A Unique Analysis Tool: Clooz’s Composite View

The Composite View is an alternate display format to the standard table-like grid. It presents documents and people in a tree-like structure allowing the researcher to examine possible relationships between the people in a document. But this doesn’t stop with just one document, but includes all of the documents for a given person. Then, the Composite View goes on to show all the people in in each of those documents, and so forth, up to 5 layers deep. This results in the display of a network of people connected through documents. It’s an excellent way to begin to identify friends, acquaintances, and neighbors, a good starting point for identifying further family relationships.

A real world example of this powerful tool

We developed the Composite View to provide our users the ability to visually display the complex interfaces for each ancestor as proven by appearances in collected documents and images.


Here are steps that demonstrate the unique analysis and research capability provided by the Composite View. The familiar “tree” structure enhances our understanding of the complex relationships that can exist between individuals.


Christian Ann Bisset, an unmarried spinster, is the person of interest for this exercise. From the Clooz main people grid display, click on the “Show Composite” button.


Click the “+” sign that reveals that Christian Ann appears in other documents in the Clooz file.


Selecting Christian Ann’s Will opens the third tree level, showing the 33 individuals noted in this complex probate document. At this point in our research, Lumsden ancestors have not been associated with the Bisset line. The predominance of bequests to members of this Lumsden family clearly indicates a close personal relationship. We need to research the Lumsden individuals that are beneficiaries in the Will.


The description column for each name shows their role as reflected in the Will. Five Lumsden children of one family are beneficiaries, so other records need to be researched to determine a relationship. Census research finds these Lumsden children living with their mother Jane A. Lumsden in 1881. Of significance is the name of Christian Ann (mis-recorded as “Chis” Bisset) as a family visitor! Due to the census enumerator’s mis-recording of her given name, this record was previously not included in Christian Ann’s records. This 1881 association provides another link between the two families and enables us to move backward to research where the Lumsden and Bisset lines converge. An entire new sideline is now being developed.


This brief real world scenario clealy demonstrates the tremendous research and analysis capability provided by the unique Composite View. And remember, there are two additional levels available to drill down even further, as additional research dictates.