Become a Better Researcher

Our research problems are unique and our genealogy software, to be useful, must be flexible enough to match our respective problems and our respective methods. The Master Genealogist is that software, but power and flexibility has a down side. The more options a program has, the more decisions the user must make. This year, the Tri-Valley TMG User Group will explore those options and make some of those personal decisions. Would you like to play along with us? Do each month's assignment, and if you like, e-mail it to us at: We'll post some of the completed assignments on this blog each month. Let's hear it for choices!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

May Assignment: A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

A picture is worth a thousand words. How many words will your chosen photograph create for you? For this month's assignment, choose a photograph from your records that speaks to you and write that story for us. The subject of the photograph can be anything you choose - a family member, a home, a car, a horse, a toy - anything. I haven't chosen my photograph, yet, but I'll post my narrative and my answers to these questions when I do.

  • What information engendered by this photograph did you enter in your TMG database?
  • Where was that information placed, and why?
  • The "TVTMG Artifact (Privately owned) QCM 105" is the source type template that usually works for citing photographs. Is this the one you used? Did it fit your needs, or did you need to edit it?
  • Link the photograph to your TMG database as an exhibit.
  • As always, write a paragraph or two deriving from the information conveyed by the photograph and by the information you discovered as you studied that photograph.

If you're not sure how to create exhibits in TMG, you don't want to miss the May meeting! We'll go through the process step-by-step.

While you're working on this assignment, feel free to post questions and problems to this blog, or send them to Kay and me at: Bring the finished product with you to the May meeting. I'm looking forward to hearing a lot of new ideas!

Remember this year's goals.

  • We want to develop the habit of analyzing each record we use, and not just enter each information bit without thinking about its meaning.
  • We want to make conscious decisions on what data we want to enter into TMG, how we enter that data, and how we will use that data in our research.
  • We want to develop the habit of writing research reports and real family histories, not just printing out pedigree charts and family group sheets.
  • We want to make TMG fit our research needs and goals. We don't want to make our research practices fit TMG.

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