This article appeared in the September/October 1999 issue of Everton's Genealogical Helper.

The Master Genealogist Tips

By Lee H. Hoffman


Memory Helps. When you create a custom Flag, do you just enter the flag name in the Label field and the possible settings in the values field and then quit? Below the Values field is a field called Key. Enter each possible setting (on a separate line) that you entered in the Values field and briefly describe what that setting value means. Then if you forget some of the more obscure values, you can refresh your memory here.

Another Memory Help. Very often, when you are working with TMG, you need to make a note of something for later. This might be the last person being edited, what the Accent colors signify, a reminder of something about the dataset, etc. TMG has a Dataset Memo field for just this purpose. It may be accessed from the File=>Memo menu option or by pressing the F7 hotkey. The field is free form in that there is no structure and you may enter anything you want. If you find that you no longer need an entry, just delete that entry.

Unused Person ID#s. If you are like most users, you will have ID numbers that are no longer used to identify an individual due to merging and deleting persons in your dataset. You can assign those unused ID numbers to new persons as you add them. In the Add a Person window, place the cursor in the ID# field in the upper-right corner, and press the Picklist hotkey (F2). TMG will display the Unused ID Numbers window. Select the ID number you wish to use. The cursor will be over the smallest unused number, so if you just press Enter, that number will be the number of the new person. If you do this for each new person, you will be able to use all those unused numbers.

Unused Source ID#s. Like person ID#s, many users also have unused Source numbers. Here the, process is even easier. When in the Master Source List, click on the More>> button to display the Expanded Master Source List. Then when you add a new Source, TMG will assign the lowest unused Source number.

Reference Field. Did you know that the Reference Field can be adjusted in size? The default length of the field is twelve characters which is fine for most uses. But there are some instances when you may want to increase the field size. For example, some users place information there to help differentiate people in the dataset. Specifically, they might enter "d/o Thomas & Mary", "w/o William", etc. to distinguish the different Mary Jones where "d/o" is "daughter of" and "w/o" is "wife of".

To increase the Reference Field length, select the menu option File=>Customize=>Reference Field. Just click on the up arrow until you reach the length desired. For the above concept, you can probably use a length of 20 to 25. After you click on the OK button, TMG will ask if you are sure that you want to change the size of the field and warn you that it will change the size of the dataset taking more disk space. Small increases may not make a lot of difference, but you need to be aware of this. After answering "Yes", TMG will make the change and you can then start using the field with longer reference data. You also need to be aware that increasing the size of the field to large values, you can increase the field to the extent that the data will not all appear on the Person View, but will be in the files and will be printed when requested on reports.

Custom Source Categories. Do you have Custom Source Categories in one dataset that you also want in one or more other datasets? It is easy to "copy" them. Go into the System Configuration Screen of the dataset where you have the custom source category(s), and select the Configure button to display the Custom Source Categories screen where you will click on the Export button. After selecting the desired categories to export and assigning a filename, again select the Export button and TMG will create the file.

Now open the dataset that you want to add the custom source category, and in the System Configuration Screen, click on the Configure button to display the Custom Source Categories screen and click on the Import button. Point to the file that you just created, check that you are appending the categories (or overwrite if that is your desire) and click on the Import button. TMG will import the Custom Source Categories from the other dataset and after you exit from the various screens (clicking the OK button as needed), you can start using them.

Custom Source Categories. You can use Source Categories based on Richard S. Lackey’s Cite Your Sources categories or on Elizabeth Shown Mills’ Evidence!. Let me remind you that the templates are Wholly Genes interpretation of these categories and may not match either Lackey or Mills recommendations.

Most users prefer those based on the Mills categories as they cover the latest media. But many prefer their own categories, which is the third choice -- Custom. When choosing the Custom categories, you may choose to use either the Lackey or the Mills categories as the initial basis for the Custom Categories. TMG defaults to the Mills categories, but you may select those of Lackey if you wish. In the System Configuration Screen, click on the Configure button and then in the Custom Source Categories Screen, click on the Initialize button to make your choice.

Further information about The Master Genealogist can be obtained from Wholly Genes, Inc., 5144 Flowertuft Ct, Columbia, MD 21075, 
on the TMG website <> or tollfree at 1-877-TMG-FAMILY. TMG Tech Support is available at 1-410-715-2260 
or by e-mail at <>.

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