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

Thursday, April 2, 2015 finds duplicates in FamilySearch Family Tree not found by Family Tree

One of the most interesting developments of the recent partnerships between FamilySearch and other online companies, is the agreement with The agreement apparently involves giving access to some of the records in the Historical Record Collections, but also, quite recently, providing the ability to search the Family Tree. Here is a screenshot of the Record Matches from showing searches in the Family Tree program.

FamilySearch users who are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints get the benefit of these searches with their free access to the program. The availability of the Family Tree matches has boosted the number of Record Matches for my family tree on into the stratosphere. I presently have over 14,000 Record Matches and an untold number of Record Detective matches.

In addition to the partnership with, FamilySearch also has a partnership with the RootsMagic software program. RootsMagic 7 has introduced a feature that searches not only the available record hints from the Family Tree, but also searches the Record Matches on Here is a screenshot from RootsMagic showing the Pending record hints in both programs:

The combined number of record hints in both programs seems unmanageable. However, by using the features through RootsMagic, you can concentrate on just those families and family members that you are interested in working with.

One side bonus to RootsMagic ability to see records in both Family Tree and is the fact that duplicate entries in the Family Tree are showing up in's searches when they do not show up in any searches made in the Family Tree. This includes duplicates that cannot yet be merged in Family Tree.

I am not yet sure as to the advantage of knowing about these duplicates that cannot be combined, but it does give the RootsMagic/Family Tree/ user an advantage in finding information that is buried in using Family Tree alone. Here is an example of some of the duplicates revealed by the Record Match:

It is apparent that FamilySearch has a long way to go before the program settles down and starts to make progress in eliminating the duplicates. This points out the fact that when you start to take advantage of this new technology, coupled with the FamilySearch partnerships, you can make some interesting discoveries, not all of which are intended.


  1. MyHeritage isn't only one that can do it. Ancestral Quest does too. I can't say about any other programs.

  2. Something more about FamilySearch FT's own search, I asked customer manager about it, he said the engineers were wary of making it more like what Ancestral Quest and now MyHeritage have been doing.

    1. I don't believe that Ancestral Quest has an agreement with I find no mention of that feature on their website. Perhaps you do not understand the connection between RootsMagic and both FamilySearch Family Tree and

    2. AQ has own internal search feature when connected to FT. It looks for additional possible duplicates. I've compared the possible duplicates that did not show up in FT's own "Possible Duplicates". Surprisingly there are indeed duplicates yet to be discovered when using Ancestral Quest's own search feature. FT's search is too narrow on dates and places, even spelling as much as one letter off. (I don't do merges within Ancestral Quest anyway.)

  3. Here's a theory for you! Family Search kind of got burned by all the goofy merges people were doing in New Family Search. I have read comments in the past, I don't remember if it was on the blog or the feedback boards for FamilySearch, that the Possible Duplicates function in Family Tree only presents 4 and 5 star matches in order to try to prevent a recurrence of overenthusiastic combining. Maybe My Heritage is including possible duplicates in what Family Search would consider the 3 or even 2 star range as well.

  4. Gordon's got it right on FS being gun shy about mis-combines and mis-merges. Worst return on duplicates is Possible Duplicates tool. The Find tool gets more, as does Search Records on Family Tree. Folks just need to be sure of what they are doing!