RM9 - Association - Witness at a marriage

Hi all,

Trying out the association feature in RM9. I want to add witnesses for marriages. I am not very familiar with the different uses of keywords in [ ].

At the moment I am using this for the template for role 1 (Bride/Groom):
[thisperson] was married <[date]> and <[person]> was a witness
and role 2 (witness):
[thisperson] was a witness at the marriage of <[person]> <[date]

I am unsure how to have both the bride and groom listed in the association, if it is possible, as I am having to do an entry for each of them separately. Tried using [couple], unsure if it was actually a genuine keyword, but it didnt work.

Hope that make sense? Any ideas how to improve this association?



The Sentence Language page in the Help Wiki may be of use:

Yes - I know it says RootsMagic_8 but the language hasn’t changed in years

Association is limited to being between one Individual and another. So, you could have:
Bride-Maid of Honour
Groom-Maid of Honour
Groom-Best Man
Bride-Best Man

In that list alone, the bride and groom get 3 Association events each with all the details requured to be entered repeatedly and the G and MOH get 2 each and we haven’t even addressed the MoH-Groom association.

Contrast that with sharing the Marriage event from the Couple to the Maid of Honour and the Best Man. Everyone gets just one event, the details of which entered just once and with which one click shows everyone else who shared the event.

@TomH has probably summed up precisely why I do not think this Association business is the same as Witnesses. It appears that many people are dead set on trying to use it as such. I do agree that Witnesses, as we now have them need a lot of work to make them more useful and eventually I can see them being phased out, but I still think it is wrong.

I haven’t studied the new Associations feature yet. Is there anything you can do with Associations that you cannot do with RM’s Shared Fact facility?

I don’t really know, but it appears to me that the thing you can do with Associations that you cannot do with Shared facts is peer arrangements. For example, Business Partners might be something you can do with Associations that you cannot quite do with Shared Facts. I don’t think you can really do Business Partners with Shared Facts because one of the partners would have to be the “main” partner and the other partner would then have to be some sort of “subsidiary” partner. On the other hand, Associations seem to work with peers.

In the case of a Marriage, it seems to me that showing the relationships with Shared Facts is the way to go. Best Man and Maid of Honor and Flower Girl and Minister and all those kinds of things would be roles for the Marriage fact. If Associations are simply peer arrangements, I don’t see how Associations could ever be made to work for a wedding.

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I like that, peer arrangement, as that is precisely what I see Associations as. In my test file, I am using it more along the lines of the Elizabeth Shown Mills concept of the FAN club, without the F. Rootsmagic proper handles the F part (with witnesses), and Associations handle the A and N parts.

The example that I am playing with involves an associate of one of my ancestors. This man was a witness on the ancestor’s will, was a JP on a land transaction, owned a farm adjoining my ancestor, bought and sold land to and from my ancestor and in one newsclipping he and his wife attended an anniversary gathering in honor of my ancestor. He is very clearly an associate and a neighbor, but I don’t have any events where I would share them and use him as a witness to something. I am currently contemplating how to use Associations in regards to census records.

It will be interesting to see how these Associations turn out since I feel that this is just a first step in the plan to develop them into something more.

The FamilySearch GEDCOM Specification 7.0.12 has " the eulogist at a funeral can be shown by an ASSO pointer subordinate to the burial event;" [Page 41 of 111]

Apart from the obvious difference between a wedding and a funeral it would appear that the ASSO tag was intended for just that.

Except that sometimes RM’s Shared Facts facility with Witness handles A and N in addition to handling F. RM’s Shared Facts facility handles a Midwife at a Birth. A Midwife at a Birth might be an F, but would more likely would be an A or a N. The same would be true for a Minister at a wedding.

I’m certainly going to have to give this a lot of thought. And I agree that RM needs more development, both of Shared Facts and Associations. For example, you need to be able to find the darn things and make groups of people that have them. And at the present time, Associations are lost on a drag and drop.

Well, then maybe we just need Associations and don’t really need Shared facts. Except we have already seen that Associations don’t seem to be able to handle the [Couple] variable for a wedding.

I don’t consider midwifes or ministers, nor bridesmaids to be anything more than a witness. There is an extremely good chance that bridesmaids are family and as such, covered. In a few instances the minister has been a family member (covered), but most of the time they are one-offs and not warranting an association. Sure, a bridesmaid could maybe be a bride’s bestie from college, but I see now reason for her to be anything other than a basic witness in a shared event.

It is all a for naught to me as I have absolutely no intention of using RM9 for production purposes anyway.

Because Associations is not an invention of RM Inc, unlike Shared Events might be considered to be, but rather that of an aspiring standard to be followed by multiple softwares for interchange, I think it goes well outside whether one chooses RM as their production database.

As I see it, RM and GEDCOM Associations are just a simplistic and direct mechanism to enter two nodes and a link between them for network analysis and diagramming. What’s a family tree chart? A network diagram filtered for parent-child linkages and presented or styled in a particular way, e.g., the parent-child relationship is shown as a T rather than a triangle (or, strictly, a V). I imagine Associations being presented as a network diagram with filters for who to include, what kind of links (association types) to include, what properties to display and in what time frame. Likewise the data of these filtered associations being of a form that can be subjected to network analysis.

In RM, so-called “Family type” events are really a link of a certain type (Marriage, Divorce) between two individual nodes (people) at a certain time. Those who share in the event are additional nodes linked to both (T’s vs V’s) of different types and roles… If they are related through genetics, blood, marriage, those are covered by links of various types through other nodes (people). In RM (and GEDCOM), the database structure and UI are driven by the classic style for family charts and hides the basic nodal network to which they can be reduced which is why, I think, ASSOciations jumps out as a new way of doing things. It is the basic two-node linkage that is implicit for lineage-based databases but is disguised or manifested under child-parents and couple.

I’d like to believe that all Associations, Couple, Child-Parents, Event-Sharers could be brought out in a nodal network. That Couple, Child-Parents and Shared Events should represent an efficient and effective user interface for generating nodes and links whether generated on the fly when called for by user needs within the application or when exporting or otherwise exchanging with other systems.

And as @thejerrybryan says, all should be searchable, groupable, color-codable, Find Everywhereable, reportable, chartable…

That’s not too much to ask, is it?

Nope, and if you are lucky, it will be fully function about the time RM12 comes out. Afterall, it has been how many releases since shared facts came to be? And they aren’t fully finished yet!

Hi all,

Thanks for all of your replies.

Due to my lack of knowledge, I didnt even realise the shared facts option was even there! I know I have been away from my research for a while (emigrated to another country, so everything was put on hold), but I missed this appearing in RM.

It make much more sense to use the shared facts option for marriage witnesses, so going that direction instead of associations.

Thanks again