How to Fix Incorrect Record Links in Your Family Tree

July 25, 2019  - by 
A white puzzle of a person's face with a mismatched green puzzle piece.

In a public and collaborative family tree, having an incorrect source linked to your ancestor is not an infrequent occurrence. Luckily, an incorrect source is an easy fix. Here are a couple ways to correct inaccurate links on FamilySearch.

Detach Links

One way to tackle incorrect links is simply remove them. This correction can be done in a few simple steps:

1. Navigate to the ancestor’s person page.

Screenshot of sources tab

2. Once on the person page, click the Sources tab located on the top toolbar.

Screenshot of view source on source list

3. You will be directed to a page with the person’s list of sources. To view a source, click the View Source link below the title of the source.

Screenshot of detach record option

4. After you’ve clicked View Source, if you believe the source is incorrect, click the Detach link to detach the source from the ancestor.

Rest assured that if you later discover that the source was accurate, this change can be undone in the Latest Changes box (located on the right side of the person page).

Move Links

Often, the link has been attached to the wrong ancestor in the same family. If you know the Person ID number of the ancestor that the record belongs to, you can move the source to that person’s list of sources.

1. Navigate to the person page of the ancestor with the wrong source attached and then to the Sources tab at the top of the person page.

2. Find the inaccurate source from the list of sources. Click View Source.

3. Select Review Attachments from the options given, which opens the source linker page.

4. In the top right corner, click Not your family? Find your family.

Screenshot of "Not your family? Find your family?"

5. A pop-up window will appear that reads Find a Match in Family Tree at the top. From here, you can either choose a recent ancestor from the History List, or you can enter the Person ID of the ancestor you want to attach this source to.

Screenshot of "Find a Match in Family Tree" pop-up window


Screenshot of contact name and email

You can usually find the contact name of the person who created or contributed a link. You can find this name by going to the ancestor’s Person page, selecting the Sources tab at the top of the page, and finding the Created By column on the right of the source list.

In the Created By column, you will find a name associated with each record source. Select this name to find any available contact information or to send a message through FamilySearch messaging. This contact can be a way to clear up any confusion or misunderstandings surrounding an ancestor.

Remember to be courteous and respectful when collaborating with others. One of the best things about genealogy is its power to bring families together, and this opportunity to communicate can foster that spirit of unity.

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  1. On a person’s list of sources, often at the bottom of the list, a source has “add” by it. What does that mean? How do I add it, or should I add it?

    1. Hi Lynette! Thank you for your question. When you click on an already attached source and at the bottom of that source it has this notification “Reason This Source Is Attached +Add”. You can click on that “Add” and enter in information as to why that source is attached to that person. Also, you may have a source that has out to the left side of the title of the source “+ Add”. This is because the source is missing a date. You can click on that source and add the date or year of the source and then save. Are these the places you are seeing the notification to “Add”? I hope this is helpful to you. At any time you can click on anything to see what it is asking you to do without affecting the record. You can always back out.

  2. Help, Someone changed an entire relationship. My mother’s birth father was changed to her adopted father and I don’t know how to get it back. I had entered her birth father’s information for generations and now I’m concerned it is lost. How can I be notified if someone is tampering with my family tree?

  3. Please correct an entry i made a few minutes ago.. I entered “Keith Berry” and THERE WAS NO WARNING it was already in there under “Keith Albion Berry”. I have the actual obituary on file and was referring to it (on a screen MIN/MAX basis–laptop won’t run a side-by-side) I want to MERGE the info from both of them. I have very poor computer skills.

  4. I have incorrectly attached my wife’s grandfather twice. When I attempt to merge I get “You cannot merge a child and parent”. When I attempt to delete I get “Cannot delete because multiple sources”. The two persons in question are both George E. Ashley. GWD6-G2H and 9NPR-XNM. I need only one George E. Ashley as father of Ida Bell Ashley Oliver, my wife’s mother. Can you help?

  5. How do I correct wrong information on sited source? I married my current husband, Jon Karl Doke, on June 20, 1992. The source under Groom indicates Cooter. My maiden name was Tamra Lee Cooter.

    1. Hi Tamra! Is the actual source incorrect? Some sources allow for correction if the index is incorrect from the source. However, if the source document as recorded is incorrect, you cannot change the actual source. You can add documentation within FamilySearch to show that the source contains incorrect information. Hope this helps!

  6. I have found a great great set of grandparents who had several children, five or six bearing the same name and born within a dozen years of each other. This does not seem plausible. How can this be sorted out?