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mapping family relationships, automating the join table

Question asked by JamesPickett on Jul 26, 2012
Latest reply on Aug 18, 2012 by JamesPickett


mapping family relationships, automating the join table


I am currently using a Filemaker Pro database I designed to assist me with keeping track of a large number of individuals and relationships between them for hisorical research.

Based on very helpful feedback from a previous forum posting, I currently map familial relationships using a join table. As it currently stands, it is necessary to make two entries for each relationship.  For instance, if I relate "Tom" to "Fred" and designate the relationship "father", I must also add a second entry from Fred to Tom designated "son."  

For a while this system suited my needs, but as my database size has grown it has become extremely cumbersome to manually map these relationships.  For instance, if I have a father, a son, a mother, and a grandson, if I add a granddaughter to add five relationships for the granddaughter and then go back to the other entries and add the reverse of that relationship as well.  Is there a way to streamline / automate this process?  I want the database to work so that if I add a father-son relationship, it will automatically add the reciprocal (son-father) relationship, and - ideally - all the associated relationships as well (e.g. if I have data for a father-daughter relationship, it would add an entry to the join table to designate the son and daughter as "siblings.)

Ideas and advice are most appreciated.  This is a long-term dissertaiton project, so I would love to find a workable solution for this dilemma.