Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Curly Brackets

From time to time someone has objected to the fact that I included information from the Social Security Death Index in the Note fields of my genealogy files.

One person pointed out that even though a family member was dead there was still someone in the family drawing Social Security benefits under the deceased person's Social Security number.

RootsMagic has an option that allows us to make parts of our Notes private. To do this you place curly brackets {private text} around any text in a Note that you may want to consider private.

There are three curly bracket options when you, print reports, export GEDCOM files or create websites.

  • Remove the curly brackets and the text inside them
  • Display the curly brackets and the text inside them
  • Display the text inside the curly brackets without the brackets
I'm considering adding curly brackets around Social Security numbers in my largest genealogy file. This will give me the option of displaying the Social Security Death Index information with or without the Social Security Number.

To implement this idea, at this late date, won't be an easy task. There is no way to do a global search and replace.  While I can easily find each record that contains Social Security information it will be necessary to execute the find command thousands of times to find the Notes that need to be modified.

I've already tested this idea several times when I encountered Social Security data in the Note of records that I was updating.

Dick Henthorn
17 February 2015

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