Time to Chop Off the Protruding Parts [Part 1]
I love this mother-in-law line from the Goldie Hawn & Kurt Russell movie, “Overboard” and now I have a way to use it. Genealogy Protruding Parts are people in your family tree that are absolutely NO relation to the ‘home’ person. In this post, I’ll treat this home person as you. And if you have downloaded GEDCOMs or Ancestry Family Trees into your database–and it is a rare person who has not done so—you, my friend, have crud in your tree.
Serious work ahead! You are about to chop (delete) people from your tree.
The following steps are the PROCESS to follow anytime you delete people from your tree. And absolutely critical for this first effort.
- Backup your tree. Yes, you are repeating the backup but this time name the file so that you can quickly pull it out of a directory listing. Example Tree Name: Doe-Smith.
- File backup name will be Doe-Smith-year-mo-da-b4-deletion as in Doe-Smith-20130204-b4-deletion
- Translation: Doe-Smith, today’s date, before deletion.
- Feel free to change the word ‘deletion’ if another word or words would be more meaningful.
- Compact your tree. Repeat compact until the value is 0.00%.
- Open your family tree. DO NO DELETIONS AT THIS TIME.
- Display a PEOPLE list where all the entries in your database are in alphabetical order displayed as Surname, Given Name(s). Family Tree Maker references the Surname as ‘Family Name’.
- Start at the top of the alphabetical list.
- In Family Tree Maker, when a person is selected, to the far upper right, you will see the relationship of that person to the home person.
- Do nothing … just look at the relationship.
- Press down arrow to move cursor to next name in the list.
- Check relationship.
- Continue the last two bullets over & over.
Warning that this can be an eye opener. I knew I had a “few” clunkers in there. Frankly I was amazed at how many.
Do not assume the need to start over can never happen to you.