Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Family Tree Maker: Relationship Calculator

You may already know about this one but for those who don't, this is a handy little tool in FTM that allows you to see the relationship between two people, which is especially useful if you have reason to want to know the relationship between two distantly related people in your tree and it's too complicated to work out yourself.

I recently I had reason to use this tool when I discovered that a half sister of one of my ancestors married the half brother of another one of my ancestors. Yeah, try working that one out. Instead, I let FTM do the thinking for me.

While in the "People" view, select "Tools" and then "Relationship Calculator", shown left.

If you've already selected one of the two individuals you want to include, they should already show up when the Relationship Calculator opens. Probably, the other individual will be the home person. It doesn't really matter because you can change both individuals once in the calculator.

Just click the icon immediately the right of the individual's name, the one that looks like a folder with lines on it. Then select the names you want include and then their relationship should show below the names with the "path" of their relationship displayed to the right. If your situation is like mine, where there is more than one relationship between two people, you can choose which one to view in the drop down box where it displays the relationship. You can also click on the button at the bottom of the window which says "View Relationship Chart" - I found this visual path display easier to follow. All of this is shown in the screen shot to the right. You can print the chart but unfortunately you can't save it (and trust me, I've tried recreating it in the "Publish" section with the Relationship Chart - no luck).

In this case, there was no blood relation between husband and wife but the relationship calculator is also very useful for cousin marriages and working out their degree of relation. In these cases, you will see a name or names listed under the section "Nearest common relative(s)" and around the bottom right there will be numbers for Civil Degree and Canon Degree which are the degrees of relation as defined by Civil Law and Canon Law.

By the way, the hardest thing about doing these FTM tutorials is making sure I haven't inadvertently displayed information about living people in my tree when taking the screen shots!

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