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#1 CRH

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 06:06 AM

Even after reading a number of previous postings and lots on the web, I am still confused about how to record sources in RM6.

I have a database consisting of almost 500 people, most of them entered from memory or from information from other members of the family. I have now started searching for sources and have some certified copies of some BMD certificates purchased from the GRO (General Register Office) in the UK. I also have a large collection of BMD Transcripts and some UK 1901 and 1911 Census Transcripts obtained from www.findmypast.co.uk and, www.ancestry.co.uk.

As I have no source or repository information entered in RM6 yet, I want to get the structure right, so I would appreciate some guidance as to how to setup the structure, from the top level (e.g. UK General Register Office) down to the more specific (e.g. County, Registration District, sub-district, year, quarter, volume and page, in such a way that I don't have to repeat anything except the most specific (e.g. volume and page) for each individual. This would reduce the amount of work and maintain consistency.

I would also like to understand how to use the Source List, Repository List and Source Templates.

Once I have completed all the UK sources, I will attempt to obtain sources from a number of other countries including USA, Canada, Sweden, Russia, Argentina, Mexico, and many more. I need the structure to allow for this as well.

A big question I know and I would appreciate help in getting this right from the start.

Thanks

#2 Don Newcomb

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 07:45 AM

Don't feel bad because everyone else is confused too. At least there's a bit of contention on how to best go about it. You might find it helpful to watch the Webinar on sources and citations. There tend to be two camps: splitters and lumpers. The splitters want to create a new master source for every scrap of paper or phone call. Lumpers create general categories of information (e.g. "Civil Registration of Birth", "Personal Communication", etc) and then use the citation details to specify exactly which piece of paper. By default, RootsMagic tends to encourage extreme splitting. For instance the sources templates are set up to encourage you to have a different master source for every US census year in every US county. That's thousands of potential master sources. Unfortunately the source manager, with its flat table arrangement, is simply not up to handling thousands and thousands of master sources. You could never find the source you are looking for. I tend to be a bit of a lumper. I have one master source for each regular decennial US census year and a general source for non-US and special local censuses. I have one source for the "Free BMD" website. Despite my lumping I still have 516 master sources in my main file and it's hard enough to find a source when I need it. I shudder to think what would happen were I a "splitter".

#3 Laura

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 11:45 AM

CRH, DON'T go into adding sources to RM with a mind block that they are hard to understand.

You just have some choices to make, whether to use Free Form or Source templates, where to split a source between the Master source and Source details, what to enter in Source detail, Detail text, where to link media, Master source, Source detail or both.

Create a new database and drag and drop a few people in to it. Experiment with how you want to add sources in the Play database. Check how the source prints in reports. When you have decided what works for you, then make the changes in your main database. If the Play database gets too confusing, delete the database and create a new one.

The premise for sources are very simple. Master source + Source detail = Source citation.

From your example: UK General Register Office, County, Registration District, sub-district, year, quarter, volume, page. [Laying what you want to be in the full source citation like this is very useful for choosing what part you want in the Master source and what part you want to enter into Source details when the Master source is linked from the Edit person screen.]

Master source = UK General Register Office, County, Registration District, sub-district, year, quarter

Source detail = volume and page

I would probably also put the year and quarter in the Source detail

You will need to decide whether to use Free form or Source templates, program defined or user defined. I use Free form because I export gedcoms for use in other programs and few if any other programs will import Sources from source templates as is.

I enter a template of what to enter into the source detail in the Master source text box which doesn't print in reports except for the Source list report. I can see this template in the right pane when I link a Master source and enter the Source detail.

It isn't the number of Master sources you have that determines if you can find the source quickly in the master source list. It is how you name the source. I have more than 2,000 sources in my Master source list and have no trouble finding any Master source.

My U. S. census sources are named Year, State, County, NARA number and roll. Books are named Book, Book name, Volume [if needed], Author [Last name, Given name]. State or County specific sources are named State, All, Type of source, dates covered in source. if the source covers the whole state or State, County, Type of source, dates covered in source.

