Does Version 2 include any changes or enhancements for census recommendations? I didn't see anything in the Version 2 tour.
I tend not to use GenSmarts to guide my census research. The problem is that I want to find every census entry for every person (if possible), and GenSmarts does not include all the required recommendations. I think it only makes recommendations after the person is 21 years old, with the expectation that under that age the person will be found with their parents. But I want to record census entries separately for every person, not by family.
I even find pre-1850 census entries by person to the extent that I can. For example, suppose a person was born in 1838 and died in 1905. I would expect to find their census entries for 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, and 1900. For 1840, I would find the census entry for their father and record the person as "age 00-04, enumerated in the household of their father John Doe".
For 1850, I would find the census entry for the person age 12 (or about 12). For males and/or veterans, I also try to find any special censuses such as the special 1890 and 1891 voters and veterans censuses in Tennessee. Etc. So I really can't use GenSmarts census recommendations effectively until it includes these other census recommendations.
On 2007-05-10 3:46pm GenSmarts replied...
There's two changes that I remember:
A) Census events documented as sources are now recognized to a large extent, and participate in GenSmarts recommendation logic.
B) "Family" or "Marriage" census events are distributed as taken as events for both the husband and wife. We don't distribute to the children, as it's a bit ambigous which children should be implied as being present.
We'll take a look at an option that lets you change the suggestion rules from "over xx" (I don't remember what it is offhand, but, yes, it's something like 19 or 20), and to "everyone" from the current "head of household".
I'm not sure why you can't use what's there currently for what we intended them to be used for - to locate head of household census records that match up with your file. No, you can't use it to also audit your specific style of how you enter what you find, but the two purposes don't seem exclusive.
On 2007-05-10 5:26pm c24m48 added...
As of a couple of years ago, all the indexes at ancestry.com from 1850 through 1930 became all name indexes rather than head of household indexes. When indexes were head of household, it made sense for the program to make head of household census recommendations. Now that indexes are all names indexes, it makes sense for the program to make individual census recommendations (at least as an option).
Irrespective of census indexes that might or might not be available, suppose I want to find all the extant 1870 census entries for descendants of John Doe and for the spouses of all the descendants. Suppose a spouse of one of the descendants was born in 1865. I would filter for "1870 & census", and in Version 2 I would use the new subset facility to select descendants of John Doe and spouses (at least I hope "descendants and spouses" is an option, not just "descendants" - I'll see for sure after I order and download Version 2).
There will be no 1870 recommendation for the spouse because the spouse was only 5 years old in 1870. In Version 2, there will be no recommendation for the parents of the spouse because the parents of the spouse were not descendants of John Doe. So there will be no recommendation that would find the spouse in 1870.
There are other similar situations. Supppose a descendant of John Doe named William Doe was born in 1865, and William's parents died in 1867. I can't find William Doe in 1870 by looking for his parents.
I suppose it's possible to make the program smart enough to deal with these examples I've cited. And Version 2 may already be that smart. But even if so, it's a little counterintuitive to get a recommendation to find James Doe when who I really want to find is James' son William Doe.
The fundamental problem is that the program's goal is "to locate head of household census records that match up with your file". Lots of researchers treat census data as family records. Lots of researchers treat census data as individual records. Because of the program's goal, it works well for people who treat census data as family records, but it does not work well for reseachers who who treat census data as individual records. I treat census data as individual records, so I do not use the program to guide my census research.
On 2007-05-10 7:17pm GenSmarts replied...
I think you're missing the point I was trying to make - that the program's current suggestions should be useful to you. All of the suggestions that are currently made would still be made in the way you'd like to see GenSmarts work. I understand that it would be even more useful to your way of doing things if you also got suggestions for each individual in addition to those that were likely head of household, and am open minded about investigating that being some sort of option that can be switched on.
On 2007-05-10 11:23pm c24m48 added...
I apologize for beating a dead horse, but let's try one more example to show why the GenSmarts way would not generate the same recommendations as my way. Let's suppose we have John Doe 1845-1915 and his son William Doe 1868-1935. Let's suppose that William Doe married into my family in 1892 (a collateral line, not my direct line). I don't really want to research all the census entries for John Doe, except to establish that he was the father of William. That's because William was a member of my family, and John was not. If I researched all the census entries for the parents of people that married into my family, it would increase my workload tremendously. As much as I would like to do it, I simply don't have time. So, ...
