Using the GEDCOM capabilities at

UPDATE 4-JUL-2020: In the column labeled “GED Wikitree” on a Tier 1 one to many report, if the word “GED” appears in the row of a match, you can click on it to get to that user’s gedcom. Otherwise you can find if a match has a GEDCOM by using the User Lookup function. How to navigate that GEDCOM is covered on the second page of this article.

Take the kit number of interest and plug it into the user lookup form. On the next page, with the information about that kit, it will either say NO GEDCOM UPLOADED or there will be a GEDCOM id number. That id number is now clickable and will take you to the person associated with this kit number in the GEDCOM.

GEDmatchUserFrodeIf you have not uploaded a GEDCOM to then I highly recommend that you do so. It is helpful to be able to compare your GEDCOM to that of a DNA match. I prefer just 10-12 generations of my ancestors (privatized) as my full family file is way too large. My theory being that is enough generations for DNA matching and I only want ancestors for my DNA matches to look through.

I have used red arrows on the image to the right, which is an excerpt from the current right hand column of GEDmatch home page [as of 4-jul-2020] to show where to upload your GEDCOM file and where to click to do a user lookup.

Here is a the step by step example:

One of my Dad’s top matches is a Norwegian named Frode. I took a copy of his kit number from the one to many matches page. Then on my home page in the second box on the left I clicked on User Lookup and filled his kit number into that box on the lookup form.
Note that you can also look for a person up by email address but only use one of the lookup options on the form.

Frode’s user page has a linked GEDCOM id number (image was at the top of this post) so I clicked on that and saw this individual page which is marked private since he is living.


Notice the menu at the top of the page. The item most interesting to me at the moment is pedigree since it will show Frode’s ancestors, so I clicked on that. The pedigree page can be adjusted to any number of generations.

Here is my mother’s pedigree as an example, adjusted down to 3 generations.


I quickly gave up on looking through Frode’s detailed pedigree and decided to use the one-to-one GEDCOM compare at GEDmatch to find our common ancestors. You get to that utility by clicking the 2 GEDCOMs under Genealogy in the middle right hand Analyze your data box. You need each GEDCOM number; your own GEDCOMs are listed at the bottom left of the home screen under Your GEDCOM Resources and I found Frode’s on his user profile (as described above). Warning there are some misleading messages at the beginning of the output from this function that might make you think you are comparing to all GEDCOMs. You are not!

Much to my surprise, since Norwegians often spell their names differently or use patronymic surnames instead of farm names, our common ancestors from farm Fatland popped right up. Here is how the first one looked:


So I clicked the confirm buttons for each good match. Later when I clicked the blue left to right pedigree symbol to show yet another common ancestor’s descendants I noticed little trees in the list which indicated where people listed are linked to another GEDCOM (to mine of course).


You can also choose to compare your GEDCOM to all the GEDCOMs in the database as well by clicking the 1 GEDCOM to all instead of the 2 GEDCOMs function.

Addendum added 27Apr2015:

A facebook reader pointed out that, for those of us with multiple family members whose kits are on GEDmatch, it is easy and useful to link their kit to their entry in your tree at GEDmatch. Do this by clicking your family member’s name on any display page reached via the lookup suggested above or the GEDCOM comparisons. This gets you to their individual page and at the bottom of that page there is a box for inputting the DNA kit id at GEDmatch. For example, I just added my brother’s ancestry kit by typing it into this form and clicking the Here button.

GEDmatch Adding a GEDCOMid

86 thoughts on “Using the GEDCOM capabilities at

Click here to add your thoughts at the end of the comments
  1. i miss the Gedcom + DNA matches function at Gedmatch. I has been down for months. It automatically matched our matches in fewer steps, but, thanks for these instructions.

    • Janice, each site has different useful tools and I use them both. DNAgedcom has a good gedcom compare tool and will download your match information from 23andme or ftDNA. I have not yet uploaded a GEDCOM there, soon … And a blog post about it 🙂

  2. How do you create the abbreviated GEDCOM that you upload? I use RootsMagic for my PC and have a similar tree on Ancestry.

  3. I am new to Gedmatch. I want to download my tree from Ancestry but I do not understand how to get the living people from showing up. I see from previous posts that I need to get software in order to make the necessary changes. Is there any software I can download for free (that are safe to use)?

