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FHISO Extended Legacy Format

This is an early exploratory draft of a proposed FHISO standard that is fully compatible with GEDCOM 5.5.1. Goals include

The working title of this draft proposed standard is the FHISO Extended Legacy Format, or ELF.

This draft is intended to provide enough context for meaningful discussion of the value and desirable content of a potential future standard. It will likely change significantly prior to being released.

The FHISO Extended Legacy Format is a data model and serialization format indented to be fully compatible with the earlier GEDCOM 5.5.1 specification. This document presents the data model; the serialization format is presented in [ELF-File].

Comments on this draft should be directed to tsc-public@fhiso.org

General

Where this standard gives a specific technical meaning to a word or phrase, that word or phrase is formatted in bold text in its initial definition, and in italics when used elsewhere. The key words must, must not, required, shall, shall not, should, should not, recommended, may and optional in this standard are to be interpreted as described in [RFC 2119].

An application is conformant with this standard if and only if it obeys all the requirements and prohibitions contained in this document, as indicated by use of the words must, must not, required, shall, and shall not, and the relevant parts of its normative references. Standards referencing this standard must not loosen any of the requirements and prohibitions made by this standard, nor place additional requirements or prohibitions on the constructs defined herein.

Derived standards are not allowed to add or remove requirements or prohibitions on the facilities defined herein so as to preserve interoperability between applications. Data generated by one conformant application must always be acceptable to another conformant application, regardless of what additional standards each may conform to.

Where this standard gives a specific technical meaning to a word or phrase, that word or phrase is formatted in bold text in its initial definition, and in italics when used elsewhere.

Indented text in grey or coloured boxes, such as preceding paragraph, does not form a normative part of this standard, and is labelled as either an example or a note.

Editorial notes, such as this, are used to record outstanding issues, or points where there is not yet consensus; they will be resolved and removed for the final standard. Examples and notes will be retained in the standard.

The grammar given here uses the form of EBNF notation defined in §6 of [XML], except that no significance is attached to the capitalisation of grammar symbols. Conforming applications must not generate data not conforming to the syntax given here, but non-conforming syntax may be accepted and processed by a conforming application in an implementation-defined manner.

Characters and strings

Characters are specified by reference to their code point number in [ISO 10646], without regard to any particular character encoding. In this standard, characters may be identified in this standard by their hexadecimal code point prefixed with "U+".

The character encoding is a property of the serialisation, and not defined in this standard. Non-Unicode encodings are not precluded, so long as it is defined how characters in that encoding corresponds to Unicode characters.

Characters must match the Char production from [XML].

Char  ::=  [#1-#xD7FF] | [#xE000-#xFFFD] | [#x10000-#x10FFFF]
This includes all valid unicode code points except the null character, surrogates (which are reserved for encodings such as UTF-16 and not characters in their own right), and the invalid characters U+FFFE and U+FFFF.

A string is a sequence of zero or more characters.

String  ::= Char*

Applications may convert any string into Unicode Normalization Form C, as defined in any version of Unicode Standard Annex #15 [UAX 15].

This allows applications to store strings internally in either Normalization Form C or Normalization Form D for ease of searching, sorting and comparison, without also retaining the original, unnormalised form.
This allows applications to store strings internally with any line ending. It also removes the need to discuss lines within payloads in the data model, as it was in GEDCOM.

Characters matching the RestrictedChar production from [XML]

RestrictedChar  ::=  [#x1-#x8] | [#xB-#xC] | [#xE-#x1F]
                       | [#x7F-#x84] | [#x86-#x9F]

should not appear in strings, and applications may process such characters in an implementation-defined manner or reject strings containing them.

This includes all C0 and C1 control characters except tab (U+0009), line feed (U+000A), carriage return (U+000D) and next line (U+0085).

Whitespace is defined as a sequence of one or more space characters, carriage returns, line feeds, or tabs. It matches the production S from [XML]:

S  ::=  (#x20 | #x9 | #xD | #xA)+

Whitespace normalisation is the process of discarding any leading or trailing whitespace, and replacing other whitespace with a single space (U+0020) character.

The definition of whitespace normalisation is identical to that in [XML].

A line string is a string that shall be whitespace-normalised before being processed: and in such elements the production S collapses to a single space (U+0020).

A linebreak is defined as either a carriage return, a line feed, or a carriage return followed by a line feed. It matches the production LB:

LB  ::=  #xD #xA? | #xA

A padded linebreak is defined as a linebreak preceded and followed by zero or more space characters or tabs. It matches the production PLB:

PLB  ::=  (#x20 | #x9)* LB (#x20 | #x9)*

Linebreak normalisation is the process of replacing each padded linebreak with a single linebreak, where all are replaced by the same linebreak variant.

A block string is a string that shall be linebreak-normalised before being processed.

In the event of a difference between the definitions of the Char, RestrictedChar and S productions given here and those in [XML], the definitions in the latest edition of XML 1.1 specification are definitive.

IRIs

The structure type identifiers used in this specification are strings that shall take the form of an IRI matching the IRI production in §2.2 of [RFC 3987].

The structure type identifiers defined in this standard all begin http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/. It is recommended that any extension structure type identifiers also use the http IRI scheme defined in §2.7.1 of [RFC 7230], and an authority component consisting of just a domain name (or subdomain) under the control of the party defining the extension structure type identifier.

It is recommended that an HTTP 1.1 GET request made without an Accept header to the structure type identifier IRI (once converted to a URI per §3.1 of [RFC 3987]) should result in a 303 "See Other" redirect to a document containing a human-readable definition of the element. It is recommended that this definition is in HTML, and that documentation in alternative formats may be made available when the request includes a suitable Accept header, per §5.3.2 of [RFC 7231].

A future draft of this standard is likely to add support for a discovery mechanism, whereby a HTTP 1.1 GET request made with an appropriate Accept header yields 303 redirect to a machine-readable definition of the structure type. Support for this by the authors of extension structure type is likely to be recommended but not required, while application support for it would be optional.

Structure type identifiers are compared using the "simple string comparison" algorithm given in §5.3.1 of [RFC 3987]. If a structure type identifier does not compare equal to an IRI known to the application, the application should not make any assumptions about the structure element based on the IRI.

This comparison is a simple character-by-character comparison, with no normalisation carried out on the IRIs prior to comparison. This is how XML namespace names are compared in [XML Names].

An IRI must not be used as a structure type identifier unless it can be converted to a URI using the algorithm specified in §3.1 of [RFC 3987], and back to a IRI again using the algorithm specified in §3.2 of [RFC 3987], to yield the original IRI.

ELF Datasets

Every Extended Legacy Format (ELF) dataset is an ordered sequence of structures. Structures conform to a type hierarchy; a portion of this hierarchy is as follows:

Each ELF dataset consists of a single HEAD structure and any number of Records.

Structures that are not Records or HEAD are found within datasets, but only nested within other Structures.

Structures

http://tech.fhiso.org/elf/Structure is an abstract type; only subtypes of Structure are present within an ELF dataset.

Every structures consists of the following components:

Structure Type Identifier

Every structure has a structure type identifier identifying its subtype. It is recommended that structure type identifiers be taken from those listed in Concrete Types; however, Extension Types are also permitted.

All structure type identifiers in this specification begin with the prefix http://tech.fhiso.org/elf/. For readability, that prefix is omitted in most cases within this document.

A structure type identifier is not always sufficient to fully define a structure's type; the same identifier may be used for different types of structures in different contexts.
Identifier

A string uniquely identifying this structure within this ELF dataset. If present, the identifier must match the production ID:

ID  ::= [0-9A-Z_a-z] [#x20-#x3F#x41-#x7E]*

Every Record has an identifier. A HEAD must not have an identifier. Other Structures may (but are not recommended to) have an identifier.

Each Record within a dataset that has an identifier must have a unique identifier within the dataset. The content of the identifier has no semantic meaning.

The production ID is an alphanum followed by any number of non-control non-@ 7-bit ASCII characters. This is more limited than GEDCOM (which also allows the non-ASCII characters in ANSEL), but I am unaware of any GEDCOM implementation that uses those extra characters.

Should we say something like GEDCOM X's wording about per-media-type constraints?

The identifier is to be used as a "fragment identifier" as defined by RFC 3986, Section 3.5. As such, the constraints of the identifier are provided in the definition of the media type (e.g. XML, JSON) of the data structure.

Some software have traditionally made additional assumptions of identifiers, such as

... and so on. Because identifier contents have not semantic meaning, implementations can't rely on any such patterns or rules.

Do we want to encourage durability of identifiers (i.e., not changing the identifier of a record where leaving it the same is possible)?
Payload

If present, a payload is either a pointer or a string. Each structure subtype defines if it has a payload and if so which kind(s) it may have.

Each pointer payload must point to a Record within the dataset.

GEDCOM had provisions for pointers to non-Record structures, but documented no use case for them. We omit them because we are unaware of systems that implemented those provisions.
Substructures
Structures may contain zero or more Structures, which are called the structure's substructures. There are no limitations to the types of Structures that may be contained within a structure, but each structure type may recommend particular substructures and/or have a set of required substructures.

Spaces in Formatted Payloads

This topic appears nowhere in the GEDCOM specification; it attempts to document a solution to implementation inconsistencies.

Some structure subtypes offer constraints on payload format, as for example requiring a base-ten integer, a comma-separated list of strings, or a specifically formatted date string.

Unless otherwise specified within the description of a particular format, excess whitespace before and/or after a token within a formatted payload may be included and have no semantic meaning.

The following payloads of a GIVN structure (with quotes added to show leading and trailing spaces) are semantically equivalent:

Notation

Structure Context

The context of a structure specifies where it appears. The following context specifier notation is used to define structure contexts:

Cardinality

While GEDCOM had the semantics described here, our notation and terminology are original to this specification.

The cardinality of a substructure specifies with what plurality it appears within its containing structure. The cardinality of required and recommended substructures of each structure are denoted by the following suffixes:

In the current spec, + only appears for the .OBJE.FILE.

Structures may contain more substructures than are listed (either of additional types or in greater cardinality than are listed) but the meaning of extra substructures is not defined by this specification. Implementations may ignore unexpected substructures; if only part of a list is ignored, the first part of the list should be preserved. Structures must not omit having substructures annotated with ! or +.

