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Revision as of 21:47, 19 November 2008 by ScotHibb (talk | contribs) (GEDCOM Export)
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What is it?

GEDCOM, an acronym for GEnealogical Data COMmunication, is a specification for exchanging genealogical data between different genealogy software. GEDCOM was developed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as an aid to genealogical research. A GEDCOM file is plain text (usually either ANSEL or ASCII) containing genealogical information about individuals, and meta data linking these records together.

Most genealogy software supports importing from and/or exporting to GEDCOM format. However, some genealogy software programs incorporate the use of proprietary extensions to the GEDCOM format, which are not always recognized by other genealogy programs. The GEDCOM TestBook Project evaluates how well popular genealogy programs conform to the GEDCOM 5.5 standard. Additionally, many tools exist to convert GEDCOM files to HTML pages.

Also, for additional information on GEDCOM, as it pertains to Geni, you can refer to the GEDCOM Overview page.


You can export a GEDCOM of any Tree in your Forest from the Share page of your Tree tab.

For more information see the GEDCOM Export page.

Another form of GEDCOM Export is and export of data one would need to perform with their desktop (or offline) genealogy program (software) if they would like to IMPORT their offline/desktop family tree into to either start a new account or to Import and Merge into an existing tree.

An example would be if a user has a family tree that was built using a common offline/desktop genealogy program or software package (i.e. Family Tree Maker, Legacy, etc) and wants to start a new family tree on or add to his/her existing family tree on but does not wish to manually enter all the names and wants to do IMPORT their offline tree and merge it with their online family tree.

Before attempting to Export a family tree from an offline or desktop genealogy program/software package, care should be given to the Export settings that one might have on their offline/desktop genealogy program.

Many desktop/offline genealogy programs support UTF-8 so decided to support it as well. When attempting to export your family tree from your offline/desktop genealogy program/software for the purpose of Importing it onto one should follow the instructions on their offline genealogy program regarding "exporting family tree as a GEDCOM file" (usually an option on the main menu under to "Save As" there should be an option to "Export" or "Export to GEDCOM"). When the "Export As GEDCOM" menu option is chosen, the user should then check the Export Settings and make sure that prior to exporting their offline tree and saving it as a GEDCOM for importing onto, the options are set to the BEST POSSIBLE ones to make importing the GEDCOM onto as seamless as possible (and to avoid thousands of duplicate files if duplicate profiles exists within the offline tree when compared to the tree).

Before exporting your offline tree using your desktop/offline genealogy software/program, make sure that the following Export Settings are enabled:



-Standard UNICODE encoding

By exporting your offline family tree with these settings you will ensure that as many data fields are saved and remain after your family tree is imported onto


We are excited to announce that you can build your Geni tree from your GEDCOM file! Geni is now the easiest and best way to share your research with your family.

Importing your GEDCOM is easy:

  1. Go to the GEDCOM Import page (
  2. Fill out the form and upload your GEDCOM file.
  3. Indicate who you are in your file.
  4. You're done!

Geni will import your GEDCOM file, for up to 15,000 profiles, and build your tree for you. You can begin filling out your profile information right away. Once your GEDCOM has been processed and your Geni tree is built you will receive another email.

Please Note: Importing a GEDCOM will create a new Geni Tree. If you already have a Geni account you must use a different email address for this import. This will start a new Tree which will not be merged into your existing Tree. We plan to enable GEDCOM Import into existing Trees in the future. For now see HOW TO: Merge your GEDCOM file(s) into your EXISTING tree

for information about importing into existing Trees.

(Note for Gmail users: you may insert a period or a plus into your email address if you are creating a second tree and it will still be delivered to your Inbox eg. can receive messages sent to or

Supported Formats

We currently support GEDCOM version 5.5 and the ANSEL, ANSI, and UTF-8 character sets.

Known Issues

I can't choose my name in the list after I upload my GEDCOM

This is most likely because you have a DEAT event associated with your record in the GEDCOM. Either have your genealogy software not emit empty DEAT events, or open your GEDCOM in a text editor and remove the DEAT event and its associated sub-structures (usually the following DATE line).

