. I did a download from Ancestry and did a compare with what I had on my laptop. Only problem was that everything showed as different which were only different in the numbering. Wish I could have ignored that part. I had relatively few actual differences – less than I expected. Thank goodness I only have about 750 people. It did force me to look at everyone and I have a written page of everybody that needs a second look on info.

I, like many others, have found manual merging RM8 Databases at times a long and drawn out task.
I have found that downloading separate databases on Ancestry which focus on very similar Person lists from Ancestry is a very simple process if one uses a spreadsheet program (eg. Excel) to filter the databases to identify “duplicates” before I download the database in to RM8.
Using the power of filters in the spreadsheet saves an incredible amount of time and the resulting “duplicates” can be deleted from Ancestry before download and it makes the merging and matching of databases less time-consuming.
The “conditional formatting” function of the spreadsheet program completes the “duplicates filtering” in seconds.

Quinnedy, I would like to try this strategy with two trees using Excel, but am unsure of how to get the databases in there? Can you please detail the procedures for this? Thanks!

Hello Leslie,
This is assuming you have a working knowledge of Excel. The process is initiated by creating a List of all of the People in your Tree on Ancestry by cutting and pasting the list in to Excel.

  • Open your tree and open a blank worksheet in Excel.
  • Select Tree Overview on Ancestry.
  • Select “People” in the “Summary” on the right of the screen.
  • Use a cut and paste to select “pages” of persons from Ancestry and pasting in the excel Worksheet (the list can be expanded to capture 100 persons in one capture).
  • Continue to cut and past from Ancestry to your Excel spreadsheet until you have cut and pasted the contents of the people list in your Tree.
    You will then have an alphabetical listing of everyone in your tree in your Worksheet in Excel.
    In Excel click “Conditional Formatting” on the Drop Down Menu and select “Highlight Cell Rules”, move your mouse to the right and a second drop down menu will appear - scroll down and select “duplicate values”.
    Another "dialogue box will appear to the left. Click “OK” on this and your Worksheet will appear with shaded rows indicating the “duplicates” in the Worksheet.
    Move down the page, right clicking one each of the duplicates and delete that row.
    It is then an easy process to work through your Ancestry Tree and either merge the duplicates you have identified or delete one entry.
    Hope this makes sense.