    • Right Cheryl, download your tree as a GEDCOM then use a software program to privatize it. I use family tree maker which is not free. But there are others, MyHeritage has a free program among others.

  4. GED2GO
    This program prepares a GEDCOM file for public distribution. It removes all living persons and adds an estimated birth date to every person that lacks one. Click the ? button and then click here for details.

    My question: I am living and my aunt is living. We took the DNA test. If this program removes all living people, what is the point in uploading to GEDmatch?

  5. After you remove the living put yourself (and your aunt) back in with just your birth year. Your information will stay private. I just like to take extra care with my living relatives. I put in those in my direct line as Living and then the surname with just the birth year, or at least that is how Family Tree Maker privatizes them

  6. mskitty,
    I couldn’t find the answer to my question on Gedmatch or just googling, though your blog came up here.

    I was noticing as I was looking at some Gedcoms on Gedmatch today that you can search all the gedcoms. I have a name change / rare surname that I’m working on for my husband. I actually can find a rare surname that I had looked at twice for a name change that is known to have occurred back in 1700s NY, but the original name is not known. He has a segment match with someone on FTDNA that has the rare name, but it’s the only one I can find on FTDNA or 23andMe. I turned up a bunch of Gedcom listings of the rare surname being in the right place at the right time on Gedmatch, but it lists just Gedcom i.d.s and email addresses. The only way I can think of to see if husband matches any of these is to call up his list and try “find” on each email address. Is there a better way?

    • The search function on the individual display page in a GEDcom searches just that Gedcom

      There is an option on your home page to search ALL GEdcoms but it is currently offline

  7. Terri –
    When you are logged in you can delete your GEDcom and then upload the newer one. The pedigree at GEDmatch is for display only, not editing, although you can associate different test kits with people in our tree

  8. Help. I was uploading my GEDcom and it only partially uploaded. What page on GEDMatch do you delete your uploaded file? I have heard about a red X somewhere but can’t seem to find it.

  9. How long does it take to upload a GEDCOM file. I’ve tried to upload several times and have waited for hours to do so. Do you get a signal that the upload is complete?


    • George –
      How large is your GEDcom?
      More than 12 generations is not really needed for these DNA comparisons. Also I recommend just uploading your direct ancestors and perhaps their siblings. That way any matches are to people who are blood relatives and the file stays small

      • In the countless hours that I’ve spent on, a large part of the time has been spent manually filtering out all the results who are NOT blood relatives of people in their gedcom. This process is incredibly frustrating for me (wasted time). Are you aware of a simple gedcom editor that would trim a gedcom, to make it applicable for upload to DNA genealogists? I would like to recommend an app like this to users… (and I would like it if GEDmatch would recommend it to those uploading gedcoms).

  10. I uploaded my kit from 23andme. I also manage my father’s kit on 23andme. Now that I have uploaded my kit, I do not see instructions on uploading my father’s kit. Could you instruct me on how to do that? Thank you.

    • Unlike some other sites you can keep all the kits you manage in one account. So log in to your GEDmatch account and then follow their instructions for a 23andme upload

  11. Hello mskitty,

    I just loaded my autosomal DNA and gedcom tree from So I am very new to the site. As I was going through my gedcom matches I mistakenly confirmed a few matches that are not truly matches. How can I “unmatch” them? I have googled and searched the FAQs but see nothing that answers my question.

    Would appreciate any help and thank you for your blog!


    • Kelly –
      There is no way to undo these! So I contacted an admin and got all your matches undone. If you make a mistake again just send an email to GEDmatch at gmail and explain what you need corrected.
      Merry Xmas

  12. I cannot seem to view the GEDCOM matches that I have made. I have searched and searched but must be overlooking something. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

  13. Susan –
    Matches you have made are marked by a little green tree icon in your tree. You can view your tree by clicking on its id number in the GEDcom box on the bottom left of your home page then clicking pedigree at the top. You can increase the number of generations also.
    The image at the start of this article shows a green tree icon for Britha Fatland. If I were to click on Britha, at the bottom of her individual page the same green tree icon will show with the clickable id and email address of the connected gedcom

  14. how do i get a gedcom i have DNA done by ancestry and a family tree im confused and i just uploaded to gedmatch any help please?

