By far, the most important claims in genealogy, and the ones needing the most documentation, are the biological links between children and their parents. #Gigatrees uses parental association records and their source references to determine the reliability status for biological links. Unfortunately, the GEDCOM standard does not provide a good method for handling these claims. The only supported record types they provide are the Pedigree Linkage Type (
PEDI), which provides built in predefined relationship fields, but does not allow you to link a source to the record, and the
ASSO record, which does allow for referencing sources, but does not have built in predefined relationship types such as "mother" or "father". Several vendors support other relationship records such as Family Tree Maker's
_MREL tags, but like the Pedigree Linkage Type record, these do not allow for source references.
Gigatrees supports parental associations using all these methods. The Pedigree Linkage Type must be set to
birth for it to be treated as a biological relationship of both parents.
0 @I1@ INDI 1 FAMC @F1@ 2 PEDI birth
_MREL tags must have values of
0 @I1@ INDI 1 FAMC @F1@ 2 _FREL Natural 2 _MREL Natural
ASSO record should set its
RELA field to "Father", "Mother" or "Parent". It can also be set to the translatable strings, "Associated Father" or "Associated Mother".
0 @I1@ INDI 1 ASSO @I2@ 2 RELA Father 2 SOUR @S1@ 1 ASSO @I3@ 2 RELA Mother 2 SOUR @S1@
Gigatrees also supports leaving the
RELA field blank, or leaving it off altogether, which in either case will assume a parental association. Any other text in the
RELA field will indicate a non-parental association.
You must rely on vendor support to use any of the above methods to define parental associations, and only the
ASSO.RELA option allows for adding sources. Unfortunately, most vendors do not allow editing these fields. Gigatrees therefore provides a method that will work for everyone, no matter which application they use. Gigatrees defines new parental association source reference and source reference reliability GEDCOM tags. The new tags,
_MREL_CERT (for the mother), and
_FREL_CERT (for the father) can be added to any existing individual record using the application interfaces' Append Records option. It does not require editing of the GEDCOM file, and your settings will be saved in your configuration file, so they will not need to be re-added later. You will need to add new fields when you find new sources however. If you have defined your source categories, then the
_FREL_CERT tags are only necessary if you need to override your reliability assessments.