Deleting Person Entries in Family Tree

October 19, 2015  - by 

Contributors to FamilySearch Family Tree, particularly those that are new to it, often hesitate to make changes for fear of “messing things up.” A common change that can cause real angst is deleting an individual. A recent change to Family Tree should help ease this worry, and safeguard against the accidental or incorrect deletion of persons added by others. FamilySearch has made deletion open only to the user that added a particular person to the tree and if that person has no other contributors.

What you’ll See

If you try to delete a person from the tree that you did not add, you will see a new alert that explains why you can’t delete the person in question and provides some alternative actions:

As you can see, there are some good steps to take to improve the relationships in the tree without deleting. If those options don’t work or if the person is fictitious, you can contact FamilySearch Support to have the data removed.

The purpose, and beauty, of FamilySearch Family Tree is the fact that it is a single, worldwide family pedigree, open and editable by all. Hopefully this new change will improve accuracy and consistency while at the same time encouraging all users to be comfortable making changes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. I put an ancestor in the wrong place. Joseph Campbell’s father is not drew Gwinn and Virginia Jane (Jenny) noble . I can’t figure out how to remove them. If you would be so kind as to do this for me I would appreciate it. Thanks

    1. A great way to fix this is to create a new profile in the tree with his name and information in the right place. Once you have done that you can merge the profile in the incorrect place with the profile that is in the correct place. For information on how to merge people in the tree click here. The old and incorrect profile should disappear after that.

  2. I’m finding it very frustrating as I have a person entered into my family tree who is DEFINITELY NOT connected to my family and I want to remove this name. Nothing I have tried has allowed me to do this. I don’t want to change the data base just not have the wrong name in my tree! What can I do?

    1. Instead of deleting the person all together, try deleting the relationship they are tied to in your family. Once that relationship is deleted they should disappear from your tree.

  3. I messed up my tree and want to delete. IE put my Grandparents as my parents what i really want to do, is delete tree and start over. I haven’t worked on my tree in a long time because I can’t figure it out. It is ludicrous I can’t just delete and start over.

    1. Karen, the good news about FamilySearch is that any mistake that is made is reversible. Click here to learn more about how to fix mistakes in your tree. Specifically with your grandparents I would start by changing their relationship to you in their person page. Add your parents as their children and then add yourself as your parents child. With just a few minor tweaks you should be back on track. Hope this helps!

  4. Apolonio Talamantes Flores wife name is Emilia Jimenez Flores “NOT” Germana Flores Reyes. Please remove Germana name so I can update the history.

    Translation: Apolonio Talamantes Flores wife name is Emilia Jimenez Flores “NOT” Germana Flores Reyes. Please remove Germana name so I can update the history.

  5. Loved your old program and hate your new one. I can’t seem to delete any mistakes. I don’t know why my daughter is on here twice but it was not right. I finally got the unknown father deleted. I have my full tree on other sites that are more user friendly. It is just too hard to do anything on here or change anything. How do I delete a mistake without contacting you every time? It is not user friendly. Maybe that is why your site has so much false information on it? One tree more like a 1000. Do you have an easy method to change mistakes? I have book marked the page for correcting mistakes but nothing on it is user friendly. Just too hard to correct a mistake and too time consuming. I vote for your old program.

    1. Edith, thanks for reaching out! Click here to learn about how you can easily delete a person on your tree. If you were the one who made the initial mistake it is a very simple fix. Hope it helps!

    1. Enoch, I’m glad you reached out! The good news is that anything you do in FamilySearch can be undone. Click here to read a help article that will show you how to do that.