Merge all duplicate citations

At present, ‘merge all duplication citations’ seems to merge duplicate citations across all sources. When you select a single source to show all the citations for that source, you can select ‘merge citations’ and this enables you to highlight another citation to merge against the selected citation.

My feature request is could another option be made (in addition to ‘merge citations’) of ‘merge duplicate citations’ so that all duplicate citations are merged just for that selected source.

This would be useful for me as I tidy up sources and citations within RootsMagic 9, but I am not sure if I am the only one that would use this new feature, nor whether there is another way to merge duplicate citations for a single source.


Confirming request has been reported to development.

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That would be a very good feature. The current problem is that if you have good and valid reasons not to run the Merge All Duplicate Citations tool, then your only recourse is to merge duplicate citations that do need be merged one at a time even if they are safe to merge for one source all at one go,

Even better would be to include a comparison of media files and web tags in the Merge All Duplicate Citations tool. If that were done, then I think it would be safe just to run the Merge All Duplicate Citations tool en masse.

Automatic merging sources is not much different than RM7 was. Sources would merge even if they had different media attached. It’s only looking for identical footnotes and source names. It’s the same behavior with citations. If you don’t want citations to merge you need to give it an unique name.

That’s correct. But merging sources is not the issue. Merging sources works just fine in RM9. The issue is merging citations in RM9.

In RM7, it was not possible to merge citations because citations were not reusable. Also, duplicate endnote numbers in RM7’s reports merged based on the text of the endnotes. Duplicate endnote numbers in RM9’s reports are not merged based on the text of the endnotes. Instead, duplicate endnote numbers in RM9’s reports are merged based on the user having run RM9’s Merge All Duplicate Citations tool. So everything about merging citations in RM9 is new and does not have any analog in RM7.

The main problem is when users download an Ancestry tree into RM9 using TreeShare, or when users import an RM7 database into RM9 where the RM7 database was created originally by downloading an Ancestry tree into RM7 using TreeShare. Such RM databases can easily have dozens or hundreds or maybe even thousands of citations that differ only in their associated media file.

In the first place, there is virtually no way for most RM users to even know that they need to go through all their Ancestry citations to be sure to give them unique names that will prevent their merging. And in the second place, it simply doesn’t seem reasonable to expect a user to go through all their Ancestry Citations to be sure to give them unique names that will prevent their merging even if they know that they need to do so. And remember that not all Ancestry collections have this problem. In fact, most Ancestry collections do not have this problem. It simply doesn’t seem reasonable to expect a user to know which Ancestry collections have the problem and which Ancestry collections do not.

RM seems dead set against taking media files and web tags into account in the Merge All Duplicate Citations tool. I don’t understand the reasoning behind that decision. But another approach might be to take the otherwise meaningless file name into account when TreeShare is creating citation names for newly downloaded citations and media files. That way, it would be TreeShare itself that would be creating the unique citation names that would prevent the incorrect merging of citations that really aren’t duplicate.That wouldn’t help for media files already downloaded by TreeShare. But it might help for the future. And remember that not running the Merge All Duplicate Citations tool is not an option because of the way that the combine all duplicate endnote numbers option works in RM9’s reports.

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This happened to me so I needed to restore from backup after finding that Ancestry had used the same citation name for over 700 citations with only the media file differing for each one.

Only issue I have is that it took awhile for me to realise this problem since it was only one source (maybe afew others) so I will go through my completed tasks and redo the work I have done since merging from the restore.

I will probably dump a media report for citation media items into Excel (or something) and check for multiple uses of the same image file if I decide to merge these citations by hand.

It is a shame that citation merge doesn’t consider the attached media.

I think a sqlite query could quickly show such cases.

I have lately come to realize that there are two causes in Ancestry for this problem and not just one.

The cause I always talk about is that certain Ancestry collections have indexes that result in TreeShare creating citations in RM that differ only in the media file or in the Web Tag. And no, I can’t provide a list of which Ancestry collections have the problem and which do not.

The second cause that needs to be talked about is that certain data that is searchable in Ancestry is not even in an Ancestry collection at all. Rather, Ancestry has partnered with other sites such as Find a Grave. Having partnered with such sites, Ancestry makes partner data available to RM via the TreeShare interface. Ancestry does not have media for such data. It just has media links. Therefore, citations that come into RM from Ancestry’s partner sites via TreeShare differ only in the Web Tag.

Besides, Find a Grave, the other Ancestry partner sites I’m aware of are and There may be others, but I don’t know for sure. Partner data comes into RM via TreeShare only if you have first linked the partner data to your Ancestry tree as an Ancestry source.

I don’t know how to use sqlite queries and I went to your website awhile ago but was unsure how to run these scripts or what additional software I needed to use on my Mac.

Also, do the scripts simply read or can they be used to write back, e.g. to replace the current citation name with portions of the media filename for all citations from a single source.

I can’t help with Mac but I understand it has sqlite included in the OS distribution - probably the Command Line version. There are GUI type sqlite managers for MacOS but I cannot make a recommendation.

Yes, sqlite3 can read and write the RM database data.

Yes, a sql query or script could be devised to place the filename or substring thereof as registered in the database into the Citation Name of any or all sources.

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