I have worked with databases that I have created from FamilySearch records. I systematically work through them to improve the records in places my ancestors have lived. Over and over again, I estimate marriage dates (and places) as one year earlier than the birth year of the first known child. I then estimate the birth year for the two spouses. What if FamilySearch were to ask something like this: Would you like FS to estimate the year (and place) of this couple's marriage information? Would you like FS to estimate the birth year (and place) for each of the two spouses? For those of us working with large numbers of entries, this would save a great deal of time and would also improve the collective tree much more quickly.
So you just assume that the parents are "x" number of years old when they marry, or when they had their first child? Is every one 20 years old when they marry? Are the source documents being attached that support these estimates? Perhaps I don't understand the benefit of estimating in the manner that you have explained it.0
Paul W ✭✭✭✭✭
Why would you want to input detail (or FamilySearch to do so for you) when there is absolutely no evidence for an event date? I have frequently encountered a birth date for which I had been searching, then realised another user had calculated / inputted the year of birth by deducting 21 or 25 years from the known year of marriage.
This type of input (manual or computer-generated) is only likely to cause confusion and lead to users searching within a completely incorrect time period. Do you really have 99% of your relatives who married at a set age? My ancestors married at varying ages, between 15 and 50, so there is no way I would want an estimated year of birth to appear, based on the marriage year. Okay, genealogy is a bit like a jig saw puzzle, only you never "finish" the work and certainly don't have to fit in all the pieces (i.e., complete every box) on the Family Tree person pages.
With regard to marriages, how do you know a couple even got married? I've carried out thorough searches for marriage events, up to ten years before the birth of the first child, but had to assume they never did get around to making the relationship a legal one.
If you think it highly likely an individual was born (or married or died) in a certain narrow period of time, and/or at a certain place, just add this detail (time span and place name) manually on the Search page to reduce your likely list of results.
I appreciate we all have our different methods of recording detail on our relatives / ancestors, but in a shared program like Family Tree we have to stick as far as possible to facts, not speculation, when making our inputs.1
If FamilySearch (and other genealogy sites) reliably appended modifiers to inexact or unsupported dates, then I could maybe see the utility of such an option for some styles of research. However, neither FS nor any other site/program I've worked with displays the "before" or "estimated" or "between" on anything besides the most detailed view of a conclusion. This means that filling everything out with totally-unsupported estimates like this is a Supremely Bad Idea. It creates false impressions and leads to useless research. Please consider a different approach, one that does not input falsehoods in Family Tree.0