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WilliamFrier
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Re: Source help

Post by WilliamFrier » 25 May 2019 17:21

I see what you mean Mike, I have always comma separated and added country to locations. That was what I was meaning about doing it uniformly, if Getting The Most..... had a table (I know this may be a simple view of it) with three columns with headings 1 Data, 2 Where in FH and 3 Reason then say if I was entering a location as you mentioned it could have under each heading 1 DATA; Birth location- Town, County, Country (Comma separated) 2 WHERE: Main tab Born- In 3 REASON Comma separated allows for better map location and other uses mentioned later in book. Then the next line could do the same for address.

I know I am looking it too simply but putting something into a location that doesn't make sense to you or in a way you think you should do it, knowing why you should put it in a certain way in FH would help.
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Where to Record It; in FAMILY HISTORIAN

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 01 Jun 2019 13:03

My booklet of Where to Record It; in FAMILY HISTORIAN [sic] has arrived -- 28 pages including 3 cover pages for £3.95 plus postage -- the MyHistory catalog that arrived with it was 64 pages, by comparison. (I do hope I didn't pay for that postage as well but I suspect I did. )

The booklet advises how data from England and Wales Civil Registration Certificates (Birth Marriage and Death) should be entered in FH, and deliberately sets out to be repetitious so that users can start anywhere. So, a very limited scope.

I am not going to review it -- I started and then (a) realised that the review would be longer than the booklet (a bad sign); and (b) I was getting progressively more snarky. And that isn't fair to an author who was probably paid a low one-time fee for hack-work to adapt an earlier work: Where to record it: In Family Tree Maker 2009 - 2012 , without having much familiarity with FH.

I will say: it's a curate's egg as per its original usage. (follow the link, please -- you don't want to use a curate's egg...)

At various intervals the booklet does advise consulting the Family Historian 'Quick Start Tutorial' (now 'Quick Start Guide') for advice on navigation with the programme, and also suggests reading specific sections in the Family Historian manual, so it does not pretend to stand alone. (I will also say that the 'Quick Start Guide; and the 'Family Historian manual' are totally silent on many data-entry subjects. Sigh.)

The problems (which I'm not going to enumerate) with this booklet fall into two categories:
  • Advice which allows you to enter data from England and Wales Civil Registration Certificates (Birth Marriage and Death) in a manner that will work if you only ever record that single type source (i.e, it doesn't help you generalise to censuses, parish records and the rest) and don't want to share your findings. Otherwise known as: it won't help you work out how to deal with other sources, and others who see you tree (directly or in export) will go what were they smoking!? I don't understand!!!! There is no advice that allows you to extrapolate to other source types -- it tells you how and what but not why.
  • Advice which is just rubbish. Page 19 (from marriage certificates). : "Residence is more to do with the two fathers rather than the individuals getting married so the next step is perhaps to record where the two sets of parents were living at the time of their descendants marriage"! And there's a diagram showing citations linked to people rather than facts... most of the time, citations will be linked to facts (JUst one example).
I'm not going to document all the bad advice (a small amount might be a matter of opinion, but a great deal of it is wrong according to the Gedcom standard which FH uses, and/or according to genealogical best practice (which doesn't depend on the Gedcom standard), or differs from the advice at Knowledge Base > Family Historian from experienced users.

Also, if your eyesight is bad, the diagrams are unreadable, and the text may need enlarging -- but it isn't available as an ebook.

In short, I'm glad I didn't find this booklet before I'd learned more about genealogy/family history best practice and the ways to use FH. Otherwise, as I progressed I would have had a lot of rework to do.

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Re: Where to Record It; in FAMILY HISTORIAN

Post by WilliamFrier » 01 Jun 2019 17:23

ColeValleyGirl wrote:Advice which is just rubbish. Page 19 (from marriage certificates). : "Residence is more to do with the two fathers rather than the individuals getting married so the next step is perhaps to record where the two sets of parents were living at the time of their descendants marriage"!
I kind of agree with this quote to a point. My parents at their wedding both stayed separately and worked in Luton, but the addresses on their certificate were their parents address on the wedding day in Hamilton and Larkhall, Scotland and it was registered 3 days after the wedding. The same goes for my wife and myself, the addresses on our certificate are our parents addresses in Hamilton on the day of our wedding and our address on the day it was registered 2 days later was our new house in East Kilbride.

I suppose the same goes for my birth certificate as it was registered 10 days after my birth in Bellshill, Scotland and the address on the certificate gives the address as Luton, England. Birth registered in Scotland, I was in hospital for 3 weeks after my birth so my father and mothers address at time of registration was Luton but I had technically never been out of Scotland and therefor never lived in the address on my certificate and never did until I was over a month old. I say this because I was told to add the date of registration as the date when adding a citation for Residence (As you could have moved house between both events Birth and Registration), correct for my parents on the registration but definitely not my address on any of the situations.
And there's a diagram showing citations linked to people rather than facts... most of the time, citations will be linked to facts (JUst one example).
Again is this not right, facts attached to just one person. The way I read the diagram: Repository holds source, source can be attributed to many people and facts, citation can only be attached to one person (fact is about that person) e.g. Source- Wedding Certificate, Citation- Fact is date of wedding attached to husband and wife (2 citations but both linked to one person). If you don't have the individuals you don't have a place to put the date.