  15. If I close the list of common ancestors that GEDmatch generated using my uploaded GEDCOM, will the entire search be lost? Last night I created a GEDCOM from my family tree and uploaded it to GEDmatch. This morning it shows me the results of the “Search for possible common ancestors,” but when I click on any of the link icons, it always says that it is not connected to the server, so the link does not work. I tried logging into GEDmatch using a different browser so that I could leave the list of common ancestors open, but I could not find a way to look at the list of common ancestors on GEDmatch by that method. I am leaving the list of common ancestors open until I find out whether I can close it without losing the entire search and having to start all over again. Kindly advise me what to do. Thank you.

    • Yes your search will be lost if you close that window. Cut and paste its contents to a word doc to preserve the links.

      Control T will open a new tab in most browsers. Use that tab to log into gedmatch again and then your links from the original window should work.

  16. Uploading my DNA to gedmatch sounds fine, but I;m coming from a Mac, and it doesn’t upload..and their “help” comment telling me how to workaround the problem doesn’t work because the way they tell me to do it does’t work because their guide to how to do it is wrong…and then there’s the problem I have no way to communicate with them to tell them their help doesn’t work. What’s a guy to do?

  17. Jay – if you click the GEDmatch Inc in any footer on the site it will pop up an email window or just send an email to GEDmatch at gmail

  18. Loaded my Ancestry raw data files yesterday. Got my kit number and I am sure I saw activity in the Gedcom Resources but today nothing. Message under resources is “There are no GEDCOMs associated with your log-in email address.” Is there a problem or am I just too early.

  19. Hi, are you still there? I need help. I just uploaded my GEDcom from Ancestry to Gedmatch and I need to take it down. Everyone is showing. Is there a way to disconnect it?

    • At the bottom of the left column on your Gedmatch home page “gedcom resources”
      Click in there and delete your gedcom
      Then export again from your Genealogy program but privatized

      • Kitty, I am not finding a method to delete my gedcom. I do go to ‘My Gedcom Resources’ and find my gedcom info line, but clicking on it does not bring up a panel to delete. I also tried right click.

        • Roger, you do not click on your gedcom but rather below your list of Gedcoms on “Click HERE to manage other GEDCOM resource details.”

          • Kitty, I have taken that path (click HERE to manage …) but the resulting panel has no delete function. Nor do the links at the top of that page go to panels that I can find a delete function. I did upload my GEDCOM using the fast beta level upload. Regards, Roger

  20. How can I do what this error message tells me to do, ie unlink the kit owner’s name from another individual in a that kit owner’s Gedcom.

    WARNING: Link is between 2 people with different names:
    GEDCOM name: William Walrond of Isle
    DNA Kit name: Lionel Walrond
    (197) ERROR: Kit T032269 is already linked to a different individual (William Walrond of Isle ) in this GEDCOM. Each kit should only be linked to the single person represented by that kit. You must delete the other link first, if you need to change it.

  21. Kitty,
    New at using the Gedcom search tool. Entering a surname and locale for kits I manage produces a genetic symbol (assuming that indicates how many gens back we link, but sometimes an X in a box. Assumed that indicated an xdna match (ie kit mother). Confusion is three kits for my surname while they all link to my GGGG Gr born 1741, then branch in three separate lines to tested individuals with obviously different mothers generate that x symbol?

  22. Kitty to clarify, each kit has been entered with a different email (hopefully this allows me to check the GEdcom surname ID against each individual?).

    • Lyn
      I am not understanding your question. Are you talking about the tree display or the DNA matching? I will email you and you can send a screen shot

  23. ms kitty,

    I have created a gedcom file (23andMe, Genesis) but when I try to link my DNA kit I get this message: Invalid DNA kit number

    I’m positive I am entering the correct kit number.

    Can you help?

    • Kathleen –
      All your DNA kits are listed in the left hand column so you can double check it there. When you click on your gedcom file you have a box where you can add this kit number to that person in the tree.
      If you are still getting an error please contact gedmatch at gmail with the full details.

  24. MsKitty, I have made many changes to my family tree/ GEDCOM. I know how to delete the old one from GEDMatch and upload a new one, but what do I risk with the change? The GEDCOM # changes — is that an issue? What might I lose? Matches, other information? Thanks for any information.

