Heiner Eichmann's GEDCOM 5.5 Sample Page

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what's new (2007-01-16)?


I've created a few GEDCOM 5.5 sample files. They are free and you can use them for whatever you want. Just click on the topic you are interested in. Most files are zipped because they are no standard ASCII-files. You need an unzipper like WinZip to uncompress them.

What is GEDCOM?

GEDCOM is (mainly) a file format for the exchange of genealogical data. It is published by the Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which also holds the copyright. If not otherwise noted all samples are based on the GEDCOM 5.5 (2 January 1996) manual, which ccould be downloaded from ftp://gedcom.org/pub/genealogy/gedcom/Standard/Ged5-5-0/ . A HTML version is availible at: http://www.tiac.net/users/pmcbride/gedcom/55gctoc.htm or http://www.family.crevier.org/gedcom55/ or http://www.gendex.com/gedcom55/55gcint.htm or http://w3.one.net/~gilkison/genealogy/gedcom55/55gcint.htm. You can contact the Family History Department via:
gedcom@gedcom.org, or
Family History Department GEDCOM Coordinator-3T Telephone: 801-240-4534, 801-240-5225, 50 East North Temple Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84150, USA

What is ANSEL?

The GEDCOM standard allows only three character sets for the transmission of genealogical data: ASCII, ANSEL and UNICODE. ASCII is very easy to implement but contains no special characters. UNICODE is clearly the future but right now not supported very much. ANSEL (ANSI Z39.47-1993) is somewhere in between. Unfortunately there is no other widely used software using ANSEL. On this site you can find:
A discussion on how to convert ANSEL to Unicode
Open questions
An ANSEL to Unicode converter (IBM PC and Linux)

Purpose of this page

This sample transmissions are usefull for
  • developers, who want to test their GEDCOM import routines and
  • users, who want to test the GEDCOM import capabilities of their software.
    I have not tested if any program can read this samples. I've just created them using the GEDCOM documentation cited above. I've tested the ASCII samples using the gedchk program, also published by the Family History department. All my ASCII samples have passed this test without an error.


    The copyright of the used material is stated above. I do not take any responsibility for any material on this server. If you are using the files noted here, you are doing it on your own risk. All the samples here are free. Use them for any purpose you wish as long as you do not charge anything for it.


    If you have a comment or found a bug, post questions into the newsgroup soc.genealogy.computing. If you post something referring this page please forward it to h.eichmann@gmx.de because I do not read this newsgroup any more.

    The sample files (finally)

    The most simple GEDCOM transmission (as a starter)
    A huge GEDCOM transmission containing most of the allowed fields (to test the parser)
    Simple GEDCOM transmissions using different line terminators (a GEDCOM detail)
    GEDCOM transmissions using different character sets (to test the charset capability)

    Last modification: 2003-09-08