Saturday, April 30, 2011

SNGF: Data Problems - FTM and RM4

Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings issued this challenge:

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to:

1)  Open your genealogy software program (on your computer or online), and use the Help function to determine how to make a "Problem Report" or "Data Error Report" (or something similar).

2)  Create a "Problem Report" or "Data Error Report" in your software for the persons in your tree (either everyone in the tree, or for a selected number of generations of your ancestors.  

3)  Tell us what type of problems or errors that your report found.  Tell us how many errors were found.  Tell us what problem or error surprised you.


Because I'm transferring all my data from Family Tree Maker to RootsMagic 4, I decided to run the report in both programs.

My FTM file has 3,231 individuals and my RM4 file has only 70 people (gimme a break! It's slow going transferring everything by hand!)

So ... I ran the report in FTM and the first time it was 47 pages long.  I almost had a heart attack!  Then I realized that it was counting anyone missing a birth date and anyone missing a marriage date.  In my opinion, not data errors.  After filtering those out, the report magically shrunk to 2 pages.

1. Lots of individuals were flagged because their children were out of order.  Indeed they were.  A click of the "resort children" button fixed all of those problems, and reduced my report to less than a page.

2. Katherine [Huber] was flagged because apparently she was born (1864) after she was married (1860).  I checked my information and found a typo.  She was actually married in 1880.  This also fixed the problem with her husband being flagged for marrying someone younger than 13.

3. Margaret Egan was flagged for being born more than a year after her father died.  Unfortunately, this is a glitch with FTM - her father died sometime in 1862.  She was born in December 1862.  Thus, not a year later, but FTM reads it that way.

4. There were a couple of individuals flagged for having an "illegal character" in their name, where I had typed the last name as Brown/e or Crow/e.  A couple more were flagged as including a title.  Two had the first name of Dean, the third was Father Leonard F. Zwinger, who was - indeed - a priest.

5. The remaining problems were not problems as much as they were multiple dates for a single event that conflicted with each other - but this will get sorted out once I obtain the proper documentation.

My RM4 problem report consisted of two entries:

1. My grandmother is flagged as having been married at age 80.  This is true.  Go Gramma.

2. My GGgrandfather, Joseph Huber, was flagged as being "born after birth."  This is also true -- sort of.  I have two birth dates entered for him because I still do not have his birth certificate and have conflicting information elsewhere, so his birth dates are one year apart.

I'm glad Randy issued this challenge tonight.  I knew those reports were there, I just forget to run them periodically.  Maybe I should set up a schedule entry to run those reports the same day I do my backups!


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