Help get this topic noticed by sharing it on Twitter, Facebook, or email.
I’m hopeful

How To Prevent Incorrect Combining

Many patrons have indicated they separated out incorrect records from a person's Combined Record only to see those incorrect records re-combined a few days later. I have experienced that frustration on several records in my family tree.
To help resolve this problem, I suggest there be a feature similar to Discussions in which a patron could explain why a certain record is not a duplicate of another. To access the feature, one would go to the Possible Duplicates screen. To the far right there would be a column entitled What Other Patrons Say. A patron could click a button for that record under that column to add his comment (i.e., "This is a brother by the same name.", or "This is a twin.")
The column for that record in the Possible Duplicates screen would then say "See what other patrons say." It would be underlined, so patrons could click it to see what other patrons have commented.
48 people like
this idea
+1
Reply
  • 4
    I'd actually like to have reading "what other patrons have to say" a requirement before combining will be allowed. That way you Can help eliminate the button pushers who agree with the computer on everything.
    • view 14 more comments
    • Any user can UnMerge a Merge. But UnMerge is not available if edits have been made after the Merge. At that point you have to Restore the deleted Person.
    • Jenn --

      You restore a merge-deleted person to remove them from the profile (the record of your deceased relative).

      You detach incorrectly attached sources.

      Mary Jemerson, who was merged with your ggggrandmother, has been restored on 17 July 2018, which effectively removed the original record from your ancestor's. By looking through the change log for your ancestor, there were some changes that were made between the merge and the restore that may have elements remaining in your ancestor's record.

      How do I know all this took place? I looked at the record for Mary Jemerson and saw that it was no longer merge-deleted. I did that by clicking on her name in the merge record. Then clicking on person to open her record (which we call a profile, since a number of screens are now associated with the person).

      If Mary Jemerson had still be merged, you would have seen a screen telling you the record was deleted through a merge. At that point and on that screen, there is a "Restore" option, which allows anyone to restore the merge-deleted record and effectively remove its elements from the record with which it had been merged.

      Sources are not restored. They are detached. If they were original attached via a hint, it is likely the hint will reappear after the source has been detached. At that point, the hint needs to be declared "Not a Match".
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

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

  • 1
    People do not always adhere to logic of evidence. Recently there were queries on another site posted concerning purported parents of a child born some years after the mother's death. The poster refused to acknowledge the mistake, saying "you don't know anything about my family."
    • view 1 more comment
    • The system should automatically refuse impossible relationships. That is what computers are built to do. -- To compare data and handle that data accordingly. This has to happen to bring nFS (family tree) to maturity.
    • Original records could be wrong, and create the appearance of impossible relationships. But there should most definitely be red warnings all over the place when this happens. My guess is that effort and priorities are the only reasons this hasn't been done.

      As it stands, I've already yanked one impossible relation out of my tree (after proving it was wrong, and figuring out where it came from). I wouldn't be surprised if there was another hiding that I just haven't found yet.

      I vote for klaxons. Make it utterly impossibly to not notice an impossible relationship.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

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

  • 2
    Agreed, but at least they be forced to look at it beforehand--- hopefully that would weed out some of the more receptive people. And it's true- some people don't let mere facts get in the way of their family stories.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

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

  • Look in the help center for how to add a Do Not Combine With Notice.
    • view 1 more comment
    • The do not combine notice is good, but it is only visible in the details tab.
    • If correctly added the Do Not Combine notice is also visible in two other places. 1) when "comparing records in more detail" before combining - but as noted, many people either do not pay attention to the notice or don't even see it there. 2) it is also visible on the left hand column in the Combined Records display. This is handy since it makes it much easier to know which records are incorrect and it also makes it easier to separate them.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

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

  • It would be good to also mark the records involved with a symbol indicating that quesitonable combining actions had been separated.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

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

  • 1
    This is a good idea. As a "work around", use the "Do Not Combine With" notice mentioned by George Scott. As part of the "Do Not Combine With" notice I refer the patron to a detailed Discussion I have placed on the record explaining in detail the reason for the Do Not Combine notice. Criptic sentences of disagreement are not adequate for Discussions. The Discussion should contain logical and complete documentation to indicate why the record is inaccurate or unacceptable.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

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

  • 2
    I have a suggestion that is even more dramatic. If you have a family that you have researched and are sure everything is correct. I suggest that you be able to lock the records for the family and you become the caretaker of that family. This would prevent anyone from making changes without contacting you and explaining why they want to make a change. This would prevent willy-nilly combining of people with the same last name as I have found in my English lines. If further information is found and it is important to add the information the caretaker could allow those changes.