I suppose this all goes back to the my post in this topic from 21 May. Why has no one taken screen shots of a birth certificate, the filled in repository and the source after it is entered in to FH and this would stop all of my and no doubt many others questions about what goes where, or even make a video. Then for each other main certificates. The one thing I seem to be getting from all this is that lots of people are happy to say that others are wrong but won't put their head above the parapet and risk being told they are also wrong by saying what they think is right. I completely get that, but if someone is so sure someone else is wrong then they must know what is right in the first place. Again not a criticism aimed at this forum or anyone on it, but genealogy in general. I have found many occasions where someone says that's not right, but never go on to say this is actually the right place to put it/way to do it. I know everyone here is trying to help everyone else and long may that last, but surely if a standard is written and a program is written to use that standard, there must be a place for the information from the standard in the program. Someone must know????

I think that CP are the people to go to, I will ask the question where everything is supposed to go and get back to you all. Now I know I said I would do this before, but I was waiting for this post from Helen who had said she had ordered it and would let us know what she thought, as I quite liked it's kind of common sense (In my eyes) places to put things. So I am not really any nearer to starting my redo, of my redo, of my redo as I don't want to put information in the wrong place only to find like my move from FTM to FH that my next move (Hopefully never) has the same issues and requires a redo of an even bigger tree.
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Re: Source help

Post by Gowermick » 01 Jun 2019 18:39

Sorry William, I’m 100% behind Helen on the subject of a couples address on a marriage certificate. It specifically asks for address of bride and groom, and to assume this is also the address of their parents is very bad practice. You know the saying “Assume makes an Ass of you and Me” :D

Sure, a lot of couples are still with their parents before their marriage, but a lot aren’t. Judging from my own tree, most couples seem to be using the same address, so definitely not their separate parents addresses. ( it seems living together before marriage isn’t a recent phenomina :D )

My advice is only enter details you know for certain. On a similar vein, just because it states bride came from Wakefield, it doesn’t follow she was born in Wakefield! All you know for a fact, is that she was living in Wakefield at time of her marriage!
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Re: Source help

Post by LornaCraig » 01 Jun 2019 19:32

Again is this not right, facts attached to just one person. The way I read the diagram: Repository holds source, source can be attributed to many people and facts, citation can only be attached to one person (fact is about that person) e.g. Source- Wedding Certificate, Citation- Fact is date of wedding attached to husband and wife (2 citations but both linked to one person). If you don't have the individuals you don't have a place to put the date.
William, in your own example the marriage certificate is a source for (among other things) the date and place of the marriage ceremony. The marriage is a fact which is part of the Family Record for the couple. The source should be cited against the marriage fact, not against either the Family Record as a whole, or the Individual Records as a whole. Similarly the same certificate is a source of information about the occupations of the groom, bride and their respective fathers. The source should be cited against those occupation facts, not the entire individuals. So the same source can be cited for more than one specific fact for the same individual. If all sources were cited against the whole record it would not be immediately obvious which bits of information came from which source.

I take your point that people sometimes say a particular method is wrong without saying what is right, but I think you will find there is fairly universal agreement on this. I don't have the 'Where to Record it...' book but if he really does suggest linking citations directly to Individual records as a whole he is definitley taking a minority view. There are only a few rare exceptions. For example if you have obtained all the information about the individual from another researcher, and want to indicate that everything you know about the person came from that other researcher, you could create a source with the name of the other researcher and cite it against the whole record.
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Re: Source help

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 01 Jun 2019 19:42

I kind of agree with this quote to a point.
The instructions to registrars said that they should record the residence of participants in the marriage at the time of marriage -- not the residence of their fathers.

Yes, the participants might have given their momentary residence/lied/etc. but you can infer NOTHING certain about their fathers' residences from their marriage certificate. The advice given is wrong -- and not a matter of opinion. Better to say the residences were supposed to be the residences of the participants but might have been X Y or Z.

