My Way ©MJH 1996-2020; Index

Modified August 2, 2020 1:27 pm
This site works better with Javascript enabled.
Michael J. Hannah
, Los Ranchos, NM.

Customizing TMG™
Guide to Sources My Way ©MJH

Chapter Contents

• Abbreviations for sources in the Master Source List: Codes, Details

• General Source Data Entry conventions and issues:

• Citation Reference, APID

• CDs, CMs, Reminders

• Exclusion

• Special characters

• Source of source

• Copying sources

• Embedded citations

• Unknown source

• Ibid and Unique Endnotes: Ibid, Unique

• Source Exhibits

• Exhibit Fields:

    Topic, Reference, Caption, Description, External filename

• My exhibit field examples:

    Topic, Caption, Description, External filename

• Text exhibits

• General Exhibit Notes:

    Internal/External, Order, Storage, Printing

• Creating Source Pseudo People

• Names

• Tags: Src Link

• Transcript Printing

• Link Source to Source People

• Dummy Sources

• Use of Surety

• Repositories

• Abbreviations in the Master Repository List

• Repository Pseudo People

• Repository Person Names

• Endnotes


Sources are crucial to building a solid case for presumed genealogical relationships, especially when there is no direct evidence providing an answer, or when there are conflicts in the evidence.1 TMG offers considerable tools to record and output the data you gather from various sources. The quantity of sources can get so extensive that careful, and often customized, data entry and data output standards should be decided upon and followed. For a brief discussion of numbering, filing and referencing sources, especially my copies of originals, see my comments on source numbering.

Source Abbreviations

Since the Master Source List displays only the source abbreviation in “Less” mode, also displays it for the selected source in “More” mode, and uses it as the default sort order, I use it as the main way to identify the source. While the source Title can be output, the abbreviation cannot, so there is little downside to structuring the abbreviation with personal sort codes. I structure the abbreviation as a hierarchical series of elements so it will group and order sources in a way that is meaningful to me. I choose to begin with a code identifying the source type so similar sources are grouped together. I make all initial elements of the abbreviation fixed widths so they line up in the MSL. Where a source is non-specific for an element, I use an ‘*’ for that element of the abbreviation. For sources concerning specific individuals I leave the name mixed case, for one-name sources I use all capitals. I recommend using recognized standards for abbreviations used as elements within the source abbreviation as much as possible, such as GEDCOM for source types2, the Internet two character codes or ISO 3166 three character codes for country3, the Chapman two character county codes for Great Britain4, the US Postal two character codes for states5, USGS FIPS 55-3 numeric county codes6, etc. Some have suggested that the name include some indication that an exhibit is attached to the source, such as appending an asterisk ‘*’ to the end of a source abbreviation. I do not currently use that convention since I store external exhibit files using a unique name descriptive of the contents which will show in the path to that file, and put the source abbreviation (and possibly the TMG source number) in the Caption of the TMG exhibit linked to this external file. Thus my exhibits show their source’s abbreviation, but the source abbreviation itself does not indicate that this source has exhibits. Often I will include some information as text in the Comments of the Source record that I have obtained exhibits from this source.

WARNING: Source Abbreviations which end with any trailing digits can cause difficulties when Exported and then Imported with the Incrementation option. See more details of Importing in my Import/Export chapter.

Source Abbreviation Codes

These four-character codes to begin an abbreviation are used for (intentionally lump together) more than one source category/type. The abbreviation code(s) that can be used for a given source category/type is identified with each Source Type in my list of source templates. Similar three-character codes can be used later in the abbreviation to provide more details for this specific Source Record. The codes in this table will link to examples of the use of that code.






Article, include journal articles


Manuscript, usually unpub, incl diary


Baptismal/Christen Record


Marriage Record, all types
including banns, license & certificates




Medical records of various types


Birth Record, all types incl certificate


Military Record (incl. pensions)


Book, then specify type


My personal observation/guess/choice


Burial Record, all types


Legal name change




Naturalization records




Newspaper, includes obits, eulogies


Church, misc sources not solely documenting one of B/B/M/D/B events


Passenger list


Correspondence, letter, e-mail, phone


Photograph or equivalent


Death records, all types


Place record, e.g. directory


Some form of original drawing


Prison record


Emigration (leaving) records


School records, incl applications


Employment records


Social Security Record


Genealogy database


Tax Record (no longer used, see GOVT)


Gov’t Record, not B/M/D/B unless VITL grouped records


Will (no longer used, see GOVT)


Immigration (arriving) recs.


Web database


Interview (incl. phone)


Web page


Land Records, incl indenture


Miscellaneous record types


Misc Legal docs (incl. divorce, adopt)



Detailed Source Abbreviations

The details of the subelements are defined7 for the following example abbreviations (maximum of 508 characters). Note that these abbreviation choices reflect one’s Lump/Split philosophy of what a TMG record in the Master Source List will include. At the moment, some are simply placeholders for source types or subelements I expect, but have not (yet) worked with sufficiently to have decided on my abbreviation structure. I have also not (yet) added appropriate codes or templates to the Reminder field as part of the Source Type definitions in order to avoid having to refer back to this chapter. The character “*” is used for two purposes: to stand for multiple values such a locations, or always to precede INX so that this type will sort first.

Example Source Abbreviation


ARTL Genl Hoosier Genlgst 199806 Retrospect of 1919

4 chars for type of publication (similar to type of BOOK), then name of publication, date, article title; 15 chars for publication, 20 for title (see also NEWS)

BAPM USA PA Berks CHR Schwarzwald v1 1781-1811

For records of baptisms or christenings. For USA include place to level of complete source collection, 3-country, 2-state, 10-county, 3-type record, remaining characters for source, e.g. compiler. Types of collections defined: * INX|CHR|GOV| (index, church record, government record)

BAPM ENG Bris CHR St.P&J 1761-1812 4 1596677

If strictly a church register, identify the church and date range covered. If covers multiple churches use “*” for church.

BAPM USA MI CHR LadyRos 19141003 Sark, Oral Chas

Individual certificates include place to level of issuing entity, 3-country, 2-state, etc., 3-type record, 4-year+date and remaining for person. Types of individual certificates defined: CHR|GOV (church certificate, government certificate).

BIBL yyy

(Not yet defined)

BIRT USA OH Washington GOV 18843752

For documents which only record birth. For USA include place to level of complete source collection, 3-country, 2-state, 10-county, 3-type record, remaining characters for source. Types of collections defined: * INX|CHR|GOV (index, church record, government record).

BIRT USA OH GOV 1947 Hannah, Michael J.

Individual USA certificates include place to level of issuing entity, 3-country, 2-state, etc., 3-type record, 4-year and remaining for person. Types of individual certificates defined: CHR|GOV (church certificate, government certificate).

BOOK Hist IN Wells 0812506

BOOK GOVT MA Essex Salem v1 1634-1659
BOOK VITL IDX MA Essex Salem -1849 v4 Marr M-Z

4 chars for type of book, then the subject matter of this MSL entry, then Repository Reference, or other identification

BOOK Biog * IN Wells 1903 977.2J39h

If the book covers multiple subjects (such as a biography of multiple people), use “*” then what is common about the subjects

BOOK Biog * IN Wells 1903 977.2J39h, Alberson P

If multiple MSL entries are made for the same book, begin with the book abbr, then the specific subject. If I have only one MSL entry for this book, then the detail would follow the subject code. (For a publication of multiple articles, e.g. a journal, see ARTL)

BURI ENG Bris CHR St.P&J 1735-1762 4 1596926

Location covered by record collection, 3-country, 2-state, etc., record type, church or entity, time span of records, etc. Types of records defined: * INX|CHR|GOV|CEM (index, church record, government record, cemetery). If strictly a church register, identify the church and date range covered. If covers multiple churches use “*” for church.

BURI ENG Norf Weln CEM Grave 19300916 Smart, Eliz

For CEM type, subtypes defined: cert|grave|trans|reg (Certificate, gravestone memorial, transcriptions of markers, register). For subtype grave, location of gravestone, burial date, person(s) recorded on the gravestone

BURI USA MI Oakland CEM Cert 19400605 Sark, Oral C

For subtype cert, internment location, type of record, date and person(s) covered by the record

CDRM yyy

(Proposed but not defined. Cdrom is really a media and not a type of source information.)

CENS USA1810 OH * INX vol 002

CENS USA WI1905 * INX 1020442


Make index sort before soundex and detail records for each level by entering “*” for lower place level.

CENS USA1910 MI ! Sndex R263-R361

Make soundex sort before detail records and after index for state by entering “!” for lower place level, enter the range of the soundex codes in this specific source.

CENS USA1910 WV Wood T624-1697

CENS USA WI1905 Clar 1020442

For national census append year to country code followed by state. For a smaller jurisdiction index, append the year after that location code. For USA national census one source per county/microfilm, 3-country then year, 2-state, 10-county, film no. A county spanning multiple films will produce multiple MSL entries. Multiple counties on the same film will also produce multiple MSL entries. Similar structure for state and lower census. Remaining is to identify the film, book volume, etc.

CHUR DEU Steinf CON&DEA Evangel 1629-1875 1201823

CHUR ENG Bris CHR St.P&J Bish 1679-1812 1595893
CHUR USA PA * * Leinbach 1867-1920 1305846
CHUR USA PA Phil * StM&Z 1762-1784 v3 1312257
CHUR USA PA York OTH * 18c v3 974.841/B329

For a church register or document that contains multiple types of information. Location, types of data BIR|BAP|CHR|CON|BAN|MAR|DEA|BUR|*|OTH (birth, baptism, christening, confirmations banns, marriage, death, burial, multiples of the preceding, other), church or pastor/compiler, date, film. If I cite such a register a lot, I sometimes choose to split and make separate MSL entries if there are totally separate sections for each type of data. Sometimes I leave the MSL entry as a type CHUR and identify the data type, other times I treat each section as a separate register and thus use the main data type abbreviation, e.g. BIRT or MARR

CHUR ENG Bris CHR St.P&J 1747-1777 3 1596677

CHUR ENG Bris CHR St.P&J Bish 1679-1812 6 1595893

The actual church register will have its own MSL entry, and the copy of that register (e.g. Bishop’s transcripts) will have a separate entry that begins with the church abbreviation

CORR Smith, John 19940727 LTR Jones, Mary

Author last name, first name, date, type of correspondence: EML|LTR|PHN|FRM (e-mail, letter, phone call, form), remaining for addressee last name, first name. If no specific addressee, then subject.

DEAT USA FL GOV 1987 O'Connor, Virginia Anna

DEAT DEU Berlin MEM 1956 Zakrzewski, A

Individual USA certificates include place to level of issuing entity, 3-country, 2-state, etc., 3-type record, 4-year and remaining for person. Types of individual documents defined: CHR|GOV|MEM|FNL PC (church certificate, government certificate, memorial card, funeral prayer card)

DEAT USA OH Washington * INX 1867-1908 0946210
DEAT USA IN Wells Bluff FNL 1888-1975 McBride

For USA include place to level of complete source collection, 3-country, 2-state, 10-county, type record, and remaining for source. Types defined: * INX|CHR|GOV|FNL (index, church register, government register, funeral home). If a register or index, specify the time span that it covers.

DRAW yyy

(Not yet defined) I have one example, but need further thought about this.

EMIG USA NY 1880-1885 NY Harbor Departures Vol 3

Overall departing location covered by the source (e.g. country, then specific port), date range, title & volume or other identifier. (Not yet used)

EMPL Sark, Virginia 19450827 Woodworth

last name, first name, date, employer

GENL FT FTMGenealogy Brumbach

GENL FT Rootsweb Davis-Wilson
GENL GC Padgett, Michael 20010127
GENL OT Kaufman, Marion 19980121

Genealogy data: FT|GC|AF|DAR|FG|PAF|TMG|WFT|OT (Family Tree, Gedcom, Ancestral File, DAR, Family Group Sheet, PAF, TMG, World Family Tree, Other) source of data, then the date received.

GENL LDS Patron Sheets 1553541
GENL LDS Pedigree CD #131
GENL LDS Pedigree * FamilySearch
GENL LDS IGI Smith, John 19940727
GENL LDS IGI Indiv Rec FamilySearch
GENL LDS Family Rec AFN FamilySearch

Genealogy, LDS forms: IGI|Patron Sheets|Pedigree|Family Rec|Individual Rec main record and date searched or microfilm or CD

GOVT USA * 19540420 PS Sark, Anna G.

GOVT PRU Pomm Flötenstein 1874 * 1201411
GOVT USA PA Berks 18051204 GRDN Sorrick, M&A
GOVT USA PA Blair 1846 TAX 974.875/B335
GOVT USA PA Blair 18590311 WILL Sorrick, Peter
GOVT USA PA Phil 1790-1802 WILL R974.811/ABST/v.5
GOVT USA VT * VITL 1760-1954

Issuing government locality, for USA 3-country, 2-state, etc., issue date, type code for record type, remaining for title, details or Repository Reference. Defined types: ADM|BOND|GRDN|INVT|PBT|PETN|PS|RC|RNUN|SETL|TAX|VITL|WILL|* (administration, bond, guardian, inventory, probate, petition, passport, receipt, renunciation, settlement, tax, grouped vital (BMDB) records, will, various)

IMMI USA 1880 Germans to America vol 36

Overall arriving location covered by the source (e.g. country, then specific port), date range, title & volume or other identifier. (Not yet used)

INTV Smith, John 19940727 PHN Jones, Mary

Person interviewed and date of interview, type of inteview: ONL|PER|PHN (on-line, in person, phone call, remaining for topic

LAND USA PA 1779 974.8/P415 3/XV State

Issuing government locality, 3-country, 2-state, etc., date covered, etc.

LEGL yyy

(Not yet defined)

MANU Kaufman, Mrs. Marion 199501 Memories

MANU Sark, Elmer J 1967 Autobiography

Main author, date, abbreviated title

MARR USA OH Washington GOV 1823-1904 18843752

MARR ENG * INX Jul-Sep 1934 3699
MARR ENG Bris CHR * INX 1754-1837 Rath- 1702123
MARR ENG Bris CHR S.P&J 1754-1772 2 1596782
MARR USA IN Wells * INX 1837-1920 A-K 1380342
MARR USA MI * INX 1868-1925

For USA include place to level of complete source collection, 3-country, 2-state, 10-county, type record, and remaining for source. Types defined: * INX|BAN|CHR|GOV (index, bann, church record, government record). If a register or index, specify the time span that it covers

MARR USA OH GOV 19680608 Hannah & Handley
MARR ENG Birm GOV 19340731 Dawes & Richards

Individual USA certificates include place to level of issuing entity, 3-country, 2-state, etc., type record, issuing date, and remaining for surnames of groom & bride. Types of individual certificates defined: CHR|GOV (church certificate, government certificate).

