* Born out of wedlock

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wianb
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Born out of wedlock

Post by wianb » 09 Oct 2019 19:14

I'm usually good at figuring things out for myself but am a little stumped. My 2x great grand father (James) was a bit of a naughty boy. He had a 'fling' with Jean whilst married to Margaret, which resulted in the birth of John (my great grand father). James and Margaret with their 4 legitimate children immegrated to the USA due to the stain on the family name. John was taken in by an uncle but Jean was basically discarded.
Question: how do I show the relationship between James & Jean? I have it as 'unmarried couple' but that doesn't really cut the mustard! I do have the whole story recorded in Notes.
Ian Bonner
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Mothers family - Trinidad & Tobago and Barbados.

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Re: Born out of wedlock

Post by tatewise » 09 Oct 2019 19:31

What do you mean by 'that doesn't really cut the mustard' ?
How you have recorded the relationship of James & Jean seems good to me.
Unfortunately, you know the whole story in Notes, but we don't, so it is difficult to advise.
Are you looking for more Family Facts to be entered in the James & Jean partnership Family record?

Presumably you have also shown John as adopted/fostered by his uncle?

One complication is that the James & Jean 'fling' can only be entered on the Spouse tab before or after the James & Margaret marriage and not during. That may affect the way the details in Reports are produced.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: Born out of wedlock

Post by davidf » 09 Oct 2019 19:51

tatewise wrote:
09 Oct 2019 19:31
One complication is that the James & Jean 'fling' can only be entered on the Spouse tab before or after the James & Margaret marriage and not during. That may affect the way the details in Reports are produced.
Doesn't that come back to what is the meaning of the Marriage.Date field?

Is it the "Starting event" (the marriage) or is the marriage itself a long event (you can enter From and To dates)? Per FH definition I tend towards the former. (How you actually determine that with an unmarried couple?) In which case unless the fling with Jane started on the same day as the marriage with Margaret (Bridesmaid?), they can be ordered correctly both in the Gedcom and in diagrams etc.

Is it the "Status Attribute" of "being 'coupled'" (again subject to problems of determination!)?
(In FH The Marriage is an Event.)
Even then when you have two events that either overlap or where one is contained within another, you usually refer first to the one that started first?

Perhaps one day Software will not force us to classify all genealogical couple relationships as "marriages" and the result "a family". I've not looked but I doubt that Gedcom 5.5.5. addresses this!

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Re: Born out of wedlock

Post by wianb » 09 Oct 2019 20:37

ref; 'Doesn't cut the mustard' 'Unmarried couple' does not reflect the true event, they were never a couple. They had a 'romp' that resulted in the birth of an out of wedlock son. In the mid 1800's the High Church of Scotland took a very dim view! Yes, I have linked John to the uncle that took him in.
Jean was a housemaid in the James & Margaret household. James & Margaret had been married for 5 years prior to Johns birth.
Ian Bonner
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Re: Born out of wedlock

Post by AdrianBruce » 09 Oct 2019 21:13

davidf wrote:
09 Oct 2019 19:51
... Doesn't that come back to what is the meaning of the Marriage.Date field? ...
OK - I'll bite! ;)

I have always deemed the Marriage.Date item to be the date that the relationship was formalised. That might be a long, long time after the beginning of the relationship - indeed, long after the production of any children. There is a slight confusion here over the term "marriage" since it can either mean the wedding ceremony or the relationship itself (as in "The marriage lasted for several years until..."). I'm taking Marriage.Date as the date of the wedding, if that's the way the relationship was formalised.

Dating relationships with no formalisation - or with a long "living together" before the wedding, say - is a bit of guesswork given the lack of formalised events. It's possibly easier to sequence things without worrying about exact dates, but not always! One potential oddity is the sort of Common Law Marriage recognised in parts of the USA where a couple live together without formalisation, but holding themselves out to the world as married. I think that if that relationship is recognised as a Common Law Marriage, then the recognition is effectively a post-dating of legal recognition. What then is the date? The date of recognition perhaps? This, of course, is what Notes are made for!

