I've been attempting a data import for households and contacts on a new civi install, and cannot for the life of me figure out how to import the data and keep civi from creating duplicate records of contacts and/or households along the way.

I've followed the instructions provided here: http://wiki.civicrm.org/confluence/display/CRMDOC/Importing+Households+and+Household+Members

And about any number of combinations of data uploads, but am having no luck.

Does anyone have tips or instructions they like to follow for importing of contacts initially, when contacts need to be associated with households?

Thank you!

1 Answer 1


Your dedupe rules aren't probably tight enough so instead of seeing that the contact exists already, it creates a new one.

The fact that your getting dups also probably says you are doing multiple imports with the same CVS. When I do imports I often do run the same file more than once, but the key difference is if the contact already exists and you are say adding them to a household, you should check the update box on the import instead of the default.

So having said all that, if I'm importing new hh and individuals and trying to create the relationships, I will import the hh and ind and give them an external id. The external id can be anything, number, letters, a combination. Then I use that external id as the link for creating the relationships, importing contributions, etc. The external id has to be unique unlike names and email so it won't create new contacts when it doesn't match like it does with just names.

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