The order of list-valued substructures sharing the same structure type identifier is significant; unless otherwise specified, the order is interpreted as the submitter's preference, with the most preferred value first and subsequent elements listed in decreasing order of preference. The exact meaning of "preference" is not defined by this specification.

A researcher unsure when a person was born could include two BIRT substructures within the INDI, with the one the researcher deems more probably true first.
A researcher documenting an individual with several names could include the researcher-preferred name first; or could include the name the individual preferred at some point first; etc.
Although an INDI is listed as having substructure "(IndividualEvent)*", the order of the substructure ADOP and CENS (both subtypes of IndividualEvent) are not significant because they differ in structure type identifier.

Abstract Types

While GEDCOM had an implicit type hierarchy, it did not make it explicit. Hence, the terminology used to describe the type hierarchy is original to this specification.

A type hierarchy is known to exist; the known types with subtypes are

These types serve only as abstract supertypes for other data types.

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/Record

The http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/Record type serves as an abstract supertype for those Structure types that are directly included in the dataset and describe the principle contents of the data set. No structures with structure type identifier http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/Record should appear in an ELF dataset.

Supertype
Structure
Known subtypes
FAM
INDI
OBJE
NOTE
REPO
SOUR
SUBM
Contexts
.(Record)
Substructures
CHAN?

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/Event

The http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/Event type serves as an abstract supertype for other events and attributes. No structures with structure type identifier http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/Event should appear in an ELF dataset.

Supertype
Structure
Known Subtypes
IndividualEvent
FamilyEvent
IndividualAttribute
Contexts
.INDI.(Event)
.FAM.(Event)
Substructures
ADDR?
AGNC?
CAUS?
DATE?
NOTE*
OBJE*
PHON*
PLAC?
RELI?
RESN?
SOUR*
TYPE?
GEDCOM 5.5 also includes AGE as a substructure of Event, but GEDCOM 5.5.1 moves that to IndividualEvent and IndividualAttribute instead.

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/IndividualEvent

The http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/IndividualEvent type serves as an abstract supertype for events that pertain to a particular individual. No structures with structure type identifier http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/IndividualEvent should appear in an ELF dataset.

Supertype
Event
Known Subtypes
ADOP
BAPM
BARM
BASM
BIRT
BLES
BURI
CENS
CHR
CHRA
CONF
CREM
DEAT
EMIG
EVEN
FCOM
GRAD
IMMI
NATU
ORDN
PROB
RETI
WILL
Contexts
.INDI.(IndividualEvent)
Payload

Either the line string Y or not present. If any of the following are true

  • the payload is Y
  • there is a DATE substructure
  • there is a PLAC substructure
  • the tag is EVEN

then the IndividualEvent asserts that the event occurred; otherwise it just discusses the idea of the event.

There should not be a payload for the IndividualEvent subclass EVEN.

Substructures
Those inherited from Event
AGE?

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/FamilyEvent

The http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/FamilyEvent type serves as an abstract supertype for events that pertain to a couple or nuclear family. No structures with structure type identifier http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/FamilyEvent should appear in an ELF dataset.

Supertype
Event
Known Subtypes
ANUL
CENS
DIV
DIVF
ENGA
EVEN
MARB
MARC
MARL
MARR
MARS
Contexts
.FAM.(FamilyEvent)
Payload

Either the line string Y or not present. If any of the following are true

  • the payload is Y
  • there is a DATE substructure
  • there is a PLAC substructure
  • the tag is EVEN

then the FamilyEvent asserts that the event occurred; otherwise it just discusses the idea of the event.

There should not be a payload for the FamilyEvent subclass EVEN.

Substructures
Those inherited from Event
HUSB?
WIFE?
Prior to GEDCOM 5.5.1, AGE? was listed as a substructure of all (Event)s, including (FamilyEvent). The semantics of a (FamilyEvent).AGE was not defined in any GEDCOM specification and it was removed from 5.5.1; this specification does not define what a (FamilyEvent).AGE might mean if present.

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/IndividualAttribute

The http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/IndividualAttribute type serves as an abstract supertype for attributes of an individual. No structures with structure type identifier http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/IndividualAttribute should appear in an ELF dataset.

Attributes or facts are used to describe an individual's actions, physical description, employment, education, places of residence, etc. These are not generally thought of as events. However, they are often described like events because they were observed at a particular time and/or place.

Supertype
Event
Known Subtypes
CAST
DSCR
EDUC
FACT
IDNO
NATI
NCHI
NMR
OCCU
PROP
RELI
RESI
SSN
TITL
Prior to GEDCOM 5.5.1, there was no FACT attribute and EVEN was sometimes used in its place.
Contexts
.INDI.(IndividualAttribute)
Substructures
Those inherited from Event
AGE?

Concrete Types

The following is a list of known structure types, organized by structure type identifier. Note that a single structure type identifier may be used by several types in different contexts.

The GEDCOM specification was authored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) and contains several types specific to that church and its genealogical products, including

These LDS-specific types have been omitted from this specification and are thus defined by this specification to be Extension Types.

Unless otherwise specified, all types listed here are direct subtypes of Structure.

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/ABBR

Abbreviation: a short name of a title, description, or name.

Contexts
SOUR.ABBR
Description
A short title used for sorting, filing, and retrieving source records.
Payload
A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 60 characters.
Substructures
None

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/ADDR

Address: the contemporary place, usually required for postal purposes, of an individual, a submitter of information, a repository, a business, a school, or a company.

Contexts
.HEAD.SOUR.CORP.ADDR
.REPO.ADDR
.SUBM.ADDR
Description
Address information that, when combined with NAME substructure, meets requirements for sending communications through the mail.
Payload
A block string. It is recommended that implementations support at least three lines of at least 60 characters each.
Substructures
ADR1?
ADR2?
CITY?
CTRY?
EMAIL* -- GEDCOM limited this to no more than three ADDR.EMAIL per ADDR
FAX* -- GEDCOM limited this to no more than three ADDR.FAX per ADDR
PHON* -- GEDCOM limited this to no more than three ADDR.PHON per ADDR
POST?
STAE?
WWW* -- GEDCOM limited this to no more than three ADDR.WWW per ADDR
EMAIL was introduced in GEDCOM 5.5.1 with two tag names: both EMAIL and EMAI. EMAIL was used more consistently and is documented here, but it is recommended that implementations treat ADDR.EMAI as synonymous with ADDR.EMAIL.

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/ADR1

The first line of an address.

Contexts
ADDR.ADR1
Description
The first line of the address used for indexing. This should correspond to the first line of the superstructure's payload.
Payload
A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 60 characters.
Substructures
None

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/ADR2

The second line of an address.

Contexts
ADDR.ADR1
Description
The second line of the address used for indexing. This should correspond to the second line of the superstructure's payload.
Payload
A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 60 characters.
Substructures
None

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/ADOP

Adoption: pertaining to creation of a child-parent relationship that does not exist biologically.

Contexts
.INDI.ADOP
.ADOP.FAMC.ADOP

Context .INDI.ADOP

Description
see IndividualEvent
Supertype
IndividualEvent
Payload
Either Y or None, as described under IndividualEvent
Substructures
inherited, FAMC?

Context ADOP.FAMC.ADOP

Description
Which parent(s) adopted
Payload
A line string, which should be from the set {HUSB, WIFE, BOTH}
Substructures
None

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/AGE

The age of the individual at the time an event occurred, or the age listed in the document.

GEDCOM 5.5 permits (FamilyEvent).AGE, but 5.5.1 does not. This document follows 5.5.1 because the meaning of a (FamilyEvent).AGE is not obvious.
Contexts
(FamilyEvent).HUSB.AGE
(FamilyEvent).WIFE.AGE
(IndividualEvent).AGE
(IndividualAttribute).AGE
Description
A number that indicates the age in years, months, and days that the principal was at the time of the associated event.
Payload

A line string, which uses an age-specification microformat matching the production Age:

Age  ::= [<>]? ([0-9]+ "y")? ([0-9]+ "m")? ([0-9]+ "d")? 
        | CHILD | INFANT | STILLBORN

The component pieces of the microformat have the following meanings:

Symbol Meaning
> greater than indicated age
< less than indicated age
[0-9]+ "y" a number of years
[0-9]+ "m" a number of months
[0-9]+ "d" a number of days
CHILD <8y
INFANT <1y
STILLBORN just prior, at, or near birth; or 0y
Substructures
None
Recall that additional whitespaces are permitted in these productions, as documented in Spaces in Formatted Payloads.

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/AGNC

Agency: the institution or individual having authority and/or responsibility to manage or govern.

Contexts
.SOUR.DATA.AGNC
(Event).AGNC
Payload
A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 120 characters.
Substructures
None

Context .SOUR.DATA.AGNC

Description
The organization, institution, corporation, person, or other entity that has authority or control interests in the associated context. For example, an organization responsible for creating and/or archiving records.

Context (Event).AGNC

Description
The organization, institution, corporation, person, or other entity that has authority or control interests in the associated context. For example, an employer of a person of an associated occupation, or a church that administered rites or event.

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/ALIA

Alias: an indicator to link different record descriptions of a person who may be the same person.

Contexts
.INDI.ALIA
Payload
Pointer to an INDI
Substructures
None

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/ANCE

Ancestors: pertaining to forbearers of an individual.

See also DESC

Contexts
.SUBN.ANCE
Description

The number of generations of ancestors included in this transmission.

This value should be considered a hint, not as any kind of hard limit on the contents of the data set.

Payload
A non-negative integer represented in base 10.
Substructures
None

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/ANCI

Ancestor interest: indicates an interest in additional research for ancestors of this individual.

See also DESI

Contexts
.INDI.ANCI
Payload
Pointer to an SUBM
Substructures
None

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/ANUL

Annulment: declaring a marriage void from the beginning (never existed).

Contexts
.FAM.ANUL
Description
see FamilyEvent
Supertype
FamilyEvent
Payload
Either Y or None, as described under FamilyEvent
Substructures
inherited

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/ASSO

Associates: an indicator to link friends, neighbors, relatives, or associates of an individual.

Contexts
.INDI.ASSO
Payload
Pointer to an INDI
Substructures
RELA!
NOTE*
SOUR*

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/AUTH

Author: the name of the individual who created or compiled information.

Contexts
.SOUR.AUTH
Description
The person, agency, or entity who created the record. For a published work, this could be the author, compiler, transcriber, abstractor, or editor. For an unpublished source, this may be an individual, a government agency, church organization, or private organization, etc.
Payload
Block string of arbitrary length
Substructures
None

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/BAPM

Baptism: the event of baptism, performed in infancy or later.

