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Trying to simulate the Individual Flags on TMG

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#1 jcsturgis


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Posted 02 October 2014 - 05:21 AM

I am currently evaluating RootsMagic as a possible alternative to TMG and have a couple of outstanding issues, that I do with some help with (any suggestions would be welcome):


The scenario is ... I have a spare hour and I want to produce a list of all the people who should be on the 1851 census, but I haven't found yet.  In terms of the data, this means that there won't be a census fact containing 1851 in the date, but there may be others, for the other census entries that I may have found (1861, 1871 etc).  Because, as I said, TMG doesn't have a 'not exists' condition, I've created a set of flags (which when you create them, are applied to everyone in the project and set to a default value) for each of the censuses, which I then set to 'Y' when I find someone.  It's then very easy to produce a list based on 'On 1851 Census = N'.

I have looked at the possibility of designing a new 'fact type' for this purpose, but there doesn't appear to be a way of assigning this to everyone, so I don't really think it's an option as I have thousands of people that I'd have to go through individually, unless I'm missing something.


I could create a group (although I can't try this as it's disabled) containing all those people on (say) the 1851 census.  Couple of questions:  (1) Can I then produce a list using the selection criteria 'not in this group' and further refine it to also discount people who were born after 1851 and died before 1851?  (2) When creating said group, is it necessary (as it seems to be) to individually tag each person (as I said I have a few thousand) based on the selection criteria, and continually using 'Next Record', or is there an easier way?


If anyone has any ideas, I'd be very grateful.



#2 TomH


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Posted 02 October 2014 - 06:19 AM

That is a challenge to produce in RootsMagic from its toolset because the RM Explorer/Mark Group/Unmark Group does not have logic that supports a Boolean AND between criteria for the same fact, when there is more than one of that fact type for a person.

To answer the same sort of question, I developed a SQLite query http://sqlitetoolsfo...d - Named Group .

Another approach drawn from another TMG émigré, is to create a unique fact type for each census, but, unlike your flag-equivalent, use it as a conventional event. So only those persons who have been recorded in your database on the 1851 Census would have that event. Conversion of existing Census events to yyyy Census events would be tedious within RM; a SQLite query could readily do it, provided the date field was used.

Tom user of RM7630 FTM2017 Ancestry.ca FamilySearch.org FindMyPast.com
SQLite_Tools_For_Roots_Magic_in_PR_Celti wiki, exploiting the database in special ways >>> RMtrix-tiny.png app, a bundle of RootsMagic utilities.

#3 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 02 October 2014 - 08:22 AM

That is a challenge to produce in RootsMagic from its toolset because the RM Explorer/Mark Group/Unmark Group does not have logic that supports a Boolean AND between criteria for the same fact, when there is more than one of that fact type for a person.


Tom is very much correct about the problem of RM Explorer having trouble marking and unmarking in a useful way when the marking and unmarking is based on a fact such as census that naturally can occur multiple times. I'm one of the chief complainers about this issue, and I frequently resort to an SQLite query to produce a list I need that can't be produced through RM itself. However (and depending on the exact circumstances of the list I want to make), it is sometimes possible to make a needed list despite the RM limitation. I think this may be one such situation.


For our purposes, it doesn't matter whether you are color coding or creating a group. The marking/unmarking process works the same either way. I think the following will work.

  1. Mark everybody in your database
  2. Unmark everyone who was born after 1851 or who died before 1851. Also, unmark any others who you can identify as not being alive in 1851, such as anybody born before about 1751 or so (your choice on exactly how you do this).
  3. Unmark everyone for whom the condition "census date is equal 1851" is true.

The individuals who remain marked after this marking and unmarking should be your list of individuals who need the 1851 census. We have finessed the RM limitations on Boolean logic with duplicate facts by using negative logic (unmarking) rather than positive logic (marking).




P.S., for #2 do two separate unmarkings. Unmark those born after 1851. Then unmark those who died before 1851. Stay away from the OR logic as it just confuses things.

#4 Laura


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Posted 02 October 2014 - 09:33 AM

I am not really up on Boolean searches so that is not a problem for me.  Sometimes I do need to do some trial and error to get the results I want.  The more I have used searches, the less I have had to do that.

I put all census data into the Census Individual fact.  This search criteria is for people without the 1850 census.

I used 100 years for the birth date range.  I did not want people with no birth fact or people that died after 1850, or people with the 1850 census.  I don't use OR very often in Mark Group but do use it often in Unmark group.

Mark group:
Birth, date, is after, 1750
And, Birth, date, is before,1851
Unmark group:
Birth, exists, is False
Or, Death, date, is before, 1950
Or, Census, date, contains, 1850

Since I put birth dates estimated from family member's data into a user defined fact instead of the Birth fact, I would also add the date range for that fact.

If I wanted to narrow the Group to people who ever lived in a certain place, or a certain Family, or other criteria like marriage dates, any fact dates, etc., I can do that by changing my search criteria.

I would not spend the time and work adding a user defined fact as a flag and maintaining it for new people added to the database for people who meet the conditions of a search.  I would just create the Group.

In fact, when Groups became available, I soon deleted a lot of my flags.  I only kept user defined fact for things I can''t search for like Tombstone pic (Y/G), Yes or Get.  One fact, not two.

I wouldn't use flags even if RM adds flags.  User defined facts are much more versatile than flags as you can add dates, places, descriptions and notes to a user defined fact.  And, you can search on that data.

#5 CherylCh


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Posted 02 October 2014 - 04:40 PM

I've used flags a lot in TMG, but only temporarily and in situations as described above where I want to temporarily identify a group of people for a specific purpose, such as specific research needed or some kind of cleanup process.  Of all TMG's functions, that's probably the one I will miss the least.  As part of my cleanup process, I just deleted all of my customized TMG flags.  In doing so, I realized that I couldn't remember what half of them were for.  Should have made better notes, I guess.


Others may disagree, but RM's "Find Everywhere" and "Search and Replace" (the latter used with extreme care) will be far more useful to me than flags.

#6 hlein



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Posted 03 October 2014 - 10:34 AM



I am using flags for indicating the branch of the family, its "degree" of relationship (ancestor, blood-related, related by marriage ...) together with Accents. This way I can see at once in Details, project explorer, find etc. useful information by the color.

If I discover a connection of a (sub)tree to some person, I can select several persons in the Explorer and run a report with secondary output (not possible in RM) to change their relationship flag.



#7 koornalla


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Posted 07 October 2014 - 07:52 PM

I used flags in TMG to indicate military involvement of the people in my tree. I had one military flag that had selectable options corresponding to involvement of an individual in any of the major conflicts. I had another KIA flag where I could indicate wither the individual was killed in action or not and I had a third POW flag to indicate whether the individual was ever incarcerated by the enemy. The flags were picked up by Second Site via a custom page. I associated each flag (and each option on the military flag) with a pretty little icon. I could then get Second Site to generate a list of people who were in the war, what war they were in, if they were ever a POW and whether they were killed in action.


It was a good little feature but I am sure I could do something similar with RM.


Any ideas anyone?



Wayne Thurley

#8 Renee Zamora

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Posted 09 October 2014 - 12:03 PM

I can't help you with the website part, but you can use Custom Facts to replace those flags. This will let you create groups with people having those facts.