RM8 Tasks

As a genealogist, have you thought about your ‘philosophy’? For example, do you just search ancestors or do you also search descendants?

I was aware that different genealogists have differing research philosophies or goals. However, I hadn’t paid attention to differing philosophies about what is recorded in a research log. I had made an assumption that a research log was where one tracked all of the sources used. I hadn’t considered the fact that some genealogists might also include sources they want to use in their research log.

However, my eyes were opened to these differing philosophies about how a research log is used when I made a post to the RM 8 preview group asking about the transition of research logs and tasks lists from RootsMagic 7 to RootsMagic 8. Knowing about these different ways to use a research log not only made me question my own use but also helps me understand the complexity of the programming decisions going into RootsMagic 8.

RootsMagic 7 has three different ways to track research activities

  • Correspondence List
  • Task List — where completed tasks can be transferred to a research log
  • Research Log

I have to admit that I would get an ‘F’ when it comes to consistent use of these tools. However, I did try them out and tried to force myself to use them when I first transitioned to RootsMagic. Thus, I have information in these lists and logs and am curious about how it transitions into RootsMagic 8.

In following my FB post and a couple of others regarding research logs, I learned that all three of the methods to track research activities in RM7 are merged into the list of tasks in RM8.

To understand the tasks page in RM8, I need to refer back to the three lists in RM7. For example, when I pull down the LISTS menu in RM7 and select RESEARCH MANAGER, a window opens showing the various Research Logs I created in RM7.

When I compare the list of my Research Logs in RM7 to the Tasks page in RM8, the names of the logs have become the FOLDERS in RM8. When I click on a log in RM7, it opens a window showing items in the log. For example, my Eli Bland log in RM7 has 3 items listed.

In RM7, when I highlight an item and click on Edit Research Item, another window opens showing the information I entered for the item.

In RM8, I can see the same list of items by clicking on the folder. There are three sections to this screen. The far left is the list of folders. The center TASKS area shows the list of ‘tasks’ while the far right side is the edit screen for the highlighted task.

While trying to learn how to work with these screens, I found that the way I used tasks in RM7 did not transition well into RM8. In RM7, a task has an option to ‘Transfer to a Research Log’.

I used that ‘transfer’ option when I completed a task. Thus, most of my entries on a research log are ‘Completed’. Others may have used the To-Do List in RM7 to create the task and then transferred it to a log so they could track all tasks – completed and open. These different ‘philosophies’ or ways to use the ‘to-do list’ and the research logs in RM7 are complicating how the items are imported into RM8.

Now that I understand the importing issues, I can see clues in my list of tasks that will help me understand and work with the tasks in RM8. As I look at my entire list of tasks, there are some visual clues.

  • Tasks created from RM7 research logs have a priority of 6 and the priority is shaded a lighter blue.
  • Tasks created from RM7 TO-DO lists have a priority of 5 and are shaded a darker blue
  • Some of my tasks from RM7 TO-DO lists have a check mark in the STATUS column indicating that they are completed

Thanks to the way I created my research logs, all of those tasks with a priority of ‘6’ are likely completed. To verify whether a task is completed, I can look at the RESULTS information under the EDIT TASK on the right side of the screen.

By running the mouse across the results, a pop-up window appears showing what has been entered in this field.

Clicking on the > symbol to the far right of the Results line will open the Edit Note Slide-out. This is where changes to the RESULTS note can be made. The < symbol at the top of the EDIT NOTE Slide out will close this slide-out and save the changes to the RESULTS.

Since the results for the task indicate that this task was completed, I can change the status from ‘In progress’ to ‘Completed.’

I can also change the priority. If I change the priority to 9 (lowest), the highlighting changes to green.

As I learn about this TASKS page, there are visual clues to other ways to display this information. Besides the list or grid view, the words, ‘Filter Off,’ is a clue that I can FILTER the list. With three vertical dots in the upper right corner of the tasks lists, I’m fairly certain that symbol is a clue to additional menus.

Clicking on the three vertical dots does open a menu with options for filtering the list or printing reports.

Clicking on the FILTER TASKS menu option opens a window allowing me to manipulate my list of tasks in a variety of ways.

One of the ways that I could filter my list is by Task Type. The choices for this filter are the three lists from RM7 (Research Items, To-Do Items, Correspondence).

