How old is your genealogy file? Have you been brave and started over from scratch? Or are you like me and have what in computer time would be considered an ‘ancient’ file.
I’m not sure exactly how old my file would be. My first genealogy software was a copy of Personal Ancestral File (PAF) that I purchased on a trip to the LDS library at Salt Lake. As I was gathering lots of documents on several trips to Salt Lake, I also found myself needing to include facts other than birth, death, marriage and burial. Thus, I created ‘Notes’ to enter that information. As I collected more and more data, I found I needed software that would help me to tie these sources to the various events in a person’s life. Thus, I switched to The Master Genealogist and imported my PAF file.
After this transition, I had tons of data clean-up to do. All of my ‘custom’ events in PAF came into TMG as ‘NOTES’. Thus, I had to go thru my file, one person at a time and convert these ‘NOTES’. When support for TMG ended, I again transitioned my file. This time I moved to RootsMagic. If I dig deep enough into my RootsMagic data, I can still find individuals with custom events titled, ‘Notes’.
Thus, as I’m going thru the ‘clean-up’ of my RootsMagic data, I know that some of the clean-up issues I’m encountering go back to that original PAF file, while others go back to my TMG data. This was especially evident as I worked on my list of places.
Prior to my transition to RootsMagic, I had not standardized my entry of places. I knew enough to enter the various elements: town, county, state. However, I sometimes abbreviated words like Township and County while spelling them out at other times. The same was true for states, sometimes I abbreviated them while other times they were written out.
With RootsMagic, I started using the Gazetteer and standardizing how I entered places. Thus, my list of places had these newer standardized places mixed in with my older non-standardized entries for place information. Now that I’ve made it thru my place list merging the obvious duplicates, I still have some issues in my place list.
These issues include:
- dates entered in the place field
- place details as part of the place instead of being in the ‘place detail’ field. This is particularly true of burial places where the name of the cemetery is in the place field and not the place detail field.
- incomplete places such as Anderson, Indiana with no idea as to whether this is the county or the city
- places with the wrong state attached: Aberdeen, Brown, Ohio or is it Aberdeen, Brown, South Dakota or both? I wasn’t always paying close enough attention when TMG’s ability to automatically fill in the state with the last used information entered the incorrect state. I’m guessing that some of my place issues go back to those errors.
Cleaning up these issues will require the tools found in RootsMagic 8. In RM 8, I can see what events a place is tied to. Working with the example of Aberdeen, Brown County, I can search the place list for Aberdeen and pull up the two places in question.
IF I look to the right side of the screen, I can see how many events are tied to the highlighted place. To the right of the word Events is a >.
Clicking that green carot (>), a list of events tied to the place will open on the screen.
Clicking on the pencil, will open the person screen where I can look at the facts and attached sources to see if I have an incorrectly entered place.
At this point, my place clean-up is done in RM7 and will wait for further clean-up until I transfer my data to RM8. This ability to go from a place to the events containing that place is a great new feature that will be found in RootsMagic 8.