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Tuesday's Tip - Stripping a Gedcom File for DNA Purposes

  Stripping a Gedcom File for DNA purposes

Tuesday's Tips provide brief how-to's to help you learn to use the Legacy Family Tree software with new tricks and techniques.

Stripping a Gedcom File for DNA Purposes

In last week's Tuesday's Tip we talked about "Keeping Track of DNA Contacts in Legacy." This week we're doing the reverse by discussing the export of Legacy data for DNA purposes.

I needed to upload new gedcom files for 23andMe, FTDNA, Ancestry and GEDMatch today. I needed to do this for myself, my mother and my uncle.

When I upload a gedcom for DNA I strip it of everything except Births, Marriages, and Deaths (BMD). I export the direct line ancestors, siblings of the direct line and the spouses. Setting this up can take some time but there is a nifty little trick. On the EXPORT ITEMS screen there are two handy buttons, SAVE LIST and LOAD LIST. I set up the options exactly like I need for my DNA export and then I click SAVE LIST. I named the settings file "Stripped gedcom for DNA.gl8" You want to give your custom settings a descriptive name in case you save multiple sets of settings. In the screenshot you can see that I have checked all of the boxes excluding all of those items and in the "Export these items" box I have used the "Remove" button to take everything out of there except the BMD info.

Don't forget the Privacy Options button to either exclude living people or change their name to Living.

HINT: You will want the anchor person's name to show up (the person that took the DNA test) but you don't any additional personal information to upload. You can do this two ways. You can kill yourself off (figuratively speaking by entering a death date) and then remove the BMD info from the gedcom or you can let it print LIVING for yourself and simple go into the gedcom and change the name.

This requires you to open the gedcom in Notepad and make the edits there which is a bit of an advanced skill. To make it easier, you can kill yourself off (so that your name will export) and then temporarily put privacy brackets around the BMD info you don't want to be made public.

BMD = Births, Marriages, and Deaths.

Stripping image for DNA Purposes


Find tech tips every day in the Facebook Legacy User Group. The group is free and is available to anyone with a Facebook account.

For video tech tips checkout the Legacy Quick Tips page.  These short videos will make it easy for you to learn all sort of fun and interesting ways to look at your genealogy research.

Michele Simmons Lewis is part of the technical support team at Millennia, the makers of the Legacy Family Tree software program. With over 20 years of research experience, Michele’s passion is helping new genealogists get started on the right foot through her writings, classes and lectures. She is the former staff genealogist and weekly columnist for the McDuffie Mirror and now authors Ancestoring, a blog geared toward the beginner/intermediate researcher.


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I was stuck when I did not see an "Export Items" when I click Export / GEDCOM File. Instead, it opens a window labeled "GEDCOM Export". I finally figured out that you have to click the "Customize ..." button to open the "Export Items" window.

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