* Primary birth fact

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Ian Howes
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Primary birth fact

Post by Ian Howes » 05 Oct 2017 10:32

When I have several birth facts from different sources eg Freebmd / Census / 1939 Register, how do I make one of them the primary birth fact?

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ColeValleyGirl
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Re: Primary birth fact

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 05 Oct 2017 10:44

There's no concept of a 'primary' fact in FH.

What I do in these circumestances is create a single fact with all the relevant sources cited. If there is some difference of place or date derived from the various sources, I record the fact as the 'most likely' date and place (based on analysing the sources) and add an explanation of the alternatives and my reasoning for choosing the detail I have in the note field.

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Ian Howes
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Re: Primary birth fact

Post by Ian Howes » 05 Oct 2017 10:53

There is a primary concept as far as names are concerned and in fact there is a box titled 'Make Primary'.
I am already using several birth facts and I think it must be possible to select the required preferred fact as a primary fact.
Thanks anyway for your reply.

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tatewise
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Re: Primary birth fact

Post by tatewise » 05 Oct 2017 11:06

Welcome to the FHUG Ian.

As a newcomer I advise you study Knowledge Base > Key Features for Newcomers.
It does not answer the question about Primary birth fact but does discuss Source Citation methods.

Several other genealogy products do have a Primary Fact concept, but that is non-standard GEDCOM and does not usually migrate from product to product.

GEDCOM does have the concept of multiple instances, and the Primary Name is simply the 1st instance of all the Name fields. The Make Primary button simply adjusts the order of the Name fields.

But when it comes to multiple Facts (such as Birth Events), FH usually sorts them into Date order, so the 1st (Primary) Fact is the one with the earliest Date. You can override that by moving Facts up and down, but as soon as you apply any automated sorting that often gets disrupted.

There is Wish List Ref 559 Fact Descriptor for Civil Union, two Place Travel, Preferred Occupation, etc. that proposes a solution that you can Vote for.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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ColeValleyGirl
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Re: Primary birth fact

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 05 Oct 2017 11:07

There as indeed a 'primary name' and any number of 'alternate names'. Bur names are not 'facts'.

And you can have several birth facts, just as you can have multiples of any other facts.

What you cannot do it mark one of those facts as 'Primary', because the Gedcom standard makes no provision for that.

You could define a custom fact as 'Primary birth', and use that if other approaches don't work for you.

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steveflanuk
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Re: Primary birth fact

Post by steveflanuk » 05 Oct 2017 15:47

What I've done in cases such as this is choose what I believe is the correct birth date based on the available evidence and record this as the Birth fact.

I've then created a custom 'Alt Birth' fact for other birth dates with the associated sources, etc.

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Re: Primary birth fact

Post by tatewise » 05 Oct 2017 15:59

The recommended FH approach is to have one Birth Event and one Death Event, on the grounds that you can only be born and die once, and have multiple Source Citations with if necessary some Notes explaining preferred Date and Place details. Considering your list (FreeBMD / Census / 1939 Register) the 1939 Register should give accurate Date of Birth that agrees with FreeBMD registration quarter, but any Census will only give approximate year of birth. The FreeBMD will give accurate Place of registration, but only a Birth Certificate will give the full complete details.

The concept is that it is not so much the Birth Event that is Primary or otherwise, but the Source records are Primary or otherwise, and each Citation Assessment can indicate that.

Alternatively, if you still need multiple Birth and Death facts, then Steve's is a much better approach, because the Birth Event, and other key events, can play a significant role in some FH features, including some Plugins.

So the primary event should be a standard BMD Event, and any alternatives should use a custom event.

That way there is no need to customise the Main tab of Property Box for it to show the primary events.
That is just one example of FH features that rely on standard BMD Events.

Maybe this advice with pros & cons should be added to Knowledge Base > Adding Birth, Marriage, and Death Information?
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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E Wilcock
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Re: Primary birth fact

Post by E Wilcock » 05 Oct 2017 18:16

That advice is fine for people who started with fh. But a problem for those who imported from software which allowed more than one birth or death event.

