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#1 RWells1938

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 12:35 PM

How do most of you show relationship's?

 

In order to have a well sourced individual we need names, dates, places, and relationships.

 

A birth certificate would usually show the relationship but lacking this it sometimes takes multiply source documents to establish the relationship.

 

I have thought about creating a new event/fact for relationship to allow me to enter how I think this person is related to their parents. I have in the past sometimes used the name source to show this relationship by adding conclusions. I have sometimes used the birth event to show the relationship and also placed conclusions in the birth event.

 

None of what I have tried seems to work well but I am leaning toward using a new relationship event/fact and within this place conclusion statements based on why I think the relationship is correct. 

 

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

 

Thanks

Roger



#2 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 01:39 PM

None of what I have tried seems to work well but I am leaning toward using a new relationship event/fact and within this place conclusion statements based on why I think the relationship is correct. 

 

My implementation is not perfect, but I tend towards your approach of a user defined fact, both for names and for relationships. I don't think that genealogy writ large handles this situation very well, not to mention that RM itself doesn't handle this situation very well.

 

The problem for relationships struck home very hard for me many years ago when I was looking to apply for membership in First Families in Tennessee. Membership requires an ancestor who was living in what is now Tennessee before Tennessee became a state in 1796. The form to apply for membership is a pretty typical form for such applications where you list your ancestor for each generation and for each generation you list your the kind of evidence you have. The documents that make up your evidence then become attachments to the application. I had all the required evidence, but I couldn't figure out how to fill out the form. And do realize that I'm a math/science/computer nerd who is accustomed to figuring some pretty complicated stuff. So why couldn't I figure out how to fill out a simple form?

 

Here is an example of the problem. I have the will of my gggg grandfather Thomas C. Bryan Sr. that lists all his children, including his son Peter H. Bryan who is my ggg grandfather. I have the death certificate of my gg grandfather William A. Bryan that says that his father was Peter H. Bryan. So I'm good to go for those three generations. But the form is laid out as follows.


generation         name                  evidence

gggg grandfather   Thomas C. Bryan Sr.
ggg grandfather    Peter H. Bryan
gg grandfather     William A. Bryan

Do I put Thomas's will next to him or next to his son Peter? Do I put William's death certificate next to him or next to his father Peter? And no matter what I do, I only have two documents to cover three generations.

 

I think the form should be laid out as follows.

generation         name                  evidence

gggg grandfather   Thomas C. Bryan Sr.
                                         will of Thomas C. Bryan Sr.
ggg grandfather    Peter H. Bryan
                                         death certificate of William A. Bryan
gg grandfather     William A. Bryan

In other words, the evidence is not evidence for the person and so shouldn't be associated with the person. Rather, the evidence is for the relationship and therefore should be associated with the relationship - i.e., it should be listed between the people and not next to the people.

 

This problem manifests itself in the RM user interface in that there is a line in the Edit Person screen for a person for their parents, and that's the place that would seem logical to connect evidence of parentage. But if you do it that way, your evidence becomes attached to the parents as a family (like the FAMS record in GEDCOM), and is not associated with the child or with the child's parentage at all. That's just beyond the pale of irrational, but I mention GEDCOM in part to emphasize that this is not just RM's problem. It's all of genealogy's problem. And obviously, the application form for First Families of Tennessee (which has nothing to do with RM or with computers at all) has the same problem.

 

One more way to think about the same issue is to think about a wall chart which has boxes and lines. The boxes represent people and the lines represent their respective relationships. Conceptually, you can associate evidence with the boxes on a wall chart but you cannot associate evidence with the lines on a wall chart. Genealogy writ large needs to fix this problem.

I won't rant quite as long about names, but I will just mention that RM has no Name fact and therefore no proper place to attach evidence for a person's name. This problem manifests itself most obviously in RM when you consider its direct import of data from FTM or when you consider the way its TreeShare feature handles names that come in from ancestry.com. When a name comes into RM via either method and when the name coming into RM has a source, RM has no place to store the source.

 

So just to summarize, I think what you are doing is the best way to handle a very difficult situation. I don't think genealogy writ large or RM should make the situation so difficult.

 

Jerry



#3 TomH

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 02:40 PM

Small correction, Jerry. RM does have a place to store Name sources imported from an Ancestry Tree via TreeShare or GEDCOM. What's missing is access to and reporting of it.

