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This is an early exploratory draft of a proposed FHISO standard that is fully compatible with GEDCOM 5.5. Goals include

The working title of this draft proposed standard is the FHISO Extended Legacy Format Data Model, also known as the ELF data model or ELF-mod.

This document attempts to list the known ELF tags, their contexts and substructures. Other documents describe requisite terminology, serialization, etc.

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.


Notation

This document uses tag names instead of URIs. A mapping between tag name and URI is expected as part of a separate document or a future extension to the document.

A structure is either a record or a substructure.

Records appear at the top-level of an ELF dataset. Known records types are

Substructures appear nested within other structures.

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

we do not currently use the .. syntax in this document
We might also want to define @TAGNAME to refer to any structure with that tag name that has, as its payload, a pointer; and #TAGNAME to refer to any structure with that tag name that does not have, as its payload, a pointer; these might be necessary to discuss different kinds of OBJE and SOUR tags that cannot be distinguished from context alone.

The cardinality of a substructure specifies with what plurality it appears within its containing structure. Cardinality is specified by adding one of the following suffixes to a tag name:

Supertypes

A limited type hierarchy is known to exist:

All other tags in this document have no supertype.

Known Tags and Contexts

Abstract Types

The following tags are not encountered directly, but are instead present only as abstract supertypes from which other tags derive.

TopLevel

The TopLevel type has no GEDCOM tag name and cannot be directly instantiated. It serves as an abstract supertype for those types that may exist at the top level of a data set.

Known subtypes
HEAD
SUBN
TRLR
Record
Contexts
.(TopLevel)
Description
Varies by subtype
Payload
Varies by subtype
Substructures
Varies by subtype

Record

The Record type has no GEDCOM tag name and cannot be directly instantiated. It serves as an abstract supertype for those TopLevel types that describe the principle contents of the data set (as opposed to other TopLevel subtypes, which are metadata).

Known subtypes
FAM
INDI
OBJE
NOTE
REPO
SOUR
SUBM
Contexts
.(Record)
Description
Varies by subtype
Supertype
TopLevel
Payload
Varies by subtype
Substructures
Varies by subtype

Event

The Event type has no GEDCOM tag name and cannot be directly instantiated. It serves as an abstract supertype for other events and attributes.

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

IndividualEvent

The IndividualEvent type has no GEDCOM tag name and cannot be directly instantiated. It serves as an abstract supertype for other events and attributes.

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

Either the 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?

FamilyEvent

The FamilyEvent type has no GEDCOM tag name and cannot be directly instantiated. It serves as an abstract supertype for other events and attributes.

Supertype
Event
Known Subtypes
ANUL
CENS
DIV
DIVF
ENGA
MARR
MARB
MARC
MARL
MARS
EVEN
Contexts
INDI.(FamilyEvent)
Description
Varies by subtype
Payload

Either the 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 without notice; this specification does not define what a (FamilyEvent).AGE might mean if present.

IndividualAttribute

The IndividualAttribute type has no GEDCOM tag name and cannot be directly instantiated. It serves as an abstract supertype for other events and attributes.

Represents 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.

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

Concrete Types

ABBR

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 string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 60 characters.
Substructures
None

ADDR

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 string. It is recommended that implementations support at least three lines of at least 60 characters each.
Substructures
ADR1?
ADR2?
CITY?
STAE?
POST?
CTRY?
PHON* -- it is recommended that at least three ADDR.PHON be supported per ADDR
EMAIL* -- it is recommended that at least three ADDR.FAX be supported per ADDR
FAX* -- it is recommended that at least three ADDR.EMAIL be supported per ADDR
WWW* -- it is recommended that at least three ADDR.WWW be supported 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.

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 string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 60 characters.
Substructures
None

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 string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 60 characters.
Substructures
None

ADOP

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 string, which should be from the set {HUSB, WIFE, BOTH}
Substructures
None

AGE

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

GEDCOM 5.5 the existence of (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 string, which uses an age-specification microformat. The microformat supports three special values (CHILD, INFANT, and STILLBORN) as well as any text matching the regular expression

([<>] ?)?(\d+y ?)?(\d+m ?)?(\d+d ?)?

