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No Children, Never Married

These are some quick mock-ups being considered regarding the No Children, Never Married requests from the past. Yes it's not what everybody wants but I would like your opinion about what works and what is lacking. Think back on all those GetSat threads discussing these types of enhancements. 

I have very limited say in how these came to be and what I can influence but I would appreciate your non-emotional response, with any suggestions improvements. It's not often we get to see advance design consideration so please be respectful to each other. I will not reveal my opinions until later in this discussion. Thanks in advance.

1. These are the mods to The Other Info section of the Person Details Page to include "Never Married" and "No Children" Fact conclusions. These conclusions also have a description field. They work similar to Physical Description, they aren't events.



2. This is the spousal/couple flyout. Add Event has an added option for Lived Together. There is a new Fact, with only one option : No Children.

 2a.


3. Resulting screen after setting the new conclusions:
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  • One other note. There will be warning prior to save when a user action appears conflicting (like adding a child to a couple that is marked No Children). But it is not prevented - just a data warning.
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  • Couple relationship - Lived Together event - yes, I really like this. It would appear to allow a couple to have a Lived Together event followed by a Married event - that's good, because that's what happens. What you might need to think about is what appears in those places where there's only room for one event to be seen for that couple.

    I also like the fact that it puts Lived Together and Common Law Marriage on show together to hopefully prompt people into realising that the two are not the same. As I have said many times, I worry that too many people think that living together means a Common Law Marriage.
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  • 3
    Never Married and No Children attributes for individuals: I know FS seems to have a distaste for long labels but I would really like to get in something onto those labels that acknowledges the difficulty in proving a negative. No Known Children would be a first suggestion - although there's a difference between "No Known Children because I haven't looked yet" and "No Known Children because I've looked in the proper places and there are none recorded". So on reflection I'd suggest "No Recorded Children".

    Similarly I suggest "No Recorded Marriage" - though there's a bit of pondering on my part whether "No Recorded Marriage" can sit alongside a couple relationship that has only "Lived Together". Logically, yes it can because "No Recorded Marriage" surely means "No formal marriage recorded".
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    • Wait never mind that is already what it says now
    • Virginia,

      Correct. But it is still only half-ways fixed. See my first comment of diagram 2a. below.
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  • Good to see that something is in progress. Comments are based on your diagram numbers:

    1. Whenever someone asks the question, you can point them to a specific “fact” instead of needing them to create a custom “fact”. In itself I suppose that is good. I still find it a bit ridiculous to be calling these things “facts” though because they are negatives and therefore, virtually impossible to prove. All facts are normally provable. If it keeps the masses happy though, then that is fine I suppose.

    2. EXCELLENT change to pertinent titles (specifically “Relationship Events”)

    2a. ALMOST there! These are STILL mislabeled. They are NOT Marriage specific events. They are “Couple Relationship Event TYPES”. This is far more general than marriage specific event types.

    2a. Still missing other couple relationship event types such as a Banns, etc.

    2a. “Lived Together” is NOT an event. It did not happen at a single point in time. “Moved in Together” would be an event. “Lived Together” would belong in diagram “2.” under the “Relationship Facts” section. It is NOT an event. “Lived Together START Date” and “Lived Together END Date” are events. Even “spouse kicked out of apartment for spending too much money” is an event. There are software folks all over the place. The difference between an Event and a State (or "Fact" in this case) should be obvious.

    3. So is the “No Children” “Fact” entered and displayed in the relationship screen a totally separate and redundant fact to those in the “Other Information” screen in diagram “1.”? So you have a general “No Children” for the women, and a general “No Children” for the husband, and now a “No Children” one for their relationship? This appears to be heading the same direction as the marriage sources list in its redundancy of sources from the source lists for the separate PIDs involved with the couple.

    And again, how do you provide evidence for any of these?
    • view 3 more comments
    • I am also in favor of the "No Recorded Marriage found" and "No recorded children found."
    • Marriages and spouses usually imply the same thing and are limited when it comes to family relationships now days. They don't cover all situations.

      The term "Couple" CAN be used in all situations. So we have "Couples" who have a "Couple Relationship" which consists of one or more "Couple Relationship Events" (or Facts).

      Therefore, a "Marriage" is only one "Couple Relationship Event TYPE". "Lived Together" is another "Couple Relationship Event TYPE". In the latter case, no marriage is involved at all.

