Two death facts, one without a date - any way to find these?

Is there a way to identify records with two (or more) death facts, one of which has no date, so that I can delete the fact without a date? If there were an automated way to accomplish this that would be great, but I must warn you that I’m not familiar with the sql tool that’s often mentioned.

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Thank you! That did it! And the good news it’s only about 40 people…

It depends on exactly what you are looking for. With only 40 hits, it’s pretty easy to distinguish unusual situations manually just by looking at all the people who have more than one Death fact by using the Fact List as described by kbens0n. For example, it’s possible that a person could have two Death facts and both of the Death facts have a date.

But here are a couple of other possibilities for searching.

#1 Suppose you are just looking for Death facts without a date. And this could be people with only one Death fact. In that case, the following Advanced Search would work. It would find anybody with a Death fact with a blank death date, no matter whether there were other Death facts or not.

#2 Suppose you are looking for people with at least two Death facts, where at least one of the facts has a death date and where at least one of the facts does not. In that case, the following Advanced Search would work.

Depending on your sense of Boolean logic, you might think that the second search is guaranteed not to find anybody because it is asking for two contradictory criteria to be satisfied at the same time. But there is no contradiction of the criteria of having a death date and not having a death date when the contradictory criteria are on two separate death facts.

In other words, in situations where two or more facts of the same type exist for the same person, RM’s Advanced Search does not require multiple criteria for the same fact type to be associated with the same fact. Normally, I consider this to be a weakness of RM’s Advanced Search feature. For example, it means that I can’t find people who were enumerated in the 1850 census in Texas by searching for Census Date Equals 1850 AND Census Place Contains Texas if the 1850 census for the person is in Tennessee and the 1860 census for the person is in Texas. But in your need to search for Death facts for the same person with and without dates, this “weakness” of RM’s Advanced Search actually works in your favor.

To use RM’s Advanced Search feature, click the main Search tab on the left hand of the screen and then the Advanced Search icon is the second icon from the left at the top of the main Search screen.

Thank you so much Jerry. I will look at this later when I’m fully awake, but I understand what you’re saying and look forward to playing around with it. One question if you don’t mind. Is it common practice to put in a death fact without a date when it’s certain the person must be dead based solely on his DOB? I’m thinking I may find a lot of those when I run your query.


I really don’t know if it’s common practice or not and I don’t really know what the Genealogy Standards Police would say.

I don’t use it as common practice myself. But when I first started out doing genealogy, I imported a lot of GEDCOM from other users and as a result I imported a lot of Death facts with blank dates. So I suppose that makes the practice “common”. As a further result, I have been trying for years to clean all those blank death dates by finding actual death dates to fill in.

I have not even tackled this issue <yet>. Something to look forward to!

I have wondered about the history of the various date qualifiers that RM supports, such as “Say” and “Apparently”. It seems odd that there are so many date options. Any thoughts on using these types of date formats?

After seeing your message, and the way to find facts with multiples, I checked my tree and found a lot of people with dup births and/or deaths. I use Ancestry and treesearch and with some help found that the cause of the dups was ancestrys ‘Alternative Facts’ (I thought Kellyann Conway made up this wording, but ancestry had it long ago). Anyway, I turned on Alternative Facts in Ancestry, and went to the people RM showed with dup deaths/births, and fix the root cause of my issues.

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With these 2 approaches I could easily do a similar search in Rootsmagic but FTM 2019 lacked the fact reporting ability and was much clumsier in the search feature with no OR choice in Filters. RM seems to have much more powerful data management tools.