Gramps 5.1.3 Released

GRAMPS (an abbreviation for “Genealogy Research and Analysis Management Programming System”) is a free software project and community. It is a community project, created, developed and governed by genealogists, not by a commercial company. The project contributors strive to produce a genealogy program that is both intuitive for hobbyists and feature-complete for professional genealogists.

Gramps is a genealogy program for Linux, Windows, Macintosh, and FreeBSD that allows you to easily build and keep track of your family tree. It is obviously the most popular genealogy program of today for Linux and FreeBSD. It also has many users on Windows and Macintosh. It is FOSS (free and open-source software).

Gramps also has been ported to a cloud-based program for some time. In theory, you should be able to use the cloud-based version of Gramps with any Android, Apple iOS (specifically iPad), Chromebook, Windows, Macintosh, or Linux computer. Since it runs from the cloud, no software installation in your computing device is required. Best of all, Gramps is available FREE of charge.

All versions of Gramps support the GEDCOM standard, allow fine grained privacy controls, and can generate many different types of reports (descendant trees, graphs, connection diagrams, and more.)

You can read more about Gramps at and at You can also read a bit more about the cloud-based version of Gramps in my earlier article at:

The producers of Gramps have now released a new update: version 5.1.3. It is primarily a maintenance release with no new features being added.

Information about the new 5.1.3 release may be found at:

The complete version of Gramps may be downloaded (free of charge) at


I have all my genealogy information on Family Tree Maker. Will this program accept all of the information and place it into Gramps?


    Yes. Both Gramps and Family Tree Maker will read and write GEDCOM files. For more information about GEDCOM, see my earlier article, “GEDCOM Explained” at


    Read that GEDCOM article very carefully. All GEDCOM’s are not created equal. Not all GEDCOM’s are read equally, either. The data may not transfer completely or correctly. The transfer will not include media files, as only text data fields are transferred. For me, notes are a particular concern as I have a lot of information stored in them, for individuals and marriages. So … 1) Carefully check the before and after transfer results. Sample testing will give a good idea of the accuracy and completeness in YOUR situation. 2) Keep backup copies of the original database and software if it is ever necessary to go back and check the original pre-conversion. And, as always, store copies at an offsite location.


May I ask, Dick, which genealogy software you use? I am about to embark on a genealogy “Do Over”. Have used FTM for years, but it just gets more and more complex, and I’m not very happy with Ver. 2019. I kind of l8ke the sound of Gramps. Thank you.


    —> May I ask, Dick, which genealogy software you use?

    Because of this newsletter, I am constantly experimenting with new genealogy software. I don’t really have any “one program” that I use. I am usually experimenting with 2 or 3 different ones at any given time. For instance, in the past few days I have been using Gramps on my Linux laptop.

    HOWEVER, at all times, I also keep all my genealogy records in the cloud for long-term storage. Everything else is optional; I might delete any other genealogy program at any time.

    By saying “I also keep all my genealogy records in the cloud” I mean I always have a recent GEDCOM file plus hundreds of text files and old photographs saved in my favorite file storage service in the cloud (all backed up to still ANOTHER cloud service plus more backups on my own computers’ hard drives and even more backups on flash drives) plus notes in Evernote plus I use MyHeritage for all data input, output, reports, and more.

    So you see I don’t really have any “one” genealogy program.

    As to my recommendation to anyone else: You have many options to choose from. I suggest you read product reviews (such as those in this newsletter and elsewhere), try all the free trials, experiment with several programs for your operating system(s), and then pick the one (or more) that feel best for your usage.

    For anyone who would like to have some assurance that their selected genealogy program will not become obsolete within a year or two, I would strongly suggest evaluating at least some genealogy programs in the cloud. The cloud will not be the best choice forever as someday there will be something even more attractive as the cloud becomes obsolete. However, my impression of entering your data into only one computer with only one hard drive and no capability to switch to another operating system in the future and no capability to share genealogy information with other family members or distant relatives around the world, and no capability for automatically finding matches among other genealogists’ claims for the same people, is “so 1980s.” I prefer to live in the 21st century.

    Always look for the best solution that will work for you long-term. Windows will not last forever. Neither will Macintosh or Chromebooks or Linux or iPad or Android devices. The cloud isn’t perfect and probably will last only until something better comes along, but the cloud looks like the longest-lasting solution of anything I see in the marketplace today.


Thank you for the thoughtful and insightful response. Lots to think about, and what you say is very relevant to all of us in the genealogy world.


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