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

Monday, March 12, 2018

The Duplicate Source Issue on the FamilySearch Family Tree

First of all the duplicate source issue is really a bogus issue. The Family Tree allows you to add sources to records supporting any entry made. The real issue is people who make changes and do not add a source for those changes, not people who add more than one copy of a single source. There is absolutely no harm done to the information in the Family Tree when someone adds a "duplicate" source. If you are bothered by the duplicate source, then detach it. But before you do, think about whether it is a duplicate or an alternative source for the information. There is a real difference.

If I attach a reference (source) to the Family Tree saying I got my information from FamilySearch for a 1930 U.S. Census record for a family and someone comes along and adds another reference or citation or source to the same record, so what? Why do you care? But what if I find the same record on or or whatever, is that a duplicate source? Or is it another "source" for the same information. Maybe I want to know I can find the U.S. Census records on more than one website. In that sense, the second reference or citation is not a duplicate and when you remove or detach the duplicate, you are removing valuable information from the Family Tree.

Let's move on from this issue of "duplicate" sources and focus on getting as much information into the Family Tree as we can.

See What are Sources on the FamilySearch Family Tree?

1 comment:

  1. DO NOT REMOVE DUPLICATE SOURCES. In some states there are multiple copies of the similar sources. So you will find different copies of the same marriage records for certain individuals. First of all you have to understand that there is a marriage license and a marriage certificate. The first one is sometimes called "intent to marry". Then you also find that there might be multiple copies of the same book. I suspect that one might have been the copy at the town and one might have been at the county. In any case attach them all to the same individual. Don't leave any out. You need to attach them all to the same person.

    You should attach every single one to the record. Firstly, if you leave remove them and leave them unattached then they will constantly come up as a record hints. Then people will reattach them again and again. When this happens you duplicate work that has already been done verifying them. Others may reattach those sources to the same individual record or they may create a brand new duplicate individual record. Not attaching all the records causes duplicate individual records. That is the real issue we have with duplicates. We need to eliminate as many duplicate records of the people not remove duplicate historical documents.