The an archive page of
Prince Albert Branch
Saskatchewan Genealogical Society

Box 1464 Prince Albert, Saskatchewan S6V 5T1




In this issue of Jan~Feb~Mar~Apr 2000
Grave Sayings
The Gift of GEDCOM

Current issue


Grave Sayings

"Just a song at twilight."
This inscription on a gravestone
of a woman who died in 1820 is testimony to a life well lived-- "The only pain she ever caused was when she left us."

The Gift of GEDCOM

As The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a vested interest in family history, with their members researching back at least seven generations, genealogists world-wide may consciously or unconsciously heap gratitude on the LDS Church’s foresightedness. Pioneers in genealogical programs each had their own idea of the ideal way to manage data. Most pioneers were "basement" developers with a keen interest in genealogy and a sophisticated understanding of computer programming. They may have tried a genealogical program and believed that they could do better or they may have started from scratch. As generations of programs lived and died though, the survivors had the ability to read data from another "non-related" program and send data to other programs. "Family Tree Maker" for example, could export to "Reunion" and could import from "The Master Genealogist".

A web explanation is: "GEDCOM was developed by the Family History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) to provide a flexible, uniform format for exchanging computerized genealogical data. GEDCOM is an acronym for GEnealogical Data COMmunication. Its purpose is to foster the sharing of genealogical information and the development of a wide range of inter-operable software products to assist genealogists, historians, and other researchers. "
If you have not yet blessed someone with the gift of GEDCOM open your genealogical program and examine the list under "File" for "Export" and "GEDCOM". See Figure 1. (All figures are from "Reunion".)

Figure 1

Figure 2 asks you to make some choices. Note in the bottom right hand corner "MacIntosh" can be changed to "Windows" or "DOS", Also you can give your details as submitter.

Figure 2

Figure 3 gives a default name that should be altered to reflect the purpose and date of the file and asks you where you want it saved. "Desktop" is a good place. Then you may drag the file to a floppy disk and your gift is wrapped up ready to deliver.

Figure 3

Figure 4 shows how to attach it to an email. Begin your email, enter the text, click on attach (paper clip icon), click on attach file, browse if necessary to click on CARS0100.ged (Carswell January 2000) and then send.

Figure 4

Figure 5 shows the attachment. This attachment of approximately 700 individuals is only 147k.

Figure 5

Figure 1 also shows "Import" under the menu heading "File".

PLEASE read the following caution. Create a backup file of your genealogy. Import the GEDCOM into the backup file and evaluate it. If you import it directly into your working file you may spend hours (days, weeks, months, years) correcting problems. Again, NEVER import a GEDCOM into your precious genealogical file without first carefully evaluating it in a backup file.

If your genealogical program is of the new generation it may be able to create a web page at the click of a few buttons. As it is inconsiderate to publish private information on living relatives on the worldwide web, please strip information on living individuals. There are shareware programs available that will do this for you. "GEDPrivy" was randomly selected from a number of GEDCOM strippers. It has the following features:
"GEDPrivy's features include:

GEDPrivy is useful when you want to share your data and protect the privacy of living relatives. Putting this control in your hands lets you freely share GEDCOMs without sharing personal details. If you are using Family Tree Maker version 4.0, you can post a complete InterneTree report while protecting the privacy of others."

GEDCOM is a prime example of the golden rule-- "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you". As always you must consider the surety of any data, but the gift of GEDCOM can be a priceless treasure whether you are just beginning or back near Eve.

For chronological reasons, "Heir Lines" will now be published three times a year or once every four months.