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Newbie question - deleting branches

Newbie question - deleting branches

Posted: 1324918279000
Classification: Query
Admittedly a newbie, I have searched various forums for several hours about this question. Some threads seems close, but perhaps being new to the lingo prevents me from understanding the answer.

What I would like to do, in FTM 2012, is select an individual listed as one of my ancestors but about whom I am not confident, delete him, and have all of his ancestors be deleted at the same time. Simply erase everyone back from Person A with one click, rather than have them float around in my data. Is this possible?

Re: Newbie question - deleting branches

Posted: 1324919966000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1324920818000

The way to delete groups of people in FTM is through selecting groups of individuals in charts in the Publish Workspace. I know, it sounds like an unlikely place to put that capability. I guess they put the delete capability in an unlikely place to make it harder to do and thus harder to delete people by mistake. Who knows?

Once you have found a chart that gives you the dataset you are looking for, likely an ancestral chart, you right click in a blank area of the chart and choose to Delete > Everyone in the chart.

I would make a backup of your old file to keep for reference.

One thing to look out for is peripheral relatives. Multiple spouses of ancestors won't be included in an ancestral chart, nor will siblings of ancestors, children from previous marriage, children of other spouses of ancestors from their other spouses, etc.

To get all peripheral relatives, you might want to:

1) Detach your "undesired ancestral group" from your desirable group. This would probably entail Person > Detach > Detach from a family where he / she is a father/mother of a family.
2) Select a person in the "undesirable ancestral group" and run the Extended Family Chart.
3) Uncheck "All individuals".
4) Run it for a desired number of generations.

This chart will (should!) pickup all of the peripheral relatives in the "undesired" bunch, that a straight ancestral chart might miss. Then you can right-click > Delete.

Another thing you might want to do is to keep the dataset of what you are deleting in a separate file. You can export the records you are deleting - before deletion - in the same manner. Get them all in a chart, Right Click Export. Then Right Click Delete.

Re: Newbie question - deleting branches

Posted: 1335562676000
Classification: Query
Thanks for this very informative answer. However it only solves part of the problem, in my case.

I have a large tree of my own ancestors, plus ancestors of my wife. We now want to separate these two trees, through copying the combined tree, and then deleting one side from each copy.

The difficulty is that both sides of the tree contain not only direct ancestors and peripherals, but also descendants from sibs of the direct line, (and family of relatives by marriage). In other words, we each have multiple cousins at varying degrees of separation. The Extended Family Chart does not pick up cousins, so how can we ensure that all these additional "undesirable" people are deleted?

Thanks for any help

Re: Newbie question - deleting branches

Posted: 1335565208000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1335565435000
Yes, the Extended Family Chart DOES pickup cousins. And it also picks up parents of spouses, and ex-spouses, and ex-spouses' spouses, and children of ex-spouses by other people.

The Extended Family Chart will pickup everyone in your file that is related to the selected person in any way, shape or form -

1) IF the number of generations selected is large enough to cover everybody. I'd suggest setting it to 99 generations.
2) Detach your wife from her parents or you from your parents or from each other - whichever way works for you.
3) Unselect the box to Include ALL individuals
4) Be sure to do this to a file that has multiple copies backed up.

Use the Person Locator to find a person in the charts. That person may be in more than one "island" chart. The "instances" will let you "jump" that person from one chart to another. A person may be a child in one chart, a spouse in another, or a spouse in multiple charts. The Locator person will change the outline of their box from black to blue.

The chart will start with the selected person and do a descendant chart (I think it selects the paternal line first). Then, each spouse in that chart will get its own chart to the right. Then, each spouse in each of those charts will get their own chart, and so on. Each chart represents a descendant chart "island" from one ancestor. A large file could have thousands of separate charts / islands.

Then, when you have everyone you think you should:

Right click
Select Export
Go through the various screens to export all in that chart.

Then, right click
Select Delete

You now have two files. You should be able to add the number of people in your index for each of those files and it should equal the beginning number in your beginning file index.

I might add that if you have a moderately large file, I would do this before going to bed, or at least before going to lunch. This is a very complicated report for the software and it will take a long time to do. If you have a large file, your computer may not have enough memory for it.

Re: Newbie question - deleting branches

Posted: 1335567272000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1335567319000
I have interpreted you what you in two ways. One you want to separate one tree into two tree, if so there are several threads on doing this on this form.


You have placed a person in your tree that turned out not to be part of your family, and you want to delete that person and families connected through that person.

I was in this situation a couple of years ago. I had attached a parent to a grandfather that turned out to be wrong.

Instead of deleting the wrong parent and family, (I had spent years developing that family) I just unconnected the parent from the grandfather, and left the wrong parent and family as an unconnected tree in my database.

As it turns out it was fortunate that I did, as after several years work I was able to connect my grandfather to a brother of the original wrong parent. Fortunately I did NOT delete the family of the wrong parent, and had all that information in place when I attached my grandfather to the brother.

Because of my experience, I would recommend exporting the family you no longer want and maintain them in a separate file. OR do like I did just remove the connection and leave the family in your tree, as you may need it in the future.

In research all data is valid, you may not know what it means.

Re: deleting branches

Posted: 1335722322000
Classification: Query
Thanks to silverfox3280 for his excellent and detailed description. However my experience does not correspond to his, or possibly we are misunderstanding each other.

The Extended Family Chart may pick up everyone RELATED to a particular person, but it definitely does not pick up everyone CONNECTED to that person. My connections include ancestors and descendants of spouses of my direct ancestors, and their spouses.

