Help Prune the Family Tree

March 26, 2015  - by 

Family Tree is a collaborative effort to create the world’s largest and most accurate family pedigree. Two obstacles that stand in the way of this goal and waste valuable time and resources are duplicate entries and data problems. A new feature of Family Tree aims to alert and prompt users to fix these issues before requesting temple ordinances.

When a user selects “Request Ordinances” the system checks for duplicates and data problems and may pop one or two new alerts in the resulting window, depending on the situation.

Possible Duplicates




A yellow box alerts the user that possible duplicates exist and provides a link to a support document with information and tips on how to resolve the duplicates (Curious? Here’s a link to the support document). To be able to request the ordinances, the user will need to visit the ancestor’s person page and select “Possible Duplicates” from the sidebar on the right. Duplicates can be resolved through the merging process.

Data Problems






A red box alerts the user that data problems exist and provides additional detail on what needs to be fixed. To fix the data problem, the user would visit the ancestor’s person page and add or edit the details based on information gained from record sources.

These new alerts will help improve the accuracy and efficacy of our temple requests, freeing up patron time and FamilySearch resources. More importantly, this more accurate, universal family tree will create added opportunities for more people to provide meaningful temple service for waiting ancestors.


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  1. I like the warning for duplicates but it is not bug-free. I had one name with the duplicate warning but there were no duplicates to merge. With another name, I checked the duplicates only to find that the suggested duplicate was not the same person. Without a merge I couldn’t submit either person.

  2. This is a nice feature, sometimes names are assigned a ID number when extracted, this will really help not creating a duplicate.