Thus, I could use this ‘task type’ filter to just show my correspondence tasks or to show the items from my RM7 to-do list.

Now that I understand how my use of the to-do list in RM7 transfers into RM8, I know that I have another option for filtering out the tasks that need done. I can change ‘Only show tasks with a priority this high’ to 5 and uncheck completed.

Using this filter, I now have a list of tasks that corresponds to my To-Do list in RM7.

As I’ve worked with my RM8 task list and its various screens, I’ve made another discovery. I have data that I transcribed from various sources saved in these Research logs!

Thus, I have two different types of completed tasks in my list:

  • Tasks that have resulted in citations for an individual’s fact or facts
  • Tasks that contain transcriptions and/or images related to my FAN club research

Even though many of my tasks are in folders for a PERSON in my data base, there currently isn’t any way to open the person’s edit screen from the TASK page. However, it is possible to open the person’s edit window and then migrate back to the TASKS and work with both at the same time.

Since I can have both the TASK and the EDIT PERSON window open at the same time, I can easily verify whether the transcriptions in the RESULTS NOTE for the task have been incorporated into the Research Notes for the SOURCE.

Thanks to the ability to have all of this information visible, verifying that the information recorded in the research log entries has been entered as a source for the individual will be easier in RootsMagic 8 than RM 7.

As I learn more about these features of RM8, I will need to decide how I want to proceed in the future.

RootsMagic 8

It’s Official! RootsMagic 8 has been released.

This post has been turned into a PAGE with a link at the top of this site. The page will be updated as more RM8 blogs are published.

I have been fortunate to have participated in the preview of RootsMagic 8. In the process, I wrote several blog posts about those experiences. Some of those posts may be helpful to others as they begin using RootsMagic 8.

Below is a list of those posts:

RM 8 Descendancy Report

I recently posted information about how I create descendancy reports in RootsMagic. That post was based on RootsMagic version 7. Since I have the ability to work with a preview version of RootsMagic version 8, I thought I would create a similar post for the newer software.

As in RootsMagic 7, the easiest way to start creating this report is to select or highlight the individual who is the focus of the report. That means I’m starting on the PEOPLE screen. My current default view is the pedigree view. On this view, I simply clicked to go to the next generation on my father’s side of the tree to locate and click on the Hiram M. Currey I want to use for the report. When I selected him, his information appeared in the pane to the upper left of the pedigree. In the pane to the lower left of the pedigree is a search box, which I could have used to locate him instead of the pedigree.

The next step is to switch from the PEOPLE screen tot he PUBLISH screen. This screen is where I can access a variety of ways to publish or share data from my tree. The top line of options are the reports. The icons showing on this screen will change as I work with reports. The four icons shown are for the four report types I’ve recently used.

If the report that I want to use isn’t displayed on the PUBLISH screen, I can click on ALL REPORTS AND CHARTS which will open the list of available reports.

To begin creating a Descendancy Report, I can either click on the DESCENDANT LIST icon that is currently visible on my PUBLISH screen or click on the report name in the list of all reports. This opens the Report window. This window is divided vertically into two sections. The left side of the window are the various options for the report. The right side of the window is a preview of the report.

Most of the settings for this report are relatively obvious. This would include configuring the number of generations and whether leading dots and color coding are used. What currently isn’t obvious is the ability to change the LIST FORMAT. Clicking on the LIST FORMAT shown opens a drop down menu revealing various options for the format.

Once the desired settings are selected, click on the GENERATE REPORT button at the bottom of the left panel. This opens a preview of the report on the right. The report shown below is using the Name (birth date-death date) format.

The icons above the report allow for navigating thru the report, zooming in and out, adjusting the fit of the report, printing and saving the report. The options available on the ‘SAVE’ window have recently expanded to include saving as a Word document or as a text file.

Format Options
Name (birth date-death date)
Name/Birth/Death in columns
Name/BMD Date/Place
Name (birth year – death year)
Name/BMD Date/Place wordwrap

The ability to preview the report along side of the settings is one of the new features in RootsMagic 8. This makes it very easy to see how changes to settings impact the report.