    I know it may raise some issues with caretakers who will not listen to reason but I believe there would be fewer of those that the over- combining now going on. I have a family that 3 children joined the church and all of the ordinance work was completed before 1900 either as living ordinances or proxy ordinances for siblings. Four times in the last two years, additional children have been added to the family and sealings completed. The new watch feature allows me to keep track of any new additions. I would like to be able to lock this family and not allow any more combining without my review. I would even let one of my "cousins" be the caretaker. I just don't want to spend 3 hours doing separations again.
    • view 1 more comment
    • It is not just a matter of making a family look perfect, but mis-combined individuals (and their relationships for generations) are being so intertwined that it is almost impossible to see what is true in some families (like a wadded up ball of yarn from different skeins). And some mis-combinations lead to MORE mis-combinations due to the fact that correct information pops up in the midst of all the incorrect information and matches up to what some patrons are looking for, so more mis-combining occurs -- In effect, we are exponentially EXPANDING the amount of temple work that is being done -- but for no reason.
    • Reading this thread many months later I have some sympathy for the sentiments wishing to lock data, but wish to point out that the obverse (of combining) is equally true as by my own experience after a considerable amount of careful combining clearly within the guidelines of NFS and reflecting a lifetime of serious genealogical research including a one name study (much peer reviewed) I have had someone separating out combined records. The result downstream is a shambles of split family relationships. The discussion placed was simply an admission that they did not have supporting data for a relationship. Some folk forget that surnames may change spelling many times over the course of a life in 18th century Britain so those combining records need to excercise extreme due care so often stated; therfore why anyone dosn't ask prior to unpicking the tapestry go figure, but the work in recombining is frankly too exasperating. I suggest in summary that the separators need to be equally if not more so reigned in. It all really is quite disheartening after so much care is put into finding genuine duplicates.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

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

  • 1
    If you want a perfect looking program keep it on your home computer.
    • It really is not an open program. AND you can lock it. That is one of our problems. Data IS locked when contributors do not give a way to contact them. If every contributor had to provide a contact route they would perhaps be more careful, but more important we could contact them and ask if they could work with us to get the right data.
    • This is one of the biggest 'flaws' of New Family Search. It was originally purported to be 'self-managing', but a system is doomed to fail where the contributors are not required to be 'transparent', nor are they required to take ownership of their contributions and either 1) agree to 'fix' their contributions or 2) abdicate responsibility for their entries and allow others to overwrite them.

      In my family less than 5% of the entries have associated people who can be contacted and of those fewer than 10% respond and only half of those follow up with corrections. Quick on the math, what's 5% of 5%? Those aren't odds that are conducive to managing data effectively.

      That means that the majority of 'errors' (serious things that cause 'false positives' when combining records) have to be submitted to support for correction. For most of the past 3 years, most of those requests were 'denied' for one reason or another. Now that corrections are forthcoming, I can't keep up with the submissions. There's a LOT of dirty data out there.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

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

  • Cullen Brimhall (Help and Support Product Manager) April 04, 2011 21:32
    Could we just provide a link to discussions on that page? Rather than creating another "discussions" feature?
    • view 3 more comments
    • How about a flashing star or brightly colored flag that appears next to the DISCUSSION button, pointing out that there are discussions to pay attention to?
    • Discussions has been an ill-conceived solution from the beginning. It too is based on the assumption that we are operating in a socially-supported environment, based on ALL contributors of data (a good portion of the data in NFS is still legacy). Discussions should simply be called 'Notes' -- in the years since it has been in place, not once has there been a 'discussion' that has taken place in any of my family. Mostly I use it for notes to myself.

