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Q: Death Fact without additional information

Q: Death Fact without additional information

Posted: 5 Feb 2013 5:27AM GMT
Classification: Query
As many of you know I am a strict user of the GEDCOM standard. No flames please!! ;-)

My question is for general discussion about how you generally enter the death fact. First I'll point out what is required in the GEDCOM standard so you know where I am coming from.

The standard says: "All GEDCOM lines have either a value or a pointer unless the line contains subordinate GEDCOM lines. In other words the presence of a level number and a tag alone should not be used to assert data (i.e. 1 DEAT Y should be used to imply a death known to have happened but
date and place are unknown, not 1 DEAT )."

What this is saying is: If the individual is dead you must either enter a place or date, OR a "Y" in the description field when you know the person is dead but you have neither a date or place.

I ran a few reports in FTM and in some reports if you enter a death fact without additional field (no date, place of note) the death fact is printed, while in other reports the death is not reported. When I enter a "Y" in the description FTM does not use this in any way to indicate a positive death.

When you do not have a place and date, Do most of you:

1) create a death fact without a date or place to indicate the individual is dead
2) enter a "Y" in the description
3) expect the death fact alone to indicate the individual is deceased
4) make up an aproximate death date or place so you have something entered
5) have a different strategy

I'm doing this more for my own personal understanding of what people do. I always use the "Y" indicator, but this is because of my knowledge and use of the standard.

Thanks

Re: Q: Death Fact without additional information

Posted: 5 Feb 2013 10:51AM GMT
Classification: Query
Have you tried using a "?" in the DOD field which FTM will display as "Unknown"

Very consistant, clear and only involves typing one character

It seems to work OK on reports, privatise, etc


John D

Re: Q: Death Fact without additional information

Posted: 5 Feb 2013 2:25PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 5 Feb 2013 2:26PM GMT
I often use USA in the Place field. It seems to work for most purposes.

I also have a custom fact called "Notes", where I put things I want to highlight, like in the description of that fact: "not in census with family", or a Death Record: "Bef 1900 and the following text if "spouse indicates a widow in 1900 census".

If I have a last time known living and first time known dead, I will put a range. Like a will written 1892 and will adjudicated 1897: 1892-1897.

I sometimes use "infant" or the like coming from the list of keywords that FTM allows in the date field:

Date Keywords
Certain keywords can be used in the Date field to help define the date. For example, you may be uncertain about the birth date of a person but know it falls somewhere in the year "1900". In the Date field you can express that by typing "Bet. 1900-1901".

The following table describes the keywords you can use and how Family Tree Maker expresses them:

Keyword
Result

About, ABT, or A
Abt. 12 Dec 2004 (See Date Labels in Options: Dates.)

AD
68 AD (See Ancient date notation in Options: Dates.)

After or AFT
aft. 12 Dec 2004

Ante
Bef. 12 Dec 2004

Before, BEF or B
Bef. 12 Dec 2004

Between, BET, or BTW . . . and
Bet. 9 Dec - 12 Dec 2004 (See Range style in Options: Dates.)

BC
22 BC (See Ancient date notation in Options: Dates.)

Calculated or Cal
Cal. 12 Dec. 2004

Child
Child

Circa, Cir, or C
Abt. 12 Dec 2004 (See Date Labels in Options: Dates.)

Dead
Dead

Deceased
Deceased

Estimated or EST
Abt. 12 Dec 2004

From . . . to
Bet. 9 Dec - 12 Dec 2004 (See Range style in Options: Dates.)

Infant
Infant

Never Married
Never Married

Post
Aft. 12 Dec 2004

Stillborn
Stillborn

Unknown
Unknown

Young
Young

?
Unknown

Re: Q: Death Fact without additional information

Posted: 5 Feb 2013 3:46PM GMT
Classification: Query
@Silverfox,

So what you are saying is that FTM has the ability to indicate "Dead" as part of the date field. Is this correct?

AND you use words like "Child", "Infant", "Stillborn" in the date field to indicate that the individual died as a child? Is it a drop down list?

You do this as opposed to indicating (as per the GEDCOM standard) dead with a "Y" in the description and a NOTE of "Child", "Infant", "Stillborn".

I get the idea of putting "AFT 1900", "ABT 1901", "BEF 1902", "CAL 1900" in the date field, which is "in line" with the standard. I do this all the time.

I'm only asking specifically so that I don't ask for enhancements to FTM (or future addons) to correctly support GEDCOM that causes other issues to users.

Re: Q: Death Fact without additional information

Posted: 5 Feb 2013 3:58PM GMT
Classification: Query
Certainly I have a lot of individuals where there is a Y in the death. I didn't put them there and I assume that in the quest for a stable program one of the programs I have used did so.
My copy of Reunion allows me to choose whether I have death as a default event (fact, but that is another debate), but my FTMM automatically has Died, but allows me to add a death fact. All my individuals have a death event therefore which may be populated or not.
The question is whether you should populate this in a way which will aid your research or whether you should do it in a way that conforms with the gedcom standard.
You then have a secondary question of whether your program outputs a gedcom that conforms with the standard, and even if it does, will the receiving program treat it correctly.
I recently spent several hours trying to validate a death given in a PMT as 1982. When I finally found the answer on the Internet, the individual had in fact died over two decades later and as it was her obituary that I found there was no doubt. This is not to say that whoever originally recorded the 1982 date had made an error. I suspect that originally it had been "after 1982" but in passing around the "after" had disappeared.
Your first duty I believe is to make entries in a form that will assist your research/suit any trees/reports you generate. I have therefore date wise entries such as between ......., before, after or blank. There may be a place even where there is no date, or there may not. I would not enter a Y as I do not believe this assists me and I do tend to delete existing ones.

Re: Q: Death Fact without additional information

Posted: 5 Feb 2013 4:18PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 5 Feb 2013 4:25PM GMT

"So what you are saying is that FTM has the ability to indicate "Dead" as part of the date field. Is this correct?"

Yes, that's what it says and has been my experience. There is no drop-down list, just type it in.

I just did a filter for entries in my data base that CONTAIN "infant" in the death DATE field and got four responses. The record was exported via Gedcom and imported to whatever software WorldConnect uses, here:

http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&d...

Ditto: Filter for Death Fact where the DATE field CONTAINS DECEASED. Got 76 individuals, one of which was exported via gedcom 5.5 into WorldConnect, here:

http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&d...

Re: Q: Death Fact without additional information

Posted: 5 Feb 2013 5:13PM GMT
Classification: Query
Thanks, that is very helpful to know re: FTM!!

While technically in the GEDCOM you can enter anything you want into the "DATE" field, many software programs expect only a real date or the BET/AND, FROM/TO, BEF, AFT, CAL, identifiers but not words like "Infant", "Child" etc.
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