* Problems with extended families in AS

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E Wilcock
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Problems with extended families in AS

Post by E Wilcock » 08 Mar 2019 19:46

It is my understanding that once one has entered a census in AS one is unable to return and edit the original, so I have just had to delay supper while struggling to add a complex family.
The problems arose because the census entry revealed that both partners in the couple had been previously married and the household therefore included a number of step children whose parental couple were not already in the Project.
So I wanted to enter children of marriages which did not yet exist - something that isnt unusual when entering censuses.
For some reason AS did not offer me the option of entering the relationship as step son or daughter. I dont know why that term was not on the list of offered relationships?
I mention it here because 5 of these extra children were children of the wife (i.e.) not of the head of household.
This was the first I had known of them and I wanted to add them, just as I was able to add the children of the male Head of household.
In the end I saved the man's children but not the woman's.
My own feeling is that if one is using AS to enter a census that is fine. Or it is fine to do it as I always used to, direct into the FH software (using copy and paste for each member of the household)
But I really get into problems when I am having to do half the entry one way and half the other? Perhaps it is best to avoid AS unless it is a simple family?

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Re: Problems with extended families in AS

Post by Jane » 08 Mar 2019 20:05

When you add a child you have the option to add a new family as spouse for the parent so I don't see what you had a problem with.
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Re: Problems with extended families in AS

Post by tatewise » 08 Mar 2019 20:19

Firstly, recognise that AS is designed to cater for the majority of routine cases.
It does not offer all the refinements for all the features that are available in FH.
I agree with you, AS does not allow some complex relationships to be created.
Such as when one of the existing parents needs a new spouse with existing children as step-children.

So for these more complex families, enter the fundamental relationships in FH before using AS.
Then you can set the step/adoptive/foster details and create new parents, etc, more easily.

If you have already used AS and some more household members need to added, then add them in FH.
Copy & Paste the Census event (including Citation) from a previously existing household member.
Remember to adjust the Age on those Census events for the new members.
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Re: Problems with extended families in AS

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 08 Mar 2019 20:31

Within AS you can add a spouse to an existing person but not add that new spouse to the census entry, and then add children to the new couple and add those children to the census entry... I've done it regularly -- just add the new relationships/individuals via the links in the bottom of the right pane.

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Re: Problems with extended families in AS

Post by tatewise » 08 Mar 2019 21:01

Maybe, but I tried and failed when the Children are already linked to the originally existing couple, one of whom is given the new spouse, i.e. adding existing Children to the new couple as step/adoptive children.

Yes, you can add a spouse to an existing person, and add new children to that new couple.
But I couldn't create step-child links where the same child is linked to both couples and one parent is common to both couples.
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Re: Problems with extended families in AS

Post by LornaCraig » 08 Mar 2019 21:31

E Wilcock wrote:For some reason AS did not offer me the option of entering the relationship as step son or daughter. I dont know why that term was not on the list of offered relationships?
There are many other relationships which are not included in the drop-down menu in AS. (For example aunt, nephew, mother-in-law, grandson, cousin, servant...) And in reality someone in the household might have more than one relationship to the head (a visitor might actually be a niece, for example). AS just offers the most common ones as a quick way of generating the auto text.

As it says in the AS Help files, "Due to the many differences in the way data was recorded it is almost certain that the transcription that is automatically produced will need to manually edited in the Source Text box before the entry is saved." If the relationship you want to record is not in the list, you just need to add it to the source text manually, when you make any other adjustments.
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Re: Problems with extended families in AS

Post by tatewise » 08 Mar 2019 21:45

AH! I misunderstood that point.
Yes, the AS drop-lists for any Grid cell are just an aide memoir.
You can type in whatever value you like if it is not in the list.

For some lists such as the Relation to Head, you can edit the list in the Census Template to add any that you find useful.
My lists do have six types of -in-law plus Nephew, Niece, Aunt, Uncle, etc.

Yes, reviewing and editing the Auto-Text transcript is most advisable.
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Re: Problems with extended families in AS

Post by brianlummis » 08 Mar 2019 21:56

Such as when one of the existing parents needs a new spouse with existing children as step-children.

So for these more complex families, enter the fundamental relationships in FH before using AS.
Then you can set the step/adoptive/foster details and create new parents, etc, more easily.
Mike, just thinking aloud, isn't a better (or at least another) strategy to add the new spouse as an Unrelated Individual. That way all the census information would be added correctly and there would be less changes in the auto text and the only thing to do after making the entry in AS is to add the new spouse, or have I missed something?

