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There have been 40 items by R Steven (Search limited from 16-August 19)
Does this simplistic approach have any disadvantages? Is there something else I should consider?
One aspect others haven't mentioned yet is managing the concept of a master source and citation details. I find having more templates than Tom advocates helpful to take advantage of this capability. Having a well-designed template for a particular source saves me a lot of redundant entries when I'm documenting facts from many similar records. I'll give you an example to illustrate.
Right now I'm working on some Swedish research based on local parish records. Using a new index of these records, I find myself adding many citations daily from registers which are all in the same county and mostly restricted to three or four parishes in that county. In each parish there are predominantly four kinds of records which are the most helpful for genealogical research. Having my template set up with appropriate master (global) and citation (local) fields reduces the amount of information I need to type in to customize each citation. So, for instance, while I'm working on these records, I can use a template specific to birth/christening records in a given parish. Then the master information in the template can contain common information for all births/christenings such as church name, location, repository, and so forth. I restrict the citation fields to things which change between citations like page/image number, date accessed, and name of interest. As Tom mentioned, this makes for non-portable templates when moving to other systems, but for me the trade-off of easy entry is worth it.
Another point to consider on the lack of portability is that it isn't quite as bad as others have made it out to be. I moved to RM from another template-based system about a year ago. When I did so, all of the citations were imported as free-form sources. I have been able to handle the combination of free-form and template-based sources as follows:
- If I was happy with the formatting from the other program (which was sometimes the case), I just made my RM templates produce the same appearance as the imported templates from the other system.
- If I wasn't as pleased with the templates in the other system, it wasn't too hard to write conversion utilities (using SQLite tools, macros, or other programs) into the RM templates. Since the free-form citations were template-based, they had enough structure to make parsing and reformatting them pretty straight forward. Keeping a consistent structure to your sources will mean that it will be easier to take advantage of citation translation tools as they become available.
In the description of the photos I include additional information: source of photo, location, year taken, and anything else I know about it.
To share a fact, select the fact and click on the Share button. You can then select any number of people who share the same fact. Be sure to assign them an appropriate role for the fact and to incolude template text for that role if you want the text to print in narrative reports. One of the current limitations of shared facts is that they don't appear in the Individual Summary of Family Group Sheet reports, although they will show up in Narrative Reports if you have template text defined for the chosen relationship. The report problem is well known and will hopefully be fixed in a future release.
WARNING: This program directly modifies your RM database. I have only tested on my own databases, so it would be wise to backup your database first and do this on a copy.
If you prefer to see video demonstrations rather than help files, I have created a screen cast of me installing and using it at http://rsturley.net/...rt/RmReport.wmv.
- list all of the sources using a particular template
- find a template containing certain phrases
- list those custom templates I have created
- list the templates I am actually using in my sources
- merge similar templates into a single template in an intelligent way
The program has internal help which can also be viewed online at http://rsturley.net/RmSource/help.html.
Once you have installed it, it will automatically check for updates and changes in the program as I improve it or fix reported problems.
These kinds of reports and utilities would might be nice to have internally in RootsMagic some day and would be good to add to the Wish List.
Another way to do this would be to add the information you want to display as a custom fact for this person. If you make the fact private, you can control when you want to display this information on a report or not. If you choose this option, I would recommend creating a duplicate database and doing it from there. Otherwise, the relationship fact will clutter up your file which you might also want to use for other things.
Add or Unlink a spouse
Add or remove a citation
It seems to only be triggered if I add or change a fact or name.
One way to get the changes log report others have requested would be to be able to have one of more date edited fields which changed any time things like family structures or citations changed as well.
If a person emmigrated to a new country to stay not just to travell, I use both the Emmigration and Immigration facts and combine the sentences on the Edit person screen if I know where they left from and where they went to.
The description is enabled and < as a passenger on the [Desc]>, is in both facts sentences in case I am only going to use one of the facts and enter the ship's name. When I combine both facts, the ship's name goes in the Emmigration fact.
I was interested in your statement that you combined the sentences for immigration and emigration facts on the Edit person screen. How do you do that?
How would that data be used?
I occasionally come across evidence that a person died without having married or without having issue. It's useful for me to record this information so that others (or myself) don't spend time looking for a spouse or children I know don't exist.
Why would it be of any more benefit that just entering Single in the Death description field. With Single in the description, you could search for that keyword which I doubt you could do with just a checked box as you can't search for the choices marked for Proof?
One advantage to a check box over a comment is a standardization of how the information is communicated. If I share my file with someone else who has used a different standard, they might not find my evidence that a person died single, childless, or unmarried if I used a different system then they to indicate this fact. (Of course, since this isn't a standard GEDCOM fact, reporting this information between programs is will problematic...)
If you want to create a printed report or PDF report, you need to take an extra step. The option of privitizing living people isn't part of that report. If you are doing a report that lists individuals instead of families, you can select which people you want to include in the report using a set of criteria in a list. One of the choices you can make is that they be not living. Alternatively, or if you are printing Family Group Sheets, you can export a GEDCOM file with a privacy option for living people selected as noted in the fist paragraph. Then when you make reports from that file, only the dead people will have their information included.
If there are a lot of duplicate records in the two databases, but only a few records to add, another way might be better. After opening your "master" database, open the smaller database at the same time. RoomsMagic will show both files on the screen. You can then drag and drop people from one window into the other. When you do so you have the choice of adding a single person, a person and their descendants, everyone in the tree, people you select form a list, and so forth. After combining the two files in this way, you may again want to do an automatic or manual merge to combine duplicates.
This could be a really powerful feature for other kinds of searches. For instance I could look for people in my Civil War Veterans group who were also in my Descendants of William Brewster Group.