VGedX Online: The GEDCOM Validator

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VGedX supports validating GEDCOM 5.5, 5.5.1 and 5.6 files online.

Output Format
Web Page
Comma Seperated File (csv)
Tab Seperated File (txt)
Configuration Options

VGedX Online provides you with the ability to fine tune your validation results. Specifically, VGedX allows you to disable various validation tests so that you can focus on the most critical errors first. All selections are preserved between sessions. None are enabled by default.

  • +Error Overrides

    Select which validation tests to ignore. Note each of the below listed tests represent critical GEDCOM specification violations that will likely result in applications discarding your data on import.

    Ignore Duplicate Records
    Ignore Missing ID References
    Ignore ID Reference Substitutions
    Ignore Missing Continuation Tags
    Ignore Trailing Data
    Ignore Unpaired Ampersands
    Ignore Level Number Gaps
  • +Warning Overrides

    Select which validation tests to ignore. Note each of the below listed tests represent common GEDCOM specification violations that are handled by most, though not all, applications on import.

    Ignore Missing Records
    Ignore Undefined Records
    Ignore Minimum Data Limits
    Ignore Maximum Data Limits
    Ignore Trailing Spaces
    Ignore Tag Occurrence Limits
  • +Information Overrides

    Select which validation tests to ignore. Note none of the below listed tests represent GEDCOM specification violations. Each of these tests flag normal GEDCOM usage that you may be interested in knowing.

    Ignore Unused Records
    Ignore User Defined Records
    Ignore Invalid Date Formats
  • +Options

    Select which validation tests to ignore. Note each of these options result in multiple occrences being flagged. Often you are only interested in the first occurence of an error, so selecting these will eliminate duplicates from your validation report.

    Ignore Tag Error Duplicates
    Skip Processing Failed Records

VGedX will flag parsing errors, length and occurence warnings. It does not validate data field content with the exception of date fields. You can head on over to the Bonkers page afterwards if you want to perfom a sanity check of your file.

Options are provided here for ignoring common warnings. Processing of your file can take several minutes, depending on the size and complexity of your database, so please be patient.

Revision History

Moved to the new Revision History page.

Leave a Comment
  • Tim Forsythe
    27 Mar 2013

    VGedX 1.14 removes the requirement of the ADDR field as part of the address structure in GEDCOM 5.5.1 and 5.6 that was added in the previous release (VGedX 1.13). It was added because the specification states that it is required when the structure is used, but all usages of the address structure are optional so the intent is that only if an address structure is included, then the ADDR field is required - makes sense. Louis Kessler caught this and posted it on his blog:

  • Tim Forsythe
    05 Mar 2013

    VGedX 1.13 fixes a bug in the ADDRess structure for GEDCOM 5.5.1 and 5.6 where it was using GEDCOM 5.5 limits. Specifically, the ADDRess line is required in the later versions of GEDCOM and was not in GEDCOM 5.5. Also, the number of CONT line extensions was unlimited in GEDCOM 5.5, but limited to 3 in the later versions. A big thanks to Tamura Jones for pointing this out.

  • Arnold
    01 Mar 2013

    Just ran vgex (and vged) on some TNG 9.1.1 output.
    At first I was amazed at the number of errors, but gradually I am making my way to figure out which matter, which don't and which are almost impossible to avoid given the changes since Gedcom 5.5 was released.
    One error flagged by Vgedx and, I think vged, is:
    2 CONT <cr><lf>
    as: Warning E019 1585 Trailing space(s) not expected INDI.NOTE.CONT
    Since this line is the result of a blank line in a NOTE record, I think it ought to be acceptable as I understand CONT lines can start with a <space>.
    Then again, I am very new at this so I may well be mistaken :-)
    Then again, perhaps it reflects an ambiguity in the standard. :-)
    In any case, I find your discussion and utilities very useful.

  • sturdy
    08 Jan 2013

    Thanks Tim. I'm going to need some time to digest all of this. It looks like your info will be very useful. I bought FTM last June and have spent most of my time since then correcting errors. I need to get out from under FTM/Ancestry and into something usable as soon as possible. Your help is appreciated.
    Best regards,

  • Tim Forsythe
    08 Jan 2013


    VGedX validates your file against the specification. Many of the violations however, are of little concern and most programs will ride through them easily. I've updated the interface to categorize the error messages into three categories: errors, warnings, and informative messages. For your purposes, you can probably safely ignore everything but errors and check both of the available options to reduce your results to just what is the most important. When doing so on your file, there were no errors, so your file is actually in really good shape. Additional testing showed that you had a few funky dates, so you might want to fix those but otherwise I would expect you to be able to import your file into any program without errors. You may get some warnings though, so you have to look at those individually to see if the application is throwing out the data or keeping it.

    You are likely to run into some importing issues with whatever program you use, depending on the complexity of your GEDCOM record structure so you should export your file after import and compare it to your original import file to see what data might have been lost. My article should on GEDCOM Import Testing ( should get you started.

