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Mike Morrell

Member Since 05 Apr 2017
Offline Last Active Apr 12 2017 03:11 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Problems with renaming media files

06 April 2017 - 11:23 AM

I have the same problem. I'm a RM7 newbie and my first impressions are really good. I intend to migrate from FTM 2014 to RM7. But it seems that I first have to do any file renaming (based on people/records) using FTM before importing the files to RM7. I would have preferred that RM7 had a similar (FTM) function to rename files from within the program.



In Topic: How detailed are your facts

05 April 2017 - 05:16 PM

Hi Kim,


I'm still very much a beginner so I'm still on a steep learning curve about 'best practices' in research, workflow, the Genealogical Proof Standard, organizing data, citing sources, etc.  


Of all the things I've learned recently, two key points have really stuck:


1. Most of us do research to discover our possible ancestors and other people related to them. Initially, possible ancestors we discover are (alternative) 'hypotheses', each of which may or may not be 'proven' based on the conclusions we draw from our research. During our research, we collect 'facts' that support or conflict with our hypotheses. Each 'fact' is based on 'evidence' (records, interviews, personal knowledge, etc.). c24m48's response makes sense to me. Without evidence, there is no fact. How many facts do we need? That probably depends on what we need to know to 'prove' or 'disprove' our hypotheses with a high degree of confidence. The Genealogical Proof Standard gives guidelines. For the first couple of generations 'personal knowledge' (as evidence of a fact) is often sufficient. Any 'fact' (or evidence) that doesn't contribute to our conclusion is irrelevant for this point.


2. A number of genealogy websites (my sources were 2012 articles from http://www.tamurajones.net) point out the danger of propagating 'insufficiently substantiated' (and possible erroneous) data through family tree-sharing websites. These days, it's so easy to include data from other family trees or 'hints' that at first sight seems to fit. Many of us don't bother to check how well-researched the data is that we're including in our family tree. We just assume that Ancesty, Familysearch, MyHeritage, etc. are providing the best  'hints'. Tamura Jones's key point in her 2012 blogs is that we we all have the responsibility to verify the 'facts', supporting evidence and our conclusions before sharing our data with others via internet.


I understand the need for dry facts, supporting/conflicting evidence and research 'conclusions'. But personally, I welcome any stories (in notes, media, links) that gives me a sense of who a person was (or family were) and when, where and how they lived. These stories are often not immediately obvious from the the dry facts. From personal knowledge or research, it's sometimes possible to build up a picture of how the different facts relate to the person's or family's life. 

A personal example: 

I have residence facts for my mother, father and grandmothers over many years. The background story is that my father moved in with my mother (who still lived with my grandmother) because they couldn't buy their own house. They never  moved out.

I have 3 separate residence facts for my mother. The background story is that she lived most of her life in her childhood home (my father moved in). She later moved house when my father (and grandmother) died in the same year. Some years later, she moved again to a nursing home after suffering a stroke.


The facts are just the facts. They are necessary to support (or conflict with) research hypotheses and justify a conclusion. But they don't tell the whole story. The story is often based on personal knowledge (of people who knew the person/family) or on 'synthesizing' numerous  facts. The story gives the background and context to the facts and brings the person/family to life.


So one question is how detailed the 'story' needs to be? Other members have rightly pointed out that it depends on who the audience is. One audience I'd like to add is 'future researchers'. In this digital age, everything we write down now will be available hundreds and thousands of years into the future. So the detail of the 'story' depends IMHO on how you, your family and your ancestors would like to be remembered in the distant future. In addition to the ' dry facts' about my ancestors, I intend to try and summarize their life story as far as possible. I still need to figure out where to put this in M7 ;)