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Looking for tips on how to handle disputed parentage

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Using TMGv9:

Brief summary of situation:
Have a number of 8th & 9th great VAN TASSELL grandparents that two major genealogists differ in assigning parents. Some primary sources have solved some issues, (and I note that with custom tags and citations) but in some cases - the possibility is real that either school of thought may be correct. When I started my project I chose to follow one trail/theory. Now that I have decided to compile a more complete picture, I would like to include the apposing arguments. 

I was thinking along the lines of removing PRIMARY parents from individuals involved and adding both sets as possible parents, neither marked primary (if possible?), and using a custom tag or notes set to print to give explanations. 


Genealogist A: says Johannis that married Tryntje  was son of Cornelis.  
Geneologist B: says Johannis that married Tryntje was son of Jacob (Cornelis' brother)
Both agree on the children of Johannis. so the break is at the parents.
Both parents HAD sons named Johannis. There are supporting theories for EITHER choice.
I would like to present both arguments, but not sure how this can/should/ be done in a way that makes sense. 

Am curious how others have handled this type of situation.

I would be happy to give a more detailed example of a situation if that will help paint a clearer picture of what I'm trying to accomplish.

- kathy VT

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Using multiple relationships tags is a start for this. The biggest issue is that not many things will output non-primary relationship tags, so I would definitely add a tag in the "Other" group listing everyone and explaining the situation so you get the information outputted.

I personally would likely leave one set as primary, for the parents I thought most likely (especially given they are brothers) as the primary parentage will allow reports to trace through this linkage.

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Hi Kathy,

Since Wholly Genes stopped development of TMG this Forum has had only a few of us users watching it.  I will give some comments below, but suggest strongly that you (also) post on the TMG e-mail list (tmg@rootsweb.com ) where most of the remaining TMG users communicate who are sure to have additional ideas.

First, TMG only recognizes Primary parents for tracing ancestors/descendants.  While TMG allows you to enter non-Primary parents, they are not considered by TMG to be the biological parents so are not followed by any automatic ancestor/descendant report.  Further, while Relationship tags, whether Primary or not, can have citations they cannot produce sentences in any TMG or Second Site output.  They can only have memos to explain the relationship, which some reports will output as footnotes.  Second Site has some additional features for displaying non-Primary parents, which I like and use, and thus do choose to add "candidate" non-Primary parents with explanatory memos.  Because my normal output is Second Site I generally only link candidate parents as non-Primary and rely on its features to adequately identify them.  If you wish to do even more my on-line book has a separate chapter on advanced ways to use some special features to customize both TMG's and especially Second Site's output of non-Primary parent/child relationships.  But that can get a bit complicated.

However in your case, like Richard I would suggest making the parents which "you" think most likely as Primary parents.  That would allow genetic linkage to occur since the mother is the same for either school of thought and the parents of the two potential fathers are the same.

Regardless of whether some parents are Primary I prefer to (also) have sentences in the narrative which explain potential relationships, so choose to add custom tags about such relationships.  With appropriate linkage of Principals and Witnesses and the ability for each person linked to the tag to output their own custom sentence for their narrative, these tags go a long way to providing lots of information about the issues and potential nature of these relationships.

Hope this gives you ideas,

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Thanks Richard & Michael:

After playing around a bit, I'm now thinking about keeping my original parental assignments, but using a customized Birth tag to include the memo in printouts - where I will note the discrepancy and other important details, as well as additional custom tags for even more details.

I will be sure to check out the rootsweb group and take a look at your chapter Michael.


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Consider marrying both Johannis' to Tryntje then linking the two Jonannis' together.  Add comments for each about the problem.

You still have only one set of parents for Johannis and Tryntje's kids but at least the problem is documented.

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Thanks Phil - I had considered that, and it would probably work for this first scenario, but in another it may prove too awkward - same brothers Cornelis and Jacob also each had sons named hendrick - one genealogist says hendrick, s/o Cornelis, married Mettie, and Hendrick s/o jacob married Beeltje - the other genealogist says exactly the opposite, 

I feel I may have to go with choosing 'best fit' and then documenting all challenges/discrepancies within existing tags and in special tags as to not complicate it more than it already is ...

I will run some tests to see which method seems "clearer" to a reader, and to me when viewing the db.

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