Mixed-up notes after GEDCOM import

After GEDCOM import I found several thousands of error messages as notes. They are mixed up with my own notes. I would prefer to see the error messages in a log file because now it is difficult to see my own notes in the forest of error notes. It makes no sense to me that one single error message is stored in thousands of identical notes.

Is there a possibility of deleting all those import error notes using Gramps Web?

Error notes get created when something in the imported GEDCOM cannot be handled by Gramps.

It has been a long while (since I migrated to Gramps) that I have imported a GEDCOM. I seem to recall that the error note will make reference to the line in the GEDCOM that caused the issue. You may want to see what in the GEDCOM Gramps did not know how to handle. Often it is something added to the GEDCOM by the program that created the GEDCOM that is actually meaningless to your genealogy. But those are famous last words.

But to answer your question, yes, it is easy to delete these error messages.

Go to the Notes view and sort the list of notes by the Preview column. The notes will have a common note structure so should become sorted together. You can select all of the offending notes, then Delete.

As with any batch edit, you may want to make a XML .gramps backup before doing the delete. Store this backup and the original GEDCOM someplace safe. You may find that something is missing from Aunt May’s record and need to explore here original import.

Don’t delete the Notes. They contain data that did not translate neatly into Gramps structured records.

Instead, consider converting the data into attributes. Or mark them all as “Private” so they do not export.

First: it is helpful that GEDCOM import errors are reported by Gramps.

My GEDCOM was generated by webtrees and is fully conform to GEDCOM 5.5.1.

It makes no sense that the same error is reported in thousands of new notes. Don’t fill my tree with those notes. I would prefer:

  • import all legal GEDCOM elements and do not convert them into notes! In my opinion Gramps did a bad job when importing my GEDCOM.
  • report errors maybe in a log file, group identical errors together

Originally I used Gramps Web. There is - as far as I can see - no option to delete thousands of notes. Therefore I just installed Gramps on my Windows desktop. The tree is synchronized. Perfect! So I was able to select all the notes in the way you suggested and delete them. This step needed 3 hours!

Now I can continue testing this great application.

In the soon to be released 5.2 version of Gramps, this deletion will take seconds. (The current version is doing an extraneous refresh after each delete. If you’re running a filtered view, that adds a horrendous amount of wasted time to the process. see PR997 for more info) I’ve tried that specifically in the beta test cycle and it is wonderful.

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I just read through a few pages on webtrees, including their Blog… which is more of a Release Notes or an Announcements.

They do not conform to GEDCOM 5.5.1 standard. But they support all its tags… and anyone’s custom tags they can figure out too. That means it allows lots of non-conforming custom tags. It is all those custom tags that are causing problems.

Yes, webtrees supports GEDCOM 5.5.1 completely, supports the GEDCOM-L addendum (including_LOC location records), supports several structures of GEDCOM 7.0, and many GEDCOM dialects.

In my GEDCOM file I’m using only GEDCOM 5.5.1 and GEDCOM-L. And one custom GEDCOM tag in each CHAN record indicating the last user who changed an record. Every record has a CHAN tag and this results in thousands of superfluous error notes during import, which are all identical.

Ahhh. That makes sense. Thanks for clarifying.

That change tracker won’t be important for Gramps because it is single user.

But it might be interesting to learn if/how GrampsWeb does that kind of tracking.

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