A genealogy blog about the migration generation of my McKee Family line, including bios, transcribed obituaries, photographs, and research notes.

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Sunday, March 16, 2014

My Custom IDs...or Lack There of...to the Rescue

When I started using RootsMagic, I decided that I needed to start with a new wing of my family so that I would really learn to use the software well. I started from scratch with my Murphy family. As is my usual practice, I added a user-defined fact (LDOF) so that I could use my custom IDs:

Here's the breakdown of the custom ID:
Living = Living people
Lurk = People born 1940 or earlier (I set up Google alerts looking for obits.)
D = Dead but I don't have an obit or a Find A Grave memorial
O = Dead and I have an obit but no Find A Grave memorial
F = Dead and I have found a Find A Grave memorial but I have no obit

FO is the ideal state. Every entry in the database has a custom ID added. I use the ID to figure out what I should be searching for when looking at a given entry in the database. Click here to see more about how I create and use custom IDs.

As happens to all researchers from time to time, I went down a false path. The family name was Littlejohn. In my usual overachieving manner, I had managed to track down obits and added additional spouses names. By the time I figured out that I had the wrong name, I had added quite a few people. I thought, "Ugh, how am I gonna find them all?" I flipped to my list view (People tab in RootsMagic) and voila...I was missing a custom ID for every person I had added! I usually add the custom IDs as one of my last steps when I add people to my database.

In this instance, I could click the LDOF column heading to sort database entries by custom ID and get everybody in the Littlejohn group in one part of the list...because they had no custom IDs. As I deleted based on family heads, I could look at the list and watch as the Littlejohn group got smaller and smaller.

Using the custom IDs have always allowed me to focus my research efforts but I never envisioned the opposite holding true; that is, the lack of IDs could be used to make changes--in this case, a correction--too.

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