As originally stated by Adrian the GEDCOM Specification says the "Entry Date"
"The date that this event data was entered into the original source document."
So the Ancestral Sources default of the date of the source document is correct.
As has been stated it is possible to add Last Change Notes to any Individual or Family
record to supplement the Update date.
Multiple Notes can be added to create an audit trail.
GEDCOM supports this for all records, but FH only seems to support it for Individual and
It is also perfectly possible to add Notes and Source Notes to almost any data item ~
Individual, Family, Fact, Citation, Source,
These can record whatever history you wish, and since multiple Notes are supported there
could be an extensive audit trail of every
change if required.
However, I sympathise with the problem, because although many GEDCOM data items are well
defined, there are plenty that are open to
This detracts from its ability to act as a formal Genealogy Data Communication standard.
Regards, Mike Tate
[mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Shaun Moorcroft
Sent: 25 April 2013 10:47
Subject: Re: [FHU] Date
I use the 'Entry Date' for exactly the reason you state, building up a history of
citations.Oh great! I've just spent countless days
(years?) allowing Ancestral Sources to fill that particular field with the date of the
source, eg 3 Apr 1881, and so on.
Another example of how the wonderful world of Personal Family History is a nightmare for
newbies and the uneducated (like me) (or is
it only me?)
So. have I done it wrong or not?? Let the conflicting answers flood
Follow the signs, Number Six. We're all pawns m'dear...
It's ALL LIES. WAKE UP People!
"First comes smiles, then comes lies. Last is gunfire."
"All things serve the Beam."
To: abruce(a)madasafish.com; family-historian-users(a)rootsweb.com
Date: Wed, 24 Apr 2013 21:21:30 +0100
Subject: Re: [FHU] Date
I am one of those whom you have sympathy for, thanks.
I sometimes have a number of people updating me with the same 'source'
data over the years. I use the 'Entry Date' for exactly the reason you
state, building up a history of citations. This way I can have an
audit trail of the information I have been given.
Also this date can give me a clue as to the accuracy of the data, if
it was when I was first starting my research then I would be
suspicious of the care I took at the time, age brings wisdom!
And Mike and Lorna, I would disagree in saying that keeping a date of
when data is entered has no bearing on family history or is
irrelevant. I am not just entering data into a computer, I am entering
data into a (electronic) document, just like a census return in 1851.
It is vital to future viewers of my data that they see an audit trail
of what I did and when, they will then see how the data was built up over the years of my
Also, as data is/was digitized and became more available to the public
they will see the corrections I have made to my original records as my
I use the 'Last Change Notes' field a lot when I correct existing
data, again this gives me an audit trail especially as my memory fades
as I get older. It is vital to ME anyway to know "What did I know when
I made that identification?"