[small_34layout]Question: [/small_34layout]


Is there a way of recording what is sometimes described as a common-law or de-facto marriage, where two people of opposite sex live together without marriage, without registering their “partnership”?

The simple answer is YES.

What is required is to record the couple as “not married” instead of “married”. That will then change their designations from husband and wife to “partner”. In addition you can add a “type” for it, which is a free-text field, so you can enter de-facto, common-law or whatever you prefer, in much the same way as for a traditional marriage you can enter “church, “civil”. etc..

There are also optional date and place fields. I generally ignore these if it is a simple partnership, but for something with an official status (state registered partnership ??) then presumably there would be dated record that would be be relevant and it’s existence would imply as much.

There is one small catch :- by default the tag “Not married” (GEDCOM tag “_NMR”) is not available to select. You need to add it. The default list is kept reasonably short to avoid confusing new users.

  1. Go to Administration > your family tree > ‘Edit options’ tab (see image)
  2. To the right of the field ” All family facts” click on the small edit icon
  3. Scroll down the (long) list to “Not married” (The list is alphabetic by description) and select it (see image)
  4. Click ‘save’ to close the pop-up
  5. Click ‘save’ to close the “Edit options’ tab

Now go to the couples’ family page (not the family tab on one of their individual pages). In the “Add new family information” area select “Not married” from the drop-down list, then click “Add” and complete the relevant fields.

Administration > your family tree > Edit options tab
Administration > your family tree > Edit options tab
Pop up of available GEDCOM tags
Pop up of available GEDCOM tags