Family reconstitution is the process of reconstructing historical data on family membership, the relationships among family members, and family change over time from often incomplete registers of vital events and similar sources. The techniques of family reconstitution are an important part of the tool kit of historical demographers (Encyclopedia of ... (Show more)
Family reconstitution is the process of reconstructing historical data on family membership, the relationships among family members, and family change over time from often incomplete registers of vital events and similar sources. The techniques of family reconstitution are an important part of the tool kit of historical demographers (Encyclopedia of Population, The Gale Group, 2003).
This study aims to show the usefulness of HPDT for family restitution. Out of the localities included in the database, Ocna Mure? was selected, due to its more numerous and diverse population.
Ocna Mure? was a small industrial town in Transylvania. Among its enterprises were a salt mine and a soda factory. It was also a popular spa during that period, as it was well-linked from an infrastructural viewpoint (a railway line was constructed in 1872). Ocna Mure? was a multi-denominational and multi-ethnical community: the majority of its inhabitants were Greek-Catholics, followed closely by Calvinists and Roman-Catholics.
This paper?s aim is a better understanding of the dynamics of family relationships within the extended family (including grandparents, brothers, uncles, aunts, cousins), of the alliances between families; a clue, in this regard, was the recurrence of some of the given names along generations. This paper aims to investigate a part of the social networks in the community.
As a methodology, this reconstitution process starts from birth records: couples are reconstituted from their father's name along with their mother's. The information thus obtained is continuously corroborated with data from the marriage and death records. Each reconstituted couple receives a unique ID. Then, the possible links between them are investigated. The Godparents are also considered, as an additional element of identifying families, and sometimes as part of them (when they were family members). This research involves some difficulties, the biggest being that family reconstitution process must be done manually. In many countries from Europe and around the world, family reconstitution is done automatically by computer; in order to do this in the case of HPDT, the information needs to be standardized, to allow the record linkage. For various reasons, record linkage is not possible in the near future, so the information analysis has to be done manually; In this context, information from HPDT also raises the following issues: data is often incomplete - often the mother's name is either completely missing at the birth registration, or only her first name is mentioned; the same name can be written in many ways, which excludes automatic selection; people with identical names are very numerous, therefore it is difficult to know to which family each one belongs. (Show less)