At GDS we have been developing for more than 30 years,
giving support to thousands of families that are rebuilding their history

I am Joaquim M. Casals de Nadal, Industrial Engineer and Graduate in Computer Science. I have developed my entire career in IBM Spain, the United States and France. And later I have been part of other organizations such as Baan, Tridion or Tectura. For 40 years, I have dedicated my free time to my two passions, my family and the GDS. As an amateur I have been devoting thousands of hours to this project and it wasn’t until 8 years after starting to develop it that I considered being able to market it. I am absolutely grateful to those people like you who have supported and helped me to continue improving and developing a product that I am extraordinarily proud of. And a special mention deserves my thanks to the person who has accompanied me in life for more than 50 years, my wife MarĂ­a Antonia Virosque, who without her support and courage, nothing would have been possible.


With the appearance of the IBM PC, the great potential of computers in the domestic sphere is discovered. With a 16-bit technology, a very limited RAM memory and the Basic programming language, I was able to create the first version of ARBOLGEN, a first model of a people network structure. The curious name of the program came from the limitation that existed in file names, which was 8 letters and 3 letters for the extension. So officially “ARBOLGEN.EXE” is born

GDS 1.01 (12/1994)

The first commercial version of ARBOLGEN goes on sale, with a name change to GDS (Genealogical Documentation System, in English) and its version 1.01. It is distributed in stores contained in a 3.5″ floppy disk. This version already allowed the extraction of lists to show the information. Its archaic screen model was modernized to a window system thanks to the Visual Basic for DOS programming language. This offered a modern system for modeling screens similar to what we see today in Windows.

V 2.0 (1/1994)

Thanks to an old-fashioned system of postal correspondence with users, it manages to fix many bugs and add new functionality. This version had more than 93 revisions published, but the distribution system made it very difficult to keep all users updated.

V 3.0 (01/2002)

The first version of the GDS for Windows is released. For this, a complete reengineering is done from its foundations. The user interface changes from text mode to graphic mode, a big difference for the time. This change was made possible by Visual Basic for Windows, a flagship programming product from Microsoft. GDS abandoned the old-fashioned DOS forever. First version of the website

V 4.0 (04/2002)

The new approach with Windows offers the programmer many tools to display information in a thousand ways. This version focuses on exploiting these benefits with the addition of a lot of additional functionality related to graphs, such as the calculation of ancestors and descendants, analysis of the family relationship between any two people and the first and mythical Descendants Graph in large format.

V 5.0 (03/2004)

4 and a half years, and more than 49 product revisions support one of the most fruitful versions of GDS for its creator. By this time, memory and hard drive constraints were a thing of the past, so a low-level redesign of the database structure was done, adding more and larger information fields. Essential functionalities were developed, such as the advanced search for people, creation of the photo album and documents with support for up to 7 graphic formats. The doors were opened to the world with its import and export to GEDCOM, Web and Excel format. And much more functionality was added, such as the calculation of more than 250,000 surnames of a person, the new list of people, the creation of data sources or the connection with Google Maps.

V 6.0 (11/2008)

If version 5 was a breakthrough for the average GDS user, we can safely say that version 6 was dedicated to developing functionality for the expert user. A new family relationship graph appears, the analysis of the Julian and Gregorian calendars, multipage documents, database integration and the integration process of repeated people are added. The search for ephemeris, massive data changes and equivalences of names, surnames and others or statistical analysis of the same is also provided.

V 7.0 (7/2012)

Version 7 was quite continuistic, but the new lives graph, the number of living people graph, the creation of books, the relationship and inbreeding circuits and some improvements in the import of GEDCOM files from MyHeritage.

V 8.0 (9/2017)

With 32 revisions to date, version 8 is established as a very mature and refined version where functionalities such as the new family graph (the most complex and sophisticated to date) have been added, as well as the genetic data in the file. of the person, the perpetual calendar, the connection of people added in the free texts of the person’s panel and the massive conversion of names and surnames (normalizing the first letter in uppercase and the others in lowercase).

GDS System