A person incorrectly inserted into our family tree ..... need help to correct another person's mess
Someone incorrectly included Phillipina Jacoba NEL (father= Louis Jacobus NEL, mother=Susannah du Preez) into the family tree of
Louis Jacobus NEL and Johanna Margaretha BOTHA's tree.
I tried to merge the two records (L4SB-D5Q ... being correct and GZL3-K7M .... being incorrect). I had hoped it would remove Phillipina's name from Margaret BOTHA's line. But instead, I seem to have messed up. NOW both trees have her listed as having two sets of parents.
Please help ..... please remove PJN's name from Marg Botha's lineage .... as she does not belong there.
If you find two records for the same person, you merge the records, however, if your concern is finding a child with incorrect parents, you can follow the instructions in the following knowledge article to remove the child from the incorrect parents.
When following the process described in the article, please remember you want to work with the child's box in the flyout because you are trying to correct their relationship. The Remove or Replace link will allow you to either remove the child from the parents showing, or to replace them with the correct parents if you happen to have the ID numbers or details about the correct parents.
If you would like additional assistance with this issue, please call our support team at 1-866-406-1830 and one of our agents can walk you through this process.
We have looked in Family Tree to the record that survived the merge, L4SB-D5Q, and we see that there are actually two records for the person currently listed as the father. That is why you see a complete family with both parents and another family relationship between just the father and Philippina. Again, if Louis Jacobus Nel is not her father, simply delete both parent-child relationships. If he is her father, merge the duplicate record for him so that only one will exist.
We wish you success with this process but remain available to assist you if you call.3
Whenever a situation like this comes up, the very first questions to ask are HOW did a record show up, WHAT has happened to it, and WHY did someone think it belonged where it is. For these, the place to start is the Change Log.
Going there for the incorrect Phiilppina GZL3-K7M, currently deleted due to a merge, and starting at the bottom, you can see that:
On 22 June 2021 GZL3-K7M was added to Family Tree via a GEDCOM import with name Phillip Rudolph Nel, sex Male, birth 6 May 1804, with parents Louis Jacobus Nel GW4Z-4R2 and Johanna Botha L44W-FBK, both of whom were already in Family Tree so I assume the GEDCOM matching routine found them there.
Then on 6 Sept 2021 you, Pamela, changed his name to Phillipa Jacoba Nel, made him female, and changed his birth date to 13 July 1804. Then you declared that "she" had the wrong parents and started working on putting him in a different family.
That takes care of the how and what. That leaves the question of why, Pamela, did you do this to poor Phillip Rudolph?
Clearly there are two different Louis Jacobus Nel born in 1778. One married Susanna du Preez in 1800 in Swellenam and the other married Johanna Botha in 1802 in Cape Town. Both families had a lot of children over the same time span. Looking at the family of Louis and Johanna, they have a child Phillip Rudolph born 29 March 1804 and christened 6 May 1804. Assuming that the birth date for the Phillip Rudolph now Phillipa Jacoba of 6 May 1804 in the GEDCOM import was actually his christening date, that GEDCOM import was clearly a duplicate for Phillip Rudolph that was not found by the GEDCOM match routine because of the birth date/ christening date confusion.
What needs to occur now to fix all this, is to reverse all the changes made to Phillip GZL3-K7M, including unmerging him which can still be done since nothing has happened yet to the combined record since the merge, then correctly merging the two records for Phillip.
@PamelaBaxter5, do you feel up to this task or would you like me to take care of this for you?
@CDBurk, she should not merge the two Louis Jacobus Nels. They are two completely different people as shown by their different wives, different marriage dates, and different sets of children born over the same time span of about 1800 to 1825. One of them is Phillipa's father and the other is Philip's father..4
Dear CD BURK and GORDON COLLETT
Thanks for your answers. The reason that I changed the second Phillip Rudolph NEL, was the backing data, which I checked carefully from the attached archive photo, was actually for Philippina Jacoba NEL.
Someone had placed the incorrect data with a male name. If you look at the two Phillips, they cannot possibly be born to the same lady (my relative) as they are only three months apart !!!
So, I corrected the second Phillip to match the archival data, changed her (poor girl) sex to female and gave her the correct identity.
Then I tried to detach her from my family data --not being born to Louis Jacobus NEL (1778 - unknown) +Johanna Margaretha BOTHA, but being born to Louis Jacobus NEL (1779-1854) +Susanna du PREEZ.
Why did they have to name their kids with all the same names????
