Every once in a while, I get an itch to do some genealogical research. The problem is, huge amounts of research have already been done for my family, and although I know where to find a lot of it (FamilySearch.org), I didn't know an easy way to download the existing information to my computer. Monday, I went to my local family history center and asked them, but it seems they didn't have a way to do it either. So I came home and wrote my own script to do it.

GEDCOM Crawler is a Perl script that takes a family ID from the LDS Ancestral File database, crawls all the GEDCOMs of the ancestors of that family, and generates one monolithic GEDCOM file containing all the available data. I entered the family IDs for my grandparents' families, and in about 45 minutes, it downloaded data on 5,525 families in my family tree, stretching all the way back to 124 A.D.!

I'm making GEDCOM Crawler available as a free download. If your ancestors are listed in the Ancestral File (instructions for finding them on the GEDCOM Crawler homepage), you have a computer with Perl support and a high-speed internet connection...and don't mind using a program with no tech support (sorry, too busy), give it a try.