MEDC USA PA BERKS Wood 1821-1873 0020451

For USA include place to level of complete source collection, 3-country, 2-state, 10-county. If compiler’s name, date range

MILR USA * Vet 1861-1900

MILR USA PA Rev War 1887 vol 3
MILR USA * WWII Draft 4 1942
MILR USA MI * 19151129 Dischg Sark, Oral Chas

Issuing government locality, 3-country, 2-state, etc., date covered, etc.

MINE assumption

Types are: knowledge|conclusion|assumption|wild guess (Not yet used.) Do not use the term “preponderance of evidence”.

NAME Smith, John 19940727 Jones, Mary

Legal name change: old, date, new. (Not yet used)

NATU yyy

(Not yet defined) Could use GOVT and record type NATU

NEWS USA MI StJamesW 19400600 Obit Sark, O C

NEWS USA .. 1979.... Obit Sark, David
NEWS USA KY BourN 18981111 Gossip Waldron, J H
NEWS USA PA Berks WeeklyAd 18041124 Notices

For USA include place to level of at least state, 3-country, 2-state, if unknown use dots, if neither known use four dots; then Newspaper abbreviation which will often include some city name, and date; then article and detail to the character limit available (see also ARTL)

PASS USA NY 19000904 Maasdam Ellis

For a specific list, place the list is filed, usually followed by the entry port, 3-country, 2-state, if unknown use dots, then the name of the port/place; next the date of the list, usually the arrival date, followed by the name of the vessel; finally the film or site where found (e.g. the on-line Ellis Island site)

PASS USA 1880 Germans to America vol 36
PASS USA PA 1727-1776 974.8/RUPP

For a compilation, largest place level of the entries covered, date or date range covered, title of work, etc.

PHOT DEU Berlin Gille, Paul & Robt

PHOT OK Barns 19140714 Oil Fields
PHOT OK Barts 1912 Sark, Clyde home

Use the location and subject(s) in the photo and its date, then source if I don’t have a copy

PLAC USA MI Detroit 1930 1611534

Locality, 3-country, 2-state, etc., date covered, etc.

PRIS yyy

(Not yet defined)

SCHL USA MI DIP 1963 Hannah, Michael J.

Individual USA records include place to level of issuing entity, 3-country, 2-state, etc., 3-type record, 4-year and remaining for person. Types of individual certificates defined: ALM|DIP|GRD|REG (alumi doc, diploma, grades, registration).

SSAN DI 1937-1993 GRN A-L

The index is published in many places (such as a published set of CDs of the Death Index) and the MSL entries should reflect those sources

TAXR USA PA Blair 1846.... 974.875/B335

For a compilation, largest place level of the entries covered, date or date range covered, title of work, etc. I no longer use this catagory in favor of the more general (lumped) category of GOVT with its subcategory of TAX

WILL USA PA Phil 1790-1802 R974.811/ABSTRACT/v.5

For a compilation, largest place level of the entries covered, date or date range covered, title of work, etc. I no longer use this catagory in favor of the more general (lumped) category of GOVT with its subcategory of WILL


WWWD NEWS USA OH Wells * INX 1866-2000
WWWD GENL USA IN Grant Marion Lib

WWWD GENL USA OH Biographies
WWWD MARR USA PA Berks * INX 1885-

Base the details on the contents of the database using the normal source abbreviation following the WWWD, e.g. CEMM, MARR, or NEWS. Only use this if the web database is the actual source, otherwise the site is the Repository

WWWP ENCY Wikipedia

Only use this if the web page is the actual source, otherwise the site is the Repository

ZZZZ ADDR Sark, Virginia

Miscellaneous source record type, distinguishing information, e.g. author/owner. Record types currently encountered are: ADDR|PHON|CARD| which are: Address or Phone list, business card

Source data entry

For information contained in the source choose the appropriate Tag, then identify the information by selecting the appropriate primary and witness people, and entering the appropriate location, date, memo and sentences. For information about an entire source, put overall information in the various Source Elements of the Source Definition, and general comments about that entire source on the Supplemental Tab in the Comments field for that specific source, the [M] source element.

Record enough detail not only to locate the exact source used, but also to appraise the reliability and possible other source of this data. The specificity of the source record in the MSL (i.e. lump or split) is determined by your choice of a source template and is often based on the quantity of citations. More citations can encourage altering the templates to produce more subdivided sources. Often there are more citations in the research stage, and they are removed, consolidated, or excluded to make them non-printing for formal publication. If you tend to “lump”, note the affect this may have on your source setting for ibid.

If you enclose all of a source element entry in sensitivity braces and choose the option to not print sensitive data, the source output will operate as if the field had been left blank. That means that if the field is mandatory you will get the corresponding “unknown” text. See also Exclusion below.

See my separate comment about the source number when adding a new source.

Citation Reference, APID

I do not (currently) use the Citation Reference, the [CREF] source element9. Its typical use is for a reference call number. Instead, I prefer to enter the call number associated with finding it in a particular repository (e.g. library call number) in the repository reference, the [REPOSITORY REFERENCE] source element, on the source Attachments Tab as part of linking to the repository. I could (but do not as some suggest) use the Citation Reference to refer to the location of my copy of the extract from this source of this specific information for this citation. (For a brief discussion of numbering, filing and referencing sources, especially for my copies of originals, see my comments on source numbering.) Another suggestion for the Citation Reference was to enter the date that you entered/modified that citation as a reminder of when you last altered this citation. You then could define a custom Source Element name/alias for the Citation Reference field and modify the source definition templates to include a “cited on [CITATION DATE]” phrase. The custom name will not be used on the Citation screen for that field, but will affect the “unknown” text for the unconditionial element. I find this too much effort to keep track of when I last entered/modified a particular citation.

Finally, the Citation Reference is recommended as an appropriate field for entering the APID citation number. The APID is an internal value used by and basically a database id number for linking a source citation to a source database record. Ancestry’s web pages do not make those values obvious, but they are usually present in URLs for record pages. The format of an APID is <ID>::<Header #> where <ID> is a unique value for each Ancestry source record type and <Header #> is a number from the header associated with that citation to the source, e.g. 1836::21884408. When importing a GEDCOM file to, if there is a properly formatted custom _APID GEDCOM tag containing this number as part of a GEDCOM source record then the resulting tree will produce a link to that source record in that database. This will avoid giving “hints” to look in this Ancestry source as you already have links to that source. John Cardinal reports that his new “TMG to GEDCOM” T2G program being developed will recognize a number::number value if told to look for it. T2G can inspect several TMG source fields, but recommends using the TMG Citation Reference field10 for entering an APID number. T2G will then produce the appropriate custom GEDCOM tag for to link to the Ancestry source when exporting from TMG.

CDs, CMs, and Reminders

While Citation Details and Citation Memos both can be split,11 I do not commonly use this feature in my Source Templates. Note that for both there must be a space as a place holder for an empty split part. Warning: if the option to split Citation Detail is used, only CD1 is exported to GEDCOM, which is a major reason why I do not use this feature.

Enter the specific portion of or location within the source for this information in the Citation Detail, the [CD] source element. It is always better to first create the Source Definition separately, and then enter citations on tags to that defined source.12 For sources which reside on-line, such as those with the WWWD abbreviation, if the data came from a specific web page I will usually include that web page in the CD using the appropriate WEB or HTML Internet embedded codes to directly link to that page.

I put longer extracts or overall comments about this particular citation in this Citation Memo, the [CM] source element. I usually bracket my personal comments with escaped13 bracket characters, e.g. “\[The film is very faint at this point.\]”, to distinguish them from information from the source. Currently I do not set surety as I add any evaluations about the citation reliability with respect to this tag in the Citation Memo.

Prior to the introduction of the Reminder feature for both Source Types and for individual Sources there was a suggestion for putting CD hints for yourself in the MSL. In the FF definition for a source needing careful structure (e.g. a census citation), one could put [HID:]CD1=details, CD2=household, CD3=page/sheet, line, dw…[:HID] etc. Then the real footnote goes right behind that. The [HID:] code specifies Hidden text which never prints on TMG reports, but if you expand the MSL using the More >> button, you can quickly see these notes about how to use a particular split CD. Naturally you have to keep it short enough to fit in the preview, where the Reminder does not have that length limitation. You also have to remember to hit Less << again if you prefer that MSL display. Now many users simply copy/paste a template from the Reminder that was set for this source or source type.


When a source is cited to a tag, that entire citation can be marked as excluded. Whether it will output in reports will be based on the “show excluded data” Report Option on the Miscellaneous tab. Either the citation can be edited and the single exclusion marker ‘-’ placed in front of the Source #, or Right-click on the citation and select “Exclude this citation” from the menu.

Individual data fields, either in the Citation, the Source Definition, or the Repository Definition, can also be marked as excluded and thus be governed by the “show excluded data” Report Option. WARNING: Any source element field whose data begins with the single exclusion marker will not show in any source previews. Both the citation preview on the Citation screen using the Full Footnote template, and all three of the Previews on the Output form of the Source Definition, will display as if the Report Option is to not show excluded data. Thus if the element is unconditional it will output its appropriate “unknown” text, otherwise not output as if the field was empty. However, these fields will still output appropriately if the report option is to show excluded data. There simply is no way to preview them without running a report with that option setting.

Special Characters

Some characters have special meaning to TMG and can cause problems in source record text. To avoid their special meaning characters and cause them to be recoginized as text in source record fields such characters should be escaped with the TMG backslash ‘\’ escape character. If you intend to use Second Site for output, some special characters are reserved for HTML codes. (See the Special Characters topic in the Data Entry chapter.)

I have found the less than, greater than, apersand, and semicolon characters to sometimes cause problems when entered as text in the Comments source element even when escaped. While these characters may cause problems within other source elements, if escaped they do not seem to be a problem in source elements on the General tab of the Source Definition screen. To be safe, if the Comments text contains a character which does not seem to output or might have a special meanding I recommend using the method I describe for exhibit Captions to specify separate text for output by TMG and Second Site. For Second Site output the following special HTML equivalent entity name or numeric code can be used to represent the indicated commonly used special character.



HTML equivalent


Less than

&lt; or &#60;


Greater than

&gt; or &#62;



&amp; or &#38;



&colon; or &#58;



&semi; or &#59;


Double quote

&quot; or &#34;


&ndash; or &#8211;


&mdash; or &#8212;


&hellip; or &#8230;


Left square bracket

&lsqb; or &lbrack; or &#91;


Right square bracket

&rsqb; or &rbrack; or &#93;


Reverse solidus - backslash

&bsol; or &#92;


Left curly brace

&lcub; or &lbrace; or &#93;


Right curly brace

&rcub; or &rbrace; or &#92;



&copy; or &#169;


Commercial at sign

#commat; or &#64;

As an example, to bracket some text with curly braces the following will work in a Comments source element for both TMG reports and Second Site output:

Some comment [HID:][SS-HID:][:HID]\{some braced TMG text\}[HID:][:SS-HID][SS:]&lcub;some braced HTML text&rcub;[:SS][:HID] further comments.

If a web link which uses these characters is desired to be included in a Comments source element, I recommend the method I describe for embedded format codes in sentences:

Copy downloaded from [HID:][SS-HID:][:HID]InternetArchive: \<[WEB:][:WEB]\>[HID:][:SS-HID][SS:]<a href="">InternetArchive</a>[:SS][:HID] on 14 June 2015.

Source of Source

There are many ways to record sources of sources, the important thing is to be consistent. You should usually cite the source you have actually seen, even if that source is citing some other source. You could include the information about the (primary) source referred to by your (secondary) source in the Citation Detail or Citation Memo, as a non-standard Repository, or maybe simply as Comments to the source you saw, depending upon your choice of style and whether the source of source is for only the portion you are citing or for the entire (secondary) source. Some propose the following two-pronged principle of how to cite the primary source. If the whole source is secondary to a single other source, include the information of the primary source in the Comments on the source definition Supplemental Tab of the secondary source. See also my discussion of a Bibliography Only custom source type intended to include the secondary source in the bibliography. If only this one citation is secondary to another source, use the Citation Detail, Citation Memo, or Tag Memo to spell out the reference to the primary source. One could use an embedded citation in the tag Memo to reference the primary source to generate its bibliographic entry. But I have not done so as I have not found the need in my data.

Source of a source has become an increasing issue with copies/transcripts/databases posted on the Internet when may then cite some other source (which may in turn have a source of that source, etc.). An alternative to citing what you saw (the Internet URL) suggested by Mills14 is to cite as if you saw the original document, and then add the particulars of where/how/when/what you saw. I prefer to cite what I actually saw. Just like referencing the source of a source above, these particulars of what you saw could be recorded in the same variety of ways, e.g. the citation detail or memo, or source comments. Some have suggested the two-pronged principle of citing what you saw if it is a transcription or extract or paraphrase of a source, and only citing as if you had seen the original but adding the particulars if it purports to be an image or exact copy of the original.

There is a TMG feature “Source of Sources” on the Attachments tab of the Source Definition where another source can be cited to this source. The only report I have found where such a citation is identifiable is the List of Citations. If the Report Option output is set to Columnar, the field “Linked Record; Tag Type” will output “Source” for this type of citation; and the ID, Abbreviation, and Name/Title of the “Linked Source (of Source)” which is the source to which this source is cited are columns which can be output. I can find no single condition to filter for such citations, but the following compound filter on a LoC will list only these types of citations.


Is Not Linked to

a Name



Is Not Linked to

a Relationship  



Is Not Linked to

an Event


Copying Sources

When a source is copied in the Master Source List an exact copy is made including its Supplemental information, its Attachments to any Repositories, and any linked exhibits or tasks. As can be seen on the Master Source List, the new copy will have zero citations since you have not yet cited this new source to anything. The new source will also have duplicates of any internal images or text exhibits, and its own duplicated links to any external exhibits that were exhibits to the old Task. What is not as obvious are the actions taken for Tasks linked to a copied source. Since a Task can only link to one source, TMG will automatically make duplicates of all Tasks linked to this source so that each old Task remains linked to the old source and possibly also linked to a Person, Event, and/or Repository. The new duplicated Tasks all will be linked to the new copied source, but each duplicate Task will also be linked to any Person, Event, and/or Repository which were linked to the old Task. Thus from that Person, Event, and/or Repository point of view there are now links to two Tasks where they used to be one. To remove any unwanted newly copied Tasks or unwanted duplicated links to a Person, Event, and/or Repository, open the Research Log focused on the new Source and edit as desired.