See also BAPL and CHR

Contexts
.INDI.BAPM
Description
see IndividualEvent
Supertype
IndividualEvent
Payload
Either Y or None, as described under IndividualEvent
Substructures
inherited

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/BARM

Bar Mitzvah: the ceremonial event held when a Jewish boy reaches age 13.

Contexts
.INDI.BARM
Description
see IndividualEvent
Supertype
IndividualEvent
Payload
Either Y or None, as described under IndividualEvent
Substructures
inherited

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/BASM

Bas Mitzvah: the ceremonial event held when a Jewish girl reaches age 13, also known as "Bat Mitzvah."

Contexts
.INDI.BASM
Description
see IndividualEvent
Supertype
IndividualEvent
Payload
Either Y or None, as described under IndividualEvent
Substructures
inherited

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/BIRT

Birth: the event of entering into life.

Contexts
.INDI.BIRT
Description
see IndividualEvent
Supertype
IndividualEvent
Payload
Either Y or None, as described under IndividualEvent
Substructures
inherited
FAMC?

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/BLES

Blessing: a religious event of bestowing divine care or intercession. Sometimes given in connection with a naming ceremony.

Contexts
.INDI.BLES
Description
see IndividualEvent
Supertype
IndividualEvent
Payload
Either Y or None, as described under IndividualEvent
Substructures
inherited

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/BLOB

Binary object: a grouping of data used as input to a multimedia system that processes binary data to represent images, sound, and video.

This tag was present in GEDCOM 5.5 but was removed from GEDCOM 5.5.1. It is recommended that BLOB not be used in new data streams. See OBJE for more.

When multiple blobs are present in the same structure, their payloads are concatenated in order.

Contexts:
.OBJE.BLOB
Description
Encoded binary data
Payload

Two or more lines of base-64 encoded data, in the custom format described below.

The first line of of a blob is always empty. Each subsequent line is between 4 and 72 characters long, encoded in a base-64 format that differs from other base-64 encodings in two ways.

First, it uses byte 0xFF as padding instead of the more common U+003D (EQUALS SIGN =) (how to represent the padding when byte 0xFF is not a legal character in the encoding is not defined by this specification).

Second, it maps six-bit values to code points as follows:

Byte range Code point mapping
0x00--0x0B byte + 0x2E
0x0C--0x25 byte + 0x35
0x25--0x3F byte + 0x3B
Substructures
None

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/BURI

Burial: the event of the proper disposing of the mortal remains of a deceased person.

The definitions of BURI and CREM are confusing in GEDCOM. The following are all possible meanings:

I'd like to adjust wording to be less ambiguous, but it may be too late to do so...

See also CREM

Contexts
.INDI.BURI
Description
see IndividualEvent
Supertype
IndividualEvent
Payload
Either Y or None, as described under IndividualEvent
Substructures
inherited

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/CALN

Call number: the number used by a repository to identify the specific items in its collections.

Contexts
.SOUR.REPO.CALN
Description
An identification or reference description used to file and retrieve items from the holdings of a repository.
Payload
A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 120 characters.
Substructures
MEDI?
Due to an example in the GEDCOM specification that is inconsistent with the grammar, it is recommended that implementations parse a .SOUR.REPO.MEDI (i.e., coordinate with instead of subordinate to CALN) as if they were .SOUR.REPO.CALN.MEDI.

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/CAST

Caste: the name of an individual's rank or status in society, based on racial or religious differences, or differences in wealth, inherited rank, profession, occupation, etc.

Contexts
.INDI.CAST
Description
A name assigned to a particular group that this person was associated with, such as a particular racial group, religious group, or a group with an inherited status.
Supertype
IndividualAttribute
Payload
A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 90 characters.
Substructures
inherited

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/CAUS

Cause: a description of the cause of the associated event or fact, such as the cause of death.

Contexts
([Event]).CAUS
Description
Used in special cases to record the reasons which precipitated an event. Normally this will be used subordinate to a death event to show cause of death, such as might be listed on a death certificate.
Substructures
None

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/CENS

Census: the event of the periodic count of the population for a designated locality, such as a national or state Census.

Contexts
.INDI.CENS
.FAM.CENS
Description
see IndividualEvent or FamilyEvent
Supertype
IndividualEvent and FamilyEvent, respectively.
Payload
Either Y or None, as described under IndividualEvent or FamilyEvent
Substructures
inherited from IndividualEvent or inherited from FamilyEvent

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/CHAN

Change: indicates a change, correction, or modification. Typically used in connection with a DATE to specify when a change in information occurred.

Contexts
(Record).CHAN
Description
The change date is intended to only record the last change to a record. Some systems may want to manage the change process with more detail, but it is sufficient for GEDCOM purposes to indicate the last time that a record was modified.
Payload
None
Substructures
DATE!
NOTE*

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/CHIL

Child: the natural, adopted, or otherwise recognized child of a father and a mother.

Contexts
.FAM.CHIL
Payload
A pointer to an INDI
Substructures
None
In GEDCOM versions 3 and 4, FAM.CHIL had a substructure ADOP.

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/CHR

Christening: the religious event of baptizing and/or naming a child.

Contexts
.INDI.CHR
Description
see IndividualEvent
Supertype
IndividualEvent
Payload
Either Y or None, as described under IndividualEvent
Substructures
inherited, FAMC?

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/CHRA

Adult christening: the religious event of baptizing and/or naming an adult person.

Contexts
.INDI.CHRA
Description
see IndividualEvent
Supertype
IndividualEvent
Payload
Either Y or None, as described under IndividualEvent
Substructures
inherited

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/CITY

A lower level jurisdictional unit. Normally an incorporated municipal unit.

Contexts
ADDR.CITY
Description
The name of the city used in the address. Isolated for sorting or indexing.
Payload
A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 60 characters.
Substructures
None

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/CONF

Confirmation: the religious event of conferring the gift of the Holy Ghost and, among protestants, full church membership.

Is this the right definition of a confirmation?
Contexts
.INDI.CONF
Description
see IndividualEvent
Supertype
IndividualEvent
Payload
Either Y or None, as described under IndividualEvent
Substructures
inherited

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/COPR

Copyright: a statement that accompanies data to protect it from unlawful duplication and distribution.

Contexts
.HEAD.COPR
.HEAD.SOUR.DATA.COPR

Context .HEAD.COPR

Description
A copyright statement needed to protect the copyrights of the submitter of this GEDCOM file.
Payload
A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 90 characters.
Substructures
None

Context .HEAD.SOUR.DATA.COPR

Description
A copyright statement required by the owner of data from which this information was downloaded. For example, when a GEDCOM download is requested from the Ancestral File, this would be the copyright statement to indicate that the data came from a copyrighted source.
Payload
A block string of arbitrary length.
Substructures
None

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/CORP

Corporate: a name of an institution, agency, corporation, or company.

Contexts
.HEAD.SOUR.CORP
Description
Name of the business, corporation, or person that produced or commissioned the product.
Payload
A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 90 characters.
Substructures
ADDR?
PHON*

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/CREM

Cremation: disposal of the remains of a person's body by fire.

See also BURI

Contexts
.INDI.CREM
Description
see IndividualEvent
Supertype
IndividualEvent
Payload
Either Y or None, as described under IndividualEvent
Substructures
inherited

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/CTRY

Country: the name or code of the country.

Contexts
ADDR.CTRY
Description
The name of the country that pertains to the associated address. Isolated by some systems for sorting or indexing. Used in most cases to facilitate automatic sorting of mail.
Payload
A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 60 characters.
Substructures
None

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/DATA

Pertaining to stored automated information.

Contexts
.HEAD.SOUR.DATA
.SOUR.DATA
SOUR.DATA

Context .HEAD.SOUR.DATA

Description
The name of the electronic data source that was used to obtain the data in this transmission. For example, the data may have been obtained from a CD-ROM disc that was named "U.S. 1880 CENSUS CD-ROM vol. 13."
Payload
A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 90 characters.
Substructures
COPR?
DATE?

Context .SOUR.DATA

Payload
None
Substructures
AGNC?
EVEN*
NOTE*

Context SOUR.DATA

Payload
None
Substructures
DATE?
TEXT*

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/DATE

The time of an event in a calendar format.

Contexts
CHAN.DATE
([Event]).DATE
.HEAD.DATE
.HEAD.SOUR.DATA.DATE
.SOUR.DATA.EVEN.DATE
SOUR.DATA.DATE

DATE Payload Formatting

Dates are represented using a somewhat involved syntax, which shares a common subformat and has three entry points, documented below.

The following is the EBNF for date payloads, but it lacks semantics

Date    ::= greg | juln | hebr | fren | future

Exact   ::= [1-9] [0-9]? month year_g

Value   ::= Date | Period | range | approx
            | ( "INT" Date )? "(" String ")"

Period  ::= "FROM" Date ( "TO" Date )? | "TO" Date

approx  ::= ( "ABT" | "CAL" | "EST" ) Date
range   ::= ( "BEF" | "AFT" ) Date | "BET" Date "AND" Date

greg    ::= ("@#DGREGORIAN@" #x20)? d_greg
juln    ::= "@#DJULIAN@" #x20 d_juln
hebr    ::= "@#DHEBREW@" #x20 d_hebr
fren    ::= "@#DFRENCH R@" #x20 d_fren
future  ::= "@#D" ( "ROMAN" | "UNKNOWN" ) "@" #x20 String

d_fren  ::= ( ( [1-9] [0-9]? )? month_f )? year
d_greg  ::= ( ( [1-9] [0-9]? )? month )? year_g
d_hebr  ::= ( ( [1-9] [0-9]? )? month_h )? year
d_juln  ::= ( ( [1-9] [0-9]? )? month )? year

year_g  ::= [1-9] [0-9]* ( "/" [0-9] [0-9] )? "(B.C.)"?
year    ::= [1-9] [0-9]* "(B.C.)"?

month   ::= "JAN" | "FEB" | "MAR" | "APR" | "M‌AY" | "JUN"
            | "JUL" | "AUG" | "SEP" | "OCT" | "NOV" | "DEC"

month_f ::= "VEND" | "BRUM" | "FRIM" | "NIVO" | "PLUV" | "VENT" | "GERM"
            | "FLOR" | "PRAI" | "MESS" | "THER" | "FRUC" | "COMP"

month_h ::= "TSH" | "CSH" | "KSL" | "TVT" | "SHV" | "ADR" | "ADS"
            | "NSN" | "IYR" | "SVN" | "TMZ" | "AAV" | "ELL"
Date

At the core of the date syntax is a calendared date. This consists of an optional calender escape followed by the content of the date.

