Top tip - using the Genes Reunited community

Welcome to the Genes Reunited community boards!

  • The Genes Reunited community is made up of millions of people with similar interests. Discover your family history and make life long friends along the way.
  • You will find a close knit but welcoming group of keen genealogists all prepared to offer advice and help to new members.
  • And it's not all serious business. The boards are often a place to relax and be entertained by all kinds of subjects.
  • The Genes community will go out of their way to help you, so don’t be shy about asking for help.

Quick Search

Single word search

Gift subscriptions

Genes Reunited gift subscription

Do you know someone interested in discovering their family history?

You can now buy a gift subscription to Genes Reunited so they can research their family tree.

Buy gift or redeem gift


  • New posts
  • No new posts
  • Thread closed
  • Stickied, new posts
  • Stickied, no new posts

Consistency between GedCom Import & Export

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Alan Report 9 Jul 2012 19:22

Why is it that importing a GEDCOM file and subsequently exporting it results in a different file ?

- On importing some "PLAC" fields are truncated to 50 characters.
- On importing "OCCU" fields are converted to "OCCU / PLAC" fields.
- On exporting "RFN" fields are added.
- The order of the data records in the exported files is non- sequential, but was before I imported.
- All of the blank/unknown names in the file I imported have been replaced by "(Unknown)" in the exported file.

I hate to think what else might have changed...

Is it too much to expect some consistency and reversability in file input / output operations?


DazedConfused Report 9 Jul 2012 19:38

The GEDCOM system not a Genes product. They were designed by the IGI (Mormon Church). And they are used by all genealogists to transfer trees from site to site.

They will never be 100% accurate, and they have never claimed to be. But they are far quicker that typing everything into another tree from the beginning.

But at present I believe that until someone can come up with a programme that works 100% there is no alternative.

Complaining on here about a product which is not a Genes owned one is pretty futile. ;-)


Alan Report 9 Jul 2012 19:56

Reading a file, then using the same information to regenerate the file shouldn't change the internals of the file.
GenesReunited are responsible, in this case for the reading, writing and changes.


jax Report 9 Jul 2012 20:05

Complain to GR by contacting

They very rarely reply on this page


Kense Report 9 Jul 2012 21:31

The point is that there are several standards of GEDCOM spec and as facilities have been added over the years you cannot expect old versions of Family History programs to be able to handle new versions of the GEDCOM spec without updates, although one would expect new versions to handle GEDCOMs produced by an old version of the same program.

Furthermore each manufacturer of FH programs tends to add their own bits so that makes for even more incompatibilities.

If the GEDCOM had been produced by GR and you read it back in then yes you would have cause for complaint if it produced differences



Simon Report 12 Jul 2012 09:47

I've recently lost all my 'Occupation' data and had £ symbols converted to? when I Exported and reImported my tree. I've referred it to teh 'Help desk' but 3 weeks on they haven't solved the problem...



Kense Report 12 Jul 2012 10:09

Using currency symbols is always a problem on international sites. I would recommend using GBP instead of a pound sign (£).


Andrew Report 12 Jul 2012 13:22

i recently updated my tree on ancestry (photos and weblinks) and thought I'd import the GEDCOM this tree generated back to GR. Now the tree on GR is really fouled up. Main thing appears to to dates have been dropped out. Its made the GR tree virtually unusable. Not really a problem to me as am using Ancestry/FTM more these days.



Kense Report 12 Jul 2012 13:57

We need Inspector Green Pen who maintains his tree on FTM but imports it to Genes frequently.

Could it be that on Ancestry you use the facilities of specifying a date before, after or between a given date, which maybe GR can't handle?


DazedConfused Report 12 Jul 2012 16:01

Simon - | was of the understanding that the only data that a GEDCOM transfers is names and dates and all other data does not transfer, such as notes & photos

Where is IGP or Jonesey when you need them????? ;-)


Kense Report 12 Jul 2012 22:00

Not quite correct PP, the GEDCOM is a text file and so can't contain photos or items that are not pure text. It does contain a lot more than just names and dates, such as notes and source information and has to pass the structural information as well.


DazedConfused Report 13 Jul 2012 12:59

Thanks KenSE, I was not too sure, which is why I asked for advice.

I knew that Photos were not transferred.

Cheers PP


philmoir Advisor Report 14 Jul 2012 12:58

Hi, Just to let you know that someone on the team is reading through the issues being reported, although I haven't had too much time recently to get too involved in responding. The issues reported all seem quite valid, and with regard to the tree, I would recommend using the feedback option on the tree, as this is reviewed daily by the tree development team. With regard to Gedcom, GR have never provided full compatibility for importing all data. But it should not be converting data to any other format. These are bugs and should be reported in the usual way to support. But it is also worth posting Gedcom issues on the tree feedback, as the two are closely linked. The greater the amount of feedback on the tree feeback system the quicker the issues can get resolved. With regard to testing, we are constantly evolving new functions and features, and it just is not possible to have beta test cycles. although we are planning more of this in the future. Thanks again for the feedback. Phil


Simon Report 14 Jul 2012 19:37

PP, Ken etc,

Thanks for your comments about my Gedcom problem. I have exported/edited/imported my file as a Gedcom between GR and FTM and back again many times over the years and never had these problems. Admittedly it did once screw up several thousand date records and pur them all as 2009!

I accept that the Gedcom format/program may not have been developed by GR but they are advocating that we should use it to export our data and so must surely bear some responsibility for sorting out any subsequent issues - or am I being naive?

PP, I have found that the Gedcom transfers everything (names, places, dates, notes, etc) except photos (which is why I've never bothered to put photos in my tree here on GR).