GEDCOM Too Large to Import?

+8 votes

I've uploaded my GEDCOM and generated a GEDCompare Report. I get a message at the top of the report: "Note that since your file is too large for importing you can completely ignore the match, reject, and skip options.

And then it says my GEDCOM will be deleted in 30 days. 

So, what's the point of doing this? I've already done a bunch of compares. And, now all this work is wasted if I have to split the GEDCOM and compare again on one that's small enough?

But, what to do? My GEDCOM is below the 2500 name limit, not sure what the problem is.



in The Tree House by David Bird G2G Crew (970 points)
edited by David Bird

"We strongly recommend uploading one small GEDCOM (25-50 individuals) so you can get comfortable with WikiTree, then uploading another small file."


Thank you everyone for your help with this.

I have been working on my tree for 8 years in Ancestry and yes there is always cleaning to do on historical facts.

I've decided to start fresh and enter everyone manually, this way what is entered will not need to be cleanup after :)

Thanks again everyone



6 Answers

+6 votes
Best answer
Hi David,

The reason it says your GEDCOM is too large is because of the number of suggested matches.  Our system only allows for up to 500 suggested matches in one uploaded file.  Yours has about 700.  You'd need to split your GEDCOM into smaller segments to be able to upload it.  And as others have mentioned, we do suggest you start quite small, 25-50 folks.

by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (2.0m points)
selected by Living McGowan
+9 votes   


Why GEDCOMs need to be split

WikiTree has the following limits:

  1. GEDCOMs with more than 5,000 people cannot be uploaded for GEDCompare.
  2. GEDCOMs with more than 2,500 people cannot be imported.
  3. GEDCOMs with more than 100 people cannot be imported without sources.
  4. GEDCOMs with more than 500 suggested matches cannot be imported.
  5. An experienced member cannot manage more than 5,000 profiles.

Exceeding these limits would overwhelm the individual member and the community.

We strongly recommend uploading one small GEDCOM (25-50 individuals) so you can get comfortable with WikiTree, then uploading another small file. 


by Anonymous Vickery G2G6 Pilot (242k points)
My GEDCOM fits within all of the limits in your list except possibly number 3.

I have, of course, more than 100 people, and lots of sources. But, does the limit mean that if you have more than 100 people without sources that it is too big? Number 3 does not seem to be precise in it's meaning.

Thanks for the comments. But, so far there is no way for me to import except your suggested 25-50 at a time. This would mean almost 100 GEDCOMs to get my entire tree uploaded. What am I missing?
+5 votes
David, I am sorry that you are frustrated. The problem is that most other sites do not require sources and even those that do when the GEDCOM is exported the sources do not show up as recognizable  to the import program. I just started to work on my son in laws line and when I got to his grandfather I found that most of his relatives were already on WikiTree and did not need to be entered. The bad news is that over 1000 of those profiles were uploaded in 2011 and had no sources. Even worse is the fact that even with an active manager who did the original upload most of those profiles could be adopted and had not been touched since they were uploaded. I think that if you started to enter your family manually you will find that entering them that way is not as bad as it first seems because you get an instant compare and find duplicates after entering the name and one date and if a match is found you can just link to that. Doing it manually also minimizes the editing needed later to make the profile a sourced profile that fits the style guide standards that are the goal for all WikiTree profiles.  As John points out if you do still want to continue with a GEDCOM it is best to start small so that you can see for yourself that the upload process really is more work than you think.
by Dale Byers G2G Astronaut (1.6m points)
+4 votes

The best reason I can see for the small GEDCOM import is so that members can see what their profiles will look like once they have been translated to WikiTree's format. This is regardless of how comfortable members are with WikiTree itself.

I imported a GEDCOM in December 2014, after I had been an arborist for almost a year, and was still shocked at the results.

Manual uploads are often easier to handle than GEDCOMs because:

1. It is usually faster to enter a source by hand than to edit a morass of tags and incomprehensible sentences, especially when this morass is repeated in its entirety several times as evidence for multiple facts on the profile.

2. With manual data entry, members can ensure that connections between family members remain intact. (They are broken with every skipped match on a GEDCOM import.)

3. Even with a GEDCOM import, members are expected to review and edit every new profile.

by Carole Partridge G2G6 Mach 7 (71.3k points)
+3 votes
I probably echo most of the active WikiTree users who started with a Gedcom I really regret entering the large file. I was so sure it was good I error checker it did loads of culling of areas I was uncertain about. 2 years on. I am still correcting errors and still trying to add real sources. Do it maybe but in very small chunks.
+1 vote

There is a much used quotation 'genealogy without sources is mythology'

 One of the reasons that I  joined wiki-tree was  because of it's emphasis on sources and was disappointed to find that past practices in allowing large and unsourced gedcom imports resulted in many profiles that are unsourced ,unverifiable and sometimes seem to belong to those mythical realms. This means that large amounts of 'manpower' are devoted to untangling and improving the tree as a whole.

 The practice  has changed and if it stops people uploading more that 100 unsourced profiles, I think  that is much for the better .

The advice to split it into small sections is good. You can then verify for yourself that the profiles have valid sources before uploading them and  it will make things easier for you.

 Even then, it takes some time to clean up each individual profile to make it readable for someone else. Here's one of mine, which to my shame I 've only done some initial tidying up but this  is how it looked initially. There are sources  but you have to find them amongst all the 'gumph'  The original formatting has also been completely lost.

It's definitely much easier to either use small batches or as Dave says create the profiles individually (and that way also serves as a double check as you go. We all make mistaken assumptions and  I know that I have found errors made some years ago .

by Helen Ford G2G6 Pilot (397k points)
edited by Helen Ford

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