These are questions that I often get asked.
I've created this document in the hope of reducing my considerable email load.
- How are you related to these people?
It is not practical to include relationship information for every individual.
There are these clues, however, which allow the specific relationship(s) to be calculated.
If you are looking at one of my ODT files,
you will see that it is divided into sections, possibly just one,
each headed by a light green bar that sketches my relationship to
See the explanation in the description of the ODT format:
Each of these sections is linked from a short list at the top of the page.
Ancestral subfamilies will note my relationship to the progenitor here in red, e.g.
- (31) Hannah Sands
- (162) John Alcock 9GGFather
If the family subject of the ODT is an ancestral family (to me),
link in the pink NavBar will be active.
This will display a page showing my pedigree line(s) to this family.
I have put a change in place that will annotate all subfamilies with my relationship
to the head of that subfamily, whether ancestral or collateral.
This addition will affect web pages as they get replaced,
so the additional annotation may not be present on all pages at present.
The annotation will appear in the same place as the extant ancestral annotations,
namely in red:
- In the list of subfamilies in the table of contents.
A. Outline Descent Trees
- Just before the header line introducing each subfamily, right justified.
- Where did you get the information about …?
My sources are all online.
From the ODT page for a particular family:
- The Sources link in the pink NavBar
will bring up a bibliography of all sources used for that family.
- Specific individual source citations (and notes) are available only in the GenCircles
Annex for that family.
Link to the Annex and locate the individual in whom you are interested using the
navigation and search tools provided.
Notes and citations will be displayed there.
When looking at an Annex page, the listed sources apply only to that individual.
To see the sources for a spouse or child, you must click on the appropriate name to bring
up the spouse or child page.
- Do you have more information on …?
In a word, No.
My complete database is online on the RootsWeb and Gencircles repositories.
Some individuals do not show in the ODT outline form on RootsWeb,
but will be present on the Gencircles Annex.
An example would be a spouse's parents or other ancestors
(who are not related to me).
You might profit from mining my sources for additional material.
(See the previous FAQ.)
- Are we cousins?
Everyone on my ODT pages is related to me,
except for spouse's parents, briefly mentioned.
If you are descended from any of these, then we are certainly cousins.
(Or perhaps one of those special sorts of cousin that have their own names,
like uncle or aunt.)
Having a common ancestor is the essential ingredient
and defines what it means to be cousins.
If you have found a cousin amongst my pages,
we may or may not be related.
If A and B have a common cousin, C,
that says nothing about the relationship – if any – between A and B.
Do the math.
Still in the dark?
You have cousins on your mother's side and cousins on your father's side, yes?
(If not, imagine that your do! Work with me here!)
They all have in common you as a cousin,
but they are not related to each other --
i.e. not the ones from the two different sides of your family.
If cousins from the two sides of your family are related to each other,
it is not through you, but because of some earlier marriage(s)
between the two sides of your family.
This was not unusual in Colonial America, for example, because the relatively small
town populations and difficult travel conditions limited the available choices for partners.
- Do you have any information on the … family?
If the family is not listed among my ODT pages on the ODT
then the answer is "No".
- No source is listed for a specific date (on the Annex). What's up with that?
Use the source associated with the name.
If no source is listed for the name,
follow the ancestor trail until the first name with a source is encountered.
When importing GEDCOM files from the LDS site, only the names are tagged with source data.
Also, some of my earier collections reflect my rather casual attitude toward sources at that time.
I have learned better!
The hard way!
- What abbreviations are used on these pages?
These abbreviations and symbols are used on the pages of this site.
|†||cause of death
|°||generic ordinal, i.e. st, nd, rd, th
|adm||estate administrator named or undertaken
|dsp||died without issue
|dspl||died without legitimate issue
|dsps||died without surviving issue
|dvm||died in mother's lifetime
|dvp||died in father's lifetime
|FLOTUS||First Lady of the United States
|int||intent to wed
|KG||Knight of the Garter
|LDS||Latter Day Saints (Mormon)
|mb||marriage banns published
|mc||marriage certificate, license
|MC||member of Congress
|MP||member of Parliament
|POTUS|| President of the United States
|RCC||Roman Catholic Church
|RDC||Reformed Dutch Church
|SDA||Seventh-day Adventist Church
are collected on reference cards:
See also:Abbreviations and Acronyms
- Half-cousins! What the heck does that mean?
Full cousins share a pair of ancestors in their closest connection.
Half cousins share only a single ancestor in their closest connection,
being descended from different spouses of that common ancestor.
Of course, the next older generation from that common ancestor will necessarily
include two ancestors.
That doesn't make half cousins second-class relatives, however.
Note that half first cousins, for example,
are slightly less closely related than full first cousins,
since they share a single grandparent rather than a pair.
But they are more closely related than full second cousins,
who share only a pair of great grandparents.
Half first cousins also share a pair of great grandparents,
but additionally share one grandparent.
- What are multiple lines of descent?
You will see these on some of my pedigree pages, noted as
The cause is cousin marriages -- or other pairings.
Each cousin marriage introduces two legs in the pedigree,
one for each partner, back to their common ancestor.
Multiple cousin marriages can make for a complex pedigree of many paths.
An example of this complexity would be my
with more than a dozen legs.
The chief thing to keep in mind is that each alternate path turns a simple path
into a compound path.
Into | |
This: A------* *-------B
- I'm concerned about privacy and security. Do you treat living individuals differently?
In a word: Yes.
Individuals who are possibly still living are shown with only their names, i.e. no dates or places.
This is determined by dates associated with the individual.
If there is no death date or place,
and there is no birth or marriage date older than 120 years of present,
then the person is considered to be living for the purpose of this test.
- Some of your sources are WFT trees. How can I contact the submitters of those?
See this page on the Genealogy.com site: http://www.genealogy.com/ genealogy/ askr051701.html
- Why don't I see (----) folks on your pages?
There could be a number of reasons:
- Perhaps I made a mistake, leaving out a spouse or a child.
- Perhaps the missing person(s) are not sufficiently proven to me.
- Perhaps I have not carried the family down to that depth.
I make no pretense that my pages represent a complete genealogy.
I do this for chiefly fun, and I follow my whims regarding the directions and extent of my research.
If an error has been made, do bring it to my attention:
I am always keen to perfect my data!
If an omission has been made, bring that to my attention, too.
Perhaps I can be convinced to redirect my research. ;o)
- 5HC4? 3GGF? GGU? What does it all mean?
This is my compact notation to express a particular relationship.
It's pretty simple, really.
The first number, if present, should be read as an ordinal, e.g. third, second, etc.
The letters denote the type of relationship, as explained below.
The last number, if present, should be read as n times or generations removed.
H = Half
C = Cousin
G = Grand
GG = Great Grand
M = Mother
F = Father
S = Sibling -- with the understanding:
S1= uncle, aunt, niece, nephew (i.e. father's sibling)
S2= Great-uncle, -aunt, -niece, -nephew
S3= GG-uncle, -aunt, -niece, -nephew
S4= 2GG-uncle, -aunt, -niece, -nephew
You will have to go elsewhere if you require a deeper explanation,
- Can I obtain a GEDCOM of your data?
The short answer is, No.
BUT, a feature of my Annex files may be of use to you.
When you display an individual in the Annex, you will see an Extract GEDCOM option in the left margin.
This will allow you to obtain a GEDCOM file for that individual and the immediate family thereof.