Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Checking Out the MyHeritage Tree Consistency Checker - UPDATED

MyHeritage announced their Tree Consistency Checker last week in "New Online Family Tree Consistency Checker" on the MyHeritage Blog.  The blog post notes that:
"We’re excited to introduce the new Consistency Checker for online family trees at MyHeritage. This new tool scans your family tree and identifies mistakes and inconsistencies in your data so that you could make the necessary changes in your tree, improving its overall quality and accuracy.
"The Consistency Checker employs 36 different checks on the family tree data, ranging from the obvious (e.g., a person was born before their parent, or when the parent was too young to be a parent) to the subtle and hard to find (e.g., a person was tagged in a photo and the photo is dated before the person’s birth; or two full siblings were born 5 months apart, which is impossible). Some of the issues it finds are factual mistakes (e.g. wrong birth date entered), some are bad practices (e.g. birth year entered as 22 instead of 1922, or prefix entered as part of the first name instead of in the prefix field), some are warnings about possible data entry errors (e.g. a woman’s married surname was apparently entered as her maiden surname, or a place was entered that looks suspiciously like a date) and some are inconsistencies you may want to fix, such as references to the same place name with two different spellings. Any issue you feel is fine and should intentionally not be addressed can easily be marked to be ignored and will not be reported again."
In this blog post, I will demonstrate how to find the consistency checks for my MyHeritage family tree and how to fix them:

1)  You can access your "Tree Consistency Checker" from any MyHeritage page by going to the "Family Tree" tab and seeing the "Tree Checker" item:


2)  I clicked on the "Tree Checker" item on the screen above, and it took a while (like 40 minutes!) to generate the list from my MyHeritage tree with 40,151 persons:


The "Tree Consistency Checker" found 3,472 consistency issues in my MyHeritage tree.

The system found issues in 22 check types, as listed below:

*  Birth after death -- 3
*  Child older than parent -- 3
*  Child born after death with parent -- 4
*  Alive but too old -- 27
*  Parent too young when having a child -- 20

*  Parents too old when having a child -- 39
*  Fact occurring after death -- 18
*  Fact occurring before birth -- 18
*  Siblings with close age -- 130
*  Large spouse age difference -- 9

*  Married too young -- 38
*  Died too young to be a spouse -- 2
*  Multiple marriages of same couple -- 5
*  Married name entered as maiden name -- 32
*  Suffix in last name -- 2

*  Multiple birth facts of same person -- 12
*  Multiple death facts of same person -- 15
*  Siblings with same first name -- 456
*  Double spaces in name -- 1
*  Children with different last names -- 77

*  Inconsistent last name spelling -- 2540
*  Inconsistent place name spelling - 21

Each item in each issue type has a tip for action.

3)  At the top of the screen above are the issues for "Birth after death."  For the issue for Mabelle Emelia Leland (McKenzie), the tip says "Correct birth or death dates" with a link to her profile.  I clicked on the link, and a separate window opened with the "Essentials" screen in the profile for the person:


Yep, the death date is before the birth date!  I must have made a typing error when I entered one of the dates.  I consulted my records and searched again online, and found that the death should have been Jan. 19, 1973 rather than Jan. 19, 1885.

4)  I corrected the death date, and now the screen looks like:


I made sure to click on the orange "Save & close" button and was back to the list of consistency issues.

I did several more corrections on the list.  Some of the issues are not issues at all - the most evident is the "siblings with the same name."  In every case I looked at, the families named a child, the child died, and another child was given the same name.

The issue with the most is the "Inconsistent Last Name Spelling" issue;  Often times, the records in colonial times have creative or phonetic spellings, and I usually used the name given in the records,

5)  When you come back to the "Tree Consistency Checker" page at another time, it will tell you that changes were made since you last looked at the page, and the program will offer to perform the check again.

6)  Some observations:

a)  This "Tree Consistency Checker" seems to be very complete and accurate.

UPDATED 21 February 2017 (in blue): 

b)  I didn't see a way to change the criteria for the check issues.  There are settings available to change the criteria for the check issues.  For instance, I might want to find persons whose mother was less than age 12 rather than whatever age criteria they use.  After the Consistency Check has finished, a gear icon appears at the top of the list of issues where the criteria for the issues can be modified.

c)  I didn't see an issue for "Persons over age xxx" for my tree - perhaps I didn't have any!  

d)  I had only 22 of 36 issues in my tree - I wonder what the other 14 issues are.

e)  Read all of the tips and hints and examples in the MyHeritage blog post noted above.  There is a lot more detail!  

f)  Some of the screen shots used as examples in the MyHeritage blog post are from my tree!  

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Copyright (c) 2017, Randall J. Seaver


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2 comments:

Densie said...

Some I had:
Same sex spouses (I changed someone to a male apparently)
Double spaces in name
Incorrect use of uppercase/lowercase (Nope, not incorrect, that's how they spelled it)
Alive but too old
Children with different last names

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