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Member Since 05 Dec 2011
Offline Last Active Jan 24 2019 07:02 AM

Topics I've Started

Including "associated people" in your records

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!