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RootsMagic Clean-Up

It’s the first of a new year and as is typical of a new year, resolutions are proposed to become better organized when it comes to one’s genealogy. Usually those resolutions deal with paper files, photos or even digital files. Sometimes, thanks to Thomas MacEntee, that resolution might involve a ‘ genealogy do-over‘ or serious review of ones data.

For me, my resolution needs to be about cleaning up my RootsMagic 7 data. As I’m participating in a review of RootsMagic 8 (think public beta testing on steroids), I’m finding that there are issues with my data in RootsMagic 7 that should be resolved prior to the release of RootsMagic 8.

For me, this clean up began with source templates. Because I had merged RootsMagic files by dragging data from one RM file into my primary file, I ended up with duplicate source templates. Thanks to the various people that contribute to SQLite Tools for Roots Magic, I was able to use the SQL function to merge most of these duplicated source templates. Even after carefully working my way thru this process, I ended up with a few remaining ‘duplicates’. My few remaining duplicates were renamed so that I wouldn’t use them when creating new sources.

RootsMagic 8 introduces the ability to merge duplicate sources and citations. This means that the census source and its source details (citation) that I copied / pasted to each member of the household becomes one citation after the merge. This one citation can be edited and have those edits automatically applied to each of its uses.

As I’m learning to use these new capabilities with a test file, it was recommended that I clean up my places prior to merging the sources and citations. As I’ve added data to an individual in RM 7, I’ve noticed that I am prompted with multiple choices when I start entering place data. Sometimes, I’ve taken the time to go to my places list and merge those duplicates so that I’m only prompted with one place. However, I haven’t done a thorough cleanup of my places — and they are a mess!

For example, I can have the following entries for a state

  • , Kentucky, USA
  • ,, Kentucky
  • Kentucky
  • Kentucky, United States
  • Kentucky, USA

Merging these duplicate places is fairly simple — but will be time consuming.

  1. Click on place to KEEP
  2. Click on Merge
  3. Click on duplicate entries [be careful here – many townships and counties are in multiple states]
  4. Click on the MERGE SELECTED PLACES button

Another area that I need to ‘clean up’ is my source list. For most of my sources, I’ve used the same naming pattern for that type of source. Thus, theoretically, all of my census sources would be listed together alphabetically. This works as long as I follow that pattern. However, I have quite a few census sources whose name starts with the year instead of the word census. Thus, they aren’t in the same area of my sources list as my other census sources.

Fixing the source list issue is a matter of renaming the sources that are out of place.

For additional ways to clean-up my RootsMagic data, I’m going to refer to the 2018 RootsMagic TV video, Cleaning Your Family Tree in RootsMagic.

These tasks will be tedious and time consuming. However, I’m guessing that my data will work better in RootsMagic 8 because of the time I spend cleaning it up now.

One thought on “RootsMagic Clean-Up

  1. Thank you for demonstrating this. I am also in the midst of cleaning up RM7. There are so many features I’ve never used and this is one of them. You’ve made my place clean up so much easier.

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