• Devon Noel Lee

How to Privatize Living People in family tree before uploading to GEDmatch


 Privatize Living People in family tree before uploading to GEDmatch

You want to use GEDmatch, but you need to upload a family tree with living people. How do you go about privatizing your information in that GEDcom file?


This post gives you the highlights on how to do it. Be sure you watch the video linked below to see how to do all the steps


Step 1: Download your Family Tree From Other Platforms


Each genealogy website is different, so use the following links to learn how to download a GEDcom file of your family tree from:



↪️ Confused about DNA and genealogy?

Grab your copy of this FREE DNA guide:

DNA strand with the title Free Guide Answers to the Most Common DNA Questions asked by new genealogists


Privatize the Living With RootsMagic


Once you've downloaded your family tree to RootsMagic, you'll want to privatize the information about living individuals. There are two ways to do this in RootsMagic


1. Let RootsMagic Do it For You

2. Privatize the Information Manually



Let RootsMagic Automatically Privatize Living Persons


With the file you wish to transfer to GEDmatch, do the following in RootsMagic:

  • Click on "File" on the left panel.

  • Click "Export Data."

  • Select "GEDcom file."

  • Select the destination for the file to be saved to your computer.

  • Name as the file.


On the GEDcom option screen, choose the following selections:

  • Unselect sources, notes, addresses, multimedia links

  • Select "Privatize living people."

  • Chose "Living" for the Names Option

  • Choose one of the following for the Facts Option

  • Full date and place.

  • Don't print any facts.

  • Date only

  • Place only

  • Year only

  • Year and place.

  • Note: Choose the one that you and your family would feel the most comfortable with.

  • Click "OK."


RootsMagic makes a file that you can then upload to GEDmatch.


This video demonstrates both methods to privatize living people using RootsMagic. It also shows how to upload your GEDcom file to GEDmatch.



Manually Change Profiles of Living in RootsMagic


For full instructions on how to edit a profile in RootsMagic 8.


Remove all identifying details, by deleting facts and changing a person's name to Living.


How do you quickly find all the living people in your family tree?

  • Click on "Search" in the side menu.

  • Click on the icon of the magnifying glass with a person inside and the plus sign outside. When you hover over that icon it says, "Search Advance."

  • Click the "Find" button.

  • In the first "Select field" dropdown, choose "living flag."

  • Choose "is True" in the third box on that row.

  • Click "OK."


You then may see a list in the right-side panel of people who are living.

  • Click on each person's to highlight it.

  • Click the "Go To" button to open their profile.

  • Manually edit the profiles to privatize the living person's information.


After completing this process, repeat the steps for Exporting the GEDmcom file, as mentioned above. Except, uncheck the box beside "Privatize living people."


↪️ Do you want to dive even deeper into genetic genealogy, writing family histories, and climbing your family tree? Join the

FHF Xtra Premium Membership and get a wealth of exclusive content.



Uploading your GEDcom file to GEDMatch


To upload your family tree to GEDmatch, you first need to log in. Then do the following:

  • Scroll down the home page until you find the Family Trees in the right menu.

  • Click on "Upload a GEDcom fast."

On the next screen, enter the following information.


Name the GEDcom - This can be whatever you want. It can be the same name you named the file. It could be something more user-friendly.


Select the Kit - Select what kit number for the primary person on the GEDcom. Who was the starting person for the family tree to build up from? For genetic genealogy research, this would likely be yourself. So, what's your kit number for the DNA test you uploaded to GEDmatch?


Are all four of your grandparents are from the same place? If yes, check the box. If not, uncheck the box. If unknown, leave the box unchecked.


Privacy - Check the box that confirms that you've privatized the living people in your family tree. You can confirm this because you did this with RootsMagic, as explained above.


Choose the GEDcom File to Upload - Next, choose the GEDcom file from your computer that you'll upload to GEDmatch.



After completing all of those steps, you can click "Upload."


Depending on how big of a file you have it may take some time to actually upload everything.


Once finished, you'll see a success page and it will tell you who the very first person is. It will then likely say their name is "Living."


If the Upload GEDcom fast fails, then try the alternate upload. This is helpful for very large family trees. But the best advice is to pair down your GEDcom files to only the essentials and upload that.


For more tips on using GEDmatch, check out these blog posts:


Note: To leave a comment, you will be asked to sign in with your Facebook or Google Account. This action will help reduce spam comments on our site. I hope you'll understand.