Cyber Solutions: Selective Sharing

By Nancy Hendrickson Premium

Q. I’d like to e-mail my family database to another researcher, but don’t want to include all my genealogy data in the file. How do I send only a portion of a GEDCOM file?

A. E-mailing part of a GEDCOM — the universal computer file format for family trees — is easier than you might think. The first step is to create a new GEDCOM that contains only the names or family line you want to share. This procedure varies slightly depending on which genealogy software you use, but generally you can follow these simple steps:

  1. Open your family file, go to the File menu, and pick Export. Select GEDCOM as the export type.
  2. Choose which records to export. Your options usually will be All Records, Selected Records or Focus Group.
  3. From the menu choices, select the person or family line you want to include in your file. For example, you can create a GEDCOM for one person only, a person and his ancestors, a person and her descendants, or even a specific family (spouse and children).
  4. If your program allows you to privatize details on living people, activate this option.
  5. Click OK (or Save or Export). Once the process is complete, you should see a confirmation.

Finally, to e-mail your file, simply attach the GEDCOM you created to your e-mail message and hit Send. Your recipient will be able to open (or “import”) the file in any popular family tree program.

From the October 2006 issue of Family Tree Magazine.