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.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Introducing Our New Blog

  • There is one crucial thing to remember when considering a custom TMG report.  If the information is not in your TMG database, then it won't appear in a report.  The report you want may determine the manner in which you enter your information.
How do you enter burial information?  The first idea that came up was the creation of a cemetery person.  As far as I know, Diana Begeman was the first TMG user to come up with the idea of creating an artificial person to make it easier to see people related simply by association with that artificial person.  She created a "Census Person" and linked people enumerated in a census to the corresponding census person.  I think this was a truly brilliant idea.  Although I didn't have a need for a census person, I did start playing with other artificial people.  One of them was a cemetery person.  Here is the screenshot showing the cemetery person, "Leroy Cemetery."

  • Pros: It's very helpful to see all the people buried in a cemetery listed together, and seeing them on the detail screen is very convenient.  The people are listed in burial date order (or sort date order when no official burial date could be found).  TMG's accent feature is turned on, and red background indicates descendants of Reuben Case (1766-1847).  This is also a nice touch.
  • Cons: Do you really need to see your cemetery listings in burial order?  Wouldn't it be more useful to see who was buried next to whom?  Does this method of data entry give you something you couldn't get from a report?
TMG allows almost infinite customization.  Do you like the idea of a cemetery person?  Will it help you visualize a solution to a problem?  Try it, and see what you think.  I did, but decided it really didn't add anything I couldn't get from a TMG report.  The next comment to come up: "I want pictures in my cemetery reports."  Tune in to the next blog post for ideas on cemetery reports that include tombstone pictures.

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