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, which at the time was 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.

The following assumes the standard GEDCOM export utility. However, there is also a set of common extensions that have been bundled together. See GEDCOM Extensions for more information.

Lost information on a GEDCOM export from Gramps

  • 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: GEDCOM only uses child-family relationships, ex: adoption as event not a relation.
  • County County fields in Locations
  • Parish Church Parish fields in Locations
  • Media Attributes: no equivalent in GEDCOM.
  • Source Data: no equivalent in GEDCOM.
  • Source on places: no equivalent in GEDCOM.
  • Event Attributes different from age, father age, mother age, cause, agency. These other attributes have no equivalent in GEDCOM. AGNC and CAUS are exported from Agency and Cause attributes (respectively) of an event. AGE, HUSB:AGE and WIFE:AGE are exported from Age, Father's Age and Mother's Age (respectively) of an event reference. Hence these items of data should be stored in the appropriate place for export.
  • 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 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 and street, 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
  • Some Gramps' Types (Note, Repository, Repository reference, etc ...)
  • No GEDCOM data structure exists for the place hierarchy introduced in Gramps version 4.1.

Information written in other form on GEDCOM export

  • Compound surnames: all name grouping info is present using comma-separated 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

Information in GEDCOM 5.5 not in Gramps (lost on import)

Gramps 4.1 GEDCOM Import

Details of GEDCOM import for Gramps 4.1 are provided in the Gramps 4.1 manual, not here

Details for earlier versions of Gramps.

  • Multimedia object in source citation
  • EVENT_TYPE_CITED_FROM and ROLE_IN_EVENT in source citation