Gramps and GEDCOM

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Gramps uses Gramps XML which is considered a superior format to GEDCOM by the Gramps developers. Although Gramps should be able to import most data from GEDCOM through its GEDCOM Import module, many of the Gramps features are not supported by the GEDCOM standard and so GEDCOM Export from a Gramps Family Tree or Gramps XML is a lossy operation. This page shall list all the information that is lost on a GEDCOM export from Gramps, so that users may choose to restrain their Gramps use to those features that GEDCOM can handle. Gramps recognizes the relevance of GEDCOM and attempts to offer the best compatibility possible. The Gramps version used as a reference is Gramps Trunk, currently Gramps 3.3.

The GEDCOM standard stopped evolving on 10 January 1996. There is a draft for a 5.5.1 version, of which Gramps uses several features as noted below.

Lost information on a GEDCOM export

  • Bookmarks
  • Preformatted flag on notes
  • Markup in notes. Most other genealogy programs have markup in notes, but GEDCOM has no support.
  • Roles on events
  • One gender on same sex relation: GEDCOM does not support same sex relation.
  • Children status: adoption as event not a relation, GEDCOM only uses child-family relationships.
  • County County fields in Locations
  • Parish Church Parish fields in Locations
  • Media Attributes: no equivalent in GEDCOM.
  • Event Attributes different from age, father age, mother age, cause, agency. These other attributes have no equivalent in GEDCOM.
  • Media Description: set by user, no equivalent in GEDCOM.
  • Reference region of a media reference.
  • Tags: an organizational tool for data analysis. This is not real genealogical data.
  • Shared Notes: the notes are exported, but the sharing is lost, so shared notes are duplicated in the GEDCOM.
  • Shared Events: will generate the same event for each record. On import Gramps tries to merge equal events.
  • Shared Places in events: GEDCOM does not know the concept of sharing places, so places are duplicated in the GEDCOM. On import, Gramps will automatically merge places with the same title, so this should be of no influence.
  • Call Name: no equivalent in GEDCOM.
  • Family Nickname: no equivalent in GEDCOM. Use an alternate name.
  • Date on Name
  • Group names: Used by Gramps for sorting.
  • Sort As on names: Used by Gramps for sorting.
  • Alternate Locations: This full data on alternate locations is not exported as GEDCOM has no support for this.
  • Private objects
  • Persian, Islamic, Swedish calendars
  • Dual date and non 31/12 new year

Information written in other form on GEDCOM export

  • Compound surnames: all name grouping info is present using comma-seperated lists. Using the Extract Information from Names tool, such a GEDCOM can be converted again in grouped names

Information available in GEDCOM 5.5.1 form

  • Coordinates: Latitude and Longitude use MAP.LONG and MAP.LATI fields of GEDCOM 5.5.1
  • Custom attributes on Person, Family: FACT tag is used of GEDCOM 5.5.1