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Creating a new Mills Evidence Explained Source

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Creating a new Evidence Explained style source requires new source elements and new source groups. In order to avoid duplicating the source element groups used in the newly created sources, I've found it impossible to stick to the guideline that new source elements ought to be placed in "similar" groups and simply used whatever group is available and not yet used. Has anyone found a way around this? Is there any reason, like use in reports or indexing, that I shouldn't just use any available and unused source element group? Is this likely to be fixed in version 8 or are we still awaiting further upgrades?


For example, a new church source requires three sets of locations: (1) the location of the event (the church), (2) the location of the creator of the microfilm used (FHL) [this location is not in the full footnote, but is in the bibliography], and (3) the location of the archive holding the original document, at which the microfilm was made. This meant creation of three sets of "detail, city, county, state, country" locations. [Wish: It still would be nice if rather than having to retype all these locations, we could grab some from the event itself.]


For this church record source type, I created for the location of the event:

Church in Author group

Town in Location group

State in Second location group

for the archive holding the original document:

Building in the Publisher group

City in the Publisher location group

State_2 in the Record number group

for the creator of the microfilm:

Repository used from Repository group

Location_1 in the Repository info group


In this case, extra dates are not required, but some other cases require up to three dates as well. Again odd groups need to be used to avoid duplicating groups in the new source.

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If one of the three "locations" you're adding source elements for is similar to a repository, you could use multiple repository memo fields to "hold" individual location elements that need to be re-ordered to follow Mill's style guides from the Full Footnote to the Bibliography. I needed more control over this, for instance having to re-order the "department", the city, the state, etc for Vital Records and the repository memo fields are allowing me to do this. Another benefit is that the info can be re-used for multiple sources without re-keying in the same data used in each new source from the same place. The term "repository" doesn't need to show up anywhere in the output, thus the Repository memo fields could be used creatively for more than just the defined term "repository"


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I assume you really know this, but for the benefit of any lurkers, the number of Source Element Groups is fixed - you cannot add any. They are, in fact, the file locations where the date you enter is stored. Source Elements are just convenient labels placed on those file locations so it is more clear what to enter in each field in the Source Definition screen.


When you create new Source Elements, you are just creating a new label for one of the storage locations. It is apparent then that you don't want to use a storage location that is already in use in that source - hence the "rule" that each Source Element Group can be used only once in each Source.


There is no real need that new Source Elements be "similar" to other Source Elements in that Group. But there are a couple of considerations that need to be taken into account:


1. You should only create Source Elements in the Groups that appear in the lower half of the General tab of the Source Definition screen. That means you can't use Title, Comments, any of the Repository Groups, or any of the Citation Groups. This is taken care of automatically if you start the creation of a new Source Element by clicking on one of the blank labels on the General tab. If you open the Source Elements list from the Tools menu you must manage this yourself.


2. Groups intended for the names of people are treated in a special way, and should generally not be used for any other purpose. They include Author, Compiler, Editor, Second Person, and Subject (I think that's all of them). They treat commas as separators between surnames and given names, and semicolons as separators between names of different people, and rearrange the output in the three templates accordingly. They also treat leading numerals as ID#s - these all case bad results if you enter data other than people's names that contain commas, semicolons, or leading numerals into these groups.


3. If you export your data, the various Groups are mapped differently into the far fewer groups available in GEDCOM. If GEDCOM export is important to you, see my article on Considerations for Exporting Sources



Aside from these constraints, you can use any Group you like for custom Source Elements.

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