I have been using FTM for about 2 decades. In the beginning, I only tapped into the basics of the program. As changes were made with the software, I still only expanded my knowledge a little. In the beginning, I will be honest, I never cited any of my sources. Then as my file grew larger and the Internet became a way of life, I realized the error of my ways.
I remembered when I first started creating my citations, I wish I could copy the citation over and over again, I used notepad to store my citation and then copied and pasted the sections of my citations into the proper place.The process was tedious and I wasn’t always good about developing good citation habits.
I don’t recall which version introduced the copy command for citations, however I was very excited. However, I did not understand the difference between duplicate and link. It was through trial and error that I learned what each meant. However, as I review my citations, I realized that I have many errors or duplicate citations when I should had linked the citations.
For those who don't know the difference, I use linked citations on facts where I want the citations to be the same. This way, if I changed the citation on any of the linked facts, it will change them across all the linked citations. However, duplicate is nice if you want to be consistent on your citations however you might need it to be changed for the new source. For example, if you are referencing a book and the citation is giving page 1 as your citation, when you change the page to 2, you can duplicate the citation, change it refer to page 2, copy and then link it to every fact you find on page 2.
For example I have a source that is showing 29 citations when in fact it is really only one unique citation. I should had used the "link" citation instead of "duplicate" citation.
I right click the first citation and then select Replace Source Citation.
I can confirm the Replace Source Citation by comparing the top citation which was my first selected citation to the bottom citation which are exactly the same.
After repeating these steps, I end up with 1 citation.
After doing any amount of work in my database/tree, I make sure I compact my file/tree/database. Since the process of replacing the citations causes parts being removed, the compact will remove these empty gaps and in case a problem arises, I always check the box to perform a backup before compacting.
The back up will be done first and then the compact will occur. Make sure you put the backup someplace where you will find it. Please note, backup to a location on your hard drive (it will be faster) and then manualy copy it to an external drive.
Next I sync my FTM to Ancestry. The Sync Change Log at first glance is a little confusing. I am not even going to pretend that I totally understand what the sync change log is showing. However based on my example, “Citations Added” appears to be the number of unique citations. Since I merged/replaced all 29 citations into 1, the Added Citations is 1. Also this means I deleted 28 citations since I ended up with 1 final citation. As for the People Changed, I am not sure exactly, however my best estimate is that the 29 citations were attached to 47 unique people.
Finally looking at the detail view of the change sync log, you can see some of the actual things happening during the sync. On a replaced citation, one is deleted and when replaced becomes a New citation. Again, since they were all replaced into the same citation, this is the one new reported above. Also note that citations are grouped together at the end even though they are showing with the changes by person.
In Conclusion, just remember when you merge records into one, this will result in deleted records and your file should be compacted to get rid of the empty spaces left behind. Therefore, don't be alarmed when you see the sync will be deleting items.