Deleting a father

I recently needed to delete a father from an individual on my tree. Familiar story, found the individual with parents on census returns and entered the details accordingly. Later on I discovered that he was born with his mother’s maiden name to his mother (who was in service to an aristocratic family) a year prior to the marriage without a father being shown on his birth certificate. The ‘father’ subsequently disowned him in his will. Accordingly I needed to remove his relationship to his father.

After a deal of searching I had to remove both parents in RM8 and then re-attach him to his mother as for the life of me I couldn’t find an option to disconnect him from just one parent. If it is there please point me to it. If not it would make a useful addition (the ‘edit relationships’ box in Ancestry is so much better/easier). Likewise I could only find a dialogue to remove all children from parents - not just one child.

What you want is called “Unlink”. Right click on the son and select Unlink>Unlink from Parents. This will break the link to both the father and mother. You then go to the mother and add the son as an existing person. Be aware this will create an “Unknown Spouse” for the mother since the son doesn’t have a father linked.

Hi Bob, thanks for your reply. That’s what I did in the end but had hoped, as in Ancestry, that you could just unlink from one parent or, the other way round, just unlink one child from a family (not all of them!).

What I showed is how to unlink only one child, not an entire family which is another option. Starting from the child only operates on the child when you unlink from parents. If you start from one of the parents you can unlink everyone in the family from each other.

I’ve tried to UNLINK spouse (unknown spouse) who created child with the known family member. I’ve highlighted UNKNOWN SPOUSE opened the popup which gives the option to UNLINK SPOUSE–when I click on UNLINK SPOUSE the help box pops up–must highlight person…which I did, over and over. Is this a glitch? Or is it me?

Hi Connie
As I recall RM shows ‘unknown spouse’ when you have details of just one parent in your database. If you have an illegitimate child or just the details of one parent, from a census or BMD index for example, the other parent will show as ‘unknown spouse’ on the profile of the one you do know. ‘Unknown spouse’ is just a label that shows you that you do not have any details for that person (as yet). When (and if!) you find the other spouse/parent and add their details it will disappear. It is not recorded as a person in your database so you can’t delete it. It is your database so if you prefer something else you can create a person as the spouse. If you have no details you can enter part details; I’ve seen question marks used for both Christian names and surnames and even, on one occasion, “Known unto God”!!
I hope that helps.

@Connie --I tried it out in my test database-- and RM 8 ( with the last update) does NOT enter a UNKNOWN spouse on the family or pedigree page–it also does NOT refer to an UNKNOWN SPOUSE in any narrative report-- It does however add an UNKNOWN SPOUSE in the Descendant view-- I added the child 1st and then picked his mother from an existing person in the file-- so then I added an unknown spouse for the mother-- BUT I was able to just delete the unknown spouse since I had added the child 1st…

If Unlink or delete does NOT work, then try giving the unknown spouse a name such as DELETE-- then see if you can just delete him ( BUT check to be sure there are no notes etc under him).