GEDCOM: The intermediate link in the family tree research chain

2019-04-30 Home&Family No comment

Have you seen a file with the extension ".ged?"? Well, it is not a diploma of equivalent diploma – it is a GEDCOM. Whether you are a virgin GEDCOM user or a professional pedigree expert, having expertise in creating and importing your genealogical tree pedigree in GEDCOM format [ending with extension.ged], I will find some valuable resources to enhance your GEDCOM experience. . You will be hit hard in the next family reunion.


GEDCOM is an acronym from

General Electric from

 Nealogical from

d from

 ATA from

C from

 Omunication. It was developed by the History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1985 to store and exchange pedigree information from different computer software programs.

The GEDCOM file is a generic file format that allows different family tree software programs to communicate with each other. Almost all ancestor software can be imported from the GEDCOM file into the family tree or exported to the GEDCOM format. In other words, it formats your pedigree data into a text file that can be decrypted and converted by any genealogical software program.

GEDCOMS makes it easier to share information between genealogists, historians and other lineage researchers. For example, if you are using Family Tree Maker and want to share files with people who use the old series tree, you can export the information to a GEDCOM file. Recipients can import GEDCOM files into their programs so they can read it. Think of GEDCOM as an intermediate link in the family tree research chain.

More importantly, you don't have to worry about losing existing files. Exporting a pedigree file to GEDCOM does not overwrite existing data or alter existing files in any way; instead it generates a completely new file. Keep in mind that for readability, you should open the GEDCOM file using a genealogy software program or a special GEDCOM viewer.

GEDCOM tutorials and tips

There are some very clever and informative tutorials online and on YouTube. The short list includes:

Treasure Maps Genealogy [at amberskyline.com/treasuremaps] and its sister site Genealogy Compass [on genealogycompass.com]. These sites offer free online resources to provide family history research techniques, courses and training [through articles and videos] for genealogy researchers.

Check out FamilySearch.org for their wiki on GEDCOM.

About.com offers several great pages on GEDCOM, two of which are: "How to create GEDCOM files in your Genealogy software" and "Genealogy GEDCOM 101".

Creating a pedigree masterpiece

Your mission is to compile your ancestral research into a file format that can be read and shared by your family's close and long distance members. You have used any number of genealogy software programs – from Family Tree Maker to Geni to MyHeritage. Now you are ready to turn this genealogy research into a visually stunning ancestral tree.

Unfortunately, the output of personal home tree software is often cumbersome and unsatisfactory, especially for complex or dense family trees. Angus de Salis, owner of GenoCharts.com, a custom ancestor tree drafting service company, uses his education in mechanical and aerospace engineering and information technology [IT], especially computer-aided design and drafting [CADD] systems. Regular old GEDCOM becomes a work of art.

GenoCharts uses CAD-enabled TreeDraw and combines other text and graphical information to create visually exciting genealogy. GenoCharts offers customers a high-resolution version of print and low-resolution versions that can be used as an email attachment to other family members.

I took you away from AZ in the world of GEDCOM; however, you need the correct ancestor information before generating an eye-catching tree. This is your mission, so do your best; but when you hit the wall, don't waste time – contact a professional genealogist.

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