How I Find and Correct Duplicate Place-Names

You may be surprised by the number of different ways you’ve entered the same place-name in your Reunion 9 for Mac family file. This is especially true if you don’t routinely check for and correct duplicate place-names. I recommend putting this on your calendar to do periodically just like checking for “unlinked people.”

In this video from the MacGenealogist Archives, I show you my method for locating and correcting duplicate place-names: Finding and Correcting Duplicate Place Names in the Reunion 9 for Mac Genealogy Software. As you’ll see, it’s easier to spot the duplicates the way I do it when compared to only using the places list. It works if you have 2000 or fewer place-names in your family file. If you have more than that use the places list as I demonstrate early in the screencast.

Extra Commas in Place-Names

Many MacGenealogists noticed my use of “extra” commas in place-names while viewing the Speed Names screencast. A number of viewers were so curious that they asked why I include them. I chose to write the answer as an article so that those who were not bold (or curious) enough to ask could also be informed.

As we know, the commas in a complete place-name separate the individual elements of the name: city, county or province, state or region, and country. As eagle-eyed viewers noted, I include them even when a part of a place-name is unknown or not specified by a source. So if all except the city is known there is an empty, leading comma like this:

, Washtenaw, Michigan, USA

If the all names except the county is known the entry will be:

Ann Arbor, , Michigan, USA

Where only the country is known you’d see:

, , , USA

And so forth.

I find that this practice eliminates some errors, for example mistaking a county name for a city name. Ambiguity in genealogical documentation can cause wasted time and possibly money. And wasted time delays achievement of our research goals—something none of us wants! The extra commas are simply one my methods for preventing errors I would otherwise undoubtedly make.

Using Ditto Shortcuts to Enter Surnames and Place Names with One Keystroke

How efficient are you at entering surnames and place names in genealogy software, Reunion 9 for Mac? Did you know you can enter even very long names in only one keystroke? You can with the ditto shortcut feature and a little help from me.

The help comes by way of this video from the MacGenealogist Archives, Using Ditto Shortcuts to Enter Surnames and Place Names in the Reunion for Macintosh Genealogy Software, in which I show you how to master this efficiency feature. I also share a couple gotchas, so you’ll want to watch this short video even if you already use ditto shortcuts.