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Genealogy & Family History
GEDCOMs FAQ
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GEDCOMs
Frequently Asked Questions
If your GEDCOM question is not listed here, or if you need further information,
please send us an email at


What is a GEDCOM?

GEDCOM is an acronym that stands for GEnealogical Data COMmunication. Basically, a GEDCOM is a simple text file that can be created and read by any genealogy program. When you enter your family history information into a genealogy program, such as Legacy or Family Tree Maker, the program automatically stores that information in its own, unique format. So, Legacy files can only be read by the Legacy program and Family Tree Maker files can only be read by the Family Tree Maker program.

What do you do if you want to share information with someone who uses a different program than you do? That's where GEDCOMs come in handy. All genealogy programs also have the ability to export your family history information in GEDCOM format, which can in turn be read by any other genealogy program. A good way to think of it is as a common language that all genealogy software programs can understand.

When using MyTrees.com, you will come across the term GEDCOM in two cases. First, if you want to submit your family tree to us in order to share it with others and to receive a free month of our subscription services, one way you can do so is by uploading a GEDCOM. Second, if you would like to download information from our site (either from your own file or from a file you have found in one of our databases), the information will be saved in GEDCOM format on your computer.

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Why should I upload my GEDCOM to MyTrees.com?

Here are some of the advantages of uploading your GEDCOM to MyTrees.com:

  • Submitting your file to MyTrees.com gives you another backup copy of your family history data. We often hear from distressed genealogists who say their computers have crashed and their backup disks are unusable. If they have previously submitted their GEDCOM to us, the solution is as easy as downloading a copy of the file. Here at MyTrees.com, we backup every file in our database not once, but four times. This insures that no matter what happens, we will always have a copy of your complete file stored on our server.

  • If you upload your GEDCOM to us, we'll give you free access to our subscription database. Any file that contains at least 60 individuals and 15 families will receive one free month. Depending on the size of the file, you could receive up to four free months. Please note that this is a one time offer, so be sure to upload your largest file first.

  • When you upload your GEDCOM to us, it becomes part of our Ancestry Archive and anyone searching our site can find it and see what names you are researching. This makes it easy for others with similar research interests to contact you in order to share information.

  • You can register a Family Password in order to give your family members complete access to your file. This free service is a great way to share your genealogical finds with relatives over the internet.

  • Any genealogy program can create a GEDCOM. However, sometimes certain genealogy programs place information in a GEDCOM that can't be read by any other program. This raises the danger of losing that information when the GEDCOM is imported into another program. Our website has been carefully designed so that it will never lose data. If something is not understood by our program, that information is placed in the notes so that it is still available.

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How do I create a GEDCOM?

You should be able to create a GEDCOM in any genealogy program. However, the exact process involved is different for each program. Generally, the option to create a GEDCOM can be found in the File menu under the heading Export. Look for specific instructions in your program's user manual or help files by searching for GEDCOM. Here are instructions for exporting a GEDCOM in some of the more popular genealogy programs:

My Family Tree
(Please note that if you are using My Family Tree to build a family tree, you do NOT need to submit a GEDCOM to us. The file is submitted automatically as you build your tree, so we already have it.)

Open Legacy 9.0

Family Tree Maker 2006

PAF 5.0

The above instructions are based on specific versions on the programs. If you have another version of the same program, the steps may be slightly different. Hopefully, our instructions will still help. If not, we encourage you to search for GEDCOM in the program's user manual or help files or to contact the customer service department of the company that produced your program. If you have any difficulty downloading a GEDCOM from My Family Tree, please contact us.

If you would like more information on GEDCOMs, please see What is a GEDCOM?

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How do I upload my GEDCOM to MyTrees.com?

Please note that if you have been using our My Family Tree genealogy program, you do NOT need to submit a file. Your account will be automatically activated when your file becomes eligible to receive a free month.

If you have been using another genealogy program to create your family tree and have exported a GEDCOM, you can upload it to us by following these steps:

  1. Go to our homepage at https://www.mytrees.com.
  2. Click the "My Family Tree" link located at the top of the page. Then click "Upload GEDCOM".
  3. Login to your account. (If you are not already a member of MyTrees.com, you will need to register a free member account before you can submit your file.)

  4. You will now be on the GEDCOM File Submission page. If you are uploading a NEW file, select "New GEDCOM." If the file that you are submitting is an UPDATE of a file that you had previously submitted, click the circle in front of the file that you wish to update.

  5. Give your file a name by typing it into the "description" field. (No one else will be able to see this name. Naming your file can help you distinguish it from other files that you may have in your account. You can choose anything you like, but most people use a surname.) If you are UPDATING a file already attached to your account, you will still need to retype the name in the "description" field.
  6. Click the BROWSE button. The file extensions .ftm and .htm will not create a GEDCOM. Make sure the file ends with a .ged. Some computers do not display the file extensions. In this case you will need to view the file extension by looking at the properties of the file.
  7. Select the drive and folder in which your GEDCOM is saved.
  8. Select the file name and then click OPEN. This will place the correct path to your file into the submission form.

  9. Click the Submitter's Rights and Responsibilities link. This will bring up a smaller window, where your rights and responsibilities as a submitter will be listed. Read through the document. If you agree to the terms, click the check box next to "I have read and agree."
  10. Click the SUBMIT GEDCOM button.
Your file will then upload to our site, where it will be attached to your account. Please be patient if you have a large file. It can take up to 5 minutes per meg to upload, depending on the speed of your internet connection. You will see a confirmation screen that will tell you when the file has completely uploaded. We will also send you a confirmation email if your account has been activated for your free month, if you have not already received one.

If you do not see the BROWSE button, or if you have any other problems submitting your file online, you are welcome to send us your file by one of the following methods.

  • Email - You can send your file as an email attachment. Please sure to include your account number in the body of the email and send it to:

  • Mail - If you have a copy of your GEDCOM saved on a stick, you can send the stick to us through the mail. Be sure to include a note with your account number and mail it to:

    MyTrees.com
    782 S. River Road #304
    St. George, Utah 84790
    USA

If you need further assistance in uploading your file, please contact our customer service department by sending an email to
or by calling us at (801)229-7967.

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How do I update my file at MyTrees.com by uploading a new GEDCOM?

If you have previously submitted a GEDCOM to MyTrees.com and would like to update that file by submitting a new GEDCOM, follow these steps:

  1. Go to our homepage at https://www.mytrees.com.

  2. Click the "My Family Tree" link located at the top of the page. Then click "Upload GEDCOM."
  3. Login to your account.

  4. You will now be on the GEDCOM File Submission page. Any file(s) that you have already submitted to MyTrees.com will be displayed on this page. Find the name of the file that you wish to UPDATE and click the circle in front of that file.

  5. Give your updated file a name by typing it into the "description" field. Even if your file already has a name, you will still need to enter it again when updating. You can simply retype the original name, or give it a new name.
  6. Click the BROWSE button.