Software Challenge

Do you remember when Microsoft Word replaced ‘menus’ with the ‘ribbon’. If so, you likely also remember frustration tyring to figure out how to get this ‘new’ version of Word to do tasks that were simple before. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to play around in the new version of Word and Excel before having to use them in my work. I’m sure this overnight transition to the ‘ribbon’ added to my frustration.

That’s why I am thankful to be able to participate in the ‘review’ of RootsMagic 8. This transition from RM 7 to RM 8 will be similar to a transition from MS Word with menus to MS Word with the ribbon. With RootsMagic 8, the pull down menus are gone. Instead, the ‘menu headings’ are down the side of the screen. Clicking on any one of those headings opens up the respective window.

For the most part, everything is intuitive. That is until I’m trying to locate something and can’t remember how to get to it.

I had previously worked with creating a group in RootsMagic 8, and had even blogged about it in my RM8 Fact List Report post. So today, I created a group and then couldn’t figure out how to view who was included in that group.

Thankfully, the RootsMagic 8 Preview group on Facebook came thru with the answer. I had forgotten to look for that downward carrot symbol signaling a pull down menu. Thanks to the Facebook help, I easily found that pull down carrot. When clicked on, it revealed my list of groups.

Re-finding that pull down allowed me to select my newly created, Garrard County KY event group and browse the list of people in the group.

Even though I hadn’t found that pull-down carrot, I had checked a lot of the other places one can find menu options.

Three Vertical Dots

One of those places is a set of three vertical dots. When working with a list of people, clicking on those three dots opens an ‘options’ menu.

Besides the three dots associated with the Index, there are three dots associated with the pedigree window.

From that menu,

  • open a window showing the list of fact types
  • open a Search and Replace window
  • switch to the TASKS window and show the tasks for the highlighted person

At the very top of the program on the right side of the screen is another set of three vertical dots. Clicking on these dots opens a menu to access help, updates, support, etc.

People Menu Icons

In the upper right of the people screen are several icons. Clicking on those icons opens other menus.

WRENCH MENU – People screen

PENCIL MENU – People Screen

The Plus Sign icon and the Trash Can Icon are obvious. They open menus for adding or deleting people.

Command Palette

In the upper right corner of the screen is an icon that looks like a paint palette. This icon opens the command palette.

Learning to use RootsMagic 8 will require the willingness to look for and click on these various icons, including the upside down carrot.

Places Menu – Three Dots
Sources Menu – Three Dots
Media Menu – Three Dots
Tasks Menu – Three Dots
Addresses Menu – Three Dots
Search Menu – Three Dots
Publish Menu – Does NOT have a Three Dots menu

I’m enjoying this opportunity to explore RootsMagic 8. This ability to explore and learn without impacting my actual family tree is greatly appreciated. Even though the menus are different, there are features in RootsMagic 8 that I’m looking forward to being able to use. I will make the transition when the program is released.

Descendancy Report

I recently got asked how I created the blog post, Descendants of Hiram Curry.

I have to admit that creating the report is relatively easy because I use genealogy software. My program of choice is RootsMagic but most other programs will also create descendancy reports.

The hardest part about creating this report is identifying the descendants and documenting their lives. Once I’m to the point that I want to post the report, I just let the software do the work.

These directions are for RootsMagic 7. I have played around with RootsMagic 8 which is a bit different in the way reports are created.

Before I create a descendancy report, I figure out how many generations I am willing to publish in my blog. Since my parents have living first cousins, I try to avoid including that generation in my report. Thus, I try to only publish from my starting ancestor down to my grandparents.

With my starting ancestor highlighted in Ancestry, I pull down the REPORT menu and select LISTS.

That causes the CREATE A REPORT window to open with the various types of list reports showing. For this report, I am using the DESCENDANT LIST report.

Clicking on the DESCENDANT LIST report and then on the CREATE REPORT button opens the REPORT SETTINGS window.

The settings in the above window are the settings I used to create the report. Below are screen shots of the other options available.

Once I have selected the settings, I click on GENERATE REPORT. That opens the report on my screen within RootsMagic.

I then click on the SAVE button at the top of the screen. This opens the SAVE REPORT options window. Here, I select the RICH-TEXT FILE (RTF) option.

This opens a window allowing me to save the file in my reports folder.

