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Nick Shelley

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  1. Error message

    John, It is possible that you are getting a complaint from a spyware checking program or something similar which is seeing access to this temporary TMG program as being an illicit activity. Do you have such a program running? Nick Shelley
  2. Many thanks for your thoughts, Terry. It would be very reassuring to me to have an assured report format. I do not feel that I have an acceptable way of passing on my stuff in hard copy and feel in a kind of uncomfortable limbo. I shall attempt to live a little longer & wait Nick
  3. Terry, here are my thoughts on the subject: TMG boasts that its database can hold as many people as you can put in it, or rather, it will not be the limiting factor on the number of people you research and wish to record. Genealogy is an addictive pastime. Many people end up spending several decades doing research. The urge to research is generally far greater than the desire to review one’s progress in a physical output. The longer people research, the more likely they will be surprised by how much information they have accumulated. And by how much extra space the sources (endnotes, bibliography) and the indexes take in each report. The more restricted one’s interest and focus of research, the easier it is to put this into intelligible hard copy by using the reports TMG provides. My situation is this: I have researched most but not all the ancestral names for myself and my wife (and therefore our children). One family tree goes back to the beginning of the 1500’s, a couple to the 1600’s, most to the 1700’s. I have also been interested to see to what extent these families have generated living descendants today over and above our own family. This has been both interesting and useful as some living cousins have been able to throw light on members of our family as well as provide photos of them. In the process of researching up to 13,000 people, I have also accumulated over 8,000 pictures. Researching cousins as well as direct descendants causes the ancestral tree to be much wider at each generation and this makes generational reports more complex to view and to navigate around even when separated into individual generations per file. Clarifying ancestral relationships sometimes requires the research of non-ancestral families; some families have intermarried with our line, sometimes more than once, and one may build up a small cohort of reasonably researched non-ancestral families as well as one’s own. In passing on the totality of one’s research to other researchers in hard copy form, it seems to me that the encyclopeadic format has most to offer. It covers all people researched whether ancestral or accidental; the index will identify all examples of a person’s entry as well as the variations in their name. It can be augmented by relationship charts. I think that it deserves to be a supported output option by WG. Here is an example of how the Encyclopeadic Report has advantages over, for example, the Descendant Indented Narrative Report. After all, this is where I started. I created DIN reports for all the ancestral families that I had done a decent amount of work on. For my family line, this meant 46 separate surnamed Descendant Indented Narrative reports, although perhaps four were a bit thin. For my wife’s line, this added another 23 separate reports. After rather clumsy searching I also identified 40 other families that I had done a significant amount of work on (ie: researching two or more generations). This still left out the other people who only played bit parts in my family’s creation. These reports looked great, in my mind, imagining them spreading across a shelf with the surnames emblazoned across their backs. But then, who would think of looking in the Astbury report for someone with the name Bagguley or in the Willett report for an Esther Buckley? In retrospect, not only were the large reports too heavy to read, they served my needs better than those of another researcher. With a brief sigh at the time taken to generate all these reports (at least electronically), I have given up on this approach. The Encyclopeadic Report seemed to cover all the bases. Now all those Descendant Indented Narratives could be converted to simpler outlines of generational relationships, using either Descendant Indent Charts or VCF charts, which could be used to supplement the Encyclopaedic Report. I still believe that in TMG’s present incarnation the Journal report has the most to offer of the existing reports. Only a small variation of this report would make the encyclopeadic report possible: simply, the ability to create a Journal style report for people with no offspring. If this were achievable then the only other sophistication I would look forward to, within this context, would be to have integrated indexes across the surname ranges. Perhaps these could be created within the Book Manager? My second comment is that I still feel that the above form of the Encyclopeadic Report, depending as it does on either the Individual Narrative or the Journal Report format, is outmoded. I respect the programmers’ decision to maintain consistency with standard genealogy journals. I for one do not provide reports to journals; I