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What is "GEDCOM"??

What is "GEDCOM"??

Posted: 1363372074000
Classification: Query
This is probably a real "rookie" question, but I've been working on genealogy for two years now and I keep seeing references to GEDCOM.

What is it and how do I get/do it?

My online ancestry.com trees have over 5000 people in them and I suspect this is something I need to know more about when I attempt to download my trees to my laptop (XP) and/or Family Tree Maker 2012.

Appreciate any help!

Re: What is "GEDCOM"??

Posted: 1363373940000
Classification: Query
Have you tried Google? Searching on it or any other search engine will bring up the definition: an acronym standing for GEnealogical Data COMmunication.

The information held on FamilySearch.org may be helpful to you. See https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/GEDCOM

Re: What is "GEDCOM"??

Posted: 1363475261000
Classification: Query
GEDCOM is, as stated above, an acronym. It is a standards based file that most genealogy programs can produce (export) that will allow you (the user) to transfer genealogy data from one genealogy program to another (import).

Unfortunatelly, no mainstream genalogy program follows the rules (standards) as set forth in the standards document. So the first rule of GEDCOM is that almost all GEDCOMs exported from one program will not transfer correctly to another program. HOWEVER, do not be discourage. Most people never (or only once) transfer data from one program to another program. After a little while they are "locked" into using the program they select and never change programs. This is both good and bad.

If you are starting by copying the work of other people and they used a program that can produce a GEDCOM, you will be starting with their GEDCOM as they export it from the program they use, then you will import the GEDCOM file into your genealogy program.

If you purchase a program other than the program they used most likely you will loose some data. Some of it will be of little importance, some may be very important.

Don't feel you must purchase the same program they used, it may not be very good or even available for purcahse today. It is better to purchase a program that does what you want and produces the reports, books, websites you want/need. The lossed data can usually be reentered.

FTM2012, does not need a GEDCOM to transfer information form Ancestry.com. It can do it without creating a GEDCOM.

Re: What is "GEDCOM"??

Posted: 1488995601000
Classification: Query
You can read an informal explanation on
http://www.tedpack.org/gedcom.html

Basically, your program/web site exports (writes) a bunch of 80-character records to a text file named something.GED, and then your other program/web site imports (reads) them at 10,000 lines a second, which is faster than you can type. 80 characters is left over from IBM cards, which are, in turn, left over from the days computers were powered by steam.

If you import into a program on your computer, the cards that the program can't read will go into a file named "filename.LST", in the same directory the GED file was, where "filename" is the name of the .GED file. You can then look at the mistakes and try to fix them. Most programs will write and read the standard facts; BMD dates and places. They get confused with esoteric stuff. Cause of Death used to be a problem, for instance.

If you can figure out who has the problem from the context ("COD Shot by jealous husband", for instance), fine; if not, you'll have to open both the GEDCOM and the LST file with Notepad, side by side, and see if you can figure out who has the unrecognized fact.

Re: What is "GEDCOM"??

Posted: 1488999047000
Classification: Query
An interesting Read.

However to be completely accurate all of your examples on the "What is GEDCOM" page are missing an important element in the X-REF value:

Your example:
0 002 INDI
1 NAME Mama /URSINE/
2 GIVN Mama
2 SURN URSINE
1 SEX F
1 FAMS F001

Should read:
0 @I002@ INDI
1 NAME Mama /URSINE/
2 GIVN Mama
2 SURN URSINE
1 SEX F
1 FAMS @F001@

Likewise you are required to have a "@" to bracket every X-REF ID
0 @F001@ FAM
1 HUSB @I001@
1 WIFE @I002@
1 CHIL @I003@
1 MARR
2 DATE 01 Jun 1602
2 PLAC Little Church

Re: What is "GEDCOM"??

Posted: 1489000292000
Classification: Query
Thank you! I will correct it!
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