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Convert Witness to Notes for GEDCOM Export


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#1 efcharvet

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 01:54 PM

Does anyone know of a tool that will convert TMG Witness sentences - or even just the name - into a Note so it can be exported in a GEDCOM file?

Are there other suggestions for getting TMG Witness info in a GEDCOM file so I can share it with users of other genealogy programs?

Thanks
Earl

Edited by efcharvet, 22 July 2010 - 08:51 PM.


#2 Terry Reigel

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 02:22 PM

Earl,

There was such a tool for a prior version of TMG, but I don't believe it's been updated in some time, and it won't work with the current version.

My suggestion is to create a Journal report in pdf format and send that. I don't believe in sending GEDCOMs, not only because lots of data is lost (not just witnesses), but for all the same reasons I don't thing TMG users should import them. The issues are discussed in some depth in this Editorial.
Terry

See my Tutorials and Articles on using TMG at tmg.reigelridge.com

The Second Edition of my book, A Primer for The Master Genealogist, is still available
. For more information see my website.

#3 efcharvet

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 07:55 PM

Thanks for your reply, Terry, but the answer is disappointing ... A routine like this should have some demand, I would think.

Although GEDCOMs are disparaged and dismissed on this message board, they were invented for to solve a very serious problem: Data held hostage by proprietary genealogical programs.

Don't get me wrong, I am far from a « big supporter » of the grossly inadequate GEDCOM format. However, without it, genealogists would not have the ability to share their research through magnificent sites such as GeneaNet, Genealogie.com's Arbres partagés, Ancestry/Rootsweb's WorldConnect, Ancestry's Public Member Trees, FamilySearch, Généatique's Mes-arbres.net, etc., etc., etc., etc. ... not to mention sharing findings with friends and colleagues who use programs other than TMG. Sharing my data with family members I know, and on big public sites with people I did not know, has enriched my personal research beyond description.

Until genealogical software publishers get over their « not invented here » syndrome and start working together on a universal format for sharing data, unfortunately, the GEDCOM file format is all we have. Adobe's PDF output is not a viable solution for me, nor do I think, the genealogical community as a whole.

(Frankly, I realised years ago that I should not have used Witnesses in TMG if I want to share my data files, but, by then, it was too late so I continued on. It was my mistake, I'll admit it.)

How much do you think I would have to pay John Cardinal to write a routine to convert Witness sentences to Notes? (I guess I need to write to him!)

Best regards and thanks again for the reply,
Earl

#4 Terry Reigel

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 05:00 AM

Thanks for your reply, Terry, but the answer is disappointing ... A routine like this should have some demand, I would think.

You're welcome, Earl.

Yes, there is call for that capability from time to time. The trouble is, the problem isn't limited to witnesses. For example, GEDCOM does not accommodate two-person tags other than for recognized "family" tag types, and those only when the two principals are shown as married or having children together. So tags commonly used for two people may be omitted. Some tag types, such as Note, do not have their dates exported. Any intelligence you enter in sentences, roles, source templates, or styles is lost. While source data is all exported, provided you don't enter anything important in the templates, they generally end up in a mess. (There are work-arounds for some of these issues described in Jim Byram's chapter on Exporting in GTMOOTMG.)

Although GEDCOMs are disparaged and dismissed on this message board, they were invented for to solve a very serious problem: Data held hostage by proprietary genealogical programs.

That's not actually the case, and that's part of the problem. GEDCOM was invented by the LDS church to permit electronic transfer of fairly limited types of data by it's members. It was then adopted by the genealogy programs, but efforts to enhance it to accommodate the much richer types of data recorded by the better programs has been largely ineffective. 

Sharing my data with family members I know, and on big public sites with people I did not know, has enriched my personal research beyond description.

I totally agree. But for reasons mostly unrelated to the limitations of GEDCOM, as I've said before, I don't think using such a data exchange medium is a good way to share data with relatives or fellow researchers. Instead I invite them to view my data on my website, or send them Journal reports tailored to their interests. To reach "unknown" readers I use my own website, which I've found to be highly productive, and post only limited data on public sites such as WorldConnect by way of GEDCOM. I might provide more details if that capability existed, but I'm not sure it's useful. I'd rather readers contact me for details than have them simply copy it off my public tree.
Terry

See my Tutorials and Articles on using TMG at tmg.reigelridge.com

The Second Edition of my book, A Primer for The Master Genealogist, is still available
. For more information see my website.

