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Including "associated people" in your records

assocaited people internal links

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#1 GeoffB



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Posted 24 February 2015 - 05:27 AM

I would welcome views on how others deal with what must be a common issue that, in my view, is not readily catered for in RM (or perhaps other genealogical software).  It concerns how you go about recording the details of people with whom your ancestors were closely associated, but not related, whom you wish to include in your database.


There will undoubtedly be a very wide range of instances of this but by way of a recent example, I am currently wrestling with the problem of establishing a line of descent of a branch of my family during the 14th and 15th centuries - ie when the availability of the 'normal' birth/marriage/burial records etc are scarce or non existent.  I am fortunate in that those concerned moved in the upper echelons of society and a range of documents relating to their property dealings, legal disputes and political affiliations have survived.


However, often these do not as individual documents provide evidence of a definitive relationship but rather, in combination provide a a body of information that is sufficiently robust as to be beyond reasonable doubt of a connection.  Frequently this will involve dealings with a third party who provides the 'data bridge' that is key to proving a line of descent/relationship.


Clearly, it is easy to simply add such people as individuals in your database and to write in their notes how they interact with your relations.  However, there doesn't seem at present to be a way of being able to provide a link from from your direct ancestor to such people.  The same would also be true where one of your relatives was made a 'Ward' of a third party where their father died when they were still not 'of full age - essentially a medieval foster parent .


For my part, I would find it extremely useful if it were possible in RM to include a hypelink within an individual's notes (or perhaps a 'programmable button') that could call up another persons' record.   You can, of course, define a new field that could record the name or record number of someone with who the original individual had a specific association. But short of having two instances of the database open at the same time, you cannot access the associated record without leaving the original record.


Given also that the information about such 'associated people' is most likely to be of key importance to understanding your lineage, it would surely also be helpful to have the option to include such people within a narrative report.


Not sure I have explained this too well but hopefully you get my drift and can offer some ideas how best such things can be addressed if what, if any, enhancement to RM might offer a significant improvement - and possibly one that would differentiate it from its competitors!

#2 TomH


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Posted 24 February 2015 - 07:12 AM

You can use a shared event and customize the various role sentences so that these unrelated people can be named in the narrative report for any sharer. When editing any person sharing the event it is possible to climb the sharing tree to get at the Edit Person screen of any of the sharers. To report completely on one of these unrelated persons would require their own narrative report. Not exactly what you want but how you could do it today.

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#3 Nettie


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Posted 24 February 2015 - 07:58 AM

I would look at the information found as probable  source. I would add the names of people involved in the Detail Text of the Source Citation and/or in the comments section of this Citation.   Since, I do not use shared events so this would be my useage of this.  Even if there are several different instances of the one person being named more than once.  


Or if you want you could add their names and they would be separate because they are not related.  Then if you decide to use the Shared Event this could work. Some of us, do not do Shared Events because of the gedcom issues with it.


A difficult decision to make.  

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#4 Laura


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Posted 24 February 2015 - 09:03 AM

I have a dummy person, Unconnected.

I link the beginning of the line ancestor of people not connected to my main lineage tree to that person as a child.

This gives me two trees in my database rather than my main lineage tree and lots of little separate trees.

This makes it easy to exclude unrelated people from a gedcom or Drag and drop by excluding Unconnected and his descendants.

I also color code Unconnected and his descendants as Silver. This gives me a visual clue that the person is not yet linked into the main tree.

If I do find how a person is linked to my main tree, I link them to the main tree and unlink them or the family member that is linked as a child from Unconnected and change the color coding.

Sharing a fact:
You might consider using a user defined fact or the Miscellaneous fact and link it to the person who is linked in your main tree as the Principle and share it with the person who is not yet connected into the main tree.

I know it seems like doing it backward, but, if you export a gedcom to be imported into another program it is most likely that the other program will only import the shared fact for the Principle and the data for the Sharee will be lost.

You might want to experiment also with using Research logs.

Put the data you would want to access by going to an unconnected person's Edit person screen from a connected person's Edit person screen into a Research log for the connected person.

Then, to access the data from the connected person's Edit person screen, access their Research log in the Edit person screen.

For me the data as it pertains to the person already connected to my main tree is the most important and has my main focus.

As far as the child who was made a ward of a person, you could link the child to the guardian as a child as you might do with stepchildren.

#5 John_of_Ross_County


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Posted 24 February 2015 - 04:48 PM

This brings up a whole class of individuals not to be found in the courthouse index books.  A handful of these would be witnesses to wills, purchasers of items at estate auctions, surveyors and survey crews on early land surveys [example for the Virginia Military Surveys in southern Ohio between the Scioto and Little Miami Rivers], and even the auctioneer and sales clerk at estate auctions.  None of these prove that someone really lived in a locality, but they were at least present at a particular time.  A brute force page by page inspection of courthouse files is about the only way to find these individuals.  Partition suits for land sometimes provide revealing relationships.

#6 Don Newcomb

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Posted 24 February 2015 - 05:59 PM

Along with TomH, I'd suggest very careful use of shared events. The most common uses are currently census, weddings (witness, officiant), wills (heir, mentioned, etc), baptisms (god parents), but there is really no limit to the types of events that can be shared. The roles must be carefully crafted or they look silly in narrative format.