Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Creating Source Citations in Family Tree Maker 2011 - Post 2: Converting Free-form Sources to Template Sources

In Creating Source Citations in Family Tree Maker 2011 - Post 1, I described some of my challenges in creating "quality" source citations in my genealogy database using FTM 2011.

I want to convert my "master sources" (most of them created in Family Tree Maker 16 over the past 12 years) into "Source Groups" using the source templates that were developed according to Evidence! Explained principles.  If I do this well, then I won't have to duplicate my earlier efforts. 

For this example, which is typical of what I've done to date on this task, I'm going to convert the Carringer Family Bible "master source" from the free form style to the Template style.  The "free form source" reads:

"unknown, Carringer Family Bible (loose pages) (no publication information), Family files of Randall J. Seaver, 1154 Via Trieste, Chula Vista, California, USA 91911"

I copied this text to my clipboard before I did the following process:

1)  In the "Sources" Workspace, the list of "Source Groups" is on the left.  I selected and double-clicked on the "Carringer Family Bible" entry and the "Edit Source" box appeared over the middle panel.  In the lower right-hand panel is the text above:

In my "free form source," I had entries in the Title, the Publisher, the Source Repository and the Comments.  The "Source Template" field is empty. 

2)  I want to use an appropriate "Source template" so I clicked on the "Change" button and the "Select Source Template" box appeared:

The "Select Source Template" box wants me to select a "Source Group," "a "Category" and a "Template."  After looking through several of the options, I selected a "Source Group" = "Archives and Artifacts," a "Category" = "Private holdings" and a "Template" = "Family Bible Records" in the fields above.  The helpful note below the "Template" field provides a summary of what should go into this particular template.

3)  I clicked on the "OK button, and the "Change Source Type box appeared, which wants me to choose which of the template fields I want to use:

I decided to accept them all... noting that the "Existing template" item was checked, and clicked "OK." 

4)  The "Edit Source" box opened with the selected template fields, but they were empty.  Remember how I copied the previous "free form source" information into my clipboard?   I then pasted it into the "Comments" field at the bottom so that I could cut and paste elements into the template fields. 
I proceeded to put information into the template fields of the "Edit source" box:

After filling in the fields, I edited the "Comments" section.

5)  The "Edit Source" box looked like this:

OK, I'm done editing.  I clicked "OK" and the source was edited.  The "Source Group" screen for this specific Source Group looked like:

The "Source Citation" section of the middle panel shows one citation, with 11 "Links" in the lower part of the middle panel.  The "Source Group" citation reads:

"David Jackson Carringer, 1828-1946, Carringer Family Births, Marriages and Deaths (loose pages), unknown title (unknown location: unknown publisher, unknown date; before 1901); privately held by Randall J. Seaver, Chula Vista, California 91911, 1988-2011."

That one was fairly complicated - not all of them are, of course. 

For me, the key for this process was to copy my "free form source" information into the clipboard a temporary file of some sort so that it can be pasted into the Comments section to help me with the source template fields.  I learned from experience that once you've changed the source information, the previous "free form source" information was eliminated. 

I've changed some of my 640+ Source Groups from the "free form source" style to the "Source Template" style and it goes fairly quickly.

Disclosure:  I received a gratis copy of Family Tree Maker 2011 from Ancestry.com in November 2010.  I had purchased earlier versions of Family Tree Maker myself, but also received gratis copies of some versions from Ancestry.com (which I donated to a local genealogical society).  I try very hard to be objective in my comments about Family Tree Maker, and all genealogy software, subscription sites and websites.

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