This is not anything to do with "How to enter" stuff, but all to do with how to understand records. You might want to find a copy of Ancestral Trails|The Complete Guide to British Genealogy and Family History by Mark Herber to get a grip on the content of the records.
Again is this not right, facts attached to just one person. The way I read the diagram: Repository holds source, source can be attributed to many people and facts, citation can only be attached to one person (fact is about that person)

IMO, Diagrams should not have more than one interpretation. Citations ARE NOT LINKED to people! If a citation is linked to a whole record, it's linked to a whole record and should be shown as such. If it's linked to a specific fact (the usual case) it should be shown as such -- not all citations for an individual support all their facts! The diagram would be excellent with just a extra layer (facts) but the booklet is produced down to a price -- another layer in the diagram would have taken it to 32 pages including cover and bumped the price of reproduction up... I do feel for William Clegg, on the assumption that he would have wanted to do a better job if he was paid for it,
I suppose this all goes back to the my post in this topic from 21 May. Why has no one taken screen shots of a birth certificate, the filled in repository and the source after it is entered in to FH and this would stop all of my and no doubt many others questions about what goes where, or even make a video
I have a daily rate for my time when carrying out chargeable work, and an estimate for how long this would take to do properly... total: over £10k and probably double that (I'd be amazed if William Clegg got that much). And you'd still only be getting one person's opinion, because there is no one true path. Are you going to publish your research for professional scrutiny? Is it just for your use and you couldn't care less if anyone else can follow up on it? Is your primary purpose to share it with your family and simplify things so they can understand? Were all your ancestors born after 1837 in England and Wales, or do you need to look at other record types?

I'm very happy to put my head above the parapet and document how I do things -- and will do so unpaid when I have enough time, on my own website because it's a personal opinion. I'm not happy to do a point-by-point hatchet job on the booklet.

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Re: Source help

Post by WilliamFrier » 01 Jun 2019 22:09

Lorna & Lorna, My point was that even though the citation was against a fact, the fact was attached to one person. I maybe missing something in FH but anytime a citation for a wedding date it is in an individual I put it against and FH makes the connection to the other person who also gets a separate (though identical) citation against their entry in my tree. Which means if I decide to split my tree at these individuals they would still have a fact with a citation that they were both married even though now in different trees. I fully accept that a citation is more likely against a fact, but ultimately the fact is against an individual. If I add 3 facts from a certificate, I would add the citation 3 times for those facts to 1, 2 or 3 individuals but each citation would be added to an individual individually.

Helen, I agree with you about usual address at time of marriage, not being the fathers address, but most people left there home before the marriage to get to the church and never (hopefully) returned to that address as there usual residence again. So most of the time the address at the time of marriage is their new address, but had put there usual address as their family home. What is your view on when the family address becomes there old address and their new home becomes their usual address. I know this is not always the case but in the past it was mainly the case.
Surely going with your view on diagrams (one interpretation), the same should be correct for Entry Date in FH and yet we have three different ideas of the date that should go there.
Citations ARE NOT LINKED to people!
Surely a citation for someone's name is linked to a person.
you'd still only be getting one person's opinion, because there is no one true path
Does this mean that William Clegg's opinion is as right as anyone else's? And that I shouldn't really be bothering about getting it fully right (As there is no right) and just make sure I do it the same for everyone. I don't know why I am defending William Clegg, I don't even know him I just wanted a uniform way to enter my information :lol: . While I am here where would you put the date you found the information if not in the entry date? I assume you need this information for certain things as you may have only got sight of the information once and knowing where and when would be an advantage at some times.

In answer to your questions at the end of your post, I am doing this for myself and family, but I would love someone else to carry on if anything happened to me and I would like it to be put in in a way that I don't have to explain in great detail to whoever wants to carry it on. They should just have to read Getting The Most From...…. and then for example William Clegg's updated book on where to put the information or better still yours. There is an email address on page 3 of Where To Record It..... asking if there is anything the author has overlooked, fill your boots Helen when you have some spare time :lol: :lol: :lol: of course that will only happen when you find a way to get rid of me.
William

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Re: Source help

Post by AdrianBruce » 01 Jun 2019 22:56

Why has no one taken screen shots of a birth certificate, the filled in repository and the source after it is entered in to FH and this would stop all of my and no doubt many others questions about what goes where ...
It sounds attractive but I have to say that life isn't always that simple. To take addresses from another context - census forms. You will see lots of people saying that the address on a census form only describes where someone was on the night of the census (and let's not worry about those people in two places on one UK census). Strictly speaking this is true but I would then say that I would add a layer of interpretation that says that, providing the person is not a boarder, visitor, inmate, etc, etc, and providing also that the address isn't a hotel, inn, school, etc, etc, then I am happy to record that address as their residence. But that does require that measure of interpretation and it's a personal opinion whether that interpretation is acceptable or not. (I might add that I'm on something like my third method of recording residences anyway!)

There's just too many uses of words like "personal" and "interpretation" in the above for me to be happy that anyone can come up with a definitive, single answer instruction. And that's even before we start asking questions like: "What is a residence anyway?" "How many weeks / months do you have to be in hospital before it becomes your residence?" (I have no idea! In fact I don't even know if the question makes sense.)

Case in point: during WW1 my grandpa was on the Western Front - for official purposes such as voting, his residence was back at his parents' home in Cheshire. Would anyone outside officialdom really claim Cheshire as his residence? Well, I suspect some people would. And some wouldn't. I've caveated it by recording Cheshire as his residence during WW1 but adding a note to say that, "This was his official residence - in practice, he was in France & Flanders".

