Terry's ORA Tips

Template Example – Census Sources

This page updated 13 Jun 2020

Version note: Applies to ORA 1.1

This article describes one of my example Templates for Online Repository Assistant (ORA). The other example Templates can be found in the index of Example Templates. Other articles in my ORA Section cover various topics about using the software. The "How it Works" section below includes links to articles describing the ORA features used in these Templates.

Description:

The Templates described here are designed to type data from an Ancestry.com U.S. Census record to complete Source Definitions for that census in The Master Genealogist (TMG). These Templates are designed to work with "splitter" style source, where a new Source Definition is defined for each household.

The Templates are designed to enter the data into the various fields used by my Source Type for 1850 to 1940 Population Schedules, which is designed to create a Source record for each household. The Templates could be adapted to enter into Source Definitions of other designs.

A separate Template is provided for each census year.

Example Output:

Type:

Auto Type, intended for use with TMG

Use:

In TMG, open a Tag Entry screen for a Tag in which you intend to cite this census.

In your browser, navigate to the census record for the head of household of the household for which the Source Definition is being created. In the ORA Control Panel, click the Auto Type button associated with this Template. The Template opens the Citation screen, sets it to the "new" mode, and types the data as shown in the example above for all fields where it is recorded in the Ancestry record page.

Limitations:
How it Works:

The Templates use the "Expanded" Citation screen, rather than the Source Definition screen, because the latter is a tabbed screen that requires changing tabs to enter the Comments Source Element and the Repository. By using the expanded Citation screen a new Source can be created from a single data input screen in TMG, avoiding all the Control Sequences needed to navigate the tabs in the Tag Entry screen.

The Templates gather data from fields available in the ORA Control Panel and format it to create output for each Source Element. The methods used are explained for each Source Element below. When the available data in various years requires different methods, each is explained. The actual Templates at the end of this article account for different field names in various census years, but those differences are not noted in this section unless a different method is required to extract the data. The {tab} Control Sequences used to advance from field to field are included in the Templates below, but are not shown in the following discussion for each field.

Opening the Citation Screen

The Citation screen in TMG is opened with the Control Sequence for the F4 key. That screen opens with the focus on the Source Number field. The Control Sequence for the shift-tab combination tabs "backwards" to the "New" radio button. A literal space character selects that radio button and the focus advances to the Source Type drop-down list.

{F4}{SHIFT+TAB} {300}

It takes TMG a finite amount of time to change the Citation screen from the "Old" mode to the "New" mode, which requires re-drawing that screen. I find to get dependable results in selecting the Source Type with the following step I need to add a delay Control Sequence to give TMG time to catch up. I have found a 300 millisecond delay works on my system, but you may find a shorter delay works for you, or you may need a longer one.

Source Type

The Source Type is selected from a drop-down list. Items on that list cannot be reliably selected by typing the name of the Source Type when there are several items that begin with the same terms, particularly when the names include spaces or other special characters. A method that has been found successful is to type a few letters of the beginning of the name, add a delay Control Sequence to let TMG find the first item starting with those characters, then type the same letters again to advance to the next item with the item with the same beginning characters, and repeat until the desired item is found. For my system the following Template segment finds the "Census, Federal (1850+)" Source Type:

Cen{500}Cen{500}Cen{fast}

I have three Source Types that begin with "Cen" so three attempts find the correct one. To use this Template on another system you would need to change the characters typed to match the name of your census Source Type, and the number of repeats to match the list of Source Types on your system. I found the 500 millisecond delay worked on by system to allow TMG to select each Source Type in turn, but you may find a shorter delay or longer one works best for you. I end this segment with the {fast} Control Sequence to speed up the rest of the typing, which works on my system.

Abbreviation

The formatting of the Source Abbreviation in TMG is totally a matter of personal preference. I prefer to start with "cen" so all my census Source sort together in the Master Source List, followed by the year, the two-letter postal code for the state, the name of the county, and the name of the head of household, surname first. For example:

cen1860- IN Shelby - Jones, Isaac

That output is produced by the following Template segment:

cen1860- [Residence:split:,:-1:abbr:us_states] [Residence:split:,:-2] - [Name:split: :-1], <[Name:split: :-3]>< [Name:split: :-2]>

The first term is literal text to produce "cen", the year, hyphen and space. The postal code for the state is found by extracting the name of the state from the "Residence" field with a :split Transformation, followed by an :abbr Transformation. Next the name of the county is found by applying the :split Transformation again to the "Residence" field. For most years the name of the state is the last element in that field and the county second from last. In some years the field also contains the country, as "USA." For those years the count parameters on the :split Transformations must each be increased by one.

