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View Full Version : Merging Two Family Files


David Leavitt
21 March 2005, 12:21 AM
Ok, I've read the sections on merging two family files, and I'm still a little confused. It seems, in order to maintain all relationships, that I have to import one complete file into the other, then use Match and Merge on all duplicates. This can get a bit tedious, even when I only have a couple of hundred records in one of the files.

For example:
Family File A has 200 records, while Family File B has 700 records. There's a lot of overlap, but each Family File has some unique records. If I understand this correctly, the easiest (or at least simplest) way to merge the two family files is:
1. Go through the indices of each file, and mark everyone in Family File A who is also in Family File B.
2. Unmark everyone in Family File B.
3. Import Family File A into Family File B. (Yes, keeping backups of each individual file first, of course.)
4. Use the Match and Merge function to find possible duplicates for the marked records in the new, merged file.
5. After doing this, go through the index for the new merged file by hand just in case I missed any potential duplicates.

I'd love to see an easier method, but I can't tell if there is one. Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks

Michael
21 March 2005, 01:46 PM
I'd love to see an easier method, but I can't tell if there is one. Any advice would be appreciated.ThanksUnfortunately, that's probably the easiest way to do it.

AE Palmer
21 March 2005, 08:36 PM
I have been wrestling with this problem for some time with large files that number in the thousands of records each, and have discovered that the "best" way to merge data from two files is to make the transfer in bite sized chunks. That is to say, I identify ONE person or family that exists in both file A (the master file) and B (the merge file) and mark all of the descendants (or ancestors) I want to transfer from the merge file. This way I usually need to make changes to just two people. On occasion, there will be a peripheral member of the merge list one must deal with (i.e.: a cousin, aunt or uncle).

I find this method to be less likely to cause massive confusion as the number of merged people is kept low.

The only downside is that one must also spend time merging [sometimes] multiple versions of the same source on a regular basis.

fmlyhntr
21 March 2005, 11:04 PM
Merge the smaller file into the larger one--and tell Reunion to mark the incoming names. Then do the match and merge by comparing the unmarked people to the marked ones.

Then hope and pray that the names are spelled the same--or are close enough--and the dates agree. If you are doing anything with Scandinavian countries it is very conceivable that the *last* names of the same person could be different. (IE Varder and Christensen).

Then you have no choice but to proofread.

One method that works well for me is to have Reunion find all the people with more than one set of parents. This is especially good if File A has the wife of John Wilson listed as Else Smith and File B has her listed as Elise (no last name). All the children and John merge--but the children will have two sets of parents.

Christina

David Leavitt
24 March 2005, 04:48 PM
Unfortunately, that's probably the easiest way to do it.
Thanks. At least I know I'm on the right track now.

David

David Leavitt
24 March 2005, 04:50 PM
I have been wrestling with this problem for some time with large files that number in the thousands of records each, and have discovered that the "best" way to merge data from two files is to make the transfer in bite sized chunks. That is to say, I identify ONE person or family that exists in both file A (the master file) and B (the merge file) and mark all of the descendants (or ancestors) I want to transfer from the merge file. This way I usually need to make changes to just two people. On occasion, there will be a peripheral member of the merge list one must deal with (i.e.: a cousin, aunt or uncle).

Thanks. That's a good idea.
David

David Leavitt
24 March 2005, 04:54 PM
Merge the smaller file into the larger one--and tell Reunion to mark the incoming names. Then do the match and merge by comparing the unmarked people to the marked ones.

Then hope and pray that the names are spelled the same--or are close enough--and the dates agree. If you are doing anything with Scandinavian countries it is very conceivable that the *last* names of the same person could be different. (IE Varder and Christensen).

Then you have no choice but to proofread.

One method that works well for me is to have Reunion find all the people with more than one set of parents. This is especially good if File A has the wife of John Wilson listed as Else Smith and File B has her listed as Elise (no last name). All the children and John merge--but the children will have two sets of parents.

Christina
Good advice. Thank you.

I'm a little confused about why the same person in Scandinavia could have two different last names. As far as I know, I don't have anyone in my background from this part of the world, but I've a penpal for the past forty years from Norway and I thought I was fairly familiar with naming customs there. I could see a lot of confusion with first names (since these often repeat in a family, and in some families it is the custom to give the first born grandson the grandfather's name), but I wasn't familiar with the possibility of different last names. Could you elucidate? Thanks!

David

dfilpus
24 March 2005, 05:29 PM
Good advice. Thank you.