Similar questions apply to residences on marriage certificates. It's notorious, for instance, that one party will often claim residence in the other party's home parish - they usually do something physical, like take lodgings for a couple of weeks with someone. But in such circumstances I doubt that anyone would really imagine it's a proper residence. So usually I record the residence from the marriage but, if it's not already backed up by previous history, I'll add something like a note saying "This appears on the marriage record but whether it's long term or not, is not known". And again, there are questions of interpretation - the bride or groom might well be working somewhere different and they return home for the marriage. In such a case, that residence will be that of their parents but the written evidence still refers only to their own residence - it's simply a temporary one.

I think that the important thing is not the plumbing of what goes where but understanding the underlying interpretation. And that's a lot less dogmatic.

I can't remember whether this thread has mentioned Elizabeth Shown Mills and her magnum opus, Evidence Explained (900-ish pages). That book attempts to provide precise recipes for the printed citations appropriate to lots of American documents. The limits with this recipe method is that as soon as you get a new document, the recipe follower is stumped. Non-recipe followers use EE to understand the underlying issues. That's actually much more difficult to do than simply following a recipe.

So if I don't dole out a precise recipe, it's not because I'm unwilling to spend the time - it's because I don't believe that a precise, comprehensive recipe will satisfy everyone.
Adrian

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Re: Source help

Post by AdrianBruce » 01 Jun 2019 23:08

Where would you put the date you found the information if not in the entry date?
That's a good question. Personally, I've never written that down - oh I have notebooks that record when I went to Kew and what I found there, but don't ask me to find them again! So far I've never felt the need to record that information. But that's a personal viewpoint and if someone wants to do otherwise, fine.

Personally, I'd actually think it more important to record when I entered the data into FH because that way I might be able to understand why I think that something is true - what started me off saying that X's birth was "4 June 1903"? Yes I've got lots of sources saying his birth was 4 June 1903 but that's because I selected only those sources with 4 June 1903! Somewhere, I hope, there's a source with that date in that was chosen for another reason.... Or have I ended up in circular reasoning?
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Re: Source help

Post by WilliamFrier » 01 Jun 2019 23:48

Okay Adrian, where would you put the date you entered the information in FH if not the entry date? I would say in most cases for me that would be around the date I found the information, as I try not to leave things lying about too long or I end up forgetting why or what the information I have, was for.

As for your example about addresses, my problem was more about where the information went, not if it should go there in the first place . By that I mean entering a residence, there is a box for town, county and country and another box for the street name and number. I know there are a few variables, for instance my dad owned and stayed in a hotel, with a street name and number, so where to put the hotel name becomes a bit of an issue. I was more looking for the place that FH wants the information to be for it to export a standard GEDCOM file that can be imported by another program with no issues. We all moan about importing files from other programs and the information not going to the right sections, but this will happen going the other way if our FH data is in the wrong place to start with.
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Re: Source help

Post by LornaCraig » 02 Jun 2019 09:56

Why has no one taken screen shots of a birth certificate, the filled in repository and the source after it is entered in to FH and this would stop all of my and no doubt many others questions about what goes where, or even make a video. Then for each other main certificates.
Because there is no such thing as a universal certificate format. I gather from what Helen has said that Clegg's book concentrates on England and Wales certificates. But you have already told us that your parents' marriage and your own birth were registered in Scotland. Historically Scottish BMD registraton forms have always been different from those of England and Wales, and contain slightly more information. So screenshots of an England and Wales certificate would have left you with some unanswered questions.

Family Historian is used by people in many different countries, researching their ancestors who came from, and went to, many different countries. Each country has its own format for recording life events, and this can change over time as well as varying between different areas within the country (e.g. different states in the USA). A 19th marriage certificate from country X will probably look very different from a 20th marraige certificate from country Y.

What matters is understanding the principle of extracting information from a source document, rather learning by rote how to copy data from one box in a source document to another box in FH.
Surely a citation for someone's name is linked to a person.
I would link it specifically to the name field, not to the record as a whole.
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Re: Source help

Post by mjashby » 02 Jun 2019 10:17


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Re: Source help

Post by tatewise » 02 Jun 2019 10:30

Can I make some overriding observations.

1) I suspect there may be some discrepancies in the discussions due to Scottish Registration & Certificate details being different from England & Wales Registration & Certificate details (Lorna's preceding point). The latter being what William Clegg focusses on, and reinforces what Helen says about extrapolating his method to other types of Source records.

2) The following [kb]|[/kb] topics do include E & W Certificate screenshots and where to enter the data:
Knowledge Base > Recording from a Birth Certificate
Knowledge Base > Ancestral Sources Tutorial ~ Enter Marriage Facts
Knowledge Base > Ancestral Sources Tutorial ~ Enter Census Facts

3) There is a distinction between entering a Citation against an Individual using <whole record> and against a Fact or Name within that record. That is where this thread started, back on Mon 13th May, where Auto Source Citation was adding Citations to both the <whole record> and Fact/Name items within the same record, and William Frier could not find them all.

