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Old 02-29-2012, 08:50 PM
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Smile Does Genealogy Software Force Me to be Conclusion-Based?

After I posted Trying to be an Evidenced-Based Researcher- Does This Work? yesterday, I realized that I was forced to be a Conclusion-based genealogist by the genealogy management programs I use.


Look at the Birth records for Devier James Lamphier Smith. In RootsMagic 5, I made the 7 May 1839 birth date the "Birth" Fact because that is my current conclusion. I also had four Alternate birth Facts dating from 1838-1839 to 7 May 1842. If I had made all of the Alternate Birth Facts I had (5 of them) into Birth Facts, then RootsMagic would have put the earliest (the 1838-1839) Birth Fact into every report or chart I make. Therefore, in RootsMagic I can either choose one Birth Fact to show in screens, reports and charts (but list all of the Alternate Birth Facts in screens and reports), or RootsMagic will make the selection for me (the earliest entry in a Birth Fact). Would an Evidenced-based genealogist be happy with RootsMagic 5 making the selection for them? How would an Evidenced-based genealogist, who is not ready to draw an evidence-based conclusion, deal with this?


Legacy Family Tree 7.5 requires a Conclusion for each Fact type, but permits other Facts for the type. If I add five more entries in Legacy for Birth, then if I can make one of them the Fact that shows up in screens, reports and charts using Options > "Swap with Birth Information." The other Birth, or alternate Birth, Facts don't seem to show up in screens or reports. In this case, the user has control of the Conclusion. How would an Evidenced-based genealogist, who is not ready to draw an evidence-based conclusion, deal with this?


Family Tree Maker 2012 permits any number of Facts for an Event. For Devier Smith's birth, I can enter all six "Birth" Facts and then I can select a "Preferred" Fact using the Options > "Preferred" button. I can also add Alternate Birth Facts and make one of them "Preferred." I could change the Alternate Birth Facts to Birth Facts and make one of them "Preferred." If I make all of the Birth Facts into alternate Birth Facts, then no Birth Facts show up in screens, reports and charts. It appears that I have to select one of them as "Preferred" or not have Fact show up in screens, reports and charts. In this program, the user has control of the Conclusion. How would an Evidenced-based genealogist, who is not ready to draw an evidence-based conclusion, deal with this?


Please note that I am not complaining about these programs, just pointing out that they handle Facts differently, and seem to promote Conclusion-based genealogy. That's understandable to me - they are database programs and many researchers "want to have something in every field."


How do other genealogy management program enable Evidence-based genealogy? How should these GMPs enable it?


The URL for this post is: http://www.geneamusings.com/2012/02/...-me-to-be.html


Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver.


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