Along with her goal of extending our family lines and generating names for Temple ordinances, we also need to remember that our ultimate goal is that stated in the Doctrine and Covenants 128:24 which states:
Let us, therefore, as a church and as a people, and as Latter-day Saints, offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness; and let us present in his holy temple, when it is finished, a book containing the records of our dead, which shall be worthy of all acceptation.Additional definitions of the word "acceptation" include "approval" or "favorable reception." In other words, we need to do our job entering our family history into the Family Tree program as perfectly as we can possibly do so. It would seem to be obvious that this includes "cleaning up" the entries that are already in the Family Tree.
So what do we mean by cleaning up the Family Tree?
Let me give a few examples of some of the parts of the tree that need to be "cleaned up." Here is an example of an individual with several so-called first names listed in the file. These first names came from variations in the submissions of all of the information that was previously included in the Family Tree. Unless these entries are in fact, truly alternative names for the individual, that is, names that he used during his lifetime, these particular items are misleading, duplicative and inaccurate. The individual's real birth name should be recorded in the place where the detail page calls for the name of the individual. If in fact, there are alternative names then the alternative name option should be selected rather than leaving the names as "birth names."
In this case, all of these birth names should be deleted and a reason given that the names are duplicative and/or incorrect. In addition, this particular individual has multiple wives listed some of which appear to be obvious duplicates. Although the program has not progressed to the point where all of these duplicates may be able to be resolved, in many cases duplicates can and should be resolved. Additionally from the screenshot below you can see that the father also has multiple names and multiple marriages. This indicates that the research for this person is faulty and that the information is incomplete. This is an obvious suggestion that future research needs to be done.
In a case like this one, I would suggest that the state of the record is such that there are probably an equal number of difficulties with the descendents of this person. Cleanup of the Family Tree should begin at the level where all previous individuals in the tree have been cleaned up. Until these multiple families are resolved, it is not even possible to determine which of the different couples is the true ancestor. If we go back to the Family Tree Landscape View, we will quickly see that there are serious problems with these particular entries as marked by the red exclamation mark icons. The daughter of this John Smith Senior is supposedly Miriam Smith but the Data Problems icon indicates that the child's birth years later than the mother's death year. In other words, Miriam Smith's birthdate in 1689 is after her mother, Abigail Day Smith's death date of 1677.
An appropriate place to begin to clean up this particular ancestral line would be to move closer in time by several generations to the first person with that surname. In my case, this person would be Roxalana Ray born in 1794 who has 27 alternate birth names listed.
Another significant cleanup that could be done to the Family Tree is to add in all the possible sources. Adding sources is one of the best ways to find additional names that are not in the Family Tree. It is also a way to help correct the information that is already in the Family Tree. It is also a good idea to review any discussions and notes that may have been brought over from there.FamilySearch.org the attached to the person in Family Tree.
As you can probably guess, resolving these difficulties can be difficult and require a fair measure of research. There are, of course, other items which need to be cleaned up including the accuracy of the names, dates and places. These can be corrected as sources are added.