*change settings so dates are circa instead of cal

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ireneblackburn
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change settings so dates are circa instead of cal

Postby ireneblackburn » 17 Nov 2018 17:05

Is there a way to change the dates of birth created from census entries to c. instead of cal ?
If it is amending a date there is a dropdown box with a choice but I can't see where I can change it to be the default
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Re: change settings so dates are circa instead of cal

Postby ColeValleyGirl » 17 Nov 2018 17:31

c. and cal are two different sorts of dates.

'Approximate' [c. or circa.] means that the data is not exact. 'Calculated' [cal] means it has been calculated mathematically (usually from the date and age recorded for another event]... and 'Estimated' [est] means that the date is based on an algorithm using some other event date.

So, somebody could be born:

    Circa 1900 when there's no evidence you can quote to back up the year but you approximate it around about then
    Cal 1900 if they were 10 in the 1911 census
    Est 1900 if they were baptised in 1900 and their age wasn't given, but they were assumed to be baptised as a baby.

You can change the way an approximate date is shown (c. or circa) in FH using Tools>Preferences>General but birth dates created from an census are always calculated (census date - age) and not estimated, if you're using Ancestral Sources.

Of course, if you're calculating the dates yourself within FH, you can use the Date Entry Assistant to declare them to be approximate or estimated rather than calculated, but there's no way to set a default for the Date Entry Assistant.

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tatewise
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Re: change settings so dates are circa instead of cal

Postby tatewise » 17 Nov 2018 17:47

No, strangely, there appears to be no option for that.
All the other BMD data entry types offer much more flexible Date of Birth options where the Date Qualifier can be selected from About (Approx / c.), Calculated (Cal), or Estimated (Est).
But the Census data type is an anomaly, and does not offer the same Date of Birth options, but instead forces (Cal).

To be fair, such dates are Calculated / Estimated from the Age or other details, rather than Approx which is what c. indicates.

However, the default offered in ALL the above options cannot be adjusted, and must be changed in each dialogue.

You could contact Nick Walker and see what he says.

For the time being all you can do is change the Date to Approx / c. in each FH Birth Event via the Date Entry Assistant dialogue.

BTW: Whether it says Approx or c. is governed by Tools > Preferences > General > Use 'circa' for approximate dates.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history.

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Re: change settings so dates are circa instead of cal

Postby LornaCraig » 17 Nov 2018 17:59

The difference between an estimated (Est) date and an approximate (App/Circa) date is a subtle one, to say the least. Is an estimated date based on some vague information, making it more reliable than an approximate date, but less reliable than a calculated one? Given that calculated dates are often based on unreliable information, the term 'calculated' can give a spurious sense certainty unless the reader understands that it is only an indication of the way the date was arrived at, not its reliablility.
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Re: change settings so dates are circa instead of cal

Postby tatewise » 17 Nov 2018 18:18

FH Help says:
Approximate means the date is not exact.
Calculated means the date has been calculated mathematically - for example, from an event date and age.
Estimated means that the date has been estimated based on an algorithm, using some other event date.

GEDCOM says much the same:
ABT = About, meaning the date is not exact.
CAL = Calculated mathematically, for example, from an event date and age.
EST = Estimated based on an algorithm using some other event date.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history.

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Re: change settings so dates are circa instead of cal

Postby ColeValleyGirl » 17 Nov 2018 18:46

A calculation or estimate is often 'exact' but not 'accurate'!

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LornaCraig
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Re: change settings so dates are circa instead of cal

Postby LornaCraig » 17 Nov 2018 18:49

I have always felt that there are difficulties with the FH/Gedcom definitions.

Firstly, the definitions of Calculated and Estimated both refer to the way the date was arrived at, while the definition of Approximate refers to the level of precision/accuracy of the date (i.e. not very) but says nothing about how it was arrived at. These are different types of definition.

Given that Calculated dates often use unreliable data, and Estimated dates use an algorithm which itself involves making some assumptions, the end result is that both these types of dates are often a bit wide of the mark. So the term Approximate, as defined, covers them all!

Secondly, the general reader looking at a report or chart won't know these definitions and may assume that a calculated date is accurate, because in common parlance 'calculated' implies a level of certainty which 'approximate' or 'estimated' don't have.

Maybe it's for these reasons that Irene wants to call them all 'Circa' (Approximate).
Lorna

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Re: change settings so dates are circa instead of cal

Postby ColeValleyGirl » 17 Nov 2018 19:24

Lorna, I'd suggest that Approximate is a gussied-up way of saying how the date is arrived at -- the method is a guess... But I do tend to be cynical; and also don't ever use Approximate dates (because there's no way of knowing how the guess was derived).

I can understand Irene wanting to simplify things, but unfortunately there isn't a way to achieve what she wants at present other than specifying the type for each date manually.

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Re: change settings so dates are circa instead of cal

Postby LornaCraig » 17 Nov 2018 19:36

ColeValleyGirl wrote:because there's no way of knowing how the guess was derived.

