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

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Solving the Looping Problem and similar issues in FamilySearch Family Tree

One of the most challenging problems encountered in the Family Tree program is the seemingly endless loop of ancestors. The problem can manifest itself in, at least, the following circumstances:
  • A child shows as its own grandparent.
  • A son shows as his own grandfather.
  • A daughter shows as her own grandmother.
  • The pedigree loops for one or more generations.
  • A child shows as his or her own parent.
Sometimes these loops are not obvious, especially when the parent or grandparent and child really do have the same name. There is a series of steps that can resolve these issues, but they must be followed in the exact order or the results will be unsatisfactory and may cause even more problems. 

The source for solving this particular type of problem and many other similar problems is the Help Center. Interestingly, you can access the Help Center from the Get Help menu from the startup page, but the Help Center option disappears if you try to access it from other pages on the website. Here is a screenshot of the location of the Get Help menu:

The pull-down menu looks like this when you access it from the startup page:

The items visible in the Help Center will vary depending on whether or not you are registered with an LDS Account. You will have to return to the startup or home page to see the link to the Help Center. The items relating to the Temple will not appear. Here is a screenshot of the Help Center page:

You could choose any one of the subsections as indicated by the icons, but there is also a search area and the "Top 10 Frequently Asked Questions" near the bottom of the page. You can then search for "loop family tree" and find the following list of help articles:
Some of these obviously deal with other unrelated looping problems, but the solution is the first article found. Here is a screenshot of that article explaining, in detail, how to solve the looping problem:

The screenshot does not show the entire article. I would guess that more than half of the questions I answer regularly about Family Tree and other issues can be readily solved by reference to the Help Center. 

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