« Attributes and Flags | Contents

Switch the Parents

Switching the Parents

Sometimes you discover that the mother of a family is displayed as the father and and vice versa. This will happen when you add a husband for a woman. Both the woman ánd the husband didn't have their gender set however, so Genbox will then put her in the ‘husband’ position and him in the ‘wife’ position of the relationship.
You've corrected the gender of both individuals afterwards but that will not change these positions. This only becomes obvious though when you link children to the family. You will find mother in the father-box and father in the mother-box.

It doesn't matter what you do, it will be very difficult to persuade them to change positions. Hopefully Bill will design a "reverse parents" feature someday but untill then, you will have to do the following.


Step 1
Select the Summary-tab of ‘Wife of Family’.


Step 2
Go to Select in the menubar > choose "Mark subrecords", confirm the dialog. You will see that the events for ‘Wife of Family’ will become red.
image step 2


Step 3
Go to Data > choose "Extract Marked subrecords", confirm both dialogs. This will create a new Individual with the name ‘Extracted Individual’. ‘Wife of Family’ doesn't have any events or children or parents left. They are moved to ‘ Extracted Individual’.
image Step 3


Step 4
Go to ‘Extracted Individual’ (it's the last one in the database, you can click on the 'last record' [>|] button in the toolbar). In the Header-box of this individual, you will see ‘Extracted Individual’, in the Name-box you will see the ‘Wife of Family’.


Step 5
Select ‘Husband of Family’ in the spouse-box but do not double-click on it. Right-click instead and choose "Delete". Confirm the dialog.
image Step 5


Step 6
‘Extracted Individual’ will now have an ‘(unknown spouse)’. Double-click on it.
image Step 6


Step 7
Select ‘Wife of Family’ from the list. It will appear that you're going to link the parent to him- or herself but don't worry, you don't. Click select and confirm the dialog.
image Step 7


Step 8
Double-click on ‘Wife of Family’ in the spouse-box, she will become the focus individual.


Step 9
Select ‘Extracted Individual’ in the spouse-box but again, do not double-click on it. Right-click and choose "Delete" (see image from step 5). Confirm the dialog.


Step 10
Double-click in the now empty spouse-box and select ‘Husband of Family’ from the list, click Select and confirm the dialog (see image from step 6).
The family-events plus links to the children are now restored for both parents.


Step 11
With ‘Wife of Family’ still having the focus, go to Data > choose "Merge Individuals".
image Step 11


Step 12
Select ‘Extracted Individual’ from the List (last entry), click Select and confirm both dialogs.
image Step 12


Step 13
The parents and individual events of ‘Wife of Family’ are now restored too. Furthermore, she is now in the correct parentsbox for he children, as you can see below.
image Step 13


Step 14
The only things you need to do now is do now is some cleaning. Their might be an extra marriage-event for ‘Wife of Family’ (during my testing, in one case it was created, in another case it was not). It's the one that is "unmarked" (i.e. not red), delete it.

On the Identifier-tab, delete the extra name for ‘Wife of Family’.


Step 15
To finish this project, go to Select > choose "Unmark subrecords" for ‘Wife of Family’.


If you want to see this  in action, I have captured this tutorial as a flash-animation. It starts with creating some ‘gender-insecure’ parents which shows how the parents ended up in the wrong fields (and what you should do to prevent it)


Posted by Wim Prange on June 24, 2005 at 05:08 PM in General Use | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Switch the Parents:


very usefull information.

Posted by: den | May 31, 2006 1:18:40 AM

My way is easier.
You select the Mother, change her gender from "female" to "other", switch to ANYONE else in the record, then switch back to the Mother and change her gender back to "female."
You will get a pop-up box that asks if you want to switch the mother and the father which you will click "yes" to... and you're done!
At least I thought it was easier...

Posted by: Ryan P | Mar 14, 2007 10:38:16 PM

You are correct Ryan. I had created this method before Bill had implemented the method you described. It certainly is easier.

When I have more time, I will update this.

Posted by: Wim Prange | Mar 14, 2007 11:16:30 PM