* Is there a way to link two individuals that likely are the same person?

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Is there a way to link two individuals that likely are the same person?

Post by BillH »

I have two individuals in my tree who may very likely be the same person. Is there any way to link them together to make it easier to jump from one to the other in the focus window? I looked through the knowledge base and in the forums, but didn't come across anything.

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Re: Is there a way to link two individuals that likely are the same person?

Post by Gowermick »

I would think the quickest way to jump between them is via the records window. With their surname and forename entered into the filter winidows at top of screen, the records list will be restricted to just them (and of course, anyone else with same forename/surname), and it should be easy to jump from one to the other from there.
Once you’re satisfied they are the same person, you can highlight them both and do an Edit/Merge, to merge the two individuals.
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Re: Is there a way to link two individuals that likely are the same person?

Post by Mark1834 »

One option might be to have a Note for each individual that simply contains a link to the other person. That would make it readily visible in the Property Box, so one click to load that person into the Property Box, then a second click to make that the focus person. If you do merge them, you can then delete the notes.
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Re: Is there a way to link two individuals that likely are the same person?

Post by mjashby »

The standard GEDCOM method is to use the 'Alias Tag', not to be confused with usual meaning of an alias being an alternative name used by a person.

- Make a note of the Individual IDs of the possible 'matches'
- Make one of them the focus individual
- Select the All Tab for that individual
- Right Click on the name and select Add miscellaneous > Add Alias > Add Link to Existing Individual Record and make the link by entering the other ID.

The link created allows you to switch quickly between the Individual records and you can also add more Aliases if there are more than two possible matches.

I would agree with other suggestions that it can also be useful to have a linked (reminder) research list/note for possible record matches, especially if you have a number of potential matches within a large research project, but that method doesn't directly link the individuals.

If you eventually disprove a potential match, just delete the Alias Tag.

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Re: Is there a way to link two individuals that likely are the same person?

Post by tatewise »

The Rich Text Individual Link works well assuming the Property Box is displayed with the Focus Window as is normal.
If the link is near the start of the first line of the record local Note then it is visible immediately under the Name box.
That can be clicked to switch to the other person's Property Box and then clicking the Display in Focus Window magnifying glass in the Property Box will update the Focus Window.

Put a similar reciprocal Individual Link in that other person's Note and switching back and forth is easy.

The alternative of using the Alias option can be added to the Property Box Main tab via Customize Property Box option.
Just use Data Reference %INDI.ALIA% without the > link.
Then on the Main tab, to the right of the Alias box, the cog menu offers Select / Clear & Go To Individual record ver similar to the Rich Text Individual Link above. It also needs a reciprocal Alias from the other person.
A benefit of this method is it uses standard GEDCOM Alias features that work in FH v5/v6/v7 and may export to other products.
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Re: Is there a way to link two individuals that likely are the same person?

Post by BillH »

Gowermick wrote: 23 Dec 2021 06:27 I would think the quickest way to jump between them is via the records window. With their surname and forename entered into the filter winidows at top of screen, the records list will be restricted to just them (and of course, anyone else with same forename/surname), and it should be easy to jump from one to the other from there.
Once you’re satisfied they are the same person, you can highlight them both and do an Edit/Merge, to merge the two individuals.
That is the way I am doing it now, but that is kind of a pain. I spend 99% of my time on the focus window and property box and don't use the Individual tab of the records window that much. I was hoping there would be a way to link them more directly.

Thanks,
Bill
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Re: Is there a way to link two individuals that likely are the same person?

Post by BillH »

tatewise wrote: 23 Dec 2021 10:45 The Rich Text Individual Link works well assuming the Property Box is displayed with the Focus Window as is normal.
If the link is near the start of the first line of the record local Note then it is visible immediately under the Name box.
That can be clicked to switch to the other person's Property Box and then clicking the Display in Focus Window magnifying glass in the Property Box will update the Focus Window.
This was just what I was looking for. I had not used any rich text before. I searched in the help for this, but didn't come across it.

Thanks,
Bill
Last edited by BillH on 23 Dec 2021 16:05, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is there a way to link two individuals that likely are the same person?

Post by BillH »

Mark1834 wrote: 23 Dec 2021 09:03 One option might be to have a Note for each individual that simply contains a link to the other person. That would make it readily visible in the Property Box, so one click to load that person into the Property Box, then a second click to make that the focus person. If you do merge them, you can then delete the notes.
Thanks Mark, this was just what I was looking for. I had not used any rich text before. I searched in the help for this, but didn't come across it.

Thanks,
Bill
Last edited by BillH on 23 Dec 2021 16:04, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is there a way to link two individuals that likely are the same person?

