Downloading Family Trees

Search WorldConnect

Terms and Definitions

Your ancestor is someone from whom you descended: a parent, grandparent, great-grandparent, etc.

Your descendant is someone whose ancestry can be traced to you: your child, grandchild, great-grandchild, etc.

WorldConnect permits you to download portions of another researcher's family tree, if the submitter allows it. Downloading a file copies a portion of the family tree to your computer, so you can incorporate it into your personal files. As with any other source, be sure to verify the accuracy of the information.

GEDCOM is an acronym for GEnealogical Data COMmunications. Within the WorldConnect Project, "GEDCOM" indicates an individual family tree or file. A more detailed explanation of what a GEDCOM is, and how it is used within the WorldConnect Project, is available here.

Surname and Given Name
"Surname" is another term for last name; "given name" is a first or middle name.

More Terms and Definitions

Related FAQs:
Search results
Ancestor & Descendant Reports
Individual records within a file
Contacting the submitter
Adding a Post-em Note
Submitting Your Family Tree

The WorldConnect Project allows you to download family trees, providing the submitter has chosen to offer that option. (WebTV users will not be able to download family trees due to equipment and memory restrictions.)

If you submitted the family tree, you will be able to download the entire file. (This is a convenience, should you need a backup copy of your file!) You can download your file(s) by using the "retrieve GEDCOM" button on the set-up/edit page (the same page you used to submit the file).

If you did not submit the file, you will be able to download a copy only if the submitter has agreed to share their file. You will find a "Download GEDCOM" link near the bottom of the page, if that option is available. GEDCOM is the file format.

The file you download will begin with the person shown on the page you are viewing (Ira Winch in this example). The number of generations you can download will vary depending on the size of the file, and the number of levels chosen when the file was submitted. The submitter also determines how living individuals are shown in the file you download.

Download Form
To full-size form -- use back button to return

Problem solving
  • If you use Netscape, please switch to a supported browser.
  • An error box showing "the identity certificate is invalid" typically means you need to upgrade your browser to a newer version, or add a patch from the company which provided the browser. Sometimes you can ignore the error code, close the window, and continue.
Fields on downloading form
Starting with | Name | Born | Died | Produce a GEDCOM file from  | Number of generations | End of line character
Starting with
The file you download will begin with this individual. In this example it is the person identified as #216 (I00216) of this family tree. You were on the page (record) for this person when you clicked on "Download GEDCOM". The name of the person appears on the next line.
Name, Born, Died
The file you download will start with this person. In this example, the file will start with Ira Winch who is I00216. The birth and death information pertain to him. If there is no birth or death information, those lines will be blank.
Produce a GEDCOM file from
This is where you indicate if you want to download the ancestors or descendants, beginning with the person shown above. GEDCOM is an acronym for the type of file you will be downloading. To learn more about GEDCOMs, click here.
Number of generations
The number of generations you can download will vary depending on the size of the file, and the options chosen when the file was submitted. The maximum number of generations you can download will be ten (10). Only the person who submitted the family tree can download the entire file.
End of line character
CR is an abbreviation for carriage return; CRLF is an abbreviation for carriage return, line feed. If you are using Windows on a personal computer, you should usually select the default of CRLF. Mac users should usually select CR.

LF is an abbreviation for line feed; LFCR is an abbreviation for line feed, carriage return. Unix users should generally select LF; LFCR is seldom used but is available as an option.

WorldConnect Global Search Form | WorldConnect FAQS
WorldConnect Main Page  | HelpDesk Main Page

Check the side panel for related links.
Still need help? Check out our Support Center.