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#4 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 05:25 PM

Small correction, Jerry. RM does have a place to store Name sources imported from an Ancestry Tree via TreeShare or GEDCOM. What's missing is access to and reporting of it.

 

Thanks. I sort of knew that and forgot it when I was composing my message. On the other hand, when you are entering a name for a person in RM's Edit Person screen, there is no way to enter Name sources. It's really the same issue as the inability to access a Name source that comes in via TreeShare.

 

Jerry



#5 zhangrau

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 05:30 PM

Small correction, Jerry. RM does have a place to store Name sources imported from an Ancestry Tree via TreeShare or GEDCOM. What's missing is access to and reporting of it.

 

I keep reading of people struggling to have a "Name" fact - RM allows multiple instances of the Alternate Name fact, and I am convinced that this is the best way to document a person's name. For nearly every person in my database, I have found that person called different versions of their name in multiple pieces of evidence. There's a birth certificate, a baptismal record, a marriage record (or more), several census records, several city directory and telephone listing records, and on and on. I have even found instances where the birth record is for Jules G. Whatchamacallit, the baptismal record is for George Whatchmacallit, census and city directories variously call him Jules or George or J.G. Whatchamacallit.

 

So, many years ago I decided to add another alternate name fact EVERY TIME that I found a new variation in the person's name-as-presented. Based on the full set of evidence, I would list the above person's "display name" as Jules George Whatchamacallit. And the fact that I don't have any references that show his name exactly like that is irrelevant - Jules George is clearly Mr. Whatchamacallit's name.

 

The absence of a "name" fact is irrelevant to me, because by using multiple alternate name facts I can thoroughly document what I know about this person and his name.



#6 Vyger

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 06:16 PM

 

I keep reading of people struggling to have a "Name" fact - RM allows multiple instances of the Alternate Name fact, and I am convinced that this is the best way to document a person's name. For nearly every person in my database, I have found that person called different versions of their name in multiple pieces of evidence. There's a birth certificate, a baptismal record, a marriage record (or more), several census records, several city directory and telephone listing records, and on and on. I have even found instances where the birth record is for Jules G. Whatchamacallit, the baptismal record is for George Whatchmacallit, census and city directories variously call him Jules or George or J.G. Whatchamacallit.

 

So, many years ago I decided to add another alternate name fact EVERY TIME that I found a new variation in the person's name-as-presented. Based on the full set of evidence, I would list the above person's "display name" as Jules George Whatchamacallit. And the fact that I don't have any references that show his name exactly like that is irrelevant - Jules George is clearly Mr. Whatchamacallit's name.

 

The absence of a "name" fact is irrelevant to me, because by using multiple alternate name facts I can thoroughly document what I know about this person and his name.

 

I agree completely and make extensive use of the Alternate Name Fact to very good effect. I myself have three forename variations for a single forename, there are records for each variant and different people call me by different variants depending on what phase of life they met me and then there is one person who insists on calling me John no matter how often I correct him.

 

The Alternate Name fact can also have explanatory Notes and Sources, I don't understand why it is not more widely accepted.


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#7 TomH

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 07:16 PM

The RootsMagician has publicly stated that the Name fact will have its sources, media and notes accessible the same as Alt Name in RM8.

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#8 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 10:10 PM

The Alternate Name fact can also have explanatory Notes and Sources, I don't understand why it is not more widely accepted.

 

It's really a matter of personal preference, I think, but I don't particularly like the way the Alt Name fact looks in reports. Instead, I have a Names fact which I use at most once per person to which I attach all my name sources and where I can have a single free-form note describing the person's names.

 

Examples of things to document abound, and many of these don't seem to me to fit the Alternate Name concept very well. A person named John Robert who was nearly always called J. Robert (the J.  was not omitted when his name was spoken) but he was occasionally called Bob. A person named Robert who was called Bobby as a boy and Bob as a man. A person named Bobby on his birth certificate who was usually called Bob and occasionally called Robert and almost never called by his actual name of Bobby. A person called Granny Jones by everybody, including people not related to her. A person named Clarissa Loretta who was called Rett by her family, although there are courthouse records of her name as Retta and Rettie. 

 

I don't think records that say Thos. for Thomas are really variant names - just abbreviations. I transcribe a record the way it was written, but I see no reason to make an Alternate  Name for Thos. - and similarly for Thomas J. Smith or T. J. Smith or Thomas Jefferson Smith. They aren't Alternate Names - just different presentations of the same name.

