Family Historian Birth & Death Informant & Other Witness Roles

Introduction

fh V6 introduced Fact Witnesses and Ancestral Sources can optionally use them to record the Informant of a Birth or Death event. However, it is not made clear that the Informant Witness Role must be defined in fh.

Ancestral Sources also offers the option to include Associated Individuals on the Further Info tab, but again it is not made clear that an equivalent Witness Role must be defined in fh, although in this case, unlike the Informant Witness Role, some are already defined at installation.

Birth & Death Informant

At installation, fh does not include an Informant Witness Role. To use Ancestral Sources to record the Informant of a Birth or Death event, one must be defined in fh to allow the features to operate correctly.

Without that definition, the Facts tab of the Informant just displays Birth or Death without any further details, and the Narrative Sentence has no Template to correct its wording. This is confusing as the example below shows, with the word Death being displayed in the Facts tab dated Dec 1998 for a person still living 20 years later. The Sentence text further down is correct (although the grammar has not been corrected).

Facts Tab Death Informant Role

Define Informant Witness Role

To define an Informant Witness Role in fh follow these steps:

  • Use Tools > Fact Types, select the Birth or Death event, and click Edit to open a Fact Definition dialogue.
  • In the Sentence Template: optionally add . <The birth/death was registered by {role=informant}.>
  • Some Witness Roles may exist but not Informant, so click Roles and then Add to open a New Role dialogue.
  • Enter Role Name: as Informant.
  • Enter Past Tense: as Informed.
  • In the Witness Sentence Template: change a to an so it will read "… an Informant …".
  • Finally click the Create button, then Close, OK, Close.

An Informant Witness Role needs to created in fh for both the Birth and Death events.

Facts Tab Format

With the above definition the Facts tab for the Informant will say Informed Birth/Death of…

That can be customised by selecting the Informant role and using the Edit and Advanced buttons to create an Override Template, e.g. To mimic the Timeline Facts that say just Birth/Death of… then use the Template:

Birth/Death of {=Relationship(%CUR~WITN>%,GetRecord(%FACT%),TEXT,1)}
 {=FieldText(GetRecord(%FACT%),'INDI.NAME:FIRST')}

See the Forum thread Birth of son not recorded September 2017.

Other Considerations

Strictly speaking the Informant registration is a different event from the Birth or Death itself. It usually happens on a different Date at a different Place and Address. So rather than use an Informant Witness Role, it may be better to use a Custom Event where those different details can be recorded.

Associated Individuals in Ancestral Sources

The need for matching Witness Roles in fh also applies to all Associated Individuals in Ancestral Sources. Many Associations are installed by default in Ancestral Sources but there may not be a corresponding Witness Role in fh. For every Association that you wish to use (or create) in Ancestral Sources a corresponding Witness Role needs to exist in fh before you can use it properly.

The full list of Further Info Associated Individual Roles is as follows where those in bold are defaults in fh:

  • Birth ~ Registrant
  • Baptism ~ Godparent, Minister, Priest, Rabbi
  • Marriage ~ Best man, Bridesmaid, Minister, Priest, Rabbi, Witness
  • Death ~ Mourner, Minister, Priest, Rabbi, Witness
  • Burial ~ Mourner, Minister, Priest, Rabbi Witness, Attender
  • Cremation ~ Mourner, Minister, Priest, Rabbi, Witness, Attender

To use Ancestral Sources properly for these other Roles, you need to create an equivalent Witness Role in fh.

A Witness Role needs to be created in fh for every Fact Type that it will be used with, so that for example, if you wish to use the Further Info Associated Individual Role of Rabbi, you would need to create a Witness Role titled Rabbi in fh in both the Baptism & Death Facts.

Define Witness Role

To define any Witness Role in fh follow these steps:

  • Use Tools > Fact Types, select the relevant event, and click Edit to open a Fact Definition dialogue.
  • In the Sentence Template: optionally add such as <The ceremony was conducted by {role=minister}. > by copying the template used in other facts that have the same Role defined by default.
  • Some Witness Roles may already exist, but click Roles and then Add to open a New Role dialogue.
  • Enter Role Name: matching the Associated Individual option.
  • Enter Past Tense: as appropriate.
  • In the Witness Sentence Template: the default wording will appear as:
    {individual} was a {role name} at {label} of {principal} {date} {place}
    If necessary change that so it will read correctly. Mimic the template used in other facts that have the same Role defined by default.
  • Click the Create button, then Close, OK, Close.

The Facts Tab Format can also be adjusted similar to Informants above.

Other Considerations

Other options are available to capture additional person/people information using Ancestral Sources and some users may prefer to use Ancestral Sources to create a Custom Event/Attribute, an Associated Person, or a simple Note by using the Ancestral Sources Edit… Associated Individual Types dialogue.