GENBOX-L ArchivesArchiver > GENBOX > 2004-02 > 1077571284
From: "wim prange" <>
Subject: RE: [GENBOX] Witness export
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2004 22:21:24 +0100
I'm taking a more optimistic approach. The last couple of years has seen a
growing demand for a witness-feature in genealogy-programs. At the moment
there are a couple of programs that are capable of such a feature. If these -
and future - programs want to stay in business, they need to establish some
sort of agreement on how to transfer these witnesses between programs. It
would be foolish businesswise to just stick to their own solution.
I don't have high hopes that the gedcom-standard will be updated but am
confident that the xml-format will be the future. In the meantime Bill has
opted for using "n _WITN @XREF:INDI@" format. I think this is a logical
solution. If another solution becomes "the standard", I'm sure Bill is willing
(and capable) of adapting the export- and import-routine to meet the new
standard. I've got the feeling though that his solution will become the
standard. Instead of just waiting before there is an agreement, I'm glad Bill
has pushed the market a bit. Denise told that the developer of Pocket
Genealogist has adapted Bill's solution in his import-routine. I'm sure other
developers will follow
Even more optimistic is thinking that I don't have to worry about portability
of data anyhow. I can't imagine that I will need to have to export my data out
of GB :-)
> -----Oorspronkelijk bericht-----
> Van: Brant Gibbard [mailto:]
> Verzonden: zondag 22 februari 2004 18:35
> Onderwerp: RE: [GENBOX] Witness export
> > Brant,
> > I am not an expert at Gedcom, but others here are. It is my belief that
> > Gedcom does not support witnesses as used in TMG or Genbox, and
> > they do not
> > survive a transfer from one to the other through Genbox. However, I have
> > seen reports from people that are using Genbox Gedcom files with
> > the Pocket
> > Genealogist that claim the witness information is there. There is also a
> > utility for TMG that will convert witnesses to notes in Gedcom,
> > so at least
> > the information is not lost.
> That's more or less as I suspected (and feared). I was under the impression
> that there is no provision for them in the GEDCOM standard (I could easily
> be wrong about that though), so that each program that has a feature of this
> type implements it differently. Legacy apparently has plans to add witnesses
> within the near future, and it too may well be handled in yet another way.
> Since the only certainties in life are death, taxes and the need to
> periodically translate your genealogy data to new formats, this is
> Another question I have is whether it is possible to link a
> marriage/partnership to an event as a witness (i.e. in addition to having
> individuals as witnesses, the more typical situation)
> The reason I ask this is that the bulk of my work is done from obituaries.
> Obituaries usually mention relatives of the deceased, and specify if they
> are survivors or predeceased. They also frequently mention pairs as being
> married couples (or divorced), which provides evidence that they were (or
> were not) in a married state on that date in addition to, and separately
> from, the fact that they are both living.
> Currently, without witnesses, my method of handling these things is to put
> the text of the obituary in the notes for the "Death" event of the deceased,
> to have an individual event "Living" for the survivors mentioned in the
> obituary which I use to record the range of dates in which the survivor is
> known to be alive (when I am missing either a birth date, or a death date,
> or both), and a family event called "Marriage Attested" which records the
> range of dates in which I know a marriages was active (when I am missing the
> date of the marriage, or date of divorce, or date of death of one spouse, or
> all of the above).
> I am planning in any case, with or without the use of witnesses, to change
> over to creating an "Obituary" event for the deceased, containing the full
> text of the obit, instead of using the Death notes field. With witnesses I
> would no longer need the "Living" event for the survivors, as I could create
> witness roles of "survivor" and "predeceased" for "Obituary" events with
> appropriate template wording. If I can also create witness roles of
> "married" or "no longer married" and attach a partner-spouse relation as a
> witness to the "Obituary" event, then that would also enable me to ditch my
> "Marriage Attested" event.
> It appears to me from what I can see that the latter is probably NOT
> possible at the moment. Is that correct?
> ==== GENBOX Mailing List ====
> To join this list, send an email to
> with the word "subscribe" as the subject line. Then email your
> messages to and they will appear on this list.
> Gain access to over two billion names including the new Immigration
> Collection with an Ancestry.com free trial. Click to learn more.