Why doesn't it allow citations to be linked to relationships.
I'd like to record my sources against the biological links between a person and it's parents and children.
I hear ya, Brian. A real bummer.
I think the basic problem is that the creators of the Gedcom standard failed to take this concept into account when they invented Gedcom and software has simply followed suit. Others who know more about gedcom can tell me if I'm wrong on that score.
Basically, an observer wants to know: "How do we know xx is related to yy in such and such a way?"
The structure I have jerry-rigged to document relationships is to create the following custom facts:
Link to parents
Link to children
Link to spouse
Link to maiden name
Link to sibling
Links to others (aunts & uncles and such)
I put info in the description part of the fact and then attach whatever source citation is appropriate. I often have to enter the fact twice, or three times, for each person (ie a fact for the child and a fact for each parent)
If FTM allowed Shared Facts for others than spouses, one might change these links to reflect that, for example: "Link between parent and child". Then, you'd only have to enter info once - although the second person to share the fact would need to be attached.
Link to maiden name: Marriage record
Link to maiden name: Mary's death record gives mother's maiden name: Johnson
Link to parents: per census
Link to parents: John's death record gives parents: John and Mary (Jones) Smithe.
Link to parent: Named in will
Link to parent: 1) Named a son Darwin, 2) Frank's parents b NY NY per his 1880 census - Darwin & wife b NY NY 3) Jones cousins in his house in 1900
Link to parents: WWI Draft Reg: Lists someone who will know where he will always be as: M.S. Hallock. No relationship shown, but corroborates Merritt Sylvester as father.
Of course, some relationships are more complicated than can be explained in a short description space for a fact. You can either say "See Fact Note" or "See Notes" and carry on the explanation there.
I don't do this for everyone and every relationship in my file; usually cases where it is not self-evident. I try to viusalize what I might think two years from now and might wonder "Why did I think this person was the wife/son/dau/father/mother of someone.
Since these are FTM custom facts, I presume there might be problems in exporting these within individual's data that is exported to other software.
Boy am I having a tough time wrapping my mind around what a "relationship fact" is. Don't get me wrong this is not an indictment of you or your question, I truely do understand the concept. Maybe this is because of my close connection to GEDCOM or maybe I'm dense.
In the GEDCOM standard when a BIRT (birth) event is entered one of the datapoints that can be entered is a FAMily connection, this is to say, "This person was born on this date, in this place, into this family and here is the source citation for this event."
FTM does not support this piece of information. It relies on a separate piece of information that indicates that the individual is biologically connected to a set of parents.
The same is also true for the ADOPtion "fact". The GEDCOM standard contains an additional datapoint that connects the adoption event to the FAMily that adopted the individual and indicates which parent (or both) was the adoptive parent in the family. In a sentence, "This person was adopted on this date, in this place, by the adult(s) in this family and here is the source citation for this event."
Again, FTM does not support this information in the ADOP "fact" and relies on a datapoint outside of this event.
FTM could and should do a better job of supporting these concepts.
As to "shared facts". This is a term invented by FTM as a politically correct version of family and/or marriage facts.
In reality these facts (in GEDCOM Family_Events) are limited to:
Marriage, Divorce, Residence, Engagement and the like.
FTM does need a true "shared fact" data entry scheme, for times when a group of individual share an event, such as a residing at a particular place on a given day. But IMHO this type of entry has its limitations. Since many times an event can happen over a period of time, therefore some events may have individuals involved in that event participate for various periods of time, this means the data entry screen must allow for person specific dates. Some individual facts lend themselves better than others to be shared. Emigration, Immigration, Naturalization, Census, are some that are better suited.