At the moment I work with two programs: Gramps has my master database, and I use RootsMagic to connect to the FamilySearch tree, because it helps me find clues that would otherwise be hard to find.

I don't like copying GEDCOM's back and forth between these two, because that could lead to loss of data, but I do like to find out whether there are changes made in RootsMagic that definitely need to be imported in my Gramps tree.

Running a text diff on the GEDCOM's created by either program does not work here, because that diff shows all sorts of technical differences, like person ID's, while I like to concentrate on the real thing, i.e. persons, events, sources.

Hence the question: Is there a good tool that can compare two GEDCOM's and that let's me concentrate on the 'real' data?

I know about gedcompare, but that tool is pretty old, and not supported anymore, I think.

  • Commenting on the gedcompare I mentioned here. It's a Dutch program, which is OK for me, but it's hard coded to rely on .NET 1.1, which is not easy to install on Windows 7. I run it on my old XP system right now, and will report back when it's done. Feb 7, 2013 at 19:49
  • Update: gedcompare didn't complete the comparison either. Feb 7, 2013 at 23:54

4 Answers 4


In the upcoming Gramps version 4.0, there is an Addon report called Database Differences that shows more relevant differences than just a textual diff on the GEDCOM files (see sample of early version http://gramps-project.org/wiki/index.php?title=File:Database-diff-report.png). In Gramps 4.1, this will be further improved, with the end goal of actually being able to Sync the differences.

This isn't a direct GEDCOM comparison, as it first imports the GEDCOM (or other genealogy file type) into a temporary Gramps database. In fact, this won't be useful for GEDCOM until we add the _UID attribute to objects, so that we can compare them properly. The import/export of _UID in GEDCOM is planned for Gramps 4.0.

  • I'm looking forward to use and improve that feature, but since my production database is in Gramps 3.4.3, I'm a little hesitant to install 4.0 alpha in the same environment. I improved _UID support in my own copy of 3.4.3 already, so that the _UID's once created by PAF are preserved whenever I move data back and forth. Feb 8, 2013 at 14:44
  • At this time, it would also be nice to have a working XML diff, so that I can compare my original .gramps file with a new one created from the GEDCOM that's returned by RootsMagic. But to my regret, the xmldiff that I found ran out of heap in my JRE. Feb 8, 2013 at 14:49
  • And now that I switched from AQ to RM for the FS tree, I also have the option to read the RM database, which uses SQLite. Still looking for the best option though. Feb 8, 2013 at 14:51

Have you looked at vs 1.1 of GEDCOM View and Compare. Description includes:

  • Visualization of differences in the data of persons included in two GEDCOM files
  • 1
    I'm looking at it right now, and my first impression is that it's extremely slow. I have two GEDCOM files, less than 9000 persons each, and the program is still loading the 1st. Looks like it will need more than 10 minutes for that, on an i7 system, with 8 GB RAM. I'll report back when both files are loaded. Feb 7, 2013 at 15:45
  • Update: It doesn't work for me. Reading two 5 MB files and sorting them took more than an hour here. And when I clicked the diff button, the program froze, and crashed later. By that time, memory consumption had gone up to over 1 GB, for GEDCOM files totalling 10 MB. Feb 7, 2013 at 19:46

The gedcomdiff program (https://github.com/elliotchance/gedcom) does this and produces a HTML report.

It is being used with large trees (20k+) and shows a progress bar.

You can also use it for free online at: https://gedcom.app

Disclaimer: I wrote this.

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    Jan 11, 2019 at 7:00

I tried to find something that worked for my usecase but couldn't, so I ended up writing the code myself. It spits out text information on differences in event places and dates, as well as missing individuals (parents, spouses, children) from either file: https://github.com/francoisforster/gedcom-cleanup

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