How do you export a partial GEDCOM from your family tree software?

+14 votes

We've placed new, stricter limits on GEDCOM import.

To make these easier to swallow, I created a draft page with tips on how to export a partial GEDCOM, i.e. splitting up your tree.

But, I have no actual details on how to export a partial from Family Tree Maker, MyHeritage,, Gramps, etc.

Do you use another family tree website or desktop software? If so, can you write out some instructions on how to export a tree for just a certain individual, instead of a full GEDCOM?

If you post here, I can summarize on that page. Thanks!

in Genealogy Help by Chris Whitten G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
Thank you for this!  It will be very helpful to share with new members. As a greeter, how to split a GEDCOM is a question I get asked OFTEN.

RE: Splittiing gecoms

THe FREE version of Legacy :

FREE STANDARD EDITION does split gedcoms . I just confirmed this information with Geoff Rasmussen , at Legacy.  

I downloaded it and will test it with a gedcom at WikiTree .

I am also testing to see if the FREE version of Roots Magic will also split gedoms

I really like that you put the rule " A new member cannot manage more than 2,000 profiles " . Amen !

Never heard of Legacy, do you like it?  Curious.  Might have to get it! :)  Thanks!

Legacy is Awesome. Although I don't use the free version. But, I would think the free version works well too.

Reunion 11 is a genealogy software for Macintosh on desktop & tablet While I can't speak for the tablet version you can export a partial GEDCOM, but you'll have to do a little work-around first.

1. From your main window, click the green check mark icon on the left panel called "Mark" go in and at the very bottom click "save set..." so you can save your current set of marks to be used later.

2. at the top of the same page change the action from "Mark" to "Unmark". Then under "Who" change to "Everyone in this family file."

3. At the top towards the right you should see a tally of all people in your file and under it the number of marked people. That number should now be zero and you are ready to start.

4. Go through and mark people you want to add. there are several ways to mark multiple people quickly, please read how to do that in the Reunion manual if you don't know how.

5. Make sure before exporting your GEDCOM the number of Marked people does not exceed the limit for Wikitree requirements

6. The export function can be found under the "File > Export > GEDCOM" dropdown menu. Once there under the "Who" option make sure to check "Marked people." 

Special note: it appears that the GEDCOM export of Marked People will always include spouses, so make sure when marking people before the export, you include spouses so your total number of marked people reflects your total number to be exported.


12 Answers

+4 votes
Best answer

I have Reunion and its easy. Just go under "Help" write in "GEDCOM" a follow down the drop down menu to EXPORT. A window opens and asks if you want to include 1) marked people or 1)everyone. Same box asks and gives choices for "destination."

Then press "EXPORT."

Unfortunately, I haven't found an easy way to divide a big tree.

by Margery Mullett G2G1 (1k points)
selected by Jim Gallivan
This doesn't apparently work anymore - or at least on large GEDCOM files.  It crashes on export after maxing out the system memory (even if you try to export ONE person into a file).

FTM support has no answer for this - basically they suggested I hand-edit the GEDCOM file.
+4 votes
I used my gedcom file on  Call up the tree (I have more than one on there, so if you do, make sure you choose the correct tree).  Then alongside the name of the tree it says "Tree Pages".    Hover over so a menu appears.  Click on the option "Tree Settings".  That page has the option to export your gedcom file.  Then you wait for a couple of minutes and it is placed on your hard drive.  :)
by Betty Tindle G2G6 Mach 7 (70.3k points)
+6 votes
Heck, just realized you have "Partial" up there,  As far as I know you cannot.  To make my Wikitree tree, I had to download a copy of my gedcom on, rename and upload again so I would not confuse the copy with the original.    Then I had to eliminate all those that would make me go over the amount allowed by Wikitree.  After I completed I downloaded the way I explained above.  So sorry about that. :(
by Betty Tindle G2G6 Mach 7 (70.3k points)
+8 votes

In Gramps go the menu and choose [Family Trees] > [Export] and the export assistant will open ton an introduction screen. Press [Forward] and on the next screen select GEDCOM as the output format. Press [Forward]

The next screen that follows allows filtering of  records for export based on a number of preset and user definable criteria. Once you have set the desired filters, pressing the [Calculate Previews] button will indicate how many records will be included in the exported gedcom. Once you are happy with filter settings press [Forward], enter a file name and location. Press [Forward] and a final confimation appears indicating the format, filename. and path. Press [Apply] to create the filtered Gedcom.

