Right now if you try to view your relationship, it only goes to a limited number of generations. Sure would like that to be unlimited.
The current limit is 15 generations back to your common ancestor from either you or the other person. In my personal experience, once you get into that 10-15 generations, the data is so often totally unreliable and unsourced in this database. If it DOES show a current relationship at 10-15 generations, You really have to take it with a grain of salt until you have personally vetted all of that information.
There have been many records that the FS software has reported to me about being a "Relative", that I KNOW are not correct (several of my ancestral lines once they get back 7-12 generations are all guess work with no proof or other evidence provided at all.
Then there is the fact that the amount of work that the matching algorithms for this does goes up exponentially with each generation. This eats up significant system resources for results that are questionable at best.
Going beyond that 15 generation limit usually does not produce useful or trustworthy information.
Absolutely - not only should the database be set up to search any number of generations -- it would make it easier to see our relationship with medieval people, for example, but it should be possible to specify a path. for example, I can see that I'm Donald Trump's 9th cousin (not too excited about that really), but that is through my grandfather. What if I'd like to know if there is a path of relatedness through my grandmother as well (maybe she has a name in common, so it seems likely). I guess the data pipeline probably just gives the closest relationship, but it would be interesting to know others, as well. Also, along that same line, it would be nice to be told how many times a given figure shows up in our ancestry. Could there be multiple paths to a certain historical figure, for example? There are so many questions that a the system could be better optimized to answer....
In the old PAF program which we ran on our own computer before family search there was a feature where you could request the relationship between yourself and someone in your tree. The report would tell you all of the relationships. I remember doing it for my earliest direct line Dittli ancestor, born in the early 1500s. The report told me we were related 22 different ways. Yes, this is unusual. It is in an area of Switzerland where about 20 families continually married amongst each other. However, I am fine just knowing my direct Dittli line to Michael Dittli. It was fun to know about those other connections, but not necessary to me.
For some of the requests on this thread - exploring the associated BYU FHL app RelativeFinder - may be enjoyable/fruitful.
I very often want to see the path from some other person with the same surname, to me, via the surname line, and it gets short circuit throught some closer lineage. And yes, it would be neat to see all the other related lines!
As genthusiiast suggested RelativeFinder.org can do all that and more. You can find out how any one, that has a FamilySearch id, is related, whether they are deceased or not. There is however one condition, the links must be valid.
Do note this statement on Relative Finder under the Help section:
What Doesn’t RF Do?
The name “Relative Finder” can be a bit misleading and some former features have been changed, so here’s a short list of things that RF doesn’t do currently:
Find new people who aren’t already in FamilySearch.org. RF calculates your relationship to already-discovered people.
Download more than 16 generations. A long time ago, it would download up to 64 generations, but site traffic has increased to a point where this has become unfeasible.
Automatically calculate your relationship to everyone in your tree. To have it calculate your relationship with someone, connect with them or add them to a group you’re in.
So it only goes back one more generation than FamilySearch. However, it will find all the ways you are related to one other person within the 16 generation limit.