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Gramps 5.1 Wiki Manual - Entering and editing data: brief

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This section is provides the basic knowledge necessary to start entering your genealogical information into Gramps. It will explain how to enter people into your family tree (also called a database) and how to specify their family relationships. (A more detailed explanation will follow in the next chapter: Gramps 5.1 Wiki Manual - Entering and editing data: detailed.)

First, let us identify the types of information you can enter into your family tree using Gramps. These include:

  • Personal information about an individual (names, addresses, birth and death dates, etc.)
  • Information about an individual's relationships (marriages, divorces, civil unions, etc.)
  • Information about an individual's parents and children
  • Sources that document your research
Keybindings (Keyboard Shortcuts or Hotkeys)

In addition to interacting with Gramps through menu items and buttons, you can use its extensive set of "keybindings." For more information, see Appendix B: Keybindings reference.

Now let us explore how you can enter and edit these various types of genealogical information.


To add or edit a person

The Add menu for each Category View includes the option to add a Person. A keybinding for adding a Person is also supported in all categories views.

There are multiple ways to add a new person to your family tree. Many have an implied context which saves a step in grafting the Person into a Tree. (e.g., adding a Person from within the Family context of the Relationships or Charts views automatically inserts the new Person into the Family. You don't have to create the Person as a separate action, then subsequently find and drag the new Person into that Family.) We will cover some of the different workflows as we proceed.

Add a new person

Fig. 8.1 People Category - Tree View - Grouped People

The most obvious way to insert a person in your tree is to add them from the  People View. While you are in the  People View, click the Toolbar + button.

Fig. 8.2 Edit Person - window - New empty editor

The Edit Person dialog will be shown and you can enter any data you know about this person then select Ok to save the new person.

Edit an existing person

Fig. 8.3 Edit Person - window - Existing person example

To edit information about a person already present in the family tree, select the person from the People View and click the Toolbar  Edit button.

Alternate ways of adding or editing a person from the  People View

You can also use the Menu Edit->Add... and other items available under Edit. Or you can right-click on the person and select Add... or Edit... from the context menu that pops up.

People can also be added to the family tree in the  Relationships View, Edit Family dialog, and other places where it makes sense.

To specify a relationship

There are two primary ways to specify relationships between people:

  1. By family:
  1. using the  Relationships View. The Relationships View is usually used to build multiple relationships around a single person.
  2. using the Edit Family dialog from the Family List View. The Family List is usually used to build all the  Relationships within a single family at a time.
  1. By Association
  1. using the Associations tab of the Edit Person dialog. Adding a Person and specifying the type of Association (godparent, coworker, pallbearer, childhood friend, etc.) identifies an interpersonal relationship.
  2. using the Link Editor feature of the Edit Note dialog. Cross-referencing a person via a Person link in a Note will associate that linked person to the person where the note is attached.
  3. Persons who share a reference (sources, notes, colocated in the same places, etc.) have an indirect or proximal relationship.

Specifying a relationship using the Relationship View

Fig. 8.4

To specify a new relationship to the Active Person, switch to the  Relationships View and you will see this individual indicated as the "Active Person". Next to the Family label is a Add button (typically represented by a + sign).

Fig. 8.5 Editing a family

Clicking the + button will display the Edit Family dialog with the Active Person set as either the father or the mother.

Fig. 8.6 Select Mother - dialog

Now a question ?: Does the person who will form the relationship with the Active Person already exist in the family tree? If yes, click the Select button to the other person. You will then be able to browse through the list of people in the family tree to select the one you want. If not, click the + button. This will allow you to add a new person to the family tree and to specify the relationship this person has to the Active Person.


By default, Gramps filters the displayed list to show only those people who could theoretically have a relationship with the Active Person. That is, Gramps only shows those people whose birth dates and death dates fit within the lifetime of the Active Person. If you wish, you can add a person to the list by clicking the + button. To completely override the filter and display all people from the family tree, check the Show all box.

To search a person on dialog selector

Remember that you can get an entry on the list by typing the first letter on your keyboard. (see Finding records)

To edit an existing relationship from the  Relationships View, click on the  Edit button next to corresponding Family entry. If there is more than one relationship in the list, you can select the spouse or partner you want by clicking the corresponding  Edit button next to the relationship.

Specifying a relationship using the Family List View

To specify a new relationship in the  Family List View, click on the + button on the toolbar, and an empty Edit Family dialog will open. At this point, you can add people to the family.

