Sorting out difficult duplicates
I think this is more of a "202" question instead of a "101" question.
I am working on a lineage project where the parents of a certain established person are very cloudy. This person was born in 1856, has a documented marriage and documented children. He lived to have a death certificate. He and his descendants are fine.
His PARENTS are where the fog descends and I'm talking here in FamilySearch as well as Ancestry and other places. The parents names are John and Caroline Johnson. I have documented, by 1870 census, 2 couples by that name living at the same time in the same state, in different, but adjacent counties. So problem #1 is that sources on the FamilySearch tree are mixed up between the couples and there seems to be several duplicates. (The kids are all jumbled as well - seems people don't pay attention to the census family groups.)
Problem #2 is what the two Caroline's maiden names are. I am not sure ANY of the Caroline records in FS have been properly sourced as to their maiden names, but there is a popular maiden name that I have seen applied to both ladies. A Caroline with the popular maiden name is living with another woman and some children in the 1850 census in one of the counties. That unmarried Caroline may be the same as one of the later married ones in the 1870 census, but that is unproven. Thus, 3 sets of children are now getting mixed up because people aren't paying attention. The ages of the 3 Carolines are sort of all the same generation; within a decade of each other.
My question: I do not want to sort out existing records. They are a mess. I also don't want to detach sources or children. I just want to create my own new family group, starting from the 1870 census which shows the child who is my established person. I know how to create an unattached family group. I know how to attach sources which are already attached to other people (save them to my source box, person by person then add a source from source box.). The question for you all: is this "ethical"? I know it's not recommended, but is it ok? or is there going to be a thunderous outburst of "this is what's wrong with the tree"? What would YOU do?
My goal is to CAREFULLY document the siblings of my established person to see if I can find out what THAT Caroline's maiden name is. Then, if I'm able, take John and Caroline's lineage back further. Comments?