Once the file is saved, I locate it in my Reports folder and double-click the file name. That opens the file in Microsoft Word.

In Word, I select all of the text, copy it and then paste it into a new post on WordPress.

Again, RootsMagic 7 did all of the ‘work’ to create this report. Being able to create these reports is one of the many reasons I use genealogy software to maintain my records on my computer.

RM8 Media

Do you use your genealogy software to attach media files? I have to admit that I’m not always consistent in the way I handle media files in RootsMagic.

The RM8 Community Preview group on Facebook had the following question posted that caused me to investigate how I’m attaching media.

Is there a way to see all of the media attached to a person like there is in RM7?


In the process of investigating this, I discovered my own inconsistent use of media. I first checked my grandfather, Leon Crawford, to see how media was showing up in my RM8 file. There is a media icon to the right of his name and to the right of most of the facts in his timeline.

When I clicked on the image icon to the right of his name, it displayed the images in a scrolling list to the right.

When an image is highlighted in the list, the file name, caption and other details are shown in the bottom half of the right side of the edit person window.

Scrolling down the list of media, I find a lot of images have been attached to my grandfather. However, the images from census pages are not shown in this list.

If I click on the media icon next to a residence fact, the census image appears in the Media window.

When I switched to one of my grandfather’s sisters, my lack of consistency was very apparent. There aren’t any media icons next to her facts! And there is only 1 media file attached to her name.

I’ve obviously only attached one media file to Bernice Crawford’s name. But what is going on with the facts? I’m fairly good at remembering to attach the file to the source. To investigate this, I clicked on the ‘Residence’ fact for 1910. That revealed that ZERO media files were attached to the fact.

Knowing that I typically attach media to a source, I clicked on the one source – and cannot tell whether media is attached.

Clicking ion the > to the right of the citation opens the screen to edit the citation.. I had to enlarge the Edit Person window in order to see the media details. Otherwise, I had to scroll down to locate the media information for the citation.

Clicking on the > to the right of Media opens the Media information

Clicking on the > to the right of the Media image opens the Edit Media window.

On the EDIT MEDIA screen, I can see that this media was tagged 10 times. Clicking on the > to the right of the TAGS opens the list of those tags.

This list of tags tells me that the image of the 1910 census was used in 9 citations for the 1910 census of Ford County, Kansas. In addition, it is attached to an event for Leon Russel Crawford. Since there is no EVENT tag for Bernice Crawford in this list, it isn’t appearing in the Media column for her 1910 Residence Event.

To add this media to Bernice’s event, I can click on the large + sign at the top of the list of tags.

That opens the ‘Add or Edit Media Tag’ Window. This window defaults to adding the media to a person. However, pulling down the Person tag type allows the selection of other ways to tag the media, including EVENT.

When EVENT is selected, the ‘Add or Edit Media Tag’ window changes to allow for the selection of a person and an event.

Clicking on the Select Person window opens RootsMagic Explorer. Here I can either scroll down to locate Bernice Crawford or Enter her name in the FILTER window at the top of the list of people. When using the filter, be sure to type the name in reverse order: last name, first name.

Highlight the correct person in the list.

And then click the SELECT button in the bottom right corner of the Explorer window. That places the person’s name in the Person window of the ‘Add or Edit Media Tag’ window.

Click on the Event box to open the list of events.

Select the desired event and click the OK button. Then decide whether this image is the primary photo for the event and whether to include it in the individual’s scrapbook. Since this is the only image attached to Bernice’s 1910 residence fact, I do want it as the primary photo. I don’t usually include images from sources in the scrapbook for the individual. But, this says “Include in scrapbook for this event.” Thus, I will have to investigate what an event scrapbook is. I will put a check mark here for now.

I had to close Bernice’s Edit Person window and reopen it to get the Media icon to appear for the 1910 residence fact.

Another way to add media for an event is directly from the Edit Person window. Clicking on the empty media square will open the Add Media window on the right side of the screen.

Clicking on Add Media opens the ‘Add Media’ window. If this is new media that has not been previously added, I can add it using the file name (or by browsing for the file).

Clicking on the icon to the right of the filename opens Windows File Eplorer allowing me to browse to the actual file.

However, I don’t want to add another copy of this media file. Instead, I need to select it from media that already exists in RootsMagic. Thus, I click on the Select Existing Media option.

