* Question about scope of records handled by A.S.

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Gary_G
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Question about scope of records handled by A.S.

Post by Gary_G »

Nick;

Just a quick question...

From what I've observed; it appears that A.S. was designed primarily to handle census returns and the info derived from civil/church registers, but not really intended for use with other typically consulted BMD sources like the GRO & FreeBMD Indices. Am I correct? If so; I "think" I've created all the AS-related templates I need and can look at polishing up the ones that fall outside of its intended scope.
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Re: Question about scope of records handled by A.S.

Post by jbtapscott »

I'm sure Nick will respond in due course, but for info, I use AS for all BMDB entries regardless of source as it ensures a level of consistency in my entries. I use multiple Autotext templates and, in need, use the "Generic .. Data Only" one if nothing else fits, and will manually modify the data in FH if I need to. I don't use the Source Templates introduced with FH7 (which I believe you do, or intend to do), so this may add a an extra level of complexity.
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Re: Question about scope of records handled by A.S.

Post by NickWalker »

Gary_G wrote: 06 Mar 2024 23:00 From what I've observed; it appears that A.S. was designed primarily to handle census returns and the info derived from civil/church registers, but not really intended for use with other typically consulted BMD sources like the GRO & FreeBMD Indices. Am I correct? If so; I "think" I've created all the AS-related templates I need and can look at polishing up the ones that fall outside of its intended scope.
The main advantage of AS has always been that from one entry it is able to generate a (potentially) large amount of facts all linked back to a source and linked to an image. In the main a GRO entry just leads to one fact (*) being created and there isn't any need to transcribe the source or have an image of it - the reference is enough. When we've discussed this in the past on the forums it appears that even if we're very much method 1 (splitters), most of us use a lumped source for GRO entries - I certainly do. The benefits of using AS for this over just doing it in FH are minimal. There are at least a couple of GRO plugins for FH in the plugin store that you might want to look at although I haven't used them and don't know the pros and cons of each over the others.

* I should also add that I am aware that a death register entry can have an age associated which could lead to a birth fact also being generated with approximate year of birth recorded. But my main argument still stands.
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Re: Question about scope of records handled by A.S.

Post by jelv »

I don't use AS for GRO entries but use this plugin: https://pluginstore.family-historian.co ... e-citation.
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Re: Question about scope of records handled by A.S.

Post by Tony Jones »

I also tend to use AS for RGO BMD as it hadn't occurred to me not to! While it's overkill, it makes me work in a consistent way and keeps me on one screen for most of my data entry. I don't make much use of templates, though.
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Re: Question about scope of records handled by A.S.

Post by ChrisRead »

I've always entered GRO BMD references as a note on the relevant fact (in a standard format of old and newer references), although I always knew that maybe they should be a proper source (lumper style). I wasn't aware of the plug-in for doing them (thanks), but then I only use a few plugins on occasion such as the Export one. I'll have to have a look, but I have thousands (2290) of GRO notes to deal with. Maybe as a retired softie I should learn to write a plug-in (from scratch) to convert them all if I can't figure another trick, as it's a one off exercise.

As for things that would be nice in AS, the one I have mentioned before is Marriage Banns, as it's so similar to a marriage. When I have both, I'll fill in a marriage in AS and generate the Banns autotext from one of my Banns templates (I have 4 variants) and just edit the 2nd, 3rd date, which are (almost) always a week later in each case. Then I copy/paste the autotext to a manually created Banns source in FH. Then in AS switch autotext to a marriage template and complete as a normal marriage. Now I think about it, if there was a {DATE} add function, it could auto-calculate the two subsequent dates automatically to avoid manual editing. :D

Others that would be nice are Probates which can have useful information to tie up loose ends, and Headstone/Memorials for similar reasons. However, these are getting beyond the BMDC scope of AS.
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Re: Question about scope of records handled by A.S.

Post by Gary_G »

Nick;
Thank you for confirming the capability-focus for A.S. That helps me feel more comfortable about taking the time to investigate other ways of doing the remaining source citations that I require.

Everyone;
Thank you for your suggestions. They are helpful.

