TMG-L ArchivesArchiver > TMG > 2006-06 > 1150329214
From: "Sholder, Kevin L." <>
Subject: RE: [TMG] Unnamed child
Date: Wed, 14 Jun 2006 19:53:34 -0400
Then let me rephrase...
As a recommended style by Certified Genealogists heard at NGS conventions
and shown in the NGS Quarterly.
I fill in the blanks because that is the way I want it to sort as well as
adding additional excluded information in the suffix so I know who these
people belong to.
That's the way I like it.
From: Lee Hoffman [mailto:]
Sent: Wednesday, June 14, 2006 10:52 AM
Subject: RE: [TMG] Unnamed child
Sholder, Kevin L. wrote:
>Pages 262 and 263 from the "Details, Details, Details: Using a Style
>and page 304 of the "Putting it Together: Compiling Your Genealogy"
>lectures from last year's NGS convention in Tennessee. You can also
>see this in the index of the NGSQ 2005 for both surnames and first names.
Okay, but the lectures is not indicative of the usage being a National
Genealogical Society (NGS) standard. As far as I know, the NGS itself has
not issued any such standards. On the other hand, the NGS Quarterly editor
has set that as the style for consistency of use in that publication.
The lectures themselves refer to "The BCG Genealogical Standards Manual" by
the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) as their source for the
statements in the lectures. However, the manual does not state that usage
as a standard although it uses the "[--?--]"
construct in many of its examples. The manual also uses "[----]",
"[___]", and "___" in its examples for the same usage. The BCG
manual does state that certain notations or one- or two-word comments should
be identified by enclosing them within square brackets "[ ]".
It is this usage that is behind the default text in TMG reports for unknown
names. Thus if a name is not known, the user need not enter anything. Many
users feel the need to make an entry in every field and this is not
Further, in Chapter 16 of "Professional Genealogy" (Elizabeth Shown Mills,
Editor), Mary McCampbell Bell in her article "Transcripts and Abstracts"
"If we need to add something to a document for clarity, we place our
in square brackets -- never parentheses. Square brackets are a
warning device that tells our readers: 'I have added this.
It's not in the original.' "
Note that Bell is speaking of transcript and abstracts rather than entry in
a genealogical database. However, as many users have noted, entry in a
genealogical database should be as close to the original entry as we can
make it, and in this context, showing that we have added text to an entry
probably should be within brackets.
As stated above, TMG has a default text (on the Names tab of each Report
Definition Screen [Options] window) for empty (unknown or no) names. This
default is "(--?--)" which differs from the recommended practice above of
square brackets although it would probably be acceptable in most cases. For
those cases where square brackets are desired, it is an easy change by the
user in the Report Definition Screen [Options] window when a report is
produced by TMG.
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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