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#21 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 10 November 2020 - 10:33 PM

As you suggest, one of the nice things about being an extreme source splitter in RM is that you can prepare an RM Master Source for use as a distinct step, separate from the data entry for people, events, places, etc. For quite a few years after becoming an extreme source splitter, that's the way I did it. For whatever reason, my process for creating a new Master Source has evolved into something similar but not quite as distinct. For example, suppose I am creating a new Master Source for death certificate.

 

From Death fact, I will tell RM to Cite An Existing Source, even though the source I'm about to cite doesn't exist yet. This step takes you from the Edit Person screen directly into what is essentially Lists>Source List. From the Source List, I will move down to an existing Master Source for a Death Certificate and Copy it. The copy will be identical to the original except that the name will have (Copy) appended. This (Copy) is the "existing source" which I will site. Having an existing and correctly entered source to work with is much easier than creating a new Master Source completely from scratch. So I will edit the newly created source as needed and rename it as needed. At that point, I am done with the citation for the Death fact. But the same citation usually also serves as evidence for other things like the person's name, their birth date, and their parents. So I will Memorize and Paste the newly created Master Source to these other places.

 

It may or may not be obvious from this description, but one of the most irritating part of this  process is simply navigating to the the desired Master Source in a rather large list of Master Sources. I hope this is much improved in RM8. In any case, if I create a new Master Source by copying an existing one and editing the copy and if I do the creation from Lists>Source List, then I have to do said navigation in the Source List twice. But if I do it as described from the Edit Person screen, I only have to do the navigation in the Source List once.

 

Jerry



#22 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 10 November 2020 - 10:37 PM

It's important to have good Master Source names. It took me years to come up with a scheme that really works well for me. The trick finally turned out to be coming up with good footnote sentences and then copying and pasting significant pieces of the footnote sentences into the Master Source name. Among other things, that means that the Master Source name is the last thing I do when I create a Master Source because I can't copy and paste a piece of the footnote sentence into the Master Source name until I have first entered enough data into my template to create the footnote sentence.

 

Jerry



#23 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 10 November 2020 - 10:42 PM

I use source notes exactly as you describe. My only comment is that I do all all transcription outside of RM. Usually, I just use Notepad, and sometimes I use Microsoft Word. I then copy and paste my transcription into RM. I just find it too hard to work with RM's modal windows and tiny fonts while I'm transcribing. I realize RM8 will be much less modal than RM7, but I doubt I will move my transcription process into RM8. I will surely continue to transcribe outside of RM and then copy and paste into RM8.

 

For the most part I don't use RM's Source Comments field. I probably should, but I just didn't get into the habit in the first place and it's hard to go back and create all such comments after the fact. I commend you for getting that part of your process right from the beginning.

 

Jerry



#24 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 10 November 2020 - 10:45 PM

I don't use RM's Refence Number fields. I probably should, except that I find that I'm really linking to images of my documents rather than to paper copies of my documents. So what is important to me is the link to the file path for the images and that is taken care of. This is surely a major defect in my process, but one that it's much too late to correct.

 

Jerry



#25 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 10 November 2020 - 10:57 PM

You mention extreme source splitting but also mention entering data in RM's Source Details. With one exception, I'm a little puzzled about using Source Details with extreme source splitting. As an extreme source splitter, I put absolutely nothing in RM's Source Details.

 

The one exception that's a fly in the ointment is that Citation Quality of necessity has to be in the Source Details. That's because a document such as a death certificate is often a higher quality source for the Death Fact than it is for the Birth Fact or a person's name. So you can need a different Citation Quality for each citation of the same death certificate. So as an extreme source splitter, I don't use RM's Citation Quality feature. I know I should. But I find RM's support for Citation Quality to be very weak - you can't search on it, it's hard to see, it's hard to print, it's hard to manage, etc. And beyond that, I just can't get my head around the Genealogical Proof Standard upon which RM's Citation Quality feature is based. It just seems all out of whack - square pegs in round holes or something like that. I'm sure I could never learn to pass a Certified Genealogist exam because I couldn't agree with the "correct" way to do Citation Quality.

