Monday, September 13, 2021

FTM2019 - Master File - Clean Up Summary

A Summary of a week long Clean Up project:

A little over a week ago, I started a Clean Up project of my Master Family Tree Maker file (FTM2019). I found notes back to 1997, which reminded me of how long I have been working on this SAME File. More importantly, I was reminded of the Changes that the program has made over the years. Most of the clean up was caused by those changes, which, in fact, is a Good Thing.

The biggest push, for me, to take the TIME to clean up, is the use of the Research Log (Notes) and Person Notes. Most of the work was to take Person Notes out of the Research Notes Tab and move them into the Person Notes Tab.

I started with 742 PAGES of Research Notes and ended with 578 Pages of Research Notes.

About 800 Pages of Person Notes that ended up with 919 Pages of Person Notes.

I now have NO (0 - Zero) Notes that can be seen in the Ancestry Member Tree. Mostly because of the formatting, or lack of formatting in the AMT. It looks very bad in an AMT, so I marked them ALL Private (for now), for the AMT.

When I started this clean up, I realized that in about 2014, I changed the formatting of the DATE in the Research Log and saw where I had played around with several formats in 2014. I took this time to Reform the dates, using the Find and Replace feature in FTM2019 and updated about 1,150 Entries.

I was reminded about the amount of resource material I have in the Person Notes tab. The plan going forward is to work on those Private Person Notes. Mostly for myself, but may re-consider making them public.

The other MAJOR clean up was to Mark ALL FACTS as Private, with the exception of Birth, Marriage, and Death Facts. I now have a record of the FACTS that I use, and have already Deleted 5 or 10 Facts along the way. Mostly, early Facts that I didn't clean up earlier.

I now have an Evernote Notebook with the Facts I have reviewed already, and how I want to use them. For example, my Military Facts are out of control. I had not documented, at the time, how I was going to use them.

Also, I realized that I had some Fact Notes information in the Person Notes Tab. Again, it's one of those things I changed over time, but hadn't made time to clean up those changes.

Of the 919 Person Notes Pages, I expect that number to go down, as the 488 Fact Notes Pages, goes UP. 

My goal is to be Consistent and to document how I do "stuff" in my File.

AND, I have 1,682 Profiles without Documentation, meaning at least ONE Fact without a Citation. I know who they are, but this review have me hints that I really do have the information about where I got that information, just hadn't entered it correctly.

The Filter In, Filter Out feature is my best friend going forward. That is why the FACT Review was and IS so important, as that is what the Filters help with. Knowing who has Undocumented Facts, helps, but along the way, with earlier Do-Over's, I have notes as to where to look for the Citations for those Facts.

Copyright © 2021 by Cousin Russ


  1. Hi Cousin Russ - could you share how you made all fact notes private? Is there an easy way to select all facts at one time? Thanks. Fred

    1. Fred,

      I did a blog post on that earlier.

      Edit, Manage Facts, one fact at a time.



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