Digging Details from Pre-1850 U.S. Census Records
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Recording relationships that are uncertain

Most of us run into the situation where we locate a person who we think might be related to the family, but we're not certain.

For example, Asa and Elizabeth (Reynolds) BROWN had at least four children:

  1. __________ BROWN, born abt 1815
  2. Nathan R. BROWN, born abt 1817 in Pennsylvania
  3. __________ BROWN, born abt 1819
  4. Lorenzo D. BROWN, born 9 Jul 1822 in Tionesta, Venango County, Pennsylvania

The identities of children 1 and 3 are still not proven, but I think child 3 might be:

Griffin BROWN, born 13 Apr 1818 in Pennsylvania. He lived in Venango and Warren Counties.

Add these unknown relationships to Legacy

Even though I haven't proved whether Griffin BROWN is Asa's child, I still need to document and analyze Griffin's immediate and extended families, his neighbors, and associates. All of his family's information can be added to the same Legacy family file, but unlinked from the "known" family.

Whenever you run into this situation, add the person as a new, unlinked individual by following these steps:

  1. Click on the Add menu.
  2. Click on New Unlinked Individual (or press Ctrl+N)
  3. Add his information and Save.

The new person is now "alone" or "unlinked" in your family file. He is not linked to the main family. He is in a separate tree. Once he has been entered, you can add his wife, children, and any other known relationships. The more you research his family, the more information you have to be able to determine if he fits into the "known" family.

If the time comes that you prove that he does belong to the family, simply link him. For example, if I learned that Griffin BROWN is Asa's 3rd child, I would:

(If "__________ BROWN was already in the database as child #3):

  1. Merge "__________ BROWN" with Griffin BROWN by clicking on the Merge icon, and selecting Manual Merge.
  2. Select the two individuals, and merge them together.

(If "__________ BROWN was not already in the database as child #3):

  1. Link Griffin BROWN to his parents (Asa and Elizabeth) by first navigating to Griffin BROWN in the Family View.
  2. With Griffin highlighted, right-click in the empty parents area, and click Link to Parents.
  3. Because Asa and Elizabeth are already in the family file, now just select Asa in the list, and now Griffin appears as Asa's 3rd child.

Tree Finder

Before I linked Griffin BROWN to his parents, he was "floating" in the family file. In other words, he was unlinked from the main tree. In fact, in my personal family file, I have 33 separate, unlinked trees. Each tree is a person or a group of related persons that I have not yet linked to my main tree. As research progresses, I can either link these trees to my main tree, or I might find that they don't belong.

To view a listing of the separate trees in your family file, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the View menu.
  2. Click on Tree Finder.

This is a list of the current trees in my family file. Sometimes the tree finder might help you find persons that you thought were actually linked to your main tree, but somehow became unlinked.



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I can't believe how timely this article is, I was just pulling my hair figuring out how to find my multiple trees and in the middle of it you tell me,


Jorge Gomez

I enjoy receiving the news letters and tips. However I have never seen classes being held in the Montreal, Quebec area. If there were I would most certainly attend.

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