• Family History Fanatics

Are You Carefully Adding People to Ancestry Family Tree?

Have you ever looked and your Ancestry family tree and wondered:

  • How did I create so many duplicate persons in my family tree?

  • Why are there so many people in my tree that I am I not related to?

  • More importantly, how do I prevent this from happening in the future so I do not have to spend time cleaning up my family tree later?

Many new and experienced Ancestry family tree users make messes in their trees as they add new people. And the messes are avoidable.



Watch this video.




Avoiding Adding Unnecessary People to Your Tree


As you’re building your family tree, you will discover records that have relatives for your ancestor that are not in your tree. These may include siblings, cousins, nieces/nephews, and in-laws.


Before you add these folks to your family tree, make sure you actually want them.


You MAY want them in your family tree if they are new relatives that you wanted to find (particularly parents, siblings, children, and spouses). Or, they may be persons that help you resolve your difficult genealogy research questions, including but not limited to DNA matches


However, try to stay focused in your family tree.


You do not necessarily need to add the parents of you cousin’s wife when added a marriage certificate to your cousin’s profile.


To keep your family tree like a well kept garden, only add people to your tree that you will be actively researching.


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Avoiding Adding Duplicate People to Your Tree


When you do add new people to your family tree, ensure that they are not already in your family tree.


In the video linked above, I attached the 1920 Census to Charles’s father.


The record also documented three additional children: Mildred, Albert, and Walter. I did not have Albert or Walter in the tree yet, but did I have Mildred?



Click on Not a Match or Not a New Person in Ancestry tree compare
The one step that helps you prevent adding duplicate persons to Ancestry family trees.

Make a habit of clicking the “Not a New Person” link before adding a new person to a family tree. Notice how in the image above (while of a different family, it still is understandable), Ancestry will show you all the children in the family tree for a couple.


Ask yourself, is the person in the record the same as one already in the tree?


Frequently people will add duplicate copies of individuals in their family tree because they do not do this step.


While you can merge people later, it’s better to prevent messes at the onset.



Where Else Can You Mess Up Your Tree As You Build?


A messy family tree has duplicate persons, duplicate images, inconsistent place names, or inaccurate facts migrated from one record to another. Not to mention some other problems that you likely have found in your family tree that I didn’t discuss in order to keep this video simple.


If you have discovered other mistakes that people could avoid when building their family tree, shared them in the comments section below. Or, if you have a question about some challenges you’re having on Ancestry, let me know in the comments section as well. Perhaps you know of a mistake or question will make for a future video.


More Ancestry Family Tree Hints

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