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Analyzing Sources

I recently have been working on a ‘go over’ for my 2nd great grandfather, George Mentzer. In the process, I utilized Scrivener. I had probably heard about Scrivener, but when I saw it mentioned in the recent Twitter #genchat, I decided to try it. In the process of learning more about Scrivener and genealogy, I discovered Lisa Alzo’s Ancestor Profile Template along with her 25 Genealogist Hacks Every Genealogist Should Know.

I haven’t used my George Mentzer Scrivener project to write his biography (yet). However, I have used it to transcribe the various documents I’ve collected over the years.  My research folder contains the actual document files.

SResearchCork480

I then used the dual screen option to transcribe the documents. I placed the transcriptions in my ‘draft’ folder.

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I discovered that I could copy/paste the footnote for the document from RootsMagic into the +fn box on Scrivener.

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As I proceeded thru transcribing various records, I also worked on the corresponding events in RM. I copied/pasted the transcription from my Scrivener project into the details. In the process, I also verified other details for the event such as the date.

MentzerDetails480

Now, I have the various events in RM with the corresponding documentation. Since various documents cited differing dates for an event, I unfortunately have multiple dates for the same event.

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Since this makes for a very messy report, I turned to the RootsMagic Facebook group to see how others handled this issue. One proposed solution involved selecting one date as the ‘official’ date and marking that ‘primary’ while marking the other dates ‘private’. This solution will ‘clean up’ a narrative report if hidden facts are not included. However, said report would not include the sources for those hidden facts. Thus, others would not be aware of the conflicting data.

Another solution was in a post by Dan Mohn where he discussed his solution for dealing with multiple birth dates. In his blog post, “Grandpa Joe Smith Was Born on __.” Are You Sure?, he discusses the issue and the ‘solution’ he is adopting. Dan is using the Note field for the event to discuss the discrepancy between records.

In a comment by Gina Gaulco to a post by Patrice Houck Schadt regarding the use of Alternate Dates, Gina explains her use of her custom ‘Analysis’ source. In the Analysis Source, Gina writes out her analysis of the various sources and places it in the ‘details’ for that source.

I checked the report options in RM to see if it would be possible to include either the notes or the source detail text in a narrative report and/or an individual summary report. On the main screen to generate a report, there is an option to print the notes.

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On the Source settings for the report, there are options to ‘print research notes’ and ‘print detail comments’.

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Thus, it is possible to include a research analysis in a printed report. Since I place the transcription of a source in the details for that source, I checked Ancestry to see whether that detail text was transmitted to Ancestry via TreeShare. By clicking on one of my sources from outside of Ancestry, I found that the detail text does transfer — but the line breaks are removed affecting the formatting of the text on the Ancestry side.

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I will have to experiment with putting an analysis in the event Notes to see how TreeShare handles the transfer of formatted text in a Note.

In the meantime, I need to write an analysis of the data for several events. This, too, will be a learning curve. Wish me luck!

 

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