My practice in RM7 was to click on the LIST icon. This placed the images in order by the file name. Since I developed the practice of naming my files with the following convention, date-source-type-surname-firstname, it was easy to scroll to the desired file.

In RM8, I don’t seem to be able to sort (or to quickly sort) the media when the list icon is selected.

Instead, I need to use the SEARCH window in the upper right corner of the ‘Add Media’ window.

This process requires me to KNOW the filename of the image I want to attach!

Working with the thumbnails will be next to impossible for me. First, I wasn’t always adding captions to my source images. Second, my captions are based on the source and not the individual in the image. Thus, I have quite a few images from the 1895 Kansas census for several counties. Looking at the thumbnails, I have NO IDEA which image shows the individual I am working with.

Thus, I will need to work with the list of files and not the thumbnails.

Even though the screens look different, RootsMagic 8 and RootsMagic 7 attach media in a similar fashion:

  • To the PERSON
  • To the EVENT
  • To the SOURCE

In RootsMagic 7, there is a Multimedia List Report. This report has LOTS of options

A similar report exists in RM8.

The report in RM8 not only lists the filenames but how those files are attached to the person. That information is not included in the RM7 report.

I obviously have data issues with my media files. When I try to create a multimedia list for Bernice with ‘Source Media Items’ selected I get media files that should not be attached to Bernice.

If I pick Citation Media Items instead of Source Media Items, the resulting report is even worse. I get pages and pages of files, most of which are citations NOT attached to Bernice. (These reports are similar in RM7.)

Another media report that can be printed is the SCRAPBOOK report. This report will ONLY include images that have been marked for inclusion in the scrapbook.

Besides working with Media on an individual basis, I can use the MEDIA menu item on the left side of the screen to work with ALL of my media files.

The three vertical dots in the upper right corner of the Media window opens the Media toolbar.

Although I could work my way thru fixing my media issues from this screen, I believe it will be easier to work with individuals.

Figuring out how RootsMagic 8 handles media has shown me that I have work to do. This includes:

  • Fixing broken links
  • Adding captions to media files
  • Adding media to events
  • Marking media for use in the scrapbook

I can do most of these tasks in RootsMagic 7. Thus, I have more work to do as I go back thru my tree.

Bible Confusion

Are you blessed with a family Bible in your genealogy collection? Are you lucky enough to have several family Bibles? I’ve had the good fortune to have had access to several family Bibles including Crawford, Currey, Mentzer and Wells.

As I’ve been going thru the facts and sources I have for my grandmother’s Mentzer siblings, I’ve become confused about the Bibles. You see, there are four of them. I have one in my possession, a photocopy of one and transcriptions of the other two.

  • Family Bible of Emeline Minnick Mentzer (photocopy obtained from descendant)
  • Charles Mentzer Bible – Bible in my possession but in very poor condition
  • Charles Mentzer Bible – in possession of my 1st cousin – transcription indicates this Bible was given to Charles Mentzer by his daughter Pauline
  • Pauline Mentzer Briles Bible – transcription matches transcription of Charles Mentzer Bible – not sure this is a separate Bible

Thus, when I’m documenting the birth information for my grandmother’s siblings, I have three different Bible records containing that information: the Emeline Mentzer Bible and the two Charles Mentzer Bibles. However, when it comes to the death dates, I only find some of them in the Bible records kept by Pauline Mentzer Briles.

Not only does it get confusing working with the sourcing of these Bibles, but it appears that I have at times attached the images or PDF files to the wrong Bible. Not only that, but it looks like I have multiple sources for two of the Bibles and no source for the Pauline Briles Bible.

I can easily merge these ‘duplicate’ sources in RootsMagic 7. However, I cannot tell where these sources are used. Nor, can I tell what media is attached to the source.

I do have a ‘tool’ that will help me figure out where these sources are used: the preview version of RootsMagic 8. By opening a copy of my file in RM8, and looking at the list of sources, I can see how many times that source has been used. (Since I haven’t merged sources yet, I still have the same duplication as seen in RM7 .)

