How do I correct parent-child relationships in Family Tree?

Correcting child-parent relationships usually requires some analysis before diving in. There are two basic problems: duplicate records or incorrect relationship links.

Solving this type of problem can feel intimidating, but rest assured the removal or replacement of a relationship can be undone through the Latest Changes feature. Find a link to these instructions in the Related Articles list at the end of this article.  

When you remove a child's record from a family's records, the child's record stays in Family Tree. If the child is linked to spouses and children, he or she remains linked to them.

Before you start

Take some time to figure out what is wrong:

  • If the child shouldn't be in the family, remove or replace the child's link to the parents. Use the instructions in this article to do so.
  • If the children are right but one or both parents is wrong, you need to remove or replace the incorrect parent. Do this by removing or replacing the spouse of the correct parent. Find a link to the instructions for removing or replacing spouses in the Related Articles list at the end of this article. 
  • If the same parents and children are listed in the family multiple times, or if the same people are shown as multiple families, look at the ID numbers of the duplicates.
    • If the ID numbers are different, merge the duplicate records. Find a link to these instructions in the Related Articles list at the end of this article. 
    • If the ID numbers are identical, the child is linked to one of the parents more than once. Use the instructions in this article to remove the extra relationship.

Tip: Write down the names and ID numbers of the people whose relationships you are changing. This will allow you to quickly undo a change.

Steps (website)

Here are the steps for removing or replacing a child in a family using Family Tree on the FamilySearch.org website:

  1. While signed in to FamilySearch.org, click Family Tree.
  2. Navigate to the person page of the child with the incorrect parents.
  3. If the Details section is not open, click the Details tab.
  4. Scroll to the Family Members section.
  5. Under Parents and Siblings, find the child's name, and click the Edit icon .
  6. If only one parent is incorrect, click Remove or Replace next to the incorrect parent. If both are incorrect, click Remove or Replace next to the child.
  7. A Remove or Replace box appears. Click the check box to verify that you reviewed the relationships, sources, and notes.
  8. Do one of the following:
    1. To remove a parent or parents, click the appropriate Remove button. Explain why, and then click Remove.
    2. To replace a parent or parents, click the appropriate Replace button. The Replace Person screen appears.
      • If you know a parent'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 a parent's ID number, complete the search fields, and then click Next. If the correct person or couple appears in the list, click Add Person. Otherwise, click Create New to create a new parent record. Explain your reason for the change, and then click Replace.

Steps (mobile app)

Here are the steps for removing or replacing a child in a family using the Family Tree mobile app:

  1. In the Family Tree mobile app, navigate to the Person page of the child with the incorrect parents.
  2. Tap the Parents tab.
  3. Find the child's name, and tap the edit icon.
  4. If only one parent is incorrect, tap the drop-down arrow for the parent, and tap either Remove or Replace Father or Remove or Replace Mother. If both are incorrect, tap Remove Parents.
  5. A new window appears. 
    1. To remove a parent or parents, check the box stating that you have reviewed the relationships, and then tap the Remove button. Explain why, and then tap Remove. (For the Apple iOS, check the box stating that you have reviewed the relationships, and click Continue in the upper right corner of the screen.)
    2. To replace a parent or parents, check the box stating that you have reviewed the relationships, and then tap the Replace button. The Replace Person screen appears.
      • If you know a parent'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 a parent's ID number:
        • Complete the search fields, and then tap Continue. Indicate whether the parent is living or deceased, and then tap Continue. If the correct person or couple appears in the list, click Add Match. Otherwise, use your search entry to create a new parent record. Explain the reason for your change, and tap Replace.

Steps (Family Tree Lite)

Here are the steps for removing or replacing a child in a family using Family Tree Lite:

  1. While signed in to Family Tree Lite (lite.fs.org), navigate to the Person page of the child with the incorrect parents.
  2. Under the individual's name, click View Family.
  3. Under Parents and Siblings, find the child's name, and click the Edit icon .
  4. If only one parent is incorrect, click Remove or Replace under the name of the incorrect parent. If both are incorrect, click Remove or Replace under the name of the child.
  5. Do one of the following:
    1. To remove a parent or parents, click the appropriate Remove button. 
    2. To replace a parent or parents, click the appropriate Replace button. The Replace Person screen appears.
      • If you know a parent'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 a parent'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

Recommended next steps  

Removing or changing the parent-child relationship does not remove or change the parents' couple relationship. If the mother or father is wrong, you also need to remove or replace one of the spouses.

Related articles

How do I specify biological, step, adopted, and foster relationships in Family Tree?
How do I see what changes were made about a person in Family Tree?
How do I merge possible duplicates in Family Tree?
A person in Family Tree has the wrong spouse
The same child shows more than once in a family in Family Tree

Share

Was this helpful?