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Source Templates & Cite Existing Source


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#1 baluo

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Posted 15 April 2019 - 06:44 AM

Hi,

 

because of some family research requests I have to dig deeper into RM7 which so far I have mainly used as a person related data storage in a wider research project.

 

1. 

Right now I struggle with the Source Templates.  I think I have understood the principles around it, but somehow I seem not to get it right.

 

Ok, this is a current example:

I have to go through some hundreds of letters written by or to one key figure in the family tree.  There are a few different repositories where these letters are held under different call numbers, obviously. 

 

So I created a "correspondence" template that focused on the repositories as the Master Source and the respective letter details as the Source Details (" * ". i.e. with a star in the template).  I also created a fact (for the date the letter was written) and the record the letter details in the relevant spots of the database (e.g. marriage details, address, events etc, different people referred to ...). 

 

So far, so good:  I create a master source for a letter and fill in the relevant details.  But when I want to "cite" that letter source for its various parts of content, and link it to a different "Fact", I have to _re-fill_ all the "Source Details" again. 

 

I do understand that if I was linking a fact with a new letter source that filling "Source Details" is required.  But where is the error in my template design that causes this "re-filling" of the "Source Details" in citing a source?

 

 

2. 

Also,

I have noted that when I change a template that is already in use (e.g. change a field from Source Detail to Master Source, i.e. change the field tick for the Source Detail), I loose its content.  This also seems to happen when I change, for instance, the "Display name".  I would understand to loose the field content if I change the "field name" -- but the display name ...???  Is this a flaw in the programming -- or a faulty setting in my RM7 program?

 

 

3, 

Last, but not least:

I have noted that other Family research programs list sources simply with a number and possibly a detail.  Is there a way for RM7 to the same?  While I am still trying to figure out how RM7 really works in full operational mode, I gather that I will quickly have hundreds if not thousands of such sources (e.g. each letter as a separate source, and many more such sources).  This is probably not so much a technical than a systematic question -- how to label the sources.  Right?  Is there any advice you can give?

 

 

Many thanks for your help, G



#2 Renee Zamora

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Posted 15 April 2019 - 01:23 PM

These two webinars demonstrate creating source templates. 

 

31 New Source and Citation Feature in RootsMagic 5
http://www.rootsmagic.com/webinars/

 

48. Sentence and Source Templates in RootsMagic
http://www.rootsmagic.com/webinars/


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#3 baluo

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Posted 16 April 2019 - 12:38 AM

Hi Renee,

 

many thanks for your hints re question #1 to the two webinars which I watched and which gave me some new insights, as did some follow up reading in the RM Forum and other websites..

 

Re #2, would you have noticed before the problem described, and is there a way around?

 

And re #3 I gather from reading some other comments that there is no option for an automatic source numbering?!  This means I will end up with a loooong list of sources.  Since  the Source Manager window has no "search" option, this really requires a definite system of labelling (so far I follow your examples, i.e. type, name, date, other details).  Or, as a request, make the listing "search-able" by typing something like "*[keyword, e.g. name]". 

 

Thank you.  G



#4 TomH

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Posted 16 April 2019 - 05:28 AM

Re #2: the loss of data when switching a field between Master and Details (citation) is a given because these are separate tables. One Master record in the SourceTable can have many related Details records in the CitationTable.

I wouldn't expect a change in the Display name for a field to cause loss.

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#5 baluo

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 05:47 AM

Many thanks, TomH,

for your explanation re q #2:  yes, changing the display name does not seem to cause a problem.  In other words, changing field details _within_ the Master Source or the Source Details sections should not cause the loss of data?  I have to test that.

 

 

Re my question #1 -- citing a source without wanting to change it:

While reading through some other threads, one comment suggested some kind of a solution -- but a rather awkward:  "Memorize" and the "paste" an existing source from one "fact" to another.  However, this requires to know which Fact quotes the respective source.  This may be easy in the beginning with a limited number of persons, facts and sources, and an immediate editing process, bit not over a period of time.  Any other/better solution?

 

Or may I request to add this memorize/paste feature in some form also into Master Source List window?

