GEDCOM/FAM-Tag

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This page is an English extract of the German page GEDCOM/FAM-Tag [1], for full details see the German page.

Name and Meaning

Tag

FAM

Meaning

FAMILY

Usage

The FAMily record is used to record marriages, common law marriages, and family unions caused by two people becoming the parents of a child. There can be no more than one HUSB/father and one WIFE/mother listed in each FAM_RECORD. If, for example, a man participated in more than one family union, then he would appear in more than one FAM_RECORD. The family record structure assumes that the HUSB/father is male and WIFE/mother is female.

Formal Description of Permissible Values

Base: GEDCOM Standard Draft 5.5.1

For the family the GEDCOM standard provides a separate record. Its structure is defined as follows:

FAM_RECORD:=
n @<XREF:FAM>@ FAM {1:1}
+1 RESN <RESTRICTION_NOTICE> {0:1}
+1 <<FAMILY_EVENT_STRUCTURE>> {0:M}
+1 HUSB @<XREF:INDI>@ {0:1}
+1 WIFE @<XREF:INDI>@ {0:1}
+1 CHIL @<XREF:INDI>@ {0:M}
+1 NCHI <COUNT_OF_CHILDREN>10 {0:1}
+1 SUBM @<XREF:SUBM>@ {0:M}
+1 <<LDS_SPOUSE_SEALING>> {0:M}
+1 REFN <USER_REFERENCE_NUMBER> {0:M}
+2 TYPE <USER_REFERENCE_TYPE> {0:1}
+1 RIN <AUTOMATED_RECORD_ID> {0:1}
+1 <<CHANGE_DATE>> {0:1}
+1 <<NOTE_STRUCTURE>> {0:M}
+1 <<SOURCE_CITATION>> 0:M}
+1 <<MULTIMEDIA_LINK>> {0:M}

The standard explaines more in detail:

The FAMily record is used to record marriages, common law marriages, and family unions caused by two people becoming the parents of a child. There can be no more than one HUSB/father and one WIFE/mother listed in each FAM_RECORD.

If, for example, a man participated in more than one family union, then he would appear in more than one FAM_RECORD. The family record structure assumes that the HUSB/father is male and WIFE/mother is female.

The preferred order of the CHILdren pointers within a FAMily structure is chronological by birth.

According to the standard the statements about the type of parent-child relationship is not part of the family record, but part of the record for the individual person. It defines:

The normal lineage links are shown through the use of pointers from the individual to a family through either the FAMC tag or the FAMS tag. The FAMC tag provides a pointer to a family where this person is a child. The FAMS tag provides a pointer to a family where this person is a spouse or parent. The <<CHILD_TO_FAMILY_LINK>> (see page 31) structure contains a FAMC pointer which is required to show any child to parent linkagefor pedigree navigation. The <<CHILD_TO_FAMILY_LINK>> structure also indicates whether the pedigree link represents a birth lineage, an adoption lineage, or a sealing lineage.

Linkage between a child and the family they belonged to at the time of an event can also be shown by a FAMC pointer subordinate to the appropriate event. For example, a FAMC pointer subordinate to an adoption event indicates a relationship to family by adoption. Biological parents can be shown by a FAMC pointer subordinate to the birth event(optional).

The events assigned to families in the FAM_RECORD are detailed as follows by the as often quotable <<FAMILY_EVENT_STRUCTURE>>:

FAMILY_EVENT_STRUCTURE:=
[
n [ ANUL | CENS | DIV | DIVF ] {1:1}
+1 <<FAMILY_EVENT_DETAIL>> {0:1}
|
n [ ENGA | MARB | MARC ] {1:1}
+1 <<FAMILY_EVENT_DETAIL>> {0:1}
|
n MARR [Y|<NULL>] {1:1}
+1 <<FAMILY_EVENT_DETAIL>> {0:1}
|
n [ MARL | MARS ] {1:1}
+1 <<FAMILY_EVENT_DETAIL>> {0:1}
|
n RESI {1:1} *1)
+1 <<FAMILY_EVENT_DETAIL>> {0:1}
|
n EVEN [<EVENT_DESCRIPTOR> | <NULL>] {1:1}
+1 <<FAMILY_EVENT_DETAIL>> {0:1}
]
 
*1) {1:1} added. Is missing in the original of the Standard.

Thus the following definitions are specified in the standard:

ANUL (Annulment) Declaring a marriage void from the beginning (never existed).
CENS (Census) The event of the periodic count of the population for a designated locality, such as a national or state Census.
DIV (Divorce) An event of dissolving a marriage through civil action.
DIVF (Divorce filed) An event of filing for a divorce by a spouse.
ENGA (Engagement) An event of recording or announcing an agreement between two people to become married.
MARB (Marriage bann) An event of an official public notice given that two people intend to marry.
MARC (Marriage contract) An event of recording a formal agreement of marriage, including the prenuptial agreement in which marriage partners reach agreement about the property rights of one or both, securing property to their children.
MARR (Marriage) A legal, common-law, or customary event of creating a family unit of a man and a woman as husband and WIFE.
MARL (Marriage license) An event of obtaining a legal license to marry.
MARS (Marriage settlement) An event of creating an agreement between two people contemplating marriage, at which TIME they agree to release or modify property rights that would otherwise arise from the marriage.
RESI (Residence) An address or place of residence that a family or individual resided.
EVEN (Event) Pertaining to a noteworthy happening related to an individual, a group, or an organization. An EVENt structure is usually qualified or classified by a subordinate use of the TYPE tag.

