Is there any way to mark someone as definitely alive on a certain date when it's unclear if they're currently dead of alive?
This situation comes up sometimes when I'm entering information from obituaries. Usually for the survivors it will say their name and where they're from. In those cases I'll mark them with a Residence tag on that date. However, sometimes it will just say that a person survives and doesn't say where they are. For people that are really old, I can just mark an AFT date on their death, but for more recent obituaries, these people may still be alive.
Is there any GEDCOM tag that affirmatively marks someone as alive? Other suggestions on how to mark that?
Add a Residence fact if there is enough information for it
Use an After ###### date on their Death fact
You could use either for a person that is still living; depending on the privacy rules for your tree, you and any other editors would be the only ones to see living persons anyway. For example you could put Death After July 1 2020, it would be valid GEDCOM.
Under 'Manage Family Trees' find 'Age at which to assume an individual is dead' (normally marked "100")
"If this individual has any events other than death, burial, or cremation more recent than this number of years, they are considered to be “alive”. Children’s birth dates are considered to be such events for this purpose."
Otherwise, any individual not marked dead and aged less than 100, is considered alive. Any record showing an individual's death, whether simply 'yes' or dated, indicates that person as dead. If you wish to reflect another person's obit to indicate that an individual did NOT die prior to a particular date, then show a residence as "aft 1999" or similar and note "Per obit of (name,) (relationship.)
"Failure is an amazing teacher." (L'échec est un professeur extraordinaire.)
I don’t know of any tags in GEDCOM that can be used to explicitly say, “not dead yet!” on a given day, because a source indicated their presence.
However, I see two approaches that could be taken depending on how you want to refer to this information.
If the presence of this person at an event or mentioned in a document that clearly indicates their presence “above ground”, is just a mental note for simple recall later, then use an Individual level NOTE entry. If the source document lists several “in attendance” individuals you would create a single shared noted with a pointer to the source document.
Notes sometimes get hidden from immediate view, so if you you want a higher level of exposure, you could create a custom fact that could be:
2 TYPE In Attendance
2 PLAC ...
2 DATE ...
With sourcing information attached.
Personally I would use notes rather than custom facts because this information is more for me to keep track when not to look for a death rather than telling my viewers when I saw the person alive.