RootsMagic 4 & 5 fail to clean up all the tables after some entities are merged or deleted. The new Database Tools don’t either. Apart from wasted disk space, there are other more concerning consequences. One is what has been called “Headless Witnesses” – these are RINs found in the WitnessTable for whom there is no matching person in the PersonTable. A result is that a fact may show that it is shared with someone whose name is missing.
The RMGC_Properties query reports a count of the number of sharings for which the RIN of the witness does not exist in the database. Its core statement can be brought out to inspect the RINs. Perhaps, by reviewing a database backup, the missing persons can be identified and the matter resolved.
-- List of RINs of Headless Witnesses SELECT PersonID FROM WitnessTable WHERE WitnessTable.PersonID > 0 EXCEPT SELECT PersonID FROM PersonTable ;
A more comprehensive query was developed to report on the role, event and owner or principal of the shared event. Download TraceHeadlessWitnesses.sql . Here’s a sample result:
Using these results the search can be quickly narrowed to two shared Census facts for RIN 829. The Headless Witness can be removed and,
if necessary, replaced. The query is designed to report on shared family events, too, but there were no Headless Witnesses in the subject database.