Split Tree Helper: Delete Unwanted Data

A common requirement is to split a tree into smaller parts. For example, suppose a cousin of yours expresses interest in the research you have done on his side of the family, you might wish to send him a GEDCOM file containing only material that would be of interest to him. The way to do this is to make a copy of your original file, and then delete the unwanted records from the copy.

To copy a Family Historian file, you could use Windows Explorer. Alternatively, if you prefer, you can copy the file by using the "Save As..." facility on the File menu to save the file under a new name. If you have just been making any changes that you wish to keep in your normal file, make sure you save these, in the normal way, before using "Save As...".

The way you delete the unwanted records is to use the "Split Tree Helper: Delete Unwanted Data" facility. Although designed to be used as part of the tree-splitting process, this facility can be used at any time, to delete unwanted records. However, it should be used with care, for obvious reasons.


Individual Records You can opt to delete all Individual records found by a given query, all records not found by a given query, or no Individual records.

An 'Individual query' is a query where the Query Type is 'Individual'. The Query Type is specified in the General tab of the Query Window. In an Individual query, every row in the Result Set corresponds to one Individual record. A given Individual record never has more than one row in the Result Set. The columns in a query show data relating to the Individual record - usually, tags belonging to it. When used as a means of identifying records to delete, however, the columns of a query are immaterial. It is useful to have a column which clearly identifies which Individual Record is in question; however, so that you can run the query and check before hand exactly which records will be deleted.

When installed, a sample query Relations - Simple List is provided as an example of a query you might want to use for deleting unwanted records. When run, it will prompt you for a 'root' person, and then find all the relatives of that root person. It only has one column, to identify the Individuals found.

As this example shows, some queries prompt you to specify details when they are run. If you have selected a query of this kind, the prompt dialog will appear when you click the ‘Delete’ button in the main dialog. You will be able to Cancel at this point, if you wish.

Tip: Use the Has Flag query to select records with a given flag. Use the Named List Members query to select members of a named list.

Other Records The Delete Unwanted Data facility will start with Individual records. Once it has done this, there may be other records, such as Source records or Multimedia records, that no longer have any links to them. Depending on why you are splitting the tree, you may wish to consider deleting records if they have no links to them. In some cases you may even consider deleting all records of a given type.

Note: You never have to worry about deleting Family records, as Family Historian takes care of removing unused Family records automatically.

Tip: If some of the record types are not familiar to you, you can view them in the Records Window, by choosing the appropriate options from the Records Window Options dialog, which is available from the Tools menu.

Facts (events/attributes) As well as (or instead of) deleting entire entire records, you can also delete facts (that is, ‘events’ or ‘attributes’) within records. Family Historian allows you to specify that you want all of a given set of fact types to be deleted (e.g. ‘Census’) or all except a given set.
Notes You can specify that you want all notes within records to be deleted. This option does not affect the main note in a note record. If you want these to be deleted, choose “Delete all Note Records” in the Other Records area, above.

If you choose “Delete [[private]] notes only”, any sections of a note that fall within double square brackets (e.g. “he was the [[illegitimate]] son of Smith”) will be deleted. This option applies to all notes, including the main note in Note records.

Flags Tick ‘Delete All Flags’ to delete all flags in the file. To delete (clear) selected flags only, use Work with Named Lists and Flags on the Tools Menu.
Named Lists Tick ‘Delete All Named Lists’ to delete all named lists in the file. To empty selected lists only, use Work with Lists and Flags on the Tools Menu, or use the commands on the Lists Menu, when viewing Named Lists in the Records Window.
The CHM file was converted to HTML by chm2web software.