  7. Select the drive and folder in which your GEDCOM is saved.

  8. Select the file name and then click OPEN. This will place the correct path to your file into the submission form.

  9. Click the Submitter's Rights and Responsibilities link. This will bring up a smaller window, where your rights and responsibilities as a submitter will be listed. Read through the document. If you agree to the terms, click the check box next to "I have read and agree."
  10. Click the SUBMIT GEDCOM button.
Your original file will then be removed and replaced by the new, updated GEDCOM. Please be patient if you have a large file. It can take up to 5 minutes per meg to upload, depending on the speed of your internet connection. You will see a confirmation screen that will tell you when the file has completely uploaded.

If you do not see the BROWSE button, or if you have any other problems submitting your file online, you are welcome to send us your file by one of the following methods.

  • Email - You can send your file as an email attachment. Please be sure to mention in your email: (1) your account number and (2) what file you wish to update. Send the email to:

  • Mail - If you have a copy of your GEDCOM saved on a disk, you can send the disk to us through the mail. Please be sure to include a note that states: (1) your account number and (2) what file you wish to update. Mail it to:

    MyTrees.com
    782 S. River Road #304
    St. George, Utah 84790
    USA

If you need further assistance in uploading your file, please contact our customer service department by sending an email to
or by calling us at (801)229-7967.

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How much free time will I get for uploading my GEDCOM to MyTrees.com?

If you upload a GEDCOM to My Family Tree that contains at least 60 individuals and 15 families, you will be eligible to receive one free month of our subscription time. Larger files may be eligible for additional time. This is a one time offer and will be based on the first file you upload. You will not receive additional free time for updating the file on a later date.

  • 60 - 4,999 names = 1 free month
  • 5,000 - 9,999 names = 2 free months
  • 10,000 - 29,000 names = 3 free months
  • 30,000+ names = 4 free months
More free time may be given for files that are significantly larger than 30,000 names, decided on a case by case basis. If you have such a file that you would like to upload, please contact us at
or by phone at (801)229-7967 for an estimate of how much free time you would receive.

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Will other people be able to download my GEDCOM?

Once you have uploaded a file to MyTrees.com, it becomes part of our Ancestry Archive, where it can be viewed by our other patrons. Small portions of a file (up to 6 generations at a time) may be downloaded from the Archive. However, no one will be able to download a complete copy of your GEDCOM from our public archive.

There are only two places on our site where a complete copy may be downloaded. One is in our My Family Tree program, which you would use to view and edit your own file. You can always download either part or all of your file from My Family Tree. (For instructions on how to do so, see How do I download a copy of the file I have submitted to MyTrees.com?.) No one else can access your file from My Family Tree.

Your file can also be viewed and downloaded from the Family Access login. Family Access allows your family members or friends to view your complete file (including living individuals) and to download part or all of the file. In order to view your file through Family Access, they will need your account number and family password (which is a separate password that you can set up for this purpose; it is NOT the password that you use to login to your account). Only someone to whom you had given this family password would be able to download your entire file. This allows you to maintain control over who has a copy of your complete GEDCOM.

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Will the living people in my GEDCOM be displayed on the site?

Here at MyTrees.com, we protect the privacy of living individuals by NOT displaying their names in our database. Our system automatically determines which individuals are still living by birth date. As long as you've included birth dates for all living people, their names will not appear in the Ancestry Archive. If you do not know the exact birth date of a living individual, you can list an estimated birth year or even a year range to prevent them from showing in the Archive.

Please note that while living people will not be displayed for public viewing in the Ancestry Archive, there are a couple of places where they may be shown.

  • First, when you login to your own account in order to view your file through My Family Tree, you will be able to view information on living individuals.

  • Second, if you are logged into your account and doing searches on the site that lead you to your own file, you will be able to see all the individuals in it. This is because the site recognizes you from your login and so allows you to see that information. The living individuals are not available for public viewing.

  • Third, those who access your account through the Family Access login will also be able to view the living individuals. However, you decide if you would like to register a family password or not and you decide who gets access to that family password.
So, the only people who would be able to see living individuals in your file would be you yourself and any family members or friends to whom you have chosen to give your family password. This allow you to maintain control over who can view information on living individuals in your file.

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I have a Mac computer. Can I still upload my GEDCOM?

Yes. Our website has been designed to read and process all GEDCOMs, including those created by Mac programs. If you upload your file and the site does have any problem processing it, the GEDCOM would be reviewed by a member of our staff. At that point, we would either be able to manually upload the file to the site or we would contact you to let you know what went wrong and how to fix the problem.

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I have pictures in my family tree. Will those be uploaded with my GEDCOM?

No. A GEDCOM is a text file, which means that it only includes words and numbers. Any pictures that you may have saved in your genealogy program will not be uploaded as a part of your GEDCOM. However, you can still upload your pictures to MyTrees.com using our My Family Tree program. Here is a link to specific instructions on how to do so:

Pictures in My Family Tree

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I've uploaded my GEDCOM. Now what?

Once you have uploaded your GEDCOM to us, you can start using our services to extend and share your family tree. If this is your first GEDCOM upload and it contained at least 60 individuals and 15 families, you will have received a free month, giving you access to our full database of genealogical files and records. To start searching, go to our homepage and log into your account. That will take you to a search screen.

Here are some other MyTrees.com services that you might be interested in:

  • My Family Tree: My Family Tree is a free genealogy program that you can use to view and edit your file right on our site. You can also print out pedigree charts, download a copy of your information, and much more from My Family Tree.

  • Family Access Login: When you set up a family password, your family members can view the file you have submitted without needing to have their own MyTrees.com account. They just need your account number and family password and they'll be able to view your entire file. Only you will be able to edit your file, though, so you can maintain complete control over your own data. Please note that a family password is NOT the password you use to log into your own account. You can set up a separate family password by selecting "Set Family Password" from the My Account menu on our site.

  • Every Name Search: Once you've submitted a file to us, you can use the Every Name Search to search for every name in your file at once. This allows you to quickly gather in possible matches without doing hundreds of individual searches. You can also do just an End of Line search, which only searches for individuals who are missing parent or spouse names. You will need a subscription to view the full results of your Every Name Search, however, so if you received a free month for your file, make sure to try this comprehensive search before your free time runs out.

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How do I download a copy of the file I have submitted to MyTrees.com?

You can download a copy of the file that you have submitted to MyTrees.com at any time through our My Family Tree program by following these steps:

  1. Go to our homepage at https://www.mytrees.com.
  2. Click "My Family Tree" from the top menu.
  3. Then click "Manage Tree."
  4. Login to your account.
  5. Your file should then display. If you have submitted more than one file, you may need to select the correct file by clicking the "Select Tree" icon from the top menu. From the File Selection page, select the file you wish to download and click the SUBMIT SELECTION button.
  6. When the correct file is displaying, click the "Download Tree" icon from the top menu.
  7. This will take you to the download screen. To download a copy of your entire file, click the Generations scroll box and scroll all the way to the bottom and select "Entire Tree." If you wish to download only part of your file, you can select the number of generations you wish to download, up to 40 generations at a time. (The download will start with the family currently displaying in the first position of your pedigree chart.)
  8. Select what type of computer you are using: PC or Mac.
  9. Click the DOWNLOAD button.

