GEDCOM (Genealogical Data Communication) is a file format used to exchange genealogical data between different software programs and systems. It is a standard that was developed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and has been widely adopted by the genealogy community.

There are several versions of GEDCOM, with the most recent being version 5.5.1. Each version adds new features and makes improvements to the format.

To use GEDCOM, you’ll need a genealogy software program that can export and import GEDCOM files. Many popular genealogy software programs such as Ancestry, FamilySearch, and MyHeritage support GEDCOM.

Here are the basic steps to using GEDCOM:

  1. Export your data from your genealogy software program as a GEDCOM file. This can usually be done by selecting the “Export” option from the program’s menu and selecting GEDCOM as the file type.
  2. Save the GEDCOM file to your computer.
  3. If you want to import the GEDCOM file into another genealogy software program, open the program and select the “Import” option from the menu. Select the GEDCOM file you saved and follow the prompts to complete the import process.
  4. If you want to share the GEDCOM file with someone else, you can email it to them or upload it to a cloud storage service like Dropbox or Google Drive.

It’s important to note that not all genealogy software programs support all versions of GEDCOM. If you’re having trouble importing a GEDCOM file into a program, check to make sure that the version of GEDCOM you’re using is compatible with the program. Additionally, some programs may not support all of the features of GEDCOM, so you may lose some data when exporting or importing files.