Recording Credibility of Family Relationships


When researching family relationships it is not always certain that links between people are definitive without further evidence. To record the credibility of such relationships the following alternatives are available.

To make the following data structures more visible, indicative text can appear in the Caption of the Property Box by using an Expression similar to that shown in each section. Use the Property Box cog Menu top right and choose Options or use Tools > Preferences > Property Box, then click the Captions button to obtain the Property Box Captions dialogue where those Expressions can be inserted in the Individual box. Similar techniques can be used for Diagram Box Features or a Records Window Column or in Queries as advised in Record Flags, Using Icons and Expressions.

Spouses & Partners

Each standard Marriage and Divorce event allows Source Citations with Assessments to identify credibility.

For unmarried couples the Source Citations with Assessments can be added to the Family record itself, or to a custom fact such as Liaison.

Parents & Children

It is more challenging to record the credibility of Parent to Child relationships. The following techniques are available and could all be used to mark Diagrams, produce Queries, and be included in Reports.

Birth Witnesses Citations

Family Historian’s Help says:

You can now add source citations for all relationships, including parent-child relationships. To add a source citation for person Y as father of person X, use the Witnesses window for X’s birth event, to add person Y with role of ‘father’. You can then add source citations for Y in this role, with respect to X’s birth. A new sentence template code is used to prevent unwanted sentences being generated for this, in narrative reports. You can use the same technique to add source citations for adoptive parents. Adding a source citation for a spouse relationship has always been possible, by simply adding source citations for their marriage.

Be aware that Witnesses use the non-standard GEDCOM _SHAR tag that may not migrate to other products. Similar Witnesses can be applied to Baptism and other facts.

Expression: %INDI.BIRT._SHAR[1].NOTE2% shows the Note on the 1st Birth Witness.

Parents Family Note Citations

The INDI.FAMC.NOTE2 field is unique to each Parents family link and with a Source Citation can quantify the Parent-Child relationship. It initially only appears on the All tab, but can be added to the Main tab of the Property Box of the Child to make it more accessible. This technique is standard GEDCOM compatible.

Expression: %INDI.FAMC[1].NOTE2% shows the Note on the 1st Parents family link.

The Parents family link also has a parent-child Relationship field, but only specific values such as adopted, foster, or illegitimate are allowed, and Source Citations are NOT allowed.

Associated Persons

The Associated Persons (INDI.ASSO) feature allows uncertain relationships to be recorded with Source Citations. This technique is standard GEDCOM compatible.

Expression: %INDI.ASSO[1].RELA% shows the Relationship on the 1st Associated Person.

Individual Record Flags

Individual record<record Flags can be used to signal various degrees of relationship credibility. Be aware that Flags use the non-standard GEDCOM _FLGS tag that may not migrate to other products.

Expression: =ExistsText(%INDI._FLGS.__UNCONFIRMED%,"Unconfirmed")

Last update: 22 Feb 2024