Chris;
Your comment reminded me of something that was said in the Evidence Explained forum. That EE comment appeared to suggest that the GRO Index likely wouldn't be cited in a finished work, because they are really only a reference to a source and didn't have actual data that one could evaluate. In past, like you, I have generated a fact+note. They served as a placeholder until I found something better. I may just continue on that path, once I've evaluated the other options in. FH7.

"jel";
Thank you for the reference to Mike's plugin. I'll have a look. One concern in using the plugin is that it generates generic sources. These may look out-of-place amongst my modified Strathclyde style citations. I suppose I could have a go at tweaking the plugin to match my style, but that may be quite a bit of work for one that is not used to the language. All said; I'll have a look at the plugin and then decide.
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Re: Question about scope of records handled by A.S.

Post by ChrisRead »

Gary_g:
I have generated a fact+note. They served as a placeholder until I found something better. I may just continue on that path, once I've evaluated the other options in. FH7.
Same here, the GRO is a good placeholder, and can at least get you in the right time period for hunting for better sources. I'm not sure I would really gain much from the plug-in as-is, although I may have a look at it to see if I could make some enhancements (as a learning exercise and if I can drum up the enthusiasm) such as format options and convert to citation from note, but that's for another day (month, year).
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Re: Question about scope of records handled by A.S.

Post by tatewise »

Gary_G wrote: 07 Mar 2024 13:06 Thank you for the reference to Mike's plugin. I'll have a look. One concern in using the plugin is that it generates generic sources. These may look out-of-place amongst my modified Strathclyde style citations. I suppose I could have a go at tweaking the plugin to match my style, but that may be quite a bit of work for one that is not used to the language. All said; I'll have a look at the plugin and then decide.
The plugin actually supports templated as well as generic Sources.
However, it currently only creates data for the generic Citation fields Assessment, Where Within Source, Entry Date, Notes & Text From Source.
It gets tricky to cater for templated Citation fields because there is no 'standard' set of metafields nor is there a 'standard' set of values to be saved in each field.
The plugin would have to offer a mechanism for mapping each data item in the plugin dialogue with a data item in the user's templated Citation.
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Re: Question about scope of records handled by A.S.

Post by Gary_G »

Thanks for clarifying that. I had that same impression when I looked at the code. Seems it would be easiest to just make 3 user-defined templates that fit my modified Strathclyde style.
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Re: Question about scope of records handled by A.S.

Post by fhtess65 »

I just tried this one, but goofed, and chose the wrong source (I have several from an RM import) and now can't get back to the list to select another one. Even uninstalling and reinstalling the plug-in and restarting FH didn't work :(

Mike - is there a way to reset the plug-in?
jelv wrote: 07 Mar 2024 09:19 I don't use AS for GRO entries but use this plugin: https://pluginstore.family-historian.co ... e-citation.
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Re: Question about scope of records handled by A.S.

Post by jelv »

If you find the correct record id numbers for the sources from the Sources records tab you can enter them directly in to the three boxes at the bottom of the plugin screen.
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Re: Question about scope of records handled by A.S.

Post by fhtess65 »

Thanks :)
jelv wrote: 07 Mar 2024 15:39 If you find the correct record id numbers for the sources from the Sources records tab you can enter them directly in to the three boxes at the bottom of the plugin screen.
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Re: Question about scope of records handled by A.S.

Post by Gary_G »

Just a post to say my 3 user-defined BMD Index templates are complete and appear to work well to produce a modified Strathclyde citation for different databases and countries.

By modified Strathclyde, I mean that the first part tries to closely follow the Ian G. MacDonald book and the last half "parallels" the Evidence Explained style. This compromise seems to remove the structural variability in EE-style that made it difficult for me to template. [By the way; "(CR) stands for "civil records"; a convention in the noted book.]

Example
Title
Births Index (CR). England. HM Passport Office. "Search the GRO Online Indexes: Birth".

Footnote
Births Index (CR). England. Kensington RD, Middlesex. Q1 1866. WELLS, Frederick William. Mother's maiden surname: MARTIN, Ref: Volume 01A, Page 65. Database entry, part of "Search the GRO Online Indexes: Birth", in HM Passport Office, at https://www.gro.gov.uk, accessed 28 Sep 2023.

Short Footnote
Births Index (CR). England. Kensigton RD, Middlesex. Q1 1866. WELLS, Frederick William.

