Help get this topic noticed by sharing it on Twitter, Facebook, or email.

Ability to mark two records for 'merge later'

There are various times, especially when already merging duplicate records, where other family members' duplicate records are easily seen on the merge screen.
Another place where you can easily find duplicate records which you want to merge later is when you are attaching record hints and find that there are already duplicates.

In any of these situations (there may be others), it would be great to have a way to mark two records as possible duplicates, so that you can come back to them sooner or later to merge them.

It would be great if you could easily just merge them all at once, but that is a bigger task with a lot more difficulty. But, having a list of people to merge would be a lot easier to add to.

It would be good if these flagged potential duplicates for merging later were visible to anyone who views either of the flagged records, not just the person who flagged marked them for merging later.

For example,
I found a parent who had two other duplicate records that matched. There was varying information and other people in the tree that also matched, and some information that was additional that needed to be merged in. I found 2 more spouses to merge, and many additional children to merge because of this. I've also seen it where I needed to merge parents and grandparents, and the list just kept growing. There would be no way for me to remember and keep track of all of these unless I kept an outside list of what to merge. That's not a bad idea, but it would be even better if this ability were part of the system so that the work could be shared and not lost.
5 people like
this idea
+1
Reply
  • Have you tried creating a 'Merge report' in Wordpad. I copy all the PID's and to whom they were merged to and from, with notes (reasons) of why they were done. I then save that memo for future reference.

    I also try to use these reason notes to describe why the merge was made.

    I sometimes leave the memo in a PID discussion. The problem with that is that it only shows up on one individual. There does not seem to be any way to effectively insert a 'Family' note. At least in my 'memo' files I can organize by family name.

    I recently created a spreadsheet of all the family names in a small English parish but I can't find an appropriate place to put it. It has about 50 names and could save others a lot of duplicate research. I do, sometimes, send it to others who have made changes in the family.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited kidding, amused, unsure, silly

  • 1
    I have other online things I use that won't get destroyed if my computer dies for keeping lists for genealogy, however, just because I have something like that doesn't make it convenient. I want a one click solution. And I want it for everyone else.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited kidding, amused, unsure, silly

  • By the way, FamilySearch already has a way to add records to a list so you can go back to them later. And it already has a way to add notes. But this is a specific need that could make it much easier to merge many sets of multiple records, just by making it easier to keep track of what needs done. It also makes it so that the whole family can participate in that work.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited kidding, amused, unsure, silly

  • OK, hopefully an FS employee will read and heed your suggestion.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited kidding, amused, unsure, silly

  • On the merge screen, the ability to mark more duplicates for later merging could be done with a checkbox or with the same drag-and-drop type interface that happens with the record hint attachment screen.

    However, making the interface the same as the attachment screen might lead people to think that they are already merging the records, unless it said something like 'Merge these records later'
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited kidding, amused, unsure, silly

  • I’m happy with the ideas that have been expressed
    Some excellent ideas here. I have the same problem as you, Daniel. I start getting involved in a Merge that results in needing to do additional merges to get things cleaned up. It almost becomes a, erm, "Task Impossible" to keep track of all those and I haven't decided how to do it.

    The most that I have done is to place a bookmark in a browser folder, but I like the idea of instead of doing that, putting the link into a spreadsheet that I can go back and reopen, along the lines of what Robert suggested with WordPad.

    I have used spreadsheets for other purposes, including problem reports, so adding explanatory text, and saving a specific reason statement, are all possibilities.

    There are a lot of possibilities, but because I often work from two different computers in two different locations (my home and then as I staff the local FHC, the FHC, taking a spreadsheet with me would seem impractical, until I gave it some thought -- use my USB-powered hard drive that I keep all my genealogy stuff on and take with me to the FHC.

    I really appreciate the discussion for the ideas it has given me. Thanks, Daniel and Robert.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited kidding, amused, unsure, silly

  • 2
    Keeping notes during a merge session is an absolute necessity, because it's the sort of task that usually mushrooms, with spouses, parents, children etc. all partially connected and a huge jumble of who actually matches whom. It would be very handy if those notes could be collaborative, that is, stored somewhere on FS FT and connected in some way to all of the affected profiles. It wouldn't need to be anything particularly fancy -- I usually take notes in a basic text file -- but the ability to access it from any of the affected profiles would be key.

    Of course, the whole merge process could stand to be completely re-thought, because the current setup does not give full information and requires either guesswork or a very good memory for alphanumeric strings (which I do not possess).

    I envision a "possible duplicates" screen that would show PID1 (the full profile, including vitals, other info, life sketch, sources, and family members) on one side, and PID2 (the full profile, again) on the other side. If there were multiple possible matches, there would be a way to switch between them on the second side, plus a place to manually enter a PID to compare. For each such comparison, there would be buttons for "not a match" and for "yes, these are a match", with a reason statement box to go with the buttons.

    I would break the process down into two components: first the matching, then the merging. The matching would allow for also matching up the corresponding family members, so that we could avoid the current confusion of relationships unmade and remade. Then, once everybody was all matched up, you'd go through and merge the profiles, choosing which name spellings and birthdates and whatnot to keep. (It'd be nice if there were optional reason statement boxes for each merged conclusion/fact. You'd leave most of them blank most of the time, but every now and then there's a particular fact that needs more explanation for why you kept that version and not the other.) If you got suddenly called away from your computer and couldn't get back to the task until next week, your work would not be lost: the profiles would still be marked as matching/not matching. If you happened to have a family member who also did FS FT, he or she could finish the task without added confusion.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited kidding, amused, unsure, silly