Family History Hosting Announces a GEDCOM Assessment Tool

An ongoing discussion of GEDCOM versions and compatibility has been in the news lately. See and to find two recent articles about GEDCOM capabilities that were published in this newsletter. Now John Cardinal of Family History Hosting, LLC has issued a new tool for use by anyone interested in GEDCOM data transfers.

The new tool consists of a specially-constructed GEDCOM file and accompanying help pages designed to assess the GEDCOM import process of a genealogy application. Genealogists who use GEDCOM-aware applications may find it useful. Here is the announcement:

Narragansett, RI – December 2, 2019Family History Hosting, LLC is pleased to announce free GEDCOM Assessment resources including assess.ged at .

assess.ged is a special GEDCOM file you may use to test the GEDCOM import capability of any program that reads a GEDCOM file and imports the contents. By reviewing the results you can determine whether and how the target application handles various GEDCOM records and record combinations.

Many genealogists have evaluated a GEDCOM transfer by exporting from program “A” and importing into program “B”. That is useful for the specific combination of program “A” and “B” but introduces uncertainty into the process because missing information or unexpected results could be the fault of either program. Using a hand-crafted GEDCOM file focuses the evaluation on the import capabilities of the importing program. The results help end-users understand what will and will not transfer properly into the target application and the results help software authors understand how to tailor results for the target application.

The GEDCOM file includes more than 175 tests, and more will be added with input from users. Each test is defined within an INDI (person) record in the GEDCOM file where the given name indicates the name of the test. Tests are divided into test areas using the surname of the person record. Organizing the tests this way helps keep things clear when evaluating the results.

Each test area has a help page with an entry for each test. The help text describes the purpose of the test and how to evaluate the result.

Many of the tests are self-documenting and assessing the results is as simple as viewing the imported person details. Other assessments require a detailed inspection of the imported records compared to the GEDCOM records in the test.

The GEDCOM Assessment web site at includes detailed information about the GEDCOM file, a help page entry for each test, and utilities for recording the results of importing assess.ged into a target application. The site also includes a tool to convert a GEDCOM line number to a link to the test that contains that line. This is very useful given many applications produce log messages that include GEDCOM line numbers.

The GEDCOM Assessment web site also includes assessment results at for several popular programs.

Everyone is permitted to download and use assess.ged. There is no usage fee. assess.ged is copyrighted. You may edit assess.ged for your own use, but distribution of copies of assess.ged, amended or not, is prohibited.

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