  10. That should bring up a small Save window. (You may first be asked whether you wish to Open or Save the file. Select Save.)

  11. At the top of the Save window, you should see a scroll box titled "Save In." This tells you where the file will be saved. You can change the Save In location by clicking on the scroll box and selecting a new location. Make sure that you remember where you are saving the file, though, so you can find it again later.
  12. At the bottom of the Save window you will see a "File name" field. Enter a name for your file here, adding a .ged extension at the end. For example, MyFile.ged.
  13. Below the "File name" field, there should be a "Save as type" or "File type" scroll box. From this scroll box, select either All Files or Text (*.txt).
  14. Click the Save button.
Your file should then be downloaded to your computer as a GEDCOM. You can open that file using any genealogy program. If you have any difficulty in downloading a copy of your file, please contact our customer service department by sending an email to
or by calling us at (801)229-7967.

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How do I download a copy of a file I found in the Ancestry Archive database?

When you are viewing a file in the Ancestry Archive database, you can download up to six generations by following these steps:

  1. Find the Download area that appears below the pedigree chart.
  2. Click the scroll box to select the number of generations you wish to download. The download will start with the family currently listed in the first position on the pedigree chart. You can only download up to six generations at a time from the Ancestry Archive. If you wish to have a copy of the complete file, you will need to contact the submitter and request that they send you a copy. Submitter contact information can be found at the top of the file.
  3. Select what type of computer you are using: PC, WebTV, or Mac. You will notice that there is also a MyTrees option. If you have already received a free month for submitting a file that contains at least 60 individuals and 15 families, you can use the download area to copy information from a file in the Ancestry Archive to your My Family Tree file.
  4. Click the DOWNLOAD button.
  5. That should bring up a small Save window. (You may first be asked whether you wish to Open or Save the file. Select Save.)
  6. At the top of the Save window, you should see a scroll box titled "Save In." This tells you where the file will be saved. You can change the Save In location by clicking on the scroll box and selecting a new location. Make sure that you remember where you are saving the file, though, so you can find it again later.
  7. At the bottom of the Save window you will see a "File name" field. Enter a name for your file here, adding a .ged extension at the end. For example, MyFile.ged.
  8. Below the "File name" field, there should be a "Save as type" or "File type" scroll box. From this scroll box, select either All Files or Text (*.txt).
  9. Click the Save button.
Your file should then be downloaded to your computer as a GEDCOM file. You can open that file using any genealogy program. If you have any difficulty in downloading a copy of your file, please contact our customer service department by sending an email to
or by calling us at (801)229-7967.

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I clicked the Download button, but all that came up was a bunch of text. What happened?

If you are seeing a screen of text when you try to download a GEDCOM from our site, instead of a Save window, there are a couple of possibilities:

  • You are accessing the internet through a WebTV or other TV console device. If that is the case, then you probably can not download information because there is no computer to save that information to. So, the GEDCOM file will simply display as a text file on your screen. If you are not able to download information, we suggest that you go ahead and view the file on our site. If you are able to print information, you can use the Print Pedigree or Print Displays links to print off a copy of the pedigree chart.

  • You are using a PC or Mac computer, but your internet browser has opened the file rather than saving it. What you are seeing is a text copy of the GEDCOM file. You can save it using your browser's Save As option. Follow these steps:
    1. Click your browser's File menu.
    2. Select the "Save As" option. (It may say "Save Page As" or something similar.)
    3. That should bring up a small Save window. Use the "Save In" option to select where you would like to save the file.
    4. Enter a name in the "File name" field, ending it with a .ged extension. For example, MyFile.ged.
    5. Set the "Save as type" or "File type" option to All Files or Text (*.txt).
    6. Click the Save button.
    7. The GEDCOM file should then be saved to your computer.

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Can I keep my GEDCOM private?

Yes, it is possible to mark your file private, which means that it can not be seen in our public database. However, the ability to make a file private is part of our subscription services, so you can only have a private file if you have a current subscription to MyTrees.com. If you have a current subscription, you can set your file to private by following these instructions:

  1. Go to our homepage at https://www.mytrees.com.
  2. Click "My Family Tree" from the top menu.
  3. Then click "Manage Tree."
  4. Make sure the correct file is displaying. If you have more than one file, you may need to click the Select Tree link at the left to select the correct file.
  5. Click the Make Private link from the menu at the left.
  6. Your file will the be made private. It may take up to 24 hours for all references to your file to be entirely removed from the public database. You may make as many of your files private as you wish. If you cancel your subscription to MyTrees.com, your files will automatically be made public again.

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GEDCOMs FAQ

GEDCOMs
Frequently Asked Questions
If your GEDCOM question is not listed here, or if you need further information,
please send us an email at


What is a GEDCOM?

GEDCOM is an acronym that stands for GEnealogical Data COMmunication. Basically, a GEDCOM is a simple text file that can be created and read by any genealogy program. When you enter your family history information into a genealogy program, such as Legacy or Family Tree Maker, the program automatically stores that information in its own, unique format. So, Legacy files can only be read by the Legacy program and Family Tree Maker files can only be read by the Family Tree Maker program.

What do you do if you want to share information with someone who uses a different program than you do? That's where GEDCOMs come in handy. All genealogy programs also have the ability to export your family history information in GEDCOM format, which can in turn be read by any other genealogy program. A good way to think of it is as a common language that all genealogy software programs can understand.

When using MyTrees.com, you will come across the term GEDCOM in two cases. First, if you want to submit your family tree to us in order to share it with others and to receive a free month of our subscription services, one way you can do so is by uploading a GEDCOM. Second, if you would like to download information from our site (either from your own file or from a file you have found in one of our databases), the information will be saved in GEDCOM format on your computer.

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Why should I upload my GEDCOM to MyTrees.com?

Here are some of the advantages of uploading your GEDCOM to MyTrees.com:

  • Submitting your file to MyTrees.com gives you another backup copy of your family history data. We often hear from distressed genealogists who say their computers have crashed and their backup disks are unusable. If they have previously submitted their GEDCOM to us, the solution is as easy as downloading a copy of the file. Here at MyTrees.com, we backup every file in our database not once, but four times. This insures that no matter what happens, we will always have a copy of your complete file stored on our server.

  • If you upload your GEDCOM to us, we'll give you free access to our subscription database. Any file that contains at least 60 individuals and 15 families will receive one free month. Depending on the size of the file, you could receive up to four free months. Please note that this is a one time offer, so be sure to upload your largest file first.

  • When you upload your GEDCOM to us, it becomes part of our Ancestry Archive and anyone searching our site can find it and see what names you are researching. This makes it easy for others with similar research interests to contact you in order to share information.

  • You can register a Family Password in order to give your family members complete access to your file. This free service is a great way to share your genealogical finds with relatives over the internet.

