Safely Move from Free-form Citations to Source Fields in Reunion

As you saw in a previous video about the dangers of free-form citations, genealogy software Reunion for Mac allows you to create source citations by entering source information into a free-form text field, but there are pitfalls to entering citations this way.

The free-form citation field in Reunion for Mac is exported with a GEDCOM tag that may not import as desired. Most of the source fields on the other hand, will export with well supported tags. Moving your free-form citations into source fields will help you preserve the effort you’ve put into your genealogy research.

In this video I show you a process I developed for safely moving free-form citations to source fields. It even works when the source is used for multiple people and events.
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The Dangers of Reunion Free-form Citations

Reunion for Mac allows you to create source citations by either entering discrete source information into structured fields, entering all of it in a free-form text field, or a combination of both. Entering a citation in just the format you want using the freeform edit box can be an appealing idea; however, you ought to be aware of dangers of entering citations this way.

In this video I show you examples of what can go wrong down the road if you use free-form citations in Reunion for Mac.
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Creating a Source Type for Directories in Reunion for Mac

In a previous video we created a source type for books in Reunion for Mac and improved it here. We are using the format genealogy expert Elizabeth Shown Mills recommends in her book, “Evidence Explained:Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace 2nd Edition”. The source type for directories is based on the basic format for books. Following the suggested full reference format for directories, helps you and other genealogists find the cited directory in the future and indicates the quality of your work.
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Private Holdings: Artifact-Reunion Source Type

Don’t forget to cite the artifacts held by private parties, including yourself. Genealogy expert Elizabeth Shown Mills recommends a citation format for these in her book, “Evidence Explained:Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace 2nd Edition”. Following her suggested full reference format helps you and other genealogists understand the provenance and find the owner of the artifact in the future. These are the fields recommended for the full reference citation of a privately held artifact:

  • Item ID
  • Artifact ID
  • Creation Date
  • Current or Last Known Owner
  • Owner’s Location
  • Year Owned
  • Descriptive Detail

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Creating a Source Type for a Book in a Multivolume Set in Reunion for Mac

Sometimes a book you cite will be part of a multivolume set. The source type for a book in genealogy software Reunion for Mac doesn’t match the fields genealogy expert Elizabeth Shown Mills recommends in her book, “Evidence Explained:Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace 2nd Edition”. Following her suggested full reference format for print publications: books, multivolume set, helps you and other genealogists find the cited book in the future. These are the fields recommended for the full reference citation of a book that is part of a multivolume set:

  • Abstractor
  • Title
  • Volume Data
  • Place of Publication
  • Publisher
  • Year
  • Volume & Page

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Improving the GenealogyTools Reunion for Mac Book Source Type

In a previous video I showed you how to create a source type for citing books in Reunion 9 for Mac using the format genealogy expert Elizabeth Shown Mills recommends in her book, “Evidence Explained:Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace 2nd Edition” and her very handy, laminated Quicksheet for Citing Online Historical Resources.

Since then I have improved the implementation by adding instructions to the fields to help you remember what information to put where. In this video I show you how to improve the source type previously created.
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Source Type Customization Process: Reunion for Mac

I recommend citing sources using the expert guidance of Elizabeth Shown Mills. There are a few great reference works she has published to help us:

The challenge for genealogists using Reunion for Mac is that the source types out of the box do not follow her recommendations. Fortunately, Reunion does enable us to modify and create our own source types.

Here is the process I use to create a new source type and how to change existing event sources to the new source type:

  1. Identify needed fields
  2. Map Reunion fields
    1. Consider source types you may change
    2. Modify field formatting
    3. Create new fields considering GEDCOM exportability
  3. Create or duplicate source type
  4. Change existing source types to new one

Creating a Source Type for Books in Reunion for Mac

The source type for books in genealogy software Reunion for Mac doesn’t match the fields genealogy expert Elizabeth Shown Mills recommends in her book, “Evidence Explained:Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace 2nd Edition” and her very handy, laminated Quicksheet for Citing Online Historical Resources. Following her suggested full reference format for print publications: books, helps you and other genealogists find the cited book in the future. These are the fields recommended for a basic format, full reference citation of a book:
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Creating a Census Image Source Type in Reunion for Mac

The census source type in genealogy software Reunion for Mac includes only a few of the fields genealogy expert Elizabeth Shown Mills recommends in her book, “Evidence Explained:Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace 2nd Edition” and her very handy, laminated Quicksheet for Citing Online Historical Resources. Following her suggested full reference format for census images from online sources helps you and other genealogists find the cited source record in the future. These are the fields recommended for a full reference citation of a census image from an online commercial site:
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Resolving Errors when Importing a GEDCOM from Reunion for Mac

When copying or moving your genealogy data from Reunion for Mac to another genealogy software program you’ll want to be sure not to lose any precious information. It’s very likely that you’ll have errors when you import a GEDCOM file regardless of the source and destination software. It’s not always a reflection of the quality of the genealogy software; it’s often due to the limitations of the GEDCOM standard. Either way, I’ve got a technique for finding and correcting the problems you’ll encounter.
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