You are right, a visualization of the connections would be very comfortable.
We have something that resembles what you are looking for, however, they are not that visually attractive as your idea:
1) On the Family Tree Builder, if you right-click on a person on your tree you have the option to select Relations > Relation to... > Choose a person from the list and you will receive a reporton how they are related to the person.
2) There's another function on the family site to view the path of which you are related to a person if you are associated to the tree:
Once you associate yourself to the family tree, you will notice that every time that you click on a person and view their full profile page it will show on the top a blue strip that details the relational steps that needs to be taken in order to find the person.
I know this suggestion is going to sound very strange to most folks, and even distatseful to some who would rather we all just conveniently forget that Slavery existed in this country (the US), as well as most European countries well into the 19th century.
I'd REALLY like the ability to "attach" individuals, and entire families, to my slave-owning ancestors. Where there are records that exist, it's now very difficult to track who "belonged" to who and how these people were passed on as property.
If I could add a single new feature to the FTB, it would be one that gives me the ability to attach individuals in much the same way that I now attach a child or a sibling.
For anyone who is possibly offended by this request, please keep in mind that there are thousands of African-American and Europeans of African descent who are extremely interested in tracking their family histories. It's very difficult for these geneologists to do their work b/c so many records were destroyed or lost, and so many slave owning families tried hard to distance themselves from the shame of this crime. I feel the time has come for us to accept the facts of history and make it much easier for everyone with an interest in this info to get it out there, and get access to it.
I think it is a great idea. To me, Genealogy is about recording what happened, without the record being affected by moral judgements. The only exception might be comparatively recent events (less than a hundred years ago?) to avoid distressing people.
Certainly slavery is not a part of my family's history (from either side) so far as I know. But there is the great uncle (I think) of my wife who was hanged for murder...
Details of which I have not included in the tree because it was only around 1926 and some are still sensitive about it. But if you can help to make the information available to those who may be seeking it, many would be grateful.
As to how it could be done, I don't really know, but "Attach" sounds hopeful.
I'm probably getting greedy here... but one lovely additional (related) feature I'd like to see is some way to indicate the Race of the individual. This would be great for me in regards to my research on my family's past... but in future generations I think this will be an invaluable data point for geneologists researching families with mult-cultural heritage.
I'd like to see...some way to indicate the Race of the individual.
A reasonable suggestion, I guess, and political correctness be damned in the face of historical fact. Race was often recorded on US census records.
This field really should go on the Info tab on a person's detail record along with Religion and Nationality.
Anyway, there is a clumsy workaround right now in FTB. Simply open the detail page for any individual, choose the Facts tab. Enter a New Fact, and in the resulting dialog where it says "Or enter a custom type", type Race. This will be stored in the Custom Facts list. You could then put whatever racial descriptor you want in the Description field.
It's clumsy because the fact wants a date and place (as though a person's race changes with time and location), which you can ignore, though you could also include the date of any census that specified Race.
Having it as a fact would allow you to run a custom report listing, say, Black and White individuals from your tree.
I was just about to make the same suggestion. But, in my case, for instance, this could sure take up a lot of computer space because I am English, Welch, Scottish, German, Danish, French, and American Indian (Huron tribe). And, I have only traced the family back as far as 1535! Try fitting all that info in a column!!!
As far as I know, I had about seven different ancestors who owned slaves in Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina and Louisiana. One, after his wife passed away, actually freed and married a female slave and they had 20 children together in Caddo Parish, Louisiana. I also had many ancestors who fought on both sides in the Civil War, including two brothers who fought against each other in the same battle. My point is, that we cannot ignore history just to be politically correct. Still, MH is a family tree builder and I believe facts like these should remain under comments section of site and not on the actual FAMILY tree. Just my opinion.
I am English, Welch, Scottish, German, Danish, French, and American Indian (Huron tribe). And, I have only traced the family back as far as 1535! Try fitting all that info in a column!!!
That's nationality or ethnicity, I think, rather than race (an outdated concept anyway). I'm Canadian; my dad was Canadian; his father a naturalized Canadian; his father American... and back to Scottish. My mother was English, and so back... Only one or two needed per individual.
Not as colorful a history as yours! But that's the fun of family history.
Come to think of it, you're right, of course. However, if there were some way to trace us ALL THE WAY BACK, we are ALL really only one race, right?...and with the same pair of ancestors! Or, if you're more into Science than Religion, from the same cell or cells. By the way, to the point of slavery in America, did you know that the first person in America to own a slave was an African-American? How about that for shaking up the establishment!
Humm... I'd like to know your source for that bit of information.
This is a subject I know a good bit about... having studied the subject for years and amassing a pretty substantial library on the history of the matter.
I guess it depends on what you are calling America - and when...
- if it's New Orleans (the largest Slave Market in the continental New World), then perhaps it's possible - but would be very difficult to prove - barring some source information I have never come across.
- if it's South America, where the Spanish and Portugese imported slaves by the thousands to work in the 15th and 16th centuries, then it's unlikely. The "owners" would have been Spaniards... and these slaves were imported to work until they dropped. They were never emanicipated. They were considered subhuman.
- if it's in South Carolina... well, again...Charleston was French for a good while, and slavery was hugely popular there during the Hugonot period...so technically this was not "America".
