Tag Archives: People

Adding Description To Civil Facts

As I was working through and checking my SSDI Sources I have been adding Civil Facts when needed. I realized that there are also Civil Facts for many other Sources. I have decided to add a short description in each Civil Fact Description Field. The most common so far are SSDI and Marriage to which I will add “SSDI” and “Marriage” to each respective Description Field. I use Filter to find Civil Facts with any data and then change each one in People>Tree tab.

Yes, this is an extra step but I think it will help distinguish between Civil Facts when you aren’t able to see the Source Citations. It would be nice if this happened automatically but I’m not holding my breath. What do you think? Good idea or extraneous? I’m going to continue but I might possibly change my mind down the road.

Update: I have decided to change “SSDI” to “SSN issued” to more accurately reflect what the Civil Fact represents. I will probably add a description to all Residence Facts as well and will be on the lookout for other Facts that need a description as well.



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Support for Surnames in CAPS

I have read several rants against using CAPS for surnames in genealogy. In most places in the techie world it is considered shouting. I recently decided to update all SURNAMES to CAPS and here is why. This seems to have been a widely used practice by genealogists before computer programs. They did this because, when filling out paperwork in on multiple sheets, it simply helped to keep the names straight. Well, I found the same thing applied in FTM/Mac when I was looking for people without-last-names. I wanted to add UNKNOWN in place of the missing surname. Since FTM/Mac doesn’t have separate fields for first and last names it is very easy to make a mistake and forget to put the “\” around the last name. When I converted the surname to CAPS it became very¬†obvious when a first name was used as a last by mistake. I have since converted surnames found in the ‘Parents-of-Non-Related’ field and in¬†Source Citations as well.

I am also practicing last-name-first as much as possible. This makes it easier to find sources because going by first names is problematic – there are nicknames, etc. I wish that Ancestry.com would utilize and recommend this practice in their sources too.

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