GEDCOM

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File Format
Name GEDCOM
Ontology
Extension(s) .ged
PRONOM fmt/851
Released 1984

GEDCOM is a genealogical data format developed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the Mormons). The first version of the GEDCOM specification was released in 1984, and it was last updated in 1996 (version 5.5, supplemented with errata sheet), though there are ongoing efforts to give it a new update (a GEDCOM X project is underway).

While it was for a long time the de-facto standard for electronic genealogical data, supported for import and export by most family-tree programs, progress has stagnated, with the standard not being updated in over a decade and many implementations not even providing complete support for the 1996 version (for instance, while GEDCOM 5.5 included UTF-8 support for Unicode-based internationalized character sets, useful for expressing names of people and places in their native form, some implementations are still using the much clunkier ANSEL character set format supported by earlier GEDCOM versions).

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