Copy-And-Paste Your Ancestry Tree To A Spreadsheet

There are several different ways to get a list of names from your family tree. Some methods use desktop software or require a little technical knowledge.

But if your tree is online on Ancestry, there is one simple way to get a list of people into a spreadsheet. It’s time-consuming with larger trees but it works!

Here’s what to do for your own tree or any public family tree on Ancestry.

Step 1: Open The List Of All People

Log into and open the tree.

Expand the “Find in tree” drop-down menu at the top right of the page.

Menu item "find in tree" highlighted

Choose “List of all People” from the filters. This displays every person in your tree in alphabetical order of their surname.

If you have individuals without a last name, they’ll appear at the top.

How To Move Through The List

The challenge with large trees is that Ancestry displays a maximum of one hundred people on a single page of the list.

If you are only seeing twenty or fifty (and you have more entries than that), check the setting at the bottom left of the page. There is a toggle that lets you choose between 20, 50, and 100.

If you have more than a hundred entries, then you have to move through consecutive pages until you reach the last one.

There is a control on the bottom right of each page that lets you move from page to page.

Step 2: Copy The List Per Page

 Scroll up toward the top of the page and click your cursor beside the “Name” header above the list.

Holding down the mouse button, drag the cursor down to the bottom right of the page. You can stop at the right of the “Death” entry in the footer.

I’ve marked up the boundaries in the picture below.

Step 3: Paste The List Into A Spreadsheet

In an empty worksheet, right-click in the cell where you want the list to start.

You have a choice of whether to preserve the formatting from the webpage. That will bring a hyperlink to the name cell which will jump back to the person profile in the Ancestry tree.

Personally, I don’t like having hyperlinks in the spreadsheet.

I achieve this with Excel by using the paste option of “match destination formatting”.

In Google Sheets, it takes me several steps.

  1. use ctrl-V to paste the list – this includes the hyperlinks.
  2. select all the name fields.
  3. right-click and choose “view more cell actions” from the bottom of the menu.
  4. choose “remove link”.

Step 4: Remove Unwanted Elements

The copy process will bring over some unwanted rows. You will probably get the header repeated twice at the top.

You may also have some extra rows at the bottom with information about Ancestry as a company.

Delete whatever you don’t need before continuing to the next page.

Rinse And Repeat Until Finished

Now that you’ve got the first page copied, you can move on to the next by using the control at the bottom right of the web page.

When you copy this section of the list, paste it below what you’ve got in your spreadsheet.

Eventually, you’ll get to the end of the list.

Step 5: Format Your List

Now that you’ve got the list into a spreadsheet, the most common formatting task is to seprate the first and last names that are in a single column in your pasted list.

We have a separate tutorial on how to split names in Microsoft Excel.

Margaret created a family tree on a genealogy website in 2012. She purchased her first DNA kit in 2017. She created this website to share insights and how-to guides on DNA, genealogy, and family research.

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