* I Quit FH for TMG

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mjashby
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Re: I Quit FH for TMG

Post by mjashby » 17 Apr 2019 09:19

Sorry, but I would argue in the opposite in this area of data management, i.e. It's not necessarily software that imposes unreasonable expectations on users, but possibly a lack of proper consideration of alternatives, and often simpler, approaches.

In your example it could easily be dealt with using a single repository, whether you choose that to be your personal library, the British Library (which in the UK holds copies all published works), or some other choice. Then add a note record recording that local copies may be found/consulted via public libraries, Records Offices etc., using the recorded detail and ISBN included in the citation.

As another example, for me the main Repository for England & Wales Census documentation is recorded The National Archives but I attach a Reference Note to the single Repository explaining that the Census Data/Images may be seen online at numerous commercial sites including.....; and at some Records Offices and Reference Libraries. I'm certainly not going to unnecessarily attach multiple Repositories to every Census reference just for the sake of it.

And just in case you think I am simply anti-TMG, I was a user for more than 6 years and while it certainly had some positives, I always found it to be clunky and tedious to use in comparison with most Windows software. More of a DOS program made to work on Windows than a true Windows program, which of course links directly back to the database software it is still dependent on, i.e. the no longer supported FoxPro, which no matter how Microsoft presented it, was still DBase in a Microsoft overcoat; and I used DBase on on a C/PM machine in the 1980s along with Wordstar and Supercalc.

Mervyn

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Re: I Quit FH for TMG

Post by Gowermick » 17 Apr 2019 11:11

mjashby wrote:I used DBase on on a C/PM machine in the 1980s along with Wordstar and Supercalc.

Mervyn
Now that brings back some happy memories :D .
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Re: I Quit FH for TMG

Post by AdrianBruce » 17 Apr 2019 20:56

DonF wrote:... Adrian's question of why would anyone want to record a book being in more than one repository, when the important thing is that he found it in a particular library, let me give an example. ...
Yes and no. ( ;) )

Yes, because your justification for doing what you suggest is sensible.

No, because that's not actually what the Repository of a Source is for. (Doesn't mean you can't use it for something entirely different - but it does mean that you create a risk because you're cutting across the purpose of the software). I have always felt that designing or using a piece of software for 2 different purposes was a road to ruin. Sooner or later, someone says, "Why are we doing this?" and they let the other bit of functionality wither on the vine.

As I've tried to convey, the classic view of a Source-Record for the 1st edition of "My Life in Kenya" is that it describes the physical copy that you used - the one with the coffee stain on the back cover. It's not meant to describe all the copies of that 1st edition - what might be described as the theoretical or logical book. Listing several different repositories for the 1st edition of "My Life in Kenya" is a cataloguing function, not a genealogy function. The limit of not including cataloguing functions in a genealogy product, is not, I suggest, arbitrary at all but flows naturally from the purpose of what the program is for.

And as Lorna says, many people don't even record the Repository for a published book (I don't) unless it's seriously old and / or rare. This is even OK'd by Elizabeth Shown Mills! Another source of a clash if interchanging data.

As I said, it's not really about what must be done or not done - rather that diverging from the intention carries risks that might turn round and bite you in the posterior. And I can find enough posterior risks in relatives who change names and birth-dates without creating others!
Adrian

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Re: I Quit FH for TMG

Post by DonF » 17 Apr 2019 23:41

Fair comment Adrian.
But I'm not suggesting (as others seem to have assumed) that I ALWAYS do what I described. In fact, I hardly do it at all - but I do (usually) do it for books that are in my library. Why? Because others might want to find said book, and I'm not expecting them to knock on my door, wanting to read it.
And like you, I don't list a repository for common, publicly accessible items. Census records are a good example.

My understanding of quoting a Source is to enable others to reference it, to validate your conclusions and having a Repository associated with that gave them a finding aid. Or to quote the TMG Help "A repository record is used to record where a particular source was found."

But to go back to square one, the original question was how TMG structured Citation, Source, Repository and I answered that, pointing out along the way that TMG offered flexibility and no restraints on their connectivity, unlike other programs.
How those facilities are used remains entirely up to the user, and I'd never suggest there is only one 'right way'.

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Re: I Quit FH for TMG

Post by AdrianBruce » 18 Apr 2019 21:37

DonF wrote:... I'd never suggest there is only one 'right way'.
Indeed.
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Re: I Quit FH for TMG

Post by themoudie » 30 Apr 2019 22:59

Aye Rick,

Having read your message and then skimmed the consequent replies, I note that you haven't been following the thread and neither could I. :roll:

I quote your closing comments: " At 73, I want to spend my time researching and writing, not figuring out the vagaries and shortfalls of new contenders. There is no comparison between the two programs period! When it comes to meeting my research and writing requirements TMG is still the champion. So it is with some regret that I am abandoning FH and staying with the tried and tested TMG until and unless something closely approximating the power and flexibility of TMG comes along."

