Sunday, May 26, 2013

Prioritizing Family Tree Builder Inconsistencies, Smart Matches, and Record Matches

You may recall from my blog of 22 May that I generated a lot of work for myself when I uploaded my Gedcom into Family Tree Builder (FTB).  First, there were 1145 "inconsistencies" detected within my Gedcom--such things as children being born after their parent's death dates, and people living to be over 150 years of age, etc.  Secondly, there were 3392 "Smart Matches"  between people in my Gedcom and people who were already in the FTB data base of family trees.  Finally, FTB generated 865 possible "Record Matches" between the people in my Gedcom and their extensive collection of genealogical records such as Newspaper Archives, Find a Grave, Social Security Death Index, Census Data, etc.

Rather than blindly plunging into the overwhelming task of resolving all those issues, it seems to make sense to somehow prioritize the task, thereby taking on the items with the biggest payoff potential. Otherwise, the task might seem so daunting  that I would just ignore it.  It is much more appealing to me psychologically to know that I am working on the resolutions with the highest likelihood of providing good results.  

As I looked at the three types of decision I had to make, the inconsistencies bothered me the most.  However, I first had to figure out how to replicate the listing of inconsistencies.  Scanning through the pull down tabs on the toolbar, it was soon apparent that by pulling down on "Tools" and clicking on "Tree Consistency Checker", the table of inconsistencies would be regenerated.  Those are errors in my tree that are out there on the net for others to view!  When I looked at many different types of inconsistencies, the easiest to resolve appeared to be "Alive but too old".  I assume almost all of these just require a decision to mark "Deceased".   

Tree Consistency Error Listing

When one clicks on "Fix" (marked in yellow) a profile box appears for the individual of interest.  Checking the "Deceased" box (in yellow) and then OK, resolves the problem. 

Once I have resolved all of these "Alive but too old" issues, I will pick the next grouping of issues that appeals to me and just continue until completed.  My plan is to spend about an hour a day until the inconsistencies are all resolved.  

I then plan to move to Record Matches and to set the filter at 4-stars or higher.  This reduces the items to review from 814 to 63.  Gaining access to "Record Matches" is accomplished by selecting the Family Site tab and then on the pull down, select Record Matches.  

I am going to defer discussing "Smart Matches" because in using it, I have developed several questions that I have not yet resolved.  When I selected "Matches" from the Toolbar and then selected "update", I got warning windows indicating that the smart matches for the entire project could not be completed.  I also noted that only 502 matches for 20 people were being displayed, whereas, when I originally executed the "Smart Matches" three days earlier, 3392 were generated. 

Hope you are all having a fun Memorial Day weekend.  Please remember to spend at least a few moments remembering those who have made the ultimate sacrifice protecting the freedoms we enjoy in this country, as well as those who have served their country in one of the military services.