Actually, the relationship function would work much nicer if it operated as you described. I have ancestors who had several wives. These wives do not have children connected to them at all with ANY relationship (not even step) yet I will find Rootstech relatives and other relative functions through these wives. Why? See my screenshot example of a woman that should NEVER show up in my lineage.
@Gail Swihart Watson said: "Actually, the relationship function would work much nicer if it operated as you described. I have ancestors who had several wives. These wives do not have children connected to them at all with ANY relationship (not even step) yet I will find Rootstech relatives and other relative functions through these wives. Why?"
It seems clear that you are hiding information to preserve privacy, which is certainly understandable, but I can't follow your example, so I'm unable to comment on it. I don't understand what you mean when you say that you find relatives "through these wives." If you would be willing to send me more details via direct message, I'd be happy to look into it.
Alan E. Brown Sorry. The screenshot is a composite of 2 images. The image on the left shows the woman, Martha is her name, married to a man and they have 0 children. 0. I guess what I should have indicated is the man is an ancestor of mine and Martha is a second wife of his. The two of them had no children. Both had all their kids from their first marriages. The image on the right is from a relationship display showing how I am "related" to someone through Martha. I am related to NO ONE through Martha. That, was my point. Martha is NOT in my lineage. Martha, bless her heart, should never appear in any relationship with me. I would have accepted the mistake if I had attached step children to her. But as you can see, I did not do that. She is merely a second wife and FamilySearch is taking liberties, in my opinion and deviating from the truth when the truth should be available.
You are certainly related to Martha herself, following the rule I posted, if I understand correctly. You share a common ancestor (your great grandfather), with one couple relationship (marriage between Martha and that great grandfather) at the end of the relationship chain.
Are you saying that you don't like the rule that FamilySearch uses, or are you claiming that FamilySearch is not following that rule?
As a side note, in some contexts such as Relatives at RootsTech, the definition of a relative does not include a couple relationship at the beginning of the relationship chain (e.g., I won't see relationships through my wife).
FamilySearch says I am related to someone through Martha. FamilySearch says I descend from one of her parents, one of her grandparents, etc. That is certainly not true. What's worse, is there is no connection on any person page of a direct ancestor of mine linked to her as a child.
So FamilySearch is propagating fiction.
Why do you think that ok?
I never said that was ok. I was just trying to understand the situation.
The situation you describe sounds like a bug, but without specific details I can't be sure. I have similar situations in my ancestry with second spouses, but have never seen any relationships calculated through the second spouse's parents or children by an earlier spouse I am not related to. Someone at FamilySearch with access to that data would have to look into this.
Ok, I actually discovered I was wrong. I went to my grandfather's page and I had connected him directly to her with a step relationship. I just removed that relationship, and did a refresh on my relationship to the contributor. It instantly changed. I guess I am still related to the contributor, but at least now I recognize blood ancestors for 6 generations, and then it gets unknown.
So putting a step relationship will cause those lines to show up in relationship finders. That is too bad, but I guess more understandable.
Thanks for following up to clear up the mystery. It makes sense now.
It's true that FamilySearch will use any parent-child or couple relationship that is in the Tree to calculate relationships. I know that different people have varying opinions as to what should be included. Certainly biological parents, but also adoptive parents in my opinion; guardians, foster, and step parents are not as obvious, but in some cases those are very strong relationships that might be more important than biological. And all this is further complicated by the fact that a parent can have more than one relationship type (e.g., could be a step and adoptive parent).
So I have some sympathy for FamilySearch's choice to include all couple and parent-child relationships when calculating how a person is related. That's certainly the simplest approach. At least for now, we just need to be careful in which relationships we add to the Tree. I only add step relationships if they were particularly meaningful in a person's life.
Well, I have some experience with adoptions. I have a number of adopted relatives, and they all share the exact same behavior. Their social life and affiliations are solidly anchored in their adopted families. But, when it comes to building family trees, all of them want ONLY information about their birth lineages. None, and I do mean none, are interested in the adopted lineage. So, I suspect that may be the case with all adopted persons. All my adopted relatives are 50+ and all parents, bio or adopted, are now deceased; so that may be part of it.
I think because when a parent child link is established no relationship is required, that is why FamilySearch has to take "all comers" for lineage. If they instituted a mandatory popup that made you pick biological, adoptive, foster, guardian, etc., then maybe they could limit the relatives that popup. As it is, probably not.
Thank you, Gail, for sharing your experience with adoptions. I, too, have worked with family members and others who are adopted or who have parents who were adopted. Interestingly, my experience in working with them is nearly the opposite of yours. Every one of them is highly interested in building trees that involve their adopted family lines. Their interest in building trees for their biological families includes some who are quite interested, but others who see the biological side as just a mild curiosity, not nearly as important as the family that raised them. I'm talking about perhaps 10 or so people, so it's not a statistically-significant data set, but I did find it curious that my experience is so different from yours.