#5 Jim Byram

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 07:41 AM

Are there other suggestions for getting TMG Witness info in a GEDCOM file so I can share it with users of other genealogy programs?

Keep in mind that TMG outputs sentences only in reports, not in GEDCOM export.

You could reserve M1 of the event memo for the full sentence output from the event. You could have a special role for the principal that included a sentence with all witnesses. Use that role and generate the sentence and add it to the event memo. Then switch back to principal or whatever role you would normally use for the principal.

You would use M2-M9 of the memo for normal sentence construction so M1 would never be output in reports.

This way, you would have a complete sentence with all witnesses in GEDCOM export.

#6 efcharvet

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 09:51 PM

Yes, there is call for that capability from time to time. The trouble is, the problem isn't limited to witnesses. ...

Yes, I am aware of all of those « deficiencies ».

... I don't think using such a data exchange medium is a good way to share data .... I'd rather readers contact me for details than have them simply copy it off my public tree.

I'm glad that works for you. I tend to believe that the hundreds of millions of researchers who use mega sites like GeneaNet, Ancestry, FamilySearch, etc., have a much greater chance of finding individuals in my tree and my family history than on a privately hosted site; and that if researchers can't find my family history, neither they nor I will benefit. That's the rub. The WWW is a big place. --- This is especially relevant if you have a common name like Smith or Martin. There are not enough hours in the day for me to search the WWW for all of the privately hosted trees that hold those surnames, and then evaluate them. If my last name were « Reigel », I might feel differently!

Best regards,
Earl

#7 efcharvet

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 09:57 PM

You could reserve M1 of the event memo for the full sentence output from the event. You could have a special role for the principal that included a sentence with all witnesses. Use that role and generate the sentence and add it to the event memo. Then switch back to principal or whatever role you would normally use for the principal.

You would use M2-M9 of the memo for normal sentence construction so M1 would never be output in reports.

This way, you would have a complete sentence with all witnesses in GEDCOM export.

Jim, Thanks for your reply.

I would appreciate it if you would you elaborate a bit, or give a little example, so this is clearer to me.

Thanks much,
Earl

#8 Terry Reigel

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 05:32 AM

... I don't think using such a data exchange medium is a good way to share data .... I'd rather readers contact me for details than have them simply copy it off my public tree.

I'm glad that works for you. I tend to believe that the hundreds of millions of researchers who use mega sites like GeneaNet, Ancestry, FamilySearch, etc., have a much greater chance of finding individuals in my tree and my family history than on a privately hosted site; and that if researchers can't find my family history, neither they nor I will benefit.

Earl, I think you are missing my point. I'm not talking about where to post, but rather what you do after you establish contact. I do not send GEDCOMs - I think that's a bad practice for many reasons. You apparently have a different view.

As far as where to post your data, in my experience, posting on genealogy sites and on my private site primarily reaches different sets of readers. Genealogy sites attract only people with some level of active interest in family history and some level of knowledge about the available tools - many fewer than hundreds of millions, I suspect. A private site seems to attract mostly the much larger number of people with a more casual interest - distant cousins with a slow Friday afternoon who Google their great-grandfather's name. I've found some of those contacts to be the most valuable, as they turn up stories that I'd not otherwise be able to find at all.

But it's not a choice of one or the other. I find both valuable. But I don't see the need to export everything I have to the genealogy sites, or even to my own site, to make contacts. Basic information exports to GEDCOM fine, and that's what's needed to create contacts with other researchers. The details can wait until the contact is established. If they never contact you, it doesn't matter to you whether they got your details or not, at least in my view. In fact, if you omit the details and note that they are available upon contact that seems to me to be in incentive for the contact to be established.
Terry

See my Tutorials and Articles on using TMG at tmg.reigelridge.com

The Second Edition of my book, A Primer for The Master Genealogist, is still available
. For more information see my website.

#9 efcharvet

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 11:29 PM

... In fact, if you omit the details and note that they are available upon contact that seems to me to be in incentive for the contact to be established.


Thanks for your comment. Your point was clear from your earlier post. My reply wasn't. I simply have a different attitude about my research findings than you do, is all.