4) The date & time a Source record is entered into FH is recorded in its Updated field, and if you don't need to change that Source record again, that will be the Date of entry. Similarly any linked Media record will have a similar Updated date & time, as will the Media file it links to (Brent's succeeding point). If that is not enough then use the Note field.
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Re: Source help

Post by jbtapscott » 02 Jun 2019 10:41

Going back to William's last comment about Entry Date, I have to say I don't use the field at all!. With all information I find on the web (FMP / LDS/ ........), I print to PDF the transcript or whatever on the website (most have a "Print" option) and save that in the FH Media folder with a downloaded Image file (if available). That PDF file includes the date and, in most cases, the URL so I can always go back to the website if I subsequently have doubts about the data (always assuming, of course, that the data is still at that URL!).
Brent Tapscott ~ researching the Tapscott and Wallace family history
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Re: Source help

Post by AdrianBruce » 02 Jun 2019 11:19

tatewise wrote:...
4) The date & time a Source record is entered into FH is recorded in its Updated field, and if you don't need to change that Source record again, that will be the Date of entry. ...
That's a point. I have always looked at it from the point of view of the person so I had missed that, if I go beyond that person to the source-record, then I get the date that I might want. (Unless, of course, I've added comments to the source-record afterwards).
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Re: Source help

Post by AdrianBruce » 02 Jun 2019 11:41

WilliamFrier wrote:Okay Adrian, where would you put the date you entered the information in FH if not the entry date? ...
Basically - I don't! My only real concern with perhaps wanting to know the date I'd entered something is a desire to detect circular reasoning. Or review what happens if some earlier reasoning was wrong. While I've done that, it's always seemed adequate to simply redo the logic, not least because often better paths of logic have become available.
WilliamFrier wrote:... for instance my dad owned and stayed in a hotel, with a street name and number, so where to put the hotel name becomes a bit of an issue. ...
I'd put it in the start of the address item. The GEDCOM spec'n talks about address being a postal address, and that's how I'd write the postal address (ignoring line-breaks). The "it's a postal address" logic has its limits not least because it's an odd definition to use for eras before postal services.
WilliamFrier wrote:... We all moan about importing files from other programs and the information not going to the right sections, but this will happen going the other way if our FH data is in the wrong place to start with.
Very true but most problems, I suggest, happen when items like ADDRess are in the wrong physical place in the file. I tend not to read about problems about interpretation of individual items like addresses. I think most people can work their way round odd content issues, given a bit of human intuition. It's more of an issue with mapping software but there are multiple mapping services, all with their own quirks and curiosities, so single answers don't work.

It is, by the way, important to think about these things. It's also useful not to over-think these things.
Adrian

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Re: Source help

Post by Gowermick » 02 Jun 2019 12:22

AdrianBruce wrote: It is, by the way, important to think about these things. It's also useful not to over-think these things.
I Agree! Worrying how another program or person might interpret our data is a complete waste of our time. How often are we expecting to change programmes? (Especially after moving to FH! :) ).

I moved from FTM to FH, and yes I had a few hiccups, as both programs worked differently, but nothing that couldn’t be overcome ( especially with Miketate’s help :D )

I don’t envisage changing programs anytime soon, but if that day comes, I’ll worry about it then! In the meantime, I’ll concentrate on my research, and not worry how other people may think I’ve done it all wrong! If they don’t like it, tough, let them do it themselves :)

Life is too short to worry about doing it correctly. As long as someone else can follow and repeat what I’ve done, using my sources as written, that’s good enough.
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Re: Source help

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 02 Jun 2019 13:12

Surely a citation for someone's name is linked to a person.
No. It's linked to their name, not to the whole INDI record. The Gedcom Personal Name structure is (emphasis mine):
PERSONAL_NAME_STRUCTURE: =
n NAME <NAME_PERSONAL> {1:1}
+1 NPFX <NAME_PIECE_PREFIX> {0:1}
+1 GIVN <NAME_PIECE_GIVEN> {0:1}
+1 NICK <NAME_PIECE_NICKNAME> {0:1}
+1 SPFX <NAME_PIECE_SURNAME_PREFIX> {0:1}
+1 SURN <NAME_PIECE_SURNAME> {0:1}
+1 NSFX <NAME_PIECE_SUFFIX> {0:1}
+1 <<SOURCE_CITATION>> {0:M}
+2 <<NOTE_STRUCTURE>> {0:M}
+2 <<MULTIMEDIA_LINK>> {0:M}
+1 <<NOTE_STRUCTURE>> {0:M}
As Lorna says, there may be situations when you want to cite a source against a complete INDI record -- if for example you've lifted the record wholesale from somebody else's tree and not verified it yourself -- but that is the exception rather than the rule. (Although you wouldn't think it, if you look at some Ancestry trees where stuff has been transplanted wholesale! :o )
Does this mean that William Clegg's opinion is as right as anyone else's?
Not necessarily. I ordered the booklet because I thought it might be providing good advice, or it might not, but I wasn't prepared to comment on what I hadn't seen.

