I want to find a simple little app/software that would strip my GEDCOM of any non-blood relatives (plus spouses) and eliminate any non-vital data (only include birthdates, birthplaces, deathdates, deathplaces etc). (It would also strip events from living people.) The purpose of this tool would be so I (and others) can upload a clean tree for use in sites like GEDmatch, Ancestry, ftDNA, etc.

Ideally this would be a "one click" editor, with provisions to select which events to include (as mentioned above).

Unfortunately, I find a common "problem" with many of the DNA sites -- and that is, that users are uploading their entire database or they don't upload their GEDCOM because it's too cumbersome to review/edit their entire tree. Many databases, at these sites, include unconnected people and many non-blood relatives. This is extremely inconvenient for me (and others) because much of my time is spent determining if the user, in fact, does share DNA with me and are blood relatives. I believe these messy GEDCOMS exist partly. because there is no tool to clean their GEDCOM or they (like me) are simply not aware of a tool to perform this task. The other option, of manually editing a huge GEDCOM is simply out of the question -- at least for me, but probably for other's too.

6 Answers 6


Family Historian has a gedcom export plugin available that has a specific export option for this scenario. However, the free trial version does not allow the running of plugins and so may be an expensive option if this is a one-off exercise, but it is an excellent programme for storing all your genealogical data.


Res Privata is a venerable application for stripping non-vital data, especially for living people, , and free for non-commercial use. It is no longer has a website and I doubt it's supported, but it's available for download at the Family Historian User Group website. However, it won't filter non-blood relatives; and I'm not aware of a free utility which will do this.

Family Historian, as others have said, can do the whole job.


If you know a programming a little bit (or better :-) you can use your skills to write simple parser. The best choice is to use language like python and already finished module for GEDCOM parsing (like https://github.com/nickreynke/python-gedcom) It is really not hard task to strip all unused information from GEDCOM because it is plain text file. One can use text editing tools, but scripting is more convenient.

The removing of non-blood relatives is more complex because one needs to filter relations between persons in GEDCOM. It is also possible task, but will take more time that just removing unused info. This can't be achived by just iterating over file contents. But if you find ready module with traversing of family tree, you will be able to do it in several lines :-)


Brother's Keeper has always allowed this. I rather assumed other software did too. You can create a GEDcom of a single person's ancestors only, or ancestors plus family of ancestors (without children's spouses). Then you can choose which fields to include, or ALL fields. Include/exclude living people, give name but no data, or simply define as "Living"

It's not a "one click" process, but you can save your settings, and make it a "two click" deal. Probably not available in their free version, but your original question didn't ask for that. :)


geni.com gives you the option to only export blood relatives (they call it DNA relatives though, and what they call "blood relatives" includes adoptions). As a registered user you find the feature under the following link: https://www.geni.com/gedcom/export

Geni GEDCOM export options

So you could import your GEDCOM there and then afterwards export it. Just keep in mind that geni.com is targeted towards creating a global tree. Also there are some limitations. From https://help.geni.com/hc/en-us/articles/229705167-How-can-I-export-my-GEDCOM-:

Basic users - GEDCOM exports are limited to 4x the number of profiles you've added and up to a maximum of 5,000 profiles


FTAnalyzer www.ftanalyzer.com has a function that does exactly this load up your GEDCOM file it strips out all the non essential data and fully privatises any living individuals. It then creates a stripped down GEDCOM file you can load up to a DNA website. This function was literally created for exactly the purpose you describe of making it as simple as it possibly could be for users to create a stripped down tree for DNA websites.

It literally does this in the one click you are after (or 3 clicks if you count setting options).

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