This page updated 22 Feb 2008
Version note: Applies to TMG 8 & 9
Genealogists seem to often collect various people in their Data Sets that are not related in any way to known family members. They may be people of a surname of interest that are found in various records, but not yet connected to the known lines. Or they might be neighbors or others linked by shared events. It seems common that eventually the researcher wants to mark these people with a Flag.
It turns out to be more difficult than it might seem to identify such "unrelated" people. If they are linked to no one else in the Data Set as parent and child or spouse, it is possible to construct a filter to find them. But more commonly they are "family fragments" small groups of people linked as parents and children, or by marriage. In this case, it's actually easier to find everyone else, that is, all the people who are connected. If one sets a Flag for those that are connected, everyone left is "unconnected." This article describes how to create and set such a Flag.
One common use for such a Flag is to control Accent colors. See my article on Accents for suggestions on combining the use of a Connected Flag with others for identifying both those who are "related" to a base person and those who are not.
There are three basic steps in creating and using such a Flag:
Creating the Flag itself is pretty simple. Here are the steps:
In order to see the Flag settings for each person, or manually change the Flag as each person is cleaned, you need to open the Flag Window. It is not open in the default layout. You open it by clicking the Flags Window toolbar icon or use the Windows > Flags menu. If you want it to always be open, adjust the size of some of the other windows to make a space for it, and save your new layout. To save a layout, click the Save Custom Layout toolbar icon or use the View > Layouts > Manage Layouts menu to open the Layout Manager. Give your layout a name and click Save.
If you have a very small number of unconnected people in your Data Set and know who they are, you could set the the Flag for each person individually. But for most users that would be a very daunting task. Fortunately, the List of People report, with its ability to use its Secondary Output to set Flags for the persons included in the report, can do the job for even a very large Data Set fairly quickly. What's required is to use appropriate Filters to select the correct persons for each step.
The basic idea is to change the Flag to Y for an initial group of people known to be related. Then by a series of iterations, find others linked to them by blood relationships or marriage and change the Flag for them as well. This continues until no more linked people can be found. Here are the steps to do that:
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And below, under "And then add their" check Spouses, Ancestors, and Descendants, and set the number of generations a bit higher than the total number in your Data Set. Note that the filter together with the "And then add their" options defines the all the ancestors and descendants of the selected person, and his or her spouse(s). Click OK to save the Filter and return to the Report Definition screen.
Below, leave the "And then add their" terms unchanged. Note that this filter collects everyone marked as "Y" in the previous step, and the "And then add their" term then adds any spouses, ancestors, or descendants not already identified. Click OK to save the Filter and Yes on the "Are you sure?" question.
When the number of people added reaches zero, you are done. Now all people linked in any way to your main line by parent/child relationship, or my marriage, are marked with a "Y" in the Connected Flag, and all others are marked with a "N."
This process regards "connected" as being by any blood relationship, or by any series of marriages, no matter how extended. So if a cousin married someone, and that person had a relative in your Data Set that married someone else, anyone related to the latter person is regarded as "connected."
This process uses any parent/child relationship, or marriage, that is marked as Primary. If you have adopted children or others with a parent/child relationship with a related person marked as Primary, the adopted child will be regarded as "connected." If there is no primary parent/child relationship, they will not be included. If your data includes such cases, you may want to change the primary status of such tags, or change the Connected Flag manually, to obtain the results you prefer.
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