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How to fix given names stored in surname field?


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#1 pbooth99

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 02:48 PM

Hello,

 

I am wondering whether anyone has a strategy for fixing the following?

I have some rootsmagic databases that integrated data from ancestry and familysearch.org,

and I notice that, for some of the data, in particular women whose maiden name is unknown,

they are stored with the given name in the surname field. So I have many 

"Anna, " whose name should really be ",Anna" and so on. I can see that the search/replace functionality of Rootsmagic doenst obviously help me to fix these issues.

 

Is there a non-obvious hack that could allow me to rename all Anna so that Anna is their given name and not their surname?

 

Peter



#2 Renee Zamora

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 03:27 PM

There isn't a way to do that inside RM.


Renee
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#3 zhangrau

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 03:39 PM

Yes, there is a function for this.

First, you'll want to get the icon onto your menu bar.
1 - Right-click on the gray area to the left of the menu icons
2 - Customize
3 - Commands tab
4 - select Edit then scroll through the right panel to find DataClean, select and drag onto the row of menu icons (I placed mine between Places and Print)
5 - [Close]

Next, go to Help "name clean" and read the article

NOTE: I did this years ago, so I can't exactly remember which command category the DataClean icon is stored. If I'm wrong, keep looking, it's there somewhere.
 

 

rm7-customize-menu-icons.png



#4 Pilgers

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 05:30 PM

Thank you Zhangrau.

 

Although I'd found ways to report most of the name issues on my tree - I'd added 'wife of *******' to some surnames as a temporary measure when I didn't know the maiden name - I knew I'd have to do something about them one day. Whilst they only represented a tiny percentage of all the surnames I didn't realise I could "seek and destroy"  Perhaps I should look at all the tabs fairly soon......



#5 Vyger

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 07:53 AM

Yes, there is a function for this.

 

NameClean is a useful feature and could be further improved like PlaceClean by facilitating the input of some user variables, however it doesn't catch Given mistakingly being in Surname field.

 

This would be best achieved by doing a gedcom export anf fixing that where you could define the Search and Replace in Word or NotePad++

 

You would want to change instances of

1 NAME /Anna/
2 SURN Anna

To;

1 NAME Anna //
2 GIVN Anna

and so forth.

 

Use a program like WinMerge to compare the before and after Gedcom to ensure the results are as you expected.

 

I leave unknown Surnames blank, I believe it is the only logical action and don't use codes, finding and sorting blank Surnames is as easy as finding coded entries but the data is more accurate for online interaction. Rootsmagic facilitate the use of Alternate Names of various Types and I would make extensive use of these for Married and Other Spellings. A wife may have records recorded throughout her life under numerous Surnames if she has had numerous marriages so I believe it is important to have those numerous surnames in my database. I published the rushed and short video below to help a specific user a few years ago, it may help you decide on a logical and useful way forward.

 

Rootsmagic Alternate Name fact use in genealogy


We are all limited by our visions and abilities

Whilst we can borrow from the visions of others we cannot always deliver.

 

User of Family Historian 6.2.7, Rootsmagic 7.6.2, Family Tree Maker 2014 & Legacy 7.5

 

Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

Root


#6 Pilgers

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 09:02 AM

Very good advice to leave unknown surnames blank except that I sometimes add 'wife of ******' when I've added a partner from a (usually UK) record, the given name isn't exceptional enough to stand out from others - I have about 30 Anns without a surname, and I'm still working on the family.  Once I have all the details I can accrue, I either change the surname to the confirmed maiden name or I delete the surname if I don't know what it should be.  It is supposed to be a stop gap to help me find people on my tree but sometimes I lose track and forget to fix it.

 

I've never used the married name as an alternate name despite having a number of multiple marriages on my tree although I can see the merits of doing so.



#7 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 09:30 PM

I think that fixing given names stored in the surname field can be fixed fairly effective by manual means such as editing GEDCOM. But I think a fully automated procedure would run afoul of that fact that given names and surnames can be much more fungible that you might expect. You might have a man in your database named Samuel Judy, and there are dozens of variations on this theme. Another example is that the fungiblity given names and surnames is the genesis of names such as Wash Smith - George Washington Smith becomes Washington Smith which becomes Wash Smith.

