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.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Creating a "Census Candidates" Search List II

TMG's filters employ only two Boolean logic operators, AND and OR. An important omission is the NOT operator. That operator can be incorporated into a filter by setting a flag value. In fact, if the final filtered result desired uses only OR and NOT operators, one can construct an efficient report sequence that achieves the final result by setting and resetting a Temporary flag. My Temporary flag currently has a default value, ?, and four additional possible values, N, Y, X, and C. Whenever I run a report that requires setting a given flag value, I reset this flag to its default value first.
This is a Venn diagram showing three filtered groups.
  • A represents those people in the database known to be living on 1 June 1850, the official 1850 census enumeration date. These are people whose birth date, whether known or estimated, precedes that date and whose date of death comes after that date. I run a report that filters the database for these people and sets the Temporary flag value to Y.
  • B represents those people whose birth dates, known or estimated, predate the census enumeration date, and whose probable life span suggests they might be living on that date. This second report filters the database for those people and resets the Temporary flag value to X.
  • C represents those people for whom a census tag with Year Value = 1850, whether principal or witness in that tag, exists. A third report filters for those people and resets the Temporary flag value to C.
I use Book Manager to run these sequential reports. This TMG feature makes the process very efficient.

Look at the people in the solid blue section of group A. These people comprise the set A NOT C, or those people known to be living on 1 June 1850 for whom no census tag for that year exists. It's now easy to create a current problem-oriented census candidates research list in TMG's Project Explorer. The filter shown below selects only those people with a Temporary flag value of Y (those in the solid blue section in the Venn diagram) who are also in the current Focus Group (descendants of Josiah Beckley for six generations in this example). Note that if you want to include the individuals in the solid red B group (possibles), change the first line in this filter to: (Temporary = Equals Y OR Temporary = Equals X).

Ta-da! I only have fourteen names to check! Because my Project Explorer is linked to the Individual Detail screen, running down this search list is fast and easy.