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GEDCOM Defined

While we won't try and define every genealogical term, one that comes up frequently is GEDCOM.  

GEDCOM is an acronym - GEnealogical Data COMmunications

GEDCOM is a standard file format for exchanging information between genealogy programs.  The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) developed the GEDCOM standard and it is used by most popular Genealogy Software Programs. 

You can use GEDCOM to transfer information into one genealogy program (say Family Tree Maker) from another genealogy program that supports GEDCOM and vice versa. By using GEDCOM, you can avoid retyping all of your family information when you switch from one program to another.

You can also use GEDCOM to share data that you have prepared with a fellow Genealogist. There are many genealogists on the internet that have prepared GEDCOM files of their data and they make it available publicly to other researchers. As you can imagine, this method of sharing is the ultimate way to obtain information. This way you do not have to manually enter each piece of information.

Click for a more formal definition (and FAQ). Link to page on WWW

Info about submitting GEDCOM files

It is important to provide the most recent Gedcom. This allows researchers to download the Gedcom and do the work while not connected to the internet (and incurring costly charges).

PC Users

If you have a particularly large database the Gedcom can be saved as a self extracting Zip. WinZip is an excellent shareware program that allows you to create self extracting zips.

MAC Users

Please do not use "Stuff It" on the Gedcom file. Most computer users are PC compatible, and won't know what to do with a MAC format.

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Last modified: October 03, 2002