Embedded Citations

TMG Help15 states than an embedded citation variable (one of the sentence memo variables) can cite a source only16 within a tag memo or sentence field. An embedded citation in a tag memo will be counted in the “Cited” column for that source in the Master Place List. An embedded citation in a tag sentence will not be counted in the “Cited” column. A List of Citations report filtered for a particular source number will not include any embedded citations to that source.17 A source citation with the codes and elements [CIT:]num:sure;cd;cm[:CIT] embedded in a memo or sentence of an event tag will produce a source reference as specified by the Report Options.18 That source citation will use the elements num as the source number with a surety of sure, the cd as the citation detail, and cm as the citation memo. The citation reference will be output within the tag’s narrative exactly where the CIT codes are placed, not at the end of the tag output. This is commonly used to produce citations to specific text within a tag’s narrative output. Note if the CIT codes are surrounded by spaces the superscript citation reference also will be. No space especially between the preceding text and the citation reference is usually desired.

If the element num is preceded or followed by one or more spaces they will be ignored by both TMG and Second Site, but not stripped from the TMG tag memo. If you use patterns to search for embedded citations you should consider possible spaces in your match pattern. If the first digit of the element num is immediately preceded by a dash ‘-’ the embedded citation is excluded and will only print if “Show excluded citations” is turned on. If you have an element num and any text follows it within the CIT codes, there must be either a colon or semicolon somewhere following the number to indicate the end of the number and the start of any subsequent embedded citation elements. Any text other than a colon or semicolon which immediately follows leading integers, whether or not separated from those integers by a blank, will be discarded along with any blanks. TMG will produce an error message19 in the report in place of the citation text if there is no such source number.

While a TMG citation can have up to five surety values, only one digit or a dash is recognized as the (Memo) surety of the embedded citation. There cannot be a space or non-digit character between the colon and the surety number or the space/character will be interpreted as a blank surety. Additional digits or text, including blanks, after the first integer and up to a semicolon or the closing CIT code are discarded. If there is no semicolon then everything after the first digit will be discarded. Even though they are improper surety values, the digits 4-9 are accepted and no error is produced. Any non-digit character except the dash acts like a blank surety. The surety of an embedded citation does not affect the max surety of the event tag in which it is embedded. Therefore, regardless of the surety threshold setting for a report, the surety of embedded citations will not affect whether that event tag will print, only the surety of true citations, if any, to that tag will have an effect.

Following the element num and possibly a colon/surety, the cd must be preceded by a semicolon, and a cm must itself be preceded by a semicolon. If there is no cd then there must be two semicolons between the element num and any non-empty cm.20 Any leading or trailing space characters will be stripped from either the cd or the cm elements. Neither the cd nor the cm may be a split field since the ‘||’ separator bars will be interpreted as splitting the actual memo or sentence which contains this embedded citation not the citation field.

An embedded citation which does not begin with a source num element will produce output of the entire text within the CIT codes with no bibliographic reference, which is a way to force a footnote or endnote regardless of other report settings.21 Since there is no source identified, and thus no source template to use, there is no interpretation of separate cd or cm and no meaning to any colons or semicolons. The entire CIT text is output as entered. TMG will strip trailing (but not leading) blanks, and Second Site will strip both. Any non-numeric text, including a leading dash (which is not interpreted as an exclusion marker) and/or leading colon and/or semicolon(s), beginning such an embedded citation is output as part of the CIT text. However, if the CIT text begins with a number it always will be interpreted as a source number.22 Workarounds for an embedded citation without a num element whose text begins with a number suggest starting with special (hopefully non-printing) characters, but how any such characters will output would be word processor dependent.23

Citing an Unknown Source

There have been several suggestions about making a citation when you do not yet know a source for this event. For any such citation, if Sureties are being used an appropriate surety value (probably ‘0’) should be used for each of the types of data (‘12DPM’) needed. A List of Events report can be filtered to find events with specific surety values. Some suggest citing a dummy source constructed to output the undocumented nature of the data. If there is a “likely” source already in the Master Source List, that could be cited. For either an unknown or likely source the Citation Detail could be left blank, or include an indication of what information is desired from a source. Alternatively, one could use searchable custom research “codes” to indicate the information needed. These could be put in any consistently unused part of a Citation, such as the Memo or Reference, which would allow filtering for such codes.

Instead of any of these ideas, I prefer the use of my *Find tags to indicate what documentation is still needed. If a source is cited to a *Find tag, that is sufficient for me to indicate that the source is only “likely” and has not yet been researched for that information.

Ibid and Unique Endnotes

Both the use of “ibid” in the output of source citations and the use of “unique endnotes” are designed to reduce the quantity of citation output in TMG reports. While that may be desireable, both report options have issues. In TMG reports these two output options are mutually exclusive since unique endnotes output will never use the “ibid” construct. Unfortunately the TMG implementations of both of these two citation options have problems with citations or source templates which use either split CDs, or use CMs whether or not they are split. For this reason I selectively disable “ibid” for many of my Source Definitions, and generally avoid the “unique endnotes” option in TMG reports. Since my preferred output is Second Site, this is not an issue for me.


The use of “ibid” can be thought of as an alternative to the Short Footnote but it does not have a user-defined output template. The Full Footnote will output the first time a source is cited. The Short Footnote outputs as the second non-consecutive reference to the same source. Use of “ibid” is for subsequent consecutive references to the same source.

The functioning of “ibid” is controlled in two different locations: the source options24 in the Report Definition, and the three choices on the Output form tab of each specific source’s Source Definition. Excluding ibid in the Report Definition, or choosing no ibid for output of that source, produces obvious results: the first reference uses Full Footnote and all subsequent use Short Footnote.

If the conditions and options are appropriate for “ibid” to be output no source output template is used, you only get the word “ibid” possibly followed by only [CD1] (which is the same as [CD] if the citation detail is not split).

• Choosing “requires same source” for a particular source output produces “ibid” every time the previous citation is that same source, plus will follow the word “ibid” with (only) [CD1] if any part of either the CD or CM differs from the previous citation. NOTE: identical [CD1]s but differing data in other split parts of the CD, or completely identical CDs but differing CMs, will trigger the condition to print something after the word “ibid”, but will only print [CD1], making it very unclear why this occurred.

• Choosing “requires same source and [CD]” for a particular source output will only output “ibid” (and always only the word “ibid”) if that source and all of the CD and the CM are identical to the previous citation. If any part of the CDs or CMs differ, ibid will not be used and the Short Footnote template will be used.

Because of the way I use CDs and most of my templates include CMs, I usually set “requires same source and [CD]” for ibid on the Output form tab at least for index (“lumped”) type sources and for any source where I expect to use [CM], which is most sources. I usually turn it off only for my “not found” sources.

Therefore [my ibid principle here!!],

• if a source uses split CDs, or

• if the output templates include CM and two citations are likely to differ only in the CM,

• then that source should never choose only “requires same source” for its ibid output.

If you want ibid, use “requires same source and [CD]”. Since most of my output templates include CM this option is set for most of my sources.

Unique endnotes

The unique endnotes option never produces an “ibid” in TMG reports. This option does not recognize split CDs or CMs so it should never be selected if you split either of these source elements. This is one of the reasons I never use it. The definition of uniqueness for an endnote is based on the combination of three pieces which are part of the citation and the source templates: the source, [CD1] and [CM1].25 The first citation to a given source in the TMG Master Source List will use the Full Footnote template for that unique endnote.

Subsequent citations for the same source but which have uniquely different text in the [CD1] and/or [CM1] from any previous citation to that source will be considered to be uniquely different citations and should26 use the Short Footnote template for these subsequent unique endnotes.27 A subsequent citation for the same source which is not considered a different citation from an existing unique endnote already produced for this source will be given that existing endnote’s previously assigned reference number in the text and will not produce a new endnote.

If two citations of the same source differ only in a later split CD and/or CM part, then this option does not recognize them as different; they are treated as the same citation and will use the common reference in the text to the one unique endnote which is based on [CD1] and [CM1]. If that source’s output template has an unconditional variable for such a subsequent split part (e.g. [CD2] or [CM2]) the unique endnote will print “unknown” for that detail or comment part even if there is (different) data for those parts in these (possibly multiple) citations which now all reference the same unique endnote.

Exhibits / Source Transcriptions

There are a variety of ways in TMG to attach exhibits from sources and to record transcriptions of sources. While exhibits can be attached to people, sources, event tags, repositories, citations and place records,28 see the General Exhibit Notes below for differences in the output based on where they are attached in both TMG and Second Site. Because of these differences I choose to attach nearly all exhibits only to events except for a single Primary Person image exhibit.

Most exhibits and transcriptions are for a portion of a source (e.g. one page of a book), not the entire source. The easiest for a short text transcription is simply to include it as part of the Citation Detail or (my preference) in the Citation Memo. Image exhibits or longer text transcriptions are more appropriate as separate exhibits. Most image exhibits (except for one Primary Person image) and longer text transcriptions I attach to tags. If the image or transcription only refers to a specific event, I usually attach it directly to that event’s tag. Many people prefer to define custom tag types (such as my custom Transcript tag type or the Img tag type suffix) to be used for the sole purpose of attaching transcriptions and/or images. One advantage to this approach is that such separate tag types can be selectively included or excluded from TMG reports or Second Site web pages. However, exhibits attached to a tag now can only output in TMG reports using one of the two Embedded options on the Exhibits tab of the Report Options.29 If the exhibit is a text exhibit, care should be taken as to its beginning and ending text and formatting due to a remaining bug concerning end-of-tag between-sentence spacing with text exhibits.

While a source image or transcription exhibit can be attached to a Source record, I do not choose to do this. Since I am a “lumper” I use the same source for a number of different citations. An exhibit of a portion of a source is likely inappropriate for all citations to that “lumped” source. And I prefer not to link multiple exhibits to the same source. If the Option to “Include source exhibits” is selected on the Exhibits tab of the TMG Report Options, such exhibits (like all exhibits, as noted above) will only output “embedded”, which in this case is with every Full Footnote/Endnote from that source. There is no option to output this exhibit in the Bibliography instead, where I think it belongs.

Another possible option, which I also do not choose to use, is for a source image or transcription exhibit to be attached to a Citation instead of the Source. This often make more sense as the image or transcription linked to each citation can be different even if from the same Source. However, because of the way both a Source exhibit and a Citation exhibit are output in TMG reports, both would require post clean-up in the word processor. The output from both produces two carriage returns, a semicolon, and then two spaces between the end of the Footnote/Endnote and the start of the exhibit image or transcription. While the carriage returns may be useful to separate image exhibits from the text of the citation, it may not be useful for text/transcription exhibits, and the automatic semicolon does not make sense to me for either. Further if a Second Site Exhibit Gallery is created and the Back-Links option is selected, Citation exhibits will have no Back-Link to any person associated with the event which has the citation linked to this exhibit. Since I have customized Second Site to produce both image and text exhibit galleries,30 this lack of a Back-Link from a citation Gallery exhibit is an issue for me.

Exhibit Fields

Meaningful information identifying the exhibit can be entered in four text fields on two of the Properties tabs associated with any exhibit. On the General tab are the fields Topic and Reference; and on the Description tab are Caption and Description. For external exhibits meaningful text could also be used for the Windows filename.


Topic (Exhibit Name)

The Topic field is the first field on the General tab of an Exhibit’s Properties. The Exhibit Log in TMG can be sorted by either Exhibit Name (aka Topic), Caption, or Description. The Exhibit Gallery in Second Site can only be sorted by the Exhibit Topic. For this reason I sort by Topic for both. This Topic field is limited to max 30 characters so I construct a sortable but meaningful abbreviation which identifies the exhibit. Generally it starts with the Principal’s name (last name first) followed by the primary source abbreviation code (e.g. PHOT, BURI, NEWS) since the TMG Exhibit Log can be filtered by such a word or phrase in the Topic. (See examples of my Topic fields as part of my example exhibit fields below.) If the exhibit is attached to a *Find tag type because the exhibit is simply a clue to finding the desired information, I append the code ‘FIND’ to the Topic for filtering purposes. If the exhibit is a gravestone or memorial for more than one person, such as a couple, I include all names in the Topic, and link all names to the tag with this exhibit, but only include the Principal of this linked tag in the Caption. (See also the discussion of the jointstone Witness role in the Burial and Cremation tag types.)

I have found no way31 to output the exhibit Topic in TMG reports, but since I use it for sorting I have customized my Second Site scripts32 to output it as part of the title and the heading on both the image and text linked exhibit’s separate web page. There appears to be no standard Second Site configuration parameter which will output any image exhibit’s Topic (Name) as part of that exhibit’s thumbnail entry in the Image Exhibit Gallery even though this is the only field by which that Gallery can be sorted. Since I do select that field for sorting that Gallery, my custom post-processing program run by the “make site done” feature of Second Site adds the Topic as an entry title above each linked image’s Gallery entry thumbnail.33 That post-processing program will also create my custom Text Exhibit Gallery which will output the Topic (Name) as an entry title above each text exhibit’s Gallery entry, and will also sort that Gallery by that field.



I do not currently use the (max 25 characters) Reference field primarily because I am unaware of any way to output this field in either TMG or Second Site. Some may find it useful to record something about the exhibit.



This memo is the default text field used by both TMG and Second Site to accompany an exhibit. The Caption and optionally an external exhibit’s filename are the only two fields available for output under an image exhibit’s thumbnail entry in the Second Site Image Exhibit Gallery. It is also the only field available under an embedded image exhibit in either TMG or Second Site. For some reason Captions of an embedded text exhibit are not output in TMG but are in Second Site.34 This is another reason why I prefer to link all Second Site exhibits, image or text, except for one embedded Primary Person photo and Place images. In Second Site “hovering” over the link icon will usually display the Caption for either type of linked exhibit. The separate web page for both text and image linked exhibits will output the Caption by default in Second Site, but (as mentioned above for the Topic field) I have added customization to the scripts35 to alter the location and formatting of the Caption on these separate exhibit web pages for both types of exhibit to make room to also include the Topic/Exhibit name.

