Incorrect Merges on FamilySearch Family Tree

July 11, 2019  - by 
Two happy boys walking on a railway.

Have you accidentally merged two people together on FamilySearch Family Tree and then later realized you shouldn’t have? Or has an ambitious relative gone on a merging spree and you have been tasked with fixing the incorrect merges? Well, this article will help you through that process.

Finding Merges on Family Tree

There is an easy way to determine if your targeted person has had any merges.

When two records have been merged, one of them remains in Family Tree while the other is archived. These changes and others are collected and can be viewed.

On the person page of any deceased individual in Family Tree, you will see a Latest Changes drop-down menu on the right side. Under Latest Changes tool, you can see changes to this person’s profile. Changes might include sources being attached, children being added, couple events, residences added, and merges.

The most recent changes can be seen from this screen. However, all changes can be seen by clicking Show All.

Further, you will be able to see when a specific change was made and by whom.

From the full list, merges are quickly located because they are outlined in a green box.

Fixing Incorrect Merges in FamilySearch Family Tree

If a merge has taken place recently, it will show up in the Latest Changes section.

To unmerge, click on Merge Completed. At the next screen, simply click Unmerge to the right. Be sure to include a reason statement for unmerging the records.

Screenshot of the unmerge option on the merge screen.
A screenshot of the 'reason for merge' box.

All the old information will then be restored for both the surviving and deleted person.

Merging or unmerging records can be a complicated but necessary process, and not all merges are undoable using this method. For more help on the merging process or cleaning up your family tree, check out these helpful articles:

More about How to Use the Family Tree

Amie Tennant

Amie Bowser Tennant is a genealogy researcher, writer and presenter.She writes blog articles and other content for many top companies and societies in the genealogy field. Her most treasured experience is working as a consultant for family history. Amie lives with her husband and three children in Ohio, surrounded by many of her extended family.

Latest posts by Amie Tennant (see all)

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  1. Thomason is my 2nd husband. Father of my children is Richard White. I would like to pursue first husband and my married name of White

      1. I’m having a problem because I have been divorced 1 time & remarried again with my daughters’ family tree. How it’s set up now is wrong. Also my now husband’s children are not on the family tree. My husband’s family tree is also wrong. How do I change all of this??

  2. Mssage is that I’m trying to research using aperson who was deceased 150 years ago This is not true. My father died n 1963

  3. There is a big mistake in the World Family Tree pertaining to Benjamin Thurber LZFK-CVS. People have merged him with another Benjamin Thurber and merged their children, etc. There are no parents known for the above-mentioned Benjamin; however, the parents and other ancestors who people who have attached to him actually belong to the “other” Benjamin who they merged him with. I am not sure how to begin sorting them out……thank you very much!

  4. Someone has connected the wrong father to my ggrandfather who came to USA in 1890. According to the Odessa files for gluekstahl Bergdorf birth records, his father is Carl maier. The wife of this Johann maier that is incorrect died 2 years prior to my grandfather was born. How do I disconnect this person and tree. The children are questioned.

  5. I have double entries for parents and children. How do I delete one of them? In other words, two sets of parents, and two sets of children. thank you.

    1. Hi Angela! Thank you for your question. FamilySearch is a shared family tree. You cannot delete and start over. Please check out this FamilySearch Blog article for more information about the nature of the FamilySearch Family Tree: The World’s Largest Shared Family Tree

      You can click here to find the instructions on how to change vital information in the Family Tree. You can also click here to find the instructions on how to correct relationships in the Family Tree. Hope this helps!

    2. It is possible for you to consult with an expert via an online chat or even in person. Go to the bottom of your screen, find and click on “Site Map” and select an option to contact someone who can help you. Obviously one conversation can not eliminate all problems, but begin by making sure your own family is correct. Then move on to the family of your mother or father as a child. Take time. Don’t rush. Ask for help as often as you need it. Move backward in time one family at a time. You’ll learn as you go.

  6. How do I remove the whole family tree and start again? There are errors that I can’t put right.

    1. Hi K! Thank you for your question. The FamilySearch Family Tree is a massive world-wide tree. You cannot remove the tree and start again as millions of people are updating it every day. Please check out this FamilySearch Blog article for more information about the nature of the FamilySearch Family Tree: The World’s Largest Shared Family Tree Please contact FamilySearch Help for assistance as needed in making corrections to the Tree.

  7. I need to remove a whole family that has the same names but are not my grandmother, Ruba “Ruby Hazel Rains ID LHHB-XKK is the correct person. My great grandpa is Robert Columbus Raines

  8. Frustrating that someone has taken over my family tree which has similar names to theirs. My family’s last name begins with ‘CLOT’ and theirs begins with ‘CLAT’. My father’s name and DOB is wrong, yet this guy married my Mother! My father’s sister has married someone we don’t know. There are all kinds of incorrect attachments to my grandfather’s name (which is correctly spelled) but the attachment have the wrong spelling! HELP!

  9. I have really messed up by trying to correct my errors. If need be delete this tree and i will try to fix my errors only by putting in the info I do know. So Sorry. The dementia is really getting me.

  10. I have a family search account with a family tree that includes my wife. She later decided to have her own account and family search gave her a new ID number. We can’t seem to merge the two ID’s together. She can’t even add my ID to her tree. What is going on how do we fix it?

    1. Hi Gerald! Thank you for your question. Each user has a private space that contains the IDs of all the living people that they add. You will have a different ID for your wife than the ID she has for herself and she will have a different ID for you than the ID that you have for yourself. This is how the system is supposed to work in order to protect the privacy of living persons. You are not able to merge the IDs of living persons from multiple user accounts.

      1. For further information, once a live person becomes deceased then another is is issued. Then that person can be added to anyone’s tree by doing “find”

  11. I merged two people with the sane name, birth and death dates, but who had different parents. Now I can’t unmerge them. And I have no clue which one to delete off the tree because yes both are still listed. It’s a mess. And I can’t find a recent changes drop down or anything.

      1. I would do that except there’s no Vitals, Details, or Latest Changes listed anywhere on any of the pages rom the main t6ree home to the person’s profile page on either the laptop or in the app. None of the above articles help because I apparently don’t have the links or tools they want me to use.

        1. Hi Denyse! Please contact FamilySearch Support for assistance. Select Visit the FamilySearch Community or search for your geographical area and select “Live Chat Support” or “Live Phone Support”.

  12. I am trying to correct my tree. My direct ancestors is Fleming Woolsey who married Louisa Carlisle not James Riley Woolsey who married America

    1. Hi James,
      I looked at the Detail Pages for both (George) Fleming Woolsey and James Riley Woolsey. After looking at the Detail Pages and the Validation Errors under “Research Help” these questions may help you fix the incorrect links you performed:
      1. What is the relationship between Fleming and James? They cannot be father and son based on the dates of birth identified for Fleming, his spouse Lavisa (Louisa) and James.
      2. Are Fleming and James brothers?
      3. Is there a direct blood relationship between Fleming and James or are they not related by blood at all and just share the same last name?
      4. If James Riley Woolsey (including wife America) are not a blood relation to you as indicated all you have to do is sever the parent-child relationship between James, Fleming and Louisa. Document this as the reason for severing the relationship.
      5. You can also add notes to Fleming and James stating in their Collaborate Tab stating why you severed this relationship just in case it is discovered later they are some other blood relations (cousins, etc) you will have their PIN’s to link them in that another capacity.

      Good luck correcting your family tree