This article is the third in a series of articles which will help you prepare your family file for better use with the upcoming Legacy 7.5 and its interface with FamilySearch. Even if you do not plan on synchronizing your data with FamilySearch, these articles will provide valuable insights on cleaning up and standardizing your data. Click here for the first article. Click here for the second article.
Goal: Reduce duplication
One of FamilySearch's goals is to help reduce duplication both in original research and in LDS ordinance submissions. Its new software at http://new.familysearch.org incorporates tools to check for duplicates. Clicking on the new Possible Duplicates tab checks to see if the current individual is listed elsewhere in their databases. The user then has the choice to combine any duplicates.
Before working with new FamilySearch
When Legacy 7.5 is available, users will be able to backup, search and optionally synchronize their Legacy family file with information at FamilySearch. The benefits are numerous, but the information at FamilySearch is only as good as the information that is submitted by the researcher. Therefore, treat the information online as a good starting point and as a means of collaborating with other researchers.
Therefore, before working with FamilySearch, cleaning up and standardizing your Legacy family file is important. Searching your family file for duplicate individuals is an important part of maintaining a well-kept family file. You may have duplicate individuals in your family file for many reasons. Using Legacy's Merge tool, you can easily identify and combine duplicates. Here's how....
1) With your family file open, go to Tools > Merge > Find Duplicates.
2) It's a great idea to make a backup of your family file before merging. After clicking on the Backup button, come back to this screen and click Continue:
3) Now you see the Merge Options screen. Most of the time, just leave everything the way it is and click on the Continue button. If you just want to see a report of potential duplicates, click on the Print button.
4) Below is the Merge screen. At the far bottom left it shows the number of sets of potential duplicates and which number you are currently viewing. In this case, there are four sets of potential duplicates, and we are viewing the first set.
Now, compare the person on the left with the person on the right. The top part of the screen shows the basic information about each person. The bottom half of the screen shows any differences between the two. In this example, the left person's given name is Asa Clark and the right person's given name is Asa. Using the radio buttons, you can select one or the other, but I usually opt to keep both. To keep both, just click on the small black box to the left of the Given Name label where I can choose to copy the right person's name to the notes or to an alternate name field.
If you decide that the two individuals are the same, click on the Merge Right Individual into Left Individual button. Legacy then displays the next set of potential duplicates.
If, after comparing the two, you decide that they are NOT the same person, click on the small button in the lower right with the crossed-out circle. This will add this set to the Not Duplicates List, and they will not appear in future Match/Merge sessions.
If you need to pause your merge session because you need to sleep or eat (don't those two things always get in the way of our genealogy time?) just click on the Close button. Legacy will save your place in the merge session. The next time you start Legacy, it will ask you if you want to continue merging.
Now that your family file's duplicates are cleaned up, you are better prepared to work with FamilySearch or any other database.