Since it displays for almost all types of output I try to always enter a Caption. Because of my custom Second Site text exhibit gallery script, either the Caption and/or the Description of a text exhibit must be non-empty. For embedded image exhibits and text exhibits associated with a source I usually enter Second Site only codes using the TMG Source Record ID to link to that Source Record on the generated Sources page. If the source is on-line I provide a direct hypertext link to that web page. For linked image exhibits which generally come from a source rather than on-line, if there is a link I usually enter it in the Description rather than the Caption. If I enter the Source abbreviation as (the rest of) the Caption (such as for most text exhibits) I enter the Citation Detail as the Description. For image exhibits I usually enter a more lengthy Caption to identify both the subject and the source of the image, with further details in the Description if the image is linked. While the name(s) of the subject(s) are usually included in image exibit Captions, since my Topic/Exhibit name usually contains the name(s) of the subject(s) I usually do not also entered that in their Captions.

Although the Caption is a memo field, TMG output does not recognize the TMG embedded citation codes available for use in other memo fields.36 Those embedded code characters and enclosed text simply output as part of the Caption. These TMG codes are also not recognized in Second Site in this field. However, HTML codes are recognized in text reserved for Second Site.

While the Caption of image exhibits is output in both TMG reports and Second Site pages, I usually prefer slightly different content in these two different output formats. (Since Captions of text exhibits are not output by TMG, I commonly only hide the SS HTML codes in their Captions.) To accomplish such a two-part Caption I use TMG’s Hidden and Second Site embedded format codes to create two separate text areas, one for TMG output and one for Second Site. (See also the discussion of embedded Web format codes.)

[HID:][SS-HID:][:HID]Caption text for TMG reports[HID:][:SS-HID][SS:]Caption text for Second Site output[:SS][:HID]

In addition to most TMG format codes, the Second Site Caption text can include raw HTML codes such as the text formatting codes like <i>italics</i> or <b>bold</b>. I prefer to use these HTML codes in the Second Site section and those TMG codes which work in the TMG section to visually remind me which text area is for Second Site and which for TMG output. Thus I use HTML code in text exhibit Captions. If the source of the image or text is available on the web, one could even include the HTML <a href="url">text</a> codes in the Second Site Caption text to link directly to that external site. This is especially useful if the image is copyrighted since I generally include only a thumbnail of the image with a watermark as the Second Site exhibit, but have a link to the authorized full image in the Caption.37



I have found no way38 to access the exhibit Description field for output within TMG. The Description seems only useful within TMG as you browse the exhibit list and possibly for information linking it to the source.39 However, the Description field can be output on the separate linked exhibit pages in Second Site, but only by using customized “Content” scripts.40 I have found no way to output it, even with customization, under an embedded exhibit on the Second Site Person page or in the full-size Lightbox window accessible from an embedded image. Thus for exhibits which I configure in Second Site to be embedded (such as a Primary Person Image) I do not use the Description field. For these embedded exhibits I usually include any (abbreviated) text or Source links which I would otherwise enter into the Description after a carriage return at the end of the Caption text. While that does cause this longer Caption text to output both on the Person page and the Lightbox window, it also outputs on the Exhibit Gallery which I can avoide for linked exhibit by using Descriptions.

Because I generally enter useful information in the Description, and generally “link” all exhibits (except the Primary Person image exhibit), I have customized the Second Site Content scripts for both User Pages and Image Pages to output the Description for both types of exhibits in my preferred location and format. While they are not output as part of a image entry in the Image Exhibit Gallery, I do output the Description along with the Caption for each entry in my custom Text Exhibit Gallery as I find these Descriptions useful when browsing that Gallery. For such linked images, I will usually include the link to the source in their Description.

Since Second Site does allow a filter for the Image Exhibit Gallery based on text in this Description field, images could be separated into separate Exhibit Galleries using this text, such as separate galleries for each ancestral line. Even though Second Site by default does not output this Description field in either the Gallery entry or linked image page, it is safer to include such filtering text within TMG hidden formatting codes [HID:]xyz[:HID] to hide it from any potential output. If I chose to include such filter codes I would hide them within my Description fields of linked exhibits since it would otherwise output on my custom linked image pages.


External filename

I am not aware of any way to output the Windows filename of an external exhibit in TMG reports. While the TMG Report Options does include an option for “Reference full path names”, this option affects report links internal to the word processing file and does not output the filename as part of the readable text. However, the image filename (but not the full pathname nor the filetype extension) can be optionally output below the Caption of an entry in a Second Site Exhibit Gallery, which I use during debugging of the exhibits in my project as an aid to locating the file. (Filenames are also discussed in the Exhibit Storage topic below.)

My Exhibit Examples

My preference is to include any image copy of the source information, or a lengthy text transcription from a portion of the source, directly within TMG as exhibits, either linked to an appropriate event tag such as a Census tag, or linked to my custom Transcript tag. Transcript and Census tags typically also have a Source pseudo person linked as a Principal so that all transcripts from a given source can be identified together. For Second Site I set the option to “link” these exhibits so that they will produce their own separate web pages using my customizations. Due to my custom added text in the image gallery, I set the Second Site Thumb max width/height to 100 and the Box width/height to 138/163 when I (normally) choose not to output the Image Filename.


My Topic

I set the exhibit Topic to a short note (max 30 characters) that identifies the specific Principal(s) and topic of this extract, but I append the primary source abbreviation code (e.g. BOOK, CENS, WILL) as part of this abbreviated exhibit name.

Topic Examples

1. (Primary Person image exhibit of her photo)
Garner, Mrs Catherine PHOT

2. (event image exhibit of his death certificate from a source)
Sorrick, John Wm DEAT cert

3. (event image exhibit of a joint gravestone)
Acker, Daniel&Susan PHOT grave

4. (event text exhibit transcript of his biography from a source)
Garner, John M BIOG

5. (event text exhibit transcript of her obituary from an on-line web page)
Barker, Sarah J OBIT 1927

6. (event text exhibit transcript of the census enumeration of his household)
Garner, Benj CENS1850


My Caption

I try to set the exhibit Caption to indicate the source of the exhibit, often identical to the TMG source abbreviation from which this is an extract (e.g. CENS USA1810 PA Berks M252-045). However, if I have created multiple Master Source List entries for a single source (such as a separate TMG source entry for each person’s multipage biography in a book of biographies) I may use the source abbreviation of the overall source, e.g. the book.

I always set the Second Site options Data / Sources to “Show Citation Source Numbers”, and “Show Sources” with the Source Sentence using the “Bibliography” template. I also make a Menu item to this generated Sources page by adding a User Item of “Link - Link” with Title “Sources”, HRef “s1”, Menu “MenuBar”, and Button Image “sources”. I am unaware of a way to change the filename of that source page from “s1.htm” to anything else. Fortunately Second Site uses the TMG internal Source Number for its Source entry number, so this number is known within TMG and static. Therefore for Second Site output I prepend the TMG internal source number to text exhibit Captions as a link to the Bibliography entry in the Sources page. If I change the source abbreviation or the source number, I need to remember to change all that source’s corresponding text exhibit Captions. Because of my custom Second Site text exhibit gallery, either the Caption and/or the Description of a text exhibit must be non-empty. Further, the only way to output all Source entries sorted by their TMG Source number on the generated Sources page is to set the Pages / Page Sizes option for “Sources per Page” to the maximum (99999) so all source entries are generated within one page. While that one page can be large, fixed text including the fixed name of that HTML page and the known TMG Source number now can be used in these text exhibit Caption links.

As an image exhibit Caption often also includes the subject of the image as well as the source, they are usually more lengthy and complex. There is often a difference between the TMG Caption and the Second Site Caption so I use codes to separate them as described above. They also generally include a carriage return to separate the text identifying the subject from the identification of the source. I also make the first line of an image’s Second Site Caption slightly bigger text than the rest. If the image exhibit Caption is for an embedded image, that Caption also needs to include any text or Source links which for a linked image exhibit would be entered in the Description.

Caption Examples

1. (subject and source of this Primary Person image)
[HID:][SS-HID:][:HID]Mrs. Catharine [ITAL:]Sorrick[:ITAL] Garner[:CR:]Photo[SUP:]©[:SUP] from [ITAL:]Genealogy of Theobald Fouse[:ITAL][HID:][:SS-HID][SS:]<big>Mrs. Catharine <i>Sorrick</i> Garner</big><br>Photo<sup>©</sup> from <a href="">Genealogy of Theobald Fouse</a>[:SS][:HID][:CR:]plate 21, opposite page 64

2. (subject and abbreviated source of this death certificate)
[HID:][SS-HID:][:HID]Dr John W. Sorrick[HID:][:SS-HID][SS:]<big>Dr John W. Sorrick</big>[:SS][:HID][:CR:]Ohio 1912 death certificate #68966

3. (subject and on-line web page of this copyrighted gravestone photo)
[HID:][SS-HID:][:HID]Kathryn [ITAL:]Sark[:ITAL] Hollopeter[:CR:]gravestone photo[SUP:]©[:SUP] on FindAGrave[HID:][:SS-HID][SS:]<big>Kathryn <i>Sark</i> Hollopeter</big><br>gravestone photo<sup>©</sup> on <a href="">FindAGrave</a>[:SS][:HID]41

4. (source ID and source abbreviation of the transcribed text of this biography)
[HID:][SS:]\[<a href="s1.htm#s414">S414</a>\] [:SS][:HID]BOOK Hist PA Juniata Valley

5. (source ID, description of the text, and on-line web page of this text)
[HID:][SS:]\[<a href="s1.htm#s466">S466</a>\] [:SS][:HID]Obituary transcript[HID:][SS:] on <a href="">FindAGrave</a>[:SS][:HID]

6. (source of the transcribed text of this household census enumeration)
[HID:][SS:]\[<a href="s1.htm#s382">S382</a>\] [:SS][:HID]CENS USA1850 PA Blair M432-0755


My Description

If the Caption is the source abbreviation I set the exhibit Description identical to the Citation Detail of the citation of this source, or an indication of the location of this exhibit within that source. While this field will not output in TMG reports, it will output on my customized Second Site linked exhibit page. Source links are typically in the Caption for linked text exhibits, but are often in the Description for linked image exhibits.

Description Examples

1. (text is included with the Caption since the Description is not output for embedded Primary Person image exhibits)

2. (date and location of this death, Source ID link to the entry on the generated Sources page, my TMG Source Abbreviation of this certificate)
Died 15 Dec 1912 at Kenmore, Summit, Ohio[:CR:][HID:][SS:]\[<a href="s1.htm#s564">S564</a>\] [:SS][:HID]\[DEAT USA OH GOV 1912 Sorrick, John W\]

3. (additional details of this on-line gravestone image: cemetery location and copyright holder)
Dewey Cemetery, Dewey, Washington County, Oklahoma[:CR:]Added by: Dennis Wilson, 25[:NB:]Mar[:NB:]2016
[Note that the two spaces within the date are set as non-breakings spaces]

4. (location within the source and identification of the portion of this biography included in this transcript)
John M. Garner, vol 1, pages 268-272

5. (identification of the memorial location containing the obituary transcription within this source’s on-line site, and indication of the person who likely posted it)
Memorial at Stahl Cemetery, Petroleum, Wells County, Indiana; Created by Tom B, 4[:NB:]Jun[:NB:]2006
[Note that the two spaces within the date are set as non-breakings spaces]

6. (location within the county census of this household enumeration)
Huston Township, page 117A, lines 8-10, dwelling 86, family 86


My External filename

As described more fully in the discussion of Exhibit Storage I do try to use a meaningful and sortable filename since it can display in Second Site and be an aid in locating external files. It will generally begin with the name (last name first) of the Principal(s) of the tag to which this exhibit is linked, followed by an abbreviated description of the nature of the exhibit. Hovering over the Second Site Topic/title for a gallery item will show the link to either the image filename or the text exhibit web page filename. For embedded images the filename is the title.

Filename Examples

1. (this Primary Person image, or thumbnail image if copyrighted; as this type is the most common of my image exhibits, no description is added to the name)

2. (this person’s death certificate)

3. (this joint gravestone photo, or thumbnail image if a copyrighted image)

4. (the filename of the SS generated text exhibit web page for the transcript of a portion of a biography)

5. (the filename of the SS generated text exhibit web page for an on-line obituary transcription)

6. (the filename of the SS generated text exhibit web page for the transcript of this head of household’s census enumeration)

Text exhibits

For text exhibit transcriptions I prefer to offset the transcription text using the TMG embedded format codes [:CR:][LIND:]transcription text[:LIND].42 If entered as an internal TMG text exhibit, it could instead start with two blank lines so that it would be offset in TMG’s reports, but leading blank lines are ignored in external exhibits. However both internal and external exhibits output the same when sent to a word processor if the text exhibit begins with the above codes. Therefore for consistency that is what I use along with additional [:CR:] and [:TAB:] codes within the text as needed to indicate internal paragraphs in the transcription. Note that the ending [:LIND] code will always produce a carriage return in Second Site43, whereas in TMG reports it will only produce a carriage return if there is not already a carriage return following the ending code. Thus if you put any type of carriage return immediately after the ending code you will get an extra line break in Second Site, which I generally prefer. To date I have chosen to add all text exhibits as internal exhibits. (See also the separate discussion about internal versus external exhibit storage.) I add comments or annotations about the text/transcription starting on a line after the ending [:LIND] as I do not wish these annotations to be indented.44

Since Second Site is my primary output, and I often create text exhibits, the following descibes how Second Site outputs text exhibits based on “link” or “embed”. The comments about “backlinks” assume that the single option which applies to all exhibits in Data // Exhibits of “Include Back-Link” has been checked. The output of the Caption associated with an exhibit is more fully discussed above.

Attached to a Person a linked text exhibit will show the icon without the Caption on the person page after the embedded Primary image and before the narrative. The linked page will output the Caption and a back link to the person. If embedded the text will output within a box in that same location and place the Caption underneath. While Second Site provides options for text exhibits for “Primary Person” and “Person” I have found no way to make a text exhibit the Primary exhibit for a person.

Attached to an Event a linked text exhibit only has the icon at the end of the event text following the event’s citation references. The exhibit page will show back links to all people linked to the event if the Data//Exhibits option “Exhibits Linked for Witnesses” is checked, which I choose. (See also the discussion of the jointstone Witness role in the Burial and Cremation tag types.) An embedded event text exhibit will output where the icon would have been, followed by the Caption.

Attached to a Source a text exhibit has the icon link or the embedded text at the end of the source record on the list of sources page, and the linked separate exhibit page has a backlink to the source on the list of sources page.

Attached to a Citation a text exhibit has the icon link or the embedded text at the end of the citation on the person page, however the linked separate exhibit page has no backlink of any kind.

