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Best way to record "stories" in RM

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#1 prairiepearls

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 09:30 PM

(New user, first-time poster -- please move this if I'm posting in the wrong area. :-)

How do various users record all the little family stories in RM? Or do they put them in RM at all? For example, I have ten pages of my handwritten notes of an interview with my dad and his parents in 1974. They include stories about my dad and his brother playing with the goats the family kept for milk; how my grandmother made fresh sausage by boiling the head of the hog they slaughtered; how the fish were guided by a boulder in the stream on their farm, so it was easy to catch them. You get the idea. There are "facts" scattered through the notes, such as that they remodeled the barn in 1928, and the farm house in 1932. But RM's "facts" don't seem to suit most of the information.

How best to get this information into the computer in a (hopefully) searchable way? Do I just treat my notes as an original source and type them up in a Word document, adding the "facts" to my grandparents, and citing my notes as the source? I strongly feel that it's all the little stories that personalize a family history and get another generation interested in it. But I'm also rather rigid when it comes to documenting sources and rating their quality. (I'm an accountant - go figure!) And then how to tie the story about the goats to my dad and his brother, if there's no specific "fact" to connect it to. Or do I just collect ALL my stories about each person and type up a narrative bio in that individual's "note?"

I have a file drawer full of various family sheets, self-published family histories, letters, and a huge set of notes I made for a thesis for a college Social History class in in 1974. I started computerizing my records in 2002 and got some 500 individuals recorded before life interfered, and now I'm able to return to the project. Much of my information is based on iffy sources that will all need verification. But I feel I need to start by entering all the data I already have (& rating its quality), and that includes the stories! I'd greatly appreciate any guidance you can give me on how to proceed.

#2 Laura

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 11:05 PM

I have a User defined fact named Memories and put family stories and other family data in the notes. I link photos of old family documents, like grocery bills, Bible records, checks, letters, etc. to this fact. The media may also be a text file or audio or video file. I can choose whether or not to print it in a report on Lists, Fact type lists.

And, I add a source for where the stories or data came from.

The date, place, and description are all enabled.

The Miscellaneous fact is another possible fact to use, but I use it for data that I am always going to share with someone else. I decide whether to share the Memory fact on a case by case basis.




#3 Vyger

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 01:29 AM

I think Laura's suggestion is probably one of the more common ones, then you can decide whether to include that Custom Fact in reports.

Personally any memories which align with life events I usually put those memories in the notes of the event just to make reports read a bit more personally rather that computer generated monotony.

E.G. John Doe married bla bla bla on bla bla at bla bla , James remembers on the morning of the wedding he could not find a pair of black socks and had to borrow…….

What I would strongly suggest is experimenting with all suggestions tod running reports. The report is really the eventual output aim for and family history and you want to make sure you are happy with that before adopting a personal standard. It tends to be difficult and time consuming to change these things later should you change your mind.

Customers should never be frustrated by things they cannot do.

 

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#4 prairiepearls

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 08:20 AM

Thank you, Laura & Vyger, for a couple of excellent suggestions! And Vyger, that's exactly my problem -- I know I need to decide on some of these organization methods before I get too far entering data, so I won't have to re-do a lot, but I want to get going, already! ;-) I've already gotten curious about a couple of things while data-entering and discovered some wonderful maps and place-name translations (Pomerania) online, and I'm trying to figure out the best way to file them. The Internet sure has changed this kind of research, even since 2002, when I last worked on it, and in ways I couldn't even have imagined since 1974, when I first became interested. Can either of you point me to a good genealogy discussion site for general organizing tips, or evan a favorite book on the subject? Thanks again!

#5 Laura

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 08:44 AM

I agree with Vyger to experiment to find the best way for you.

I suggest creating a new database to experiment in before implimenting anything in your main database.

Where you decide to put a piece of data depends a lot on what it contains. You might want to use a mix of my method and Vyger"s.

For Narrative.reports, you can cistomize the sentences on the Edit person screen.

And you can sort facts to be together and combine sentences to print as a compound sentence with the notes and sources in the last sentence.

I put transciptions or notes in the source detail also.

Master source: W. A. Lewis papers. Source detail: Transcription of cotton gin receipt

Master source: Memories of W. A. Lewis. Source detail: Story of first remembered Christmas







#6 Vyger

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 08:56 AM

And Vyger, that's exactly my problem -- I know I need to decide on some of these organization methods before I get too far entering data, so I won't have to re-do a lot, but I want to get going, already!


Believe me when I say that I speak from painful experience, the other thing is no one size fits all so experiment. I would suggest getting all those hand written notes typed up in Noitepad of something so you canb easily copy & paste to see what style works best for you.

Places are simpler, enter pertinent historic or whatever helpful notes into the Place and Place Details, geocode them and add pictures if available. Rootsmagic does not produce the quality of report I would wish for here, at least noit yet, but it should improve in the future.

Customers should never be frustrated by things they cannot do.

 

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Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

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#7 prairiepearls

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 09:12 AM

Well, I "like" your latest posts, Vyger & Laura, even though the forum doesn't want me to! ;-)

Thanks again!





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