Bibliography
Births Index (CR). England. "Search the GRO Online Indexes: Birth". HM Passport Office. https://www.gro.gov.uk.
I've used a lumper-style for the BMD Index templates, as was earlier suggested by Nick as what he observed to be the norm. However; my modified Strathclyde style would have allowed me to use splitting as well.
When we've discussed this in the past on the forums it appears that even if we're very much method 1 (splitters), most of us use a lumped source for GRO entries - I certainly do.
I should also note that I've managed to use the noted modified Strathclyde to create 2 user-templates that handle all my A.S.-generated citations with minimal need to go to the template to complete fields. This gives me the consistency that I hoped to achieve despite having to cite records from several countries.
Last edited by Gary_G on 07 Mar 2024 23:35, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Question about scope of records handled by A.S.

Post by ColeValleyGirl »

Gary_G wrote: 07 Mar 2024 17:53 Footnote
Births Index (CR). England. Kensigton RD, Kent. Q1 1866. WELLS, Frederick William. Mother's maiden surname: MARTIN, Ref: Volume 01A, Page 65. Database entry, part of "Search the GRO Online Indexes: Birth", in HM Passport Office, at https://www.gro.gov.uk, accessed 28 Sep 2023.
The interval between committing a typo and somebody pointing it out is th smallest period known to humanity, but it will annoy you when ypu spot it in future...

Ian MacDonald's book has been my bedtime reading for a week or so. I want to see what EE's 4th edition offers, but the Strathclyde approach looks promising.
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Re: Question about scope of records handled by A.S.

Post by Gary_G »

Helen;

It's terrible to have typos, but they do happen [I did see the one in your reply :D ]. Thanks for spotting it. I've corrected it in my post

Previous to this juncture, I'd desperately tried to follow the EE-style; and its idiosyncrasies seldom failed to disappoint. It's not that there isn't some value in the concepts discussed in the book, but I've never been able to create a decent template set for the style. Believe me; I've tried. I think the author of Simple Citations would agree on that point.

I don't hold much hope for EE's 4th ed. The 3rd ed. preoccupation with shoe-horning everything into a "book" paradigm (and trying to punctuate everything just so) appears to have created an overly challenging style. As ESM claims that the citations from the 3rd and 4th editions are compatible, I doubt the situation will improve.

Ian G. MacDonald's book, however, is rather more practical by comparison. However; it sometimes overlooks the point that some records need a bit more info to ensure that a search turns up only a single result. I suppose that's something that I don't find to be an issue and requires only minor modifications. Besides; what he shows are usually typical examples for illustration. [The GRO Index is a good example. There may be several Frederick William Wells born in a specific quarter of a certain year, so one also needs the mother's maiden surname to know which one is the actual target.]
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Re: Question about scope of records handled by A.S.

Post by Mark1834 »

Gary_G wrote: 07 Mar 2024 17:53 Title
Births Index (CR). England. HM Passport Office. "Search the GRO Online Indexes: Birth".

Footnote
Births Index (CR). England. Kensington RD, Kent. Q1 1866. WELLS, Frederick William. Mother's maiden surname: MARTIN, Ref: Volume 01A, Page 65. Database entry, part of "Search the GRO Online Indexes: Birth", in HM Passport Office, at https://www.gro.gov.uk, accessed 28 Sep 2023.

Short Footnote
Births Index (CR). England. Kensigton RD, Kent. Q1 1866. WELLS, Frederick William.

Bibliography
Births Index (CR). England. "Search the GRO Online Indexes: Birth". HM Passport Office. https://www.gro.gov.uk.
I may have misunderstood your source structure, but where does "Kent" come from? Kensington Registration District was at that time in the county of Middlesex, not Kent. Or do you mean something other than the county?
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Re: Question about scope of records handled by A.S.

Post by Gary_G »

Mark1834 wrote: 07 Mar 2024 23:16 I may have misunderstood your source structure, but where does "Kent" come from? Kensington Registration District was at that time in the county of Middlesex, not Kent. Or do you mean something other than the county?
Mark;
The example was just intended to highlight the structure of what my modified Strathclyde template produces, rather than the contained data. However; I've edited the county to read "Middlesex". One could even remove the county from this example by simply entering the place as "Kensington RD,,England". The template has this flexibility as it is designed to handle other indexed regions like Australia.
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Re: Question about scope of records handled by A.S.

