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Anyone up for another round of "how to handle sources"

sources templates freeform gedcom short footnotes bibliography

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#1 texas_nightowl

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Posted 22 February 2015 - 11:59 AM

I typed a long, long, long post. But really it boiled down to 2 "questions":
 
 - Do you use templates or freeform and if you use freeform, what was your primary reason (gedcom export or other)?
 
 - In terms of census sources in particular, do your short footnotes end up containing ALL the same data as your regular footnotes? (Especially if you are a lumper or even a moderate splitter, since all subsequent instances using the same source use the short footnote. So even if you split on county level, families in different townships, etc. would use the same source and you would need all identifying information in the short footnote.)
Is there a way to set RM to use full footnotes all the time and never use Short (other than making them identical in the source template)?
 
I know this is much discussed, and I myself have asked about parts of this topic before, but I keep going round and round on template vs. freeform (vs. mostly freeform by TomH's myfreeform3). But I haven't been 100% committed to one over the other and I really need to do so and just stick with it. I have done a bit of re-examining and printing sample reports to check output which is why I am looking for input. For what it is worth, I would prefer to lump when possible but I end up being a conservative splitter (ie. I think my census sources are going to end up split at the county level).
 
In short, if only template citations exported to GEDCOM cleanly, there wouldn't be any dilemma at all. I would use templates no question.
 
And oops...one more question also. Bibliography...I experimented and had a couple census sources split at county level (though, I had the jurisdiction, ie. county, as a detail field). I then cited those sources and printed a report with bibliography.  Instead of having just one "1860 U.S. Census" listing in the biblio, I had multiple even though the lines were exactly the same (since the jurisdiction was a detail field, it did not effect my Biblio template).  Alternately, with county jurisdiction as a master field, I would have "1860 U.S. Census, County 1, State 1" and "1860 U.S. Census, County 2, State 1", etc. Is there any good way to split sources, ie. census at county level, but still have just ONE biblio entry. In other words, I really don't want 50 or 100 "1860 U.S. Census" entries in a bibliography. Honestly, I probably won't print a biblio all that often, but still...
 
 
I'm going to place some of my extracts from my first really long draft in the next post...stuff that was part defining, part analyzing, part explanation, part stream of consciousness, etc.  :rolleyes:


#2 texas_nightowl

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Posted 22 February 2015 - 12:00 PM

As mentioned, here's more of the really really long version:

 


 

Here are some of the extracts from my first really long draft where I wrote everything I thought ;>

 
 
Template VS FreeForm
1. GEDCOM export: Use freeform to export cleanly; Templates will be a mess...possible workaround by using TomH's sql scripts
2. Consistency: Templates win here but if you place notes in a freeform "template" comment, and follow them, you can keep your footnotes consistent.
3. Paralysis of choice...too many templates to choose from
4. Love the customization of building your own template
 
 
The importance of GEDCOM export (a and b being most important):
 a - transfer to other people (father, cousin, uncle, or, on occasion, hired genealogist)
 b - what if I need to switch programs (what if RM shuts down like TMG did or what if I don't like the re-write or what if RM continues to throw more focus on features I could care less about as opposed to fixing features that are supposed to work but don't)
 c - tablet and smartphone apps (most use gedcom to display at the moment; but only really important when travelling or in library)
 
 
 The SHORT FOOTNOTE problem. The SHORT really has to contain all (or almost!) the same info as the regular Footnote because, if multiple people share a source, even if they are from different families, the full footnote is used only the first time and short footnotes subsequently. So, ALL subsequent families in the same census year using that source will only get a Short Footnote. But you need all the identifying data to be an appropriate citation in a report.
 
For example, here is a footnote for 1860 Census (totally made up data):
 
1860 U.S. Census, population schedule, Donut County, Texas; NARA Microfilm M563, Roll 99, accessed by digital image on ancestry.com on 01 Jan 2015, Apple Township, City Post Office, page 99 [hw] 200 [s], line 10, house 400, family 450; household of John Doe.
 
Here is what I came up with as a short footnote for what would be a different family in the same county (ie. same source) but different twp, etc.(use of abbreviations I can save some space). 
 
1860 U.S. Census, pop. sch., Donut Co., Texas; Carrot Twp., City P.O., page 25 [hw] 100 [s], L2, H40, F45; household of John Smith.
 
You notice that I left out the "accessed" info and the roll number in the Short Footnote. Even with a split at County levels, the Short Footnote problem exists as counties can be split over multiple rolls and accessed data would be different. 
 
So...SHORT FOOTNOTE questions:
 - Should I include Roll # in the short footnote? It would be different for different locations. But in this day and age is it really needed to find the census data?
 - Should I include the accessed info? It would be different in subsequent uses.
 - Do I need all of line, house, family if I have the page numbers and head of household?
 - Do most of you set Short Footnote to be the same as Footnote?


#3 Don Newcomb

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Posted 23 February 2015 - 08:58 PM

World's biggest lumper. At 515 master sources, I'm pretty reluctant to add more as RM's source manager can't handle different sorts and searches. Yesterday I found that I had duplicated a source with a slightly different name. If the source manager had been more advanced, I might have found it sooner by sorting by author. 

