Gedcom from just direct ancestors how-to

Help: De: Splitting a GEDCOM

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Categories: WikiTree Help (DE) | GEDCOM (DE)

Why GEDCOM needs to be split

GEDCOM with more than 5000 people cannot be uploaded for GEDCOMpare. More would overload our system trying to find matches. And the resulting GEDCOMpare table would overwhelm you. It would be completely useless.

How to export a shared GEDCOM

There are several possibilities for that. The options depend on the system you are exporting from.

The most common method is to export a tree for someone other than yourself. For example, instead of exporting a GEDCOM for a tree that starts with you, you export two trees: one for your mother and one for your father. Or export four trees: one for each grandparent.

Another option is to export a limited number of generations. However, exporting separate trees for family members is generally better because it will be easier to export other branches later.

For example, you can add the tree for a grandparent first. Then in a couple of weeks you can upload a file for another grandparent.

Here is more information about various programs available under How do you export a partial GEDCOM from your family tree software? (How do you export a partial GEDCOM from your family tree software?).

Family Historian

Go to File> Export> GEDCOM File.

Select the people you want to include in the export and make a selection about what should be included.

Click OK choose a location.

Click Save.

Legacy Family Tree

In Legacy, there are several options for exporting a GEDCOM. Follow this link for instructions.

In STANDARD LEGACY, which can be downloaded for free:

  1. Go to File> Export To> GEDCOM File
  2. A dialog box titled "GEDCOM Export" opens
  3. * Select the "Create file for" dropdown menu: GEDCOM 5.5.1
    • Specify the UTF-8 character set.
  4. Do not activate anything else in this field, except "Record selection".
  5. A new dialog box with the title "GEDCOM Record Selection" opens.
    • Activate the radio button (2nd selection) "selected records contained in the focus group".
    • Click on the red labeled option "Show / Select Focus Group".
  6. The new dialog box titled "Focus Group" opens. It has 5 options.
    • For WikiTree purposes, you can click "Add Family". Note that a person with ancestors or descendants or an entire family line can also be added.
  7. When you click "Add Family", a new dialog box will open titled "List of names contains (listing of individuals)".
    By the way, all with blue letters are men; all with red letters are women.
  8. If you select the families to be exported in the "Name list" (the line in the name field is highlighted in blue or red), then click on "Select", then on "Ok".
  9. Repeat "Step 7" until you have a list of families to export.
  10. When your Focus Group dialog shows all of the families you want, click Ok.
  11. Back to the dialog box titled "GEDCOM Export".
    • In the right corner there is a box with the name "Select file name and start export".
    • Click on it and the "Export GEDCOM file" window will open, where you can assign a name and save it on your computer.

Family Tree Maker

See Export your tree from Family Tree Maker or this YouTube video by Christa Cowen. member trees

See Splitting your Ancestry Member Tree.


This applies at least to version 5:

Open the tree you want to export from.

Go to File -> Export.

Under "People to export" change "Everyone" to "Select from list".

Another dialog opens in which you can choose from a list of all the people you want to add to the tree. When you click the "Mark Group" button, you can select ancestors of the highlighted person, descendants of the highlighted person, family of the highlighted person, and a few other options.

Click in this dialog and in the one below on "Ok".

Save the file on your computer.

This video shows a step-by-step guide on how to import an tree into RootsMagic.


In Gramps, select [Family Trees]> [Export] from the menu, and the export wizard will open an introductory screen. Click [Next] and select GEDCOM as the output format on the next screen. Click [Next].

The next screen allows you to filter records for export based on a number of preset and user-defined criteria. After you have set the desired filters, you can click the [Calculate preview] button to show how many data records will be included in the exported GEDCOM. If you are satisfied with the filter settings, click [Next] and enter a file name and storage location. Click [Next] and a final confirmation will appear stating the format, file name and path. Click [Apply] to create the filtered GEDCOM.

A user-defined person filter can be created for the filter setting in order to restrict the export to persons with "at least one direct source".

Version-specific documentation is available here.

To extend the filtering mentioned above ...

