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Narrative Report Text

Narrative Reports Text

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#1 Mike Power

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 01:03 AM

My suggestion: To improve the structure and expression used in Narrative Reports.

The following are copies of Narrative/Book reports for the same family, one from RM, the other from my very ancient copy of PAF:

Per RootsMagic

Descendants of George Alexander DIXON

1. George Alexander DIXON was born about 1785 in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England. He died on 30 Jun 1830 at the age of 45 in Pitsmoor, Yorkshire, England. His death was reported in the death notices column of The Sheffield Independent and Yorkshire and Derbyshire Advertiser of 19 June 1830: "Yesterday morning at his house, Pitsmoor, Mr George Alexander Dixon, silver refiner".

George Alexander DIXON and Elizabeth DYMOND were married on 18 Jul 1811 in in Blyth, Nottinghamshire, England. Elizabeth DYMOND, daughter of Joseph DYMOND and Elizabeth FOSTER, was christened on 29 Oct 1787 in Blyth, Nottinghamshire, England. She died on 9 Feb 1853 in Pitsmoor, Yorkshire, England. Elizabeth was buried on 14 Feb 1853 in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England.

George Alexander DIXON and Elizabeth DYMOND had the following children:

2 i. Thomas Crofts DIXON
....etc


The same but per PAF

Modified Register for George Alexander DIXON

1. George Alexander DIXON was born about 1785 in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England. He died on 30 Jun 1830 in Pitsmoor, Yorkshire, England.

His death was reported in the death notices column of The Sheffield Independent and Yorkshire and Derbyshire Advertiser of 19 June 1830: "Yesterday morning at his house, Pitsmoor, Mr George Alexander Dixon, silver refiner".

George married Elizabeth DYMOND, daughter of Joseph DYMOND and Elizabeth FOSTER, on 18 Jul 1911 in Blyth, Nottinghamshire, England. Elizabeth was christened on 29 Oct 1787 in Blyth, Nottinghamshire, England. She died on 9 Feb 1853 in Pitsmoor, Yorkshire, England. She was buried on 14 Feb 1853 in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England.

They had the following children:

i. Thomas Crofts DIXON
...etc



To my eye the PAF report structure is far preferable.

In it, full names are not repeated. “George Alexander DIXON” after the first mention becomes “George” or "he"; "Elizabeth DYMOND" becomes "Elizabeth" or "she".

The PAF report shows simply that “They had the following children” unlike the RM version which repeats the two names in full.

I find that the way the spouse is introduced in PAF uses a simpler, more streamlined and elegant sentence structure.

Fact notes are slightly indented.

Now I am aware that RM allows for customising sentences. What I'm advocating, however, is a default arrangement.

To me this improvement is important as the Narrative or Book report is probably the most popular form of all the more detailed reports.

For your consideration and comment please.

#2 Laura

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 04:56 PM

I like the flexibility of RM for marriage sentences best:

I don't always want only the first name of the husband or wife who is the focus of the narrative report to be printed. If the wife married under a previous married surname instead of her maiden name, I might want to enter her surname as the previous married surname. Or if one of the spouses used a nickname on the marriage license instead of their full name, I might want to use that nickname. Or if either spouse was married using a stepfather's surname, I might want to use that surname.

And I don't want the parents of the spouse to be automatically printed in the narrative marriage sentence.

My default marriage sentence reads:
[Husband] and [Wife] <#Couple#was|were> married< [desc]>< [Date]>< [PlaceDetails]>< [Place]>.

Bu using [Husband] and [Wife], each person's name can be customized in the sentence on the Edit person screen according to the way I want it to read in the marriage sentence when printed. If the husband is the focus person in the narrative, I could change the sentence to [husband:given], [husband:first] or [husband:heshe]. If the wife is the focus person in the narrative, I would add the modifiers to [wife] and, if wanted switch the [husband] and [wife] position.

I have the description field enabled and can put anything I want in it, in a civil ceremony, in blue jeans, while skidiving.

