Genealogy from the perspective of a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon, LDS)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

What about duplicates and merges on FamilySearch Family Tree?

This post was written on 13 May 2014 and because of changes to the Family Tree program it may no longer apply. If you are reading this post sometime after that date. The program is constantly changing and the issues discussed in this post may no longer be an issue.

At the time this post was written, one of the most common issues and complaints about the FamilySearch Family Tree program pertained to problems incurred with merging duplicate individuals. The reason for this issue in the Family Tree program, dates back to decisions made in the program. Duplicates in that program were resolved by "combining" individuals rather than merging the individuals. As the program progressed, there was a limit of the number of combinations that would be allowed in When Family Tree was introduced two years ago as a replacement for, FamilySearch began by sharing the same database used for As a result, the limitation on combining individuals carried over to Family Tree. Unfortunately, it has taken some considerable time to resolve that particular issue.

The limitation on the number of combined individuals has created a situation in Family Tree where the merge function will not work for individuals who exceed the limit set in From conversations with FamilySearch representatives I am certain that this issue is being addressed and will be resolved as soon as the program is entirely separated from Family Tree. I am not presently aware of any firm timetable for this to occur.

 It is possible that you will see a message such as the following shown in this screenshot:

The message says,
These records cannot be merged because the corresponding combined record in would be too large. To merge these records, please wait until shuts down.Contact FamilySearch.
Meanwhile, if you have ancestors in your family lines that appear to have duplicate entries but those entries cannot be resolved, you will need to wait until the official announcement of the discontinuance of before the problem can be resolved. While you are waiting, you can certainly spend a great deal of time on those parts of your ancestry where this is not a problem. Primarily the only individuals in the program involved are those who exceed the limit placed in If your family has been active in the Church for several generations it is extremely likely that some of your ancestors fall into this category.

As the transition from to Family Tree continues there may be some other data issues, however, these issues will be resolved as the programs are separated.

1 comment:

  1. I’ve come across a problem, which I suppose is pretty common. The ”merging” option is a very nice feature. But suppose someone uses this feature indiscriminately. If it’s a common name, in my case Jon Anderson (which would be the Swedish equivalent of John Smith), you might end up with a person who has been married seven times, has about seventy children and also several pairs of parents. But it gets worse: Each of his wives seems to have been marrying each and every day.

    I’ve tried to make some sense of this mess. But it gets very complicated due to the fact that some links are true while others aren’t. Also for some reason, I couldn’t merge two persons although they had basically the same data. I suspect this has to do with the extremely complicated entanglement. So what happens is the suggestions for duplicate doesn’t function the way it should.

    I don’t know even know where to start here.

    Any ideas?