The Structure of Genealogy Data

in Reunion and in Derived Text Files


Genealogy data is available to family members (who have provided information regarding themselves). The easiest, and best, way for me to provide it is via the Reunion program files. This, of course, requires that the requester have a copy of the Reunion program. It is readily available at software stores or via mail order. The data in Reunion is somewhat standard (for genealogy data) and it can also be "exported" for use with other genealogy programs. For those without a genealogy program, a text version of the genealogy data is available. Even better, a CD-ROM version is also available. Contact me if you are interested.


The Structure of Data in the Reunion Software Program

A graphic of an example screen for the Reunion genealogy program (for the Macintosh) is shown below:

Screen Layout and Navigation:

The basic layout is to show a screen for each "couple." If an individual is single, then essentially one half of the screen is blank. The individual will be on either the left (male) or right (female) of the screen. The parents of the individual and spouse are shown above each (with birth and death dates), and their children are shown below. For all "people buttons," sharp rectangles indicate males and the "rounded rectangles" indicate females. With the actual software, clicking on the button of an individual (parent or child) will take you to a new screen where that individual is shown in the center (with their spouse if applicable) and with their parents and children above and below respectively. In this manner, navigation from generation to generation is easy and intuitive.

The "sibling icon," above the individual also allows navigation. Clicking this icon brings a pop-up menu showing the brothers and sisters of the individual. Selecting a sibling will transfer to a screen for that sibling (and spouse).

The heart icon, above the individual, is used to select other spouses of the individual. Selecting a spouse brings a screen with the individual and selected spouse as a couple. In the above example, the heart above Emma is in color since she had a previous marriage (was a widow when she married Albert). Albert's heart is faded since he had no other marriage.

"Relationships" are relative to a specified individual. In the example above, the couple is identified as grandparents (next to the sibling and heart icons). Obviously, for this example, the reference individual is one of the couples grandchildren. The reference individual can be readily changed and the relationships are automatically updated in each screen.



Marriages are obviously indicated by the fact that two individuals are on the same screen, and via the heart icon described above. In addition, the date and place of the marriage is in the box in line with the sibling and heart icons. If the couple's status is something other than "Married," for example Unmarried, Common-law, Separated, Divorced, or the marriage has been Annulled, that status (and the applicable date) can be displayed just below the couple's biographical information (such status not shown in the above example).



The color, as well as the shape, of the buttons for children can be used to provide information. As stated above, sharp rectangles indicate males and the "rounded rectangles" indicate females. The color of the buttons can be used to indicate information such as Twin, Adopted, Step-child or Stillborn. In the above example, Martha and Daniel are children of Emma's previous marriage and hence are step children to Albert.



The program provides for pages of text in three categories of notes. These are used for information such as God-parents, details regarding education and occupations and general "stories" about the individual. They are also useful for recording certain source information for genealogists (for example, location of records).



Clicking on the camera icon (at the top of the Reunion screen) will bring up a window for selecting and documents that have been linked to the screen (for the couple). New photographs and/or documents can also be linked, or un-linked, via this icon.



The Reunion program is capable of automatically creating numerous reports. These reports include Calendars (showing birthdays, anniversaries, etc.); Relationships to a selected individual ( a list, by name, of all parents, grand parents, great grand parents, etc., cousins, first cousins, second cousins, etc.); Pedigree charts; and Descendant charts. The program also has the capability to sort and search the data in numerous ways.

The Structure of Data in Text Files Derived from the Reunion Database

A portion of the corresponding entry, for Albert/Bela Grantner, in the text files, is shown below:


The basic information for the text files can be automatically generated by the Reunion program as "person sheets." These sheets display the information that is stored for each individual, including notes, but does not include fields which are blank. In the above example, the fields for Baptism Date and Place, which are blank in the Reunion database, are not included in the text (person sheet) version.

The data can be organized into two "volumes," one for males and one for females. Within each volume, the listings are alphabetical (last name, first name). In the event of identical names, the one with the earliest birth date is listed first.

The text version is normally prepared as a Microsoft Word document.

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