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Legacy Tip - Same Couple, married 4 times

Robert asked a great question in our Legacy User Group mailing list today:

How do you properly indicate in Legacy that the same couple married each other FOUR times? Just do this?

  • Married Jun 10, 1934
  • Divorced Oct 2, 1941
  • Married Jan 15, 1943
  • Divorced Feb 20, 1946
  • Married Mar 13, 1948
  • Divorced April 23, 1953 (husband left wife, and wife thought husband had died)
  • Married July 10, 1955
  • Husband died Oct 12, 1960
  • Wife died Dec 19, 1974

Couldn't make up their minds, eh? This is a new one for me, Robert, but this would be my suggestion.

The image below (click to enlarge) is the Marriage Information screen for John Smith and Mary Jones (a ficticious couple I just created to demonstrate this example). In the Marriage Date field, I entered the date of their first marriage. Typically, when a couple divorces, I add "Divorced" to the status field and add the date to the Status Date field. However, in this case, I entered the three divorces and three remarriages as events by clicking on the Add button. When you look at the updated Chronology View for each individual, these events are displayed there too.


Without having faced this situation previously, I can't really think of any downsides, or even any other good alternatives to this method of recording. If anyone else has any ideas, I'd love to hear from you in the comments below.


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Interesting, I never thought of adding them as events. Works fine if that was the only person they were married to. Otherwise, I just create separate marriages for them. I have some where they remarried after a 2nd or 3rd marriage after several years had passed.

How does this read in a report?
You may have to create new marriages to make the reports read correctly?
Leon Chapman

Interesting suggestion Russell. So you would use the "Add a new wife" option, and then just link to an existing wife, is that right? I like the idea.

I have a great grandmother who married 4 times, twice to the same man.
1 - married (a) date
2 - annulled date
3 - married (b) date
4 - widowed
5 - married (c) date
6 - widowed
7 - married (a) date

In the second case of married (a) I made sure I linked her to the existing person - i.e. I didn't create a new husband.

I do it this way because it allows me to enter children to the correct marriage. It seems to me that in Geoff's example you can't enter any children accurately. In my case the (a) marriage produced a child (I know - I said it was annulled - long story), and marriages (b) and (c) also produced children. Marriage (d) - no further children. So by doing it my way I can see all children in the right place in reports. On second thoughts, I suppose in the example above all children would be from the same parents, so by entering them under the one marriage record (with divorces and remarriages as events) they *would* show up correctly. Hmm! Horses for courses I guess - I still like my way because it is consistent with all other marriages and it is a slightly different situation as there were other partners as well.


I had a great-granduncle who was married twice to the same woman. My problem (if there is one) is they had two children each marriage. This is difficult to show in a report, but maybe it doesn't make much difference. Suppose one could show John marrying Mary Ann Smith, then marrying Mary Ann Smith Jones.

I've entered my multiple marriage as separate events but in my case it is still confusing. The couple were married and divorced with no children. She married another person and they had one child before they divorced. The first couple remarried and had children before divorcing. She then married a third man and they had a child. This makes the children from the third marriage step children to the first husband who is the same person as the third husband. My head is spinning as I try to make a report that shows the accurate relationships without creating one person who is two people (the 1st and 3rd husband.)

The second example still works by entering events to document the divorces and remarriages. The children (all borne from the same woman) would be entered in the family screen for the marriage in which they were born. This keeps the relationships of everyone correct and consistent.

It would be nice if Legacy Family Tree had the capability for shared events for people and shared citations for sources. This would make entering and maintaining data such as this much easier and simplier. This is a big shortcoming of Legacy Family Tree. How about it Geoff?

Joe - shared events are on our short list. They will be available in the next version of Legacy. No idea when that is though.

I also use the "add new wife" and then link to an existing person. One of my "cousins" has been married 7 times in a similar situation. The reasoning is for the children and the reports to come out correctly.

Also, I utilize the "Status" field on each linking of the marriages -- even though I add a divorce event in the events. If you create a dummy database and add two people and the marriages, run the various reports you will see the results.

Once you try all of the variables, you can determine how you want your reports to look and do the data entry accordingly. CAUTION: you will have to monitor the changes that Legacy makes to the reports and marriage entries.

What I want to do is have someone married to the same person only once!
I have my ggma marriedid twice with some of the same children in each marroiage and I CANNOT get rid of duplicates! How to fix this?

Select your person. Then right click your mouse and choose view husband list. Unlink one of the marriages. You can now manually merge the duplicate people. The unlinking may leave you with a non-duplicated child linked to an unknown spouse. Create a dummy parent for this child, and then merge the dummy to the actual person.

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