      As well, it does nothing to solve the problems for which it was offered. The issues require 'visual cues'. Discussions does nothing to contribute to the need for visual cues.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

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

  • I’m Soooooo Confused
    Combining individuals still poses a real problem, especially when submitting names to the temple ordinance list. Could this process be made any easier to rule out mistakes?

    This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
    Submitting/Combining Screen.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

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

  • But isn't that one of the main purposes of the discussion tab. If there were a very visable tag on the discussion tab, then people would maybe check it out before making changes, or combining duplicataes etc.-- but there is another problem here in that the program (newfamilysearch) actually makes many of these combinations. As I see it the program has got to be updated to prevent irrational combinations and irrational links - incorrect realationships that are impossible in real life.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

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

  • I’m frustrated
    1
    It should be relatively easy to prevent combining when there is a discrepancy of
    75 years or more in the birthdate and also to prevent someone from adding
    children who are born before their parents. Some of these features need to
    be built into the system.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

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

  • 1
    Since the purpose of the new.familysearch.org was to prevent duplication of temple work - which it hasn't achieved, please just allow me to lock down my own well researched data. It sounds like from the "white paper", we will able to do this with all the different opinions shown at some time in future. That sounds better.

    I have get so frustrated when people attach someone that is not related or combine people with poorly researched (incorrect) information. Also, with the automated systems such as RootsMagic, etc. people can combine easily and many do not verify the information. I don't think people pay attention to the DO NOT COMBINE sometimes.

    If I have made a mistake in my database, please contact me. When I contact people only 1 out 5 replies. And many of those that submitted temple work, AF, PRF data long ago may not even be alive anymore.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

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

  • 1
    ShirleyG is exactly right. The new.familysearch.org has not prevented duplication of temple work because there are endless "wrong" combinations of people with similar names that are being combined and having their temple ordinances done again. Hardly anyone pays attention to the notes and "do not combine" information -- they are only interested in "quickly" finding new names to submit for temple work. Research and verification of data take too long, so they don't.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

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

  • I hope that the programmers and software developers will quickly implement the suggestions made in the "white paper" I am currently teaching new.familysearch classes. All goes well when the class member's family are recent converts and little has been submitted to the Church databases. But if they are many-generation members, it is frustrating and nightmarish trying to explain to them why they want to get spend hours trying to straighten out the mess, without letting my own angst show through.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

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

  • I’m Optimistic and Hopeful
    I agree with the comments of ShirleyG and Lana Archibald. I too get a little frustrated when others don't make the correct decisions. For some it is their first experience and I am happy that they are getting started. Many of those "newbys" have not been taught correct principles but are acting on what they have been told. I try to reach out to them as best I can to teach them the "whys" and "hows" of correct practices. I would like to point out, however, that new.FamilySearch has been successful in eliminating much but not all duplication. Much duplication, as has been mentioned, still taking place. Part of the solution is patiently doing what Lana Archibald is doing...Teaching, Teaching, and more Teaching. It will be hard to develop a program that will prevent all duplication especially from those whose primary purpose is to "submit names". To some, the "number" submitted is more important than making sure the "names" represent real people and correct relationships. Great progress has been made, but much still needs to be done. The more we teach and exemplify correct research principles, and the reason why, the faster the time will come when poor research practices and duplication of effort will be reduced to a minimum. I am also looking forward to the anticipated improvements in the FamilySearch / new.FamilySearch programs which will help to further reduce duplication and move the cause along even faster.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

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

  • 4
    It would be nice if we had a way to prevent two PID numbers from being combined easily. Example: Flag both numbers and if any two numbers which were flagged were about to be combined then the system would not allow this without bringing up a message which would have to be overridden manually in new family search. The message might be something like. "Other patrons believe these two records should not be combined. Please enter your proof if you continue combining these records. Do you wish to continue? Yes or No."
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

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

  • 1
    I agree teaching is important. Whenever I teach a class I try to emphasize the importance of verification of data and good research principles. Just because it's on the Internet doesn't mean it's correct. As I work with patrons at our FHC, I try to make each situation a teaching moment. Of course as I help patrons, I learn too. Genealogy is only as good as the research.

