Why some couples get split in the hourglass chart

Tip version: 55.1

Modified date: 14 May 2001

Software versions: v5.2 and above

A question which comes up from time to time is why certain couples get split apart in the enhanced hourglass chart and others do not. This feature in the chart is not clearly explained in the documentation (or at least it has not been obvious to me, which is not the same thing).

It's all a matter of the perspective - an enhanced hourglass chart relative to WHICH particular person. The program is assuming that there will be data in the hourglass chart on both the father's and mother's side of the tree. So to distinguish the links to the two sides of the tree, the couple is split with the red connecting line between that couple. If this split in the box was not made, then there would have to be some other way to indicate which of the lines connecting to a single box with the couple related to the father and which related to the mother. This would probably involve more involved programming of the couple box contents. Any couple in the extended hourglass chart who are direct ancestors of the source person will be similarly split. Picking a different source person will thus result in breaks in the couples in different positions in the chart. So this is not a problem in the database (which people sometimes assume), but rather a design feature of the chart which is not well explained in the documentation.

There was a sample enhanced hourglass chart shown in the manuals for v5.2 and v6 which demonstrated this, but the point was not explained in the text. This sample chart was dropped from later versions of the manual.

Regards, Mike Hobart

Copyright © 1999-2001 Michael A. Hobart, commercial reuse restricted.

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