Saturday, April 30, 2011

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - "Problems" in your genealogy databases

From Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings
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.

4)  Tell us in a blog post of your own, a comment to this blog post, or a comment on Facebook.
Compared to some people here I have relatively small databases. I've kept my maternal and paternal lines separate; they intersect only at my parents.
I used the "Data Errors Report" in Family Tree Maker 2011. The data errors it searches for (with the results for my 2 trees) are;
  • Name contains invalid characters
  • Name contains misplaced dash
  • Name contains nickname (0, 4)
  • Name contains title
  • Wife's surname same as husband's surname (1, 0)
  • Birth date missing (113, 338)
  • Marriage date missing (84, 180)
  • Person is unattached (1, 4)
  • Children out of order (25, 11)
  • Birth date after father's death
  • Birth date after father was age 80
  • Birth date after death date (0, 1)
  • Birth date after mother's death date (0, 1)
  • Birth date after mother was age 60
  • Birth date before father was age 13
  • Birth date before mother was age 13
  • Burial date before death date
  • Age at time of death greater than 120
  • Event date occurs before birth date
  • Marriage date after death date
  • Marriage date after spouse death date
  • Marriage date before person was 13
  • Marriage date before spouse was 13
Between my two trees of 1911 people the results were really pretty good. Lots of missing dates, but those I expected. The one case where the wife's surname is the same as the husband's surname is OK, they were distant cousins. The unattached people are those I've added to the trees "in case" they are related.
Follow up:
  1. Review the 4 people with nicknames
  2. Sort the children into birth date order. If some of these don't have a birth date try to find an approximate date to use.
  3. Fix the obvious problem of birth date after death date and after mother's death date
  4. And finally, keep plugging away at the baptisms, christenings, and marriages from the parish registers.

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