The family event <<FAMILY_EVENT_DETAIL>> differs from ordinary event by the additional possible ages for men and women at the time of the event:

FAMILY_EVENT_DETAIL:=
n HUSB {0:1}
+1 AGE <AGE_AT_EVENT> {1:1}
n WIFE {0:1}
+1 AGE <AGE_AT_EVENT> {1:1}
n <<EVENT_DETAIL>> {0:1}

And finally, the ordinary event <<EVENT_DETAIL>> givs us the following capabilities to be assigned to the events:

EVENT_DETAIL:=
n TYPE <EVENT_OR_FACT_CLASSIFICATION> {0:1}
n DATE <DATE_VALUE> {0:1}
n <<PLACE_STRUCTURE>> {0:1}
n <<ADDRESS_STRUCTURE>> {0:1}
n AGNC <RESPONSIBLE_AGENCY> {0:1}
n RELI <RELIGIOUS_AFFILIATION> {0:1}
n CAUS <CAUSE_OF_EVENT> {0:1}
n RESN <RESTRICTION_NOTICE> {0:1}
n <<NOTE_STRUCTURE>> {0:M}
n <<SOURCE_CITATION>> {0:M}
n <<MULTIMEDIA_LINK>> {0:M}

Agreements for FAM

The agreements for FAM are derived from the discussion on the Gedcom-L. They were decided by a vote of the program authors of the list.

F1 Deliminations of "Families"

In the FAM record the information about the connection between two individuals are represented as a (married) couple or the relationships between parents and children.

F2 Composition of the Family

In a family record man ( HUSB ) and woman ( WIFE ) may be present only once each as a maximum. The export of family records without man or woman ( even without man and woman, that means only with children ) is allowed. To the family any number of children can be assigned.

F3 Events to a Family

The use of all tags for an event, explicitly described by the GEDCOM standard, is permitted. It is also recommended to give priority to use these tags instead of an possible construction of EVEN plus TYPE, e.g. preferably

n ENGA

and not:

n EVEN 
n+1 TYPE Engagement

F4 Civil and Religious Marriage

The event MARR describes the marriage between the ( marital ) partners. If the program offers for the user the opportunity to add to MARR the nature of marriage or wedding ceremony, then this text input is exported as entered by the user with the subordinate tag TYPE.

However, if the program has fixed data fields for civil and religious marriages, it is recommended to export the civil ceremony as

n MARR 
n+1 TYPE CIVIL

and the religious marriage as

n MARR 
n+1 TYPE RELI

. Programs with only a fixed data field for Marriage exporting it as a

n MARR

and can provide the option to the user to describe more weddings by self-entered descriptions, for example, a religious marriage after a civil marriage to be exported in the form

n EVEN 
n+1 TYPE Religious wedding

F5 Parents to Child Relations

The type of relation between parents and child is described in the individual record with the tag FAMC. It was agreed not to export this information in the family record under CHIL by user-defined tags.

F6 Consistency of Family and Individual Records

Within a GEDCOM file it must be ensured that for any HUSB, WIFE and CHIL of the family records the related individual record with the associated pointer exists and, in opposite direction, the individual record references the family record by the tag FAMS ( for HUSB, WIFE ) or by FAMC ( for CHIL ). Backwards for all FAMS and FAMC of the individual records the corresponding family records must exist with the associated HUSB, WIFE or CHIL.

F7 Married and None-married Partners, Status of Partnership

The standard specifies that the statement that two people are married, can be exported in the form

n MARR Y

without subordinate tag. According to the rules of the standard it is not allowed to export in the form

n MARR

without subordinate tag, since the export of empty tags without continuation lines is not permitted.

The standard explicitly prohibits to export the statement "The persons are not married" with a negative argument instead of Y. It is agreed for programs with internal data fields "not married" or "never married" or a data field "Status", to introduce a user-defined tag _STAT directly below of FAM:

<STATUS_STRUCTURE> :=
n _STAT <STATUS_TEXT>
+1 DATE <DATE_VALUE> {0:1}
+1 <<PLACE_STRUCTURE>> {0:1}
+1 <<NOTE_STRUCTURE>> {0:M}
+1 <<SOURCE_CITATION>> {0:M}

_STAT can have the following values:

<STATUS_TEXT> := [NOT MARRIED | NEVER MARRIED | UNKNOWN | <plain text of the user>]

F8 Same-sex Partnerships

The standard always assumes by the text, that by HUSB a man and by WIFE a woman is referenced. An explicit arrangement for same-sex partnerships is not included in the standard.

It is recommended not to conclude from the tags HUSB and WIFE to the gender of the person ( this is explicitly set by the tag SEX in the individual record or remains open in absence of tag SEX ). Therefor same-sex partnerships can be exported in the family record by referring by HUSB to a woman or by WIFE to a man.

F9 Several Family Records to the Same Persons

The standard allows the possibility for multiple relations between the same persons to show them in one family record or to split these relations to several family records. Even unmarried parents of a child can be exported with the child according to the standard within a common family record or in separate family records.

It is recommended to export multiple relations between the same persons ( e.g. remarriage after divorce ) in several family records and export unmarried parents of a child in one joint family record.

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