How to Download Your Ancestry Family Tree


Download your family tree

At some point in your research I’m fairly certain that you’ll want to download your family tree from your account. It’s easy to download a GEDCOM file from to your own computer, but GEDCOMs cannot include images; this means any documents or photos you attached to your tree won’t come along with the GEDCOM.

This is the reason that I download records and photos to my own computer as well as save them to my online tree. This way I can make sure all the documents pertaining to my family can be loaded into my own software because I have them sitting on my own computer.

Step-by-Step Download Your Tree Family Ancestry

To begin, click on the TREES menu item at the top of any page. A pulldown menu will show the trees you’ve created and at the bottom of the list you’ll see a link to Create and Manage Trees (by the way, the green checkmark shows you the tree that you last worked with).

download your ancestry tree step 1

Once you click Create & Manage trees, on the next page click the Manage tree that’s next to whichever tree it is that you want to download (in this case, Hendrickson)

download your ancestry tree step 2

Next, in the right column you’ll see the link to export your tree as a GEDCOM file. Go ahead and click the Export Tree button. Depending on the size of your tree, creating the GEDCOM can so super-fast or really slow.

download your ancestry tree step 3

Finally, once the GEDCOM has been created by the system, click the button to download to your computer. From there, you can import the GEDCOM into your genealogy software.

download your ancestry tree step 4

I download my tree about once a month, just because I want to have a local copy that I know is recent. Of course, I’m big on saving important things in more than one location!

Save Your Family Stories - 10 Easy Steps

*by downloading this free PDF you're confirming that you also wish to receive my free genealogy newsletter



  1. This doesn’t work on an IPad. There is no right click to “Save As”. I have tried based on internet
    searches but no luck. Can you put the save as on the same screen as save?

    1. Hi Al,

      No, it doesn’t work on a tablet as the download is in .GED (GEDCOM) format. You’ll need to download using a computer.


  2. Re: “…you can import the GEDCOM into your genealogy software”. I have never downloaded my family tree from Ancestry – in fact, had no idea how to do it. Thanks for your instructions! What software would you suggest using as a genealogy software? If you can’t make a suggestion, could you say what software you use? Thanks again.

  3. Thank you Nancy, this has been of great help to me, I want to get everything in a safe place and have it printed for my children.

    1. Thank you Carol – that means a lot to me. And, I totally agree – get everything in a safe place (or more than one)! Nancy

  4. Enjoy your site. Most large liberties have (Liberty Edition) free to liberty members with on-site wi-fi or computers.

  5. Hi Nancy, my birth name is Jessica Lynn Hendrickson.
    I just joined 23andme and I’m trying to find my Hendrickson families.
    My parents are Frank Glenn Hendrickson and His Father is Ralph R. Hendrickson and His father is
    Glen Hendrickson . I’m not sure if my great grandfather spelled his first name with one N in Glen or two N’s in Glenn.
    If there is any way you can guide me in the right direction I would really appreciate it .
    I’ve been communicating with a new found family member in the UK and one in Missouri .
    We are trying to find our connections.
    Anything help you could give would be a true BLESSING
    Thank you for your time

  6. Just wondering, and thank you for offering this procedure, can you tell us where you are when you download? are you in facts, or family, or tree, or what? and I have made this mistake when I try to even just look at a tree. what person do you click on to get your whole tree???
    I never know which end to start at. and will it download all even if they are telescoped?
    And didn’t you say this was a good way to save your attachments and pictures? Gedcom will not save, but I thought you indicated this was a different procedure that did save?
    Thanks in advance.
    Judy Ford

    1. Hi Irish Rover! Thanks for your comments. I’m so happy that you’re finding useful information on the site. And, your note reminds me to add info about software far more often 🙂 Nancy

  7. There is nothing like a hard copy. I print off all photos and media for each member of my tree and place it in
    an album for my family tree.that way if ancestry looses my tree I have everything safe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.