    David Burns suggestion is good, but again I think individuals get in a hurry and don't verify information. In my own family tree, someone has attached a set of parents, which I have proven is not correct. But I received no answer from the person I e-mailed. So I must uncombine. Which can be time consuming and fraught with problems, too. The errors are usually in generations before 1800. However, they do occur in more recent time periods, too. A volunteer at our FHC is frustrated as someone has attached another child to her grandparents. Her mother was an only child.

    As new.familysearch.org moves to going public and I can see a nightmare without changes. People already "assume" the information people have posted on the internet is correct. We always caution patrons to verify the information first.

    If you have not already read the "white paper", please do. I think once those changes have been implemented, it will be a much better database.
    • view 10 more comments
    • Heather, I agree with you that the training materials which the Family History Department has prepared do not train a nFS user adequately. And it is sad that Family History Consultants generally have inadequate knowledge of the system. New FamilySearch is a very complex computer program. We could develop the best computer program in the world, and it would still be unsuccessful if the patrons don't know how to use it properly.
      I wrote a manual entitled "How To Use New FamilySearch Correctly," which is available for free download at www.usingfamilysearch.com. You might want to look at it. It is designed to teach a 3-month Sunday School course. It teaches the mechanics of nFS, as do the tutorials at nFS, but it also teaches users the "don't"s. The Church has been very gentle toward nFS users, allowing them essentially to run amok. My manual tells users how not to step on the toes of other users.
      In two or three days, I will be posting a new manual to usingfamilysearch.com, entitled "Family Tree, For the Experienced New FamilySearch User." Since Family Tree is still in the developmental stage, there are few instructional materials available (other than the User's Guide), so this is an attempt to fill in the void.
    • I will definitely check out this manual. Somehow we need to get the message to the Sunday School department that we need a better class manual--immediately....
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

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

  • Is there an approximate date for when the white paper suggestions will be put into place? Is it months? Years?
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

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

  • 1
    When I read the "White Paper", there was a not a definite time for implementation. Hopefully, it sooner rather later.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

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

  • Just look at these 2 individuals and you will easily see the problem
    person ID#LHLB-YWJ and ID#LHLB-TPF
    When a person has more than 50 spouses and so many children it is obvious
    someone didn't know at all what they were doing.
    Something MUST be done to stop this. I see it very frequently.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

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

  • Just as a side note -- I contacted a person I've email several times over the years through the contact info and he valiantly tried to help me, but he is not lds and didn't have access to his own information he submitted probably through Ancestral File to make the change. He and I both ended up frustrated.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

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

  • 1
    The problem I encountered with this issue is one that has made me uninterested in trying to fix any other family. A previous researcher had put two families where the parents had the same name together wrongly, and they were further messed up with merging. After unmerging them, I submitted a report that took me hours with proof statements (along with documentation!) to FamilySearch support, in the hopes that they'd fix the mess once and for all. The response I got from them flabbergasted me: they told me the information would remain the way it was in the program, because the temple work was done in the 1950s. Since then, I have really not had any interest in trying to "fix" NFS. I refuse to add any of my data to the program, and keep my own database because I know no one else has the power to edit/ruin my data. I only use NFS for temple work.
    I have hope one day that this program will encourage correct research, but they way it currently is set up (along with the "cementing" that temple work does) doesn't make me want to spend any more time than absolutely necessary with this problematic program.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

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

  • I’m frustrated
    I feel the same as Daniel Rick Jones. I have lost interest in making corrections to nFS because it is such a waste of time. The thing I feel most sad about is that if I want to have the temple work done for any of the people I have found in my research, I have to add them to the nFS database Since my research focuses on Scottish families who used the same names over and over in each generation, there are hundreds of possible mis-combinations using different people with the same name. I'm just hanging on to them for now, and not having any temple work done
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

