Citation Wish - Additional Quality fields

As we all know, there are many instances when a single source / citation is relevant to multiple facts - e.g. death certificate. From this one document I may glean birth date, birth place, death date, death place, father’s name and birth place, mother’s name and birth place, etc. My source may be something like “Indiana Death Certificates, Indiana State Board of Health” and my citation “Death certificate of James Andrew Marvel, #1234.” I attach this citation to facts for James’ birth and death, the birth of his father, the birth of his mother, etc.

Appropriately for each fact I can set different Quality for each fact even though they are linked to the same citation. I wish I could also in the Quality block have two additional fields - one a short “Extracted Data” field and the other a “Comment Field”. For complex research problems I could use this to document the data gleaned from various sources.

Death certificate of James Marvel / Father born Indiana / Death certificate of son; informant James’s wife
Death certificate of Roger Marvel / Father born Indiana / Death certificate of son; informant Roger’s wife
Death certificate of Thomas Marvel / Father born Illinois / Death certificate of son; informant Thomas’s mother (wife of John)
1850 Census / Born Illinois; age 43
1860 Census / Born Indiana; age 52

If we had these fields it would be very helpful to have the “Extracted Data” field included in the Sources summary for the fact where the multiple citations are listed are in the slide-in pane on the left.

This statement probably sums up the biggest reason why this will not work. The citation would have to hold the quality detail. Given the changes to citation and sources, this would be extremely difficult or a down right PITA to make happen. If you reuse a citation, there won’t be a way to change quality for each different fact, at least not short of some serious fiddling with the database.

Strictly speaking, the quality of a citation is not different for each fact. Rather, the quality of a citation is different each time a citation is linked to a fact. That may seem like a difference without a distinction, but in RM8 the quality information is not actually in the fact nor is it actually in the citation. Rather, the quality information is in the link. Therefore, even with RM8’s reusable citations the quality information is never reused and is specific to each item to which the reused citation is linked.

If there were to be additional quality fields, they would also need to be in the link, not in the fact and not in the citation. But I confess I don’t quite follow the need for the additional fields. Let’s take your three death certificate examples. Three of James Marvel’s sons had death certificates that listed James as their father. Two of the sons’ death certificates listed James’s birthplace as Indiana and one of the sons’ death certificates listed James’s birthplace as Illinois. The knowledge of the three different informants was clearly different.

Unfortunately, these kinds of discrepancies are very common. I describe genealogical data as being very dirty. But it seems to me that the exact same information is equally available being stored in the citation as it would be if it were stored in the link. The only thing that might need to be different is the quality, and it an be.

Thank you for the reply.

Your comment above is EXACTLY where I would like to put the information - with the link. If I focus on just one of the death certificates, say for James Marvel, the citation would be the same: for each fact

Death Certificate for James Andrew Marvel; Indiana State Department of Health. Certificate 19450-001000. James Marvel died 15 January 1945, Indianapolis, Indiana, son of John and Mary (Whiting) Marvel. Original in possession of researcher, Deborah Marvel Wesley.

But as I link to different facts I would note the details in the link:

James Marvel / Birth / b 13 May 1867 in Indiana /
James Marvel Death / d 15 Jan 1945 in Indianapolis, IN /
John Marvel / Birth / b Indiana / Death certificate of son James; informant James’s wife
Mary Marvel / Birth / b Indiana / Death certificate of son James; informant James’s wife

I realize my alternative is to be an “extreme splitter” and make the death certificate the source, creating a separate citation for each fact instead of reusing the citation, putting the “Extracted data” and “Comment” in the Citation fields. However, I like the ability to resue citations and would find it quite helpful to be able to specify more detail about how this citation adds to the body of proof. (I have used three different programs in the past that had this ability - all of them, sadly, orphaned now.)

Thank you for the reply. Perhaps I don’t quite follow your comment. I believe currently even if you reuse a citation on three facts, you are able to set a different quality for each of the three facts. It is in this “link record” that I would propose including a couple of additional fields.

I think you just explained why I am an extreme splitter!

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I confess I don’t quite understand how being an extreme splitter solves the perceived problem. I actually am an extreme splitter unless I change my mind for RM8. As an extreme splitter, all the Extracted data and Comments go into Source fields and nothing goes into the Citation fields. The quality data still works fine because in RM8 it goes in the link and not in the citation.

I guess what you are saying is that you wish to have notes associated with the links and notes don’t exist for the links. So you are going to put what need to be link notes into the citation? Could you give an example of how that would work?

I will use my example above where I use the same death certificate for four facts. (Of course, a single death certificate could easily support more than four facts,) Under this scenario, I will make the death certificate for James Andrew Marvel a source and create four different citations - using the paste option. The source name might be “MARVEL James 1945 - IN Marion - DC”. I will use the Citation Name to note key detail. E.g. For his father John Marvel, the citation name might be “b Indiana; DC of son John”. (Since I will never use this citation again the name does not need to be findable - just informative." In the Citation comment I might include detail such as “Informant James wife” or other detail which relates to my evaluation of the weight of this source against this fact.

