Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Creating Source Citations in RootsMagic 7 - Post 1: New Master Source

My geneablogging colleague, Linda Stufflebean, who writes the Empty Branches on the Family Tree blog, recently wrote RootsMagic 7 Source Citations (posted 10 January 2016).  She is trying to learn new genealogy software, and became frustrated because she wanted to enter a new source and citation into RootsMagic, but was unsure of the process.

Other researchers new to RootsMagic 7 may also have the same challenges, so I thought I would show how I enter a new source and then create a citation, with the Evidence Explained source templates (in this post), and with a free-form template (in a later post in this series).

I have a paper article in my surname notebooks for "The English Ancestry of Henry Adams," written by Rev. Hiram Francis Fairbanks, and published on pages 320-322 of Volume 59, Number 3 of the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, a quarterly journal.  Although I have a print copy of this article, it is also available online at the www.AmericanAncestors.org website.

There are two ways to add a new Source to the Source List.  The first is to go to Lists > Source List and pick "Add new source" to add a new "Master Source" to the list.  The second way is to go to a Person > Edit Person > Event > Source and pick "Add new source."  Here is the first method:

1)  In the Family View (it could be any view - I almost always use the Family View), click on the "Lists" menu item:

On the "Lists" dropdown menu, pick "Source List."

2)  The "Master Source List" window opened, and I could see any of my master sources.

I wanted to add a new "Master Source," so I clicked on the "Add new source" button located just below the "Master Source List" title on the screen above.

3)  After clicking on the "Add new source" button, the list of Source templates appeared:

I could have scrolled down through this list of Source Types - they are all unique source templates based on the Evidence Explained book.

I wasn't sure which one to pick - my source is a quarterly journal or periodical, so I started typing "journ" into the search field on the screen above.  A list of potential source templates appeared (including Free-form).

My source is a print article in a quarterly journal or periodical, so I decided to pick the "Journal Article, print" template.

4)  Here is the screen for the "Journal article, print" source template:

For this source template, there are 7 fields for the "Master Source" portion of the new source I am adding.  Note that on the right side of the screen is an area with a white background that is waiting for information for the Footnote, the Short Footnote, and the Bibliography entries.  As I enter text in the 7 fields, the information in those fields will be added to this white-background area.

The information I entered into the 7 fields was:

* Author:  Rev. Hiram Francis Fairbanks
*  Article title:  The English Ancestry of Henry Adams of Braintree
*  Article subtitle:
*  Journal title:  New England Historical and Genealogical Register
*  Volume:  Volume 59, Number 3
*  Issue Date:  July 1905
*  Pages/Range: pages 320-322

Here is the filled in source template:

As you can see, the Footnote, Short Footnote and bibliography entries are formatted exactly like the examples in Evidence Explained (except I like to spell out "Volume" and "Pages").  The article title is in quotes, the journal title is in italics, and the issue date is in parentheses.

5) When I clicked the "OK" button, I was prompted to enter a "Master Source Name" for this source:

I entered this for the Master Source Name:

Adams of Braintree - by Fairbanks (NEHGR v59)

I will discuss this choice later in this post).

6)  I was done with defining this master source, so I clicked on the "OK" button and saw that this new  "Master Source" was added to my Source List:

There it is - right at the top of the list on the screen (but it's not the first item on the list!).  On the right side of the "Master Source List" screen above is the identification of the source template ("Journal article, print") and the master source information for the Footnote, Short Footnote and Bibliography entries.

I'm done.  Now I can click on the "Close" button and start adding the source citation details in the next post in this series.

7)  All of the above can be found in the Help index or search screens in RootsMagic - usually with examples similar to the above.  They are also in the RootsMagic book sold on the RootsMagic.com website.

8)  I want to emphasize the most important thing I've found, through hard experience, in naming a Master Source.  I have over 1,300 master sources in my database, and I don't want to have to scroll through all of them to find the specific one I want to use.  RootsMagic lists them in the Source List alphabetically.

In the "Master Source List," all I have to do is start typing the keyword in the "Master Source Name."  Since I chose "Adams" as the first word in the Name, the list will go right to the keyword.

My Keywords in the "Master Source List" are usually:

*  A surname when the source is about that surname (like "Adams of Braintree").
*  A year if it is a source for a specific year (like "1850 U.S. Census").
*  A town or city if it is a source for a specific town or city (like "Westminster, Mass. Vital Records")
*  A state if it is a source for the entire state (or province (like "California Births, 1905-1995").  I spell it out.
*  A country if it is a source for an entire country (like "England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975")
*  A newspaper if it is a source for a specific newspaper (like "San Diego Union-Tribune")
*  A specific name if it is a source from a specific person (like "Abbie Smith Family Papers")

If I group all of the sources for a specific surname, a specific year or a specific location together, then I can easily find the source I want and won't waste time looking through 1,300 master sources because I cannot remember the first word of the "Master Source Name."  The name is intended to be used as a Finding Aid and not as the definitive source name.

9)  In the next post in this series, I will add a source detail to this master source for a specific event.  

The URL for this post is:  http://www.geneamusings.com/2016/01/creating-source-citations-in-rootsmagic.html

Copyright (c) 2016, Randall J. Seaver

Please comment on this post on the website by clicking the URL above and then the "Comments" link at the bottom of each post.  Share it on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Pinterest using the icons below.  Or contact me by email at randy.seaver@gmail.com.


Linda Stufflebean said...

Thank you, Randy! All the details are a huge help.

mbm1311 said...

Thank you. What is your recommendation for sourcing if I want to be able to gedcom my files to other soft ware. Free form? I want to stack the deck in my favor so the maximum information is moved, with out me having to do a lot of new formatting when it lands in another software.


Mary Beth

Unknown said...

Thanks for this, but I'm still not clear on the function of a master source, the reason I searched your article.

Roadrunner said...

Thank you Randy. This is the area I have most difficulty with. Your help is greatly appreciated.

NLM said...

My problem is that my source type is not listed. I need a census of residents and landowners, not US, not Canada, not France, not UK, etc. How do I add a new source type? This would be census in Spain.