Adding birth fact for all people in RM9

Hi Guys, as everyone has a birth, can you populate a Birth fact for all people in the tree, even if unknown/blank? If this can’t be done in RM, can it be done via a GEDCOM program? Thanks

It sounds as if you are asking to have a birth fact automatically added when you add a person and no, that can’t be done in RM. If you have some programming skills, you could probably write a script to walk through a GED file and add a birth tag to everyone, otherwise you would need to manually do it. If you were going to go manual, might as well manually add them in RM.

Using your reasoning of ‘everyone has a birth’, it could also be applied to death. I seem to recall there was someone else that though these auto fields would be a good idea and it did spur a bit of discussion on the topic. If I recall, it was mostly opposed. I don’t recall anyone from Rootsmagic actually chiming in on it though.

As has already been mentioned, the answer is no. You would need to export a GEDCOM, add the Birth fact to the GEDCOM, and import the GEDCOM into a new database. Or you would need to manipulate the RM database directly with a script written in SQLite.

I think the Birth fact and Death fact questions are separate questions. I don’t want a Death fact entered for me just yet, not even a blank one. I have noticed that some users will enter a blank Death fact for individuals who based on their birth dates are obviously deceased, even though the fact that the individual is deceased can be inferred from the birth date even in the absence of a Death fact.

I don’t enter blank Death facts. However, I completely understand the desire to have a Death fact for individuals who are deceased, even if the Death fact is completely blank. The blank Death fact is intended to indicate that the person is deceased.

Just out of curiosity - if an automated procedure were available to enter a Birth fact for everyone in your database who didn’t have one, what would you want to be entered into the date and place and note fields for those Birth facts?

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Thanks Jerry, I only would like to have the birth fact filled, with a blank if not already filled. In most cases even if there is no actual date an estimate can be added. Regards, Phil

P.S. Is SQLite easy to learn do you know.

Thanks, I was hoping there might be a GEDCOM app to do this? Does any other FH program have this facility?

It’s pretty easy to learn if you have programming experience, and not so easy otherwise. It amounts to writing SQL queries against a relational database, and SQLite is the particular relational database engine that is used by RM.

SQL is a very different programming language than procedural languages such as C or Java or Python. You would need to find a tutorial for the SQLite dialect of the SQL language and you would need to check the following link for more information. It’s a site supported by RM users and not by the RM company.

SQLite Tools For RootsMagic

I have thousands of people in my database with no birth dates. Such people arose from one of two causes. Cause #1 is that back in the mid-1990’s I foolishly imported a lot of GEDCOM’s where some of the people didn’t have birth dates. As one example, some of the GEDCOM’s were for old courthouse marriage records and the marriage records only had marriage dates and not birth dates. But there are a lot other reasons people in GEDCOM’s don’t have birth dates. Cause #2 is that for example I try to enter everybody I find in an obituary into my database. For most such people, there is no indication of a birth date. So when I first started I would just enter the person without a birth date with the intention of finding the birth dates later. And “later” never came. So I used to put in people from obituaries and from lots of other sources into my database without birth dates, but I don’t any more.

That’s why I have the big project going on now to get birthdates for everybody. And in many cases, I’m finding that that best thing to do is just to delete people without birth dates from my database. I don’t have enough life times left to chase down all the rabbit holes that really don’t matter to my research.

I’m fluent with SQLite, but I wouldn’t think of adding Birth facts automatically. I only want to enter Birth facts when I have actual evidence to support the birth dates. It’s ok for the birth dates to be estimates, but I still want to be sure I have some sort of evidence.

There are no other genealogy programs that I know of. However, I do not know every program. I have only used or tinkered with about 5 different programs, none of which have such an option.

I didn’t even consider a SQLite script as mentioned by Jerry, in part because I didn’t think of it and in part because I think it is an extremely bad idea to be suggesting such an option to persons with no familiarity with SQL. This gets pitched frequently as an option but since you asked if it was hard to learn, you are one of those folks for whom this is NOT a good thing. Since Jerry suggested it, possibly he could write the script for you and give you detailed steps on how to execute it.

Why is it not a good thing? First, and most important, you have syntax to learn and along the way, you need to learn how a slip in syntax can really screw things up. Secondly, you need to study the structure of the database and understand how a relational database functions as a series of tables. Third, you need to be fully cognizant of the possibility of screwing up and make sure you have a good backup regimen in place so that you can recover from it.

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When I was an IT manager for a robotics company we had purchased software packages from a number of vendors. These stored the information in databases.

Written into every maintenance contract was the warning that if you changed the database using any other tools than what they sold you, you are off of maintenance and phone support. Just too many people think they are good programmers and they’re just going to make a simple fix. Then it all goes bad.

Unless you understand ALL the relationships, key fields, indices, etc. in the database schema you will be very lucky to not screw something up.

If you don’t like how RM functions, you have three options:

  1. Live with it and change your workflow to match the tool that you chose to use.
  2. Submit a request for enhancement to the development team. But it’ll probably take forever to get implemented. I think that you can see how many items have been requested multiple times by scrolling through these topics.
  3. Investigate the competition and if you find something that better suits your workflow, move on.
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I did it with SQL code and SQLite Spy when I bulk added the basic info on about 200 people to my database but you have to know and understand what you are doing - I’m a data engineer & database professional so this is like a normal day’s work, but I tested it thoroughly on database copies first.