Saturday, September 4, 2021

FTM2019 - Notes Clean Up Project

Clean Up Project:

What does a Family Researcher do on a Holiday Weekend ? Clean House (oops, Family File).

This all started with the change in Terms of Service by Ancestry. That wasn't a bad thing, but I gave me cause to look at my database and do some "house cleaning". 

I have made a couple of Blog Posts about this project:

During that process I wanted to do more Clean Up of my database. I have a "Notebook" in Evernote where I keep "how I do stuff" in Family Tree Maker. I have a lot of documentation in that Notebook because that is one way for me to Standardize my database. Mainly because I will Forget something. For example, how I use certain Facts.

When I Privatized the Facts, I put ALL of the Facts into an EXCEL Spreadsheet, then, one FACT at a time, entered that Fact Name into Evernote, as another Chapter.

Since all of the FACTS, with 4 exceptions, are Private, I wanted to Address NOTES. I did a blog post on Notes, Notes, Notes

I ran a report in FTM2019, from the Person Collection, Notes, and selected Research Notes. (I have blogged about that as well. Although that was back in the stone ages, (FTM2012) they work about the same.

The Report Showed that I had 742 Pages of Research Log. The good thing is that they are ALL Marked Private. That was the good news. The BAD News is that many of the Research Log had Person Notes in them. Remembering that Family Tree Maker has added and / moved features over time, and this file is the one I started with in Version 3.4. I had notes where they didn't belong.

All of the Person Notes have been privatized already. I did not get a count when I started, but when the Research Log page count was at 723 pages, I had 765 Pages of Person Notes. So I have been moving (copy / paste) the Person Notes from the Research Log to where they belong.

Taking a break from that, I looked at the FACT NOTES: There was 208 Pages of Fact Notes that were Public and 488 Pages of Fact Notes that are Private. Working on making ALL of them Private.

This is where Evernote came into plan. Over time, I have changed how I did "stuff". For example, I created a "Cemetery" database, within this SAME file. I had been entering Cemetery Information in the Burial Fact Notes. I realized that I was retyping a bunch of stuff, so that is when I created the Cemetery database (Profiles with the Cemetery Information). So rather than using the Burial Fact Notes, I created a Link from the Burial Fact to the Cemetery Profile. So I now will go back and clean that up. That is one example of Fact Notes that will clean up.

There are also Person Notes, that my "standard" is to Copy / Paste that information into Fact Notes.

One of the reason for this clean up, is because of the way that Ancestry Member Tree's make (or don't make) Notes available or how they are displayed. They certainly do NOT look like how I have them in FTM2019.

I am about 1/4 of the way through my Research Log, but needed a break from that, so I am going after the Fact Notes, to Privatize ALL of them. Then go back to clean them up.
Copyright © 2021 by Cousin Russ


  1. Finding many misplaced Notes: Another Item on my ToDo List

  2. UPDATE: It's amazing what you find "under the bed". There are "Relationship Notes" I haven't seen nor used them for 4 or 5 years and had totally forgotten about them. BUT, I had two (2) Pages of Notes. No wonder I hadn't used them for a while, because they are so hidden.

    I have fixed that, with a New Fact, so when working on a Profile, I see that I have Relationship Notes for that profile. I know where to look, the Relationship Tab, but you have to select the right Relationship to see that there is a Media and Notes Tab for that couple. It is a Shared Note.

    One of the Notes that I had put in a couple of relationships, "No Children". That was helpful, but No Documentation for that information, so that is probably why I made it a Fact so that I can document where I found that the couple of no children. (vs haven't found children yet).

    I have made all Relationship Notes Private and it is a Fact, so I know where to look. I will also reconsider the use of the "No Descendants" Fact that I have currently used.

    Oh, the one great Relationship Note was that a Couple were Cousins.

  3. UPDATE:

    All Notes are now Private.

    Research Notes: 689 Pages

    Fact Notes: 488 Pages

    Person Notes: 800 Pages

    Relationship Notes: 2 Pages.

    The Research Notes number will decrease and the Person Notes number will increase and I move Person Notes out of the Research Nots (Log) Tab. Clean Up in progress.

    One other Observation: This file has been corrupted in the Notes Area. I have seen some really strange Notes, bits of information that did not belong where I found them.

    I will be reviewing three specific Fact Notes as I have changed how I did that over time. Taking the time to look at what I had done / have been doing, I see where I need to improve / Clean Up. May post about that separately:

    Burial Fact
    Find A Grave Fact
    Residence Fact


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