The component pieces of the microformat have the following meanings:

Symbol Meaning
> greater than indicated age
< less than indicated age
\d+y a number of years
\d+m a number of months
\d+d a number of days
CHILD <8y
INFANT <1y
STILLBORN just prior, at, or near birth; or 0y
Substructures
None
The GEDCOM specifications were unclear as to the use of spaces in the age-specification microformat. To maximize compatibility, it is recommended that implementations be able to parse any string matching the regular expression above but generate no spaces when producing age strings.

AGNC

The institution or individual having authority and/or responsibility to manage or govern.

Contexts
.SOUR.DATA.AGNC
(Event).AGNC

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.
Payload
A string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 120 characters.
Substructures
None

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.
Payload
A string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 120 characters.
Substructures
None

ALIA

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

ANCE

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

ANCI

Indicates an interest in additional research for ancestors of this individual.

See also DESI

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

ANUL

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

ASSO

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

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

AUTH

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
String of arbitrary length
Substructures
None

BAPM

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

BARM

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

BASM

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

BIRT

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?

BLES

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

BLOB

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 contents 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 bytes to code points as follows:

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

BURI

The event of the proper disposing of the mortal remains of a deceased person.

GEDCOM calls burial "proper disposing" sans discussion of method, but cremation "disposal […] by fire" sans proper? Why?

See also CREM

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

CALN

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 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.

CAST

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 string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 90 characters.
Substructures
inherited

CAUS

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

CENS

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
Payload
Either Y or None, as described under IndividualEvent or FamilyEvent
Substructures
inherited from IndividualEvent or inherited from FamilyEvent
Should this tag have context-specific subsections like ADOP? Not much varies based on context...

CHAN

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*

CHAR

An indicator of the character set used in writing this automated information.

To do: I have not yet checked to see if this changed in 5.5.1
Contexts
.HEAD.CHAN
Description
A code value that represents the character set to be used to interpret this data. The default character set is ANSEL, which includes ASCII as a subset. UNICODE is not widely supported by most operating systems; therefore, GEDCOM produced using the UNICODE character set will be limited in acceptance for some time. See Chapter 3. ASCII contains the character set from 0x0 to 0x7F.
Payload
one of ANSEL, UNICODE, or ASCII
Substructures
VERS?

CHIL

The natural, adopted, or sealed (LDS) 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.

CHR

The religious event (not LDS) 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?

CHRA

The religious event (not LDS) 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

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 string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 60 characters.
Substructures
None

CONF

The religious event (not LDS) 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

COPR

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 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 string. It is recommended that implementations support multi-line payloads of arbitrary size.
Substructures
None

CORP

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 string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 90 characters.
Substructures
ADDR?
PHON*

CREM

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

CTRY

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 string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 60 characters.
Substructures
None

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 string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 90 characters.
Substructures
DATE?
COPR?

Context .SOUR.DATA

Payload
None
Substructures
EVEN*
AGNC?
NOTE*

Context SOUR.DATA

Payload
None
Substructures
DATE?
TEXT*

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.

Date

At the core of the date syntax is a calendared date. This consists of an optional calender escape, which 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 not calender escape is given, GREGORIAN is assumed. After the optional escape is the content of the date, which takes a format dependent on the calender.

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:

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

DEAT

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

DESC

Pertaining to offspring of an individual.

See also ANCE

Contexts
.ANCE.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

DESI

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

DEST

A system receiving data.

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

DIV

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

DIVF

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

DSCR

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 string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 248 characters.
Supertype
IndividualAttribute
Substructures
inherited

EDUC

Indicator of a level of education attained.

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

EMAIL

An electronic mail address.

Contexts
ADDR.EMAIL
Description
An electronic address that can be used for contact such as an email address.
Payload
A string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 120 characters.
Substructures
None
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.

EMIG

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

ENGA

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

EVEN

http://terms.fhiso.org/legacy/longform/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 tag 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 tag 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!
Should these two be separated into context-specific subsections?

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

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

Substructures
DATE?
PLAC?

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

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

Substructures
ROLE

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 tag.

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

FAM

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 family record structure assumes that the HUSB/father is male and WIFE/mother is female.
Payload
None
Supertype
Record
Substructures
(FamilyEvent)*
HUSB?
WIFE?
CHIL* -- The preferred order of the CHIL substructures within a FAM structure is chronological by birth.
NCHI?
SUBM*
SOUR*
OBJE*
NOTE*
REFN*
RIN?
CHAN?
RESN?