  • Any genealogy program can create a GEDCOM. However, sometimes certain genealogy programs place information in a GEDCOM that can't be read by any other program. This raises the danger of losing that information when the GEDCOM is imported into another program. Our website has been carefully designed so that it will never lose data. If something is not understood by our program, that information is placed in the notes so that it is still available.

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How do I create a GEDCOM?

You should be able to create a GEDCOM in any genealogy program. However, the exact process involved is different for each program. Generally, the option to create a GEDCOM can be found in the File menu under the heading Export. Look for specific instructions in your program's user manual or help files by searching for GEDCOM. Here are instructions for exporting a GEDCOM in some of the more popular genealogy programs:

My Family Tree
(Please note that if you are using My Family Tree to build a family tree, you do NOT need to submit a GEDCOM to us. The file is submitted automatically as you build your tree, so we already have it.)

Open Legacy 9.0

Family Tree Maker 2006

PAF 5.0

The above instructions are based on specific versions on the programs. If you have another version of the same program, the steps may be slightly different. Hopefully, our instructions will still help. If not, we encourage you to search for GEDCOM in the program's user manual or help files or to contact the customer service department of the company that produced your program. If you have any difficulty downloading a GEDCOM from My Family Tree, please contact us.

If you would like more information on GEDCOMs, please see What is a GEDCOM?

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How do I upload my GEDCOM to MyTrees.com?

Please note that if you have been using our My Family Tree genealogy program, you do NOT need to submit a file. Your account will be automatically activated when your file becomes eligible to receive a free month.

If you have been using another genealogy program to create your family tree and have exported a GEDCOM, you can upload it to us by following these steps:

  1. Go to our homepage at https://www.mytrees.com.
  2. Click the "My Family Tree" link located at the top of the page. Then click "Upload GEDCOM".
  3. Login to your account. (If you are not already a member of MyTrees.com, you will need to register a free member account before you can submit your file.)

  4. You will now be on the GEDCOM File Submission page. If you are uploading a NEW file, select "New GEDCOM." If the file that you are submitting is an UPDATE of a file that you had previously submitted, click the circle in front of the file that you wish to update.

  5. Give your file a name by typing it into the "description" field. (No one else will be able to see this name. Naming your file can help you distinguish it from other files that you may have in your account. You can choose anything you like, but most people use a surname.) If you are UPDATING a file already attached to your account, you will still need to retype the name in the "description" field.
  6. Click the BROWSE button. The file extensions .ftm and .htm will not create a GEDCOM. Make sure the file ends with a .ged. Some computers do not display the file extensions. In this case you will need to view the file extension by looking at the properties of the file.
  7. Select the drive and folder in which your GEDCOM is saved.
  8. Select the file name and then click OPEN. This will place the correct path to your file into the submission form.

  9. Click the Submitter's Rights and Responsibilities link. This will bring up a smaller window, where your rights and responsibilities as a submitter will be listed. Read through the document. If you agree to the terms, click the check box next to "I have read and agree."
  10. Click the SUBMIT GEDCOM button.
Your file will then upload to our site, where it will be attached to your account. Please be patient if you have a large file. It can take up to 5 minutes per meg to upload, depending on the speed of your internet connection. You will see a confirmation screen that will tell you when the file has completely uploaded. We will also send you a confirmation email if your account has been activated for your free month, if you have not already received one.

If you do not see the BROWSE button, or if you have any other problems submitting your file online, you are welcome to send us your file by one of the following methods.

  • Email - You can send your file as an email attachment. Please sure to include your account number in the body of the email and send it to:

  • Mail - If you have a copy of your GEDCOM saved on a stick, you can send the stick to us through the mail. Be sure to include a note with your account number and mail it to:

    MyTrees.com
    782 S. River Road #304
    St. George, Utah 84790
    USA

If you need further assistance in uploading your file, please contact our customer service department by sending an email to
or by calling us at (801)229-7967.

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How do I update my file at MyTrees.com by uploading a new GEDCOM?

If you have previously submitted a GEDCOM to MyTrees.com and would like to update that file by submitting a new GEDCOM, follow these steps:

  1. Go to our homepage at https://www.mytrees.com.

  2. Click the "My Family Tree" link located at the top of the page. Then click "Upload GEDCOM."
  3. Login to your account.

  4. You will now be on the GEDCOM File Submission page. Any file(s) that you have already submitted to MyTrees.com will be displayed on this page. Find the name of the file that you wish to UPDATE and click the circle in front of that file.

  5. Give your updated file a name by typing it into the "description" field. Even if your file already has a name, you will still need to enter it again when updating. You can simply retype the original name, or give it a new name.
  6. Click the BROWSE button.

  7. Select the drive and folder in which your GEDCOM is saved.

  8. Select the file name and then click OPEN. This will place the correct path to your file into the submission form.

  9. Click the Submitter's Rights and Responsibilities link. This will bring up a smaller window, where your rights and responsibilities as a submitter will be listed. Read through the document. If you agree to the terms, click the check box next to "I have read and agree."
  10. Click the SUBMIT GEDCOM button.
Your original file will then be removed and replaced by the new, updated GEDCOM. Please be patient if you have a large file. It can take up to 5 minutes per meg to upload, depending on the speed of your internet connection. You will see a confirmation screen that will tell you when the file has completely uploaded.

If you do not see the BROWSE button, or if you have any other problems submitting your file online, you are welcome to send us your file by one of the following methods.

  • Email - You can send your file as an email attachment. Please be sure to mention in your email: (1) your account number and (2) what file you wish to update. Send the email to:

  • Mail - If you have a copy of your GEDCOM saved on a disk, you can send the disk to us through the mail. Please be sure to include a note that states: (1) your account number and (2) what file you wish to update. Mail it to:

    MyTrees.com
    782 S. River Road #304
    St. George, Utah 84790
    USA

If you need further assistance in uploading your file, please contact our customer service department by sending an email to
or by calling us at (801)229-7967.

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How much free time will I get for uploading my GEDCOM to MyTrees.com?

If you upload a GEDCOM to My Family Tree that contains at least 60 individuals and 15 families, you will be eligible to receive one free month of our subscription time. Larger files may be eligible for additional time. This is a one time offer and will be based on the first file you upload. You will not receive additional free time for updating the file on a later date.

  • 60 - 4,999 names = 1 free month
  • 5,000 - 9,999 names = 2 free months
  • 10,000 - 29,000 names = 3 free months
  • 30,000+ names = 4 free months
More free time may be given for files that are significantly larger than 30,000 names, decided on a case by case basis. If you have such a file that you would like to upload, please contact us at
or by phone at (801)229-7967 for an estimate of how much free time you would receive.

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Will other people be able to download my GEDCOM?

Once you have uploaded a file to MyTrees.com, it becomes part of our Ancestry Archive, where it can be viewed by our other patrons. Small portions of a file (up to 6 generations at a time) may be downloaded from the Archive. However, no one will be able to download a complete copy of your GEDCOM from our public archive.