If someone finds the facts and historical commentary I provide useful but does not contact me, I'm fine with that. Many of my relatives can't read Latin, or English, or French, (or two of the three) or read their way through old texts with paleographic styles one of my family members called « écriture hiéroglyphique » (hieroglyphics) :lol: , all of which I can. I also have the time to do this research comprehensively and travel widely to places where the original documents are archived, which most of my family members do not. Honestly, I'm simply happy to get my family history out there, sharing it, with no strings attached. --- It is the same attitude I would have if I were to publish my research results in « book » form which could end-up electronically in a Kindle, or on papyrus on the shelf in a library; I would have no expectations about someone contacting me. (Of course, if someone should, great!, but it does not concern me one way or another.)

Anything Bob Velke and his cohorts can do to make the data I put into TMG publish as completely as possible to the widest range of popular « mega » genealogical Internet sites, the happier I will be. Publishing and sharing is what genealogy is all about to me.

Best regards,
Earl

#10 Terry Reigel

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 05:07 AM

Sorry, Earl, I apparently misinterpreted your previous comments as expressing an interest in establishing two-way sharing of information, rather than a desire to simply make your information available to others.

Actually, I separate my online postings into two separate categories - those posted for lines "undergoing research" where I actively invite contacts, and those for "completed" lines where I simply publish my results publicly. For the former, I use both my own site and WorldConnect. I don't use Ancestry, though I'd like to, because of a number of shortcomings, including that they don't offer a means to post a note for each person inviting contact.

For my "completed" lines I publish only on my own site (see here for example) because none of the genealogy sites offer me anything near the control I want for the finished product. For me, the "story" about each person is much more important than extending the lines with just names and dates, though I understand that others may have quite different priorities.

I agree that anything that would make it easier to post our data to these sites would be helpful.
Terry

See my Tutorials and Articles on using TMG at tmg.reigelridge.com

The Second Edition of my book, A Primer for The Master Genealogist, is still available
. For more information see my website.

#11 Jim Byram

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 12:06 PM

I would appreciate it if you would you elaborate a bit, or give a little example, so this is clearer to me.

This is a crude example.

Census 1880 event
Has a P1 (Head of Household) and 3 witnesses (Household Members)

Temporarily add the witness sentence to the principal sentence and edit the verb and capture the preview. (No actual report was necessary.

Add the output to the tag memo as [M1].

"Alonzo Leonidas Byram appeared on the U.S. census of 1880 in Ward 5, Bossier Parish, Louisiana; Sarah Elizabeth Dalrymple, Ruby Byram and James Edward Byram Sr. were enumerated in the household of Alonzo Leonidas Byram in the 1880 U.S. census in Ward 5, Bossier Parish, Louisiana.|" (quotes only to show you the string added to the memo)

Now delete the witness part of the P1 sentence.

That memo part will be output to GEDCOM and gives you the full data for the event (witnesses included).

You could add a role to the tag type for the P1 with this combined sentence so that you can edit the sentence, select the role, capture the preview for the memo, and restore the original role.

You can use a similar approach for every witnessed event tag so that you can routinely add the output to the tag memo for GEDCOM output.

You still have M2 to M9 to provide normal memo usage for the tag.

This lets you use witnesses and get full data output for the tag under the Principal's record in GEDCOM export.

#12 TPG

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 10:04 AM

I noticed your old forum message and think that I have a solution. I had written a small program that generates "witness statements" from the TMG project file set and then inserts them into a gedcom file, also generated from the same project file set.

The generated witness statements are generated as event-notes. They are then inserted in the original GEDCOM file and are of the form:

1 EVEN
2 TYPE Witness
2 DATE [date]*
2 PLACE [place]*
2 NOTE [role] in [eventtype] for [Prin1] and [Prin2] **

* entry is omitted when [date] or [place] is blank.
** either or both [prin1] and [prin2] is omitted when blank.

I had originally written it as a adjunct to my Progenitor 4 software package, but then realized it could be used for other purposes.

The program is free and can be obtained from www.crestline-enterprises.com/witnessTMG

TPG



Does anyone know of a tool that will convert TMG Witness sentences - or even just the name - into a Note so it can be exported in a GEDCOM file?

Are there other suggestions for getting TMG Witness info in a GEDCOM file so I can share it with users of other genealogy programs?

Thanks
Earl






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