* Place of Birth via GEDCOM Census

Gedcom Census is a discontinued program and has been replace by Ancestral Sources.
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ricm
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Place of Birth via GEDCOM Census

Post by ricm » 20 Apr 2009 06:28

I have tried GEDCOM Census for the first time and the utility is a real benefit for entering census information.

I have a couple of questions:

I was surprised the additional information regarding Class/Piece/Folio/Page isn't explicitly defined - should this information simply go in the single 'Ref' field? If so, is there a 'standard' for so doing (or at least some consensus?)

There seems to be no facility to record the additional information regarding Townships/Boroughs/Sanitary Districts/Parish/etc. Is this intentional? I would have thought this information should be recorded where available; if so how in version 3 of FH?

The place of Birth appears to be drawn from the individual's record. The census is a snapshot in time and, it seems to me, that not all places of birth are recorded correctly in the census records. So... for accuracy of recording details, should the census record entered into the GEDCOM reflect the actual census details (even if they are wrong) - in which case shouldn't the place of birth have a field available to enter just that?

I appreciate the consequence of the latter could be to record in the census note incorrect information regarding a place of birth, but then that information would no longer be a true representation of the census information if it is drawn from the only true indicator: the birth certificate.

As a total newcomer I'd appreciate some advice in these areas.

Thanks,
Ric

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Jane
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Place of Birth via GEDCOM Census

Post by Jane » 20 Apr 2009 06:53

I have moved your post to the Gedcom census forum.


GC is designed to make it easier to add data to FH, not as a recording system in it's own right. If will add a Place of birth if none is record in FH, you can enter into the Text with source any additional information you might require once you have pressed the Auto-source button to fill in a start point.
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NickWalker
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Place of Birth via GEDCOM Census

Post by NickWalker » 20 Apr 2009 07:09

ricm said:
I was surprised the additional information regarding Class/Piece/Folio/Page isn't explicitly defined - should this information simply go in the single 'Ref' field? If so, is there a 'standard' for so doing (or at least some consensus?)
Its not really my place to dictate to someone how to record a census reference. Different people record them in different ways.
There seems to be no facility to record the additional information regarding Townships/Boroughs/Sanitary Districts/Parish/etc. Is this intentional? I would have thought this information should be recorded where available; if so how in version 3 of FH?
The specific boxes you fill in save data in GEDCOM fields within the file. For information such as the township/borough, etc. I would expect you to record that in the 'Source Text' or 'Source Note' boxes where you are free to record whatever you like. The problem with being too prescriptive (and this is similar to the census reference issue above) is that this kind of information differs depending on the census year, country, etc.
The place of Birth appears to be drawn from the individual's record. The census is a snapshot in time and, it seems to me, that not all places of birth are recorded correctly in the census records. So... for accuracy of recording details, should the census record entered into the GEDCOM reflect the actual census details (even if they are wrong) - in which case shouldn't the place of birth have a field available to enter just that?
Again that is what the source text is for. You will see that if you click the Auto Text button it will generate a 'best guess' at the census record. You should then edit as appropriate.

You need to remember that Gedcom Census has to put this information into specific fields that Family Historian uses. Other than creating lots of custom facts (e.g. 'Census place of birth') which I don't think would be popular with users, this kind of information can only really be recorded in Note or Source text fields. One option I did look at was to allow people to have multiple births recorded which the GEDCOM standard does allow, but on balance I felt this would be too confusing for most users.

By the way, if a census individual happens to not have a birth place or birth date recorded Gedcom Census will offer to fill these in for you recording the census as the source of the information.

Hope this helps

Nick
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ricm
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Place of Birth via GEDCOM Census

Post by ricm » 20 Apr 2009 09:07

Hi Nick. I take it you are the author of GEDCOM Census, so thank you for taking the time out to reply.

Yes, I know exactly what you mean by not wanting to be prescriptive. There are probably as many ways and views as there are people and satisfying them all is just not possible.

I think my problem is that I really have no idea of the underlying data structure. I worked in IT for many years and have steadfastly resisted the temptation to look at the GEDCOM structure because for me this is more of a hobby than anything else.

For taking a whole bunch of individuals and creating the necessary census records the GEDCOM Census utility is just so much more efficient than manually entering all the separate details.

Whilst some of the control information (parish/district/village/hamlet etc.) does vary from year to year, the 'Where Born' field appears to be a feature of all of them. If there is such a thing as a 'wish list' the facility (optionally) to record place of birth directly from the census is one I would find useful, but I may be alone in this.

I think I have no alternative other than to go and look at the census data structure and see where (and how) I can enter the additional census information (where this is available).

Do you know if there are any examples of how this can be done in FH?

Best wishes and thank you for an excellent product!
Ric

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NickWalker
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Place of Birth via GEDCOM Census

Post by NickWalker » 20 Apr 2009 09:33

As I mentioned it does record the Where Born direct from the census if this isn't already recorded.

The trick really is to use Family Historian and work out where you would put the data. Really your options for recording the 'where born' are:

1) Put it in the source text (which Gedcom Census does)
2) Put it in a local note attached to the census event (no particular advantage over number 1)
3) Store it as another birth event (but can cause confusion if someone has multiple birth events)
4) Create a custom event/attribute (aka Fact) but most people prefer to limit doing this as they make it more difficult to transfer data to other systems.

The entirely new version that I'm currently developing does actually have a separate box for every census column but ultimately the data will still be stored in the source text (I'm always open to suggestions for options that could be added to save the data elsewhere).

As you learn more about this you might find this thread of interest: http://www.fhug.org.uk/cgi-bin/index.cg ... y&num=3345
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JonAxtell
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Place of Birth via GEDCOM Census

Post by JonAxtell » 20 Apr 2009 09:42

One thing to think about when looking at the birth place from censuses is to think of the census as a source not an event. So if you have multiple sources (marriage and death for example) with differing birth dates, think about how you would record this and then use the census data as just another example of this.

So some people might create multiple birth events for every differing source. Others might create one birth event with the best assumption (noting the reasons for their assumption) and using the source's note or the birth event's note to record the conflicting data.

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ricm
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Place of Birth via GEDCOM Census

Post by ricm » 20 Apr 2009 09:57

Nick Walker said:
As I mentioned it does record the Where Born direct from the census if this isn't already recorded.
I don't see the column (version 6.0.6) for 'Where Born'. I have just Name, Age (YMD) and Occupation. I think I'm missing something here....

Ric

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NickWalker
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Place of Birth via GEDCOM Census

Post by NickWalker » 20 Apr 2009 10:35

When you click on the Auto Text button or when you save the entry, if any of your individuals have either birth date or birth place missing a window will pop up asking you for this info. The birth date is automatically calculated and recorded as a calculated (cal) date, the place has to be typed in.
Nick Walker
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