I then (don't ask me how!?!?!) managed to detach Phillipa from being seen as Marg BOTHA's daughter, but have been struggling all day to try and detach her from my relative, the Louis NEL of 1778.
I am new at all this, but try to check all the facts and correct all the errors found along the way. ;-)
I agree with CD Burk ---- there is no way that the incorrect Phillip(ina) should be merged with my relative, born on 29 March 1804.0
If you could help me with the disconnect to Louis NEL ---- who is still being shown as a co-father to Phillipina ---- I would be ever so appreciative.
She must be the only girl in history who can (at this moment) claim to have two biological fathers !!!!
Many thanks for your help, both of my correspondents. I am feeling such a Klutz at the moment and would like to get this done today ...... and be able to breathe again. It's very frustrating going round and round in useless circles.
Thanks all ...... I finally managed to do the deed.
The families are now showing the correct children in the right homes. The photographic evidence showing Phillipina as belonging to Louis Nel +Susanna du Preez is where she should be.
The Phillip Rudolph Nel (incorrectly entered as a male) with photographic evidence as being born Phillipina is now safely removed and my own family is showing as it should.
I hope not to come across any more major glitches that take all day to find out how to navigate these stormy waters. Thanks for the helpful suggestions.
..... an enlightened Pamela2
Going back to the Change Log Phillip Rudooplh Nel GZL3-K7M, and going thorough it carefully shows that there were no sources, memories, or documents of any kind attached to him at the initial import or at any time prior to when he was changed to Phillipa Jacoba Nel and merged:
Looking further I did find that Phillip Rudolph Nel LH2X-MCL who has a couple of sources and who is married with 13 chldren did have a source for Phillipa Jacoba Nel attached to him in 2020:
That was probably the start of all the problems. Looking at Phillipa's father's Change Log, the next event after that source was attached incorrectly, someone merged Phillipa's father and Phillip's father, then someone else spent a whole lot of effort untangling the mess the merge made rather than just undoing the merge. The copy of Phillip's father that was deleted in the merge is still deleted. If someone was really ambitious and really wanted to make sure all the threads of these two families were untangled corrected, they would restore Louis Jacobus Nel GSLZ-G55, merge him properly with the existing copy of Phillip's father.
But back to the point of this post. Is important when evaluating sources to determine when the person and the source do not agree whether the person is wrong or whether the source is attached to the wrong person. In this case, the source was put on incorrectly.
To really untangle at least Phillip properly, I restored Phillip Rudolph Nel LH2X-MCL and reverted all the original data on him. This put him back with his correct parents and he still did not have any sources or memories. I merged this record with his duplicate Phillip Rudolph Nel LH2X-MCL and removed the incorrect source from Phillip Rudolph Nel LH2X-MCL.1
I did check carefully to be sure that backing out Phillip did not do any damage to Phillipina's record. Phillipina looks exactly the way you corrected her, Pamela. Regarding your comment about names, are Louis Jacobus Nel and Louis Jacobus Nel related? Cousins or something? If you have to use family names and have 13 and 9 kids respectively, you are going to all have to use the same ones!0
In my defence, before I altered Phillip to Phillipina, I DID take an extensive look at the attached photographic record of the birth -page linked to this person. That was definitely showing that a female child called Phillipina was born to a Susanna du Preez. This birth certificate was my defining reason for all the subsequent alterations that I effected. I promise that I did not just suck the information out of my thumb.
I then searched for, and found, the correct person. Also the dates tallied with Phillipina. Whether the two fathers bearing the same name of Louis Jacobus NEL, were related cousins, I have ABSOLUTELY no idea ..... and after yesterday's fiasco ..... I really don't care and don't want to know !!!
OK, regardless, I did what I did in all sincerity for the right reasons. In not knowing how to navigate the system correctly, there were some mistakes made. However, I assume that you have set this straight --- in your explanations, you obviously have more experience than I ---- and I thank you for that. I am sorry that you had to untangle the mess, before having to fix the records. I hope that you could do this in seconds, rather than the hours it took me to remove the incorrect data from my family's line.
I am doing this research for my cousin, as she first pointed out the two Phillip's were not possible, because no woman can give birth to two live sons two months apart. Not even twins can be delayed for that period of time !!! She confirmed that the Phillip born on 29.Mar.1904 was the right ancestor.
That's what made me look into the attached birth record, showing a photograph of the original archived records, for the second Phillip Rudolph Nel born on 6.May.1904, who was actually listed as a Phillipina Jacoba Nel on the photographed page. So someone did not check the details when attaching the archive data, and this caused all the ensuing chaos.
