* Witness Facts in Descendant Narratives

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AdrianBruce
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Witness Facts in Descendant Narratives

Post by AdrianBruce » 09 Sep 2020 21:27

I am trying to understand what elements appear, when and where, in a narrative report when witnesses are involved. I think I can see what happens but my understanding of why is a bit shakey so would be grateful for any clarifications.

The real life situation was that a husband was the subject of a civil court action (by a grocer) to recover debts incurred by his wife. Those debts included the purchase of large amounts of alcohol and, since the wife later died of delirium tremens, the action provides an important indication that needs to be obvious in the wife's story.

In FH, the husband has a civil court event, with my usual extensive note describing the whys and wherefores. The wife is a witness (in the FH sense) with a role of "Involved". The Witness sentence for the civil court event reads:
<para>{individual} was involved in a civil court case< at {address}> with {principal}< {date}>< {place}>.< {note}>
The "Note" at the end triggers the print of the whys and wherefores for the wife's report. Well, it does when it prints.

1. If I run off an Individual Narrative report for the wife, I get what I expect - the contents of the Witness sentence for the civil court event.

2. If I run off a Narrative Report for Descendants of the husband, I get what I expect for the husband - the report of the court case, with the whys and wherefores.

However, when I reach the text in *this* report section referring to the wife, there is no sign of the civil court event. I have attempted to explain this to myself by saying that the civil court event has already been recorded in this "section" of the report against the husband, who is the principal, so FH does not repeat it. But...

3. If I run off a Narrative Report for Descendants of the wife, she comes first in the report, and I see what I previously expected - the full contents of the Witness sentence for the civil court event.

But then, when I reach the text in *this* report section referring to the husband, this time I see the full story for the husband - the report of the court case, with the whys and wherefores.

So.... in case (2) a full description appears for the husband (who is the principal) and nothing (later on) for the wife (who is the witness).

But in case (3) a full description appears for the wife (who is the witness) followed later on by a full description for the husband (who is the principal).

So it's almost like FH will, inside a report section, only print the narrative details against the first participant in the event. Except that, if a later participant is the principal, they will also get the full details.

Alternatively, I can phrase it that FH prints the text against the first participant, be they principal or witness - further down the section (whatever that means!), FH will only print the text against the principal.

I'm not complaining - I'm just trying to understand what happens and what drives whether the narrative description appears for someone or not. Comments or corrections?

Thanks
Adrian

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AdrianBruce
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Re: Witness Facts in Descendant Narratives

Post by AdrianBruce » 10 Sep 2020 11:52

I can add a little bit after some further experiments. I added 2 of the sons as "witnesses" to their father's court case. A Narrative Report of their father and the next generation shows that both of those sons have the full text in their sections for their role as witnesses in their father's event - as I'd expected beforehand.

The sections that I'm talking about, I now realise, are marked by numbers for the people but note that a spouse's details are included under the number for their own spouse.

So it looks like the only sometimes-it's-there-and-sometimes-it-isn't is when someone is a witness to their spouse's event.

If the narrative report is based on the husband then the wife's events appear only if I choose the requisite option in the report - which I usually do. In such circumstances, then if the husband is the principal, and the wife is a witness for that event, then her sentences do not mention her witnessed event.

Conversely, if the narrative report is based on the husband but if the husband is only a witness, and the wife is the principal for that event, then both husband (who comes first in the section simply because the report is based on him) and wife have the full sentences. I think.

So if the nominal order is principal-then-witness within the section, then the witness doesn't get reported. But if the nominal order is witness-then-principal within the section, then both get reported. I think...

It still feels a bit fuzzy so any clarity (or contradiction) would be welcomed. As I say, I'm not complaining - just trying to understand.
Adrian

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Re: Witness Facts in Descendant Narratives

Post by tatewise » 10 Sep 2020 12:55

You are correct Adrian. The sentences that are included follow special rules for spouses, but I don't know why.

Uniquely, spouses have two paragraphs in the same section.
In the 1st paragraph, both principal and witness sentences are always included (except as witness to their child's birth).
In the 2nd paragraph for spouse, only principal sentences are included and never any witness sentences of any facts at all.
This strange rule applies to any fact witness sentences and not just where the spouse is principal.

The 1st paragraph rule also applies to single people.

That explains what you have observed and takes it a step further.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: Witness Facts in Descendant Narratives

Post by AdrianBruce » 10 Sep 2020 15:02

Thanks Mike - and thanks (sort of) for the extension. I just confirmed this by making Jessie (the wife above) a witness (literally and in FH) at her uncle's wedding.

If I set up a Descendants Narrative from Jessie's husband, Edward, then although Jessie's events appear in Edward's narrative section, in the second part, the exception to that is her role as a witness in her uncle's wedding, which is not visible at all. Hmm. That is definitely a problem - I think that I can cope with the omission of any witnessed facts relating to her husband, because they should appear in the first part (though I'm not sure about witness specific notes) but this is definitely an issue.

I suspect I should raise it as a wish-list item - it might be different under v.7 but if I wait for that, I'll forget.
Adrian

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Re: Witness Facts in Descendant Narratives

Post by tatewise » 10 Sep 2020 18:45

Don't waste your time raising a wish-list entry ;)
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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