On the issue of filters, a user defined Person Filter can be created to limit export to only people with "at least one direct source"

Version specific documentation is available at

by Rob Ton G2G6 Pilot (274k points)

PAF is still the best gedcom splitter but no longer downloaded from the Family Search site but if people have PAF still running on their computers , I put a link on how to split a gedcom for WikiTree.

I also have been researching & experimenting other free programs for our members . To be continued.........

GRAMPS is a good suggestion, btw.

To expand on the filtering mentioned above...

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

To catch these additional people:

1. Under "Events Tab" create a new event filter called: WikitreeSourceEvent

The rule is [Citation/Source Filters] > [Events with at least one direct source] Criteria "Confidence level >= "0""

2. Under "People Tab"  create a new person filter called: WikitreeSourcePerson

Add rule 1. [Citation/Source filters] > [Persons with at least one direct source] Criteria "Confidence level >= "0""

Add rule 2. [General Filters] > [Persons with events matching the <event filter>.] Criteria event filter name WikitreeSourceEvent.

Set the filter options to "at least one rule must apply".

3. On the export page where you filter your output click the pencil (edit) next to the person filter.

Add rule 1. [General Filters] > [People matching the <filter>] criteria filter name WikitreePersonFilter.

Add other rules as needed to 'split' the family tree into branches of less than 2500 people. These additional rules are up to you, but should use rules from the relationship, desecendant, or ancestral filters to reduce the number of people to be included in the export.

NOTE: This filter will EXCLUDE people with zero sources which can 'break' the family tree: (i.e a person with no sources will be omitted but their parents and children will still be included if they have sources.)


IMHO Gramps is probably the best free genealogy software currently available despite the fact that it can be a downright pain to install and has a pretty steep learning curve. I am still using Version 3.4.2, but version 4 is available.

One of the best things is that it has also been made into a portable app that can be run directly off a data key from almost any computer.

I have been trying all day to create a filtered gedcom using these instructions and it isn't working. In fact, from the people view, I created a filter to include only the ancestors of the selected person, including himself and it returns 0 people. The ancestor gramplet shows them just fine. When I am in the export process I can choose ancestors of this person but there is no option to edit and add my source filters, doing it that way. And choosing my Person filter returns 0 results there, just as it did in the people view. Any suggestions or do I need to report a bug to gramps?
+6 votes

Family Historian

Go to File>Export>GEDCOM file.

Choose the people you want to include in the export and make choices about what is included.

Click OK and choose where to file it.

Click Save.

It really is that easy.


by anonymous G2G6 Pilot (254k points)
+4 votes

In Legacy there are multiple choises when exporting a gedcom. Follow this link to see instructions:

by Hans Jørgen Kølle G2G6 Mach 4 (46.7k points)
edited by Hans Jørgen Kølle
Does anyone know if the FREE version of Legacy splits gedcoms?
Checking with Millenium Company!
Millenium answers that it's possible to split a gedcom in their standardversion of Legacy!

In the STANDARD LEGACY which can be downloaded free: 


2) A dialogue box opens up titled GEDCOM EXPORT

    a ) Select PRODUCE FILE FOR in dropdown menu : GEDCOM 5.5.1

    b)  Leave Character set as ANSEL

3) Do not check anything else in this box EXCEPT :


4) New dialogue box opens up titled "GEDCOM Record Selection" 

     a) Check radio button ( 2nd selection ) SELECTED RECORDS CONTAINED IN THE FOCUS GROUP 

     b) Click the red lettered option VIEW /SELECT FOCUS GROUP 

5)  New dialogue box opens up titled " Focus Group" . It has 5 options.

      a) For WikiTree purposes, one can click ADD A FAMILY  * note you can also add an Individual with ancestors or descendants or entire Family line

6)   When you click ADD A FAMILY , A  new dialogue box opens up titled "NAME LIST CONTAINS....( with a count of individual )".

