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  • #5242

    I’m finally catching up! Until prompted by this forum topic, I had not attempted to enable, set up, or explore the use of this module. I have now spent a little time on it and must first say what a vast improvement it is upon the ‘robot-language’ created by FH packages in the past in building Descendants Reports and the like. But, as you imply, Nigel, there is still a little room for improvement, provided you are prepared to spend time and energy on it. In answering your specific questions here I must first declare that amongst my database of over 14,000 individuals, only ONE married four times, three three times and the remainder twice or less. So, dealing first with

    As soon as someone found a person with more than 5 marriages (King Henry VIII perhaps?) the code failed. So do we extend 5 to 10, or 15, or what?

    from a personal point of view I am happy with a max of 5, although I would hope that the code could produce an error message and move on rather than simply fail if this max was exceeded. Catering for Henry Vlll is very laudable but I would sooner have the generated wording improve for the more ‘normal’ number of marriages (eg. At present I am told that an ancester married ‘2 times’ and I should prefer to see ‘twice’). If the aim is to generate ‘good’ English text, which reads well and presents well as a narrative, there is no doubt in my mind that it is preferable to avoid numerals as far as possible, and that ‘twice’ and ‘the second time’ are a great improvement on ‘2 times’ and ‘2nd’. As I have indicated, from a purely selfish point of view, I should be happy if this approach was adopted until the fourth marriage, and threafter I would have no problem with the use of ordinals.

    Let me also mention another problem which I have detected in the interpretation of the number of ‘marriages’ in generating the narrative we are discussing. Now that common law marriages are catered for , we can correctly show this status for individuals and couples but I would also like to see it reflected in the Fancy Tree View. I have numerous cases of a man re-commencing his life with his deceased wife’s sister after the death of his wife. They went on to have children together and it was in most respects a ‘marriage’ but the ceremony could not be conducted in England and Wales before 1907 because it was deemed to be illegal. Thus it was, and can now be shown as a common-law marriage. For such an individual, the Fancy Tree View generated narrative says Joe Smith married 2 times … and goes on to spell out the details of the two. Is it possible to check for ‘common-law marriage’ and handle it differently?. For example, as the partner in a common law marriage is referred to as a common-law wife, perhaps the text could say something like ‘Joe Smith had two wives, the first, xxxxxxx, he married in mm yyyy,….; the second, a common-law wife, was xxxx, whose common-law marriage commenced in mm yyyy’

    I can imagine that may not be easy to achieve, and it also begs the question should other types of ‘marriage’ also be detected and handled differently – particularly ‘Registered Partnerships’ – and I think the answer to that should probably be yes. As you said at the outset Nigel, this is a complex area; probably, however much you tweak and change the existing code, there would always be ways in which it could be further improved, but as I said at the start, I think, even as it stands it is a a vast improvement on the past. (NOTE: These paragraphs moved to new topic)

    I have spotted another concern in Fancy Tree View which is outside the scope of this topic so I shall raise it as a separate topic.

    Ron in France
    Website: https://clan-davies.kiwitrees.net/
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