Adding shared fact info to Groups (?RM9)

Hi all. Working in RM8 still… When I add census data to a person/family I will add this as a Residence Fact to the head of the household (with the date being the date of the census). To this I can assign notes, sources and media. Then I will Share the fact with other members (i.e. family members) who are also resident in that household at the time of the census so that the notes, sources and media become associated with them too.

Perhaps this is not the best way to do this but it works for me… until now.

I would like to create Groups of people who, at some point in their lives, lived in the same “Place” (i.e. town or village). I can search and select people who have [town’s name] within their “Place” details but the search does not return those people who lived in the same “Place” but where “Place” is a shared fact, not a primary fact - e.g., the wife and/or child of the head of the household who may not have necessarily been born there.

(I have also tried selecting based on Any Fact, rather than Residence, where the Place contains the [town’s name] so it includes people who were born and/or died in the town, but it still excludes people who only lived in the town as part of a shared fact.)

There is a similar topic here [ Where are ‘Shared Facts’ used in RM8 - RootsMagic - RootsMagic Community] and Jerry Bryan has stated here that shared facts cannot be “Grouped”. I was wondering if there might be a workaround/solution in RM9?

Many thanks!

More generally, there is no search or marking or unmarking mechanism to identify facts that have roles that have been shared or to identify where the roles have been shared. That means you cannot do advanced searches or make groups or do color coding based on shared facts or their roles. You can do all those things with “real” facts.

This limitation remains in place for both RM8 and RM9.

For example, if you make a role of Midwife for the Birth fact, you cannot search or mark or unmark for Birth facts that do or do not have the Midwife role nor can you search or mark or unmark for the people who have the Midwife role.

I failed with this “hack”:
Knowing that one can create a list of people with a fact that is marked PRIVATE. I created one and shared the person’s PRIVATE fact with others as Witness and even added the word Witness to each of the PRIVATE Note fields of the sharees. This produces a PRIVATE checkmark for each sharee as well as the search term in the note. Unfortunately, that information is “silo’ed” (not reachable ~ isolated from) the program’s functions for Full search of fact notes and from identification as a PRIVATE fact even though properly presented in each individual’s record. Disapponted!
NOTE: I am aware that a PRIVATE note checkmark’s purpose is contrary to being presented (revealed) but I had hoped RM’s facilities might still at least detect the checkmark or note entry.

Thanks you for the replies, gents. I guess that goes into the “things I wish I knew then that I know now” category :frowning_face: When I started with RM only a couple of years ago, “sharing” seemed to be an obvious solution to a Residence Fact when the people in each household change every 10 years and the Head of the household (more or less) remains the same. It was a quick way of attributing notes, sources and media to the other household members and these shared events appear in the person’s timeline

I’ve found other discussion topics about whether to use Residence or Residence (family) facts for census data but I understand Residence (family) only adds the spouse (a bit like Marriage) but not the children. Jerry also explains the “philosophy” behind family facts here [Census and Residence (family) - How do you add more than just the spouse? - #4 by thejerrybryan] which I do, sort of, get.

I’ve got literally hundreds (possibly more) of shared census facts and I’d hate to have to retrospectively change them all individually. If I were to change the fact type from Residence to Residence (family) would that automatically add the spouse to the head of the household even if it does not add the children? It would be a little victory at least. Secondly, is it even possible to do? I know one can change the fact type for an individual, but globally?

Many thanks again!

Edited to add: I’ve just tried changing the fact type for a married individual and his children - when selecting the new fact type Residence (family) (or even Census (family) come to that) does not even appear!

Maybe if @bruce is in a responsive mood trying to make RM9 fly through turbulence, he will respond positively to our longstanding pleas to fulfill the promise of shared facts/events by providing support in search, groups, reports, problems, interchange… (did I miss any?).

As to the questions in your last paragraph, those things are possible but not from within the RM UI, currently. Converting an Individual fact type to a couple type is difficult, setting aside adding the children. Because of RM’s shortcomings, I and others have developed over many years SQLite scripts to carry out some of them. You can browse a list of them here:
Click on other tags in the tag cloud for other filters. Many of the scripts have been tested or updated to be compatible with RM8 and probably are with RM9; many others have not.

Thanks Tom, your scripts look as if they would help but unfortunately I’m far too much of a coward to even attempt to use them (I wouldn’t even know where to start :smile:)!

I’ll have to wait for an “official” upgrade I suppose. I’ll muddle through with what I’ve got. As I mentioned it has only recently occurred to me to create groups which include shared events; if it can’t be done through the front end then I’ll live without it.


I had looked at shared events to save time, but haven’t used them because of the issues discussed.

My question for you is, the splitSharedToIndiv.sql could be run say once a month to convert all the current shared to split right? My thought would be to use shared events then occasionally run the script…


Yes, the frequency that would be optimal depends on your use case. If you are a highly interactive user of TreeShare or FamilySearch Central, you might want to do it very frequently. If you publish a website twice a year on some platform that does not support shared events and otherwise you like them, you might copy your database and apply the conversion only to that intermediary copy from which you publish or export the data.