Coming back to Gramps, gone since 2013

Hello all,

I was using Gramps in 2012-13 (version 3 something?) and stuck the file tree from my computer on Google Drive back then. I would like to pick up where I left off, but the fear of fighting technical incompatibilities or needing to re-enter all the data (I think I have the source data in the file tree) has prevented me from approaching the project.

I have an export file PARKS.gramps from June 2013 and several gpkg files, the most current dated 26 Jun 2013.

Is using the existing files possible? Helpful? Painful? Trivial? Would entering the data from scratch re-fill my brain and thus be the best approach?

I would appreciate your advice.



As you have a proper *.gramps & *.gpkg XML backups you can restore to a new familytree as shown on

Start Gramps and from the menu select Family Trees > Manage Family Trees… then from the Family Trees dialog.

  • Select New and either change the name of the family tree or accept the default.
  • Select Load Family Tree
  • From the menu select Family Trees > Import… and use the Import Family Tree file dialog to navigate to and select your family tree backup then select the Import button.

Once completed the Import Statistics dialog will be shown to confirm a successful import.

You can now use your family tree.

Thanks GP! I hated to ask but there’s just so much information to dig through, I didn’t even know where to start. I did look through the threads for something similar. Anyway, thanks again.

Welcome Back

You did not mention what happened to your media files. If you do not have them any place other than the *.gpkg files, you may/will want to restore them.

If you import the latest *.gpkg, Gramps will import and store the database files. It will also unpack your media into a directory in your base user directory, As you are using Win10, this will be c:\user\%username%\

When complete, you can move this media directory to a more convenient location. Just remember to tell Gramps where this directory is in the Preference >> General tab setting.

Thanks Dave,

My workflow was to search/wander around until I found something pertinent, then I would download or screen grab or scan in or photograph it or whatever to have a local digital copy. This copy would go into a tree named “To Be Gramped” with a folder per surname, and in that folder were folders per individual. Once the information or media was added to Gramps I would move the file from that tree to a tree with the same structure but more contents of course. I have both of these trees in the Google Drive.

I am copying the files from the Googe Drive to my local computer so I can operate on them there and they will be synced to a different tree in Google Drive just to keep the old files intact as they were when I was actively using them in 2013.

So, once I restore to Gramps I will have the media in two places on disk (where I copied it and where Gramps unpacked it) , as well as in the Gramps DB?

Thanks again for your help.

Did you check the datestamps on the database files to see if your backup files were reasonably concurrent?

(The gramps.ini is a text file under your User Directory & one section identifies the file paths for your database, media & backup files.)

No, the computer with the Gramps install is long gone. The data I was working with I knew I should back up remotely, but I was not thinking of backing up Gramps, only the research. In hindsight it may have be wise to backup the Gramps components too.

One more note of gratitude GP, I have imported the 2013 gpkg file into the current Gramps and all is well! To answer my own question, yes, I can browse the re-created media tree and see the media. Gramps rocks! But not as much as those who created, maintain and improve it - you people are the bomb! Thanks to all.


I use Zotero for that, all sources/document/web pages I find with information I save to Zotero using their web clipper, then I add metadata any notes and so on, and creates a citation and a bibliography string that I copy to the fields in Gramps, and I add the media…

Its so much easier to organize sources in Zotero (or any other bibliography/reference tool) that way, but of course, not a way if you want to do “everything” in one software.

Hmmm… food for thought. I hate the detail work of documenting sources. Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll look into it.

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