Monday, September 24, 2012

Creating a Specific Source List Report in RootsMagic 5

I now have almost 800 different Sources (almost all in close to Evidence! Explained format) and over 30,000 source citations (such as they are) in my genealogy database in RootsMagic 5.  not bragging...just saying.

One of the problems I have is that many of my source detail citations are incomplete - they don't have a page number, or any text in the citation detail field.  So how do I figure out which ones don't have adequate information?

RootsMagic 5 has a Source List Report feature.  I was really concerned that, with over 30,000 source citations, that I might crash my computer.  But no, didn't happen.

Here's how I did it:

1)  In RootsMagic 5, I clicked on Reports > Lists > Research Reports > Source List:

In the screen above, I selected the button for "Print all sources in database sorted by 'Source name.'"  I could have chosen '"Bibliography" or "Source file #."

There are a number of check boxes - I selected only the "Citation details" box.

2)  With some trepidation, I clicked on the "Generate Report" button and waited about 30 seconds. I was surprised that the report was only 836 pages!

That's interesting, and I could save it, and I could waste a two reams of paper and several ink cartridges printing it, but I resisted the temptation.

As you can see, it goes through the Source List with one source name at a time, providing the "Footnote" element of the source, then a numbered list of all of the source detail citations using the Source.

3)  What I want to do is one specific Source at a time and add content to the source detail citation field in the citations that need improvement.  So I clicked on the "Print a single source" button and selected the Westminster, Massachusetts Vital Records to 1849 Source.

This time, I checked the "Source text," "Source comments" and Repositories" check boxes, in addition to the "Citation details" box:

The resulting list source citations for this source had "only" 171 entries on four pages:

As I'd hoped, the list of Citations shows the entries that have missing or sparse citation details.  As you can see in the screen above, the person and the Fact for that person are listed also, followed by the citation detail.  I printed out the four pages.

I love genealogy database management programs!!  They can do almost everything I want in a short period of time so that I can do useful tasks rather than boring list tasks.

I'm tempted to figure out how to do this in Family Tree Maker 2012 (but maybe Russ Worthington will do it and show us how!) and in Legacy Family Tree 7.5 (will Geoff Rasmussen do the honors here?).

This was useful to figure out, even fun, and now I know I can do it and will use it to take one Source at a time (especially the published Massachusetts Vital Record books) on occasion and enrich the database.

Where do I find the books to search?  Many are online at either Google Books, American Ancestors, Ancestry, the Early Vital Records of Massachusetts site, or Rootsweb pages.  I've found that the most useful site for links to free or commercial sites for these books is the Massachusetts page on the ProGenealogists site.

So off to work - I wonder how long editing the 171 entries for Westminster will take?

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Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver


Anonymous said...

I agree - I love database programs.

But I'm looking for one where I can write my own reports.

-- Marshall

P.S. Nice to meet you on Saturday; thanks for the help!

Taco Goulooze said...

Don't forget the Internet Archive as a great source for genealogy books (and US census)!

Russ Worthington said...


Challenge accepted:

FTM2012 - Source and Citation Clean Up

Thank you,


Connie Sheets said...


I'm obviously not Geoff, but it's easy enough to do in Legacy.

*Open the Master Source List and tag the source (or sources) you want.
*Open the Reports menu, and choose Source Citations (under the Books/Other tab).
*Under the Include tab, check Only Tagged Sources, Master Sources and All Citations to Each One, Include specific events, and include Citation Detail.
*Under the Options tab, select whatever style you want; you probably want the Printed Style format rather than List Style format.
*Preview or print.

Lots of other options are available for printing out your source citations as well, but this is closest to what you did in RM5.