Gramps 4.1 Wiki Manual - Manage Family Trees: CSV Import and Export
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Gramps Spreadsheet Import/Export
This format allows you to import/export a spreadsheet of data all at once. The spreadsheet must be in the Comma Separated Value (CSV) format. Most spreadsheet programs can read and write this format. It is also easy to write by hand. This is the only Gramps import format which allows for merging with existing data.
New feature since Gramps 3.3
Previously, sources were not exported, but now they are. Sources are referred to by their title text. You can add further details to a source after importing.
There are three main uses for this format:
- You can export your core gramps data into a spreadsheet format, edit it with a text or spreadsheet program, and import the changes and additions back into gramps. This is handy for sending to others to fill in, or for taking on the road when you don't have your full gramps application.
- You can import new data into your gramps database. For example, if you have a set of new people to add to your database, but don't want to hunt and peck your way to finding where they go, you might find it easier to type them into a spreadsheet, and then quickly bring all of them in at once. This is handy if you have a large amount of data that you are cutting and pasting from another application or the web. An example of this is restoring your Gramps database by loading the Narrative Website into a spreadsheet.
- You can also import a set of corrections and additions. Say that you have printed out a report, and you are going through it marking corrections. If you make each correction a section of a spreadsheet, you can "script the edits" and then execute them all at once.
To export your database:
- Start gramps
- Select "Export" from the Family Trees menu
- Select "Comma Separated Values Spreadsheet (CSV)"
A selected set of fields of your genealogy data will be saved to a .csv file in the format described below. In addition, the people and familes are referenced so that the data can be edited and read back in, thereby updating the database.
There are some columns that will be blank, specifically note and source columns. These are listed in the spreadsheet so that you can make notes for the import, but notes are never exported with this tool. From Gramps 3.3 you can now export source titles; previously no source data was exported.
Your data is broken up into three sections representing individuals, marriages, and children. The exported fields and column names are:
- Person, Lastname, Firstname, Callname, Suffix, Prefix, Title, Gender, Birthdate, Birthplace, Birthsource, Baptismdate, Baptismplace, Baptismsource, Deathdate, Deathplace, Deathsource, Burialdate, Burialplace, Burialsource, Noteote
- Marriage, Husband, Wife, Date, Place, Source, Note
- Family, Child
The first column in each area is the gramps ID. That is what will tie your edits back to the correct data, so don't alter those data. Load this file into your favorite spreadsheet using comma separated, double-quote text delimited, and Text format (any encoding for now). Then you can add or correct data, and save it back out, keeping the same format. You can then import the data back ontop of your old data and it will be corrected.
To import your data:
- use the file from above, or create a spreadsheet (described below) with genealogical data
- start up gramps
- import the file into your current database
The merge part of this code will only add or update information to your database, and it always assume that the spreadsheet data is the correct version.
If you load this spreadsheet into LibreOffice, make sure you select each column as type Text rather than Standard. Standard will reformat your dates and numbers. Also, if you use Excel, you will probably want to select all cells once opened, and change the format of the cells to Text.
The spreadsheet is data made up of columns. Each column should have at the top of it the name of what type of data is in the column. You must use special names for the columns. Currently they are:
person - a reference to be used for families (marriages, and children) grampsid - to assign a gramps id to the person firstname - a person's first name surname/lastname - a person's last name callname - a common name (nickname) for the person prefix - surname prefix (von, de, etc) suffix - a suffix of a person's name (Jr., Sr.) title - a person's title (Dr., Mr.) gender - male or female (you should use the translation for your language) note - a note for the person's record birthdate - date of birth birthplace - place of birth birthsource - source title for birth baptismdate - date of baptism baptismplace - place of baptism baptismsource - source title of baptism grampsid - give a particular gramps id deathdate - date of death deathplace - place of death deathsource - source title for death deathcause - cause of death burialdate - date of burial burialplace - place of burial burialsource - source title of baptism
marriage - if you want to reference this from a family, you'll need a matching name here husband/father/parent1 - the reference of the person above who is the husband (for female parent1, you'll need to put gender in the person area, or edit it later in gramps) wife/mother/parent2 - the reference of the person above who is the wife (for male parent2, you'll need to put gender in the person area, or edit it later in gramps) date - the date of the marriage place - the place of the marriage source - source title of the marriage note - a note about the marriage/wedding
family - a reference to tie this to a marriage above (required) child - the reference of the person above who is a child source - source title of the marriage note - a note about the family gender - male or female (you should use the translation for your language) [You can put gender here, or in person above]
Case doesn't matter. Notice that the names don't use underscores in them. You may use any combination of these, in any order. (Actually, you have to at least have a surname and a given name when defining a person, and you have to have a marriage and child columns when defining children, but that is it.) The column names are the English names given (for now) but the data should be in your language (including the words "male" and "female").
Each of these can go in its own area in a spreadsheet. There is no limit to the number of areas in a sheet, and each area can have any number of rows. Leave a blank row between "areas". Just make sure that areas are not next to each other; they must be above and below one another.
You can have multiple areas of each kind on a spreadsheet. The only limitation is that if you refer to a person, you must do that in a row lower than where that person is described. Likewise, if you refer to a marriage, you must do that in a row lower than where the marriage is described.
If you are entering the data in a text file, and if you wish to have a comma inside one of the values, like "Clinton, Co., MO" then you need place the entire value in double-quotes and put the first double-quote right after the preceding comma. For example:
marriage, person1, person2, place m1, p1, p2,"Clinton, Co., MO" m2, p3, p4,"Havertown, PA"
A spreadsheet program will do this automatically for you.
Here is an example spreadsheet in LibreOffice, but any spreadsheet program should work.
Notice that the data need not begin in the first column, nor in the first row.
And here is the resulting data in gramps:
Here is an example of a CSV text spreadsheet with multiple areas:
Firstname, Surname, Birthdate John, Tester, 11/11/1965 Sally, Tester, 01/26/1973 Person, Firstname, Surname p1, Tom, Smith p2, Mary, Jones p3, Jonnie, Smith p5, James, Loucher p6, Penny, Armbruster p7, Tim, Sparklet Marriage, Husband, Wife m1, p1, p2 m2, p5, p6 Family, Child m1, p3 m1, p6 m2, p7
If you cut and paste that into a file, you can import it directly.
A date can also be given in format "26 JAN 1973" or "26.1.1973".
If you make your references be gramps IDs inside square brackets, then you can refer to people already in the database, like this:
Person, Firstname, Lastname joe's boy, Harry, Smith Family, Child [F1524], joe's boy Husband, Wife [I0123], [I0562] firstname, surname Timothy, Jones
This example would create and add Harry Smith to the previously existing family in gramps, family F1524.
Also, this example would marry two previously existing people, I0123, and I0562.
Finally, this also creates a person named Timothy Jones who is not related to anyone.
Real world example
In this example, I had an entire generation to enter, 16 names with marriage dates. The children I already had in the database. I entered them into LibreOffice:
Notice that you can use numbers or strings as the reference names between areas. In the person area, I used the numbers 1 through 16. That made it easy to refer to them in the second area of marriages. The marriages are labeled with the letters A through H.
Also note that the children in the third area are existing people as indicated by the brackets around the gramps IDs.
Saving as CSV and importing into gramps produces the far right-hand column in the tree: