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Unknown Spouse in Ancestry which of course is replicated in FTM

Discussion in 'Ancestry problems' started by At home in NZ, Nov 23, 2022.

  1. At home in NZ

    At home in NZ LostCousins Star

    Going over old ground while attempting to reduce the number of Hints I noticed several of the people I was looking at have the word Unknown above the spouse name.
    It is easily fixed by using the Edit Relationships at top right of the profile. However after doing a few of these I decided to run the Marriage Report in FTM which reports on the setting for the relationship.

    In one tree there are 826 marriages of which 503 Relationship to spouse is Unknown.
    In another tree there are 566 marriages of which 128 Relationship to spouse is Unknown.
    In another tree there are 517 marriages of which 70 Relationship to spouse is Unknown.
    In another tree there are 521 marriages of which 198 Relationship to spouse is Unknown.

    In view of the total of almost 900 I am looking for a quick fix, does anybody have one?

    Illustration of Unknown Spouse, is in the attached jpg.

    Attached Files:

  2. At home in NZ

    At home in NZ LostCousins Star

    I see there have been 36 views but no comments, has anybody checked their Ancestry person profiles to see if they have the same Unknown spouse?
  3. Mitch_in_Notts

    Mitch_in_Notts LostCousins Member

    I have just called up Marriage Report on my ancient FTM for my main tree, but it just gives me columns headed 'Husband' 'Wife' 'Marriage Date' and 'Status of Relationship'. Presumably I would have to have a person in my tree called 'unknown' to have them listed as 'unknown'. I can't at a quick glance see any unknowns in the 38 page report, and there is no 'find' option available on my reports.
    If I go back to 'find and replace' the only 'unknown' in my tree are births where the child was never named, or entries where I have entered 'unknown' against a place of birth etc.
    Sorry not to have been more help.
  4. At home in NZ

    At home in NZ LostCousins Star

    In the status of relationship column it should show 'Spouse ongoing' or Spouse unknown'. If you don't have any of the latter then you don't have my problem.
    Thanks for your effort.
  5. Mitch_in_Notts

    Mitch_in_Notts LostCousins Member

    Yep the only thing that appears in the Status Column was 'divorce '. Sorry!
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
  6. Helen7

    Helen7 LostCousins Superstar

    I see what you mean. I just ran a marriage report in FTM and noticed several listed as 'Unknown' in the Relationship column, even though the relevant person profile in FTM shows nothing wrong and their marriage details are there. Looking at the same individuals in Ancestry, I see the same 'Spouse/partner and children Unknown' message that you report. It's strange.

    I don't have a quick fix, other than using the Edit Relationship on Ancestry - sorry.
  7. At home in NZ

    At home in NZ LostCousins Star

    Thanks anyway Helen. I was trying to find out if other Ancestry users have the same 'Unknown' label in their trees, with view to raising it with Ancestry.

    Hopefully a few more Forum members will look at their trees for me as I would like more 'ammunition'.
  8. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Megastar

    I’ve looked at mine and I’m not seeing anything amiss, and I don’t have FTM to run a report. However, I may not be looking in the right place, or be using a different view or something, as I’m not really seeing anything quite like the screenshot you posted. Maybe you need to have FTM to help with this?
  9. At home in NZ

    At home in NZ LostCousins Star

    Just to clarify, I spotted it first in Ancestry, it's not an FTM error.

    Maybe the screen shot attached will clarify the position of the 'Unknown'. It is at the right hand side of the profile page.

    Attached Files:

    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
  10. Helen7

    Helen7 LostCousins Superstar

    Before AHinNZ pointed this out, I hadn't noticed it in my Ancestry tree either. It was only on running an FTM marriage report (which I'd not actually done before) that I noticed a small minority of people had this 'Unknown spouse' label, which prompted me to look at those individuals in my Ancestry tree. They were people whose profile I hadn't looked at for a long time, so I hadn't noticed this 'Unknown' label before, but there it was, exactly as AHinNZ describes it. I must stress, only a relatively small minority of people in my tree (about 50 in 2,600) have this anomaly, so I wouldn't have noticed if I didn't know where to look.
  11. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Megastar

    So maybe having FTM helps with knowing who to check even though it’s an Ancestry issue - at least, so it would appear. I’m looking in the right place now, thanks to the additional screenshot, and I’ve looked at a few random people, but there was nothing amiss in any of them. As for the rest, who knows?
  12. Stuart

    Stuart LostCousins Member

    I can create that in a new tree. Entering a person and a child for that person, the father's profile shows "Spouse and children", and in the partner's box it says "Add spouse". If I use the edit relationships dialogue to enter a name for his partner, I can change "spouse" to "unknown" and then I get what the clip above shows. So I can think of two possibilities:

    1. Ancestry is changing its default for partners from spouse to unknown, but not in my case yet. Some existing trees get affected by this change.

