Saturday, July 9, 2016


Most people involved with genealogy and family history probably know what a GEDCOM is.  In case you don't, GEDCOM is an anacronym for GEnealogical Data COMmunication.  It is a computer text file with genealogical information that can be used by many different computer programs or at various websites.  Read more detail at Wikipedia.

Though I knew what a GEDCOM was I had never made or used one until the end of May when findmypast had an offer on their website:  the documents found by hints and that were for individuals on your family tree were free.   I have plenty of ancestors in England.  Why not take advantage of this special?  Of course, it necessitated uploading a family tree to findmypast via a GEDCOM.  Whether or not that was a good reason for making a GEDCOM and uploading a tree, that's what I did.  (I've never put a tree online before.  The only one that's available for my family is at FamilySearch, which is a community tree.)

Before I could make a GEDCOM, I had to look online to learn how to make one.  I found that my RootsMagic program would do it with a few clicks.

Here's how:

> Open RootsMagic.

> Click on <File> in the upper left corner.

> From the drop down list, click <Export>

"GEDCOM Export" will open in a box offering you options.

> Choose the options you'd like included in the GEDCOM.
> Press OK.

Another box will open in the RootsMagic program asking you to give your GEDCOM a file name.
> Name your file, remembering the name and where you saved it.

You're done!

At findmypast, Ancestry, or any other genealogy website that accepts trees, you can upload this GEDCOM to the website and your family tree will be online.

My family surnames in England include Armitage, Doyle, Hartley, Laws, and Ray/Reay.  I was pleased with the hints that appeared for my lines and found some helpful information.  I'll share in upcoming weeks.


Copyright ©2016 Nancy Messier. All Rights Reserved.


  1. I created one several months ago when the genealogy world had a meltdown over the announcement that Family Tree Maker would be no more. I uploaded a GEDCOM to a new program and also to My Heritage. I get lots of record matches there too.

    1. I've only uploaded the one, Wendy, and can't get excited about doing more just for the sake of having trees online, but the idea of getting hints is very appealing. I'll probably add more as I ease back into genealogy research.

  2. I have really liked the hints at My Heritage and Ancestry. I think I have a mental block about some of the technical stuff, but when I take it a step at a time, I find I can do more than I think.

    1. Ah, yes, Michelle, I totally understand that mental block toward technology. Some days I just want to turn my back on it all. But, little by little, I keep learning and, as I told Wendy, I'll probably upload GEDCOMS to several other websites one of these days. Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment.


I appreciate your comments and look forward to reading what you have to say. Thanks for stopping by.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...