FamilySearch Indexing Update
Free Shipping from Legacy Family Tree - 3 days only!

Legacy tip - fixing a relationship mistake

It has probably happened to all of us. This morning it happened to me. I goofed.

I was adding a new family into Legacy and then noticed that I added a child to the wrong parents. Instead of adding Esther Whitney as a child to her parents, I added her as a child to her brother. Do you notice anything strange about the birth years of Esther and her brother Elisha in the image below? Esther was born in 1799, and her father/brother was born in 1797. Legacy's Potential Problems report would have spotted this error later on, but I'm glad I caught it now.


Fortunately, problems like this are easy to resolve. It's just a matter of "unlinking" the child from the wrong parents and then "linking" the child to the correct parents. No "deleting" involved. Here's how.

1) In Legacy's Family View, right-click on the child and select From Parents. Click Yes.

2) Now, navigate to the correct parents (might have to switch to the Index View to select them) in the Family View. Click on Add > Daughter/son. The Add screen appears. Here, instead of clicking on the usual "Add a NEW person" button, click on "Link to an EXISTING person".


3) Select the child from the list and click Select.

All should be well now. Esther is now correctly linked to her parents as a daughter. So if you ever notice any odd relationships like this, you do not need to delete anyone and start over. Just use link and unlink. And don't drink while you're linking.... :)


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

It would be great to simply have an "undo" button to undo the last action taken (like Ctrl Z for most Windows apps); that would make mistakes MUCH easier and quicker to fix.

I totally agree that "undo" is the one major item Legacy needs. That would be a lot easier than the steps described and would fix a lot of other errors that one makes. It is not always as simple to fix as described since if multiple children are added to the wrong parents you have to write down all the pertinent info so you can refind them to relink.

Uwe and Larry - on the flip side, think of this scenario. What if you notice the problem a full day after creating the problem? During that day you added lots of other information, new individuals, etc. Undo would not help here, right? I'm a fan of Control-Z just as much as anyone else, but don't think it'd be as applicable in this situation.

I just had to do this a couple of days ago based on a Potential Problems list I created, and I think the unlinking and relinking is fairly simple, I jotted down the names to make sure I remembered who to reattach, but it was a simple fix. Thank you for all your hints to get prepared for Legacy 7.5. I was overwhelmed with the size of my Problems report due to lots of simple typing errors, etc. but I plowed through the whole thing and found things to fix that I might have never noticed! I also ran my Merge to check for duplicates and have worked my way to the S'es in my location list to update and verify. Overwhelming, wishing I had never taken your hints to heart, but worth it as I see the light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you.

Larry are you Barbara's brother? Irene Durham Webster

When I do that, usually toward the end of the session when I'm tired, I unlink the child from the parents, then if it bounced to the non-parents, I hit the Back arrow to get back to the child, right click to bring up the menu with "Add" then go to parents. It brings up the marriage list with all the parents of that last name, I pick a pair, and voila.
Can you tell I've done this a lot?

I've done this a few times myself. Whats really bad is when you have repetitive names ... Which John and Mary does does Sarah and Thomas belong to? This usually occurs when I've had to leave a session for an extended period.

If you are jotting down names to ensure you have the correct person to link - this RIN method may be easier on your brain. Jot down the RIN instead. For me, it's less confusing and leads to fewer mistakes than using the 'name method' for identification. To see the RIN next to each name, choose Options,then Customize, then View to add the unique RIN to each name on the screen.
The history list comes in handy in these situations too. You can access your history from the drop down window to the right of the Back arrow.

Hi All
Right clicking on the person in Family View is something I had not explored - good idea. I agree with the comments about using the link/unlink rather than undo unless you repair the damage within the same session.

Hello. I usually recognize my mistakes immediately and a single stroke "undo" button would be a great advantage over the "unlink" process. We need them both. Thank you.

Hi everyone - I am a long time computer user, even before home computers, you floppy 8" discs. Anyway, I think using a combo controlcode to move around in a genelaogy program defeats the purpose of using such a program. You can easily for get you originally set out to do...learn about your ancestors. Yes, it's good to be right, but you should be concerned how you got there. Correcting and error by using cntrl-Z doesn't teach you how to connect people, onlt get rid of your last mistake (should you notice it). What happens if you do not notice it - well you will have to do it the right way such as dis-associating a child from incorrect patents by using an unlink command and then reconnecting the personalready in your database with the right parents using an attach command. Now you are doing genealogy. FYI -my database is over 200,000 connected people from all over the world and I have attached a child to incorrect parents many time which I can fix as fast as cntrl-Z but doing it the right way.

For more than one person in a family group that is entered under the wrong person.

Use the bookmark, to add these people. You can then easily find and add them to the correct person with very little effort.

The comments to this entry are closed.