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Custom Tags and Flags: The Whys and Wherefors

These custom tags and flags were created by members and presented at the Maryland TMG-UG meeting of 22 May 1997. Included here are the tag or flag name, default sentence, if used, and why this tag or flag might be useful.

Custom Tags

As may be obvious from the simplicity of these example sentences, they were created prior to the advent of roles, place styles and split memos. More complex, accurate and interesting sentences could be created using these newer techniques. What I think is more important than sentence structure, though, is the reasoning behind these tags. They might give you ideas for your own research.

General Use

The Affidavit tag helps me associate individuals otherwise unrelated. The memo field usually includes an abstract of the affidavit statement and its purpose. The witness sentence is used to identify other people who witnessed the document as well as any other people named therein.

The affidavit tag, like many of those listed below, is not an event; it's a document. From TMG's early days, there has been an ongoing debate as to whether or not these document-type tags belong in the event list. One school of thought states that they are actually sources and should be used only to document events. The second school of thought states that they may be sources, but the attributes associated with event tags: chronological listing, witnesses, etc., are equally valuable tools for many sources. I belong to the second school of thought; however, I don't use these sentences in reports. I use these "source-tags" for research analysis only.

The Cremated tag was created because I got tired of changing the default burial sentence every time I was entering a cremation. It's in the Burial group.

This tag gives me a chance to link important text and image exhibits to the deceased where I can easily study them. It also gives me an easy way to link all the people involved in the settlement to the information.

I like this useful tag. If you really want to use TMG's sentences in your narrative reports, the use of roles allows even more flexibility here. Roles could include Deceased, Legatee, Administrator/Administratrix, and Witness.

I could use a Probate tag, but then I'd have to change the sentence any time I wanted it to print out.

I use this tag because it helps document an individual's age. A minor usually had to be at least fourteen years old to choose a guardian.

I wanted this tag because it gave me an easy way to link the actual inventory to the decedent. The people who made the inventory were sometimes related to the decedent, so I also wanted to keep track of them. I couldn't figure out a good sentence structure that included multiple witnesses properly, though, so I put their names in the memo field and link them without sentences.

Roles makes this sentence more useful. The decedent, those who witnessed the inventory document, and those who made the inventory could all have different roles.

This may not be a real event, but it was important to my ancestors! It gives me a place to describe the land and link all people involved. I know I could just use a Residence or Living tag and use the deed as documentation, but that doesn't work as well for me.

I like including obituaries in my reports. Not only do I want easy access to them, but I think my readers would find them interesting. I transcribe the obit in the memo field and it appears as a footnote.

Using name styles, formatting, and the Place Detail field makes this sentence more interesting: "Mary's obituary appeared 22 March 1892 in The Daily Gazette."

Sometimes a document states an exact relationship: aunt, brother, grandchild. This statement of fact may be very important in analyzing other relationships and it's not always evident if you rely only on TMG's inherent linkage system. It also gives me an easy way to link siblings when I don't know the parents. I got really sick of creating "Unknown Parent".

Quaker Tags

Early New England Tags

A freeman was never a minor and was always a landowner. Knowing when a man achieved this status helps me identify specific individuals having the same name.

Nobility Tags

Custom Flags

Custom flags have always been useful, but with TMG 5.x's ability to create and save multiple accent sets and John Cardinal's creation of Second Site, they've become even more important. They are vital in constructing complex filters for creatively analyzing and presenting your data.

My report, Civil War Soldiers, was generated with Second Site. I don't think I could have generated this particular report without using flags in my search filter. Flags are also the way Second Site controls the appearance of icons. Take a look at some of the entries in my Case Bare-Bones Report to see flags in action. Accent sets will be discussed in the pages covering Reports.