If I click on the > sign to the right of the number of citations, the list of citations opens. Because this sourcing and accompanying citation was created in The Master Genealogist, this list of citations for the Emeline Mentzer Bible is not at all helpful since it simply tells me the document number for the photocopy

If I click on the > to the right of the CITATION USED line, a window opens telling me which person and which fact the citation is attached.

Most of these citations have no media attached, when they all should have 1 PDF file attached. Several of the citations have 4 or 5 media files attached — and these are images from a different Bible. Thus, my mess (and my confusion).

To ‘clean up’ this mess, I need to work in RootsMagic 7 and not in RootsMagic 8. I think the quickest way to get these sources corrected will be to start over.

  • Make a copy of the Bible source (or create a new one)
  • Delete the original source
  • Attach the media to the new source
  • Enter the transcription as Master Text
  • Attach new source to the appropriate facts
  • Enter their name and the event in the citation details for the source

Once completed for the Emeline Mentzer Bible, the RM7 file was closed and then imported into RM8 to see if this process improved the source in terms of the media, transcription and citations.

Studying the source in RM8 shows that 4 images are attached to the source (the PDF file and 3 jpeg images of the pages from the PDF file) and that a transcription is part of the source.

Going to the citation screen for this source shows improved citations.

That’s one set of Bible records completed and three more to go. However, when I’m finished I will have better sourcing in RM 7 and much less confusion about the Bibles – especially when my data moves to RootsMagic 8.

RM8 Ancestry Source

Have you ever documented how you add data and/or sources to your genealogy file? I have to admit that I have not spent much effort documenting my process.

However, I’m previewing RootsMagic 8 and am trying to figure out how my way of doing things in RootsMagic 7 translates to RM8.

One of my typical tasks is to work with Ancestry hints to add sourcing information to my RM tree. That process starts by clicking on a yellow light bulb. In RM8, clicking on the light bulb opens a small window, where I click on PENDING.

That opens the WebHints window which is similar to the window in RootsMagic 7.

Clicking on the number for the pending hints opens the ‘Ancestry WebHints’ window.

On this window, I typically click on the ‘Show on Ancestry’ button to open the selected individual on my Ancestry tree.

On the Ancestry page, I switch to the hints page.

I typically open the suggested hints in a new tab to evaluate the data. One of the suggested hints for Henry Jones is a marriage record in the source, Maryland, U.S., Compiled Marriages, 1655-1850.

In this case, I believe the record is for my Henry Jones, Thus, I want to create a marriage fact and add this source to the fact. Thus, back in RootsMagic, I open the Edit window for Henry Jones.

To add the Marriage fact, I click on the large + sign above the FACT area of Henry Jones’ edit window. This opens the list of Fact Types.

Typing ‘Marriage’ into the Search window pulls up just the Fact Types that contain the word ‘marriage’.

Selecting the Marriage Fact Type and clicking OK opens the window to select the spouse. (This is similar to RM7.)

Selecting Catherine Bovey as the spouse adds the Marriage fact to the time line with Catherine Bovey in the details area. Toward the right of the screen, the fields such as date and place are shown and are blank.

The date and place from the Ancestry record are entered into the Date and Place fields for the marriage fact on RootsMagic.

Next, I add the source. In RM8, I click on the > by SOURCES.

This opens the SOURCES window on the right side of the Edit window.

Clicking on the Add Source Citation opens a window to select a source or add a new source. I will first search for the source to see if it is already in my file. If I don’t find it, then I will use the ADD NEW SOURCE option. To look for an existing source, I know that I would have used MARRIAGE in the source name and that it should have ‘Marriage-MD’ in the source abbreviation. Thus, I will look for that in my list of sources.

That pulls up several options with the 4th on the list looking like it should be the Ancestry source. To be sure, I click on that source to view the footnote.

Then, I click on the NEXT button that opens the screen to ADD CITATION.

This window allows me to enter details regarding the source. It is also where the citation will be named.

Scrolling down on the ‘Add Citation’ window reveals the place where I can add a ‘Research Note’. This is similar to the ‘Detail Text’ area in RM7. My typical practice is to copy the info from the Ancestry screen and paste it into RM. Clicking on Research Note opens the EDIT NOTE window where I can paste the information. Because pasting lumps the information together, I also insert carriage returns so the information will be legible on the screen. In addition, I add a space after the colons. (OR – I can copy the text from Ancestry into Notepad and then copy from Notepad into RM8. Using Notepad keeps the line breaks and spacing and actually takes less time that doing the manual corrections.)

