Handling Renumbered Record IDs after Import


Sometimes when importing GEDCOM from other programs the Record IDs get renumbered sequentially from 1, but you may wish that they are retained unchanged.


Family Historian will often retain the imported Record Id, but for this to work a couple of rules must apply:

  • Each Record Id must end with a string of digits representing any number up to 2147483646 maximum.
  • These Record Id numbers must be unique within every particular Record Type (Individual, Family, Note, Source, etc.)

Note that if these rules are broken by even just one Record, then prior to 6.2.5 ALL Records of ALL Types get renumbered; from 6.2.5 only record types which break the rules are renumbered and the others are left unchanged.

If retention of Record Id is required, the original GEDCOM file must be corrected with a plain text editor or a Plugin to conform to these rules, and imported again.

A similar technique uses a Plugin to insert an Automated Record Id (RIN) with the same number as each Record Id number. Then after import, Tools > Record IdentifiersEvery record in Family Historian has a numeric Record ID, which uniquely identifies it within its type of record.… can be used to Generate new record ids by copying Automated Record Id values for each Record Type where possible.

See the Migrate from Legacy – Keep ids Forums Topic for further details and a Plugin download that should work with a GEDCOM file from any genealogy program.

Last update: 22 Feb 2024