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What can I do with a gedcom file?

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  • What can I do with a gedcom file?

    Like a lot of people I have my tree (hubby's tree) online, and in my case on ancestry.

    I'm embarking on a project to handwrite the tree on a massive roll of paper. At over 4500 people it's going to take me most of the year!

    but - what I'd like to do is add a bit of interest and do a mindmap of surnames, or places. Or jaybe something with ages/date of birth etc. Even just male/female split.

    So ideally i want to do this on a computer as it's a whole heap of work doing it manually. I've downloaded the gedcom file from ancestry but it appears pretty useless unless uploading into another family tree software.

    Does anyone know if I can use the data to even half do the sort of thing im thinking of? Even just names into excel or similar would be a start

  • #2
    You should be able to upload it into any family tree software. Some have free lite packages, I would try them first, just to give you some confidence how it works.

    Then various packages will have standard reports, and also some or maybe all allow you to specify your own reports. there are a few threads on here about software recommendations
    Family Tree site

    Researching: Luggs, Freeman - Cornwall; Dayman, Hobbs, Heard - Devon; Wilson, Miles - Northants; Brett, Everett, Clark, Allum - Herts/Essex
    Also interested in Proctor, Woodruff


    • #3
      I was bought a family history program many years ago as a present, (FTM), and have upgraded over the years. To help us understand and get more and better use from the program, I have attended, pre Covid, courses at the Society of Genealogists. Perhaps it is more usage, a better understanding maybe, even possible looking more at the Manual, but whatever, in the past few years I have been discovering more and more what the program can actually do.

      Be careful though, whatever program you decide to go with, and I believe you should, I think there is a saying something like ‘garbage in, garbage out’. In my case, understanding more as to how the program works, I have been re-visiting various entries made years ago and improving/updating those entries.

      Do also remember to checkout to see if any tutorials on Youtube.

      Best of Luck.


      • #4
        Thank you for your comments. It's good to know that there are programs that will give me the info I'm after.

        I have sure that whilst writing out the tree I will make changes, notice anomalies and probably even delete people. But it's a good side effect of the project, a bit if a data cleanse