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A Python module for parsing, analyzing, and manipulating GEDCOM files.

Project description

python-gedcom logo

Latest Version GEDCOM format version 5.5 Python versions 3.5 to 3.9 Licensing

A Python module for parsing, analyzing, and manipulating GEDCOM files.

GEDCOM files contain ancestry data. The parser is currently supporting the GEDCOM 5.5 format which is detailed here.


Documentation can be found here:


For the latest changes please have a look at the file.

Common problems

  • When you name your script, and import the gedcom module from this package, running your script won't work because Python will try to resolve imports like gedcom.element.individual from within your but not from within the module from this package. Rename your file in this case. (#26)

Local development

Local development is done using pyenv and pipenv using Python 3.5.

Running tests

  1. Run pipenv install -d to install normal and dev dependencies
  2. Run tests with tox (pipenv run tox in your console)
    • For Python 3.5 run pipenv run tox -e py35 (you need to have Python 3.5 installed)
    • For Python 3.6 run pipenv run tox -e py36 (you need to have Python 3.6 installed)
    • For Python 3.7 run pipenv run tox -e py37 (you need to have Python 3.7 installed)
    • For Python 3.8 run pipenv run tox -e py38 (you need to have Python 3.8 installed)

Generating docs

  1. Run pipenv install -d to install normal and dev dependencies
  2. Run pipenv run pdoc3 --html -o docs/ python_gedcom_2 --force to generate docs into the docs/ directory

To develop docs run pipenv run pdoc3 --http localhost:8000 gedcom to watch files and instantly see changes in your browser under http://localhost:8000.

Uploading a new package to PyPI

  1. Run pipenv install -d to install normal and dev dependencies
  2. Run pipenv run python3 sdist bdist_wheel to generate distribution archives
  3. Run pipenv run twine upload --repository-url dist/* to upload the archives to the Test Python Package Index repository

When the package is ready to be published to the real Python Package Index the repository-url is

pipenv run twine upload --repository-url dist/*


This module was originally based on a GEDCOM parser written by Daniel Zappala at Brigham Young University (Copyright (C) 2005) which was licensed under the GPL v2 and then continued by Mad Price Ball in 2012.

The project was taken over by Nicklas Reincke in 2018. Together with Damon Brodie a lot of changes were made and the parser was optimized.

It has most recently been forked by Pat Swanson in 2021.


Licensed under the GNU General Public License v2

Python GEDCOM Parser
Copyright (C) 2018 Damon Brodie (damon.brodie at
Copyright (C) 2018-2019 Nicklas Reincke (contact at
Copyright (C) 2016 Andreas Oberritter
Copyright (C) 2012 Madeleine Price Ball
Copyright (C) 2005 Daniel Zappala (zappala at
Copyright (C) 2005 Brigham Young University

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301 USA.

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