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    GEDCOM date and occupation formats?

    I recently came across the website mentioned in the Eastman's newsletter that will check a GEDCOM file for errors relative to the current standards.

    I had many errors, but by far the one that had the most occurrences was using a date formatted as "1950-1971" for example. Apparently the GEDCOM standard expects the format to be BET 1950 AND 1971. When I tried to enter this format in a date field in Reunion, it balked at it and labeled it a non-standard format. Personally, I prefer the style I have been using since it entails less typing and looks rational in charts and reports. But I am concerned that when I transfer data to my Ancestry tree, I will lose information along the way. Is there a way for the GEDCOM export processor to reformat date fields that contain "date-date" information to the acceptable format?

    The only other error type that I found (to a lesser degree) was having more than 90 characters in an occupation field. I guess Reunion allows 256. This came up because I have recorded occupations from multiple censuses in the same Occupation field, with entries separated by semicolons, and dates shown in parentheses. I shudder to think what it will take to go back and add separate Occupation lines for each census date, especially since Occupation is not an "event" style entry that has an implicit date. Not sure if there is a way to adjust this on export, but thought I would mention it as a potential problem for users.
    Mike Phelps
    Goodyear, AZ
    Researching: PHELPS, WATKINS, SPENCER, ALSFASSER, WEMHOENER, BLANCHARD, MARQUETTE, CHAVEZ, VALENZUELA

    #2
    Sometimes the GEDCOM standard is incompatible with the Reunion standard
    Bradley Jansen
    OS 10.14.6 on a MacBook Pro using Reunion 12 and ReunionTouch 1.0.9

    Comment


      #3
      The website that checks your GEDCOM file for errors is, I presume, the GED-inline validator, by the author of the iFamliy genealogy program. This validator does not respect the version number in your file and checks against the v. 5.5.5 proposal, which is not a standard and is used by all of one genealogy web site, Ancestry not among them.

      The issue with the occupation field should have been flagged as a warning, not an error. The warning relates to the recommended minimum field size for genealogy database systems that use FIXED database field sizes. In GEDCOM 5.5 the minimum for the occupartion field is 60 characters; in the 5.5.5 proposal this is upped to 90. However, genealogy programs are free to use variable lengths, and within GEDCOM this is catered for by breaking off the line at the maximum length and continuing on the next line, so that the program reading the file concatenates the line appropriately.

      Reunion doesn’t work with date ranges, unfortunately, even though the GEDCOM 5.5 standard does allow for this. This should be on the wish list for Reunion 13 and would be welcome to many of us. (Reunion also doesn’t work with the 'age at event' notion, which is also quite limiting, but that’s another matter)

      As far as I can determine, Ancestry does not cut off your occupation line items at 90 characters, or indeed at all, and it appears that invalid date ranges are imported as text and not interpreted as a date.
      --
      Eric Van Beest
      Spring, TX

      Researching: Van Beest, Feijen, Van Herk

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by eric.vanbeest View Post
        This validator does not respect the version number in your file and checks against the v. 5.5.5 proposal, which is not a standard and is used by all of one genealogy web site, Ancestry not among them.
        The validator that is here

        http://ged-inline.elasticbeanstalk.com/validate

        does recognise the VERS line of a GEDCOM file to test accordingly. When I ran my Reunion 12 generated file through 3 times - each time with the VERS line set to 5.5 (Reunion's default that really should be 5.5.1), 5.5.1 and then 5.5.5 I got different error messages out of the validator each time, indicating it was testing against the parameters of the version I said the file was.

        Roger
        Roger Moffat
        http://lisaandroger.com/genealogy/
        http://genealogy.clanmoffat.org/

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by mwphelps View Post
          The only other error type that I found (to a lesser degree) was having more than 90 characters in an occupation field. I guess Reunion allows 256. This came up because I have recorded occupations from multiple censuses in the same Occupation field, with entries separated by semicolons, and dates shown in parentheses. I shudder to think what it will take to go back and add separate Occupation lines for each census date, especially since Occupation is not an "event" style entry that has an implicit date. Not sure if there is a way to adjust this on export, but thought I would mention it as a potential problem for users.
          Occupation is probably better set as an Event - then you can assign the date range to the place of employment and in the Memo field, and easily handle people who had multiple occupations that you want to record.

          Roger
          Roger Moffat
          http://lisaandroger.com/genealogy/
          http://genealogy.clanmoffat.org/

          Comment


            #6
            Roger:-

            Thanks for the clarifications.

            It is odd that when you send a v 5.5 file to the validator, an issue is flagged with a message relating to v. 5.5.5 limitations. This doesn’t seem joined up and is confusing, and does not fill me confidence.

