Using Ancestral Quest to copy Sources to or from Family Tree

AQ 14.00.14 does it.

Note: This is a preliminary posting, which may be replaced with a similar posting using a record with a more exemplary source.

First, a quick note about sources. Many people, probably most, use the Notes function for documenting the source of their information. Why? Because it’s easier than learning how to use the Source function, and it works.

Unfortunately, placing Sources in Notes makes it easier to be sloppy in following any standardized method for documenting. This makes it harder for others to follow. It also sidesteps a process designed specifically to organize sources meaningfully.

Another problem is that the church has created an interface for moving sources to and from Family Tree, but they have not yet created one for moving notes. Could it be that they did this to convince people to actually use sources instead of notes for documentation of events and facts? I don’t know, but if I were programming for the church, that’s what I would want to do. The saying that comes to mind is, “A place for everything, and everything in its place.” Since a way is provided for the orderly storage and presentation of sources, another thought that comes to mind is, “If ye are not one, ye are not mine.” Just a thought.

As I see it, sources answer three questions: Who? What? and Where? Who says so? What did they say? Where can I find it?

Who says so? This is the Source. What did they say? This is roughly the Citation. Where can I find it? This is the Repository.

Ancestral Quest has a Source structure which accommodates this type of documentation very well. It isn’t my intent to actually teach sourcing here. I will leave that to others who are more qualified than I. For a good overview of Sources, read pages 60-78 in version 14 of the Ancestral Quest User’s Guide, available from Incline Software. Also look at pages 448-449. I prefer the second method listed there.

So why am I writing this? Because release 14.00.14 of Ancestral Quest contains a method for moving sources back and forth between AQ and Family Tree. The current implementation of sources in Family Tree is inadequate. Hopefully that will change, and hopefully that will be before they implement Notes.

Let’s look at this new function.

01 First Individual
This is the Review and Selectively Synchronize FamilySearch Person with Local Individual screen. This is where we find the icons that show us which Facts and Events have Sources attached. We click on the Brown briefcase icon to enter the Review/Synchronize Sources screen.

02 Source1

The Review/Synchronize Sources screen comes up showing only the title. Clicking on the title expands the source so that you can see what will be copied.

03 Source1

If this box is unchecked, some of the information in your Source will not be copied to Family Tree. That is because Family Tree does not yet have a place to store this information. Ancestral Quest tags each item according to its function, then places that information in the Note field for the event being edited. This allows AQ to accurately reconstruct a Source record for your AQ file. Presumably other third party software could also take advantage of this system to suit their own needs. I digress. Let’s get back to the Source record.

04 Source1

This is what happens when we click the title.

05 Source1

The structure passed to the note in Family Tree begins with [PFT:AQ] and ends with [/PFT]. This identifies it as source information added to Family Tree by Ancestral Quest. The items between them tell AQ more about the source and the repository.

06 Source1

We are satisfied with what we see, so we click on the check box, allowing Ancestral Quest to begin the transfer after we press the Save button. That is what happens if the Include local source details in notes check box is clicked.

07 Source1

Since we want the details copied to the notes, we re-check the box and continue.

08 Individual

When we return to the review screen, we can see that the source has been copied to Family Tree. Let’s compare the sources in the Review/Synchronize Sources screen.

09 Source1

We click the brown briefcase icon so that we can compare the source in AQ and FT.

10 Source1

We click the blue titles so that we can compare the notes in AQ and FT.

Now let’s go to a different AQ file, where we also have a record for George. This file has less information than the first, and has no sources.

11 Individual

Now we are ready to get the Death Source from Family Tree.

12 Source2

Lets click on the blue title and the word More, to see what we will be bringing back from the Family Tree. Next we will click on the check box, to make the Save button active.

13 Source2

AQ needs to have some place to put the source information. This source is about the death, so we don’t want the note attached generally to the record. We click No.

15 Individual

We go back to the review screen and get the Facts and Events we want to have in George’s record.

16 Individual

When we return to the review screen, we have all the information we need, except for the Death Source. We click on the brown briefcase.

17 Source2

We’ll expand the Source record to examine it.

18 Source2

It looks good, so we will click the check box, and click the Save button.

19 Individual

Now we have brown briefcase icons on both sides, so let’s click one, and see how the two sides compare.

20 Source2

Now let’s look at the expanded version.

21 Source2




Suggestions/Questions about AQ Will Do or Subjects discussed here? Leave a Comment.


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