Next the surname is extracted from the "Name" field using the :split Transformation to locate the last part of that field. Note that this will produce results requiring editing if the surname contains a space, like Mc Neill, or there is a suffix, like Jr. Finally, the given name and middle names are extracted by using the split Transformation to find the third from last and next to last items in the "Name" field. Note that errors in the surname extraction will produce errors for these elements as well.

Title

I use as the Title Source Element the year and the words "U.S. Census" so this Template segment is just literal text:

1860 U.S. Census

The year could be obtained from a field but field names change in some years, so simply using literal text for the year seemed simpler.

County

The name of the county is extracted from the "Residence" field with the :split Transformation to find the second-from-last element, with this Template segment:

[Residence:split:,:-2] <[?:Residence:split:,:-2=Louisiana]Parish|Co.>

The second term adds with literal text either "Co." or "Parish." A Value Test Variable tests the name of the state, also extracted from the "Residence" field with a :split Transformation, for "Louisiana." If true "Parish" is output, otherwise "Co." is output by the second part of the Alternatives Conditional.

As with the Abbreviation field, the count parameters in the :split Transformations must be adjusted for years that include the name of the country in this field.

Household

I enter the name of the head of household in normal format, so it is produced with this Template segment:

[Name]

If a surname first format is desired, the method described above for the Abbreviation can be used.

Location

The name of the locality is extracted from "Residence" field with the :split Transformation to find the first element, using this Template segment:

[Residence:split:,:1]

When the locality is not recorded this segment will produce no output and the Template advances to the next Source Element.

State

The name of the state is extracted from the "Residence" field with the :split Transformation to find the last element, with this Template segment:

[Residence:split:,:-1]

As with the Abbreviation field, the count parameter must be adjusted for years that include the name of the country in this field.

Enumeration District

The enumeration district, for those years where it is used, is produced with the following Template segment:

[Source.Enumeration District:replace:^0+]

In some years Ancestry includes leading zeros to give all district numbers the same number of digits. I dislike that practice, so remove them when present with the :replace Transformation.

Informer

The "Informer" (actually informant, but I used a standard Source Element with a name that was close) is used only for 1940. It is produced by the following Template segment:

<[?:Respondent=Yes]head of household|XXX>

Ancestry records who the informant is by placing "yes" or "no" in the "Respondent" field for each person, so it is possible to extract that information automatically only when the informant was the head of household. The Template tests the value in the "Respondent" field for the value "Yes" with the Value Test Variable. If that is true, it uses literal text to output "head of household." If it is not, it use literal text to output "XXX" to draw attention to the fact that the Source Element needs to be edited.

Page

The page number is produced by the following Template segment:

[Source.Page]

Dwelling and Family

The dwelling number, except for 1940 when it was not used, and family number, are produced by the following Template segments:

<[Dwelling Number]|XXX>

<[Family Number]|XXX>

These numbers are not recorded by Ancestry.com for some years, so if it is absent the Template uses an Alternatives Conditional to produce the literal text "XXX" to draw attention to the fact that the Source Elements needs to be edited.

Film Number

Ancestry.com records the NARA film number in different ways in different years. In some years only the roll number is reported. In others the film and roll numbers are reported. In still others only the FHL film number is recorded. For those years I look up the NARA number and record that myself.

For years where only the roll number is recorded, the Template uses literal text to output the film number, and the "Source.Roll" field for the roll number, like this:

M432-[Source.Roll]

For years when Ancestry.com records both the film and roll number, it uses an underscore character to separate the two, which I change to a hyphen with the :replace Transformation, like this:

[Source.Roll::replace:_:-]

For years when the NARA number is not recorded I use literal text to produce the film number, followed by "XXX" to draw attention to the fact that the Source Elements needs to be edited, like this:

M432- XXX

Comments

I acknowledge that I viewed the image on Ancestry.com by inserting a note in the Comments Source Element, by use of literal text in the following Template segment:

image found on Ancestry.com

Repository

The Repository, like the Source Type, is selected from a drop-down list. I have several Repositories with names that begin with "National" so use the same method described above for the Source Type, with the following Template segment:

Nat{1000}Nat{1000}Nat
 
Templates:

The following are the complete Templates for each census year. They can be copied from the areas below and pasted into an Auto Type Template in the OraSettings window. The separation of the coding into "paragraphs" is used only to make the coding easier to understand. The paragraph breaks are ignored by ORA when the Template is used.

