Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Stuff Happens Sometimes... RootsMagic 4 Mystery Solved

After my complaining about Imported Master Source Citation Problems in RootsMagic, Bruce Buzbee of RootsMagic contacted me via email to try to figure out what happened.  I sent him a small FTM 16 file in FTW format and also in GED format.  They both showed Master Sources when "Source List" in RootsMagic 4 was selected.

So why did I have my "problem" in RootsMagic 4?  I figured it out with Bruce's help, and it's worth writing about it because other researchers and users of RootsMagic may have the same problem.  Here's the sequence:

1)  When I clicked the "Source List" button in the RootsMagic 4 icon row, I received this window:


Note that there are no Master Sources in this window in the left-hand column.  But look closely, and you can see that there is a down arrow at the top of the scroll bar for the left-hand column. 

2)  I used the scroll bar and went down a ways, and there were my 690 Master Sources!  The screen below shows the end of the blank lines and the start of the Master Sources:


In the screen above, I selected the last line of the blank Master Sources to try and figure out why they are blank.  My theory was that there was something in the Source records that was causing this.  I clicked "Edit" and renamed the blank source as "01-test" as seen above.

3)  In RootsMagic 4, the way to see which person and fact is associated with a specific source, you use Reports > Lists > Source List > select "Use a Single source" and select the source "01-test" from the list of Master Sources:.  Then click on "Create Report:"



The Source Usage report indicates that the Person for which this Master Source pertains was "Edmund Johnson" and the Fact was "Death."

4)  Using that information, I can go into my Family Tree Maker 16 database, find Edmund Johnson, and click on his Death source;  I see:


AHA!  Now I understand.  I added the word "estate" to the Citation Text without creating a Master Source title.  FTM 16 doesn't show a source citation like this in the Master Source list, but it is apparent that RootsMagic 4 does!   I have added notes like this for many citations - for "estate," probate," "cemetery," "gravestone" and probably several other Facts rather than create a real Master Source for the Fact.  More work to do!  But now I know how to find them!

That's good to know for RootsMagic 4 users.  If you have done things like this in your source citations, then you will have to scroll down in the Master Source list to find your Master Sources. 

Thank you, Bruce Buzbee, for the very fast response and suggestions. 

They say that there's no person that's totally worthless, they can always serve as a bad example. I guess that applies to genealogists running genealogy software too! It would probably be wise for RootsMagic 4 to include something in their Help section to the effect that "If you see blank lines at the top of your Master Source list, then you may have source information without a Master Source name."


UPDATED 5:20 p.m.:  After writing and posting the above, Bruce emailed me again and noted:

"If you highlight one of the blank master sources in the RM master source list, then click Print, then click Generate Report you will see who in your file (and which event) that blank source is attached to.


"It looks like FTM allows you to have citations with no master source. When importing a citation with no master source, RM has to create a fake master source to import that citation. Normally it uses the footnote text to create that fake master source, but for some reason in your database that footnote is apparently generated on the fly from the Citation text and isn't actually in the FTM file for RM to use.  I'll have to add some code to the FTM import of "no master source" citations so that if the Footnote text doesn't exist in the file RM will try to use the Citation text."

Using the "Print" button in the "Source Manager" is a good shortcut.

1 comment:

Jennifer Trahan said...

Hi, Randy! I just love Bruce Buzbee and the customer service that is provided with RM4. I went on the RootsMagic cruise in 2010, so I got to meet Bruce and his wife. They are super nice people. I also had a problem with the format of sources importing from Legacy, but Bruce told me at the FGS conference in Knoxville that it is a known problem and can't seem to be fixed due to the way Legacy's source code is written.