Tuesday's Tips provide brief how-to's to help you learn to use the Legacy Family Tree software with new tricks and techniques.
Combining Master List Duplicates (Intermediate)
Sometimes you will find duplicates on one of your Master Lists. It is easy to combine duplicates but you need to be aware of a couple of things. First some general information.
How do you get duplicates in the first place? You can add them yourself if you are not careful but you can also get them when you do any sort of import (for example, a gedcom import or FamilySearch import/download). Every once in a while it is a good idea to take a look at your Master Lists to see if there is any cleanup needed.
Most of the Master Lists sort in a only one way so it may or may not be easy to see your duplicates. If they sort right next to each other it is easy to see them like this example from the Master Location List:
Appling, Columbia, Georgia, United States
Appling, Columbia County, GA
But here is a not-so-obvious example from the Master Source List. You wouldn't readily see this one because these two entries would not be right next to each other. This is why it is very important to be consistent with how you enter things.
1860 United Stated Federal Census, Columbia County, GA
Georgia - Columbia County - 1860 Census
A tip for the Location Master List specifically — Make sure you SORT the list in all of the different ways you can because you will find more duplicates that way. Click the Sort button just below the list of locations. This is the only list that can be sorted in multiple ways.
A tip for the Master Source List specifically — If you are using the SourceWriter templates, you can only combine duplicates if they were both created using the same template. If not, you will have to re-source the entries and then delete the duplicate.
Before you get started, BACK UP YOUR FILE. Whenever you do anything that is going to have a global impact on your file you always want to create a backup first in case things don't go as planned.
I am going to use the Master Location List as an example. You can see that I have two entries for Haverhill, Essex, Massachusetts.
IMPORTANT — The first item you highlight will be the one that is lost and the second item you highlight will be the one that is retained. You need to decide upfront which one you want to keep.
In the above screenshot I have decided I want to keep the second entry, Haverhill, Essex, Massachusetts, United States so the first entry (the one I don't want to keep) is highlighted. Now you can click the Combine button at the bottom.
Notice that after you click Combine the button name changes to Combine With. Now select the entry you want to keep. After you have highlighted the entry you want to keep, click the Combine With button.
Once you click the Combine With button you will now only see the one entry. Notice also the number at the top has changed from 124 to 123.
Whenever you are combining duplicates take your time and think about what you are doing so that you don't accidentally keep the wrong entry. If you do, it isn't the end of the world. If I had accidentally kept Haverhill, Essex, MA, United States I would only need to edit that location so that it is correct.
The problem you will have is if you accidentally combine something with an entirely different entry. For example, if I had accidentally combined Haverhill, Essex, MA, United States with Langley, Island, Washington, United States I would have a serious problem. I would have to restore to my backup.
If you are doing a lot of global changes you will want to back up often so that if you make a mistake you won't undo all of the changes you made and have to start from scratch. You will only undo your last few corrections.
Combining Duplicates is a very powerful database tool but make sure you follow the correct procedure.
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Michele Simmons Lewis, CG® is part of the Legacy Family Tree team at MyHeritage. She handles the enhancement suggestions that come in from our users as well as writing for Legacy News. You can usually find her hanging out on the Legacy User Group Facebook page answering questions and posting tips.