Post by BillH »

mjashby wrote: 23 Dec 2021 10:02 The standard GEDCOM method is to use the 'Alias Tag', not to be confused with usual meaning of an alias being an alternative name used by a person.
Mervyn,

I thought of doing something like this, but I have always preferred to use Alias only when I know it is the same person just using two different names. Here I'm not sure that is the case.

Thanks,
Bill
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Re: Is there a way to link two individuals that likely are the same person?

Post by mjashby »

Bill,

The GEDCOM 5.5.1 (and earlier) TAG definition is:

"ALIA {ALIAS}:=
An indicator to link different record descriptions of a person who may be the same person."

But, I do agree that it can appear confusing to someone who is more familiar with the the non-genealogy usage of 'alias' as meaning an individual who is known to have used different names.

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Re: Is there a way to link two individuals that likely are the same person?

Post by tatewise »

Yes, if a person just has a number of different names, you would use the Alternate Names entries in the same record.
However, some products treat ALIAS as a form of Alternate Name field with text rather than a link to another record.
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Re: Is there a way to link two individuals that likely are the same person?

Post by BillH »

Mervyn and Mike,

That is good to know. I was thinking of the non-genealogy definition. I have only used Alias a couple times and usually use the alternate name field.

In any case, I like the idea of using an individual rich text link. For both individuals I created a new note and put it first. In the note I have the link to the other individual. I have the first line of the first note showing on the Main tab in the property box so the link is readily visible and I can get to the other individual in one click. Too bad FH can't automatically display the focus window for the person after I click on the link so I don't have to click on the magnifying glass, but I can live with two clicks to see the focus window for the second person. :D

Thanks again,
Bill
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Re: Is there a way to link two individuals that likely are the same person?

Post by ississi »

Hi,
pardon my ignorance, but how, then, do you do a Rich Text Individual Link? I've tried searching but haven't found the method.
Many thanks,
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Re: Is there a way to link two individuals that likely are the same person?

Post by LornaCraig »

Isabel,
In the Note window toolbar there is an icon to Add Link.

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Re: Is there a way to link two individuals that likely are the same person?

Post by dbnut »

mjashby wrote: 23 Dec 2021 10:02 The standard GEDCOM method is to use the 'Alias Tag'
tatewise wrote: 23 Dec 2021 10:45 Put a similar reciprocal Individual Link in that other person's Note and switching back and forth is easy.
:
The alternative of using the Alias option can be added to the Property Box Main tab via Customize Property Box option.
Just use Data Reference %INDI.ALIA% without the > link.
Then on the Main tab, to the right of the Alias box, the cog menu offers Select / Clear & Go To Individual record ver similar to the Rich Text Individual Link above. It also needs a reciprocal Alias from the other person.
LornaCraig wrote: 29 Dec 2021 11:21 In the Note window toolbar there is an icon to Add Link.
Thanks All for these contributions. Late to the party (as usual) but...

Distinguishing between persona and lineage record is such an important aspect of genealogy discipline, I'm disappointed serious-minded Family Historian users aren't making more noise about GEDCOM tag ALIA.

FH appears to support it correctly at file level, though interface provision is next to non-existent.

As far as I can tell, the creation process needs the following steps:

A. Props All: Add Field > Add Miscellaneous > Add Alias > Add Link to Existing Individual Record > (type in the ID you first thought of) > OK.
B. Props Notes: Add Note > Note about xxx > Add Link > Add Link to Individual Record > (type same) > Insert.
C. [optionally, cut and paste into existing Note field]
D-F. Repeat A-C for the reciprocal relationship.

Note that Step B is the only (and really messy) way to create a "live" link to the alias record.
Assuming the above is correct, clearly what we lack is something along these lines:

a. Props All (in target record): Copy (Record) as Link.
b. Props All (in current record): Add Field > Add Miscellaneous > Add Alias > Paste Link (to Individual Record).
c-d. Repeat a-b for the reciprocal relationship [but see Note 5 below].
e. Make Props All Alias field an active link.

Notes:

1. The bold entries in a and b are new menu items.
2. The multi-level menu in b should really be a top-level shortcut, reducing the entire one-way alias creation process to just 2 steps.
3. The clipboard link may then also (optionally) be pasted into an existing or new Note field/record provided the standard Notes property tab is enhanced to allow Rich text paste (for my purposes, the Note is now redundant).
4. The Props All Alias field needs a context menu item "Go to Record" to switch to the target - almost redundant with the ability to click the active link.
5. Perhaps most importantly, whoever heard of a one-way Alias? Therefore, with two or more records selected in the Records window or a diagram, add an Edit menu item to "merge-like" create aliases amongst the whole set.
6. And, during any later attempt to add a new alias to any in a related set, ensure that all related records are updated.
7. Alias is considered here to be a transitive relationship. While the evidential basis may differ for individual pairs, that should be documented in Notes.
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Re: Is there a way to link two individuals that likely are the same person?

