View Full Version : Bridging Gaps in Family Trees
Is there any program that will do this:-
We are trying to find the FATHER of Joshua Say and know all about him EXCEPT his parents!
We have 99 candidate FATHERS each with things known about them.
WE wish to put these 99 possible fathers in pecking order based upon:-
WHEN they were born
WHERE they were born(geographical miles and direction)
Their CHRISTIAN names
None is born more than 70 years behore Joshua
None is born less than 15 years before Joshua
The distance and direction is important as we probably DO KNOW how these rural families migrated slowly in the countryside and some villiages were on the coaching routes!
The Christian name is oft a vital clue as sons were named after Fathers and Grandfathers (the latter are often known)
14-05-2009, 7:34 PM
This sounds like a points system, which can easily be accomplished using an Excel spreadsheet, where you can sort & resort as you assign points.
You have to decide how much weight to assign to each criteria.
You could start by setting up the spreadsheet with these columns:
Given Name / Birthplace / Birth year
The next three columns would be your points columns for the three criteria.
Given Name Points/ Birthplace Points/ Birth year Points
Now to decide on how to award points:
Sort the spreadsheet by given name. Persons holding the firstborn son's name would obviously get the most points. What name gets the second most points, etc, would be up to you based on general naming patterns for the time & area
Then sort by birthplace
Birthplace: Closest to Joshua's would get the most points
Then sort by birth year
Birth year: between 20 and 30 when Joshua was born would get the most points.
Create another column used to add the values in the three points column. See who achieves the most points.
I think that you have to do the thinking as to what weight to assign to each criteria. Is name more important than age? Then give 10 points for the best name and 5 points for the best age.
The spreadsheet will tally your thoughts.
Hope this makes sense.
14-05-2009, 7:43 PM
I like that idea, Adele - I may well employ it when I come to try and find the father of my John Stokes born about 1680ish. I expect I'll have a lot more than 99 candidates :D
Can I just add a MASSIVE rider to your points system though, and one that JohnF MUST take account of. For each of these 99 guys, John, you would have to check:
a) that he didn't die as an infant or child
b) that he wasn't buried in the parish of his birth at some grand old age
c) that he didn't marry and have children in his parish of birth
I'm sure you have thought of this, but it's as well to keep stating it. It can often be overlooked when having to widen a search for a baptism. Many people forget to check whether the candidate died.
I take it you have no baptism either for Joshua yet? When you find one, you will have to do those systemic checks for him too. What years are we talking about? Is it that you have found 99 Joshuas?
It's a thankless task, ain't it, when it gets to this stage. :)
14-05-2009, 7:54 PM
Good "points" ! :)
Columns can then be added as additional criteria are developed.
14-05-2009, 10:09 PM
Yes GREAT suggestions from BOTH of you
But you hit the nail on the head! There are FAR MORE than 99 candidates
And I was HOPING to bridge this gap BEFORE I join my ancestors!
So how to AUTOMATE the process is KEY
A POOR automation can be followed ny myself in person - with my (self-) impressive skills!
But AFTER the best 12 candidates are autoselected, PLEASE.
I do not mind ENTERING the data by hand.
Do I have to WRITE MY OWN prog?
Hasn't someone out there done it already!
I canna be the FIRST with a GAP in his tree!!
15-05-2009, 1:56 AM
The closest I've found is a program called Pedhunter, featured on the National Center for Biotechnology Information website, but it seems to be used for inputting large disparate family trees, then looking for matches of individuals in those separate trees.
It doesn't rely on probabilities, which is all that your search and the results could be based on.
If you don't have the paper to prove a father or mother, then is your best bet DNA testing of Say descendants to try to find a common ancestor?
Yes your spreadsheet is the best idea if all extant software merely seeks IDENTITY of folk between two files. We want "closeness of relationship"!
Now even if I HAD the automated prog, I'd have to enter the data fof it by hand.
And the data is ALREADY on my Excel spreadsheet (having been entered by hand)
And with 101 plausible candidates hopes fade fast of SEEING the best match!
BUT BUT BUT Excel DOES automate things a little! In any cell you can enter a number CALCULATED from the entries in other cells.
The "quality" of each canditate can thus be calculated BY EXCEL as a function of the DATE, PLace born and everything else you have a column for.
The advantage is impartiality - same for all candidates. Otherwise depending what you had for breakfast some candidates get favoured!
Give me a month or to and I will send you a copy of my prog
Yes, your Excel Spreadsheet idea really works - and automating it is not as hard as expected
FOR EXAMPLE, I got woken this morn by my computer saying:
And the winning Father of Josua Say is.................:
After 0.1 millisecs of my time and 2367 hours of John's (input of data by hand)
I have pleasure to announce the Father of Joshua say born 1750 at Soham Cambs is:-
say, francis born 1730? at East Hatley, Cambs
who is the son of Francis Say born E Hatley 9 Jan 1690 and Diana
and grandson of Francis Say born E Hatley about 1665 who married Elizabeth
In view of this announcement please FIND OUT ALL YOU CAN about this Francis!
and GOOD LUCK
If he existed he married Diana Morgan and their children were (IGI):-
Francis Edward 1763
William Thomas 1766
Georgina Mona 1776
AND the Prince of Denmark, Joshua Say,1750, whom the IGI somehow missed!
17-10-2009, 9:06 PM
In the will of Francis Say former vicar of Hindolveston, dying in Spittlefields1689-1741, No mention of any children of his own or wife. Leaves most of estate to his brother John, merchant of Geneva. Askes to keep funeral expences to minimum as John has a large family. William Cray Say's will
in 1751 no wife or children, nephews and neices. The Say's presumed to be John's children. Nephew Rev.Francis Say, Nephew's William and John,Elizabeth Springall[His sister], neice Elizabeth Springall of Aldeburgh, neice Anna Maria Weeks Bury St Edmunds, neice Sarah Holder and nephew Thomas Holder of Willingham, nephew Charles and neice Mary Holder, Cousin Mrs Sarah Thory in Westminster
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