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Merging Sources - Advantage or Not?

Merging Sources - Advantage or Not?

Posted: 1 Jan 2013 11:55AM GMT
Classification: Query
I have being adding quite a few individuals to my tree using Ancestry Hints, a combination of actual data records and details from other trees.

However, I have noticed it has created multiple entries in my "sources", for example, I have now two sources for the 1841 England Census, one has 20 citations and the other 8.

If I use the "merge" option, to replace one with the other - 1. Does this keep all the relevant information? 2. Is it wise to do this? 3. Does it matter if I merge A with B or B with A.

I am thinking I dont want to end up with multiple sources, as I am at the moment.

Re: Merging Sources - Advantage or Not?

Posted: 1 Jan 2013 1:38PM GMT
Classification: Query
If the two sources came from merging entries in FTM databases, I would be inclined to leave them alone. There must be some reason that FTM chose to make two sources.

As for merging sources, I have not found a place where sources can be merged. Please advise where you find that.

However, I do find where, in the Source Workspace, you can select a source, right click, Manage Sources, Replace and then follow a string of screens where you eventually replace the original source you selected with another source. This is different than a merge because the replaced source info is extinguished and replaced with the second source (not info from the citations - but info in the source itself, like repository, author, publisher, etc.).

Re: Merging Sources - Advantage or Not?

Posted: 1 Jan 2013 3:36PM GMT
Classification: Query
Hi Silverfox3280 - Firstly, thanks for the reply.

As a newbie I went to the help pages (F1) and found the following:

To merge two sources

Click Edit > Manage Sources. The Sources dialog box opens.
From the list, select the source you want to replace.
If you want to see which source citations and facts are linked to the source, click Usage. Click Close when you have finished.
Click Replace. The Replace Sources dialog box opens.
Select the source with which you want to replace the first source.
If you want to see which source citations and facts are linked to the source, click Usage. Click Close when you have finished.
Click Replace. A confirmation dialog box opens.
Click OK. The first source is replaced by the second source.
Click Close to exit the Sources dialog box.

This is what I think you are saying. I guess my thoughts are that if for example both sources relate to the census then logically I would have assumed the "source" would be the same.

All rather confusing if you ask me!

Re: Merging Sources - Advantage or Not?

Posted: 1 Jan 2013 4:42PM GMT
Classification: Query
I think they are using the term "merging" rather loosely. To me merging and replacing are two different things.

As for the England census - they may very well be identical and it may very well be ok to "replace" one with the other.

I'm just saying that may have had some obscure reason that is not readily evident about why it created two different sources for these items. For example, it may be treating each county as a different database. I wouldn't merge them out of an abundance of caution - but that is just conservative me!

Re: Merging Sources - Advantage or Not?

Posted: 1 Jan 2013 5:40PM GMT
Classification: Query

Think I may have solved this. Having reviewed all the entries in each "source", there are identical in all but one area - the source repositery is "" in one Census record and "" in another.

In any event, as each source record has a link to the document itself, I do not think this would matter if I were to merge or not.

Thank you once again for the support.

Re: Merging Sources - Advantage or Not?

Posted: 1 Jan 2013 7:37PM GMT
Classification: Query
I have been cleaning up my data the last few days as well and had as many as 3 dozen of any one census sources! As far as I could tell, the differences were primarily due to time and typing. For example, a space was missing in one that was in the others, Ancestry had been replaced with The Generations Network for others. Some were longer and some were shorter but they all had essentially the same information.

I replaced as many as I could but it was pretty tedious and could be so much easier. Also indicates that it may be clean for a short time but will get muddied again as you add more records/events/people.

In the same way, I was Resolving my Places and found that when I was in Resolve All and checked the Desc column it does not move only the unrecognized text to the description field - it moved the whole place name to description. I wish that had been clearer. FYI.


Re: Merging Sources - Advantage or Not?

Posted: 1 Jan 2013 7:51PM GMT
Classification: Query
I've had the same issue with duplicate sources and I've seen several other comments about the same. I have corrected my sources twice, a couple hundred each time. Not fun! I called tech spt when first noticed and was told there is no fix.

I had not had this problem until I added comments to my FTM sources then uploaded to ATM where I discovered they were shown as new sources, effectively a dupe of the original from ancestry. They cannot be changed on ATM. Of course on the next sync, ancestry sent the original source with any new citations back to FTM. Now it is an unending, continuous thing. I don't know if I caused the original dupe issue by adding the comment or if this is another abnormal, routine occurrence.

The merge vs. replace I think pertains to citations and sources, respectively. The citations are merged but the first source is replaced with the second. This is one process that seems to work. :)

Re: Merging Sources - Advantage or Not?

Posted: 1 Jan 2013 8:04PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 1 Jan 2013 8:24PM GMT
Your experience is why I advised the original poster to not change sources coming from FTM merges from databases.

There can be unintended consequences of changing what FTM posted - so I recommend leaving them alone. After all, what is wrong with mulitple instances of the same source? They don't hurt anything. It's strictly an "under the hood" issue which is not visible in reports.

PS - later change. I do change CITATIONS coming from ancestry databases, however - and have not noticed any detrimental consequences yet - although I don't sync. The biggest reason is for censuses that don't show the page number in the citation - very frustrating. There are many of them.

Re: Merging Sources - Advantage or Not?

Posted: 1 Jan 2013 8:16PM GMT
Classification: Query
You are absolutely right, and good advice, too. Had I known the consequences I would not have added comments to the source. I don't understand why it keeps happening, but now I often see 3 and even 4 "dupe" sources. I've stopped syncing until some of this gets corrected. Way too many issues.

Re: Merging Sources - Advantage or Not?

Posted: 2 Jan 2013 11:44PM GMT
Classification: Query
In the early days if FTM2012, it was not uncommon to have more than 1 source for the same database. It seemed to depend on whether the record was attached in the AMT or webmerged in FTM. You could safely combine/merge/replace/whatever you choose to call it the sources but unless you kept the source that was created from the records attached in the AMT, when you attached another record from the same collection it would create a new source. (Webmerging in FTM would use the existing source regardless). I can't say if this still occurs or not, as I almost always work in the AMT and sync to FTM and had fixed all my sources so a new one wouldn't be created.

However, something has changed recently and now, every record I attach in the AMT seems to be creating a new source. I have something like 13 "Social Security Death Index" sources, many with only one citation... and it seems to be occurring with every collection/database... Not acceptable...
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