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Relationship question - unwed parents (newbie warning)

unwed relationship non-spouse

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#1 gardengal4

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 12:41 PM

I am entering a family and having an issue with a child out of wedlock. Jane Doe had a son Billy Doe while unmarried. Father unknown (to me anyhow!). Later Jane Married Jim Smith (Jane (Doe) Smith)

So in a Descendant view it shows incorrectly:

Jane (Doe) Smith
+ Jim Smith m:
|
|__Billy Doe

Looks like Billy is son of Jim even though there is no such relationship entered.

I tried adding Father "unknown", but the report showed a "+", implying marriage, right? The Edit Person for Jane showed "unknown" as a spouse.

Jane (Doe) Smith
+ Jim Smith m:
+ unknown
|
|__ Billy Doe

The latter is a little better but it still seems wrong. Especially because "unknown" happened before Jim Smith.

If I put m: dates and b: dates will it help re-order it so Unknown/Billy Doe comes before Jim Smith?

Is there something else I should be doing? Looks like kids can only come from spouses.

#2 Laura

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 01:50 PM

If you use Unknown for the father, you can rearrange the spouses. Highlight the mother and click on the arrow in the upper left of the main screen where it says Spouses: [#] and click on the arrow and choose Rearrange spouses.

The label Spouse does not necessary denote a couple was married in RM.

There are 2 buttons on the Add a marriage event to this couple screen and No known marriage. If the couple was not married, choose No known marriage and a marriage fact will not be added. The Narrative report will not print the "were married" sentence.
On the Edit person screen of either person, highlight the spouse and choose Father or Mother or Partners from Husband and Wife label dropdown menus. This will print the label you choose on a Family Group Sheet for that couple.

If I have a child with an unknown father, I often link that child to the family of the stepfather and the mother and sort the child to the top of the child's list. I don't usually create an unknown father if I have a stepfather to link to.

I put a note in the stepfather's and the mother's marriage fact that the child is the child of the mother and the husband is their stepfather.

I also put a note of explanation in the child's Birth fact. On the child's Edit Person screen, I highlight that set of parent's and choose Step from the Relationshp to father menu. This shows up in the last right column on the main Family view, but it does not print anywhere.

Every circumstance is different. For instance, I usually link the child with an unknown father to the first stepfather, in the case of multiple marriages of the mother. But, I have a child where her mother married and there were no other children from that marriage, and the couple divorced not long after that marriage. The mother then remarried and that marriage lasted. The second stepfather is the person I linked the child to as it was that stepfather that raised the child as his own.

#3 Laura

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 01:58 PM

If the + bothers you, name the Unknown father something like, Unknown partner [never married]

#4 gardengal4

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 02:00 PM

A spouse does not denote marriage in RM??? huh? that's a problem. A good database design needs to mimic reality to work logically.

In my case the child was not raised by the first and only stepfather. THat stepfather was out of the picture quickly. I don't like the idea of forcing creating an "unknown" spouse just for this case. Seems bogus.

I am more inclined to just leave out the short-term stepfather and delete "unknown" and see how it comes out. That is more refelctive of reality.

#5 gardengal4

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 02:02 PM

Laura, its not the father/partner term. That doesn't even show up anywhere. Its RM forcing a marital relationship with the mother that did not exist that bothers me.

#6 Alfred

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 03:02 PM

If you leave out the father, the main screen display will leave the father field blank but if you look to the spouse it will show "Unknown spouse"
Then in the narrative report it will say something like "Jane Doe had the following child"

There is no NEED to list the child with any step father, but if the child was raised by a step father, then I do list him there along with the listing with no father.

RootsMagic uses SPOUSE to indicate a partner, in parenthood or marriage, just a convenient word and it does not exclusively indicate marriage.

There has been a lot of discussion about what word to use in place of spouse in the case of unmarried parents, some of the suggestions could not be printed here.

The leading "+" is just indicating that the primary person was linked to this person, it does not indicate marriage.

Only the Marriage fact indicates a marriage.
Alfred

#7 Laura

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 04:37 PM

Spouse is a label just as Legacy 7.5's entry screen says Husband and Wife according to their video tour.

RootsMagic makes no automatic assumptions that couples were married or unmarried, either way. We choose whether we think the couple was married or unmarried by our choice of Add a marriage event to this couple screen or No known marriage. Or adding or deleting a marriage fact for the couple.

We have no way of knowing whether a marriage took place for the parents whether the father's name is unknown or not unless we have the sources to prove a marriage unless the mother told us the status personally.

I have assumed or been told that a child was illigitimate and later found out they weren't enough that I no longer will make that assumption even if the child uses the mother's maiden surname.

Jane (Doe) Smith
+ Jim Smith m:
+ unknown
|
|__ Billy Doe

+ Jim Smith tells me the user thinks he was married to Jane (Doe) Smith but there may or may not have been a marriage as the marriage fact is linked but there is neither a date and/or place printed. Of course, there might be a marriage fact note that is not printed in the Descendants list to explain why the date and place are blank. And they had no children.

