Entering People by Clicking Screen and Why You Should Only Have One Database
Posted 14 November 2012 - 03:33 PM
One of the surnames on my mother's side of the family is Peters, and I was looking at Evelyn Lucille Peters and her husband Floyd Bruce Ferguson. I had accurate and well documented birth and death data for Evelyn, plus the couple's marriage date and place. But I didn't have Floyd's birth and death information. The first document I found for him was his 1956 death certificate which listed his birth date and place (death certifciate is secondary source, of course) and death date and place (death certificate is a primary source). The death certificate also listed the names of his parents (secondary source). So I decided to enter his parents with the only data being their names, and then to follow up later to locate more information about his parents.
Floyd's parents were listed on his death certificate as Bruce Ferguson and Nan Cate. The surname Cate caught my attention because Cate is a very common surname on my father's side of the family, and virtually never do my mother's side of the family and my father's side of the family intersect. But I still foolishly decided to proceed to enter Bruce and Nan and later to check on the Cate connection. It was a foolish, foolish decision. I should have checked on the Cate connection prior to doing any data entry.
In any case, I simply clicked the "Click to Add father" button to add Bruce Ferguson. This is something that I incessantly preach to others never to do because the "Click to Add father" button and the "Click to Add mother" button are so totally screwed up. I should have done an Edit->Add->Parents instead. But as I said, I got lazy and I screwed up. After "Click to Add father", it asked me if I wanted to "Add NEW Person" or "Select EXISTING Person", and I chose "Add New person" and tried to add Bruce Ferguson with no other data, with the intent of filling in the data later.
But I got the message "Is this person already in your file?" with the options of "Use this person as father", "Continue adding new father", or "cancel". The Bruce Ferguson already in my database was married to Nancy Lenore (Nannie) Cate, and it was easy to tell from the context that it was the same Bruce Ferguson, so I clicked "Use this person as father". HUGE MISTAKE. Bruce Ferguson now had two families, one with Nannie Cate as his wife and the other no wife and with Floyd Bruce Ferguson as his son. Unless you really know what you are doing (and sometimes even if you really know what you are doing), you are really doomed at this point. There simply is no good way to "combine" or "merge" Bruce Ferguson's two families together, even though they are one and the same family. Indeed, I already had a son for Bruce and Nannie in my database named Floyd B. Ferguson, and Floyd B. Ferguson and Floyd Bruce Ferguson were the same person. But merging the two Floyd Fergusons together doesn't fix anything as far as the family linkages for the elder Bruce Ferguson. If anything, it only makes them worse.
I fixed the problem by unlinking Floyd Bruce Ferguson from his father, then linking him with both his parents by doing an Edit->Add->Parents (and selecting existing parents) like I should have done in the first place, and finally by merging him with Floyd B. Ferguson. But RM really shouldn't get you tangled up like this. Either the "Click to Add father" and "Click to Add mother" options should be removed, or else they should morph into "add parents" when appropriate.
Finally, this is a prime example of why you really should have only one database, not one for your mother's side of the family and one for your father's side of the famly, and not one for you and one for your spouse. There are just too many opportunites for cross linkages,and you need to be able to take advantage of those cross linkages.
Posted 14 November 2012 - 07:23 PM
Posted 15 November 2012 - 03:26 PM
I thought this was fixed?, anyway I just tried it and it worked problem free for me, certainly not like it was in RM4. Regardless if this option is still giving problems then I would agree that the Rootsmagician sshould remove it until totally reliable and save users messing up their data.
Totally agree with the one database model, hopefully dynamic groups will come someday to help actively work with those subsets like mothers side, fathers side etc.
Media Gallery (a critical look) - Written when RM4 was introduced but still applies today.
Posted 15 November 2012 - 07:35 PM
It requires a very specific set of circumstances to create the problem. If you click on "Click to Add father" or "Click to Add mother" and if you enter a new person, then there is no problem. The problem only occurs after "Click to Add father (or mother)"
- AND if you choose to use a person already in your database; OR you choose to enter a new person into your database AND RM detects a possible duplicate person AND if you choose to use the person already in your database rather than adding a new person
- AND if the person already in your database has a spouse
- AND if the spouse is the other parent of the person to whom you are doing a "Click to Add father (or mother)".
You can create the problem in a test base containing just three people: John Doe and his wife Jane Smith, and their daughter named Sarah Doe. To create the problem, Sarah must not be linked as a child of John and Jane. It's like John and Jane have been in your database for years and you didn't know they had a daughter named Sarah. Then you add Sarah as in individual not connected to anybody. And finally, you discover that Sarah is the daughter of John and Jane and decide to link them up.
With such a small database, it's easiest to highlight Sarah in Pedigree View. Click "Click to Add father", click "Select Existing person", and select John Doe. At this point, you are in a mess. John Doe will have two families. In one family, he has no spouse and a daughter named Sarah. In the other family, he has a spouse named Jane Smith and no children. But Jane Smith is actually Sarah's mother. The problem is certainly fixable, but it's very hard to fix. Or really, it's very hard to figure out how to fix it. The correct procedure which works perfectly fine is just to highlight Sarah and do an "Add parents" from the menu bar or by right clicking on Sarah or whatever, rather than clicking on "Click to Add father" or "Click to Add mother".
Curiously, the standard or old fashioned ways of adding parents don't even support an "Add father" or "Add mother" function. That's why the standard or old fashioned ways of adding parents don't have this problem. The problem occurs when an "Add father" or "Add mother" function should really be an "Add parents" function but RM doesn't throw you into the "Add parents" dialog.
Also curiously, there is no problem if you go first to John and Jane and do a "Click to Add child" and use an existing person who is Sarah. Doing it in that direction works fine. The evil option is "Click to Add father (or mother)" when the father or mother being added is already in the database. But in the situation that bit me, I was not expecting nor did I check for parents who were already in the database. So going to the parents and doing a "Click to Add child" was not even remotely a consideration. I did not realize I was getting into a problem area until RM detected the father for me as a duplicate person.
Posted 28 December 2012 - 04:39 PM