Friday, November 25, 2011

File Sharing and Brick Walls - "Y" in Death Fact

As a follow up to an earlier post, for the Clean Up of this GEDCOM file, Randy just posted his study of the issue. His genealogy software is Roots Magic 4, and he wanted to see what the cause of the "Y" in the Death Fact that I was seeing. He posted the following: The Strange "Y" in a Death Description Field in a RootsMagic 4 GEDCOM File

What is important about that blog post, is a comment from Roots Magic.

Wanting to test what Randy's theory is and the comment about the GEDCOM "spec", I ran a test but creating a Custom Report for Everyone in the File, with the report showing Birth fact information, and Death fact information, including the Death Description, where we were seeing the "Y".

The report shows that if there is a Birth and Death fact, with date, there will be no "Y". If there IS a Birth fact and no Death Date or Death Place, there will be a "Y" in the Death Description field.



Lesson Learned: Not every software vendor implements or interprets the GEDCOM standards the same way.

Copyright © 2011 by H R Worthington


  1. In Randy's RootsMagic file, he has marked those people as "not living" (therefore dead). But there is no death fact entered for them. GEDCOM says to put:

    1 DEAT Y

    when you know the fact is true, but don't have any information subordinate to that. In other words, you aren't supposed to put:

    1 DEAT

    if you don't have a date or place.

    - Bruce

  2. Bruce,

    Thank you. I saw your posting on Randy's Blog.

    What FTM2012 did was to Create a Death Fact, and put the "Y" in the Description Field.

    I don't know the reason, but I am not sure that FTM is up to GEDCOM 5.5.1, as Roots Magic 4 is.

    Thank you for the feedback.



Please post your comments here

Print Friendly