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Archiver > TMG > 2005-02 > 1107402723


From: Lee Hoffman <>
Subject: RE: [TMG] Methods-Dates: How do you handle Unknown Dates?
Date: Wed, 02 Feb 2005 22:54:49 -0500
References: <6.0.0.22.2.20050202191236.04065b30@mail.bellsouth.net><001201c50997$de990890$6501a8c0@LindaHome>
In-Reply-To: <001201c50997$de990890$6501a8c0@LindaHome>


Linda K wrote:
>Really, Lee?? I was under the impression most TMG users were attracted
>to it because of the ability to write wonderful, detailed narratives. If
>I have any complaint at all about TMG it's that it really doesn't lend
>itself to my style of brief, compact, abbreviated compilations. And that
>isn't even fair to say, really. TMG would do exactly that if I used just
>one printing memo-only-style tag per person (something I've strongly
>considered). <g>

Oh, many users have the Tags you mentioned and maybe a few others as
well. But the Memos fields for these Tags are mostly empty -- maybe only
having one or two words. The Occupation Tag is such a Tag.. But I would
guess that most persons in an average data set will not have much in the
way of a narrative insofar as anecdotes, interesting happenings in their
lives, etc.

Still with just the basic information in the Tags you mention, a nice
narrative can be produced. Such a narrative would probably not be very
interesting in that it would be mostly something like:
John Jones was born in 1834 in Virginia. He was educated at
Washington College in Lexington, Virginia between 1850 and 1853. He and
Sally Smith were married in 1854 in Lexington, Virginia. He was an attorney
in Montgomery County, Kentucky in 1855. He and Sally Smith were enumerated
on the 1860 U.S. Census at Mt. Sterling, Kentucky. He and Sally Smith were
enumerated in the 1870 U. S. Census in Mt. Sterling, Kentucky. He was shown
on the Tax Rolls in Mt. Sterling, Kentucky between 1871 and 1879. He
witnessed the death of Sally Smith on 24 Jul 1879 in Mt. Sterling,
Kentucky. He was enumerated on the 1880 U.S. Census in Mt. Sterling,
Kentucky. He and Jane Doe were married on 18 Apr 1883 in Mt. Sterling,
Kentucky. He died on 9 Jun 1885 in Mt. Sterling, Kentucky. He was buried
in Machpelah Cemetery, Mt. Sterling, Kentucky.

This is a rather nice narrative -- but definitely boring. I believe most
narratives will be like this. And this is the kind of narrative that
almost all programs can produce. But TMG allows the user to be more
creative in their narratives. So without to much trouble, the TMG user
could produce something like:
John Jones was born in 1834 in Virginia. He was educated at
Washington College in Lexington, Virginia between 1850 and 1853. He and
Sally Smith were married in 1854 in Lexington, Virginia.
Apparently John Jones and his new wife moved west to Kentucky as
we find him as an attorney in Montgomery County, Kentucky in 1855. He and
Sally Smith were enumerated on the 1860 and 1870 U.S. Censuses at Mt.
Sterling, Kentucky. He was shown on the Tax Rolls in Mt. Sterling,
Kentucky between 1871 and 1879.
He became a widower on 24 Jul 1879 in Mt. Sterling, Kentucky when
his wife, Sally Smith died and was enumerated as a widower on the 1880 U.S.
Census in Mt. Sterling, Kentucky.
He and Jane Doe were married on 18 Apr 1883 in Mt. Sterling,
Kentucky. But this was a short-lived marriage as he died on 9 Jun 1885 in
Mt. Sterling, Kentucky, and was buried in Machpelah Cemetery, Mt. Sterling,
Kentucky.

This tells the same thing is a somewhat more interesting way. Most of this
can be accomplished in TMG and when the narrative is produced, the final
narrative in a word processor would be produced. The final editing would
conjoin a few of the sentences and eliminate some of the redundancy. Even
some of that _could_ be done in TMG before the narrative is produced.

Still, while this is a bit more interesting, it still doesn't have much in
the way of human-interest to grab the attention of the reader. As I said,
I believe most persons in the average data set will be like this. But
possibly a few of the people with have a story or two that can be entered
in an Anecdote or Note Tag that will flesh out the individual and make the
narrative more interesting.

But again, most people will have the basic data. and that is all.

> I have one ancestor (just one) that couldn't possibly have enough
>tags. He's my ultimate brick wall and my obsession.

Sounds like my three great grandfather. I researched Thomas Hoffman for
fifteen years before I got past him. I have every census, tax roll, land
transaction, residence, business transaction (major ones only), political
appointments, and more kinds of things that I could find for him. What
finally led me to his father was an obit clipping for his nephew in his
daughter-in-law's Bible. Even that obit required a lot of research, but I
finally figured out that his father was James Hoffman. Talk about a boring
narrative, you would not want to read the narrative I first produced for
Thomas Hoffman, It was about two pages long -- I never did count all the
Tags for him -- some 250 or so is my guess, and mostly the same things over
and over except the date.



Lee Hoffman/KY
TMG Tips: <http://www.tmgtips.com>;
My website: <http://www.tmgtips.com/lhoffman>;
A user of the best genealogy program, The Master Genealogist (TMG)



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