So, hopefully you will forgive me for my clumsy efforts to putting this straight ...... and accept my heartfelt thanks for your extensive efforts in having to delve into the pile of spaghetti knots to help. If we find another mess somewhere further up the line, may we call on you for help? Please NO !!! .... I hear you shout ....
Yours sincerely ..... and very gratefully .....
Please, please, please don't feel like you have to defend anything you did. You did take a good look. You made changes based on what you could see and based on what you felt was the best way to handle a problem. Also, don't feel like the hours you spent on this were in vain. You learned a lot. Next time it will only take you a couple of hours, The time after that will only take one. Times after that will take a few minutes. Because you will run into this again.
If you browse through this Community, you will find one of the most common complaints and questions is basically yours here, how to correct tangles in the tree.
Another common complaint is "someone changed my grandmother from Jane Smith to Mary Jones and gave her completely different parents." People get very irate over such things and that is what I was working to avoid here. Annamarie created Phillip and intended him to be Phillip. The trouble came up when Lukas attached a source for Phillipina to him. It got compounded when Lillith merged Louis and Louis. Then only partially fixed but further obscured when Isabel found another copy of Louis and moved a bunch of children from the incorrectly merged Louises to that other Louis. I was concerned Annamarie might come back looking for her Phillip and find he was now Phillipina.
As I mentioned above, you can usually tell from the Change Log whether a person was created from a source, in which case one should correct back to the source. or whether a source was attached to an existing person, in which case the source should be removed if the source is incorrect for that person.
I apologize if my attempts here to be clear, precise, and complete have come across pedantic or critical. This is not the best format for conversations such as this. This conversation would have been very different if we were sitting together at a Family History Library.
I have been working in Family Tree for a long time. The only reason I might be faster at correcting tangled families is because I've had to do it so many times. A couple of months ago my wife ran across a situation when working on a family line for a friend in which three families had been thoroughly mixed up and confused. She turned that over to me and it took me about a week, spending several hours a day, to get them properly divided out and repaired.
This community board has two purposes. One is for moderators to give suggestions, point to Help Center articles, and teach us how to solve our own problems. The other is for us users of Family Tree to work together as a community and help each other in our work, using our combined experience to make Family Tree function as it should. So, please, whenever you run across other issues that are challenging, feel free to post them here. I enjoy helping out and so do many, many other people that come here.
Now you will really have to forgive me because you expressly said you don't care to know more about this family but I was really intrigued by the repetition of of names and just had to take a look in Relative Finder which gives this:
I wish you the best in all your work in Family Tree and hope you enjoy making it the best, most accurate tree it can be.2
You made me laugh ..... you - the fundi of this great complicated site - apologising to the klutz who royally screwed up the carefully constructed lines. I have no problem being told off for creating a trans-gender operation on poor Phillip. I promise not to do it again, EVER !!!
It has been a good learning curve, hitting such a problem .... and thank you for the descriptive colour-co-ordinated chart showing the tree. I am doing this for my cousin, as I have no direct link to the NEL - O'Neill line, that's why I made the glib comment about "I don't want to know".
I must re-iterate my sincere thanks to you for all that you did. It de-stressed me greatly to have a guardian angel unravel my spaghetti mess in minutes.
Now ...... you are going to regret ever hearing my name .... or the Nel name .... because I have come across an even greater dilemma further up the line. Let me test the patience of my guru Gordon.
Aed Ordnidhe Mac O'Neill GHXW-5PC (see - already I have learnt to use the codes) married two ladies .... at apparently the same time and they had the same children. Ladies= LH68-2QS and LL31-KRS. VERY different women from very different families.
I do not know enough about Irish history, but have become enthralled to see that my cousin is related to the royalty of Ireland. BUT I am relatively sure that one man (EVEN a kIng) cannot marry two women in the same year and go on to have the same children borne to each of them.
Please take a goosey-gander and see what you think? Maybe we need an historian here, because there don't seem to be any records on show. We are delving into the 800's, so I'm not surprised.
Aren't you sorry that you ever heard my name, now?
Many, many thanks for taking me under your expert wing. Take care and keep smiling
Oh, dear. Ireland, huh? 800s? A time of few records in a difficult language? (Hey, Siv! Where's Wikipedia?)