The calender escape is a substring beginning @#D and ending @, between which is a calender identifier; known calender identifiers are GREGORIAN, FRENCH R, HEBREW, JULIAN, ROMAN, and UNKNOWN. If no calender escape is given, GREGORIAN is assumed.

Some DATE payloads may have multiple Date values; it is not known if current implementations can handle situations where the dates are from different calenders, nor if they assume an uncalendered date paired with a calendered date is GREGORIAN or the same as the other date provided. It is recommended that the same calender be used for both Dates in such payloads.

The ROMAN and UNKNOWN calenders's date formats are not defined in this specification.

GREGORIAN, FRENCH R, HEBREW, and JULIAN dates all have the format "day month year", separated by spaces; the day may be omitted; if the day is omitted, the month may be omitted as well. The three pieces are formatted as follows:

day
A decimal number of one or two digits. This should not be zero or greater than the number of days in the appropriate month. This specification does not specify whether single-digit days should begin with a zero or not.
month

Each calender has a set of strings that may be used.

GREGORIAN or JULIAN
One of the following three-character strings: JAN, FEB, MAR, APR, M‌AY, JUN, JUL, AUG, SEP, OCT, NOV, or DEC
FRENCH R
One of the following four-character strings: VEND, BRUM, FRIM, NIVO, PLUV, VENT, GERM, FLOR, PRAI, MESS, THER, FRUC, COMP
HEBREW
One of the following three-character strings: TSH, CSH, KSL, TVT, SHV, ADR, ADS, NSN, IYR, SVN, TMZ, AAV, ELL
year

A decimal number.

For GREGORIAN (only), the number may be optionally followed by either or both of the following year suffixes:

Alternate Year

Represented as a / and two additional decimal digits, with no spaces. Shows the possible date alternatives for pre-1752 date brought about by a changing the beginning of the year from MAR to JAN in the English calendar change of 1752, for example, 15 APR 1699/00.

The / must not have a space on either side.

BCE
Represented as (B.C.), which should be preceded by a space. Indicates a date before the birth of Christ.

If both suffixes are present, (B.C.) comes last.

Exact Date

Some DATE payloads are restricted to exact dates, meaning GREGORIAN Dates with the following constraints:

Date Period

Some DATE payloads are restricted to date periods, meaning one of the following three forms:

Date Value

Many DATE payloads, referred to below date values, may have any of a variety of formats:

Format Meaning
Date
Date Period
BEF Date before the given date
AFT Date after the given date
BET Date AND Date between the given dates; the first date should be earlier than the second date
ABT Date about; the given date is not exact
CAL Date calculated mathematically, for example, from an event date and age
EST Date estimated based on some other event date
INT Date (arbitrary text) interpreted from knowledge about the associated date phrase included in parentheses
(arbitrary text) information about when an event occurred that is not recognizable to a date parser
Is the above table or the below list more understandable?

Context CHAN.DATE

Description
The date that this data was changed.
Payload
A string matching the Exact Date syntax above.
Substructures
TIME?

Context ([Event]).DATE

Description
The date of an activity, attribute, or event.
Payload
A string matching the Date Value syntax above.
Substructures
None

Context .HEAD.DATE

Description
The date that this transmission was created.
Payload
A string matching the Exact Date syntax above.
Substructures
TIME?

Context .HEAD.SOUR.DATA.DATE

Description
The date this source was published or created.
Payload
A string matching the Exact Date syntax above.
Substructures
None

Context .SOUR.DATA.EVEN.DATE

Description
The date that this event data was entered into the original source document.
Payload
A string matching the Date Period syntax above.
Substructures
None

Context SOUR.DATA.DATE

Description
The date that this event data was entered into the original source document.
Payload
A string matching the Date Value syntax above.
Substructures
None

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/DEAT

Death: the event when mortal life terminates.

Contexts
.INDI.DEAT
Description
see IndividualEvent
Supertype
IndividualEvent
Payload
Either Y or None, as described under IndividualEvent
Substructures
inherited

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/DESC

Descendants: pertaining to offspring of an individual.

See also ANCE

Contexts
.SUBN.DESC
Description

The number of generations of descendants included in this transmission.

This value should be considered a hint, not as any kind of hard limit on the contents of the data set.

Payload
A non-negative integer represented in base 10.
Substructures
None

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/DESI

Descendant interest: indicates an interest in research to identify additional descendants of this individual.

See also ANCI

Contexts
.INDI.DESI
Payload
Pointer to an SUBM
Substructures
None

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/DEST

Destination: a system receiving data.

Contexts
.HEAD.DEST
Description
The name of the system expected to process the transmission.
Payload
A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 20 characters.
Substructures
None

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/DIV

Divorce: an event of dissolving a marriage through civil action.

Contexts
.FAM.DIV
Description
see FamilyEvent
Payload
Either Y or None, as described under FamilyEvent
Supertype
FamilyEvent
Substructures
inherited

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/DIVF

Divorce filed: an event of filing for a divorce by a spouse.

Contexts
.FAM.DIVF
Description
see FamilyEvent
Payload
Either Y or None, as described under FamilyEvent
Supertype
FamilyEvent
Substructures
inherited

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/DSCR

Physical description: the physical characteristics of a person, place, or thing.

Contexts
.INDI.DSCR
Description
An unstructured list of the attributes that describe the physical characteristics of a person, place, or object. Commas separate each attribute.
Payload
A line string, formatted as a comma-separated list of tokens. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 248 characters.
Supertype
IndividualAttribute
Substructures
inherited

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/EDUC

Education: indicator of a level of education attained.

Contexts
.INDI.EDUC
Description
A description of a scholastic or educational achievement or pursuit.
Payload
A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 248 characters.
Supertype
IndividualAttribute
Substructures
inherited

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/EMAIL

An electronic mail address.

EMAIL was introduced in GEDCOM 5.5.1 with two tags: both EMAIL and EMAI. EMAIL was used more consistently and is documented here, but it is recommended that implementations treat http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/EMAI as synonymous with http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/EMAIL.
Contexts
ADDR.EMAIL
Description
An electronic address that can be used for contact such as an email address.
Payload
A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 120 characters.
Substructures
None

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/EMIG

Emigration: an event of leaving one's homeland with the intent of residing elsewhere.

Contexts
.INDI.EMIG
Description
see IndividualEvent
Payload
Either Y or None, as described under IndividualEvent
Supertype
IndividualEvent
Substructures
inherited

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/ENGA

Engagement: An event of recording or announcing an agreement between two people to become married.

Contexts
.FAM.ENGA
Description
see FamilyEvent
Payload
Either Y or None, as described under FamilyEvent
Supertype
FamilyEvent
Substructures
inherited

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/EVEN

Event: a noteworthy happening related to an individual, a group, or an organization.

Contexts
.INDI.EVEN
.FAM.EVEN
.SOUR.DATA.EVEN
SOUR.EVEN

Context .INDI.EVEN and .FAM.EVEN

Description
The EVEN structure is for recording general events or attributes that are not other known subtypes of Event. The general event or attribute type is declared by using a subordinate TYPE structure to show what event or attribute is recorded.
Payload
Either Y or None, as described under IndividualEvent and FamilyEvent, respectively.
Supertype
IndividualEvent and FamilyEvent, respectively.
Sunstructures
inherited from the supertypes
TYPE!

Context .SOUR.DATA.EVEN

Description
An enumeration of the different kinds of events that were recorded in a particular source. Each enumeration is separated by a comma. Such as a parish register of births, deaths, and marriages would be BIRT, DEAT, MARR.
Payload

A line string, formatted as a comma-separated list of tokens. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 90 characters.

Known values include {ADOP, ANUL, BAPM, BARM, BASM, BIRT, BLES, BURI, CAST, CENS, CHR, CHRA, CONF, CREM, DEAT, DIV, DIVF, EDUC, EMIG, ENGA, EVEN, FACT, FCOM, GRAD, IMMI, MARB, MARC, MARL, MARR, MARS, NATI, NATU, OCCU, ORDN, PROB, PROP, RELI, RESI, RETI, TITL, WILL}

Substructures
DATE?
PLAC?
We could say the payload is a set of structure type identifiers, abbreviated to tags in the serialization stage, but doing so will complicate serialization's description.

Context SOUR.EVEN

Description
A code that indicates the type of event which was responsible for the source entry being recorded. For example, if the entry was created to record a birth of a child, then the type would be BIRT regardless of the assertions made from that record, such as the mother's name or mother's birth date. This will allow a prioritized best view choice and a determination of the certainty associated with the source used in asserting the cited fact.
Payload

A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 15 characters.

Known values include {ADOP, ANUL, BAPM, BARM, BASM, BIRT, BLES, BURI, CAST, CENS, CHR, CHRA, CONF, CREM, DEAT, DIV, DIVF, EDUC, EMIG, ENGA, EVEN, FACT, FCOM, GRAD, IMMI, MARB, MARC, MARL, MARR, MARS, NATI, NATU, OCCU, ORDN, PROB, PROP, RELI, RESI, RETI, TITL, WILL}

Substructures
ROLE
We could say the payload is a set of structure type identifiers, abbreviated to tags in the serialization stage, but doing so will complicate serialization's description.

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/FACT

Pertaining to a noteworthy attribute or fact concerning an individual, a group, or an organization. A FACT structure is usually qualified or classified by a subordinate use of the TYPE structure.

Contexts
.INDI.FACT
Description
Text describing a particular characteristic or attribute assigned to an individual.
Payload
A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 90 characters.
Supertype
IndividualAttribute
Substructures
inherited
TYPE!

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/FAM

Family: identifies a legal, common law, or other customary relationship of man and woman and their children, if any, or a family created by virtue of the birth of a child to its biological father and mother.