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

  • Scandinavian names are a very big problem. You cannot imagine how many
    Peder Pedersens nsf will make you go through to do temple work for yours.
    The matches the computer makes are often totally wrong and often include
    brothers and sisters as well as people from extraneous places, i.e. I'm born in
    Denmark and it matches someone born in Australia with the same name--this
    can be useful but when the dates are way off it is unacceptable. Please build
    some more automatic provisions into the possible duplicates process, i.e.
    1) eliminate those born before the parents' marriage
    2) eliminate those with birthdates more than 50 years away from the person being submitted.
    3) if a person is a child who is shown as dead, do not allow someone to add
    a spouse.
    These and some other restrictions CAN easily be added to the program and would
    greatly enhance it.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

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

  • 1
    The DO NOT COMBINE notice only works if people see it. Why can't we make it more prominent. Isn't there some way that if someone creates a DO NOT COMBINE notice something noticeable could happen? Could the duplicate records screen show the records in a different color if a do not combine notice is present? Or could there be some sort of symbol on the name to indicate caution in combining? If it were more noticeable, it would work. Also, I've separated out some records because they are so messed up that they don't belong to anyone. I wish there were some way just to lock those records (the ones separated out so they are totally alone, or a only listed with t wife or parents)
    • view 1 more comment
    • I have reflected on this idea when it was first proposed and cannot support it. The reason is simple. I really wonder how many thousand extra 'names' would eventually appear littered through all the interconnected databases (including non LDS) for Mr & Mrs Combine, given name Donot and dozens of children Jack & Jill Combine etc. We may all scoff, but compared to the illogical disasters created by those seperating and combining, anything thats puts incorrect data into any field will create future problems. We are trying to clean up the databases surely not create the potential for further errors.
    • Peter, you may want to look at Document 107805. It discusses the Do Not Combine issue. Previously, it admonished us not to put Do Not Combine in names, but the New Information paragraph of the Document says the Engineers have tested this, and that it is fine to put Do Not Combine in the Other part of the name field. You simply have to mark the parts of the name correctly.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

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

  • That is an excellent point. Many records are non-people due to miscombining facts and relationships from several different individuals. There needs to be some way to keep them from being re-combined with real individuals -- locking them somehow.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

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

  • Lana - after reading your comments, up until only a short time ago I would have been supporting you and others wholeheartedly in your proposal. But - as I have posted earlier in this thread, having just had someone illogically separating a proven widely researched and peer reviewed family with combines made sensibly and with genealogical providence, the thought of giving the culprit the ability to lock the whimsical separation makes me as disheartened as everyone else. This combining and separating is but 2x sides of the same coin. Important we dont lose sight of that.
    It seems that a editing of data might have to be relegated to only those of proven genealogical research experience especially in challenging areas such as the early British Isles and Scandinavia.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

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

  • I agree, however, we do not want to lock anything in new FamilySearch. What would be good is if a Do Not Combine notice existed then the program would not allow you to combine without first reading the reason why that notice was put there. This would prevent third party programs from combining without someone even reading the discussions. In short you would have to open the discussion to read before you could combine records.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

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

  • David, that is a good idea and it would accomplish the goal -- to make sure others realize what they are doing before they combine in error.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

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

  • The problem that I have had (I combined and later separated records that should not have been combined) is that you cannot see several generations simultaneously. Or a sibling has been incorrectly tied to a father as a sibling, etc. Many problems begin previous to combining...

    so sum up? The ability to view multiple generations at the same time will assist in helping to remove this problem.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

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

  • I just found out that there is a way to make the DO NOT COMBINE notices slightly more noticeable. Check out Document ID: 107805. It says:

    New information: It has been discovered that you can put the "do not combine" notice in the Name--Other field without causing problems. This brings the notice up to an easier-to-spot location. It is suggested that you put only a short message in the Name--Other field, such as "See notes about combining with ..." and then put the more detailed information in the Notes.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

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

  • 1
    This is all problematic. I have for the past 3 years been putting Do Not Combine messages into records and have just now found a record recombined with 5 different sisters of same/similar names -- including 1 who died as an infant and the "Do Not Combine" notes clearly state this.