    2. It comes from FTM, either due to a similar change there or some misunderstanding in their exchange of data. But I know less than nothing about FTM or its chatter with Ancestry so that's just a guess.

    Has anyone not using FTM seen this in Ancestry?
  13. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Megastar

    Ancestry refers to everyone as a ‘spouse’ in the description even if you’ve previously noted them as a partner, but I’m still not finding anyone also marked unknown. I have entered everyone in my tree via Ancestry, and although it’s some years since most were entered, I was back then able to select the relationship of a couple.

    So maybe it is that if a selection wasn’t made when entering a spouse/partner, Ancestry is now defaulting to Unknown.
  14. Tim

    Tim Megastar and Moderator Staff Member

    I've just looked and yes I have them :(:mad:

    Out of the 1st 684 records I downloaded I have 114 with unknown status. This extrapolates to 2,160 for my full tree.

    Another Ancestry glitch in the Matrix.....

    I haven't looked to see if this random across new and old additions to the tree, maybe it only applied to a specific time period? This will take a long time to fix.

    Is there an easy way to list just the unknown Relation status?
  15. Susan48

    Susan48 LostCousins Superstar

    The Spouse Unknown problem hasn't appeared on any of my very minimal Ancestry trees, neither do I use FTM. I put the trees on Ancestry when I took a DNA test in 2020, so fairly recently - if that helps.
  16. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Megastar

    When you add in a spouse at Ancestry, there is dropdown selection to pick the type of relationship - there are 6 options, the last of which is unknown. It defaults to spouse, but for some I chose partner because I know they didn’t marry. But maybe it works differently if you add people in via FTM or upload a gedcom.

    Needless to say, I haven’t checked everyone in my tree, but maybe, because I’ve entered everyone at Ancestry and a relationship was selected when spouses were entered, I won’t have the problem. But I can appreciate how much of a nuisance it will be for anyone whose tree is affected.
  17. At home in NZ

    At home in NZ LostCousins Star

    You didn't say where you downloaded to.
    If it is FTM you can do as I did, run the Marriage report then export to Excel and use the filters. That is how I found out how many I have.

    I don't know how I can tell whether they are old or new additions but the first ones I found are in parts of a tree that I hadn't been to in a long while. After I had run the report I realised they are older entries.

    I have never used the dropdown to pick the type of relationship. I must be using Ancestry in a different way.
    The only time I have reason to change is when it's a Partner, although I haven't got that many.
    I usually add spouses by way of a marriage or a census and let Ancestry default to Spouse. It seems that in a lot of my relationships the default hasn't worked..

    I build my trees in Ancestry, I sync to FTM and I only ever export GEDCOM from Ancestry not vice versa.
    I am convinced it is an Ancestry fault and agree with Tim about taking a long time to fix. Unless Ancestry can come up with a solution and that could be a big ask
    I looked at FTA but there isn't anywhere for manipulation of this type of data.

    If I have to manually fix all my instances it will be a long time before I can do any further research or attempt to get the mountains of Hints reduced.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 25, 2022 at 10:25 AM
  18. Helen7

    Helen7 LostCousins Superstar

    Mine are older entries too. And I just 'Add Spouse' and don't change the relationship from the default unless it's a Partner. It seems in some cases, the default 'Spouse' status has been lost.
  19. At home in NZ

    At home in NZ LostCousins Star

    Thanks Helen, I agree.

    I have raised a case with Ancestry, an automated response gave me case number 15436758. Now, I play the waiting game.
  20. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Megastar

    I would agree, and my comments were to try and clarify the issue rather than suggesting otherwise.
    Most of the time I haven’t either, but I have selected ‘partner’ for a few couples who I know didn’t marry. I couldn’t say now whether I did it when entering the partner, or if I went back afterwards to edit the relationship.

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