Creating a Source Type for Books in Reunion for Mac

[There’s a more recent article and video with an improved source type for books here.]

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:

  • Author
  • Main Title
  • Subtitle
  • Place of Publication
  • Publisher
  • Year
  • Page

In this GenealogyTools Donor Member video I show you the process I use to create a new source type and how to change existing event sources to the new source type. Here’s the process:

  1. Identify needed fields
  2. Map Reunion fields
    1. Consider source types and fields 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


  1. Karen Grossman says


    I am looking a becoming a Donor Member. You probably can’t give me a definite number, but about how many videos do you produce in a years time. Are we talk up to 10, 10-15, or 15 or more? This number will help determine the donation I would like to give.

    • says

      Hi, Karen. I think I’ve been averaging between 3 and 4 videos per month. As they say, past performance is no guarantee of future results. I would prefer that you base your donation on your impression of the value of the existing materials. —-Ben >@<

  2. Meg Hougland says

    Thanks for the latest video on creating book sources. This is the type of information that we need to document our work properly.

  3. Mycroft says

    Thanks so much for the videos on formatting census and book citations in Reunion after Elizabeth Shown Mills’s standards (and changing our previously entered sources). I have often wanted to do this but was just too lazy. I have done much of this in my word processor after exporting a report, but how much nicer to do it at the point of entry! I deeply appreciate your attention to trying to maintain GenCom export issues. If ever Gedcom grows up, we can all reconsider; but if that is ever so, Reunion (and others) will also have reconsidered…..

  4. Meg Hougland says

    Another point about the video that makes it easier for me. I do not put the page number in the source but leave it for “Details.” That way I can use the Book Source many times without making a new source item for each page.

    Secondly, since I have a number of books, I like to see the author’s surname alphabetized; it helps me locate a book rapidly. This is accomplished by entering the author by surname, firstname. Reversal of the surname is quite easy for printed footnotes by just highlighting and dragging the surname with the comma to the end of the firstname.

    • says

      Hi, Meg. I agree that putting the page number in the details is a good idea. That’s what I do as well. I should have mentioned that when I pulled up the existing book source that didn’t have the page number field populated. Thanks for your continued support and input! —-Ben >@<

  5. Jeff Ford says

    A couple of things.

    1.) Volume once again. I would boost it 10-15 db higher than you have.
    2.) At about the 9:40 mark, you are adding “new” source. You get a list to choose from. However, the item that you are talking about isn’t showing up on screen.
    3.) I think it would be a good idea when, near the beginning, you are talking about what ESM wants in a source that you show the fields that she wants. Perhaps in a separate window that shows up in QT.

    • says

      Hi, Jeff. Thanks for the feedback. I’ll look at other options for the volume issue. Since your first comment on the matter I’ve made turning up the volume to the maximum part of my post processing. If I turn up the gain on the mic pre-amp during the recording I get a lot of background noise. I wonder if the lower volume is better than hearing my children playing in the background? I’ll try some changes with my equipment to see if I can get a better sound.

      I’ll make the changes you recommend in 2 and 3 then re-publish the video.

      —-Ben >@<

  6. Sue W. says

    Thank you for this video. I have been making templates based on Elizabeth Shown Mills models. I keep a word-processor document showing what I’ve done (as well as using the new citation style in Reunion). Your way of making changes is S-O-O much easier than mine. I will implement this immediately.
    I do recommend keeping a “Citations Style” document. It makes it easy to review what style changes you have already achieved; and to tweak those changes whenever you find that you need to (as I will need to do for books now that I’ve studied your video).

  7. Kaye Mushalik says

    Well, I only have 45 book sources to check and, probably, change! I’m happy to do it now before I have more!
    I have some books that are in more than one volume. Should I just make one source, show Vol. 1-… at the end of the title and then put the vol. # & page(s) in the Details. Or, should I make a different source for each volume? Like, Meg, I usually make the one source and add the page(s) in the details. Will the details section show up in a GEDCOM?

    • says

      Hi, Kaye. ESM calls for a different reference note format for multi-volume sets. I need to do some evaluation on the GEDCOM export of the volume fields. Hold off on updating the source types for those. I’ll cover the source type in the next video. —-Ben >@<

  8. says

    Dear Ben,
    I’m very interested in applying the ESM source recommendation to Reunion Sources, such as ‘books’. Your video is quite helpful.

    Where you I obtain/purchase a Reunion template (clone) which contains a comprehensive starter set of fields and sources, which follow the ESM-recommendations?


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