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Member Since 06 Aug 2006
Offline Last Active Today, 09:56 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Facts vs Notes and Gedcom exports

Yesterday, 04:15 PM

I put text in the description field for a fact when it makes more sense than using the note field. The description field has the advantage that there is a [Desc] variable in the sentence template language, that you can see the text without having to open anything up, and that the description field can be a column in People View. It seems to me that this latter advantage of the description field is seldom appreciated as much as it should be and it can be hugely beneficial.


The disadvantage is that if you go over 100 characters in the description field, you can lose data on GEDCOM export and drag and drop without realizing you are losing data. But I am finding that for use cases where I can be confident of staying under the 100 character limit, I am switching over exclusively to the use of the description field instead of the note field.


For example, I have a user defined fact for recording GPS coordinates of grave sites, and GPS coordinates will always fit within 100 characters. RM's normal geo-coding facilities do not work for me for this application. To use RM's normal geo-coding facilities for individual grave sites, you have to have a unique place name or place details name for each individual grave site and the coordinates don't print in narrative reports anyway. But the description field works great for this application.




In Topic: Facts vs Notes and Gedcom exports

23 May 2017 - 06:54 PM

This is just me and shouldn't be taken as an examplar, but I seldom use RM's individual note. Instead, I have custom fact types that do nothing but insert notes into narrative reports.


The reasons are two-fold. One reason is so that sourcing for the note can be targeted precisely to the area of the report that is associated with the source. The other reason is to control the placement of the note in the narrative report. RM's individual note appears in narrative reports after all the information and all notes for all facts have been printed.


My technique is certainly not perfect because RM places the citation superscript for the "note only fact" in front of the note instead of after the note. The more general problem is that RM desperately needs a [Note] variable in its templates for fact sentences. Instead, it just automatically includes the note for every fact and it places the citation superscript in front of the note.



In Topic: adding child with mother's name blank

23 May 2017 - 11:51 AM

I was trying to answer the original question as it was posed, but most of the time I do it like zhangrau in that I enter a name such as unknown rather than leaving the name empty. There are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches. You have to consider how it looks on your RM screens and in your research and also how it looks in such things as narrative reports.


But I think that maybe there is a more important subtext in the original question. Namely, just because a will lists a wife and nine children, how do we know that the wife was the mother of all the children? And in truth, we often do not know and probably can never know unless a long lost family bible surfaces or something like that. So philosophically, what is the best way to enter the data (not where and how do you click in RM to enter the data, which was the question I was trying to answer)?


Do you list all the children as children of the wife? Do you list all the children as the children of a single unnamed mother who was not the wife. Do you list a separate and distinct unnamed mother for each of the children. For example, there could have been three mothers, one mother for the first four children, one mother for the next three children, and one mother for the last two children. But there would be no way to know from the will, and there may be no other source available for the family. If the will is truly the only information I have, I would probably list all the children as the children of the wife. But I might also know that the wife was much younger than the man who died and that she therefore could not be the mother of the older children. Or I might have no indication whatsoever of the age of the wife. It's really hard to know how best to enter the data.



In Topic: adding child with mother's name blank

23 May 2017 - 07:47 AM

Let's think of the problem a little differently. Suppose that John Doe had two "spouses". He may or may not have been married to either of them. Whether he was married or not from the point of view of the RM database depends on whether there is a marriage fact or not. You could have a missing marriage fact because you don't think the two "spouses" were actually married, or simply because you don't have a courthouse marriage record or a family bible or other evidence of the marriage. Even if you don't have a marriage record, they might really have been married. In any case, you can enter John Doe and his two spouses into RM just fine and you can enter them without a marriage record just fine.


Suppose the two "spouses" were Joan and Sallie. And further suppose that John and Joan had a son William together and that John and Sallie had a daughter Elizabeth together. You can enter the children with the appropriate parents just fine. I'm assuming you know how to get William entered as the child of John and Joan and to get Elizabeth entered as the child of John and Sallie.


Now suppose that you really don't know Sallie's name or anything else about her. All you know is that John had a child named Elizabeth and that Joan was not the mother. A very simple way you could do the data entry for this situation would be to enter it just as as I have described and then to delete Sallie. The result would be what you wish.


Of course, the way I have described it is probably not the way you would do it, even though the way I described it is easy to understand. But the most common way to do it would be to highlight John and do an Add Child operation. When it asks you which family, choose "John Doe and another spouse". Continue the process, and the child will be added and the additional spouse will not yet be added. Since you don't know the additional spouse, don't add her.



In Topic: Facts vs Notes and Gedcom exports

22 May 2017 - 07:39 AM

A very high percentage of RM data transfers well in GEDCOM, but not 100%. In some of the cases where data doesn't transfer, the problem is that RM doesn't place the data in GEDCOM. In other cases, RM places the data in GEDCOM but the receiving software doesn't receive it - or maybe receives it but doesn't interpret the data in exactly the same way as RM. It's hard to make totally general rules. Some experimentation is usually required.


I suspect by "person memo" you are describing what RM calls an individual note. RM's individual notes are always exported well in GEDCOM and are received well a very high percentage of the time by other software. From RM's Edit Person screen, you can get to the individual note by clicking the Note button under Person Details in the lower right part of the screen,


You can also get to the same individual note by clicking in the little box in the upper left part of the screen to the right of the person's name. There are three little boxes to the right of the person's name - one for the individual note, one for the individual source, and one for the individual media. If you click in the little box it will open the individual note.