Loops and Orphans

One of my hobbies is geneology. Recently, I’ve been integrating a GEDCOM (family tree data) file from a cousin, which is actually quite a bit of work. It involved using a GED file comparison, determining where there are differences, and bringing in the missing people or data. This brings in all sort of problems: different conventions for naming cities, different fields in a record, different naming conventions for missing names… all of which take time to correct. Further, sometimes this transfer can involve moving entire subtrees of ancestors and their spouses, or descendents and their spouses. That can create unintended problems, especially when people marry the sister of a spouse when the spouse dies, or brothers from one family marry sisters from another family. This suddenly can create large duplicate trees without your even realizing it. This happened Sunday, when suddenly a tree brought in 530 people… most of which were duplicates that I had to merge by hand.

A few days later, I think I’ve gotten all the duplicates and regularlized the database, except for place names. Back to the comparisons…