 

Many thanks, Gerhard



#6 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 07:38 AM

I'll jump in here. RM's memorize and paste function for citations is powerful and and it is also awkward and limited, all at the same time. Memorize and paste works only for citations and does not work for sources. Well, there is a terminology problem. RM speaks of Master Sources instead of sources and it speaks of Source Details instead of citations. But in a certain sense, it could be said that "citation = Master Source + Source Details", except that most users and many places in the RM user interface do basically identify a "Master Source" as being a "source" and a "Source Detail" as being a "citation". So the terminology is not consistent and what is a "citation" is ambiguous, even within RM itself, let alone the way users talk about it. In any case, what is being memorized and pasted by memorize and paste is "Master Source + Source Details". You cannot memorize and paste either one alone.

 

My solution for the awkwardness and limitations associated with memorize and paste has been to place 100% of my evidence into RM's Master Source and to leave RM's Source Details completely null. Essentially, every one of my Master Sources becomes a citation and memorize and paste works well for me. In particular, if I need to make a change to all instances of a memorized and pasted citation, I need to make the change only once in the Master Source. This works great for me, but my sense is that most users don't like my approach because it creates enormously long lists of Master Sources. My approach is called extreme source splitting. I'm not necessarily advocating for it. I'm just suggesting that with the current design of RM, my approach solves a lot of problems for me.

 

Another somewhat distantly related comment is that many if not most genealogy database sites support a copy and paste of a citation sentence, what RM calls the footnote sentence. So for example, if you use a census image from ancestry.com or from familysearch.com, you can copy the citation sentence for the census image from the site and paste it into RM. You should able to get a perfect citation without having to mess around with RM's source templates at all. Of course there remains the question of paste where in RM?  -- into a Master Source or into a Source Detail? As I say, it's all kind of awkward, but my extreme source splitting solution works well for me. Your mileage may vary.

 

Jerry



#7 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 07:57 AM

On your original message, my approach would treat each letter as a different Master Source. I would probably create a source template called Letter or some such thing. I would make all the data fields for the evidence go into the Master Source and none of the data fields for the evidence go into the Source Details. If after using the template for a while, I discovered I needed to add a new field to the template, I could do so without disturbing any of the evidence I had already entered using the template. I would just have to make sure that my Source Sentence handled missing data fields gracefully, which is easy to do.

 

In entering a new Master Source for a new letter, I could create the new Master Source from scratch (which I used to do regularly) or instead I could first copy an existing Master Source (which is what I mostly do now instead of starting from scratch each time). I would then edit the copy of the Master Source to match the new letter. Having done so, it would not yet be cited anywhere. So I would enter at least one fact that needs the evidence and cite the new Master Source to the new fact. From the Edit Person screen, highlight the fact and then click the Sources button (or click the sources column in the Edit Person screen grid) to get to the Citation Manager. From there, do a Cite Existing Source and choose the newly copied Master Source rather than doing an Add New Source. Having done so, you can then Memorize and Paste the evidence anywhere else it needs to go.

 

Jerry

 



#8 Nettie

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 09:09 AM

I'll jump in, I use Personal Knowledge for any letter that I add. To add to Jerry's comments, yes they are different viewpoint/sources. Why? usually those letters do not contain where they got the information from.  the reference for the template is from EE, sec.3.43, p155  probably first edition.  So for each letter, I have as my master source  labeled, Personal Know surname using the letter writer's name  So if you have more than one letter they can go under that persons idea/knowledge.  I have even copied the fact, Personal Knowledge and change some of the parts but always labeled as the Master Source, Personal Research adt.  I use the Personal Research when I have a FGS or other attachments like a newspaper article with the letter. All my own changes/copies of a source I use my initials or * in front of the title. 

 

For example:  I just received via email from my cousins' daughter, lots of items they found stored in the family Bible.  One is a newspaper of an very long [4 columns] obit.  All it says at the top is "The Church Chronicle"  so far have not found which Church Chronicle, so it goes into RM using  Personal Research adt  named as Personal RJ CuffDeC   RJ is my code for extra research items received which are many.. Especially when Newspaper obits are included but no newspaper name, date or page number.  Can guess and maybe get lucky and researched to find where it was originally published.

 

Do what works best for you.


