Adding an Unknown spouse in Edit Person mode

To be able to add a Sibling, you need to add a Father with only his Surname.
Then working for example on a Marriage Official Archive, you get this father’s Given, so perfect :grinning:
You are in Edit Person mode of the Spouse to add his Occupation, confirm his Birth date, etc and you switch to his Father to add some details too, like his Given: that’s OK.
In the example below, I added ‘‘Maurice’’ as Given

In the same Marriage Archive, you also get his mother’s Given and Surname: double perfect :grinning: :grinning:
So I switch to ‘‘Unknown spouse’’

But unable to enter any data for this Spouse. Modifying Given or anything in right Person: modify the Father’s details :slightly_frowning_face:
To add the Mother, the only way I found is closing/losing this Edit Person screen, then going to People, searching the Spouse I’m working on, and only here I can add his Mother.
What am I doing as it should?

It’s behaving as designed. A single parent will always show a place holder for an unknown spouse. You had not added the spouse yet and that is why selecting to move to them within someone else’s Edit Person screen isn’t bringing up a full screen. The drop list was only there to let you change to the child.

This appears to me to be either a design flaw or else is a programming bug in the RM user interface.

The root cause is that the Unknown Spouse is not really an unknown spouse, per se. Rather, it’s a null spouse, which is to say there is no spouse there. The Switch To mechanism that you are using allows you to Edit an existing person but not to Add a new person. In your case, there is no existing person and you need to Add a new person. In other words, the Add operation is not supported by the Switch To tool.

I think this needs to be fixed in RM by doing one of two things: #1, don’t offer the Unknown Spouse as someone to whom you can switch, or #2, offer you the opportunity to switch to the Unknown Spouse by adding a new person to the RM database for you with no data yet filled in. That way you could just fill the data in and all would be well.

I don’t know if either one of these fixes will be added to RM. For your purposes, option #2 would clearly be preferable. Otherwise, you would continue to need to close the Edit Person screen before you could add the Mother. However, I think option #2 would be very difficult to accomplish given a current design feature of RM.

Namely, there is a major distinction between RM’s Add Person screen and RM’s Edit Person screen. The Add Person screen is the only way to type a new person into your RM database. But it only supports names and sex and facts. It doesn’t support notes and citations and media files and things of that sort. I have long wished that the Add Person screen was more like a blank Edit Person screen than like the Add Person screen it is. For that reason, I tend to enter the barest minimum of information into RM’s Add Person screen and to get to RM’s Edit Person screen as quickly as possible.

But upon further reflection, maybe there is a way that a using the Switch To tool for an Unknown Spouse could be made to work. Namely, the existing Add Spouse tool goes to the Add Person screen and then transitions automatically to the Edit Person screen. If the Switch To tool could be made to do that for an Unknown Spouse, that would solve your problem. For that matter, maybe the Add Person screen could always just transition to the Edit Person screen. Well, some users wouldn’t like that feature. But for me as a sample size of one, it would serve me very well.

This message is already way too long, but let me finish with the following observation. A Switch To that goes to the Unknown Spouse almost seems to do what I wish for. Which is to say that it seems to go to a blank Edit Person screen on the left side of the screen. But none of the fields on the left side of the screen are editable because a new person has not actually been added. But the right side of the screen still shows the data from the original person before you do the Switch To. That’s a real mess and it need to be fixed. The more I think about it, I think that a Switch To that goes to an Unknown Spouse should simply do an Add Spouse and that would solve all the problems associated with this issue.

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Renee replied while I was composing my message. If the intent is that the drop list is only there to let you change to the child, then the Unknown Spouse should not be in the drop list. But a better design would be do have the Unknown Spouse be in the drop list and to have it do an Add Spouse.


Basically as the others have said, there is NO SPOUSE listed if you look in the family/ pedigree view etc–BECAUSE you left it blank which is how I sometimes prefer to leave it IF I know that I am NEVER going to find the name of the other parent ( exhaustive every avenue of research possible)…

only in descendant view does it show unknown spouse BUT you also can’t access them from there…

To keep this from happening, some will give a name to the unknown spouse-- as Given ? wife of Smith ( or mother of John Smith) Surname unknown or ?— just need to play with it as surname ? puts it at beginning of index-- surname unknown puts it at the end of the index and if you use the Surname of ? mother of John Smith, it puts it at the beginning of the Smiths

That’s exactly what would be the best design and new feature .

And also when you have no parents at all when you are in Edit Person mode: be able adding one or the 2 parents from this screen.