Computing - Perl Programs 1

Here are some basic Perl programs that can be downloaded and used to perform some task on Gedcom files.


surnames - List all surnames in Gedcom files

Download surnames. Requires

Program surnames prints a sorted list of all surnames in the specified Gedcom files.


surnames {-ch} file1 {file2...}

  -c ... list number of occurrences of each surname
  -h ... list help text


prune - Prune out undesired records from a Gedcom file

Download prune. Requires

prune is a filter program that prunes records out of the input Gedcom file based on the specified criterion. This can be useful for pruning out information before making it available on the internet.


prune {above|below|spouse} indi-id

indi-id must be the label identifying an individual in the Gedcom file.

  above ... prune the ancesters of the specified individual
  below ... prune the children of the specified individual
  below ... prune the spouses of the specified individual

The program reads from standard input and writes to standard output.


  1. The program works by first building a list of the links between top-level records in the Gedcom data. Then, links are severed based on the specified criterion, and then the program determines which top-level records can still be reached from the specified individual. Finally, all reachable top-level records are printed out.
  2. The program assumes that the Gedcom data is consistent with Gedcom version 5.5. For data that is not 5.5 compliant, certain records may be pruned out since there is no link to them from any other record. For example, in Gedcom 5.5, if there is no 1 SUBM record under the 0 HEAD record, the top-level 0 SUBM structure for the file will be pruned out. To prevent this, add a 1 SUBM to the header structure.


gendex - Write out a GENDEX file from a Gedcom file

Download gendex. Requires writes out a GENDEX file. This is a file described at .

Invocation gedcom-file html-file

gedcom-file is the name of the gedcom file to be processed.
html-file is the URL of the web page describing the gedcom file.

The program writes to standard output.


summary - Write out a summary of a Gedcom file

Download summary. Requires writes out a summary of the individuals in a gedcom file. For each individual, the following information is listed:

  • Name
  • Date and place of birth or christening
  • Date and place of death or burial
  • Label in gedcom file

Invocation gedcom-file

gedcom-file is the name of the gedcom file to be processed.

The program writes to standard output.