PLAC field vs ADDR structure

Lots of GEDCOM files contain place information in PLAC fields. This field is copied directly into the place_name field in the address record. It doesn't populate the address fields (city, state, country, ...).

If you want the address fields populated, you need to make sure your GEDCOM file contains ADDR structures instead.

Please feel free to update this issue with instructions on how to do this in various genealogy programs if you know how.

Currently geocoding is done by city, state, country. I'm creating an enhancement ticket to have it geocode by place_name if those fields are empty.

Maiden name import issue

Version 5.5 of the GEDCOM standard doesn't appear to have a mechanism for specifying married names. Our importer supports the setting of married names if you export the PERSONAL_NAME_STRUCTURE in the following format:

1 NAME first middle /maiden/
2 GIVN first middle
2 SURN married

Imported Fields

The following information is imported


 This section is incomplete.
 Italicized fields are not part of the GEDCOM 5.5 standard 
 but seem to be in common use.
 Places will appear not to import if you're GEDCOM uses a PLAC field instead of an ADDR structure. The PLAC field is copied into a place_name field in our system which is currently not exposed for editing, but should be soon.

Header Record - No

Submitter Record - No

Submission Record - No

Individual Record

 RESN (Restriction Notice) - No
 Personal Name Structure
   Name - Yes
     NPFX - Yes
     GIVN - Yes
     NICK - Yes
     SPFX - No
     SURN - Yes
     NSFX - Yes
     Source Citation - Yes
     Note Structure - No
     SOURCE - Source Citation - yes
     SOURCES - Source Citation - yes
 SEX - Yes
 Individual Event Structure (see Event Detail)
   BIRT (Birth) - Yes
   CHR (Christening) - Yes
   DEAT (Death) - Yes
   BURI (Burial) - Yes
   CREM (Cremation) - Yes
   ADOP (Adoption) - Not yet
   BAPM (Baptism) - Yes
   BARM (Bar Mitzvah) - Yes
   BASM (Bat Mitzvah) - Yes
   BLES (Blessing) - Yes
   CHRA (Adult Christening) - Yes
   CONF (Confirmation) - Yes
   FCOM (First Communion) - Yes
   ORDN (Ordination) - Yes
   NATU (Naturalization) - Yes
   EMIG (Emigration) - Yes
   IMMI (Immigration) - Yes
   CENS (Census) - Yes
   PROB (Probate) - Yes
   WILL (Will Creation) - Yes
   GRAD (Graduation) - Yes
   RETI (Retirement) - Yes
   EVEN (Generic Event) - Yes
 Individual Attribute Structure
   CAST (Caste) - Yes
   DSCR (Physical Description) - Yes
   EDUC (Education) - Yes (as an event)
   INDO (National ID Number) - No
   NATI (National Or Tribal Origin) - No
   NCHI (Number of Children) - No
   NMR (Number of Marriages) - No
   OCCU (Occupation) - Yes (as an event)
   PROP (Possessions) - No
   RELI (Religion) - Yes
   RESI (Residence) - Yes (as an event)
   SSN (Social Security Number) - No
   TITL (Nobility Type Title) - Yes
 Child To Family Link - (Handled in Family Record)
 Spouse to Family Link - (Handled in Family Record)
 SUBM - No
 Association Structure - No
 ALIA - No
 ANCI - No
 DESI - No
 Source Citation - Yes
 Multimedia Link - No
 Note Structure - Yes
 RFN (Permanent Record File Number) - No
 AFN (Ancestral File Number) - No
 REFN (User Reference Number) - No
 RIN (Automated record id) - No
 Change Date - yes
 EMAIL (Email address) - Yes
 _EMAIL - (Email address) - Yes
 ADDR - Residence - yes
 _ADDR - Residence - yes
 SOURCE - Source Citation - yes
 SOURCES - Source Citation - yes
 _HEIG - Height - yes
 NICK - Nickname - yes
 ALIA - Nickname - yes (unless it's a reference to another INDI rec)
 OCCUPATIONS - Occupation - yes
 _EMPLOY - Occupation - yes

