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Overview

Common Ancestor Charts are User Items that create charts that are similar to descendant charts where lines of descent are arranged in rows and columns. The chart starts with a progenitor and proceeds down through generations of descendants. Unlike a descendant chart, however, the user specifies one or more descendants in addition to the common ancestor, and the chart is constrained to the lines of descent between the common ancestor and those descendants. This makes the chart far more sparse than a typical descendant chart, and more like a Relationship Chart.

In the Common Ancestor Chart, the progenitor must be an ancestor of all the people specified as descendants, but it is not necessary to make the person the most recent common ancestor; any common ancestor will work.

Common Ancestor Charts are designed to show a subset of a person's descendants, and are very useful when describing involved relationships.

For people in the chart who have a person entry, the chart entry links to the person entry and vice-versa.

Common Ancestor Charts are Content Items and do not create pages of their own. You must add it to a Page User Item or you will not see the content.

Examples

The following screenshot shows a Common Ancestor chart. The common ancestor is Ralph Smith, and the chart includes several, but not all, of his great-grandchildren.

screenshot of common ancestor chart showing some descendants of Ralph Smith
Example Common Ancestor Chart without Spouses

The following screenshot shows a Common Ancestor chart. The common ancestor is Ralph Smith again, but this version was created with Include Spouses checked.

screenshot of common ancestor chart showing some descendants of Ralph Smith and their partners
Example Common Ancestor Chart with Spouses

When spouses are included, a parent with more than one child in the chart will appear more than once if the children do not share the same co-parent. For example, Sir James B. Smith appears three times because three of his sons appear in the chart, and they have different mothers:

screenshot of a portion of a common ancestor chart showing a parent descendant who appears multiple times in the chart because of children with different co-parents
Parent with Children from Multiple Partners

A person may also appear more than once in the chart if the person married someone who was also a descendant of the common ancestor. For example, Catherine C. Smith appears once as a subject (the people in the bottom row of the chart are the subjects), and she also appears as one of the spouses of Sir James B. Smith:

screenshot of a portion of a common ancestor chart showing a person who is both a descendant and a spouse of another descendant
Spouse Is also a Descendant

When a person appears more than once in the chart, the first entry is marked with the "original icon", an orange circle with a white dot. Subsequent entries for the same person include a navigation arrow that highlights the original entry when clicked. The first item is determined from its position in the chart, evaluated top-to-bottom and left-to-right, so the first box is in the upper-left and the last box is in the lower-right.

Edit Common Ancestor Chart

The Edit Common Ancestor Chart window controls the properties of a Common Ancestor Chart.

Shared Properties

GedSite uses many of the same properties for all the different chart types. If you do not see a property explained here, look for it on the Chart Properties page.

Chart colors are determined by the Theme but can be changed by the user via the properties in the Stylesheets.Theme.Chart section. Other stylesheet options are controlled via the chart-related styles in the Stylesheet.System section.

Common Ancestor

Specify the ID number of the common ancestor of the chart in the Common Ancestor textbox.

Picklist

You may use the Picklist button to select the common ancestor.

People

Add one or more people to the People list. Each person in the list is a subject. GedSite will determine the line of descent from the Common Ancestor to each subject.

The sequence of the entries in the People list influences the appearance of the chart. GedSite will attempt to honor the sequence of the subjects, with entries near the top of the list appearing to the left of entries near the bottom of the list. GedSite will re-sequence subjects on the chart to accommodate shared ancestors. So, for example, if the user specifies a set of subjects in the sequence 1-2-3, but subjects 1 and 3 share more common ancestors than subjects 1 and 2, the output sequence will be 1-3-2.

Include Spouses

If the Include Spouses property is checked, the chart will include the partner(s) with whom a descendant had a child who also appears in the chart.

Use Spouse Style

If Use Spouse Style is checked, spouse boxes will use the Chart Spouse Box style. If Use Spouse Style is unchecked, the spouse box will be styled based on gender.

Legend

Person Legend

The Person Legend property determines whether GedSite adds items that explain the entries in the chart that are colored by gender, and if so, where they will appear:

  • None – not added to the legend
  • Top – added to the top legend only
  • Top, Bottom – added to both the top and bottom legend
  • Bottom – added to the bottom legend only

Accent Legend

The Accent Legend property determines whether GedSite adds items that explain the entries in the chart that are colored by an Accent, and if so, where they will appear. The choices are the same as listed above.

Legend entries are mixed together. The subject item appears first, then Accents, if any, followed by the person items.

screenshot of chart legend
Example Legend

In the example, the "Direct Ancestors" item was created with an Accent.

Class

The Class textbox allows you to specify the name of a CSS class that will be added to the chart's container. To alter the appearance of every chart that shares the class name, define the class using a User Style.

Add References

If Add References is checked, GedSite will add a chart-type reference to each person who is included in the chart.

Add Spouse References

If Add Spouse References is checked, GedSite will add a chart-type reference to each spouse who is included in the chart. Add Spouse References is disabled if Add References is not checked.

Name and Date Tab

Name Format

The Name Format pull-down menu controls the format of names in the chart. The choices are "Full Name" and "Name w/ Middle Initials". The default is "Name w/ Middle Initials".

When Name Format is set to "Name w/ Middle Initials", GedSite transforms the given name field into a first name and middle initial.

Given names that include any of these characters are not changed:

" ' , ; : ( ) [ ]

For example, "John (Jack)" will appear as "John (Jack)", i.e., it is unchanged.

If a given name begins with one or more initials, the first non-initial middle name is retained. For example, "J. William Henry" will appear as "J. William".

If a given name includes more than one middle name, only the initial for the first middle name is retained. For example, "John Jacob Jingleheimer" will appear as "John J.".

When a chart includes a shortened version of the given name, the visitor may hover over the chart entry to see the person's full name.

Date Format

The Date Format pull-down menu controls the format of dates in the chart. It has the same choices as the date formats property described in the Dates section. The default is "Aaa yyy".

Lifespan Format

The Lifespan Format determines the format of lifespans in the chart. The default value is "(b. birth, d. death)".

The tooltip that is visible when a visitor hovers their mouse over a chart entry shows a lifespan will full dates.

Boxes Tab

The Boxes tab includes several properties for managing the layout of the chart.

The Width and Height properties control the size of the boxes.

The Row Leading, Connector Offset, and Connector Width properties control the spacing of the boxes in the chart.

Box Spacing (w/o spouses)
Box Spacing Adjusted for Spouses

When the chart includes spouses, they are nested inside the box of their partner. The width of the partner box is expanded by the connector-offset to provide some spacing around the nested box.

Accents Tab

Use the Accents tab to add Accents to highlight selected members of the chart.

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