And then there's Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton - one Spouse tab or two in FH?
davidf wrote:
09 Oct 2019 19:51
... Perhaps one day Software will not force us to classify all genealogical couple relationships as "marriages" and the result "a family". ...
Actually I think FH does quite well on the first score providing you agree that Marriage.Date is the date of formalisation. "Family" however, can be an upsetting term - worst case scenario is a child born as a result of a rape when the term "Family" applied to the biological parents and child is quite dreadful. Conversely, I have yet to come up with any better term, other than to say that there is a clear difference between the biological family and the social family.
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Re: Born out of wedlock

Post by tatewise » 09 Oct 2019 21:20

Ian, would Never Married be better? If so then use that.
Apart from that Status text, I think the only impact is Narrative Reports say they had a relationship instead of being married.

David, formally the Marriage.Date field is the Date of the Marriage Event, i.e. the marriage (or civil partnership) ceremony.
According to GEDCOM any Event Date should not use the From To format because it represents a single (or at least very short) point in time, and so should be a single Date or a Between And format when the exact point in time is uncertain. It certainly is not the duration of the marriage, which would be terminated by a Divorce, Separation, Annulment, or Death Event.

The unmarried couple have no Marriage Event and thus no Marriage Event Date so the only order is that determined by the Spouse tabs, unless a custom Family Event such as Liaison (or Fling) is entered with a Date.
FH does not classify such relationships as marriages as evidenced by the Narrative Report wording (although you have to turn a blind eye to references to Spouse, Husband & Wife in some cases).

Adrian, for Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton use two Spouse tabs and two Marriage Events, with other marriages in between.
GEDCOM does offer Engagement as a pre-marriage event, but I accept that such ceremonies are not formally registered.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: Born out of wedlock

Post by AdrianBruce » 09 Oct 2019 22:24

Mike - re Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton - your suggested use of two Spouse tabs and two Marriage Events seems entirely sensible. Keeps it simple.
Adrian

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Re: Born out of wedlock

Post by davidf » 10 Oct 2019 00:09

tatewise wrote:
09 Oct 2019 21:20
The unmarried couple have no Marriage Event and thus no Marriage Event Date so the only order is that determined by the Spouse tabs, unless a custom Family Event such as Liaison (or Fling) is entered with a Date.
FH does not classify such relationships as marriages as evidenced by the Narrative Report wording (although you have to turn a blind eye to references to Spouse, Husband & Wife in some cases).
Not an expert on this subject but surely a Liaison is more than a "single (or at least very short) point in time" - although Fling might!

I take the point that a marriage/civil partnership's duration is defined by identifiable "beginning" and "end" events - which can take between/and dates. Perhaps what is needed is something similar for non-formalised relationships - but I don't think "hook up" and "break up" quite cut the mustard.

The alternative I suppose is to look on relationships as either attributes or extended events - which need to be able to take vague start and end dates? (from between A and B to between Y and Z)
AdrianBruce wrote:
09 Oct 2019 21:13
Actually I think FH does quite well on the first score providing you agree that Marriage.Date is the date of formalisation. "Family" however, can be an upsetting term - worst case scenario is a child born as a result of a rape when the term "Family" applied to the biological parents and child is quite dreadful. Conversely, I have yet to come up with any better term, other than to say that there is a clear difference between the biological family and the social family.
FH does not actually "need" the concept of "family". It needs
either:
a "couple" concept and then children of a couple. (At it's biological definition a couple can be very short lived.)
or:
a father (biological/foster/adopted/step etc.) link and a mother (--ditto--) link, plus a range of "relationship" links (family, business etc.). "Add Associated Person", might work here.

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Re: Born out of wedlock

Post by gwilym'smum » 10 Oct 2019 08:21

Hi
Not exactly the same topic but I think related. My cousin's natural paternal grandmother, Christina, was the daughter of a German immigrant and an English lady. It is not known if his first wife had died or returned to Germany. On all the records I have found they are referred to as married. On Christina's and her sister's birth certificates she is referred to as "Julia Lorenz, formerly, Smith". On 1911 census a length of the marriage is recorded. However no where can I find an actual marriage event. Should I accept a "phantom" event or record "never married".
On my own line my 2x gt grandfather, George, disappeared in 1865 after the birth of my gt grandmother. His wife in 1871 is still recorded as married but she re- marries in 1874, as a widow. I have included extensive notes as to the possible whereabouts of George and actually it seems likely that he did not die until 1894. Should there be a tab for "bigamist"?
This also feeds into the discussion of the truth on documents and how our ancestors' "lies" are recorded, as when a great aunt who recorded her father as Thomas Yale, when in fact Thomas had died 3 years previously.
Sorry if I have broadened the discussion too widely but it is difficult for a program which has a fixed formula to cover all the vagaries of the human condition. I know that many people like to be very precise and dot all the i s and cross all the t s but humans are not like that therefore the added notes are important in clarifying the events and making our ancestors living breathing human beings and not just a name and date on a page.
Ann
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Re: Born out of wedlock

