Merge/Compare Records and Branches

There will inevitably be times during your research when you suspect or realize you have (for example) two records for the same individual. Perhaps you created one in error, perhaps you believed there were two separate individuals but now have evidence that they are the same person. Or maybe you have two records that look similar and you want to compare them to check if you have a duplicate individual. And you may find you haven’t only duplicated a single individual but also for example their spouse and children.

Whatever the cause, you will want to use the Merge/Compare dialog to disentangle matters. Remember to take a backup first, so that if things go wrong you can start again. And read the Help file thoroughly before you start, especially Basic Record Merging and Branch Merging and Features of the Merge/Compare Dialog because it takes strict attention to detail to get a merge correct.

Tip: One common mistake people make is only to merge the individual records and not check/merge the linked records such as families, media, sources.  If, for example, you merge individuals without merging their families and the individuals in those families, you will end up with a tangle of duplicates that will be hard to unravel.

Last update: 05 Sep 2020