Watch Webinar 5, Sources, Citations and Documentation with RootsMagic

#4 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 12:20 PM

I would answer very similarly to Laura, except that I couldn't possibly put together a narrative that's as cogent and as well thought out as hers.

I'm a recent convert from being an extreme source lumper to being an extreme source splitter. I was a lumper because of the reasons that Don Newcomb laid out. Conceptually, lumping really makes a lot of sense. But there are aspects of the way RM handles sources that end up making lumped sources very hard to manage. I concur with Laura that a number of Master Sources doesn't really matter as long as you have a very strong naming convention for your master sources.

As a newly converted extreme splitter, I still agree conceptually with the premise that Source Citation = Master Source + Source Detail, and that's certainly how I think of it. But even though that's the way I think of it, I store the whole Source Citation - which is to say, the whole footnote sentence - in RM's Master Source.

For two reasons, I only use the Free Form sources. One reason is the one Laura described where the use of RM's source templates makes GEDCOM difficult to import into other genealogy software. The other reason is that I often cannot figure out what to enter into RM's source templates. I actually find it easier just to look in an authority such as "Evidence Explained" to see what a footnote sentence should look like than it is to figure out what to enter into each field of RM's source templates. And after I have a Free Form source figured out, I can then copy it and modify it for other similar sources rather than having to figure out a footenote sentence out all over again.

Because of my choice of extreme splitting, I attach media only to Master Sources, and I only enter comments or transcriptions - that sort of thing - into the Master text (Source text) and Master Text (Source comments) fields. I never use any of the Detail text fields.

But your mileage may vary. Please take very seriously Laura's suggestions about a play database and try things out - especially they way they look in reports - before committing to how you will do things in your production database.

Jerry

#5 Don Newcomb

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 12:30 PM

The premise for sources are very simple. Master source + Source detail = Source citation.

From your example: UK General Register Office, County, Registration District, sub-district, year, quarter, volume, page. [Laying what you want to be in the full source citation like this is very useful for choosing what part you want in the Master source and what part you want to enter into Source details when the Master source is linked from the Edit person screen.]

Master source = UK General Register Office, County, Registration District, sub-district, year, quarter

Source detail = volume and page

I would probably also put the year and quarter in the Source detail

You can see from this discussion that Laura is an example of a "splitter". By following the example above one could potentially create tens of thousands of master sources just for the England/Wales GRO records. There are roughly 1165 Districts for say 150 years, four quarters per year. It comes out to at least 699,000 master sources. Even if you just go with Districts, with year and quarter in the detail, that's 1165 master sources. (More than I have total at this moment.) This is the reason that I would have one single master source for "England/ Wales GRO Civil Registration Birth" and put the District, Year, Quarter, Volume, Page, etc. all in the citation details.

Mind you, I'm not saying I'm right and she's wrong. Only that we see and do things a little differently. I like to keep the number of master sources as low as possible so that I can find the master source when I need it again. Laura likes to be pretty specific.

The only point of my discussion is that you need to decide which model better satisfies your needs.

#6 Laura

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 02:08 PM

I don't consider myself a splitter. I could best be described as a lumper although I am not an extreme lumper. I guess it depends on the posters understanding of the inexact terms of extreme lumper, lumper, splitter or extreme splitter as they are used on these boards.

I don't mind correcting Source details when needed.

I will have more Master sources than an extreme lumper and a lot less Master sources than a splitter or extreme splitter.

A user should enter sources as they determine how it is best for them. No way is a right or wrong way.

Jerry, thanks for the compliment.

#7 TomH

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 07:17 PM

For citations that are completely contained within the Master Source fields, the term "ultimate splitting" is appropriate; it is the logical limit of "extreme splitting". To add to your considerations, citations imported from FamilySearch Family Tree are US (ultimate, not united); I forget how Ancestry's come in; other sites may vary. If you start with lumping, you can later convert to US using procedures I described at http://sqlitetoolsfo...treme Splitting

Tom user of RM7630 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.


#8 CRH

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 07:49 PM

Thank you all so much for the helpful and practical replies. As well these, I watched over two hours of RM webinars and I think the light is just beginning to shine through.
I intend to make a copy of my database (with a different name) so that I can see what works for me – very good advice - and will try out the various methods of recording my sources.
One further question: If I create a new master source from a template, can source details fields be edited, deleted or added?

