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Duplicates merging


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#1 don

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 09:42 AM

With a large number of individuals in my main database, I find I have around 100 duplicates according to RM4's automatic search. I trust this search, but before I let the auto correction loose, I'm reflecting on the rationale for the Primary/Duplicate selection. On what grounds does one indicate that a particular record is the Primary, into which the Duplicate will be merged? Does it make a difference to the outcome? The Swap option is on offer after all. For example, it may be obvious from the first screen that two records are duplicates but the size of the ancestors tree may differ considerably between the Primary and Duplicate for an individual; does it have to be that the larger is set as Primary? If so, setting all the Primaries first will be a big task.

Any advice please? Never done this before.

Don

#2 Laura

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 11:05 AM

I usually use the person with the lowest record number as the Primary to give me an idea of how long that person has been in my database. But, that is just my choice.

I edit both records before I merge so I do not have duplicate facts, notes, etc after the merge.

I could choose to have the person with the most facts that did not need to be edited as Primary.

Be sure to make a backup of your database before starting any major changes like merging.

You also might want to create a new database and drop some people into it to practice merging before doing it in your main database.

You may also have family members which are also duplicates that will need to be merged.

#3 don

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 02:03 PM

>I edit both records before I merge so I do not have duplicate facts, notes, etc after the merge.

All those points taken, Laura, especially the one I quote above, but thanks. Strikes me that manual merges might be slow but the safest way.

And I'm still undecided whether the individual with the largest ancestors tree attached to it is the one to make the Primary - in case the others are detached during the merge.

Don

#4 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 07:25 PM

>I edit both records before I merge so I do not have duplicate facts, notes, etc after the merge.

All those points taken, Laura, especially the one I quote above, but thanks. Strikes me that manual merges might be slow but the safest way.

And I'm still undecided whether the individual with the largest ancestors tree attached to it is the one to make the Primary - in case the others are detached during the merge.

Don

I usually take care of the duplicate facts, notes, etc. after the merge. Before or after is really a matter of personal preference. If the duplicates are "absolutely the same", they will not really be duplicates after the merge. And when the duplicates are not "absolutely the same", I find it easier to reconcile the differences after the merge.

I would never use an automatic merge, and I would never counsel anyone to do an automatic merge. There are just too many things to clean up afterwards, and I find it almost impossible to find all those things that need to be cleaned up afterwards.

Nobody in either tree should be detached by a merge. The newly merged person will inherit both trees from both of the "mergees". Indeed, the larger problem than the non-existent one of detaches is usually merging the two trees.

Jerry

#5 Laura

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 07:35 PM

When you merge one person into another anyone attached to the duplicate is also attached to the Primary so you should not lose any links. You may have too many which you will then need to merge other people linked to your primary after the merge.

John Smith the duplicate has wife Mary and child Thomas and David Smith the primary has wife Mary and child Thomas and the record numbers are different for each Mary and each Thomas. John also has a child. Jane, and David does not.
r
Affer the merge, David Smith will have 2 wives named Mary and 2 sons named Thomas and Jane.

You would also merge the Mary's and Thomas' after making sure these people are actually duplicates.

In David's record, RM will add an Alternate fact with the name John Smith if you don't edit the name to match before merging.

I prefer using the manual merge. Editing the records before merge seems slower, but hunting down the merged person's record and cleaning up duplicate facts, notes, etc. after the merge can be much more time consuming and frustrating.

#6 don

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 12:06 PM

>Nobody in either tree should be detached by a merge

Well I dumped my database onto a notebook for Merge trials, selected a matching pair and did a Merge from the offered Primary and Duplicate. The maternal grandfather of the home person was not found in the Merged file. Reset the database using my backup file and tried again after Swapping the pair round. This time the maternal grandfather WAS preserved during the Merge.

So much for no loss of ancestral links during a Merge then! It rather puts you off the whole idea when you have a hundred or more Merges to tackle!

I plan to persevere... for now!

Thanks for your ideas, guys.

Don

#7 Alfred

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 02:38 PM

Was the mother still linked after the merge which did not preserve the maternal grandfather?

It doesn't compute to loose a distant relative when merging a single person without loosing the connecting one.
Alfred

#8 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 07:44 PM

Well I dumped my database onto a notebook for Merge trials, selected a matching pair and did a Merge from the offered Primary and Duplicate. The maternal grandfather of the home person was not found in the Merged file. Reset the database using my backup file and tried again after Swapping the pair round. This time the maternal grandfather WAS preserved during the Merge.

I'm not saying that what you describe didn't happen, but it really sounds impossible. And it's completely contrary to all of my experience using RM.

I'm with Alfred in that you need to identify exactly where the link is getting lost - which person and which generation? That should help resolve what's happening.

There may be other duplicates that need to be merged before everything looks right. For example, you may not have just a duplicate person, but more likely you have duplicate trees (i.e., more than one duplicate person). The maternal grandfather may be in one of the duplicate trees but not the other, and if for example you look the the family after the merge in Pedigree View you might be seeing the duplicate family tree without the maternal grandfather rather than the duplicate family tree with the maternal grandfather.

Jerry

#9 Laura

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 09:24 PM

When you merge two people and they each have a mother and/or father that are different people, you end up with two mothers and/or fathers for that one person.

The Family view opens after the merge showing the Primary person's family links. You have to highlight the second mother and/or father that was the mother and/or fther of the Duplicate child you merged to see the family members that are linked to that mother or father.

I don't think any links got lost. I don't think Don realized that he had 2 fathers after the merge. Merging the Primary child with a father that had no mother linked opened the Family view with no grandmother.

When he switched the direction of the merge, it opened Family view with the father linked to the Duplicate child and that father did have a linked mother so showed the grandmother.

The fathers need to be also merged and then the child will show one father and one grandmother if one of the merged fathers did not have a mother linked to him. If both fathers had linked mothers, then you would have one father and two grandmothers. All duplicate family members also have to be merged when merging an individual.

I tried various scenarios creating new people in a new RM4 database and found no lost links after merge.

#10 don

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 11:35 AM

>Was the mother still linked after the merge which did not preserve the maternal grandfather?


Yes, she was Alfred. It has me puzzled.

Don

#11 Alfred

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 01:32 PM

>Was the mother still linked after the merge which did not preserve the maternal grandfather?


Yes, she was Alfred. It has me puzzled.

Don

THEN, I suspect that there are two copies of the mother that need to be merged also. And what you are seeing is the link to the mother without ancestors.

Notice the number of parents for the original person.
Alfred

#12 Nettie

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 03:01 PM

I always check the ID number of the 2 persons to see if they are the same or not. I also use the manual merge, less of a headache.

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#13 Laura

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 07:35 PM

Having the Sidebar on the Family tab can also help catch those duplicate family members that still need to be merged when a merged person is highlighted on the main screen.

I just posted a tip to the RootsMagic 5, Tip and Trick forum about using Color Coding when merging two duplicate lines which might be of interest to someone reading this thread. It applies to RM 4 also.

http://forums.rootsm...g-color-coding/

It really helps, expecially when merging manually.