There are only two places on our site where a complete copy may be downloaded. One is in our My Family Tree program, which you would use to view and edit your own file. You can always download either part or all of your file from My Family Tree. (For instructions on how to do so, see How do I download a copy of the file I have submitted to MyTrees.com?.) No one else can access your file from My Family Tree.

Your file can also be viewed and downloaded from the Family Access login. Family Access allows your family members or friends to view your complete file (including living individuals) and to download part or all of the file. In order to view your file through Family Access, they will need your account number and family password (which is a separate password that you can set up for this purpose; it is NOT the password that you use to login to your account). Only someone to whom you had given this family password would be able to download your entire file. This allows you to maintain control over who has a copy of your complete GEDCOM.

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Will the living people in my GEDCOM be displayed on the site?

Here at MyTrees.com, we protect the privacy of living individuals by NOT displaying their names in our database. Our system automatically determines which individuals are still living by birth date. As long as you've included birth dates for all living people, their names will not appear in the Ancestry Archive. If you do not know the exact birth date of a living individual, you can list an estimated birth year or even a year range to prevent them from showing in the Archive.

Please note that while living people will not be displayed for public viewing in the Ancestry Archive, there are a couple of places where they may be shown.

  • First, when you login to your own account in order to view your file through My Family Tree, you will be able to view information on living individuals.

  • Second, if you are logged into your account and doing searches on the site that lead you to your own file, you will be able to see all the individuals in it. This is because the site recognizes you from your login and so allows you to see that information. The living individuals are not available for public viewing.

  • Third, those who access your account through the Family Access login will also be able to view the living individuals. However, you decide if you would like to register a family password or not and you decide who gets access to that family password.
So, the only people who would be able to see living individuals in your file would be you yourself and any family members or friends to whom you have chosen to give your family password. This allow you to maintain control over who can view information on living individuals in your file.

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I have a Mac computer. Can I still upload my GEDCOM?

Yes. Our website has been designed to read and process all GEDCOMs, including those created by Mac programs. If you upload your file and the site does have any problem processing it, the GEDCOM would be reviewed by a member of our staff. At that point, we would either be able to manually upload the file to the site or we would contact you to let you know what went wrong and how to fix the problem.

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I have pictures in my family tree. Will those be uploaded with my GEDCOM?

No. A GEDCOM is a text file, which means that it only includes words and numbers. Any pictures that you may have saved in your genealogy program will not be uploaded as a part of your GEDCOM. However, you can still upload your pictures to MyTrees.com using our My Family Tree program. Here is a link to specific instructions on how to do so:

Pictures in My Family Tree

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I've uploaded my GEDCOM. Now what?

Once you have uploaded your GEDCOM to us, you can start using our services to extend and share your family tree. If this is your first GEDCOM upload and it contained at least 60 individuals and 15 families, you will have received a free month, giving you access to our full database of genealogical files and records. To start searching, go to our homepage and log into your account. That will take you to a search screen.

Here are some other MyTrees.com services that you might be interested in:

  • My Family Tree: My Family Tree is a free genealogy program that you can use to view and edit your file right on our site. You can also print out pedigree charts, download a copy of your information, and much more from My Family Tree.

  • Family Access Login: When you set up a family password, your family members can view the file you have submitted without needing to have their own MyTrees.com account. They just need your account number and family password and they'll be able to view your entire file. Only you will be able to edit your file, though, so you can maintain complete control over your own data. Please note that a family password is NOT the password you use to log into your own account. You can set up a separate family password by selecting "Set Family Password" from the My Account menu on our site.

  • Every Name Search: Once you've submitted a file to us, you can use the Every Name Search to search for every name in your file at once. This allows you to quickly gather in possible matches without doing hundreds of individual searches. You can also do just an End of Line search, which only searches for individuals who are missing parent or spouse names. You will need a subscription to view the full results of your Every Name Search, however, so if you received a free month for your file, make sure to try this comprehensive search before your free time runs out.

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How do I download a copy of the file I have submitted to MyTrees.com?

You can download a copy of the file that you have submitted to MyTrees.com at any time through our My Family Tree program by following these steps:

  1. Go to our homepage at https://www.mytrees.com.
  2. Click "My Family Tree" from the top menu.
  3. Then click "Manage Tree."
  4. Login to your account.
  5. Your file should then display. If you have submitted more than one file, you may need to select the correct file by clicking the "Select Tree" icon from the top menu. From the File Selection page, select the file you wish to download and click the SUBMIT SELECTION button.
  6. When the correct file is displaying, click the "Download Tree" icon from the top menu.
  7. This will take you to the download screen. To download a copy of your entire file, click the Generations scroll box and scroll all the way to the bottom and select "Entire Tree." If you wish to download only part of your file, you can select the number of generations you wish to download, up to 40 generations at a time. (The download will start with the family currently displaying in the first position of your pedigree chart.)
  8. Select what type of computer you are using: PC or Mac.
  9. Click the DOWNLOAD button.

  10. That should bring up a small Save window. (You may first be asked whether you wish to Open or Save the file. Select Save.)

  11. At the top of the Save window, you should see a scroll box titled "Save In." This tells you where the file will be saved. You can change the Save In location by clicking on the scroll box and selecting a new location. Make sure that you remember where you are saving the file, though, so you can find it again later.
  12. At the bottom of the Save window you will see a "File name" field. Enter a name for your file here, adding a .ged extension at the end. For example, MyFile.ged.
  13. Below the "File name" field, there should be a "Save as type" or "File type" scroll box. From this scroll box, select either All Files or Text (*.txt).
  14. Click the Save button.
Your file should then be downloaded to your computer as a GEDCOM. You can open that file using any genealogy program. If you have any difficulty in downloading a copy of your file, please contact our customer service department by sending an email to
or by calling us at (801)229-7967.

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How do I download a copy of a file I found in the Ancestry Archive database?

When you are viewing a file in the Ancestry Archive database, you can download up to six generations by following these steps:

  1. Find the Download area that appears below the pedigree chart.
  2. Click the scroll box to select the number of generations you wish to download. The download will start with the family currently listed in the first position on the pedigree chart. You can only download up to six generations at a time from the Ancestry Archive. If you wish to have a copy of the complete file, you will need to contact the submitter and request that they send you a copy. Submitter contact information can be found at the top of the file.
  3. Select what type of computer you are using: PC, WebTV, or Mac. You will notice that there is also a MyTrees option. If you have already received a free month for submitting a file that contains at least 60 individuals and 15 families, you can use the download area to copy information from a file in the Ancestry Archive to your My Family Tree file.
  4. Click the DOWNLOAD button.
  5. That should bring up a small Save window. (You may first be asked whether you wish to Open or Save the file. Select Save.)
  6. At the top of the Save window, you should see a scroll box titled "Save In." This tells you where the file will be saved. You can change the Save In location by clicking on the scroll box and selecting a new location. Make sure that you remember where you are saving the file, though, so you can find it again later.
  7. At the bottom of the Save window you will see a "File name" field. Enter a name for your file here, adding a .ged extension at the end. For example, MyFile.ged.
  8. Below the "File name" field, there should be a "Save as type" or "File type" scroll box. From this scroll box, select either All Files or Text (*.txt).
  9. Click the Save button.
Your file should then be downloaded to your computer as a GEDCOM file. You can open that file using any genealogy program. If you have any difficulty in downloading a copy of your file, please contact our customer service department by sending an email to
or by calling us at (801)229-7967.