 

Jerry 



#26 History Hunter

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Posted 10 November 2020 - 11:08 PM

Thanks, Jerry.

It seems that you and I were thinking along the same lines. I can really use the process you’ve documented. I’m going to walk my way through it and make sure I understand each point before going too far.

Like you, I also decided to try to write my citations so I could cut and paste a piece to use as a master source name. I even do all my extractions and transcriptions outside RM and past them into the Source Notes.

I can say with some certainty that the templates don’t quite put out EE citations in many cases. That’s not surprising given the variations that can occur. I would really like to hear about your modified version of a free-form template. I was thinking about that, but wasn’t quite sure if it was something that would work until you noted you were doing it.

#27 History Hunter

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Posted 11 November 2020 - 09:20 AM

You mention extreme source splitting but also mention entering data in RM's Source Details. With one exception, I'm a little puzzled about using Source Details with extreme source splitting. As an extreme source splitter, I put absolutely nothing in RM's Source Details.

 

The one exception that's a fly in the ointment is that Citation Quality of necessity has to be in the Source Details. That's because a document such as a death certificate is often a higher quality source for the Death Fact than it is for the Birth Fact or a person's name. So you can need a different Citation Quality for each citation of the same death certificate. So as an extreme source splitter, I don't use RM's Citation Quality feature. I know I should. But I find RM's support for Citation Quality to be very weak - you can't search on it, it's hard to see, it's hard to print, it's hard to manage, etc. And beyond that, I just can't get my head around the Genealogical Proof Standard upon which RM's Citation Quality feature is based. It just seems all out of whack - square pegs in round holes or something like that. I'm sure I could never learn to pass a Certified Genealogist exam because I couldn't agree with the "correct" way to do Citation Quality.

 

Jerry 

Jerry;
I'm responding to your posts in pieces as I digest a certain comment.

"Source Details with extreme source splitting" – In extreme splitting, you are correct. There really is no "detail". They are essentially one and the same. However; RM7 generates the Research Report from the contents of the detail citation panels. To make use of this feature, I was thinking of using the detail citation panels to hold information that is not literally part of the source, but are items that I learned from it. That approach seemed to keep intact the concept of documenting the source vs. documenting my research.

"Citation Quality for each citation" – Oddly; the Source List Report does report the Quality related to the source. But as you note, the quality metric is really something that should be associated with the research aspect, governed by a research question that the source addresses in some way. In short, it belongs in the Research Report. RM7 tech support has noted that this is on their bug-fix log. Maybe it will be fixed in RM8, if and when it gets released.



#28 History Hunter

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Posted 11 November 2020 - 09:36 AM

I don't use RM's Refence Number fields. I probably should, except that I find that I'm really linking to images of my documents rather than to paper copies of my documents. So what is important to me is the link to the file path for the images and that is taken care of. This is surely a major defect in my process, but one that it's much too late to correct.

 

Jerry

Jerry;
Yes. I found I had a defect in my process in that I was struggling to find good (but short) names for each image in my file system. This also is very important when attaching images, since the current RM7 on a Mac seems to be limited to a total path + filename of 256 characters. This doesn't allow for much of a meaningful directory structure unless the filenames are unusually short. The repositories from which I have downloaded images don't have this issue, because they file by a concise alphanumeric "accession number" and cross-reference to a longer meaningful name in their database. I recognized that I could do the same in RM7 by using the reference field to hold the filename and the Master Source name to hold a longer meaningful name. Thankfully, the reference number does work ... at least in the Source citation panel, so I was able to use it as described. The one in the detail citation panel is still under development per RM7 support.

When I deal with paper copies and the associated scans, I assign my own code and then use the same process as for downloaded images.



#29 History Hunter

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Posted 11 November 2020 - 09:45 AM

I use source notes exactly as you describe. My only comment is that I do all all transcription outside of RM. Usually, I just use Notepad, and sometimes I use Microsoft Word. I then copy and paste my transcription into RM. I just find it too hard to work with RM's modal windows and tiny fonts while I'm transcribing. I realize RM8 will be much less modal than RM7, but I doubt I will move my transcription process into RM8. I will surely continue to transcribe outside of RM and then copy and paste into RM8.

