Friday, May 8, 2015

Merge Problems with RootsMagic 7 Interfacing With FamilySearch Family Tree

As I and others (James Tanner on Genealogy's Star, especially!) have noted, users of the FamilySearch Family Tree eventually get back in time far enough that Merges of duplicate profiles are not allowed to proceed.

I use RootsMagic 7 routinely to match a family or two in my database with profiles already in the FamilySearch Family Tree.  I do this in order to find information that might be useful to me, especially if the information is supported by a source, or to enrich the profiles in FamilySearch Family Tree with my own research - relationships, events, sources, notes, etc.

I worked in the Samuel Hubbard (1687-1753) and Sarah Clark (1681-1720) family today, matching them, their parents and their children to profiles in the Family Tree.  Here is the "FamilySearch Person Tools" screen on the "Share data" for Samuel Hubbard in RootsMagic after I matched him with Samuel Hubbard (LH22-VTL) in the Family Tree:

I need to match his parents (Jonathan Hubbard and Hannah Rice) and some of his children.  However, there are two sets of parents shown for Samuel Hubbard - they have the same names and birth years, so they are probably duplicate entries in Family Tree.

I usually select a parent from FamilySearch to match with my RootsMagic person because that works best.  But which one?  I looked at the Family Tree profiles and saw that the first one had more information than the second one, so I picked that one - Jonathan Hubbard (LVG1-CYS).

I clicked on the check box on the FamilySearch side for Jonathan Hubbard (LH22-VTL).  Here is the screen to match the Jonathan from Family Tree to my RootsMagic Jonathan:

On the screen above, I picked the action to "Match with RootsMagic..." and clicked on "OK."  I did the same thing with Jonathan Hubbard's wife Hannah Rice (MKSV-KGH).  The lines for Jonathan and Hannah turned green (the information in Family Tree agrees with my RootsMagic data).  I also matched their children in FamilySearch Family Tree with my RootsMagic children (and their lines turned green also).

I want to now match the second Jonathan Hubbard (KN6Z-YPL) to my RootsMagic Jonathan Hubbard.  I clicked on the check box for this Jonathan, and saw the Fact comparison:

Again, I clicked on the "Match with RootsMagic ..." action and clicked "OK."

A question box "Merge the records on FamilySearch?" opened:

Since I previously matched the first Jonathan Hubbard (LH22-VTL) to my RootsMagic person, I need to Merge the second Jonathan Hubbard (KN6Z-YPL) with the first Jonathan (LH22-VTL) so that they become one profile on FamilySearch.

When I clicked on "Merge records," the screen below appeared:

The FamilySearch Merge failed - the message says:

"Unable to Merge Persons.
There are too many previous merges."

This is a fairly common result for New England persons who lived in the 17th century.  The problem occurs when there are many duplicate profiles and many merges have been performed or tried, and the FamilySearch Family Tree cannot deal with the merge request.

Note that I did all of this from within RootsMagic.  I would get the same result if I tried to merge the duplicate profiles from within the FamilySearch Family Tree.

At this point, I usually stop and go to another ancestral family and match persons, add information to the Family Tree profiles, and move on.

My hope is that FamilySearch will solve the problems with these duplicate profiles.  My task, as I see it, is to not confuse the Family Tree system any more than it already is.  I can add data to the tree for families that are not tangled up and perhaps help other researchers while FamilySearch tries to straighten out the mess.

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Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

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