This is a long awaited post, requested by several Pharos students….(sorry for the wait!).
Working with unconnected people in a genealogical database is one of the biggest issues for those with surname projects, or One-Name Studies.
I personally struggled with this in my early days, and my way of coping with this obstacle was to “hitch” people together – I use a marriage, whereas others might use a census.
The reason I use a marriage is that you have less people to deal with when compared to a census. Those with studies do require details from the census, but not necessarily immediately.
The way I approach this, is to open my genealogical program and create a new database. For my Orlando study, the file is simply called Orlando ONS. I add each individual with the Orlando surname to the database, each one, unattached to others, apart from their spouse. As I then build the family, or reconstruct the family, I do so using parish registers or other suitable data, which enables each family to develop, of course some of those individual with the Orlando name, may well form part of a wider family.
Let me give you this example – imagine a family reunion, Grandma is the top of the family, her six relatives each with their spouses and their children. The six children are in the database, hitched to their spouses, with their family reconstructed. Also at the reunion, are a further seven people, bearing the same name, with their Grandfather at the top of their family group. The seven people might be related to the previously mentioned six people, but not necessarily, but to all intent and purposes, the groups of six and seven people with their spouses are entered into the database and are of equal standing to each other.
I have three individuals that are in my Orlando database, and completely unattached from their spouses and other suitable individuals. The image below comes from my Pharos European Ancestors course. The source is Dachau Concentration Camp, Jewish Gen index. From the material entered on the card, it provides a starting point, from which I can begin to establish their lives. Up until now, these three individuals have sat in my Orlando Miscellaneous Workbook – more on that tomorrow.