How to Fix Incorrect Record Links in Your Family Tree

July 25, 2019  - by 

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. Please remind contributors that any event associated with the source must also be deleted. This requires a separate action and is easily overlooked. Cheers.

  2. “In a public and collaborative family tree, having an incorrect source linked to your ancestor is not an infrequent occurrence.”

    And this is why I have stopped adding to my “public” tree. I know that I make mistakes but some have attached some real whoppers to my work. It is just not worth the extra time to delete the faulty additions.

  3. One branch of my tree it is totally wrong. Someone attached a Juan Nepomuceno Espinoza Ahumada from Chile, when I am tracking Juan Nepomuceno Espinoza from Colombia. I tried everything but I can not detach that part from my tree.

  4. This gets way to complicated for a novice (me). I don’t want someone else to make changes to my tree. I would be glad to consider their information. So then I’m to go in and change back to my information!

  5. Wilson skeen of new Zealand married a Minnie egan on 25/12/100 in wellington nz.. Had trouble tracing her but think i have found her ..birth registered as maria alice egan. would like to know where the surname preston has come form

  6. My DNA indicates that my great grandfather is not the parent of my grandfather. My great grand mother is correct. All paper trail items indicate that the father of William Elroy DeArmond born in Greenville, MI is Camlin DeArmond. My DNA shows that William Elroy DeArmond’s biological father is William Albert Courtright. All individuals lived in Greenville, Michigan in 1893. My grand mother was Carrie Bannister. I have DNA connections of Bannisters and Courtrights but on to DeArmonds. How can this be shown in the Family Search tree? In the tree I have put William Courtright as the biological father and Camlin DeArmond as the adoptive father.

    1. That’s a great idea. I would do the same thing on our tree. Just make a note who the biological father is and who the adoptive father is.