Forums: Index > Watercooler > Events

(Phlox: This may be of more general interest so I post this on the forum:)


Not sure what you're up to now, but I trust it will be something good.

A logical extension is to generate a list of people who were killed here. I noted that we have a number of people who met their end at Battles of Azincourt and the Somme. Would we create a property for this? Property:Died at battle of? rtol 09:43, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

I ran across a lot of information in military records for relatives- like photos for people I didn't know existed- taken with their units and posted by someone who kindly took the trouble to mention the name of my relative. We should be able to facilitate that here. So I was looking to see how much information is available, and what sort of support we need for events.
As an experiment, I departed the more famous- Monitor vs. Merrimack naval battle (subject of the George Spencer Geer (1836) experimental article) to a more obscure event focusing on just a subset of the people involved. I wanted to see how much information is out there, and was startled at the volume. I looked at what I could get for a battle that is probably obscure to anyone not interested in the American civil war. A US volunteer regiment in the civil war had anywhere from 500 to 800 individuals and interestingly, many were correlated with places, (EG: members of the 17th Ohio were mostly from Lancaster County, Ohio). Much of that material is publicly accessible now so we can stick information on individuals up on the site as well as photos and renderings of events without any interference. There are group photos of individuals in their units etc. This is all very rich material for genealogy researchers, especially if it is done in a comprehensive and uniform manner in a single knowlegebase.
Anyway, this begins to flesh out some of the microhistory idea- there is huge (and I mean enormous) amounts of information on collective events that is not notable enough to go in wikipedia. I was thinking about the lore that is passed down from generation to generation, and in particular stories stick out. They are usually about some collective event and the small part they played in it. Ok, so that's an important part of genealogy, and possibly just as important to "fleshing out" the person behind the statistics about YOB YOD etc.
Regarding property name, Unless you intend to do something comprehensive with it, I would recommend something more more general like: Property:Died at event. You could still query for died at event:Battle of Agincourt. It would allow you to do a query like ?Died at event:Collapse of the World Trade Center. The experimental Form:Person-ex now has "participated in event" in the general information, and died at event I suppose would be a subproperty of it. By doing doing a subquery on the event type, you could determine that it was a military event.
For events with tens of thousands of participants, I'd think that your data would eventually get swamped. That's why the event I wrote an article on was Battle of Chickamauga, 17th Ohio actions. I was stunned at the volume of historical recollections just from the POV of a single unit. Chickamauga had 35K casualties. The battle of the Somme had 1.5 million. So I would recommend subdividing the really big ones like Battle of the Bulge, D-Day etc. into units that were involved: eg: Second Battle of Ypres, Royal Scots actions.
As for automation, military events are easy to collect information on. By correlating enlistment dates with unit, you can calculate that individuals were at a particular event.
There are some genealogy programs that model events separately. (EG: with start and end dates, description, type=military, etc). We will need to do this eventually. I am not convinced we need to do anything about it in the first release other than record the events that a person participated in.
Of course, military historians would be interested in a knowlegebase that recorded this information in a methodical manner too.
But military events are only one kind. Things like Marching in a Suffragette parade in New York the 1920s, or the Klondike gold rush would be great stuff too.
It's the stuff of family legends. ~ Phlox 17:31, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. I'm more into epic battles, but if someone wants to write about apple pie contests I won't stop them. rtol 18:06, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
That reminds me. Maybe we need to think about properties for family recipes. Just kidding. Actually Recipes wiki is using SMW too. ~ Phlox
I am all for this sort of thing. The more detail we can give our ancestors the more real they become. Having them listed alongside others in battle or movements,etc adds to the flavor and the what if factor. What if my whatever grandfather knew so and so who was also at the battle. Think I rambled. Oh well - William Allen Shade 00:22, 1 September 2009 (UTC)