Jane (Doe) Smith tells me that her maiden name was probably Doe. She either may or may not have been married to a man with the surname Smith that isn't in the database before she may have married Jim Smith. Or the user is meaning that she gained the married surname of Smith after she may have married Jim Smith.

+ Unknown tells me that the user does not know his name and has no marriage information and Billy Doe is the son of Unknown and Jane (Doe) Smith.

Since the marriage fact is linked to Jim Smith with no data entered and not linked to Unknown, I would probably assume that the user considered Billy Doe to be illigitimate.

Jane (Doe) Smith
+ Jim Smith m:
|
|__Billy Doe

Seeing this, I would not assume that Billy Doe was Jim Smith's son as the surnames are different. Billy Doe could either be a child born after being widowed or a divorce from Jim Smith or a child with a different father born during the marriage to Jim Smith that used their natural father's surname.

#8 Alfred

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 05:15 PM

The "+" does not mean they were married, only that the person was linked as a partner(Spouse).
The "m:" after the name indicates a marriage fact with no date or place.
Alfred

#9 gardengal4

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 07:11 PM

Interesting perspectives. Thanks for the literal interpretations of RM. Of course, I as a newcomer, seeing RM for the first time, want to apply the dictionary definition of Spouse to the word Spouse, which is where the rub lies. I used "m:" as a shortcut just to indicate I entered a marriage fact. I am just starting out entering person info and will make another pass to add more details. Just because I, the user, did not enter date and place does not mean the marriage is not factual. This is a family tree for my personal reference. I am not into hard-core genealogy, which I can see is where you are coming from. I can see that RM has to appeal to hard core genealogists and must be consistent about elements and relationships, and some of these edge conditions are indeed quirky. But a casual user documenting their own family tree is not going to appreciate the nuances that you rightfully point out. If I for a fact know that the Billy Doe is illegitimate, I should be able to document it simply and clearly. I don't think the last example does that. Your examples and potential assumptions show there are multiple scenarios that son-of-unknown can imply. So what is the correct way to document illegitimacy. (which indeed is an interesting word and also points out the flaws with the English language. Common usage tells us what we mean when we say "illegitimate", but literally that word is definitely the wrong word. Illegal? "not authorized by law"... huh? .)


By the way, I have since discovered that I like the Descendant report much better without spouses at all. The formatting was really clutterred because the spouse lines were not aligned. So now I am printing reports without spouses, so this becomes a moot point (on the surface at least).

Also, I entered another family member that had 3 divorces and 3 marriages. Yet, 3 Spouses were listed in the person info. That reminded me of polygamy. The marriage facts themselves imply spouse (1 at a time hopefully), so the "label" spouse is superfluous IMO and certainly odd when multiple spouses show up with no concept of sequence attached. If there were no label spouse, I would not have had a problem entering Billy Doe with no known father.

#10 Alfred

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 07:42 PM

Try a trial database.

Enter Jane Doe
-- Press the "C" key to add a child and enter Billy Doe
Go to Jane Doe again
-- Press the "S" key to add a spouse - When asked if he goes in as Billy's father, answer NO
--When asked for a marriage you don't have to enter any date or place unless you know it, but if you know they were married, enter a blank marriage event.

While Jane is highlighted
Do several reports, Chart, Box Chart, descendants choosing the different options and layouts.

You could click on Jane and hit the "P" key to add parents and maybe some other children for them and do a descendant chart for them to further study the output. Maybe even use the boxes to make it a bit easier to follow.

Some of the features just have to be experienced for yourself.
Alfred

#11 jimcat

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 03:14 PM

I have the father of a child and the mother of the same child.. they never did marry.. they however did marry other folks and have had children by these spouses. What I beleive happened was Mr so and so got Miss pregnant and she never married him.. She went on to marry another fella. Mr So and So then later on married her sister.

 

How do I link the son to the father and not his spouse and how do I link the son to his mother and not her husband?

Roots magic version 6 and updates



#12 Laura

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 05:03 PM

You enter it just like you would any other couple that had a child.

Birth father linked to Birth mother as a Spouse with the child linked to that couple.

On the Add marriage screen, choose No marriage known. This does not add a marriage fact to the couple.

In the child's notes and the parent's individual notes, explain the situation kf you wish. I put any notes about parent's in a child's Birth fact.

Spouse is a convenient label foe lack of a better one. RM does not assume a couple was married. Adding a marriage fact tells RM there was a marriage.

#13 Renee Zamora

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 09:35 AM

In the Family View highlight the mother

Click on Add>Spouse

Click on "Select Existing Person"

Locate and highlight the birth father

Click Select. 

Click "No marriage known"

On the Family View next to the mother's name you will see a blue Spouse indicator with the number 2 in it. Click on it and select the birth father. 

With both birth parents showing now go to the children section below and "Click to add a child".

The other option is to use Add>Child

Click "Select Existing Person"

Locate and highlight the child and then click Select.


