Baptism vs Christening - Check Box or a New Tab?
My suggestion is the create a check box in the vitals to allow you to choose baptism or christening or even communion and what ever else would apply in similar information for other religions. Maybe a new tab all together: Religion. This would allow for any religion information (baptism, christening, communion, bar mitzva). For me, religion is very confusing so if you were able to do a drop down similar to that in the Alternate Facts. For example, picking Catholic Religion then the screen or section would give you the option of entering defaulted information for the Catholic Religion (communion for example).
To remove all confusion, it might be best to just rename the section to reflect its actual purpose: Infant Naming Ceremony.
It is suppose to be a birth information substitute for children without birth information.1
Keep in mind that the existence of two different words for baptism/christening is basically unique to English. This means that a choice between them would be nonsensical in 37 out of FS's 38 language options: "is this an X or an X?"
"Religious Affiliation" is one of the choices under Other Events. (No, I don't know why it's classified as an event rather than a fact.)0
(Facts don't have dates. Events do have dates. Items under Facts don't tend to change. Most of the items under Events will need a date with them and many can easily change and deserve a starting and ending date, including Religious Affiliation.)0
Julie makes the point that I was going to make, but I would go a step further in saying that the Christening field is currently separated from the events of religious life belonging to every other religion. The ones that are defined are in the Other Information area. For equal treatment, Christening should join them.
But getting back to the Vitals, this is a rigid structure that was carried over from PAF. We get arguments similar to Baptism/Christening when cremation is proposed to be somehow combined with the Burial field. Rather than enhance the Vitals block, I would rather see Vitals replaced by a new view of the events in the Details page.
Regarding the Christening field, I would move it to the Other Information area. Then, I would add additional Event types that are already defined in GedcomX:
Doing so will give contributors a way to accurately represent these religious events using standard tagging that API-enabled third-party software can import.0
The rigid structure goes back to the paper Family Group sheets used for far longer than PAF. Here is one from 1950s:
These forms were designed on the premiss that a person the most critical elements for uniquely identifying a person are his or her name, birth, and death. Christening and burial were substitutes for birth and death. The earliest form I have seen is from 1915 and has the style:
And the instructions for entering the information would have resulted in this for someone in the 1700's from Norway (One thing I haven't mentioned before, is that Norwegian parish records prior to 1815 also don't include death dates, just burial dates.):
- Name: Hans Olsson
- Birth: (chr) 25 March 1725
- Death: (bur) 17 June 1775
Maybe 107 years of progress have brought us to the point where we need to step back. It would be fine with me if we reverted to that style and had the primary spot for christening and burial down in the Other Information section. I don't think I would like to have the Vitals section eliminated and have just names at the top then all the known information about a person in one long chronological list starting with birth, if known, and ending with burial, if known.0
I am curious about why the preference for the word "christening" and if you choose to use the word "baptism" it becomes a "custom event". In most of the sources for my family members, from several different centuries and places, the record itself uses the word "baptism." However, when you select that word, the source is not attached. You have to take the extra step to manually attach it. This makes no sense at all. Why can't the event be what it is called in the record itself, and if we're using that record to create the event, why doesn't the record automatically attach? All the "baptism" events end up having "zero sources."0
Paul W ✭✭✭✭✭
Your point has been discussed here for quite some time. Basically, the most important thing is to get the message through to the responsible people in FamilySearch that infant baptism / christening are identical events.
Providing a "Christening" section remains in the Vitals (and I believe it should - as Gordon Collett says, it can act as a substitute for a missing Birth data) it would not be a bad idea to rename it. Regardless, I understand there is no differentiation in the indexing process between infant baptisms and christenings. It is only at the "next stage" that FamilySearch is messing things up by categorising some of these records as "Baptisms" (Custom Event in Family Tree) and some of them as "Christenings" (Vital in Family Tree).
As a matter of "principle" I never carry across Baptism details when linking a source - I note the detail, then add it manually to the Christening field. Someone at FamilySearch is either being plain obstinate or is just not receiving the message about how much inconvenience / confusion Family Tree users are being caused by not addressing this issue.0
@ccgraham, another part of the reason for what you're seeing is that the ability to tag entries in the Other box with sources is a very new addition: it was introduced with the new interface for the person page, which is still in a testing stage. (Full/permanent rollout is supposed to be early next year.) Source Linker has not been revised in many years, so it doesn't know how to tag Other Information. This means that if the index happens to have chosen the 'b' word instead of the 'c' word, then Source Linker will misfile the event and not offer any source tagging.0