How do I merge possible duplicates in Family Tree?

A duplicate record occurs when Family Tree contains more than one record about a person. If Family Tree finds a possible duplicate, it puts a red exclamation point, along with the name and ID Number, in the person’s Research Helps. 
        
You can review the possible duplicates and decide if they are about the same person. 

  • If they are about the same person, follow the steps below to merge them. 
  • If they are about different people, mark them as “not a match.”
  • If you are unsure, do not merge them. Instead, do one of the following: 
    • Cancel the merge to leave the duplicate available for other users to see and review. 
    • Mark the record as “not a match” if you do not want this duplicate easily viewed by other users. 

Steps (website) 

  1. In Family Tree, display a person page.  
  2. If the Details section is not displayed, click Details
  3. In the Research Help section, click a Possible Duplicate message. 
  4. Click Review Merge. The merge screen opens in a new browser tab. 
    • Left side: This is the possible duplicate. It is deleted if you merge the records. 
    • Right side: This is the record you started from. It is saved if you merge the records. 
  5. Decide if the records are about the same person. 
    1. Compare the left and right sides for matching names, dates, places, and family members. 
    2. Read any warning messages on the screen.  
    3. If the record on the left is the most accurate, click Switch to keep it instead. 
    4. If the records are not about the same person, click Not a Match. If the records are about the same person, click Yes Continue. If you are not sure, click Cancel
  6. Decide what information to keep. All of the information from the left side is automatically transferred to the right side for you.  
    • To compare the contributor, contribution date, and reason statements of each piece of information, click the down arrow
    • To move information back to the right, click Undo. The information returns to the possible duplicate and will not be saved. 
    • To replace information on the right with information from the left, click Replace. Do this, for example, to save the life sketch or a reason statement with the one from the duplicate record.  
    • If the left side contains information that is not on the right side, and you want to save it, click Add
  7. Click Continue
  8. Finish the merge: 
    1. Review the surviving record. 
    2. If everything looks as it should, click Finish Merge. If something is incorrect, click Back, and make the corrections on the previous screen. 
    3. Enter a reason to explain why you merged these records. 
    4. Click Save.  

            Immediately after the merge and for a short time, an “undo” option is available. It lets you easily unmerge the two records. 

Steps (mobile app) 

  1. In the Family Tree mobile app, display a person page. 
  2. In the top right corner, tap the three dots, and then tap Possible Duplicates
  3. A list of possible duplicates appears. Tap one of them. 
  4. Tap Review Merge
  5. Read the warning, and tap Continue Merge. The merge screen appears. 
    • Left side: This is the possible duplicate. It is deleted if you merge the records. 
    • Right side: This is the record you started from. It is saved if you merge the records. 
  6. Decide if the records are about the same person. 
    • Compare the left and right sides for matching names, dates, places, and family members. 
    • If the record on the left is the most accurate, click Switch to keep it instead. 
  7. Decide whether to keep any information from the person to be deleted. 
    1. To move information from the left to the right, click Replace
    2. To add information from the left to the right, click  Add
    • Tip: If the record on the left contains duplicate parents, spouses, or children, add them to the surviving record. You can merge these duplicates later. 
  8. When you finish, scroll down to the bottom of the page, and tap Continue Merge. 
  9. Enter a reason to explain why you merged these records. 
  10. Tap Merge.

Note: The iOS version of the app only has the option to Replace information instead of to Switch or Add it.

Steps (Family Tree Lite)                 

Currently, Family Tree Lite only displays possible duplicates and does not allow merging. 

Recommended next steps 

  1. If you have multiple tabs open, you may need to refresh your browser screen to see the results of the merge. 
  2. Remove incorrect sources or memories from the surviving record. 
  3. Review the person’s family members to see if they also have possible duplicates.  

Related articles

Why do merges fail in Family Tree?
How do I decide if two records in Family Tree are about the same person?
How do I undo a merge in Family Tree?
How do I merge duplicates in Family Tree by ID?

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