    Good Luck.

  • sturdy
    08 Jan 2013

    I tried the VGedX validator and was amazed at the number of errors and warnings that resulted from my Family Tree Maker 2012 gedcom file. There were more than 72000 lines using 5.5 (46000+ using 5.5.1 and 60000+ using 5.6). Much, much more than I care to attempt to correct with no knowledge of gedcom structure.

    My problem: I have created a family tree on with over 11000 persons and I can download it to my computer using FTM but the program is unstable and so buggy that it is (IMHO) unusable. I am attempting to find another program that will accept an FTM gedcom export but have been unsuccessful to date since FTM appears to play loosely with the gedcom standards as evidenced by the VGedX reports. I use FTM because that is the only way (that I am aware of) to download the media (includes supporting documentation) files (10000) from

    Since you are obviously a gedcom expert, I'm hoping you might have some insight into what I might do to get the tree data onto my local computer in a usable condition. I'm trying to use Gramps but the imorted gedcom raises more than 8000 errors which may take a couple years to!

  • Tim Forsythe
    03 Jan 2013

    Updated the VGedX web interface to save user's configuration settings when signed in and improved the report formatting. The revision was also bumped to 1.12 based on some minor reporting changes.

  • Tim Forsythe
    10 Dec 2012

    Updated to use VGedX v. 1.11. It fixes the LDS Date Status record to expect a DATE field, not a CHANge DATE field. It also adds the option to skip failed records.

  • Tim Forsythe
    07 Dec 2012

    WG, thanks for the clarification. I just wanted to make sure I didn't miss something. I'm currently doing GEDCOM import testing and posting the results to my blog. I definitely plan on testing TNG. I tried it earlier this year and it dumped about half my database so its good to hear you're having much better success.

  • Warren Gilbert
    07 Dec 2012

    My master database is maintained with Reunion (Mac), from where I export a GEDCOM, then import into my website which runs under TNG (The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding).

    I have manipulated the Reunion GEDCOM to be more or less standard although here was no real need - TNG is VERY flexible as it needs to be able to process a GEDCOM from any source - but the standards are there for a reason.

    All the errors/warnings given by VGedX were failures to adhere to the GEDCOM 5.5 standard.

    The lines that I want to keep in my GEDCOM but that give warnings are for SOUR.TYPE and SOUR.URL - this data serves a useful purpose when imported to my website, and I have not found a satisfactory (and standard) alternative to include it.

    As I intend to manipulate the GEDCOM each time before I import, I would rather avoid ignoring anything in case I miss new errors/warnings.

  • Tim Forsythe
    07 Dec 2012

    WG, Glad you found it useful. Most of the warnings can now be ignored using the options. Was there a warning in particular that you did not feel was valid? If so let me know so I can look into it.

  • Warren Gilbert
    06 Dec 2012


    VGedX has proved very useful in helping me to clean my GEDCOM. It's not perfect - some warnings I am prepared to live with to avoid losing information from the website that the GEDCOM populates. All the changes I have made have been built into a Java package, so can be re-run each time before the GEDCOM is imported.

    Thank you.

  • Tim Forsythe
    06 Dec 2012

    I appear to have broken the VGedX web service last night. It's back up and running now.

  • Tim Forsythe
    05 Dec 2012

    I've updated VGedX to rev 1.10. There were some minor changes to the output. I fixed some warning text and changed some others. The most significant changes are that it now allows 11 characters for LATI and LONG tags rather than 8, and it no longer allows SOUR.DATA.NOTE fields (bug). I've also added a new option to ignore trailing data.

  • Tim Forsythe
    03 Dec 2012

    There were a couple of failed attempts with the last VGedX build, so rather than try to fix it, I replaced it with the latest version, which is ver 1.09. I tested the failed files, and they now complete properly.

    The new version changed the options a little, nothing significant, and reformatted the output and error strings

  • Tim Forsythe
    30 Nov 2012

    Updated VGedX to rev 1.08

    Turned off logging records that were removed from the database due to their container failing to parse correctly. This was not needed the validator does not save the resulting database to a file.
    Added showing source system info, so it is obvious when reviewing logs, which application was responsible for the output warnings and errors.

    Added UNICODE support.

    Changed tag errors so that they display a full tag list rather than the input line. This makes the output much cleaner and makes it easier to see, at a glance, what the problem might be. Tag errors apply to only a very few error conditions, but often the ones most likely to be logged. These include, invalid tag length, minimum and maximum tag occurrences exceeded, unknown tags, and user defined tags.

    Added an option so that the above listed tag error duplicates can be turned off. This is useful when you are trying to determine the types of tag errors a files contains rather than being concerned with each and every tag error. More often than not, if a file contains a tag error, is contains multiple of the same type of error bloating the log. Turning of duplicates usually outputs a much smaller log files making it easier to review.