Clicking OK at the bottom of the window saves this information and returns to the Edit screen for the individual with the Edit Citation on the right.

Clicking on the large < symbol to the left of Edit Citation (top of right side) closes the citation screen and returns to the Sources screen.

Clicking on the large < to the left of SOURCES closes that window and returns to the FACT info. This window shows the sentence for the fact, and indicates that there is one source attached to this fact.

Since I want the marriage sentence to show on a narrative report, I share the marriage fact with the groom and bride. To do this, I click on the > to the right of SHARED. This opens the Shared With Window.

Clicking on the +Share Fact opens a window to search for those who share this fact. Typing the name in the search box narrows down the list of people to those with this name.

I then change the role to that of Groom for Henry Jones. When sharing the event with his wife, she will be assigned the role of Bride.

Now two people are listed as sharing the fact.

Then, on ANCESTRY, I will click on YES to add the source to my Ancestry tree.

To finish the process, I use TreeShare to UPLOAD information from RootsMagic to Ancestry. In this case, the Marriage fact has a pink source that could be uploaded.

Clicking on the source icon opens a window to compare the sources.

Since the sources are the same I will IGNORE the pink differences and click on the X to ‘Mark as Not Changed’.

Thus, I have the fact in RootsMagic with a source attached and the same source attached in Ancestry.

Lesson Learned

I believe someone once said that learning something new every day helps keep us ‘young.’ Well, if that is true, then my venture into RootsMagic 8 is going to help me stay young for quite some time.

I have been working thru my great aunts and uncles to recheck the information I have for them. In the process, I’m making sure that the sentences read correctly.

For my residence sentences based on census records, I opted to ‘write’ my sentence in the Description field and then just use the [Desc] for the sentence. This allowed me to recreate the sentences from TMG that used multiple ‘memo’ fields.

However, in RM8 I cannot get the Description field to expand. Thus, my long text does not show.

Since I have already customized the sentence for this fact, I can read the description in the sentence. Unfortunately, it would be tedious to try and edit this field since the entire field is not visible on the screen.

This limitation is causing me to ‘rethink’ these sentences.

To try and figure out how to resolve this issue, I searched the Facebook RootsMagic 8 Community Preview for ‘description.’ That’s when I discovered that there is a 100 character limit to the description field in a GedCom file.

This 100 character limit explains why my sentence solution is not actually a solution!

So, the solution I should be using is to put the bulk of the information in the NOTES field and have NOTES included in my narrative reports.

Working in RM8, I want to cut the information from the Description field and paste it into the Note field. I can use hot keys to select everything in the description field (CTRL-A), then CTRL-C to copy that information.

Then I can click on the NOTE field and use CTRL-V to paste that information.

Once the information is pasted into the NOTE field, it can be deleted from the description field by using CTRL-A to select all and then the delete key to remove the information.

Once the Description / Note issue is resolved, I need to correct the sentence. In RM7, I customized the sentence to only show the Description.

I need to return the sentence to its default format. With the ‘Edit Sentence’ window open, I simply have to click on the ‘Reset to Default’ button in the lower left corner of the window. That simple click changed the sentence back to the program’s original format.

To make sure the information I entered in the ‘NOTE’ field appears on the narrative report, I just need to make sure there is a check mark for ‘Include Notes’ on the narrative report settings.

The narrative report now has the default ‘resident fact’ sentence with the note field following the sentence.

Unfortunately, my new knowledge means I have some work ahead of me cleaning up these sentences in RM8.

RM8 Sentences

In case you haven’t figured it out, I like to use a narrative report when working with an individual in my family tree. I’m guessing this goes back to my years using The Master Genealogist and John Cardinal’s Second Site to create a web site.

The Master Genealogist (TMG) used memo fields in their sentences. Since one could have more than one memo field, it was possible to build fairly complicated sentences. When I transferred my data to RootsMagic, I elected to have that ‘memo’ information placed in the NOTE field of RootsMagic.

Like TMG, RootsMagic has standard sentences with the ability to customize them. I am still learning how to customize those sentences, especially for shared facts.

