Tuesday, July 12, 2016

What are Standards in Genealogy? Why are they important?

When we stick to the Standards, or what is allowed in a drop down feature of a website, we limit the amount of duplicate records drastically.  I thought it would be helpful if you know what is helpful to the database mechanics, and what is not.  These are just a few of the important ones.  As I uncover more, I will let you know.

When you fill up a field (name, date of birth, birthplace, etc.,), you are telling the database that you don't need it. You are telling it that you are done with that person and are positive that it is correct.
You are essentially telling it that you are smarter that it's logarithms and to move on, cause....you're good!

Some people will get to a brick wall and do the following - these are all bad or poor choices and will not help you in your search.

1.  END of the line, written in the birth date or death date field.

  Really?  You can say with 100% certainty that in the year 1798 no one came before that person?  What about his mother?  How was he born?  Hmmm.  so unless you were there and personally witnessed his translation from Heaven to Earth, leave this blank.

2.  In documenting female names, any of these are not good.  Mrs. John Smith, Mrs. Smith, NFN (no first name), 

Remember, in the spirit of not putting anything that you don't know for a fact and don't havfe some sort of proof in the form of a birth certificate or death certificate or marriage, you will only fill the field if you are positive.  Guesses can go in the notes section.  Anything less than the simple maiden first and last name is inappropriate.  It will stop the database in is tracks.  If you do not have a marriage certificate or her name on a census form, LEAVE IT BLANK.  This will allow the database to do what it was designed to do, search for people based on the KNOWN facts.  If you run across a female who has the last name of her husband, delete the last name and leave only her first name.  The only exception to this would be if two cousins with the same last name married.  Add an event and explain that they were cousins with the same last name.  Before 1865 most of the United States did not have a rule about cousins being married.

What is the most you can put when you do not have a lot of corroborative evidence?  

  1. You can put the first name that was on the census form.  
  2. You can put the year of birth that the census stated she was born.  
  3. You can put the name of the State she gave to her census taker.

What is the correct way to list a name with a title?

3.  Any of these in the last name field is wrong and does create duplicate records.
  1. a.  Mr. John Smith ****
  2. b.  Mr. John Smith (7GG)  (he is not everyone's 7th great grandfather)
  3. c.  Mr. John Georgie Porgie Smith.  (nickname)
  4. d.  Mr. John  (now last name field )Smith, 6th Laird of Glasgow and my 6th GG,
  5. e.  Mr. John Adams, ****PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES****
  6. g.  Mr. John Adams, 2nd
  7. h.  Mr. John Adams, Senior
  8. I.  Mr. John Adams 1st
  9. j.  Wife has 25 children and some are after she died.
1A, 2B, 3C
Do not place **** or 7GG or the like in the last name field - EVER.  I know it makes it easier to find your direct line, but it is inappropriate.

How do I list a nick name?

(first)  John "Baldy" (last) Smith  - - the data base will approve of the "".
(first) John "Georgie Porgie" (last) Smith

 5E, 6G, 7H, 8I
Titles of Officials or Statesmen
What about Titles that refer to the line of people with the same name?
The only one that is possibly allowed would be listing his title in the last name field with a comma between the last name the the Title.  Make sure you google the correct way to express the Title. #6 above is almost correct.  His title cannot fit in the suffix, so Separate the title from the Last name and use Roman numerals instead of numbers.  So the correct way to put it would be:

 4D You can list HON in Suffix - The rest of the title in a NOTE in Events - It will show up in the timeline when you enter the dates involved.

Sir John Smith, Laird of Glasgow VI.
The Honorable (Hon) William Bradford, Governor
then list Plymouth, RI as an event elected official to office HON William Bradford, Governor
Use Roman Numerals.

Emily Post Official Addressing Rules

If you are related to the President or someone of Title, do not place that in the last name field.  You can add an event, and say that he was elected President of the United States in ____year.

E , G, H, I and J
How do I list 3 Generations of people with the same name.

Pick this apart very carefully.   This is a huge problem.  Sometimes the database gets confused and adds hints for the wrong generation to a son or grandson with the same name.  If you have to lay it all out with the dates, DO IT.  It is totally worth it.

When you show when he lived and died, when his wives lived and died, you can split the kids up and put them with the correct wife.  
prefix (Mr.)  first (John)   last (Adams)    Suffix   (I)
his son with the exact name would be the same with (Jr.) in the Suffix
his grandson with the exact name would be the same with (III) in the Suffix

This is where random clicking without checking will get you into trouble.
If you have children beyond the first wife's life span, do NOT add them to her.  Go look for a 2nd wife's Marriage Certificate, then add the children to her that were born in her life time.  Repeat this for the 3rd wife.  Make a handwritten chart for your records.  Email me for my excel Wizard on Multiple Marriages. genealogymama1@gmail.com, it's very cool!

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