Renee
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#14 c24m48

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 10:48 AM

Most of the excellent responses in this thread have dealt with the mechanics of entering family relationships such as spouse, child, and parent into RM. I won't repeat all that good advice. Rather, I'll try to look at the big picture.

 

One of the responses wisely pointed out that "spouse is just a label". Obviously, two people can marry without having children and they can have children without marrying. I'm reminded of a famous insult used by Winston Churchill  where he would say in his exalted, upper class British language: "Sir, your mother met your father only one time, and then only briefly!". I wish there were a good word to use in RM instead of "spouse" to describe unmarried relationships that result in children, but for the life of me I can't think of a good alternative (at least in English - I'm aware of other languages that do have a reasonable word for the concept).

 

That being said, I find it not at all uncommon to have people in my database who probably were married but for whom I don't have a marriage fact. Here's a typical example. In the 1850 U.S. Census I find John Doe age 23, Jane Doe age 21, Samuel Doe age 3, and Elizabeth Doe age 1. There was a courthouse fire in 1887 in the county in question, and no marriage or other records prior to 1887 are extant. So who were John and Jane? Sometimes they disappear off the face of the earth and don't appear in the 1860 or subsequent U.S. Censuses. Sometimes they continue to appear in censuses, and in the 1880 census Jane is listed as "wife". That's a pretty good indication, but not truly proof, that John and Jane were married. For example, they might have lived together as husband and wife for decades without ever having gone through official rites of marriage. Are the children of such a relationship any less "illegitimate" than a person as described in Winston Churchill's insult?

 

Or if John and Jane disappeared off the face of the earth after the 1850 census, maybe they were brother and sister who were still living together (their parents having died) and maybe they were raising their orphaned nephew Samuel and their orphaned niece  Elizabeth. Just because they looked like husband and wife in the 1850 census doesn't necessarily mean that they were husband and wife.There are all kinds of possibilities, and I have been fooled sometimes even when children are not involved.For example, I encountered James Bryan and Ada Bryan who were buried next to each other as spouses often are, and both of whom lived a normal life span. I assumed they were husband and wife, and it took me several months to discover that they were brother and sister, neither of whom ever married, but they lived together in the same household all their lives.

 

Finally, I would point out that just about every variation on these themes that you can think of is well supported by RM. It may take a newcomer to RM a little bit of time to figure out all the nuances, such as a mother and child when the father is totally unknown. But all the options truly are there.

 

Jerry



#15 Bev1949

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 08:40 PM

I have a situation where my mother and father married and adopted her orphaned nephew and changed his last name.  Ten years later, they had me.  Meanwhile, my father fell in love with my mother's sister. My parents divorced and he married my aunt.  Since we all know who my brother belonged to, do I put him under my deceased uncle as his child, or do I keep him as my brother?  It was never a secret.  Also, do I add my father in again as my aunt's spouse?  Family relationships are not always simple!



#16 c24m48

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 08:05 AM

I have a situation where my mother and father married and adopted her orphaned nephew and changed his last name.  Ten years later, they had me.  Meanwhile, my father fell in love with my mother's sister. My parents divorced and he married my aunt.  Since we all know who my brother belonged to, do I put him under my deceased uncle as his child, or do I keep him as my brother?  It was never a secret.  Also, do I add my father in again as my aunt's spouse?  Family relationships are not always simple!

 

I would probably put your brother both places. The database structure would reflect your brother having two sets of parents, which is pretty much the case - one set of birth parents and one set of adoptive parents. For each set of parents, you can specify the relationship of the father to the child and separately the relationship of the mother to the child as things like birth, adopted, step, foster, related, etc. You would probably need to play around a little bit to see how this appears in reports, and for reports you might end up deciding to supplement the structure already provided by RM with additional information that you place in notes.

 

Your father would only be in the database one time, and he would have two spouses. I realize that RM's use of the word "spouse" can be a little jarring when such spouses don't necessarily have to be married. RM is just saying that two people are linked together as a couple. The way that you then make your father and your mother into spouses and then your father and your aunt into spouses in the normal "marriage sense" of the word spouse is then to add marriage facts. Your father will have two marriage facts, your mother will have one marriage fact, and your aunt will have one marriage fact. But you really only enter two marriage facts into RM not four because a single marriage fact automatically applies to two people.

 

For the marriage of your father and mother, you can enter the marriage fact for your father and tell the marriage fact dialog that that the other spouse is your mother. or you can enter the marriage fact for your mother and tell the marriage fact dialog that the other spouse is your father. The result will be the same either way you do it, one marriage fact shared between your father and your mother.

 

For the marriage of your father and aunt, you can enter the marriage fact for your father and tell the marriage fact dialog that that the other spouse is your aunt. or you can enter the marriage fact for your aunt and tell the marriage fact dialog that the other spouse is your father. The result will be the same either way you do it, one marriage fact shared between your father and your aunt.

 

Jerry