What is the Gedcom format (version française)

GEDCOM is the abbreviation for GEnealogical Data COMmunication. It is a file format which was initially created by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to allow the exchange of computerized genealogical data within their community.
This format has today become the international standard for the exchange of information between most of the genealogical software programs.

A GEDCOM file is a relational base of genealogical information formatted in sequential files. A relational base is a file of which the structure makes it possible to manage information linked by relationships. For example, two individuals can be linked by a "marriage" or by a "parent-child" relationship. In a sequential file, the information is stored one after the other. The genealogical information found in a GEDCOM file (sequential file) is always associated to an identifier which characterizes it and which makes it possible to link information to another.

Since its creation, the GEDCOM format has evolved and, today, its current version is 5.5. From a version to another, new identifiers were added to manage additional informational and others were removed. All genealogy software programs are not compatible with the most recent GEDCOM version. When importing a GEDCOM file, a program will generally ignore the information associated to identifiers which it does not recognize.

Source : Robert Weinland http://perso.club-internet.fr/rweinl/

Modifications of the files contained in the Banque centrale

The up-grade to the database of the Banque centrale requires several manual operations and we must, during the up-grade, put it out of service. The up-grade is normally performed four times a year. The date of the next up-grade is indicated on the access page of the Banque centrale. 

Modifications of the information recorded in the Banque centrale

It is important to know that the volunteers of the Centre de généalogie francophone do not perform themselves the changes or additions requested by the people who consult them. We invite the people to communicate directly with the person who produced the files. It is thus the responsibility of the authors to verify the information (corrections) which is conveyed to them to modify their GEDCOM files and to forward them to the CGFA who will in turn ensure that the up-date is integrated in the Banque centrale. Click here for the list of the subscribers.

Banque centrale database  (Procedures for the search module)

IMPORTANT : You must become a member of the Centre (absolutely free) in order to access the Banque centrale database search module. Go to the Home page and click on "Devenir Membre".

Section 1 (top) :  The drop-down menu makes it possible, if you wish, to carry out your request in a particular Gedcom or through all the database. If for example, your search relates specifically to a person bearing the surname "Rioux", it is preferable (to shorten the search time, the precision and the number of responses generated) to locate (by the drop-down menu) gedcom #10 on the Rioux family. If you do not find the information sought, you can then redifine your search through all the Banque centrale database by using the option" Search in all Gedcom files". The two boxes "between the year ... and the year..." are very useful when you know the approximate date of birth for the person. If for example, you are searching for the marriage of your uncle who is in his fifties, you can minimize the search time by putting "between the year 1944 and the year 1953 " (if current year is 2003). This option is however not mandatory.

Section 2 (center) : The characteristic and the originality of the search module are of being able to make a search by using sevaral parameters. The various options of this section shown in this form are easy to understand. If you are researching only one individual, it is simply a question of leaving the option "A only" checked on the left and of filling the boxes corresponding to "Individual A" on the right.

The three other options (A spouse of B, A child of B (father), A child of B (mother)) are particularly useful when more details are known. Here is an example: I amlooking for the marriage date of my great-grandfather (Levasseur). However, I do not know his first name. An aunt believes that his wife's surname was Boucher. To create an efficient and fast search, we will thus use option "A spouse of B", and type in the surnames of Levasseur and Boucher in the two corresponding boxes "Surname" in the section on the right between the years 1800 and 1900 (see example).

Section 3 (bottom) : This section enables you to personalize the result screen which will be generated by your search. You can choose "Summary" or "Detail". The difference is that the "Detail" option will immediately give you the source (or gedcom) in which the reponse to your request was found. For the example above (Levasseur and Boucher), the "Detail" option reveals that three events were found in two different databases (gedcom #13 and #21). The "Summary"  is particularly useful when multiple entries are found because it does not indicate the source of the information, thus reducing the time required to display the result screen. Note that it is also possible to configure the display by surname, first name or first name, surname in the part at the right of section 3.