#9 TomH

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 08:07 PM

Yes, but beware that every source using the same template is affected by changes to the template AND built in templates cannot be edited! A copy of a built in template is editable so create your source on a copied template. Also beware that field values do not follow a field move between Master and Source Detail nor to a renamed field so it is better to edit your template with test values before using it in earnest. Free Form is so much simpler.

Tom user of RM7630 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.


#10 Don Newcomb

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 08:13 PM

One further question: If I create a new master source from a template, can source details fields be edited, deleted or added?

As I understand it, "Details" applies to citations. Every citation has details. Changes made to the citation details only apply to that citation, not to the master source. For instance, I have the New England Historical Genealogical Register (a periodical) as a Master Source. The citation will include the year, volume and page(s). With the citation I can add detail text and comments. The detail text might be a verbatim quote from the article. This information only stays with this citation and its copies, by using the citation copy and paste function.

#11 CRH

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 08:23 PM

I understand that source details only apply to a specific citation. I was trying to work out how to change or add fields so that I can include fields for the year, volume, page, etc.in the individual citation,

#12 Don Newcomb

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 07:25 AM

I understand that source details only apply to a specific citation. I was trying to work out how to change or add fields so that I can include fields for the year, volume, page, etc.in the individual citation,

If you want to modify the information that a class of source contains, you have to change its source template. The hierarchy goes templates -> sources -> citations. RM provides many templates to pick from and I don't recall that I ever made my own template. There's a webinar on this #48 Sentence and Source Templates in RootsMagic. The template is a model of how a particular type of source is cited.

#13 CRH

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 09:19 AM

I watched webinar #48, Sentence and Source Templates in RootsMagic, and have now taken an existing template and created a modified copy that includes the source detail fields that are included in the UK BMD Transcripts. I haven't made any changes to the sentence templates yet but I hope that this is enough to allow me to start entering my sources.

Thank you all for your valuable advice.

#14 reddog_ks

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 11:18 AM

I now use sources for my entries. However I find myself using the added feature of Add Person which permits multiple facts. A big feature of this form is that it can be customized (thanks to Bruce). I suggest that one for feature be added . It would be neat to be able to add a single source to all of the facts entered by checking a single box and then entering the source name. This would save me hours of time and several replacement mice.

#15 Renee Zamora

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 10:07 AM

Confirming enhancement request is in our tracking system.
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#16 MikeZ

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 01:50 PM

I am also a "lumper" of sorts. Similar to what others have noted here, have only used free-form sources and use one master for each census year - Census, US: 1850 US Census, Census, US: 1860, etc.

For me the "magic" happens in the Source Details, Page Number field. While using RM3, I formulated a field structure that seemed logical to me, was easy to enter, and helped me quickly identify the parameters I found useful when reviewing a list of sources for a particular individual (e.g., migration path). An example would be: 1039, Cheshire, ED106, pg 7A, lines 31-40. The first number is the film's reel no., Next is the City, Ward No. (if given), Enumeration District, page no. and line nos. for the family group or person.

For me this structure works very well, and I'm sure others may have their own version.

The one problem I have with RM6 is that the listing of sources (Source Names) in the Citation manager display do not sort alpha-numericaly as they did in RM3. Instead they default to the order in which they were entered. I really wish this could be changed.

User since Family Origins 2.0, Now using RM 7.5...


#17 zhangrau

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 07:58 PM

MikeZ said:
"The one problem I have with RM6 is that the listing of sources (Source Names) in the Citation manager display do not sort alpha-numericaly as they did in RM3. Instead they default to the order in which they were entered. I really wish this could be changed."
-
I agree. I have quite a lot of individuals with more than 20 sources. Since RM6 will only allow me to review them in the order they were added, it can get confusing to review and/or add additional sources. Why can't we click on the heading of a column for sorting? Since the date (and probably the time) a source was added have been stored in some table, the programmers could add a display of that column to facilitate the currently-forced chronological display order.

#18 Renee Zamora

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 11:45 AM

Confirming enhancement request is in our tracking system.
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