This article is the second in a series of articles which will help you prepare your family file for better use with the upcoming Legacy 7.5 and its interface with FamilySearch. Even if you do not plan on synchronizing your data with FamilySearch, these articles will provide valuable insights on cleaning up and standardizing your data. Click here for the first article.
Potential Problems tool.
In our first article we stated "before interfacing with FamilySearch's new Family Tree system, we should all take a closer look at our data." If your data has problems similar to the cartoon's, and you publish this data online, the data online now has these same problems. So before you publish your data anywhere, use Legacy's Potential Problems tool. Using this tool, Legacy runs through your family file and checks the information for some common and sometimes unnoticed discrepancies.
In Legacy, the Potential Problems tool is located by going to:
Tools > Potential Problems.
Select which records to check
The first time you use the Potential Problems tool, you should have it check all the records in the family file. To do this, make sure that on the Records tab, the first option is selected:
Normal check of all records.
Before clicking on the Create Problems List button in the upper right, look at the Warnings, Problems, Standardization, and LDS (if LDS options are turned on) tabs. Each tab shows you which potential problems Legacy will look at. Here's what the Warnings tab looks like (click on image to enlarge):
Notice that each option is selectable, in other words, if you only want to check your family file for persons who were buried 30 days after their death, select that option, and turn off all the other checkmarks. You can also adjust the values. For example, by default Legacy will warn you if a child was born when the parents were less than 13 years old. You can change this to 10 years old or whatever value makes sense for you.
Here's the Problems tab:
Here's the Standardization tab:
And here's the LDS tab:
Now click on the Create Problems List button (no this will not "create" problems, it will create the list of problems).
The image below shows a list of potential problems. The first problem is that Kenneth Brown's birth date is more than 20 years after the marriage date of the parents. Although not the norm, this may very well be true for this child. If so, just click on the Mark as Not a Problem button, and this potential problem will not show up again. But it may be worth looking at, so using the Edit buttons on the right you can investigate further.
Another problem listed is the Nathaniel Clark's children are not sorted in chronological order. This may not seem like a big problem, but clicking on the Edit Children button showed this:
- Asa Clark, born 12 Feb 1742
- Abel Clark, born 24 Jan 1742
- Caleb Clark, born 26 Nov 1744
- ...8 more children
This certainly looks like a potential problem, and before sharing this data with FamilySearch or anywhere else, you should reinvestigate this family.
Narrow your focus
My personal database has information on lots of people that are not closely related to me (8th cousins, 4 times removed, etc.). To begin, I want to focus my clean-up efforts on my direct line.
From the Records tab, I can limit the records being checked to those with a certain "Tag" number. For example, I can mark everyone on my direct line with a tag value of 1. Then I can have the Potential Problems tool only report problems of people on my direct line. For step-by-step instructions on how to use tagging, watch this video.
You're now closer to being ready to successfully work with Legacy 7.5 and the new FamilySearch system. Hopefully the potential problems report doesn't give you too many surprises. But if it does, you'll be better prepared to share your information with others.