Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A GEDCOM File: One of the Ways to Share Your Genealogy Files

The above is the symbol for sharing...there is no symbol for GEDCOM and yet that is one of things you can do when you create a GEDCOM file from your own family file database.

Most people know that sharing genealogical information can be difficult. If one shares a paper family group sheet or a typed on, the chances of that information being retyped incorrectly, even accidentally is great. 

Back in 1984, GEDCOM was developed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and an aid to overcoming obstacles of sharing genealogical information with others.

GEDCOM stands for "Genealogical Data Communication" and is a simple plain text file that contains one's family information.

Over time, all genealogical software programs supported the ability to create a GEDCOM file within the features of that software program and became the standard for many years with some improvements along the way. There has been efforts to improve this file exchange but as of now it is still the industry standard. Wikipedia has a great article on it worth reading if one is interested in the history of this file format.

To create a GEDCOM in Ancestral Quest, one simply goes to "File" and "Export" and uses the menu box that comes up to choose what and what not to include in the actual export of the family file. This is how it looks:

Presently all the boxes are checked, but in reality one would need to be very careful of what to allow. For instance, unchecking "Full Info on Living" might be appropriate if you don't wish to share living information. "Confidential Data" and perhaps "LDS Data" should be unchecked depending on who one is sharing with.

Notice that one can also choose to only send a family or just a small amount of individuals by clicking on the "Partial" and then "Select" button. This would allow one to pick and choose only those in the family file wanting to be shared with that particular person.

"All" might be used if one was uploading their family file to an online database like Ancestry.com or MyHeritage.com and any others. One would still have to be careful not to share "Living Information" especially without their permission.

From this point after you have made your selections, click on "Export" at this point you will given the ability to name your file and press "Export" one more time so it can create your file. The usual place that these files are saved in is "My Documents", however, you can change it to wherever you wish it to be saved.

Once this is created, it now can be shared either with another person or an online database as mentioned already.

That is how simple it is. Next week we'll discuss what to do with a GEDCOM file you receive.

Remember Ancestral Quest is fully FamilySearch Certified!

Comments and questions are always welcome!

Happy Ancestraling...

Claire ;)

AQ Cues & Clues Blog:http://ancquest.blogspot.com/