Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Finding Family Tree "Problems" in RootsMagic 7

I moderated the RootsMagic Users Group of the San Diego Genealogical Society last Saturday, and the 11 attendees brought up a number of issues and questions.

One of them was "data input problems" and how to find them.  I confidently said "RootsMagic can find input errors, I work on them all the time."  When I did a "Problem Search" I was horrified to see that I had a person who died at age 188.  And another who died at age 143.  The attendees chuckled.

1)  From any RootsMagic screen, the user can go to the "Tools" menu and run their mouse over "Problem Search" and see "Problem List":


2)  I clicked on "Problem List" and the "Problem Search screen opened:


There are 10 problem areas that the user can select from:

*  Individuals without sex entered
*  Proper order of events
*  Birth before parent's birth
*  Birth after father's death
*  Birth after mother's death
*  Age at death should be less than xx years
*  Age at marriage should be between xx years and yy years
*  Father's age should be between xx years and yy years
*  Mother's age should be between xx years and yy years

xx and yy are user selected.

The user can pick any or all of the problem areas.

3)  For purposes of illustration, I picked the "Age at death should be less than 110 years, with 110 being selected as shown above.

When I clicked on "OK" the program worked for several seconds and gave me a list of three persons:


I had only three on this problem list for this problem.  On the screen above, I can click on the button for "Edit person" and see the "Edit Person" screen for the person.

4)  Here is the "Edit Person" screen for the first one on the list above:


On the screen above, you can see I had his burial in 1882 but his death in 1992.  Because he was born in 1821, I figured that the 1882 date was correct!  I went and checked on Find A Grave just to be sure.

5)  I corrected all three of the items on that problem list - they were all obvious data input errors - numbers next to the correct number.

Then I made another list for "Born before parent's birth" and had five errors listed.  I corrected those too - they were all obvious data input errors.

6)  RootsMagic does provide a "Data Problem" indicator - a red triangle with a ! in it - for a person in all of the View screens.  You can see one on the screen below for Lora Seaver (the 6th child on the Family View):


If you click on the "Data Problem" icon, the "Problem list" for the specific person opens, as shown below:


I had three problems for this one person - I hit the trifecta!  I had the birth as 1831 when it was obviously 1931, based on the dates for the parents and siblings.  I fixed the date. and the "Data Problem" icon disappeared.

7)  RootsMagic does this really well, and I appreciate the feature and the ease of finding and correcting the errors.

I wish my fingers would type what my brain tells them to do.  But it doesn't.  Like almost every person I know, my typing has a consistent error rate.  In my case, I think it's 2 to 3%, if not more.  I live with it, and RootsMagic helps me deal with it, at least when it comes to birth, marriage and death years.

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Copyright (c) 2017, Randall J. Seaver

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1 comment:

Marian Koalski said...

Thanks for showing this to us and the SDGS, Randy. It's so much better than having a human point out our errors to us!