Finally, attached to a Place record the exhibit causes an Information link from the Place Index to the separate Place information page. If embedded the text is output on that information page just like the Comment field from the Place record. If linked that page has an icon link to a separate exhibit page which has no backlink of any kind. For these reasons I choose to use the TMG Comment instead of attaching text exhibits to a Place record, and only link image exhibits to Place records.

Second Site has a special “Image Document Transcriptions” feature where an external text exhibit which might not be linked as an exhibit in TMG can be automatically paired with an image exhibit which is linked as a TMG exhibit. Since this external text file usually is not linked as a TMG exhibit, it would only output in Second Site. While this feature is primarily intended to match a text transcription with an image of that text, other uses may be appropriate. The match is done by having an external text exhibit file in the same folder as the image exhibit file using exactly the same filename but differing only by the filetype extension. The text file must be one of the following filetypes: txt, htm, or html. Only HTML text formatting codes, not TMG text formatting codes, will be recognized by Second Site in these “same-named” transcription files. An overall style for such matched transcription text can optionally be specified via a Second Site User Style. For linked image exhibits, and for embedded image exhibits on source pages, the transcription text will be included below the image. For image exhibits embedded on other pages, the text will not appear in the box with the image; the box will contain the image and the caption only. When using the “Resize Embedded Images” option, the text transcription will appear in the Lightbox when the user clicks the image to view the full size version. I do not (yet) use this feature, instead linking both the external image exhibit and the internal text transcription exhibit to the same tag so the transcription is output by both TMG and Second Site.

General Exhibit Notes

Exhibits can be attached to people, sources, event tags, repositories, citations and place records.45 When the focus is a Person, the TMG Exhibit Log will only display exhibits attached to the person, or to events for which this person is a Principal. As described above, Captions of exhibits are only output in TMG for image exhibits and only when specified to be output by the Report Options. But both image and text exhibit Captions can be output in Second Site. However their output is very different depending upon whether the type of exhibit is specified to be linked or embedded. Data could be included in the Caption to reference the source of an exhibit, but embedded citations within the Caption cannot be used. Neither detail nor list TMG reports will output event text exhibits.46 For those reports which will include exhibits they are generally only output if the output is sent to Word, WordPerfect, RTF47, HTML48, screen or printer.

You can attach either a Word document or a PostScript document as an exhibit. However, while both can be attached, and viewed on-screen by double-clicking, only true text files using the file extension .txt will output embedded in any TMG reports. Although there is a separate menu option to “Insert new OLE”, there is no need to add OLE exhibits in this way since any type of file that has a Windows file association can be linked simply as an external “text” exhibit. The alternate way to attach .doc or .pdf, or any OLE is the same as for any external file:

• Open Exhibit Log

• Right click on blank area and select “Insert new text” and select “External file” from the submenu

• In the “Insert New Exhibit” window change the lower drop-down menu for “Files of type:” from “All Texts (*.rtf, *.txt)” to “All files (*.*)” so that you can see the .pdf and .doc files as well as the others

• Then select the file to attach, and just click OK when the NOTE comes up which warns: “Note that only true text files can be embedded in TMG’s output reports.”

Internal versus External Exhibits

If an existing file is selected to be an Internal exhibit, the file is copied into the single TMG Foxpro Memo File which holds all internal exhibits (i.e. <project_name>_i.fpt).49 If an existing file is selected to be an External exhibit, only a pointer containing the full pathname of that existing file is inserted into the TMG database record.

Currently I only use Internal exhibits for text-only data, such as a transcription of a extract from a source as described above. Most large exhibits, especially graphic files, should be inserted as External exhibits for a variety of reasons.

• The same file can be an Enternal exhibit for multiple people, tags, sources, citations, repositories or places and will only add the pointer to the file for each insert along with that exhibit’s Caption, etc. This greatly reduces the affect on TMG’s database file sizes. Further, if you change the contents of the external file (without changing its filename or location), that change will be reflected in all its multiple TMG exhibit entries without further action.

• If you do not select the option to include External exhibits in your TMG Backup, the size of that Backup file can be considerably reduced. Since exhibit files seldom change, but data in the database files often does, it is recommended to backup exhibit files separately and less often.

• If the same file is attached as an Internal exhibit for multiple entries, separate copies of that same file are added to the one TMG Foxpro Memo File for each attachment. Since there often is a maximum possible file size for a single file in a given operating system, you might reach that maximum on this file especially if using lots of internal graphic exhibits. Further if you change the contents of one Internal exhibit, that change will not be reflected in any of the other multiple entries. Since in nearly all cases my Internal text exhibits are only attached to a single tag this is not an issue for me.

• This one TMG Foxpro Memo File containing all Internal exhibits will be included in TMG Backups, so that Backup file can also become extremely large, possibly exceeding the maximum possible file size for a single file in that operating system.

• If you intend to use Second Site for output (as I do), any image exhibits must be External exhibits for Second Site to be able to display them. For me this is the major motivation to use External image exhibits.

Exhibit Order

Images/exhibits attached to events (tags) are output as part of the tag memo with the Report Option of embedded.50 The report outputs the tag elements in this order: (1) sentence, (2) semi-colon, (3) exhibit, (4) period, (5) citation reference numbers. If there are multiple exhibits attached to a single person51, or multiple exhibits attached to a single event, their report order can be defined/changed for that person or event. The Exhibit Log has two sorting modes: view sorting and output reordering. By default the Exhibit Log will open in view sorting mode. The drop-down control at the top can select the sort order for the exhibits for viewing. You can only access the output reordering mode if the view sorting mode is first set to “None” and there are multiple Person or Event exhibits. When in output reordering mode you can drag an exhibit to a different place in the order and this will affect its order in report output.

When the Exhibit Log is opened from the menu, toolbar button, or Primary Person exhibit, it will show all exhibits assigned in any way to this person and will be in view sorting mode. If view sorting is None and there are multiple Person exhibits, output reordering mode can be turned on either by the right-click menu item “Exhibit output reordering” or when you unselect “Show event exhibits” at the bottom of the person’s Exhibit Log. Either action will display the output reorder icon at the bottom left of the Log window, and limit the Exhibit Log to only show the multiple exhibits attached as Person exhibits to this one person.

After selecting an event that has multiple exhibits and opening that event’s Exhibit Log, the output reordering mode will be available if the view sorting is set to “None”. While set to any other view sorting mode, the output reorder icon at the bottom left of the Log window will disappear and output reordering will not be available for that event’s exhibits.

The output reordering arrangement does not alter the default sort order of all the exhibits for that person in the Exhibit Log itself. It only creates sort order data in the exhibit table sometimes used for display but always for report output. The output sort order is only used when the view sorting is None and you display exhibits for only that one event or only the Person exhibits, but is always used when the exhibits are output to reports. Put another way if the Sort viewing order is None, the main Exhibit Log opens showing all the exhibits in their native table order. After you finish output reordering for a single event, or a single person’s Person exhibits, and close the Log and reopen the main Log for that person showing all (both Person and Event) exhibits, a view order of None will always display the native table order. Note that the native order of the event exhibits among all that person’s exhibits does not even reflect the Sort Date order of the event tag to which they are attached. For example Marriage tag exhibits may show before Birth tag exhibits in the None view of all exhibits.52 When viewing all exhibits in TMG I usually change the sort order to Exhibit Name (Topic) to match that sort order I have customized in my Second Site exhibit indexes.

Exhibit Storage

There are many ideas for how to name and store external exhibits. I choose to name all external exhibit files based on the Principal(s) associated with that exhibit. As I maintain several unrelated projects, I choose to have the exhibits for each project in a separate subfolder under each project’s separate TMG database folder. Thus I create a subfolder called “Exhibits-projectname” under the project folder, and name the files within that subfolder.

As mentioned above, TMG does not output an external exhibit’s filename, but Second Site can, so I have adopted a meaningful and sortable naming convention. (See examples of my exhibit filenames above.) Most exhibits/images are associated with a specific Principal so I use surname-given-description.ext as the filename, and if a couple are the Principals I use the married surname and include both given names. If the exhibit links to several people but is from a specific source I could base the filename on my unique TMG Source Abbreviation, or use the abbreviation to name a subfolder of exhibit files from that source. TMG will handle a folder tree of exhibit files. I generally create at least one subfolder, and possibly one per source, for any exhibits which are copyrighted to separate them and ease the process of watermarking such exhibits.

Note that the same filename could be used for different exhibit files as long as they were in different subfolders. Second Site copies all external exhibit files into a single folder as part of constructing the site. If the same file is linked multiple times as an external exhibit only one file is copied. However, if there are exactly duplicate file names (due to same-named but different source files coming from different folders) Second Site will automatically rename the second or subsequent files and thus avoid a conflict. Note that only the names of the output file copies for use by the site are changed; the original files are unchanged.

Another recommendation of folder structure for external exhibits is organized based on a common Surname of the subjects and the exhibit type:

C:/PICTURES/SURNAME/EXHIBIT TYPE/givenname-qualifier.jpg

If you change your exhibits path from (somefolder) to (newfolder) and use the external exhibits feature in Validate File Integrity and specify searching (newfolder) for your exhibits, the process will correct the exhibit paths from (somefolder) to (newfolder) in the exhibits data table so long as your filenames are unique and the same in newfolder. Be sure to specify all folders where the exhibits are located or at least the top of a folder tree and select the option to “Search in subfolders” of that folder.53 If you change a single external exhibit’s filename or path, you can open the Properties of that existing exhibit in TMG and click the “Load” button. That will open a Windows subwindow where you can navigate to the new path and/or filename and select it. That will now link this new filename or path to this existing exhibit. This avoids having to delete and reenter a TMG exhibit just because you wished to change the filename and/or path.

Missing exhibits are noted at the top of the last VFI.log in your program folder. To identify missing external exhibits:

• Go to Preferences and turn off the thumbnails: Current Project Options / Advanced / untick “Save image thumbnails

• Run optimize to remove the thumbnails from the data tables: File / Maintenance / Optimize

• Open the Exhibit Log and Change the focus to “All exhibits”. Look for the exhibits with a frowny face icon. Select each. Look in the lower right of the Exhibit Log to identify how the exhibit is used.

• Right-click a missing exhibit and select Properties. Look at the path at the bottom of the General tab to identify the file.

• Once done, go back to Preferences and re-enable thumbnails.

If you exit TMG and change the name of the (sub)folder containing some exhibits and then “make” Second Site web pages, the TMG external exhibit pointers will still point to the old name which is now a non-existent folder. Any exhibits in that renamed folder are simply not included in the Second Site web output. Not even the Caption is output with some indicator of a missing exhibit. For linked exhibits there will not even be an icon indicating that there is/was a linked exhibit. Some users rely on this behavior by placing “sensitive” or copyrighted exhibits (e.g. FindAGrave photos) in a separate subfolder. If they generate a private site they may wish to include such exhibits and so leave the folder name unchanged. But as part of making a public site just renaming the folder can eliminate these exhibits. Changing the folder name back before reopening TMG will mean TMG will never notice. I generally choose to convert copyrighted images to thumbnails with a copyright watermark and store these in a Second Site alternate exhibits folder, as I describe in the discussion of an Exhibit Caption above. Then TMG always sees the full image, but the web pages will use the thumbnails if the alternate exhibits folder is specified when Second Site is run. For sensitive images another option is to attach them to a special custom tag type (possibly similar to either the Img or Sens tag type suffix) which might be used solely for sensitive images. Then that tag type could simply be excluded when building the site.

Exhibit Printing

Exhibits only output in some TMG reports (see the General Notes above). Printing a report that contains images to a Word file might produce a set of instructions:

In Word 2003 or earlier:

1)  access the Edit menu

2)  choose Links

In Word 2007 or later:

1)  click the <Office> button (upper left round button)

2)  select Prepare and select Edit Links to Files

Then in either program:

3)  hold down <Shift> and click on the last item on the list (to highlight all records)

4)  check the box to Save picture in document

5)  click on Update Now

6)  click OK to exit the Word window

The exhibits now show up in the document. Some later versions of Word are reported to not require these actions.

Source Pseudo People

For a general discussion of pseudo people see my Style Guide. I choose to create source pseudo “people” as I use them for grouping, tracking, transcriptions, and recording other information about sources. I also use a color scheme to accent all pseudo People. Source pseudo people (and Census pseudo people) are accented with their own separate color scheme using a green background. Not all sources in my MSL will also have a corresponding source pseudo person. If I have chosen to add a corresponding Repository pseudo person, the source person is linked as a non-Primary son to the repository “mother” in which the source resides using an “-Oth” relationship, since my convention sets sources Male. If this Source person represents a portion of a larger source they can be linked as a son to the larger source “father” using an “-Oth” relationship, or they can themselves be a “father” to a collection of Location “daughters” covered by this source. And a Source person can be linked by “marriage” to a Location people which identifies the overall location covered by the source with a Src Link tag. Remember to set the standard SEX Flag to ‘M’, and my custom Flags PSEUDO to ‘S’ and MAIN to ‘?’.

Having a “person” representing a source allows me to add multiple tags, including my custom Transcript tags with an attached exhibit with citation to the source, which actually provides many advantages. For one thing I can link transcription exhibits as described above via this “Transcript” tag to all the many people mentioned in that transcribed portion of the text. I equivalently use the various census tags in the Census person to link the exhibit of the transcription of the census entry to the people referenced in the transcription. Likewise I link my custom Burial tags to Cemetery location people who are in turn linked as daughters under Interments source fathers.

Source Person Name Tag

Source pseudo person’s names54 are grouped on the spelled-out type of source as the surname, usually from the beginning of the abbreviation code. The given name is based either on my structured abbreviations for sources, or the location or person associated with this source, often truncated at the point where it is sufficiently unique. Any portion which has not yet been identified for it (e.g. I have seen a reference to this source but not yet located a copy of it and don’t yet know what it is, or really covers, or is about) then the surname is simply “Unknown” which can be changed later. The given name of Interments source people reflect the overall location for grouping the source records associated with Cemetery pseudo location people. Real people need to be dealt with carefully. They might be considered sources, and they might also be considered repositories. If their knowledge is the source, I usually include that based on the documentation of that information: interview, correspondence, etc. If they possess something that is the source, I usually consider them a repository. I can either have all Transcript tags linked to this source pseudo person, or could collect separate source persons for each type of source with a source person as the father of these separate types of source sons.