    • Ellen –
      No risk in replacing your GEDcom except if you have linked any family DNA kits to the old GEDcom, they will be gone so you will have to do that again. For the purposes of matching I just put 10 generations of ancestors on GEDmatch and privitize that for insurance…
      I prefer to put kit numbers in my family profiles (with their permission of course) at WIKItree so that the link to my more accurate and up-to-date tree there appears in the one to many for my DNA cousins.

  25. I tried to link my brothers kit number to the GEDCOM of our family and it gave me a blank screen. Could this be because he is in Genesis Beta (23and me DNA source)?

    • I have forwarded these to GEDmatch support. I would think that he needs to do the linking if the kit is in his own account

  26. Hi Kitty,

    I am trying to download my family tree (approx. 2500 people so not huge) from tree. I have followed the instruction and clicked on the ‘export tree’ button. The cursor is doing its thinking spinning thing and there is a message that says it may take a while. It has been 2 hours and it still reads 0% completed. Is this common? Should I try again?

    Thank you

    • Paula –
      You would have to contact family tree DNA support for help.
      Most of us make our trees elsewhere and only upload them to FamilyTreeDNA rather than ever downloading

    • Howabout checking out WIKItree? If most of your ancestors are already there you will only have to add a few people to connect to their world tree. Then if you put your GEDmatch kit number on your profile at wikitree, the one-to-many (tier 1 only at the moment) will show a link to that tree

  27. Hi!
    I can see a relative’s results on GedMatch but he cannot see mine. What am I doing wrong?
    Is it me or is this website confusing?

  28. Kitty,

    I have a number of *possible* ancestors and people included in my main Ancestry tree, but they are NOT connected to me or my family (yet). I hope to make the connections at some point, and I have them there as I know some are related thru DNA. But in creating a Gedcom to upload to GedMatch/Genesis, do you think that is going to be a problem? Maybe they won’t be included? Thanks!

    • I usually recommend just creating a file with about 10 generations of ancestors for upload to GEDmatch.
      If you upload your whole gedcom, when a DNA match compares their gedcom to yours they will find in laws and other relatives that are not blood relatives.
      You can always upload a newer version later

  29. This may seem like a stupid question but I cannot seem to find the answer. I have not uploaded a GEDcom file to Gedmatch. But often, when I go through the list of 1 to many matches for my kit, I sometimes see a dna symbol next to a person in the individual detail display or in the descendants view. Does this mean that my DNA is matched to this specific person? What is this symbol supposed to represent? I’m very new to this so pardon my ignorance.

    • That just means that the person with the symbol in that pedigree is matched to a DNA test. The individual detail page should have that kit number which you can click for its one to many.

  30. I use FTM and I am considering putting a Gedcom onto GedMatch. I haven’t any experience with Gedcoms. Is it possible to create Gedcoms for different branches of my tree e.g. for each grand-parent? Can I then upload these separate Gedcoms to Gedmatch using my Gedmatch kit number?

  31. David –
    I would recommend exporting a GEDcom of 12 generations of ancestors plus any of your tested family from FTM rather than all those separate trees. I think you can only link your test to one tree.
    You can always send someone a link to the pedigree of one grandparent. You can also link multple kits to the same tree.
    To get the URL of the pedigree of just one ancestor you first look at your pedigree by clicking on your gedcom number and then “pedigree” at the top of your individual page. Click on the grandparent. Then click on “pedigree” on his page. Here is my Munson grandad
    (you need to be logged in to GEDmatch to view it of course)

  32. I want to load a GEDCOM to GEDmatch. I have 40,000 people in my tree and the limit for a file is 10,000. Your comments seem to mostly be about ancestors, but I think I would also need to include descendants. The instructions say I can split the file into two. How would that be done, perhaps a tree for each grandparent, but then how would GEDmatch search?

    Also your blog talks about tying someone else’s DNA kit to a person in your tree. Wouldn’t they need to be deceased because the GEDCOM is privatized?

  33. Alan,
    The reason I recommend an only ancestors tree of about 10-12 generations is that then people will not find the in-law branch of a gg uncle and say aha that is how we are related. That happened to me many times before I changed my tree
    The other reason is that it gets it to a manageable size
    But for linking living people whose tests you manage you probably need to include the descendants of your (g) grandparents. Up to you. Remember to privatize them yourself

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