 

For the most part I don't use RM's Source Comments field. I probably should, but I just didn't get into the habit in the first place and it's hard to go back and create all such comments after the fact. I commend you for getting that part of your process right from the beginning.

 

Jerry

Jerry;

 

I do all all "transcription" outside of RM as well and for the same reasons as you noted. Unfortunately; there is also the sticky issue that most database programs don't allow one to store and exchange (e.g. via GEDCOM) notes that contain much in the way of formatting. I somehow doubt that RM8 can/will fix this. So, basically, classical transcribing can't be done and stored in most database programs. The best we can really do is some form of extraction. This raises the question of what do you do to record the contents of things like certificates, which are typically the tough ones? Maybe I could get some pointers on this?



#30 KFN

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Posted 11 November 2020 - 07:25 PM

HH:

 

For transcribing and general layout of text for GEDCOM transfer I use a markdown language that can be written into web display programs.

 

see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Markdown



#31 History Hunter

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Posted 11 November 2020 - 11:04 PM

KFN;
Thank you for the suggestion. Yes, I had the same thought, since I use markdown to create tables for use in Scrivener. I use a free editor called MacDown. It solves a lot of issues with trying to shoehorn transcriptions into programs that are picky about formatting or character sets. I’m going to have to see how RM7 deals with it.

#32 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 12 November 2020 - 08:14 AM

I can say with some certainty that the templates don’t quite put out EE citations in many cases. That’s not surprising given the variations that can occur. I would really like to hear about your modified version of a free-form template. I was thinking about that, but wasn’t quite sure if it was something that would work until you noted you were doing it.

 

I don't have a modified version of a free form template. Instead, I have multiple user defined templates - one for birth records, one for death records, one for marriage records, one for census records, etc. I developed these templates at the same time as I became an extreme source splitter. Prior to that I had used RM's built-in free form template.

 

In order to become an extreme source splitter, I needed something different than RM's built-in templates, free form or otherwise. I could have simply copied some of RM's built-in templates and I could have changed all the Source Details fields in the copied templates to become Master Source fields. But RM's templates just seemed too hard to use. One of the biggest problems was simply that there are too many of them. For example, which of the many book templates to you use for a book and which of the many census templates do you use for a census record? And then I would get into filling out the data for a particular template and I couldn't figure out what the template wanted me to enter. So by defining my own templates I could have one template of each type and I understood what I was supposed to fill in to each field.

 

I used Evidence Explained as my reference in developing my templates, but I doubt that I'm 100% EE compliant. Maybe I'm 95% EE compliant, I don't know for sure. But EE itself is far too complicated. It's over 1200 pages long, for goodness sake. And EE is too "abstract". Maybe abstract is not the right word, but there is just something that is too complicated about it and I'm a simple country boy. But for example, there is nothing in EE about how to do obituaries. Rather, EE tells you how do do newspaper articles, and you can treat an obituary as a newspaper article. But not all obituaries are published in newspapers. And more important to me, I think it's the obituariness of obituaries that is important, not the newspaper artticleness of obituaries that is important, even if they were all published in newspapers (which they are not). So I think EE needs to tell you how to do obituaries in their own right.

 

Jerry



#33 History Hunter

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Posted 12 November 2020 - 08:15 AM

HH:

 

For transcribing and general layout of text for GEDCOM transfer I use a markdown language that can be written into web display programs.

 

see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Markdown

KFN;

 

As RM7 doesn't understand markdown, could you tell me a bit more about your workflow so I can see what you do with it?



#34 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 12 November 2020 - 08:29 AM

"Source Details with extreme source splitting" – In extreme splitting, you are correct. There really is no "detail". They are essentially one and the same. However; RM7 generates the Research Report from the contents of the detail citation panels.