      I have been harping on this for a while (that's why so many items here are in quotes :-) but come ON people! Call a spade a spade! A very large amount of the confusion about this site that are obvious from the questions presented here on the forum are due to non-cohesive categorical groupings and inappropriate terminology used on the site.
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  • 3
    Re 1 thanks - welcomed. One assumes the corollary to no children or no marriage has been considered and the "invitation" on the personal view and the tree view in particular, to add a child or add a marriage is then removed? Currently I have twins in the tree who lived 8 hours with solid registration sources of proof. The family tree view continues to invite additions that will never happen which is disconcerting, spoiling a clean presentation. If the options are later removed the "invitations" could be automatically reissued.
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  • Hmm, one night stand - yes. Lived together - no. Child - yes. Suit in bastardy - yes. Proposal # 2 doesn't seem to handle that scenario very well. So, I guess it would have to be Proposal #1, but I would not initially look in the "other information" section for the information about never married.
    • view 2 more comments
    • Tom - sperm donors, surrogate mothers and - the one that's looming - mitochondrial DNA donors (the so-called 3-parent family) are all relatively new concepts that challenge how we record stuff. I doubt that we even have consensus in the genealogical world about how we record those situations in our own files, never mind how it should be done in FS FamilyTree.

      I did once say that I'd no more want to record a mitochondrial donor than an organ donor - and then someone asked me, "But what about mitochondrial DNA? Shouldn't there be something there to indicate that the mtDNA line is not what you might think?" Err....
    • FS properly provides that ability of a child to have more than 2 parents. Some types may need to be eventually added to the list of parent child relationship types. E.g., a Surrogate relationship is not in the list yet.

      However the biological FACT is that every child has one (and only one) biological father as well as one (and only one) biological mother. It doesn't matter if they were that by virtue of the natural processes, or if they were egg or sperm donors. If they had no formal relationship (e.g., one night stand, biological donor, etc.) they wouldn't necessarily be shown as a "couple" in the database. All other parents that a child has will be some other kind of relationship (e.g., adoptive, guardian, foster, surrogate, etc.), and again, may or may not be involved in a "couple" type relationship.

      This is actually fairly straight forward IMHO. We are recording both relatives and families which may or may not not be considered the exact the same thing depending on who your are, but the current database structure already generally allows any of those unusual arrangements to be properly documented. The main thing that is needed is the addition of any missing relationship types that are not currently listed (e.g., surrogate).

      Also, at present the default parent child relationship type is ALWAYS BIOLOGICAL. This should probably be changed so that if no relationship type has been entered, it should default to UNKNOWN. This is so that we would not have the current situation where the default creates children with multiple biological fathers and mothers as though it is fact.
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  • This is a nice spot to put "No Children", and "Never Married". But for our Patrons that just push buttons, without reading sources, I put this information in "Life Sketch" with all caps. Their eyes automatically go to the top of the page.
    • Except - my apologies to you but I always collapse the thing because I've never seen anything in it!
    • Me too. Many people just use the Life Sketch as a bulletin board for their view of the world. If not that, it is still just a summary of the other sourced vitals in the record making it redundant. I'll create my o wn mental "summary" by reviewing the facts directly myself.

      I have the life sketch permanently closed, mainly because it does not belong that the top of the page in the way of everything else. Also, if it was NOT where it is currently located, it would NOT be getting used for so many non-Life sketch items like it is at the moment.

      The Life Sketch is typically used as a kludge for other non-Life sketch information.
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  • I have always been against the introduction of "Never Married" or "No Children" - especially under a heading of "Facts", as illustrated in the mock-up. In many, if not most, cases these conclusions are drawn-up on evidence that might be "highly likely" but cannot be proved.

    However, I would be reasonably happy to go along with a "compromise" of "No recorded Marriage" / "No Recorded Children", as suggested by Adrian.

    I'm glad the "one night stand" situation has been raised, as there needs to be a clarification from FamilySearch (well, a senior manager - Ron Tanner?) as to exactly how children born as a result of casual encounters should be placed in Family Tree. We need a clear answer as to whether they should be shown under a couple or recorded twice (separately) under their two parents. Originally, I listed them under each parent, then - after advice - changed to the practice of listing them as if their parents were / had been in a relationship.