To specify parents

You can specify the Active Person's parents in the  Relationship View (See Select Family - selector). A little care is required to prevent the creation of duplicate families. If you wish to add the Active Person to an already existing family, you should click the Select button. If the family including the parents does not already exist, you should click the + button.

Fig. 8.7 Select Family - selector dialog example

If you click on the Select button, you are presented with the Select Family dialog. This will allow you to select the existing family, and then the Active Person will be added as a child to the family.

If you click on the + button, a new Edit Family dialog is presented with the Active Person listed a child of the new family. You can add the parents to the family by either adding new people as the parents or selecting existing people as the parents.

You can also specify the parents of a person in the  Family List View. If the family already exists, click on the Toolbar  Edit button and add the person as a child when the Edit Family dialog is displayed. If the family does not already exist, click the + button to create a new family, and add the appropriate parents and children.

Duplicate Family Warning

If you create a new family and select parents that are already in an existing family, Gramps will issue the Duplicate Family warning message. If you proceed by saving the new family, you will have a duplicate family.

To specify children

Adding children to a relationship is done through a similar procedure. From the  Relationships View or the  Family List View, select the existing family or create a new family. Children can be added by selecting the + button or Select button to the right of the child list.

Clicking the + button will display the Edit Person dialog, allowing you to enter a new person. Clicking on the Select button, will allow you to select an existing person from a list. By default, the child is added with the relationship type of birth to both parents.

Fig. 8.8 Child reference editor

If you wish to change the parent/child relationship from the default setting of Birth, from the Edit Family dialog select the child and click on the  Edit. This will display the Edit Child Reference dialog.

If you wish to change the order of the children in the family, use the arrows or the drag and drop function on Family Editors Children tab.

Adding photos and other media objects

You can add photos and other media objects to individual people, events, sources, and places. You can also add images that might not be limited to a single person or event (for example, group family photos).


The first image in the Gallery will be the default (displayed) image

Fig. 8.9 People Category - Tree View - People List View ( mainwin-fig)
Fig. 8.10 edit-pers-fig

If you want to add an image to a single person, switch to the  People View (mainwin-fig), select a person, and then click the  Edit icon on the toolbar. This will bring up the Edit Person dialog (edit-pers-fig). Next, select the Gallery tab, and click the + button to call up the Select a media object dialog. Type a filename or browse to find the image file you want and then provide a title for that image. Keep adding images until you are done.

Fig. 8.11 family-fig

To add images related to a relationship (for example, a marriage), switch to the  Family View (family-fig) and double-click on the Spouse box. This calls up the Marriage/Relationship editor dialog. Select the Gallery tab and click the + button to add an image.

Fig. 8.12 sources-fig
Fig. 8.13 places-fig

To add images related to a source or a place, first switch to the  Source View (sources-fig) or  Place View (places-fig). Select the source or place you want and then either double-click on it or click the  Edit icon on the toolbar. Select the Gallery tab and click the + button to add an image.

Fig. 8.14 media-fig

Finally, to add images that you want to include in the family tree, but hare are not limited to any particular person, relationship, source or place, switch to the  Media View (media-fig). Then click the + icon on the toolbar to add an image. If you have already added any images to any individual galleries, you will also find them listed in the  Media View.

Alternate way of adding images to galleries

An image can always be added to any gallery by using drag-and-drop. Items can be dragged from the  Media View, any gallery, the desktop, the file manager or a web browser and dropped on the target gallery, adding the image to the gallery.

In any gallery, you can also use the  Edit to edit image information and the - button and to remove the image reference from that gallery.

Removing an image from a gallery

Removing a media object from a gallery does not remove the image from the family tree. To completely remove the image from the family tree, delete it from  Media View by first selecting it and then clicking the Remove icon on the toolbar.

To edit events, citations/sources, places, and repositories

Fig. 8.15 events-fig
Fig. 8.16 places-fig
Fig. 8.17 repository-fig

To add an event, a citation/source, a place, or a repository to the family tree, switch to the appropriate  Events View ( events-fig),  Citations View,  Sources View (sources-fig),  Places View (places-fig), or  Repositories View (repository-fig). Then click the + icon on the toolbar to add the corresponding object. Enter the information into the Event Editor ( Source Editor, Citation Editor, Place Editor , or Repository Editor ) dialog.

To edit information about events, sources, places, and repositories already present in the family tree, switch to the appropriate view, select an entry you would like to view/modify, and then click the  Edit icon on the toolbar. Alternatively, you may double-click on the entry to edit it.

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