I agree with you first sentence. As for the rest, I can only say "Horses for courses!" I hope that you continue to enjoy your hobby for many years to come and wish you good health.

My regards, Bill

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Re: I Quit FH for TMG

Post by Rich Scats » 14 Aug 2019 15:50

I had been using TMG for the best part of 2 decades as part of a One Name study and now use FH
Using TMG I created tags for each individual censuses ie "1851 Census" "1911 Census" "1850 USA Census" etc and now I going through and amending the censuses to more conventional FH facts and at the same time updating people dates and places with information that wasn't readly availiable 10 or 15 years ago.
So there a method of deducing of how many times a particular fact has been used and where?
I'm sure there are still little gems to find try test & use within FH

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Re: I Quit FH for TMG

Post by tatewise » 14 Aug 2019 15:59

So there a method of deducing of how many times a particular fact has been used and where?
Yes, take a look at Fact type Queries and if you need more advice then post in the FH General Usage Forum.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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E Wilcock
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Re: I Quit FH for TMG

Post by E Wilcock » 16 Aug 2019 09:30

I am in my late 70s and moved to fh regardless. I have had endless patient help on this forum and using a text based software has been simpler for me.

I too had dated UK census events. They were standard in the UK edition of TMG. But I had entered the Year in the date field.

I have now put in the full dates, for one Project for 1841, and believe it was through Mike's plug in to search and replace.
As you still have your dated census events, the Plug in itself will allow you to select the event you are looking for.

Because it was the first time I used the plug in I did not allow it to run automatically which mean that I went through hundreds of entries Okaying them by hand. But in future I would do it automatically. Particularly as the plug in allows one to undo the total edit before saving the changes.

If you are doubtful, I would copy the whole project and try it out.

Once it is done one can alter the custom dated fact types to Census, using the plug in Change any fact.

There is one snag.
A TMG census entered as a joint event for husband and wife will have been imported into fh as a family event.
This means one may need to run the search and replace plug in twice, once for individual census events and then for family census events.

The existence of individual and family events in fh remains a mystery to me coming from TMG but one should always bear it in mind.

Mike may want to correct this, but it hasnt been a problem.

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Re: I Quit FH for TMG

Post by JohnnyCee » 21 Aug 2019 14:00

to correct a misunderstanding, Tag is a less suitable name than Fact.
The GEDCOM 5.5 specification defines a Tag in several places, but mainly Pages 9 & 16.
[SNIP]
Thus a Tag identifies all GEDCOM structures (e.g. INDI, FAM, DATE, PLAC, ADDR, SOUR, NOTE, OBJE, etc) NOT just facts.
Mike,

TMG's use of "Tag" is unrelated to the GEDCOM use of the same word. TMG uses Tag to denote a collection of record types that include Events, Names, and Relationships. In TMG, Tags (events, names, relationships) are used to record most of the assertions for an individual. All of them may have zero or more citations. Citations are linked to a source. Sources are linked to zero or more repositories.

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Re: I Quit FH for TMG

Post by tatewise » 21 Aug 2019 14:24

I was commenting on Don's assertion that "TMG uses the GEDCOM term Tag, rather than FH's non-GEDCOM term 'Fact' and justifying the FH use of Fact.
You are confirming that TMG is not using Tag in the context of GEDCOM.
I assert that FH should not use the term Tag instead of Fact because they are no way synonymous.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: I Quit FH for TMG

Post by jmurphy » 21 Aug 2019 17:22

It is my understanding that the Master Source in other programs would consist of the high-level data such as the details for the 1930 US Federal Census (Microcopy publication T626, Fifteenth Census of the United States, 1930, n number of microfilm rolls) which is common to all the census entries, and the detailed sources are for entering individual households. As previously discussed, this ties in to the great "lumpers" vs. "splitters" debate.

DonF wrote:
16 Apr 2019 00:57
.... and I should also have added that a TMG Source can refer to MULTIPLE Repositories - that is a book can be found in multiple libraries.
This obvious real-world situation is not allowed by some packages - Legacy, for example, only allows one Repository per Source, implying every book in the world only has 1 copy stored in 1 library......
I agree with what Adrian posted earlier.

