Jump to content


Photo

Mutliple vs single databases?


  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1 kimam

kimam

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 3 posts

Posted 15 December 2017 - 04:29 PM

Hi,

I am new to rootsmagic, so I apologize if this topic has been covered before.

I am attempting to set up my files and would appreciate opinions/advice on the issues involved in determining how to organize my files - whether to keep every thing in one humongous "master" database, or to split them into separate "family" databases.

 

In reading prior forum posts, I have seen solutions offered for issues I never even thought of, so am attempting to set this up "right" before figuring out my wonderful organization scheme makes life more complicated, rather than easier!

 

I have a Roots Magic "master file" that was generated by importing a gedcom file. The file came from various sources, including my early attempts with other software programs, the familysearch family tree and data files from relatives. It is a hodgepodge of well documented research, very suspect "facts" and simply undocumented data. The sources range from extreme source splitting (a single census household split into a separate source for every member in the household) to ultra source lumping (a generic "death certificate" that could refer to an actual document, a copy of the document or an index from various states). Locations, surnames, etc have no standardization. The thought of editing all these sources and records, to get them in a coherent form, only to figure out that a good many of them are irrelevant to my research is rather daunting.

 

 

My thought is to keep the "master" database as an all inclusive index for when I when across a name that sounds famillar, but can't remember what line it belongs to and not worry about the different styles. Then I would have separate family databases that I could create by dragging and dropping the relevant family members, and clean up their sourcing, facts, in a more manageable volume. I would use this database to create reports and all those other good things. My files are currently organized in separate family binders.

 

The issues I have thought of include the duplication of sources as I drag and drop people between databases, fragmentation of the research manager, and the  need to keep multiple copies of the same person up to date.

 

Are there more issues to consider?  How do others organize their work?



#2 zhangrau

zhangrau

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1352 posts

Posted 15 December 2017 - 11:05 PM

I keep only one RM database. This handles all of my genealogy research: for my own direct family lines, collateral family lines, work I've done for friends, work I've done on famous families just because I was curious, etc., etc. After 30 years of research, my database is pretty large, but keeping it all together has encouraged me to be consistent in naming places, sources, repositories, etc. When I add in research by others, I have a habit of bringing that info into a new, blank database and reviewing places, sources, repositories, fact type list, etc BEFORE I merge the new info into my main database. One advantage of the all-in-one approach is that I have uncovered distant-cousin relationships that would not have been likely if I were managing multiple, smaller files.

 

I tend to be a source lumper, but having accepted many contributions over the years, many of the contributed sources should be categorized as "split".

 

20171215_RM_properties.png



#3 kimam

kimam

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 3 posts

Posted 16 December 2017 - 02:25 PM

Thanks for the input. I do see the advantages of your system (I too have "unconnected" families that eventually trace back to the same location and so might have a missed connection.) 

 

I will continue to play around with the different options, on small segments of the databases, and see what seems to work best for me.

 

I appreciate your reply.



#4 ftipple

ftipple

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 37 posts

Posted 17 December 2017 - 05:12 AM

I would go for a single database - much easier for handling queries and keeping places, sources etc. consistent. You can always use Groups for tracking individual families.

 

Fíona



#5 Trebor22

Trebor22

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 116 posts

Posted 17 December 2017 - 08:13 AM

This subject has come up before and consensus leans towards one database but after a trial period having combined my databases I soon reverted back to multiple and very happy with my choice.

If you combine your databases I would suggest a short trial of keeping some notes or updating all databases so you can revert back if you don't like the 'all in one approach'

 

Bob



#6 reborrell

reborrell

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 81 posts

Posted 17 December 2017 - 03:44 PM

zhangrau - out of curiosity how big is your backup file including media?

#7 kimam

kimam

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 3 posts

Posted 17 December 2017 - 04:21 PM

Thanks for all the comments! I'm doing an experiment now on separating out a database. Think that might work better for how my brain functions. But definitely keeping the master file to revert back to in case things don't work out.

 

Zhangrau - my "main" database is only 9966 people, and 1642 sources with 21000 citations. About 14000 kb. Not very large at all, I know, but hopefully destined to grow. I don't actually have any media attached in it, as that is one of my to-do tasks (yes, my original gedcom files come from before genealogy programs readily handled media. )



#8 zhangrau

zhangrau

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1352 posts

Posted 17 December 2017 - 05:26 PM

zhangrau - out of curiosity how big is your backup file including media?

I don't do backups including media. Two reasons: my backup would be too large for Windows to manage; and, the RM media backup throws away my folder organization scheme.

 

Current file sizes:

  *.rmgc = 1.22 GB

  *.rmgb =    262 MB

 

My media folder contains 357 sub-folders and 33.7K files (including thumbnails for GraphicWorkshopPro ( http://www.mindworks...com/gwspro.html ) and shows as 39.1 GB on disk.



#9 Don Newcomb

Don Newcomb

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1008 posts

Posted 22 December 2017 - 02:10 PM

The advantage of a single database is that you don't have to sync master source lists and there's no risk of creating unnecessary duplicate sources. So, if one family has the New England Historical Genealogical Register or Great Migration Immigrants it will be the same master source for the other family as well. If the families are really unrelated (as in not even from the same continents), it might not be such an issue.



#10 Nettie

Nettie

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1549 posts

Posted 27 December 2017 - 10:29 AM

Yes, a single direct line database is the way I finally decided to go.  Used to have a database for my maternal line and one for my paternal line.  Was hard to keep both updated and using the same source and fact list.  Right now, because of a divorce,  all the spouse files are in one database that is backup tor another member of that family.  I have one database for my active file.   I removed from the last large database with many people in it some related and some not, my Direct Line list and that is what is on ancestry.com.  With the DNA process I have used the old database for entering people from non direct line circles.  My direct line RM database is also used for ancestry.com DNA from my Direct line Circles. 

 

Happy New Year!!!


Genealogy:
"I work on genealogy only on days that end in "Y"." [Grin!!!]
from www.GenealogyDaily.com.
"Documentation....The hardest part of genealogy"
"Genealogy is like Hide & Seek: They Hide & I Seek!"
" Genealogists: People helping people.....that's what it's all about!"
from http://www.rootsweb....nry/gentags.htm
Using FO and RM since FO2.0