    As I have suggested, one thing I would not find acceptable would be to list matters of speculation as "Facts". Even with the situation of a "casual relationship", how can we be sure (without first-hand knowledge) whether two people had a long-term relationship and happened to have one child during that period (whilst maybe married to someone else), or if they literally did have "one encounter" that led to the child's birth?

    I believe a lot of thought must be applied before introducing any changes / additions to categories relevant to the subject(s) of children and relationships.
    • view 19 more comments
    • All true. And as I've pointed out before, a typical genealogical pedigree does NOT always equate to "Families". There can be children with parents but no "Family" from an ordinances standpoint.

      Inheritance laws also don't always line up with church ordinance policies. But we are using the same pedigree chart concept to track them.

      And unfortunately, "descriptive text" is not read by Ordinances Ready. At present, if a couple relationship exists for any reason, Ordinances Ready will pick them up for SS ordinances. Hence the problem. OR is pushing in the wrong direction.

      Again, an "official policy" needs to be established for handling these ordinance based exceptions since they differ from traditional pedigree chart construction. The tool can then be set up to make it more transparent to tool users
    • Ron Tanner (FamilySearch.org Product Manager) October 02, 2019 19:31
      Good suggestions. We will need to look into this.
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  • Unlike some above I believe that both options are good additions. There are cases that these proposal facts are and can be proven, such as a child who died before they reached child bearing age which can be proven with both birth and death records. I have had to remove marriage events for several you g children because someone didn’t pay attention to the death date on the record, but I also expect that this will continue to happen with these two new facts as well unless additional code is entered to prevent a spouse or child from being added if these exist not just a warning because there are people who update records not through the UI but through 3rd party software what would not receive such a notification.
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  • I’m confused still
    1
    No one else has mentioned the circumstance of rape (or "taken advantage of" as used in my genteel southern family.
    My grandmother's younger sister was "taken advantage of" by my grandfather and the result was a child. I have put that child under both of his parents as if my grandfather was actually married to my great aunt. When my cousins, who are the grandchildren of my great aunt saw this in familysearch, they were quick to correct me and said, "They were never married". All I could reply is " Yes I know that they weren't married and the true circumstances, but I can't put them anywhere else--they had a child together".
    I have read most of the comments and proposed solutions, but none seem to fit my circumstance. I certainly don't want to specify the rape although it is common knowledge in my family. Any suggestions for me?
    • view 17 more comments
    • "Are you going to provide a separate source list (or list of tagged sources) for each event?"
      Yes. The simplest way is surely to have each and every event / attribute / whatever with its own list of supporting sources. Not just each vital...

      The complexity would come if you wanted to do this from a source record (attached to a person) - currently that approach works only if we have just a tiny handful of events etc that can be "sourced". As that really doesn't work if we care about the data integrity of our genealogies, I've always mentally worked along the line of going into the event and choosing whichever sources justify it. Not the other way round. It is, after all, how most other software works. Well, I think it is!!! This isn't complex - it might be more work.

      I take exactly your point about over-complication, but I think that the basic user-requirement is (a) mark up of which event should appear on a tree display where only 1 "marriage" event can appear and (b) classification guidance to people intent on LDS ordinances where less than formal "marriages" take place. The range of options there is dictated by real life and it's real life that's complex, I think.
    • The potential is there, certainly, Jeff.

      I think that's why I really think that FS needs to rethink the entire approach and while it will really mess up a lot of people who have become accustomed to the person-centric approach, a Family Centric approach fits better with FamilySearch FamilyTree.
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  • 1
    I, too, like No Recorded Marriage and No Recorded Children best. As I read through the comments, it was becoming obvious that if you add a new relationship of Lived Together, there will be people suggesting all kinds of other relationships -- both couple and parent-child. It could really get out of hand. I don't understand why we have to add the modern worldly relationships to Family Tree anyway. Who do we want to please? No Recorded Marriage seems like a good way to record everything that might look like marriage, but isn't marriage.

    And actually, I don't see why we need No Recorded Children at all. I don't see the purpose or the need for that one. What's wrong with always leaving it open to maybe there were and maybe there weren't and we just don't know yet?
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    • I think that it's as simple as being able to record events that have legally accepted documentation. If a particular type of couple relationship event is supposed to be documented in a given society, then that should probably be supported by the FSFT. Anything beyond that should be limited to some degree. E.g., undocumented couples living together outside of marriage has been around for a long time. The database should allow for that.

