Ancestry Family Tree Support

Generally, Gigatrees treats all files, no matter their exporting application, the same. That being said, I have added support for many application specific records, like RootsMagic's source templates and shared roles, but that support was added generically. Any other application who adopted the same record type into their GEDCOM export, would find it supported by Gigatrees as well. Until now, I've treated Ancestry.com exports the same as other applications: adding new record types when they appear, capturing the new data and presenting it on the various pages and reports. With the upcoming release of the 1950 , I finally decided to take a second look to see if I could do better. Turns out, I could.

Ancestry.com does three ( 3 ) very specific things that no other application that I am aware of does, one of which is undoubtedly a violation of the standards. Gigatrees, convienently, ignores large swaths of those standards in an attempt to be as inclusive as possible. I've had this discussion with other genealogy software developers, who feel that we should all stick to the GEDCOM standard. I do agree that exporting applications should, however, importing applications have, I think, the added responsibility to parse through files that violate that mantra. In this case, Ancestry.com uses the GEDCOM residence attribute ( RESI ) for their census records, includes items of interest on the same line ( in clear violation of the standards ), and includes source citation details in the source reference page number field ( SOUR@.PAGE ). I will be using my grandfather's 1910 census record as an example for this article, but know that Ancestry.com includes these extra items of interest and source citation details for other types of events and attributes as well, and Gigatrees handles them similarily.

The Census Record

In Ancestry.com's GEDCOM export, the census record appears as follows:

1 RESI Age in 1910: 17Marital Status: SingleRelation to Head of House: Son
  2 DATE 1910
  2 PLAC Ward 1, Galesburg, Knox, Illinois, USA
  2 SOUR @S325698036@
    3 PAGE Year: 1910; Census Place: Galesburg Ward 1, Knox, Illinois; Roll: T624_299; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 0149; FHL microfilm: 1374312
    3 DATA
      4 DATE January 1, 2000
      4 TEXT Name: William H Forsyth Age in 1910: 17 Birth Year: abt 1893 Birthplace: Illinois Home in 1910: Galesburg Ward 1, Knox, Illinois Race: White Gender: Male Relation to Head of House: Son Marital status: Single Father's Birthplace: Illinois Mother's N
        5 CONC ame: Margerete Forsyth Mother's Birthplace: IllinoisHousehold Members: Name Age Margerete Forsyth 37 William H Forsyth 17 Edna M Forsyth 15
      4 NOTE https://ancestry.com
      4 NOTE This is a sample other information
    3 _APID 1,7884::105699367

As you can see on the first line, the residence tag ( RESI ) is followed by: Age in 1910: 17Marital Status: SingleRelation to Head of House: Son. These are the items of interest, concerning just my grandfather, that were extracted from the census record. Items of interest always appear in name:value pairs, where each item is seperated from the others using a semicolon ( ; ). Just ignore the fact that they sometimes drop semicolons and spaces; Gigatrees handles that. The next thing to notice is that under the source reference ( SOUR@ ) is the page number ( PAGE ), which they commandeer for including any source citation details that they deem important. These were filled in automatically by Ancestry.com and can be seen in the below image in the Detail (required) placeholder. These are also included as name:value pairs, and are specific to the source citation itself, not my grandfather. In the source citation data record ( DATA ) are included the source citation date (I may have filled this in a some point to test it), some quoted text (apparently in summary, and also filled in automatically by Ancestry.com), and a couple of notes. The _APID field is for internal use by Ancestry.com and is ignored (without warning) by Gigatrees.

Ancestry.com Source Citation Record
Ancestry.com Source Citation Record

Gigatrees uses the default FullCitation source template to display the source citation on each Source page, and the default Footnote to display the source citation for all source references. Go to any Gigatrees Source page and you will see something similar to the following.

Source Page
Source Page

The data in this image comes from the GEDCOM source record.

0 @S325698036@ SOUR
  1 TITL 1910 United States Federal Census
  1 AUTH Ancestry.com
  1 PUBL Ancestry.com Operations Inc
    2 DATE March 29, 2022
    2 PLAC Salt Lake City, Utah
  1 CALN CALL_N
  1 RFN REF_N
  1 REPO @R303062379@
  1 NOTE :Original: Washington D.C., National Archives and Records Administration, 1982; Note: This is a sample note.
Ancestry.com Source Record
Ancestry.com Source Record

Gigatrees treats the source record generically from all exporting applications. The reference number field ( RFN ) is ignored by Gigatrees (without warning). The note field ( NOTE ) expects a simple text note, and most applications will use it as such. Here I have included name:value pairs to provide additional source metadata, but unlike the items of interest and source citation details described above, Gigatrees will accept these from any exporting application, not just Ancestry.com. Because of this, the line must begin with a colon ( : ), otherwise it will be treated as simple text. The <Sources> option discusses further the many source metadata items accepted, and the <SourceTemplates> option describes how these can be used in source templates. I will be discussing how I used them below.

But, while your looking at the source page, let's view the repository record. The reference number field ( REFN ) is ignored by Gigatrees (without warning).

0 @R303062379@ REPO
  1 NAME Ancestry.com
  1 ADDR 1300 West Traverse Parkway, Lehi, UT  84043
  1 PHON 801-705-7000
  1 EMAIL test@@ancestry.com
  1 CALN call-n
  1 RFN ref-n
  1 NOTE this is a sample repository note
Ancestry.com Repository Record
Ancestry.com Repository Record

Below is Ancestry's Citation summary page showing all the details described, and inviting you to edit them - do so.