 

The way I think about it is that there are two "sourcing notes" in the Master Source and two "sourcing notes" in the Source Details. RM is very inconsistent throughout its user interface in what it calls these two "sourcing notes". In the Edit Sources panel, the Master Source notes are called Source Text and Source Comments and the Source Detail notes are called Research Notes and Comments. I'm not going to take the time right now to chase down all the other names these fields have other places in the RM user interface. But in any case, there is a complete parallel between the functioning of the two Master Source notes and the two Source Detail notes, except that Research Report and the ability to print the notes as part of footnote citations or endnote citations only works with the Source Detail notes and not with the Master Source notes.

 

Due to this problem, I enter my "sourcing notes" into the Master Source. I then copy and paste my "sourcing notes" from the Master Source to the Source Details. And to be really safe, I have a very short and simple SQLite script that I can run at any time to copy the two Master Source note fields to all their respective Source Detail note fields. Running this script will correct any data entry errors I have made in copying and pasting "sourcing notes" from the Master Source to the Source Details, so I run it regularly.

 

Jerry



#35 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 12 November 2020 - 08:37 AM

This raises the question of what do you do to record the contents of things like certificates, which are typically the tough ones? Maybe I could get some pointers on this?

 

The following is not really formatted the way the original document was formatted because that's impossible, but all the data is there.  I try to be very literal in my transcriptions - entering names and place names and dates just as they were in the document.

 

Also, for many such certificates - death, birth, marriage - I have a fact in RM that really only has a note - a Birth Record fact with only a note, a Death Record fact with only a note, etc.. So I can treat certificates both as facts and as sources. And I can run reports with or without printing the certificates as notes in the narrative by enabling and disabling the fact type for inclusion in narrative reports. I enter the transcription text into the note both for the fact and for the source - copy and paste, rather than double typing. Plus the typing was really done in Notepad anyway.

 

Jerry

 

 

 
1. Full name - Alva Edward Peters
2. Date of death - 4/21/42,
3. Place of death - Anderson County, Civil District 9, Edgemoore, Tenn., R.F.D. #1
4. Legal residence - state Tenn., county Anderson, Civil District 9, city Edgemoore, Tenn., street R.F.D.#1
5. Race - white
6. Sex - male
7. Status - married
8. Age - 71 years 6 months 7 days
9. Date of birth - Oct 14 1870
10. Place of birth - Tenn.
11. Husband or wife of - Sallie Peters
14. Industry or business - farmer
15. father - John Peters born in Tenn.
16. mother - Hulda Cross born in Tenn.
17. Informant - Mrs. Sallie Peters, address Edgemoore, Tenn. R.F.D. #1
18. Burial - 4/23/42 cemetery Mt. Vernon Cem. Anderson Co.
19. Undertaker - Martin Funeral Home, Lake City, Tenn. Paul Martin
20. I hereby certify that I attended the deceased from July 13, 1941 to April 21, 1942 and that I last saw him alive on April 21, 1942 and that death occurred on the date stated at 9:20 A.M. Signature: O.E. Ballou, M.D. Address: Clinton, Tenn. Date signed 2/3/43.


#36 History Hunter

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Posted 12 November 2020 - 09:08 AM

 

I don't have a modified version of a free form template. Instead, I have multiple user defined templates - one for birth records, one for death records, one for marriage records, one for census records, etc. I developed these templates at the same time as I became an extreme source splitter. Prior to that I had used RM's built-in free form template.

 

In order to become an extreme source splitter, I needed something different than RM's built-in templates, free form or otherwise. I could have simply copied some of RM's built-in templates and I could have changed all the Source Details fields in the copied templates to become Master Source fields. But RM's templates just seemed too hard to use. One of the biggest problems was simply that there are too many of them. For example, which of the many book templates to you use for a book and which of the many census templates do you use for a census record? And then I would get into filling out the data for a particular template and I couldn't figure out what the template wanted me to enter. So by defining my own templates I could have one template of each type and I understood what I was supposed to fill in to each field.