In Gramps, sources and quotations can be referenced by a person, an event, a family, or a place. The filter mentioned in my original post will only include people who have a source directly linked to the person; it will not include people with events (birth, death, census, etc.) that have their own sources.

To include these additional people:

  1. Under the "Events" tab, create a new event filter called: WikiTreeSourceEvent
    The rule is [citation / source]> [events with at least one direct source] criteria "level of confidence> =" 0 "".
  2. Under the "People" tab, create a new person filter called: WikiTreeSourcePerson
    • Add rule 1. [Citation / Source]> [Persons with at least one direct source] Criteria "Level of trust> =" 0 "" ".
    • Add rule 2. [General filter]> [People with events that match the . match] criteria event filter name WikiTreeSourceEvent.
    Set the filter options to "At least one rule must apply".
  3. On the export page where you're filtering your output, click the pencil (edit) next to the person filter.
  4. * Add rule 1. [General Filters]> [People who match the filter name ] WikiTreePersonFilter.
    Add more rules as needed to "split" the family tree into branches with fewer than 2500 people. These additional rules are optional, but you should use rules from the relationship, descendant or ancestor filter to reduce the number of people who should be included in the export.

NOTE: This filter excludes people with zero sources who can "break" the family tree, i.e. a person with no sources will be left out, but their parents and children will still be included if they have sources.


Also known as Personal Ancestral Files. Can be downloaded from: PAF-DOWNLOAD

Please referHow to split GEDCOMs in PAF 5.2 (How to split GEDCOMs in PAF 5.2).

Family Tree Builder (MyHeritage)

  1. With the family tree open, select File in the upper left corner.
  2. Select 'Export Gedcom' and click on 'Save As'.
  3. This opens another window with a line 'Filename' and the name of the current tree is highlighted. Change this name to your preferred GEDCOM name and click 'Save'.
  4. This will take you back to the original window. Click on 'Next'.
  5. The new window asks you to provide author information. There is a blank area titled 'Description of the file'. Click in the area and enter your own name / identifier, you can enter anything here. Click on 'Next'.
  6. The new window prompts you either to 'Include all people in the project' or 'Include only selected people'. Click the 'Include only selected people' radio button.
  7. When you click on it, another window opens with a scrollable list of all the people in the tree. Either enter a name above or scroll through the list until you find the person you want. You just have to choose one person. When you click on that name, the person will be highlighted. Click on 'Select'.
  8. The new window is titled 'Select People to Export'. Here you have the selected name under the heading 'Person' and to the right of it the option 'Include'. The default setting is displayed, it can be 'Descendants', 'Spouses', or 'Ancestors', or a combination thereof. On the right there is a button labeled 'Edit'. Click on it.
  9. You will see check boxes for the three options. Checking none means that only one person is in GEDCOM. Click 'OK' when your preferred options are set.
  10. If you want to add another person who is not currently selected, select 'Add'. This will bring you back to the 'Select People to Export' page.
  11. Follow the same steps until you have all of the people you need, then click OK.
  12. You now have the option to select notes, omit living people, omit private data, save photo information, save Gregorian calendar dates, save sources and quotes. These are check boxes. For WikiTree you have to select notes, sources and quotes, you don't want to leave out any personal information. Including live people is your choice, but don't include photo information. Click on 'Next'.
  13. In a pop-up window you will be asked if you want to create a subfolder to copy the GEDCOM. This is recommended, so choose 'Yes'.
  14. Then it is exported. This can take a few minutes. After this is done, a window will appear informing you that it's done. Make a note of the file name and the folder in which it was saved. (Usually users / documents). Select 'Finish'.

Brothers Keeper

To split a GEDCOM in Brothers Keeper's genealogy software, here's an instructional video by Paul: Split a Gedcom into Brothers Keeper.

Many thanks to Rob Ton, Maggie N., Martin Allen, Hans Jørgen Kølle, Lianne Lavoie, Rhian Geleick and Irene Dillon for providing the above information.

This page was last modified 15:39, 10 November 2020. This page has been accessed 91 times.