 

Jerry



#8 Vyger

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Posted 13 April 2019 - 05:39 AM

I think that fixing given names stored in the surname field can be fixed fairly effective by manual means such as editing GEDCOM. But I think a fully automated procedure would run afoul of that fact that given names and surnames can be much more fungible that you might expect. You might have a man in your database named Samuel Judy, and there are dozens of variations on this theme. Another example is that the fungiblity given names and surnames is the genesis of names such as Wash Smith - George Washington Smith becomes Washington Smith which becomes Wash Smith.

 

Jerry

 

Jerry is quite correct, you need to be able to reliably define the changes required to reliably make the changes, if the data is hit and miss then that would fall back to a manual search and replace operation.


We are all limited by our visions and abilities

Whilst we can borrow from the visions of others we cannot always deliver.

 

User of Family Historian 6.2.7, Rootsmagic 7.6.2, Family Tree Maker 2014 & Legacy 7.5

 

Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

Root


#9 Nettie

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Posted 13 April 2019 - 09:22 AM

For years, I have never left unknown surnames of female's empty.  I have always used [husband's surname] in square brackets.  It is very annoying to me to have 10 Elizabeths with no surname.  with the [ square bracket] I can work with the family.   We had quite a discussion on this several years ago. Every one has their own way of doing this. So there are other choices in this forum on this subject. 


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 


#10 Vyger

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 05:47 AM

For years, I have never left unknown surnames of female's empty.  I have always used [husband's surname] in square brackets.  It is very annoying to me to have 10 Elizabeths with no surname.  with the [ square bracket] I can work with the family.   We had quite a discussion on this several years ago. Every one has their own way of doing this. So there are other choices in this forum on this subject. 

 

Nettie, back in the dark old days I employed the same method as you described either with the square brackets in the Surname or Suffix field however I personally find use of Alternate Names much more useful in this respect.

 

Say your Elizabeth had three marriages but you were still to discover her Birth Surname, using Alternate Name she would appear at the top of the index with a blank Surname so you know that is work to be done, but she would also appear in your Index as Jane White, Jane Brown and Jane Grey if they were her three husbands Surnames which I find very useful and various female life events get recorded under different Surnames.

 

I do a one name study on a surname all spellings of which begin with "Surg" and can end with "iner", "inor", "ener", "enor", "nor", "eoner" and others depending on how the scribe recorded it. Different life events could be recorded with different spellings and these appear all over the index making visual identification difficult and often missed. However "enor" is the most prolific Surname ending so I add an Alternate Name 'Other Spelling' with the Surgenor spelling to each of the other spelling variations, I think TomH might have a script for this?

 

That means if I have Show Alternate Names turned on for the index I only need to search for 'Surgenor' and I will find all spelling variations of the Surname grouped together as if I only used one spelling. So apart from Married Names if you were working Smyth and Smith you could apply one spelling as an Alternate Name and both Surnames would now be intermingled in the Index with Show Alternate Names turned on and NOT when Show Alternate Names is turned off.

 

It may not be for everyone but I dumped my old antiquated Unknown Surname systems and embraced Alternate Name once the feature became available.


We are all limited by our visions and abilities

Whilst we can borrow from the visions of others we cannot always deliver.

 

User of Family Historian 6.2.7, Rootsmagic 7.6.2, Family Tree Maker 2014 & Legacy 7.5

 

Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

Root


#11 Nettie

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 10:02 AM

Thanks Vyger.... But  all my [  ]  do show together at the front of the index list.  I added a couple the way you suggested and find it confusing. 

and on some I have already added the alt name with note. So I am going to keep what I have.  Maybe for some one else this would work.  Since, the older I get the simpler it is for me to do the simple way.  So the next person with my database knows what is going on.  My mother lived to be 92 and I guess I am on my way to that also.  Thanks again.


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 


#12 Vyger

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 11:38 AM

Thanks Vyger.... But  all my [  ]  do show together at the front of the index list.  I added a couple the way you suggested and find it confusing. 

and on some I have already added the alt name with note. So I am going to keep what I have.  Maybe for some one else this would work.  Since, the older I get the simpler it is for me to do the simple way.  So the next person with my database knows what is going on.  My mother lived to be 92 and I guess I am on my way to that also.  Thanks again.

 

Not a problem Nettie, whatever works best for you is the best solution.


We are all limited by our visions and abilities

Whilst we can borrow from the visions of others we cannot always deliver.

 

User of Family Historian 6.2.7, Rootsmagic 7.6.2, Family Tree Maker 2014 & Legacy 7.5

 

Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

Root