Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Source Citation Merging in RootsMagic 4 - Uh Oh!

I asked two questions in my post Source Citation Creation in RootsMagic 4 - some examples yesterday:

1)  Does RootsMagic place the information in the Source Template fields into the correct GEDCOM fields?

2)  Can I merge the existing 650 free-form source templates in the database into the RootsMagic EE-style Source Templates?

I worked a bit today trying to answer the second question - and there is a fairly easy way to do it.  Implicit in my question was "without loss of any data."  However, I think that "Bruce, we have a problem." 

Follow along with this process if you can.  If you can't skip to the bottom of the post:

One of the Free-form source citations that was imported in a GEDCOM file was for the 1830 U.S. Census.  Here is the "Free-form source" for Isaac Seaver in the 1830 Census:

Note that the Master Source information includes only the words "1830 U.S. Census, Population Schedule, National Archives Publication M19."  There is also an entry in the "Source Details" field.  In the Free-form citations shown on the right of the screen, the Master Source entry and the Source Detail entry are included.

I want to create a Source Citation using the Source Templates in RootsMagic 4, and then merge the Free-form sources into the Template source citation so that I have to deal only with the 650 Master Sources and not with over 20,000 source citations, many of which include "Source Details."  I don't want to lose any information from my Free-form source citations.

Here is the Source Template filled out for the 1830 U.S. Census using the "Census, U.S. Federal (online images)" template in RootsMagic 4:

I didn't add the "Source Details" (note that the Template source details has more fields than the Free-form Source detail form) because I wanted to make sure that the Source Details on the Free-form appeared in the Source Details fields after I merge the Free-form Source into the Template Source.

Having created the Template Source, now I want to merge the Free-form Source into the Template Source.  From the Lists = Source List menu, the "Master Source List" screen opened:

Note that there are two Master Sources for the 1830 Census - one is the Free-form source and the other is the Template source.  There is a "Merge" button at the far right of the menu line in the "Master Source List" screen.  I clicked on the "Merge" button and saw:

In the screen above, it says to "Select source to merge then click here." I selected the other 1830 US census source, and clicked on the button:

The screen above lists the two sources - one "Primary" and the other "Secondary."  If I wanted the secondary one to be primary, then I can click on the "Swap" button.  I wanted the Template source citation to be the Primary source, and it is in the Primary position in the screen above.

After clicking the "Merge duplicates" button at the bottom right of the screen, there was only one Master Source for the 1830 US Census in the "Master Source List:"

Okay, that worked, and it was pretty easy to do.  Now what do my 1830 U.S. Source citations look like. 

I went to Isaac Seaver's screen, clicked on the 1830 US Census Fact, then the Source Citations (there were two, because I created two - one with Source Details and one without out) and saw:

After merging, the Template Source form came up, but there were no Source Details.  It appears that the "Source Details" are lost when a Free-form Source is merged into a Template Source.  It looks like any information in the Source Text, Source Comments, Detail Text and Detail Comments fields are also lost.  My guess is that anything in the Source Media and Detail Media fields would be lost also.

If that is true, and I tried it on several other source citations (with Source Details that I could easily replace), then my decision is real easy - I'm not going to use the RootsMagic Source Templates because I will lose all of my existing Source Details. 

Drat, and double drat.  What now?  So - "Bruce, do we have a problem?"

Onward to looking at the GEDCOM file for Free-form and Template Sources created by RootsMagic 4 in the next installment of the Seaver Source Citation Saga... it's messy, eh?  I'll have to summarize all of the findings in a summary post at some point in time.


RootsMagic said...

Randy, the details aren't actually *lost*. They are still in the file but since you changed from a freeform source which only has "Page number" as a detail to a source which doesn't have "Page number" as a detail, RM can't show you that detail. This is something we are working on.

Cousin Russ said...


I have a question or perhaps an observation. The Question is, Aren't the Templates at the Source Level, meaning a Census Year, State or at a Book level. But the page number at the Citation level?

So, and I think I am seeing the same thing happening with Family Tree Maker.

In earlier versions of FTW, we had a Master Source, and posted Citations against that Master Source. The end result, associating that Citation to an event, was the "free form" source.

When we try to move that free form source into the Template, we are, almost, trying to split that freeform source into two pieces. The Template, and the Citation Details and/or Citation Text.

I will have to try this in RM4, but I know that is what I think I am seeing with Family Tree Maker.

Thank you Randy for bringing this up with such detail.


GeneaLane said...

Randy, Janet Hovorka gave us your name and website on the Webinar this morning for Sourcing/Citations. She is a big fan of yours. Thank you for your research. I am changing from FTM 2011 to RM4 before the Jamboree this year. I have a lot of data that is not to the correct form --as yet. I want the right program for me and I feel its RM4. I have a question. Should I transfer my tree through a Gedcom or directly from FTM to RM4? Thanks Jann