Saturday, July 12, 2008

New FamilySearch Tree Sagas - Week 9

The way things have been going for me I should just say I'm going to write my New FamilySearch Tree Sagas articles on Saturdays. Either that or I am way procrastinating doing this every week. I just haven't found the perfect day like Sundays are for FamilySearch Indexing.

I did received one comment on my article last week since I was wondering if there was anything new in NFS after it was down for maintenance.
Yes, there is something new in NFS this week. If you try to merge two people who are above some record limit recently established and not elaborated upon, you get the error "These records could not be combined for the following reason: the combined record would be too big". Oh great. Now we will CERTAINLY have duplication, as if it wasn't causing enough already. From what I can see, if there are already around 100 records merged, you can't add any more... no way to get around it. Wow. What will they come up with next?
Shoebox Genealogy
I actually think that the limit, as to how many individuals you can now combine into one file, was added the build before this last one. I just think some people are coming across this challenge for the first time now.

I found further information on the combining limitations on FHCNET. This is in response to someone mentioning, while trying to combine some duplicates, that they got this screen saying that they can't be combined because the file would be too large.
This refers to a change made in the .93 service pack. It makes it impossible to combine records if the resulting record would contain more than 80 records. When you try such a merge, you get the standard "Merge failed" screen with an error message explaining that the resulting record would be too large. Will be fixed in the future.

Why might records not be combined? (272faq0460)
Why might records not be combined?
In the new FamilySearch, records cannot be combined for the following reasons:

You may not be able to combine records if one of the individuals is still alive. If you were allowed to combine these records, then the individual's record would be treated as if he or she were living. Only users who are directly related to the individual would be able to see the record. This might prevent you or the original contributor from seeing it. Some individuals' records have restrictions that limit the types of changes that can be made or who can make changes.
These restrictions may prevent you from combining the records.
  • You cannot combine two records that came from Church membership records.
  • You cannot combine records if one individual is male and the other is female.
  • You cannot combine records if the combined record would be too large.
If you find an individual with two Church membership records, see How do I combine the duplicate records if an individual has two Church membership records?

If the new FamilySearch could not combine the records for any other reason, click the Feedback button, and request that a system administrator combine the records for you. In your message, include the following information:

The name and Person Identifier of each individual whose information needs to be combined. It is also helpful if you can include information such as a birth date or birthplace. The reason the new FamilySearch said that the information could not be combined. The reason you believe the information should be combined.

I believe "merrillmount" is Merrill White that works for FamilySearch. I have also heard of people getting this notice when trying to combine records on individuals with over 200-300 records already in their file. The reason you see such large files is because those records had been combined before the limitation went into effect.

It was necessary to put these limitations in place until a successful resolution could be worked out on trying to uncombine records for "IOUS" individuals of usual size. It was just a nightmare for people trying to uncombine these records when the wrong individuals had been placed in there incorrectly.

I haven't hit anyone in my file yet that had reached the size restriction in combining. But my last couple to work on, on my four generation sheet, is my great-grandparents Leroy Leander Harris and Alice Clare Osberg. Now this is the couple that my second cousins are descended from also. That means I might have more duplicate records now. Let the fun begin!

For my great-grandfather I just had two records to combine for him. Then I looked at how many combined records were in his file and there was 17. Definitely not anywhere near the limit. I did find a new "relative" that had contributed information. Their ID is Hawkins Deborah Ann1 [dhawkins916047]. Since it would allow me to claim the submission it must mean that Deborah hasn't had access to NFS yet. I wonder who this relative could be? There is also a pkubricky that is contributing information. I know this family but am unsure who is going by "P" on that line.

It appears that Deborah Ann Hawkins has contributed the wrong death year for my great-grandfather. She has the day right. I wasn't sure if I wanted to dispute her information. So I just decide to make sure mine is notated correctly. I will just check back later to see if she claims her submission. Then I can email her and discuss the date with her. For now I am fine just setting the summary information to show the correct information.

I notice that under my great-grandmother's information she has 3 more additional spouses listed. They all appear to be my great-grandfather. When I go under my great-grandfather's records it doesn't have any more duplicates for him. When I look more in depth with the advanced possible duplicates they are not listed on the first page. Since he is still showing that he needs temple work I have to find those duplicates and merge them. I also notice on my pedigree chart that my great-grandparents still have the duplicate star icon there.

At first I am at a loss why I can't find the duplicates. Then I remember Merrill White's comment on FHCNET that I quoted earlier. Sure enough as I look over the duplicate spouses for my great-grandmother all three are living. They had no information for birth or death listed. The system didn't know that my great-grandfather was born in 1879 and died in 1965. I had to go into each duplicate spouse and bump my grandfather off three times. Then he is noted as deceased and can be combined. The reason I saw these duplicate living spouses is because my name is attached as the contributer - even though they mainly came from my Dad's records.

That made for a lengthy session for me tonight. It's time for bed so I will pick up with combining the children next week. At least I got to experience something new and it's been an adventure.

See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day!


Anonymous said...

The limit on the number of records that can be combined into one folder is only a Temporary situation. In a forum discussion over at Gordon Clark FamilySearch DevNet Manager said "This is a temporary measure. The limits will be raised or removed after we complete necessary data reorganization." I think the number mentioned was 85 records was the max.

Shoebox Genealogy said...

Thanks for digging up the info. And it's also good to know it's not permanent. Phew!