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Whole record source question

Posted: 12 Jan 2020 00:13
by Dinx
I apologize in advance if this is addressed elsewhere, but I did a search and looked through many before I gave up on finding my answer.

I'm new to Family Historian and I'm not quite understanding the option for the "whole record" source. Is this a good way to give a source and save steps? Does it continue to be a source for information I add later? Does it just cover the person or does it include their kids, spouse etc.? For example, I'm using it for my own information. All of it is personal knowledge and quite reliable ;) But I don't want to overuse it, use it if there's a better way (even if it's easier) or find out it adds that source it to items I (or someone else using my file) adds later.



Using Family Historian 6 on Windows 10

Re: Whole record source question

Posted: 12 Jan 2020 09:30
by Jane
Personally I always source at the fact / field level when entering information, rather than at record level, as it gives you a better handle on where the information came from. The problem with only using Whole record, is later on as you become a better researcher you will be adding information from "primary" sources and need to see which bits of your "knowledge" have been supported by other sources.

When entering information from your brain, it's worth turning on the Knowledge Base > Automatic Source Citation and then everything you enter will have a source added. Just remember to turn it off when you have finished.

Re: Whole record source question

Posted: 12 Jan 2020 09:50
by redvanman
I can only speak for myself, and tell you that I use "whole record" sources for most, but not all my information, and that it depends where the information comes from.

For example, I have discovered individuals for the first time from census records, which in some cases give name, age, place of birth, occupation and residence. In that case, I use the "whole record source" because all the information I have comes from the same place.
Later on if I find more information (for example a baptism) I apply the new source to the specific piece of information.
This approach does save steps, especially for sources that contain lots of information.
All the sources that you cite will apply to the individual record, but not to other connected individuals.

Having said all that, it doesn't really matter much to me whether the source record is attached to the record or to a specific fact. As long as it direct readers of my tree to where the information came from, so they can confirm or - heaven forbid - challenge my findings. And of course it's a useful reminder to me when I revisit information several years after I first recorded it.

I hope this helps

Re: Whole record source question

Posted: 12 Jan 2020 10:30
by tatewise
For each recorded item of information such as Name, Birth, Marriage, Census, Occupation, Death, Probate, etc, you should be able to answer the question "What is the evidence for this item being correct?"

If you use a whole record citation of a source that supports some initial information such as Name, Birth & Death, then after adding other information such as Marriage, Census & Occupation, it will not be obvious years later what the evidence is for those initial Name, Birth & Death facts.

So I would advise that for your personal knowledge you create a Source record (or records) and in the Text From Source enter the details of what you know to be true ~ names, dates, places, etc, for events, etc.
Then cite that Source record against each specific name and event derived from it.
Later on, you may find formal documentary evidence such as Birth, Marriage or Death Certificates to corroborate your knowledge, and additional citations added to those new Source documents. But those documents will also yield other facts you may not know about, such as the Residence and Occupation of the father, which will cite those formal sources.

Whole record citations are better used for Sources that indicate a person existed perhaps with certain relationships, but little other information.

For more background ideas take a look at the Knowledge Base > Genealogy Research topics, and in particular the Knowledge Base > Getting Started with Genealogy Research article, and follow its links to further articles.

Re: Whole record source question

Posted: 12 Jan 2020 13:13
by dewilkinson
I do exactly what Mike says. I have created a source "David Wilkinson Memory" with Personal Communication Type and cite that for each fact with Secondary or Questionable Assessment then supplement that with actual documentary evidence later on. I also do this when someone else tells me something, and always check out the facts afterwards. Our memories are not infallible.

I used the Whole Record Citation early on in my FH life but soon realised it wasn't very helpful and I never use it now.

Re: Whole record source question

Posted: 12 Jan 2020 17:02
by AdrianBruce
dewilkinson wrote:
12 Jan 2020 13:13
... I used the Whole Record Citation early on in my FH life but soon realised it wasn't very helpful and I never use it now.
Interesting. I don't use Ancestral Sources, so whenever I've set a source-record up for use in the Yellow Pane for Automatic Source Citations and then pressed "Enable Automatic Citations", I just get the citations against any "fact" that I create or update and any person or family that I create using that source - so I get the Whole Record Citation against persons and families automatically, with no action on my part. In fact, I wouldn't know how not to get it! ;)

Re: Whole record source question

Posted: 13 Jan 2020 03:22
by Dinx
Thank you, everyone! You gave me a better understanding of how it works and how/when/if to use it!

I really appreciate it!