Child Count

Adrian Bruce

Arising from other mails in this list...

Make of this what you will but I found the recording of the count of children (e.g. from the 1911 census) somewhat problematic.

GEDCOM 5.5.1 has an Individual attribute for child count, viz:
+1 <<INDIVIDUAL_EVENT_DETAIL>> {0:1}* p.34

The problem with this is that it doesn't match the child count on the 1911 census form, which refers to the number of "Children born alive to the present marriage". In other words, it's not an *individual* attribute on the 1911, but a *family* attribute. The difference becomes material when a parent has been married twice and has children from both marriages - NCHI for an individual should logically be their total number, from both marriages. (Logically...)

If you then potter over to the Family Record in GEDCOM 5.5.1 you see this:
n @<XREF:FAM>@ FAM {1:1}
+1 HUSB @<XREF:INDI>@ {0:1} p.25
+1 WIFE @<XREF:INDI>@ {0:1} p.25
+1 CHIL @<XREF:INDI>@ {0:M} p.25
+1 NCHI <COUNT_OF_CHILDREN> {0:1} p.44

Oh look, you might think - a child count for the family, just like the 1911 needs. Well, yes, it is but it has deficiencies:
1. There is no *date* for the family NCHI.
2. So far as I can see you can't cite a source for it either - only for the Family Record as a whole.
3. It doesn't appear straight away on the Family Property Box - but you can get it on the Main tab of the Family Property Box by using "Customize Property Box" and adding a Custom Item.
4. It doesn't appear in Narrative Reports (no idea about any of the other reports).

Why is this Family Attribute so odd? Well, it isn't an attribute in the usual way - all the usual family "attributes" are under <<FAMILY_EVENT_STRUCTURE>>and NCHI is a different beast entirely. It's just a free standing data item that is a bit short on things like date and sources, and has got missed from the report logic.

So in the end, I created a custom attribute, "Child Count (fam)", for a Family Record - this can be dated, is sourced and appears in Narrative Reports (because I gave it a sentence) just as I personally desire.

Feel free to ignore the complexities here and just use NCHI for an individual!


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