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RM8 Citations

Did you create very many footnotes prior to your work as a genealogist or family historian? Even though I worked with lots of data and even helped students create footnotes, creating footnotes was not one of my job tasks.

Now, that I’m retired, I’m working with footnotes on an almost daily basis. I even have ‘tools’ to help me with creating those citations. The ‘tool’ I use the most often is Source Templates in my RootsMagic software. I usually copy and modify an existing template. For those modifications, I often turn to another ‘tool’ — my copy of Evidence Explained.

Now that I’m working with the preview copy of RootsMagic 8, I am spending a lot of time working with citations.

  • Some of my citations are decades old and I hate to admit it, but they are sloppy. These old citations will not help another researcher locate the information.
  • Some of my citations are what I would call ‘bare bones’. They contain the source information but the research notes is blank and they do not have an image or PDF file attached.

RootsMagic 8 has a feature that I’m still learning to use: Citation Manager. To open the Citation Manager screen, click on the > to the right of the number of times the citation is used.

This feature allows me to see on one screen every instance in which a particular source is used. If I pull up a source such as Find a Grave, I can see every instance in which my Find a Grave source has been used.

Find a Grave Citations

Since the Citation Manager window allows me to see where a source was used, I can find those sources that are missing the research notes and media. (Note: I am not on a hunt for these citations, but will work thru them as I update ancestors in my tree.)

One type of source that could easily have citations missing research notes or media is obituaries. Since I often copy the documentation from the death fact citation and paste it into a variety of other facts, those copies may be missing the transcription or an image of the obituary.

For example, the first citation of Eugene Crawford’s obituary in the Emporia (KS) Gazette has information in the research notes field and has an image file attached.

RM8 Citation Manager Screen – Showing Research notes and Media attached

If I click on the > to the right of citation used, it will tell me that this particular citation is attached to the birth fact for Eugene Crawford.

Since I would attach an obituary to each person’s facts included in the obituary, I’m not surprised to find multiple citations for the obituary. However, the other citations do not have research notes or media attached.

RM Obituary Citation – missing notes and media

If RM8 had the capability to do a selective merge of citations, I could use the first citation with notes and media as the source and merge it with each of the citations missing those items. As of August 6th, that feature was not available in the preview version of RootsMagic 8.

With version, 7.9.350.0 (released before August 15th), the ability to selectively merge citations has been added. This is exactly what I want to do with these obituary citations for Eugene Crawford.

Thus, I highlight the citation I want to use as the “Master”. This is the citation with a research note and attached media.

I change the name slightly for the citation I want to keep. That way, I know which one is the ‘good’ one.

Then, I click on the 3 vertical dots at the top of the citation window to open the pull down menu and locate ‘Merge citations’

Clicking on Merge Citations opens the window, “Select citation for _____________”. The top of the window is prompting me to ‘Select citation to merge with highlighted citation.”

I have the citation I want to keep named “Eugene David Crawford Obituary; 15 Sept 2006.” The citations that I want to merge with this one all have citation names ending with [Crawford.Eugene.Notebook]. Thus, I highlight one of those citations and notice that my original citation is no longer highlighted in any manner.

Clicking on the OK button opens a window showing the primary and duplicate citations.

From this comparison window, the only way I can tell which is the citation I want to keep is the ‘renamed’ one. Knowing how I renamed the citation, this information is correct. Thus, I click on Merge Duplicates.

The merge window closes. The Citations screen now shows 2 citations for my ‘master’ citation.

This is a ‘one at a time’ process. When finished merging, the number of citations reflects the number of times the citation has been used.

Clicking on the > to the right of the number of citations reveals a list of the events the citation is associated with.

Now that the citations are merged, any change I make to the citation will affect each of the uses of the citation.

As I work thru this process, I have found that

  • I need to name the citation I want to use as the ‘master’ in such a way that I can easily tell it apart from the other citations.
  • I need to figure out a naming convention for my citations