While we can hope that the books we want to use for our research exist in many copies in libraries all over the world, easily discoverable via WorldCat, there is a bit of genealogical 'common sense' that explains the constraints placed on Sources by Legacy FT. The principle we should use, according to Elizabeth Shown Mills, author of Evidence Explained, is to cite what you use. For our own research notes, we should note which copy we used and which repository we were in when we consulted the book.

Why is this necessary?

Copies of books in libraries and repositories are not all the same. For an extreme case: I have technical books with hand-corrections or tipped-in errata sheets provided by the publisher. My copy of the book is not going to be exactly the same book as the one in your library down the street. For a more likely case, consider that someone might consult a scanned copy of a particular library's genealogy book online, and perhaps the person who scanned it accidentally skipped a page. It may not be necessary to cite exactly which copy of a book you used in a published citation in a journal -- that depends on the style of the journal and the editor's preference. But for your research notes, you should know which copy you actually consulted, in case it makes a difference.

A more practical example: I have access to the 'same' record set from multiple places, and the image quality varies widely from one online source to another. So in Family Historian, I might have three or four different multimedia items of the same census page. I will want to keep track of which image came from which place, so I'll need to have different sources for each item and the proper repository for each one.

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Re: I Quit FH for TMG

Post by dbnut » 07 Jan 2022 16:52

AdrianBruce wrote:
16 Apr 2019 10:41
The vast majority of genealogy software, so far as I know, work on the basis that a Source is the single (usually but not always) physical object that you consulted to get the information in question. Thus if I read the book "My Life in Kenya" using the British Library's copy, I (usually) create a Source-record for the book "My Life in Kenya" with a Repository of "the British Library". The fact that Manchester Central Library, Google Books, Bristol Library and WHS Smiths have copies is, to me, quite irrelevant since I didn't consult their copy, so they are not Sources for me, so why would I want to record the book being there? ...

Now, as usual with most things, there are bits that call my view into question. For instance, if a record office closes and its stock is transferred to another, wouldn't it be useful to record both repositories? ...
Sorry for dragging this up, but I landed here and - you know.

It might have been more interesting if your example book was on a Waterstones bookshelf. Then I might have chosen British Library for repository, being where you're guaranteed to find it, so avoiding both stocking/transfer issues and crazy proliferation of repositories.

Obviously that doesn't work for foreign (perhaps unknown) repositories, but who cares? I don't feel it's compulsory to specify one.

Likewise all my census sources have TNA repository, with "where" as the TNA references. And BMD at GRO with their District hierarchy "where".

Having blathered on about that, isn't it important (but GEDCOM-ignored) to know also where you found it? At least we can enter that in Citation Notes (like I'm pretty much forced to do with census district hierarchy), and it helps in finding it again (or for someone else to) when transcription/indexing varies (notably Find My Past versus Ancestry).

That's why, in the bad old days, I made so much reference to FreeBMD and Ancestry as sources, which I now feel is a bit naive.

I believe professional citation standards include something like "retrieved from", which would be IDEAL, but no Citation properties fit. Well, what would you expect from an afterthought that should have been a record?.
Paul White
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Re: I Quit FH for TMG

Post by davidf » 07 Jan 2022 18:51

dbnut wrote:
07 Jan 2022 16:52
That's why, in the bad old days, I made so much reference to FreeBMD and Ancestry as sources, which I now feel is a bit naive.
But why, if you got the details from FreeBMD or from an Ancestry/FMP/Family Search Collection, why not record it as that?

(Lumping) I might get a census record off Ancestry and give the source as 1851 E&W Census (Ancestry) - using the TNA reference as the "Where within Source" - and I may agree with the occupation that their transcribers determined. Later I might look up the FMP equivalent for the same TNA Reference and with a different (quality) image, decide the occupation could be something else.

Q. Where did I get the two differing occupations from - what is the source of the two alternative interpretations of that fact? The answer probably is not the census schedules in the TNA repository. Even if I determine a preferred answer, unless I have actually seen the physical schedules, the (primary) source that I am citing is surely the FMP or Ancestry image which supports that determination?

Or am I missing your reasons for seeing that as naive?

Admin: should this be forked off this topic?
David
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Re: I Quit FH for TMG

Post by AdrianBruce » 07 Jan 2022 21:16

dbnut wrote:
07 Jan 2022 16:52
... It might have been more interesting if your example book was on a Waterstones bookshelf. Then I might have chosen British Library for repository, being where you're guaranteed to find it, so avoiding both stocking/transfer issues and crazy proliferation of repositories.

