My genealogy data has been in Personal Ancestry File (PAF) on my desktop computer for 20+ years. I recently also put it on Ancestry.com. For now, I am maintaining it in both places because PAF will print descendant lists. Unfortunately, PAF will not print to a file, so if want to share a descendant list, I need to print and scan, or use a screenshot. Maintaining the data in two places is getting tiresome, so I would like to stop using PAF.

How could I make a descendant list more directly from Ancestry.com? Preferably with free software. Ancestry will allow you to export a GEDCOM file that could be imported into other software. Not ideal, but this may be the best option.

I would want to specify how many generations, and what information to display for each person (full dates/year only, places, etc)

I am running Windows 10.

Example output from PAF.

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EDIT: FYI: Example output from Gramps (per accepted answer)

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3 Answers 3


I use GRAMPS (Link) for most of my work. It imports and exports GEDCOM, but I can't tell how well the GEDCOM files from Ancestry would work with it.

It has several report flavors, including graphical and textual descendant reports. The number of generations can be set, and there are several customization options for dates and places. The standard (not the detailed) descendant report indeed looks quite like your example (link to documentation.

  • I was able to export a GEDCOM file from Ancestry and import into GRAMPS fairly quickly. GRAMPS seems to be a well written, versatile application. The scroll bars and file displays are different from what I am used to, but that is to be expected for a cross-platform app.
    – Mattman944
    Commented Sep 13, 2021 at 21:41
  • 1
    You will find the free version of Ancestral Quest is more similar to PAF than Gramps.
    – Colin
    Commented Sep 14, 2021 at 5:43

If you are happy to continue double entry PAF and Ancestry then you could just get a pdf printer driver and output to that from PAF. One example is Bullzip it is free. Alternatively switch PAF which is very old and no longer supported to other free genealogy software of which there are several choices such as Gramps, Ancestral Quest (who wrote PAF), Roots Magic for a full list see Cyndi's List


There used to be some 3rd party tools that would let you do it directly from Ancestry. However, Ancestry shut all of those tools down a couple of years ago. Your best options now are either to download the GEDCOM and use it in whatever software you prefer, or to use Rootsmagic/Family Tree Maker to download the tree, then to generate that report from within whichever software you are using.

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