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AfriGeneas Genealogy and History Forum Archive

Re: When a relative is not a relative...

Lisa wrote:

Wow, what a loaded question. I guess I'm gonna be the one to throw cold water on the party, here. In my VERY humble opinion, I would never include a non-related person in a pedigree chart, family history report, register report or other document that provides documented or even suspected evidence of familial relationships.

That said, however, like my cousin Art, I have at least hundreds of UNRELATED persons as a part of my family file, and in many cases, these unrelated folk have played a key role in my being able to document a true relative. These were, in some cases, the "brick wall breakers," -- a family friend who adopted one of my gggms, whose stepfather didn't want her around because her father was white; or in another case, the "step-cousin-in-law" who was the keeper of records for a particular branch of the family.

Whatever the case, I believe that these people's stories deserve to be told, but not WITH my blood relatives. I prefer to create their family's histories as separate documents, standing on their own merits. By the way, I'm a Reunion user (ugh!), and adding an unrelated person is a breeze ... if only the rest of Reunion worked as well. Oh, being a Mac user is a wonderful thing, but our options for genealogy programs is LOUSY.

My two cents.
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Hello Cuz Lisa,

I hope you and Joseph will forgive me for being so "glib" in response to Joseph's question.

I was trying to point out the difference, in my mind, between a "family tree" and a "family file" as can be structured on/in a genealogy database with today's software.

The family tree is developed from the ancestor/pedigree charts and family group sheets (FGS). From these two basic charts genealogy reports, both ancestral & descendant may be developed. Ancestor charts are pretty straight forward and consist only of those individuals who are in your DIRECT blood lines.

FGS's are a little different......For example I have 2 sets of FGS's..one with my ex-wife, the mother of my children and one with my current wife.

FGS's
#1 shows me as the husband & father with my "natural" children listed. It also lists my current wife under "other spouses".
#2 shows me as husband only with my current wife and lists my ex-wife under "other spouses". no children are listed.

The ancestor chart & Example #1 are in my "family tree" .......Exapmle #2 is in my "family file"...There is a difference.

The "do what you want to do" remark by me was a little too "cutesy" and inappropiate, for that I apologize.

Today's software will allow for ALL of your data in a single database and still let you separate out your family trees, family group sheets, genealogy reports (ancestral & descendant), kinship reports, etc. as you have defined the relationships.

Art Thomas


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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