Post by tatewise » 10 Oct 2019 09:25

David, you are correct, and I should have said custom Family Fact to cater for both Events and Attributes that could clarify the Date appropriately, i.e. custom facts for non-formalised relationships.
Many of the terms and relationships used by FH (and many other products), such as Family and Husband and Wife are largely dictated by the GEDCOM specification. If other terms and relationships were introduced it may become impossible to represent them in GEDCOM form, and thus impossible to migrate to other genealogy products even temporarily to make use of database 'hints', special diagrams, and other services. Users who have migrated to FH from other products may well have experienced just such difficulties.

Ann, yes the uncorroborated details recorded in early documents must always be taken with a pinch of salt, especially as they are often recorded by a registrar or enumerator and not the person themself.
Also the details are often conditioned by stigma. 'Widow' may be such a case.
Couples often said they were 'Married' even though there had been no ceremony.
Workhouse addresses were often recorded with just a number & street.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: Born out of wedlock

Post by LornaCraig » 10 Oct 2019 11:15

Ann,
With reference to your example of a bigamous marriage, I have found a few instances. I always record the details of the second (bigamous) marriage in the same way as any other marriage, to flag up the fact that a marriage ceremony took place on a particular date and place. I use the note field to explain that this was a bigamous marriage and that therefore the marriage status was void. I leave the status at the default (married) because none of the other options fit. Yes, it would be helpful if the list of status options included 'bigamous' or 'void'.
Lorna

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Re: Born out of wedlock

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 10 Oct 2019 11:45

I do the same as Lorna -- record the marriage ceremony, and clarify with a note. For example...
The descendants of Alice Vincent have always known that the husband in her first marriage had committed bigamy, which would explain the misleading details on his marriage certificate (age, name and father's occupation) . Thomas Jones named Miss Alice May Louisa Vincent as his next of kin to the Army in circa 1941, calling her his 'stepsister' (which was not true).
From http://www.colevalleygirl.co.uk/tree/g1/p6.htm#i6 -- Thomas Jones was my maternal grandfather.

I have more of a problem working out what to do with my father's grand-mother (Mary Ann Harper). In 1911, she was recorded in the census as a widow boarding with Mr Charles Kimmons (and 5 of her children.) Charles was born 16 years after she was. Meanwhile her husband (whose name was infinitely variable) was living with his step-mother 20 miles away. Later in 1911, when giving up 3 of her children to go to Canada as 'Home Children' she was described as separated. So far so simple: One husband, status Married, with a note to draw attention to the separation sometime between 1901 and 1911.

Between 1911 and her death in 1932 she moves around Balsall Heath a lot, showing up on various addresses on the electoral register. And at every address where she shows up, so does Charles Kimmons... He dies in 1955/56.

There's nobody alive left to ask and I suspect it was one of those scandalous things never mentioned in the family. I haven't found any other documentary evidence about their relationship (although as I haven't found her birth, there might be a family relationship that I don't know about). However, I strongly suspect I need a "cougar/toyboy" relationship status... :lol:

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Re: Born out of wedlock

Post by tatewise » 10 Oct 2019 12:33

Isn't a "cougar/toyboy" relationship status somewhat sexist and unidirectional Mary Ann to Charles :lol:
i.e. He is her "toyboy".
What would be the equivalent relationship of Charles to Mary Ann :?:
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: Born out of wedlock

Post by davidf » 10 Oct 2019 12:41

ColeValleyGirl wrote:
10 Oct 2019 11:45
I strongly suspect I need a "cougar/toyboy" relationship status... :lol:
Joking aside, is the "family" (relationship) entity the problem rather than any need to guess at some form of judgemental status? This is I think structural to GEDCOM - probably a legacy of its origins.

We know and can record any "residence sharing" (let's call it that because "co-habiting" now has anatomical plumbing connotations). We also know of ceremonies (such as marriage events) and we can be pretty sure of maternity issues. But beyond that it is pretty much speculation, sometimes based on either a man being "head of household" in a census (is that term even still current for more recent censuses?) or a man's name in a record.

Within GEDCOM what can we do if we want to avoid the problematic "family" entity and possibly equally problematic stock relationship issues? (I say "within" to imply what can GEDCOM cope with, rather than say "in compliance with", because I suspect that "Families" are hard-wired into the Gedcom spec.) And how does FH support this?