Ancestry.com Source Citation Summary
Ancestry.com Source Citation Summary

Hopefully, you can see from these records and images how the data migrated from Ancestry.com to the Gigatrees source page. Before moving on from the Source page, you will notice under the Data portion of the page, that the source record has been categorized as both a primary source and an original source. For more information on how Gigatrees handles source categories and why it is important to define them, see Defining Source Categories. Gigatrees supports several methods for defining source categories. They can be set directly for existing sources using the <Sources> option, and this is how I did it here. This method can be used to quickly add categories to a great many sources. The source index page will list the titles of all your sources, alongwith their source Ids, which you can copy and paste into your configuration file. You could also have added the category to the source note directly ( @SOUR.NOTE ) as a name:value pair: Category: primary,original;. You can also add categories to <SourceTypes> and then assign source types to <Sources> as well. Whatever works best for you, please consider doing so.

<Sources>
  <Source> <Id> S325698036 </Id> <Category> original, primary </Category> </Source>
   ...
</Sources>

Another thing to notice about the source page, is that I have assigned two images to the source at the top level, that is not at the page level. I did this using the configuration as well. I also assigned these two test images to page 8B, which holds my grandfather's actual citation, and includes the source citation details found in the census record above. Note, media image references are delimited by semicolons as showm not by commas.

<Media>
  <Image>
    <Id>       test-image1                     </Id>      
    <Title>    Test Image                      </Title>   
    <Large>    https://imgur.com/VTEbLCd.jpg   </Large>   
    <Medium>   https://imgur.com/VTEbLCdh.jpg  </Medium>  
    <Small>    https://imgur.com/VTEbLCdb.jpg  </Small>   
    <Thumb>    https://imgur.com/VTEbLCdt.jpg  </Thumb>   
    <Refs>     S325698036; S325698036#8B       </Refs>    
  </Image>
  <Image>
    <Id>       test-image2                     </Id>      
    <Title>    Test Image                      </Title>   
    <Large>    https://imgur.com/nX6vDdZ.jpg   </Large>   
    <Medium>   https://imgur.com/nX6vDdZh.jpg  </Medium>  
    <Small>    https://imgur.com/nX6vDdZb.jpg  </Small>   
    <Thumb>    https://imgur.com/nX6vDdZt.jpg  </Thumb>   
    <Refs>     S325698036; S325698036#8B       </Refs>    
  </Image>    
</Media> 
Source Page Citatiton
Source Page Citatiton

Of couse clicking on the image will open it using the plugin, which allows you to zoom, download, etc., just like all the images on this page.

Source Page Citatiton Image
Source Page Citatiton Image

Now returning back to the top of the source page, and as promised, I did not use the default source templates. In general they are (mostly) good enough, but for this example I wanted to demonstrate how easy it is to create new ones. Using the <SourceTemplates> option I created a new template to be used for U. S. Federal Census records and gave it a unique id. I then used the <Sources> option to assign it to the source, similar to how I did for the source categories above.

<SourceTemplates>
  <SourceTemplate>
  
    <Id>               USFC                 </Id>
    <Title>            U. S. Federal Census </Title>
	
    <FullCitation><![CDATA[
      {"%Title%"}{, %Jurisdiction%}{, %Media%}{, <i>%Author%</i>} ({%WebsiteUrl%:} {accessed %AccessDate%}){, %Collection%}{, %Section%;} ({%PubPlace%:} {%Publisher%}{, %PubDate%}){, %RepositoryLocator%}{, %Repository%}{, Original data: %Original%}.
    ]]></FullCitation>

    <Footnote><![CDATA[
     {"%Title%"}{, %Jurisdiction%}{, %Media%}{, <i>%Author%</i>} ({%WebsiteUrl%:} {accessed %AccessDate%}){, %Collection%}{, %Section%;}{, %RecordDate%;}{ p. %RefPage%}{, <i>%ItemofInterest%</i>}{, %Details%} ({%PubPlace%:} {%Publisher%}{, %PubDate%}){, %RepositoryLocator%}{, %Repository%}{, Original data: %Original%}.
    ]]></Footnote>
	
  </SourceTemplate>
</SourceTemplates>

<Sources>
  <Source> <Id> S325698036 </Id> <TemplateId> USFC </TemplateId> </Source>
  ...
</Sources>

Now to the confusing part. Ancestry.com includes in their source citation details (shown above) a number of items that could rightly apply to the source, and I have applied them to the template fields appropriately (I hope). For instance, the Census Place has been appended to any %Jurisdiction% that may have already been defined. Similarily, Enumeration District has been appended to the %Section% element and Year has been assigned to the %RecordDate% if one was not defined in the source record itself.

If we head over to the Claims tab on the Source page, you'll see my grandfather's name next to a census record with this source as a reference. In the popup dialog, you'll see the source reference citation, which differs from the source citation itself, by including the items of interest, and source citation details. Below the citation, you'll see listed: the source category, the source citation details, the quoted text (in summary), the source citation notes, and the items of interest. Several other things to notice are that the residence attribute has been converted to a census record (for Ancestry.com only, and only when it is referenced by a census source record). You also notice the Gigatrees extracted the age from the items of interest, and the source category ensured a certain reliability. Note that relaibility assessment are turned off be default, because without assigned source categories, they generally state uncertain and users apparently cannot suffer that high an insult.

Source Page Claims
Source Page Claims

The only thing left to discuss, since this is a census record, is the census page. You can see in the image below, the same source reference citation popup dialog appears when hovering over my grandfather's 1910 census location of ILlinois. If you'd like to learn more about the Gigatrees Census Table, head on over to What is a Census Table? where you can also learn how to configure one.

Census Page Detail
Census Page Detail

I hope from this somewhat long-winded discussion, you now understand Gigatrees'a special handling of Ancestry.com's residence/census record, its source references, its source record and repositories.

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