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Techniques for weeding the garden?

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#1 Don Newcomb

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 07:52 AM

My main database currently contains about 21K names. At one time (when I was young and foolish) I went through a period of adding GEDCOMs, willy-nilly, from undocumented sources like Ancestral File. In the last few years I've been taking some time to go through and document what could be proven and clean out what can, carefully making what's in dispute. I have a few proven gateway ancestors that lead into well-documented European linages and a few that are disputed or dubious. The ones that were completely bogus I've unlinked and deleted as best as I can. The problem is that this leaves many blind allies that still link back to various nobility which are valid in other lines. 


For some time I've been thinking about ways to find people who are poorly documented. For instance, the only source citation is to Ancestral File, or there are no sources. The problem is that RM's find tool just isn't set up for that type of search. I can find records that cite Ancestral File but they may also have a dozen other sources. I can't just color code all the ancestors of "Bogus Gateway Person" because that would also color code many of the ancestors of valid gateways. 


This has bothered me for a while and I've been more or less letting this sleeping dog lie. 

#2 Laura


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Posted 21 February 2015 - 10:59 AM

Here is an idea to try to give you a starting point.

Make a copy of your database and work in the copy. Rename the copy with a different name from your main database.

Color code everyone in the database as Blue.

Create a Group

Any fact, source, name contains, Ancestral File

Any fact, source, name does not contain, Ancestral File

If you have sources linked to people's General note or Family note, add to the research criteria for Mark and Unmark::
Or, Source (General)
Or, Source (Family)

If Ancestral File is not in the source name, you can search the part of a source it is entered in, I.e. footnote.

This will give you the people with only Ancestral File as sources.

Clear all color coding from everyone in the database.

Color code the Group you just created as Red.

Create a second Group for a suspect source as you did the first. Color code it Red.

Repeat creating Groups and color coding them Red for each suspect source.

Then, create a new Group using Color coding is Red.

I think that you can then highlight your "bogus gateway person" or any Red person and any suspect ancestor will be Red in the Pedigree view. People with other sources that are not suspect will be Blue.

Or, create a Group of Ancestors only for the person.

Make a Red ancestor the focus and change to the Descendants view with the slide on 7. You would probably want to start with the ancestor nearest to the person if there will be more than 7 generations of descendants for an ancestor

Check the color coding on that ancestor's descendants. All they all Red?

Hopefully, this will tell you if you can safely delete that ancestor and his descendants.

You could change any descendant you wish to keep to another color. Blue if you know you want to keep that person or say, Green if you want to check them out further.

The goal is to jave every one that is to ne deleted frrom the database as Red to be excluded by Red folor codinf on a gedcom or Drag snd Drop.

Experiment and see if this helps.

#3 Don Newcomb

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Posted 22 February 2015 - 08:16 AM

Thanks, Laura. I'm going to have to read this a couple of times to take it all in. 

ITMT, I'm just searching for any fact that references Ancestral File, Pedigree Resource File or the IGI and reviewing the record to see if it can be bolstered with firmer documentation. With so much now online (e.g. Google Books) it's fairly easy to find obscure articles in places like NEHGR, and county histories.