Creating a family with an unknown member

I’m brand new to Gramps.
Can someone explain to me how to create a family when I don’t know the first and last name of one of the two members? How do we encode the unknown member? Thanks in advance.


You could choose to use a placeholder for that data.

Or you could leave those name fields blank. If you just put in a Gender (or Assign an ID manually, or even assign a Tag), Gramps will accept blank Given and Surname fields when creating a new person. I prefer to use the Gender. It keeps Gramps from nagging about ‘unknown gender’ every time a change has to be saved.

Gramps has some preferences for how to represent blank fields in reports. You could follow those examples too. Or change them (I use U.L.N. for “Missing surname:”… which stands for Unknown Last Name in my Tree) and follow that pattern for your placeholders.

Also, if you just need to connect siblings, you do not need to assign parents to a Family when they are unknown.

Just Add Parents in the Relationships view (using the “+” button on the Parents line, or choose Edit → Add New Parents…, then click the OK button to create the Family container.

Now add any siblings.

I actually create the person’s record and enter the Given name as [unknown]. Most often this occurs when entering info like “Bill Jones married Jane Smith, daughter of John Smith.” This has the advantage of creating both parents’ records at the same time where their ID numbers will be in sync. If it is the father that is unknown, then I use Given [unknown] with the expected Surname.

It comes down to some educated guessing. If the children have the fathers Surname then it could be unknown [surname], or for the mother blank fields or maybe the first name and unknown for the surname.
Many birth record I find just the mothers given name. E.g. John Smith and Mary. As others have said, you could create a family record with just the children to tie them together.

I do this when I learn people are siblings with no knowledge of parents. These are mostly from early U.S. colonial records.

I add the children and leave the parent records empty. I do Tag the family with a tag Related Siblings, Unknown Parents. I make the tag’s color red so when viewing the Families list, it alerts me to why there are no parents in the record.

Thanks to you all for your help. I now have several solutions to my problem, thanks to you. Your help was very useful to me.