Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Creating a gedcom to go along with autosomal DNA

For those of you that want to create a gedcom to upload to one of the DNA websites to go along with your autosomal DNA, what's the best way to do this? You will want to include all of your blood relatives and exclude everyone that isn't related to you by blood.

The instructions below are for Legacy.  If you use a different genealogy database program you can read through the Legacy directions to help you figure out how to do this in your program.

1) Go to TOOLS > SET RELATIONSHIPS. Make sure that the person that provided the DNA sample is the person that is in the top box (many of us have DNA samples for several of our family members). Set the “Blood Relationships” to 999 and set the “Non-blood Relationships” to 0. Now SET RELATIONSHIPS.

2) Go to SEARCH > FIND. Click the DETAILED SEARCH tab. Here is the search criteria you need.

Individual > Relationship > Equal to > Related

Now tag everyone on this search list (OPTIONS > ADVANCED TAGGING > TAG #1 > EVERYONE IN SEARCH LIST)  Use any unused tag and then label that tag.

3) You are now going to export the gedcom but you don't want to show any living people except for yourself. Temporarily mark yourself as deceased. When you do the export (FILE > EXPORT > GEDCOM FILE) under PRIVACY OPTIONS select “Exclude living people totally as if they do not exist” (my choice) or “Suppress details for living people/Change name to "Living."

Under RECORD SELECTION choose to export only the tagged individuals. Don't check the boxes for spouses/children/parents because you already have everyone tagged that needs to be exported.

You will also want to strip the gedcom of events and notes. I only upload the vital events (birth, marriage, death) to include dates and locations. You can tell Legacy what NOT to export on the CUSTOMIZE screen.

Now SELECT FILE NAME AND START EXPORT. You now have a file of everyone you are blood related to. Living persons (except you) have been excluded to protect their privacy. You have stripped the gedcom of all of the fluff that doesn't need to be there. Perfect!


Copyright © 2015 Michèle Simmons Lewis


  1. Thank you for this information on exporting a GEDCOM. One question: Which "Character Set" should one use? Does it matter?

  2. I always export using UTF-8. Depending on the website it could matter when it comes to any special characters you have in names. If you upload and it doesn't look right simply create a new gedcom with a settings change and replace it.