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Member Since 07 Apr 2005
Offline Last Active Dec 06 2010 01:58 AM

Topics I've Started

New report: Occupation counts

15 November 2010 - 03:08 AM

Years ago I posted a wish list suggestion that generated some interest and I would like to raise the idea again. RootsMagic should generate a report on "Occupation Frequency." Something that would tell you that you have, say, 42 farmers and 13 ministers in your family.

I currently do this manually. That is, I generate a custom report on occupation and then, person by person, tally up counts for each of my own "labor categories." This takes a few hours, but the KEY to this process is the identification of such labor categories. Currently occupation is an open field, so you might call one guy a "carpenter," another a "house builder" and a third a "housewright" but they do similar things. There are MANY such examples. RootsMagic would need to add labor categories to generate meaningful automated counts. This is somewhat subjective and would probably require refinement over several versions but I think I can help.

I periodically do a manual count of each profession in my database (for fun) and so have thought quite a bit about labor categories. I have listed my results for discussion purposes. Below are counts from my 10,000-person database for my direct-line ancestors only by labor category (my own) for those that include at least two people (I have about 20 more unique occupations):

156 Farmer, husbandman, planter
25 Leather workers (shoemaker, cordwainer, tanner, leather sealer, glover)
24 Mill owner or operator (grist, saw, etc)
22 House wright, carpenter, nailer, thatcher
22 Tavern/innkeeper
20 Businessman, non-mariner merchant, salesman, speculator, feoffe, trader, trapper
20 Mariner/merchant
18 Weaver, Wool comber
16 Clergyman (minister, priest, etc)
16 Tailor, clothier, mercer, draper
14 Fisherman or rigger
11 Factory worker, foremen
10 Laborer, Painter, hired hand
9 Lawyer, Judge, JP, politician
8 Surveyor
7 Blacksmith, ironworker
7 Cattlemen, rancher
7 Doctor, surgeon
6 Clerk
6 Copper, barrel maker
5 Butcher
5 Cabinet maker, joiner, piano maker
5 Midwife, Nurse
4 Civil Engineer, bridge builder
4 Musician
4 Teacher
3 Ferryman
3 Ship owner
3 Shipwright
3 Tax Collector, Bailiff
2 Basket maker
2 Military commander (professional)
2 Post master
2 Shoreman, beach master
2 Soap maker, ashery worker

Do you find this interesting? Would you like to know such information about your ancestors? It takes me hours to tally up occupation counts like this, but RootsMagic could do it in seconds if it provided a drop-down menu forcing you to choose among a list of labor categories or "Occupation types" instead of, or in addition to, an open occupation field. It raises grouping issues however (e.g. do you group "nailers" with "carpenters" or keep them separate?) but nothing that could not be resolved.

One problem is that my list mixes modern and ancient professions. In 1620, you had a bunch of farmers, a couple of shoe-makers, a minister, and that was basically it. You'll notice that I have 4 musicians in my ancestry. Well they came along much later and there are no farmers in my family today but they were nearly all farmers 300 years ago, so my list mixes 1600, 1800, and 1950 occupations together. Any thoughts on that issue?

Please, don't ask about any specific or weird occupation listed above. Google can tell you what a feoffe is. I want to keep the thread on the idea of counting occupations. Wouldn't occupation counts be an interesting and useful feature?

I can provide more information on labor categories to RootsMagic staff if anyone is interested.

New report: Identify families in "statistics list"

15 November 2010 - 01:34 AM

There is an existing report called "statistics list." Among its features, this report gives you:
* Minimum age at marriage (female and male)
* Maximum age at marriage (female and male)
* Maximum number of children (female and male)
* Maximum age at death (female and male)

Well that's nice. In my 10,000-person database I have a "woman" that married at 10, a man who married at 79, and a mother of 18, among other statistics. Very nice, but it begs the question: who???? There is no way to identify these people. The "statistics report" should also provide the IDs associated with the mins and maxes it generates. I'm not talking about an error report. I might be able to use that to identify there folks but once you confirm the statistic and accept it, they will not be flagged again. I want an easy way to identify these "record breakers" within my database. I am running 2.0. Does 4.0 do it?

Given name frequency

15 November 2010 - 01:10 AM

It would be nice to get a report on given name frequency the same way that you can examine surname frequency. Of course, I am still using RootsMagic 2.0. Has this feature been added?