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Re: Problems with extended families in AS

Post by tatewise » 08 Mar 2019 23:04

Adding just a new 2nd spouse is not the problem.
It is adding the children of the original couple to this new couple as step-children of the 2nd spouse.
Imagine father F is married to wife W and have child C.
Now father F marries new 2nd wife M and she can be added in AS.
But child C cannot be added to couple F & M as step-child of M.

As you say, corrections could be done in FH afterwards, but it is easier to do it all in FH beforehand.
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Re: Problems with extended families in AS

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 09 Mar 2019 08:01

It can ALL be done very easily in AS -- no need to do anything in advance in FH.

Do you know the 'absent' parent of the stepchild? If so, add them as a spouse of the present parent but when creating them untick the box that adds them to the census. Then add a child to the couple, but tick the box that adds them to the census.

If you don't know the absent parent, create a new child for the parent you do know (choosing 'unknown spouse' as the option for the other parent) and tick the box that adds them to the census.

Edit the census row to say step-x as the relationship to the head of household (or if you've added step-x as an option for that census template, choose it).

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Re: Problems with extended families in AS

Post by E Wilcock » 09 Mar 2019 08:16

Thank you all for the discussion. As usual very useful.
My use of AS has been limited. But I have been impressed by the number of in law relationships offered in AS, so I expected Step son and step daughter to be there as well. I didnt realise how much one can add by hand. I always use auto text to record the household and listed the extra family members in a note. I will have another look at the entry screen.
I didnt actually have a father for the step children at that point, only a new surname. The lack of known names arose because I was checking out someone else's tree - which could potentially lead to a DNA confirmation of a relationship postulated but never yet proved.

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Re: Problems with extended families in AS

Post by Valkrider » 09 Mar 2019 08:44

Don't forget in AS you can add unrelated individuals by clicking the icon of the person with a plus sign on it. I use this for servants etc when adding census entries as I have found on several occasions they later become spouses to people in my tree.

If the role is not in the dropdown list you can just add a new role by typing it in for that individual.

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Re: Problems with extended families in AS

Post by brianlummis » 09 Mar 2019 08:52

Sorry Mike, I don't really follow what you are saying about being a step-child. Although I realise that "step" can be added as a relationship in the Focus Window, I have never used this on re- marriage . That would be confusing as the children would be listed under both marriages and only differentiated with the "s" qualification in the Rel column. Correct me if I am wrong but I don't think that you would create a new family for the new spouse with the child designated as a step-child. The only circumstances where I think I would use the "s" qualification is where the child is known to be a step-child and the father is unknown.

The use of step-child in the Census is slightly different as that is the relationship to the Head and as has already been said can be typed in or added to the drop down in the Relationship column. In your example Child C would not be described in the Census a step-child of couple F & M unless F was away from home and W was the Head. If W is a new unknown spouse then she can be added in the normal way in AS by adding a spouse. I am now thinking that my suggestion of using the Unrelated Individual is a red herring as it seems as though AS can cope with step-children without any other action.

Perhaps you can clarify what you would be adding into FH before using AS as that might clear up any misunderstanding by me.

Typed this with an interruption before Helen's post - I think Helen and I are saying the same thing!

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Re: Problems with extended families in AS

Post by tatewise » 09 Mar 2019 10:41

I will simplify the problem, as you are all missing the point about adding relationships for existing people.

Let us image a Census for a household of a couple who have adopted a child.
All three people already EXIST in your Project.
The adopting couple may even be distant relatives of the child, but that is unimportant
The adopting couple are married, but the child is only linked to their birth parents.

In AS there appears to be no way I can find of adding that child to their adoptive parent couple.

That new adoptive relationship has to be added in FH beforehand or afterwards.
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Re: Problems with extended families in AS

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 09 Mar 2019 11:55

Mike,

Evelyn seemed to me to ask about "the option of entering the relationship as step son or daughter" within the census entry. Which is addressed by either typing in the desired relationship in the relevant row, or by editing the available options so that it can be selected from the dropdown. (An aside: some step-children as are shown as son-in-law or daughter-in-law in the census, which was the older way of referring to them). And it is the question (specifically related to stepchildren) that the rest of us are answering -- including additional information about how to create the child as the birth child of one or other of the parents.

You, of course, (as you very often do) are answering a question that wasn't asked (yet). I do agree that if you add a child to an existing or new couple, AS does not offer any options for specifying the type of the parent-child relationship. For step-children, I wonder how many of us add a second pair of overlapping parents for a step-child? Brian has laid out good reasons for not doing so.

Also, with adopted children, how often is a census the first time you become aware of their existence COMPLETE with a new piece of information that they are adopted? They will most often show up in the census as just 'son or daughter' and the vast majority of us would enter them as such, and only amend their relationship to the parents when the fact of the adoption surfaced.... So your example is very unlikely to need handling in AS?

