Twile Allows Users to Merge Multiple GEDCOM Files

I have written before about Twile. See for a list of my past articles about the company. Now Twile is introducing a new upgraded version. The following announcement was written by the folks at Twile:

twileDoncaster, UK: 7th September, 2016

Twile have today released a new feature allowing users to merge multiple GEDCOM files into one family tree and keep it updated with future changes.

The new feature means that family members storing their research independently in different family history sites – such as Ancestry or Findmypast – can now bring all of their findings together in one private family tree on Twile and import newer versions as they further their research. As well as building their tree, Twile will use the data in the GEDCOM files to automatically add events to the family timeline, such as births, marriages and deaths.

The merge tool will intelligently match people from a GEDCOM file by comparing their names, genders, dates of birth and relationships, requesting the user’s help with any matches that aren’t obvious.

Twile users have been able to import GEDCOM files since early 2015, but until now it hasn’t been possible to bring in multiple versions. The company has built the merge feature in response to the requests of customers, who wanted to keep their Twile timelines up-to-date for their wider families to explore.

Co-founder Paul Brooks comments “It’s now possible for the whole family to explore their complete family tree, with all of the family’s historians combining their research together. It’s a significant new feature for Twile and one that’s been requested again and again by customers, so we’re really happy to finally have it finished”.

About Twile

Twile is an interactive timeline of your family’s past, present and future. Made up of photos and milestones – such as births, marriages and deaths – it tells the story of your family from your earliest known ancestor right through to today. Family historians can import a family tree from their existing research tool (e.g. Ancestry) and then add more recent events from their own life, before inviting their family to explore and contribute.

While the website is aimed primarily at family historians, it is also designed to encourage the rest of the family to add their own, more recent content.

Since its beginnings, Twile has been backed by Creative England (who bring capital through the Government’s Regional Growth Fund), a number of UK angel investors and leading genealogy site Findmypast, with whom they partnered in February 2016. Twile were winners of two innovation awards at RootsTech 2016, including People’s Choice.


Sounds like a recipe for disaster to me


I use Zoompast – cloud-based and free from the Imperial College London; you’re right, it doesn’t have the reporting capabilities of a desktop-based system as yet but they are working on this aspect. It does however have some really good things, such as being able to link to a website for a particular record which gives the viewer a huge amount of historical information which may pertain to the period of the circumstances around that particular person. It is private by default, and you can invite people to view it with or without editing rights. I have invited all of my interested family and friends, and most do contribute to it, uploading anecdotal information and photographs, which is great. You are also able to store digital images with the records, and although it is difficult to read these in the records, they are also working on having a better server to accommodate this. You are able to download a gedcom for upload into your old system in order to produce reports.


Seems to me that PAF had a merge function. I understand the principle that they are using an algorithm to match people, but many people simply have a name only and when you have multiple people with no information with the same name, what happens? I highly recommend everyone keep a separate backup before you merge. The PAF merge button on PAF created all sorts of duplication. But cuddo’s for trying.


    Hi Jeff – I’m one of the founders of Twile and appreciated your comment regarding the algorithms. This is a pretty tricky piece of logic of course, but we’ve spent a very long time working to get it right. However, in situations where there simply isn’t enough information to make an automatic decision, we always ask for your help with the merge – you’ll see a list of people that we couldn’t merge with confidence, so that you can work through them and make sure it’s right.

    As with everything we build into Twile, we’d love to hear feedback from customers on this GEDCOM merge so that we can improve it even further.


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