I am currently previewing RootsMagic 8 and learning how to use the new features of this software. Fortunately, with sentences, there doesn’t seem to be much of a learning curve.

To view the sentences, I must open the ‘EDIT’ window for an individual. When a person is highlighted on the pedigree view, family view or any of the other ways to view people, their information is found to left side of the screen.

One way to open an individual’s EDIT window is to click on the pencil icon below their name in the column on the left. Another way to open the window is to double click on the individual in the larger main window to the right. Once the EDIT window is open, highlighting a fact will reveal the sentence for the fact. The sentence information will appear at the bottom of the column to the right.

Like in RootsMagic 7, the sentences can be customized. I use this ability to customize sentences in several ways:

  • Provide variety in a narrative report
  • Create unique sentences for shared facts

Since many of my facts for an individual are residence facts, a narrative report can get boring when the default sentence is always used.

To add variety, I will edit some of the residence sentences to place the date at the first of the sentence.

In RM7 I have a ‘funeral’ fact where the sentence states that the individual sharing the fact attended the funeral.

This fact is shared with 9 people. Their ‘role’ is as a ‘witness.’

When I look at the ‘funeral’ fact type and open the EDIT window, I can see the sentence structure for witnesses to the funeral fact.

When I create a narrative report, the sentence is correctly formatted, indicating that the subject of the report attended the funeral of someone else.

In RM8, the fact shows in the list with a ‘person’ icon and then the words ‘Witness-Funeral’. The sentence is similar to that created in RM7.

When I click to ‘Customize’ the sentence, the Edit Sentence window opens.

However, I need to remember that customizing the sentence for a shared fact affects the sentence for everyone with the same role who share the fact and not just for the person where the sentence was edited.

Another fact that I share is the Marriage fact. I share this fact so that a sentence for the marriage will be created in the narrative report. In RM7, I use the roles of Groom and Bride. The sentence structure is similar for both roles but specific to the role.

  • Groom – Sentence template: [Husband:heshe] married [Wife:given] [Wife:surname]< [desc]>< [Date]>< [PlaceDetails]>< [Place]>.
  • Bride – Sentence template: [Wife:heshe] married [Husband:given] [Husband:surname]< [desc]>< [Date]>< [PlaceDetails]>< [Place]>.

If the Marriage fact has already been shared in RM7, then the sentences appear as expected when the file is opened in RM8.

However, I haven’t always remembered to share that marriage event. In an attempt to create the marriage sentence for the narrative report in RM8, I tried the process I used in RM7 – the sharing of the marriage fact.

If I click on the > sign to the right of SHARED, it opens a window listing those people in my file and allowing me to use the search window in the upper right corner. When I type in a name, my list of people narrows down to show potential matches to the name I typed. (Note: I’m assuming that there is a character limit for the search function. I will inquire about this on the FB group for the RM8 preview.)

Underneath the list of people is the ‘Role’ window. Using this window, I change the role for Lida Crawford to Bride.

Even though the fact is shared, it does not show in the list of events UNTIL AFTER the EDIT window is closed.

Re-opening the edit window reveals the shared fact in the list of facts.

In learning how to share a fact in RM8, I also learned how NOT to share a fact. When I want to share a fact with another person in my file, I do NOT want to use the “Just Type Name” option. That option is prominently displayed in the upper left corner of the ‘Add (or select) witness’ window.

The ‘Just Type Name’ option is for instances when I want a witness’s name in a sentence but do not want to add the individual to my file. If I type in the name of a person in my file, it does not connect to the individual in my file. Nor, will the witness sentence appear on their narrative report. Since I typically add people to my file if I want to include them in reports, I want to use the search box in the upper right to locate the individual.

Another shared fact that I use in RM7 is a custom fact: ChildParent. I use this fact to not only print a sentence identifying the parents but also to document the parent-child relationship. I create the fact for the child and then share it with the parents.

When I look at the edit screen for a parent, the shared Parent-Child fact is in their list of events. Highlighting that fact reveals the sentence that will appear in the narrative report for the parent.

Figuring out how these sentences work is something that still challenges me. I’m thankful that working with sentences in RM8 will be similar to what I have been doing in Rm7.

For additional information on RootsMagic and sentence templates, check out their video, Sentence and Source Templates.