Contexts
.FAM
Description
The FAM record is used to record marriages, common law marriages, and family unions caused by two people becoming the parents of a child. There can be no more than one HUSB/father and one WIFE/mother listed in each FAM. If, for example, a man participated in more than one family union, then he would appear in more than one FAM. The FAM assumes that the HUSB/father is male and WIFE/mother is female.
Payload
None
Supertype
Record
Substructures
(FamilyEvent)*
CHAN?
CHIL* -- The preferred order of the CHIL substructures within a FAM structure is chronological by birth.
HUSB?
NCHI?
NOTE*
OBJE*
REFN*
RESN?
RIN?
SOUR*
SUBM*
WIFE?

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/FAMC

Family child: identifies the family in which an individual appears as a child.

Contexts
BIRT.FAMC
CHR.FAMC
.INDI.FAMC
.INDI.ADOP.FAMC
Payload
Pointer to a FAM
Substructures
BIRT.FAMC and CHR.FAMC have None; others listed below.

Context .INDI.FAMC

Substructures
NOTE*
PEDI?
STAT?

Context .INDI.ADOP.FAMC

Substructures
ADOP?

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/FAMS

Family spouse: identifies the family in which an individual appears as a spouse.

Contexts
.INDI.FAMS
Payload
Pointer to a FAM
Substructures
NOTE*

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/FAX

Electronic facimilie transmission.

This tag was introduced in GEDCOM 5.5.1.
Contexts
ADDR.FAX
Description
A FAX telephone number appropriate for sending data facsimiles.
Payload
A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 60 characters.
Substructures
None

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/FCOM

First communion: a religious rite, the first act of sharing in the Lord's supper as part of church worship.

Contexts
.INDI.FCOM
Description
see IndividualEvent
Payload
Either Y or None, as described under IndividualEvent
Supertype
IndividualEvent
Substructures
inherited

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/FILE

An information storage place that is ordered and arranged for preservation and reference.

Contexts
OBJE.FILE
.HEAD.FILE

Context OBJE.FILE

The substructures of the FILE structure were changed between GEDCOM 5.5 and GEDCOM 5.5.1. In particular, the substructures listed here were placed under FILE in 5.5.1; prior to that they appeared under OBJE instead.

Implementations should support importing data using both formats; it is recommended that they export data only in the 5.5.1 format with OBJE.FILE.FORM instead of OBJE.FORM.

Description
A complete local or remote file reference to the auxiliary data to be linked to the GEDCOM context. Remote reference would include a network address where the multimedia data may be obtained.
Payload
A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 30 characters.
Substructures
FORM! -- this may be omitted, but if so then it must appear in the containing OBJE
TITL? -- if FORM is omitted from FILE, or if there is an OBJE.TITL inthe containing OBJE, then TITL should not be included as a substructure of FILE.

Context .HEAD.FILE

Description
The name of the GEDCOM transmission file. If the file name includes a file extension it must be shown in the form (filename.ext).
Payload
A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 90 characters.
Substructures
None

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/FONE

Phonetic: a phonetic variation of a superior text string.

This tag was introduced in GEDCOM 5.5.1.

The method of phonetic writing is indicated by the subordinate TYPE value; for example if hiragana was used to provide a reading of a name written in kanji, then the TYPE value would indicate kana.

Contexts
.INDI.NAME.FONE
(Event).PLAC.FONE
Description
The phonetic variation of the name in the same form as the was the name used in its superstructure
Payload
A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 120 characters.

Context .INDI.NAME.FONE

Substructures
TYPE!
GIVN?
NICK?
NOTE*
NPFX?
NSFX?
SOUR*
SPFX?
SURN?

Generally, NAME.FONE's substructures should mirror those of the superstructure, but represent the payloads phonetically

Context (Event).PLAC.FONE

Substructures
TYPE!

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/FORM

Format: an assigned name given to a consistent format in which information can be conveyed.

Contexts
.HEAD.GEDC.FORM
.HEAD.PLAC.FORM
(Event).PLAC.FORM
OBJE.FORM
OBJE.FILE.FORM
Substructures
None

Context .HEAD.GEDC.FORM

Description
The GEDCOM form used to construct this transmission.
Payload
A line string, specifically LINEAGE_LINKED. Implementations capable of parsing multiple formats may accept other values for this string.

Context .HEAD.PLAC.FORM

Description
Implies that all place names follow this jurisdictional format and each jurisdiction is accounted for by a comma, whether the name is known or not. May be overridden by (Event).PLAC.FORM.
Payload
A line string containing an ordered list of jurisdictional entities, separated by commas. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 120 characters.

Context (Event).PLAC.FORM

Description
Jurisdictional entities that are named in a sequence from the lowest to the highest jurisdiction. The jurisdictions are separated by commas, and any jurisdiction's name that is missing is still accounted for by a comma.
Payload
A line string containing an ordered list of jurisdictional entities, separated by commas. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 120 characters.

Contexts OBJE.FORM and OBJE.FILE.FORM

Description
Indicates the format of the multimedia data.
Payload

A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 4 characters.

The following are known values for the payload: {bmp, gif, jpeg, ole, pcx, tiff, wav}

These two contexts differ primarily in the GEDCOM version in which they were introduced. For more, see the discussion under OBJE

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/GEDC

GEDCOM: Information about the use of GEDCOM in a transmission.

Contexts
.HEAD.GEDC
Payload
None
Substructures
FORM!
VERS!

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/GIVN

Given name: a given or earned name used for official identification of a person.

Contexts
.INDI.NAME.GIVN
Description
Given name or earned name.
Payload
A line string containing a comma-separated list of names. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 120 characters. It is recommended that implementations support at least 90 characters between each comma.
Substructures
None

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/GRAD

Graduation: an event of awarding educational diplomas or degrees to individuals.

Contexts
.INDI.GRAD
Description
see IndividualEvent
Payload
Either Y or None, as described under IndividualEvent
Supertype
IndividualEvent
Substructures
inherited

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/HEAD

Header: identifies information pertaining to an entire GEDCOM transmission.

Contexts
.HEAD
Payload
None
Supertype
Structure
Substructures
GEDC!
SOUR!
SUBM!
COPR?
DATE?
DEST?
FILE?
LANG?
NOTE?
PLAC?
SUBN?

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/HUSB

Husband: an individual in the family role of a married man or father.

Contexts
.FAM.(FamilyEvent).HUSB
.FAM.HUSB

Context .FAM.(FamilyEvent).HUSB

Payload
None
Substructures
AGE!

Context .FAM.HUSB

Payload
pointer to an INDI
Substructures
None

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/IDNO

Identification number: a number assigned to identify a person within some external system.

Although called a "number", the payload of an IDNO is not restricted to numeric values.

See also SSN

Contexts
.INDI.IDNO
Description
A nationally-controlled number assigned to an individual.
Payload
A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 30 characters.
Supertype
IndividualAttribute
Substructures
inherited
TYPE!

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/IMMI

Immigration: an event of entering into a new locality with the intent of residing there.

Contexts
.INDI.IMMI
Description
see IndividualEvent
Payload
Either Y or None, as described under IndividualEvent
Supertype
IndividualEvent
Substructures
inherited

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/INDI

Individual: a person.

Contexts
.INDI
Description
The individual record is a compilation of facts, known or discovered, about an individual. Sometimes these facts are from different sources. This form allows documentation of the source where each of the facts were discovered.
Payload
None
Supertype
Record
Substructures
(IndividualEvent)*,
(IndividualAttribute)*
ALIA*
ANCI*
ASSO*
CHAN?
DESI*
FAMC*
FAMS*
NAME*
NOTE*
OBJE*
REFN*
RESN?
RFN?
RIN?
SEX?
SOUR*
SUBM*

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/LANG

Language: the name of the language used in a communication or transmission of information.

Contexts
.HEAD.LANG
.SUBM.LANG
Description

Refers to a human language.

Within a HEAD, indicates the human language in which the data in the transmission is normally read or written.

Within a SUBM, indicates a language in which a person prefers to communicate. Multiple language preference is shown by using multiple occurrences in order of priority.

Payload
A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 15 characters. It is recommended that implementations use one of the following known language payloads: {Afrikaans, Albanian, Amharic, Anglo-Saxon, Arabic, Armenian, Assamese, Belorusian, Bengali, Braj, Bulgarian, Burmese, Cantonese, Catalan, Catalan_Spn, Church-Slavic, Czech, Danish, Dogri, Dutch, English, Esperanto, Estonian, Faroese, Finnish, French, Georgian, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hawaiian, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Kannada, Khmer, Konkani, Korean, Lahnda, Lao, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Maithili, Malayalam, Mandrin, Manipuri, Marathi, Mewari, Navaho, Nepali, Norwegian, Oriya, Pahari, Pali, Panjabi, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Prakrit, Pusto, Rajasthani, Romanian, Russian, Sanskrit, Serb, Serbo_Croa, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish, Swedish, Tagalog, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Tibetan, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Vietnamese, Wendic, Yiddish}
Substructures
None

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/LEGA

Legatee: a role of an individual acting as a person receiving a bequest or legal devise.

In the GEDCOM standard, this structure is documented as existing but does not appear in any known context.

Should we guess that this is an [IndividualEvent] or remove it from our documentation?

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/LATI

Latitude: a value indicating a coordinate position on a line, plane, or space.

This tag was introduced in GEDCOM 5.5.1.

For example: 18 degrees, 9 minutes, and 3.4 seconds North would be formatted as N18.150944. Minutes and seconds are converted by dividing the minutes value by 60 and the seconds value by 3600 and adding the results together. This sum becomes the fractional part of the degree's value.

Contexts
MAP.LATI
Description
The value specifying the latitudinal coordinate of the place name. The latitude coordinate is the direction North or South from the equator in degrees and fraction of degrees carried out to give the desired accuracy.
Payload

A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 10 characters.

The string must match the production Latitude:

Latitude  ::= [NS] [0-9]+ ( "." [0-9]+ )?
Substructures
None

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/LONG

Longitude: a value indicating a coordinate position on a line, plane, or space.

This tag was introduced in GEDCOM 5.5.1.

For example: 168 degrees, 9 minutes, and 3.4 seconds East would be formatted as E168.150944. Minutes and seconds are converted by dividing the minutes value by 60 and the seconds value by 3600 and adding the results together. This sum becomes the fractional part of the degree's value.

Contexts
MAP.LONG
Description
The value specifying the longitudinal coordinate of the place name. The longitude coordinate is Degrees and fraction of degrees east or west of the zero or base meridian coordinate.
Payload

A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 11 characters.

