The Relationship Calculator on FTM 2012 whilst an excellent feature it compromises the integrity of data and needs further refinement in that in order to maintain the integrity of data and information in the most meaningful and correct way it MUST default to the closest direct blood relationship not the closest generational relationship that it seems to be currently doing i.e. displaying an ancestor as Grand Uncle of 14th Cousin's wife 25 times removed but rather what degree of a Great Grandparent the ancestor is; that is the realtionship that should display anyhting else is secondary.
I have spent endless hours trying to fix this issue by examining entries and re entering data by detaching people and so on just to make the Relationship Calculator display the correct lineal relationship.
My tree extends very far back into the earliest times in some cases the 10th Century. It is inevitable when you go that far back that there will be multiple descents from siblings within the same generational family group. In some case FTM treats this correctly in that it will display the siblings each with a yellow arrow and their Great Grandparent relationship. By way of example one sibling is a 24th Great Grandparent and another is a 26th Great Grandparent – However in some cases it will display one sibling as a xx Great Grandparent and another as a xx Grand Aunt or Uncle based on their relationship to a person in a later generation. It will pick up on their direct relationship in the next generation and will display their children as correct Great Grandparents which highlights the issue for me e.g. How can you have a Grand Aunt or Uncle that displays as a parent of a Great Grandparent? It may be technically feasible but in charting a family tree it just does not make sense to display like this and those type of relationships should not be the one that the system defaults to. This is driving me mad and causing all of my data to be viewed in a questionable way. The ethos and nature of family research is to establish family lines DIRECTLY. Therefore whilst these other relationships may be interesting to some (they are not to me) and may be useful to some for other pieces of work they SHOULD NOT take precedent over a DIRECT line and the Relationship Calculator should be set to default to the closest DIRECT BLOOD RELATIONSHIP over a Grand Aunt of a 12th Great Grandfather’s wife’s sister’s brother’s nephew etc etc. The Relationship Calculator under the Tools button should allow the user to select from the list of multiple relationships that they want to display which in my case will always be the DIRECT lineage. The other relationships are secondary and not of importance to me and I suspect most serious researchers. I have sent copious emails to Ancestry.com about this and they have failed to assist me and do not seem to grasp that this is a real problem and important issue to many. I purchased FTM 2012 on their advice because similar but lesser problems were occurring in FTM 2009 so I thought the upgrade would resolve them but instead it has made the issue worse and created more problems for me. It needs to be fixed! The only way I can see to fix it so that my family line displays are correct is to detach people that actually belong in the same family grouping but I’d rather have them appear alone than incorrectly displayed as a lesser realtionship. Direct line should override any and ALL other relationships that can be viewed in the Realtiosnhip Calculator if there is interest or need by the user to examine such information.
Sorry to ramble.