            I agree that occupation should be an event. However, if it is to occupy a date range, then Reunion should start handling date ranges. This is much the same issue as with Residence – also over a date range, but stuck as an event...
            --
            Eric Van Beest
            Spring, TX

            Researching: Van Beest, Feijen, Van Herk

            Comment


              #7
              Hi Eric,

              Originally posted by eric.vanbeest View Post
              ...then Reunion should start handling date ranges.
              I'm curious what you mean by this, as Reunion is perfectly capable of accepting date ranges when you enter a date (search "date ranges" in the manual). Now, it does save those date ranges as custom dates, and asks for a sort date, but that's simply so Reunion knows where you want the date to be sorted among other events.

              Are you asking for Reunion to automatically guess where the user wants the date range sorted?

              Thanks,
              Mark Harrison
              Leister Productions, Inc.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by eric.vanbeest View Post
                It is odd that when you send a v 5.5 file to the validator, an issue is flagged with a message relating to v. 5.5.5 limitations.
                I don't think that's what happened - when I sent a file that have VERS 5.5 it was examined against GEDCOM 5.5, so for example complained about the file being in UTF-8 when GEDCOM 5.5 doesn't support it - GEDCOM 5.5.1 supports UTF-8. It also complained that my date ranges were incorrect, and that some fields had too much data.

                When I sent a file (the exact same file, just with VERS 5.5.1, then it didn't complain about UTF-8, but still complained about the date ranges, and some field lengths as being wrong for GEDCOM 5.5.1

                When I sent the same file again with VERS 5.5.5, then some of the other errors disappeared too - field lengths are more generous in some of the GEDCOM 5.5.5 specification.

                A more detailed posting about that is here

                https://www.reuniontalk.com/forum/us...om-5-5-5-query

                Roger

                Roger Moffat
                http://lisaandroger.com/genealogy/
                http://genealogy.clanmoffat.org/

                Comment


                  #9
                  Mark:–

                  > I'm curious what you mean by this, as Reunion is perfectly capable of accepting date ranges when you enter a date

                  You are correct in your explanation. When entering a range, eg. 1940-1945, then Reunion will put this in the field but internally store it as a single date. Happily, it does put a good guess that you can 'Return key' away.

                  However, when searching for events in a certain year, Reunion will not consider then the range in which it may fall, but that single date instead to be relevant. If the custom date associated with the range 1940-1945, then Reunion will never find it when searching for events in 1942. For me this is the main reason for not using date range in Reunion.

                  Also, exporting this data merely exports the original text – 1940-1945 – and not the GEDCOM standard BET 1940 AND 1945.
                  --
                  Eric Van Beest
                  Spring, TX

                  Researching: Van Beest, Feijen, Van Herk

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Hi Eric,

                    Thanks for the explanation.

                    However, when searching for events in a certain year, Reunion will not consider then the range in which it may fall, but that single date instead to be relevant.
                    I will add an entry to our wish list to consider this issue.

                    Thanks again,
                    Mark Harrison
                    Leister Productions, Inc.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by eric.vanbeest View Post
                      Also, exporting this data merely exports the original text – 1940-1945 – and not the GEDCOM standard BET 1940 AND 1945.
                      Once I saw those errors in my GEDCOM file I went through my Reunion database and changed them all to the expected format

                      bet xxxx and yyyy

                      Roger
                      Roger Moffat
                      http://lisaandroger.com/genealogy/
                      http://genealogy.clanmoffat.org/

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by theKiwi View Post

                        Once I saw those errors in my GEDCOM file I went through my Reunion database and changed them all to the expected format

                        bet xxxx and yyyy

                        Roger
                        Actually... that does make a lot of sense :-) even if it is slightly ugly...
                        --
                        Eric Van Beest
                        Spring, TX

                        Researching: Van Beest, Feijen, Van Herk

                        Comment


                          #13
                          So what is the best way for us to enter date ranges that works in Reunion AND GEDCOM? Or isn't there a way yet?
                          Bradley Jansen
                          OS 10.14.6 on a MacBook Pro using Reunion 12 and ReunionTouch 1.0.9

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by B Jansen View Post
                            So what is the best way for us to enter date ranges that works in Reunion AND GEDCOM? Or isn't there a way yet?
                            Write it as noted above

                            bet 1950 and 1955

                            Reunion then prompts that it's a custom date, and what do you want it to represent - so say it represents 1952 or something similar and save it.

                            But as noted above, it would be splendid if internal Reunion would realise that a search for things that happened in 1954 were to include this date in its results list.

                            Roger
                            Roger Moffat
                            http://lisaandroger.com/genealogy/
                            http://genealogy.clanmoffat.org/

                            Comment

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