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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sunday Night Genealogy Fun - Relationship Calculator

Every Saturday night Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings offers up a "Saturday Night Genealogy Fun" challenge. Although it's Saturday night in Randy's time zone, it's already Sunday morning when the post is published here. As I don't get a chance to sit and blog until the evening, this is my Sunday Night Genealogy Fun!

The challenge this week is:

Genea-Musings: Saturday Night Genealogy Fun- your Relationship Calculator:

1) Open up the genealogy software program of your choice.

2) Think about two special people in your family tree (your parents? your spouse? a famous person? a distant cousin? yourself?).

3) Use the Relationship Calculator in the software to determine the relationship between the two special people. If you don't know where to find the Relationship Calculator, go to the Help button and find out. Follow the directions!

4) Tell us about it in a blog post on your own blog, in a comment to this post on my blog, or in a Note or comment on Facebook.

1) Yes, OK, software open. Genbox, if you're interested.

2) There are many special people in my tree, most of whom don't happen to be famous. I'm going to look at not one but a few, carefully selected cases:
a) The Australian author, Frank Hardy (Wikipedia entry).
b) A lady by the name of Agnes Carrey (c1824 - 1907).
c) Five people whose burials in Oakleigh Cemetery were authorised by my great-great-grandfather, Daniel Miller Couper.
3) The relationship calculator is easy to find. It's located in the Tools menu and is called "Relationship Calculator".

There are boxes for "First Person" and "Second Person". The boxes use predictive text, so as you start typing a name the rest of the name appears. If the name is too long, or too common, you can access a search box by double clicking. Beneath that there is a box called relationship which describes the relationship in general terms (father, brother etc) and a box called linkages that names the key individuals eg. the shared ancestor.

Using the Relationship Calculator I determined that:
a) Frank Hardy does not share a direct bloodline with me. He was the husband of my first cousin twice removed.  
b) Agnes Carrey is my first cousin five times removed. As she married her first cousin, she is also the wife of my third great-granduncle. Both relationships are listed.
c) The relationships of each of those five people to my great-great-grandfather were father-in-law, wife of father of wife, nephew, nephew of wife, and first cousin.
Genbox will only take descriptions without a direct bloodline so far, which is just as well as even "wife of father of wife" (father-in-law's second wife is another way of putting it) makes my head spin.

The other tool in Genbox to help you work out the relationship between people is the convergent chart. Like the relationship calculator, it gives you the option to plot only direct bloodlines, or any relationship. This was the feature that sold me on Genbox, years ago. When I trialled it, I was able for the first time to create a chart which showed the relationships in case c) above. Fantastic! I finally understood what was going on!

Unfortunately, the latest version (which hasn't been updated in quite some time, but I AM holding my breath for version 4!) seems to have developed a bug in the convergent chart when there are more than two or three people. Instead I was able to reproduce my result this evening by using one of the other chart types, limiting the scope to one or two generations from my key individuals, trimming off the extra people and right clicking to "reorganise chart". 

Chart: A visual representation of the relationships between Daniel Miller Couper, and the five people whose burials in Oakleigh Cemetery he authorised. Created using Genbox.

I could go on for hours about the unique features of Genbox that you mightn't see straight away (it can include source citations on charts!!!) but will save that for when version 4 finally comes out, whenever that may be.

4) See above.

That's my weekend over. Enjoy whatever is left of yours!

Update: I just noticed that the order of marriages in the chart for Caroline Jones is wrong. John Allsop should be the second marriage. The error was mine, I've fixed it in my database now.

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