 

I used Evidence Explained as my reference in developing my templates, but I doubt that I'm 100% EE compliant. Maybe I'm 95% EE compliant, I don't know for sure. But EE itself is far too complicated. It's over 1200 pages long, for goodness sake. And EE is too "abstract". Maybe abstract is not the right word, but there is just something that is too complicated about it and I'm a simple country boy. But for example, there is nothing in EE about how to do obituaries. Rather, EE tells you how do do newspaper articles, and you can treat an obituary as a newspaper article. But not all obituaries are published in newspapers. And more important to me, I think it's the obituariness of obituaries that is important, not the newspaper artticleness of obituaries that is important, even if they were all published in newspapers (which they are not). So I think EE needs to tell you how to do obituaries in their own right.

 

Jerry

Jerry;

Thanks for your help. I think there are some points you've made that will help me use RM7 better.

 

I tend to think you are correct about the complexity of the EE-Style citations, but I find that straight CMOS-style errs on the opposite end of the spectrum and doesn't capture quite enough. For me; the real issue with EE-style is that, in practice, ones citation structure/content is controlled to a large extent by the way a website is structured. The book doesn't do a stellar job of dealing with that aspect.I've had to read through the posts on the EE website to figure it out for myself. However; I've managed to "perfect" the citation formats I use regularly and have set up (externally stored) skeleton citations for them that are easily editable. I cut them into the free-form or do a copy-paste-edit of an existing free-form citation. I was using event-based templates, like you appear to be doing, but eventually switched to ones tailored for the websites I used frequently.

 

I guess the inability of RM to release v8 in a timely manner has made me a little skeptical about how long they will be around and started me thinking. It won't be long before they lose any competitive edge they have. So; maybe I should hedge my bets and store the key info outside of RM7.

As I've been considering how to best protect myself against the potential disappearance of RM, I've realized a few things. About the only thing that RM7 does consistently well enough that I don't do it outside the program (to some extent) is store/manage the event data and also render it in graphical/semi-graphical formats such as trees and timelines. Just to temper this a bit. RM7 is really no worse than many other programs and in some ways it is a bit better.



#37 Nettie

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Posted 13 November 2020 - 08:30 AM

Reading thru all of the many things being stated about sources, and I decided to say what I have done with my sources. 

 

All Sources

are found at a Repository are put into my own rendition/form of a Research Data Sheet called RDS [originally created by William Dollarhide]

Each RDS is entered in an Excel Spreadsheet with a code by state 

after entering into the Excel sheet, I have my numbers all set up for a number for each type of Sources [like land, birth, death etc...] and use a  number from my set up.

then add

title of Source

Author

Repository

Date of Found

Library ID [call number]

Columns for each Direct Line Surname

Next Data entry is into RM

I have changed many of RM suggested templates to use, like Jerry has done.

All my templates in the list start with a * in front of the title.

Using my data found in the RDS sheet with the new number attached then I enter information into RM.

Use the Web Tags to place my state\number code.

Under Master text do not fill in

Just use Detail Text.

 

My printouts are the way I want them.  If I have created a new source template from EE's list my source template has EE after the title.  if  no EE on the title, that usually means I did not use EE as a sample and did my own.  I still have a lot of templates from the Family Origins before RootsMagic software and have not taken the time to change them.  I do have on each repository, the dates that I worked at a specific Court House in the note section. 

 

Yes, I have several books like from Tom Jones and a few others on how to do citations and sources.  Each one has a different way of doing it but keeping it the same for them.  I use WWWWWH [who, what, when, where, why, how] for mine, others use ABC for theirs.  

 

Do what you feel comfortable with as there is no just one way.

Nettie


Genealogy:
"I work on genealogy only on days that end in "Y"." [Grin!!!]
from www.GenealogyDaily.com.
"Documentation....The hardest part of genealogy"
"Genealogy is like Hide & Seek: They Hide & I Seek!"
" Genealogists: People helping people.....that's what it's all about!"
from http://www.rootsweb....nry/gentags.htm
Using FO and RM since FO2.0 


#38 History Hunter

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Posted 14 November 2020 - 02:31 PM

KFN;

I've been working on how to use MarkDown in my workflow. 
It works VERY well and allows me to store tables inside RM7, have them embedded in the RM7 reports, then use Scrivener to adjust and print the final report complete with tables.

Thanks for the nudge to try it.



#39 KFN

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Posted 14 November 2020 - 04:41 PM

You are welcome.   :D