have no idea how many TMG users do. But I do find it strange that the genealogical heart of a person’s narrative, their children, is treated in a such a bizarre and psychologically unsatisfactory way. Obviously the presence of children, their gender, health and lives all significantly affect the decisions a family makes during its lifetime; to leave out such events from a person’s narrative is for me deeply unsatisfactory, more so because we are talking about a genealogy program. Terry, you have said that there is currently no tag sentence for a birth or baptism yet recent TMG updates have created new tags. I would have thought that there could be an option in each birth or baptism tag for the user to select that the event is, or is not, reflected on the parents’ pages as an event. As in the case of the new NarrativeChildren tag, the user could design the most acceptable default sentence. Where there already exists a tag sentence, because the user has already felt it necessary to manually add the parents as witnesses to the event, then the default sentence condition would not be triggered. Thirdly, I know that WG sets a very high store on ensuring that the data in TMG remains secure even when things are not going quite to plan. Understandably users need to feel that their years of work are completely safe in WG’s hands. I am, indeed we all are, getting older and for me the earlier need for data stability is being equalled by the need to be confident that I can pass on these years of work fully and intelligibly. Although Terry has quite rightly identified that people without children don’t get a narrative of their own, there is still the case of my wife who is missing from the Journal report; we have two children, so she should be in the report under her maiden name. Large reports are very time consuming to check even when you are looking for a particular detail; it is a burdensome task that none of us would like to feel that we _need_ to do, although we may choose to do so for our own confirmation. If my wife can be absent when she would seem to pass the criteria for being present I don’t have the confidence I need that my report is safe. This is where I feel WG still has a role to play: it could provide the quality assurance that in a particular report setup, what you intend is what you get. In this way, users wouldn’t have to worry that some quirk of the report creation process isn’t leaving big, or even little holes, in the output. Finally, I understand that others, perhaps also feeling that the printed output of their work does not have an outlet entirely to their satisfaction, have turned to electronic alternatives. John Cardinal’s Second Site is a really excellent interpretation of TMG data and produces a good looking and flexible result. But there is still a part of me that is wedded to hard copy as an extra security against the future change. All original sources are based in hard copy even if some of them have been now been digitised. Without a doubt, there are problems with hard copy (the quality of the paper, the ink and the cost for a start). But I still want the option in TMG and the present options are good but not yet good enough, for me; but they could be. The Encyclopaedic Report would benefit and interest all users not just those with large databases.
  4. Cheers Terry, I'll need a day to get my thoughts together Nick
  5. First of all, thanks for your comments, Terry. QUOTE Maiden aunt Coreen does appear as the child of her parents Andrew and Gertrude but the filter ("surname comes after Ci and before Cz") does not seem to find her and so she does not have an entry in her own name. She doesn't appear because you cannot create a Descendant's Journal for a person with no children - try it for her individually and you will get an error message. I've asked that this be fixed, but so far it has not been. I knew I would trip over somewhere; I obviously ran Journal reports on the married examples! Individually, some of the points I have made could be argued over but when taken together they seem to form a major barrier to passing one's research out. I would like WG to consider this topic seriously. (And it would be really nice if the indexes across a set of reports could be integrated, perhaps as parts of book 1 ...12 &c). I have attempted to breakdown the descendant reports by generation but I think that these too can become hard to read with more generations. Nick (I am not sure that I have the hang of using quotes in this forum!)
  6. Whilst I was accumulating all sorts of fascinating family material, I thought that to pass on my research, all I had to do was print it out using one of the multi-generational reports like the Descendant Indented Narrative or the Journal Report. I thought the choice of which to use was a matter of style, but it isn't, it is also a matter of substance. When I eventually came to look into this more seriously I realised that there was a real problem with this approach. With increasing numbers of generations, the reports become unwieldy; it becomes harder to mentally keep in touch with which part of the tree you are in until in the end the report becomes too heavy to read. I had also not realised the difference between the two main types of report: individual and descendant narrative reports exclude the birth of an individual's