Gramps Old database

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Commencing with Gramps 3.1.2 all official versions of Gramps XML files can be imported. However, a warning will be given on import of 1.0.0 xml. [1]

If you have an old Gramps XML database generated some years ago, then you may have some difficulties to import it into last stable release.

Gramps-1 did not store event as primary object and did not use bsddb references.

There was some limitations (size, informations, encoding), new Gramps versions tried to fix them.


  • The safety way is to import it into Gramps-2 and to export this updated database. This will generate a new Gramps XML more compatible for an import into Gramps-3.
    • If your operating system does not support Gramps-2 any more as some dependencies has been removed since Gramps-2 (GCONF, gnome-doc-utils, yelp, python-reportlab, libglade, etc...) or updated like python libs and related, then you could have a look at Linux Genealogy Live CD archives.
  • related to bug 6129 : I downloaded the gramps 2.2.10 on my ubuntu 11.10 and did the following :
 $ tar xzvf gramps-2.2.10.tar.gz
 $ ./
 $ make
 $ python src/
    * import the 20060115.grdb ( your grdb file )
    * export in gramps xml

To run gramps 2.2.10 on Ubuntu 14.04.3 install the following first:

sudo apt-get install gnome-common
sudo apt-get install libglib2.0-dev
sudo apt-get install gnome-doc-utils
sudo apt-get install glade-gtk2

You can now load the new created file in your last gramps version. I hope it will work for everybody.

I choose 2.2.10 because the original file was 20060115 : at this period, gramps was 2.2. or 2.0.

So I used the last 2.2 available version.

If this had not worked, I think I would have tried the last 2.0.11 available version.


XML databases generated by Gramps-1 are not lost as they are written into a documented open format.

If a XML/XSL wizard planned to generate a script, here an experimental and partial test, which try to migrate a part of data to an other Gramps XML file, according to last XML DTD.

Old Note:Event, Repository and Note references are broken because they was not primary objects on Gramps-1. If someone knows how to handle this, then feel free to do changes.

See also