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Gedcom files, a guide to them....

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


RutlandBelle Report 25 Nov 2008 15:44



Madmeg Report 10 Oct 2008 21:58

Hi Glen

I have a major branch of my family that is not really mine and wish to hive it off into a separate gedcom. Is there any easy way of doing this, e.g. all ancestors of Joe Bloggs, or do I have to choose people one by one? That sounds painful.

Please advise.



RutlandBelle Report 7 Oct 2008 12:29

Nudge to top

Glen In Tinsel Knickers

Glen In Tinsel Knickers Report 13 Sep 2008 14:26

Sorry Allison, i hadn't noticed your reply till now.

I agree, while you have the chance to sort through relatively few records it is much easier, devising a system or method early on pays dividends later.

I'm going to blow my own trumpet for a moment, (now't new there!!)

I have put together a screenshot guide to some aspects of using FTM over on the FTF site. The screenshots show my actual FTM screens and what i add where (it's FTM 2005 using Vista, but XP users and 2006 users should recognise the screens quite easily).

There are umpteen ways you can organise your information and record your sources but i have demonstrated one method i use and given examples of the reports that you can create based on "my" system. That's not to say you have to do it the same way (there may well be better or simpler ways) but i find it useful because i can quickly pull up a report to show what certs i have, or illustrate which census images i have or need, burial info, bmd dates etc.

Of course all this info transfers via Gedcom too so you can use it to update all your internet trees on Ancestry, Genes, Tribal Pages etc and share with others via gedcom files too.


Allison Report 11 Sep 2008 14:35

Great - thanks Glen - at least I only have 68 records so far. Best to get it right at this stage!

Glen In Tinsel Knickers

Glen In Tinsel Knickers Report 11 Sep 2008 14:30

Hi Ali

you should really enter the dates in the way you describe above, the problem with dates is that there are a few different formats that can be used,

Some people enter "st" and "nd" etc to indicate the date and some gedcom formats can't quite work them out. Our American cousins prefer mm/dd/yyyy which looks odd to UK folks.

You can edit the dates to the format you mention just by highlighting them on the FTM screen and changing them to dd/mm/yyyy. As long as you stick to one format throughout then you will find everything updates and transfers to other sites without major problems.

If you have any dates you are not 100% sure about, (perhaps you know an approximate year for example but not a date) then simply type the approximate year in the relevant box, birth, marriage, death etc.

abt 1870

By doing that you will find it easier to work through the list of individuals when you need to as they are listed in date order.


Allison Report 11 Sep 2008 14:00

Thanks to you Glen, I have managed to upload the initial info I had on here to my FTM 2006. The only thing is that not all the dates of birth appear in full. Perhaps I have not entered correctly. Eg - because there is a year of birth on the left hand side, I then only put the date and month on the right. Should I be entering this as a dd/mm/yyyy?



RutlandBelle Report 11 Sep 2008 11:14



RutlandBelle Report 5 Sep 2008 17:04


Glen In Tinsel Knickers

Glen In Tinsel Knickers Report 4 Sep 2008 14:19



Mistycat Report 4 Sep 2008 13:30

Thanks for this Glen..Think I understand now!!

Saved for future reference.....

Misty x

Glen In Tinsel Knickers

Glen In Tinsel Knickers Report 27 Aug 2008 19:46


Christina (Lancashire)

Christina (Lancashire) Report 24 Aug 2008 23:23


***Libra Lady***

***Libra Lady*** Report 31 Mar 2008 14:13



InspectorGreenPen Report 31 Mar 2008 10:18



Catherine Report 16 Mar 2008 01:20

Hi Glen
thankyou for your reply, I will try what you have suggested.


Rita Report 15 Mar 2008 15:01


Glen In Tinsel Knickers

Glen In Tinsel Knickers Report 14 Mar 2008 18:56


It sounds like a problem with the export from GR, unfortunately to check where the problem lies you have to save the attachment to your pooter.

Can you open the saved file with Notepad (if you can the file will appear as lines of text, this will at least show something has been transferred).

If you visit the FTM helpcentre at;

then type the word IMPORT in the search box

there are threads explaining how to import files via 2005 and 2006, as well as threads explaining how to resolve the common questions. Sadly there isn't anything specific to your problem so i suspect the problem lies with GR.



Ann Report 11 Mar 2008 13:45

Saving for later

Thanks a lot


Catherine Report 11 Mar 2008 03:20

Hi Glen
I am so sorry to be bothering you but I am still having problems with opening the gedcom which has come as an e-mail attachment from gr. as you said it would, I attempt to save it but once done I put my cursor on it and the file size is 0 !!!. which is why when I try to open it in FTM i get nothing coming up.? what am I not doing/doing wrong ?
When I put my cursor on it whilst still in the `e-mail programme` before saving it,the size is 140 kb. which I thought was a bit small ( I have over 700 people with details too) ? can you help me to get this right as I need to make a back-up if nothing else.