Unfortunately, the combination of:
  1. * some very odd guidance on interpreting sources (e.g. the meaning of marriage residence)
    * an evident unfamiliarity with Family Historian -- I suspect the author used the programme just enough to produce the booklet, but not enough to realise that there are faster and quicker ways of doing much of what he documents
    * a lack of understanding of the underlying (Gedcom) standard -- e.g. he advocates putting 'Today's date' in the Entry Date filed for a citation, but Gedcom states that this is: "The date that this event data was entered into the original source document", so for a birth certificate this would be the birth registration date... Although more on this later.
    * advice that isn't easily generalised -- to adapt what Adrian has said, William Clegg is providing a recipe for making bread but leaving it to you to work out blindfolded whether the same approach applies to making pastry (hint: no). Or as you said, he's providing one version of What and Where but not Why, and if you don't get told Why it's very hard to extrapolate to other source types.
mean that I can't value William Clegg's opinion as highly as I might value the opinion of somebody who I know for certain is an experienced genealogist and Family Historian user. (Sometimes, I suck my teeth and shut up when I see advice on here that I don't agree with -- I remind myself that not everyone has the same priorities as me... But I only do that if I know the person providing advice is an experienced genealogist and FH user -- if it's arrant nonsense from somebody with no track record I will say that if I have time.)

(I'll note that William Clegg only seems ever to have written two booklets and no other genealogy guidance -- so he may well be an absolute whizz at genealogy and finding his way around the other programme -- but from the evidence of this booklet, I can't recommend using it.)
And that I shouldn't really be bothering about getting it fully right (As there is no right) and just make sure I do it the same for everyone
Absolutely you should be bothered, and there is a 'right' -- but your 'right' will be different to mine, and Adrian's, and ... It depends on many things:

Who we're doing the research for, and why we're doing it.
  • In my case, it's for my own satisfaction but also for other researchers who I will never meet but who hopefully will find something I've done, verify it for themselves using the source citations that I've provided, and maybe in passing think: that's a damn fine piece of work. (I doubt it will ever happen, but I can dream).

    My friend on the other hand is doing his research to understand his background in a very small area, share info with his family and the local history society, and enjoy himself solving puzzles.

    Another friend is doing a One Place study of a small Pembrokeshire village, so it isn't just the family linkages that matter, but the history and location of distinct buildings and institutions...

    And my sister (who is researching her husband's family) is doing it because he wants to meet every one of his first and second cousins -- I suppose everyone needs an ambition! And he was the 17th child of a couple who were each part of a family with nearly 20 children, and ditto their parents, so there are an awful lot of cousins -- I reckon he meets a cousin every day unknowingly as he moves around Birmingham!
So I'm focused on analysing and documenting my sources according to a recognised standard (Elizabeth Shown Mills, Evidence Explained , following the BCG Genealogical Standards including the Genealogical Proof Standard, never assuming anything, never recording anything in FH until I'm confident I can make the case -- and if that means writing a 10 page document for difficult cases explaining my reasoning, so be it. And I can't use most of the Source fields in FH because they just don't fit ESM so I only use
  • * Title (ESM-style source citation)
    * Short Title (quick finding aid for personal use only)
    * Type (quick filtering again plus some plugins expect specific values)
    * Text from Source (a complete transcription, usually, which I'll include on my website -- but not perhaps if it's a book or a very long Welsh will ;) )
    * Notes "("Almost illegible", X's name is shown as AX", "Oral interview conducted by telephone and not everything was audible -- questionable elements indicated by [?...?]". "The redacted person on the record is probably Y", "Translation into English was done by T".)
My friend enjoys the thrill of the hunt -- he finds ESM too complex and prefers to cite things more simply, as long as he can still identify the source he used; and it's important to him that people who aren't family historians can understand what his tree is telling them.

The One Place study makes extensive use of Place records to record building history -- Addresses aren't used because you can't associate any data with them, or geocode them. And the sources are almost specific to a single location (parish) and there are very few of them, so their citations can be greatly simplified.

And my sister is focused on a small set of very recent and regional sources -- she's never going to be looking at Tithe Maps or Land Tax records, or even early censuses...

All of which means that we're recording very different data in very different ways, but all (as it happens) in Family Historian.

How we plan to 'display' our data

I publish my work on my own website (which isn't based on any of the FH reports or website generation) so I'm not interested in the FH reporting or books options -- but they have quirks e.g. where/how/if witnesses are shown, so if you're going to use certain reports, you won't want to use witnesses. (I don't use witnesses either -- I don't find them necessary but others use them.) I also export 'cousin bait' to as many places as I can (more later). I combine Address and Place into the Place field, so that I can geocode down to building level.

My friend prints out reports to take to family gatherings and local history gatherings. He has a website as well which I maintain so I insist he has some consistency with the way I use FH, such as not using witnesses -- but he doesn't need to be consistent in source naming, for example. His are simple, mine are complex.

