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Family Tree Maker: How to Import from FamilySearch

Family Tree Maker: How to Import from FamilySearch

The ability to directly import up to 10 generations of genealogy within minutes from FamilySearch has got to be one of my favorite time-saving features of Family Tree Prints. If you've read about the impetus for our creating Family Tree Prints (a.k.a. spending 40+ hours meticulous creating a family tree chart for my mother-in-law by hand) you'll know why. The best part? It's super easy. Here's how.

Choose whichever template you'd like to start from on, and click "Start from this template". This will drop you into the family tree maker software.

In the top right-hand corner, click the grey button that says "Import Family Names". Alternatively, you can click the Import icon at the bottom of the left sidebar. Both options will open the Import sidebar panel.

import ancestors via FamilySearch

From here, choose click "Sign In To Family Search".

sign in to FamilySearch

This will open up the login page for in another tab of your browser. Sign in using your FamilySearch credentials. Once you do so, you will be automatically redirected back to Family Tree Prints.

familysearch login

From here there are three different options.

import ancestors from FamilySearch step 4

Option A) allows you to choose from a drop-down who you would like to be the "center" of your chart. If you are married and have connected to your spouse in Family Search, it will give you the option of choosing yourself, your spouse, or "A child of [yours]". Once you have chosen who you would like as the center of your chart, click "Import Ancestors". 

Option B) allows you to enter any FamilySearch ID of a deceased person and place that person as the "center" of your chart. Once you have entered the ID, click "Import Ancestors". For where the ID is located in FamilySearch, see below.

finding FamilySearch ID

Option C) works much the same as option B, except that you provide FamilySearch IDs for the mother and father of the person you would like at the center (who you can input manually). This may work well for families with multiple/split parents, etc.

Once you click "Import Ancestors" it will take between 30 seconds and 3 minutes to import your ancestors, depending on how many generations you are downloading.

final import using FamilySearch

Troubleshooting tips:

  • Importing does not change the name at the very center of the chart (by default "The Kimitri Family"). Change this name by clicking "Chart" in the left sidebar and then clicking on the cell you'd like to edit in the actual chart. You can then edit the text under the Name: field.chart edit
  • If you import via Option A) and it appears that none of your spouse's ancestors have imported, it is probably because you have not fully connected with their ancestors on FamilySearch. You need to log into your FamilySearch account and put in "placeholder" cards for your spouse and all of their living ancestors (parents, grandparents, etc.) For more information on how to do that, check out this tutorial--the entire process takes less than 10 minutes! 
  • If you want to change who is at the center of your chart, click the green Clear All Cell Data at the bottom of the Import sidebar panel, then re-import as desired.
  • If you feel like you've updated so many times it's in a snarl, try refreshing the page. That works wonders!

Ready to get started? Visit to choose your starting template and create your personalized family tree chart!