      But all these things that don't follow the normal source + logic = conclusion type vitals (e.g., No children, not married, etc.) only tend to add entropy to the database IMHO. What am I supposed to do when someone marks a person as having no children? Just stop looking because some other person considered their failed efforts to find evidence of a child more than adequate for everyone out there? A child dies shortly after birth and doesn't show up in any records according to some person's search criteria, they label the mother as No Children and everyone is supposed to believe it?

      Go ahead and put the things in. Sounds like FS has already decided since so many people are demanding it. But when I come across my relatives that have these "Facts" marked, and there is no sourced evidence or decent logic showing why that conclusion is true. I will be removing it since it is mythology. I don't need FAKE FACTS misleading me in searches I am doing. If someone wants to make a guess about something, put it in the notes or a discussion.
    • Good points, Jeff.

      I got started with my family with the help of a "confirmed bachelor" (his own words in his correspondence). I did not put "Not married" as a fact because he may have had a marriage that failed or was annulled, and considered himself to never have married (successfully?). I don't know what the situation was, but I was unwilling to put anything more in his record than what he told me. This is what I wrote as a discussion with the title "Confirmed Bachelor":

      Henry Stanley Huber said in a number of letters written to me that he was a confirmed bachelor who never married. While I accept him at his written word, Stan did serve in the military and moved about while he served as a meteorologist. It is always possible that he formed some kind of relationship, but I have not found any evidence.

      Further research, including a birth certificate for a child attributed to him, may be found at some future date.
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  • 2
    Expanding Ken Creswell's reply above: I would suggest that if "No Recorded Marriage Found" is set for a profile (or whatever phrase we choose) then the "+ Add Spouse" box is retained but contains the simple text "No Recorded Marriage Found". This explains what is going on and possibly might make the software change simpler.

    Similarly, if "No Recorded Child Found" is set for a profile (or whatever phrase we choose) then the "+ Add Child" box is retained but contains the simple text "No Recorded Child Found".
    • view 6 more comments
    • (still the sister)
      And what we're saying is that you should mark option 1 with "No Children". If you're not sure enough of that conclusion to be comfortable marking that option, rather than a weasel-worded one like "No recorded children found", then there's really no practical difference between the current status of the profile and Option 2.
    • OK - my personal preference is:
      For option 2 i.e. "I haven't looked for children, or I've barely started looking for them and so far I haven't found any", then yes, don't set any markers, that's exactly what the profile looks like now and I'm not advocating any change.

      For option 1, i.e. "I have actually looked for children in all the obvious places, and I haven't found any children" - you'd mark it with "No Children" while I'd mark it with "No recorded children found". (Obviously we're just talking the content of the text here).

      The reason that I chose the expanded "weasel worded" version is because whenever it's been suggested that the text should be "No Children", the response has always been "That's too dogmatic - you can't prove a negative", etc, etc.
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  • 1
    Julie's sister

    "No Children" is definitely not the same as "No children found" or "No recorded children found". As Adrian says, it is a categorical statement- i.e. you KNOW there were no children born to an individual or couple.

    I completely agree with the thrust of Adrian's reasoning. Since the General Record Office of England & Wales put their birth & death indexes online (showing mother's maiden names and ages at death, too) I have identified children who were born / died within a few months, so would have never been found if I had relied, say, on census records.

    If one of these had been an only child, I think (before this database appeared) many users would have gone for a "No children" option - assuming no other children's records had been found, of course. In no way can I see what you are getting at by using the expression "weasel worded" - by adding "found" / "recorded children found" a user is inviting further investigation to test whether there just might be a "hidden child" out there.

    Personally, I don't care for the idea of these flags, whatever the wording. I add comments in the Collaboration section detailing what work I have undertaken in coming to my conclusions. For example:

    Subject heading: "Children of John & Mary Smith"
    Comments: "GRO online index checked 1881-1905 period and no children found. 1881-1901 census returns also checked. No children mentioned in John's will."

    I see very few circumstances whereby I would use "No Children" or "Never Married" conclusions because, as I have illustrated in examples in other threads (relating to my own family - child born to aunt that nobody in family ever knew about for over 50 years, etc.), you can rarely be 100% sure of the complete absence of a particular (birth/marriage) event.
    • view 4 more comments
    • (still Juli's [not Julie's] sister)
      Paul, I think what Jeff and I are saying is that a weasel-worded "no recorded children found" option is pretty useless: it doesn't say anything you don't already know based on looking at the record. Yes, "no children" is a much stronger categorical statement, but at least it's useful: it means that you *know* that this person had no children. (Because they died at 3 days old, or because you knew them personally, or whatever other reason you have.)

