Citation used numbers ridiculously high

I have noticed that several of my sources’ citations have exceptionally high counts in the ‘citation used’ field. For instance, a source from the Howland 5-generation Mayflower birth book, which shows 5 generations of births by surname of the descendants, lists over 200 citation uses! For a single reference to one Jonathan Bosworth, born 1701. Although I did use the same source for several generations of his family, the count shouldn’t be over 25. I deleted all of the citations and entered it as a single citation in his record - and all 200+ showed up again automatically.


I don’t know, but have you looked to see which persons and facts are associated with the citation?

It probably shouldn’t matter, but which source template did you use? Was it the free form template, or was it one of RM’s built-in templates for books?

Finally, did you memorize and paste the citations? If so, did you paste with the Reuse option or with the Copy option?

Did the original come from FTM / Ancestry by chance?

You can try merging citations then merge sources.(some caution is advised)


My first guess is that you used the (risky) feature “Merge all duplicate citations” although that does not explain why deleting the citations and adding just one anew should restore 200 uses of it.

I did use “Merge all duplicate citations” when I initially started using RootsMagic. The FTM file had been royally sc+++d up by the last sync with Ancestry some months prior and hundreds of sources had, literally, hundreds of duplicate citations. There was no viable way I could have manually gone through 4500+ profiles and their facts and sources and do the corrections. This is the first time I have run into a problem like this. What is interesting is that all of the people referred to as a citation appear to actually be citing this source…

Unfortunately, this is one of the thousands of sources/citations that came over from FTM. I am happily making use of these features when creating new ones. Thank you.

Try running the database tools under File, Tools. If that doesn’t fix it then you may need to use drag n drop to resolve whatever corruption came from the FTM Ancestry Tree download.

For a Citation with surprisingly high ‘uses’, especially arising after “Merge all duplicate citations”, I would be suspicious that Citations that did not differ in text but did have differing media and/or web tags have been merged when they should not have been because they are truly different Citations and RM fails to check for those differences. If you find the Citation has multiple, different media or multiple, different web tags, then that is what happened. RM has been asked to enhance the feature to inspect the media and web tags for differences but so far as yet has not done so.

There is no way to unmerge the Citations. You would have to revert to an earlier version of the database or import it anew.

Thank you. I will look at some of the people listed. They most likely do have different pages from the same book as media in their facts. Just another clean-up task to keep me from doing actual research. But it has to be done!

Look at the Edit Citation window for your highly used Citation and inspect the number of Media and Citation Web Tags.
Say, you see 100 media for a citation used 200 times. Does it sound reasonable that every fact that uses this Citation should have 100 media providing evidence in support of that fact? How could someone find just the relevant ones other than by inspecting each and every one for every fact for every person which uses that Citation. That’s the unfortunate consequence of “Merge all duplicate citations” when their text fields do not differentiate them when their media or webtags are indeed different.