Html CSS Menu


Split Screen View: How to Copy Between Two Family Files

Author: Reference Number: AA-00425 Views: 33735 Created: 2013-11-11 06:07 PM Last Updated: 2023-04-19 04:12 AM 58 Rating/ 3 Voters

Copying Between Two Family Files

by David Berdan
President, Millennia Corp

Also see How to combine multiple family files into one by Geoff Rasmussen.

As personal computers become more and more pervasive in our homes, the Internet and e-mail are opening up a vast sea of information that is easily accessed by most people today. Information on hundreds of millions of individuals and families is available online in countless databases. There are also hundreds of CD-ROMs packed full of thousands of GEDCOM files containing family genealogies. Most of this information is fully indexed and easily searchable as you try to push your family lines out a few more generations.

All this information is great! But with it comes the almost overwhelming task of incorporating it into your own work. Legacy, from Millennia, provides some powerful tools when it comes to combining someone else’s names into your family file. One of these tools is Multiple Views. Legacy allows you to have up to seven family/pedigree views of a family file showing at the same time. These can either be tiled on the screen (all showing on the screen at once), or overlapped, letting you click on the one you want to see fully displayed. The best part about seeing more than one view is the capability of having two different family files open at the same time. This lets you compare and navigate through them separately.

When you receive a GEDCOM file from another source, you should never import it into your current family file without looking it over and comparing it to your own information. If you do, you will often regret it for years as you try to clean up the mess it makes and try to get rid of all the people who are not related to you. Using Legacy you should import the GEDCOM file into a new, empty family file. When the import is complete, open a second view:
 To Open Another Family/Pedigree View (Split the Screen):

1.  Select View > Split Screen.

2. The view will split into two identical halves and a message box will prompt; Do you want to open a different Family File in the new window? Click the Yes button.
3. At the next window, select a family file and click the Open button.

 To Copy Information from One Family File to Another by Dragging:

  1. From either the Family or Pedigree View, drag a name from one view over to the other and drop it on top of another name or on the background.

  2. Legacy now pops up the Copy Between Family Files window. From here you can choose the individual, family or line you want to copy.

  3. To copy just the individual you drug over, press the Just the Individual Above button. To copy the family of the selected individual, press the Family… button. To copy the ancestors of the selected person, press the Ancestors… button. To copy the descendants, press the Descendants… button. To copy the entire family line of the selected person, press the Entire Family Line button. And finally, to copy everyone in the entire file, press the Everyone in File button. Some of the button, like Family…, Ancestors…, and Descendants…, will prompt you for a little more information on who exactly to include.

  4. When you have selected all the people you want to copy, press the Start Copy button. Legacy will then copy all the selected individuals and families to the other family file.

  5. If you dropped the first name on top of another name in the other family file, you will automatically be taken to the Merge section.

Using this method, you can easily and effectively copy just the information you want to have into your own file without having to import a lot of unrelated data.

David Berdan is a long-time computer genealogist and is one of the founders of Millennia Corporation, the developers of Legacy. He can be reached at