Tuesday, June 14, 2016
An example of the new duplicates appearing in the FamilySearch Family Tree
The entry I started with in the FamilySearch.org Family Tree showed Sarah Bryant, (b. 1762, d. 1831) to a "Mr. Lee" with no further identifying information. Neither entry had any attached sources. I began looking for further information on Sarah Bryant and found her in English Births and Christenings, 1538-1975.
I added this as a source and continued looking. Neither of the entries for Sarah or Mr. Lee showed any possible duplicates.
I continued to search and noted the note added by a user that Sarah "Married a Mr. Lee." I repeated the searches in Ancestry.com and Findmypast.com. Then I modified the entry and removed the title, "Mr." I remembered that the program suggests that entering Mr. or Mrs. is inappropriate.
I did the search again on FamilySearch.org for Sarah Briant or Bryant and after adding the spouse's name as "Lee" found the following entry.
I checked to see how far Cranbrook, Kent was from Rolvenden, Kent and found it about 6 miles away. Certainly within a reasonable distance for the time period involved. I double checked the entry to see how many possible Bryants there were born in Rolvenden, Kent and concluded that the reference to "Lee" was to "Leigh" which would be an alternative spelling.
As soon as I changed the entry to Robert Leigh, I got a duplicate entry from FamilySearch.
Remember, before doing this research and entering the information, these duplicates were not found. The duplicate entry added three children and duplicate for Sarah.
Now, I had some more work to do. I checked for duplicates and now, there were two duplicates for Sarah, one of which was from Lancashire and not a match.
I continued adding source hints that now appeared.
There were two children with the name Mary. One showed a death date, the other did not. It was not unusual when a child died in infancy, that the next child of the same gender was given the same name. Therefore this may or may not be a duplicate especially with different birth dates. However, the first two children turned out to be born in Lancashire and were not a part of this family.
This whole process is pointing out that there are not just "single" duplicate entries in the Family Tree, but also, as I have been saying for years, duplicate pedigrees. You can assume once you start to do research on an existing line that you will find duplicates up and down the line, perhaps in profusion.
The conclusion is that all entries in the Family Tree without enough information may, in fact, be latent duplicates of entries already present.