I want to research the 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930 censuses for William Doe. GenSmarts would provide recommendations to search for William in 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930. But it would not provide recommendations to search for William in 1870 and 1880. Instead, it would include recommendations to search for John in 1870 and 1880, and by finding John we presumably would find William as well.
But because GenSmarts would be providing the 1870 and 1880 recommendations for John (which I need, although I would rather look them up under William than under John), it would also be providing 1900 and 1910 recommendations for John as well. I don't want the 1900 and 1910 recommendations for John.
My way, the recommendations would be to look for William in 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930, and the recommendations wouldn't be to look for John at all. I would find John in 1870 and 1880, but only because he was William's father, not because I was looking for him. The GenSmarts way, the recommendations would be to look for John in 1870, 1880, 1900, and 1910; and to look for William in 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930. So it isn't quite true that even doing it my way, all the same suggestions would be made. The suggestions wouldn't the same, because there would be more suggestions for John doing it the GenSmarts way than doing it my way.
(And by the way, I'm like anybody else in that in difficult cases of strange spellings and incorrect indexes, I will try all kinds of things to find somebody -- including looking for parents, spouses, siblings, and children. I also occasionally read censuses line by line. But that's not necessarily the way recommendations should work. Also, I would reiterate that there are plenty of people who research the census more by family than by individuals. The current GenSmarts way is fine for them. So if there were to be any changes in census recommendations in future versions, there would need to be an option.)
On 2007-05-11 2:21am GenSmarts replied...
Yes, you pretty much killed that horse [:)]
Getting this back to something alive and constructive...
I offered to see if we couldn't get an option in to produce recommendations for all people, all years...
Does that make GenSmarts materially more useful to your way of doing things?
Referring to your example, that will produce suggestions for 1900 and 1910 for John, just as the more "head of household" rules due today. Of course, you could filter them out, in either case.
On 2007-05-13 9:32pm GenSmarts replied...
Version x.1.1.04 (either Version 1 or Version 2) has an option which changes the rule for census suggestions from likely head of household to everyone. You can update to this release using http://www.GenSMarts.com/versionHistory.html
When GenSmarts comes up, use TOOLS...Edit GenSmarts.ini to bring up windows notepad on the GenSmarts settings file. Find the line [Analysis] and insert a new line immediately following it, that contains:
I didn't do too much testing with it, other than to verify it seemed to have the desired effect of producing census suggestions regardless of age or situation.
To anyone that gives this a whirl... report back here or to email@example.com if you found this setting an improvement. If I get enough feedback, I'll promote it to be a regular option in the TOOLS...SETTINGS...ANALYSIS tab dialog.
On 2007-05-15 9:25am c24m48 added...
Much thanks for looking into this so quickly.
I'm having trouble figuring out if it's working correctly or not. I have set censusForAll=TRUE as required. However, I have version 220.127.116.11, and the message says that I need 2.1.1.05 in order for this to work. When I go to the downloads page, I can't seem to find anything that would download 2.1.1.05. I downloaded "Version 2" again, and I got 18.104.22.168 again. So before I spend a lot of time experimenting with censusForAll=TRUE, I would like to verify that I have a version that supports it.
On 2007-05-15 8:03pm GenSmarts replied...
Version x.1.1.04 (either Version 1 or Version 2) has an option... you can update to this release using http://www.GenSMarts.com/versionHistory.html
Are you using the above upgrade mechanism?
On 2007-05-15 9:16pm c24m48 added...
I wasn't using the upgrade utility. I was just trying to find the latest version and click on it to download. My bad. Sorry, I didn't read the directions carefully enough.
I have now downloaded the version that supports census recommendations for every person. It says 22.214.171.124 rather than 2.1.1.05, but it seems like the latest version, and it works great for census recommendations.
Again, much thanks.
On 2007-05-16 7:44am GenSmarts replied...
I think I got the version numbers mixed up - I said x.1.1.05 and when I should have said x.1.1.04 (I'll edit/correct the earlier post so someone coming upon this won't have the same problem)