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Narrative Reports

Do you ever take the ‘easy way’ to do something? Well, I do all of the time when it comes to writing about an ancestor. For quite a few years, I’ve been letting my genealogy software compose the narrative.

I first learned to take advantage of turning the events into sentences and thus into a narrative while using The Master Genealogist. Second Site software would take my genealogy data in TMG and turn it into a narrated web site.


Knowing that my web page was being built from the sentences, I would use the individual narrative report to ‘proofread’ the information that would be pulled for the web.

When I converted to Roots Magic, I elected to use their ‘My RootsMagic‘ hosting service. Posting my genealogy data is quick and easy. The data is posted as a list of events versus a narrative. I am trying to incorporate the narratives for my direct ancestors on my blog. To set up the report, I was selecting ‘Ancestors only’ and ‘1 generation’.


The report generated from these settings was almost what I wanted. It was only after carefully reading a report that I discovered that the marriage information was missing.

I posted on the RootsMagic Users Facebook group to learn more about marriage information in narrative reports. It was from other users that I learned that the narrative for ‘shared events’ is placed at the end of the narrative for individual events and only if the report is for both parties of the shared event.

One user suggested sharing the marriage event with the parties to the marriage. This would place the marriage event in chronological order in the narrative report. At this time, I haven’t figured out how to structure the sentence for the shared event. Thus, I haven’t shared the marriage event.

Other users suggested changing the settings for the report to descendants for 1 generation. Then, once the report is generated, the extra people can be deleted. By using this solution, I can move the marriage info to the correct location in the document. This method also requires carefully editing the Endnotes to remove those that apply to just the spouse.

It has taken me a couple of weeks to get the narrative and endnotes cleaned up for the ancestor I was working with – but I will get it posted soon. I’m very thankful to the RootsMagic Users Facebook community for helping me learn more about the narrative reports!