Monday, June 10, 2013

Dear Randy: How to Resolve Duplicate Entries in RootsMagic 6

I received an email from a reader recently concerning how to resolve different RootsMagic files with the same persons but different source citations.

Here's Sandra's question:

I have just discovered that I have not always been working in the same RootsMagic file.  I have Windows 7 and I really dislike the Library function.  I have gotten into the habit of navigating to the location where the file is (and I thought I was getting the same file) in order to work on it.

However, I’ve also got a copy in Dropbox and have saved various images from Ancestry, etc. to Dropbox.  Those sync to the computer, BUT I’ve discovered that the files are not always the same in the two Dropbox locations.  The first time I noticed this was with a shared folder on another project not genealogy related.

Now I have two RootsMagic files that have different sources (I’ve been working on updating them to the RM templates) from each other, and the file that has the old source format (for the family group sheets) has more people (over 100) than the one with the “right” sources.  Who knows what else one or the other is missing (I’ve printed to PDF an individual list and each file is over 300 pages).

I am wondering how I can get the two files either combined or somehow get all the correct information together.  I would then delete the “wrong” file from every place it might be stored.

I think the resolution is to make a GEDCOM from each file, start a new file, import each GEDCOM and someway be able to tell it to not merge duplicates.  Or perhaps, to bring both GEDCOMs in and then do a merge on duplicates.

Do you have any ideas?

My response:

I always work on just the file that I have in my RootsMagic database file folder, and I always start RootsMagic with my "working" file in order to avoid the problems you've experienced (but I understand that mistakes happen!).  From experience, along the same lines you described.  I keep my ONE RootsMagic "working" file in my Documents > Genealogy > Software > RootsMagic 6 > Databases file folder.

I do copy my "working" RootsMagic file several times a week to Dropbox, but do not sync any of my Dropbox files with the file folders they came from.  This way I can import the most recent file into RootsMagic on my laptop, and it's a cloud backup.  I use Dropbox to save my important files and to transfer files to/from my desktop, laptop and mobiles (photos, files, etc.). 

For your problem:

1)  Before you begin merging your files into (perhaps) a new database, you should click on "Help" in RootsMagic and select "Search" and search for the articles for "merge."  Print out the ones you think will help you the most so you can follow the directions provided.   You have three choices in Merge - Manual Merge, Duplicate Searches and Automatic Merges.  I would try the Automatic Merge first and select the SmartMerge option.  I think that will work for you, but am not 100% sure (that's why you create a third file, and maybe a fourth and fifth too).  You will have to test it out and see what happens.  The way the Help file reads, I think that it will do what you want.

2)  If you have two RootsMagic files (File-1 and File-2) with unique data, you will need to create a GEDCOM of one of the files.  Follow this process:

*  Make a copy of your first file (File-1) to use this as the basis for the combined file.  This is File-3.
*  Make a GEDCOM file of the second file (File-2) to import into the copy of the first file (File-3).
*  Open File-3, then do a File > Import and import the File-2 GEDCOM.  Select GEDCOM from the list of the importable programs and then "Combine into this database."
*  That will put duplicate persons into your File-3.  
*  Then go to Tools > Merge > Automatic Merges and check "Smart Merge," "Source Merge" and "Repository Merge."  Click on "Begin Merge"

You can go back to File-1 and File-2 if it doesn't work and try something different.

For some reason, RootsMagic doesn't allow a user to File > Import an existing RootsMagic 4-6 file into a File > New file.

3)  I just did this with one of my files (File-1, with 86 persons) - made a Copy of the file (File-3) and a GEDCOM (File-2) of the file.  I then opened the Copy (File-3) and imported the GEDCOM file into it.  It created duplicate persons - 175 total.  I then ran Tools > Merge > Automatic Merges and ended up with a file with 92 persons.  It did not merge some persons that had a first name, no surname, and no birth or death data.  So it's imperfect, but it did most of them.  If that happens to you, you should go through your person list and manually merge those persons.  

Also, you may find duplicate Events for some persons.  In your case, you may have to delete the Events with your "old source citations" and keep the ones with the "new source citations."  You may have duplicate Media items for a merged person also, and you'll have to resolve that one at a time, I think.  It might be best to use the Media Gallery to identify the duplicates and delete the duplicates from there.

4)  Does any other reader have a better solution to this problem?  If so, I'm sure that Sandy would like to know about it.

Copyright (c) Randall J. Seaver


Chris said...

Since there were problems with opening different files in different folders, that tells me they all had the same, of very similar, filenames.

It might help to actually rename the file 1,2 and 3 that Randy mentioned to actually file1.rmgc, file2.rmgc and file3.rmgc. That way there is no confusion to where you are.

After all of the corrections are made to file3 it can be renamed to your preferred family file name.

RootsMagic said...

I would follow the steps Randy provided, except I would leave all the automatic merges selected.

The ShareMerge option would be useful if the two RM databases both originally started from the same file (for example if a copy was made of the first file to create the second file originally, or if a GEDCOM was exported from the first database and imported into a new database to create the second file).

Then after running the automatic merges, I would do Tools > Merge > Duplicate search to have RM list any additional possible duplicates that it wasn't sure whether to merge or not, and you can manually choose whether to have RM merge them.