05 January 2016

So Many Ways - So Little Time (Reunion Software Post)

Let's face it, no two pieces of genealogy software are the same.  It's not that one would expect them to be, but if they could at least make it a bit easier for people switch between two different ones it would make things a bit easier.  But we all know that isn't going to happen right?

One of the things that seems to bug people coming into Reunion, or at least exploring that option is how sourcing works. 

First of all let me say that this is MY opinion.  This is what works for ME. 
Second of all,  to those coming in from FTM,   this isn't FTM and it doesn't work the same or look the same, that's why its Reunion.  And yes, its for the MAC.  Now that we have those out of the way, let me show you how I do the source thing in Reunion. 

First up, this is how you find your source list. 

 Double click it and it will open another window -  this one a listing of the sources that you have.  In the image below, you can sort them by name or by their number.  You can also sort them by type using the box at the top. Double clicking on any one source open up that source.  A great place for editing & "fixing" the sources. 

I am working thru all my sources in the above list. One by one cleaning them up and fixing them.  Arranging them by title makes it easier for me to locate them.  The screen below shows how I am writing my sources.  One by one down the list, adding the information I feel I need for either myself or you, to find the book or document I am using.  You can customize this by adding fields you feel you need for each source on your list.  I can NOT stress enough that this is totally up to YOU, customize it to fit YOUR needs.   When I source an item,  This is MY SOURCE.  I list this ONCE. 

Below, you can see that I reference a source, and I've done a citation.  If you click on the image it SHOULD open in a new window for your viewing.   On YOUR left you see the source listing with all the sources listed for the birth of a given birth.  Then to the right of that is the details.  I consider the details to be the information needed to find your information in the source.   So if the SOURCE is the 1940 Federal Census (yes, I clarify as I also use the State Census) and the citation is E.D. 84-62, Sheet 4-B, Lines 48-50, Household #94; John Thomas Ligon household, 167 UP - W. Hollywood Avenue, Block 6, FIrst Ward, Detroit City, Wayne County, Ohio. 

Keep in mind, this is how I DO IT.  That doesn't mean that its the only way nor will I tell you its the best way, its MY way.  I've put this post here to give some who just need more explanation than what is found out there.  

Said it before will say it again - Try all the programs you can.  Compare them, work with them.  How does your information transfer in?  Is this something that will work for you?  Do you like the way it works?  The way it looks?  Regardless of what it is, find one that works FOR YOU!   If you don't like it, if it doesn't work for you, you won't use it and you'll be kicking yourself for a very long time. 

Good luck & happy hunting!


Steve K said...


A good, thoughtful, clear post. I agree totally on what you said about sourcing/citations. ESM's might be the gold standard, but it is up to ME what is enough for MY data.

Now, back to playing with RootsMagic and Reunion, in my quest to get ready to move from FTMM3.


anitab said...

Thank you so much for sharing this!

I've been using Reunion for quite some time, but I have not (gasp) done sourcing/citations properly. I do at least keep digital copies of the pages/items where I got my information, filed in folders by person; but I KNOW I need to do this, and you have given me the tools I need in order to clean up my act/database...

This is so clear, it feels doable - thank you again!

Judy Tuccinardi said...

I liked the point you stressed about doing what works for ME/YOU!!! I was so afraid to take the first step in doing the first source that I put it off for months! Ha. Now I am more comfortable doing them. Still fine tuning them though. Being consistent is SO hard!