I was recently going through the names on my following list, to add labels, and discovered that there is no relationship between many them and me anymore. What could have happened?
Most likely someone was working on your common lines and accidentally severed a limb on the tree somewhere. This can happen in one of several ways:
1) A Merge gone wrong - If someone does a merge and during that process does not bring along parents and children properly this can disconnect family lines. This is just a mistake and happens as we work together and learn how to use this program.
2) Old Information was incorrect and was corrected - If someone found that Mr. Smith was not the correct father in a family and replaced him with the real Mr. Smith, then that will disrupt previous relationships. This is good.
3) Old Information was correct and was changed in error - If someone replaced the real Mr. Smith with a different Mr. Smith due to a mistake in researching, this will also break relationships but in a bad way.
4) Misunderstanding Family Tree and "cleaning up my Tree" - If someone thought what he could see in Family Tree was his and his alone and didn't want "all that other stuff" and so removed a relationship, that would break your relationships. This, again, is bad.
Even though 3/4 of your following list got severed from your lines, most likely this was due to one simple change, mistake or otherwise. You should be able to go to your Following list notifications (I do hope you agreed to get these) under the notification bell icon in the top right corner of any page and look at the past few weeks of changes. Look for relationship changes and merges. Then go and evaluation each one.
If you don't have the notifications or deleted them without checking them out thoroughly, you can still use your Following list to see what happened.
Go to Following, open the Options panel on the right hand side. Choose All Changes and Sort by Date - Descending. Leave My Changes checked just in case you accidentally did this yourself. Then start scrolling down and look for relationship changes.
In this screen shot, the first entry shows "Child Relationship Deleted." When I check, I see that this was done when a duplicate of the child was merged and that all family relationships were correctly maintained. You should be able to find a change like this where family relationships were broken.
(However, some days when the servers are extra busy, it seems that the View My Relationship function gets lowest priority and just doesn't give any results. Often just checking back later or the next day will show that everything is actually just fine.)
Gorden, Thank you for replying to my post. I appreciate you for helping me understand what might have happened to the people on my following list. It seemed overwhelming to me to have to do back through the notifications. But you explained it so well, I think I'll be able to do it, or at least take a look at it.