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Tuesday's Tip - Merging Files (Advanced)

Tuesday's Tip - Merging Files

Tuesday's Tips provide brief how-to's to help you learn to use the Legacy Family Tree software with new tricks and techniques. 

Merging Files (Advanced)

Before you get started you need to: 

  • Check for broken media links in both files (or in all files if you are merging together more than 2). It is better to deal with this now rather than later
  • Do a check/repair on both (all) files
  • Backup both (all) files

Now create a new, empty Legacy file (File > New). Make sure you give this file a distinct name so you know exactly what is in it, something like, Jim and Michele's Combined File.

Now import the files you want to merge one at a time into this new file (File > Import > Legacy Family File). Each time you will get a message asking if you want to create a new file or import into the existing file. You want to import into the existing file. 

After each import Legacy will probably take you directly to the Merge screen. For now just exit out of that until you have all of the files imported.  When you have finished importing the files you will want to check for broken media links, check/repair the file, and then backup this file.

Now you will want to go through the Merge process. Make sure that you have read everything there is to read about merging in the Help File and in the Legacy User Guide. When it comes to merging, it is always a good idea to turn on the auto backup features in the Options Menu (Option 12.5). Here are a couple of tips: 

  • Start by using the Legacy defaults for the merge. You can adjust this later based on how the merge is going
  • Always run the AutoMerge as the first step. I like to run it three times in a row just to make sure. This will save you a lot of time if you have any exact duplicates (Tools > Merge Duplicates > Find Duplicates > Special Duplicate Searches > Use Intellishare to AutoMerge...)
  • Make sure to take advantage of Options > Mark this pair as not duplicates as you are going through the merge process so that you don't see those pairs again
  • On the same Options menu you have the ability to tag either or both of the possible duplicates flagging them as needing further investigation without delaying your current merge process
  • Don't forget to look at all of the tabs that have asterisks to compare info
  • Don't forget that the person on the LEFT is retained and the person on the right is deleted
  • It is NORMAL for your duplicate count to go up as you are merging. Legacy is constantly reevaluating the data
  • If you exit during a merge you will be asked if you want to Save Your Current Position. This answer to this is Yes. It is always a good idea to complete a merge pass through before starting a new merge

Splitting and merging files can be a bit scary but as long as you remember to backup everything before you get started you can always go back to square one if you need to.


Find tech tips every day in the Facebook Legacy User Group. The group is free and is available to anyone with a Facebook account.

For video tech tips check out the Legacy Quick Tips page.  These short videos will make it easy for you to learn all sort of fun and interesting ways to look at your genealogy research.

Michele Simmons Lewis, CG® is part of the Legacy Family Tree team at MyHeritage. She handles the enhancement suggestions that come in from our users as well as writing for Legacy News. You can usually find her hanging out on the Legacy User Group Facebook page answering questions and posting tips.


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Thank you Michelle. I plan to merge two files soon. I'm glad I read this because I was going to do it another way and probably would have created a big mess!!

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