 

Then there are typos and just plain misspellings in records - like Byan for Bryan, that don't seem to me like Alternate Names. Such names are just records in error.

 

I do think variant spellings are important (not typos or misspellings) - like Slaton vs. Slayton. I record them and make note of them.  But they tend to be variant spellings for a whole family over several generations and not Alternate Names for a particular individual.

 

I think name changes are important - like a person born Sarah Smith because her mother was married to John Smith, but her mother married second to William Anderson when Sarah was very young, William adopted her, and her name was changed to Sarah Anderson. There are many variations - like people who just didn't like their names and changed them. For example, James Columbus Bryan became Felix Grundy Bryan in the 1870's just because he wanted to. That's actually one where I think the Alternate Name concept does fit pretty well.

 

Most people go by their first name or their middle name (or a nickname or abbreviation of one or the other), but some people go by both names. When this is known and can be documented, I think it's important to know that someone was known as Virginia June and never as just Virginia or as just June. And I have a James Patrick Smith who is known as Jimmy Pat. He was a fictional character, but the real name of Jim Bob on the Walton's TV show was James Robert.

 

William Jackson Bryan was known as Bill at work and as Jack in the family. I think this is important to document. But both Bill and Jack were nicknames, not really alternate names.

 

I don't use Alternate Names for women's married names. It's much simpler and more clear just to use maiden names throughout genealogy. Obviously, I record records they way they are written. If Jane Smith marries first John Williams and marries second Thomas Jones, then I transcribe her marriage record for the second marriage as Jane Williams to Thomas Jones if that's the way it's recorded at the courthouse.  But she was still born Jane Smith.

 

It's not always possible, but I like to record the names by which people are called by their grandchildren. And sometimes there are multiple names - Grandpa Smith by some of the grandchildren and Papaw Smith by other of the grandchildren.

 

I certainly recognize the problems associated with data interchange and standardization when it comes to names. But as long as I can create a fact that is not lost on data interchange and as long as the fact's note is not lost on data interchange, then things are pretty good. And I say that knowing that ancestry.com does not support fact notes, which creates no end of problems for TreeShare.

 

Jerry



#9 KFN

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 10:57 PM

I realize this is a GEDCOM related answer but it was brought up by Jerry and I thought I'd add a little insight.

Whenever I have evidence of direct family desendence for an individual I always attach it to the birth fact, even if the birth fact has no other information. A place and date is not required in GEDCOM (A "Y" following the tag) and if the evidence stongly suggest an associated family they were born into I can logically include the evidence with the birth fact.

GEDCOM also allows for a FAMC pointer on a birth fact (Christening as well), so I would add this to the fact.

Thus, I have an individual, with a birth fact, and evidence that they were born into a family unit, which then points to parents and/or siblings.

#10 Vyger

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 05:28 AM

And I say that knowing that ancestry.com does not support fact notes, which creates no end of problems for TreeShare.

 

Unfortunately so much data input in RM is biased towards reporting desires or sorting. I am one who likes to stay with the designed intention and live in the hope of Rootsmagic accepting and overcoming the identified short comings. For example, Ancestry has no corresponding field for Nickname so I have converted these to Alternate Name Type 'Nickname'

 

I don't place too much emphasis on the literal meaning of "Alternate Name" I use it as persons were known by various names throughout their lives and I find it useful that they also appear in the index under these variations. This is especially true for a woman who has her birth name and then appears throughout her life on records with the married names of maybe numerous husbands and likely the last husbands name on her grave marker. Just as I modified my text to US and used Grave Marker instead of Headstone it's also worth remembering naming conventions are different in different countries for example it's very unusual for a wife to carry her maiden name into part of her married name in UK & Ireland.

 

The glaring gap for me still pertaining to names is the examples of LNU, MNU, MSU, Unknown, "_____", [married name] etc all of which are incorrect and used to achieve reporting and sorting goals.

 

The sorting goals have been overcome by Alternate Name in my opinion and I cannot see any sorting objective not served by use of the Alternate Name. If the name is left blank then this is correct by data standards but Rootsmagic does not force or encourage such standards whilst NameClean will aim to assist anyone wishing to clean things up.

 

Now for the various reporting goals, Rootsmagic only needs to provide the option for a user to specify what to print in reports when the Surname is BLANK, this can be 5 underscores, "Unknown", "Still to be discovered" or whatever the user prefers. It is such a simple add and would overcome one of the remaining reasons for entering bogus data.