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#9 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 10:31 AM

Reading Nettie's note and thinking a little further, I probably wouldn't actually create a new source template called Letter. Instead, I already have a source template called Person. I use it for personal knowledge, no matter how it comes to me. It might be an email I have received. It might be a face to face conversation with somebody. It might be a phone call with somebody. It might be a text message on my cell phone. It might be a message I receive on Facebook. Etc. The real source is the person, not the medium by which the information arrives.

 

A letter on paper is a little old fashioned these days, but the letter is really only the medium and the source is still the author of the letter. And the letter doesn't have to be to me. It can be to anybody. What matters is who it is from.

 

Jerry



#10 zhangrau

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 03:58 PM


A letter on paper is a little old fashioned these days, but the letter is really only the medium and the source is still the author of the letter. And the letter doesn't have to be to me. It can be to anybody. What matters is who it is from.

 

Jerry

 

This is my general view. I have Master Sources, named [pk] Given (Maiden) Surname, info shared, for each person who submits contributions to my database. Personal conversations, email, and Facebook look like the most common medium. The date, medium, and cursory info go into the Source Details, and a more complete transcript into Research Notes. I attach media whenever possible to both the Source Citation and to appropriate facts.



#11 baluo

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Posted 11 March 2020 - 06:42 AM

Many thanks for your contributions, and I have learned some new approaches.

 

> Personal Knowledge vs Letters

I like the idea of a "Person" master source for all info submitted in an informal way, and will probably use that as well from now on.  Re the letters, as they are historical and held by professional archives, for citation purposes I have to find an easy way how to handle them.  This is why I have tentatively created a custom source template, and actually a custom fact "Letter". 



#12 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 11 March 2020 - 08:08 AM

 

 I attach media whenever possible to both the Source Citation and to appropriate facts.

 

I go a step further and make sure I always have a media file by hook or by crook. My credo is the following. If I don't have evidence, I don't have a fact. If I don't have a media file, I don't have evidence. My data base is far from 100% complete in this regard because I didn't adopt this credo until years after I started doing genealogy. So I am constantly working to fill in the holes in my evidence. I do mostly have citations in my older data, but I don't mostly yet have media files in my older data.

 

I now have an SQLite script that identifies facts without citations and citations without media. The output from this SQLite script is my primary to do list. This list as a whole is overwhelming, so the SQLite script is designed to be limited to a group. I can easily change the contents of the group from within RM itself and thereby focus my research on gathering media files to a particular person or family or family line. And by the way, I have many of these "missing" media files on paper already. It's just that maybe I haven't scanned them in yet, or maybe I have scanned them in already but I haven't yet linked them into RM.

If the evidence is a personal face to face conversation, I try to record it if I'm able to plan sufficiently in advance. But to tell you the truth, a recording device often makes people nervous. So often what I will do with a face to face conversation is to make handwritten notes at the time and soon thereafter I will memorialize those notes into a memo - using Notepad or Microsoft Word to create the memo. The memo then becomes the media. For email, text messages, Facebook messages, etc.I can do a screen capture, or in the case of email I use Mozilla Thunderbird as my mail agent and I can save the message as an .EML file. The advantage of an .EML file is that it retains all formatting and also retains all attachments.

 

For an example of the way I handle evidence, I have a new grandson who is a week old. My evidence for him in RM is a text message from my son about a half hour after my grandson was born. I have a screen capture of the message from my iPhone and a transcript of the message as well. I create a private fact linked with my son to contain the message. I wouldn't have to have such a private fact for my system to work, but such a  private fact is a good place to make initial entry of the data into RM. The private fact has the transcription of the message and the image of the screen grab. I then create a citation containing all the same information which is linked to the same private fact for my son. Finally, I Memorize and Paste the citation to my grandson, which is really the whole point of the exercise. I don't have to look at the private fact for my son so see the evidence. As I said, the private fact is just a container in RM for the information. I can see all the evidence - screen capture of the message and transcription of the message - in the citation that is linked to my grandson. The citation that users will see when I run a report will say something like "(my son's name), personal text message, 2 Mar 2020, received by Jerry Bryan." without the quotes.

 

Jerry