Genealogical file format for family trees

Created by: Lester Caine, Last modification: 02 Jan 2006 (08:39 UTC)
The GEnealogical Data COMmunication format (GEDCOM) was originally defined by the Family History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to provide a standard by which data could be uploaded to their archive.
The current version 5.5 is used as a world wide standard for the exchange of genealogical data, and while several attempts have been made to move the XLM based standards, such as version 6 of GEDCOM, the now 10 year old text based version is still prefered.
GEDCOM55.EXE contains the official version of the standard, and various samples to assist management of the information will be produced here.

Sample file format

0 @I2@ INDI <- The level 0 means this is a new record. The INDI tag means the record is for an individual.
1 NAME Charles Phillip /Ingalls/ <-name of individual
1 SEX M <- level 1 info denotes data about the individual in level 0, Charles Ingalls
2 DATE 10 JAN 1836 <- this is level 2, because it refers to the birth in level 1 above
2 PLAC Cuba, Allegheny, NY
2 DATE 08 JUN 1902
2 PLAC De Smet, Kingsbury, Dakota Territory
1 FAMC @F2@
1 FAMS @F3@
0 @I3@ INDI <-A new record (level 0) for a new individual
1 NAME Caroline Lake /Quiner/
2 DATE 12 DEC 1839
2 PLAC Milwaukee Co., WI
2 DATE 20 APR 1923
2 PLAC De Smet, Kingsbury, Dakota Territory
1 FAMC @F21@ <-FAMC indicates the FAM record where this person appears as a Child
1 FAMS @F3@ <-FAMS indicates the FAM record where this person appears as a Spouse

A list of the possible tags can be found in the specification, but a convenient copy is available here
Gedcom Tags