Obviously that doesn't work for foreign (perhaps unknown) repositories, but who cares? I don't feel it's compulsory to specify one.
I tend to think that Elizabeth Shown Mills' ideas on citing sources can be a bit overwhelming, but her view on citing a repository for books is useful, I believe. Ironically I'm citing this from memory but...

Her view is that for current(ish) books, there is no need to include a Repository in the citation. After all, it should be reasonably obvious to an intelligent reader that obtaining a book can be through a number of sources ranging from a well-known site named for a river, via your local book-store, to Abebooks and similar. Where I obtained it from is, in that case, profoundly irrelevant. I wouldn't choose the British Library for a repository if I hadn't seen and used their copy - and it can be quite difficult to find copies in their catalogue in order to convince myself that the BL do have a copy. (They don't appear to have everything - I've seen mention of a slim volume about my 5G-GF but can't find it in the BL Catalogue.)

So, in other words, ESM agrees with you that it's not compulsory to specifiy a repository. Not merely that but why waste electrons in restating the obvious?

For electronic versions of books in Archive.Org, HathiTrust, etc, etc, I do record the site as the Repository, because there's a good chance that books on those sites are out-of-print and only available in a few places. So my where-to-find-it clue for someone else is important.
dbnut wrote:
07 Jan 2022 16:52
...
Likewise all my census sources have TNA repository, with "where" as the TNA references. ...
Having blathered on about that, isn't it important (but GEDCOM-ignored) to know also where you found it? ...
I can do all that by using - or perhaps misusing - the Publication information in a GEDCOM Source-Record. For instance, take this electoral register bit:
  • Title: Register of Electors, 1927, for the Crewe Parliamentary Division, Polling District of Haslington No. 2(N), Parish of Haslington (part of)
  • Publication Information: digital image of original published in FindMyPast "England & Wales, Electoral Registers 1910-1932" [database on-line] citing The British Library, shelfmark SPR.Mic.P.263/BL.C.30
  • Repository: FindMyPast
The Title is roughly speaking the salient details from the register in question.

The Repository is where I found it (i.e. FMP).

The Publication Info has effectively two parts - firstly where the electronic image can be found (and note that I've duplicated "FindMyPast" as both a publisher and a web-site. Why? Err, just in case, because the two might not be the same). The second part of the Publication data citing The British Library, shelfmark SPR.Mic.P.263/BL.C.30 is often known as the source-of-the-source and that is the equivalent of your having TNA as the Repository for your census records. Yes, arguably the "source-of-the source" stuff should be hiked out into another item - that's what I was hoping to use Templated Source Records for, but it just ain't possible to transition my data.

That two-level Publication data works for me - it says where I found it and where the original paper(ish) copy is so that if you want to consult that, then you can. It is important for me to record the web-site because I can give you an example where the Ancestry image of a census page has an ink-blot in the middle - but the FMP version managed to see through the blot. In other words, they are two different sources - one legible, the other not.
Adrian

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Re: I Quit FH for TMG

Post by dbnut » 07 Jan 2022 22:55

AdrianBruce wrote:
07 Jan 2022 21:16
That two-level Publication data works for me - it says where I found it and where the original paper(ish) copy is so that if you want to consult that, then you can. It is important for me to record the web-site because I can give you an example where the Ancestry image of a census page has an ink-blot in the middle - but the FMP version managed to see through the blot. In other words, they are two different sources - one legible, the other not.
That's the beauty of these exchanges, hearing how others work around the "system" to find their own "comfort zone". I guess the important things are just:
  • deciding how much info it takes to find the source again, and
  • (preferably) recording that consistently in your project.
Can't do more than that. :)
Paul White
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Re: I Quit FH for TMG

Post by dbnut » 08 Jan 2022 00:22

davidf wrote:
07 Jan 2022 18:51
But why, if you got the details from FreeBMD or from an Ancestry/FMP/Family Search Collection, why not record it as that?

(Lumping) I might get a census record off Ancestry and give the source as 1851 E&W Census (Ancestry) - using the TNA reference as the "Where within Source" - and I may agree with the occupation that their transcribers determined. Later I might look up the FMP equivalent for the same TNA Reference and with a different (quality) image, decide the occupation could be something else.

Q. Where did I get the two differing occupations from - what is the source of the two alternative interpretations of that fact? The answer probably is not the census schedules in the TNA repository. Even if I determine a preferred answer, unless I have actually seen the physical schedules, the (primary) source that I am citing is surely the FMP or Ancestry image which supports that determination?
Thanks, David. Sure, if you don't mind me referring you to my reply to Adrian about traceabilty, it's not really a big deal.