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I clicked the Download button, but all that came up was a bunch of text. What happened?

If you are seeing a screen of text when you try to download a GEDCOM from our site, instead of a Save window, there are a couple of possibilities:

  • You are accessing the internet through a WebTV or other TV console device. If that is the case, then you probably can not download information because there is no computer to save that information to. So, the GEDCOM file will simply display as a text file on your screen. If you are not able to download information, we suggest that you go ahead and view the file on our site. If you are able to print information, you can use the Print Pedigree or Print Displays links to print off a copy of the pedigree chart.

  • You are using a PC or Mac computer, but your internet browser has opened the file rather than saving it. What you are seeing is a text copy of the GEDCOM file. You can save it using your browser's Save As option. Follow these steps:
    1. Click your browser's File menu.
    2. Select the "Save As" option. (It may say "Save Page As" or something similar.)
    3. That should bring up a small Save window. Use the "Save In" option to select where you would like to save the file.
    4. Enter a name in the "File name" field, ending it with a .ged extension. For example, MyFile.ged.
    5. Set the "Save as type" or "File type" option to All Files or Text (*.txt).
    6. Click the Save button.
    7. The GEDCOM file should then be saved to your computer.

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Can I keep my GEDCOM private?

Yes, it is possible to mark your file private, which means that it can not be seen in our public database. However, the ability to make a file private is part of our subscription services, so you can only have a private file if you have a current subscription to MyTrees.com. If you have a current subscription, you can set your file to private by following these instructions:

  1. Go to our homepage at https://www.mytrees.com.
  2. Click "My Family Tree" from the top menu.
  3. Then click "Manage Tree."
  4. Make sure the correct file is displaying. If you have more than one file, you may need to click the Select Tree link at the left to select the correct file.
  5. Click the Make Private link from the menu at the left.
  6. Your file will the be made private. It may take up to 24 hours for all references to your file to be entirely removed from the public database. You may make as many of your files private as you wish. If you cancel your subscription to MyTrees.com, your files will automatically be made public again.

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GEDCOMs FAQ

GEDCOMs
Frequently Asked Questions
If your GEDCOM question is not listed here, or if you need further information,
please send us an email at


What is a GEDCOM?

GEDCOM is an acronym that stands for GEnealogical Data COMmunication. Basically, a GEDCOM is a simple text file that can be created and read by any genealogy program. When you enter your family history information into a genealogy program, such as Legacy or Family Tree Maker, the program automatically stores that information in its own, unique format. So, Legacy files can only be read by the Legacy program and Family Tree Maker files can only be read by the Family Tree Maker program.

What do you do if you want to share information with someone who uses a different program than you do? That's where GEDCOMs come in handy. All genealogy programs also have the ability to export your family history information in GEDCOM format, which can in turn be read by any other genealogy program. A good way to think of it is as a common language that all genealogy software programs can understand.

When using MyTrees.com, you will come across the term GEDCOM in two cases. First, if you want to submit your family tree to us in order to share it with others and to receive a free month of our subscription services, one way you can do so is by uploading a GEDCOM. Second, if you would like to download information from our site (either from your own file or from a file you have found in one of our databases), the information will be saved in GEDCOM format on your computer.

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Why should I upload my GEDCOM to MyTrees.com?

Here are some of the advantages of uploading your GEDCOM to MyTrees.com:

  • Submitting your file to MyTrees.com gives you another backup copy of your family history data. We often hear from distressed genealogists who say their computers have crashed and their backup disks are unusable. If they have previously submitted their GEDCOM to us, the solution is as easy as downloading a copy of the file. Here at MyTrees.com, we backup every file in our database not once, but four times. This insures that no matter what happens, we will always have a copy of your complete file stored on our server.

  • If you upload your GEDCOM to us, we'll give you free access to our subscription database. Any file that contains at least 60 individuals and 15 families will receive one free month. Depending on the size of the file, you could receive up to four free months. Please note that this is a one time offer, so be sure to upload your largest file first.

  • When you upload your GEDCOM to us, it becomes part of our Ancestry Archive and anyone searching our site can find it and see what names you are researching. This makes it easy for others with similar research interests to contact you in order to share information.

  • You can register a Family Password in order to give your family members complete access to your file. This free service is a great way to share your genealogical finds with relatives over the internet.

  • Any genealogy program can create a GEDCOM. However, sometimes certain genealogy programs place information in a GEDCOM that can't be read by any other program. This raises the danger of losing that information when the GEDCOM is imported into another program. Our website has been carefully designed so that it will never lose data. If something is not understood by our program, that information is placed in the notes so that it is still available.

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How do I create a GEDCOM?

You should be able to create a GEDCOM in any genealogy program. However, the exact process involved is different for each program. Generally, the option to create a GEDCOM can be found in the File menu under the heading Export. Look for specific instructions in your program's user manual or help files by searching for GEDCOM. Here are instructions for exporting a GEDCOM in some of the more popular genealogy programs:

My Family Tree
(Please note that if you are using My Family Tree to build a family tree, you do NOT need to submit a GEDCOM to us. The file is submitted automatically as you build your tree, so we already have it.)

Open Legacy 9.0

Family Tree Maker 2006

PAF 5.0

The above instructions are based on specific versions on the programs. If you have another version of the same program, the steps may be slightly different. Hopefully, our instructions will still help. If not, we encourage you to search for GEDCOM in the program's user manual or help files or to contact the customer service department of the company that produced your program. If you have any difficulty downloading a GEDCOM from My Family Tree, please contact us.

If you would like more information on GEDCOMs, please see What is a GEDCOM?

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How do I upload my GEDCOM to MyTrees.com?

Please note that if you have been using our My Family Tree genealogy program, you do NOT need to submit a file. Your account will be automatically activated when your file becomes eligible to receive a free month.

If you have been using another genealogy program to create your family tree and have exported a GEDCOM, you can upload it to us by following these steps:

  1. Go to our homepage at https://www.mytrees.com.
  2. Click the "My Family Tree" link located at the top of the page. Then click "Upload GEDCOM".
  3. Login to your account. (If you are not already a member of MyTrees.com, you will need to register a free member account before you can submit your file.)

  4. You will now be on the GEDCOM File Submission page. If you are uploading a NEW file, select "New GEDCOM." If the file that you are submitting is an UPDATE of a file that you had previously submitted, click the circle in front of the file that you wish to update.