Talk about cutting one down to size. I am really good at working in the mechanics of Family Tree and the FamilySearch website. I'm pretty good at western US research from about 1847 on. My wife is Norwegian and we've had a lot of fun researching her family. I'm fluent in Norwegian, having lived there for two years, and consider myself an expert in Norwegian genealogy from about 1750 through today (before then the records get sparse and the handwriting, shall we say, gets interesting.) But early middle-ages Ireland? I've heard rumors that it is very difficult to do any actual research beyond just looking at what the experts have published. Personally I wouldn't touch anything back that far in Family Tree with a ten foot pole. There is just too much mythology and too few real sources.
There is an Ireland research group here: https://community.familysearch.org/en/group/104-ireland-genealogy-research that you could join and see if anyone has any thoughts about what would be correct, whether those are two different women or just different names for the same wife, or if there is truly disagreements between historians about who he was really married to. Or you could message anyone that has been working on this family over the past year and see what they think about the state of things. Easiest way to do this is by looking in the change log and clicking on the user names you see there:
But if you have other question that come up, just ask and if they do fall in my fields of knowledge, I'll be happy to try to answer.0
Oh, dear, Gordon .....
I did not mean to offend you ---or cut you down ---- in any way. You are up on a pedestal in my estimation !!
Thank you for the advice on which group to contact. I shall follow that link.
Norwegian? Sounds as complicated as the Irish -- weren't they connected in some way back in the mists of time? Yes, the writing styles certainly have changed since those days .... and the spelling ....
Goodness knows, the Irish names are DREADFULLY difficult to spell. And I SUSPECT that the word "ingen" which pops up regularly in the women's names, means "daughter of" because it is usually then followed by either the father's first or second name, rather than a 'proper' surname.
OK ----- I reluctantly release you from further questions ---- I see you've directed me to Wenu Polke d'Baer ---- is this your subtle way of getting rid of the thorn in your side ???
I seem to be getting a laugh a day out of this site. My husband says he hears me sitting at the PC chortling away at some of the responses I've got ..... and you certainly have given me not only great advice, but also a great deal of laughter. You have a marvellously dry sense of humour.
Pleasure doing business with you, sire. I bid you "au revoir" ..... not yet "adieu" !!!!
Yup, ingen is "daughter", and mac is "son". (You get the "of" by putting the parent's name in the genitive [possessive] case, which is generally a matter of unpredictable-to-mere-mortals spelling changes.) Be happy you're not expected to say any of the names: the Irish used the Latin alphabet just to confuse us foreigners.
Here's an excellent introduction to the subject of Irish names: http://medievalscotland.org/scotnames/quickgaelicbynames/. It's aimed at medieval reenactors choosing names for their personas (characters), but it can help with interpreting existing/historical names, too.0
Oh, this site is getting more and more humorous by the minute.
Believe you me, I have been TRYING to say all these ancient Irish names to my cousin over the telephone. She's in Durban, South Africa, and I'm in London, UK ..... and sometimes she doesn't know WHAT I'm saying, even with an e-mail full of notes and explanations in front of her.
I am really happy that you have confirmed my suspicions, I was aware of the mac connection, being of Scottish origin myself, but the ingen was something that popped up too many times .... and began to peak my interest. A bit like code-breaking.
The most recent example was Maedh ingen Indrecht ..... I suspect that nobody knew her actual name ..... so instead she's being referred to as a "maid" (girl) ingen (daughter of) Mr Indrecht. LL31-KRS.
Have you been following my communications with Gordon? Or did he ask you to comment on my last question?
OR .... have I been on a public forum, giving everyone a laugh at my inexperienced ignorance on this subject? Oh, I bury my head in shame .....
I shan't embarrass myself any further. But, thank you Julia, for the link. I shall read it this weekend with interest. Take care and keep smiling, all the best
Yes, this is a public forum, but no worries: you haven't posted anything even remotely inappropriate.
I would guess Maedh to be what happens to "Meadhbh" (Meave) when a non-Irish-speaker tries to write it down without looking it up.
More fun with Irish names: the Index of Names in Irish Annals (http://medievalscotland.org/kmo/AnnalsIndex/index.shtml).0
Oh, my giddy-aunt, this gets better and better. Now the whole world can see every mistake --- oh, I love you all. Whoever has been reading all this ---- I hope that you've been laughing as much as I have !!
Inappropriate ---- never done anything like that in my life !!!!
But thank you, Julia, for the second link. I shall enjoy reading it.
So, to all a goodnight ---- and a goodnight to all.
Over and OUT.