      For the average profile, where you've looked in all the standard places and haven't yet found any children, you wouldn't mark the "no children" setting: you'd let the absence of any children on the profile speak for itself. The setting would only be for the exceptional cases where you KNOW that there were no children, and you want the pesky "add child" button to Go Away Already.
    • "the absence of any children on the profile speak for itself"
      Yes but the crux of the matter for me is - what is that absence saying? You will have absolutely no idea currently if you look at one of my childless couples in FSFT whether they're childless because I've looked properly and there aren't any children, or whether they're childless because all I've done is marry off one of my relatives to someone else and I'm quite happy to let someone else do the leg-work sorting out their life after marriage.
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  • 1
    Joe

    'Thank You' for this post.

    ==========

    All

    The responses in this post have been interesting.

    Maybe I have missed it somewhere in the many responses above; but, the fact seems to be MISSED that "Family Tree" is NOT just about what happened in the PAST; but, ALSO what is happening NOW in the PRESENT; and, in the FUTURE.

    Both, the "Not/Never Married"; and, the "No Children (ie. No Issue)", INDICATORS (as per the 'mock-ups being considered' as "Other Information - Facts"), ARE important, 'No', they are NOT "Events"; and, 'Yes', on 'Paper' they may NOT be able to be "Proven" - BUT, if you have PERSONAL knowledge of the individuals/persons and/or couples concerned, you SHOULD, at least, in the PRESENT and FUTURE, be able to CONFIRM, that, an individual/person; and/or, couple, was NOT/NEVER Married; and/or, had NO Children.

    I have very close relatively recently "Deceased" relatives (usually, Aunts and Uncles - as I have no siblings), who I have PERSONAL knowledge of (ie. where there are NO 'skeletons in the closet'; and/or, dim/dark family secrets), that, where, individuals/persons; and/or, couples, who were NOT or NEVER Married; and/or, had NO Children.

    So, in essence, my thoughts are that "Not/Never Married"; and, the "No Children (ie. No Issue)", INDICATORS (as per the 'mock-ups being considered' as "Other Information - Facts"), ARE a NECESSITY for the present and in the future.

    I totally agree with the suggestions that INDICATORS (which should also be considered' as "Other Information - Facts") such as, "No Marriage Records located"; and/or, "No Children's Records located" ARE also important and necessary.

    We may not have personal knowledge of PAST circumstances; but, we still may have examined as many resources as we can; and, cannot find any records of, a Marriage; and/or, Children.

    Anyway, NONE of the INDICATORS (as per the 'mock-ups being considered' as "Other Information - Facts") are 'set in concrete/stone', they can all be "Changed", after all, "Family Tree" is an "Open Edit" Platform, like it or not.

    What is NECESSARY is the REQUIREMENT for a "Reason Statement" in cases of such INDICATORS (as per the 'mock-ups being considered' as "Other Information - Facts"). Such "Reason Statements" may be as simple as, "Personal Knowledge of"; or, "Searched the available records of ..."; or, such like.

    Just my thoughts.

    Brett
    • view 8 more comments
    • Tom, I think that when a person dies, it has EVERYTHING to do with the absolute statements. For example, in Brett's comments, he has "complete knowledge" about the attributes for some folks. But that is only because they were around recent enough for him to have more direct contact and personal knowledge with them.

      So, for anyone who has died 70 or more years ago, "Personal knowledge" of people doing the recording in FT just WON'T EXIST. Furthermore, Sources and other evidence for folks who have been gone that long (i.e., and HUGE number of profiles in the FT) are going to be extremely hard to come by.

      In other words, those absolute statements, in general, will not be of any real use for most of the names in the FT.
    • Jeff

      The absolute statements for those in the PAST are of no real use/value unless supported by historic record (eg. Journals, Diaries, Bibliographies, etc) ; but, the absolute statements for those in the PRESENT and FUTURE can be of real use/value.

      "FamilySearch" MUST be useful NOT ONLY to the PAST; but, MUST be useful to the PRESENT and FUTURE.

