Linking Individuals to their Facebook Page

Many living individuals in your genealogy files might now have facebook pages. While GEDitCOM II does not have a specific facebook linking option, in genealogy research, a facebook page can be considered as a source. It often has information about the person (e.g., birth date, birth place, education, marital status, etc.) and is a good source for multimedia objects (e.g., portraits). For these reasons, a good option in GEDitCOM II is to link individuals with facebook pages to their pages by using a source record. This tutorial gives the steps to attach a facebook page source link and some hints on downloading portraits.

Linking to a Facebook Page as a Source

The basic steps are:

  1. Open the individual's facebook page in your browser and navigate to their main entry point. When there, select and copy the complete URL to that page. The URL is usually in a field at the top of the browser. For example, GEDitCOM II has a facebook page and it's URL is
  2. Open the individual in your genealogy file and click on the "Notes and Sources" pane (Note: this tutorial assumes you are using the "Default Format").
  3. Click the "Source" icon in the "Attach" section (or use the Tree→Attach→Source... menu command).
  4. When the sheet appears, click the "New Source" button.
  5. When the new source appears, select "Web Page" from the pop-up menu at the top-left of the window.
  6. Click next to the "Web Page" label that appears and paste the text you copied in step 1.
  7. In the "Title" field, enter "Facebook page for..." and then the person's name (e.g., "Facebook page for GEDitCOM II"). Of course you can pick any title you want, but if you begin all facebook page sources with the words "Facebook page" then all facebook sources will appear together when you sort sources by name. If you use something link "GEDitCOM II's facebook page," it will harder to find them all in your source list.
  8. In the "Author" field, enter the person's name (e.g., "GEDitCOM II").
  9. In the "Publisher" field, enter "".
  10. In the "Date" field, enter the date the facebook page was started or the date you first viewed it as a source.

The individual is now linked to their facebook page. Whenever viewing that individual, you can go to their "Notes and Sources" pane and then click the link to their facebook page in the "Sources" section. If you view all sources in the main index window and sort the list by source title, all facebook pages will appear together in the list (if you titled them as recommended in step 7 above).

If some individuals use other social networking web pages besides facebook, you can follow a similar procedure to link to those web pages as well.

Downloading Portraits

People often upload their favorite portrait photos to their facebook page. You can download those photos and add them to your genealogy files as individual portrait images. The steps are:

  1. Browse the photos posted on an individual's facebook page in your browser. All facebook pages have a photo section called "Profile Pictures." This section is often the best place to find portraits, but you may find better portraits in other sections as well.
  2. When you find a good photo, click on the photo and choose the "Download" option.
  3. Usually, the photo will download and open in Apple's "Preview" application (if you are using Safari). If the photo is good as is, make a note of the title and close it. Sometimes you might get a better portrait by cropping to a different frame. You can select a region and crop right in "Preview" and then save and close the window.
  4. Go to GEDitCOM II, open the individual for the new portrait, find their "Multimedia" pane, and click on the "Attach Multimedia" icon (or use the Tree→Attach→Multimedia... menu command).
  5. When the sheet opens, click the "New Multimedia Object" button.
  6. A new, empty multimedia object record will open and it will display a sheet to choose the object. Start by clicking the "Choose" button and then using standard Mac methods to select the file downloaded in step 2. It will probably be in your "Downloads" folder and will have the name you noted in step 3.
  7. Enter a title (such as the person's name and "Portrait") and click "OK".
  8. Most likely, you will be warned that the photo is not in any of your multimedia library folders for the current genealogy file. It is a good idea to organize all your multimedia into library folders (see the GEDitCOM II help for details). In this process, therefore, your best option is to click the "Move to Library" button. You will enter a standard Mac file save dialog box starting in the main multimedia library folder for your current GEDitCOM II file. Save the photo in that folder or in any subfolder in the folder. You can give the photo a better name than the generic name assigned to the photo when it was downloaded from facebook. The file will be removed from the "Downloads" folder, renamed, and saved with your genealogy files. (Note: if you want to keep a copy in your "Downloads" too, use the "Copy to Library" button instead of the "Move to Library" button.)

When the above steps are down, you wil be viewing the new multimedia object record in GEDitCOM II. You can close that window to return to the target individual's "Multimedia" pane and it will have the new photo. If the new photo is not the first photo and you want to choose it as the person's portrait, control click on the image's thumbnail button and choose "Designate this Multimedia Object as this records' portrait" from the pop-up menu.