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, August 13, 2012

Reporting Find-A-Grave Records

"Most of my cemetery information comes from Find-A-Grave. Does that make a difference in how I create my cemetery reports?" Yes, there are differences in how you should treat this online information.
  • Your citation should make it clear that you did not view this gravestone yourself.
If you would like to see an example of a Find-A-Grave source citation, take a look at this one from our TMG citations blog. The focus of the citation is the website, not the cemetery, and your name does not appear anywhere.
  • Although you will probably download the gravestone photograph and link it to your TMG database, you do not own the copyright to the photo.
What does this mean?  It means that you can't publish a report that includes any copyrighted photographs without the explicit permission of the person who took those photos. It is not enough to cite the photographer in your citation. You must obtain permission from that person before publishing anything that includes that photograph. What does "publish" include?
  1. A book for your family.
  2. A report sent to another researcher.
  3. A report posted online.
  4. An e-mail message.
  5. A GEDCOM file that includes exhibits.
  6. A family tree on Ancestry or other online site.
  7. Any physical appearance of that photograph whose subsequent reappearance you can't control.
If you link a copyrighted photograph to your TMG database, there is a risk that it might be published inadvertently. It's so nice having that picture handy, though, so is there a way to minimize the risk?

Gravestone photographs I take myself are linked to the corresponding burial event tag.  Cemetery reports that include photographs are designed to print exhibits linked to this event tag.  Therefore, I cannot link photographs to which I don't own the copyright to the burial event tag. There are two other possibilities.  Link the photograph to its citation or link the photograph to the source.  Pros and cons:
  • Linking the photograph to the citation makes it easy to review the individual's gravestone, but exhibits linked to citations do not appear in an individual's Exhibit Log.  This is my choice, but this also means that I don't create reports that print citation exhibits - and it's not easy to view all the photographs I've downloaded from a website.
  • Linking the photograph to the source makes it easy to see all the gravestone photographs you've downloaded from a website, but it's more difficult to review an individual's gravestone.  Exhibits linked to sources don't appear in an individual's Exhibit Log, either.  Using this option also means you must be careful creating reports that print source exhibits - and I do have a few of those.
A picture is worth a thousand words.  Compare these two TMG screenshots.

Burial tag: Cemetery viewed and photographed
Burial tag: Find-A-Grave record
  1. The first Citation screen shows that the record came from the cemetery itself. The date is the date the cemetery was viewed. The second screen shows that the record came from Find-A-Grave, the date is the date the site was accessed, and credit is given to the photographer - who photographed this stone at my request. Thank you, Garczar!
  2. The green camera icon in each screen shows that an exhibit has been linked to each record. In the first example, the event icon is lit, and this exhibit will print in my cemetery reports. In the second example, the citation icon is lit, and this exhibit will not print in a report.
  3. Memo and location information is similar in both records. Both memos contain gravestone transcriptions in the Memo2 field. The first burial event is from a small cemetery, and the photograph number in the Memo1 field is used as the locator. The second burial event references a large cemetery, and the section, lot and grave numbers are found in the Addressee field.
How you choose to treat Find A Grave records is really up to you, but TMG does provide methods that allow you to responsibly differentiate between those gravestones you've actually visited and photographed and those stones some nice Find A Grave volunteer photographed for you.  Of course, if that volunteer gives you permission to publish his or her photograph, you can then link it to burial event - but don't forget to state on the photograph that you have permission to publish it from the copyright holder.

1 comment: