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

Name and Meaning






A processing indicator signifying access to information has been denied or otherwise restricted.

Formal Description of Permissible Values

Base: GEDCOM Standard Draft 5.5.1


is called by the structures of:


It may take the values:


[ confidential | locked | privacy ]

In the standard it is explicitly mentioned that RESN is used and exported from Ancestral File. The standard also defines the meaning as follows:

confidential = This data was marked as confidential by the user. In some systems data marked as confidential will be treated differently, for example, there might be an option that would stop confidential data from appearing on printed reports or would prevent that information from being exported.

locked = Some records in Ancestral File have been satisfactorily proven by evidence, but because of source conflicts or incorrect traditions, there are repeated attempts to change this record. By arrangement, the Ancestral File Custodian can lock a record so that it cannot be changed without an agreement from the person assigned as the steward of such a record. The assigned steward is either the submitter listed for the record or Family History Support when no submitter is listed.

privacy = Indicate that information concerning this record is not present due to rights of or an approved request for privacy. For example, data from requested downloads of the Ancestral File may have individuals marked with ‘ privacy’ if they are assumed living, that is they were born within the last 110 years and there isn’ t a death date. In certain cases family records may also be marked with the RESN tag of privacy if either individual acting in the role of HUSB or WIFE is assumed living.

Agreements for RESN

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

R1 Identification of Restricted Information

At GEDCOM export restricted information may be indicated by the tag RESN. This can be used by the user of the receiving program for differentiated ways of handling such information, e.g. preparation of reports or further GEDCOM exports. The tag RESN is used only in individual or family records and in EVENT_DETAIL. It only can get the values confidential | locked | privacy.

For German translation it is recommended to use the words vertraulich | gesperrt | privat.

R2 Handling of Restricted Data

The responsibility for dealing with restricted information, especially the compliance with the provisions of data protection laws, remains with the user. In particular, no one can be sure that the receiving programs support the tag RESN. If RESN is not supported, the labeling of data as confidential is ineffective in the importing program. GEDCOM files offer as plain text files basically full access to its contents. This must be taken into account for a transfer of Gedcom files by the user.

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