We could use Associated Person (added from the "All" tab under miscellaneous) which can be attached to an individual record together with a "relationship". So a son could have an associated person where the relationship is described as father (or what-ever). However setting up an associated person is not reflective; in the case above there is no father>son relationship mirroring the son>father relationship - both have to be set up. However, I cannot find any reference to "Associated Person" in any GEDCOM version (by searches rather than thorough reading - "the associated person" unfortunately is returned too easily by searches!)

We could use Witnesses - but these cannot be added to an individual but have to be added to a fact (birth being the obvious one for parentage - even if other details are vague or unknown). Witnesses at least appear to be reflexive in FH (if a bit fiddly). Witnesses also have the advantage that being tied to a fact can be time delimited (I don't think associated people can be); this is advantageous if for instance the father recorded on the birth certificate (birth event) differs from the one on the School Entrance roll.

Neither of the above enable "trees" or things like reports; it is just a mass of individuals with various connections. But in theory there is no reason why trees cannot be developed from a mass of individuals if we can define (ideally with a global default, but possibly also individually) the hierarchy of fact/relationships to be used to derive them.

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Re: Born out of wedlock

Post by davidf » 10 Oct 2019 12:50

tatewise wrote:
10 Oct 2019 12:33
Isn't a "cougar/toyboy" relationship status somewhat sexist and unidirectional Mary Ann to Charles :lol:
i.e. He is her "toyboy".
What would be the equivalent relationship of Charles to Mary Ann :?:
Is it sexist or just judgemental - when we do not necessarily know the level of intimacy and cannot exclude some other relationship (such Female Head of Household and footman?)

Charles might recognise himself as a cougar's toyboy - one hopes both have a similar view of the relationship.

If we reversed the genders we can probably find some phrase(s) to describe an older man in a relationship with a much younger woman.

There is a danger that in trying to cover all options we fall into the trap of being forced to make a judgement about people who may have lived long ago.

We know if people are married if we have a record of the ceremony with their undisputed names in the record. Beyond that it is pretty much guesswork both as to whether there is a "couple/family" type relationship and as to its duration and intensity!

The problem surely is that GEDCOM almost assumes that if there were children there was a marriage and all the status options etc are to cope with this legacy assumption not always being correct!

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Re: Born out of wedlock

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 10 Oct 2019 13:02

What would be the equivalent relationship of Charles to Mary Ann :?:
Maybe she's his "sugar-mummy"?

It may be worth noting that on all the electoral registers, she is named first -- whereas in all the other entries I've looked at the Property Owner or head of the household (usually Male if there's a man in the household) appears first. And she always has an Occupational qualification to vote while he has a Residential qualification. Of course the order could be purely alphabetic if unrelated people are involved...

David, I've tended to steer clear of Associated Persons and Witnesses, and just use lots of explanatory notes. The Family structure is unsatisfactory (and badly-named, as it's really a 'couple' structure) and will get increasingly so as the shape of families evolve and sometimes it's very confusing -- I have an acquaintance who had two children before she divorced and remarried somebody with two children from their own first marriage. So that new family now has two sons called Paul and two daughters called Victoria!

And I have a niece whose parents divorced; her father got custody and subsequently remarried and then divorced again; at which point her step-mother got custody. And she has exactly the same name as her elder sister (probably a full sibling) who was given up for adoption as a baby (and lives a few roads away). It takes a lot of very careful notes to make situations like that clear!

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Re: Born out of wedlock

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 10 Oct 2019 13:04

Female Head of Household and footman?
Unlikely, as they lived in a succession of two-up/two-down Birmingham terraced houses and/or back-to-backs. :D

But they might be aunt and nephew, or something like that.... the ages fit and there's a whole segment of my tree hidden until I can find her birth.

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Re: Born out of wedlock

Post by LornaCraig » 10 Oct 2019 13:24

Helen, have you managed to find any branch of your family which is/was conventional? :lol:
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Re: Born out of wedlock

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 10 Oct 2019 13:35

Helen, have you managed to find any branch of your family which is/was conventional?
Loads of them -- lines of ag labs and miners stretching back in serried ranks of ordinariness, spiced up occasionally with Baptist ministers and pawn-brokers and Victorian photographers. Hatched matched and dispatched according to the social conventions of the time (although there was Dorothy Walters who married 4 times between 1807 and 1828 and outlived all 4 husbands and all 4 of her children ).

