General Documentation

Last update: 27 Feb 2017 Authors: Michael Gibson

GEDXchange Overview

GEDXchange is an application that allows you to create, view, edit, export and print genealogy data. Additionally, this software is a collection of genealogy tools to work with GEDCOM 5.5 and GSF 2.1 (aka Stop 9) among other files types. It allows export of data to GEDML and HTML files. This software runs on Linux, Windows 95 through Vista, and OSX operating systems. These tool are a set of compiled fast binary (not scripts) of both graphical interface and command line interface applications to meet most genealogy viewing and recording needs. In Linux, GEDXchange does not depend on any specific desktop, distribution or version. There is no charge for GEDXchange source or binaries although media may be purchased.

Getting started

If you are installing this software from source on the Linux or OSX operating systems, using the command line; you will need X11 libraries and GCC installed first. To create the binaries, simply run './compile' in the root of this source dist- ribution. To start the software type './gedstart'

Format of the Data


The GEDCOM and Genealogy standards are fairly clear about date formatting. Dates should be entered in the following format as shown in this example: 15 Jun 2004 for the date of June 15th, 2004.

Given Name

A given name is the first name of an individual listed before their surname. One or more "middle names" are often included. The given name precedes their surname.


Surnames, or the "last name" that you are born with, are often indicated between forward slashes (example: /Surname/). This is due to a standard of marking created by the LDS and often used in GEDCOM files.

File Formats


What is the GEDCOM 5.5 genealogy data file format?

GEDCOM was developed by the Family History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) to provide a flexible, uniform format for exchanging computerized genealogical data. GEDCOM is an acronym for GEnealogical Data Communication. Its purpose is to foster the sharing of genealogical information and the development of a wide range of inter-operable software products to assist genealogists, historians, and other researchers. The GEDCOM 5.5 tags supported by GEDXchange are as following (indention for readability): 0 HEAD 1 SOUR 2 VERS 2 NAME 2 CORP 1 DATE 2 TIME 1 DEST 1 SUBM 1 CHAR 1 FILE 1 GEDC 2 VERS 2 FORM 0 SUBM 1 NAME 0 INDI 1 REFN 1 NAME 1 TITL 1 SEX 1 DSCR 1 SSN 1 IDNO 1 OBJE 2 TITL 2 FILE 2 NOTE 1 EVEN 2 DATE 2 PLAC 2 NOTE 1 BIRT 2 DATE 2 PLAC 2 NOTE 3 CONT 1 DEAT 2 DATE 2 PLAC 2 NOTE 3 CONT 1 BURI 2 DATE 2 PLAC 2 NOTE 3 CONT 1 CREM 2 DATE 2 PLAC 2 NOTE 3 CONT 1 ADDR 2 PHON 1 OCCU 1 EDUC 1 RELI 1 FAMC 1 FAMS 1 NOTE 2 CONT 1 CHAN 2 DATE 0 FAM 1 MARR 2 DATE 2 PLAC 2 NOTE 3 CONT 1 DIV 2 DATE 2 PLAC 2 NOTE 3 CONT 1 HUSB 1 WIFE 1 CHIL 0 TRLR The Proposed "GEDCOM 5.2017" tags supported by GEDXchange are as following (indention for readability): 1 DNA 2 DATE 10 Dec 2015 2 FILE C:\Documents\DNA\gen.dat 2 NOTE small text notes about findings 2 DNAY R1b-Z273 / CTS-12074 (c.2015) 2 DNAM H1n-T146c (c.2015) or 1 OBJE 2 TITL DNA data 2 FILE C:\Documents\DNA\gen.dat 2 NOTE 2 RACE mt: H1n-T146c (c.2015) 2 RACE Y: R1b-Z273 / CTS-12074 (c.2015) DNA GEDCOM standards GEDCOM 5.5 predates DNA research for genealogy and does not have specific tags or specific instructions for dealing with DNA data. So the GEDCOM 5.5 specification has no clear field to store the basic Haplogroup information for an individual from DNA testing. The challenge both being store basic info in a portable field not proprietary to software as well as ensures the integrity of the data for the time it was measured. As both the Paternal Y-tree STR/SNP are being revised yearly and the Maternal mtDNA trees are also being updated but not as the need to capture the Haplogroup and branch as well as the year identified. At the point in time that you want to transfer your data to another program, you can test how the other program reads those tags in and displays them. If it doesn't do it correctly, you might be able to find a different tag that you don't use that the program does read in. Then open your GEDCOM with a text processor and "change all" your "2 RACE" statements to "2 xxx" as appropriate. ________________________


What is the GEDML genealogy data file format?

GEDML is a Genealogical Data Markup Language based on XML. This format contains much of the same information as the common GEDCOM 5.5 format but with a different structure. see this example on how it compares to the GEDCOM 5.5 format: See
Currently GEDXchange has the ability to export to GEDML but not import the data. _________________________

Genealogy Serial File [GSF] 2.1

What is the 'GSF' genealogy data file format?

Once known as "Stop 9 version 2.0 format". GSF is a text based format created for its ease of editing with a text editor. It also has the advantage of being more compact than GEDCOM or GEDML although text based. GEDXchange has the ability to convert these files to GEDCOM 5.5 file format. GSF files are normally named 'idata.gsf'. The file is flat and sequential. Data is read in until the 'EOF' record is reached. The data format is as following: Data record of an individual line 01: SOI [no-data start of individual] line 02: IDN [id number [unique 4 digit] ] line 03: FIN [first name [up to 50 characters] ] line 04: MIN [middle name] [up to 50 characters] ] line 05: SUN [surname] [up to 50 characters] ] line 06: SEX [sex [value literals: Male/Female] ] line 07: BID [birth date] line 08: BIP [birth place [up to 90 characters] ] line 09: BIN [birth note [up to 150 characters] ] line 10: DED [death date] line 11: DEP [death place [up to 90 characters] ] line 12: DEN [death note [up to 150 characters] ] line 13: BUP [burial place] line 14: BUN [burial note [up to 150 characters] ] line 15: EDU [education [up to 90 characters] ] line 16: OCC [occupation [up to 90 characters] ] line 17: REL [religion [up to 90 characters] ] line 18: GEN [general notes [up to 150 characters] ] line 19: FID [father id number [4 digit] ] line 20: MID [mother id number [4 digit] ] line 21: SID [spouse id number [4 digit] ] line 22: DNA [record number [see doc 34466] ] *Added 2017 line 23: EOI [no-data end of individual] Ending records line 01: EOF [no-data end of file] Notes: A blank record should only have a "-" (dash or minus) on the line.