Terry's TMG Tips

Some Miscellaneous Custom Tags

This page updated 14 Jul 2005

Version note: Applies to TMG 8 & 9

TMG comes with a large number of tags to record various events, plus the ability for the user to create custom tags to suit his or her preferences. Here are a few tags that I have found useful to add to those supplied with the program:

To Document Conflicting Information

We often find conflicting information in various sources. If the conflict is simple, like conflicting birth date or place, I either make a separate Birth or whatever Tag (see article on Managing Conflicting Data) or reconcile the differences and show my logic in the source citations. But if the conflict is significant, like the not uncommon case of disputed identity of a wife, or a conflict about which wife is the mother of which children, I use one or both of the following custom Tag Types to document the conflict.

My ResearchNote Tag:

Principal Sentence:
[:CR:][:CR:][:TAB:][ITAL:]Research Note:[:ITAL] [M]
Witness Sentence:
I write a description of the conflict in the Memo. (If it contains more than one paragraph, I put a tab in front of each new paragraph for consistency). Since this usually involves two or more people, I enter the first two as Principals, and if there are more, I make enter them as Witnesses. It shows in each person's Person View on screen to make it easy to see the notes. I generally print this tag in reports I send to another researcher, but whether I do for reports I send to family depends on whether I'm creating a "pretty" report for someone who doesn't care about details or one I think might go in a trunk and resurface in 25 years.
This Tag Type does not work well at all if you plan to export your data to GEDCOM and want to include this information. There are two main issues: 1) GEDCOM tags can only have one Principal except for "family" tags, like marriage, divorce, and census, and even those require the two members of the "family" to be married and/or have children together, and 2) tags are never exported to GEDCOM for Witnesses. Since my use of this tag often involved two people who are not a "family," and often includes several Witnesses, so exporting the tag to GEDCOM doesn't work.

My solution is twofold: 1) I never send other researchers GEDCOMs - see my article on Sharing for the reasons, and 2) for the GEDCOMs I create for uploading to public websites, I use the special WebNote tag described below.

My WebNote tag:

Principal Sentence:
[:CR:][:TAB:]Note: <[M]>{Only ONE Principal Allowed!!}
Witness Sentence:
- Witnesses not allowed -
Export as
Tag: NOTE (Entered on "Other" tab of Tag Type Definition)
I use this tag only for people whom I include in my postings on the Internet. I write a brief description of the conflict in the Memo, and invite readers to contact me to discuss it. The tag is linked to only one person, to accommodate GEDCOM restrictions. The strange sentences are designed to serve as reminders of this practice. If more than one person is involved, as is generally the case, I create similar tags for each person who is involved. I don't print this tag in reports, but do include it in postings of my data to RootsWeb WorldConnect and to my own website.

To Preserve a Bit of Text from a Source

Sometimes I find I want to preserve the exact text of a source, but will only use some of the information it contains in the tags I create for normal reports. This especially applies if I will not keep a copy of the original source.

My SourceNote Tag:

Principal Sentence:
[:CR:][:CR:][:TAB:][ITAL:]Source Note:[:ITAL] [M]
Witness Sentence:
Copy the text into the Memo. (If it contains more than one paragraph, I put a tab in front of each new paragraph for consistency). I use the date of the source for the date, which usually sorts it to the bottom of the person view. This works best for small bits of text, rather than a large extract. I don't normally print this tag in reports, but the text is available for reference, and I sometimes include it when sharing information with another researcher.

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