Associate - It would be helpful to have a "one to many" option RM9

I have been experimenting with Associates, and created as an example Marriage Celebrant.
It would be really helpful to be able to associate the Marriage Celebrant with both parties to the marriage in the one association.
The sentence structure could then be something like
[ThisPerson] married [Person1] and [Person2]< [Desc]>< [Date]>< [PlaceDetails]>< [Place]>.

Effectively, that’s what the ‘sharing’ of events provides. You would share the couple’s Marriage event with the person assigned the Role of “Celebrant” who is either in the database as an Individual or just a name.

I’m unsure what the decision-tree should look like in choosing between using the new Association feature versus the old Shared Events feature:

  • The new one enables a unique set of event properties for each 1:1 person association and special reporting features but doesn’t (yet, to my knowledge) transfer via drag’n’drop or GEDCOM.
  • The old one supports individual or couple events to be shared to 1 or many persons in many roles, does transfer (and is even accepted by a limited number of other programs) but never got the special reporting (long requested) that it should have.

For a Marriage event, I think Shared Event is the obvious choice because it is clearly a singular event all have in common and there are many involved. But something like employment, co-working, neighbouring, … is not an “event”, it is a time span that the two people have in common. Co-workers come and go, for example, so one could have an Employment event covering the 25 years someone worked at GM and a number of Associations of the Co-worker type, Supervisor-employee type,…

My thoughts on Associations echo what @TomH is saying. It appears from reading many posts on Associations that people are now trying to use them as they previously used Witnesses. I see them as two distinctly different things.

I’ve been trying to think this through as well. I really like the reporting and search aspects of Associations.
In a way, it seems like they could have just used witnesses and beefed it up in the reporting and searching arenas. Most any situation that engenders an Associate could easily be accomplished by adding a fact as well. Why not make the witness function more robust rather then adding a different feature? For example: employment, church membership, association or club memberships, neighbors on censuses, weddings, funerals.
I know some people don’t use witnesses because of their limitations, but the one to many problem seems to be a large drawback to the Associations feature.

Maybe I’m cynical but that wouldn’t stand out as a “new” feature. It simply completes the baking of an old feature. Instead, throw into the mix a half-baked quasi-new feature to help sell more licenses.

I’m sure Associations will prove of value to some - it may be simpler to understand and indeed might be superior for some kind of ‘cluster’ studies, even if Shared Events were fully baked with good search and reporting. But, bear in mind, it’s currently locked into your database with no way out and it’s inferior to Shared Events for other purposes.

“Horses for courses!”

I think you might be right. I use witnesses (or shared facts) now, but I’m not in love with the functionality. They have so much potential that I keep hoping for improvements. The Association feature just seems like a distraction.