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Using RM to its full capacity


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#1 vlanders

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Posted 02 March 2006 - 04:13 AM

I'm not sure if my topic title explains what I'm getting at, but I would like to know how much time and effort others spend, or have spent, modifying their database to take advantage of RM's features.

A few examples:

1. Using family facts. Would there be any advantabe to going back and changing individual facts (eg. Residence) to family facts? For now, I have left the individual facts in the older data, and used family facts for new entries. Yet the perfectionist in me is bothered by this inconsistency in my data.

2. I really like the way Source Wizard works, and I have been going back one-by-one editing my old sources, using Source Wizard to create the new listing. It is a long, tedious process, however. Especially since I had originally entered each census roll as one source, linking several families to the same roll.

3. In my original database, some facts (eg. Occupation) only had one field for "description/location". RM has a field for description and a field for place. Is it worth the time and effort to go back and fill in all the places manually? To data, I have *not* added data to the place field, b/c the place can be found either in the source (in the case of census info) or simply by looking at the Residence fact for the same year. What would be the advantage of having data in the place field? Again, the perfectionist in me is bothered to see that empty place field, when I know I have the data available to fill it in.

I've also been spending a significant amount of time adding "actual text" to sources, linking pictures to sources and places, etc. In fact, I've done very little actual research since purchasing RM - all of my time is spent cleaning up my current database.

I'd like to hear about the experiences of others, and what they think.


#2 Jim Belanger

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Posted 02 March 2006 - 06:46 AM

It is my experience that, giving a perfectionist advice is a total failed effort! The advice will NEVER be good enough! I know exactly what you are going thru. I spend hours and hours re-arranging my database. I especially work with the sources and places. It bugs me not to be consistent. But, I think, in the end the only thing that matters is; is the information there, is it available, can you share it? If you say yes to those questions, nobody will remember you were a perfectionist when you are pushing up daisies. There is no way to re-arrange data automatically. Some of us who are database experts can probably figure a way to open the RM data files in a regular database and manipulate data and the get it back into RM format where RM will recognize it all. But, for most of us, this is an excercise in disaster.

If you are a perfectionist, you will never be done. Remember this. I told somebody, once a long time ago, that I didn't consider myself a very good researcher. He replied, we don't need good researchers in genealogy, we need good finders!!

Good Luck
JIM.B.NH