FAMC

http://terms.fhiso.org/legacy/longform/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
PEDI?
NOTE*
STAT?

Context .INDI.ADOP.FAMC

Substructures
ADOP?

FAMS

Identifies the family in which an individual appears as a spouse.

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

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 string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 60 characters.
Substructures
None

FCOM

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

FILE

http://terms.fhiso.org/legacy/longform/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 tag 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 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 string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 90 characters.
Substructures
None

FONE

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 string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 120 characters.

Context .INDI.NAME.FONE

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

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

Context (Event).PLAC.FONE

Substructures
TYPE!

FORM

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

Context .HEAD.GEDC.FORM

Description
The GEDCOM form used to construct this transmission.
Payload
A string, specifically LINEAGE_LINKED. Implementations capable of parsing multiple formats may accept other values for this string.
Substructures
None

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 string containing an ordered list of jurisdictional entities, separated by commas. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 120 characters.
Substructures
None

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 string containing an ordered list of jurisdictional entities, separated by commas. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 120 characters.
Substructures
None

Contexts OBJE.FORM and OBJE.FILE.FORM

Description
Indicates the format of the multimedia data with this tag.
Payload
one of {bmp, gif, jpeg, ole, pcx, tiff, wav}
Substructures
None
These two contexts differ primarily in the GEDCOM version in which they were introduced. For more, see the discussion under OBJE

GEDC

Information about the use of GEDCOM in a transmission.

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

GIVN

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

Contexts
.INDI.NAME.GIVN
Description
Given name or earned name.
Payload
A 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

GRAD

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

Identifies information pertaining to an entire GEDCOM transmission.

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

HUSB

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

IDNO

A number assigned to identify a person within some significant 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 string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 30 characters.
Supertype
IndividualAttribute
Substructures
inherited
TYPE!

IMMI

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

INDI

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
Substructures
RESN?
NAME*
SEX?
(IndividualEvent)*,
(IndividualAttribute)*
FAMC*
FAMS*
SUBM*
ASSO*
ALIA*
ANCI*
DESI*
SOUR*
OBJE*
NOTE*
RFN?
REFN*
RIN?
CHAN?

LANG

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 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

LEGA

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

In the GEDCOM standard, this tag 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?

LATI

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

The string should match the regular expression

[NS]\d+(\.\d+)?

In the GEDCOM 5.5.1 specification, the payload is specified as being no more than 8 characters but the example given therein 10 characters.
Substructures
None

LONG

http://terms.fhiso.org/legacy/longform/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.

The example in the GEDCOM spec uses 11 characters, while restricting it to 8.
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 string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 11 characters.

The string should match the regular expression

[EW]\d+(\.\d+)?

In the GEDCOM 5.5.1 specification, the payload is specified as being no more than 8 characters but the example given therein 11 characters.
Substructures
None

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!

MARB

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

MARC

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

MARL

An event of obtaining a legal license to marry.

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

MARR

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

MARS

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

MEDI

http://terms.fhiso.org/legacy/longform/MEDIA

Identifies information about the media or having to do with the medium in which information is stored.

Contexts
.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 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

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 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 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 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 string. 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 ....

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

NATI

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 string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 120 characters.
Supertype
IndividualAttribute
Substructures
inherited

NATU

The event of obtaining citizenship.

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

NCHI

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 string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 3 characters.
Although not specified in GEDCOM, this string should represent a base-10 integer.

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

NICK

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 string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 30 characters.
The NICK grammar in GEDCOM is for a comma-separated list, but unlikes other parts of the name there is no descriptive text specifying the meaning of the commas.
Substructures
None

NMR

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 string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 3 characters.
Although not specified in GEDCOM, this string should represent a base-10 integer.
Supertype
IndividualAttribute
Substructures
inherited
Presumably this is supposed to be a base-10 integer?

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
SOUR*
REFN*
RIN?
CHAN?

