Wednesday, June 6, 2012

FTM2012 - Research Notes Options

Genea-Blogger Randy Seaver, of has a series of Blog Posts on the importance of Research Notes. I would encourage you to read each of his Blog Posts on this topic.

 Samples of Essential Reports for Genealogists

Creating Research Notes in RootsMagic 5 - Post 1

Creating Research Notes in RootsMagic 5 - Post 2

Do the Research Notes Transfer via GEDCOM to Family Tree Maker 2012?

Do the Research Notes Transfer via GEDCOM to Legacy Family Tree 7.5?

I found is observations very interesting. Having spent quite a bit of time dealing with the exchange of information between Genealogy Software packages, using the GEDCOM option, including the three Randy has shared,

I had made a quick blog post, earlier, but was not in a position to provide details:

Research Notes

I now want to see how I have done or am doing in the area of Research Notes, within Family Tree Maker 2012 already, as I really haven't focused on this topic, but I have been using the features, just hadn't been doing it consistently or "on purpose". More or less by accident to track what I  have or haven't done.

The first thing I did was to look at the Help file, within FTM2012. This is from the Help menu Index for Research Notes Report.

Looking at that, confirmed that we have many options, based on what level we want to keep Research Notes for. There is a place for Citation Notes, Person Notes, Fact Notes, and Research Notes for a Person.

The Person Notes, are normally where I keep and enter the "stories" of people, as I find them. Part of my Clean Up of my file, is to restoring the field for that purpose, as these Note features have not been around for that long, nor have we had the ability to Print Notes Reports.

In the People Workspace, Person View, the Person Notes are in the Left Column, near the bottom of that Panel, it's the First ICON, and the "stories" or Notes are typed into that area of the screen. (NOTE: these Notes can be marked as Private).

Also, each FACT has the ability to have notes. There are blog entries on how I have used this.

For this specific Example, I have recorded the History of the 11th Kansas Cavalry. The "story" of this Civil War unit is in the Notes section. Above the notes are the Events of this Unit in the Civil War, with Dates and Places where the battles were fought. That data will be displayed in a Timeline Report.

Researching this unit, I found some battle specific information, which I put in the FACT Notes on the Right. If I want more details about that battle, they are right there. In this specific case (the example), that data was found on page of the Citation. Having played around with the Output, that is where I thought these notes would be helpful. It more Battle Related and NOT Unit Specific. The Unit Specific notes ARE in the Notes for the unit. For me, it's two different pieces of information.

I am still searching information on this Civil War Unit, so I have entered some Research Notes for the "person" (person, in this example, is Unit).

This is the 2nd ICON, under Person Notes. (between the Person Notes, and the Private NOTEs on/off ICON).

It notes what I HAVE found, and two more places, at this point, where I want to Research. I had looked at before, but want to go back and look, and I haven't looked at Wikipedia yet. If I think of other places to research, I can put those Notes here. Looking at what I have and haven't done, I don't document normally what I have found and where, as I can see that based on the Facts and the Citation for those facts. BUT, I put conflicting information notes here. Open Conflicting information are in the Task List for that person (the 3rd Tab on this page). So, research notes would contain how conflicting information was solved.

Citation Notes are in the Source Workspace for the Citation.

I have lots of Citation Notes, or better said, there are not many Citations that don't have notes. This is more for me, and it helps be "remember" more about the Source and the Citation that is displayed in the Citation Details, and Citation Text.

Now, what about the Output. How is this information presented in a report?

The Publish Workspace, Person Collection is where the Notes Reports are. Now, I am taking my lead on this from Randy presenting the Research for his PERSON. That is what I am doing as well.

Bringing up that Report, here are the Options: Person Notes: Fact Notes: Research Notes:

They can be displayed in one report, but for this Blog, I'll present each separately. This is the Person Notes, or the stories. This is also available elsewhere.

The about is the basic summary for this unit and the report is 6 pages in length.

This next report is the FACT Notes, where the Military Fact Notes are presented. In this case, it's information about the Battle and not Unit Specific. Remembering the the Unit's participation in the Battle is in the above (or Person Notes) part of the report.

The Research that I have to do, or conflict resolution notes would be shown here.

Although Private Notes are available, this "person" did not have any private notes (yet) and the entire report, to date, is 11 pages.

NOTE: Randy made a number of Valid comments about Family Tree Maker: 1) Timeline does not allow for Citations, and 2) the Research Notes in Roots Magic 5 are in Chronological Order, where FTM2012 are not.

I attended a class which brought up the Chronological Order of Citations was important. I also looked at the Roots Magic Research Notes that Randy discussed but didn't have that great of an impact on me, as it might have on a very experienced researcher or a Professional Researchers.

The Research Report that I generated from within FTM2012 helped me.

Copyright © 2012 by H R Worthington
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