Sunday, December 8, 2013

Merging my Ancestry.com GEDCOM with my Legacy software file

Recently, in a fit of insanity, I decided to download my GEDCOM from Ancestry.com and merge it into my Legacy file.  I had reasons to try this, primarily that I tend to add sources in my Ancestry.com tree that I have not added in my Legacy file. So, by merging, I would get all the sources into my Legacy file that are in my Ancestry.com tree. Surely, this would be fast and easy, and result in a terrific file with the sources from Ancestry.com, right?

Wrong! Very, very wrong!  The trouble is, that both my Legacy file and my Ancestry.com tree are very, very large. My Legacy file is about 850,000 individuals, and my Ancestry.com tree is about 120,000 individuals.  

Years ago I started my Ancestry tree with data from my Legacy file,  but as Ancestry has limits on how large of a GEDCOM can be uploaded, I had to restrict it to the descendants of Edmund Rice.  I made other trees at that time of my other ancestors descendants, but I neglect those trees, as I prefer to have only one Ancestry.com tree.  Someday I'll probably delete the other trees.....

Since the initial upload, I add people as I research them to the main tree. (which if you care, is a Private tree names 2007ricedesc.  Yes, you guessed it, I uploaded it in 2007.  I'm very imaginative in  my file naming aren't I? In theory, eventually my Legacy file and my Ancestry.com tree will be exactly the same...right?  

This has been quite the learning experience for me, so I thought I'd write this post to share some of the wisdom I have gained.

Firstly, I download the Ancestry.com gedcom, and started the merge.  I used AutoMerge and Intellipass. 

Then, I started to approve the merges that AutoMerge wasn't sure of.  This is when I discovered that somehow the Ancestry.com tree had a bunch of Y's in the death notes.  So, I got rid of those (instructions in the post The Pesky Y Death Notes.

The next thing that was holding up AutoMerging wasn't so easy to fix.  It seems I have a very bad habit of entering in only the year sometimes for the dates.   I'd like to say I fixed this by entered the full dates for every record, but that would be a lie.  I manually accepted the merges on the duplicates that had years only, or worse still no dates.  I'll be dealing with that problem later, and likely in another post.

Yet another problem was that Ancestry.com likes "abt" for approximate dates.  In Legacy I tend to use "c."  When Legacy does the AutoMerge it does not consider "c. 1900" to equal "abt 1900".  So it was Search and Replace time again, replacing "cir" with "abt".

This merge process is still not complete but I'm making progress....