After two years spent studying Elizabeth Shown Mills' Evidence Explained, our group needed a break. We decided that there is no better way to discover all that The Master Genealogist (TMG) can do than to explore its powerful custom report writer. If you would like to participate in the Tri-Valley TMG User Group's adventures as we examine the best ways to input data to make full use of TMG's wide range of reporting possibilities, please feel free to comment and share your ideas.

The Tri-Valley TMG User Group is associated with the Livermore-Amador Genealogical Society (L-AGS), and we meet in Pleasanton, California. Information on our meetings - location, date, time, and topic - is always available on the home page of the L-AGS web site. Our three-hour meetings are actually hands-on workshops in which up to fifteen computers are connected to a digital projector allowing customized personal assistance to attendees. In the past, the group has systematically studied Lee Hoffman's Getting the Most out of The Master Genealogist, Terry Reigel's A Primer for The Master Genealogist, and Elizabeth Shown Mills' Evidence Explained.

For further details on the reports we create, please visit our website. The section dealing with TMG reports begins at the page, "Exploring TMG's Report Menu."

Start following our new blog, "The Continuing Adventures of the TV-TMG User Group." This will detail our 2014 project.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Cemetery Report -- with Pictures!

TMG allows the user to add exhibits - photographs, text documents, OLE objects, etc. - in a wide variety of locations.  What you add and where you add it depends upon how you want to use the exhibit.  Are you like me?  Do you love walking through cemeteries photographing tombstones, whether they belong to your family or not?  Do you have thousands of digital tombstone photographs scattered on your hard drive?  They're just waiting for you to figure out what to do with them, aren't they?
  • Photographs can be linked in TMG to: People, to Events, to Citations, to Sources, to Repositories, and to Places.
  • Linked photographs will appear in reports only if they are linked to  People, to Events, to Citations, or to Sources.
  • Therefore, if you want tombstone pictures to appear in a report, do not link them to Repositories or Places.  Of course, you can link them to more than one person and more than one entity.
Not every report type allows the user to print exhibits (photographs).  To help me figure out what report types allow what options, I created this simple chart (PDF file). This chart shows that:
  • The Descendant Indented Narrative, the Individual Narrative, and the Journal reports are the only reports that provide all photograph options.
  • The Ahnentafel report prints photographs linked to People and Events.  This report is limited in the people it includes, so I seldom use it.
  • The Family Group Sheet and Individual Detail reports print only the Primary Person exhibit.  Therefore, unless you link your tombstone photograph to a person and make it the primary image, these two reports won't serve the purpose.
It looks like our cemetery report with tombstone photographs must be one of the three narrative-style reports.  Practice with each one to see what works best for your purposes.  Examples and instructions can be found on our instruction pages, specifically "Cemetery Reports: Including Tombstone Photographs."

Here are some ideas, comments and questions that came up in our discussion.
  • How do you enter a tombstone transcription?  Or is a transcription even necessary?
  • What about a tombstone that memorializes more than one person?  How should that be handled?
  • How do you create a report that shows who is buried next to whom?
  • My only cemetery records came from Find-A-Grave.  How should I report them?
Before these questions are discussed more fully, it would be a good idea to practice with a few cemetery reports on your own.  You may come up with some of the answers on your own.

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