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Gedcom files, a guide to them....

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Helen Report 7 Apr 2007 19:19

Can someone please tell me how I go about saving 'How to Gedcom' information for future reference. Thanks, Janet


Elaine Report 22 Mar 2007 16:44

Many thanks,will give it a go . Elaine


* Report 22 Mar 2007 16:22

When Importing a GEDCOM File into a tree program you need to establish what Character Set that program requires first,otherwise you will probably lose some of the original data from the tree in which the Gedcom file has been exported from. The most common Character Set used by tree programs is, ANSEL,but some programs may use,ANSI, UFT-8 or UNICODE. It is important to get this right and once this has been verified by checking the result after importing into a tree you should then create a Back Up. If transferring a complete tree from one computer to another, you need to reinstall the tree program again,import the data and any media ffiles for the tree into the same folder as on the old computer,for example 'My Documents' You can view a GEDCOM file without loading it into a family tree program,simply by opening the file with Microsoft Word. This allows you to see if the data is correct in respect of your own tree,without making a possible mistake of placing it into your tree. Regards,Michael


Elaine Report 22 Mar 2007 15:00

Glen,I think I am the biggest thicko ever......please can you help,even though I have read your very thorough info I am still stuck and now worried I will overwrite my tree.I have been sent on my orange email a gedcom file(which may have some info relating to my tree) I do have Family Tree Maker (which is where I keep very detailed info on mine and hubbys family it's a combined tree).I am desperate to see this other tree on the gedcom file but am worried that I will ruin my tree and also I don't have the faintest idea how to do it as it's in my emails please can you help .......see I told you I'm a thicko........ Many Thanks, Elaine

Just Jill x

Just Jill x Report 22 Mar 2007 14:45



Bee~fuddled. Report 22 Mar 2007 12:05

Nudged for Dennis


InspectorGreenPen Report 19 Mar 2007 17:32

NOTE: Importing a GEDCOM file will overwrite any information you may have entered into your family tree at


Rita Report 19 Mar 2007 17:28

n RIta


Bee~fuddled. Report 19 Mar 2007 15:59

Glen, Thanks for this - very clear and useful. (This time I've saved it!) Bx


GlitterBaby Report 19 Mar 2007 13:53

Worth a nudge up the board


Lancsliz Report 2 Mar 2007 20:33

Thanks Glen - bookmarking. Liz

Glen In Tinsel Knickers

Glen In Tinsel Knickers Report 23 Feb 2007 11:05

Hi Not sure what happens on TP as i never use it, it could either just use the new information or combine the new and the old together. Really you need a TP expert for that one i'm afraid. Glen

Bora Dora

Bora Dora Report 22 Feb 2007 22:33

Glen your message has been like a bright light in a dark room, just one query, I have already started a tree on TP, if I import my Genes tree to TP will it override the info already there, I did try importing my tree to another programme that I had started and the whole thing went corrupt with my Dad having married my Mum about 4 times and no way I could delete three of them.


lel Report 22 Feb 2007 21:15

Great info Lesley

Glen In Tinsel Knickers

Glen In Tinsel Knickers Report 22 Feb 2007 18:26

Each data field is 'tagged' (titled if you prefer). These tags can be either abbreviated or longhand, for instance one programme maye have the tag 'occupation' and another 'occu'. The difficulty is where the exporting programme and the receiving programme use the different tags, this can cause some items to either transfer incorrectly or not transfer at all. In total there are 256 different tags available but the more basic tree builder used by GR cannot use abbreviated tags or the entire 256 different tags available. If the limits of the 'lesser' programme are known it is possible to examine a gedcom file in Word and replace the tags with the alternative versions. Not a quick process for a large file though.


InspectorGreenPen Report 22 Feb 2007 17:30

My tree on GR is only a part of what I have on my FMT database, so when I upload it I usually create a version which only has our direct descendants in it and related cousins. To do this I create a number of FTM files using the report/export function and then merge them together into a single file which I then export as a gedcom for uploading to GR. Last time I did this I thought that I would try using gedcoms rather than FTM files for the extracts. One thing that I did find though was that if you export a gedcom of an FTM file and then load it back in, the results are not necessarily the same. I did not spend too much time trying to find out why but suspect it is because certain FTM fields don't map directly to the gedcom format and are ''doctored'' to fit. So, when you reload the gedcom back you dont get the same result that you started out with.


Rita Report 18 Feb 2007 22:23

nudged again RIta

Glen In Tinsel Knickers

Glen In Tinsel Knickers Report 18 Feb 2007 16:33

nudge nudge

Belle Ringer

Belle Ringer Report 15 Feb 2007 09:43

Just for info, if anyone fancies a bit of a techie challenge, this is a fantastic article about converting text or spreadsheet files to a gedcom: I had what amounts to a spreadsheet of BMD entries for a single surname, over 2000 of them, and I wanted to put them in FTM so that I could start linking the families. I could either convert them to a gedcom and upload it to FTM that way, or type them all in again manually. Thanks to the above article, I managed to create a gedcom in about an hour. It works very well, but you need to be familiar with using functions in MS Excel and Word, or their equivalents. :-) Chris

Sheila from Canada

Sheila from Canada Report 15 Feb 2007 01:43

Nudge, Nudge, for future reference. Thanks Glen. Shiela