      Brett
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  • 2
    From all the preceding discussions, it should be quite obvious that these "Not Married" and "No children" type indicators are at best AMBIGUOUS, SPECULATIVE, REDUNDANT, and are not consistent with all other "positive" attributes in a profile. People are wanting some kind of a flag to show what is already covered in the profile and to add all kinds of automated warnings or controls based on what might normally be an unreliable piece of information.

    Just trying to describe when they should be used and when they should not be used to the average patron is just not going to happen--especially with the ineffective "use it intuitively" style of documenting we have on this website. This along with the fact that everyone here has a different idea of what the "correct" usage should be, are all evidence that structurally, these are elements that do not belong there.

    The only real reason that they will be installed appears to be simply that people are thinking that they should be there without identifying any significant problems they they will RELIABLY prevent!. So be it. But I'm pretty sure that they will not be used consistently, they will not be used "correctly" (whatever that means), and most of them will never have appropriate evidence provided.

    So far, most of this discussion has been everyone trying to "design" the feature according to their opinions, and yet I have still not seen anyone show real evidence that this feature will reliably mitigate any significant problems in the first place. If anything they will only add more entropy to the site.

    As such, these indicators are aberrations to the normal structure of the person profile and should not be used. However, I'm sure that many will disagree.

    'nuff said.
    • view 2 more comments
    • It is very easy to draw the line when a child dies early. See my new enhancement request (https://getsatisfaction.com/familysea...) for examples.

      When a person reaches an age when they could have gone through puberty, then the requested enhancement would not apply.

      Even if one discovers that the death information is incorrect, a quick change of the death information (even just to deceased) would enable the current +add child and +add spouse (or living together) feature.
    • "it should be quite obvious that these "Not Married" and "No children" type indicators are at best AMBIGUOUS, SPECULATIVE, REDUNDANT"

      I really don't think that conclusions of "Not Married" and "No children" are ambiguous.

      What they might very well be under many circumstances is speculative, I'll definitely agree with that.

      They are definitely not redundant because the current "null" state of the profile with respect to partners and children could represent either the initial state or the after-extensive-research-and-there-aren't-any-state.

      I would tend to agree that there's a strong element of solution-in-search-of-a-problem about the 2 proposed markers - but the one aspect that, to repeat myself, I find annoying (and others distressing) is the children who die young appearing in the Tree view with the direct invitation to add a spouse or even a child. If someone can find another method of suppressing those invites, fine, but descriptive text conclusions won't work.
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  • 1
    I' sure those pressing for the introduction of "Never Married" / "No Children" indicators are mainly doing so with a genuine hope other users can be save time and energy in looking for events that do not exist.

    However, how do we help other users to save research time in looking for events that obviously DID take place (a birth or death, say) when we have carried out exhaustive research with a negative outcome? Answering my own question, we either add comments in the Collaboration section and/or against the specific "vital" event.

    Excepting the inevitability this, or a similar feature, WILL be introduced sometime in the near future, I would hope users will be prepared to give full reason statements about their "complete knowledge" (as Brett puts it) of the situation.

    For example, they should detail what records they have checked to ensure no birth of a child to, or marriage of, an individual has been found. I have known individuals who have only discovered their true parentage when they were way into adulthood - and I'm sure their are many who have gone to their graves convinced of their (incorrect) parentage - having been brought up by grandparents or having been secretly adopted, for example.

    Regarding the "No Children" indicator, this - as suggested - can only be used with 100% certainty if an individual did not reach puberty by their time of death. As I have illustrated previously, the true parents can be easily hidden and events "hushed-up" - to the extent that my distant aunt managed to keep the birth of a child (even though by her first husband) completely secret throughout a period of over 50 years - even I had to "dig deep" to find the event, well after her death.

    Sadly, many users will not provide detailed reason statements, and at most will record something like "Personal knowledge". In which case, most serious researchers will ignore such indicators in any case - preferring to confirm the "facts" themselves.

    Sadly, dogmatism has crept into the posts in this thread - understandably, perhaps, considering how strongly some users feel about it. But, whatever the eventual outcome, please let us continue to work in line with the ethos of Family Tree being a collaborative effort, and only take actions that are completely justified and evidence based, with a wish that this will be a help to those who have a mutual interest in a family branch.
    • Excellent points, Paul. Yesterday, I received information about the death of another of my first cousins. There are now five us left living in our generation. all others, including the previous generations, have died.

