Saturday, December 2, 2017

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- Genealogy Database Problem Report

It's Saturday Night - 
time for more Genealogy Fun! 

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible! music) is to:

1)  Is your genealogy software family tree database perfect?  With no errors or inconsistencies?  Yep, mine isn't either!  Big time.  With over 49,000 persons there are bound to be some errors in my tree.  Even 1% would be 490 persons or 1,500 events!

2)  This week, find your genealogy software's "Problem Report" or something similar.  Tell us how you found it, and what it tells you about the problems in your family tree database.

3)  Share your results with us in your own blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a Facebook post.

Here's mine:

I use RootsMagic 7, so I went to Tools > Problem Search > Problem List on the main menu, and the "Problem Search" screen opened:

On the "Problem Search" screen, I could check the boxes for the types of problems that I want to find in my family tree database.  I picked all of them except for "Individual without sex entered," "Proper order of events," "Birth before parent's marriage," and "Birth after father's death."  Note that I could do these one at a time, and probably will in the near future.

I clicked on the "OK" button and the "Problem List" of problem children came up:

I have a lot of them!  99 "problems" are on the list.  Drat.  I can go to each person on the list by clicking on the person, and then on the "Edit Person" button on the screen above.   

I wanted to save a copy of this list, so I clicked on the "Print" button and got the same list in a report format:

I saved that as a PDF on my computer so I can work on the list over time.  I'm going to spend a few minutes right now to correct some of the most obvious errors, like the first one "0 years old when married."  I see two persons "born after mother's death" on the screen above.  

99 problems are 99 too many, but it's better than 1%!  It's only 0.2% of persons, and something like 0.06% of Events.  Obviously, you cannot prevent errors from creeping into your family tree.  The challenge is to find them using tools like this "Problem List" and correcting them as soon as you can.


Copyright (c) 2017, Randall J. Seaver

Please comment on this post on the website by clicking the URL above and then the "Comments" link at the bottom of each post.  Share it on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Pinterest using the icons below.  Or contact me by email at


Lisa S. Gorrell said...

My error rate based on errors to the number of events was .126%. Pretty good!

Nancy said...

The things I don't know about RootsMagic! Thanks for highlighting the fact that I can find problems, Randy. My post is at

Lois Willis said...

My error rate based on the number of events was .028%.
My post is at

Unknown said...

My number of individuals with errors is about 6.8% Guess it have something to keep me busy for a while! I used FTM 2017 to do this report, unfortunately it doesn't give you a count - I had to do that manually.

Here's my blog post.

Elizabeth Richards said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elizabeth Richards said...

Thanks for the good challenge. My error rate was 0.29% on people and 0.17% on events. The challenge led me to finding a gap in Roots Magic reporting that drove me crazy.
My post is at