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Working with Ancestry GEDCOM Files

Discussion in 'How to save time when entering data' started by Peter356, Nov 25, 2015.

  1. Peter356

    Peter356 LostCousins Member

    If you when you are adding census records to Lost Cousins you are working from a GEDCOM file downloaded from Ancestry the file will not work with Family Tree Analyser you will get an error message similar to:

    “Found 0 census facts in GEDCOM File (0 good, 0 usable facts loaded) Created 0 census facts from individuals notes and source references in GEDCOM File Found 18635 residence facts in GEDCOM File (0 treated as census facts) Found 0 census references in file and 0 facts missing a census reference Found 0 Lost Cousins facts in GEDCOM File (0 good, 0 usable facts loaded) Found no census or suitable residence facts in GEDCOM File and no recognisable census references in notes or in source records stored against an individual.

    The most likely reason is that you have recorded census facts as notes and have not recorded any census references. This will mean that the census report will show everyone as not yet found on census and the Lost Cousins report will show no-one with a census needing to be entered onto your Lost Cousins My Ancestors page.”

    The census record you have linked to the person in your Ancestry tree might be listed on the screen as a fact but in the GEDCOM file it is converted to a note. The note is in the form of a web link which Family Tree Analyser does not recognise

    There is a workaround open the file to edit it in Microsoft Word. Left click CTRL+F which will open a navigation search box. Type or paste in the search box “1881 residence” without the inverted commas (replace 1881 with the year you are searching for if it is not 1881)

    Microsoft Word will search automatically for “1881 residence” then highlight and display the first occurrence similar to:

    “3 NOTE http://search.ancestry... (reminder of link deleted for security reasons)
    3 DATA
    4 TEXT Birth date: abt 1850 Birth place: Isle of Wight, Hampshire, England Residence date: 1881 Residence place: Lambeth, London, England” (the text shown here in red will highlighted in your document)

    If you are working from a large GEDCOM file it is suggested that you highlight the text line immediately above the line starting “3 NOTE http” then holding down the shift key scroll up to the beginning of the document and delete the complete block of text as you will not need it. Next left click on the up arrow below the navigation search box which will take to the last occurrence of your search criteria. Highlight the text on the line below the last occurrence then holding down the shift key scroll to the end of the document and delete the complete block of text as again you will not need it. This will reduce the size of the file and make it easier to work with. Save the file under a new name somewhere where you can find it easily.

    Use the down arrow below the navigation search box to go to the first occurrence. You are now ready to start adding census records to Lost Cousins.

    Copy and paste the web link which is above the first result into a blank web page. You will be taken to the Ancestry page in your tree that lists which person the census is linked to together with a list of the other people listed on the census. There will be a link to take you the named person’s profile page.

    Search for the census reference numbers on your ‘My Ancestors’ page of Lost Cousins if there is a nil result or the people named on the Ancestry page are not listed then add them to Lost Cousins if you want to.
    Click on the down arrow below the navigation search box to go to the next occurrence and repeat the process.

    When you want to take a break highlight the line containing the last search result you have dealt with. Then holding down the shift key scroll up to the beginning of the document and delete the complete block of text. Then save the file. This will save you having to remember where you had got to and having to scroll down through numerous occurrences to get to the next one.
  2. Tim

    Tim Megastar and Moderator Staff Member

    Hi Peter, Actually the most common reason is because Ancestry call Census Facts as Residence Facts. You highlighted this in your figures "Found 18635 residence facts in GEDCOM File "

    However there is a fix for this in FTA, under options, where you can tell FTA to consider Residence Facts as Census Facts.

    And instead of scrolling up and down, you can achieve the same thing by putting the cursor on the line and then pressing CTRL+ SHIFT +Home or End.

    I always create a Lost Cousins Fact for everyone I add at Lost Cousins in my Family Tree. FTA then compares all the Residence/Census Facts against the Lost Cousins Facts, and only show you people without a Lost Cousins Fact, and these are the new people you can add over at Lost Cousins.
  3. Bryman

    Bryman LostCousins Megastar

    I would suggest that anyone working with large Gedcom files (and which are not?) may get benefit by using a shareware product called SPFLite. There is no initial cost to download and try but if you continue to use then a single payment of $25 would help the Canadian author to continue his development/maintenance of the product, but there is no insistence for infrequent use.

    SPFLite is an enhanced editor based on the IBM product ISPF used with mainframes before PCs became available. I used to use ISPF a lot over 25 years ago and found SPFLite brilliant for use with Gedcom files on a PC. The big advantage of using SPFLite over something like Notepad is that 'unwanted' lines can be temporarily hidden to make the viewed file very much shorter. I have even written a simple macro for my own use (but am happy to share) which initially excludes all lines of a Gedcom file and then displays the NAME record of each individual, in colour, together with a few other key records for easy identification of where one is positioned within the file. Records can easily be displayed or hidden at any time.

    If any forum member would like to know more then please send me a Private Message so as to not annoy others.

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