  5. Give your file a name by typing it into the "description" field. (No one else will be able to see this name. Naming your file can help you distinguish it from other files that you may have in your account. You can choose anything you like, but most people use a surname.) If you are UPDATING a file already attached to your account, you will still need to retype the name in the "description" field.
  6. Click the BROWSE button. The file extensions .ftm and .htm will not create a GEDCOM. Make sure the file ends with a .ged. Some computers do not display the file extensions. In this case you will need to view the file extension by looking at the properties of the file.
  7. Select the drive and folder in which your GEDCOM is saved.
  8. Select the file name and then click OPEN. This will place the correct path to your file into the submission form.

  9. Click the Submitter's Rights and Responsibilities link. This will bring up a smaller window, where your rights and responsibilities as a submitter will be listed. Read through the document. If you agree to the terms, click the check box next to "I have read and agree."
  10. Click the SUBMIT GEDCOM button.
Your file will then upload to our site, where it will be attached to your account. Please be patient if you have a large file. It can take up to 5 minutes per meg to upload, depending on the speed of your internet connection. You will see a confirmation screen that will tell you when the file has completely uploaded. We will also send you a confirmation email if your account has been activated for your free month, if you have not already received one.

If you do not see the BROWSE button, or if you have any other problems submitting your file online, you are welcome to send us your file by one of the following methods.

  • Email - You can send your file as an email attachment. Please sure to include your account number in the body of the email and send it to:

  • Mail - If you have a copy of your GEDCOM saved on a stick, you can send the stick to us through the mail. Be sure to include a note with your account number and mail it to:

    MyTrees.com
    782 S. River Road #304
    St. George, Utah 84790
    USA

If you need further assistance in uploading your file, please contact our customer service department by sending an email to
or by calling us at (801)229-7967.

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How do I update my file at MyTrees.com by uploading a new GEDCOM?

If you have previously submitted a GEDCOM to MyTrees.com and would like to update that file by submitting a new GEDCOM, follow these steps:

  1. Go to our homepage at https://www.mytrees.com.

  2. Click the "My Family Tree" link located at the top of the page. Then click "Upload GEDCOM."
  3. Login to your account.

  4. You will now be on the GEDCOM File Submission page. Any file(s) that you have already submitted to MyTrees.com will be displayed on this page. Find the name of the file that you wish to UPDATE and click the circle in front of that file.

  5. Give your updated file a name by typing it into the "description" field. Even if your file already has a name, you will still need to enter it again when updating. You can simply retype the original name, or give it a new name.
  6. Click the BROWSE button.

  7. Select the drive and folder in which your GEDCOM is saved.

  8. Select the file name and then click OPEN. This will place the correct path to your file into the submission form.

  9. Click the Submitter's Rights and Responsibilities link. This will bring up a smaller window, where your rights and responsibilities as a submitter will be listed. Read through the document. If you agree to the terms, click the check box next to "I have read and agree."
  10. Click the SUBMIT GEDCOM button.
Your original file will then be removed and replaced by the new, updated GEDCOM. Please be patient if you have a large file. It can take up to 5 minutes per meg to upload, depending on the speed of your internet connection. You will see a confirmation screen that will tell you when the file has completely uploaded.

If you do not see the BROWSE button, or if you have any other problems submitting your file online, you are welcome to send us your file by one of the following methods.

  • Email - You can send your file as an email attachment. Please be sure to mention in your email: (1) your account number and (2) what file you wish to update. Send the email to:

  • Mail - If you have a copy of your GEDCOM saved on a disk, you can send the disk to us through the mail. Please be sure to include a note that states: (1) your account number and (2) what file you wish to update. Mail it to:

    MyTrees.com
    782 S. River Road #304
    St. George, Utah 84790
    USA

If you need further assistance in uploading your file, please contact our customer service department by sending an email to
or by calling us at (801)229-7967.

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How much free time will I get for uploading my GEDCOM to MyTrees.com?

If you upload a GEDCOM to My Family Tree that contains at least 60 individuals and 15 families, you will be eligible to receive one free month of our subscription time. Larger files may be eligible for additional time. This is a one time offer and will be based on the first file you upload. You will not receive additional free time for updating the file on a later date.

  • 60 - 4,999 names = 1 free month
  • 5,000 - 9,999 names = 2 free months
  • 10,000 - 29,000 names = 3 free months
  • 30,000+ names = 4 free months
More free time may be given for files that are significantly larger than 30,000 names, decided on a case by case basis. If you have such a file that you would like to upload, please contact us at
or by phone at (801)229-7967 for an estimate of how much free time you would receive.

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Will other people be able to download my GEDCOM?

Once you have uploaded a file to MyTrees.com, it becomes part of our Ancestry Archive, where it can be viewed by our other patrons. Small portions of a file (up to 6 generations at a time) may be downloaded from the Archive. However, no one will be able to download a complete copy of your GEDCOM from our public archive.

There are only two places on our site where a complete copy may be downloaded. One is in our My Family Tree program, which you would use to view and edit your own file. You can always download either part or all of your file from My Family Tree. (For instructions on how to do so, see How do I download a copy of the file I have submitted to MyTrees.com?.) No one else can access your file from My Family Tree.

Your file can also be viewed and downloaded from the Family Access login. Family Access allows your family members or friends to view your complete file (including living individuals) and to download part or all of the file. In order to view your file through Family Access, they will need your account number and family password (which is a separate password that you can set up for this purpose; it is NOT the password that you use to login to your account). Only someone to whom you had given this family password would be able to download your entire file. This allows you to maintain control over who has a copy of your complete GEDCOM.

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Will the living people in my GEDCOM be displayed on the site?

Here at MyTrees.com, we protect the privacy of living individuals by NOT displaying their names in our database. Our system automatically determines which individuals are still living by birth date. As long as you've included birth dates for all living people, their names will not appear in the Ancestry Archive. If you do not know the exact birth date of a living individual, you can list an estimated birth year or even a year range to prevent them from showing in the Archive.

Please note that while living people will not be displayed for public viewing in the Ancestry Archive, there are a couple of places where they may be shown.

  • First, when you login to your own account in order to view your file through My Family Tree, you will be able to view information on living individuals.

  • Second, if you are logged into your account and doing searches on the site that lead you to your own file, you will be able to see all the individuals in it. This is because the site recognizes you from your login and so allows you to see that information. The living individuals are not available for public viewing.

  • Third, those who access your account through the Family Access login will also be able to view the living individuals. However, you decide if you would like to register a family password or not and you decide who gets access to that family password.
So, the only people who would be able to see living individuals in your file would be you yourself and any family members or friends to whom you have chosen to give your family password. This allow you to maintain control over who can view information on living individuals in your file.

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I have a Mac computer. Can I still upload my GEDCOM?

Yes. Our website has been designed to read and process all GEDCOMs, including those created by Mac programs. If you upload your file and the site does have any problem processing it, the GEDCOM would be reviewed by a member of our staff. At that point, we would either be able to manually upload the file to the site or we would contact you to let you know what went wrong and how to fix the problem.

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I have pictures in my family tree. Will those be uploaded with my GEDCOM?

No. A GEDCOM is a text file, which means that it only includes words and numbers. Any pictures that you may have saved in your genealogy program will not be uploaded as a part of your GEDCOM. However, you can still upload your pictures to MyTrees.com using our My Family Tree program. Here is a link to specific instructions on how to do so:

Pictures in My Family Tree

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I've uploaded my GEDCOM. Now what?