Well, in my experience a guess is always derived using some kind of algorithm, or there's no point in guessing at all.
Which means it's an Estimate.
But then of course there's no way of knowing what the algorithm was..... (My turn to be cynical now) ;)
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Re: change settings so dates are circa instead of cal

Postby AdrianBruce » 17 Nov 2018 21:37

ColeValleyGirl wrote:... Cal 1900 if they were 10 in the 1911 census ...

I'm probably being predictable here - I did try to close this and ignore it, but can't.

If they were 10 in the 1911 census, then they were born in 1900 or 1901. (Sorry for the pedantry!)

That's exactly why I refuse to use Cal in my dates - a calculation should come up with an accurate answer (given the tolerance of the input data, of course). If I were to go for a qualified 1900, I'd go for an approximate 1900, i.e. Circa (or App, depending on your settings) 1900. It seems to me that Cal was added to GEDCOM to convey that it's an indirect derivation of the date - well, isn't that what concepts like Secondary are for? If faced with a piece of evidence that said "X was baptised the day after their birth on DD/MM/YYYY", would you really mark the baptism date with a Cal? Why? To warn someone that you might have dismally failed to add one? Feel free to mark the "citation" as secondary depending on when the source was written, but Cal?

For me, I only use App (which you might have set to display as Circa) and Est. I do find it difficult to be quite precise about when I use each - Est is easier to explain - you start with a date and do some sausage machine number crunching to come up with an Estimate that might be plus or minus a lot. And all the rest is App!
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Re: change settings so dates are circa instead of cal

Postby tatewise » 17 Nov 2018 22:21

When faced with such as aged 10 in the 1911 census, Ancestral Sources has a default Smart dates option where for event dates before the end of June an additional year is taken off for these calculations, so the calculated year would be either 1900 or 1901.

If a Baptism says the child was baptised the day after birth, then I would enter the DoB without any qualifier and as Primary, because it is contemporary with the event. It is more likely to be contemporary than the DoB on most Birth Certificates that are composed on the registration date, and nobody would record them with any qualifier or anything but Primary.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history.

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Re: change settings so dates are circa instead of cal

Postby LornaCraig » 17 Nov 2018 22:35

What is clear from this thread is that although we are all aware of the Gedcom definitions we each have our own way of applying them! Helen never uses App/Circa, Adrian never uses Cal and I never (well, hardly ever) use Est.

Perhaps, reverting to Irene's original question, the message is that although Ancestral Sources doesn't currently offer c. for dates derived from censuses it would be helpful if it gave the user the full range of options to choose from.
Lorna

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BillH
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Re: change settings so dates are circa instead of cal

Postby BillH » 17 Nov 2018 22:48

LornaCraig wrote:Perhaps, reverting to Irene's original question, the message is that although Ancestral Sources doesn't currently offer c. for dates derived from censuses it would be helpful if it gave the user the full range of options to choose from.

I would agree with Lorna that it would be nice if AS allowed us to use any of the possible date types by default. I always use Circa and never use Est or Cal. Currently after using AS I use an editor to change all occurrences of CAL to ABT for all date fields. It would be nice if I didn't have to do this.
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Re: change settings so dates are circa instead of cal

Postby tatewise » 17 Nov 2018 23:02

The problem mainly applies to Census records, as the others do offer all the Qualifier options, including none.
However, there is no option to choose the default Qualifier.
That is why, in my first Reply, I suggested Irene could contact Nick Walker and see what he says.

Then everyone went a bit off topic discussing what the Qualifiers mean :D
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history.

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Re: change settings so dates are circa instead of cal

Postby ColeValleyGirl » 18 Nov 2018 07:42

To be fair Mike, I went off topic before you responded.

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Re: change settings so dates are circa instead of cal

Postby ireneblackburn » 18 Nov 2018 10:12

Thank you all for your contributions! This reminds me of student days when we used to discuss things and wander off topic but it was always interesting.

I wanted to change it to c. because when I print out charts for family members they get confused by cal.
Irene

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Re: change settings so dates are circa instead of cal

Postby ColeValleyGirl » 18 Nov 2018 10:25

Ah ha -- it should be possible to change how it's shown in diagrams, but it's not something I use a lot so I'll leave it to others (probably Mike) to give you chapter and verse.

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Re: change settings so dates are circa instead of cal

Postby tatewise » 18 Nov 2018 16:00

I assume it is only Birth event Dates that need to be customised.
So in Diagram > Options > Text tab use Clone button to copy the desired scheme, and then Edit that.
In Used Items, select the Birth fact and Edit that to replace %INDI.BIRT.DATE:COMPACT% with:
=TextIf( %INDI.BIRT.DATE:XDATETYPE% = "Calculated", Text("c. " . %INDI.BIRT.DATE:XDATE1%), %INDI.BIRT.DATE:COMPACT% )

The same technique can be applied to Used Items for other facts that need the date changed.

Remember to use Diagram > Save Diagram As > Custom Diagram Type to preserve that customisation.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history.


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