By using the citation name to extract the data for the fact, I can use the “Citation slide out” on the Person View to review all the evidence I have for a fact. Going back to my first example for the birth of John Marvel, father of James, I might have the following on the Citation Slide Out for the Birth: John Marvel:

Source / Citation
MARVEL James 1945 - IN Marion - DC / b Indiana; DC of son John
MARVEL Robert 1942 - IN Posey - DC / b Indiana; DC of son Robert
MARVEL Thomas 1930 - IN Gibson - DC / b Illinois; DC of son Thomas
MARVEL John 1850 - IN Posey - CN / b Illinois; ag 43
MARVEL John 1860 - IN Posey - CN / b Indiana; age 52

Again - the Citation name in this way just becomes a data field for me, but with the advantage it is easily accessible. It will also show in the Source Summary pane on the right side of the Person view.

You are correct that everything else will go into the Source fields under this method. The only Citation fields I will use are the name, comment, and perhaps research note occasionally.

Interested in your thoughts. I am hoping this is the last time I will switch genealogy databases. I am giving significant consideration to entering data from scratch rather than importing a GEDCOM. Making standardization rules for myslef are obviously key to this type of effort.

Sorry not to be understanding things correctly, so let me ask the question a different way.

Let’s take the first item in your list of citations. If I am understanding your example correctly, the evidence is a death certificate for James Marvel in 1945 in Marion County, Indiana. The death certificate is serving as evidence for the birth place of James’ father John Marvel in Indiana. Your example doesn’t show it, but surely the same death certificate is also evidence for the death date and death place of James Marvel.

Obviously, the James Marvel death certificate is higher quality evidence for the death date and death place of James Marvel than it is for the birth place of John Marvel. That’s the whole point of this little exercise. Therefore, there will be a citation for the James Marvel death certificate for the death of James Marvel and we are already looking at a citation fo the James Marvel death certificate for the birth of John Marvel.

So that’s my real question. In what ways do you wish those two citations to be the same and to be different? For the purposes of my question, the other four citations for the birth of John Marvel don’t matter. I just want to focus on this one death certificate and understand how you wish for it to appear differently when it appears on the death fact for James Marvel as compared to how it appear on the birth fact for John Marvel. The quality indicators will be different in the two cases. What else should be different?

I appreciate your time. This is helping me work through my own thoughts.

What would be different are the comments related to the citation and the fact detail.

For the death of James Marvel: Died 15 January 1945, Indianapolis, Indiana.

For the birth of John Marvel: Born in Indiana; death certificate of son James; informant James’ wife

And, of course, there would be different comments for the other facts extracted from the death certificate. I realize I could put all the data extracted comments together in one citation comment, but then as I review multiple citations for a single fact it is more difficult to see all the data for just that fact. It’s about being able to see the data points extracted from multiple sources summarized as in my example above.

If I become an extreme splitter, I can get want I want. I will never reuse a citation. But if there were a couple text fields in the Quality link record, I could reuse the James Marvel death certifcate citation over multiple facts. It might be I am the only one this makes sense to - but my mother always taught me it never hurts to ask. :slight_smile:

In that case, you also need to make the footnote sentence and the citation name different. Under those circumstances, you wouldn’t need to be a source splitter, the citations wouldn’t be duplicate, and the citations wouldn’t merge automatically.

If I had the ability to have a couple text fields in the Quality link, I would use the Citation detail to extract all the relevant data from the death certificate. While I appreciate RM creates the footnotes and bibliography, this feature is not as significant for me.

Each of us has our own objective for using genealogy software. My prime use is to help organize / record my research and provide a platform for me to analyze my evidence - what I have, what is missing, what is conflicting. Using the software to publish is secondary. While I will use a report created by the software as “bones” for an article I share, I use Word to perform substantial augmentation, expansion, and editing, including creation of footnotes. 95% of my time in the software is recording / analyzing; less than 5% is moving to articles I will share / publish.

As I am evaluating if I will move from my current (orphaned) platform of Genbox to RootsMagic, the lack of text fields in the Quality link is the feature I would most miss.

I don’t know of any of the current major software packages that will provide anything akin to the fields that you are talking about. You most like are going to have to find a package that meets most of your needs and adapt you process for what is missing. In fact most packages aren’t all that big on the analysis portion of things, IMO. They most target the data that gets gathered and entered. I also suspect that there is a lot more work to do on RM8 before they are even in a position to start tweaking sources like this.

I have not found any current packages that do what I want either. I believe you are correct that I will need to modify my process. Thank you for the reply.