Grouping Surnames

From Gramps
Revision as of 19:45, 21 December 2019 by Bamaustin (talk | contribs) (Undo revision 74468 by Bamaustin (talk))
Jump to: navigation, search

Variants of a surname complicate reports that summarize family lines. But there are features to include variants (and statistical outliers) in with the larger grouping.

How do I group similar surnames?

I do not know how many users take advantage of Gramps' Group As surname override found in General tab of the Name Editor. It is probably a small minority.

But I have been configuring certain names to take advantage of the capability.

Accessing the Name Editor

Names are an Attribute of a Person. The advanced features are accessed from the Names tab while editing a Person.

  • Select a Person & press CTRL+ Enter (or double-click) to open the Edit Person dialog.
  • Select the Names tab, select a Name & press CTRL+ Enter (or double-click) to open the Name Editor dialog.

Leveraging the Group As feature

Fig. .1 Name Editor - Dialog - example

For those not familiar with the function, surname variants (like the germanic “Zimmerman” and its "Carpenter" anglicisation variant) can be grouped in the Grouped People view under a single grouping.

I chose to bring the names together under “Carpenter”. With the Display name starting with the given name, this brings together every record regardless of the spelling of the name “Carpenter”, The names of “John Carpenter” are seen together with the names “John Zimmerman”.

In the reports that I use most when sharing with relatives (the Narrated and Dynamic Web), navigation by Surname or Individuals utilizes this grouping and all the Carpenter and Zimmerman individuals are grouped together. But the Surname heading was just the one name used in the grouping, “Carpenter”.

Then I had a revelation. There is no need to use just one or the other name to group together. So instead of just setting the override for the “Zimmerman” records to “Carpenter”, I have now started to set both overrides, Carpenter and Zimmerman to “Carpenter (Zimmerman)”. McDonald and MacDonald are now grouped as “McDonald (MacDonald)”, etc.

And these settings carry over into the two web reports.

Group As applied beyond Name variants

The use of a Group As key is not limited to variants of a surname.

Suppose we want to quickly select a very tiny group of persons inhabiting some place.

We'll use the mythical 'Shangri-La' because it was a small isolated community. We'll pretend they became clannish and may have been endogamic -- extensively intermarried & possibly inbred. The people of Shangri-La's 'Ham' clan bear the unique (not seen elsewhere) names of Hamsonsmith, Smithhamm, Letham, Letthompson, Hamjones and Letjones. We logged all the people's of Shangri-La before realizing there were other clans... but they never married into Ham clan.

You can give all those names in this one clan the Group As key "Ham clan" and they will display together in the list.

Note: The original example (Name editor and search filter: clarification needed on the Gramps-users maillist) was a bit contorted where all the inhabitants of a Place were Grouped because they were inter-related. But, in such a case, we can select them without the extra step setting up a Group As key. We could simply filter on the Place.

Finding all the Group As Persons

Eventually, I needed to find all the Group As modifications that I had already made before my Aha! moment.

I did an un-compressed XML backup to explore for what Gramps was doing with the information. All globally changed Group As entries are stored at the end of the file in a nice compact list. This makes it easy to find the records that I had already done.

Read the Gramps-users original MailList discussion threads

The Group As name override From: Dave Scheipers - 2019-03-20 20:33:51
unify similar surmanes (sic, recte 'surnames')
threads with "Group As name"

See also