Can you download your family tree from Ancestry.com? The answer is yes.
We see this question quite a bit so we thought we’d quickly show you how you can easily download a GEDCOM from Ancestry that you can use as a backup, or to import in to virtually any family tree program or family history tree website.
It is important to note that because an Ancestry tree export produces a standard GEDCOM file, it will only contain textual data and not attached photos or records. This means that if you download your file for use in another program you will need to download and attach your media and Ancestry linked records manually.
If you plan to use Family Tree Maker, however, you can sync your tree with Ancestry directly and save all records at once. For help with backing up records from Ancestry using either method please see our recent article on the topic here.
How to Download Your Ancestry.com Tree as a GEDCOM
Step 1 – Visit Ancestry and Look for the “Trees” Menu Item
Step 2 – Click on “Trees” and Select “Create and Manage Trees”
Step 3 – Look for the Tree You Would Like to Download from the Available List and Click on “Manage Tree”
Step 4 – Scroll Down Until You See “Manage Your Tree” on the Right Sidebar and Click on the “Export Tree” Button Provided
Step 5 – A Green “Download Your GEDCOM” Button Will Appear, Click on it to Download the File to Your Computer
Step 6 – If the File Does Not Download Click on the Blue “Download Tips” Link for Help
Step 7 – Your File Will Be Saved to Your Default Downloads Location, You May Want to Move it in to a Genealogy Folder for Ease Locating it Later
Now that you have your GEDCOM, you are ready to import your file in to another family tree program, back it up on a thumb drive or online, share it with a friend, or upload it to another service.
Please know that some information — including source citations, unusually long or hyphenated names or places, symbols and notes – may not always transfer properly from program to program via GEDCOM so always carefully check your tree after importing it in to the new tree software.
Don’t forget to read the article – Stop ‘Saving’ Records to Your Ancestry Tree Until You Read This – for help with backing up your attached records and other media files. As mentioned above, these are not included in the download.