Data Cleanup Tip #1

One quick trick I discovered for repairing problem Genealogy data involves using an editor -I like geany and gedit… probably because I run on Linux. But truth be known, any editor with a global find & replace function should do just fine!

Genealogy-IdeasHere’s the typical scenario.  You have a data corruption problem that occurs throughout your database.  I always encounter problems like foreign character corruption… you have probably seen words like A@$0n in your files, too.  To make matters worse, they appear in various fields and across numerous records.  What to do???

  • Well the obvious, but painful, answer is to sit and retype everything using characters that don’t get jumbled up on your machine.  After about three of those, if you are like me, you get really grumpy.  No one at home likes you anymore.  A bad scenario.
  • A better scenario is to generate a GEDCOM file of your database ie., MyDB.GED.  Open MyDB.GED in your favorite editor.  Next, perform a global search/replace of the unreadable or incorrect ‘words’ with something that makes you happier.   When you are done, save and close the MyDB.GED and finally upload it to your Genealogy DB.

I did this last night in a database with 3500 people, 10 unreadable terms and completed the whole effort in under 45 minutes.