Entering siblings without knowing parents

Is there any way to link 2 people as siblings without creating a new family?
I know James married Francis and James’s sister, Elizabeth, married Francis’s brother, Jackson.

(GrampsAIO64-5.1.2-1, Windows 10)

Just the add a new set of parents to one sibling but without adding persons as the Father or Mother. A family can be anchored with a parent or a child.

Then add another child to that relationship. Since the father is undefined, the new offspring won’t inherit a surname.

I created a Tag “Related Siblings (unknown parents)” and made its color red. I tag the family record.

This tells me why there is a family with no father or mother.when viewing the list of families.

FYI: I do the same thing for “Same-Sex Family” telling me why a male or female is showing “unexpectedly” in the “wrong” column.

Are you are trying to avoid adding the Family of unknown parentage (perhaps to simplify reports or make Deep Connections from being confused by pedigree collapse)?

You could use Associations. Or you could add the same Note to each sibling… where the sibling relationship is acknowledged and the names linked in the text of the Note.

Dave, my Mother-in-law left 3 boxes of family history. I’m slowly going through them and entering information as I find it. The copy of the family tree, done in 1938, mentions Francis and Jackson as been siblings but nothing else.

Bryan, I’m trying to avoid adding the Family of unknown parentage.

I’m still learning the details of Gramps and hadn’t even explored the idea of Associations, Tags linking inside Note or Deep Connections. Thank you for all the suggestions.

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The easiest way to share a Note or Citation between multiple People is to use the Clipboard.

After creating the Note, open the Clipboard by click the its icon on the toolbar or choose it from the Edit menu. Then drag the Note to the Clipboard. Open (or create) the second person and drag the Note from the Clipboard to the other Person.

You can also drag from the Note view or use the Selection dialog (via Share feature icon). But the clipboard is easier because you don’t have to wade through the whole huge list of Notes.

Don’t be hesitant to add a parentless family. You can always delete/merge it later. Or you could set the relationship to Father & Mother for each sibling to “Uknown” until you discover if they are biological, adoptive or brothers by choice.

If you delete all the persons attached to a Family container, Gramps flushes the Family from the Tree.

I’m trying to avoid anymore parentless family. I’ve only entered 14 pages and have 3 parentless families already. Thank you for the clipboard tip, another thing I’ve not used enough of.

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Then you make Francis and Jackson siblings. This is what you know or what someone else believed to be true. This is their relationship to each other.

When I have this same thing happening, I make the sibling connections with no information in the parent slots.


Be sure to check out the Data Entry addon Gramplet while you’re roughing in Trees.

If you’re entering siblings who lived their entire lives in the same localities from the same reference document, after entering the first sib, you may be able add the other sibs without a single extra dialog. As opposed a dialog each for: a person, birth event, death event, birth place death place, 3 sources, relationship to parent.

It could save several minutes per person.

Why are you trying to avoid parentless familes? They represent your scenario precisely, and play nicely with the filtering and reporting features in the rest of Gramps.

Moreover, as your research progresses, you are likely (we hope) to find more details about the parents, which would mean that any work-round would need to be undone (tedious!) and replaced with a (ta dah!) family.


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