Difference between revisions of "Events in Gramps"

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An event of dissolving a marriage through civil action
===Divorce Filing===
===Divorce Filing===

Revision as of 09:40, 19 July 2008

Here an overview of the predefined events in GRAMPS are given, with their meaning.

Events and event types

Events form a core concept in genealogical research. It is important therefore that the terminology and usage is consistent and well defined, so as to allow for optimal communication, translation and portability.

An "event" is an umbrella term, and is used loosely to denote a fact about an individual, an event proper that occurs in his or her life, or an attribute. As examples, every individual has a birth event, and eventually a death event. Children being born to the individual would also be events. Being childless however is an attribute or fact about that individual.

Generally setting an event for an individual allows you to to enter a data set, including the date, description, associated place, etc, in a structured way.

In GRAMPS you define an event as belonging to a event type. This is useful as it allows the grouping of events under a common denominator, the event type. When creating an event, you must first select the event type. This can be any of the predefined events, or you can create a custom event just by typing a name.

The pre-defined events provide most of what you need. For the sake of frivolity however, let us imagine that great uncle George was a lethario, and proud of it, and insisted that you recorded details of his numerous conquests in exchange for some vital genealogy documents that you need. You could then define an event type "affairs", and then in his individual record enter one such event for each affair, entering the date, place, details, etc for each. You then end up with a list of all his affairs listed chronologically.

Frivolity apart however, defining too many event types can be problematic, and in many cases it might be better practice to group events under the same event type, and instead use the description field to add an extra nuance.

Let us first provide an overview of the predefined events types available in GRAMPS, and then later mention event types that are not in that list.

Event types available in GRAMPS

The use of most event types is self explanatory, and the best way to familiarise yourself with them is simply to set to and dabble! However some events need more careful use, and introduce concepts that are not at first obvious.


This type is for events related to childhood adoption. Typically the event is added to the individual being adopted, with this person playing the primary role. Administrators, civil servants and parents can be added to the event with different event roles

The adoption event can be added for the process of adoption (which can take several months), but also as a placeholder for an adoption certificate that you have as a source.

On adding the person to the family he is adopted into, one should also set his relationship with his adoptive parents to adopted. This doubles the event information somewhat, but is used in some reports.

Adult Christening

The religious event (not LDS) of baptizing and/or naming an adult person

Alternate Marriage


Declaring a marriage void from the beginning (never existed)


The event of baptism (not LDS), performed in infancy or later

Bas Mitzvah

The ceremonial event held when a Jewish girl reaches age 13, also known as "Bat Mitzvah"

Bar Mitzvah

The ceremonial event held when a Jewish boy reaches age 13


The event of entering into life


A religious event of bestowing divine care or intercession. Sometimes given in connection with a naming ceremony


The event of the proper disposing of the mortal remains of a deceased person

Cause Of Death

A description of the cause of death


The event of the periodic count of the population for a designated locality, such as a national or state Census


The act of baptizing and/or naming a child


The religious event (not LDS) of conferring the gift of the Holy Ghost and, among protestants, full church membership


Disposal of the remains of a person's body by fire


The event when mortal life terminates



An event of dissolving a marriage through civil action

Divorce Filing





First Communion




The marriage event is a bounding ceremony between two people before an official body. In other words, it is the state of being united to another person in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized (normally) by law.

You should hence use this event typically as the 'official' starting event of the family unit in GRAMPS, that is, use it as a family event, with event role family.

Note further that this means the marriage event is wider than what is used in day-to-day language. It indicates civil marriage, church marriage, and all other types of union between adults that is official.

To indicate an offical end of a marriage event, on should use the Divorce event.

Marriage Settlement

Marriage License

Marriage Contract

Marriage Banns

Medical Information

Military Service


Nobility Title

Number of Marriages









Event types not available in GRAMPS

Draft lottery

The Draft Lottery was a practice in general use, used to select who should have to undertake military service. Before the advent of a permanent professional army, it was not feasible to train all young boys, so some selection process was needed to determine who would or would not be drafted. So as to make this a fair process, it was common practice to organise a lottery, into which all boys of certain age had to be entered.

The documents pertaining to these lotteries form an useful source of genealogical information, as all boys of a certain age were required to participate.

This event type should be used for all the events/attributes relating to a Draft Lottery, for example:

a) the lottery itself. This is associated with a place, and a specific date.

b) legal documents relating to the lottery. Boys from rich families who were selected to join the army by the lottery process frequently paid commoners to take their place. Legal contracts were drafted for this.

c) desertion documents concerning the lottery. Many selected individuals emigrated abroad so as to avoid their draft, with the consequence that they were recorded as deserters in their home country. In genealogical research this event can prove very difficult to trace, as deserters often changed their name to evade detection.