*Census entry - Individual v Family

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Gowermick
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Census entry - Individual v Family

Postby Gowermick » 14 May 2019 11:59

Whilst editing the Birth and Death fact types, I noticed that there are 2 Census facts types, one for Individuals and one for Families.
As I have only ever used the Individual version, I wonder if anyone has used the Family version, and can explain what the difference is.

(I enter the fact details for an individual, then copy it around the rest of the family who appear on the same census return, i.e. I don’t use AS)
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ColeValleyGirl
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Re: Census entry - Individual v Family

Postby ColeValleyGirl » 14 May 2019 12:37

I've never seen any purpose for the Family census event -- it only gets applied to the couple, so you still have to create individual entries for the other family members who are present.

No doubt somebody else will explain its advantages.

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LornaCraig
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Re: Census entry - Individual v Family

Postby LornaCraig » 14 May 2019 14:20

I think the family census event is offered by FH simply because it is in the Gedcom spec.
I can't think of any advantages. As it says in the Knowledge Base:
It is recommended that the Census (family) Event is IGNORED, as it is not supported by the standard Census Report nor the Ancestral Sources program. Also the Census (family) Event only applies to the family couple and not their children or any other relations in the Census household.
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Re: Census entry - Individual v Family

Postby Gowermick » 14 May 2019 16:31

Helen & Lorna,
Thanks for your comments. By the look of it, it seems to be a pretty useless thing to have in the Gedcom spec, although I daresay at some point, someone somewhere thought it a good idea :D
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redvanman
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Re: Census entry - Individual v Family

Postby redvanman » 15 May 2019 09:47

Census entries are a bit of an anomaly, even for individuals. The census is no more a life event than, say, completing a tax return or applying for a passport. The published census record is simply a very valuable source of information about individuals. Because it's in GEDCOM it's in FH.
My preference is not to use census events at all, but enter the facts deduced from the census in their own right, with a census as a source.
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ColeValleyGirl
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Re: Census entry - Individual v Family

Postby ColeValleyGirl » 15 May 2019 09:57

Alyn, that's a fair point -- except you can't reliably deduce a Residence event from a census -- I have examples of people who were enumerated twice, and there are always the instances of people who were enumerated as Visitor who might only have been present at the address for one night. How do you handle those?

Gowermick
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Re: Census entry - Individual v Family

Postby Gowermick » 15 May 2019 10:04

Helen,
A lot of people forget it is just a snapshot of one night! I’ve seen TV programs fall into that trap, where they make some fantastic assumptions, just because someone wasn’t with their family for that night :D
e.g. Children staying with grandparents, so they assume they’ve been abandoned by their parents! It is as if they’ve never considered ‘sleepovers’ with nanny & granddad!
Mike Loney

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mjashby
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Re: Census entry - Individual v Family

Postby mjashby » 15 May 2019 10:08

Alyn,

It's definitely a life event for me as I have to fill in the forms with all of the information required. Although, in the past it was probably more 'done to' our ancestors rather than by them given the literacy levels!

We should also bear in mind that, with the the exception of the 1911 Census, all of the UK documents that have survived and that we can actually see are Enumerators' transcriptions of the original Household Census Schedules and the scope for errors to have arisen is in copying those individual schedules by hand must be enormous. But at least those Enumerators were familiar with the local geography and, probably, many of the families they would have recorded, which is far more than can be said for the modern day transcribers used by Ancestry, FMP etc. and of course the 'LDS'.

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ColeValleyGirl
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Re: Census entry - Individual v Family

Postby ColeValleyGirl » 15 May 2019 10:15

Mervyn, similarly applying for a passport in the past was a big event (not like today) and worthy of recording as such.

Gowermick
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Re: Census entry - Individual v Family

Postby Gowermick » 15 May 2019 13:46

IMHO, all events should be recorded, no matter how trivial we think they are today. The individual is more than the sum of their parts, which, when added together, helps us create a broader picture of our ancestors lives.

It could be that it is that trivial event, which later on, helps knock down a brickwall. :D
Mike Loney

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Re: Census entry - Individual v Family

Postby AdrianBruce » 15 May 2019 20:31

Yes, I also record the census as an individual event. But for many years I haven't put any detail in the notes for the census-event (no notes is very unusual for me) and I don't print census events out in reports. The census form is squeezed for all the other data that I can, so occupation, birth, marriage, and yes, even residence, get updated either as new facts or as extensions to existing ones. That's where the census data goes and why I have no need to print it - except as a diagnostic.

Yes, of course not all those can be updated on every census and there's a good deal of assumption in there - for instance just because someone claims to be married doesn't make them married but I automatically think of a married couple with no concrete evidence of a marriage date as being suspicious until proven otherwise.
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Re: Census entry - Individual v Family

Postby redvanman » 16 May 2019 08:21

Helen,
I agree that an individual appearing on a census record doesn't necessarily prove residence - but for me a whole family group at the same address and no-one else is a different matter.
Alyn

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ColeValleyGirl
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Re: Census entry - Individual v Family

Postby ColeValleyGirl » 16 May 2019 09:55

It does depend on the definition of a family group -- I have my great-grandparents in the 1911 census with one of their grandchildren (who actually lived 2 doors down the road and so was not resident at the address in the census, but it could be considered a family group). But I also have an ancestor in 1841 with her husband, her 10-year old child and her 10-year old grandchild (my great-great-grandfather, with a completely different surname) who was definitely resident with her (both parents having died) -- again a family group.

Which is a long way of saying it all depends on context and the other information you can discover about a family.

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mjashby
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Re: Census entry - Individual v Family

Postby mjashby » 22 May 2019 09:45

Alyn,

"I agree that an individual appearing on a census record doesn't necessarily prove residence - but for me a whole family group at the same address and no-one else is a different matter."

Whilst I do agree that the majority of Census records probably related to normal places of residences for the Head of household and their 'immediate' family, it's still worth considering a potential flaw in your argument; and that nothing can ever be considered absolute without additional confirmatory evidence.

Example: I recall completing one Census declaration which recorded myself and my whole 'family group' in a specific location on Census night. Was that our normal residence? No! We were temporarily away from our normal home and simply on a short duration stay in a house in a different town. UK Census Returns were/are designed purely for statistical purposes and are intended only to record the specific location of each person on a single night. In contrast, many US Census returns are/were somewhat different, as they often recorded property ownership, values etc., but still don't guarantee that every person listed as present on Census night was normally resident at that address. In fact you can sometimes legitimately find US returns that record individuals in multiple locations, because, whilst there was a specific date attached to each Census, the household schedules were completed across a range of dates, sometimes more than a week apart. Presumably it the shear geographic scale of collecting the data by hand caused that disparity.

Mervyn

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Re: Census entry - Individual v Family

Postby jbtapscott » 22 May 2019 10:48

I'm with a number of other people on this in that I don't use the Census record as a basis for Residence. I use AS to capture data and as such the Address / Place of the Census record is only recorded against the Census fact (set via the relevant AS option).

Although I hardly use FH reports, Fact sentences in FH and the Tag sentences in GedSite (which I use for my website) report this along the lines of "Person Name was enumerated at Address, Place on Census Date". I use the Census fact Notes (again via AS) to record the persons relationship to the Head of Household, their Marital Status and their Occupation - again, this all gets reported via the sentence structure on my website. The latter three are somewhat of a duplication as I also make use of the Auto Text option in AS to capture all details from the Census, but as this is shown in a grid against the Source record on my website, which is on a separate page, I think this is "OK"!.
Brent Tapscott ~ researching the Tapscott and Wallace family history
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