How to Import People and Memories from FamilySearch

How to Import People and Memories from FamilySearch

Permanent's integration with FamilySearch allows you to easily preserve the memories and personal metadata you've already collected in your FamilySearch family tree. You can create a Permanent archive for members of your family tree, then automatically populate the archive with Memories associated with that Person in FamilySearch. You can also export new files you've uploaded to Permanent to your FamilySearch family tree. Learn more about how to use this integration in the video below, or follow the steps in this article.

Getting Started

To begin, log into your FamilySearch account through Permanent Archive’s Apps workspace. This can be found on the left-hand side under “My Files." In Apps, you will see a control panel for FamilySearch with a button labeled "Sign In with FamilySearch."

After clicking the sign in button, you will be redirected to FamilySearch to enter your credentials. This does not allow Permanent to access private information or to alter your content in any way. We will simply be able to connect your Permanent account with the list of Persons in your family tree and, once you’ve chosen to download them, the Memories that you have permission to access.

You must have permission to access Memories in FamilySearch in order to download them into

Once you’ve signed in, you will be sent back to Permanent and the FamilySearch control panel will have a new button labeled “Import family tree” that will allow you to import Persons and Memories stored in your family tree.

While you can upload GEDCOM files for preservation in your Permanent archive, they are not currently viewable on Permanent. Your family tree is used to auto-generate archives for each Person in your tree and deposit Memories associated with those persons into their archives.

Importing Persons and Downloading Memories

When you click the “Import family tree” button, a popup will appear to allow you to select the number of generations in your tree that you would like to query and then a list of Persons in your family tree for whom you wish to create Permanent Archives.

Currently, only 15 Persons can be imported at a time from up to 7 generations back in your direct line, however you can continue importing new Persons by repeating this process. You do not have to import all the Persons in your Family Tree. 

As you are selecting Persons you should take note of the option to import Memories as well. Selecting this option will add any Memories associated with the selected Persons in FamilySearch to your Permanent Archives. You will find those Memories in the FamilySearch folder of each Person’s Permanent Archives once they’ve been created. The hard work you’ve already invested into FamilySearch will be preserved in Permanent.

You can always add Memories to any of the archives you’ve imported at any time by downloading Memories, covered later in this article.

Once you’ve finished importing your selected Persons, we will begin creating Permanent Archives for them with any of the Memories associated with them.

Accessing your Family Tree in Permanent

When the import process completes, you will notice new Permanent Archives in the Archive Selector. Click on the account menu at the top right of the page where your email address is displayed. A dropdown menu will appear. Click on Archives to open the Archive Selector. To switch to another Archive, all you have to do is click on it. The Archive Selector will “check you in” to a new archive you click on.

Each Archive is separate from one another and has a unique set of files, shares, app connections, members, etc. When you switch to one of your imported Persons’ Archives, you will find the corresponding Memories you’ve imported from FamilySearch in the Apps workspace in a new folder titled “FamilySearch” visible in the left hand navigation. From here, you can leave them or move/copy them in that Archive’s My Files section to curate and share.

It may take time to process images once you import them into Permanent, so if they don’t show up right away, check back later. You will also find any identifying information about the imported Persons in that archive’s profile section.

Upload Memories back to your family tree

The option to upload and download will appear now appear in the FamilySearch app control panel back in the Apps workspace of every archive you have created through your FamilySearch Family Tree.

We automatically log you out of your FamilySearch account after a period of inactivity. You may need to sign back in to see the upload and download options appear.

Add any files you wish to appear in your FamilySearch Family Tree to the “FamilySearch” folder in the Apps workspace of your desired Archive. Remember, every Archive has a separate set of unique files specific to that Person. So, the changes made in the Archive you are uploading from will only affect the Person it represents in your FamilySearch family tree.

When you select the “Upload” button, any new files from Permanent will be added to the corresponding Person in your Family Tree, as well as any changes to titles or descriptions you made to files in Permanent. It may take a few minutes for us to update your Persons in FamilySearch.

Permanent supports some file types that FamilySearch does not. Most image, PDF, text and audio files will sync to your Family Tree in FamilySearch. Any other files will not appear in your Family Tree but will be safely stored in your Permanent Archive.

The “download” button also allows you to add new Memories from FamilySearch to a Person’s Permanent Archive if changes are made in the Person’s record on FamilySearch. If you didn’t import Memories when you created a Person’s archive or you have added new Memories that you want to preserve in Permanent, the download option will add them to the “FamilySearch” folder in their Apps workspace.

Upload and Download only works for the Archives of Persons you imported through the FamilySearch integration.

Known Issue with text files

We are aware of a known issue with text files (*.txt) downloaded from FamilySearch.

At this time we are unable to display the contents of at text (*.txt) file and it will appear as a document icon.

Do not be alarmed -- the file is safely preserved on Permanent. You may edit its metadata, and you may download it for viewing on your personal device. We are working to address this issue and will update this page when it is resolved.

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