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#11 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 09:21 AM

 

Unfortunately so much data input in RM is biased towards reporting desires or sorting.

 

I guess I plead guilty to a bias towards reporting.  :)   That's why I am periodically tempted to abandon RM, not for another genealogy program, but instead I am tempted to abandon RM for Microsoft Word.

 

One idea that has tempted me in that regard is that I very much enjoy annotated books - an annotated edition of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland or an annotated edition of a Jane Austen book - that sort of thing. The way such books are laid out is with two side-by-side columns - one column for the text of the original book and the other column for the annotator's notes. Sometimes both side-by-side columns are on the same page, with a book open to two pages hence displaying four columns in all. Such a layout requires pretty wide pages. Sometimes, the left facing page contains the column for the original text and the right facing page contains the annotator's notes. This kind of a layout can use pages of a more normal width. There are citation subscripts in the original text that refer to annotations in the adjacent column. This idea might or might not really work very well for genealogy, but I think it might. And I think I would need a better publishing tool than Microsoft Word. It can do columns, but I think it's ability to do the columns required for an annotated book is quite limited.

 

Jerry



#12 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 09:39 AM

GEDCOM also allows for a FAMC pointer on a birth fact (Christening as well), so I would add this to the fact.

Thus, I have an individual, with a birth fact, and evidence that they were born into a family unit, which then points to parents and/or siblings.

 

As usual, your knowledge of GEDCOM is suburb and it greatly exceeds my GEDCOM knowledge. Obviously, the GEDCOM way of representing relationships is with FAMC and FAMS tags. And indeed, RM's internal FamilyTable and ChildTable are exact analogs of GEDCOM's FAMS and FAMC tags, respectively. But how in general would a source associated with a FAMC tag appear as a citation in a narrative report? I think that's the crux of the issue for me. Absent some sort of explicit Parentage fact in the RM user interface, your suggestion of attaching evidence of parentage to the Birth fact is as good as any.

 

I very much like RM's shared facts but I make very limited use of them because they transfer so poorly to other genealogy software. One exception is that my Parentage fact works great in printed reports (I actually call it Parent rather than parentage). I give it the same date as the birth fact and I use sort dates to place it immediately after the birth fact. This is consistent with your suggestion of using the Birth fact as the anchor for evidence of a person's parents. And I share the Parent fact with each parent with the role of Birth of Child. It looks great that way in narrative reports and no real data is lost on transfer to other genealogy software, just some niceness in how things look in reports.

 

Jerry



#13 TomH

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 10:36 AM

 

I annotations in the adjacent column. This idea might or might not really work very well for genealogy, but I think it might. 

I think it would require a radical redesign of RM to support adjacent annotations, possibly a whole new table for annotations, distinct from citations. Or a new flag for citations that can differentiate between a citation that is to be treated "normally" as an endnote or footnote and the exceptional ones that are to be output as a "side note". RM chokes when footnotes become too large for the page to which they should be attached which is why it is safer to use endnotes. The same will hold true for side notes unless there can be some constraint applied to the number and length.

 

A cousin has produced a few family histories and biographies with side notes and they are beautifully done. They include some reports from Reunion but the narratives are probably done in MacWriter with the help of a professional editor and graphic designer. Each one has cost around $20k. 


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#14 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 12:09 PM

I think it would require a radical redesign of RM to support adjacent annotations,

 

I didn't have any expectation or hope that such a thing could be produced by RM or any other genealogy software. I was just speculating about whether Microsoft Word was functional enough to do it if I were willing to do it by hand. I suspect I would need something more powerful than Microsoft Word But I would hate to have to get a Mac just to do such a project. I'm a PC person through and through.  :)

 

Jerry



#15 RWells1938

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 02:45 PM

Jerry

 

Would you share your parent fact with us? How you have it set up and the sentence format. Also what or how do you create a source for it?

 

Thanks

Roger



#16 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 05:04 PM

Would you share your parent fact with us? How you have it set up and the sentence format. Also what or how do you create a source for it?

Roger

 

It's going to look a little funny, as do many aspects of Shared Facts. Indeed, parts of it feel very backwards.But I promise it works pretty well.