By the way , all blue lettered are males; red lettered are women

7) When you select in the NAME LIST , the families you want exported, (it will highlight the row in the name feild blue or red ), then click SELECT , click OK.

8) Repeat STEP 7 until you have a list of families for export.

9) When your FOCUS GROUP dialogue box shows all the families you want, click OK .

10) Back to dialogue window titled GEDCOM EXPORT.

       a) In right hand corner is a box called SELECT FILE NAME AND START           EXPORT.

       b) Click it and  EXPORT GEDCOM FILE window opens up whereas you name it and save to your computer .



BTW , I will put a link to these instructions on my profile page as well as one for ROOTS MAGIC.

Here is a link to a perfectly good demostration for FAMILY TREE MAKER on splitting gedoms :


And suggestions from ANCESTRY MEMBER TREE ( although you cannot split an ANCESTRY MEMBER TREE without buying Family Tree Maker, they had some other ideas) :

+4 votes

In RootsMagic (I only have version 5; haven't tried version 6):

  1. Open the tree you want to export from.
  2. Go to File -> Export.
  3. Under "People to export" change "Everyone" to "Select from list".
  4. Another dialogue will open, in which you can select anyone you want to include from a list of everyone in the tree. If 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.
  5. Click OK on this dialogue, and on the one under it.
  6. Save the file where you want on your computer.
by Lianne Lavoie G2G6 Pilot (421k points)

Christa Cowen from Ancestry did a great video on SPLITTING GEDCOMS for users of Family Tree Maker :

+3 votes

I use Legacy Deluxe. The options are incredible. You can tag exactly who and what you want  included in your gedcom.

Below are just some of the options

All Records in the Entire Family File  


Selected Records Contained in the Focus Group  


All descendants of tagged individual


All ancestors of tagged individual


All Individual Records with a Certain Tag Level  


Export all Spouses of Tagged Individuals 


Export all Children of Tagged Individuals 


Export all Parents of Tagged Individuals


All Marriage Records with a Certain Tag Level   


Export Children of Tagged Marriages  



by Michelle Hartley G2G6 Pilot (151k points)
I am also a Legacy dlx user, and new to WikiTree.  As advised, I am going to split my gedcom into four groups (grandparents) and do them one at a time to avoid overload.  In Legacy I chose gedcom 5.5.1 option, ANSI, and created a focus group for my grandfather and his ancestors (331 people).  Is this correct, and is the approach reasonable?  

A couple of weeks ago I went through my matches, but didn't import to WT.  When I import this new, smaller file to WT, will I need to go through and check for matches again?  If not, isn't there a risk of creating dupes?  Please advise.

Many thanks!
Yes, you wil need to check for duplicates again. Importing smaller files is easier to work with in my opinion.

Your approach is very reasonable. As far as 5.5.1 option I need to check on that one. Will get back to you shortly.
thanks, Michelle.  I read about using the 5.5.1 option somewhere in this thread, I think.
5.5.1 is the option i use.
+3 votes
I use The Master Genealogist, version 8.   To export a gedcom for a portion of your genealogy project:


Open the project

Go to the project explorer

Highlight the names you wish to include in your split gedcom

Click on Files/Export in the upper left corner of your main screen.  You will see "Step1: Welcome export" highlighted in the box.

Click the NEXT button.  Page 2 will open.

You will see "Export file type:"   Highlight the "Gedcom(*.ged)" option, and make sure you put a file name in the box below this (indicated by "Export file name:")

Make note of the filename in the "Put in folder:" box (or change it to a filename and location you prefer over the one in the box by clicking on the LOCATION button).  You have to have a valid location for the filename you have chosen to be downloaded to.

Click the NEXT button.