One example of a source pseudo “family” with appropriate names is a book containing multiple historical biographies and/or multiple locations. I made separate photocopies of each relevant biography to store in my personal files and made a separate source “person” for each of these biographies. I have multiple Transcript tags for different parts of each biography linked to the real people mentioned. Each biography person has a non-Primary Mother-Oth that is the appropriate file folder “daughter” of their “my files” repository mother. These sons also all have the same Primary Father-Oth that is a source person which can “group” the biography source “children” of the book. The father book source and mother location(s) the book covers are married with my Src Link tag. The book father in turn may have a non-Primary Mother-Oth that is the repository person of the library where the book itself is located. The Sort Date of the Created tag of each of the separate biography “sons” can be used to put them in the order they appear in the book. (Any meaningful Sort Date scheme can be used based on the page number and nature of the book.)

The Date of the Created tag of the source person, whether the grouping “father” or biography “sons”, is usually the date of publication of the book. I then enter the Sort Date as a “between” date. The first of the two dates is the Date. The second date is constructed to be after that Date and based in some way on the starting page of that source material in the book. This construction may differ depending upon the nature and length of the specific book. If only one second date is required per page the construction methods can be based solely on the page number.

• The second date can be as simple as a year with the first digit one more than the first digit of the Date year and the subsquent three digits the page number. So a book published in 1897 with less than 1000 pages could use as a base a second date year of 2000. Then an extract beginning on page 76 would have a Sort Date of “1897-2076”.

• Alternatively if more granularity is needed, usually for a larger book, a more complex scheme can be used. One can choose any Year value after the Created Date year so that the last digit, or if necessary two digits, will reflect the “hundreds” page number. The “tens” digit becomes the month, and the “ones” digit becomes the day (which is left missing if the page digit is zero). For example a book published in 1897 with less than 1000 pages could use a second date year of 1900. Thus a child’s Created tag of an extract beginning on page 76 (0th year, 7th month, 6th day) would have a Sort Date of “1897-06 Jul 1900”. And the extract beginning on page 314 (3rd year, 1st month, 4rd day) would have a Sort Date of “1897-04 Jan 1903”.

A Source person with multiple Transcript tags can use a similar scheme for sorting these tags, but may need to reserve room in the chosen second date construction for sorting multiple extracts on the same page. Using the first method above the “day” field in the second date can be used to sort these multiple entries. Thus the first extract on page 76 could have a a Sort date of “1897-01 Jan 2076”. If there were more than 31 extracts on that page then continue from “01 Feb”. Using the more complex second method above the code will need to shift up as necessary to reserve the “day” (or also “month” depending upon the quantity on the same page) for the values to sort within a page. To only use the “day” field an extract on page 314 (31st year, 4th month) would now be based on the second date of “Apr 1931” and the first extract on that date would have a Sort Date of “1897- 01 Apr 1931”. Note in this case if the last digit of the page number is a zero, use the month Oct (10th month) with the year one less, e.g. page 310 (31st year minus one, 10th month) would have all extracts on that page based on days within “Oct 1930”.

Now viewing the entire book “father” can show me at a glance which biographies (his Primary sons) I have copied and entered. Viewing the library repository grandmother shows the book as a non-Primary son to remind me that I have researched that book from this repository, and viewing the “my files” repository mother shows me her folder daughters, and they show me the biographies (their non-Primary sons) which are stored as photocopies in each folder. Since I was creating the source biographies “people” anyway for the Transcript tags, adding this useful family structure was minimal extra effort.

A second example of “family” grouping is for my Cemetery location pseudo people. While I could have a single “father” for all such Cemetery people, I choose to group them by location, e.g. U.S. state, for easier reference under the common surname of “Interments”. Thus similar to Census source people there is a Given Name “*All” as the patriarch, a son “USA”, and sons for each state (e.g. Given Name “USA, Indiana”). Then a Cemetery person in a given location is the daughter of the Interments father and matching Location mother of that overall location. For these pseudo people I can can exclude SrcLink tags from Second Site to produce simpler Person pages for pseueo people, but do include and output a NarrativeChildren tag of the parents to label the children as pseudo and include any non-Primary children in the parent’s Family Section.

Examples of Source Names

Given [SourceAbbr]

Surname [SrcType]

Roggenbuck, Johann 19030118 LTR Gille, Mrs. J


Schwann, Terry


Biog IN Wells 977.2J39h, Markley, Mrs J


Biog IN Wells 977.2J39h


USA, Indiana


USA, Indiana, Wells, Nottingham


USA MI Wayne CHR 19141014 Sark & Gillie


USA, Oklahoma, Washington, Bartlesville


I use a custom “Source” name style defined for my source pseudo people and prefix the fixed text “$RC:”55 in those templates used by lists so that these names display distinctly and sort separately from “real” names (see the Effect of Name Styles on sorting). The Output template includes a fixed colon ‘:’ after the Surname (SrcType) to visually separate it from the Given Name (SourceAbbr).

Source Male Name Style Templates

Given [SourceAbbr]

location, or the source abbreviation without the leading type code

Surname [SrcType]

the spelled-out source type


[SrcType]: [SourceAbbr]

Surname sort

$RC: [SrcType] [SourceAbbr]

Surname display

$rc: [SrcType], [SourceAbbr]

Given sort

$RC: [SourceAbbr] [SrcType]

Given display

$rc: [SourceAbbr], [SrcType]


[SrcType]: [SourceAbbr]

Tags for Source People

One set of tags recommended56 by some users are: DateSched, RecordType, CallNo, SrcNotes, Citation, Repository, TimePeriod, Objective (of search), Locality, Surnames, People (specific), RschNotes, Extract (transcribed), FileLoc, Notes (followup, etc.). I have not found the need for all of these. Instead I generally just use Created and Transcript, as well as Src Link and NarrativeChildren if I construct a source “family”.

I use a Created tag in the “Birth” group with Role “Source” to record the publication date and location. That Created tag should have citations from any Source Records in the Master Source List which cover this lowest level of detail of this Source person. Those Source Records should also be linked to this pseudo person. If it is my “correspondent” exception with multiple actual sources, I use a from/to date covering the range of correspondence, and cite all appropriate sources to it. Like most all Created tags, the Sort Date is either left blank or uses a “before” Sort Date to sort first.

One or more Transcript tags are linked with the Role “Extract” to attach transcriptions as an exhibit. These can also be used to define what portions of the source have been researched, complete with citations, and the dates for these tags could indicate when the source was last visited.

One idea was a “SrcNotes” tag to contain general info on the source, but my memo on the Created tag currently seems to fulfill this function. If necessary I can also include a general-purpose standard Ancedote tag. Instead of a “Research” tag, I use my “*Find” and “*Nil” tags with the source person linked as a Witness or Principal depending on the tag. In addition to linking a Repository person as a Mother-Oth to the source, I could link duplicate sources that are in other repositories with my Duplicate tag. If I had separate images from the source, they could be attached using my separate “*Img” tags.

Src Link Tag

This tag type is in the Marriage group and links Source pseudo people (including Census and Interments people) to Location pseudo people. (I generally do not “marry” Repository pseudo people, linking them only as an alternate non-Primary mother to a source.) It should exist for any pair of pseudo people that have “children” to ensure the narrative Family Section. Any source people who have children, whether Primary or non-Primary, and whether as a couple or as a single parent, should use a NarrativeChildren tag to customize their Family Section. As of Version 8 I use the same color highlight for this tag type as for my custom Census tag types since linking Census pseudo people is my most common use. I want it displaying very different than a normal Marriage tag type in the program’s display and when I output this tag type for personal working/debugging reports. Therefore its sentences simply indicate this linkage of the source to the location associated with that source. However for published reports and Second Site pages I generally exclude it from printing, relying on the customized parent and Family Sections to show the linkages. (In Second Site for published projects I assign it to a “No Output” tag group.)

Src Link Tag


Role “Source” which may be a Source or Census pseudo person


Role “Location” which is that pseudo person


The date of this source, for census usually just the year

Sort Date

Usually the “Say” of the Date to provide appropriate grouping, or possibly a locale name as an Irregular date when linked to a Location person


The location covered by this Source/Census person


Not used

Exhibit (internal or external)

Normally not used, but could be overall information about this source associated with this linked location

Transcription Printing for the Source Person

A text exhibit attached to an event will only output for a source person as part of a narrative report for the source person associated with that event. Neither detail reports nor list reports will output event text exhibits.57 A report that seems to work well is the individual narrative (but I have also used a one generation Journal report) where I set the publication tools to print memo, sources, and exhibits embedded. Although the embedded option causes some problems which require my [:CR:][LIND:]exhibit text[:LIND] structure to offset the text as described above, it still seems the best report structure. I select tags to output to only be ones that are used in source and census people, such as Created, Transcript, CensusEnum, and CensusX tags. If you want to print all transcriptions from all sources, set focus to all individuals with appropriate PSEUDO flag values, or possibly to all individuals with at least one of the above tags with transcriptions to include those tags not linked to pseudo people. Otherwise, simply set the focus to the one source “person” desired and you will get all the transcriptions from that one source. I set Sources to endnotes and print the Bibliography. I set the focus information so that it is there in the report definition, but saved the report with “Prompt When Generated” as the default. I set the fonts58 for this report to bold, Helvetica, and larger for the given name (the source abbreviation), Helvetica for the surname, date, and location, and italics for the comments. A report title simply of “Source Transcriptions” works.

Linking Source Citations to the corresponding Source Person

For SecondSite pages I often choose to have a link from the source citation to the corresponding source person. Since I choose the SecondSite option to have each person on a static separate page,59 I can use SecondSite specific codes in the Source Definition to produce a link to the pseudo source person corresponding to this source.


Originally I chose simply to duplicate the TMG ID number of the pseudo person as the Text for the link so that the code produced a superscript number corresponding to the PersonID of the pseudo source person (e.g. “268;268”). But I have found that looks too much like a footnote/citation reference number. I have now adopted a practice of a “pseudo person type” prefix to the ID number to make it clearer this is a link, for example, to a Source Person (e.g. “214;SP214”) or Census Person (e.g. “268;CP268”). However, this text could be whatever is meaningful to the user, even a single common indicator that this is a “link” (e.g. “214;link”). Since a given pseudo source/census person may encompass a more broad area that a single source record in the Master Source List, multiple source records can link to the same pseudo person as needed.

The entire linkage construct could be entered along with other text in most any Source Element. However, I prefer to keep this as a separate conditional Source Element and put as much of the codes as possible in the Source Definition template. A separate element is also useful in using the F3 repeat key. As I am a “lumper” I seldom60 use the Pages Source Element group in any Source Template, thus I have defined a custom Source Element [PSEUDO PERSON] in that group for this linkage. As the text to enter contains “PageLink” this element seems appropriate. I put the three TMG-recognized beginning and ending codes in the source template as part of the conditional element, but the entire Second Site PageLink structure must be entered as text in the Source Element.61

Source template contains:


where the text of the [PSEUDO PERSON] Source Element might contain:


I almost always have a Census pseudo person so this linkage construct is included in my Census Source Type template.

So far my primary use of Source pseudo people other than Census and Cemetery people has been for titled published works of multiple articles, so this construct is included in my Source Types “Published work (MJH)” and “Published work-combined (MJH)” source type definitions. I have also found it useful to create Source pseudo people for the correspondence from “real” people when there are multiple signficant pieces of correspondance, so this construct is included in my Source Type “Correspondence (MJH)”. Finally, I have also locally customized single Source Definitions, whenever I have created a Source pseudo person for that one source, by inserting the codes and using this Source Element in this one source definition in a similar manner. One example was a published church register which contained several areas of text which were transcribed. Entering this construct following the Title source element gave a link to that Source pseudo person which provided a convenient way to link together all the Transcript tags constructed from this source.

Suggestions for Dummy Sources

Tag Last Edited

There is no mechanism to identify when last you edited a specific tag.62 The Last Edited date in the Other information box on the Details screen will be automatically updated for that person for a variety of reasons63 which you may not consider to be “editing”, and that date is by person not by tag. Any manual actions to track editing at finer granularity will require strict data entry habits to remember to change any manually maintained date.

To track tag editing information one could cite a custom dummy source to record the history and details of editing that tag. If you are a “splitter” you could use a different dummy source for each editing session or activity. Or if you are a “lumper” you could use a single source (probably with a Source Abbreviation of “Tag Last Edited:”), with the current date or a sequence of editing dates and maybe a comment about the editing in the CD. A separate dummy source also could be used as part of an editing and review project lasting over many days. The source could be cited to each tag reviewed as part of that project, along with the date and comments. The lack of a citation to this source could be used to identify what has not yet been done. Once the project is completed, the source could be deleted, which would delete all its citations.

Such dummy sources could be moved to the top of the tag’s list of citations so that the beginning of the CD (e.g. the edit date) would be more easily viewable, especially with multiple citations. I would probably exclude such a source so that it did not usually appear in reports. However, appropriate FF and SF templates (e.g. “Last edited: [CD]”) could produce useful information in reports about the “last edited” state of information. Even if you only wanted to output a single overall last edited date associated with the person, citing this dummy source to the Primary Name tag might be useful in reports or on Second Site web pages.64 If I cited this dummy source to the Primary Name tag I would probably not exclude it on that tag, but would exclude it on all other tags. Then shared reports could show only the person’s overall last edited date, but reports for myself (which show excluded data) would show the editing details.

Although I have not (yet?) found a need for this granularity of record keeping to justify the added data entry,65 as a “lumper” I think I would use the single dummy source, probably adding to the list of dates in the CD as a running record of modifications. One could initialize a dataset so every Name, Relationship, and/or Event tag in the current data set would have such a dummy source by using the Master Source List, highlight the dummy source, and then Cite Globally.66 If each CD begins with the date entered as numeric with the year first (e.g. “YYYY/MM/DD”), then a List of Citations67 report could be sorted by that date. Either lumped or split dummy sources would let you use the LOC report to find events edited in a particular session. It could be filtered for either a particular editing session or activity “split” dummy source, or for the single “lumped” dummy source that “contains” the date of interest in the CD.

See also using a split memo part for this “tag last edited” purpose. However, I find this “dummy source” method has a number of advantages over a split memo. Not only is the dummy source separate from other uses, and is easily used in a filter, but deleting the source deletes all its citations.


One suggestion is to define a dummy source simply called “Surety” for the sole purpose of assigning surety to a tag which otherwise has no source citations. By use of a surety threshold this could control whether the tag or some category of information in the tag would print. As I don’t use Sureties, I do not do this.

No Sources

If you leave active Preferences / Program Options / Warnings / Warn when tag has no citations, you may wish to create a dummy source called “No Sources” with templates that warn this citation should be excluded. Assign this to a tag which you intend to have no sources, but then mark it for exclusion. This will prevent the “no citations” warning for that tag. I choose simply to deactivate this warning.