 

For the Parent fact I enable the Description field and I fill in the parents in the Description field just as text. But the sentence template does not include the [Desc] variable and hence the parents do not print based on the Description field. This is a trick to keep the Parent fact as intact as possible if it is transferred to genealogy software that doesn't support shared facts (or at least, that does not support RM's way of doing shared facts). I also enable the Date field so I can force the Parent fact to be immediately after the Birth fact.

 

The sentence template for the Parent fact looks very strange.


<b>Parents:</b>< [Birth_of_Child].>

The sentence template starts with a carriage return and the "Parents;" tag is in bold. This is because I use point form sentence templates where each fact starts on a new line, where the fact type is listed in bold, and where I have removed all verbs, articles, and prepositions. If all you see is this particular sentence template, this style can look very harsh and terse. But when combined with notes, it can lead to a very readable report.

 

The sentence template includes the [Birth_of_Child] variable. Birth_of_Child is a role that is defined for the [Parent] fact and which is assigned to the parents when the fact is shared. It looks very funny and backwards, but it works fine. It's very analogous to have a role for the Birth fact such as Midwife or a role for the marriage fact such as Bridesmaid. Let us suppose this Parents fact is for John Doe, son of William Doe and Jane Smith. So we would enter the Parents fact for John and share it via the [Birth_of_Child] role to both William Doe and to Jane Smith.

 

Let's suppose that John Doe was born 12 May 1854. We would set the sort date for John's birth fact to 12 May 1854-1, we would set the date for John's Parent fact to 12 May 1854, and we would set the sort date for John's Parent fact to 12 May 1854-2. This places the John's Parent fact immediately after his Birth fact, and it sets the [Birth_of_Child] role in the proper place in the timelines for William Doe and Jane Smith.

 

The sentence template for the Birth_of_Child role is a little more complicated.


<b>Birth of Child:</b> <[Date:plain]><, [Person:Full]><, parent age: [ThisPerson:age:plain]>.

After we enter the Parent fact as described and after we share the Parent fact with John's parents, we are done and the magic of RM's Sentence template language takes over.

 

The sentences for John's Birth fact and his Parent fact appear as follows.

 

Birth: 12 May 1854.

Parents: William Doe and Jane Smith.

 

The magic that makes this work is that we share the Parents fact with both parents. There is nothing that you then have to put into the sentence template to list both parents or to connect them with the word "and". The [Birth_of_Child] role is only in the sentence one time, but RM lists both names and connects them with "and" automatically because the role is shared with both parents.

 

The sentence that appears for both William and Jane is as follows.

 

Birth of Child: 12 May 1854, John Doe, parent age: 27.

 

Well, the parent age is whatever the parent's age was at the time of the child's birth, and the age is usually different for the father and mother.

 

The effect if this kind of sharing of the Parent fact is especially nice if there were a number of children in the family, and you can readily see all the births interspersed properly in timeline order with all the other facts for each other parents. For example, you might see something like the following.

 

Birth of Child: 12 May 1854, John Doe, parent age: 27.

Birth of Child: 3 Dec 1857, Thomas J. Doe, parent age: 30.

 

As far as a source for the Parent fact, it's whatever the source is and there is nothing special about it because it's a source for the Parent fact. The source (or sources) could be a birth record for the child, an obituary for one of the parents that identifies the children, a census record that explicitly documents parent/child relationships, a will or settlement for one or the other of the parents, a death record for the child that identifies the parents, or whatever you have.

 

Jerry



#17 RWells1938

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Posted 15 June 2018 - 08:09 AM

Thanks all for your suggestions and help.

 

I am still trying to figure out how I will make it work and am trying your suggestions to see if it fits.

 

Roger



#18 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 15 June 2018 - 12:20 PM

I am still trying to figure out how I will make it work and am trying your suggestions to see if it fits.

 

Do be aware that you don't have to follow my exact sentence templates if they don't meet your needs. For example, you could say

[Person:poss] parents were< [Birth_of_Child].>

and the sentence would say "John Doe's parents were William Doe and Jane Smith."

 

And for the parents, you could say something like

[ThisPerson:poss] child [Person] was born on [Date:plain].

and the sentence for the parents would say "William Doe's child John Doe was born on 12 May 1854." or "Jane Smith's child John Doe was born on 12 May 1854." There are a lot of options to make it read more or less the way you want it to read. For example, you could use a gender switch in the sentence template to make it say "son" or "daughter" instead of "child".

 

Jerry