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Confused about source citations, varying microfilm numbers


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#1 A Descendant

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 10:57 AM

Hello, I am new to RootsMagic 5 having recently switched from FTM 16 and i am somewhat confused when it comes to source citations.

I had created a new master source for a certain database of marriage records (Pennsylvania County Marriages, 1885 - 1950) on FamilySearch using the template "Vital Record, Filmed (FHL-GSU)" as that seemed to be closest to what i needed. When i came to the field for the film number i put in the film number given on the FamilySearch page for the record i was viewing. However i discovered after going through several records in that collection that they have various film numbers.

So now I don't know what should be in that field for "film number". I don't want to make a master source for every single record I use from that collection. Should I haved used another template for the source? Should i leave that field blank and somehow put the film number in the details of each citation?

#2 TomH

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 02:25 PM

If you want the film number to change with multiple citations of the source, either you will have to use an existing field in the Source Details OR revise the template, moving the film number field from Master Source to Source Detail. You cannot edit a built-in template; to get around that barrier, make a copy of the template you used, edit it to move the field (you may also need to edit the sentence templates, especially Bibliography so that it won't use that field). Then create a new Master Source from that template and merge your old Master Source into the new. Now you should have an empty film number field for each citation which you will need to fill in.

Edit: I have not looked for an alternative built-in source template. Someone else may have a suggestion. I avoid using them except as a guide to how I might draft a citation using my custom free form template.

Edited by TomH, 10 April 2012 - 02:38 PM.

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#3 A Descendant

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 05:44 PM

Thanks for the reply. I didn't realize templates could be edited. What you suggested will work.
I really like the help of the templates but i've also read alot of arguments in favor of using Free Form citations instead of Templates, and i'm undecided yet as to what I want to use.

#4 Laura

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 08:11 PM

Using source templates are fine if you aren't going to be exporting gedcoms for use in other gedcom programs.

I use Free Form sources as I export gedcoms to be imported into third party programs, such as, Family Bee on my android smartphone or to share with another person who uses a different genealogy program.

Another thing to consider is if you will be importing gedcoms from other gedcom programs. Even if you import a gedcom into a new database, changing those Free Form sources to source template sources before transferring any data into your main database can become a lot of work if you want to keep your main database consistent.

For a Free Form source, I remind myself of what I want to put in the Source details Page number box for a particular Master source by adding that information into the Master source text box. When adding the Source detail, I can see the text in the right pane on the Edit source screen accessed from the Source Citation screen. And, I can copy the text into the Page number box and change the parts of it that needs changed.

From the above marriage database, I might have: [husband] & [wife], married [marriage date], Film number [?], accessed [date]

Anything within the square brackets would be replaced with the correct data.