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The acronym for GEnealogical Data COMmunications. GEDCOM is a data structure created by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for storing and exchanging genealogical information so that many different computer programs can use it. It is identified by the file type ".ged".

GEDCOM files are text files that contain the information and linkages necessary to exchange genealogical data between two entities. The entities may use the same or different software application.  Examples of these exchanges would include:

  • Between two users of the same application - One family member sending new information from Legacy to another family member using Legacy.
  • Between users of differing applications - A RootsMagic genealogist receiving information from someone using Family Tree Maker.
  • From an Internet site to a local application - Downloading information from an internet site to your genealogical program which supports GEDCOM formatted files.
  • Downloading information from FamilySearch to a genealogical program via third-party software certified by FamilySearch can be found in the FamilySearch Solutions Gallery.
  • Uploading information from a genealogical program to FamilySearch Genealogies by using Upload Your Tree.

As a text-based file, it is easily transmitted as an attachment to e-mails or downloaded from web sites. The recipient then uses the "Import" function of their application to include the GEDCOM file contents in their genealogy. Also, applications may be found on the web to print or manipulate individual GEDCOM files without importing them into applications.

FamilySearch GEDCOM Official Statement[edit | edit source]

GEDCOM (an acronym for Genealogical Data Communications) was created by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Church) in 1984 as a specification for exchanging genealogical data between different software applications. Multiple versions have since been released and copyrighted by the Church, including the release of version 5.5.1, on November 15, 2019.

At RootsTech 2020, FamilySearch launched an effort to create a new version of GEDCOM based on the 5.5.1 version that would include: 1) new expressivity, flexibility, and compatibility; 2) Zip packaging of associated images and other files with the related GEDCOM file; and 3) public access through a GitHub repository. Many industry software providers and key influencers participated, and the initiative concluded May 15, 2021.

The newest version is called FamilySearch GEDCOM 7.0. General information can be found at Technical information, specifications, tools, and guides can be found at

The public GitHub repository is the forum for ongoing discussions leading to future versions of FamilySearch GEDCOM.

Review the full text of FamilySearch GEDCOM 7.0 and prior specifications:[edit | edit source]

Uploading a GEDCOM to FamilySearch[edit | edit source]

  • Click here for instructions on how to upload a GEDCOM file to FamilySearch Genealogies.

Exporting a GEDCOM from FamilySearch[edit | edit source]

Currently, a GEDCOM file cannot be exported directly from FamilySearch Family Tree. However, you can use partner programs of FamilySearch to get the data from FamilySearch Family Tree, and then create a GEDCOM file in those programs. Here is a list of the programs that are compatible with GEDCOM and FamilySearch.