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Make info gathered from sources, easier to copy over.

sources: Please allow us to carry over more accurate information when we add sources. For example today I saw a death record of a distant family member and had 1944 as his death date. Well on the record, it had a more specific date, but did not transfer over because there was something already in the death field. So I had to copy the name and go into his details and copy and paste the information. Something that should have taken 1-2 clicks took me many more plus the time waiting for the different screens to load.
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  • Welcome to the community support forum for FamilySearch. FamilySearch personnel read every discussion thread and may or may not respond as their time permits. We all share an active interest in using the resources of this site and as users, we have various levels of knowledge and experience and do our best to help each other with concerns, issues, and/or questions.

    This is a common request. There are a number of reasons why we cannot overwrite existing data in a person's record with data from a source.

    The first is that the source linker (which is what you use to attach a source to a person's record) is inadequate in being able to see the full record, including existing notes, discussions, and reason statements that may provide a reason why a conclusion exists that is different than that provided in the source.

    Being able to overwrite or change existing data needs to be supported with a reason statement. For instance, if a source is not a primary source (something that was created at the time of the event), it is entirely possible that the information is erroneous. The reason statement that is currently existing may contain something like the following:

    The exact date is not known, but strong circumstantial evidence suggests that Pieter came from an area/estate called Wykhof located about six miles south of Norden. The standard now provides only the Holy Roman Empire for this time period.

    As to his year of birth, he was decidedly an older teenager when he arrived, but not twelve as has been speculated and repeated by many histories. He earned a man's wages credited toward paying off his passage and would not have been able to do that if he had been a pre-teenager.


    In this case, there are a number of sources that provide an exact date and place. The problem that exists in this case is that the information was fabricated by a fraudulent genealogist. In this particular case, there is a lot of published misinformation. The reason statements become crucial in helping people understand what is going on with this particular person.

    At the present time, and without the ability to fully examine the existing record, conclusions, reason statements, other sources, and any notes and discussions, far too many inexperienced users would go ahead and overwrite the information.

    We users have been told that the source linker will be revamped and it is entirely possible that the revamp will include the ability to more fully examine the existing record while attaching a source. But then, the development teams may decide that it needs to interject more caution against overwriting information, which is the case now.

    Shortcuts are sometimes the worst thing that can happen when it comes to recording accurate data. It is far too easy to attach a source to the wrong person. Just the other day, I had to detach a source because it was not for the person to whom the source was attached.

    So, for the present time and with the current source linker, the development of a feature allowing the overwriting of existing data with data from a source is very unlikely.
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