Deleting an unconnected person
*A person posted this on Facebook Family Search User Group. Is this correct? She states that she contacted Family Search and they do not have a fix for this problem and suggested that she do the following: “I was in on the beginning of FS and a consistent problem is people with names, no sources, and not attached to anyone. There are hundreds of them I was asked and have removed from floating around clogging up FS. If that is not the case with your names then please do not do this!!!
The proper way to delete a non existent person’s record in FamilySearch is to change the name to a person that does exist and merge the two. Leave an explanation. This eliminates records of non existent people floating around the program.
Note: this is only to be used when you are sure the person is non existent and has no information attached. I know to do this because I was working to find homes for names with no information attached that are floating out in the system (and there are hundreds of these).”
I may be confused, but your first paragraph and the last two seem to be talking about two completely different subjects.
In the case of unconnected people, there is absolutely no reason to worry about them "clogging up" anything. The capacity of Family Tree is enormous and is not impacted at all by those names and one should not delete them by changing them to a random name and merging with a random person.
Instead, if there is an unconnected name, one should use all resources available including the Change Log, the IGI, the historical record databases, Ancestry and other sites, and try to determine who that person is then correctly attach the person to family or merge with real duplicates. If that quest is unsuccessful, just leave them alone.
In the case of a truly non-existent person - which actually is quite hard to prove without sources attached - as long as there are no ordinances completed there isn't any harm in changing the name and merging, other than the fact it will goof up the Change Log of the person you are merging into and be really confusing for the next researcher who comes along. However if there are ordinances completed, I would just put a note on the person and also just leave them alone.0
Thanks for posting in Family Search Community. Gordon Collette gives you some good advice in his comment. There is no reason to be concerned about the unconnected and or non existent persons in Family tree. We don't recommend you undertake a project to "clean up" family search by going out and specifically looking for unconnected or non-existent persons. Rather concentrate on your family lines and making sure you have the right family structure (correct people with correct parents, children, and spouse(s)). In the case where you have a person connected to your family line that doesn't belong, just delete the relationships tying that person to your tree. In the process of doing this, the person may become an unconnected person which if you can find the proper place for, okay, otherwise, just delete the relationship and move on to get your family lines complete. Please let us know if you have further questions or comments.0
Just another comment. The concept of deleting records and cleaning up Family Search is kind of a myth. Anytime a record for a person is created, it remains in family search forever. Even if the record is deleted either by deleting the person (very rare) or merging with another record, the deleted record is still in Family Search. And it is searchable and can be restored. So it is never really removed from Family Search. Hence, the recommendation that you concentrate on getting your family lines correct and complete rather than worrying about the unconnected/non existent persons.0