After working through the process I was left with multiple "islands" who had not been removed, so I spent very many hours last night doing this manually, based either on name or location (my wife and I were born in different countries, and so were most of our relatives). However I am still coming across individuals whom I missed in the first run through.

Reading through other threads here, I gather that this is a known difficulty, and that there is no real solution. Some posts mentioned using external software to dissect ged files, but these are advertised as running under Windows 95, so I would not trust such ancient technology. Some of my relatives are much younger!

My interest in a solution is now only theoretical, as I have the one-time exercise behind me (I sincerely hope!). But does a seemingly simple objective really have to be so difficult to achieve?

Re: deleting branches

Posted: 1335727550000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1335730558000
The Extended Family Chart picks up everone CONNECTED to a person by MARRIAGE or by BLOOD, including a child of a spouse with another spouse of a prior spouse of a spouse of your great-aunt.

I have never seen it miss such a connection.

Can you give a specific example of a connection that you think was missed so that we can retest it??

When you say "I was left with multiple islands who had not been removed - did you select the option to: "Remove ALL in this chart". If you remove all in the chart, it should removed the whole dataset you have included.

Do you understand that ALL of the islands/trees are related to each other - by marriage? The number coding relates one person as a spouse in the tree they married into. The second instance of that person is indicated in the tree in which they are shown as the son or daughter of an ancestor.

Let's say you have a mom's side and a dad's side - and you have all kinds of peripheral relatives on each side. If you detach the mom and dad from each other, or either the mom or dad from their parents - and assuming there are no other connections between the two datasets - selecting either the mom or the dad to run the Extended Family Chart will pick whichever side you want, in its entirety. If you add the number of people in the mom's side from the to the number of people in the dad's side, you should get exactly the same number that was in the index of the original file (assuming also-known-as option is the same in all three datasets.)

You can get a count, before exporting, by going to "Export all in this chart", then all of the people selected for export will flip to the right side of the screen, with a count at the bottom of the display.

Re: deleting branches

Posted: 1335741666000
Classification: Query

Did you set the generations of ancestors and descendants to a high number?

I created a copy of my file with 5795 individuals. I opened that file and created an Extended Family Chart but forgot to set the generations of ancestors and descendants to a high number. When I deleted the people in the chart I was left with a mess, unconnected islands all over the place. I created a new copy of my file and set the generations of ancestors and descendants to a high number. This time it deleted all but 36 people from my file. These are two small islands I expected to be left. If you choose to export the individuals in the chart the same rule applies, high numbers.


Here is an Example

Posted: 1335741808000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1335742342000
Since I have failed to demonstrate to you that the Extended Family Chart does exactly what you are asking for, I've made up a little example to see if I can explain it better.

I have setup a file that has eighteen people in it. A wife with parents > 3 people in her tree. And a husband with a whole bunch of different relatives > 15 in his tree.

1) I have disconnected the husband and the wife.
2) I have selected the husband as the base person
3) I go to Publish > Charts > Ext Family Chart
4) I uncheck "Include All Individuals" in right panel.
5) I change no of generations to 99.
5) I get a report that shows me these people that I had entered in the file:

Now, look at the report attached below. It shows the up and down blood relatives of Fred Taylor - An Ahnentafel, if you will.

Then, it shows another spouse of a great grandmother of Fred (Joe Smith), along with that spouses' parents, their child together, plus his child (Tami Smith) with another spouse - Jodie Royal.

Joe Smith, his parents, his other wife - Jodie Royal, and Tami Smith are not related to Fred Taylor by blood, but by marriage.

The Extended Family Chart should pick every person who is related to Fred by either BLOOD or MARRIAGE. I have not found an instance where FTM failed to do this; but there's always a possibility that there is some relationship that FTM can't handle - I've just not seen it.

This chart contains 17 people. The spouse's chart contains 3 people. The total of the file before doing anything is a total of 20 people. If You count boxes in this chart, you will find it has 22 boxes, because Mary Tomlinson and Joe Smith in twice - that is why there are dotted lines around their boxes with numbers in brackets next to their names.

There are three separate trees in this chart. They are: blood relatives of 1) Fred Taylor, 2) Mary Tomlinson, and 3) Joe Smith.

You can see that with a large file, this gets into the thousands of separate trees within the chart and can take a lot of memory.

I hope I have explained this well enough this time.

How large was your file and how long did it take to get the report finished?

This chart shows the HUSBAND'S SIDE. You either

1) right click export everone in this chart, or
2) right click delete everyone in this chart, or
3) right click export, then right click delete, everyone in this chart, or

4) right click export everyone in this chart, then select the wife, run this report for her, and right click > export everyone in her Extended Family Chart.

Before you delete, be sure you have a copy of your complete file backed up some place.

Deleting branches

Posted: 1335771800000
Classification: Query
I appreciate the help I'm receiving here, even though I have semi-manually achieved the split.

I have followed your instructions to the letter. Generations are 99 up and down. Generation of the Extended chart took very little time, deletion slightly longer. Far, far longer was the regeneration of the chart with me (home person) as the base - an annoying step which I wasn't able to prevent happening, or to interrupt.

I'm wondering if scale has something to do with my problems. Before splitting my tree, it contained some 19'300 persons. Now that I have removed my wife's part, I'm down to 17'200. After painful completion of the multiple deletions, I was able to manually remove several hundred unwanted places (out of about 3'500) and then compacted the remaining file, achieving a compaction of some 30%.

Now comes the astonishing part. The original file has a size of 48'295 kB, but the reduced file (containing 2'000 fewer persons and 400 fewer places) has a size of 49'433 kB. Both are compacted. I don't have many media files, but anyway this should be irrelevant. How can a reduction INCREASE the file size?

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