Legacy & Family Search Locations Warning

I have enjoyed the efforts of the Mormon church to try to fix a reputation problem their family trees have had for several years. The work is mostly trash, and accuracy seems the last thing considered by most of them. Ancestry has followed suit, so its trees also have to be carefully considered before use.

How do I know, let me tell you! Actually the many hours of corrections have taught me to be very picky, and even when a path is chosen, nitpick the tree to death.

So now, I have just recovered from about 40 place locations that really messed up the clean location table I have created after years of intense labor. I know it does not take much to bring utter ruin to the best of tables.

I thought I could stay on top of the very limited additions from FamilySearch that we would allow, but there was stuff that got out of hand and created the problem. I do however think I have a solution.

When I want to use family tree info from Ancestry, one has to use Family Tree Maker software, after the online tree has been merged with the new data. Then after syncing the two trees (online and desktop versions) the locations have to be resolved by their unresolved places tool. Once things are then fixed, the changes need to be uploaded to Ancestry and the small family addition is exported to a GEDcom 5.5. format.

That gedcom is then imported into a new Legacy Family Tree software family tree and the corrections begin. I do a bunch of fixes, starting with getting the names all corrected and formatted by adding periods to initials and making sure the first names are in the right places and last names are proper, etc. I then go to locations and go set every one of them to my format. I used to run a Potential Problems report, but lately that does not work! No surprise there! I also strip away all the sources but ones I replace with the template Sources system that Legacy provides. I even strip all the events. Once the data is small and compact, and error free, I then merge the Legacy file with my main file. It is a pain in the neck to do, but in the end I have quality additions.

Following that same trend, I export a small family or two that I want to compare to FamilySearch trees into a new Legacy Family Tree database. That new file is now opened and then a Family Search comparison can be made. Any changes are then made to each side and the above process of clean up begins. Everything not necessary (sources & events) are stripped away and then after running the cleanup processes, the locations are then resolved and fixed, and the names rechecked, etc. Once the additions are proper and compacted, then the results are merged back into my main data in Legacy.

So, don’t just use FamilySearch willy-nilly! You will be very sad you did when you start to try to clean up your sources, locations, names, etc. In fact, you might just wind up tossing the whole mess to start over, and we all know how frustrating it is to toss our hard work to redo it all!

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