FAQ:Creating relationships

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I have been having problems adding an existing person as a Father to another existing person.

For instance, If I have both father and mother in the database already and I want to add a new son, how can I do this without editing the gedcom files?

The problem is that some of my users cannot quite understand what it takes to edit gedcom records.

Also, how do I add an existing person as a second wife to an existing male?

Also, how do I add an existing person to a father if I do know that the existing wife is not the mother and I do not know who the mother is?

Thank you for the help. This has been a great program.

General Answer

Editing GEDCOM is not a good idea unless you really understand the format. It’s been suggested the option be removed, but folks who know how to do it don’t want to lose the capability.

There are alternatives: at least nine ways to add or change links to relatives.

  • Seven are on the “Close Relatives” tab of an Individual Information page.
  • Four of them are on the “Quick Update” pop-up.
  • Two of them are in the “Edit Family” menu in the “Options for family” box on a Family Information page.

See also: Adding an individual

Detailed Examples

Add existing person as a spouse

Do not use a person's Quick Update pop-up for this. “Add a new spouse” means create a new individual and make that person the spouse. (Also note that “spouse/wife/husband” in the context of GEDCOM doesn’t require an actual legal marriage.)

  1. Select the “Close Relatives” tab on the person’s Individual Information page
  2. Select “Add a (spouse) using an existing person”
  3. Enter the ID of the person in the “Wife” (“Husband”) box OR
    1. Click the little person icon next to the box
    2. Enter some or all of the spouse’s name
    3. Click “Filter”
    4. Click on the spouse’s name to dismiss the search list and enter the ID
  4. If you know they were married, check that box.
  5. If you know any of the other facts, fill them in. (See where? for tips on the place and date entry features.)
  6. Click “Set link.” Another window will appear, hopefully without an error message.
  7. You don’t have to use the “Close Window” link, but if you do, it will cause the Individual Information page to refresh, showing the new information. (Caution: In some situations in some versions of PhpGedView, this may take you to the page of a different person or even a nonexistent person. This seems to be fixed in 4.1.3)

Add an existing person as a parent (or a sibling)

Note: This is an example of “Quick Update,” which many people feel should only be used by folks who understand its limitations. It does not support everything that should normally be done in an edit (SOURces, for example). The more detailed alternative is near the bottom of the “Close Relatives” tab.

On the child’s (or sibling’s) Individual Information page, select “Quick Update” from the “Edit Menu.”

Select the “Family With Parent” tab.

Click “Add a new father” (or mother). If this person already has that parent linked, the option will not be available.

This tab will also let you add siblings of the person, even if one or both parents are undefined.

Note: The “Children” section is for adding people already in the database; “Add a new child to this family” will create a new person and make him or her a sibling.