- The SILKin user draws family tree charts onscreen to record genealogical data of persons interviewed.
- There may be multiple charts (of unlimited size) for a culture/language, with links between charts. You may choose, for example, to draw each family on a separate chart. If someone from the Smith family marries a member of the Jones family, the marriage can be drawn with Mr. Jones and a link to Miss Smith.
- If the culture being studied has kin terms that reflect adoptive relationships, you can create User Defined Properties (UDPs) for one or more types of adoption. Then those adoptive relationships can be drawn on your genealogical charts and factored into the definitions of kin terms.
- If the kinship system recognizes non-genealogical factors (e.g. clans) that do not appear on a family tree chart, those too may be defined as UDPs. Once defined they can be part of the definition for a kin term.
- Any person on any chart can be designated “Ego” and another person designated “Alter.” On a Details Panel for Alter you may enter name, birth/death dates, and notes.
- You also enter on the Details Panel the kin term of reference that Ego calls Alter, and the reciprocal term. If there is a separate system of terms of address, those may be entered also.
- When you choose a different Ego, the Details Panel records the kin terms for that Ego/Alter pair. This allows a compact chart potentially to capture all the kin terms used by all the Ego/Alter pairs.
- When the definition of a kin term is known to SILKin, that term can be entered automatically for every Ego/Alter pair that meets the definition.