Open source genealogy with Gramps
Genealogy is a fun hobby for many people around the globe. While there are lots of programs for Windows, Linux options have been lacking. Gramps helps fill this gap
You can add sources to your family tree by clicking on the Sources link on the left-hand side. You can add a new one by clicking the plus icon and filling in all of the relevant information. Recording where you get your information is a very important part of research.
In this age of digital media, it is easier than ever to add a new dimension to your research. You can add media objects (eg image files, videos) to your family tree. Once added, they can be linked through references to events and people.
All of the objects in Gramps can have notes attached to them. This allows you to add extra information to items like photos that have been added, places of importance, sources of information. You can edit details of these notes by clicking on the Notes link.
Displaying your ancestral chart
Now that you have all of your information entered into Gramps, you can start to see what your family tree looks like. There are many charting functions available in Gramps. They are available under the Reports menu item. The usual chart that you will likely want to look at is the ancestral chart. This shows all of your direct ancestors in the classic family tree form. Clicking on the menu item Reports>Graphical Reports> Ancestor Tree will open a dialog window. Here, you can select how many generations to display and presentation details.
Displaying a fan chart
Another common way of visualising your ancestors is by using a fan chart. You can select the number of generations to look at, and several display options. These graphs are interactive, allowing you to move around in your history.
Generating a calendar
With the power of Python, you have the ability to do very complicated processing. One of the included plug-ins allows you to generate a calendar of important dates, like birthdays and marriage anniversaries. You can generate a calendar by clicking on Reports>Graphical Reports>Calendar.
Looking at a timeline
You can generate a timeline of events throughout your history. Clicking on Reports> Graphical Reports>Timeline Chart will open a new dialog where you can set the options. By default, it will create an OpenDocument file, but this can be changed to one of several other file formats.
Generating a website
You can generate a full website, with navigation, of all of your genealogical information. You can choose how much information gets exported, and details of the formatting. You can set the stylesheet that is used for the display. You can even export the whole thing into a gzipped tarball.
Exporting a GEDCOM file
The standard file format for genealogical information is called GEDCOM. There are several versions around, the latest one being 5.5. Gramps exports to the latest version. This is how you can share the information you’ve collected with other researchers.
Checking an import
You can also import data from a GEDCOM file. Sometimes these files may have errors in them. You can check the imported data by clicking on the menu item Tools>Family Tree Repair>Check and Repair Database. This will check several possible problems in your data.
Verifying your data
You may also need to verify the actual data itself. Do you have a 200-year-old relative? Do you have someone who has kids that are older than they are? Clicking on Tools>Utilities>Verify the Data will bring up a dialog window where you can set the parameters to use in the verification.
One common issue, especially when importing data from other sources, is having duplicate entries in your database. Clicking on Tools>Family Tree Processing>Find Possible Duplicate People will bring up a dialog box where you can set the sensitivity. Then it will search through the data for possible matches.
Getting a full book
You can generate a full book report containing all of the information you have collected. Clicking on Reports>Books>Book Report will open up a window where you can select which items to include. Each of these elements can be configured individually. Once everything is ready, you can click on ‘OK’ to get output in either an ODT file or a PDF file.