Tree fragment finder
Surname study groups need a way to find and track fragment trees, meaning to find every person with surname X who does not have a parent with surname X: those are tree heads.
Surname researchers are always dealing with brick walls, usually many: many heads of immigrant families not attached to families of origin in their Old Country. By looking at all historical records of all persons with surname X we often can solve most of the brick walls without ever hitting them.
I find these tree heads manually and once they are found, I follow them. This is a very crude approximation of what I would like to be able to do, and I cannot easily share my follow list with collaborators. I need a tool to do this finding and following task systematically, and periodically update, so I can watch the progress of a project. It could be on an external partner site, as an API.
I would like the tool to tell me how many heads there are, the PID of each head, the size of each descendant tree, and the size of each descendant tree pruned to only those with the surname of interest. For large surnames I really need some frequency graphs of count by tree size.
I also need a tool to tell me statistics about historical records for a surname attached (or not yet attached) to profiles for a surname of interest.
I want to gather such tools into a project dashboard for a FT surname study. I have been prototyping dashboard content on the FS wiki: https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/User:Dontiknowyou
I like the idea of finding the heads. I think the specification could use some work, although I understand the general idea. Issues I could see cropping up:
* Name variants. John Wynn, son of John Wynne would, by your definition, show the son to be a head, even though such name variations occur throughout time.
* Differing naming conventions. Helga Hakkonsdotter, daughter of Hakkon Algersson would show Helga to be the head of a tree branch.
* Improper data entry. Actually -- this would be good to flush out, but would be a constant headache for such a process. Whenever a user enters or changes a woman's name to match her last married name, instead of her maiden name, the woman would show as a head of a branch.
I think a better start would be to just identify profiles missing one or both parents. Where provided, include the birth / death date and location of each profile, allowing users to focus on certain historic ranges or geographical areas.0
@WDavid72, thanks for engaging.
Surname variants. Yes, Wynn son of Wynne would be a head. Spelling changes are of interest to surname researchers. Also, the changes would be easily discoverable because the head of a surname descendancy would have a parent attached. I do mean parent, not father.
Patronymics. Yes, Hakkonsdotter, daughter of Algersson would be a head. There may also be a family name. In the context of patronymic surnames, it is of interest when patronymics become family names; this would be reflected in average tree size changing (growing) over time. Here, "tree" is narrowly defined as a connected network sharing a surname.
Improper data entry. Yes, exactly! I spend a lot of time on FT editing profiles of women to record birth name in the primary name field and include the married name(s) as alternates.
On FT on the Find search page I would love to be able to filter for profiles with no father or no mother or no spouse. I do this visually now, but except for very rare surnames the visual method is super tedious.0