Post by AdrianBruce »

I have to say that the intended(?) / official(?) use of the GEDCOM Alias tag is less than clear.

Tamura Jones' annotated GEDCOM 5.5.1 says that the ALIA record has "a remarkable history". He says that its first use (in GECOM 3 & 4) was to record alternate names - as we presumably know, alternate methods are now available. Then
FamilySearch GEDCOM 5.0 defined a new ALIA record, namely as a way to record that another INDI is possibly for the same person. There was no reason to create confusion by calling this the ALIA record. In fact, there was no reason to create this record type at all, because GEDCOM already supports the <<ASSOCIATION_STRUCTURE>> (ASSO record).
In practice, many products kept creating ALIA record to record alternate names
My emphasis...

On the other hand, if we look at GEDCOM 7, the intended use flips again...
A single individual may have facts distributed across multiple individual records, connected by ALIA (alias, in the computing sense not the pseudonym sense) pointers.
Also
This specification [GEDCOM 7] does not define how to connect INDI records with ALIA. Some systems organize ALIA pointers to create a tree structure, with the root INDI record containing the composite view of all facts in the leaf INDI records. Others distribute events and attributes between INDI records mutually linked by symmetric pairs of ALIA pointers. A future version of this specification may adjust the definition of ALIA.
I love the certainty of the GEDCOM 7 authors describing how "some systems" work. ;)

My point is that the GEDCOM 7 ALIA does not refer to INDI records that are possibly for the same human being, but to INDI records that are definitely the same human being. Perhaps they envisage different INDI records describing the same individual from different viewpoints - e.g. one INDI might describe Fred Bloggs as known in civilian life while another might describe him as known to the Military, with a different name, different birth year, e.g.
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Re: Is there a way to link two individuals that likely are the same person?

Post by KFN »

@Adrian

I’m in regular contact with GEDCOM v7 writers and one of major issues they have is getting the current app programmers to all get on board with v7. I’m hearing regular statements like “if we have to change our internal code to match v7 we just will not embrace this release”.

In my opinion, a proposed change made by real genealogists is introduced and the programmers at some of the app companies reject the idea because it means they have no easy was to move from their current view to the new view without a rewrite. They probably don’t have the resources to make v7 happen if the changes are too drastic.

It seams to me that so many apps have created an internal design that ultimately they can’t or are unwilling to read or generate a v7 GEDCOM. In many cases the writing of the specification reflects this app disconnect.

However, on the flip side, a lot a good incremental thinks have been done with v7 and we should look forward to v7.1 in the future.

Personally, this disconnect is the reason I’ve used and left multiple genealogy programs!
Last edited by KFN on 01 Jun 2024 13:54, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is there a way to link two individuals that likely are the same person?

Post by dbnut »

Hi Adrian, many thanks for your erudite comments. This is going to be a struggle...

AFAIK you're absolutely right about ALIA's history, mainly (IMO) thanks to LDS' amateurish start on the project. Equally, Tamura Jones doesn't mince words and I have great respect for his in-depth knowledge and arguments.

However:

* For me, GEDCOM 7 is for the most part a red herring (useful only for ideas).
* GEDCOM 5 (pretty much what FH supports) is expicit in its intended use for "possibly the same person"...
* while ASSO has much broader scope, as you might expect.
* And I don't give a monkey's how badly other systems use ALIA-ASSO or import/export them.

But some points to note are:

* ALIA is a pure pointer, while ASSO doesn't have to be [but see final observation].
* ALIA is defective, lacking source and notes available in ASSO.
* ASSO also has an explicit RELAtionship (that FH infuriatingly labels "Role").

Now, FH went down the "Witness" road that is (AFAICT) essentially cut-down ASSO in capability (sadly lacking notes and sources), except it links to events in contrast to ASSO's restriction to INDI.

Using ASSO would make a lot of sense if FH upgraded its support to Witness-style (virtual records), with proper inclusion of notes and sources, provided this expanded to cover the points I made before (direct creation and auto-reciprocals). Being standard GEDCOM, this would be a creditable partner to the user-defined extension Witness.

So, on reflection, and thanks to your comments, my preference now would be for ASSO instead of ALIA - but otherwise in line with my post, expanded to cover notes/sources support, using the term "Relationship", and with Witness-style virtual records.

Only one point bothers me still. I thought ASSO originally allowed for a "phrase" (something like a personal name) as an alternative to INDI cross-ref. Perhaps that was abolished in later versions?

