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Tuesday's Tip - Linking to Two Sets of Parents (Beginner)

TT - Linking to Two Sets of Parents

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

Linking to Two Sets of Parents (Beginner)

So far we have learned how to Link to Parents and how to Link to a Single Parent. Today I will show you how to link to two sets of parents.  

Gala Apple was adopted. Her adoptive parents are Mcintosh Apple and Cotton Candy. Through DNA Gala has found her biological parents. To add her biological parents you can either click the blue + (plus) sign in the parents' area or click the Parents icon in the row of icons under Gala. Notice that on the Parents icon there is a little number 1. That tells you that Gala has one set of parents. When we get done that will change to a 2. 

Add parents
(click image to enlarge)


When you use either method this is the dialog box that you will see. 

Parent's List dialog box
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Since we have the adoptive parents already highlighted and ready to go we will work with them first. At the bottom you will see Relationship to Father and Relationship to Mother. We will use these to designate Gala's relationship to this set of parents.

Add the relationships
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Now we can either Add New Parents or Link to Existing Parents. You have already learned the difference between these two in the article, Linking to Parents. Today we are going to Add New Parents. When you click Add New Parents you will now see this:

New parents are now displayed
(click image to enlarge)


Highlight the Unknown & Unknown Parents and then click Edit Father. You will see a now familiar dialog box giving you the option of Add a NEW Person or Link to an EXISTING person.

New Husband dialog box
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We were already given the opportunity to Link to Existing Parents but we didn't choose that option before so why are we presented with this question again? You would select the previous Link to Existing Parents option IF both people are already in your file AND they are already linked to each other as a couple. You would use this Link to EXISTING Person IF the father is in your database AND the mother isn't OR the mother is in your database but not linked to this father yet.

We are going to Add a NEW Person so go ahead and click that button.

Add a New Father
(click image to enlarge)


The Individual's Information screen comes up. Notice that the surname Apple defaulted in. We will need to change that. 

Add a new name
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After you Save this screen you will now see

The new father has been saved
(click image to enlarge)


If we didn't know the child's other biological parent we could stop here but we will go ahead and highlight Cheddar Cheese and now click Add Mother. Did you notice that the button Add Father is now changed to Edit Father?  After we click Add Mother we get a slightly different dialog box.

Add Wife
(click image to enlarge)


Don't let the Add Wife to:  throw you off. You are merely linking the two parents together. If they were not married you can easily mark them as such in just a minute. We are again presented with two options. We are going to Add a NEW Person.  I would use the Link to an EXISTING Person IF I had added the first parent as a new person AND now I am going to link that new person to an existing one in my file OR both parents were already in my file but they were not linked to each other as a couple. Legacy will link those two existing persons as a couple. Remember, if both persons are already in your file and they are already linked to each other, you would have used the option at the very beginning to Link to Parents.

So now I am going to add Gala's biological mother.

Individual's Information screen
(click image to enlarge)


After you click SAVE the Marriage screen will pop up.  Here is where you can mark the couple as not having been married if you need to.

This couple did not marry
(click image to enlarge)


After you click Save you are back to the Parents screen and now you can see both sets of parents. Notice that I have Cheddar Cheese and Pasta Salad highlighted and I have marked their relationship as Biological. Also notice that I could mark these relationships as private or invisible if I needed to.

Both sets of parents listed
(click image to enlarge)


If you go back to the Family View you will now see that the Parents icon has the number 2 and if you take your mouse and hover it over to the right of the Parents area you will see a bar appear that you can click to easily switch between the sets of parents.

Two sets of parents on the Family View
(click image to enlarge)


I want to go back to the Parents screen for a sec to point out something. You can mark either set of parents as Preferred. All that means is that when you are navigating through your file this is the set of parents that will be displayed in the various views. You can easily switch to the other set like I showed you in the last screenshot.  This will also be the set of parents that is displayed in reports. Some reports allow you to show both sets of parents.

In the screenshot you will see that Cheddar Cheese and Pasta Salad are showing as Preferred (asterisk * by their name). 

Preferred Parents
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To change which couple is preferred, highlight the couple that you want to be preferred and then click Select. This dialog box will disappear but the change has been made. Open up the dialog box again and you will see that Mcintosh Apple and Cotton Candy now have the asterisk (*) and are the preferred parents.

New preferred parents
(click image to enlarge)


Before I close out this article there are two situations I want to address. If the child was adopted by a close relative you don't want to give them two sets of parents (for example, if the child was adopted by his grandparents).  If you do, you will create an Endless Loop that will cause you problems when doing reports. Instead, just leave them with their biological parents and explain the adoption in the notes or create an adoption event. 

The other situation has to do with step-parents. Ancestor and Descendant reports and charts are based on bloodlines. People write in all the time asking how they can get their stepchildren to display in their bloodline reports. 

If you want to include non blood relations you have to trick Legacy a bit by giving these children two sets of parents, their biological parents and their biological parent plus the step-parent. You will need to designate the step-parent in the Child-Parent Relationship.  I highly recommend that you leave the relationships blank for the biological parents and only designate the step-parent. I only mark the biological relationships in a non family member adoption. This will keep your reports from being cluttered up with labels. In the below screenshot you can see that Gala's mother Cotton Candy was married twice. Gala's relationship to Cotton's second husband, Sliced Bread, is Step

(click image to enlarge)

When you create a report you will need to select the option to include the Child-Parent Relationships. Open the report you are working with and then click Report Options. Make sure you are on the Include tab. About halfway down the left column put a check mark in the box that says Child-Parent relationships. If you don't, whoever reads your reports will get confused since reports are designed to show bloodlines. You will have children that appear to have been born out of wedlock (before or after the couple married). This is especially true if the mother is the step-parent and the father had children from a previous marriage. All the kids will have the same surname and it will appear that the couple had children outside of the confines of their marriage. If the wife is the one that was married more than one time you will have children with different surnames which will not readily make sense since the wife's previous marriage(s) will not be displayed.

Report Options
(click image to enlarge)


I hope this series of three articles, Linking to Parents, Linking to a Single Parent, and now Linking to Two Sets of Parents will help you document your relationships correctly.


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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Once again you blow my mind with how well you can explain such complex concepts in such a simple and clear manner! Bravo!

This is just what I need at this point.
Thank you so much.
Joan Hollingsworth

Very helpful - thanks! 😀

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