 

I have one source for each US census from 1850-1940 and a general "census" for state, local and UK censuses. I use templates but still have many free-form sources left over from the old days. 



#4 texas_nightowl

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Posted 24 February 2015 - 10:03 AM

Thank you for the response Don!

 

I have been playing with trying to lump for census sources. I would prefer to only have one source per year which also resolves the bibliography problem so that I only have one biblio entry per year (not that I print a biblio often, but still).

 

However, regardless of lump vs. split, I am mostly playing with template vs. free form. And while I would love to use templates, it really, really bothers me how mangled the citations become if they are exported to gedcom.

 

Are you in a position where export to gedcom doesn't matter? For example, if you share information with other people is it primarily via reports instead of exported files?  

 

As an example, here is a citation that I formed using a custom template (with made up info) for the 1860 Census:

 

Footnote: 1860 U.S. Census, population schedule, Bell County, Texas, NARA Microfilm M593, Roll 62, (digital image on ancestry.com, 20 Jan 2015); Belton, page 20 [hw] 200 [st], Line 10, Dwelling 50, Family 52; household of John Doe.

 

and here is the same after export to gedcom (with RM specific features disabled):

 

Footnote: 1860 U.S. Census, population schedule, , NARA Microfilm M593, (); , page , ; ., Bell County, Texas||Bell Co., TX; 62; digital image on ancestry.com, 20 Jan 2015; Belton; 20 [hw] 200 [st]; Line 10, Dwelling 50, Family 52||L10, D50, F52; household of John Doe.

 

Why oh why can't RM export the "compiled" footnote to gedcom?



#5 zhangrau

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Posted 24 February 2015 - 01:13 PM

I'm a lumper as concerns sources & citations. My database Properties currently shows 363K people, 12K sources, and over 2 million citations.

 

I have many old sources in free form, but I construct all of my new ones using a template. On the other hand, the only template that I regularly use is the Book, Basic Format template. It prints out in Publisher books quite nicely (both for Endnotes and Bibliography).

 

Honestly, I'm amazed at how much time and effort some folks put into their citations. I agree that the main (perhaps the only?) point of constructing a citation is to allow myself or another researcher to re-find, verify, etc. That being said, my lumper tendencies have lead me to keep my citations simple - just enough info - without trying to align with standards created for academic publishing.



#6 Don Newcomb

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Posted 24 February 2015 - 06:07 PM

 

Are you in a position where export to gedcom doesn't matter? For example, if you share information with other people is it primarily via reports instead of exported files?  

 

 

Why oh why can't RM export the "compiled" footnote to gedcom?

 

 

 

Frankly, despite the fact that I've copied stuff to Ancestry.com and have data on two websites, not that many people have contacted me about my research. The few that do, we just find a way to work it out.  I think there are some options I'd like to see in GEDCOM exports: 1) Flatten the sources so that they are GEDCOM standard and 2) break shared facts into individual facts. 



#7 TomH

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Posted 24 February 2015 - 09:03 PM

Currently, clean export to GEDCOM can be achieved by:
Free Form or free-form-like templates such as !MyFreeForm3,
Extremely/Ultimately split sources using any template; a SQLite script can convert a database (copy) to ultimately split for export,
Hybrid templates that have incorporated free-form fields for export and complex templates for reports with a ForceFF toggle field set by a SQLite script.

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.


#8 texas_nightowl

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Posted 28 February 2015 - 04:50 AM

I've spent a few more days mulling all this over. I just can't get over how mangled the citations that use (complex) templates are when exported to gedcom.

 

Plus, I really want to have just 1 census source per census year. And, for those times when I do want a bibliography, I don't want hundreds of entries that are identical.

 

And I don't want to have to rely on doing SQL queries.

 

And while I am willing to split on some levels, I am not at heart an extreme splitter.

 

So...I am proceeding down the path of freeform. At least, mostly. I am starting with Tom's myfreeform3 template. (Though I edited the names of the 2 detail text fields. Instead of "Page" and "ShortPage" they are now "RollAccess" and "FamInfo". [RollAccess] I will use to record the NARA film roll number and how I accessed it. [FamInfo] is all the other details of the census citation.

 

Here is how my citations for the 1860 Census look:

Footnote: 1860 U.S. Census, population schedule, NARA microfilm publication M593. Roll 1023 (digital image, ancestry.com, 15 Feb 2015); Pickaway County, Ohio: Wayne Township, page 81 [hw] 284 [st], line 31, dwelling 531, family 547; household of Thomas Wardell.

Short Footnote: 1860 U.S. Census, pop. sch. Pickaway County, Ohio: Wayne Township, page 81 [hw] 284 [st], line 31, dwelling 531, family 547; household of Thomas Wardell.

Bibliography: United States, 1860 Census, population schedule, NARA microfilm publication M593. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration.

 

I'm going to keep going down this path and hopefully it will work out as I expect.







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