I love developing time-saving devices for genealogists that will improve our family history compilations and research reports and make them easier to create. I've automated tasks that were formerly time consuming. With a mouse click you can enter a full source-citation template, renumber the individuals in a family sketch or the paragraphs in a forensic genealogy affidavit, almost like magic. The templates here are ones that I've found helpful in my own work, and I share them with the hope that you'll find them helpful too.

 How do the templates Work?

When you purchase a template, you will be given a link to download a zip file that includes the template and instructions on how to use it. After unzipping the file you will see that both of the files are Microsoft Word files. You should save your template in an accessible safe place, such as your DropBox folder. The template is a Microsoft Word file with the macros and icons embedded in the document. You will use the template to create clone documents for your genealogy work.

 My Journey

 

Developing the Narrative Genealogy Templates

While working on a narrative family sketch for my final ProGen assignment, I became frustrated when I had to manually renumber the family several times. (A narrative sketch is part of a compiled genealogy, where each family member carries a unique, consecutive number usually in the NGSQ or Register system.) One of my personal long term projects is to complete a compiled genealogy for my Chadwick surname, and I felt there was no way in my lifetime I was going to accomplish this goal with manual numbering. I needed to find a better way, so after I finished my assignment, I set aside my current projects and began a quest to find a way to automatically renumber my narrative sketches whenever I needed to edit or insert a new family member.  I found out that Microsoft Word has the math and numbering capability. Using some basic computer programming, I harnessed this capability to develop the Narrative Genealogy Templates. These include macros and sequences to make formatting and renumbering family sketches easy, and greatly increase the speed of writing your family history. The templates offered in this store include many macro shortcuts triggered by key strokes. These keystrokes can also be set up to work with a single click in a custom toolbar (Macintosh), or in the Quick Access Toolbar (Windows).

Developing the Simplified Narrative Templates

After developing the Narrative Genealogy Templates, I felt they might be a little more complicated than some genealogists might need or understand. I then developed the Simplified Narrative Templates that are easier to work with and more of a "plug and play" type of template. These templates are also MS Word documents that have all of the auto-numbering features of the other Narrative Templates, but are already setup for you to insert your ancestors. They are however limited to two and three generations.

Developing the  Forensic Templates

Upon hearing a similar frustration about renumbering paragraphs in an affidavit from a friend and colleague doing forensic genealogy projects for attorneys, I decided to continue my research into Visual Basic Application (VBA) to see how I might be able to apply what I learned to new work products. As a result, I developed the Forensic Report Template and the Affidavit of Due Diligence Template and assisted with their presentation at the Forensic Genealogical Institute in Dallas, Texas, in March 2015. In the forensic template I developed the first generation Citation Templates, which contain all of the necessary elements to create a complete citation of your source. At first some of the students seemed reluctant to try something different, but after recognizing the time savings and the increase in accuracy and standardization of their reports and affidavits, they became enthusiastic users. I've made these templates accessible here for other professional genealogists in the forensic fields.

Developing the Client Report Template

After developing the forensic templates, I continued my research into VBA to incorporate the Citation Templates into a report template that genealogists can use for family history reports. Both the Forensic and Client templates are report templates, but they handle source-citations much differently. The forensic report inserts source citations in the body of the text more like a research log, whereas the client report inserts source citations in the more traditional footnote format.

Developing Tabbed Source Citations

I have just recently finished working on source citations that are also macro inserted but instead of regular text as the Forensic Templates, there are form fields that you can tab through and insert your source specific information. These citations are currently only available in the Client Report Templates and are faster than the citation templates in the Forensic Templates.

 

...........To be continued.....................