Overview

The Virtual Witness feature adds witnesses to events while building person page entries without changing events in the TMG database. This makes it possible to treat a person as a witness without adding or maintaining witness entries in the TMG project. So, for example, you can make parents virtual witnesses to the birth events of their children, and use the witness sentence to control how the child's birth event appears in the person page entry of the parent.

Virtual witnesses are probably not appropriate for most sites. When using the Narrative or Narration Formats, the additional witnessed events will tend to clutter the narrative and make it hard to construct narratives that flow, partly because the chronological sequence is determined by the sort date of the witnessed event, a sort date that it is impractical to change for the purposes of the narrative of a witness. Witnessed events seem more appropriate for sites that use the one of the tabular Formats or isolate witnessed events in a separate panel via a Tag Group. Even if you do not want to publish a site that uses witnessed events, you may want to use them when using Second Site to review your TMG project.

Example Output

The example person page entry below shows a set of virtual events (Birth of Son, Birth of Daughter, etc.) mixed with Birth, Marriage, and Death events and rendered in a Table Panel via the Tag Groups feature. The result is an abbreviated "timeline" for the subject, Mary Millet.

Virtual Events

Virtual witnesses are controlled via roles that you specify based on virtual events and the relationship and genders of the people involved.

TMG Event Group Principal Virtual Witness Virtual Event
Birth Child Parent Birth of Child
Marriage Bride or Groom Parent Marriage of Child
Death Deceased Child Parent Death of Child
Death Deceased Parent Child Death of Parent
Death Deceased Spouse Widowed Spouse Death of Spouse

Roles

Second Site accepts a set of role names for each of the virtual event types. The roles vary by gender so you can use gender-specific words like "son", "mother", "his" or "hers" in the sentence structures. You define the roles the usual way in TMG.

The following table lists the relationships for which you may specify role names. When the word child is used, the principal is a child of unknown gender.

Virtual Event Witness Type Example Role Name
Birth of Child Father of SonBirth of Son
Father of DaughterBirth of Daughter
Father of ChildBirth of Child
Mother of SonBirth of Son
Mother of DaughterBirth of Daughter
Mother of ChildBirth of Child
Marriage of Child Father of SonMarriage of Son
Father of DaughterMarriage of Daughter
Mother of SonMarriage of Son
Mother of DaughterMarriage of Daughter
Death of Child Father of SonDeath of Son
Father of DaughterDeath of Daughter
Father of ChildDeath of Child
Mother of SonDeath of Son
Mother of DaughterDeath of Daughter
Mother of ChildDeath of Child
Death of Parent Son of FatherDeath of Father
Son of MotherDeath of Mother
Daughter of FatherDeath of Father
Daughter of MotherDeath of Mother
Child of FatherDeath of Father
Child of MotherDeath of Mother
Death of Spouse Husband of WifeDeath of Spouse
Wife of HusbandDeath of Spouse

As shown in the example role names above, you do not have to implement a unique role for each type of virtual witness; it depends on how you define the sentence structure and whether or not you want unique roles for all witnesses.

Example Sentence Structures

In the example roles above, the Birth of Child virtual event has the same role specified for the mother and father, "Birth of Son". Sentence structures for the "Birth of Son" role are defined via the Master Tag Type List in TMG the same as for any witness sentence structure. The two TMG sentence structures for that role could be:

Gender Sentence Structure
Male: His son [P1] was born <[D]> <[L]> <[M0]>
Female: Her son [P1] was born <[D]> <[L]> <[M0]>

Example Output

This is example output from a mother's person page for the birth of one of her sons. The Format was set to Three Columns Format with Detail Format set to "Use Sentence".

Birth of Son 23 March 1901  Her son Louis Robert Cardinal was born on 23 March 1901.

Goals

The goals of the Virtual Witness facility vary by event group.

For Birth of Child events, the primary goal is to allow the births of children to appear in chronological sequence with other events in the lives of their parents. It is also possible to reference the parents in the sentence of the child, but it's better to use TMG's PAR variable for that purpose.

For Marriage of Child events, the primary goal is to allow the marriages of children to appear in chronological sequence with other events in the lives of their parents. It is also possible to reference the parents in the sentence of the child, but it's better to use TMG's PAR variable for that purpose.

For Death of Child events, the goal is to allow the deaths of children who predeceased their parents to appear in chronological sequence with other events in the lives of their parents.

For Death of Parent events, the goal is to allow the deaths of parents who predeceased their children to appear in chronological sequence with other events in the lives of their children.

For Death of Spouse events, the goal is to allow the deaths of spouses to appear in chronological sequence with other events in the lives of their partners.

Virtual Witness Usage Notes

The Virtual Witness feature is disabled by default, and there are no role names specified. If you enable one or more virtual events, and specify one or more role names, Second Site will add people as virtual witnesses for the witness types to which you assigned roles.

You enable the Virtual Witness feature by placing a check in the Enabled checkbox for a virtual event such as Virtual Witnesses.Birth of Child.Enabled. You enable specific witness types by entering role names in the associated textbox properties.

If you enter a role name for a particular virtual event and witness type, but there is no sentence defined for that role in the TMG project, the event will not appear in the person page entry of the Virtual Witness, but the name of the Virtual Witness may appear in the person page entry of another person who is attached to the event.

If you specify a role name for a witness type, but you want to prevent specific people from appearing as Virtual Witnesses, add those people to the associated events as real witnesses and double-exclude their witness sentences ("--").

Date Processing and Other Filters

Before adding a person as a Virtual Witness, Second Site attempts to determine if it is appropriate to do so based on the filters described in the list below.

  1. For all event types, a Virtual Witness will not be added if the person is already a witness to the event.
  2. For all event types, a Virtual Witness will be added to primary events only.
  3. For Birth of Child virtual events, when processing the person page entry of the child, a parent will be added as a virtual witness if the parent passes the "Show Name when Parent" Detail Filter.
  4. For Marriage of Child virtual events, a parent will be added as a virtual witness

    if the parent passes the "Show Name when Parent" Detail Filter
    and the marriage event has a date
    and the parent has a death date
    and the marriage date is before the parent's death date.

    More simply: Second Site must be able to determine that the parent was alive at the time of the marriage.

  5. For all Death Group events, the event must have a date, and the date must include a year.
  6. For Death of Parent virtual events, a child of the principal will be added as a virtual witness

    if the child passes the "Show Name when Child" Detail Filter
    and the child has a dated primary death event
    and the child's death date is after the principal's death date.

    More simply: Second Site must be able to determine that the child was alive when the parent died.

  7. For Death of Child virtual events, a parent of the principal will be added as a virtual witness

    if the parent passes the "Show Name when Parent" Detail Filter
    and the parent has a dated primary death event
    and the parent's death date is after the principal's death date.

    More simply: Second Site must be able to determine that the parent was alive when the child died.

  8. For Death of Spouse virtual events, a spouse of the principal will be added as a virtual witness

    if the spouse passes the "Show when Principal to Marriage Event" Detail Filter
    and the spouse has a dated primary death event
    and the spouse's death date is after the principal's death date
    and there is no Divorce Group event for the couple
    and the spouse has no undated Marriage Group event with another partner
    and the spouse has no dated Marriage Group event with another partner that falls between the last Marriage Group event for the couple and the death date of the principal.

    More simply: Second Site must be able to determine that the spouse was alive when the principal died, and the two were still married.

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