View Full Version : Fields and GEDCOM tags

B Jansen
16 February 2018, 11:09 AM
I've been spending a lot of time preparing for my genealogy do-over (or go-over in my case). I just added a ton of fields to help me post as much information from my sources as I can glean. I also added and changed a lot of GEDCOM tags for export (though I love that I can customize fields and info for narrative reports internally within Reunion!).

The trend with the GEDCOM standard seems to be towards consolidation of tags. No matter, Reunion lets us create standard fields! For example, I kept the land sale and land purchase fields and added a more generic "property" one but changed all of the GEDCOM tags to PROP to standardize them for sharing.

For civil union, I changed the tag to the GEDCOM standard MARC (for marriage contract, which I added) and added the other standard marriage ones missing from the default: Marriage Bann (MARB), Marriage Contract (MARC) and Marriage Settlement (MARS). I added an underscore to _SEPA since separation isn't (yet) a recognized standard one. All non-standard ones need and underscore before them so I scrolled through and added them all--and clicked the "export as even" for most of them just in case the importing program is stupid. Weirdly to me, all of the non-standard source tags in Reunion seem to already have the underscore preceding them.

Reunion has a wealth of "description" fields which kind of overwhelms me, so I consolidated mine to a single "description" field with the standard recognized DSCR GEDCOM tag (the default one is wrong) and got rid of eye color, hair color, race, skin color, and weight.

I added some others that were dropped from GEDCOM standards: Godparent, Legatee, and Witness, but used the consolidated ASSO (association) for all of them. I also added Bondsman and Neighbor with the same tag. Ideally Reunion will be able to link them soon to all other people with the same event for cluster research.

I was misusing ALIA which, as I understand it, is for more formal names and used as a way to link to someone else who might be the same person, not just for other names of the same person. I added the standard nickname (NICK) for those. I also added ROLE, FACT (for more generic misc ones), caste (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.), etc.

For The Beyond Kin Project, I added Enslaved Person (EP) and Slave Holder too.

I added a _DNA note and fact.

This way I get the beauty of Reunion custom fields and easier narrative reports with the better sharing of info with others not using Reunion.

Hopefully I have everything set now to go forward with the go-over, and hopefully this might help someone else too.

16 February 2018, 09:25 PM
I think this is great and although I am not doing a do-over/go-over (well, maybe I am... lol) I am interested in updating the gedcom tags. It seems to me that there are many that could be consolidated (as you pointed out, Bradley) and some just brought into the 21st century. I don't claim to be an expert about this, not at all, but I can see the benefit of a do-over for the gedcom tags.

B Jansen
18 February 2018, 02:25 PM
List of all of the GEDCOM tags that were used in each standard here (scroll down):


Warwick Dilley
02 May 2018, 10:49 PM
List of all of the GEDCOM tags that were used in each standard here (scroll down):


Ah Bradley, that looks like it might be the way out of my problem. I've used Reunion for many years and created lots of new fields never worrying about (or even understanding) the implications of GEDCOM tags. Now, when I want to share some of my data base with a relation who is using an older version of FTM, I find that a lot is lost when I try to export a GEDCOM file for him to import. I see now that a lot of my fields - probably the ones that aren't exporting - don't have GEDCOM tags !

Two questions then: (1) If I ensure that every one of my fields has a valid GEDCOM 5.5 tag, will all my data be exported in a GEDCOM 5.5 file? (2) Are there limitations on which GEDCOM tags FTM will import? (That second question might be one for a FTM user to answer)