When it comes to recording sources for our genealogy research, we all likely have our own unique methods. I know that some people use Free Form citations while others may copy/paste a citation from Ancestry or other sites. For me, I use templates to prompt me for the various pieces of information and to insert the correct punctuation.
RootsMagic 7 and 8 has templates built in that make this process easy.
When I first started using RootsMagic, I used these built-in templates. However, I soon discovered that one cannot modify a built-in template. Thus, I started making a copy of a built-in template so that I could control the template. To do this, I highlight the desired template and click the COPY button. This opens the ‘Copy this template’ window
Answerinig ‘YES’ to the question adds the copy to the list of templates.
Highlighting the copied template and clicking on the EDIT button opens the template allowing me to change the name of the source type and to modify the template when desired.
The SOURCE TEMPLATE window in RM 8 is very similar to that from RM7. Any field with an X in the D column is considered a SOURCE DETAIL FIELD. At the bottom of the SOURCE TEMPLATE FIELD window is a check box by the statement ‘This field is a source detail field.’ If this box is checked then the X is placed in the D column. The fields with an X in the D column form the CITATION in RM8.
Once I make any changes to the fields, I then change the name of the source type. I have elected to name the templates I’ve created with a name beginning with _EE_. Thus, I place _EE_ ahead of the name and then remove the word (Copy) from the end of the name.
By naming my templates in this manner, they appear at the top of the list of templates.
One of the templates I had previously modified was the ‘Census, U.S. Federal (Online images)’ template
By having my own template, I was able to add two fields [Image] and [ImageTotal]. I also modified the Footnote Template to include those two pieces of information.
Thus, when I encounter a source that I haven’t already used, such as the 1870 census for Jennings County, Indiana, I can click on the ADD NEW SOURCE button in the upper left of the Select Source window.
Then I locate my template for federal census records from the list.
This opens the Add New Source window where I can enter the information for the source.
I then fill in the information from the source.
When finished adding the source info, I click on next. This opens the ADD CITATION portion of the window. The information in the CITATION DETAILS section of this window are those fields marked as DETAIL FIELDS in my template.
I then add the information from the source.
As I add the citation information, the footnote is updated.
NOTE: For now, I am letting the program generate the ‘CITATION NAME’. I haven’t figured out a naming process that would work on a wide variety of citations and am satisfied that I can find a citation from a list of citations for a source.
Once the citation is saved, I then go back into the source citation to add the Research Note and attach a media file.
When working with Ancestry, I usually use Ctrl-C to copy the information from the Ancestry record and then use CTRL-Shift-V to paste that information into the Research note Field.
Remembering to Click the Check mark in the upper right corner, the note is saved and attached to the citation.
My templates aren’t perfect, but they help me get the details recorded and structure the citations without having to remember every detail.