This post may contain affiliate links, my full disclosure can be read here.
RootsMagic is my main genealogy program. One feature it has that I just love is the ability to share facts between individuals.
Any fact can be shared, when entering a baptism you can share it to the god parents/sponsors. You can share it to the minister. When sharing a census you can share it to everyone in the household quickly. This saves so much time from how I used to enter a census record by creating a new fact for each person, entering the date, place and their note and linking media and sources. With shared facts this can all be done from the primary person’s screen very easily.
This is all well and good, until you decide that you want to upload your tree to Ancestry or RootsWeb. Since the program tags for shared events are not standard GEDCOM tags these sites can not import them properly. What I’ve found happens is the fact for the primary person, normally head of the house is imported but then the wife and children do not show their copy of the census. This is also a big problem if you share a GEDCOM with another family researcher who does not use RootsMagic.
So what do you do? Well until recently you only had two choices. Use shared facts and live with their limitations or don’t use this great time saving feature to try and maintain the share ability of your database.
This past winter this topic came up on the RootsMagic mailing list and Tom Holden who runs the website SQLite Tools for RootsMagic decided to take on the challenge of developing a tool that would let users split shared facts into individual (normal) facts. I’ve been using this tool often since he developed it and I have to say he’s done a wonderful job!
Tom has added the split shared events to his RMTrix utility and this makes it very easy to run with out any programming background! Although I have never had a problem using RMTrix, I highly recommend you only use this on a COPY of your RootsMagic database!
In the screenshot above you can see the RootsMagic edit person screen for one of my 3nd Great Grandmothers Elizabeth Gardiner. On the left side of the 1871 census fact there is a green square with a white arrow in it. This means Elizabeth has been added to this fact as a shared person. On the right side of the screen we can see that 4 people share this fact.
The first step is to create a new database. There are two ways to do this. In RootsMagic you can go to the File menu and select COPY. This will open a window were you can select where you want the database and give it a name. This will make a copy of your entire file.
If you are working on just one line of your file I find it easier to go to the File menu and select NEW. It will let you select the place and name of the file and I pick to start with typing data.
Once this is done it will open an empty database on the side of your screen. While your original database is on the other side of the screen. In this example above I selected David Gallant and dragged him over to the empty database. I selected the option to include 2 generations of his descendants. When this was done I closed RootsMagic and opened RMTrix.
After opening RMTrix go to the File menu and choose SELECT. When the window come up select what RootsMagic database you want to work on. Remember use your backup copy!
RMTrix has many helpful tools but the only one I’m going to share about today is the ones for working with shared events. In the left sidebar click on the Events, the option on the bottom of the first window contains all the tools for working with shared events.
Select the first option that says SPLIT shared events to individual. There is no progress bar but very quickly at the top of your screen you will see a message that says “Splitting shared events completed”.
After this go back to the events menu again and this time select UNSHARE. What this does is to remove everyone who was added as a shared person to the original fact.
There are two more options you can use, but are not always necessary. The third option is to RESHARE the events. If you’ve decided you didn’t want to split the events this is how you undo it. The final option is to HIDE TRACKS. This is a permanent choice! By hiding your tracks the re-share option will not work. But since your working with a copy of your database this isn’t a big deal.
Now when you open RootsMagic and view your database copy you will have all individual facts. The screenshot above is again Elizabeth Gardiner. Now there is no shared symbol beside her 1871 census fact and on the right side of the screen it does not say that anyone else shares this fact.
This is the note screen for Elizabeth Gardiner’s 1871 census. You can see that her own personal note that had been added in the share screen was copied to here. The image and sources were also copied over properly. Had Elizabeth not have had a custom note then the note for the primary person would have been copied.
The screenshot above is for her husband David Gallant. You can also see he still has his 1871 census fact and that it is not shared with anyone now.
At this point you can now export a GEDCOM to upload to a website or send to a family member and the facts should import normally.
RMTrix will convert shared census and residence facts to normal individual facts. Facts that are a little more tricky such as a baptism sponsor are converted to a miscellaneous fact type with the name of Share, their roll is entered into the description field. RMTrix includes who the person being baptized was as well and it works very well for me. If you have shared events to people who are not in your database, an example could be the Minister who married a relative. When you split the facts this Minister would be added on to the note of the primary person but the information is enclosed in privacy brackets.
RMTrix has been a huge help to me for making my RootsMagic database easy to share with others, with out losing the time saving option of sharing facts. If you would like to try RMTrix you can download it for free at SQLite Tools for RootsMagic. There are versions for both 32 bit and 64 bit Windows.
Do you use shared events in RootsMagic?