The string must match the production Longitude:

Longitude  ::= [EW] [0-9]+ ( "." [0-9]+ )?
Substructures
None

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/MAP

Pertains to a representation of measurements usually presented in a graphical form.

This tag was introduced in GEDCOM 5.5.1.
Contexts
(Event).MAP
Payload
None
Substructures
LATI!
LONG!

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/MARB

Marriage bann: an event of an official public notice given that two people intend to marry.

Contexts
.FAM.MARB
Description
see FamilyEvent
Payload
Either Y or None
Supertype
FamilyEvent
Substructures
inherited

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/MARC

Marriage contract: an event of recording a formal agreement of marriage, including the prenuptial agreement in which marriage partners reach agreement about the property rights of one or both, securing property to their children.

Contexts
.FAM.MARC
Description
see FamilyEvent
Payload
Either Y or None
Supertype
FamilyEvent
Substructures
inherited

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/MARL

Marriage License: an event of obtaining a legal license to marry.

Contexts
.FAM.MARL
Description
see FamilyEvent
Payload
Either Y or None
Supertype
FamilyEvent
Substructures
inherited

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/MARR

Marriage: a legal, common-law, or customary event of creating a family unit of a man and a woman as husband and wife.

Contexts
.FAM.MARR
Description
see FamilyEvent
Payload
Either Y or None
Supertype
FamilyEvent
Substructures
inherited

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/MARS

Marriage settlement: an event of creating an agreement between two people contemplating marriage, at which time they agree to release or modify property rights that would otherwise arise from the marriage.

Contexts
.FAM.MARS
Description
see FamilyEvent
Payload
Either Y or None
Supertype
FamilyEvent
Substructures
inherited

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/MEDI

Media: identifies information about the media or having to do with the medium in which information is stored.

Contexts
.SOUR.REPO.CALN.MEDI
Due to an example in the GEDCOM specification that is inconsistent with the grammar, it is recommended that implementations parse a .SOUR.REPO.MEDI (i.e., coordinate with instead of subordinate to CALN) as if they were .SOUR.REPO.CALN.MEDI.
Description
A code, selected from one of the media classifications choices listed under Payload, that indicates the type of material in which the referenced source is stored.
Payload

A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 15 characters.

The following are known values for the payload: {audio, book, card, electronic, fiche, film, magazine, manuscript, map, newspaper, photo, tombstone, video}

Substructures
None

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/NAME

A word or combination of words used to help identify an individual, title, or other item. More than one NAME line should be used for people who were known by multiple names.

Contexts
.HEAD.SOUR.NAME
.REPO.NAME
.SUBM.NAME
.INDI.NAME

Context .HEAD.SOUR.NAME

Description
The name of the software product that produced this transmission.
Payload
A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 90 characters.
Substructures
None

Context .REPO.NAME

Description
The official name of the archive in which the stated source material is stored.
Payload
A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 90 characters.
Substructures
None

Context .SUBM.NAME

Description
The name of the submitter formatted for display and address generation.
Payload
A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 60 characters.
Substructures
None

Context .INDI.NAME

Description
The name value is formed in the manner the name is normally spoken.
Payload

A line string, formatted as outlined below. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 120 characters.

The family name (surname) should be surrounded by U+002F SOLIDUS /. If the family name is unknown, a pair of soliduses with nothing between them should be included. If the given name is unknown, the entire payload should be surrounded by soliduses.

Portions of the name may be elided and replaced by three U+002E FULL STOP ....

In the event that this payload disagrees with the substructures of this structure, the payload should be taken as more correct.

Substructures
GIVN?
NICK?
NPFX?
NSFX?
SPFX?
SURN?
FONE*
ROMN*
NOTE*
SOUR*

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/NATI

Nationality: the national heritage of an individual.

Contexts
.INDI.NATI
Description
The person's division of national origin or other folk, house, kindred, lineage, or tribal interest. Examples: Irish, Swede, Egyptian Coptic, Sioux Dakota Rosebud, Apache Chiricawa, Navajo Bitter Water, Eastern Cherokee Taliwa Wolf, and so forth.
Payload
A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 120 characters.
Supertype
IndividualAttribute
Substructures
inherited

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/NATU

Naturalization: the event of obtaining citizenship.

Contexts
.INDI.NATU
Description
see IndividualEvent
Payload
Either Y or None
Supertype
IndividualEvent
Substructures
inherited

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/NCHI

Children count: the number of children that this person is known to be the parent of (all marriages) when specified for an INDI, or that belong to this family when specified for an FAM.

Contexts
.INDI.NCHI
.FAM.NCHI
Payload
A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 3 characters. It is recommended that this string represent a base-10 integer.
GEDCOM does not require an integer, but appears to assume one. However, it is possible that some GEDCOM file will have some payload like "at least 5", hence the recommended rather than required status.

Context .INDI.NCHI

Description
The known number of children of this individual from all marriages.
Supertype
IndividualAttribute
Substructures
inherited

Context .FAM.NCHI

Description
The reported number of children known to belong to this family, regardless of whether the associated children are represented in the corresponding structure.
Supertype
None
Substructures
None

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/NICK

Nickname: a descriptive or familiar that is used instead of, or in addition to, one's proper name.

Contexts
.INDI.NAME.NICK
Description
A descriptive or familiar name used in connection with one's proper name.
Payload
A line string containing a comma-separated list of names. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 30 characters.
While the NICK grammar in GEDCOM is for a comma-separated list, there is no descriptive text specifying the meaning of the commas. In particular, it is not clear if multiple nicknames derived from the same given name should be listed in a single comma-separated NICK under that NAME or as several distinct NAMEs.
Substructures
None

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/NMR

Marriage count: the number of times this person has participated in a family as a spouse or parent.

Contexts
.INDI.NMR
Description
The number of different families that this person was known to have been a member of as a spouse or parent, regardless of whether the associated families are represented in the dataset.
Payload
A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 3 characters. It is recommended that this string represent a base-10 integer.
GEDCOM does not require an integer, but appears to assume one. However, it is possible that some GEDCOM file will have some payload like "at least 2", hence the recommended rather than required status.
Supertype
IndividualAttribute
Substructures
inherited

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/NOTE

Additional information provided by the submitter for understanding the enclosing data.

Contexts
.NOTE
.HEAD.NOTE
NOTE

Context .NOTE

Description
Comments or opinions from the submitter.
Payload
None
Substructures
CHAN?
REFN*
RIN?
SOUR*

Context .HEAD.NOTE

Description
A note that a user enters to describe the contents of the lineage-linked file in terms of "ancestors or descendants of" so that the person receiving the data knows what genealogical information the transmission contains.
Payload
Block string of arbitrary length.
Substructures
None

Context NOTE

Every structures that is known to have any substructures is known to admit an arbitrary number of the unanchored NOTE substructures except:

Description
Comments or opinions from the submitter.
Payload
Either block string of arbitrary length or pointer to a NOTE.
Substructures
SOUR*

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/NPFX

Name prefix: text which appears on a name line before the given and surname parts of a name. i.e. Lt. Cmndr. Joseph /Allen/ jr. In this example Lt. Cmndr. is considered as the name prefix portion.

Contexts
.INDI.NAME.NPFX
Description
Non indexing name piece that appears preceding the given name and surname parts. Different name prefix parts are separated by a comma.
Payload
A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 30 characters.
Substructures
None

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/NSFX

Name suffix: text which appears on a name line after or behind the given and surname parts of a name. i.e. Lt. Cmndr. Joseph /Allen/ jr. In this example jr. is considered as the name suffix portion.

Contexts
.INDI.NAME.NSFX
Description
Non-indexing name piece that appears after the given name and surname parts. Different name suffix parts are separated by a comma.
Payload
A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 30 characters.
Substructures
None

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/OBJE

Object: pertaining to a grouping of attributes used in describing something. Usually referring to the data required to represent a multimedia object, such an audio recording, a photograph of a person, or an image of a document.

The meaning and use of OBJE changed significantly between GEDCOM 5.5 and GEDCOM 5.5.1; it is RECOMMEND that implementations be able to handle parsing both.

Contexts
.OBJE
.OBJE.OBJE -- GEDCOM 5.5 only (not 5.5.1)

OBJE

In particular, the unanchored OBJE appears in the following contexts:

The reason for the inconsistent presence/absence of SOUR.OBJE is not understood by the author of this document

Context .OBJE

Payload
None
Substructures
BLOB! -- GEDCOM 5.5 only
FILE+ -- GEDCOM 5.5.1 only
FORM! -- GEDCOM 5.5 only
CHAN?
NOTE*
OBJE? -- GEDCOM 5.5 only
REFN*
RIN?
SOUR*
TITL? -- GEDCOM 5.5 only

Context .OBJE.OBJE

GEDCOM 5.5 only

Description
chain to continued object
Payload
Pointer to an .OBJE
Substructures
None

Context OBJE

Payload
Either pointer to an .OBJE or None
Substructures
Either None (if payload is a pointer) or
FILE! (GEDCOM 5.5) or FILE+ (GEDCOM 5.5.1)
FORM! -- GEDCOM 5.5 only
NOTE* -- GEDCOM 5.5 only
TITL?

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/OCCU

Occupation: the type of work or profession of an individual.

Contexts
.INDI.OCCU
Description
The kind of activity that an individual does for a job, profession, or principal activity.
Payload
A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 90 characters.
Supertype
IndividualAttribute
Substructures
inherited

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/ORDN

Ordinance: a religious event of receiving authority to act in religious matters.

Contexts
.INDI.ORDN
Description
see IndividualEvent
Payload
Either Y or None
Supertype
IndividualEvent
Substructures
inherited

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/PAGE

A number or description to identify where information can be found in a referenced work.

Contexts
SOUR.PAGE
Description
Specific location with in the information referenced. For a published work, this could include the volume of a multi-volume work and the page number(s). For a periodical, it could include volume, issue, and page numbers. For a newspaper, it could include a column number and page number. For an unpublished source, this could be a sheet number, page number, frame number, etc. A census record might have a line number or dwelling and family numbers in addition to the page number.
Payload
A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 248 characters.
Substructures
None

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/PEDI

Pedigree: information pertaining to an individual to parent lineage chart.