Not Found

If you are a “splitter” and have separate sources whose templates are structured to require certain data details (e.g. an SSDI source template that requires a subject name as a source element) you may wish to have a separate similar source with a subject of “not found” to have a citation that shows you looked but did not find. Alternatively, the templates of a “lumped” source could be carefully constructed to allow such details to be optional, or to have the “unknown” text for that source element be meaningful, which are my preferences.


If you have not yet identified a source for this event, you could construct a dummy unknown source to make it easy to search for events which need research.


If you use the Repository Memo it is only output if that source element is included in a source template.68 If you do not regularly include that element in sources, you may want a dummy source for each repository with a special source Bibliography output template which outputs the Repository memo information so that it does not output in the Bibliography with every source.


Data imported from other programs often has an ID number for each marriage relationship. For recording the MRIN to be used as a filing system number, a dummy source could be used with a manually constructed MRIN in the CD or CREF. However, I think I would prefer to either use a separate duplicate custom “MRIN” tag type in the Marriage Group with the MRIN in the memo. Better yet might be to define a specific split memo field in the actual Marriage tag for the MRIN number. This latter allows filtering both in reports and with the PE or picklist. For my data I have not yet seen the need for this.


To produce a report to identify existing citations that have no surety entered of any kind, use List of Citations with five foci of “Surety [1|2|D|M|P] is Empty” ANDed together. See my Data Entry chapter about entering Surety values.

A Max Surety is computed for each category [12DPM] based on the highest surety value in any source citation for that category69 that has been entered for a particular tag, whether the citation has been excluded or not. If the tag prints, the printing of a citation is then based only on whether it is an excluded citation, not on its surety. If the surety threshold has been set, and the Max Surety for all categories is less than the threshold, the entire tag and its citations will not be printed. However, if some category meets the threshold but other categories do not, then the event will print but those categories that do not meet the threshold will not print. For example if the Max Surety for Principal1 meets the threshold but Date and Place do not, the tag will print with the Principal’s name, but the sentence will operate as if the Date and Place were blank, i.e. if they are non-optional sentence variables they will produce the “unknown” text. If the print option to “Include blank surety” is chosen, a category with no surety assigned to any citation on that tag will still meet the threshold, and therefore the tag and that category will print. Any non-blank surety for a category on any citation is considered higher than blanks when computing Max Surety. For example, all but one citation on a tag may leave the ‘M’ surety blank, and “Include blank surety” is chosen. However, if one citation contains information that is uncertain about the memo, and you mark that citation’s memo surety ‘1’, and you have the report threshold set to ‘2’, none of the memo or its split parts will print even though the tag itself may print.

Because Surety can control whether specific categories of a tag will print, these surety values could be used in a very non-standard customized manner to control the printing of those categories. For example, you could be consistent in leaving surety blank for all “normal” citations and “Include blank surety”, but have a dummy source citation that would set surety only on those tags and those categories you wished to sometimes exclude. This would permit multiple levels of exclusion rather than the single level of exclusion permitted with the standard exclusion markers and sensitivity braces.

Currently I do not set any sureties as I add any comments about the citation and its reliability in the Citation Memo. While this removes my capability to filter by surety, I prefer only entering reliability comments for those few citations where I believe it is significant, and comments provide more details than a single number. Further, surety numbers are not available for output in all reports, and not universally recognized or understood. I have added the Citation Memo to most source templates so such comments are output whenever source citations are output.


TMG forces one primary repository per master source. While a TMG source record can be linked to multiple repositories, only the primary repository will output in any report available in TMG. I prefer to link a repository to a source to record where the particular copy of the source I viewed may be found. For common sources that could be readily obtained from multiple repositories (e.g. census films from multiple public or LDS libraries) I will often simply specify the government entity or the organization as the repository. Since only the primary repository will print, if there are two equally good repositories for a source, I set the Repository link to the one I used and sometimes add a note in the Source Comments memo identifying other common repositories. If any citation refers to something unique about a particulary copy (e.g. a margin note), the specific repository of that unique source must be identified. If I have looked at multiple copies of the same source and there is something unique about each, then I make multiple Master Source records and have each source record link to its respective repository. If I have a complete copy of the source, I link multiple repositories, where the non-primary repository is my files, and that repository reference identifies where my copy is filed. If a location is simultaneously the source and the repository, such as an on-line database, I will use my special “NONE” repository.

The “Name - Other” The Repository itself can have a memo. Output source templates can refer to the possibly split Repository memo using the variables [REPOSITORY MEMO], [REPOSITORY MEMO1][REPOSITORY MEMO9]. Shorter versions of the same variables, [RM], [RM1][RM9], are also supported. I do not choose to have such memos to print with all sources (of a given type) that are linked to the same repository so do not include these variables in my source templates. One could use a dummy source that would refer to a single repository with a special source template designed to print these memos. It might be useful for this dummy source to be cited to the Created tag of a repository pseudo person as part of a Bibliography for a Sources and Repositories report. Even the List of Repositories does not print this memo field, which is where I would prefer that this memo print, nor does any other report that I can identify (other than using the variables in a source template).

While a [REPOSITORY ADDRESS] can have a Place Style associated with that location, the Style will only affect its data input labels, the Style will not affect how the place is output. Repository location output will always be

[L1], [L2], [L3], [L4], …

If the Repository is a person, I choose to use the phrase “Private holdings” as the “Name - Other” and put the name of the person as the first field of the address. For an on-line repository I put the URL in the address.

Repository Abbreviations

The name that will be output for the variable [REPOSITORY] is the text in “Name - Other” in the Repository Definition. A repository abbreviation can be a maximum of 50 characters. Since abbreviations never show anywhere but in the MRL they can be carefully structured for sorting. As with sources I structure the repository abbreviation as a hierarchical series of elements so it will group and order repositories in a way that is meaningful to me. I choose to begin with a code identifying the repository type so similar repositories are grouped together. I make all initial elements of the abbreviation fixed widths so they line up in the MRL, such as a hierarchy of location from large to small similar to sources. Where a repository is non-specific for an element, I use an ‘*’ for that element of the abbreviation. Examples of current codes I use are:




Name - Other


Commercial facility

COM Eng 1901censusonline

1901 UK Census OnLine, by GenesReunited

COM GENL AncestryCom On-Line Records


Government facility


England Family Records Centre

GOV Eng Berkshire PRO

Berkshire Public Record Office

GOV Eng Oxfordshire CRO

Oxfordshire County Record Office



LIB Abq Public Genealogy

Albuquerque Public Library Genealogical Collection

LIB Iowa Hist

Iowa State Historical Library

LIB Norfolk Family History

Norfolk Family History Society

LIB FHL Archives

LDS Family History Library Archives

LIB FHL Microfilm

LDS Microfilm Archives


On-line Web site


LDS On-line FamilySearch

WEB GoogleBooks

Google Books

WEB InternetArchive

Internet Archive of scanned documents

WEB USGenWeb INWells

On-line USGenWeb Indiana, Wells County



MJH Files

Private holdings


A Specific Person

PER Jones, Sally

Private holdings



UNK Unknown

[Used when you wish to specify that you do not know where the source can be located. More often I locally modify the source template to make the repository unconditional and let TMG generate the “unknown repository” phrase.]


No repository

NONE no repository

In holdings

Repository Pseudo People

I sometimes create a female Repository location pseudo person for linking multiple frequently cited sources which they contain. I generally do not “marry” a Repository people with a Src Link tab to any other pseudo people. The only Primary parent I link to a Repository person child is a single-parent Repository Mother-Oth which contains this subordinate Repository person. For example a Repository person which represents a particular collection or room or stack or file folder within an encompassing repository could be a Primary Daughter-Oth of that containing Repository person. (For a more complete discussion of pseudo people see my Style Guide.) However, other pseudo people can be linked to these Repository people. Source pseudo people who represent sources that are located within this repository would link the repository person as a non-Primary Mother-Oth. In addition the Location pseudo person which represents the local where the repository is located could be a non-Primary Mother-Oth, although I have not yet done this. I commonly link a repository person as a Witness to a “*Find” tag if I expect to search in that repository for some kind of source for that desired information. I have also defined specific keywords for use for repositories for tasks in the Research Log. Custom Tag Types could be defined for a repository person to include descriptions of the layout of its holdings, how to be permitted access, and even where to get lunch. I put Sort Dates on tags about a repository person, such as Address or Telephone, to sort them in front of any witnessed tags like Transcript tags. My convention for pseudo people considers repository a location person, and sets SEX to ‘F’, and my custom Flags PSEUDO to ‘R’ and MAIN to ‘?’. In addition I have defined custom roles for the NarrativeChildren tag type for Repository parents to list their Source children who are linked non-Primary.

Repository Person Name Tag

As noted above, TMG uses the full Repository name from the “Name - Other” field of the Repository Definition for output to Source Templates, not from the Addressee of its Location. I do not typically include a repository pseudo person for every repository in the Master Repository list, and their names do not have to match what I put in the repository “Name - Other” field. Their surnames are based on either their location/address, or on the repository type if they don’t have an actual address. Their given name is my structured abbreviation of the repository.

Examples of Repository Names

Given [RepoAbbr]

Surname [Locale or type of repository]

FHL Microfilm

Salt Lake City, Utah

LIB Abq Public Genealogy

Albuquerque, New Mexico

WEB GoogleBooks

Web Site

MJH Files


I use a custom “Repository” name style defined for my repository pseudo people with the fixed prefix text “*R:” in the templates used by lists so that these names sort separately from “real” names (see the Effect of Name Styles on sorting), and prefix the fixed text “Repository: ” in the Output template so I don’t have to enter it as some name part.

Repository Female Name Style Templates

Given [RepoAbbr]

the repository abbreviation

Surname [Locale]

locale of the repository, if in the USA minus country; or type of repository


Repository: [RepoAbbr], [Locale]

Surname sort

*R: [Locale] [RepoAbbr]

Surname display

*R: [Locale], [RepoAbbr]

Given sort

*R: [RepoAbbr] [Locale]

Given display

*R: [RepoAbbr]: [Locale]


[RepoAbbr]: [Locale]


1. See also the book by Christine Rose, Genealogical Proof Standard: Building a Solid Case (CR Publication, March 2005)

7. Need to periodically test that I have examples of all the source abbreviations I have currently defined and use. Last tested March 4, 2013.

8. Prior to Version 5 there was a maximum abbreviation length of only 30 characters.

9. Identified as limited to 30 characters beginning with Version 6.12.

10. The T2G program will also recognize an APID in the Citation Detail or Citation Memo fields for individual citations. It will also recognize an APID in an MPL source record itself if entered in a Source Element. But the Source Element name must be indicated to T2G, and that same Source Element name must be used for all sources that have an APID. If one desires to enter APIDs in Source Records, it might be appropriate to create a custom Source Element name such as “APID” in some seldom used Source Element Group, possibly in the Record Number Source Element Group, to be sure to always enter such data in the same named element.

11. The pair of characters ‘||’ which indicate a split citation detail or memo are recognized in any TMG filter as a special case, so each of these characters do not need to escaped when entered as a pair. To find citations with split details or memos, run a List of Citations report which includes either or both of the filter conditions:

Citation Detail // Contains // ||

Citation Memo // Contains // ||

12. See the remaining bug about creating a new Source Definition while in the midst of creating an embedded citation.

13. They are escaped since brackets are used to identify program variables, and Second Site gives warning errors about brackets which are not variables and are not escaped.
While escaped brackets should work within TMG reports, unfortunately there is a remaining bug where escaped brackets in text exhibits in reports output wrong. For example, the escape characters are not removed in reports output to Word. I still include them since my primary output is Second Site and I wish to avoid its warnings.

14. Elizabeth Shown Mills, Evidence! Citation and Analysis for the Family Historian (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co, 1997). Elizabeth Shown Mills, Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2007).

15. Topic “Citation”, subtopic “To add a citation within a memo or sentence field”.

16. The book Getting the Most Out of The Master Genealogist, Chapter 7 - Sources, page 107, reported for earlier versions of TMG that an embedded citation works (though unsupported) in the following additional data fields:

- the Topic field and Description field of images linked to individuals in the Exhibit Log. My testing of exhibits in the final Version found no way to output either of these exhibit fields in TMG. So although one might? be able to enter it in these fields I can see no way that a citation embedded in one of them can be output in TMG. Since these fields can be output on some pages in Second Site, I do include meaningful text in them as that is my primary output. However the Topic field is too short to be meaningfully used. An embedded citation does work in a Description field in Second Site. However, the citation is placed on the Person page but with no citation reference to that citation anywhere on that page. The citation reference is placed at the end of the Description output on the separate page of the linked exhibit if that page is customized to output the Description. But Second Site creates the reference as a link to a non-existent citation on that page. So an embedded citation in the Description also seems of little use.

- the narrative report ‘Living Text’ field on the Miscellaneous tab of the Report Options under the Report Definition Screen. Tested as of Version 8 and if the options would cause this text to output, the embedded citation is produced. Further testing is needed in the final Version. If the only text is the embedded citation and no source number is used, this is a way to get this ‘Living Text’ to be a footnote instead of within the narrative. There also appears to be no significant limit to the length of this field, having tested by entering more than 130 characters without truncation.

- the Caption field of an exhibit. This used to work, but does not since Version 8 and tested in the final Version. The embedded citation format codes and enclosed text, like all such TMG codes, simply output as part of the citation for both TMG reports and Second Site. But Second Site may confuse these as being HTML codes. However, the codes to specify text as being only for TMG or only for Second Site do work in the Caption.

17. To locate embedded citations use a List of Event report. To locate an embedded citation to a specific source in tag memos use the Filter condition:
Memo // Contains // CIT:]123
or to find any citations embedded in memos just use:
Memo // Contains // CIT:
Do not include the opening bracket ‘[’ as that has a special meaning to TMG filters. To find citations embedded in local sentence templates use a Filter condition like:
Principal1… // Sentence (local) // Contains // CIT:

I currently can think of no way to search for embedded citations in global sentence templates.

18. An embedded citation with a num element will output in the same manner as all other source citations as specified on the Sources tab of the Report Options.

19. “** Error ** Embedded Source #0.” mentioning a source number zero which of course does not exist.

20. If a number is followed by a single semicolon which is followed by any text, that text will be interpreted as the cd, and there may be a space between the number and the semicolon. A number followed by two semicolons without the colon, even with intervening spaces, will output the following text as the cm.

