Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Creating Source Citations in RootsMagic 7 - Post 6: Crafting a Source Citation for a Census Entry Using a Free-Form Source Template

Researchers new to RootsMagic 7 may have challenges learning how to enter source citations into RootsMagic, so I thought I would show how I enter a new source and then create a citation, with the Evidence Explained source templates, and with a free-form template (in a later post in this series).Previous posts in this series include:

*  Creating Source Citations in RootsMagic 7 - Post 1: New Master Source (posted 12 January 2016).

*  Creating Source Citations in RootsMagic 7 - Post 2: Adding Source Details to the Master Source (posted 13 January 2016).

*  Creating Source Citations in RootsMagic 7 - Post 3: Adding Master Text, Detail Text, Quality and Repository Information (posted 14 January 2016).
*  Creating Source Citations in RootsMagic 7 - Post 4: Crafting a Source Citation for a Published Book Found Online (posted 15 January 2016)
*  Creating Source Citations in RootsMagic 7 - Post 5: Crafting a Source Citation for a Census Entry Using a Source Template (posted 18 January 2016)

In this post, I will demonstrate how to find and use a RootsMagic free-form source template for a U.S. Census Record.  


1)  I found the 1940 U.S. census record for my grandfather, Frederick W. Seaver (1876-1942) several years ago in Worcester County, Massachusetts.  Here is the census image on Ancestry.com:



Note that I have the "Source" tab open on the right-hand side of the screen above - much of the information I need to create the source citation is on that tab. 

For comparison purposes, the Ancestry.com source citation for this digital image from the 1940 United States Federal Census is:

Year: 1940; Census Place: Leominster, Worcester, Massachusetts; Roll:T627_1651; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 14-181

2)  Using the previously created Census Fact in my "Edit Person" screen, I clicked on the "Source" button to create a free-form source for this record.  




The "Free-form" source template is at the top of the list, and can be used for any source type.

3)  I clicked on "Free-form" and the "Edit Source" screen opened for the "Free-form" source template and I entered my information into the fields:


Note on the screen above that there are only three fields for the "Master Source" and one field for the "Source Details."  In this source template, the user has to create all of the master source information for the Footnote, Short Footnote and Bibliography citations.

When the "Free-form" source citation is created by RootsMagic, the first part of the source citation is the "Master Source" information and the second part is the "Source Details" information.  Therefore, a user needs to decide how much of the "Master Source" information should go into the "Master Source" fields and the rest of it needs to go into the "Source Details" field.

For this U.S. census record, I entered this information into the "Master Source" fields:

*  Footnote:  1940 United States Federal Census

*  Short Footnote:  1940 United States Federal Census

*  Bibliography:  1940 United States Federal Census, population schedule. Digital image. Ancestry.com. http://www.ancestry.com

I entered the rest of the information about this specific census record into the "Source Details" field:

*  Pages:  Worcester County, Massachusetts, population schedule, Leominster, enumeration district (ED) 14-181, sheet 9-A, family #202, Frederick Seaver household; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 12 April 2012); citing National Archives Microfilm Publication T627, Roll 1651

Note that I had to enter the other elements of the "Master Source" from the other census source template in the right places, along with the "Source Details" from the other census source template, plus the punctuation.

4)  When I was done, I clicked on the "OK" button and entered the "Master Source Name" for this free-form census source citation:


The "Master Source Name" I used was:

1940 U.S. Federal Census - all states/counties (Ancestry)

Note that with this free-form I can use this one Master Source for every 1940 U.S. Census record I find on Ancestry.com, since the state, county, and roll number are not included in the Master Source fields.

5)  I am done - so I clicked on the "OK" button on the screen above and saw the Census sources for this event in the "Citation Manager" screen:


6)  The "Free-form" source citation elements are:


Footnote: 1940 United States Federal Census, Worcester County, Massachusetts, population schedule, Leominster, enumeration district (ED) 14-181, sheet 9-A, family #202, Frederick Seaver household; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 12 April 2012); citing National Archives Microfilm Publication T627, Roll 1651.

Short Footnote: 1940 United States Federal Census, Worcester County, Massachusetts, population schedule, Leominster, enumeration district (ED) 14-181, sheet 9-A, family #202, Frederick Seaver household; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 12 April 2012); citing National Archives Microfilm Publication T627, Roll 1651.

Bibliography: 1940 United States Federal Census, population schedule. Digital image. Ancestry.com. http://www.ancestry.com.

The "Master Source" field entries are in red, the "Source Detail" entries are in blue, and the information added by the source template are in purple (only the titles and the periods at the end of the element text).  


7)  Obviously, using a "Free-form" source template for a Census source citation is not perfect.  However, it does have some advantages to researchers, including:

*  I need only one "Master Source" for each census year, instead of many "Master Sources" for each census year, state/county and microfilm roll.

*  The "Footnote" is almost perfect Evidence Explained quality (only the italicized text for the database provider is wrong).  

*  The "Free-form" source citation transfers perfectly in a GEDCOM export to another program or an online family tree because there are only two fields - one for the "Master Source" and one for the "Source Detail."  The Evidence Explained source templates do not transfer perfectly to another program or online tree because RootsMagic uses custom programming that the other programs or websites don't recognize.  This is, to me, the most important reason to use a "Free-form" source citation.  

Don't get me wrong - I love the EE source templates because they provide a perfect source citation in RootsMagic; I use them to generate "sample citations" for record types for which I need to create a "Free-form" citation.

8)  The problems using the "Free-form" source template include:

*  The Footnote in the "Free-form" citation deviates from the Footnote in the EE source template only in that the database provider (i.e., Ancestry.com) is not italicized.  

*  The Short Footnote "Free-form" citation deviates because more information is provided in the "Source Details."  

*  The Bibliography "Free-form" citation deviates because the state and county, and year of access, are not included in the Free-form citation.

*  The "Source Details" information requires more typing and attention to text order and punctuation.  
9)  I prefer the "Free-form" source template because of the benefits I noted - mainly because of the GEDCOM issue.  They also save me time - I can use the one Master Source for many citations.  The drawbacks are minor in my opinion.  I can edit the Short Footnote and Bibliography in a report if I need to.  I can italicize the database provider name if necessary in a report or blog post. 

10)  In the next post in this series, I will demonstrate how to copy and paste a source citation for one Name or Event to another Name or Event in order to save time typing.  



Copyright (c) 2016, Randall J. Seaver

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3 comments:

Richard Van Damme said...

Randy, These are great tutorials and I am eating them up. Can't wait for the next one. I am an FTM migrant and when I transfer my file I want to continue cleaning up my sources. I sure do like how the EE sourcing works in RM but the need to stay GENCOM compliant is very important. Thanks for your work. Rich

Jill Morelli said...

Randy,

Thanks so much for posting these tutorials. Incredibly timely for me as I am also a RM migrant from TMG. I will need your cut/paste tutorial because obviously I cannot do it the way I usually do--I'm on a MAC. I think I will use the free form almost exclusively. There is another disadvantage, albeit small--I have a annual tax register. I would like to lead the footnote with the year but I will literally have hundreds of these and I really do not want that many in my source list. I wish (and perhaps there is) a way to insert a variable at the lead position of the master source.

Jill

Elizabeth Miller said...

Randy,

Thank you so much for posting this tutorial. Over the past 15 years, I have spent many frustrating hours/months/years struggling with messy source citations and lost data after GEDCOM imports and migrations from one software program to another on both the PC and MAC computer. After switching to RM7 for MAC and incorporating Evernote into my workflow, I am hoping that this is the last time I will have to wrestle with this problem. Your tutorial hit the "sweet spot" for me!

Liz