1850:

{F4}{SHIFT+TAB} {300}

Cen{500}Cen{500}Cen{fast}{tab*3}

cen1850- [Residence:split:,:-2:abbr:us_states] [Residence:split:,:-3] - [Name:split: :-1], <[Name:split: :-3]>< [Name:split: :-2]>{tab}

1850 U.S. Census{tab}

[Residence:split:,:-3] <[?:Residence:split:,:-2=Louisiana]Parish|Co.>{tab}

[Name]{tab}

[Residence:split:,:1]{tab}

[Residence:split:,:-2]{tab*3}

[Source.Page]{tab}

<[Dwelling Number]|XXX>{tab}

<[Family Number]|XXX>{tab}

M432-[Source.Roll]{tab}

image found on Ancestry.com{tab}

Nat{1000}Nat{1000}Nat{tab}

1860:

{F4}{SHIFT+TAB} {300}

Cen{500}Cen{500}Cen{fast}{tab*3}

cen1860- [Residence:split:,:-1:abbr:us_states] [Residence:split:,:-2] - [Name:split: :-1], <[Name:split: :-3]>< [Name:split: :-2]>{tab}

1860 U.S. Census{tab}

[Residence:split:,:-2] <[?:Residence:split:,:-1=Louisiana]Parish|Co.>{tab}

[Name]{tab}

[Residence:split:,:1]{tab}

[Residence:split:,:-1]{tab*3}

[Source.Page]{tab}

<[Dwelling Number]|XXX>{tab}

<[Family Number]|XXX>{tab}

M653-<[Source.Roll]|XXX>{tab}

image found on Ancestry.com{tab}

Nat{1000}Nat{1000}Nat{tab}

1870:

{F4}{SHIFT+TAB} {300}

Cen{500}Cen{500}Cen{fast}{tab*3}

cen1870- [Residence:split:,:-1:abbr:us_states] [Residence:split:,:-2] - [Name:split: :-1], <[Name:split: :-3]>< [Name:split: :-2]>{tab}

1870 U.S. Census{tab}

[Residence:split:,:-2] <[?:Residence:split:,:-1=Louisiana]Parish|Co.>{tab}

[Name]{tab}

[Residence:split:,:1]{tab}

[Residence:split:,:-1]{tab*3}

[Source.Page]{tab}

<[Dwelling Number]|XXX>{tab}

<[Family Number]|XXX>{tab}

[Source.Roll::replace:_:-]{tab}

image found on Ancestry.com{tab}

Nat{1000}Nat{1000}Nat{tab}

1880:

{F4}{SHIFT+TAB} {300}

Cen{500}Cen{500}Cen{fast}{tab*3}

cen1880- [Residence:split:,:-2:abbr:us_states] [Residence:split:,:-3] - [Name:split: :-1], <[Name:split: :-3]>< [Name:split: :-2]>{tab}

1880 U.S. Census{tab}

[Residence:split:,:-3] <[?:Residence:split:,:-2=Louisiana]Parish|Co.>{tab}

[Name]{tab}

[Residence:split:,:1]{tab}

[Residence:split:,:-2]{tab*3}

[Source.Page]{tab}

<[Dwelling Number]|XXX>{tab}

<[Family Number]|XXX>{tab}

T9-[Source.Roll]{tab}

image found on Ancestry.com{tab}

Nat{1000}Nat{1000}Nat{tab}

1900:

{F4}{SHIFT+TAB} {300}

Cen{500}Cen{500}Cen{fast}{tab*3}

cen1900- [Residence:split:,:-1:abbr:us_states] [Residence:split:,:-2] - [Name:split: :-1], <[Name:split: :-3]>< [Name:split: :-2]>{tab}