21. An embedded citation which has no num element will output with all other source citations as specified on the Sources tab of the Report Options so long as their output is set to Footnotes or Endnotes. If Sources are set to output as Embedded, the text of an embedded citation with no num element will output as a footnote at the end of the document. Thus it acts as an Endnote but there is no Heading to identify it as such, and my tests show it uses lowercase Roman numerals for the reference number.

22. There was discussion among users at one point of a wished for enhancement to identify such a leading-numeric text-only cd by preceding it with ‘:;’ (colon semicolon), or just one or the other of these special characters, to indicate these fields are empty. This was never implemented and those leading special characters will output.

23. The common trick of using a leading empty sensitivity field ‘{}’ to begin CIT text that starts with a number does not work. The sensitivity markers are removed, but the non-existent source number “source #0” error is still produced. The Windows non-breaking space (Alt-0160) works for Windows applications, such as Word, but you get a leading space in the footnote or endnote output, which may not be desired.

24. There is a remaining bug in the List of Sources report concerning “ibid”. This report has a Filter condition of “Override Ibid” to filter based on one of the three Operator values in Source Definitions of: Off, Same Source, and Same Source and [CD]. For any of these three choices for this condition, the Filter returns all sources no matter how that option is set within the sources.

25. Recall that [CD1] and [CM1] are the same as [CD] and [CM] if these source elements are not split.

26. There is a remaining bug associated with CMs of any subsequent unique endnote where the [CD1] is the same as the [CD1] in that source’s first unique endnote. Those subsequent unique endnotes which have that same [CD1] but (by definition) have a different [CM1] will use the Full Footnote template instead of the Short Footnote template as specified in Help. This improper use of the Full Footnote template is only based on these endnotes having the same [CD1] as the first and is not affected by their order among other subsequent unique endnotes for that source with different [CD1]. If your citations do not use CMs then all subsequent uniquely different citations to that same source will use the Short Footnote template as expected.

27. The old Version 7 TMG Help erroneously said the Short Footnote is not used, but beginning with the Version 8 Help this use of the Short Footnote is clear in the topic “Report Options: Sources”.

28. Exhibits attached to citations and place records was added with Version 6.

29. As late as Version 7 event exhibits optionally could be directed to output as Footnotes or Endnotes. When the Report Writer was completely rewritten for Version 8 those options were lost, and is documented as a remaining bug. Unfortunately the new coding for those options was not completed before development ceased.

30. Creating a Text Exhibit Gallery requires very advanced customization of Second Site, and is not recommended unless you really understand what you are doing. It involves creating a special User Item, modifying the scripts to produce desired content in both the Text Exhibit Gallery page and each text exhibit’s web page, and executing a custom Perl script after Second Site makes the basic set of pages which extracts the desired information from each text exhibit’s web page which are all then to be inserted into the actual Text Exhibit Gallery page.

31. TMG Help mentions nothing about output for the Topic, so it can be assumed that lack of its output is by design.

32. Customization of Second Site scripts is a very advanced action, and not recommended unless you really understand what you are doing. To change output of the Topic field requires customization of the following scripts: “Common” to have the Topic in the web page title, and “Header” to put the Topic instead of the Caption in the page heading.

33. Adding headers to the entries in the standard Image Exhibit Gallery requires post-processing of that file. Since my custom Perl script invoked by the make-site-done.bat batch file to create the Text Exhibit Gallery examines every exhibit file created by Second Site, it also extracts a copy of the Topic/Name from every linked image exhibit file and then inserts each extracted Topic as a header above the corresponding image entry in the Image Exhibit Gallery file. For embedded image exhibits the Topic is not accessible, so the program adds a header which indicates it is embedded and thus a link to the full image file.

34. Captions of text exhibits do not output in TMG, tested in the final Version. They are output for either embedded or linked text exhibits in Second Site. Since that is my primary output I make a point to enter appropriate Captions for text exhibits, especially for my transcription exhibits. Further my customizations rely upon the presence of a Caption and/or a Description.

35. Customization of Second Site scripts is a very advanced action, and is not recommended unless you really understand what you are doing. To change output of the Caption field requires customization of the following scripts: Common to remove the Caption in the web page title, Header to remove the Caption from the page heading, and the Content scripts for both User pages and Image pages for its location and formatting.

36. Although specified as unsupported, you used to be able (as of Version 6.09) to manually include an embedded citation in the Caption, but this no longer worked as of the rewrite of the report generator in Version 8 and does not in the final Version.

37. I use the free Windows image conversion program IrfanView© ( to batch process downloaded full image files and simultaneously convert them to thumbnails plus add a copyright watermark. I place these thumbnails in the SecondSite alternate images folder to avoid including the full copyrighted images when my site is generated.

38. TMG Help clearly states in “Exhibit Properties”: “The description does not print in reports.”

39. Although specified as unsupported, you used to be able (as of Version 6.09) to manually add an embedded citation to the Description, but this no longer worked as of the rewrite of the report generator in Version 8 and does not in the final Version. As there is no way to output the Description in TMG, the embedded citation would never output anyway.

40. In both Second Site Versions 3.0 and 4.0 one had to create a totally custom “Content” Script to include the Description on the separate exhibit page. For image exhibits Second Site now does provide an optional Image Pages Content script which will output the Description and which I use but have further customized for my use.

I prefer text exhibits not to be output within the default scaled and centered area for an image. I also prefer the Description on these User Pages to output with TMG text exhibits, but this requires a custom User Pages Content script. WARNING: John Cardinal, author of Second Site, noted: “Your script will lead to scripting errors because User Pages are also used for pages that are not text exhibits and so the reference to “Exhibit.Description” will fail [for those other User Pages]. I wouldn’t recommend it.” (Emphasis added.) If the SS author warns against it, so must I. However, since my site doesn’t have any other kinds of User Pages, and I have added an explicit test for the presence of “Exhibit.Text” in this User Pages script before dealing with the “Exhibit.Description”, this does seem to work for me (last tested as of SS Version 7 Build 03).

41. Beginning in 2018 the FindAGrave site changed its URL format for referencing the grave records/memorials for people and their accompanying posted photographs. Thanks to the TMG Utility function “Other / Find and Replace”, using Pattern Matching I was able to globally change all these URL references in Citation Details, and Exhibit Captions and Descriptions (and event memos) to their new format. See also the two new custom FindAGrave Source Definitions specific to this site. I wish Captions has master definitions with templates and variables like citations to make them easier to enter. With this new URL format the caption sometimes only references the overall page for this person’s memorial photos, although I also often use the URL for the specific photo popup in some captions.

42. I need to more thoroughly test formatting codes, especially LIND, but the following issue was fixed in Version 8.04.

Previously, the left indentation did not cease until the next carriage return/paragraph and behaved as follows: When a report used the Exhibit options to embed the exhibit, the exhibit was output last. Without a trailing carriage return within the exhibit the indentation did not cease, and the following tag text was still indented. However, if the exhibit ended with a carriage return, then the source citation reference number was placed alone on the next line. My only solution was to not have the carriage return in the exhibit, but ensure that the next tag began with a carriage return. For my special report of only pseudo source people and only Transcript tags my Extract role did ensure this. But that did not work if I output embedded exhibits for real people. I could also have had leading [:CR:] for real people roles in Transcript tags since I seldom print these tags other than in a report of only such tags. But this did not work for Census tags which I sometimes like to include in narratives without including exhibits and not have them start new paragraphs.

43. Last tested with the final TMG Version 9.05 and Second Site Version 6.2 Build 00.

44. Over time whether or not a carriage was added in some cases with an ending [:LIND] code changed within various TMG versions. In the final Version 9.05 and Second Site Version 6.2 Build 00 the ending [:LIND] code will always produce a carriage return in Second Site, whereas in TMG reports it will only produce a carriage return if there is not already a carriage return following the ending code. I need to test how all my text exhibits are currently formatted, especially whether I need to add or remove trailing carriage returns. Unfortunately there is a remaining bug when using LIND codes which affects TMG reports which use indentation, such as the Descendant Indented Narrative, and a separate bug when the indented TMG output destination is HTML. Thus further testing is needed in the final Version, and consideration of workarounds.

45. Exhibits attached to citations and place records was added with Version 6.

46. No “List of” reports or Statistical reports have exhibits. Some charts have no exhibits, some have Primary image only, and some have images only. There is a remaining bug where non-primary person exhibits will not output in a Journal report if only Primary events are selected even if the Exhibits option is for all images. All “narrative” reports (Ahnentafel, Descendant Indented narrative, Individual Narrative, Journal, and Kinship) have an Exhibits tab with options for all exhibits.

47. There is an issue with embedded exhibit output to RTF in some versions of Word which has been documented as a remaining bug where the exhibits appear not to display. Actually they simply need to be updated.

48. There is a remaining bug where reports to HTML do not honor image exhibit centering or resizing.

49. According to the TMG File Structures document for the final version, updated July 2014, for project XYX the filename containing all internal exhibits will be XYZ_i.fpt. If the project contains many internal exhibits, such as my many internal text exhibits, its file size should be monitored.

50. Earlier versions of TMG allowed exhibits to output as either footnotes or endnotes. These options were removed with the complete rewrite of the report generator in Version 8. Unfortunately the coding for these options was not completed before TMG development ceased. Therefore the only TMG report options for exhibits are “Embedded”, or “Embedded with parentheses” which adds parentheses around embedded text exhibits.

51. There is a remaining bug concerning multiple person exhibits in the Descendant Indented Narrative report (also called a Decendancy Narrative) when output to Word. The last exhibit linked to the Person is output as many times as there are linked Person exhibits instead of one each of the different exhibits.

52. I seldom have multiple exhibits at the person level or for a single event so this is not an issue for me. And it seems to make more sense to me always to view event exhibits from the event where they are attached rather than viewing all exhibits associated in any way to a person.

53. VFI will not present the option to search for external exhibits if there are none attached in this project. In v6.09, a problem was reported if multiple paths were selected for the search, but this has been fixed since Version 7.

54. An alternative method described on the TMG ListServ is simply to create a separate “person” only for the transcriptions: Surname = “+Transcription” where the ‘+’ forces the sort in the picklist; Given = Name of the source type from your own source code abbreviations guide, e.g. Baptismal/Christening Record. The ‘$’ prefix hard-coded into my Name Style for Source Pseudo People forces the sort in the picklist. Thus both Given and Surname are available to me to provide grouping and sorting among such people.

55. For internal TMG lists the fixed text begins with ‘$’ which sorts ahead of “normal” names and (sort of) looks like a capital ‘S’ to produce “SRC”.

56. Posted on Lee Hoffman’s TMG Tips site on a page by Cheri Casper titled “Using TMG to Track Research” at: <>. They were originally written for Version 4, but the ideas and tag types are still useful.

57. No “List of” reports or Statistical reports have exhibits. Some charts have no exhibits, some have Primary image only, and some have images only. All “narrative” reports (Ahnentafel, Descendant Indented narrative, Individual Narrative, Journal, and Kinship) have an Exhibits tab with options for all exhibits.

58. This need updating. Like many reports, I need to test what font is now most appropriate (since Helvetica is obsolete in Windows), and whether I want to use the new color features in Version 8, such as using my Accent colors for names/people.

59. Need to re-test whether this is required in light of John Cardinal’s recommendations to:
Set Pages.Page Sizes.People per Page to 30 [and] avoid using People per Page set to 1.
Set Pages.Page Sizes.One Person Script to checked.

60. Currently the Pages source element is only used in two of my Source Types: “Obituary/Newspaper Article (MJH)” and “Obituary/Newspaper Lumped (MJH)”.

61. The Second Site PageLink structure must be entered as text in the element and not in the template, otherwise Second Site will not recognize the code. Second Site HELP only mentions using this code in memos, but it will work as text in a Source Element as an undocumented feature. The interaction between TMG codes and Second Site codes is complex. I tried nearly all combinations of structure and order to find both what would work in Second Site and what would look good both when there was PSEUDO PERSON text and when there was not.

62. There were numerous wishes for such a mechanism posted by users on TMG ListServ with varying requested features, but no mechanism was ever implemented.

63. The date is updated when a Name, Event, or Relationship Tag Entry screen is exited using either the “OK” button or F9, even if no changes were made to any information. It is not updated if the screen is exited using either the “Cancel” button or Esc. It is updated for both Principals when editing either shared Event tags or Relationship tags, which is one motiviation for maintaining a manual last edited date which can be separate for each person.
The date is updated whenever a Flag setting is edited and saved. Depending upon Preferences / Program Options / Reports / Flag changes, a List of People or List of Events Report may update the date by changing a Flag using its Secondary Output Report Option.

64. The system Last Edited date is only available for output in TMG on List of People reports.

65. I have considered using it for my Find tags to document a series of attempts to locate desired information, as well as on the Primary Name tag as a separate overall edited date for that person, but have not done so. The Task I always associate with my Find tag has automatic dates for this purpose, and the automatic Last Edited date updates the other Principal on shared tags. Also I would probably only use the Primary Name date for the second and subsequent updates of a web site.

66. Unfortunately there is no mechanism in TMG, or currently in the TMG Utility, to select a group of people and/or events and create a common citation all at once to that select group. The only TMG mechanism is Cite Globally.

67. An advantage of this dummy source method is that a List of Citations report outputs not only Event tags, but also Name and Relationship tags. A List of Events does not, although it could still be useful. You could run an LOE with a filter of:

Any Citation… || Source Number || Equals || xxx|| AND

Any Citation… || Citation Detail || Begins with || YYYY/MM || END

(and perhaps also set a custom Flag on Secondary Output) to identify all People with events that have this last edited date. This filter might include a few “extra” people in the unlikely case you had that date text beginning the CD of some other citation.

68. The Repository memo is not even included in the List of Repositories report.

69. Need more tests using the surety value of a dash ‘-’. At least one user indicated it may affect whether the name is known (in any tag?) in some reports if the only citation to the Primary Name tag has that as the surety for Principal 1. Not tested since Version 7. Further testing is needed in the final Version. See


I am not affiliated in any way with TMG™, its company Wholly Genes, Inc., or its primary author Bob Velke, nor with John Cardinal, author of several TMG after-market programs. I am simply a satisfied user of these software packages and have constructed these documents to aid me in their use.

If others find these documents useful, so much the better. I do not warrant in any way that they are accurate or useful, and any use of them is at the user’s own risk.

These documents were composed with Adobe® Framemaker 2019® using its hyperlink and "Save as HTML" conversion features.

©MJH Consulting, 1996-2020. All rights reserved.