My Motive

Ancestry.com is a fantastic research tool, but it is aimed towards making sure data stays within their platform. Useful source citations and downloading of source media is a real pain. On the other hand MacFamilyTree is awesome (and proper) genealogy software, and even though it has FamilySearch.org built in, it just doesn’t have the weath of data of Ancestry.com.

So I use both. My main tree (that the majority of my time has been spend on) is in MacFamilyTree, but I have also created a tree from scratch in Ancestry.com that is only build from sources (not other members trees).

Now I need to get all the new information that I have uncovered from Ancestry.com into MacFamilyTree. Of course MacFamilyTree has tree merging functionality, but I didn’t want to whack everything in at once. Rather, I wanted to compare differences so that I could make adjustments to either tree appropriately.

My Solution

I couldn’t find any tools that were right for me, and I knew at some point I would need some level of customisation/automation so I decided to the write the comparison tool myself.

I call it gedcompare. It is a simple script written in Python that uses the gedcom package to do the initial file parsing. Here is the output of three different individuals of similar GEDCOM files:



At the moment it is most reliable when individuals have the same name in both trees. The method individuals are matched between trees will becomes more intelligent in the future (for example, using parents and spouse information as well).

To maximise space I’ve tried to use emojis wherever there would normally be words. You can see a full list of what the emojis mean in the README.



I hope this tool helps others save time. If you find bugs, have suggestions, or just want to ask a question you can always raise an issue.