What about some tool that also uses a narrative? I have been considering the idea of a family Who’s Who, brief prose biographies that would present information in an engaging narrative with sources listed outside the narrative itself. By this I do not mean the prose statement of facts, dates, and places that is generated by genealogy software, but something highly personal and engaging. This would be enhanced by a form that offers the sources and raw data, but the narrative would allow for the human connections to be revealed… A marries B with C as a witness; the narrative could explain that C is the foster child raised by the family of B.
I will be checking your website, and enjoy this conversation. Thanks.]]>
At this point, my idea of a social web involves a combination of the Pedigree Chart and Family Group Record, similar to an “All-in-One Chart”, with additional connections added for non-familial relations. For example, spouses’ siblings and siblings’ spouses, neighbors, additional parties to deeds, witnesses to baptisms and wills, and others who attended the same church, or shared a similar occupation in the same town, etc. “Cluster genealogy” attempts to reconstruct the social structure surrounding a given individual at a given time and place — one of the concepts of network theory states that if A knows B, and B knows C, then A is highly likely to at some point know C. In mapping social relationships, one often finds that such social circles indeed exist, with a small group of people often being involved with each other throughout a given period of time in multiple facets.
Social circles are best expressed in a very loosely structured format. This makes it quite difficult to create a set “form” (like those in the Toolkit). I have had some success in using the WordArt functions of Microsoft Word, and MS Power Point also works well to a degree.
Aside from this project, however, I have indeed been thinking of additional ideas for new forms, and plan to have a few “web-exclusive” forms available on my website soon. Check back often for their availability: http://haitfamilyresearch.com/toolkit.aspx]]>
I would like to use charts and forms that take advantage of color, fonts, styles — all things that you use admirably in you Geneaology Research Map. I even tried to make a custom research form following the map and using the colors and symbols you set out. . . alas, my charting skills are not up to the task (yet!). Good design does help with good research.]]>