Importing data

Relative History can import data from GEDCOM files or from a database exported from another copy of Relative History.

There are two ways to import data into the app:

  • Open a supported file from a directory or as an email attachment. GEDCOM files have a .GED file extension and Relative History databases have a .RHZ file extension.
  • Start the app and, from the main screen, tap on the Import button.
Importing GEDCOM

Only one file can be imported at a time. If you already have a database in the app, you can continue to browse that data while the new file is being imported. Alternatively, you can use a different app on your device but please be aware that if the Relative History app is not visible, the import process will be suspended. This is a feature of Windows; importing will be paused but will continue when the app becomes visible again.


The amount of time taken to import a GEDCOM file depends on how large the file is.

You can cancel the import of the current file. If you are using a Windows Phone/Mobile device, tap on the file and you will be asked if you want to cancel the import. For other devices, select the item and tap on the Cancel Import button.

If an import fails …

Sometimes the importing of a GEDCOM file will fail. There are different reasons why this may happen but the key causes are:

  • Content in the file that does not comply with the GEDCOM standard.
  • A problem with reading the file itself.
  • A bug in the Relative History app.

If the import does fail, tapping on the database entry on the main screen will give the reason for the failure and an opportunity to email technical details to Papillon Productions Support. If you choose to send the email, it is recommended that you also attach the file that failed to import.

Relative History is very strict about the GEDCOM standard and this can result in some information not being successfully imported if the software that created the GEDCOM file doesn’t comply with the standard properly. Normally this won’t cause the import to fail, just report some errors. However, some software can create GEDCOM files that cannot be sucessfully imported and the Support team can either try to fix the file for you or explain what changes you need to make to the file.

Windows 8.1 and OneDrive

If you are importing a file stored on OneDrive and you are using Windows 8.1, Windows needs to download the file to your computer first before it can be imported. Depending on connectivity and other factors, this may cause the import to fail. If you do encounter any problems, you may want to consider copying the file locally to your computer and importing it from there.