I want to highlight source citations in the FindMyPast Family Tree system because they are of significant interest to me and others.
And there is a significant problem with them.
1) The process to find source citations is easy:
* On the person Profile page for my grandfather, Frederick Walton Seaver (1876-1942), on the "Fact and Events" tab, there is a list of Facts/Events. Each Fact/Event has links to Sources, Media, Notes and Links, as shown below. When you click on the "Sources" link, the screen expands to show all of the Sources for the Fact/Event:
I have five sources for the Birth Fact/Event for my grandfather. For each of them, if you run your mouse over the area, there is an "Edit" icon and a "Trash" icon on the right side of the screen for each source. I clicked on the "Edit" icon (in blue above) for the first source and a popup box with the Source information popped up:
There are three fields shown on the popup window above - titled "Source," "Reference" and "Notes." The text inside the "Reference" field says "Reference (e.g., page number, web link, etc.).
The text inside the "Source" field above is:
"Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841-1915," indexed database and digital images, New England Historic Genealogical Society, American Ancestors (http://www.AmericanAncestors.org)
2) That is only part of the source citation - it's what several software programs call the "Master Source" part. The "Reference" field on the screen above should provide what some software programs call the "Source Detail" part of the source citation.
For instance, here is the RootsMagic screen for this particular source citation (in Free-form format), showing the "Master Source" fields for "Footnote," "Short Footnote" and "Bibliography," and the "source Detail field showing page number, etc.
So it appears that the FindMyPast sources provide only the "Master Source" component of the entire source citation provided in the GEDCOM file.
3) I created a small GEDCOM file for my grandfather so I could figure out what is happening here.
In the GEDCOM file created by RootsMagic (which is similar to that created by many other software programs and online trees), the source citations are in two separate tags:
* The "Source Detail" is in a PAGE tag (associated with a SOUR tag for the "Master Source") as shown below in the BIRTh Fact section of the GEDCOM file:
On the screen above, there are five SOUR tags with PAGE tags for the BIRTh fact.
SOUR @S277@ is the source for the PAGE which is the "Source Detail" in the section above.
* The "Master Source" part of the source citation is provided near the end of the GEDCOM file (because a Master Source can be used many times, so they are all clustered at the end of the file). Here is the GEDCOM file text for Master Source S277:
4) For the source citation being analyzed in this post, the "Reference" field on FindMyPast should contain this text:
Births: Volume 279, Page 311, Leominster, 1876: Fred Walton Seaver entry
The complete source citation ("Master Source" and "Source Detail") should be (Footnote style):
"Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841-1915," indexed database and digital images, New England Historic Genealogical Society, American Ancestors (http://www.AmericanAncestors.org), Births: Volume 279, Page 311, Leominster, 1876: Fred Walton Seaver entry.
5) I hope that FindMyPast will correct this problem - if they perceive it to be a problem.
How did this happen? I don't know. Perhaps the programmers picked the wrong GEDCOM tag to assign to the "Reference" field and the problem can be easily corrected. (If that's the case, then everyone who has uploaded a GEDCOM will probably have to upload it again.)
Please note that I use "Free-form" source citations, not multi-field source templates based on Evidence Explained models, for almost all of my source citations. When I created the GEDCOM file for the FindMyPast tree, I unchecked the box for "Extra Details (RM specific)" in order to avoid GEDCOM transfer problems with RootsMagic source templates.
6) As an aside, the current GEDCOM file form, being a text file, is easy to analyze to determine how information gets transferred from one program/online tree to another. As a non-programmer, I can usually figure out how things like this happen.
7) In the next post in this series, I'll look at how the Search function interacts with the FindMyPast Family Tree.
The URL for this post is: http://www.geneamusings.com/2014/08/family-trees-on-findmypastcom-post-3.html
Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver