Combining two or more trees on a Reunion chart
This is about that in a large enough family database we can easily find two or more people who are descended, but differently, from two or more ancestors. In any sector of Society where they intermarry within a limited selection of people, sooner or later, total strangers can be found to be distantly related. If they just have one common ancestors, then the charts of their relationships is easy: draw a Descendant chart from the common ancestor. But Reunion only allows one root ancestor for a descendant chart, not two or more.
One solution is to make two charts and copy one to the other. But this loses all flexibility as Reunion's Copy facility only copies the one chart as a bit-map image. So placing it on the other chart means that you can no longer alter it. Further the fact that it is a bit-map means that the quality will be a little inferior and it will not enlarge well.
But it is possible to get all the separate lines of descent onto one chart and all alterable as normal objects on a Reunion Chart. The start is to fully enter up all the people involved in one Reunion Family Tree or Database.. Then, and these instructions assume you have Reunion 10:
A. Bookmark the heads and feet of the trees
A.1. Clear the Bookmarks.
A.2. Identify each of the common ancestors to be included on the chart and Bookmark all of them. I shall call these the Ancestor Bookmarks.
A.3. Identify each of the people who have the multiple ancestors and book mark those. I shall call these the Descendant Bookmarks.
B. Mark everyone in each of the separate trees
B.1. Unmark everybody in the file.
B.2. For each Descendant Bookmark, Mark their ancestors for five or so more than the maximum number of generations that are involved. Ensure that (a) the option to 'Unmark everybody first' is Unset and (b) the option to 'Mark source person' is Set.
C. Construct separate descendant trees
The purpose of this section is to end up with precisely those people marked who are to appear on the final combined chart.. This is quite a quick process.
C.1. Construct a minimal Descendant Chart Layout that has no Fields selected and whose Name Setup is just the Name & Spouse with birth and death dates; The dates should be restricted to year only. Set the first line to Bold, Exclude Empty fields. Call this Chart Layout 'Thin' (say).
C.2. For each Bookmarked Ancestor, use the Thin Layout to construct a separate descendant chart for (a) a few over the maximum number of generations involved, (b) only the marked descendants. (I had 16 generations so set the maximum number to 20 to ensure none got left out.}
C.3. Save each of these Descendant charts with the name, say, of the Bookmarked Ancestors. It is sensible to construct a separate folder within Charts to hold the various documents for this project. After saving, close each chart.
C.4 When all the component trees have been made, Unmark everyone in your Reunion Family Tree file.
C.5. For each of these Bookmarked Ancestor descendant charts in turn,
(i) Open the chart up
(ii) Select all boxes with Cmd-A
(iii) In the Macintosh top bar, do: Reunion > Object > Mark People in Selected Boxes. This will cause those people to be marked in the Reunion Family Tree.
C.6. After step C.5. you have precisely the people maried who are to appear in the combined tree Chart. The Descendant Ancestor Charts may be deleted as they have served their purpose, though I left this deleting until the end of the project. (I had 143 people marked; note that this includes husbands and wives.)
D. Construct the Combined Tree
D.1. Return to the Family Tree file and check that the number of people marked looks sensible. This number is always shown on the bottom row of the main window.
D.2. Create a separate Family Tree file to hold the combined people only. On the Mac top bar, do Reunion > File > Export > Reunion Family file. In the People section select the 'Marked people' option. In the Sources section choose 'Cited Sources'. In the Multimedia section it is optional what pictures you include (I selected the 'Preferred pictures only'). Then click on Export. Give the new Family tree a suitable name for this project.
D.3. Close your main Reunion file, to ensure that none of the following actions corrupt it.
D.4. Open the new Reunion Family Tree of all the people for the combined trees.
D.5. The book marks should have transferred over. Select one of the Bookmarked Ancestors and give them a Father who you can name as 'Common Parent'.
D.6. Bookmark this Common Parent.
D.7. Add the other Bookmarked Ancestors as children of this Common Parent.
E. Construct the Combined Chart
E.1. Open the Family View and select the Common Parent.
E.2. Click on Charts and create a descendant chart using the same this Chart Layout that you created earlier (it should be included in the new family file as part of the export process). Select at least your previous maximum number of generations and the option for all people. Ensure the option for 'Remove duplicates' is ticked. Click Create Chart. The chart will open and it will initially cover many pages (mine started at 36 of A4 and I got it down to 2 pages of A4).
E.3. Do Cmd-A to select all people and on the lett hand side of the chart, change the text size to no more than 8 points (I used 7).
E.4. On the top Mac bar, do Reunion > File > Page Setup and select a suitable page size and orientation (I chose A3 and landscape).
E.5. Do Cmd-R to show the chart 'Orientation' window. Choose 'Top-to-Bottom' and click OK.
E.6. Save the chart at intervals with Cmd-S.
E.7. Do Cmd- to shrink the gap between the layers.
E.8. Note that some boxes have a double asterisks '**' at the end of the top name. This indicates that this is where a join is to be made and these boxes are NOT to be deleted. But delete all other marriages with no children.
E.9. Repeat E.5, E.6 and E.7 now and at intervals in the following.
E.11. Make the boxes narrower by splitting any long lines in half. The splits are best done either before any suffix title or before the surname. I then insert two or three spaces on the left before the line that has been split off.
F. Hide the Common Parent and rearrange
From this stage you can no longer rely on Reunion's reformatting with the Orientation choices in E.5. From now on, the chart is to be formatted manually so do not repeat E.5. But continue to save at intervals as some of the following led to Reunion crashing.
