In its simplest dynamic, we need a Beyond Kin Module that can sit between the standard ancestral records in genealogy software and use the existing source technology to link two sets of individuals, such as slaveholders (SHs) with enslaved persons (EPs) or the members of a family with their neighbors. A record in the Beyond Kin Module would identify a type of link between one set of people and another and allow the genealogist to attach sources that document the relationship. The link record will have a one-to-many relationship with the individuals in each of the two sets of people and with the sources.
The Beyond Kin link, in the case below, accomplishes three things simultaneously. It turns the individuals in Set 1 into a group. It turns the individuals in Set 2 into a group. And it links the two sets by some joint bond, which is documented with one or more sources.
In the case where the Beyond Kin relationship is an SH with his or her EPs, the theoretical diagram might look like this:
Set 1 can be composed of the individual or group for whom the genealogist is creating the thorough life documentation, generally their own ancestor. As descendants of a person in Set 2 eventually find the proof that connects them to this ancestor, the Beyond Kin links will lead them to deeper information. The DEP will, in the SH’s ancestral profile, discover the movements of the family, purchases, inheritances, disasters, and other events that would have affected their own ancestor’s story.
If the DEP initiates the Beyond Kin link, his or her own ancestor might be Set 1, and Set 2 could include every SH who owned their ancestor at some point. Or they might choose to create a new Beyond Kin link for each of these relationships. Each researcher can use the tool in the way best suited for their needs.The Beyond Kin link will only need to be created once to appear in the records of all of the people selected in either Set 1 or Set 2. The source then only needs to be attached once and is accessible for every person, even if it is a slave population of 400—all attached in the one Beyond Kin link.
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