      I don't like to put "personal knowledge" for a reason statement (or even a source) because what does the future researcher do when I die? I'm no longer around to talk about the event, and even before then, I can drift into various stages of senility. That doesn't help the researcher who is seeking what additional personal knowledge I might have had at one time.

      Even though I was informed by those siblings of my cousin, my preference is something more. I was pleased when one of the siblings sent a link to the obituary, which I then used as a source for the death. In another three or so years, the U.S. Social Security Administration death index will include my cousin's death information and that will provide a solid source beyond the obituary.

      So I'm with you. I don't like personal knowledge, because it becomes no more that something someone once knew after the ravages of time have taken their toll. To me, that even applies to the person whose record we are working on. The statement by my relative that he was a confirmed bachelor only provided me with a hint as to what might be. Absolute proof is not forthcoming (he's since passed) and so I leave it up to discussion.
    • The problems with the Personal Knowledge or "I was there" as the source is as Tom mentions. However, I do not have too much of a problem with it since it IS a Source if reasonably documented, and it can be upgraded when formal online sources become available. It provides a reasonable starting point
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  • Joe, I'm going to toss out an idea that is a mix of what has been suggested before.

    First, get rid of the flyout. While it is handy to a degree, We really do need to be able to see this thing in its own window or tab.

    I tossed around several ideas and rejected some almost immediately when i tried to describe the idea.

    I like the time line approach, much like the chronological order sets up for sources. That way, each event in a couple's relationship can be set up from "first date" (or even group date or first meeting) all the way to significant anniversaries in the couple's life. That way, everything can be represented in a view that isn't like it is now (in that "infernal" flyout).

    This could become part of the timeline for each individual, as well.

    As an alternative, the idea of grouping the various elements that Adrian suggested would be nice, something along the lines of the "custom" arrangement for sources.

    I think, right now, that the present design attempts to set up what is really family relationships in a person-centric approach. The approach is wrong and needs to be more family-centric, starting with the couple.

    This means that each person's relationship needs to have its own tab or window (not some "infernal" flyout). That way, a fuller picture can be painted about each couple relationship, complete with each event/fact being taggable to a supporting source.

    Does this mean that we end up with double entries? Yes, it does, not something that the user would enter, but something that they could see.

    In a way, the person and tree chart views are double entries.

    In this case, the primary view would be that of the family group, with the current person-centric view optionally available.

    The old PAF program (and now AQ, its successor -- written by the same person that did PAF for the Church) start with a family view (by the way, I have no relationship to the software developer or company, only as a user):


    Obviously, FS would need to work with its own approach, but by setting up the family as the central part of the display, we get what amounts to a family-centric view. There is a lot going on in that view. An image of the person, more than one spouse, my relationship to these people), the FS ID (as well as the local db ID), and a summary, including completed ordinances (at a glance). For those interested in playing around with AQ, download the Basics version -- it is free -- then use it to download your ancestral lines from the massive tree. There are some limitations with the free version, but not much -- a comparison chart between the two is here: https://ancquest.com/CompareAQVersion...

    Again, I am only a user of the product, but find that it meets all of my needs.
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  • What I do is create custom facts such as:

    Sam Smith - Never married.

    Sam Smith - No children.

    Sam Smith - Died as teenager.

    Samantha Smith - Never married.

    Samantha Smith - Gave biological child up for adoption and reunited later in life.
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  • I don't know where this is with respect to what has been passed to the developers, but kudos to Joe Martel for this discussion.

    I'm bumping this forward for any additional comments.

    I think we can recap to a somewhat agreed upon set of statements, but there are still going to be variations, largely depending upon the situation. One of the variations involves the age at which a child dies (without marrying) and the customs of the time.
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  • I think it is a great idea; if, and only if, it actually works.

    There is a box you can write in when you click on the pencil that asks for "Why this information is correct" that never seems to save any more.

    What good is it to add new stuff to familysearch when the engineers do not keep working what they have already given us?
    • I couldn't agree more, but that is really the $20 million dollar question, isn't it!

      By the way Cherie, if you really have found one of these "Why this information is correct" type boxes that seems to not be saving correctly, please start a new topic and provide some details so that the rest of us can look at it.

      Those boxes are idiosyncratic enough as they are, but if something is actually broken on them, I'd like to see it fixed.
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