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.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Gravestone Inscriptions, or Thoughts about Memos

Do you, or do you not, transcribe gravestone inscriptions?  For most people, data analysis doesn't begin with a photograph; it begins with the physical act of copying a record.  Transcribing a record nudges the conscious mind into awareness of anomalies, contradictions, and missing information.  It also helps us remember possible connections.  In other words, thoughtful researchers transcribe records.  As wonderful as TMG is, it still can't search digital images for information.  To get the most out of our cemetery data, we transcribe gravestone inscriptions and attach those transcriptions, as well as any digital images, to our burial event tag.  Now, where should you enter this transcription in TMG?

Where you enter your data is determined by how you plan to use it.

  • You want your transcription to appear in a footnote or endnote.  If so, there are two options.  Enter the transcription as the first, or only, entry in the event memo; or enter it in the citation memo (CM).  Make sure that your source citation template is defined to print the CM, of course.
    • The first option will print the gravestone transcription in its own note, preceding the source citation note.
    • The second option will print the gravestone transcription as part of the source citation note.
  • You want your transcription to appear in the body of your narrative.  If so, enter the transcription in the event memo field.  You're free to use any memo segment, MEMO1-MEMO9.  Just define your burial sentence appropriately and BE CONSISTENT!
  • You decide you don't want your transcription printed in any narrative report or family group sheet, but you want to preserve your options.
    • Don't enter the transcription in the citation memo.  This opens the door to lack of consistency in defining your source citations and its printing options are the most limited.
    • Don't enter the transcription in the event memo as MEMO1.  It's simpler to reserve that for footnote material when a sentence is not defined. 
    • Enter it in MEMO2 or higher, reserving that memo part in the burial tag for gravestone transcriptions only.  List reports can be defined to print it, and if you ever change your mind, you can define a new language using this memo part in the burial tag sentence.
Would you like to see these memo rules in action?  I've provided a page of examples on our TV-TMG web pages.

Any other ideas?  Feel free to comment.  The more, the merrier!

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