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
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 String of arbitrary length or pointer to a NOTE.
Substructures
SOUR*

NPFX

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 string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 30 characters.
Substructures
None

NSFX

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 string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 30 characters.
Substructures
None

OBJE

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
NOTE*
SOUR*
REFN*
RIN?
CHAN?
FORM! -- GEDCOM 5.5 only
TITL? -- GEDCOM 5.5 only
BLOB! -- GEDCOM 5.5 only
OBJE? -- GEDCOM 5.5 only
FILE+ -- GEDCOM 5.5.1 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
FORM! -- GEDCOM 5.5 only (not present in GEDCOM 5.5.1)
TITL?
FILE! (GEDCOM 5.5) or FILE+ (GEDCOM 5.5.1)
NOTE* -- GEDCOM 5.5 only (not present in GEDCOM 5.5.1)

OCCU

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 string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 90 characters.
Supertype
IndividualAttribute
Substructures
inherited

ORDN

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

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 string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 248 characters.
Substructures
None

PEDI

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

PHON

A unique number assigned to access a specific telephone.

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

PLAC

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

POST

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 string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 10 characters.
Substructures
None

PROB

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

PROP

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 string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 248 characters.
Supertype
IndividualAttribute
Substructures
inherited

PUBL

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 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.

QUAY

An assessment of the certainty of the evidence to support the conclusion drawn from evidence.

Contexts
SOUR.QUAY
Description
The QUAY tag'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

REFN

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 string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 20 characters.
Substructures
TYPE?

RELA

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 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

RELI

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

Contexts
.INDI.RELI
(Event).RELI
Although the text from 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 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

REPO

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

Contexts
.REPO
.SOUR.REPO

Context .REPO

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

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
NOTE*
CALN*

RESI

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

RESN

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 says "Ancestral File", we included this assuming it might be used for the same purpose by other data providers.

RETI

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

RFN

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

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".
It is not clear to me if either RFN is used or ought to be part of ELF.
Payload
A string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 90 characters.
Substructures
None

RIN

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 -- but not .HEAD.RIN or .TRLR.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 string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 12 characters.
Substructures
None

ROLE

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

Contexts
SOUR.EVEN.ROLE
Payload

A 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

ROMN

This tag was introduced in GEDCOM 5.5.1.

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 tag would indicate romaji.

Contexts
.INDI.NAME.ROMN
(Event).PLAC.ROMN
Payload
A 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!
NPFX?
GIVN?
NICK?
SPFX?
SURN?
NSFX?
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!

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

SOUR

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 string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 20 characters.
Substructures
VERS?
NAME?
CORP?
DATA?

Context .SOUR

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

Context SOUR, pointer version

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

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 string of arbitrary length
Substructures
TEXT*
NOTE*

SPFX

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 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

SSN

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 string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 11 characters.
Supertype
IndividualAttribute
Substructures
inherited

STAE

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 string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 60 characters.
Substructures
None

STAT

An assessment of the state or condition of something.

Most uses of this tag 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

SUBM

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!
ADDR?
OBJE*
LANG*
RFN?
RIN?
CHAN?

Context (Record).SUBM

Payload
pointer to .SUBM
Substructures
None

SUBN

Pertains to a collection of data issued for processing.

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
SUBM?
ANCE?
DESC?
RIN?

Context .HEAD.SUBN

Payload
Pointer to a .SUBN
Substructures
None

SURN

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 string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 120 characters.
Substructures
None

TEXT

http://terms.fhiso.org/legacy/longform/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 string of arbitrary length
Substructures
None

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

The string should match the regular expression

[0-2][0-9]:[0-5][0-9](:[0-5][0-9](\.[0-9][0-9]?)?)?

Substructures
None

TITL

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 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 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 string of arbitrary length.
Substructures
None

TRLR

Specifies the end of a GEDCOM transmission.

When encountering a TRLR, applications may cease parsing before even looking for a payload or substructures; it should thus always be the very last record in the dataset. Additionally, it should never have an ID; some implementations may fail to parse it correctly if it does.

Contexts
.TRLR
Description
End of dataset
Payload
None
Supertype
TopLevel
Substructures
None

TYPE

A further qualification to the meaning of the associated superior tag. 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 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 tag 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 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 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 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.

VERS

Indicates which version of a product, item, or publication is being used or referenced.

Contexts
.HEAD.SOUR.VERS
.HEAD.GEDC.VERS
.HEAD.CHAR.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 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

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

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

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 string. It is recommended that implementations support payloads of at least 120 characters.
Substructures
None