The One Place Study doesn't use reports, but cuts-and-pastes data into its web pages. (I'm working on automating this... in my copious free time).

And my sister never publishes anything -- just uses it to identify targets on whose door they can knock within two hours travel. Amazingly -- at least to me -- this is almost always successful/welcome, and expands the pool of targets.

Where we need to export our data

There are two use cases for exporting our data:
  • * Exporting data to e.g a website which only imports specific formats -- Mike Tate's Export Gedcom plugin has this pretty well sorted as long as you're willing to understand the options.

    * The nuclear "my programme is going away" option -- probably most prominent for those who have experienced this once. Again Mike Tate's plugin has this sorted -- and in the event that the nuclear option needs to be invoked, I'm pretty sure that he (or a successor) will update the plugin.
If you really truly and absolutely only want to use Gedcom compliant fields, understand this and then avoid using the related features -- no Named Lists, no Source Types, no Witnesses, no Custom Sentences, no second place in Immigration and Emigration facts, no Flags, no Marriage Status... You'll probably get the drift: what do you value now versus what might not export exactly the same in future. Bearing in mind that the Gedcom compliance of many commercial products is dubious, so what you export may not be imported.

Me, I don't worry about it -- I decide what's useful FOR ME RIGHT NOW and use that.

What to do?

Internal consistency, as you have identified, is vital, as is thinking through how you want to do things in advance so you don't end up with a load of rework. I spent six months doing so before I embarked on my own 'redo' (and I'm still finding things I hadn't thought of. But -- for reasons given above, my solution will not be yours. So first you need to think through what matters TO YOU and then work out (or ask) how to achieve it, bit by bit. None of us will have an out-of-the box answer for you, however experienced we are -- tell us what matters and we'll jointly grope towards what will work FOR YOU. But none of us would pretend to offer one-size-fits all advice.
where would you put the date you found the information if not in the entry date
As always, it depends. What do I really get of FH once I've put that date in?
  • * As per the Gedcom standard, "The date that this event data was entered into the original source document"? So e.g birth registration date. But I'm going to transcribe t he source anyway, and make a Note if there's something notable about the registration date.
    * The date I entered the source information -- as Mike Tate has said, FH does a good job of keeping track of that already, but if you want to enter it manually, just be aware that your choice may not make sense if it's imported elsewhere.
    * Personally I've never needed to know when I added a source to FH -- but it's good genealogical practice to record when you accessed a particular record (on a website or in a physical repository or in the filing system of a long-defunct maiden aunt) if only to let other genealogists know why they may not be able to see the same record (website lost licences to publish the records/specialist archive closed down and I haven't tracked where their records went/maiden aunts nearest and dearest had a bonfire of all her rubbish papers in the garden).
So I don't enter it anywhere except in my ESM compliant-ish citation (Long Title).
... for instance my dad owned and stayed in a hotel, with a street name and number, so where to put the hotel name becomes a bit of an issue. ...
Not an issue for me -- I want geocoding down to address level, so everything to go in the Place field. Some people will have systematised rules for what they put in Address versus Place; some people use Address but include the Address in the Place field as well. Again it depends on what you want to achieve.

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themoudie
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Re: Source help

Post by themoudie » 02 Jun 2019 13:43

Aye to All,

My pennyworth!

A 'blow by blow' entry guide can be very useful for initiates into using Family Historian (FH) and or Ancestral Sources (AS), but as with Global Information Systems (GIS) the breadth of the software capabilities means that you never 'Know it all' and even with an ability to understand and write code there can be 'unseen' consequences! ;)

I use the two programmes to record any information that I have about events in an individuals life. "When I record that information?", is starting to move away from what genealogy is about for me.

Keeping the recorded information in a 'standard' format depending upon where it is recorded and the specific form format used caused me headaches. But, the 'Generic record (Data only)' facility in AS means that all the data is recorded in a common format. If it is important that the differing record formats are retained, then you can use them or adjust AS and FH to record that information and the generous souls on this forum, who have that ability, generously giving of their time.

With my records, I have England & Wales (E&W), Scottish, USA, Canadian and South African formats to deal with and I am trying to work out how to record Local Property Valuation details, as the Scottish records have proven very useful for tracing family movements and property ownership/rental/occupation from 1855 to 1940 in 5 year intervals, but excluding the years 1900 and 1910. I am sure they will be in a different format from E&W valuation rolls and another thread on this forum! ;)

I have owned Family Historian since 2004 and only used it since 2015, because I was trying to work out what I wanted to record :? rather than recording information and enjoying finding out "Who was who?" and "What was what?" and for me that is what genealogy is all about.

