Allow "cremation" to be part of the burial date and place and not in the other info section
Currently when a person is cremated, that fact is added as other info but is not reflected in the individual info where burial date and place is located. If the word cremated is entered, it causes a date or place standardization error.
The "other info" section is accurate but largely not seen since it's sort of buried in between the individual info and the family members section below; so it is generally not seen. Of course that's the fault of the viewer, but from a practical standpoint, you need to make it easier for the viewer to see in a short glance what the basic individual info is.
The big advantage of having "cremated" for date and "ashes scattered" as the place is that people will not continue to look for burial date and cemetery info for that particular individual.
We seem to be getting more and more people cremated these days, so this will probably grow as a problem.
Thanks for your kindness in considering this change.
"Cremated" is not a date and doesn't belong in a date field anywhere.
I tend to treat the "Burial" conclusion as shorthand for "current/final disposition of remains". If the ashes were divided up and then scattered at various times, I might choose the latest date and leave the place blank, with the details in the reason box. Alternately, regardless of the final fate of the ashes, if there is a cenotaph or memorial plaque or similar, I'd use its location and the date of its installation or unveiling as the "burial" event. This is similar to how I'd treat a re-burial (someone buried originally where he died, and then later re-interred in his hometown, for example).1
One post has been edited to remove personally identifiable information.0
The baptism/christening and burial/cremation discussions have been going on for some time. The issue is not so much with these fields, but with the rigid Vitals block that was carried over from PAF. I encourage debate as to how to revise the Details display so that the Vitals and Couples events are instead displayed in a unified list of events.0
Yes, this issue has been the subject of much discussion. FamilySearch should find a way of addressing this, particularly that nowadays individuals are far more likely to be cremated than buried.
Meanwhile, you can just "break the rules" by adding cremation detail in the Burial field of Vitals. There is still debate over whether that detail should be the "final resting place", or where and when the cremation ceremony took place. The former is problematic (as Julia suggests) if the ashes have been scattered at various locations and at different times. But, if you do use the Burial field to record cremation-related details, just make it perfectly clear (in the reason statement) exactly what the date and placename represent.0
Yeah, we've beaten on this horse-carcass before pretty extensively.
As far as I know, none of the other genealogy websites will substitute a baptism/christening (if such a field is even available) for a blank or missing birth field, and none of them will use burial info for a blank/missing death field. FamilySearch is unusual in offering and using these proxies. (Offline genealogy software, especially if it's GEDCOM-based [an FS invention, originally], is more likely to offer them.)
I think it would be good to label those fields in the Vitals box according to their purpose: "birth proxy event" and "death proxy event". Or if retaining the current labels in some form is deemed prudent or more friendly, then perhaps a footnote or tooltip would work: "Christening [or similar birth proxy event]", "Burial [or similar death proxy event]".
That said, I'm not certain that the original purpose of the Burial field is relevant today. I think that the primary reason people want to record burials is so that they can answer the question, "where can I pay my respects?" That question is what I keep in mind when using the Burial field for recent deaths.
Cremation can wreak havoc with the societal practice of visiting graves. In my family, everyone's ashes have eventually ended up in a cemetery in some form, which makes things easier, but my spouse's uncle's ashes were scattered at various places that he liked, and there's no headstone or cenotaph anywhere. My solution is to leave the burial field blank. It's not needed as a death proxy, and the memorial gathering's writeup in his sources gives all of the details that someone might find useful in future.0
I believe christening and burials only began to be treated as birth / death "proxy" events some years after the introduction of Family Tree. I remember browsing through my "Following" (then named "Watching") list years ago thinking it strange I hadn't added any details for many of the deaths I'd expected to find recorded. In the "early days", if you had inputted a burial you had also to add an approximate date of death - or nothing showed - in the pedigree view, either. In a way, I was pleased when a date became visible if, say, only the burial had been inputted. On the "downside" - just as I complain so much about approximate dates (especially "before" / "after" ones) being used when the event might be twenty years or more from that date, there is a similar situation with christenings. Whilst the burial (or cremation - the subject of this post!) usually closely followed / follows the death, many parents seemed to favour taking several of their infant children to be christened on the same date - so (even ignoring the adult christening / baptism issue) a christening often proves to have taken place a few years after the birth, hence apparent discrepancies in ages.
So, there's a good and bad side (especially when not viewing the detail from the Person page) of having christenings / burials as "proxies", but - to repeat - this was not how these events were originally treated in Family Tree, just a later innovation by the FamilySearch developers.0
@Paul W, even now, FS is inconsistent about using/applying those proxies. They don't show in Source Linker, for example. This doesn't change the fact that the reason those fields are in the Vitals box is their use as proxies for the actual vital events. Such use/purpose predates the internet.0
Yes, I'm probably allowing myself to get a little mixed-up over the term "proxy". As you suggest - and Gordon has commented upon elsewhere - indeed this does date back to well before computers and these "proxy events" were / are important dates (I assume) in carrying out ordinance work (i.e., if no actual birth / death dates could be found).
Broadening the subject, the way FamilySearch (and other websites) record their "years" (xxxx format) has made it impossible to record dual-dating, which would make it clear whether an event really did take place in what we now call (1 February) 1724, or as it was usually recorded then (in England) - as (1 February) 1723. So much easier to record dates in pencil-and-paper days. Sorry, I digress (yet again).0