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Member Since 18 Nov 2005
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 01:55 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Default Place Format

26 January 2020 - 05:17 PM

Yes I have been using Search and Replace with Places which certainly does part of the work.  I posed my original question partly because the Places Clean could be a useful tool to finish the job.  Places Clean will find those entries without Countries etc that have snuck into the database through downloads etc but without being able to set my own Country formats I can't use the Standard Name suggested by Places Clean.  That leads to cleanup requiring me to type the country name etc rather than just a single mouse click on the Standard Name.


But the biggest issue then with Places Clean is that once I have used Search and Replace to name Countries to my preferences, all those "non-standard" (by RM7 standards) country names are identified as incorrect by Places Clean ... and so the tool becomes pretty much useless :-)


This discussion has been going on for quite some time, see links below from 7 years ago.





In Topic: Default Place Format

24 January 2020 - 08:06 AM

I'm wondering if there is any setting in RM7 where I can set the defaults (or preferred format) for a country.  I want to display USA rather than United States or United States of America (or U.S.A. for that matter) - likewise no United Kingdom but rather only England. Scotland, and Wales.  I'm not concerned about officially official names for countries so prefer USA because it is shorter to type, and United Kingdom doesn't add any more information than England,Scotland, or Wales on their own.


I can't for the life of me find any settings for this and rip my hair out when Place Clean insists on replacing USA with United States.  The actual Places Clean tool is so un-intuitive as to prompt grievous bodily harm. Take these selections offered:


Note: I would have included a snapshot image of the specific section of the Place Clean popup but I have wasted too much time trying to figure out how to do so on this Forum software that it is time for dinner and I give up ...


What the heck does "Do nothing" really mean in the context of Add or Remove? And what the bleep is "<brackets>"? I assume it is a variable but where do I provide the value I want to use for <brackets>? Obviously I would like to have <brackets>="United States" and Replace With = "USA".  And do these two options work together?  Does <brackets> = the value of Country in the Add/Remove/Do Nothing option?  So would I actually set it up as Remove Country "United States" and Replace <brackets>:USA?  I'm all for experimenting to see what happens but am asking before I inflict damage upon my database.


The Help offerings are spectacularly UnHelpful.




jreuger, use whatever Country designation you wish, these preferences are often driven by personal choice in reports and speed of entry and RM does not provide custom conditional outputs at present. Switch Search & Replace to Places and you can replace ", United Kindom" with blank if you wish and "United States" to "USA" quickly and effectively but do be caseful to include the leading comma and space in case you select something unintentional and hit select all to regret later.


I have removed all my <brackets> from my database, where there were instances of "of..." I changed those to residence as logically that was all they told me and not where the person was actually born but where they lived at one point.


The only consideration I would add as regards your chosen format is you will want the format to be understandable by mapping systems and exchangeable with other users including Ancestry and the like in the future so I wouldn't go mad on abbreviations that are not easily transferrable. I also exclude "United Kingdom" from my entries and 80% or my research is done in UK & Ireland, without that additional component the Place is still perfectly recognizable and unique which is not true for some other Countries.

In Topic: Default Place Format

24 January 2020 - 06:53 AM

I have struggle with this also, when the many changes were going on back when place details was added tp RM. I made a decision to not use the place names checking list and use place details. But I do not let another family member have a copy of my database unless they are using RM or will buy a copy.   Or you can not use place details and use the Notes instead.  I think this is a user choice on how you use place names.  Another one I also did, was to write out County and State and not use the shortcuts.  Like Co., or KY. 


Whilst we all have the common goal of connecting families and building detail, we probably all go about it in different ways. I do several one name studies and collect and enter all data I can, then my approach is more like throwing the jig-saw on the floor and starting to group the pieces by Name, Date, Place and maybe other details. When I share information online or by reports I prefer to withold the Place Details for two reasons, one being the Place Details may only confuse the issue with the potential collaborator but secondly, in my experience, once full disclosure is initially made the discussion dies and the line goes dead as the recipient has received all they want. I see this similar grab and run behaviour every day on various Facebook groups where people take the time to offer quality help and the original poster, more often that not, can't even be bothered to tip their hat.


At Place level I go to City and in most of rural Ireland to Parish level, then nested within those geographic confines the finer detail would be street address, burial plot and Townland respectively. Travel is widespread today and family dispersal has always covered greater distances in USA than in UK & Ireland however virtually every migrant went to an area they had heard of in their homeland, family or someone from the same village went before, supported their worship or culture and even after that congregated around similar cultures. Work and betterment then over the years spread this inter country migration but the geographic roots cannot be ignored so I like to have these grouped together and work to reconcile them.


In Belfast families lived in the same or adjoining streets, I remember when I was young four families of mine all living within 100 mtrs of each other and running from house to house. That could be a village or a Township in another country and we all have our own methods of understanding those important geographic groupings, my preferred way is Place Details. Again If I say to you I have a John Doe in my file born 1850, you will ask where from? you are not asking me for a hospital or a street address, the City, Village or Parish is what you are seeking, those additional Place Details are added quality for my file and they don't convolute my Place List.


Over the past months I have entered all the Gracey famies of Belfast from available pre 1922 birth and death registrations using the filter of Birth or Death Place Details <is blank> as my filter for knowing more information is available and needs to be entered. Only last night I completed this work and now have several apparent residential groupings (the man next door syndrome) to research further back. Rootsmagic does not yet facilitate true proximity searching for geographic groupings of rural families or those possibly living in adjoining streets etc. but improvements have been made in RM8 and I live in hope. Regardless RM still has a hook in me as regards Place Details and my investment and whilst I data mine elsewhere on most other things I still find these geographic groupings very indicative.


Researching and resolving the likely cousins below is this afternoons homework.



In Topic: Default Place Format

23 January 2020 - 01:32 PM

When Place Details were first introduced into RM, I probably spent dozens if not hundreds of hours splitting the verbose entries into Place + Place Details. But somewhere along the way I came to realize the huge amount of data loss this would cause upon transfer my RM data to other genealogy software. So I no longer use RM's Place Details feature. And I'm still in a long term project spending dozens if not hundreds of hours combining the Place + Place Details entries back into the verbose entries. I've never been quite willing to submit this project to an SQLite script for fear that would mess something up. I really like to be able to review each item I'm combining as I'm combining it.




I'm disappointed you have felt the need to reverse your previous decision to adopt Place Details due to incomplete consideration of the needs and freedom of Rootsmagic users, one could also apply this to Shared Facts.


When you remove the true effectiveness of these enhancements over the years where does that date Rootsmagic back to?


For the record another software package I am using does preserve Place Details as address and also Rootsmagic Shared Facts so some compliance of gedcom standards has been applied. Also a frequent question is the placement of the Cause of Death information which is also maintained as such.


The present downside for me is whilst my geocoding, notes and media attached to Place Details are maintained I can make no further enhancements to that information in program so I must wait in hope.



In Topic: Default Place Format

21 January 2020 - 07:34 PM


According to a strict application of the place name standard it means Jackson County, Michigan.


It means just that.



But was that really the intent of the person who entered the data? I don't think you can tell.


Who will ever know?


Why not geocode the entry and at least others will have some guess at geographic proximity.