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Re: Born out of wedlock

Post by tatewise » 10 Oct 2019 13:53

David, in GEDCOM the ASSOCIATION_STRUCTURE starts in the INDIVIDUAL_RECORD on Page 25 and continues on Page 29 (v5.5) or Page 31 (v5.5.1) where the RELAtionship and other fields are defined.
( Note that the TYPE field is invalid and was removed in an amendment to GEDCOM v5.5. )
Conversely, Witnesses are not a standard GEDCOM feature at all and only supported by a handful of products.
Neither feature is well supported in Diagrams and Reports.

FYI: GEDCOM does not assume that if there were children there was a marriage.
All it defines is a Family record with optional links to a Husband, a Wife, and unlimited Children.
It is valid to have single parent or no parent families, and no Marriage Event is implied.
That is why "couples" is an unsuitable term because the Family record defines more than couple relationships.
Perhaps Progenitor record would be better?
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Re: Born out of wedlock

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 10 Oct 2019 14:04

That is why "couples" is an unsuitable term because the Family record defines more than couple relationships.
But Family events only include the couple...

It is, shall we say, less than optimal.

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Re: Born out of wedlock

Post by tatewise » 10 Oct 2019 14:28

But Family events only include the couple...
The standard GEDCOM Family Events relate to the couple, but there is no fundamental reason to prevent custom facts relating to the family.
On reflection (despite my own arguments to the contrary) there is nothing to prevent the standard Census (family) Event relating to the parents and children (but not other members of the family).
However, I think we all agree it is time for GEDCOM to be brought up to date and the FHISO ELF Standards (16587) and the GEDCOM 5.5.5! (17121) initiatives are far from being useful yet.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: Born out of wedlock

Post by AdrianBruce » 10 Oct 2019 14:34

The Family concept in GEDCOM (of up to 2 parents and optionally multiple children) has its limitations. I have referred above to the potentially offensive use of the word "Family" to describe a biological parent who is simply not wanted in the social unit. There's a lot to be said for a version of Family that refers to a social unit - that way it could include granny (often but not always) who lives with the parents and children and plays an important part in the household. But the problem is that this unit shifts over the years, so you need complex stuff like dated relationships - or a new Social Family Unit each time someone leaves or joins. Messy. That's why I always use Family Events to refer just to the (parental) couple and add references to the children or other adults in notes as well as their own events.
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Re: Born out of wedlock

Post by davidf » 10 Oct 2019 14:48

tatewise wrote:
10 Oct 2019 13:53
FYI: GEDCOM does not assume that if there were children there was a marriage.
All it defines is a Family record with optional links to a Husband, a Wife, and unlimited Children.
It is valid to have single parent or no parent families, and no Marriage Event is implied.
That is why "couples" is an unsuitable term because the Family record defines more than couple relationships.
Perhaps Progenitor record would be better?
So if Simon and Susan have a "on-nighter" and go their separate ways but Stephen is the result (acknowledged by both), how should these three be entered - given there is no "two parent" family and it would be untrue to say that it is a "one parent" family?

If in Stephen's record I attempt to add a father relationship, I have to add a "Family as a Child" (easiest done through the all tab) - but I have to create a new "Family" record - to which I can then link Simon as the father. Then I attempt to add a mother relationship, again adding "Family as a Child" - but since there was no family relationship, I create a new "Family" record - to which I can then link Susan as the mother. Job done - until you attempt to display Stephen's tree when you have to select which family Stephen belongs to. (OK you do a paternal one and a maternal one and then try and stack the two Stephen boxes - fiddly!)

The same happens if I link Stephen as Simon's child and as Susan's child (adding the latter as a new family).

Pictorially you can only have "T" relationships, you cannot have "Y" relationships - where a child has a paternal family (possibly with half siblings) and a maternal family (again possibly with half siblings)

Progenitor records might solve this - and would make Three Parent children (mtDNA donation etc.) possible to record.

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Re: Born out of wedlock

Post by davidf » 10 Oct 2019 14:56

ColeValleyGirl wrote:
10 Oct 2019 13:35
although there was Dorothy Walters who married 4 times between 1807 and 1828 and outlived all 4 husbands and all 4 of her children.
My Great Great Great Grandmother married twice (legally: married, widowed, married) to identically named men - who appear to be unrelated!
Talk about repeat purchases!

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