Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Adding a Foster Relationship in FTM 2008

Having written a series of posts about Using Family Tree Maker 2008, and I'm not yet finished with the series yet, I have started to get "how-to" questions in email from readers and colleagues.

One of my readers wrote (names changed to protect identity):

"I have an ancestor John Smith who was also known as John Jones during his life. I found that he was adopted by (or fostered, or grew up in) the Andrew and Mary Jones family. Mary's maiden name was Smith, and I think that John might have been Mary's son but probably was not Andrew's son, since Andrew Jones and Mary Smith married after John Jones/Smith was born. This is back in the 1850 to 1860 time frame. How do I attach John Jones/Smith to adoptive/foster parents, Andrew Jones and Mary Smith in FTM 2008?"

Family Tree Maker 2008 can do this using this process (assuming there is an entry for John Jones/Smith and a family for Andrew and Mary (Smith) Jones):

1) Go to the family that you want to add the adopted/fostered child into. In the People menu, the Person tab > Relationship view. You should have the Andrew Jones and Mary Smith family on your screen.

2) Click on the Person menu item (below the People icon) and click on Attach/Detach Person and pick Attach Child.

3) Select the person from the menu who is to be adopted child. click OK and a list of the families to put him in appears. Pick Andrew Jones and Mary Smith, and click OK. John Sanders/Barker will appear in the list of children.

4) Highlight him and edit the relationship box on the right-hand panel - pick Adopted or foster - your choice!

5) You'll have to do this for both relationships - father and mother.

6) You can add the biological father for John Jones/Smith (even if it's Mr. Smith or Mr. Somebody) to your database. You can make it a Biological or Natural relationship to John Jones/Smith using the same process above.

It is possible to have more than one parental relationship in Family Tree Maker 2008. Your notes should clearly describe the situation, the available facts, and your conclusions based on all of the available evidence.

I am willing to answer "easy" questions about using FTM 2008, and will post my answers occasionally if they are useful to my readers and colleagues. Another resource for answering FTM 2008 questions or solving problems is at the FTM 2008 FAQ web site and the Using Family Tree Maker Genforum message board.

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