GEDCOM files (*.ged) Print button

gedcomGEDCOM is a widely used format for storing and transferring genealogy information.  The easiest way to transfer information from other genealogy software to My Family Tree is via a GEDCOM file.

Importing a GEDCOM file

A GEDCOM file normally contains all the data in a single file with a *.ged extension.  Select the file you want to import using File>Import GEDCOM.

Importing a GEDCOM file

Fig 1. Importing a GEDCOM file.


GEDCOM files often contain links to images, audio and video stored in other locations.  During import, place a copy of any linked files in the same folder as the source *.ged file to ensure these are imported.

Character encoding

The character encoding of the GEDCOM file is determined automatically during import.  The source character encoding can be overridden if required.

Text concatenation

If you import a GEDCOM file and longer text is periodically missing spaces, select the "Correct text concatenation" option during import.

Multivolume GEDCOM files

On rare occasions, you may encounter a multivolume GEDCOM file where the data is spanned across several GEDCOM files using sequential extensions (*.G00, *.G01 etc.).  During import, place all the volumes in the same directory as the root *.ged file to ensure these are imported.

Exporting a GEDCOM file

The easiest way to transfer information from My Family Tree to other genealogy software is via the GEDCOM format. You can select which individuals to export and optionally include any linked multimedia files.

Exporting a GEDCOM file

Fig 2. Exporting a GEDCOM file.

Selecting people to include

Fig 3. Selecting people to include.


You can use privacy options to remove personal details of living people or people who have been marked as private within My Family Tree.  Selecting the "Hide living people" option prevents export of all information about living people apart from their surname.  Selecting the "Hide private information" option prevents export of any information marked as private.

GEDCOM versions and character encoding

It is recommended that you use the default GEDCOM 5.5.1 version and UTF-8 encoding options which will ensure maximum compatibility with other genealogy software.  In very specific circumstances, advanced users may wish to choose other GEDCOM version and encoding options.  Be sure to have a good case for doing this and ensure you are fully aware of the potential for information getting lost in the transfer process.

GEDCOM extensions

GEDCOM files can use extension tags to store information which is not part of the standard GEDCOM form.  Details of the GEDCOM extensions used by the current version of My Family Tree can be downloaded from the knowledge base.