Monday, August 22, 2016

Fixing the Gender in my Family Tree Maker File

I think I may have found a glitch in the Family Tree Maker 2014 (Ancestry version) software program. While running a Kinship report, I found two individuals that were showing as grandchild instead of grandson or granddaughter.

When I looked at the record in the person view, they should the proper gender.

However, when I view them from the edit screen, the gender shows up as Unknown.

Normally, I would just click on the down arrow and change the selection from Unknown to male or female; however it was not staying as my choice.

I thought I would try to change the gender back on the person view to unknown and then change it on the edit view, but that didn’t work either.

Finally, I created a new stand-alone, unrelated person with the same name as my problem person, making sure I specify the gender properly.

While still having my unrelated individual selected, I selected Person – Merge Two Specific Individuals and I select the problem person. This way the problem person facts merge into my new unrelated person.

This fixed my gender problem. I don’t know how this glitch came into my database. I must admit this is a project database, where I have been creating it through the Ancestry side of things and then syncing to Family Tree Maker. Normally I don’t add people this way. Normally, I manually add each individual on Family Tree Maker and then manually had all my facts and source citations. I would then sync back to Ancestry.

However on this project database, I have been following the shaky leafs and evaluating if they belong to the person in the database and if they do, I will merge the fact into my database. Perhaps the glitch is on Ancestry’s side and it created the two individuals improperly.  The only common source citation these two people had were Find A Grave records from

What I learned from all of this; is confirmation that by manually adding each individual, each fact and each source citation seems to keep glitches out of my “real” databases. It is a minor inconvenience in my project database but could had been a major annoyance had it been my “real” database. Then again, perhaps I better check my other databases and see if I have any unknown gender where I do know the gender.


  1. Charlene,

    Do you ever run the Data Error Report? It will show you this type of error.

    Not sure that what you are seeing is a glitch, as I have never seen it, or a merging issue. I have seen the Unknown Sex but I find it in the Data Error Report.

    Also, do you use the Compact File, and Back Up utility on a regular basis?


    1. I have run the Data Error Report on my real database, but this one was just a little database.

      I only called this a glitch because I was unable to change the gender from Unknown. Every time I tried, it looked like it took it. Then it would go back to Unknown. I have used the Unknown sex when a person's obituary states they had six children and only three are living and I am not sure what sex the other three are. I have always been able to change an Unknown Gender to either male or female. However, those are for people that I manually added. This is my first database that I let Ancestry hints add people.

      I did try the Compact file on this database and still it would not let me change the Unknown Sex to either Male or Female.

      I just found it strange that I was unable to change the gender.


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