Once you have uploaded your GEDCOM to us, you can start using our services to extend and share your family tree. If this is your first GEDCOM upload and it contained at least 60 individuals and 15 families, you will have received a free month, giving you access to our full database of genealogical files and records. To start searching, go to our homepage and log into your account. That will take you to a search screen.

Here are some other MyTrees.com services that you might be interested in:

  • My Family Tree: My Family Tree is a free genealogy program that you can use to view and edit your file right on our site. You can also print out pedigree charts, download a copy of your information, and much more from My Family Tree.

  • Family Access Login: When you set up a family password, your family members can view the file you have submitted without needing to have their own MyTrees.com account. They just need your account number and family password and they'll be able to view your entire file. Only you will be able to edit your file, though, so you can maintain complete control over your own data. Please note that a family password is NOT the password you use to log into your own account. You can set up a separate family password by selecting "Set Family Password" from the My Account menu on our site.

  • Every Name Search: Once you've submitted a file to us, you can use the Every Name Search to search for every name in your file at once. This allows you to quickly gather in possible matches without doing hundreds of individual searches. You can also do just an End of Line search, which only searches for individuals who are missing parent or spouse names. You will need a subscription to view the full results of your Every Name Search, however, so if you received a free month for your file, make sure to try this comprehensive search before your free time runs out.

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How do I download a copy of the file I have submitted to MyTrees.com?

You can download a copy of the file that you have submitted to MyTrees.com at any time through our My Family Tree program by following these steps:

  1. Go to our homepage at https://www.mytrees.com.
  2. Click "My Family Tree" from the top menu.
  3. Then click "Manage Tree."
  4. Login to your account.
  5. Your file should then display. If you have submitted more than one file, you may need to select the correct file by clicking the "Select Tree" icon from the top menu. From the File Selection page, select the file you wish to download and click the SUBMIT SELECTION button.
  6. When the correct file is displaying, click the "Download Tree" icon from the top menu.
  7. This will take you to the download screen. To download a copy of your entire file, click the Generations scroll box and scroll all the way to the bottom and select "Entire Tree." If you wish to download only part of your file, you can select the number of generations you wish to download, up to 40 generations at a time. (The download will start with the family currently displaying in the first position of your pedigree chart.)
  8. Select what type of computer you are using: PC or Mac.
  9. Click the DOWNLOAD button.

  10. That should bring up a small Save window. (You may first be asked whether you wish to Open or Save the file. Select Save.)

  11. At the top of the Save window, you should see a scroll box titled "Save In." This tells you where the file will be saved. You can change the Save In location by clicking on the scroll box and selecting a new location. Make sure that you remember where you are saving the file, though, so you can find it again later.
  12. At the bottom of the Save window you will see a "File name" field. Enter a name for your file here, adding a .ged extension at the end. For example, MyFile.ged.
  13. Below the "File name" field, there should be a "Save as type" or "File type" scroll box. From this scroll box, select either All Files or Text (*.txt).
  14. Click the Save button.
Your file should then be downloaded to your computer as a GEDCOM. You can open that file using any genealogy program. If you have any difficulty in downloading a copy of your file, please contact our customer service department by sending an email to
or by calling us at (801)229-7967.

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How do I download a copy of a file I found in the Ancestry Archive database?

When you are viewing a file in the Ancestry Archive database, you can download up to six generations by following these steps:

  1. Find the Download area that appears below the pedigree chart.
  2. Click the scroll box to select the number of generations you wish to download. The download will start with the family currently listed in the first position on the pedigree chart. You can only download up to six generations at a time from the Ancestry Archive. If you wish to have a copy of the complete file, you will need to contact the submitter and request that they send you a copy. Submitter contact information can be found at the top of the file.
  3. Select what type of computer you are using: PC, WebTV, or Mac. You will notice that there is also a MyTrees option. If you have already received a free month for submitting a file that contains at least 60 individuals and 15 families, you can use the download area to copy information from a file in the Ancestry Archive to your My Family Tree file.
  4. Click the DOWNLOAD button.
  5. That should bring up a small Save window. (You may first be asked whether you wish to Open or Save the file. Select Save.)
  6. At the top of the Save window, you should see a scroll box titled "Save In." This tells you where the file will be saved. You can change the Save In location by clicking on the scroll box and selecting a new location. Make sure that you remember where you are saving the file, though, so you can find it again later.
  7. At the bottom of the Save window you will see a "File name" field. Enter a name for your file here, adding a .ged extension at the end. For example, MyFile.ged.
  8. Below the "File name" field, there should be a "Save as type" or "File type" scroll box. From this scroll box, select either All Files or Text (*.txt).
  9. Click the Save button.
Your file should then be downloaded to your computer as a GEDCOM file. You can open that file using any genealogy program. If you have any difficulty in downloading a copy of your file, please contact our customer service department by sending an email to
or by calling us at (801)229-7967.

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I clicked the Download button, but all that came up was a bunch of text. What happened?

If you are seeing a screen of text when you try to download a GEDCOM from our site, instead of a Save window, there are a couple of possibilities:

  • You are accessing the internet through a WebTV or other TV console device. If that is the case, then you probably can not download information because there is no computer to save that information to. So, the GEDCOM file will simply display as a text file on your screen. If you are not able to download information, we suggest that you go ahead and view the file on our site. If you are able to print information, you can use the Print Pedigree or Print Displays links to print off a copy of the pedigree chart.

  • You are using a PC or Mac computer, but your internet browser has opened the file rather than saving it. What you are seeing is a text copy of the GEDCOM file. You can save it using your browser's Save As option. Follow these steps:
    1. Click your browser's File menu.
    2. Select the "Save As" option. (It may say "Save Page As" or something similar.)
    3. That should bring up a small Save window. Use the "Save In" option to select where you would like to save the file.
    4. Enter a name in the "File name" field, ending it with a .ged extension. For example, MyFile.ged.
    5. Set the "Save as type" or "File type" option to All Files or Text (*.txt).
    6. Click the Save button.
    7. The GEDCOM file should then be saved to your computer.

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Can I keep my GEDCOM private?

Yes, it is possible to mark your file private, which means that it can not be seen in our public database. However, the ability to make a file private is part of our subscription services, so you can only have a private file if you have a current subscription to MyTrees.com. If you have a current subscription, you can set your file to private by following these instructions:

  1. Go to our homepage at https://www.mytrees.com.
  2. Click "My Family Tree" from the top menu.
  3. Then click "Manage Tree."
  4. Make sure the correct file is displaying. If you have more than one file, you may need to click the Select Tree link at the left to select the correct file.
  5. Click the Make Private link from the menu at the left.
  6. Your file will the be made private. It may take up to 24 hours for all references to your file to be entirely removed from the public database. You may make as many of your files private as you wish. If you cancel your subscription to MyTrees.com, your files will automatically be made public again.

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