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Re: Primary birth fact

Post by tatewise » 05 Oct 2017 18:28

Agreed Evelyn, but if the concepts discussed were accepted, then a Plugin could merge multiple Facts with similar details, or maybe convert all but the Primary Fact to Custom Facts, but that begs the question of how to identify each Primary Fact.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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mardler
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Re: Primary birth fact

Post by mardler » 05 Oct 2017 20:17

Folks, I hope I can give a little background to Ian's question. We work together on the One-Name Study into our surname. At my suggestion, he purchased FH last week. I'm doing my best to help him from far away but I could not answer his question, especially given that I have been using v5. (I upgraded this afternoon, BTW, and want to acknowledge the excellent responsiveness of and huge help from the good folks at Calico Pie.)

Yes, guilty as charged! We started our ONS when we were using FamilyTreeMaker and Ian has continued to use it for ten+ years. FTM does indeed allow for the selection of a preferred fact for any event. The good aspect to that is that we record every single fact from every single census, baptism, military record and so on. This practice allows the public to check our work once we have placed it online. Result: many people have 6 or 7 different birth "facts", some even more. Because of the way we work, many people have two or more death or marriage "facts" too!

When I first started with FH, I had a problem with the automatic ordering feature, placing everything in date order. That had meant that the first birth fact was often not the most accurate, and not the one we wanted to show for the individual in the Focus window - what Ian called the "preferred" fact. From this very board, I had some help and learned how to turn off that automatic ordering and put our "preferred" birth fact at the top of the list.

Anyway, we have now fixed Ian's issue. Phew! Thanks for your concern everyone. Paul Howes

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tatewise
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Re: Primary birth fact

Post by tatewise » 05 Oct 2017 20:56

Thank you for that explanation Paul. It helps understand the history to the current situation.

One idea I have been considering is a Plugin that can adjust the order of Facts using different criteria than FH.
Some products have a Sort Date feature that can override the Fact Date and is another way of identifying a Primary Fact.
The scenario Paul outlines presumably has one Fact for each Source Citation. Each Citation Assessment could identify the preferred order of the associated Facts, i.e. Primary evidence 1st, Secondary evidence 2nd, and so on. The Plugin could adjust the order of multiple Facts of the same type by using the Citation Assessment values.

So after using the usual FH auto-sorting, running the Plugin with various settings, would adjust the Fact order as desired.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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mardler
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Re: Primary birth fact

Post by mardler » 08 Oct 2017 12:57

Hello Mike. I am intrigued by your notion of a plug in to allow for different ordering, because after just a few days with 6.2.5 I am experiencing one slight wobble in our current approach which worked just fine in version 5 but doesn't appear to work in v6.

When I'm done with editing a particular individual I can move our 'preferred' birth fact to the top and thus have it show in the Records window. As long as nothing happens, everything is fine. However, if I then find an additional 'fact' for that person, the moment I add it, the births re-sort themselves! It's a little annoying.

Let me give you a simple example. I'm looking at the following birth "facts" for a particular individual.
Birth Place Source
1891 Florida 1940 US census
1892 - Probate record - father
1892 Florida 1910 US census, 1920 US census, 1930 US census
Feb1892 Florida 1900 US census
24 Feb 1893 Florida US veteran headstone application, SSDI
24 Feb 1893 Fort Meade, FL WW1 draft card
There will be others as I find him in more datasets. Right now, every time I add another piece of data, the birth facts sort themselves back into date order with 1891 at the top. I haven't been able to do enough data entry yet to see whether the same thing happens with deaths.

Am I missing a code somewhere in version 6 which would stop this re-ordering?

Yes, we aren't working in the preferred method for FH, as outlined earlier in the thread, but in my view, the software should not determine how we work but allow everyone to plow/plough their own furrow. With 125,000+ people in our database now I'm reluctant to change our approach. So, if there is a possiblity of a plug-in, I'd be happy to help test it, though I don't have the expertise to write it.
Paul Howes

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tatewise
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Re: Primary birth fact

Post by tatewise » 08 Oct 2017 13:28

Paul, try Tools > Preferences > General tab, Advanced button, and clear Enable automatic ordering of Events/Attributes by Date at the bottom.

You also need to steer clear of the Tools > Re-order Out-of-Sequence Data command and Property Box > Menu > Sort Family & Events in Date Order.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: Primary birth fact

Post by mardler » 08 Oct 2017 14:09

Thank you so much, Mike. Clearly I hadn't looked hard enough
Paul

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