Capture false/uncertain info?

May I add a possible request for the roadmap? This has been on my wish list for a long time, and I’ve never had a program do it well, so I don’t expect it to happen tomorrow, but it would be ah-mazing if it were possible:

I would love to have a “confidence” toggle attached to people, events, and sources, so that I could capture and easily find again information that is still hypothetical or that I have disproven and don’t need to reinvestigate without paging through research logs.

Examples of the cases in which I want this: 1) I have found 3 gravestones with the name of ancestor X from about the right time period, don’t yet know which one is his, but want to keep all 3 possibilities attached to him for further investigation WITHOUT incorporating their info into my chart. Similarly, when done, I would like to mark the other two as NOT my ancestor, so that I remember when they show up somewhere that I’ve already done this work 2) I have a census which shows an unexpected additional daughter. I think it’s likely that she’s an error, but I don’t want to lose that information in case corroborating evidence turns up elsewhere. At the same time, I don’t want someone else looking at my tree to cheerfully add her to their list, not knowing my reservations, and start propagating a mistake . I would love for her to somehow appear in the list with a question mark 3) In many online trees, my ggggf’s burial date is given as his death date. I’ve seen his death certificate and burial certificate, so I know it’s wrong and why, but I may not remember if I come across the erroneous date again later. I don’t want to waste time double-checking again, so I’d love to have an entry on his profile that says death NOT on Jan. 25 with an explanatory note

In my perfect world, this function would have the following qualities:

  1. ability to assign sources, people, and facts a number from 4 or 5 (solid gold–a primary source with multiple congruent points) to 1 (proven to be false or unrelated), much the way the hints are ranked for degree of confidence now, but manually entered by user

  2. ability to visually capture those rankings on the profile page, so that, for example, 1 was preceded by NOT or an X and 2 by a question mark. Or 1-2 are displayed in a separate section, or something like that.

  3. ability to exclude items ranked 1 (false) and 2 (possible but unsupported) from appearing in chart but still see them on profile page. Might be a user setting or a universal one.

  4. ability to attach a comment/note explaining the ranking, especially in the case of false material

big asks, but this is a major component of my personal fantasy genealogy program, so I thought I’d throw it out there.

We don’t have exactly what you’re looking for, but here’s what we can offer now.

  1. I agree that having a way to give confidence levels would be pretty cool. In the meantime, how about this approach: Create a “Research log” for the person (under the timeline at the bottom of the page). When you find evidences that you aren’t sure belong to the person yet, attach them to the research log but don’t attach them to the person (leave the person field blank in the “Persons” tab on the evidence). In the research log, you can even create multiple columns to represent your confidence in the evidence or your next step in figuring out how to verify it. If you find that an evidence definitely does not belong to your ancestor, keep it on the research log, and create a “Not applicable” column and move it to that.
  1. When you add a census evidence to one of your ancestors, you don’t have to attach everyone in the census to someone in your tree. Instead, you can leave the person field blank. The census evidence will still record that a daughter was listed, but it won’t be attached to anyone in your tree. Alternatively, you could fill in the person’s name on the census evidence so a new person is created for the child, but add a ? after the name as a convention that you aren’t sure this person is real.

  2. This is a terrific idea. For now, you could create a custom fact of “NOT Death” and put your note in the evidence. It’s not ideal, but probably better than not recording the incorrect date anywhere.

I’ve added assigning confidences to evidences, people, and facts to the roadmap: https://trello.com/c/3huVLrf8/444-assign-confidences-to-evidences-people-and-facts

Thank you for that thoughtful answer!
I spent some time playing around with research logs today (I usually do most of that with pen and paper!) and I can see how the columns will be useful for all sorts of things. I like very much being able to attach evidences to the log.

A clarification question: how does RF handle the information if I leave the person field blank? Does it create a new, unattached person? If not, where does that information reside and how do I re-access that info later?

Thanks again!

If you leave the person field blank, a new person isn’t created. The evidence is still attached to the other people, and if you attach the evidence to a research log, you can see it there. In addition, you can see all evidences by clicking on “Content Lists” in the left-hand menu, followed by “Evidences”.