FAN's data input

Hi everyone,

I’m wondering how everyone approaches FAN (friends, associates, neighbour’s) data input.

Initially I had set up a fact type “Research FAN” enabling the description. From here I would add this fact type to the relative I was researching, and then each time I came across a FAN I would utilise this fact type to record any pertinent information. The description field houses the FAN’s name, so I could have several (or even many) FAN fact types for each ancestor.

This approach means that I only have one tree within the database. Each FAN also seems more visible as their details are on my relevant ancestors Edit Person screen (rather than just being linked via shared facts, for example). It also means I don’t have people in the database that are “half finished” with comparatively very little information (which I find somewhat disconcerting :joy:).

The downside is that web hints aren’t triggered for the FAN’s. I don’t use these directly (I input all information into RM) so from that perspective it is not a massive problem however I’m now rethinking this strategy. Could I be missing something in this approach?

Perhaps a combination of approaches would work better – keep the Research FAN fact type for each ancestor and then actually set up each FAN separately in the database, tagging them to a FAN group.

How do others approach their data input for FAN’s?

Not helpful to your question as it relates to data fields, but my approach to FAN, which includes unknown DNA matches, is to maintain a second “research” tree. I am curious as to the other responses you will get, as I have been debating how I want to manage a baptismal sponsor, who by surname should be a member of the family, but for whom I have no information. It doesn’t appear that sharing the fact, using the witness role as “just a name” will keep this person on my radar. There is, I suppose, the entry of a ToDo/Research log. . .

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Yes, alainemk – I’ve been using the research logs too to record this information and am excited for when I do transfer over to RM8 as there is now the ability to be able to add source / citation information and media to the research logs.

I’m guessing with separate “research” trees there is the ability to really “flesh out” the FAN person and start entering parents, spouses, children etc. I’m not utilising DNA so haven’t needed the broader family connections for the FAN for this reason, but think that some of my research would be clearer if it was documented in a separate tree, as you suggest.

If I’m honest FAN’s haven’t really progressed my actual research on my ancestors but have, at times, provided some very good contextual information for the mini biographies that are written. And you never know when that FAN might actually come up with some gold! :blush:

Thanks for sharing your approach alainemk!

I don’t think in terms of FAN lists. I have a database nearing 450K records, and over 83% are linked in my main tree. There are about 17K other “little” trees, which are people of interest to me that haven’t been linked (yet?) to my main tree. I frequently change color coding and the Set Relationships tool, depending on what branch of my main tree I’m currently working on. One of the things my report readers get excited about is my links to various famous and/or historical people. Come to think of it, so do I …

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That’s an excellent idea zhangrau – colour coding will also help to identify and separate the FAN’s across the various branches.

And I cannot but be amazed at how people maintain databases of 450K plus records – I struggle with 1,309 people (yes, you read that right! :rofl:) Perhaps if I start recording FAN’s in their own right my little tree will grow a bit. And yes, it is exciting when you stumble across that famous person…or even that not so famous person you’ve been hunting for ages :blush: I had just that moment yesterday! Such an addictive hobby.