Duplicate Citations on a Per Person or Per Fact Basis

I just discovered a curious problem in my production RM7 database. Out of about 86,000 citations, there are about 100 of them that are duplicated in the sense of being duplicated for the same person record or for the same fact. These are all very old citations going back 25 years ago to the Family Origins days. I don’t know for sure, but I suspect they came about because of GEDCOM imports followed by merges of people where I didn’t notice the duplicate citations after the merge.

I started to clean them up in RM7. The cleanup consists simply of deleting all the duplicate citations for a person or a fact except for one. Then it occurred to me that maybe I should wait until I’m in production on RM8 and then I could simply run RM8’s Merge Duplicate Citations tool and the cleanup would then be done magically. But it turns out that RM8’s Merge Duplicate Citations tool does not clean up this kind of duplication. What RM8’s Merge Duplicate Citations toolactually does is convert non-reused citations that are duplicate into reused citations that are no longer duplicate. My situation is as if the same citation had been pasted twice to the same person record or to the same fact. It may seem like a distinction without a difference, but there in fact is a big difference. RM8’s Merge Duplicate Citations tool only deals with citations that weren’t reused but could have been. It doesn’t deal with truly duplicate citations in the sense I’m talking about.

There is no way to find these kinds of duplicate citations from within RM. I stumbled across one such occurrence by accident and was curious if there were any more such duplicate citations. The only way I could think of to find them was to write a short SQLite query.

I’m not sure exactly what I’m proposing here. For one thing, it would be really nice to be able to find these kinds of duplicate citations from within the RM user interface. For another thing, it would be nice if RM8’s Merge Duplicate Citations tool would clean up this problem. Beyond that, this message is just a heads up that the problem does exist. It’s silly to do so, but you can recreate the problem in RM8 by doing a Paste/Copy of a citation twice for the same person or for the same fact. So don’t do that. Rather, the problem is how to discover if you have any such duplicate citations in your database that got there by accident.