Family Roots
Family Roots™ - Clean up your data

Updated November 2012

If you haven't yet read the overview, please do so before continuing.

Some common cleanup things to consider before making a gedcom (or importing to The Master Genealogist)

Most people using Family Roots have some “no record” people that will get lost in a gedcom. To preserve the “no record” people, we’ll do this methodically, starting with the spouses. (If you don’t mind losing the no record people, this can be skipped. I’d advise doing it.)

From the FR main menu, use Alt-R(ecords) and choose Search Record Content (if asked about erasing list in memory, say ok)
Type in the number of the "Spouse #1" field and press <return>
Type in "<not>#" (without quotes) and press <return>
Alt-F and choose Begin Search, then choose Entire Database or a part at a time using 1-50, then when finished 51-100, etc until all done.

That will put a list in memory. If you want to print that, but can't print directly from FamilyRoots (see Why won't it print? in right side menu of this website) then you want to save the list so that you can open it in your word processor and print that way. (You may not need to once you get used to doing what needs doing). To do that, choose Alt-P and choose Sorted Lists, then List in Memory, then Record Number etc (ignore any "can't find header file" message you might get). In the middle of thte resulting screen, you will see ?'s. Type ? and that will change to No ?'s. Then you want to choose Disk. Make a note of the path, and type in a filename that follows the 8x3 format (remember, this is the old dos naming convention) that ends in .txt <enter>. Example 1-50.txt to indicate this is records 1 through 50. This file you can open in Notepad or a word processor, and then be able to print it out.

This gives you a list of people between 1 and the end who have spouses with no record number. Don’t worry about how many there are, you just want to eat the elephant one bite at a time.)

Look at the first person in the list who has one No RN spouse. Make a note of the name. Alt-N(ame) and choose Add Names and type in the name - you needn’t bother with married names for the women because most programs handle that differently, so no need to waste the extra keystrokes. After you are back from the add names screen, then go to the spouse 1 field and use the F-10 key which will put that spouse’s record number there.

By the way, I use (_____) (_____) for unknown name elements.

Don’t get sidetracked with doing the No RN children until you are all done with the spouses.

When the time comes to do the No RN children, here’s the steps for that.
Do the same type of search we did for finding the no record spouses only this time use the Child #1 field. Again, go to the record and then choose Alt-N(ames) > Add Names, adding the name of the child. Then use F-10 to put that new RN in the field where the child’s name is typed in. Go to the child and make sure their other parent’s record number is filled in. If the first parent only has one spouse, then both parents will have record numbers. If the first parent had multiple marriages, then the other parent will be blank and you’ll need to decide which one is the parent. If you don’t have any way of knowing, then it is ok to leave the other parent blank.

Last section is the No RN parents. First do a search on the father. I’ll repeat the steps again.
Alt-R(ecords) and choose Search Record Content (if asked about erasing list in memory, say ok)
Type in the number of the "Father" field and press <return>
Type in "<not>#" (without quotes) and press <return>
Alt-F(ile) and choose Begin Search, then choose Range of Record Numbers, and choose (for example) 1-50

You should now be used to adding the name, and then using F-10 to put the number in the appropriate field (Father, in this case). Then, if the mother already has a number, go to her record, and put that newly made father into her spouse field. Now comes the tricky part - you need to go to each of the children, and make sure that the father’s RN gets put it there too. It’s not automatically done. Once that family is finished, go to the next person on your list.

Once that’s done, do the same search to find the <not># people in the Mother field, and do them.

Almost done. Do a final record search, one field at a time - the father, the mother, the spouse, the child, to make sure that none got missed.

Another common problem is "non-standard" dates. If you know you've used them, be aware that a gedcom export will preserve them, but most gedcom imports will throw them into an exceptions file. You might want to clean them up too. (Examples: question marks in the date are a no-no, and you need four digits for year. Best idea is to use day, three letters for month, then year. Then there is no question FR will understand what 3 May is, versus 3/5 - is that Mar 5 or May 3?). There is one thing you can do to clean up some of the non-standard dates. If you have used CA (case doesn't matter) instead of circa, or ca., then for each date field where you might have used it, type in "ca <replace> circa" (without quotes) and press <return> (or "ca. <replace> circa"). You'll get asked to verify each instance, but it's faster than just trying to find them all and do it manually. You can also change bef. to before, and and aft. to after, but do NOT try replacing question marks as the program won't allow that.

Lastly, there are some unique things that might cause a problem. If you have used the ^ method of footnoting, or have "story" text files, email me, being sure to give me your phone number and time zone (US/CAN only) as sometimes I may need to do a Q&A session to know how best to advise you.

Once you are done, then you are ready to do make a gedcom file to go to another program.