Non-Refreshable Groups

Now that RM9 has refreshable groups, I have been trying to figure out how to make certain groups refreshable that really aren’t supported as refreshable groups by RM9’s new feature. The basic issue is that RM9’s refreshable groups are only refreshable if the criteria can be coded as an Advanced Search. The Advanced Search tool doesn’t support marking and unmarking, and marking and unmarking is a much more powerful tool than is Advanced Search alone.

The group I have been trying to make refreshable has the following criteria.

  • Descendants of a particular person and their spouses
  • Alive in 1950
  • Do not already have a 1950 Census fact

In other words, this group would be a “to do” list for finding people for whom I need to find a 1950 census record. And as a refreshable group, individuals would fall out of the group as I enter their 1950 census records and as I run the “refresh group” tool.

The “descendants of a particular person and their spouses” criterion cannot be used in a refreshable group. However, I have able to cheat and fake this criterion by color coding the descendants of that particular person a particular color in one of the extra color sets. The color sets themselves are not refreshable, but for the purposes of this group it probably doesn’t matter very much. I’m unlikely to find a new descendant of a particular person who was alive in 1950 because I have already found all such people.

The “alive in 1950” criterion is hard to use in a refreshable group. You can use the criteria Birth => Date => Before => 1950 AND Death => Date => After => 1950, but that doesn’t take into account people who are still living. You can include both AND and OR in the same criteria, but I have no idea how the normal Boolean logic rules work in RM for such a criteria, given that the RM criteria does not support parentheses nor the NOT condition. For the purposes of this group, I simply took the color coding for “descendants of a particular person and their spouses” and unmarked those who were born after 1950 or who died before 1950 (two separate unmarkingss). The color coding is still static, but again I’m unlikely to find anybody to add to my database who would disturb it. For example, a newly added “descendant of a particular person” is likely to be person born in 2023 who obviously was not enumerated in the 1950 census.

With those accomodations in place, the criteria for my refreshable group is simply "Color Coding => Set2: => Is Red AND 1950 Census => Exists => Is False. I used color set 2 for the project to avoid upsetting my primary color set. I use a user defined fact called 1950 Census instead of the standard Census fact because I don’t know of any way to make this criteria work with the standard Census fact.

I tagged this message as a tip (because it is), as a question (like is there any better way to accomplish the same thing), and as a feature request (because it would be really nice if refreshable groups could use marking and unmarking and also if a project such as this could be accomplished using the standard Census fact).

By the way, my criteria leaves unanswered the question of whether people who were born in 1950 or who died in 1950 were enumerated in the 1950 census. I have long since realized that such people have to be researched on a case by case basis. It’s almost impossible to create an adequate search criteria for them. Fortunately, there are not very many such people that need to be treated as such special cases.

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