Family Record

 Family Event Structure (see Event Detail)
   ANUL (Annulment) - Yes
   CENS (Census) - Yes
   DIV (Divorce) - Yes
   DIVF (Divorce Filing) - Yes
   ENGA (Engagement)  - Yes
   MARR (Marriage) - Yes
   MARB (Marriage Banner) - Yes
   MARC (Marriage Contract) - Yes
   MARL (Marriage License) - Yes
   MARS (Marriage Settlement) - Yes
   EVEN (Generic Event) - Yes
 HUSB - Yes
 WIFE - Yes
 CHIL - Yes
 NCHI (Number of Children) - No
 SUBM - No
 LDS Spouse Sealing - No
 Source Citation - Yes
 Multimedia Link - No
 Note Structure - Yes
 REFN (User Reference Number) - No
 RIN (Automated record id) - No
 Change Date - yes
 SOURCE - Source Citation - yes
 SOURCES - Source Citation - yes

Multimedia Record - No

Note Record

 Submitter Text - Yes
 Source Citation - Yes
 REFN (User Reference Number) - No
 RIN (Automated record id) - No
 Change Date - yes
 SOURCE - Source Citation - yes
 SOURCES - Source Citation - yes

Repository Record

 NAME - Yes
 Address Structure - Yes
 Note Structure - Yes
 REFN (User Reference Number) - No
 RIN (Automated record id) - No
 Change Date - yes

Source Record

   EVEN (Events Recorded) - Yes
     DATE (Date Period) - Yes
     PLAC (Place) - Yes
   AGNC (Responsible Agency) - Yes
   Note Structure - Yes
 AUTH (Author) - Yes
 TITL (Title) - Yes
 ABBR (Abbreviation) - Yes
 PUBL (Publication Facts) - Yes
 TEXT (Source Text) - Yes
 Source Repository Citation - yes
 Multimedia Link - No
 Note Structure - Yes
 REFN (User Reference Number) - No
 RIN (Automated record id) - No
 Change Date - yes
 PERI (Periodical -> title) - Yes
 TYPE (Type -> description) - Yes
 URL (URL -> title) - Yes
 PAGE (Page -> description) - Yes
 PLAC (Place) - Yes
 DATE (Date Period) - Yes

Address Structure

 ADDR (Address Line) - Yes
   ADR1 (Address Line 1) - Yes
   ADR2 (Address Line 2) - Yes
   CITY (City) - Yes
   STAE (State/Province) - Yes
   POST (Postal Code) - Yes
   CTRY (Country) - Yes
 PHON - Yes

Event Detail

 TYPE (Event Descriptor) - Yes
 Date (Date or Range) - Yes
 Place (Place name) - Yes (but not structure)
 Address Structure - Yes
 AGE - No
 AGNC (Responsible Agency) - Yes
 CAUS (Cause) - Yes
 Source Citation - Yes
 Multimedia Link - No
 Note Structure - Yes
 SOURCE - Source Citation - yes
 SOURCES - Source Citation - yes
 PLACE - Place name - yes
 _PLAC - Place name - yes
 CHAN - Change Date - yes
 CAUSE - Cause - yes

Note Structure

 NOTE (Submitter text or Xref) - Yes
   Source Citation - Yes

Source Citation

 SOUR (Source Description or Xref) - Yes
   TEXT (Source Text) - Yes
   PAGE (Page) - Yes
   EVEN (Event Types) - Yes
     ROLE (Role in Event) - No
     DATE (Recording Date) - Yes
     TEXT (Source Text) - Yes
   QUAY (Certainty) - Yes
   Multimedia Link - No
   Note Structure - Yes
   CHAN (Change Date) - Yes
   TEXT (Source Text) - Yes
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