Blogger Randy Seaver recently had a post entitled, "The Problem with FamilySearch Family Tree - For Example: Thomas Dudley (1576-1653)." The answer to the question posed by Randy is not simple. In fact, there is currently no solution. For example, here is an error message I get when I try to merge two individuals in FamilySearch.org Family Tree:
These records cannot be merged because the corresponding combined record in new.familysearch.org would be too large. To merge these records, please wait until new.familysearch.org shuts down.Contact FamilySearch.The explanation lies in the fact the FamiySearch.org Family Tree and the older program, New.FamilySearch.org are sharing the same data base. As long as New.FamilySearch.org is still active, there is a limit in New.FamilySearch.org on the number of individuals that can be combined that prevents Family Tree from merging the two individuals. In addition, Family Tree presently may not even see an obvious duplicate. Here is a quote from "Using the FamilySearch Family Tree: A Reference Guide (29 May 2013) LDS Version" that explains a bit more about the subject from page 146:
Records That Cannot Be MergedSome records in Family Tree cannot be merged.The same explanation is in the general version of the Reference Guide at page 142 is you have signed in with a FamilySearch Account.
You cannot merge records in the following situations:
• The gender on one record is male, and the other is female.
• One record indicates the person is alive; the other is deceased.
• Both records come from the membership records of The Church of Jesus Christ of
• One of the records came from new.familysearch.org, where it has been combined
with too many other records.
• The duplicate record has already been deleted due to another merge.
• One of the records has restrictions that would prevent it from being changed.
If Family Tree has already identified possible duplicates that cannot be merged, they appear beneath the list of possible duplicates:
The second problem raised by Randy and some of his commentators, is the issue of improperly combined individuals. Presently, there is no way in the program to split an improperly combined ancestor. You must note the problem, including the identifier numbers of any mis-combined people and FamilySearch will separate the individuals if appropriate. I have been told that this process is presently overloaded and it may take a considerable time for the separation to be completed.
The simple answer to the dilemma posed by Randy is to wait until the programs are separated before doing any extensive editing. Changes are still being made in the New.FamilySearch.org program and until the two programs are separated, the multiple people (also called IOUSs or Individuals of Unusual Size) that have resulted from inaccurate combining in New.FamilySearch.org, cannot be fixed. I suggest waiting until there is a formal announcement that the two programs are no longer sharing the same database and that changes can then be made.
The real problem is that the duplicates are not just individuals but can be entire pedigrees. So merging and the mess carried over from New.FamilySearch.org can be extremely complicated.