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

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Possible Duplicates Exist -- Warnings from FamilySearch Family Tree

This is a screenshot of the warning from the Family Tree that accompanies a "Green Arrow." There are no obvious duplicates, but a search on this entry showed the following information for the wife:

The issue is that there is, in fact, a duplicate, but that the program still initially identifies ordinance work as available through the green arrow. Here is a screenshot showing the "Green Arrow."

Lela Melinda Turley is fairly well documented in the Family Tree with six listed sources. There are a number of reasons that an entry cannot be merged. For a complete explanation see the Help Center article entitled, "Cannot merge duplicate records in Family Tree." In this particular case, the duplicate entry is incomplete. Here is a screenshot showing some of the information for the duplicate entry:

The duplicate has no sources and  the information is sketchy but it is an obvious duplicate of the information in the more complete and sourced record.

The addition of the cautionary warning is a welcome addition to the Family Tree. There is a link in the warning message to the Help Center article entitled, "Merging duplicate records in Family Tree." As a matter of fact, checking for duplicates should be a routine matter when using the Family Tree. Information is still being moved into the program from and users are adding names to the program all the time. Even for individuals who have been checked for duplicates previously, there is a strong possibility that duplicate entries might currently exist.


  1. The warning has actually been there for a long time, but we have found many people were ignoring it. The recent change was instead of assuming patrons would heed the warning and resolve the duplicates, now they cannot reserve when this condition occurs. Only high confidence duplicates (4-5 stars instead of the 3 stars shown when clicking Possible Duplicates) will trigger this condition.

  2. Ben, that was not enough to stop one cousin from merging two totally different John Sweet just few days ago. I can't undo the merge, had to refer to the engineers to fix. Cousin ignored even the sources.