I'm a little confused about why the same person in Scandinavia could have two different last names. As far as I know, I don't have anyone in my background from this part of the world, but I've a penpal for the past forty years from Norway and I thought I was fairly familiar with naming customs there. I could see a lot of confusion with first names (since these often repeat in a family, and in some families it is the custom to give the first born grandson the grandfather's name), but I wasn't familiar with the possibility of different last names. Could you elucidate? Thanks!

David

In Finland, up to the 1880's, if you were in the service class, your name was <Given Name> <patronymic/matronymic> <house-name>. The <house-name> was the name of the estate or farm that you worked on. If you were not attached to a house, your name was just the first two parts. If your family owned a house, then your surname was the house name for life. If you were of the professional class, you had a classic surname, often religious in origin (Filpus == St. Phillip).

On of GGGfathers was Thomas Fredriksson, until he purchased the Hannula (Hannu's Farm) house, whereupon he became Thomas Hannula, and all of his children carried the Hannula name, even after his death and the house was sold. However, those who worked at the Hannula house also used Hannula as a surname, until they moved elsewhere. In the 1880-1900 timeframe, permanent surnames were adopted throughout Finland. Householders and professionals kept their names. Service class adopted their housenames. A whole class of surnames were invented for those who did not have any surname.

This makes following surnames in records very difficult, since people could have several to many through their life. It also means that Hannulas in this country that are not direct descendants of Thomas Hannula are not related, except that their ancestors worked at or owned some Hannula house when they adopted the surname or immigrated.

David Leavitt
24 March 2005, 11:21 PM
In Finland, up to the 1880's, if you were in the service class, your name was <Given Name> <patronymic/matronymic> <house-name>. The <house-name> was the name of the estate or farm that you worked on. If you were not attached to a house, your name was just the first two parts. If your family owned a house, then your surname was the house name for life. If you were of the professional class, you had a classic surname, often religious in origin (Filpus == St. Phillip).

That's fascinating! Thanks for sharing this information.

fmlyhntr
25 March 2005, 08:22 PM
Somewhere in the digest archives there is a wonderful discussion on Scandinavian (mostly Danish) surnames, patrynimics, and place names. It's from last summer, I think.

Christina

rjosephson
26 March 2005, 11:52 AM
I am new to Reunion and am entering my data from the past twenty years which was stored in Family Roots by Quinsept. I have 700 names in my first family file. I would have liked to separate the various branches of my side of the family on separate family files.
I am confused by the discussion of merging family files. I would like to enter my wife's information on another family file, or even four---one for each of her greatgrandparents lines.
What should I do? What has been your experience?

kyuck
26 March 2005, 04:16 PM
For my puposes it has always been best to have everyone in one file. That way, if there is a distant relationship between two people, it will be more obvious in a single file. In addition it will eliminate having to input data twice (spouses, children etc.) with the resultant confusion (did I get them all?) if you have changes/updates.
IMHO one file is probably the best way to go.

Bob White
27 March 2005, 06:12 PM
For my puposes it has always been best to have everyone in one file. That way, if there is a distant relationship between two people, it will be more obvious in a single file. In addition it will eliminate having to input data twice (spouses, children etc.) with the resultant confusion (did I get them all?) if you have changes/updates.
IMHO one file is probably the best way to go.I agree my neighbor from north of the border. I have a bunch of Reunion files but only work with my main file that has everyone. All of the others you ask?? Well, any GEDCOM that I receive gets imported into its own Reunion file first so that I can examine it. Once I merge data from it into the main file, off it goes into a folder that I go to now and then when I want to see what the data originally looked like prior to it being in the main file.

fmlyhntr
27 March 2005, 07:20 PM
I am new to Reunion and am entering my data from the past twenty years which was stored in Family Roots by Quinsept. I have 700 names in my first family file. I would have liked to separate the various branches of my side of the family on separate family files.
I am confused by the discussion of merging family files. I would like to enter my wife's information on another family file, or even four---one for each of her greatgrandparents lines.
What should I do? What has been your experience?When I was using PAF on my old IIsi, I split my file into 2, then later more. I hated it, but the IIsi was just too slow to handle the approximately 3000 or more names I had back then. Splitting them up also created problems with common lines. When I transfered to my iMac, the first thing I did was put them back together into one large file. Now, when I post to the internet, I do separate, because so far my parents don't share any common lines.

Then I switched to Reunion which handles large files (now at about 7000) quite nicely.

Personally I wouldn't think of splitting my file again. It's just too hard to put them back together. And I am expecting to start finding some common lines between my father's Dutch/German colonial ancestors and Mom's Danish ones.

Christina