Feature Request: Additional ancestors and descendants of ancestors options

Hi - It would be great to have two more options added to the Ancestors Options screen under the “Ancestors and descendants of ancestors”:

Current Option: Descendants generations (1=children, 2=grandchildren)
New Option: Descendant children spouses (checkbox)
New Option: Descendant children spouses’ parents (checkbox)

This would allow you to select all of your ancestors, their immediate family members, the spouses of their children, and the parents of the spouses of their children. Currently, there’s no way to do this. There is an option to select spouses of descendants for a particular person, but that would take forever to manually apply to all ancestors. It also doesn’t cover the parents of the spouses of descendants which is an important inclusion for certain tasks.

The “ancestors and descendants of ancestors” feature needs an additional option. I sometimes need to make a group by going to each of my second great grandparents in turn and marking them and their descendants for three generations or something like that. t seems like the “ancestors and descendants of ancestors” feature would already do that, but it won’t. The problem is that I need the “descendants of the ancestors” part to be “descendants of the most distant ancestors”. In other words, the "“ancestors and descendants of ancestors” feature often marks too many descendants for what I need to do.

By the way, I don’t need to go to each second great grandfather and to each second great grandmother. Doing one or the other is usually enough. The only exception is when both of them have additional spouses. And it’s not always second grandparents. Sometimes it’s something like fourth greath grandparents and three generations of their descendants. Needs can vary.

As a complete newbie, this sound like something I’m missing too. I find it odd that I can’t either see (as a View) or produce (as a Chart), a tree showing literally everyone from a given target person - ancestors and children or descendants and children - or both. The charts seem to be restricted to mothers and fathers at each generation. I do realise that this would produce a really massive view/chart for very large families but I 'm sure its possible, with an ‘enlarge/reduce’ option from a design point of perspective.

I think this suggestion would go some way to satisfy my needs but I don’t fully understand it.

Where exactly is the “Ancestors Options screen” under the “Ancestors and descendants of ancestors”? Is this a View, or a Chart? I’ve had a look around and can’t find such an Options screen.


Confirming request has been reported to development.


@rzamor1 - Thanks for forwarding this request!

@JohnB47 - Thanks for your interest in this. The request is specifically related to creating Groups and color coding using relationship rules. The Groups allow you to filter people quickly. You can only use the Group filters in certain areas in RM like the People > People List view and FamilySearch > Share Data. It’s often helpful in these areas to limit the scope of people you’re working with.

It’s not a view or a chart. It’s a searching option. Well, really it’s a marking option, for example when making a group or color coding or exporting a GEDCOM. For example, go to the Groups tab in the lower part of the left sidebar and click the + icon.

Give the group a name, select Free Form, and click the Select People button.
You will be in RootsMagic Explorer. This is where you will able to select Ancestors and their Descendants. But first you have to navigate to the correct person. This is where RM does not position itself automatically to the person you started out on. The most common way to navigate to the correct person is to type in the person’s surname, given name. I’m searching for Alva Edward Peters. Notice that it does navigate to the right person and it highlights the right person, but it leaves the highlighted person down toward the bottom of the screen.

You are now ready to click the Mark button.

When you click the Mark button, there will be a dropdown box and you need to select the Ancestors option. It’s hard to do a screen capture of the dropdown box, but it’s very straightforward actually to select the Ancestors option. After you select the Ancestors options, here is what you will see. Well, I have already changed some of the options. What you need is the Ancestors and Descendants of Ancestors option. Set the number of generations to meet your needs.
From here, click OK, click Select, and click Save, and your group is made. But the main thing is the concept of getting to the screen where you can select both Ancestors and Descendants at the same time.

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Thank you both.

Jerry, that’s one perfect reply. Much better than the information contained in the ‘Help’.

I now need to create a group, following your instructions and play around with the result. I don’t really know what creating a Group is useful for. The Help doesn’t go into that either, so I’ll just see what happens.

Thanks again.

The same convention for Marking (and Unmarking) is available for operations such as Exporting data (GEDCOM) of selected individuals (or Drag’n’Drop of selected folks to another database), Color-coding a set of people, and during Set Living (Command Palette), ETC.


If I’ve understood correctly, creating a Group makes for viewing smaller sets of related people.

There’s no information that I can find to explain what Groups are good for - even the otherwise very good video I found spend lots of time explaining how to create Groups and doesn’t really focus on what you can do with them afterwards.

Grouping makes selecting an individual easier and once that’s done, that person becomes the focus for other operations; Reports and Charts etc.

The Report or Chart layout isn’t changed in any way, the Group just allows you to see and select an individual easier.

Have I got that right?

Say you wanted to know all the people in your lines who served in the Military-- you could create a group then color code it to a specific color ( of course only one color shows at a time) and see who was in the group…

Jerry listed all the reports that can be made with a group in this post