    The problem is more specific to the ways in which we can combine records where these messages do not display and the even more problematic fact that some records are so long that no one pays attention to the collection and miss the notes (especially because they show up at the bottom of the collection rather than the top).

    ALL of these things are simply symptoms of the fact that NFS is not subjected to ANY normal user testing through entire scenarios of managing records. Nor do there seem to be any 'real' resources behind the scenes who have any real understand of the principles of data quality and data management.
    • view 2 more comments
    • I'm sure there will initially be errors to correct. However, I imagine that after an initial "correction" period, things will settle down and be pretty much "done."

      You might also want to read this site:
      http://broadcast.lds.org/eLearning/fh...

      I had the same concern you did about "unraveling snarls of ill-combined records to find who still needed work done." This paper put my fears to rest. Basically, there will be two separate databases--the pedigree and the temple work. We will have full power to correct the pedigree portion, and then the temple work can be linked to it as needed. It makes good sense to me--I fully believe it will be successful.

      In the meantime, place "watches" on your ancestors, make sure the Summary Pages look correct, and put all the sources you can into your Source Box--you have to document everything if you really expect people to agree with your opinions.
    • We'll THAT didn't happen. In the 'new' system errors and duplicate ordinances are happening at a greater and faster rate. There is no end in sight.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

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

  • If you want to learn how combining and separating will occur in Family Tree, go to Help in either New FamilySearch or in Family Tree and scroll down to the bottom of the screen, where it says Family Tree Help. There is a recent whitepaper entitled "Dealing With Duplicate Records of People in Family Tree."

    If you want to learn about Family Tree generally, I recently posted a 54-page manual entitled "Family Tree for the Experienced New FamilySearch User" at www.usingfamilysearch.com; it is available for free download. It explains the Family Tree program, provides a strategy for how to use it while it is still in the developmental stage, and identifies bugs in the program to watch out for until they are fixed. (My previous manual, "How To Use New FamilySearch Correctly," was downloaded by 50,000 nFS patrons and has been used to teach nFS in hundreds of family history centers.)
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

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

  • 1
    In part based on gasmodels' post, I've put together an idea that might be a suitable way to become a caretaker for part of the database, and prevent bad edits/combines/etc. (and mitigating the worst abuses, but not all of them)

    It's far from perfect, but I'm putting it out here for consideration:

    https://getsatisfaction.com/familysearch/topics/certification_participation_locking_and_accuracy
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

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

  • One thing that would help prevent the problem would be to require sources that show relationships (will, census, marriage, etc) in order to create relationships between individuals.
    • That would do nothing to prevent the problem --- I have plenty of records with all sorts of sources, but when the couples both have the same name...
      And it would be a hindrance to setting up relationships you found clues for that you just want to stand as placeholders until you can find additional evidence to confirm our deny.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

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

  • I’m dismayed
    Yes, I think that would be a very useful thing.

    New people are continually being added to Tree and anyone can unwittingly merge records creating (although they may be unaware of it) problems that later need disentangling.

    My sister in law recently referred to one in her tree as a "compost heap" that needed sorting
    • One of the things that has been suggested is requiring a reason statement for everything.
    • What would I do then? I would do what I do when there are ridiculous cases of people needing "proof" of death like the father of a woman who got married in 1906 that I added today. I would simply run my hand across the keyboard to generate some random gibberish. That would be as much use as 99.9% of reason statements and would take a lot less time to input.

      Reason statements are worthless in the vast majority of cases and you would likely drive a lot of competent genealogists away from using FSFT if they became compulsory.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

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

  • There is a place to put a "why" statement with every change that's made and it's not being done. I hate when someone puts "gedcom" or "matches my gedcom" as the statement reason. Really?
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

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

  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

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

  • One problem I ran into is you would have to break the link between father and son (of the same name) to create a Not A Match.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

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