You will be taken  to "Step 3: Configurations".   If you have made any changes to your configuration you should select "overwrite current configuration", or "save as new configuration".   Most of us will just go with default option "use without saving changes".

Click the NEXT button.

You will see "Step 4: Export what people".  If you have only used the focus person you are currently on in your project, click on the radio button that precedes "Current Focus Person" and put that person's ID number in the box, or use the search function icon to select them.  If you are planning on exporting the entire project, make sure the radio button preceding the line containing the project name is filled in, and then make sure the radio button preceding "All people" is checked.   IF YOU ARE DOING A SPLIT GEDCOM, make sure the radio button preceding "selected people in the Project Explorer" is filled in.  As you can see, one can also use a focus group to make a partial gedcom.   If you use a focus group, then be sure to click on the radio button that precedes "People in the focus group" and specify which focus group you wish to use.   Most of us will just accept the default "Current group".

Click the NEXT button.

You will see "Step 5: Option screen 1".   Select whatever you want of the various options.   When you are satisfied, click the NEXT button.

You will see "Step 6: Option screen 2".  Again, select from the options provided, then click on the NEXT button.

You will see "Step 7: Option screen 3".  As with the earlier option screens, select those you wish to use, then click on the NEXT button.

You will then be at "Step 8: Finish".   If you are comfortable with the choices you have made, click the FINISH button.  You will be shown the progress of the creation of your gedcom file.   Once it is finished, a YES/NO box will appear.  I almost always answer YES.   Then I go to the location I have designated for the downloaded export file to be placed, and I look it over.   Once you have this file, and it looks good to you, you may export it using the WikiTree gedcom import utility.
by Vincent Courtney G2G Crew (440 points)

The step "Highlight the names you wish to include in your split gedcom" is easiest to accomplish by selecting your root person in the Project Explorer and adding them to an empty focus group.

Then select the person there and choose to add the required x generations of ancestors or descendants as per the options on the focus group panel.

Repeat as necessary to get your group, eg select all and add spouse(s), or another generation up or down etc etc

File export from current focus group.

+3 votes

I started to develop a tool to answer all needs for getting data from any form into WikiTree.  This includes user friendly manual data entry, which will also be used for checking and cleaning up after automated data entry.  Automated data entry will include accepting upload of Excel or text files and GEDCOM files produced by genealogy programs and other websites.  When data is ready, this tool will produce a GEDCOM file that is specifically formatted for WikiTree import so that the result will be clean and not need a lot of manual corrections.

I need input from WikiTree members - the more I get, the better the tool can be! 

Please see the tool at:   where it is being developed.  To play with it, log in with User Name:   team   and Password:   wikitree


by Gaile Connolly G2G6 Pilot (769k points)
The link at did not work for me on 06/03/2016.
+2 votes
To export part of a tree in the new version of Family Tree Maker 2014, right click on the individual and select "Export Branch".  Then, select the root person to start your new tree.  On the next screen, pull down the "Output Format" drop box and select "GEDCOM".  An "Export GEDCOM" box will pop up with two drop down boxes- "Destination and Characters."  Do not change these settings.  Simply click "Next."  After the file has been successfully exported, check only the box that says "Open Branch File Location" and click "Finish." A new window will pop up showing you where the new GEDCOM file is located on your computer.    Now you are ready to upload the file!
by Karen Bowling G2G Crew (390 points)
THANKS, It worked very well with a couple less steps.
0 votes
I use the apps from Heredis and Mobile Family Tree by Synium on an iPad, without any conventional desktop software. Neither support splitting of Gedcoms except by the extremely tedious copying of trees and deleting names one by one.

Both are fine for importing and exporting complete files and have nice indexing by name, family, place, source, etc (Hint, hint, Chris W!)

Not sure about their more capable desktop versions.

I have also tried apps from RootsMagic, MyHeritage, and Ancestry but these are too closely coupled to the desktop versions or pay-walled web sites for my taste.

GedView is just that - no editing, and only indexed by name and family.

HTH Chris LIttle-4631
by Chris Little G2G6 Mach 2 (28.5k points)

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