Census..... Changing Roles When Sharing Facts

I am trying to enter data from the 1911 UK Census, this is my first attempt to add census data in RootsMagic, and have gotten myself a little confused I think!

I have a family with Husband and Wife and 7 children. For a reason I cannot explain I did not start with the head of the family, who in the census is nominated as the Husband, I started with his wife, in the census as, not surprisingly as Wife. I shared the fact with the other members of the family, Sons and Daughter and in each case I created and created the role and Son or Daughter. Because the Father was last alphabetically he was last so I shared the fact and put his role as “Head”. But I then realised that I did not have a role for the Wife as the Role Creation only seems to be present when sharing. I can find no way to add the role of Wife to this census fact.

I tried, after making a backup of the tree, opening the Husband’s people page but it did not allow that, not surprisingly as that would be a circular reference I suppose.

I am assuming that in every case that there is no “role” attached to the 1st person who has the fact attached to them? Is this correct and is there anyway around this? Is there a way to add/edit the role of the 1st person to have the fact added. In the other family members the fact is described as “Head-Census” or “Son-Census” or “Daughter Census” whereas for the Wife it just says “Census” and indicates that it has been shared 8 times.

Whilst on the subject of censuses as this is my first foray into these is there a “standard” way of entering the various data elements, I have looked at the RM wiki and cannot find very much.

Thanks for your assistance

It actually is possible to share a role with the same person who is the owner of the original fact. There usually is no reason to do so. If you do so and if both the original fact and the role you are sharing with the original person have a sentence defined, then the original person will have two sentences for the same event.

In your example where you started with the wife, you could define a role of Wife and share the census fact with the wife using the role of Wife. She would then have two sentences - one for her original census fact and one for her role as Wife. The same thing could happen if you started instead by giving the husband the original census fact and also sharing the fact with him using the Husband role.

There are probably as many ways of entering census data as there are users of RM. I don’t think there is a standard. For example, I don’t user RM’s shared facts for census because that makes it likely that my data can’t be transferred to other genealogy software such as FamilySearch or Ancestry. So I enter a separate census fact for each family member. But other RM users are not concerned about transferring their data and like to use RM’s shared fact and their roles when they are entering census data.

Even before I realized that entering census data using RM’s shared facts might make it hard to transfer my data, I gave up on using shared facts for census data. That’s because I wanted to customize the appearance of the census data for each individual in family. In particular, I wanted to enter a transcription of a person’s line from the census entry into the note for the person’s census fact. You can do that using RM’s shared facts, but doing so makes it just as hard to enter census facts using shared facts as not using shared facts. So I went with not using shared facts. I later found out that I had dodged the bullet of making my data hard to transfer.

As an example of a way I do use RM’s shared facts is that I share the Marriage fact with each of the two people who were married to each other. And by the way, a Marriage fact is not already a “shared” fact. It’s a couple fact, which is a very different thing than a shared fact. Sharing the marriage fact in this manner doesn’t really add any new data and no real data is lost if my data is transferred to genealogy software that does not support RM’s shared facts.

The reason I do it is to improve the appearance of the narrative reports I produce with RM. RM’s standard narrative reports do not include a person’s marriage or divorce or other couple facts in the person’s individual timeline. Instead, the couple facts are in a separate timeline that’s just for the couple as a whole. By sharing the Marriage fact and Divorce fact and other couple facts in this manner, I get them to print in each individual’s timeline in RM’s narrative repots.

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thejerrybryan: thank you for your swift reply. I tried your suggestion and, of course, it worked. The only issue is that the wife now has 2 facts for the 1911 census one that says “Census” and one that says “Wife-Census”

Having backed the tree up (twice once using the inbuilt backup and the 2nd time by closing RM down and copying the .rmtree file to a folder called “Safe Copies” belt and braces) I tried deleting the original “Census” fact. I was not surprised to see that both Census and Wife Census disappeared as did the facts in all of the other family members.

I think I will stop using shared facts because as you say with shared facts the entries are identical and if you add say media to one of the family members to support the facts it adds it to all of the people that the facts has been shared to and customisation is inpossible.

It would appear that the only way to replicate the details in a fact to another person is to cut n paste between the 2 windows which with the 2 windows open is not that bad. I have read yours and others comments about the lack of a facility to copy facts and it would certainly be helpful.

As always thanks for your assistance

Something else that occurred to me after I had sent the above response. I think that as standard in RM there are 2 facts relating to Census data. Census and Census (family). At least that is what is there if I create an empty tree.

I note that in my tree there is an additional Census fact called 1911 Census, presumably created when the tree was originally downloaded from Ancestry?

Am I better to use the standard 2 facts, or perhaps just the Census one for all census data entry, including for example the UK 1939 register which I know is not strictly a census? I am thinking of compatibility with other software, Gedcom, and web sites other than Ancestry.

I suppose as a follow on to this, you would appear to be able to create as many Fact Types as you wish in RM. This being the case is there a danger that these “user created” fact types will also affect the compatibility between data held in RM8 and other software, Gedcom, and web sites other than Ancestry?

I presume that the “standard” fact types do have wide reaching compatibility?

It’s probably better in some sense just to use the standard RM Census fact. The standard RM Census (family) fact can look attractive, but I think the attraction is an illusion. That’s because it’s not really a fact for the whole family. It’s only a fact for the couple and not for the children. And if you use it, it shows up in timeline for the couple along with other couple facts such as Marriage and Divorce instead of showing up in the timeline for each person along with other individual facts such as Birth, Death, and Burial.

That being said, I define my own census facts for each census year - “1790 Census” without the quotes, “1800 Census” without the quotes, etc. The reason I do so is as a workaround for some limitations in RM’s logic in the Advanced Person Search dialog. For example, using the standard RM Census fact, suppose I wish to find all the people in my database who were enumerated in the 1850 census in Texas. If you search for Census => Date => Equals => 1850 AND Census => Place => Contains => Texas, it will find people who were enumerated in 1850 in Tennessee and who were enumerated in 1860 in Texas. That’s not what I am looking for. Having separate census facts for each census year is the only workaround I have been able to discover to solve the problem.

Thanks for your response. So do user defined fact types like the 1790 Census and 1800 Census you mention still allow compatibility with other software, Gedcom, and web sites? I am not familiar with the structure of Gedcom, is it capable of exporting user defined fact types with all of their contents and then can other Genealogy software import these and utilise these user defined facts?

I have never run into any software that can’t handle such user defined facts. That doesn’t mean that such software doesn’t exist. It just means that I haven’t run into it. GEDCOM certainly handles user defined facts just fine.

Although shared (family) facts do have shortcomings when it comes to exporting and Treeshare, they can be used to share events with the couple and their family members so they will be included in reports such as the narrative report. To include them in reports, the fact type template for the shared fact type must have roles defined with separate sentence templates for each role.

Shared family facts look fine for children in reports. But the family facts often don’t look fine for the parents in reports, especially narrative reports. That’s because they show up for the parents as couple facts along with Marriage and Divorce rather than showing up for the parents as individual facts such as Birth, Death, and Burial.