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Re: Problems with extended families in AS

Post by LornaCraig » 09 Mar 2019 11:58

Mike,
An adopting relationship, which you are now discussing, is different from a step-relationship which Evelyn is discussing. True, AS cannot create the parent-child adopting relationship but the child can still be recorded in the census with the adopting parents. And I agree it is important to create that relationship in FH either before or afterwards otherwise there might be no indication of the connection.

But in the case of step relationships I don't usually record these relationships as such in FH because it is clear from diagrams or the Focus window that a child is descended from only one of the couple, and I don't think that is what Evelyn was asking about.

I think Evelyn's original questions were
(a) how to show that the relationship to the Head was recorded as Step son/daughter in the census (answer: enter that in the text manually) and
(b) how to use AS to create the 'other' parent and their children if they don't already exist in FH, so that the children can be entered in the census. (Answered previously by Helen)

[Edit: Helen's post arrived as I was typing this. I think we are in agreement!]
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Re: Problems with extended families in AS

Post by AdrianBruce » 09 Mar 2019 13:27

LornaCraig wrote:... in the case of step relationships I don't usually record these relationships as such in FH because it is clear from diagrams or the Focus window that a child is descended from only one of the couple ...
At risk of diverting off on a tangent, I would record children as step-children (to one parent... etc ,etc.) in certain circumstances.

Classically that will be if the children are declared to be step-children (or incorrectly declared as children) in a source such as a census or will. My reason for doing that is to distinguish them from step-children who never lived with their step-parent. In the latter case there is no known declaration of a social relationship between the children and the step-parent. Whereas if they all lived together according to a census, there is a known declaration / evidence of a social relationship between the children and the step-parent.

Each to their own...
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Re: Problems with extended families in AS

Post by LornaCraig » 09 Mar 2019 14:01

Adrian: yes, I guess I was trying to avoid that tangent by saying I don't usually record these relationships as such! There are a few occasions, typically when step-children are recorded in censuses, BMD records, etc under their step-father's surname and I want to make it clear that was not their surname at birth. If they were living in what is known these days as a 'blended' family I record that fact in the census note but I don't add an explicit step-relationship unless the surname is misleading.
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Re: Problems with extended families in AS

Post by tatewise » 09 Mar 2019 15:02

On re-reading original posting, I realise I misunderstood the meaning of add.
I thought it meant add links to the parents, rather than add to the grid.

Nevertheless, it highlighted that AS does not allow new relationships between existing people to be formed.
For example, you cannot form a spouse couple between two existing distant relatives.
You certainly cannot set any of the adoptive/foster/step child to parent relationships.

It may be a divergence from the original posting (Sorry) but worth bearing in mind.
Where new (complex) relationships are needed, especially involving existing people, then create them in FH beforehand.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: Problems with extended families in AS

Post by brianlummis » 09 Mar 2019 15:51

I have been out most of the day and the topic has moved on. Whilst agreeing with Mike that you cannot annotate the adopted,step or birth relationship in FH via AS, you can do everything else.

It is possible to add a new set of parents in AS in addition to those already recorded. So if you enter all the known information whilst in AS , even if it is not needed in the census entry, the only post editing needed is the addition of the birth relationship or the step relationship. That saves the possibility of having to come out of AS half way through when you suddenly realise that the parental details need altering. Hence my preference for making the changes after entering the census details.

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Re: Problems with extended families in AS

Post by tatewise » 09 Mar 2019 16:21

Sorry Brian, but AS cannot do everything else.
You cannot form a spouse couple between two distant relatives who both already exist in your Project.
You cannot add parents to a child if all three people already exist in your Project.
Once the problem of forming relationships between existing people is recognised, there are plenty of scenarios.
They may mostly be comparatively rare, but they are a hazard.
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Re: Problems with extended families in AS

Post by LornaCraig » 09 Mar 2019 17:39

Mike, I imagine that Brian meant you can do everything else required in the original question. There was no suggestion in the original question that the previous spouse of the wife, and the children she had with him, already existed in FH through some other connection. Evelyn said "This was the first I had known of them ".

If she did later discover that they were in fact the same as other people in her file she would need to merge the individuals, but that would be true whether she created them in AS or FH.

Whilst it is true that AS can't create new relationships between existing people, that is not relevant to Evelyn's question, as you have now said yourself. She wanted to know how to create the extra people using AS, and how to record the step relationship in the census text. She can do it all in AS, and I hope this discussion has not confused her.
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Re: Problems with extended families in AS

Post by jmurphy » 09 Mar 2019 21:45

AdrianBruce wrote:
LornaCraig wrote:... in the case of step relationships I don't usually record these relationships as such in FH because it is clear from diagrams or the Focus window that a child is descended from only one of the couple ...
At risk of diverting off on a tangent, I would record children as step-children (to one parent... etc ,etc.) in certain circumstances.

