Deleting multi-generation family

When one finds an error in family linkage, e.g. incorrect parents, can all generations of that incorrect ancestry be deleted simultaneously, including children, spouses, etc., from the different generations?

Not from the RM UI.

You could do a selective drag’n’drop to a new database at the risk of other GEDCOM & DnD transfer losses.

I don’t know of a delete feature for multiple people in RM7 or RM8. But you might try to “unlink the incorrect parents” so that they and their descendants are no longer linked in the primary family line. Then you can split the data file by copying only the lines you want to retain. To do this, create a new blank database file and copy your primary person with their ancestors and descendants thereby leaving the incorrect line in the original database that you wanted to delete. A copy can be performed by having the original database open along side a blank open database file. Then drag the primary person and their line to the new database thereby copying records of the primary persona and their ancestors. You do have optional selection choices during this operation. Checkout RootsMagic 7 video #47 (Splitting and Combining files) on YouTube on how this is done in RM7. RM8 works in a similar fashion.

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It sure would be nice to have a “Delete all ancestral lines” and a “Delete all descendant lines” option that when clicked will report that you are about to delete XXX people and ask if you want to continue. Of course you’d then have a bunch of unlinked citations that you’d have to deal with cleaning up.


In a large database trying to delete all ancestral or descendant lines would be dangerous. In a large database one will find families linked together in many different ways. In my 283,000 person database, all but about 5000 are linked to each other in some way. For example my parents are very distant cousins. That makes it almost impossible to even do the ancestors of one of my lines, because the exercise chooses so many names as to be useless. If I chose to delete a line, the same thing would happen, i.e. most of my database individuals would be chosen. If one makes an error, unlinking various relationships is safer even if it leaves unlinked people in the database. Unlinked people lurking in one’s database do no harm and eventually one may find some of them actually related to others.

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Thank you for your comment

Just came across this post - I would Color Code the line you want to remove. Only way is to delete one at a time but at least you’d know who.