I would prefer to put the parents names for a person in the sentence for the birth fact: The description could be enabled and the parents names typed into the description.

If the parents names were the only thing that would be typed into the description the sentence could use the Gender switch and read.

[person:given:surname]<%<, son of [desc],>|<, daughter of [desc],>> was born< [PlaceDetails]>< [Place]>< [Date]>.

I like it a little more flexible so my Birth sentence reads:
[person] was born< [desc]>< [PlaceDetails]>< [Place]>< [Date]>.

I can put at home, on his parents' farm or to James and Jean Smith in the description.

I could have a Father and Mother role, Father of/Mother of, for the Birth fact and share the fact with the father and mother and write the sentence using those roles. This would also show the child's birth in the Individual facts for each parent on the Narrative report.

This could also be done for the marriage fact with roles for each spouse's father and mother. Then you would share the fact with whatever parents of which spouse you wanted.

Personally, I like having the names in the "had the following children sentence" rather than just "They had the following children".

If I have a lot of information printed for either or both spouses, it can be a page or two to scroll back through to make sure I am looking at the children of the right parents. At least, now I don't need to scroll back farther than the children sentence.

#3 Mark Prendegast

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 02:07 AM

I strongly support Mike's suggestion.

I have been trialling RM5 for over three months now, having used Ancestral Quest for the past five years.

The Book or Narrative reports are a very important tool for me. I use them to distribute information to relatives and others who don't have genealogy software to accept Gedcoms.

I think Mike is right when he suggests that the Book/Narrative format is the most popular of all the reports.

Ancestry Quest has the same layout as PAF for Narrative reports (per Mike's example) and I find it excellent.

The text produced by RM I find ponderous and cumbersome.......no, its terrible!.

I do not yet the expertise to customise sentences and so I find it hard as a "Newbie" to get my mind around what Laura is suggesting.

I do agree with her point about the expression "They had the following children...."

Between the introduction of the parents and the listing of their children you can have intervening text or notes so that the grammatical link between the named parents and "They" is broken.

ie, "They" may seem to relate to another couple in the intervening note.

For that reason, Mike, I suggest that the parents' Christian names be used. to introduce the listing of the children:

George and Elizabeth had the following children:

Yes, I would like to see a format per the PAF example introduced as the default for RM.

#4 Renee Zamora

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 09:26 AM

Confirming enhancement request is in our tracking system.
Renee
RootsMagic

#5 craigg

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 05:53 PM

It seems to me that there are two things that can be done to satisfy this request.
1. Implement some sort of paragraph indication in template sentences and notes. This would give you the format as indicated by the PAF sample.
2. Allow for a sentence template for the "had the following children" sentence, like the sentence template for "people with no entered facts".
It seems to me that the other items that are being requested, i.e the format of names/he/she in the sentences can already be taken care of with the existing sentence template language.
My feeling is that the software should make the narrative reports as flexible as possible, without forcing people into formats and structure that they do not want.

#6 Mark Prendegast

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 08:25 PM

Mike: You do not have an email address posted...

The Joseph Dymond of Blyth referred to in your example - was he the famous 18th century astronomer?

#7 Romer

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 08:44 PM

Even if a person doesn't have an email address posted, you can send a private message through his profile.

#8 Mike Power

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 10:21 PM

Even if a person doesn't have an email address posted, you can send a private message through his profile.


Thanks Romer but can I have your advice re how its done. I have tried to respond through Mark's profile and, failing that, looked for the private message facility in my own. No joy! (Its my aging eyes...)

#9 kbens0n

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 10:26 PM

Thanks Romer but can I have your advice re how its done. I have tried to respond through Mark's profile and, failing that, looks for the facility in my own. No joy!

Are you saying that you went to his profile, clicked his <Send me a message> button, composed and sent a message to him ...but he didn't respond? That may be because he hasn't noticed the <Notifications> icon (square with head and shoulders) at the top of his browser (when logged in) which indicates he has a message waiting.

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#10 Mike Power

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 11:50 PM

Thanks kbens0n