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  • Writer's pictureDevon Noel Lee

A NEW Era in Genealogy Software: RootsMagic 9’s Associations Tool for Cluster Research

In this fast-paced digital age, genealogy enthusiasts are constantly seeking innovative tools to unravel the mysteries of their family history in an organized way. RootsMagic, a leading genealogy software, has introduced a groundbreaking feature that simplifies the process of tracing direct ancestors and pioneers the incorporation of cluster research.

The revolutionary Associations feature eliminates the need for cumbersome workarounds and offers a seamless solution for interconnecting and managing friends, associates, neighbors, and more.

Understanding Cluster Research

Cluster research involves exploring the relationships between individuals who are not immediate family members. By investigating these connections, researchers can unlock hidden puzzle pieces and gain fresh perspectives on their ancestors.

To delve deeper into the concept of cluster research, it is recommended to check out these articles:

Getting Started with RootsMagic Associations

To begin utilizing the Associations feature in RootsMagic, navigate to the main screen and select the person you'd like to associate with another individual.

For example, let's choose the person with the last name "Short." In the index field, simply type "Sho" to find the Shorts.

RootsMagic's intelligent search feature allows you to filter the list by typing only a few characters of the last name.

A Brief Overview of Adding RootsMagic Associations

Once you have selected the desired person,

  • Locate the plus sign, known as the add button, in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.

  • Clicking on this button presents four options: adding an individual, adding a spouse, parent, child, or the new option—adding an association.

  • Upon selecting "Add Association," a pop-up screen appears, displaying the name of the person previously selected.

  • On this screen, you can specify the type of association, identify the other individual involved, and add details such as dates, places, and descriptions.

By meticulously creating a pathway to connections, you can enhance your understanding of your ancestors' lives.

Exploring Multiple Associations

To link another person to the selected individual, simply click on the associate box, and a search screen will appear. Search for the desired individual by typing their name or selecting from the available options.

If the person is not yet in the database, you can easily add their information using the "Add New" function. Once added, the new associate will be included in the family tree.

Defining Association Types

RootsMagic offers several predefined association types, including apprenticeship, classmates, employment, godparent, grave neighbors, and more.

If the predefined options do not fit the relationship you want to establish, you can create a new association type. By selecting "New Association Type," you can define custom association types, such as engagement in this example.

To see the RootsMagic Associations tool in action, watch this video.

Creating Custom RootsMagic Association Templates

When defining a custom association type, you can also create sentence templates to generate meaningful descriptions automatically.

By clicking on the "Edit" button in the association window, you can copy and paste the template into a notepad program.

Customizing the sentence templates allows you to accurately convey the relationship between the two individuals involved. Once saved, the templates can be used to generate consistent and informative reports.

Adding Additional Details and Enhancing Associations

Beyond establishing associations, RootsMagic allows you to enhance the quality of these connections by adding sources, notes, and media. By incorporating sources, you can strengthen the evidence for the associations you've made. This helps to ensure the accuracy and credibility of your research.

Notes can be added to provide additional context or details about the association. You can include personal observations, anecdotes, or any other relevant information that adds depth to the relationship between the individuals.

Additionally, you can attach media files such as photos, documents, or audio recordings to further enrich the story of the association.

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Navigating and Analyzing Associations

RootsMagic provides a user-friendly interface to navigate and analyze the associations you have established. You can easily view all the associations for a particular individual by selecting their name in the main screen and clicking on the "Associations" tab. This allows you to gain a comprehensive overview of the person's network and connections.

The Associations feature also enables you to perform cluster research by exploring the associations of an individual's associates. By clicking on an associate's name within the association list, you can navigate to their profile and uncover new associations and connections.

This approach expands your research beyond direct ancestors and opens up new avenues for discovery.

Generating Reports and Sharing Discoveries

Once you have meticulously built associations and gathered valuable information, you can generate reports to document your findings. RootsMagic offers a variety of report options, including narrative reports, charts, and graphs. These reports provide a concise and visually appealing summary of your research, making it easier to share your discoveries with family members, fellow researchers, or online communities.

By sharing your findings, you not only contribute to the collective knowledge of genealogy but also have the opportunity to connect with others who may have additional information or insights to offer. Collaboration can be key to unlocking further mysteries and expanding your family tree.

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Embrace the Power of RootsMagic Associations

RootsMagic Associations is a revolutionary tool that revolutionizes the way genealogy enthusiasts trace their family history. By embracing cluster research and seamlessly managing and connecting friends, associates, and neighbors, you can gain fresh insights and uncover hidden details about your ancestors' lives.

With the ability to define custom association types, create sentence templates, and enhance associations with sources, notes, and media, RootsMagic provides a comprehensive solution for organizing and presenting your research. Navigating and analyzing associations opens up new possibilities for cluster research, allowing you to delve deeper into your family history.

So why wait? Dive into RootsMagic Associations and unlock the potential of your family tree. Discover the power of connections and unravel the mysteries that have eluded you thus far. Start your journey today and embrace the fascinating world of genealogy.

Disclaimer: The information and instructions provided in this blog post are based on the RootsMagic software as of June 2023. Please refer to the official RootsMagic documentation or website for the most up-to-date information on using the Associations feature.

Additional RootsMagic Show Notes

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