Tuesday's Tips provide brief how-to's to help you learn to use the Legacy Family Tree software with new tricks and techniques.
There are two kinds of endless loops, one that you should avoid and one that you can't avoid.
If you import a gedcom or download directly from FamilySearch you risk picking up an endless loop. Basically, you are inheriting other people's mistakes. This kind of endless loop is when a person is linked as their own father or son or their father is also linked as their son, that sort of thing. Endless loops can cause problems when you are using the Relationship calculator or you are generating a report.
The other kind of endless loop you can't avoid. You will see this kind of endless loop in royal family lines and sometimes in isolated communities. This occurs when you have people marrying people that are very closely related to them. This is a little different than the first example since these people will not be linked to themselves but these close links can still cause problems.
Sometimes endless loops will be reported to you on a check/repair error log but there is another way to check for them.
Go to REPORTS > CHART REPORTS > ANCESTOR CHART.
Set it to 250 generations (the max). Put yourself as the anchor person. If there are any endless loops (of either variety) in your direct line you will be notified with a dialog box. Make note of the RIN numbers of every endless loop encountered and then you can investigate them further. If it is a simple linking error you will want to correct it. If it is a legitimate endless loop (Princess Marigold married her brother Beauregard in 1346 in order to keep her family's land within the family) then you won't be able to fix it but you do want to be aware of it. If the chart generates without this dialog box you have no endless loops in that line. Remember that this only checks one direct line. You will have to change your anchor person to check other lines.
We have a comprehensive article in our Knowledge Base that covers many different relationship issues in addition to endless loops.
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Michele Simmons Lewis is part of the technical support team at Millennia, the makers of the Legacy Family Tree software program. With over 20 years of research experience, Michele’s passion is helping new genealogists get started on the right foot through her writings, classes and lectures. She is the former staff genealogist and weekly columnist for the McDuffie Mirror and now authors Ancestoring, a blog geared toward the beginner/intermediate researcher.