Genealogical Data Communication (GEDCOM)

What is Genealogical Data Communication (GEDCOM)?
Genealogical Data Communication (GEDCOM) is a data structure that contains genealogical information in a specific format for genealogical software that handles such information. A special format for genealogical information is necessary so that different applications can interact (store and share) with one another. A GEDCOM format has '.ged' as a file extension.

GEDCOM files, introduced in their original form in 1984, are simple text files with headers and special fields that can be interpreted by Personal Ancestral File (PAF) or other genealogical software. The files are lightweight and can be easily emailed as attachments and imported into a variety of programs. This gives the user flexibility in transferring useful data. GEDCOM files are text files that contain the data and connections necessary to transfer genealogical data between two users.

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