Nearly all family tree software supports importing family trees from a GEDCOM file…

Uploading an existing tree file to Ancestry from a family tree software program that you're already using (like Family Tree Maker, PAF, or Legacy) is easy. Ancestry directly supports the data files from the following software products:
  • Family Tree Maker (.ftw)
  • Family Tree Maker backup file (.fbk)
  • Personal Ancestral File (.paf)
  • Legacy (.fdb)
  • Zipped gedcom & images (.gedz)
Simply locate and select the appropriate family tree file on your hard drive-upload it to Ancestry, and Ancestry will interpret the file correctly and create your tree. Alternatively, you can create a GEDCOM file from your family tree software and upload it to Ancestry.

What is a GEDCOM file?

A GEDCOM file is a common file format that allows different family tree software programs to communicate with each other. Nearly all family tree software supports importing family trees from a GEDCOM file as well as exporting to GEDCOM format.

How do I create a GEDCOM file from my family tree software?

Luckily, nearly all family tree software programs use the same basic steps to export an existing tree as a GEDCOM file:

  1. Click on the "File" menu in the upper left
  2. Click on the "Export" or "Export File" option in the menu

From this point on, each software package differs, so follow these general guidelines:

  • Choose to export the file as a GEDCOM, use version 5.5 if possible
  • Select "ANSI" or "UTF-8" as the character set
  • Save as GEDCOM (*.GED)

The software program should save a copy of your tree in GEDCOM file format. Remember the location on your hard drive where you save the GEDCOM file - you will need to be able to locate it in order to upload it to Ancestry.

Now that I have a family tree file or GEDCOM file, how do I get it up on Ancestry?

On the Upload a Family Tree page on Ancestry, click on the "Browse" button to the right of "Choose file". This will bring up a window in which you should locate the appropriate family tree file or GEDCOM file on your hard drive. When you've selected the appropriate family tree file, click the "Open" button. Finish filling out the information on the page, and Ancestry will begin processing your family tree.