Easily Merge Duplicates on the FamilySearch Family Tree



Are you using FamilySearch, and they're one world family tree? And you've found two or more profiles that are the same person? What do you do with them? Well, you merge.

Why Do I Need to Merge People on FamilySearch?


FamilySearch is a one-tree platform. The goal is to have one profile for every person who has ever lived.

However, the FamilySearch family tree was created from multiple databases in 2012, resulting in many duplicate entries for the same individual.

Additionally, researchers working from different directions in the family tree can create duplicate profiles unintentionally or temporarily.

How Do I Know I Need to Merge Two Profiles

FamilySearch's computer program tries to find duplicate profiles and notify you on a Person Profile Page.

However, FamilySearch can't catch every duplicate entry. Sometimes you find two entries while researching various records such as tax records, census records, land records, and more.


Before you accept a Possible Duplicate hint from FamilySearch or merge two people from your own research, make sure you're familiar with the individual. Then, make sure you've completed a consolidation of the two profiles based on documentation.


If you're not confident enough to merge, watch this video to see how I evaluate a merge. It's okay not to join two profiles until you have further research.

It's also okay to combine two profiles based on your research and later discover you made a mistake. You can unmerge the profiles later.


This topic is best demonstrated, so watch this video.



How to Merge People In the FamilySearch Family Tree From a Hint

When you're on an ancestor's profile, called a Person Page or a Person Profile, do the following.

  1. Click the Possible Duplicate prompt in the Research Help box in the right-hand column.

  2. On the pop-up screen, click "Review Merge."


How to Merge Two People Without a Possible Duplicate Prompt

FamilySearch doesn't find every duplicate. As you're researching, you may discover two Person Pages that should combine. One profile will be the surviving page, while the other will merge into the survivor.

  1. On that will merge into the survivor, copy the ID number beside the individual's name by clicking on the code.

  2. On the surviving page, scroll down and click on "Merge By ID."

  3. In the pop-up form, past the ID from the merging profile.

  4. Click "Review Merge."

There are some profiles on FamilySearch that can not merge. To learn the reasons for this, read this blog post.

Confirm the Two Profiles are Possible Matches

FamilySearch's improve merging system walks you through three steps. The first asks you to confirm that you wish to merge the two profiles.

Make sure the person you want to be in the surviving profile appears under "Surviving Person." If you need to make a switch, there is a button to switch the profiles.

Validate your choice by clicking the "Yes, Continue" button.

Choose the Information You Wish to Keep


Each merging situation varies. FamilySearch now prompts you to choose which information should appear when the combing process ends. For each fact, piece of information, or family member, you can choose which information you want to save.

  • If the merging profile has the information you want to keep, click on "Replace."

  • If the surviving profile already has the information you wish to keep, skip the choice.

  • If you make a mistake, click UNDO. The information will be returned to the duplicate profile and disappear after the merge.

Once you've finished making your selections, click "Continue."

Confirm and Explain Your Merge


The final step in merging people on FamilySearch requires you to review the surviving profile and invites you to leave a reason as to why you've combined the two pages.


While it might be tempting to skip the "Reason for Merge" box, please don't. You want to remind yourself and others why you took this action.


FamilySearch now provides prompts that you can choose as a starting point for explaining why you're merging the profiles. Choose one that fits.

Then continue your explanation, detailing the records or resources you're using as the basis for your decision. If you need help, check out these blog posts.

Merging on FamilySearch Doesn't Have to Be Difficult

Merging people on FamilySearch may seem scary, but you can do this. Help clean up the family tree and leave one profile for your ancestor, rather than multiple copies. Take your time and leave a reason why you made a merge. Remember, you can always undo it if you make a mistake.


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