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Export Data from nFS

Posted: Wed May 27, 2009 11:28 pm
by jdlessley
Is there a way to export data from newFamilySearch for use in other geneology programs? This was a question I was asked today by a FHC worker. I have never had the need to export and therefore have never tried. After a short while of working with the FHC worker on nFS I could find no way to export to any file type.

Later at home I did a search on exporting data from nFS on the Internet and came across the FamilySearch Developer Network list of certified products and services. In the description of of some of these products they mention the ability to export nFS data. FamilyInsight, Get My Ancestors and RootsMagic 4 were the three that currently are listed to work with nFS in this manner.

From this information I gather that direct export without a third party program/service is not possible. Because FamilyInsight and Get My Ancestors are free, using them to export the nFS data would not be an issue for some users. RootsMagic 4 is a pay-to-use program and therefore may not be what a frugal user is looking for.

Does anyone have experience in exporting data from nFS? What are your preferences and why?

Posted: Thu May 28, 2009 12:42 am
by russellhltn
As a quick note, Family Insight is not free. It does have a free trial, and it is free for use in a FHC. But then the same can be said of Ancestral Quest and Roots Magic.

That out of the way, I question the desire to "export" the data. The reason I say that is that nFS is a collaboration model where the data will be changing and hopefully refining as it works it's way to it's goal.

I think a better plan is to "sync" the data. That way when you return later, you can get what's been changed and not download a growing number of duplicates that you'll have to sort out each time. And, I'd hope that patrons wouldn't consider it a one-way operation and they'd be willing to contribute some of their research to nFS. All 3 of the programs mentioned will do a sync.

That said, I'd suggest playing with the free trials and see which one you like the best.

Posted: Thu May 28, 2009 8:27 am
by garysturn
"Get my Ancestors" from Ohana Software is free and will download from nFS. I have used it and it works well. It does not download LDS ordinance dates however. I would not recommend downloading too many generations at one time because beyond about 8 generations you get into a lot of names and it slows down quickly. A nFS account is required to use the program and you must have the nFS person ID for the starting person. It also only downloads the summary data for each person and not all of the details.

Posted: Thu May 28, 2009 11:55 am
by jdlessley
RussellHltn wrote:I question the desire to "export" the data. The reason I say that is that nFS is a collaboration model where the data will be changing and hopefully refining as it works it's way to it's goal.

I think a better plan is to "sync" the data. That way when you return later, you can get what's been changed and not download a growing number of duplicates that you'll have to sort out each time. And, I'd hope that patrons wouldn't consider it a one-way operation and they'd be willing to contribute some of their research to nFS. All 3 of the programs mentioned will do a sync.
Not everyone has access to nFS. In the case of the FHC worker looking for a way to export the data, it was to provide that data to non-member relatives. I know a goal of nFS is to do just as you describe but until everyone can use it the problem of colaborating with those who do not have access is a challenge they have to work through. For now that means exporting data.

GarysTurn wrote:"Get my Ancestors" from Ohana Software is free and will download from nFS. I have used it and it works well. It does not download LDS ordinance dates however. I would not recommend downloading too many generations at one time because beyond about 8 generations you get into a lot of names and it slows down quickly. A nFS account is required to use the program and you must have the nFS person ID for the starting person. It also only downloads the summary data for each person and not all of the details.
That is good to know. I'll pass that along. Since the FHC worker's relatives are using PAF, that appears to be a good choice to start with.