RM8 help in Australia

My problem with Unknown Spouse (in italics) remains unsolved. Is there a local contact for RM help in Australia that I may be allowed to reach out to. So far both attempts to contact sites on Google have been futile. I am convinced that the problem exists due to a software code written in by some tech Whizz.

The row on the page for my person just contains the two words in italics …Unknown spouse… but clicking on it achieves nothing because there is no person, no ID, no children, no link to anyone.
I have received several suggestions but all assume that there is or will be a real person but this is just not so. My lady already has two husbands (named) and children from just one of the husbands (also named) so she does not need this “ghost”. Whilst trying to solve the problem following the advice so far given this just achieved a duplicate line for one of the husbands with the same ID number. This line for unknown spouse only appears on the page for the wife.
I attached a screen shot of the page in question but to date have not received a response.
I would just love to talk to someone who might be able to help.
Robin Almond
02 44237124

I don’t know what has been suggested to try but my 2 cents … create a new database for the person who has “unknown spouse” with just them, no one else. Now Drag & Drop your database but don’t include the person or their spouse or any children. That should get rid of the Unknown and you can add the people who you didn’t copy.

Sorry to sound crass but, it ain’t rocket science, once you have an Unknown spouse showing on screen …immediately click upon the OTHER spouse (the one showing a name). This will highlight the “keeper” person. THEN right-click that “keeper” person and choose Unlink->Unlink from Spouse. The Unknown spouse will be banished from RM forever.

Hi Kevin,

You may not sound crass and I may not be stupid altho” I am 83, but yet again your reply and that from others misses the point. My unknown spouse is not unknown because I don’t know who it is but because the software has created a row for an unknown spouse that will never exist. The two words Unknown spouse are in italics and are in the details column and to the best of my knowledge there no other uses of italics in RM (you may tell me I am wrong.) Clicking on this entry results in a screen that has no name and no details and right clicking produces 2 options Add new fact and Delete Selected fact but as there are of course no facts there is nothing to do.

Let’s forget my problem for a minute and tell me why there is a line of code producing the two words in italics Unknown spouse.

In your response could you also tell me how to cope with two identical names with the same ID number – this problem also caused at the same time as I attempted to kill off the ghost spouse.

If you know of a friendly person in OZ that might be willing to chat with me please let me know.

Did you sight the screen shot I attached to an earlier cry for help – it clearly showed the italicised entry for Unknown spouse.


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Thanks MadDog, but your suggestion sounds too complex and every response so far ignores the information that my Unknown spouse appearing in italics in the details column is a nobody and never will be but one that refuses to get lost.


When a listing is identified as an Unknown spouse… then THEY are attached to someone else (as a spouse duh!) and it’s whom they are attached to that you must seek out and get on screen. EVERY Unknown spouse has a “known” spouse. EVERY Unknown spouse has an opposite gender spouse with at least a surname field filled in and typically a given name filled in. With the General Settings->Record to Display set to RIN… the “known” spouse is displayed with that RIN right after their name in the upper left corner. Get that “known” person onscreen and then click the Spouses button in the upper left hand corner. It will drop right below the button a listing of spouses including Unknown spouse. Click that Unknown spouse to give it highlight and the RM screen will have their coupling depicted onscreen. NOW right-click ontop of the “known” spouse and do the Unlink.


Yet again you miss the point of my problem. I am fully aware of the solutions you suggest BUT my Unknown spouse does NOT have an RIN, does not appear in the Index, and to my simple mind is merely a small piece of code error waiting for something to happen.

I know that you respond to many requests for help but if even you cannot read the questions before giving the answer then what hope have I got.

I asked 4 questions – is there a line of code producing the two words in italics Unknown Spouse; how do I resolve the issue of having two identical names with the same RIN; do you know of a friendly person in OZ who might be willing to chat with me; did you sight the screen shot that shows clearly my problem.

I am fully prepared to be ridiculed if it turns out that I am the cause of the problem but if you are unable to respond to my clearly stated points then don’t respond and maybe someone else might be more aware of the answers.


I can answer a couple of your questions, but it isn’t going to be helpful:

  1. Line of code causing a problem, the answer is simple. No one in here can answer that. As far as I know, only two persons have seen the code and neither have participated in this thread. They most likely wouldn’t admit to a line of code being a problem anyway.

  2. I don’t know. I have never seen two persons have the same RIN number. To me, it sounds like you need to run the database tools.

  3. No!

  4. No, because there is no screen shot attached to this thread. If you have previously asked your question, that means in order to see the screenshot, we would need to track down your previous post and scroll through that.

I’ll withhold replying in depth. Definitely someone else’s turn. Just keep in mind one can always clear Unknown spouses with no children attached by either using GEDCOM export and import to a new database or DragN’Drop everyone in one existing database to a newly created database.

Open a support ticket with a backup of your file and we can see what’s going on .

I agree with Renee’s response. Open a ticket.

But here is a question that I hope is clarifying. Are the following two statements both true?

  1. If you place your person with the weird unknown spouse as the top person in Descendant View, then there is no Unknown Spouse in italics or otherwise.

  2. If you open the Edit Person screen for the same person, then there is an Unknown Spouse in italics.

If both those statements are true at the same time, then it’s an impossible situation that can only be resolved by opening a ticket.

Thanks Jerry

I have followed your suggestions but the weird “Unknown spouse in italics” is there on both screens with no RIN.

I will follow Diana’s suggestion and go remote and will also open a ticket (if only I knew how to do that) but I’m sure a chat with Diana will hopefully resolve this dilemma. The only problem is the difference in time so I’ll have to try for around 7am Australian Eastern Standard Time on Wednesday which will be 3pm MT.

Stay tuned

Thanks Renee,

If you could just run me through the procedure for opening a ticket etc. I’ll give it a go. I hope to chat with Diana tomorrow when our different Time Zones provide a window of opportunity for a remote attempt.

Thanks Kevin,

I’m going for a remote access attempt with Diana when our Time Zones allow and as suggested open a ticket when I know how.

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I haven’t gone through al the replies here to see if anyone has asked you to check to see if the child has both parents. Or maybe is connected to the mother twice with a named father and an unknown father? But that’s where I’d look first.

Thanks Kenneth,

I sent the screen shot on Aug 20 to Roots Magic Support and it was acknowledged by Diana and case number 116686 was allocated to my request.

I now intend getting remote help once our Time Zones allow and also intend opening a ticket once I get the instructions.

My little problem seems to be causing concern amongst the support/help group so the quicker I sort it out the better.


If you did not post it here, then you need to not ask if we have seen it. That vast majority of the people that respond to you are NOT Rootsmagic employees so they have no idea what you are talking about. Renee is the only regular responder that is actually with the company. Since you already have a case number, then it would be best to work through your issue with the employ that assigned you that number,which it already sounds like you are planning to do.

Case number: 116686 is actually your ticket number. There are two ways to open tickets with RootsMagic. One is to use chats after hours on our website. The chat request is turned into a ticket. Chats are open M-F 8:00-4:00 (MT). The other way to open a chat is to go here -

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