What is GenXML?

GenXML is a file format for exchange of data between genealogy programs. It is an alternative to Gedcom 5.5. The idea of GenXML is that:
  • it shall be easy to read by most genealogical programs
  • it shall be easy to write by most genealogical programs
  • it shall be easy to manipulate by third party programs
  • all kinds of information shall fit into one and only one place

GenXML compared with Gedcom 5.5

GenXML 2.0:

  • uses established standards.
  • is more strictly defined.
  • is based on an evidence/conclusion model.
  • includes structures for the research process.
  • supports combining two or more persons that may be the same individual.
  • supports basing an assertion (for example an event) on two other assertions.
  • includes an advanced place structure (which also supports the simple Gedcom-style place structure).
  • includes an advanced name structure (which also supports the simple Gedcom-style name structure).
  • uses an ISO 8601-based date-format where also the month is represented by a number. In this way it is also possible to record dates with a known day, but unknown month. The same format is used whatever the calendar is.
  • supports more special dates than Gedcom. For example "from about 1700 to after 1724" is possible to store in GenXML, but not in Gedcom.
  • have no intention of defining all possible events and attributes. Instead events, and attributes, are grouped into different classes of events.
  • supports the use of different languages in different parts of the file.
  • allows sex="unknown".
  • allows the differentiation of data according to audience. (For example data may be marked as "private" or "public".)
  • allows the marking of a 'preferred' event, attribute or association of each class. This may control the import into a simpler program

GenXML 3.0 adds the following features (se the specifications for a complete list):

  • supports tabular source data
  • a new attribute, level, has been added to the excerpt structure to allow for keeping the history of imported data
  • a sortdate tag has been added to the date structure for sorting and calculation purposes
  • the place structure is now on top level and hierarchical allowing for structured places
  • the tag Ďaliasí has been added to the place structure for connecting different place names representing the same physical place
  • the header structure has been enhanced
  • the eventtype structure has been enhanced
  • extensions are now allowed in all main structures as well as in object, address and place


Download GenXML View Schema


Here is an example of GenXML1.0. This file is a freeware Gedcom-file which is imported into a Norwegian genealogy program and then exported as GenXML.
Here is an example of GenXML 2.0. This is the same Gedcom-file as above, converted to GenXML using Ged2XML.


Copyright (C) 2010 Christoffer Owe