Hope I haven't made any significant blunders here :-)
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Re: Is there a way to link two individuals that likely are the same person?

Post by KFN »

@dbnut
Only one point bothers me still. I thought ASSO originally allowed for a "phrase" (something like a personal name) as an alternative to INDI cross-ref. Perhaps that was abolished in later versions?
Well yes and no.

In GEDCOM v5 the ASSO structure was something like:
ASSO <Description> XREF_Pointer
The pointer could be to an INDI or a FAM

In GEDCOM v4 the ASSO could be a name.

This changed to the current v5.5 and v5.5.1 design
1 ASSO XREF_pointer
2 RELA <description>
2 SOUR
2 NOTE

Some apps did not use the newer design and kept the older name usage. One reasons v7 now contain a Phrase again, trying to bring all of the dialects back together and make everyone happy, and confused!
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Re: Is there a way to link two individuals that likely are the same person?

Post by KFN »

Obviously too with GEDCOM v7 now allowing ASSO as part of an event/fact it also makes sense to allow an ASSO with just a name and description!
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Re: Is there a way to link two individuals that likely are the same person?

Post by dbnut »

@KFN
Ah, that's very helpful thanks.
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Re: Is there a way to link two individuals that likely are the same person?

Post by tatewise »

dbnut wrote: 01 Jun 2024 13:53 Now, FH went down the "Witness" road that is (AFAICT) essentially cut-down ASSO in capability (sadly lacking notes and sources), except it links to events in contrast to ASSO's restriction to INDI.

Using ASSO would make a lot of sense if FH upgraded its support to Witness-style (virtual records), with proper inclusion of notes and sources, provided this expanded to cover the points I made before (direct creation and auto-reciprocals). Being standard GEDCOM, this would be a creditable partner to the user-defined extension Witness.
FYI: FH Fact Witness links do fully support Notes and Sources.
FH was quite late to the game to use Shared Fact Witness _SHAR tag features introduced by other products.
image.png
image.png (16.01 KiB) Viewed 2577 times
In the All tab, right-click on the Witness and Add Source and Add Note are options.
In the Facts tab, open the Witnesses dialogue and click Edit to see the Note box.
At that point, you can also use the conventional Add Citation button in the Sources For window.

GEDCOM v7 introduces the Fact level ASSO & ROLE to represent the de facto Shared Fact Witness feature supported by many products.
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Re: Is there a way to link two individuals that likely are the same person?

Post by dbnut »

tatewise wrote: 02 Jun 2024 10:11 In the All tab, right-click on the Witness and Add Source and Add Note are options.
In the Facts tab, open the Witnesses dialogue and click Edit to see the Note box.
GEDCOM v7 introduces the Fact level ASSO & ROLE to represent the de facto Shared Fact Witness feature supported by many products.
Many thanks for that, Mike.
Confess I didn't take the trouble to check the All tab.
Well, isn't that a half-baked solution that should have been implemented directly from the Witness dialogue using the Citation form?

Re. GEDCOM 7, I'd need a lot of convincing there are enough benefits to justify developer effort in implementation & conversion and user effort in picking up the pieces.
The entire GEDCOM model is so far removed from real-world needs for family history, I'd prefer to see a lot more concentration on a complete replacement.
And I don't mean FHISO, that has dug itself into a deep hole with its extraordinarily complex schema - the exact opposite of what I believe to be the correct direction.

Anyway, for current purposes I'm sticking with my case for proper interface support for user-friendly, reciprocal, multi-membership ASSO relations.

That would be one small step closer to decoupling personae from persons and be of significant benefit in One Name Studies.

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Re: Is there a way to link two individuals that likely are the same person?

Post by tatewise »

Paul, you seem to have missed a part of my reply that says:
In the Facts tab, open the Witnesses dialogue and click Edit to see the Note box.
At that point, you can also use the conventional Add Citation button in the Sources For window.
That supports Notes and Sources directly from the Facts tab Witness dialogue exactly as you desire!
I only include the All tab for completeness.

My impression is that GEDCOM v7 is trying to accommodate existing product features without too much developer effort. A complete replacement would require major redevelopment and thus unlikely to be adopted. The degree of full support for GEDCOM v5.5 is disappointing enough without contemplating a complete replacement.

Reading the latest FHISO notes, they have contributed to GEDCOM v7 and especially the documented extension tag schema concepts that they were introducing.
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Re: Is there a way to link two individuals that likely are the same person?

Post by heathermary »

LornaCraig wrote: 29 Dec 2021 11:21 Isabel,
In the Note window toolbar there is an icon to Add Link.


Note toolbar.jpg
Hi, Is there a way to do this in v6 please?
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