- now getting to Virginia... Jamestown was started in 1607 and the first slaves were brought there about ten years later (give or take)... and it was actually an accident that they came there at all - a French Slave ship (if I recollect correctly) was in distress and needed to offload her human cargo... nevertheless... there were no African American's at Jamestown in the 17th century that were not slaves, and therefore it was not possible for an African American to own a slave. Slavery as an institution in North America, is considered to have begun in Jamestown.
- Splitting hairs a little bit further... "America" or the USA didn't actually exist until 1776 - 1780... and by then slavery was a going concern in every single "state" (former colony.) So there's really no way to say who the "First Slave Owner in America" actually was - becuase there were hundreds of thousands of them created the moment the Constitution was ratified.
This is all probably more information that anyone (but me) really wants to know... but my point in providing it is with purpose.
It's this: When a "white guy" makes an uninformed comment like"the first person in America to own a slave was an African-American?"... that sounds incredibly quippish and it diminishes the subject matter to something that sounds like justification and victim blaming. It's true that there were many continental African's involved in the European Slave Trade (the Atlantic Triangle), and it's true that there was a very small percentage of emencipated blacks who themselves owned slaves (but this number is a fraction of 1% of the enslaved population.)
Just don't make light of it... it's a really sore spot for about 40% of the US population... about 10% of the UK and French populations who are descended from the ranks of this ugly institution... and the people like me who study the subject in depth and realize the gravity of it - and how it continues to shape (grotesquely disfigure) the foundations of the nation I call home.
Well, that's pretty condescending! Perhaps you should realize that more than one person might be learned on the same subject. While it's true that I may have oversimplified by saying "the first slave owner", but then none of us really know, since we were not alive in the 17th century. I suggest you refer to "Did Black People Own Slaves?" by Henry Lewis Gates, Jr. He states that "some free black people in this country bought and sold other black people, and did so as early as 1654". In 1654, Anthony Johnson and his wife Mary went to court in Virginia to obtain the services of their indentured servant, a black man, John Castor, for life. While it's true that the Union had not yet been formed in 1654, I did not refer to the United States of America. I referred to America, which is correct, since Virginia was in the American colonies. By the way, in the United States of America, we have something called "Freedom of Speech", so I would appreciate it if you did not try to tell me what I may and may not say! Have a good day.
Yes - perhaps my admonition to "Think" was condescending... and for that I sincerely apolagize.
My point, which I think may have been lost in your sense of defensiveness, was that it's a very touchy subject, for people on ALL side of the issue, and therefore it may be a good idea to not dive into the topic with glibness.
Dr. Gates is a distinguished author and lecturer. I respect his work. I suspect that he would rather take issue with entering into the subject of institutionalized Colonial and early American slavery with the justification that Black people owned slaves. His body of work is considerably deeper than that, as you must well know.
Again, I sincerely apolagize for the condescending content and tone of my previous note. No excuses. All I can say in my defense is that I have spent fifteen years on this subject and the more I study it, the less I understand it - and the more I see in my own generation that makes me think that given the right circumstances, we could descend into a similar madness again. The roots of nationalism and racism are like Kudzoo... they just won't go away.
Please have patience with people like me... We "think" too much.
Not a problem. I too have done some pretty intensive research on the subject trying to understand how and why slavery happened. I don't believe I'll ever completely comprehend it. I only know it's been with us since biblical times and as long as human beings are involved we may never get rid of it completely, or the aftereffects. I do, however, believe that we've come a long-long way. I only hope it continues to improve.
Thank you both for an interesting discussion. A bit animated, but civil, as are most enjoyable debates.
Canada was one terminus of the Underground Railway, but I really don't know much about the issue as a whole. From what I've learned so far, none of my ancestors owned slaves, but if ever it turns out that they did, I hope I can seek you two out for further information.
I wish there were a more compact alternative with less space while printing the family tree.
Just now it's only 84 A3 paper.....
but i felle like it's to much space, like theres room fore pics and so in, but if you don't have full info on the perons, you don't need that space.
also, it would be fine if you had the ability to choose a timeline, so the tree is not entierly build with parents after parents, but the place upwards, if you try to place people in the tre, according to the year they were born... (ok this wil make a lot of space, but would be interesting to see
I am building a family tree which includes all persons with the same surname as mine. So e.g. I have included my father and his mother and father, and then all their children (I.e my fathers brothers and sisters). Up to now I am 8 generations back on fathers line and tree is becoming very hard to move around in due to all siblings included.
I suggest an option where we can "stack" siblings. So in the Stack view I will see my father and then just a flag/icon on his photo representing his siblings. And then on my grandfather, I will only see him and a flag representing his siblings. Of course the same should apply on mothers side of the tree.
A further enhancement could be the ability to selectively turn siblings on and off for a single person.
When doing Smart Matches online, every time you get an accepted Smart Match, you get a verification window, where you accept the match a second time. In the same window there is a small writing area, where you can write a message to the other party, although it is rarely needed. When you decline a Smart match, however, this writing field is lacking. I would need it to explain in a few words why the Match was rejected.
Could you please insert a writing area in the Match declined window, identical to the one in the Match accepted window?
Kudos to the programming team for the Smart Matches process in FTB 7.0. It is now working much better than before, although some parts still contains old, very old bugs.