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Adventures in Extreme Splitting


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#61 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 13 November 2014 - 08:31 AM

This thread has become pretty stale, but nevertheless I thought that sharing an additional experience with extreme splitting would fit better here than in a new thread.

 

For the first time since embarking on my extreme splitting adventure, I have used extreme splitting for census sources. I settled on the level of splitting for census data as being one Master Source in RM for each census page. I have been quite satisfied with the results. These are U.S. Population Schedules and I get my images from ancestry.com. Each image is attached at the Master Source level, and so far each Master Source has only have one image (a point I will return to shortly).

 

I place my census transcriptions into the Master Text area of the Master Source. I have chosen to use the Source Text area rather than the Source Comments area, but that would be an individual choice for any users who might wish to use similar techniques. I do not transcribe an entire census page if, for example, I'm only using the page as a source for one or two families. I only transcribe the families I'm actually using. For many years, I have maintained Web pages with census transcriptions, totally separate from RM. For each family, there is a transcription and a narrative. I'm still maintaining these separate Web pages. When I research a family in the census, in addition to creating the transcription and narrative on my separate Web pages I now copy and paste the transcription and narrative into the aforementioned Source Text area of the Master Source. The transcriptions look better on my Web pages than in the Source Text area because they are rendered in a non-proportional font so they line up correctly (I use the <pre> tag in the HTML). There is no way to accomplish the same thing in the Source Text note, nor in any other kind of note in RM. If there are multiple families I'm researching on the same census page (and there usually are), then I copy and paste all of them from my Web page into the same Source Text note in the same Master Source. It's really easy and fast to do so.

 

I wondered about the need or value to copy and paste my census transcriptions and narratives from my Web pages into RM. But I finally decided that without doing so, the linkage between the two was just too tenuous for long term data integrity (over decades or even longer). Plus, the copy/paste process is extremely easy and fast, and with extreme splitting it it only has to be done once. My census transcriptions also get copied and pasted into census fact notes. But they way they are formatted there is for display in narrative reports and is very different in format than what I am copying and pasting into the Source Text of RM's Master Source.

 

As to each Master Source being associated with only one census image, there are cases (especially pre-1850) where one "census page" is really two pages in the census book - the left facing page and the right facing page are really one big double page. On microfilm or at ancestry.com, one of these "double pages" appears as two images. Most people only look at the left facing page, but I find useful information also on the right facing page. So if you want to link the entire double page into a single RM Master Source, you either have to link in two images or else you have to convert the two images into a single multiple page graphics file. I do the latter, and convert the two images into a multiple page TIF file.

 

Finally, I have not processed any other kinds of censuses in this extremely splitting way yet, but I can't think of any reason they wouldn't work. They would include state censuses, censuses from other countries, and non-population U.S. schedules such as the agricultural schedules.

 

Jerry



#62 Laura

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Posted 13 November 2014 - 09:32 AM

You may also have to decide what to do when the household is split between two pages, part of the household is at bottom of a page and the rest at the top of the next page.

Do you create a source for each page or do you create one source referencing both pages?

#63 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 13 November 2014 - 02:17 PM

You may also have to decide what to do when the household is split between two pages, part of the household is at bottom of a page and the rest at the top of the next page.

Do you create a source for each page or do you create one source referencing both pages?

 

For years, I've occasionally had census transcriptions that span two pages as you describe, and to tell you the truth you can't tell from my transcriptions that such spanning has taken place. I document the family as if their data were contained entirely on the first of the two pages. I'm sure that Elizabeth Shown Mills would shoot me for that, but that's the way I've done it. So I think I'll continue in the same manner for transcriptions, and there is no real adverse effect on anybody's ability to locate the record. I do capture both images as a single multi-page TIF file. The difference moving forward with extreme splitting is that the images will be linked to a Master Source rather than to a Source Detail.

 

As you might surmise, I don't document line numbers from the census pages. I document dwelling numbers and family numbers instead, which I think is more than enough to identify the precise source of the data. The exception is the pre-1850 U.S. censuses where there are no dwelling and house numbers. For the pre-1850 censuses, I do document the line number in lieu of the dwelling and house numbers. But all the pre-1850 census entries are only one line, so no spanning between pages is possible.

 

Jerry



#64 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 28 December 2014 - 11:58 AM

Here are a couple of screencasts showing how I use extremely split sources with obituaries. The first is about 11 minutes long. The second is an addendum to the first, and is about 1 minute long.

 

http://screencast.com/t/IQ7195up

http://screencast.com/t/LwiRamGh0

 

Jerry



#65 TomH

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Posted 28 December 2014 - 01:00 PM

Thanks for the screencasts, Jerry, and the introduction to Agent Ransack - it looks very useful. Your screencast illustrates very nicely how, with extreme splitting, you can create the entire source and citation solely as a Master Source, organize to manage large numbers, use precedents to expedite and achieve consistency, use File type for media so the default Windows app views opens them instead of the RM viewer, etc...

Tom user of RM7550 FTM2017 Ancestry.ca FamilySearch.org FindMyPast.com
SQLite_Tools_For_Roots_Magic_in_PR_Celti wiki, exploiting the database in special ways >>> RMtrix-tiny.png app, a bundle of RootsMagic utilities.


#66 Nettie

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Posted 29 December 2014 - 03:05 PM

Jerry also thanks for the software suggestion. Compared it with Xplorer 2 [free] and both are the same level of finding items. Time and no of...

Am enjoying your writing on extreme splitter.  Need to study this further.  having over a thousand sources, with many people in each one. . . . .  well, again, need to read further...  Happy New Year...


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#67 Paul Harris

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Posted 01 January 2015 - 10:15 PM

Jerry, Tom, et. al,

 

Some time ago in this thread there was a lament, or wish, that Source Details could be used in multiple Citations rather than copied and pasted, so changes could be made in one record instead of many. In re-reading that discussion it has occurred to me that this very function was available to me when I was using Genbox. Essentially, you could have a Source Record (Master Source) OR you could create a Higher Source/Lower Source combination. What this allowed you to do is record fields that were common to multiple citations in the Higher Source, then attach a Lower Source Record with the fields that varied, similar to RM's Master Source/Source Details with one important distinction, you could attach multiple Lower Source Records. The Higher and Lower Source Records were common to a citation that could be used in multiple locations. This was an ideal solution for the extreme splitter that I have always been.

 

Higher Source = Census Page Information

Lower Source = Line Description on Census Page

Citation Detail = Individual Item on Line

 

In this way I could create separate sources for each line, but only have to enter the page information one time. It was the answer to the problem you were discussing. Miss that capability.

 

Paul