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blank fields - find and replace with data

find and replace

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#1 Dwight Jackson

Dwight Jackson

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Posted 16 January 2015 - 11:11 PM

I use ??? in RM in the name field if I do not know the surname or given name of an individual.  The gedcom process strips the ??? for a surname and I get (___, Ann).  Or I get (Jones, ___ ) for an unknown given name. When I download a gedcom file of my database from Ancestry, the missing information for the surname and given name fields has to be added again.


I can't even convert the ???'s to read something like "surname unknown" or "given name unknown" after the gedcom file conversion because the ???'s are now gone.  All I have are blank fields for the surname field or given name field of data.  Any suggestions on how to universally insert data into a blank field without having to edit thousands of individual records?

#2 Ludlow Bay

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Posted 17 January 2015 - 01:27 AM

Where exactly do you see the ??? being stripped out?  I just ran a test gedcom, and the ??? stayed:


0 @I81229@ INDI
1 NAME ??? /test/
2 GIVN ???
2 SURN test
1 _UID 0FF61B85F3BA44AD8AD1BD6D1FAC67938D2B
2 DATE 16 JAN 2015
2 DATE 1800
2 DATE 1850

#3 Vyger


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Posted 17 January 2015 - 02:24 AM

Dwight, it could be easily done with SQL but I am curious why you want to do it, is it for some kind of reporting need? 


You do know that Surname and Given Name(s) is blank is available under the search options. 

Keeping ones customers and their important views at a distance is never a good approach


User of Family Historian 6.2.7, Rootsmagic 7.6.3, Family Tree Maker 2014 & Legacy 7.5


Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here



#4 kbens0n


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Posted 17 January 2015 - 03:20 AM

A quick test with my text editor's search and replace:

Find what: //
Replace with: /???/

Find what: 1 NAME /
Replace with: 1 NAME ??? /

Do the above actions upon a copy of your exported Ancestry .GED file ...then import that GEDCOM and RootsMagic will fill empty Given and Surname with three question marks

( works *IF* you don't have
1 NAME /
in any other part of your GEDCOM's genealogical data )

--- "GENEALOGY, n. An account of one's descent from an ancestor who did not particularly care to trace his own." - Ambrose Bierce
--- "The trouble ain't what people don't know, it's what they know that ain't so." - Josh Billings
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