The only point I might hesitate to agree on is that if an image of the original exists, and I can view it myself, then it's my interpretation that gets recorded, never mind whatever crazy transcription the website published. In that sense, the "where you found it" becomes less relevant (give or take Adrian's ink blot example and similar image quality variations).

Oh no!!! That's just reminded me that FreeBMD routinely publishes alternative scans of the same page, To be true to my colours, I'd have to record not just FreeBMD as the place retrieved from but also somehow the particular scan I transcribed.

So, having gone around in circles, I suppose the citation data we ought to record would ideally cover (at least) the following (with some freedom as to how the data is shoehorned into crappy GEDCOM, and hats off to the professionals who thought this out already):
  • repository a.k.a. where (reliably) we might expect others to find it;
  • where we found it, actually;
  • document identifier;
  • repository reference;
  • route to find the info within that document;
  • the version/edition/copy/scan/etc that was viewed or otherwise relied on (if known);
  • the transcriber (including self) relied on (if known);
  • any reservations about that transcription;
  • what the document apparently said.
Notes fields galore!

Which leaves me with the humiliating feeling this has all (and more, or more accurately) been said before, more than once, by better qualified writers. And that available recording tools are never going to be anywhere like perfect at capturing how we'd like to express citations, however naive or experienced. And that it's an imperfect world, in case anyone hadn't noticed. :(
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Re: I Quit FH for TMG

Post by AdrianBruce » 08 Jan 2022 11:55

Oh such interesting philosophical rabbit holes... In my defence, a rabbit hole may help someone (like me!) to improve their own source-records and citations.

The point about FreeBMD's images is interesting. I never (well, hardly ever) use the images - only if I suspect that there is an issue. Do my citations make that clear? I think they do because I give the Author as "FreeBMD project (transcriber)". I also give them a Title of "FreeBMD Civil Registration Indices for England & Wales" and part of the Publication details says "citing the General Register Office (England & Wales) Registration Indices".

If I used the images as a matter of course, then the Title would be "General Register Office (England & Wales) Registration Indices", the Author would be "GRO (England & Wales)" and the publication data would basically just say that they were published on the FreeBMD web-site.

So the former set of details describes the FreeBMD transcribed indexes, and the latter describes the GRO images.

As an aside I'll just throw in a test for a citation's completeness that I picked up from FamilySearch's GetSatisfaction site. The author was one of those chaps who had, err, robust arguments. But, you really needed to consider carefully what he said. What he proposed was that a test for the completeness of a citation was "Could you go to the Archive containing the original and get that original off the shelves?" (Or its microform equivalent if the original is not normally on release). I find it useful...
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Re: I Quit FH for TMG

Post by KFN » 08 Jan 2022 13:58

I realize what I’m about to say has been said in other entries in this thread, but it should be repeated:

Because a lot of the work we do in genealogy (as in other scientific research) is based on / rides on the work of others in our field we must acknowledge their work when citing information.

If data is widely available from multiple places or is of a type that can be easily found in public location around the world, then a Repository is less valuable to readers and those people who will use our work to further their project/investigation.

Where-as some sources (family bibles, local histories, interviews, grave markers, etc) may only be available in limited locations or not available at all because they have been lost. These sources must have a Repository so that readers and users can consult this edition to verify your works if necessary or in cases were the source has been lost they understand that the information could be wrong but it must be taken at face value.

The genealogical library I volunteer at has books, papers, grave rubbings, photos, and other items that are found only at their location, a great resource, but many people may not know that it exists. Too many people rely only on Ancestry and the like for their information.

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Re: I Quit FH for TMG

Post by jmurphy » 08 Jan 2022 21:12

AdrianBruce wrote:
07 Jan 2022 21:16
I tend to think that Elizabeth Shown Mills' ideas on citing sources can be a bit overwhelming, but ...
I have a screenshot from Evidence Explained that I keep on my computer desktop. (Page 10 from ebook of the 2nd rev. ed, it's on page 8 of the 3rd and 3rd rev. editions, if I remember correctly.) I've substituted two hyphens for the em-dashes.
We identify our sources -- and their strengths and weaknesses -- so we can reach the most reliable conclusions.
In my opinion, this principle, along with "cite what you use", are the two takeaways that are most important.

Whatever you put in your citation, does it describe what you actually used? Did you understand what you were looking at?

The question of whether you, or someone else, can find the source is also important, because we (one hopes) grow as genealogists and may need to locate the source again in order to re-evaluate it, or to re-evaluate the online publication in case of errors in presentation.

When everything becomes overwhelming, I find it useful to go back to the basics. Cite what you use, and do your best to understand the source so you can make the best use of the information inside.

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