Evidential Analysis In Gramps

(Using Gramps 5.1.5-1)

Is anyone trying to somehow do evidential analysis by noting whether or not something is direct/indirect evidence of a fact or whether the piece of information comes from a primary/secondary/derived/authored source? My first thought was to do it in the citation somehow, but the issue is that a single citation can have many different pieces of evidence in it and they can all be of varying types.

I found another discussion about doing it here but not sure if anyone ever came up with anything

Any thoughts?

Yes. Either you cite each thing separately and indicate whether it is direct or indirect, or you make a generic citation that you duplicate in order to have one direct and another indirect.

In the first case it’s simple, each citation is used for the corresponding events (so-and-so is born on x date in y [direct], the witness said he is a butcher [indirect], …), in the second case (so-and-so’s birth certificate [direct], so-and-so’s birth certificate [indirect]) it’s up to you to select the corresponding citation depending on where you apply it.

I use a mix of them. I’ve not changed/dupplicated all my old citations yet but it’s my goal. When finished I’ll do fillers (probably Supertool) to automatically analyze where I’m on my people or families searches

I only attach a citation to the event that it proves. While a Death Certificate may provide information about the person’s birth it does not prove it so I do not share the citation with the birth event. I will use the birth information but it is only a clue.

This does two things for me. An event without a citation is unproven and minimizes citation clutter.

Do you record that birth information anywhere? If not, how do you ever remember that you have seen it? More generally, how do you keep track of your “clues” so that they are available when you need them?

Whenever I go back and reinvestigate a person or family, I start by seeing what I already have. I am doing that now as I try to find 1950 census information. But as I enter the death information and citation, I will take the other information found there and try to find that birth, on that date, in that location, with those parents.

But the bottom line, absent other proof, I will enter a birth date found on a death certificate. But if I find information where the person indicates … this is my DOB, I would use that if it conflicts with the date on the death record. That would be a first person record. But as we all know, again, that does prove the birth information. But until I find the record made at the time of birth, I do not put any citation on the birth event.

My problem is that putting a census citation on the birth event is not proof of the birth information, only that the person existed on the date of the census. (But I have cases where that wasn’t even true.)

To recap, I only use citations on the bit of fact that it purports to prove. And all of the various facts and their citations creates a picture of the relative.

FYI: There is an enhancement (PR919 for 5.2) that will add a citation icon to the list of events similar to the privacy lock. With my method, very easily I am able to see which events I have proven.


This quantity-not-quality addition isn’t too useful. If it had configurable test threshold for showing the icon, then it would have real value.

For instance, the icon will be equally shown when on a sole-source with a single “low confidence” citation (such as an automated “import” citation… which I consider to be a “garbage” source) as when “high confidence” manual citations are attached.

I am more likely to be interested in seeing which elements are supported by a specific source than any garbage source.

1 Like

Which is my I limit my source/citations to only those proving the event.

Isn’t better to source every scrap of data? ‘Proven’ is an end result (that is always subject to change with the discovery of new data) but research is a process of collection & validation.