1900 U.S. Census{tab}

[Residence:split:,:-2] <[?:Residence:split:,:-1=Louisiana]Parish|Co.>{tab}

[Name]{tab}

[Residence:split:,:1]{tab}

[Residence:split:,:-1]{tab}

[Source.Enumeration District:replace:^0+]{tab*2}

[Source.Page]{tab}

<[Number of Dwelling in Order of Visitation]|XXX>{tab}

<[Family Number]|XXX>{tab}

T623-XXX{tab}

image found on Ancestry.com{tab}

Nat{1000}Nat{1000}Nat{tab}

1910:

{F4}{SHIFT+TAB} {300}

Cen{500}Cen{500}Cen{fast}{tab*3}

cen1910- [Residence:split:,:-1:abbr:us_states] [Residence:split:,:-2] - [Name:split: :-1], <[Name:split: :-3]>< [Name:split: :-2]>{tab}

1910 U.S. Census{tab}

[Residence:split:,:-2] <[?:Residence:split:,:-1=Louisiana]Parish|Co.>{tab}

[Name]{tab}

[Residence:split:,:1]{tab}

[Residence:split:,:-1]{tab}

[Source.Enumeration District:replace:^0+]{tab*2}

[Source.Page]{tab}

<[Dwelling Number]|XXX>{tab}

<[Family Number]|XXX>{tab}

[Source.Roll:replace:_:-]{tab}

image found on Ancestry.com{tab}

Nat{1000}Nat{1000}Nat{tab}

1920:

{F4}{SHIFT+TAB} {300}

Cen{500}Cen{500}Cen{fast}{tab*3}

cen1920- [Residence:split:,:-1:abbr:us_states] [Residence:split:,:-2] - [Name:split: :-1], <[Name:split: :-3]>< [Name:split: :-2]>{tab}

1920 U.S. Census{tab}

[Residence:split:,:-2] <[?:Residence:split:,:-1=Louisiana]Parish|Co.>{tab}

[Name]{tab}

[Residence:split:,:1]{tab}

[Residence:split:,:-1]{tab} [Source.Enumeration District:replace:^0+]{tab*2}

[Source.Page]{tab}

<[Dwelling Number]|XXX>{tab}

<[Family Number]|XXX>{tab}

[Source.Roll:replace:_:-]{tab}

image found on Ancestry.com{tab}

Nat{1000}Nat{1000}Nat{tab}

1930:

{F4}{SHIFT+TAB} {300}

Cen{500}Cen{500}Cen{fast}{tab*3}

cen1930- [Residence:split:,:-2:abbr:us_states] [Residence:split:,:-3] - [Name:split: :-1], <[Name:split: :-3]>< [Name:split: :-2]>{tab}

1930 U.S. Census{tab}

[Residence:split:,:-3] <[?:Residence:split:,:-2=Louisiana]Parish|Co.>{tab}

[Name]{tab}

[Residence:split:,:1]{tab}

[Residence:split:,:-2]{tab}

[Source.Enumeration District:replace:^0+]{tab*2}

[Source.Page]{tab}

<[Dwelling Number]|XXX>{tab}

<[Family Number]|XXX>{tab}

T626-XXX{tab}

image found on Ancestry.com{tab}

Nat{1000}Nat{1000}Nat{tab}

1940:

{F4}{SHIFT+TAB} {300}

Cen{500}Cen{500}Cen{fast}{tab*3}

cen1940- [Residence:split:,:-1:abbr:us_states] [Residence:split:,:-2] - [Name:split: :-1], <[Name:split: :-3]>< [Name:split: :-2]>{tab}

1940 U.S. Census{tab}

[Residence:split:,:-2] <[?:Residence:split:,:-1=Louisiana]Parish|Co.>{tab}

[Name]{tab}

[Residence:split:,:1]{tab}

[Residence:split:,:-1]{tab}

[Source.Enumeration District::replace:^0+]{tab}

<[?:Respondent=Yes]head of household|XXX>{tab}

[Source.Page]{tab}

{tab}

<[Number of Household in Order of Visitation]|XXX>{tab}

M627-[Source.Roll:split:-:-1:replace:^0+]{tab}

image found on Ancestry.com{tab}

Nat{1000}Nat{1000}Nat{tab}

 

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