children so that their narrative is stripped of this genealogically and socially central explanation of their lives. The Journal report suffers from the same attitude to children but tries to compensate for this by adding the children at the end of the parents' narrative as if one were counting the number of cars they had owned over their lifetime. I recognise that Wholly Genes think long and hard about their choices so I know that there will be good rationales for treating children as historical appendages, but I don't find this approach helpful. Giving up on large and unwieldy generational reports, I decided to create an 'encyclopaedia' of names arranged in alphabetical order. I chose to use the Journal report, set to one generation depth, because it does at least include the names and details about an individual's children and because it adds some of the details of the wife's life. Over many days I constructed a series of surname filters that gradually encompassed all those that I had researched. Microsoft Word dictates the size of the file that it will open in its name and this means that I could not create one filter per letter of the alphabet which would have looked nice. In the end 33 Journal reports were needed. My huge sense of relief lasted up to the moment when I came to analyse how many pages I would have to print and in the process also checked on the number of people involved. I have two versions of the encyclopaedia, one private because they include people still living; the other public which includes only those who have already died. Even the public version came to over 8,000 pages, whilst the private one was over 10,000 pages. How one's research quietly builds up! I set the report conditions so that only BMD details would be shown for parents' children; the fuller details of their lives could then be expressed on their own pages. Problems about which people are or are not 'carried forward' to the next generation would not arise as each person's narrative is created by a 1-generation report - no one is carried forward. Thus aunt Coreen Crawford who remained unmarried throughout her life would be briefly mentioned as a child of her parents whilst the fuller details of her life would be shown on her own page. The same for her mother, the only difference being that she had been married. Except this isn't what happened. Maiden aunt Coreen does appear as the child of her parents Andrew and Gertrude but the filter ("surname comes after Ci and before Cz") does not seem to find her and so she does not have an entry in her own name. Her mother who did marry IS found, as expected, under her maiden name. However my equally married wife does NOT appear under her maiden name. Coreen's brother who did marry but had no children does appear. But another relative, an uncle who did not marry, does not appear. Whatever the rules being played out here, all the people missing CAN have their Journal reports created manually using the same journal conditions except for the filter. The filter states, in the example of my missing wife: 1. TYPE is not A (ie: P is not an archival item) AND 2. TYPE is not E (ie: P is not a census result) AND 3. Surname comes after Wd AND 4. Surname comes before WJ. There is no mention of gender or marital status. I do know that there is a 'way around this' and that is choose the report settings so that all the details of a child's life are given if they do not marry. But there are reasons why I don't find this entirely satisfactory: 1) someone looking for a person's name alphabetically simply will not find them; 2) it can break-up the clarity of the parent's narrative if brief BMDs are given for the married children whilst non-married children can have several pages of their own; and 3) whilst they can be found if an index is generated (as a child to the parent), frankly I would like to be able to generate an independent entry for each person regardless of their marital and gender status. My concerns are threefold: 1. without luck, I would never have known that people were going missing 2. although there will be good reasons for these findings, I don't know what they are and I guess others may not either 3. creating an encyclopaedia or list of each person researched should not be this hard. Just as much as I want to know what settings I need so that people are not missed out, I would like to see Wholly Genes prepare a worked example so that others can successfully pass on all that they know confident that there are no programming quirks which would undermine this intention. Nick Shelley
  7. I am sure that I am missing something obvious ...! I have created a custom witness sentence to a death tag designed to show an early child death in the parents' narrative. The sentence structure is: [:CR:][:CR:][:TAB:][PF] <only lived to be [A] and >died <[D]>. The father in this case had two sons by his first marriage, both of whom died young, as did his first wife. Both children have full birth dates and full death dates, viz. Thomas born May 30 1770, died Jan 21 1771, and Sampson born Sep 8 1772 and died Mar 6 1780. In each case these tags are primary. However the father's narrative reads: "Thomas died on Jan 21 1771 ... Sampson only lived to be 7 and died on Mar 7 1780" How can they give different outputs? Nick Shelley
  8. Journal reports and Book Manager

