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Tuesday's Tip - The Relationship Calculator (Beginner)

 TT - The Relationship Calculator

Tuesday's Tips provide brief how-to's to help you learn to use the Legacy Family Tree software with new tricks and techniques.

The Relationship Calculator (Beginner) 

In the previous Ahnentafel Numbers article I mentioned the Relationship Calculator and how it can give you the exact relationship path between two people. This is one of my favorite tools in Legacy because it is not only useful, it is fun.

Before you get started, make sure you go to Tools > Set Relationships and set the relationship to yourself.  This will give you a bit of an advantage when you then go to Tools > Relationship to use the calculator.  If you set the relationships first Legacy will automatically put you on the left side of the screen and whoever is highlighted in any of the Views (Family, Pedigree, etc.) on the right side saving you time with having to manually select the two people you want to calculate.

Set Relationship
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I have set the relationships to myself and I have navigated to one of my favorite relatives, Keziah Grantham, in the Family View.  Since I have set the relationships you will see Keziah's relationship to me above her name but this is only the beginning. The Relationship Calculator will give you even more information.

Family View
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Now I go to Tools > Relationship.  Notice that Legacy automatically put me on the left and Keziah on the right. You can also manually select the left and right persons by using the Select Left/Right Person buttons.

My match to Keziah
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You can see that Keziah is my first cousin, thrice removed. Our common ancestor is Daniel Grantham Sr. and his wife Sarah Slade. On the left you can see my path up to Daniel and Sarah and you can see Keziah's path to them on the right.

Here is what you will see if you are related to someone in more than one way. To see the paths for each match you will click the matches one at a time.

Multiple matches
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Here is what you will see if you are related in some convoluted way by marriage but not by blood (if you have non-blood relationship set to calculate).

Non-blood relationship
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And here is what you will see if the person you are calculating to is in a younger generation than you are. There will be an asterisk next to the relationship.

Younger generations
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We need to talk about the settings a bit.  The default is 999 blood relationships and 10 non blood.

Default settings
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I don't know of any two people that are related to each other 999 different ways but you never know. Leaving this at the default will be fine for most users, however, if you have a very large file (in the hundreds of thousands), and/or you have a very convoluted file (a lot of pedigree collapse that you see in royal lines or very isolated communities) then you will want to knock this number way down so that Legacy doesn't have to do as many calculations. You can easily put this at 5 and be fine. If you aren't interested in the non-blood relationships then you can just put this at 0.

Ah but we are now just getting to the best part.  You can print really cool charts from here. You can read how HERE. In that article I am focusing on how you can use the Relationship Chart with your DNA matches but you can send these to any distant relative that you make contact with to show them just how the two of you are related. It makes a very nice presentation.

Actually seeing the path to your common ancestor will tell you more than just knowing that you are 4th cousins, twice removed.


Find tech tips every day in the Facebook Legacy User Group. The group is free and is available to anyone with a Facebook account.

For video tech tips check out the Legacy Quick Tips page.  These short videos will make it easy for you to learn all sort of fun and interesting ways to look at your genealogy research.


Michele Simmons Lewis, CG® is part of the Legacy Family Tree team at MyHeritage. She handles the enhancement suggestions that come in from our users as well as writing for Legacy News. You can usually find her hanging out on the Legacy User Group Facebook page answering questions and posting tips.



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How timely! I use the relationship calculator frequently but had never tried to print. I usually just use the snip it tool and copy the screen. But I just found a fairly complex relationship through a dna match and was wondering how best to share the information when I read this post. The chart-- or charts as it turned out to be--showed everything so clearly. And I have a choice now of pdf or using the snip it tool to create a jpg. Thank You!

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