I have been exporting my personal family tree from ancestry.com via the built-in GEDCOM export feature. This tree has about 36,000 members. However, when I import the GEDCOM file to geneanet.org, I happened to find a set of siblings that were essentially 'floating' in the family tree, with no recorded parents according to the website. After further investigation in the initial GEDCOM file, I found that there were 67 total people with FAMC tags attributed to them, but with completely blank values. I have no idea what may have caused these issues, especially on such a small number of the total individuals, but I am curious if anyone has any experiences with this. It may also be important that all these individuals fell into one of 10 different families. An abbreviated (and name-changed) example below shows how the GEDCOM file looks like for one of these individuals.

0 @P1@ INDI
2 DATE 17 Sept 1997
2 DATE 15 Mar 1927
1 NAME John /Smith/
0 (etc)
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    Using Ancestry.com as your primary database is problematic - there's no sanity checking. Import your GEDCOM into any desktop software with a sanity checking feature, and you'll find other issues - e.g., some of the marriage records don't attach the same record to each of the couple, they need to be attached to each separately. When they do, Ancestry would create an invisible, unnamed spouse each time. I only noticed it because I was using Family Tree Maker synched to my Ancestry tree and the phantom spouses would show up in FTM after the synch. They never showed up in Ancestry at all.
    – cleaverkin
    Commented Jun 16, 2020 at 18:29

1 Answer 1


A FAMC tag with no link is illegal in GEDCOM. Thus this is a bug with the GEDCOM export at Ancestry.

If the tag is included, then it must point to the FAM record for the parents. If there are no parents, then the FAMC tag must not be included.

Without seeing your GEDCOM file and comparing it to your family tree at Ancestry, it's impossible to tell what the cause is. Maybe there are siblings connected to the same parent but neither parent is defined.

You can be a good citizen and report this problem to Ancestry so they can fix it. And you can tell Geneanet as well so they can give a message to warn the user that empty FAMC records were found.

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