Post by Mark1834 »

That makes sense - it would not be correct to include the county for the source you cited, as this is not reported (and many Registration Districts cross county boundaries), but it may be elsewhere.
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Re: Question about scope of records handled by A.S.

Post by ColeValleyGirl »

Gary_G wrote: 07 Mar 2024 20:51 Helen;

It's terrible to have typos, but they do happen [I did see the one in your reply :D ]. Thanks for spotting it. I've corrected it in my post
I was worried it was in your data :)
I don't hold much hope for EE's 4th ed. The 3rd ed. preoccupation with shoe-horning everything into a "book" paradigm (and trying to punctuate everything just so) appears to have created an overly challenging style. As ESM claims that the citations from the 3rd and 4th editions are compatible, I doubt the situation will improve.
Yes, it's the much simpler punctuation in the MacDonald book that appeals. Full stop. :)
The GRO Index is a good example. There may be several Frederick William Wells born in a specific quarter of a certain year, so one also needs the mother's maiden surname to know which one is the actual target.]
And sometimes that's not even enough. The number of surnames in the South Wales coalfields in the mid-nineteenth century is not large...
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Re: Question about scope of records handled by A.S.

Post by arthurk »

Gary_G wrote: 07 Mar 2024 20:51 [The GRO Index is a good example. There may be several Frederick William Wells born in a specific quarter of a certain year, so one also needs the mother's maiden surname to know which one is the actual target.]
I don't know if you deliberately fictionalised the entry in order to post it here, but the mother's maiden name you gave (Martin) comes from a different Frederick William Wells, born the same year but in a different district and a different quarter.

I'd also query the general approach of using the mother's maiden name to identify an entry, as Helen pointed out with reference to South Wales. Until fairly recently this wasn't included in the indexes for earlier dates, so it wouldn't be of any help to someone using FreeBMD and its links to the older paper-based GRO indexes. The usual way to identify an entry is with its year and quarter, volume and page number; up to about 8 entries might share the same reference, but (except in South Wales??) it would be very unusual for two or more of those to share forenames, surnames and mother's maiden names.
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Re: Question about scope of records handled by A.S.

Post by Gary_G »

Arthur;

As I have said previously, the data is irrelevant and was just to show what I've called a modified Strathclyde format.

With regard to uniquely identifying someone in the Index...
As with all indices; that is not always possible. There are only so many parameters on which to filter and two people could share them all. However; one tries to include sufficient data to narrow the records returned to just one. If that cannot be done, then one must decide whether to purchase the associated certificates to resolve the issue. Fortunately; many situations can be specified in such a way that they resolve to one person. Personally; I just use indices as a "clue" to the correct and place to research. However; I do record the results in my "working" database and so need a template that allows me to do so. I might also consider using them in documenting some secondary lines in my "formal" database; just to avoid some costs on non-critical research.
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Re: Question about scope of records handled by A.S.

Post by Gary_G »

My, but this thread has wandered... :D

I'm still developing a modified Strathclyde template set to meet my needs and had just intended to check with Nick about whether I'd likely addressed all those that really needed to interface with A.S. I hadn't expected my example citation to generate such a discussion.

When I've a more-or-less complete set, I'll likely reach out to some colleagues to test them out.
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Re: Question about scope of records handled by A.S.

Post by ColeValleyGirl »

Gary_G wrote: 08 Mar 2024 13:33 My, but this thread has wandered... :D
We're genealogists, Gary. We chase all the rabbits down all the holes. One of them might be a cousin...
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Re: Question about scope of records handled by A.S.

Post by NickWalker »

Gary_G wrote: 08 Mar 2024 13:33 My, but this thread has wandered... :D

I'm still developing a modified Strathclyde template set to meet my needs and had just intended to check with Nick about whether I'd likely addressed all those that really needed to interface with A.S. I hadn't expected my example citation to generate such a discussion.

When I've a more-or-less complete set, I'll likely reach out to some colleagues to test them out.
I'm sure this has been a useful discussion for a number of people so not a problem that it generated such interest.
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