The Secret to Standardized Source Citation Ratings in Family Tree Maker 2012 and Mac 2

Using standardized source citation ratings in Family Tree Maker can help you make solid conclusions about facts. You’ve probably heard of original versus derivative sources, primary versus secondary information, and direct versus indirect evidence. That’s what FTM calls standardized source citation ratings. They also add a rating for clarity of the information–clear versus marginal. And both the Mac and 2012 versions support standardized ratings.

Unfortunately, the feature’s isn’t used by default. The source rating stars are there for you to set. The standard ratings are a bit hidden in the source rating window. The bonus is that by using the standard ratings, the number of stars is set automagically!
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Source Citation Find and Replace in Reunion for Mac

People with Found Detail Window from Reunion for Mac Genealogy SoftwareFinding and replacing text in your family file is irregularly needed, but can save you time when you can use it. Turning over this tedious task to Reunion makes more family history research time available to you. That is, provided you carefully define your search criteria and backup your Reunion family file first!

Reunion has search and replace well covered everywhere except source citation details. The fields within the source record are all available to the Find -> Replace feature on the menu-bar–no problem there.

The trouble is that source detail isn’t a field in the source record and it isn’t a field in the event or fact. It’s a link between a source record and an event or fact. This is as it should be; it allows you to cite a single source for multiple events and facts and on different person records.
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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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Citing a Marriage Event in Reunion for Mac

The marriage event is different from the events for individuals and even “generic” event for the couple in the Macintosh genealogy software, Reunion. Even though it is accessed and stored differently, it’s just as important to cite sources of your event information. Like other sources in Reunion, marriage event sources can include multimedia. This makes it easy to include images of source records when you have them.

Adding a Marriage Event Citation in Reunion for Mac, I show you how to add a citation to a marriage event. I include adding an image of the source record. This part trips some people up because they (quite reasonably) expect it to be connected with the multimedia window, but it isn’t; multimedia for sources is separate.

GenealogyTools Members, download this video to your computer for your private use.

Automatic Source

Do you use this time saving feature when entering multiple people from one source into your Reunion 9 family file? The automatic source feature enables you to enter a mode wherein all new people created are automatically cited with a general source. The source need be selected only once. When all the people have been created, the automatic source feature should be toggled off.

This video from the MacGenealogist Archives will take you step-by-step through the process.

GenealogyTools Members, download this video to your computer for your private use.

General Source

A general source in Leister Production’s Reunion, is a source that applies to all information recorded about a person. General source citations do not apply to families or family events. It is ideally used when only one source of information about a person is available. They are visually distinguished from “normal sources” by color and sometimes location.

This video from the MacGenealogist Archives demonstrates creating a general source and points out the differences in appearance and locations.

GenealogyTools Members, download this video to your computer for your private use.

How To Cite Sources with Misspelled Names in Reunion 9

At first it’s surprising how often our ancestors names are misspelled in artifacts. After a short time it becomes commonplace. All family historians need a method for dealing with this common occurrence. Capturing the error while simplifying information retrieval is a matter of including the misspelling in the citation, followed by the correct name in square brackets. This approach is recommended in Elizabeth Shown Mills’ must-have book, Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace. This video from the Archives will walk you through how to properly cite such a source in the Mac genealogy software, Reunion 9.

GenealogyTools Members, download this video to your computer for your private use.