Contexts
.INDI.FAMC.PEDI
Description
A code used to indicate the child to family relationship for pedigree navigation purposes.
Payload

one of {adopted, birth, foster}

adopted
indicates adoptive parents.
birth
indicates birth parents.
foster
indicates child was included in a foster or guardian family.
Substructures
None

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/PHON

Phone: a unique number assigned to access a specific telephone.

Contexts
.HEAD.SOUR.CORP.PHON
.REPO.PHON
.SUBM.PHON
ADDR.PHON
Payload
A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 25 characters.
Substructures
None

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/PLAC

Place: a jurisdictional name to identify the place or location of an event.

Places are often represented by a place hierarchy. This is a comma-separated list of place names, each subsumed by the place to its right. No accommodation for place names that themselves include commas is made by this structure.

See also FORM for the interpretation of the elements of a place hierarchy list.

Contexts
.HEAD.PLAC
.SOUR.DATA.EVEN.PLAC
(Event).PLAC

Context .HEAD.PLAC

Description
see FORM
Payload
None
Substructures
FORM!

Context .SOUR.DATA.EVEN.PLAC

Description
The name of the lowest jurisdiction that encompasses all lower-level places named in this source. For example, "Oneida, Idaho" would be used as a source jurisdiction place for events occurring in the various towns within Oneida County. "Idaho" would be the source jurisdiction place if the events recorded took place in other counties as well as Oneida County.
Payload
A line string formatted as a place hierarchy. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 120 characters.
Substructures
None

Context (Event).PLAC

Payload
A line string formatted as a place hierarchy. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 120 characters.
Substructures
FORM?
NOTE*
SOUR*

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/POST

Postal code: a code used by a postal service to identify an area to facilitate mail handling.

Contexts
ADDR.POST
Description
The ZIP or postal code used by the various localities in handling of mail. Isolated for sorting or indexing.
Payload
A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 10 characters.
Substructures
None

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/PROB

Probate: an event of judicial determination of the validity of a will. May indicate several related court activities over several dates.

Contexts
.INDI.PROB
Description
see IndividualEvent
Payload
Either Y or None
Supertype
IndividualEvent
Substructures
inherited

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/PROP

Property: pertaining to possessions such as real estate or other property of interest.

Contexts
.INDI.ORDN
Description
A list of possessions (real estate or other property) belonging to this individual.
Payload
A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 248 characters.
Supertype
IndividualAttribute
Substructures
inherited

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/PUBL

Publication: refers to when and/or were a work was published or created.

Contexts
.SOUR.PUBL
Description

When and where the record was created.

For published works, this includes information such as the city of publication, name of the publisher, and year of publication.

For an unpublished work, it includes the date the record was created and the place where it was created. For example, the county and state of residence of a person making a declaration for a pension or the city and state of residence of the writer of a letter.

Payload
A block string of arbitrary length.
Substructures
None
GEDCOM asserts that every PUBL payload must be at least 248 characters and cannot have a newline in the first 248 characters; this is almost certainly an error and not reflected in this specification.

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/QUAY

Quality of data: an assessment of the certainty of the evidence to support the conclusion drawn from evidence.

Contexts
SOUR.QUAY
Description
The QUAY structure's value conveys the submitter's quantitative evaluation of the credibility of a piece of information, based upon its supporting evidence. Some systems use this feature to rank multiple conflicting opinions for display of most likely information first. It is not intended to eliminate the receiver's need to evaluate the evidence for themselves.
Payload

one of {0, 1, 2, 3}

0
Unreliable evidence or estimated data
1
Questionable reliability of evidence (interviews, census, oral genealogies, or potential for bias for example, an autobiography)
2
Secondary evidence, data officially recorded sometime after event
3
Direct and primary evidence used, or by dominance of the evidence
Substructures
None

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/REFN

Reference: a description or number used to identify an item for filing, storage, or other reference purposes.

Contexts
.FAM.REFN
.INDI.REFN
.NOTE.REFN
.OBJE.REFN
.REPO.REFN
.SOUR.REFN
Description
A user-defined number or text that the submitter uses to identify this record. For instance, it may be a record number within the submitter's automated or manual system, or it may be a page and position number on a pedigree chart.
Payload
A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 20 characters.
Substructures
TYPE?

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/RELA

Relationship: a relationship value between the indicated contexts.

Contexts
ASSO.RELA
Description
A word or phrase that states object 1's relation is object 2.
Payload
A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 25 characters.
Substructures
None

Example: You would read the following as "Joe Jacob's great grandson is the person described by the record with id "jim":

0 @joe@ INDI
  1 NAME Joe /Jacob/
  1 ASSO @jim@
    2 RELA great grandson

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/RELI

Religion: a religious denomination to which a person is affiliated or for which a record applies.

Contexts
.INDI.RELI
(Event).RELI
Although descriptive text in the GEDCOM specification suggests RELI can be a substructure of SOUR, the specification does not list it in that context.

Context .INDI.RELI

Description
A name of the religion with which this person, event, or record was affiliated.
Payload
A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 90 characters.
Supertype
IndividualAttribute
Substructures
inherited

Context (Event).RELI

Description
A name of the religion with which this person, event, or record was affiliated.
Payload
None
Substructures
None

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/REPO

Repository: an institution or person that has the specified item as part of their collection(s).

Contexts
.REPO
.SOUR.REPO

Context .REPO

Payload
None
Substructures
ADDR?
CHAN?
NAME?
NOTE*
REFN*
RIN?

Context .SOUR.REPO

Description
This structure is used within a source record to point to a name and address record of the holder of the source document.
Payload
Pointer to a .REPO
Substructures
CALN*
NOTE*
Due to an example in the GEDCOM specification that is inconsistent with the grammar, it is recommended that implementations parse a .SOUR.REPO.MEDI (i.e., coordinate with instead of subordinate to CALN) as if they were .SOUR.REPO.CALN.MEDI.

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/RESI

Residence: the act of dwelling at an address for a period of time.

Contexts
.INDI.RESI
Payload
None
The RESI is the only known IndividualAttribute that does not have a payload.
Supertype
IndividualAttribute
Substructures
inherited

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/RESN

Restriction: a processing indicator signifying access to information has been denied or otherwise restricted.

Contexts
.INDI.RESN
.FAM.RESN
.(Event).RESN
Description
The restriction notice is defined for Ancestral File usage. Ancestral File download GEDCOM files may contain this data.
Payload

one of confidential, locked, or privacy (confidential was added in GEDCOM 5.5.1).

confidential
This data was marked as confidential by the user. In some systems data marked as confidential will be treated differently, for example, there might be an option that would stop confidential data from appearing on printed reports or would prevent that information from being exported.
locked
Some records in Ancestral File have been satisfactorily proven by evidence, but because of source conflicts or incorrect traditions, there are repeated attempts to change this record. By arrangement, the Ancestral File Custodian can lock a record so that it cannot be changed without an agreement from the person assigned as the steward of such a record. The assigned steward is either the submitter listed for the record or Family History Support when no submitter is listed.
privacy
Information concerning this record is not present due to rights of or an approved request for privacy.
Substructures
None
Although the GEDCOM spec defines RESN in terms of the specific product Ancestral File, we assume other systems might use RESN for same purpose.

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/RETI

Retirement: an event of exiting an occupational relationship with an employer after a qualifying time period.

Contexts
.INDI.RETI
Description
see IndividualEvent
Payload
Either Y or None
Supertype
IndividualEvent
Substructures
inherited

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/RFN

Record file number: a permanent number assigned to a record that uniquely identifies it within a known file.

This tag is marked in GEDCOM as being "for future use;" should we include it or omit it in this specification?
Contexts
.INDI.RFN
.SUBM.RFN
Description

A .SUBM.RFN is a registered number of a submitter of Ancestral File data. This number is used in subsequent submissions or inquiries by the submitter for identification purposes.

An .INDI.RFN

  • uniquely identifies this record within a registered network resource.
  • is usable as a cross-reference pointer.
  • may contain a colon (:) in which case the portion preceding the colon is an identifier assigned to a resource database that is available through access to a network and the portion following the colon is an an identification number assigned to each record within a specific database; or it may omit a colon and refer to a record within the current dataset.
  • marked in GEDCOM 5.5 as being "for future use".
Payload
A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 90 characters.
Substructures
None

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/RIN

Record identification number: a number assigned to a record by an originating automated system that can be used by a receiving system to report results pertaining to that record.

Contexts
.(Record).RIN
Description
A unique record identification number assigned to the record by the source system. This number is intended to serve as a more sure means of identification of a record between two interfacing systems.
Payload
A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 12 characters.
Substructures
None

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/ROLE

A name given to a role played by an individual in connection with an event.

Contexts
SOUR.EVEN.ROLE
Payload

A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 25 characters.

The payload should be either one of {CHIL, HUSB, WIFE, MOTH, FATH, SPOU}, or parentheses surrounding a word or phrase that identifies a person's role in an event being described---the same word or phrase, and in the same language, that the recorder used to define the role in the actual record.

Substructures
None

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/ROMN

This tag was introduced in GEDCOM 5.5.1.

Roman: a romanized variation of a superior text string.

The method used to romanize the name is indicated by the subordinate TYPE; for example if romaji was used to provide a reading of a name written in kanji, then the TYPE subordinate to the ROMN structure would indicate romaji.

Contexts
.INDI.NAME.ROMN
(Event).PLAC.ROMN
Payload
A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 120 characters.

Context .INDI.NAME.ROMN

Description
The romanized variation of the name in the same form as the was the name used in the superior primitive.
Substructures
TYPE!
GIVN?
NICK?
NPFX?
NSFX?
SPFX?
SURN?
NOTE*
SOUR*

Context (Event).PLAC.ROMN

Description
The romanized variation of the place name in the same form as the was the name used in the superior primitive.
Substructures
TYPE!

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/SEX

Indicates the sex of an individual---male or female.

Contexts
.INDI.SEX
Description
A code that indicates the sex of the individual
Payload
one of {M, F}
Substructures
None

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/SOUR

Source: the initial or original material from which information was obtained.

Contexts
.HEAD.SOUR
.SOUR

SOUR

In particular, the unanchored SOUR appears in the following contexts:

Context .HEAD.SOUR

Description
A system identification name which was obtained through the GEDCOM registration process. This name must be unique from any other product. Spaces within the name must be substituted with a U+005F (underscore _) so as to create one word.
Payload
A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 20 characters.
Substructures
CORP?
DATA?
NAME?
VERS?