Classically that will be if the children are declared to be step-children (or incorrectly declared as children) in a source such as a census or will. My reason for doing that is to distinguish them from step-children who never lived with their step-parent. In the latter case there is no known declaration of a social relationship between the children and the step-parent. Whereas if they all lived together according to a census, there is a known declaration / evidence of a social relationship between the children and the step-parent.

Each to their own...
Language that describes sources that have step-children "incorrectly declared as children" is unfortunate. For some of us, our 'social' families are the only families we know. It's helpful for the genealogist, perhaps, to have census records where the child is 'correctly' labeled as adopted, or (as I've seen in some censuses in England) illegitimate, but the family historian in me winces every time I see it. For the step-child or adopted child, it is no fun to be called out as different from one's siblings every time your name is mentioned. Thus I am trying to avoid the terms "correct" and "incorrect" when talking about the genetic family and the social family, in favor of describing what is meant.

There was a case recently where a genealogist tweeted that her DNA test had revealed a case of mistaken identity and she was quoted as saying her tree was "incorrect", causing a storm of ire against the blogger who talked about it (who defended herself by saying she was only using the language the tester had used herself).

I recently reviewed a case in my own research where a woman died and three of her children were adopted after her death. One girl was adopted by her uncle, and twin boys were adopted by an apparently unrelated couple (I say apparently because I'm still investigating it). As I was noting everything in my Ancestry online tree, which acts as a Shoebox before I enter the sources into Family Historian, I was struggling about how to enter the children in my tree. Should I list the girl's uncle as her adoptive father as well as leaving the uncle/niece relationship intact? What about the twins -- should I include their adoptive family? (My tree is a 'research' tree not a DNA one.) As far as I could tell, the profile page would only display one family and not the other.

The plain fact is that most people think they are the bio kids of the parents who raised them, but no one knows until after they test. If I were writing genealogy software, my default setting for parent/child relationship would be "Presumed biological" rather than "Biological" just to remind everyone of this. We need to heed the cautions of Dr. Thomas W. Jones and others not to take relationships given in sources at face value -- but our software doesn't necessarily aid us in doing so.

With FamilyHistorian, I often use Associated Person to link grandchildren in census households where their grandparent is Head and the precise relationship isn't known, and this could also be used for children in cases where you suspect the relationship to the head of household may not be a genetic one and it's too cumbersome to stop and research the genetic parent.
Last edited by jmurphy on 01 Apr 2019 15:09, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Problems with extended families in AS

Post by AdrianBruce » 10 Mar 2019 12:39

Language that describes sources that have step-children "incorrectly declared as children" is unfortunate. For some of us, our 'social' families are the only families we know.
Point taken - I meant that the children were incorrectly described as biological children. The instructions (I assume - oops!) instruct that step-children should be described as such - or at least, the incidence of such descriptions leads me to interpret those as being the de facto instructions, and hence the usual interpretation of "child" is "biological child". Yes - until proven otherwise, but that applies to everything.
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Re: Problems with extended families in AS

Post by mjashby » 10 Mar 2019 22:50

@ jmurphy

Quote: "I was struggling about how to enter the children in my tree. Should I list the girl's uncle as her stepfather as well as leaving the uncle/niece relationship intact? What about the twins -- should I include their adoptive family?"

STEP RELATIONSHIPS: The girl's Uncle was/is definitely NOT the child's step-father. An adoptive relationship does not create a 'step' relationship but a legal parent/child relationship. 'Step' relationships only apply if a family is formed on the remarriage of a divorced or widowed person and that person has a child or children. As far as illegitimacy is concerned it is far from clear whether someone can technically/legally be described as a step-parent, as the previous relationship that produced the child/ren wouldn't have been a legally recognised family unit that had been formally constituted and terminated later by death, divorce or annulment. The child would normally be referred to in any documentation as the spouse's son/daughter.

If a step-parent legally adopts a step-child or children then s/he is no longer considered to be a step-parent as they then have full legal responsibility for the child/ren.

As far as the inclusion of adopting parents not otherwise related to the 'family' it probably depends on whether you wish to continue tracking the life of the child/ren legally adopted out of the family. Genetically the child/ren is/are still connected and may be of continuing interest; but legally they are no longer a part of the genetic family. They have no legal call on the genetic family and the genetic family has no legal relationship with them, e.g. if a child is legally adopted out of a family, s/he can no inherit from the genetic parents/grand-parents etc. unless named as a beneficiary; but gains a legal entitlement to inherit from the estate of his adopted parents.

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