A person in Family Tree has the wrong spouse

You can correct an incorrect couple relationship at any time. Here are the steps to remove or replace an incorrect spouse.

Tip: removing or replacing an individual's records can feel intimidating. Rest assured that changes can be undone in the Latest Changes feature. It's also helpful to record the ID number so that the removed or replaced person is easy to find later on.

Steps (website)

  1. While signed in to FamilySearch.org, navigate to the Person page of the individual with the incorrect spouse. 
  2. If you do not see Vitals near the top of the page, click the Details tab.
  3. Scroll to the Family Members section.
  4. Under Spouses and Children, you can view the different relationships. 
  5. In the box showing the incorrect couple relationship, click the Edit icon .
  6. Click Remove or Replace next to the incorrect spouse. 
  7. Click the check box on the Remove or Replace screen to verify that you reviewed the relationships, sources, and notes. 
  8. Do one of the following:
    1. To remove an incorrect spouse, click Remove Person. Explain why, and then click Remove.
    2. To replace an incorrect spouse, click Replace Person. The Replace Person screen appears.
      • If you know the spouse's ID number, click Find by ID Number, enter the ID number, and then click Find. Click Add Person. Explain your reason for the change, and then click Replace.
      • If you do not know the spouse's ID number, complete the search fields, and then click Next. If the correct person appears in the list, click Add Person. Otherwise, click Create New to create a new record. Explain your reason for the change, and then click Replace.

Steps (mobile app)

  1. Navigate to the Person page of the individual with the incorrect spouse.
  2. Tap the Spouses tab. 
  3. Underneath the incorrect spouse's name, tap the pencil icon on the right.
  4. Tap Remove or Replace Wife.
  5. Tap the empty box once you have read the information about removing and replacing a spouse.
  6. Do one of the following:
    1. Removing a spouse will delete the couple relationship, and remove the person from the children's relationships shown. Do this if you are unsure who the spouse is, but know that the spouse listed has been added incorrectly.
      • To remove an incorrect spouse, tap Remove. Explain why, and then tap Remove.
    2. Replacing a spouse will add the correct spouse to the couple relationship and add them to their children's relationships. You will select the correct spouse after you press Replace.
      • To replace an incorrect spouse, tap Replace
        • If you know the spouse's ID number:
          • Android: Tap Find by ID. Enter the ID number, and then tap Continue. Explain why the information is correct, and tap Replace.
          • Apple iOS: Tap Add by ID. Enter the ID number, and then tap Continue. Tap Add Match. Explain why the information is correct, and then tap Replace.
        • If you do not know the spouse's ID number:
          • Complete the search fields, and then tap Continue. Indicate whether the spouse is living or deceased, and then tap Continue. If the correct person appears in the list, click Add Match. Otherwise, use your search entry to create a new record. Explain the reason for your change, and tap Replace.

Steps (Family Tree lite)

  1. While signed in to Family Tree Lite, navigate to the Person page of the individual.
  2. Under the individual's name, click View Family.
  3. Under Spouses and Children, you can view the different marriage relationships.
  4. Between the individual and the spouse, click the Edit icon .
  5. Click Remove or Replace under the name of the incorrect spouse. 
  6. Do one of the following:
    1. To remove an incorrect spouse, click the appropriate Remove button.
    2. To replace an incorrect spouse, click the appropriate Replace button. The Replace Person screen appears.
      • If you know the spouse's ID number, click Find by ID Number, enter the ID number, and then click Find. (FamilySearch Lite does not automatically add the hyphen into or capitalize the letters of the ID. This must be done manually.) Click Add Person.
      • If you do not know the spouse's ID number, complete the search fields, and then click Next. If the correct person or couple appears in the list, click Add Person or Add Couple. Otherwise, to create a new parent record, click Create Person

Next steps

When you remove or replace an incorrect spouse, the parent-child relationship also changes for any children showing for the couple. If a child is linked to an incorrect parent, the incorrect spouse may continue to show in the relationship. Remove the parent-child relationship with the incorrect spouse to resolve the issue.

Related articles

How do I correct parent-child relationships in Family Tree?
How do I see what changes were made about a person in Family Tree?
How do I add a family member to the pedigree in Family Tree?
How do I add or change marriage information in Family Tree?

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