There should be a way to link a slave owner and an enslaved person. In reckoning with our past, it would help if we could more easily see our ancestors that owned slaves and start to help identify the slaves.
I believe you'd have to be careful about this.
The descendants of that slave, while I'm sure many wish to know who enslaved their ancestor, are you sure they would want their ancestor "linked" in a family tree? I'm sure they would not consider the slaver as family.
Not shutting you down, just raising a potential delicate issue.
I believe an indication of who owned the slave would be very beneficial to being able to positively identify an individual. I have recently been working through some 1600s records from Virginia where the church records listed all the slave vitals by owner. I don't believe there would ever be a way to uniquely identify these individuals without that indicator since only first names are given.
While we want to be sensitive, the reality is that those persons were owned by someone else. Transfers within families through wills is often the only way to track their movement and relationships.
This information can go in the Life Sketch and also in a Note.
In one of Ron Tanner's Live Q&A, within the last couple of months, he discussed briefly that they are considering ways to add to Family Tree relationships the ability include FAN connections. I'd never heard of this before. It stands for Friends, Associates, and Neighbors and expands one's tree beyond family relationships of all the sorts now available in Family Tree (biological, adoptive, step, etc) to include those types of social relationships. He gave no indication of how this would work or when or if it might ever show up but this would provide the capability you are requesting. It's good you posted this so FamilySearch knows this is something important to continue to investigate.
This sounds incredibly controversial, but it seems that it could very well be beneficial due to the church record argument.
I have been transcribing slave records and I have a process that will work until FS adds an enslaved owner association link. I am nearly ready to begin transferring my transcribed records from spreadsheet into Family Tree. I plan to create custom events to document the following potential events:
Thoughts? Additions or corrections?
Would there be any benefit or negative issues in using the owner's surname in the Alternate Name field with the AKA dropdown?
I want to use a consistent process, so would appreciate feedback.
I would rather attach the sources than have a relationship type/association (record any 'conclusions' in notes of the source) - and record persons with their immediate family as near as the records can determine (just as any other family). Yes, I realize a historian may want investigate these relations - for a variety of reasons - but feel referring to the sources is sufficient?
This help center article: https://www.familysearch.org/en/help/helpcenter/article/temple-ordinances-for-enslaved-persons states: "The last name or family name of the slaveholder should not be added to the name of the enslaved person unless the slaveholder was the father of the enslaved person. This policy applies to all cases of slavery worldwide."
Instead of creating six different custom events, would it be better to create a summary document and save it in memories? Then it could be tagged to the various people in the document.
Have you polled any descendants of any of these individuals to ask them how they want their family to appear in Family Tree? Or had contact with any of the Black Family History associations FamlySearch has been working with to see what they think is best?
Sometimes an slave would have multiple owners. This is just a piece of his life.
I would like to be able to link non family members to a person in other situations as well. For example temporary foster families, baptism witnesses etc. This should of course not go in the families but perhaps in another data field? I'm not sure how it's best done, but I would very much like to see it
@jhagg, I created a Custom Fact under Other Information to input some people's godparents (who later became their in-laws). I put "Godparents" for the title, the names and IDs for the description, and their later in-law status in the reason box. Since I don't have anything else in the Other section for those people, the custom fact handily ends up directly above the Family Members section.