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How to Best Document Presumed Relationships

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#1 Brian Yokum

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 12:23 PM

I'm interested in what others do to document presumed relationships.  For example, in birth and marriage records, it usually indicates the parents of the individual in the record.  I usually view this as some evidence of a marriage of the parents.  I'd like to record this non definite source of marriage somewhere.

 

I usually add the source to a marriage fact for the couple, since this appears to be the only place it will show up in narrative reports, and it is also some evidence of a possible marital relationship.  Of course, the report says they "were married", but that may not always be true.

 

I've also tried adding it as a family source for the couple, but that doesn't appear to show up in the narrative report.  I've also considered adding it as general sources for both parents.

 

I really feel there is value in this source, in a preponderance of evidence way, particularly when I have multiple records that show the couple as parents.



#2 Renee Zamora

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 03:12 PM

I tend to add it as a general source for the parents. Basically documenting where I got their name from. 


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#3 Brian Yokum

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 10:26 PM

Thanks, Renee.  That's actually what I've been doing when an obituary mentions a relative.  I enter that as a general source in the relative to help document the relationship

 

The problem I was having is when I tried to enter the source as a family/couple source, it didn't show up in the individual or narrative reports.

 

Brian



#4 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 10:50 PM

If you entered the citation as a couple source in the sense that you put it in the source box on the spouses line in the Edit Person Screen, then the citation might show up in narrative reports, but it's a pretty subtle showing up. It shows up only if there is at least one couple fact, and I suspect that in your use case there aren't any couple facts so it's not showing up.

 

If there is is at least one couple fact to serve as a trigger for the couple citation to show up, the citation superscript for couple sources shows up in the narrative report immediately after the spouse's name and before any verb such as "were married" or "were divorced". If you have no couple facts, then there is no verb and no citation superscript for the couple source. You could circumvent the problem by inventing a custom fact type that's a family fact type. The citation could then be linked to this new fact type.

 

It's hard to see exactly how to make such a fact type read very gracefully. Maybe the English majors out there could help out. For example, the sentence for the new fact type might read something like the following: "John Doe and Jane Smith had children together." without the quotes. Then maybe there could be an explanation in the fact note such as "They were probably married. If so, the marriage was probably about 1838, but the courthouse burned down in 1841 and all marriage records prior to that time were destroyed." (or whatever the explanation is).

 

Jerry



#5 Brian Yokum

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 11:12 PM

Thanks, Jerry.  I like the "subtle" part.  The more I use RootsMagic the more "subtle" details I discover.

 

For example, I've been less than consistent entering a trailing carriage return at the end of notes.  I started noticing that in my narrative reports, certain facts started at the beginning of a new line, and others started right after the previous fact.  I discovered that RootsMagic wasn't stripping off the trailing carriage return at the end of notes when generating the report.  Maybe this is by design, so that one could possibly set off a long note with a blank line before and after, but I wasn't expecting that.

 

Brian



#6 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 05:27 AM

For example, I've been less than consistent entering a trailing carriage return at the end of notes.  

 I used that technique for many years to introduce white space and improve the appearance of the reports. Let me suggest a couple of alternatives that you might want to consider.

 

For narrative reports under Options you will find three option available for controlling white space:

  • Keep fact sentences in same paragraph
  • New paragraph after every fact,
  • New Paragraph after every fact with notes

These are relatively new options, meaning they have been there for a few years but not all the way back to the beginning of RM. I wish I could report that the options meet my needs, but I find that they are not quite flexible enough so I don't use them. But you might find that they do meet your needs.

 

Another option is to go into Lists->Fact Type List where you can change the sentence template for each fact type. A couple of years ago I decided to change all the sentence templates I use to include a carriage return at the beginning of the sentence. I really don't use more that 12 to 18 different fact types, so making this change didn't take very long at all. But in the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that removing all the trailing carriage returns from all those tens of thousands of notes I had entered through the years was tenable only because I was able to do it with an SQLite script. If you are just getting started with RM, this shouldn't be an issue for you.

 

Despite switching over to using carriage returns in the source templates, there is one situation where I found I need to keep the trailing carriage returns in the fact note. Namely, the last family fact note needs still needs to have a trailing carriage return. The format for RM's narrative report is in three parts for a couple: the individual facts for one spouse, the couple facts, and the individual facts for the second spouse. Without the trailing carriage return in the last fact note, there is not appropriate white space between the couple facts and the individual facts for the second spouse. For most couples, the last family fact is just their marriage fact. But for example, if somebody has marriage, divorce, marriage, divorce, then the trailing carriage return I have to keep is for the second divorce.

 

Another issue is that you will find is that your trailing carriage returns are lost on GEDCOM export. It's a bug that was introduced in RM4 and has never been fixed. And because RM's drag and drop operations to move data from one database to another make use of a GEDCOM export/import behind the scenes, your trailing carriage returns will be lost on any drag and drop operation. My solution has been to include a dummy private note after the trailing carriage return so that the carriage return is not the last character in the note. For example, you might type in {cr} after the actual carriage return or something like that. Then you have to remember to use the report option not to print private notes and you also have to consider if there are any situations where you might actually need to print private notes.

 

The lost trailing carriage returns in GEDCOM export seems to be a very different problem than is the problem in TreeShare where it appears that all carriage returns in fact notes are being lost when the notes are sent from RM to ancestry.com. GEDCOM export does not lose all carriage returns, just trailing ones at the end of notes. I'm hoping that this lost carriage return problem in TreeShare is fixable from within RM and is not something about how ancestry.com's API works. If the problem is in the API, then the RM developers would have to ask ancestry.com to fix it.

 

Jerry



#7 Brian Yokum

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 12:44 PM

From a data entry standpoint, I believe that whether or not a person terminates their notes with or without a carriage return should be irrelevant.  The formatting of reports should be handled by the report generator and any formatting options.

 

But as with many things, we've had to make use of such things to make the program meet our needs.

 

Brian







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: source, personal source, family source, marriage