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Facts - Residence & Address

Facts - Residence & Address

Posted: 1357959728000
Classification: Query
Can anyone shed light on the different uses of these two fact categories? The U. S. Federal Census and U. S. Public Records Index (from ancestry databases) use "Residence" category by default. Each fact has the same fields, of course -- Date, Place, Description.

I think it would be both "fun" and interesting to capture information about houses that my ancestors (and my own family) have lived in, so address information would be helpful. When possible, I can imagine attaching a photograph of the home as well. My own daughter is interested in places we have lived, and I have my own curiosity about places previous generations lived. Would this more appropriately fit a "residence" fact or an "address" fact? Or is there even yet another fact category that I am missing that would be more appropriate?

This is part of a larger question I have about some sort of reference about the kinds of information that might be recommended to capture within the various fact categories. Is anyone aware of such a resource -- a catalog of the categories or other reference about what to capture where?

Thanks for the thoughts...

Re: Facts - Residence & Address

Posted: 1357962202000
Classification: Query
Interesting Question

You may care to have a look at the Source templates in FTM as derived from Elizabeth Shown Mills's work on Evidence

A list of them is on the Vicgum downloads page at

John D

Re: Facts - Residence & Address

Posted: 1357965247000
Classification: Query
Thanks for that link, John. I've saved the pdf for future reference.

The online knowledge base for FTM offers this definition for the address fact under "Commonly Used Facts" in their tutorial on how to add and edit facts:

"Address – Addresses can be useful for recording the contact information of living relatives or for recording the area where an ancestor was known to have lived."


It doesn't get to my question, though -- the difference between an address and a residence fact. One thought I had is that "residence" is fairly general (i.e. Bob Smith lived in Smithville) where address might be specific (i.e. Bob Smith lived at 123 East Street, Smithville).

Re: Facts - Residence & Address

Posted: 1357965699000
Classification: Query
A point of interest:

I am a big proponent of using the GEDCOM standard as a guide (it is not perfect, but better than anything I've seen proposed to date) to understanding what you should and should not do.

The "Address" fact is not supported in GEDCOM the RESIdence fact is supported.

I use the RESI fact for exactly what you are proposing.

The RESI tag was added with v5.4 of GEDCOM and is defined as: "An address or place of residence that a family or individual resided.", "The address structure should be formed as it would appear on a mailing label"

Re: Facts - Residence & Address

Posted: 1357968253000
Classification: Query
Hmmm... I'm confused now. I thought GEDCOM had both address and residence:

The contemporary place, usually required for postal purposes, of an individual, a submitter of information, a repository, a business, a school, or a company.

The act of dwelling at an address for a period of time.

As I read the GEDCOM standards, Address seems to be a "noun" (i.e. a place) and Residence seems to be a "verb" (i.e. the act of dwelling). So again, I wonder if it is the difference between "general" and "specific."


Re: Facts - Residence & Address

Posted: 1357969153000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1357969395000
GEDCOM has Address but not as a fact it is a tag within the EVENT_DETAIL.



Most people that read the GEDCOM get this wrong.

You are only reading the definition of the value not the structure that you find the data in.

Bring up the v5.5.1 standard and look on pages 32-34. I don't remember the page numbers for v5.5 but the information has not changed.

Re: Facts - Residence & Address

Posted: 1357974093000
Classification: Query
Thanks for the clarification -- very helpful.

So following your lead, KJ, can you suggest how you capture the address information within the residence fact? Do you:

a) use the description field?
b) place the street address before the city, county, state, country (which would mean no zip code, I assume)?
c) type the address info into a fact "note?"
d) some other method?

Would you then attach any photographs or other media related to that particular address to that Residence fact?

This is very helpful. Thanks for participating in the conversation! And sorry for my goof on the GEDCOM details.


Re: Facts - Residence & Address

Posted: 1357975862000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1357975975000
First let me say that don't worry about the "goof". FTM and other software products are not helpful in this regard.

Unfortunatelly FTM goofed in that they do not support the GEDCOM address structure properly. In my primary DB tool I put full addresses in the address tags within the RESI "fact" and to support FTM (and mapping to Google or Bing) I also use the PLAC tag to support complete addreses (minus the zipcode for USA). In other countries I do enter the city code.

So my GEDCOM before it goes to FTM for USA residences looks like this:

2 DATE FROM ... TO ...
2 PLAC address, city, county, state, country
2 ADDR address line1
2 CONT address line2
2 CONT address line3
2 OBJE pointer to media
2 SOUR pointer to source

I don't use the FTM description field because the GEDCOM standard does not allow a "description" value for a RESI fact. Again FTM goofed here as well :-(

At this time I do not remember if FTM supports the media here, but I think it does.

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