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, August 5, 2012

Entering Information from Monuments

How would you enter information from this tombstone in TMG?  This is the back face of the monument, and memorializes four people: Charles Varney and his wife, Huldah Lawrence, their daughter Josie, and her husband, Wesley Hoffman.  The front face has only the family name.  The right face memorializes Charles' brother, George Varney.  The brothers were in the same company in the Civil War, and two G.A.R. flags are posted next to the monument.  Entering information from grave markers that mark only one person's burial is simple; but what is the best way to enter information from grave markers like this?  I have absolutely no idea!

If you know me at all, you know I always have ideas.  In this case, though, I have yet to discover an idea that I think is best practice.  My TMG database is full of my experiments, and here are a few.

  1. Add burial tags for each person named on the stone.  Transcribe the relevant face of the marker, noting which face it is, and put this in the memo area you like for your reports.  Link the photograph of the relevant face to the burial tag as an event exhibit.  Note in the citation memo the names of others found on the marker.  (This is what I'm doing at the moment.)
  2. Add burial tags for each person named on the stone.  Transcribe the relevant lines from the marker and note in square brackets the names of others found on the stone.  Link the photograph of the relevant face to the burial tag as an event exhibit.
  3. Create a custom tag called Tombstone or Gravestone.  Use it for markers memorializing multiple people.  Transcribe each face and link all photographs to the tag as exhibits.  Link each person to the tag as witnesses.
There are pros and cons to all three methods.  If you don't have a method that works for you, experiment with these and see if one of them meets your needs.  If you do have a method you love, please let us know.  I would love to find a better idea!

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