Sunday, April 9, 2017

The case of the UnKnown Spouse

Some times you will see, in a People Workspace, Person View the term "[unknown spouse]

Just above the Marriage Date is that [unknown spouse] entry.

In this case, there was a gentleman with no children, NO Spouse entered. The key is that there is that marriage date.

The above is in People Workspace, TreeView

This is different from an "unknown" spouse if you have a Spouse with a Child.

Clicking on the Person menu, select Attach/Detach option and DETACH

Put a check mark in the Unknown Spouse "name". You need to watch IF there are Children.

In the case of one spouse and a child, without a Marriage Date, that "unknown spouse" may appear in the Person View, but nothing to Detach.

For my screen capture example, putting a Check Mark RESOLVED that Unknown Spouse, but the Tree View did NOT Change.

I have not found an easy way to find these "unknown spouse" entries, but they usually come from a Merge.

I found this one, by running a Marriage Report, Sorted by Wife, then looked for a Marriage Date at the Bottom of the list.

There is a Caution Here. That is the Marriage DATE will be removed. So, BACK UP your file before you do this OR, If you don't like the results, immediately do a Edit, UnDo

Copyright © 2017 by H R Worthington


  1. Thank you for this! I've had to attach/detach plenty of people, but finding out how to detach (delete) an unwanted non-existent spouse created a challenge that was not obvious to me. Thank you!

    1. Unknown,

      Look down the left panel of this blog or Search the blog for Unknown Spouse. A number of posts on this topic


  2. Speaking of unknown spouses...
    I am finally, at loooong last, done with my family tree in FTM 2017. Worked on it for about five years, now I'm ready to print it out/save to PDF. My tree has over 4000 names going back almost two thousand years. I did an ahnentafel report and noticed two annoying things.

    First thing, mildly annoying: when a male and female are both listed the male's notes print out under the wife's name. Okay, weird, I'd prefer each person's notes to print out under their own name. But FTM support said that notes for a generation print out at the end of the generation, ie if a couple is married the male's name is first, then the female's name, then all of their notes together. Okay, I can deal with that.

    But the second thing is a huge problem: If there is a male with NO WIFE listed, (as is often the case since female's names were not recorded many decades ago) then the male's notes DON'T SHOW UP AT ALL! I talked with FTM for a few HOURS about this and they were (as usual) no help other than "we'll forward your problem to the engineers." (You mean the engineers who designed the flawed program to begin with?) They could suggest "Type in a fake name like "Unknown" for the wife's name, then the male's notes will show up after her name. Uh, okay, I wouldn't mind doing that for this one particular person...but I have literally thousands of people in my tree and probably half of them don't have wife name's listed. I'm supposed to spend another few weeks going through with a fine tooth comb and find all these and add in fake name?! Not gonna happen. That's unreasonable for tech support to suggest this. Also, my tree is already huge, I don't want to add in another thousand "unknown wife" entries.

    Is there some way to get the male's notes to print out even though there's no wife listed? Even customer support couldn't help me. What a terrible program.

    1. Unknown:

      All public (not Private) Notes will appear when you want notes to be printed.

      That is the generic answer so your very generic question. That ALL will Print with the Person, any person.

      Question for YOU: How to you handle "Unknown Names" ???

      i have posted several times on how I handle that.

      You have not provided enough details, like what PDF file, are you creating. The reports and books that I have created, show the information that i want, or don't want to appear. Relationship appear as they should. Remembering that when a person is listed as a Child, their details will NOT appear until the Next Generations unless they do not have any Children.

      No Children (no descendants) then all of the information about that person will appear as a Child.



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