"Character is the one thing we make in this world and take with us into the next."
- - Ezra Taft Benson
April 29, 2015
Double Trouble: Resolving Duplicates in the Family Tree
by Kathryn Grant

If you’ve worked in Family Tree for any length of time, you’ve probably run across duplicate records — in other words, two records that represent the same person. An earlier column explained how many of these duplicates got into Family Tree.

What’s the problem with duplicates? Mainly, duplicate records can lead to duplicate research and duplicate temple work. And duplicate temple work may not be such a problem in and of itself — in other words, although duplicate ordinances don’t provide any additional benefit to a person, they don’t really hurt the person either.

However, the person who is hurt is the one who yearns for the blessings of the temple but whose work is delayed as duplicate ordinances are performed for others.

Fortunately, Family Tree allows users to resolve duplicates by merging them. During the merge process, you compare two records to determine whether or not they represent the same person. If they do, you save the best information and combine the two records into one.

How do you do that, you ask? This presentation helps provide the answer:

Duplicates In Family Tree: Why They’re There, How To Find Them, And How To Resolve Them

Finding and resolving duplicates isn’t impossibly difficult, though it takes thought, care, and attention to detail. It’s an important part of preparing the record that will someday be presented to the Lord — a record that will be “worthy of all acceptation” (D&C 128:24).

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About Kathryn Grant

Kathryn Grant is a user assistance professional with a passion for usability and process improvement. She also loves family history and enjoys the challenge and reward of building her family tree.

As a child, she lived outside the United States for four years because of her father's job. This experience fueled her natural love of words and language, and also taught her to appreciate other cultures.

Kathryn values gratitude, teaching, learning, differences, and unity. She loves looking at star-filled skies, reading mind-stretching books, listening to contemporary Christian music, attending the temple, and eating fresh raspberries.

Kathryn teaches Sunday family history classes at the BYU Family History Library, and presents frequently at family history events. For more information, visit her Family History Learning Resources page

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