Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Creating a "Facts Without Sources" List in RootsMagic 6

James Tanner, in his post "Comments on Becoming an Excellent Genealogist - Chapter Three" today on the Genealogy's Star blog, said:

"Even though some of the current programs have extensive and complex sourcing resources, those parts of the program can be totally ignored. For example, do you know of a program that will report to you all of the events you have entered without a source?"

Well, yes, I do!  I love challenges...

I remembered asking this question before, and found the post Can Your Software Make A Place-Name-Event-Source List? (posted 18 May 2010).  I couldn't find a program that would do exactly what I wanted, but reader RootsMagic offered:

"I'm not sure I follow exactly what you are looking for, but in RootsMagic 4 you can try this...

- Reports > Lists > Fact Type list
- Choose "Facts without sources"

This will give you a list of every fact in your file without sources.  On that same report you can also filter which people you want to include."

There were also comments on my post that Reunion, Family Tree Maker and Legacy Family Tree can do this also using certain reports and techniques.

I'll do it in RootsMagic 6 here, and hope that my fellow geneabloggers will exercise their favorite software programs to do the same task.

My goal here is to create a list of FACTS (or called EVENTS) without a source.  i'd like to have the person's name, the Fact type, the date, and the place name.  Ideally, I would like to have it in Place Name order so I could work in a limited number of sources at a time.

Here's what I did:

1)  In RootsMagic 6, I clicked on the "Reports" menu item, selected "Lists," and selected "Fact List:"

2)  clicking on the "Fact List" icon opened the "Report Settings" screen for the "Fact List" report.  I clicked on the down arrow for the "Create a list of:" options, and selected "Facts without sources:"

I selected "Facts without sources" and then decided to select my ancestors and descendants rather than everyone in my data file.  I clicked on the down arrow for the "People to include" dropdown menu and selected "Select from list:"

The "Select People" screen opened, and I scrolled to myself, and clicked on the "Mark group" button.  I decided to select "Ancestors of highlighted persons" option:

That opened the "Ancestor Options" screen, and I ran the number up to 13 generations of Ancestors:

I clicked the "OK" button on that screen, and on the "Select Person" screen, and then clicked on "Generate Report" button on the "Report Settings" screen, and the report started to be created.  It took a minute or two.

3)  Here is one page from the "Facts Without Sources" report:

The report created is 127 pages.  There are about 34 names on each page, for a grand total of something like 4,300 Facts without sources for just my ancestors back 13 generations.  Yikes...just to make me feel better, I ran another report with the option of "Facts With Sources" and received 203 pages (about 6,800) of facts with sources.  If I ran the report for all persons in the database, I'd end up with about 2,700 pages in the report (I have about 50,000 sources for 130,000 facts at this time).

The report shown above has columns for Name, Event, Date and Place.  It is in alphabetical Last Name order.  I can save it as an RTF, PDF, HTML or text file.  I saved it as a PDF file.

I wish there was a way to exclude certain Facts from the report - the Ref # is one of them.

I could go through my database one person at a time and try to search, find and add sources to the Facts without a source citation.  That does not seem real time efficient for me.  

I have many Places where many events occurred, and I would like to create the Fact list in Place order rather than Name order.  That way I could concentrate my efforts in adding sources on a specific place, for which there are only a few resources rather than do a wide search for a person to find sources for each Fact.  For example, the Sudbury, Massachusetts Vital Record book could provide me with births, deaths and marriages for hundreds of persons in my database.  

A work-around would be to search for a given Fact or a given Place in the created report above.  If I do that, I find 15 items for "Sudbury" in the report.  

4)  The "Facts Without Sources" report in RootsMagic almost satisfies me...and it should answer James Tanner's question about whether any software program can do this.

Is anyone else brave enough to share how many Facts they have without and with sources in their program or database?

Who wants to tackle Legacy Family Tree, Family Tree Maker, Reunion, Ancestral Quest, Family Tree Builder, or another genealogy software package.  Show us how to create a "Facts Without Sources" report.

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Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver


Unknown said...

Randy, I don't know whether to say thanks for this post or be upset because you gave me a way to see just how many facts I need to go back and add sources for!

Either way...great post and very informative and useful!

Jane Bonny said...

It was amazingly easy, as well as enlightening, to see mu unsourced Facts in FTM. Some were not really necessary since they were a way of noting a timeline of a Civil War Unit but I should go back and fix some of the others.

I went to Publish > collections > Source Reports > Undocumented Facts

Anonymous said...

Jane beat me to it, but Undocumented Facts is a new report in either version 2012 or version 2014 of FTM.

Dave L

Lisa S. Gorrell said...

I'm brave: if I mark everyone, I get 246 pages. If I mark ancestors of my daughter, I have 18 pages. Not too bad. I have something to do now on my 10 trip across Canada and the US on a train. I don't think I'll be bored after all.

K Dawson said...

You can save the report as a TXT file and then open it in Excel to sort it to get it to group by places.

JMBgenealogy said...

This was the only place I could find how to create a list of unsourced facts - Thank you!