Import from another genealogy program

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Revision as of 08:35, 19 June 2009 by Romjerome (talk | contribs) (Heredis)
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There are several ways to import your family tree into GRAMPS from another program. The best way depends on what program you want to copy the information from.


This is the easy one. The simplest and safest method to move all your information from one GRAMPS program to another on a different computer is to choose File -> Export from the first GRAMPS. Follow the instructions, choosing GRAMPS Package for the format to save.

Copy the file created by GRAMPS to the destination computer. Then in its GRAMPS, choose File -> Import and select the transferred file.

Standard GEDCOM as transfer tool

Most programs for family history can export and import GEDCOM (.ged) files.

  1. Check the documentation for your program to learn how to create a GEDCOM file with all your data.
    • If you have a choice, GEDCOM 5.5 Standard is usually the safest type of GEDCOM.
  2. In GRAMPS, choose File -> Import
  3. Locate the GEDCOM file created by your program, and choose Open.
Check The Results

Check your data carefully once imported into GRAMPS. There are many things GEDCOM does not support that may be lost during transfer. In addition, many commercial programs do not create standard GEDCOM files. GRAMPS does its best to do the right thing with non-standard GEDCOM files, but it can't possibly cope with everything.

Take special attention that your media files are transferred too, and found by GRAMPS. In the menu Tools -> Utilities , you will find the Media Manager, with which you can change the path of your media objects to the new path if needed.

Import instructions from different programs


Ancestrologie seems to produce non-standard gedcom for some kinds of data. In general such problems should be repaired prior to importing into GRAMPS.

Programs for fixing some of the known problems

Download and uncompress (gunzip) to obtain executable scripts. Some additional explanations and data interpretations (or guesses) may be found in the comments.

  • .. script to fix non-standard gedcom address data REPO citation within a SOUR record. It replaces the (crash-causing) address data with a REPO reference and adds a REPO record containing gedcom-standard address elements.
  • .. script to fix non-standard LATI/LONG PLAC data that should be in a MAP structure per the 5.5.1 spec.
  • .. script to fix various non-standard gedcom usage or gedcom extensions, by converting the otherwise unusable data into a special NOTE entry like:
 2 NOTE APPX=Ancestrologie/2007.0.0.761 DATX=_ANCES_XINSEE 75111

The data (in this case 75111) may be absent or extend to CONT lines. The non-standard elements converted to APPX notes include:

  • _ANCES_CLE_FIXE .. special internal reference : "Who they are ?"
  • _ANCES_ORDRE .. considered non-critical, events classification
  • _ANCES_XACTE .. non-critical (certificat found = 1)
  • _ANCES_XINSEE .. INSEE geographical code (evidently simplified 5-digit)
  • EVEN F .. invalid EVENTS_RECORDED format in a SOUR record
  • EVEN I .. (same)
  • LIEU .. a subdivision of place, is not our place but a division
  • XTYPE .. these seem to be OBJE subordinates
  • XIDEN .. considered non-critical, media object used for primary media (photo)
  • XMODE .. " (file is not present at the FILE address)

In addition, one other change, replaces a non-standard "FILA" item to the gedcom 5.5.1 generic FACT item (in INDIVIDUAL_ATTRIBUTE_STRUCTURE) provided for exactly this kind of data.

 1 FILA Enfant légitime 
 1 FACT Enfant légitime

Users are invited to correct/clarify the above information or notify us of additional problems with non standard gedcom or gedcom extensions.

Please also feel free to provide feedback on broken scripts or incorrect fixes

GEDCOM produced by is not fully readable by Gramps 2.0.x and 2.2.x (Relationship lost). This is fixed for 3.0. Also, you can use for fixing broken GEDCOM generated by

Family Tree Maker

GEDCOM is currently the only option for copying your data out of Family Tree Maker and into GRAMPS. Follow the instructions above for Standard GEDCOM.


GRAMPS can directly import from Geneweb. Choose File -> Import , select your Geneweb database and choose Open.


According to a Genj Genj wiki, GEDCOM generated by Heredis may :

  1. Add some empty tag - need to add Y on most event DEAT, MARR, MARC, DIV.
  2. Not properly manage dates (calendars)
  3. Generate custom tags without _ : WWW, EMAIL, HEAL, etc.
  4. Not properly manage sources and repositories

There is some alternative to GEDCOM generated by Heredis :


According to a Genj Genj wiki, GEDCOM generated by Legacy may :

  1. introduce a management issue on ADDR tag : need to add a RESI tag as parent tag/level.
  3. modify MEDI tag design, which can be used into CALN.


Using GEDCOM to export data from Pro-Gen is less than ideal. Therefor a plugin was created. The plugin is (as of dd. 2008-05-19) not included in the Gramps distribution, but it is available in Gramps SVN. To download, you can use the following URL:

While it is not part of the normal Gramps distribution it is advised to install it in your personal plugins directory. That directory is normally at ~/.gramps/plugins

 cd ~/.gramps/plugins

Next, go to Help -> Plugin Status -> Reload plugins (or something along these lines)

To import the data Gramps needs to be able to see the Pro-Gen directory tree. This all depends on your own setup. One possibility is to ZIP everything on your DOS computer and unZIP it on your Linux PC in, say ~/pg30. You may even be running Gramps on a Windows PC and have a copy Pro-Gen on that same computer. In the following steps, we're assuming the Pro-Gen files are at ~/pg30

Import the data:

  • start gramps
  • create a new family database
  • select that new database
  • go to menu Database -> import
  • in the file dialog go to the ~/pg30/nl/data directory
  • select the .DEF of your Pro-Gen database
  • in the drop-down selection box you have to select "Pro-Gen" (it is not automatically selected)
  • click "Import"
  • wait ...

The Master Genealogist (TMG)

You have two options.


This is the easy option, but much of your data may not transfer correctly. Try it first anyway in case it works for you.

  1. Tell TMG to export your data to GEDCOM, following the instructions that come with TMG.
    • TMG gives you many options for GEDCOM exports. What works best will depend in part on the way you organised your family tree. Choose whatever you like.
    • Write down which choices you make.
  2. Follow the instructions above for Standard GEDCOM.

If the results aren't too bad, but aren't quite right, try again after changing one or more of TMG's GEDCOM export options. You'll remember what you did previously because you wrote them down. Didn't you?

Keep trying and hopefully you'll hit on the combination that works best for you.

If you can't get good results, you'll have to use the tmg2gramps method instead.


For many people, using GEDCOM will lose too much information. If this is the case for you, you might like to try tmg2gramps, though it is aimed at advanced users.

You'll see three times a progress bar for "Individuals", "Families" and "Adding children". The import process can create warnings and you can look at them by clicking on the (i) icon in the lower left part of the GRAMPS window. It is advised to copy and save these warnings. There can be all kinds of reasons for these warnings (for example an incorrect date) and you may want to correct the imported data afterwards.


According to a Genj Genj wiki, GEDCOM generated by Visuged 8.40.0 seems to definitively corrupt your data !

  1. Partials sources
  2. Repositories are lost
  3. BAPT, ASSO are lost
  4. Internal numbers are modified

Spreadsheet Import

Although the following is not a standard format, as a last resort you could also construct a spreadsheet format of your data for importing into GRAMPS. The CSV import option currently doesn't allow import of all GRAMPS data. For example, it doesn't import events and notes. For more details on this format see Gramps 3.1 Wiki Manual - Manage Family Trees: CSV Import and Export.