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#1 marian24

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Posted 06 October 2015 - 04:15 PM

Hello. I am new to roots magic. Can anyone give me some tips and cues as to how it works? I have been working on building my family tree but have no idea as of yet how to start. 



#2 marian24

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Posted 06 October 2015 - 04:18 PM

Can anyone who have been using roots magic for a while give me some feedback as to how effective the version 7 software is? 



#3 marian24

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Posted 06 October 2015 - 04:20 PM

How do i start building or tracing my family tree with roots magic?



#4 Renee Zamora

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Posted 06 October 2015 - 04:57 PM

If you go to Help>Learning Center you will see our webinars and videos links that demonstrate how to use RootsMagic. It is the best place to start. The first Webinar "Getting Started with RootsMagic" was made with version 4 so some screens will be different. The basic information you need is still there. Later webinars and videos will discuss the changes in the program since then. 


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#5 Don Newcomb

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Posted 08 October 2015 - 06:15 AM

One of the most important decisions you will have to make when using Roots Magic is how you plan to organize your research source documentation.  Documentation is very important. Without it genealogy is just "family legend."  Roots Magic has tremendous facilities for encouraging good documentation. There are three layers: Master Source Templates (the patterns used to create master source references.), Master Sources (reusable references to sources like books, cemetery records, etc) and Source Citations (the actual reference to the page in the book, which gets attached to Facts).  However, the system Roots Magic uses encourages an extreme version of source splitting. For instance, the master source templates for the US census encourage you to create a new master source for every county for each year of the census. For a large database, this could mean that you would have tens of thousands of master sources, just for the US census. Similarly, Roots Magic would have you create a new master source for every document (e.g. birth certificate, will, etc.) Since the source manager has a simple flat table structure, this would be completely unmanageable. So, your first decision should be how you will go about tailoring the master source templates to align with your documentation needs. 

 

Another decision you will need to make is how to enter geographic locations. My suggestion is to just follow the default. I personally only use the city, county & state in the US and city & county in UK, leaving off the "United States" and "United Kingdom" but this has some side effects. 

 

What do you do when you only know a woman's married name? As far as I know, there is no standard for how to enter this. In genealogy you normally refer to women by their maiden names, but what if you don't know it? I personally prepend an asterisk to the last name (e.g. *Smith) other people do other things. 

 

Try not to fight with the program. Learn how it works and go with the system as best you can. It's like using a word processor. If you try to use it as a typewriter, you will be constantly frustrated.  Only when you learn how to use it as it was intended to be used can you see the advantages.  Start off with a small database of under 100 people Try using all the features to see how they work. If something does not seem to work right, go back and figure out what you are doing that it confusing the system. 



#6 John_of_Ross_County

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Posted 08 October 2015 - 10:37 AM

Study the help file for "Place Details" and search this discussion page for all of the implications. 

 

Do you use the full state name or just the two letter Post Office code as I do?

 

Consider the "County Check" option and does it match the way you like to enter place names.  For what it is worth, I don't use it.



#7 MVS

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Posted 09 October 2015 - 02:23 AM

Make a decision on whether you want to use the "Shared Events" facility or not  It does not necessarily do all the things you might expect and has implications if you plan to export your data for use in other programs of to send to other genealogists (there are workarounds to some of the limitations).  Search this Forum and you will find a lot of threads on Shared Events and limitations of this feature.

 

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#8 MansfieldTerrier

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Posted 09 October 2015 - 02:36 AM

One of the most important decisions you will have to make when using Roots Magic is how you plan to organize your research source documentation.  Documentation is very important. Without it genealogy is just "family legend."  Roots Magic has tremendous facilities for encouraging good documentation. There are three layers: Master Source Templates (the patterns used to create master source references.), Master Sources (reusable references to sources like books, cemetery records, etc) and Source Citations (the actual reference to the page in the book, which gets attached to Facts).  However, the system Roots Magic uses encourages an extreme version of source splitting. For instance, the master source templates for the US census encourage you to create a new master source for every county for each year of the census. For a large database, this could mean that you would have tens of thousands of master sources, just for the US census. Similarly, Roots Magic would have you create a new master source for every document (e.g. birth certificate, will, etc.) Since the source manager has a simple flat table structure, this would be completely unmanageable. So, your first decision should be how you will go about tailoring the master source templates to align with your documentation needs. 

 

Another decision you will need to make is how to enter geographic locations. My suggestion is to just follow the default. I personally only use the city, county & state in the US and city & county in UK, leaving off the "United States" and "United Kingdom" but this has some side effects. 

 

What do you do when you only know a woman's married name? As far as I know, there is no standard for how to enter this. In genealogy you normally refer to women by their maiden names, but what if you don't know it? I personally prepend an asterisk to the last name (e.g. *Smith) other people do other things. 

 

Try not to fight with the program. Learn how it works and go with the system as best you can. It's like using a word processor. If you try to use it as a typewriter, you will be constantly frustrated.  Only when you learn how to use it as it was intended to be used can you see the advantages.  Start off with a small database of under 100 people Try using all the features to see how they work. If something does not seem to work right, go back and figure out what you are doing that it confusing the system. 

 

This is an excellent suggestion and one which I will now employ.

Certainly beats having a lot of women belonging to the ever-increasing 'Unknown' family! :D


MT ;)

 

Looking for Pashby, Bird, Sedman, Sutton and Dobson in Scarborough, UK


#9 Don Newcomb

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Posted 09 October 2015 - 05:21 AM

Make a decision on whether you want to use the "Shared Events" facility or not  It does not necessarily do all the things you might expect and has implications if you plan to export your data for use in other programs of to send to other genealogists (there are workarounds to some of the limitations).  Search this Forum and you will find a lot of threads on Shared Events and limitations of this feature.

 

MVS

 

Very good suggestion. Understand what shared events do before using them. I personally, use shared events but they will make it difficult if you are trying to collaborate with others who don't use RootsMagic. 

 

 

This is an excellent suggestion and one which I will now employ.

Certainly beats having a lot of women belonging to the ever-increasing 'Unknown' family! :D

 

If anyone ever comes up with a "standard" method for marking a woman's surname as married vs maiden, I will quickly convert all the asterisks in my database to whatever the standard is but, for now, this works for me. Doing this 1) makes it clear to me that this is her married name and 2) prevents all the Marys and Janes  from matching on all the other Marys and Janes in the database.