Context .SOUR

Description
Source records are used to provide a bibliographic description of the source cited.
Payload
None
Substructures
ABBR?
AUTH?
CHAN?
DATA?
NOTE*
OBJE*
PUBL?
REFN*
REPO?
RIN?
TEXT?
TITL?

Context SOUR, pointer version

Payload
Pointer to a .SOUR
Substructures
DATA?
EVEN?
NOTE*
OBJE*
PAGE?
QUAY?

Context SOUR, text block version

It is recommended that this version not be generated by software.

Description
A free form text block used to describe the source from which information was obtained. This text block is used by those systems which cannot use a pointer to a source record. It must contain a descriptive title, who created the work, where and when it was created, and where is source data stored. The developer should encourage users to use an appropriate style for forming this free form bibliographic reference.
Payload
A block string of arbitrary length
Substructures
NOTE*
TEXT*

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/SPFX

Surname prefix: a name piece used as a non-indexing pre-part of a surname.

Contexts
.INDI.NAME.SPFX
Description
Surname prefix or article used in a family name.
Payload

A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 30 characters.

Different surname articles are separated by a comma, for example in the name "de la Cruz", this value would be "de, la".

Substructures
None

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/SSN

Social security number: a number assigned by the United States Social Security Administration. Used for tax identification purposes.

See also IDNO

Contexts
.INDI.SSN
Description
A number assigned to a person in the United States for identification purposes.
Payload
A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 11 characters.
Supertype
IndividualAttribute
Substructures
inherited

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/STAE

State: a geographical division of a larger jurisdictional area, such as a State within the United States of America.

Contexts
ADDR.STAE
Description
The name of the state used in the address. Isolated for sorting or indexing.
Payload
A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 60 characters.
Substructures
None

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/STAT

Status: an assessment of the state or condition of something.

Most uses of this structure in GEDCOM are LDS-specific and excluded from this specification. The one documented here was introduced in GEDCOM 5.5.1.
Contexts
.INDI.FAMC.STAT
Description
A status code that allows passing on the users opinion of the status of a child to family link.
Payload

1--15 characters; one of challenged, disproven, or proven

challenged
Linking this child to this family is suspect, but the linkage has been neither proven nor disproven.
disproven
There has been a claim by some that this child belongs to this family, but the linkage has been disproven.
proven
There has been a claim by some that this child does not belongs to this family, but the linkage has been proven.
Substructures
None

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/SUBM

Submitter: an individual or organization who contributes genealogical data to a file or transfers it to someone else.

Contexts
.SUBM
.HEAD.SUBM
.FAM.SUBM
.INDI.SUBM
.SUBN.SUBM
Description
The submitter record identifies an individual or organization that contributed information contained in the dataset.

Context .SUBM

Payload
None
Substructures
NAME!
CHAN?
ADDR?
LANG* -- GEDCOM limited this to no more than three SUBM.LANG per LANG
OBJE*
RFN?
RIN?

Context (Record).SUBM

Payload
pointer to .SUBM
Substructures
None

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/SUBN

Submission: pertains to a collection of data issued for processing.

GEDCOM required that SUBN be the first Record in any serialization.
Contexts
.SUBN
.HEAD.SUBN

Context .SUBN

Description
The sending system uses a submission record to send instructions and information to the receiving system.
Payload
None
Substructures
ANCE?
DESC?
RIN?
SUBM?

Context .HEAD.SUBN

Payload
Pointer to a .SUBN
Substructures
None

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/SURN

Surname: a family name passed on or used by members of a family.

Contexts
.INDI.NAME.SURN
Description
Surname or family name. Different surnames are separated by a comma.
Payload
A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 120 characters.
Substructures
None

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/TEXT

The exact wording found in an original source document.

Contexts
SOUR.TEXT
SOUR.DATA.TEXT
Description
A verbatim copy of any description contained within the source. This indicates notes or text that are actually contained in the source document, not the submitter's opinion about the source.
Payload
A block string of arbitrary length
Substructures
None

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/TIME

A time value in a 24-hour clock format, including hours, minutes, and optional seconds, separated by a colon (:). Fractions of seconds are shown in decimal notation.

Contexts
.HEAD.DATE.TIME
.CHAN.DATE.TIME
Description
The time of a specific event, usually a computer-timed event.
Payload

A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 12 characters.

The string should match the Time production:

Time    ::= hour ":" minute ( ":" second )?
hour    ::= [01] [0-9] | "2" [0-3]
minute  ::= [0-5] [0-9]
second  ::=  [0-5] [0-9] ( "." [0-9]+ )?
Substructures
None

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/TITL

Title: a description of a specific writing or other work, such as the title of a book when used in a source context, or a formal designation used by an individual in connection with positions of royalty or other social status, such as Grand Duke.

Contexts
.INDI.TITL
.OBJE.FILE.TITL -- in GEDCOM 5.5 but not 5.5.1
.OBJE.TITL -- in GEDCOM 5.5 but not 5.5.1
OBJE.TITL
.SOUR.TITL

Context .INDI.TITL

Description
The title given to or used by a person, especially of royalty or other noble class within a locality.
Payload
A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 120 characters.
Supertype
IndividualAttribute
Substructures
inherited

Contexts .OBJE.FILE.TITL and OBJE.TITL

Description
The title of a work, record, item, or object.
Payload
A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 248 characters.
Substructures
None

Context .SOUR.TITL

Description
The title of the work, record, or item and, when appropriate, the title of the larger work or series of which it is a part.
Payload
A line string of arbitrary length.
Substructures
None

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/TYPE

A further qualification to the meaning of the associated superior structure. The value does not have any computer processing reliability. It is more in the form of a short one or two word note that should be displayed any time the associated data is displayed.

Context
REFN.TYPE
(Event).TYPE
FONE.TYPE
ROMN.TYPE
Substructures
None

Context REFN.TYPE

Description
A user-defined definition of the REFN.
Payload
A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 40 characters.

Context (Event).TYPE

Description
A descriptor that should be used whenever the EVEN structure is used to define the event being cited. The event descriptor should use the same word or phrase and in the same language, when possible, as was used by the recorder of the event.
The description text from GEDCOM suggests EVEN.TYPE, but it is a known to appear as a substructure of all (Event)s.
Payload
A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 90 characters.

Context FONE.TYPE

Description
Indicates the method used in transforming the text to the phonetic variation.
Payload
A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 30 characters. Known values include, but are not limited to, hangul and kana.

Context ROMN.TYPE

Description
Indicates the method used in transforming the text to the romanized variation.
Payload
A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 30 characters. Known values include, but are not limited to, pinyin, romanji, and wadegiles.

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/VERS

Version: indicates which version of a product, item, or publication is being used or referenced.

Contexts
.HEAD.SOUR.VERS
.HEAD.GEDC.VERS
Description
An identifier that represents the version level assigned to the associated product. It is defined and changed by the creators of the product.
Payload
A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 15 characters.
This draft is based off of a specification for which .HEAD.GEDC.VERS would typically be 5.5.1, though depending on the specific features used other version strings might be appropriate too.
Substructures
None

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/WIFE

An individual in the role as a mother and/or married woman.

Contexts
.FAM.(FamilyEvent).WIFE
.FAM.WIFE

Context .FAM.(FamilyEvent).WIFE

Payload
None
Substructures
AGE!

Context .FAM.WIFE

Payload
pointer to an .INDI
Substructures
None

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/WILL

A legal document treated as an event, by which a person disposes of his or her estate, to take effect after death. The event date is the date the will was signed while the person was alive.

See also PROB

Contexts
.INDI.WILL
Description
see IndividualEvent
Payload
Either Y or None
Supertype
IndividualEvent
Substructures
inherited

http://terms.fhiso.org/elf/WWW

World Wide Web home page.

This tag was introduced in GEDCOM 5.5.1.
Contexts
ADDR.WWW
Description
The world wide web page address.
Payload
A line string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 120 characters.
Substructures
None

Extension Types

The list of types contained in this specification are not exhaustive and may be extended by other specifications.

Extension types' structure type identifiers should be one of

Implementations encountering an unknown extension structures may ignore the structure and its substructures. It is recommended that unknown extensions be preserved in the dataset if feasible, though doing so is NOT required. Implementations should not create, modify, move, or duplicate structures with extensions unknown to the implementation.

Suppose an implementation not understanding the http://example.com/WEALTH extension type is processing a dataset containing two .INDIs, one of which has a .INDI.http://example.com/WEALTH with payload "34K/A".

If the implementation discovers the meaning of http://example.com/WEALTH, it is welcome to create and modify http://example.com/WEALTH structures as it sees fit (subject to any constraints specific to that structure type).

References

Normative references

[ISO 10646]
ISO (International Organization for Standardization). ISO/IEC 10646:2014. Information technology — Universal Coded Character Set (UCS). 2014.
[RFC 2119]
IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force). RFC 2119: Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels. Scott Bradner, 1997. (See http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc2119.)
[RFC 3987]
IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force). RFC 3987: Internationalized Resource Identifiers (IRIs). Martin Duerst and Michel Suignard, 2005. (See http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc3987.)
[RFC 7230]
IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force). RFC 7230: Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP/1.1): Message Syntax and Routing. Roy Fieldind and Julian Reschke, eds., 2014. (See http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc7230.)
[RFC 7231]
IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force). RFC 7231: Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP/1.1): Semantics and Content. Roy Fieldind and Julian Reschke, eds., 2014. (See http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc7231.)
[UAX 15]
The Unicode Consortium. "Unicode Standard Annex 15: Unicode Normalization Forms" in The Unicode Standard, Version 8.0.0. Mark Davis and Ken Whistler, eds., 2015. (See http://unicode.org/reports/tr15/.)
[XML]
W3C (World Wide Web Consortium). Extensible Markup Language (XML) 1.1, 2nd edition. Tim Bray, Jean Paoli, C. M. Sperberg-McQueen, Eve Maler, François Yergeau, and John Cowan eds., 2006. W3C Recommendation. (See https://www.w3.org/TR/xml11/.)

Other references

[XML Names]
W3 (World Wide Web Consortium). Namespaces in XML 1.1, 2nd edition. Tim Bray, Dave Hollander, Andrew Layman and Richard Tobin, eds., 2006. W3C Recommendation. See https://www.w3.org/TR/xml-names11/.
[ELF-File]
FHISO (Family History Information Standards Organisation) Extended Legacy Format (ELF): Serialization Format.