F.1. Select all boxes, Cmd-A, and make all off them the same colour, white for example. This is done by the colour picker on the second line of the Box section of the controls on the left of the chart.
F.2. Still with all boxes selected, make all lines to be 1 point, or thicker if necessary. Some printers will not print narrow lines.
F.3. Select the heads of the various trees, the Bookmarked Ancestors and colour them differently. (I used yellow.)
F.4. With the Bookmarked Ancestors selected, make the colour picker for the Line, in the column of options on the left, to white. This hides those lines.
F.5. Select the Common Parent box and set all colours to white, in the Box body and outline colour pickers, the Shadow colour picker and the Text colour picker. This makes this box invisible, but it can still be selected, by dragging the pointer over its location, and should then be moved to be on a line with the highest ancestor remaining. Your chart will now appear to have several separate trees with no link between them.
F.6. The above will be complicated if any Bookmarked Ancestors has two marriages both of which are tracked in this chart. I leave this to Section J.
G. Insert any pictures
G.1. I found that using 'Preferred pictures' brought in too many pictures that took up too much space, so had to be deleted. But I did insert some pictures, usually heraldic shields for the Bookmarked Ancestors.
G.2. If the pictures are shields with a curved outline shape at the foot, they have to be PNG to ensure that the background remains transparent. JPGs do not include transparency (or not here they don't).
G.3. Open a separate Finder window for the Folder containing your desired PNG pictures.
G.4. Drag each picture in turn to the right Bookmarked Ancestor.
G.5. Select all the Bookmarked Ancestor boxes and click with the right hand mouse or tracker pad button over one of those boxes. In the option window that appears, select Frame Picture in Box > None. The last ensures that the backgrounds are truly transparent.
G.6 With the same option window, select 'Align Picture in Box' and choose a position for the pictures in their boxes. (I chose 'Below'.)
H. Rearrange and make the joins
H.1. Before you make the joins, be sure you are familiar with altering the selection mode in Charts. The choice is made either from clicking on the third field from the left on the bottom bar of the chart or from clicking the right hand mouse button over any blank portion of the chart. Practice switching between 'One Box' and 'Descendants' and for each select portions of the chart and see what happens. The technique to develop is that of moving any of the trees below a Bookmarked Ancestors.
H.2. Set the selection mode to 'One Box'. Use Cmd-F to find the first boxes with double asterisks in it. Find the other such boxes with Cmd-G. Select the first of these and then the others as well with Shift-click. These are the people who are to be joined in the chart. Now colour all these join boxes (I used blue).
H.3. Select all the Bookmarked Descendants with click and then Shift-Click. Change their colour to something recognisable. (I used a red.)
H.4. Adjust the chart so that the joins are together. This may mean moving one of the trees to a different place. Do this with the selection mode to 'Descendant' and select Bookmarked Ancestors in turn. Do NOT move any of the boxes singly. You should end with all the Bookmarked Descendants roughly in line at the bottom of the chart.
H.5. The joins are now to be made by making placing one of each pair of joined boxes behind the other and then removing all colours from the one behind:
(i) Decide which tree(s) to use as the one with the joins. It is preferable to have all the joins on the one vertical line, or nearly so.
(ii) Select that tree (Bookmarked Ancestor and then 'Descendant' selection mode) and click with the rich hand mouse or tracker pad button. In the options box that appears, find 'Layer' and then click on Front.
(iii) Move the other box of each join to be behind the front box, but slightly to one side so that the line from its parent is still distinct.
(iv) Change all the colours on the Rear join box to white so that it is invisible, as in F.4 above BUT leave the line at its current colour.
I. Tidy up the rows and columns
I.1. Make sure you are familiar with selecting boxes by dragging the pointer across the chart. You must start over a blank area of chart and then drag to the opposite one of the boxes you wish to select. You do not have to fully cover the boxes to select them. Practice this first to become confident of the results.
I.2. Using drag, select the bottom row of boxes. Mostly these will be the Bookmarked Descendants but one or two may be in a row above or on their own in a row below. Then align them by their tops by doing from the top Mac bar Reunion > Object > Align > Top. Or you can click the right hand mouse or trackpad button over the selection and select Align > Top.
I.3. With this bottom row still selected, move it all up or down with the cursor buttons on the Keyboard. You may have to repeat this later.
I.4. Repeat H.2 and H.3 for each row in turn. You may have to allow a slightly larger gap between rows to show up the line to any Join boxes.
I.5 Do the same drag selection but for each column and centralise the boxes by choosing Align > Center Vertically.
J. The problem of multiple wives at the head of any component tree
J.1. This problem is most acute when the guy with two marriages is at the top of one of the component trees. If this occurs, the only way to include both marriages in the chart is to make the chap's father into the Bookmarked Ancestor. Then draw the preliminary chart you save with that person at the top and use that chart to mark the people to go on the temporary Family Tree file..
J.2. When the combined Family Tree file has been made the people to make children of the Common Parent must include this father of the guy with two marriages. Do not make the guy with two marriages into a child of the Common Parent.
J.3. When the chart has been generated, the people to colour as Bookmarked Ancestors much now include the two boxes for the guy with two marriages. The father of this guy should not be coloured and should be hidden in the same way as the Common parent.
J.4. This will leave the two boxes for the guy with two spouses joined by, probably, a green line. Select the right hand of these boxes and adjust the width and colour of this line so that it is clearly visible.
J.5. Now proceed as normal as in sections F, G, H and I.
J.6. Note that by 'guy' I mean both men and women.
K. Delete the intermediate and now redundant files
K.1. Delete the Family Tree file for the combined chart
K.2. Delete the Descendant charts made in section C.