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Friday, June 11, 2021

Find more information about the new FamilySearch GEDCOM Version 7.0

The new website,, is the place to go for up-to-date information about FamilySearch GEDCOM Version 7.0. The reality of introducing a new GEDCOM Standard is that it will take time for the developers of genealogical software and websites to implement the new standard. Meanwhile, the original versions of GEDCOM will still be usable and valid. You can see a comparison of the current Version 7.0 and previous versions on the GEDCOM Specifications page of the website. 

By the way, GEDCOM has nothing to do with the content of any genealogy file from any file format. It is merely a standard way for programs and websites to communicate and GEDCOM certainly has no part in whether or not the data is valid, accurate, or even real. Whatever the content of the original data file, GEDCOM is the way that the content can be transferred from one file or website format to another file or website format. As an example of the current usage. If I have a family tree on and I want to download the content of my file, I can search's website and see and article entitled, "Uploading and Downloading Trees." This article has the instructions for both uploading an existing GEDCOM file and downloading one. Other websites and programs have similar provisions. 

The main reason for creating a new GEDCOM version is that when I do download or upload my genealogical data from one website or program to another, I may lose valuable information if the two programs don't match. For example, one program may have a field for Godparents or baptismal witnesses. If the target program or website does not have these fields, there is no place for the data transfer to occur. However, GEDCOM should provide a place to accommodate these transfers. In effect, by providing a standard for transferring all of the different types of data, the GEDCOM Standard can influence the developers of genealogical websites or programs to provide fields for an expanding and more complete set of specific name, date, and location fields as well as make sure such information is not lost in a transfer. 

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