A few questions regarding Gramps (names & websites)


I am looking for a software to create a family tree going back to 1600s. I cam across Gramps and think this would be a good place to create my data. However, my end goal is to have the family tree online on a website where others can additions/changes (still family, but could be x cousins removed). I have a few questions regarding Gramps:

  1. Is it possible to have names in multiple languages? For example, if a person’s original name it in a different language (Arabic script), I would like to add them in both Arabic and Latin Scripts. This could also mean they have two different first and last names.

  2. If there a way to see all of the person entries on a single chart or can I create a custom chart that will show all of the people (showing both latin and arabic names)? There could be families that are not related to other families (unknown relationships from some great grande parents).

  3. Is there an easy way to export the charts (like the one I mentioned above) to a website?

  4. Is there a way to group families with some code rather than by last name? For example, in some families, boys will take their father’s last name while in the same family girls may take their father’s first name as their last name. Same can be true for the last name. Some women may take their husband’s last name as their last name while others may take husband’s first name as their last name. This will could put them in different families.

Sorry about the long msg. I have a long journey ahead in the project so want to start properly.

Thank you in advance for any help.

Yes. It will show the Primary Name in the interface & most Reports. (The normal recommendation is to use the birth name in the birth language for the primary.) But the Name Editor in the Edit Person’s Name tab has places where you can put Anglicized variants, pen-names, etc.

Although not ideal, I suspect that the most universal way to see the dual language representation in all Reports would to use Multiple Surnames for the Primary name.

Note: The names search simultaneously searches Primary & all alternative names

Gramps defaults to group by Primary last name.

But Grouping can by overridden individually or en masse.


There is a surname Group As override that will alter where a person is Grouped in lists. This does NOT alter a person’s actual record.

I use it to Group records like John Clark and John Clarke together under “Clark (Clarke)”. The user fills in the details so you can set the entry to anything.

The name also has Patronymic and Matronymic settings.

Gramps does not have this capability. It is a single user environment, or at least a single user using the database at any time. And the builtin website generator is not interactive allowing edits.

@SNoiraud is the developer that has put together what Gramps does generate for a website. He has previewed some of the enhancements for the Gramps 5.2 release…

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Thank you for your reply.
I have now successfully tried to enter non-latin names. However, I still cannot see where I can enter both first and last names in latin alphabet. I can only see a place to enter multiple last names. Also, is there a way to see both language names in a chart?


Thank you emyoulation and DaveSch.

I am able to now control groups.

Best Regards.

Thank you DaveSch.

I have now tried the web export functionality but unfortunately I found is lacking in what I am looking for. To be honest, I do not need a full blown details of every person; All I want is a full chart that people can explore. If there isn’t any functionality in Gramps to allow multiple users then I could simply be the owner and ask others to send any edits to me. However, main goal is to have a full char of all the families in the database.

Do you know of any other solution that will take Gramps database and create a web-enabled chart? I really like the simplicity of https://www.familyecho.com but that’s a hosted solution. I would prefer to have all my data on my own website.

Thank you.

You could enter the Latin form as a nickname. You can select an alternate (or define a custom) name format in the Display tab of Preferences. It has almost too much flexibility!

You can add more than one Name in Gramps to a person.

In a person’s edit window, there is a Names tab. In this tab you can add additional Names for the person using the Name Editor. From the this list of Names, you can drag-n-drop one of the names into the Preferred name position which becomes the main displayed and sorted name.

So one of the names could be completely non-Latin alphabet while a second could be entered using the Latin alphabet.

Each of these names can support a different Display name and a Sorted as Name overriding the name display set in Preferences. The alternate sort obviously only applies to the Preferred name but you can set up each name to utilize the option should you need to change the person’s Preferred name. These alternates to the display name will need to be created in Preferences to be available as an alternate.

There is the Name Type. You can add additional Types by simply typing a new entry into the field. So you can add a Type “Americanized” (or whatever meets your needs) to identify a name that has been translated using the Latin alphabet.


A relative has their family tree using The Next Generation (TNG)

It uses GEDCOM as the data transfer. When moving data between programs all fields may not be supported. So you may want to enter a family using as many of the Gramps features to see what would be available/retained after an import. You would not want to enter multiple names for all your records only to find out that TNG does not support their use.

Disclaimer: I do not have first-hand knowledge in the use of this program other than perusing my relative’s site.

Thank you DaveSch. This TNG thing looks promising. I will check it out and see how far I can take it.
I will also try different names l languages to see how the import into it.
Thanks for the suggestion.

Gramps export and import to/from geneweb, it’s an alternative software for web services.
New version 7 is under developement:
geneweb/geneweb: GeneWeb is an open source genealogy software with a web interface created by Daniel de Rauglaudre. (github.com)

I have never tried it myself, so it’s just a tips for an alternative to TNG that’s open source and free.

You also have webtrees and HuMo-Gen.

All of this import/export gedcom, and have multiuser feature.

Another tool you might like is Betty (https://pypi.org/project/betty/). It takes a Gramps XML or Gramps XML Package file (from daily backups or exported manually), and turns that into a website for you. You can view the website on your own machine (it’s a nice way to browse all your data) or publish it to literally any web host (there are no additional requirements). See https://ancestry.bartfeenstra.com/ for an example site. New features are added constantly, and if you feel something’s missing you can post proposals or report bugs at https://github.com/bartfeenstra/betty/issues.

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Thanks DaveSch for the TNG recommendation. It was promising so I contacted the programmer. He told me that program is not able to show names in different languages so that killed it for me. Thanks again.

Thanks StoltHD for the recommendation. I have looked at this and the problem I see if that it isn’t using any standard database. It runs on its own server which means I cannot use it on a shared hosting service. Running it on my home PC would defeat the purpose of having it on the web and running a server in the cloud is simply very cost prohibitive. Very good find though. I only wish it used something like MySQL etc so that I can simply host it online.

Thanks again.

I’m not a fan of geneweb but you should note it is the engine Geneanet is based on. It have on that site hundreds/thousands of individual users, and even lot of users concurrently working on the same tree (it have been designed for).

You can use it too as a docker container on any docker hosting instance.

I know nothing about it, never tried it, so it was just another tips of a multiuser environment…

@DJDJDJDJ, humo-gen and webtree use mysql, and can run on most webhosts

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