Guide to the Data

The information on these pages is extracted from the "Olson Family History", which is a carefully researched and computerized genealogy that currently includes records on 2,937 of Karen Hancock's ancestors, descendants, and other collateral relatives.  The Olson Family History is maintained with the Ancestors and Descendants (A&D) genealogy software.  Karen is in the process of carefully and methodically transferring the records on about 1,500 of these individuals to this web site.  The transfer process began in the Fall of 2004 and may take many years to complete.

The Olson Family information maintained at this web site consists of six record types:

  1. Individual Records — An Individual record exists for each person in the Olson Family History.  The record documents the key attributes and events associated with that individual.  Each record contains a minimum of 53 data fields, and may include biographical text.  Go to Individual records by clicking on the Individuals by Name link in the Sub-Menu at the left.

  2. Relationship Records — A Relationship record documents the interrelationships between the members of one family group.  It is similar to a marriage record, but is also used for relationships other than a formal, legal marriage — such as common-law and out-of-wedlock situations.  The record identifies all children produced by a set of parents.  It contains a minimum of 26 data fields, and may include historical text about the family.  If a person was married five times, one Relationship record will exist for each of the five marriages.  Go to Relationship records by clicking on either of the two Marriages links in the Sub-Menu at the left.

  3. Household Records — A Household record is similar to a census record.  It is used to identify a piece of real estate and to record the address of the house, farm, business, or other institution located on it — and the names of the residents living or working there.  It contains a minimum of 27 data fields, and may include a descriptive text about the place.  A Household record covers a period of time (from the day the family moved in until the date that the last resident departed) whereas a census record reflects only one point in time.  Household records are also used to keep track of family members' residence in homes, boarding houses, prisons, hospitals, and cemeteries.  Go to Household records by clicking on the Places/Households link in the Sub-Menu at the left, or by clicking on the 1st Household No. hyperlink within any Individual and Relationship record.

  4. Source Records — A Source record exists for every document upon which our family history records are based.  For example, each birth certificate, census record, newspaper obituary, and photograph album has a corresponding Source record that identifies it.  The authenticity of a family history should be questioned unless there is an easy way to identify its sources and establish their accuracy.  A family history is only as valuable as its sources, and when the sources and their origin are doubtful, the history is almost worthless.  Source records are our fundamental building blocks for assuring the accuracy and creditability of the Olson Family History.  To view the sources of our information, simply click on the Source hyperlinks within any of our Individual, Relationship, or Household records.

  5. Photographs — A Photograph record exists for each photograph or engraving included in the Olson Family History.  View photographs by clicking on any of the thumbnail images that appear in many of the Individual, Relationship, Household, or Source records.  The Photograph will then appear with its full caption.  You may click on the image a second time to view the photograph in a larger window.  If you are using a Firebox or Netscape browser and the original photograph was large, click on the image a third time to view it as it was originally scanned.

  6. Family Trees — The Tree Records are new and only exist for a few of the individuals at this web site.  They provide a quick and convenient means of viewing a three-generation ancestry chart.  They are accessed from the bottom of those Individual Records that have the following button:  View Tree.  More Tree Records will be added in the coming months.

Each of the above records is viewable as a separate web page.  In addition, each record is identified with a unique number.  These record numbers are identical to the record numbers in the Ancestors and Descendants (A&D) genealogy software with which the Olson Family History is maintained.

Each Individual, Relationship, Household, and Source record includes a Next Page Next Page button and hyperlink at the bottom right corner of its web page.  Click on that button to go to the next (numerically higher) Individual, Relationship, Household, or Source record.

The complete Olson Family History is supported by 1,315 fully indexed source records collected over the last four decades.  These source records include historical books, photographs, census records, birth records, Olson Source records marriage licenses and certificates, pension records, land deeds and maps, divorce records, interview summaries, town directories, voter lists, church membership lists, personal letters, newspaper articles, death records and obituaries, funeral and cemetery records, etc.  The original or reproduced copy of each of these source documents is physically stored at the Hancock residence within a 9" x 12" envelope that is identified by its unique Source Record Number.  These Source envelopes are then stored in banker boxes as shown in the photo at the right.  Hyperlinked citations to these source records provide a convenient and effective means of identifing and substantiating the primary and secondary sources for all the family data on these web pages.

The codes "Aft", "Bef", "Exa", "Fam", "Cal", or "Cir" (for After, Before, Exact, Family-reported, Calculated, and Circa, respectively) are used in each date field to indicate the reliability and accuracy of the information presented.

As stated in our Privacy Policy, only information on deceased persons is posted on this web site.  Although we have extensive information on living relatives, we are intentionally not putting it on the Internet.  This is to avoid providing information that could potentially be used by criminals for illegal purposes.  Family members who want access to this information may contact Karen Hancock via e-mail, telephone, or letter.

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Copyright © 2004 - 2012 by Karen L. Hancock.  All Rights Reserved.