FamilySearch GEDCOM Overview

The word GEDCOM is an acronym for GEnealogical Data Communication. On 19 May 2021, FamilySearch released FamilySearch GEDCOM 7.0, the universal file specifications for uploading and downloading family tree data. Like the previous GEDCOM, FamilySearch GEDCOM 7.0 makes it possible to transfer family tree data from one application or website to another. This data transfer can be done without changing the original file or any of its contents.The updated GEDCOM comes with several new enhancements that software developers have been asking for and that experienced genealogists will be excited to learn about.

The updated GEDCOM expands your ability to build, preserve, collaborate, import, and export your family tree data—all while maintaining control of the original copy or file, of course. The list of new or improved features includes:

  • Zip packaging capabilities for photos and other files.
  • An expanded and more versatile note-taking section that includes text styling and formatting.
  • Sample files and code, as well as self-testing guides to support developers and engineers.
  • Removal of several ambiguities from the previous version of GEDCOM.

Additional content found at

IANA Official Recognizes GEDCOM File Types

With the implementation of FamilySearch GEDCOM 7.0, the IANA now recognizes GEDCOM (.ged) and GEDZIP (.gdz) as official extensions. (The IANA, or Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, is an organization that helps implement recognized protocols across the internet to give everyone a smooth internet browsing experience.)

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