Friday, November 1, 2013

Merging Trees on Family Tree Maker

Merging Trees on Family Tree Maker

I got myself into the position that I had two Family Tree Maker (FTM) trees that needed to be merged.  I had data in each that was unique to it and not included in the other.  I had done a merge several months ago and experienced the fact that a lot of duplicates were created in the media files.  It is interesting that Ancestry can do a great job of syncing data between two trees; but can't merge two documents without creating lots of random duplicates.  This time I noted that duplicates were created not only in the media; but in facts for some (not all) individuals.  It seemed that the more facts that were listed for an individual the more likely it was to have duplicates.  That is just probably the law of numbers and probabilities.  

I did contact FTM before doing the merge to see if there was any way to change the name of the tree on to match the one in FTM and then do a sync.  However, that won't work.  He also confirmed that, unfortunately, they haven't perfected the merge and duplicates were unavoidable.  

I tried to determine if there was any pattern to the duplicates; but it seems to be random, except for media.  Almost all the media results in duplicates.  

Another, perhaps more serious problem I had with the media files as a result of the merge was that the thumbnails in the media files were replaced by a "funny looking icon".  I had a similar situation come up with FTM 2012; but the icons looked different and once the duplicate media was deleted the "normal" thumbnail view of the document or photo returned.  That didn't happen this time.  Following is a photo of the Media file (from the menu bar).

Media File Screen

The view below show the same icons; but in the person view with "All Media" displayed.  The one "normal" thumbnail of me on the far right I added after doing the merge. 

Person View Window

I spoke with two different people from Technical Support; but neither could duplicate the "funny icons" nor had they ever seen them, nor did they know how to get rid of them.  For the second time in a month I was told to send an e-mail to support and perhaps they could help.  Not sure how I keep coming up with problems that the normal tech support people can't solve!  Maybe I am just creative. 

If any of you have observed these icons or know how to get rid of them, I would appreciate your assistance.

  Comments on My 28 Oct Blog

In my blog of 28 October, I commented that any facts about individual had to be entered manually if they weren't displayed in the "Search Result Detail" window of a possible match with your individual of interest.  I received a comment back from Russ Worthington explaining how that could be done.  He also was nice enough to refer to one of his previous blogs that described in detail how to accomplish such a merge.  That information can be found by clicking here.