How To Merge Two Databases

Merging databases is a pain but it can be beneficial though to merge sources, pictures, and data that you might not have. Today, as part of my spring cleaning I checked out a database that I had downloaded quite awhile back when I was first using Ancestry online. I was surprised to find so much new info – a merge was definitely in order.

  1. Decide if you really want to do this. It takes a LOT of time and determination.
  2. Backup and backup again.
  3. I put all my surnames in all caps in my database. I recommend that you make sure the other database does NOT use surnames in all caps.
  4. Open the database you want to merge into. Select File>Merge from the toolbar. I do not recommend letting FTM match records for you. It’s best to do them yourself. Refer to FTM Help if needed.
  5. After the merge I don’t like to use the ‘Find Duplicate People’ because there are so many to match. I figured out that I can go down my list of people in the Person Workspace>Tree View and look for the lowercase surnames. When I find one I locate the matching name with the surname in caps and select it. Then I click the down arrow next to the People button and ‘Merge Two Specific People’. It should now be easy to find the lower-case-surname match and then carefully merge the two records. When you select the people from your database first they will be on the left side when the merge window opens and their facts should be listed as primary which should make matching easier.
  6. Continue down the list…
  7. When you are done you can then delete the old database. You will want to go through the sources and clean those up as well. I noticed that a lot of the images were not named correctly. More spring cleaning to do…

Hope this is helpful!

Note: See update.

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