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Unusual Relationship - Mother is actually Grandmother, "Sister" is the Mother

Mother grandmother sister real parents real mother birth mother sister is mother unknown father

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#1 ziabueno


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Posted 30 October 2012 - 01:38 PM

Another unusual relationship problem:
  • Henry is the son of Mary.
  • Henry's Father is unknown.
  • Mary is the daughter of John and Cathy.
  • John and Cathy are listed on every document as Henry's Parents throughout his life --- except on the Birth record.
  • Mary is listed as Henry's Sister throughout his life.
  • There is no adoption, formal or informal. Henry is absorbed into the family as the son of John and Cathy and younger brother of Mary.
How do I show the true relationships between all of these people in RootsMagic 5?

I'm being forced down a path to make dau. Mary the 2nd spouse of her Father John.


#2 Laura


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Posted 30 October 2012 - 03:52 PM

Link them together in their true relationship and explain the situation in Henry's Birth note with the source as the birth certificate. Something like: Henry's birth certificate says he was the son of Mary [surname] and his father is unknown. He was raised in the household of his mother, Mary's, parents, John and Cathy [surname], and was shown on other records as his grandparent's son. Name the other records in this note if you wish.

1. John and Cathy
1.1. Mary [John and Cathy's daughter] and unknown father
1.1.1 Henry [Mary's son]

Perhaps add a note in the grandparent's marriage fact that they raised their grandson as a son.

And in the mother's record, enter a note into her Person note or other fact.

In the Source details, Detail text for the other record sources, put a note that Henry was actually the grandson of John and Cathy, not their son.

#3 TomH


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Posted 30 October 2012 - 04:04 PM

If you don't make John and Cathy parents of Henry, all is well for reports showing or suggesting the birth relationship. The problem arises when you have both Mary and the unknown sperm donor as parents and John and Cathy, regardless of the type of parental relationship you select. The Pedigree View and Chart and the Ancestors report will show only the parents checked off in the main screen Parents drop-down list box. The Descendants report will show Henry as a child of both sets of parents with no distinction. The Individual Summary does show both sets of parents but the non-birth parents have a suffix showing the type of relationship; that's good - it should be the case everywhere and it's not for the FGS of John and Cathy.

Apart from RM getting fixed to show the relationship type in all reports, I think the best thing to do is unlink Henry from John and Cathy and use a MISC or custom fact to describe the arrangement as you understand it. You could also revise the Birth fact to include the Description field and then customise the sentence template either for that fact type or for the rare occurrence such as this one where you need to incorporate the description. The description will come out in the Indiv Summary and the FGS anyway and the sentence in the narrative reports. One suggestion for the custom Birth sentence is:
[person]< was [Desc],| was born>< [Date]>< [PlaceDetails]>< [Place]>.
When you put into the Description:
"born to Mary, but raised in the family of his grandparents, John and Cathy",
the sentence comes out:
"Henry John was born to Mary, but raised in the family of his grandparents, John and Cathy, in 1967 in Somewhere, County, Prov."

I'm sure Laura will have better suggestions but there's a start.

Edit: I knew it! Laura and I were composing at the same time... so you have two suggestions and maybe it would be wise to combine them.

Tom user of RM7630 FTM2017 Ancestry.ca FamilySearch.org FindMyPast.com
SQLite_Tools_For_Roots_Magic_in_PR_Celti wiki, exploiting the database in special ways >>> RMtrix-tiny.png app, a bundle of RootsMagic utilities.

#4 ziabueno


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Posted 30 October 2012 - 05:35 PM

Thank you both very much for you suggestions! Your answers are very helpful! I think I'll use a combination of both your recommendations as I proceed.

Henry's birth record was discovered only recently and he is recorded simply by his surname. Going by the BCG proof standards, there is evidence from other authoritative records that support the conclusion that this is indeed Henry. No question about it.

Veritas is also my motto, not just Harvard's, and yet I was actually struggling about whether or not to continue using John and Cathy as Henry's parents in my genealogy research. This is amusing because I'm a "shine the light on it", "rip the band-aid off", "truth above all else" type of person and researcher. I suppose I was secretly hoping for some sort of dotted-line way to report the relationships using RM5 -- as if that would somehow make it gentler to other researchers, which is completely absurd!

Thank you for responding so quickly to my post!