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Cleaning up TMG sources - post import

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#1 kathyba16

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Posted 24 September 2019 - 06:06 AM

Pardon me if there is another thread on this. If so, please direct me to it as I couldn't easily find one.

 

I am running RM for Mac v. 7.5.9. I used to use TMG but a few years ago it got corrupted or something and since they went out of business, I had to import my data to see it as all. This was years ago and I haven't had time to deal with it until recently. I wasn't able to open TMG to do the pre-import work that you all reference. So now my sources are a mess and the Master Sources have _TMG_xxx. If I change something one of them, it changes that field on all of them since many say they are using the same Master source. UGH.

 

I have also added a lot of new people and RM sources on those. My TMG data is now outdated so doing any re-import wouldn't be helpful.

 

I have thousands of facts with sources. It will take a lifetime to reenter them all. Is there any way to help? Any way to get into the back end and change the Master source template? Reassign master source templates? I just can't open every fact for thousands of people and reenter the sources. I can give more details if needed about what is actually happening.

 

If anyone has any ideas I'd appreciate it. Thanks.

 

Kathy A

Maine



#2 allanpeter1

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Posted 25 September 2019 - 03:32 AM

Hi Kathy

I am afraid that I am not going to provide you with a solution, but can tell you that you are not alone with this problem.  I also migrated from TMG to RM when TMG stopped being supported, and didn't think to do the pre-import field matching.. When I saw how it transferred I went back to review what I should have done with the intention of repeating the import once I had set the pre-import up properly.  I found it such a daunting rospect that I decided to 'leave the pieces how they fell', and only change them when I was reviewing a record.  In any event I have found the RM Citation Manager too prescriptive and too complicated to use - so I don't.  I now just put citation references into Note.

I hope you find a viable soultion out there.  Ideally there could be a data download/upload facility to allow adhoc data cleansing, but then you have to include a validation routine, and life is too short!

Allan M



#3 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 25 September 2019 - 06:58 AM

I now just put citation references into Note.

 

 

This message reminded me of something very unrelated to the conversion of TMG sources to RM. When I started doing genealogy in the 1990's (wish I had started much sooner), I used PAF before I used Family Origins (predecessor to RootsMagic). And I exchanged a lot of GEDCOM with more experienced researchers who also were using PAF and who to this day I consider to be very expert researchers.

 

I don't remember all the details of what PAF could or couldn't do, but I don't think it supported fact notes or fact sources. Or if it did, the expert researchers with whom I was collaborating in the 1990's didn't use fact notes and fact sources. Instead, they created sort of a timeline report of things like census records, tax records, marriage records, wills, settlements etc. in the PAF general note. And within this PAF general note, they included what academic  people call "in text" citations. These "in text" citations might not have had every comma and semi-colon quite like Evidence Explained would prefer, and they certainly couldn't include italics. But I still think the PAF general note included all the salient citation information and you didn't have to go looking for footnotes or endnotes to see what was going on because the citation information was embedded directly in the text. I thought it was a very readable and very professional format - really, in some ways better than modern genealogy software tends to do.

 

And with the wisdom of hindsight, I would suggest an additional feature of these very old fashioned timeline reports with "in text" citations. Namely, they really didn't make any distinction between what is commonly called a "source" vs. a "citation" or what RM calls a "Master Source" vs. a "Source Details". As I recall, TMG does make this distinction. But my colleagues from the 1990's using PAF simply had very professionally done "citations" to describe their evidence. It now makes me wonder if the distinction between "Master Sources" and "Source Details" is even meaningful. Most genealogy software does seem to make the distinction, and if I understand GEDCOM correctly then it's the case that GEDCOM makes the distinction. But why need there be such a distinction? If you write your own "in text" citations, there is really no distinction between "sources" and "citations". Why does genealogy software need to make the distinction?

 

Jerry



#4 robertjacobs0

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Posted 25 September 2019 - 12:47 PM

I think the idea is that one would have a "source" -- say a book -- and that subsequent citations of it would only involve typing in a page number.That is, it was supposed to  be a time and effort saver. I fear that the source/citation bifurcation has mostly served to confuse thousands of people.

 

As I look at my own report footnotes I see that most of them can adequately guide researchers, but they are all higgledy-piggledy and inconsistent with one another.



#5 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 26 September 2019 - 06:24 AM

I think the idea is that one would have a "source" -- say a book -- and that subsequent citations of it would only involve typing in a page number.That is, it was supposed to  be a time and effort saver. I fear that the source/citation bifurcation has mostly served to confuse thousands of people.

 

I understand and agree with your analysis of the genesis of the conventional source/citation distinction in genealogy. I just wonder if the distinction makes sense anymore, or if it ever did. Also, the "page number as the citation" concept was early on generalized to census records, birth records, death records, marriage records, and really to all other records. But many times such a generalization doesn't make any sense to me. For example, if you get a pre-prepared footnote sentence from a genealogy Web site (and most of the main sites do offer a pre-prepared footnote sentence you can copy and paste), about the only reasonable way to use it in RM is to use a free form source template and paste the pre-prepared footnote sentence into the "Footnote sentence" field. This makes the entire RM Master Source as source and Source Detail as citation concept pretty meaningless.

 

As a still fairly new convert to complete source splitting, I don't find the absence of the ability to type in just a page number to be any kind of problem at all. Instead, I just go into Lists>Source List and copy an existing Master Source that's nearly identical to the one I'm about to make as a way to begin the new one. Now, that's a real time saver. What I am missing, however, is the ability to produce a bibliography. Bibliographies work great for books. But I wonder if the conventional notion of a bibliography really works very well with most genealogical sources. As a thought experiment, suppose I wasn't using RM or any other genealogy software and suppose I was using Microsoft Word to produce a family history book. And suppose my book was full of footnotes that were citations to my evidence. Under these circumstances of doing things totally manually and having total freedom to do things "right", what would a proper bibliography look like that referenced census and birth and death and marriage records? I don't really know. I do know that under these circumstances there really isn't any concept at all of source lumping or source splitting because I am simply hand coding all the footnote sentences.

 

Finally, I know you are a GedSite user, as am I. GedSite embraces a pretty standard genealogical view of the distinction between what a citation is and what a source is and it supports both citation lists and source lists. In my case, GedSite is getting its citation and source data from GEDCOM produced by RM. The GedSite documentation specifically says that a GedSite source list is not the same thing as a bibliography, although it sort of seems like a bibliography to me. In any case, I can't figure out what the function of a source list in GedSite would really be and how it would differ from a citation list. In my case as a source splitter, the citation list and the source list seem identical. But seems to me that the lists would be identical even if I were not a source splitter.

 

Jerry



#6 robertjacobs0

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Posted 26 September 2019 - 07:31 AM

I agree. I've thought -- going back to my TMG days -- that the distinction was artificial. It may have made more sense before Ancestry.com and other internet collections became the dominant research technique.

 

Similarly, while tracking repositories is suitable for identifying libraries, courthouses and the like, it doesn't really speak to the realities of internet research.