After having found the person sought, it is simply a question of clicking on the desired entry to produce a family file as shown in the following example.. The annotations are in red and they describe in a few words the significance of each field. The hyper-text links (underlined)  lead to other entries making it possible to naviguate from generation to generation (in the example below, the hyperlinks have been desactivated. Only one glance enables you to view all the information relating to this family. L'année de référence is a "beacon" generated by the field containing the date of birth which makes it possible for the search engine to minimize the search time when one gives a reference date (between the year ... and the year ...). It is important to note that all results are not as complete as this one. Indeed, when researching an ascending lineage, it is normal not to enter all the information pertaining to a family, but only the basic information for the individual sought.

Fiche familiale (links are inoperative in this example)

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LEVASSEUR, ALPHONSE (homme) (name of person searched)
# référence: 21,74733 (ref. #)  Année de référence: 1863
Père: OCTAVE LEVASSEUR (father of person searched with link to personal data)
Mère: EMILIE HEBERT  (mother of person searched with link to personal data)
Naissance: 14 JUN 1863,  (date of birth, if known, of person searched)
Décès: 9 MAR 1946, (date of death, if known, of person searched)
Gedcom de Levasseur, Jean-Pierre (13): Les familles Levasseur (source of information with link to information on author)


Date de mariage: 28 JAN 1885 (couple's marriage date, if known) Lieu: ST-CLEMENT (marriage location)
BOUCHER, ODINA (femme) (name of first spouse)
# référence: 21,74734       Année de référence: 1867
LEVASSEUR, JOSEPH (homme)       # référence: 21,74742       Année de référence: 1886
(child #1 of couple Levasseur-Boucher with link to personal data)
Naissance: 19 JAN 1886, St-Éloi, QC
Décès: 6 AVR 1960, Trois-Pistoles, QC

LEVASSEUR, CYRICE (homme)       # référence: 21,74745       Année de référence: 1900
(child #2 of couple Levasseur-Boucher with link to personal data)
Naissance: 2 MAI 1897, St-Françoise, QC
Décès: 26 JUIN 1977, Rimouski, QC

LEVASSEUR, EMILIA (femme)       # référence: 21,74747       Année de référence: 1890
(child #3 of couple Levasseur-Boucher with link to personal data)
Naissance: 3 AOU 1889, St-Éloi, QC
Décès: 16 AOU, Montréal, QC

LEVASSEUR, EUGENIE (femme)       # référence: 21,74749       Année de référence: 1890
(child #4 of couple Levasseur-Boucher with link to personal data)
Naissance: 29 AVR 1891, St-Éloi, QC
Décès: 25 FEV 1976, Trois-Pistoles, QC

LEVASSEUR, EVA (femme)       # référence: 21,74751       Année de référence: 1890
(child #5 of couple Levasseur-Boucher with link to personal data)
Naissance: 28 JAN 1893, Trois-Pistoles, QC
Décès: 4 FEV 1986, Trois-Pistoles, QC

LEVASSEUR, ROSE (femme)       # référence: 21,74753       Année de référence: 1900
(child #6 of couple Levasseur-Boucher with link to personal data)
Naissance: 9 JAN 1897, St-Éloi, QC
Décès: 10 JUIL 1974, Rimouski, QC

LEVASSEUR, CHARLES EUGENE (homme)       # référence: 21,74755       Année de référence: 1900
(child #7 of couple Levasseur-Boucher with link to personal data)
Naissance: 10 OCT 1898, St-Éloi, QC
Décès: 23 DEC 1961, Montréal, QC

LEVASSEUR, WILFRID (homme)       # référence: 21,74757       Année de référence: 1900
(child #8 of couple Levasseur-Boucher with link to personal data)
Naissance: 26 FEV 1902, St-Éloi, QC

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How to transmit your files

The central database bank is made up of more than 230 Gedcom files containing beyond 3,400,000 names of individuals and nearly 1,500,000 marriages.. These files were submitted to us by our members and we invite you to submit yours so that we can integrate it to the Banque centrale. It is simply a question of transmitting your file under the Gedcom format (extension .ged) by using the function "Attach file" of your e-mail program. You must also give us precise details on the contents of your database by filling the form at this address:


It must be noted that each file received is checked before being integrated. We also want to advise the members who submit a Gedcom file that it will not be made available for download. In fact, these files undergo several transformations in order to make them compatible with our application, and it is not possible for whoever to download them. .


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List of GEDCOMS integrated to Banque centrale