Happy hunting and good health, Bill

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WilliamFrier
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Re: Source help

Post by WilliamFrier » 02 Jun 2019 17:00

Hi again Helen, Hope you type quickly, as that was some reply :D . I know it was written to make a point and the point is taken. In my view every citation that is attached to an individual, be it name, birth, wedding, death or anything for that matter is against there name. This may not be correct in a technical prove a point way, but it is the way I think of it and will always think of it. That was why I made my points the way I did, if I looked for proof about when someone stayed at an address I would not look for the source I would look for the name and find the citation which would lead me to the source, because as I said in my head everything about someone is linked to their name. The people and their life to me is what genealogy is about, researching my family, where they stayed, what they did etc. but I still use their name and believe everything that is found about them is against that name. Now I am sure that there are plenty of people here who can tell me why technically it is not right, but please don't

Now that I have explained how my brain works when I am working on genealogy, back to me pestering you all, when is the short title used? I mean by that if there is a long and short (Easy to read) title does the short title get used in preference to the long title when looking in the source list or is there another reason for it?
William

* Illegitimi non carborundum *

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jbtapscott
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Re: Source help

Post by jbtapscott » 02 Jun 2019 17:30

There are places the Short Title can be used in preference to the Title, but personally I don't use it all!. My Source Title is normally pretty succinct (e.g. "Tapscott, Robert - 1941 UK Census" or "Tapscott, Robert - 1845 Death Certificate") and any related references (eg GRO Reference, etc) goes in to one of the Source fields (normally Publication Information), so I am afraid we are back to the "whatever works best for you and how you want to report the data" answer. Sorry!
Brent Tapscott ~ researching the Tapscott and Wallace family history
Tapscott & Wallace family tree

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WilliamFrier
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Re: Source help

Post by WilliamFrier » 02 Jun 2019 18:22

Brent,

I was only nosey about how it worked, just in case I had a use for it later on. I name my sources the same way you do, in the Long Title, I was more worried that if I started to put a note in the short note saying 'Still to Finish' just to remind me I had still to do some work with the source, that I suddenly end up with half a dozen sources all with the same name of Still To Finish :roll: .

Then again it may be a good way to quickly see the sources I am not finished with.
William

* Illegitimi non carborundum *

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LornaCraig
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Re: Source help

Post by LornaCraig » 02 Jun 2019 19:24

The display of the Short Title is governed by Tools > Preferences > Records Window, where you can tick or untick the option to Use Short Title for Source record names if available.

It is certainly not intended for notes. It is for use if your full title format is quite long and/or you need a succinct title to aid alphabetical sorting in the Records window. For example your full title might be "John Smith: death certificate 1st January 1900" and your short title might be "Smith, John, death 1900". You can set the options for the search filter in the Records window to Match on Both Titles and Short Titles if you wish. But many people do not use the Short Title field at all.
Lorna

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AdrianBruce
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Re: Source help

Post by AdrianBruce » 02 Jun 2019 19:47

Re the Short Title - my usage is similar to Lorna's. The latest source-record I have put in, e.g., has
Long Title = household of Johan & Thora Zahle Lassen, Christiansgade, Aarhus Kobstad (Borough), Denmark, 1901 Census, Husliste No. 2007b
Short Title = Census Entry: Lassen, Johan & Thora, 1901, Aarhus, Denmark

So Long Title is a fully descriptive title for the source (publication stuff etc., is still entered elsewhere), equivalent to a book's title and sub-title.
The Short Title is, erm, shorter, but more to the point, in my format it's designed to be the record's sort key so that all my census records get held together, then within them, sorted by head-of-house. Gives me the ability to go through the source records to find something. (Alternatively, you could of course go to the individual and link back from there).

The way that FH is programmed, the Short Title is a single line text item, as opposed to a multi-line text box like the Long Title. The latter, if you double click, gives visibility of multiple lines in a re-sizeable text box. There is no ability to bring up the Short Title separately so, although it scrolls along as you type, you can't see all the text in it at one go. That would make it pretty useless for notes. (There are no right and wrong ways to use software - on the other hand, there are inevitable consequences the further you depart from the designer's intentions.)

As an aside - Danish censuses - at least the ones that I've looked at for this one family - have the wonderful feature that they include the full birth-date and place. On the other hand, if you don't know the language, it's ****** hard to read cursive writing! Especially when it includes the extra Scandinavian letters!
Adrian

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WilliamFrier
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Re: Source help

Post by WilliamFrier » 02 Jun 2019 20:23

Hi Lorna,

I thought that was the use for short titles and I know it is not for notes. I was only thinking of it for a short term use say from the time I shut down my laptop one night until the next time I was using FH or maybe the next. The example that I used just popped into my head while typing up my question about how Short Titles worked. I never thought of it as a permanent place for a note, just a place I could put a temporary note that would be easy to find when I went in to my sources. Thanks for confirming what I thought about Short Titles.

Adrian,

Thanks for the extra detail about Short Titles. My problem (as you will see from all my questions) is that departing from the designers intentions is quite hard when they don't tell you what there intentions were, especially when you read "It is up to you how you chose to interpret these fields, for any given source type" in the paragraph about Source Record Fields..
William

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