    Having had this occur a number of times, I could not understand why the problem stopped. However have just solved it: when editting the path for the report, to get out of the field I have been clicking on what I thought was a neutral part of the background canvas. I realise now that the long strips of background canvas both above and below the path window respond to a mouse click as if one were selecting the screen or printer options by selecting their buttons. Nick
  9. Journal reports and Book Manager

    I have now noted another habit of the Journal report. This occurred when making a new report and copying the settings of a first report to it. The output setting was already set to file, and after editting the file name, I then went to amend the focus ID#. Immediately after I entered a new number, the output setting changed to printer. Nick
  10. Including witnesses in reports

    Neil, The option to select or deselect witness sentences can be found on the Tag tab when you fire up Options for each report Nick Shelley
  11. This is a Book Manager report: I have recently run two 'books' each of 17 consecutive journal reports. In the first book, all went without a hitch for two thirds of the way through until an error message 'variable 69 not found'. Pressing the ignore option led to 'conversion error#3: could not create or open conv_log.txt on scratch drive' but accepting this I could go on with the journal sequence. I have not found any errors in the journals reports as a consequence of this. Before completing the sequence of journal reports I received the Word link screen on the first and only report which contained exhibits although screen messages were set to off. In spite of these messages, the book of reports seemed to complete okay In the second book, all went well until the penultimate report when the report kept cycling through the analysis notification window on the far right of the screen and it could not reach the 'calculating text' stage. Ctrl-Alt-Del was the only way to escape from this endless cycle. The same result was experienced when running this particular report manually. The report following this in the sequence, when performed manually, went okay. So it would appear that one report, although appearing okay, has somehow become corrupted. It is available if anyone is interested in it. Nick Shelley
  12. Self-duplicating tags?

    Yes, I've had this crop up in the past although I think the problem went away with a subsequent upgrade of TMG. I think that I sorted them out by managing to change one (perhaps the date) so that they were for some odd reason no longer attached to one another but as it is so long since I had to do this, I cannot remember anymore, I'm afraid. Nick Shelley
  13. This is just a bug report: I have discovered in TMG 6.12 that, if my printer setting in a Journal report is already set to a particular printer plus A4 page size, if I change this to the Windows default printer (here an HP printer defaulted to A4 paper size) and save this, the printer setting will alter the setting to the letter page size. This occurs without there being any visible change in the printer settings window to the letter option at the time of the change to the Windows default printer. If I go back and change the page size from letter to A4 and save it, the setting is then properly remembered. This is repeatable. Nick Shelley
  14. Memo font control

    I have since realised that the Citation Detail now has its own memo field which I have never used as I have been importing my project from 4.0d. So in this description below, when I talk about the CD memo field I must really be talking about the CD itself? Problem 1: The reason why I asked this question was this: when I have raw unanalysed information, say the contents of a will or an inventory of someone's estate made for probate, I tend to put this in the citation detail where it prints out in the Endnotes (as [CD]). Occasionally some of this info needs a columnar or tabbed arrangement (as you might get when a list of objects is made and their value is shown at the right side of the page). Someone helpfully suggested that if you wanted a columnar setting use a non-proportional font like Courier. That's fine if you are using the normal Memo field but my interest was in the citation detail field. So far as I can see, setting the memo field font to Courier in the report definition does not affect the citation detail font. However I can, in my Source Type definitions, specify that the [CD] field is turned to the Memo field font using the printer control [fontM:]text[:FONTM] but this approach forces all my memos in a report and all my [CD] fields of one Source Type (say, Probate inventory) to adopt the Courier font whereas I really only want to turn on the Courier font on those occasions when a columnar output is needed and here only in the CD. Any ideas? Problem 2: I have been experimenting with the [fontM] option in the Source Type definition for the probate inventory source but it does not seem to have any effect on the print out of the endnote. The Source Type endnote sentence reads: Probate inventory for the estate of [iTAL:][TESTATOR][:ITAL] was proven at [REGISTER] on [COMPILE DATE]{<: [iTAL:][fontM:][CD][:FONTM][:ITAL]>}<. (Extracted by [sOLICITOR], [sOLICITOR LOCATION]).> So I must assume that this printer code does not work in the Source Type sentence or that the introduction of a specific CD memo field has changed how things should be approached. Instead I put these printer codes round the CD text for the specific inventory tag but this too seems to have no effect on the print out. What am I doing wrong? Nick Shelley
  15. Thanks for your comments, Jim Having now had the time to check, another pre-saved indented report works fine so it is beginning to look as if it is the initial report that is corrupted and that the copy I made copied the corruption. If I take one of my pre-saved versions and make it into a vanilla version will this be identical to the default version, ie: is there anything special about the default reports which marks them as different from later saved versions? Nick